Former Doctor Who David Tennant

Newsletter #1

Hi,

Welcome to the very first Kasterborous Newsletter!

We’re absolutely delighted with the response to the newsletter, and can boast over 500 subscribers right away, which has considerably surpassed our wildest expectations at this stage.

So, why a newsletter?

Well as some of you may know, beyond the website we have the Facebook page, the Twitter feed and the podKast, not to mention the RSS feed so it made sense that we look at communicating the latest news and features to our readers via email.

Additionally, we’ve been looking for a way to deliver exclusive content to our loyal readers, and with the forum suffering from a redevelopment crisis (something which I will address in this newsletter in future) running a newsletter seemed like the best idea.

It also gives me, editor Christian Cawley, the opportunity to speak to you in a more personal manner, popping up like this in your inbox!

Due to some teething problems, we’re a little late releasing the first newsletter. We’ll be aiming for a Sunday release over the coming weeks.

So what can you expect in the Kasterborous Newsletter? Read on and find out…

In this week’s newsletter…

Top News You Might Have Missed

  • Doctors Chat About Companion Casting
  • Doctor Who Series 7 Teaser Trailer
  • A Doctor Who Movie? Really? Still?!
  • New Companion Sex Tape Scam
  • The Daleks Are Coming

From the Vortex

  • Violence & Vulnerability: Anthony Dry’s Recollections of the Fifth Doctor, first published in February 2005

This Week’s Exclusive

  • The Official Doctor Who Fan Club: Volume 1

Competition Time

  • Genesis of the Daleks read by Tom Baker

Interview Exclusive!

  • When Anneke Wills Introduced the Beatles to America…

Don’t forget: you can help us raise money for Children in Need and AICR (Association for International Cancer Research) by pre-ordering our graphic novel edition of Time Leech for just £4.99 including p&p (£9.99 for overseas readers).  See http://www.kasterborous.com/2012/03/charity-time-leech/ for details

Top News You Might Have Missed

Let’s kick off the first newsletter with a roundup of the past week’s big Doctor Who news.

Doctors Chat About Companion Casting

With the announcement on the 21st of March that the actually-rather-attractive Jenna Louise Coleman is the new companion to Matt Smith’s Doctor, Matt Smith himself has given a few choice quotes on her casting, starting off with the obvious quote and the reason the concept of a companion exists in the first place.

    The Doctor needs a companion, you see. He can’t travel alone.

While it would be nice to see an entire series of him travel alone, just to shake things up, we all know it’s probably never going to happen (as proven by the 2009 specials, which saw a need to appoint a companion of the hour). Therefore, I would personally be glad to see an end to this persistent plot thread, as we’ve seen time and time again that he can’t travel alone or bad things happen, with the most notable examples being The Waters Of Mars and The Wedding Of River Song.

On Jenna, he said

    [It's] very exciting news. I was part of the audition process where we met a number of wonderful actresses. But I think Jenna responded to Steven’s writing in the most interesting way. We’re very excited to welcome her to the Doctor Who family.

“Most interesting” sounds like the kind of thing he’s saying because he doesn’t want to say “best”, which is a bit worrying.

David Tennant also got wind of the casting (in this day and age, who hasn’t?) and had some very wise advice.

    She’s going on a very exciting journey. I hope she has some good friends to hold her hand because it can be a bit scary when you get thrust into that level of attention, speaking from personal experience.

Makes you wonder how he’s coped since, doesn’t it?

With the stars behind her, I find it hard to see her failing and it sounds like she should be very good at what she does! All that remains now is to wait and see how she fares on the travels through time and space.

Doctor Who Series 7 Teaser Trailer

Unveiled at the Doctor Who Convention on Saturday, this is the teaser trailer for Series 7, containing clips from (what we think is) two or three episodes from the next run.

You can smell the Old West atmosphere in much of it, which is particularly impressive given the Spanish location shoot. The snow scenes were also recorded in Spain.

Dalek eye-stalks and shoot outs? Strange lumbering droids and Mark Williams? It can only be Doctor Who… but you’ll have to wait until the Autumn to watch it :(

Find out more at YouTube.

A Doctor Who Movie? Really? Still?!

You know those moments that you sometimes have, where someone asks you if you did something and you know that you definitely, utterly, did not do it?

But then they don’t think you’re telling the truth so they keep accusing you of doing it until a little voice at the back of your head says to you “is it possible? Did this happen and I’ve forgotten?” Well that seems to be the scenario that is evolving with news on the rumoured Doctor Who movie.

In an interview regarding his latest film The Pirates!, David Tennant was questioned about the possibility of a Doctor Who movie directed by Harry Potter helmer David Yates. Tennant rightly praised Yates’ directional talent but also mentioned that the quality should remain high.

    “Something of good quality will always triumph. I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion but David Yates is a very talented man.”

All fair enough. But website Digital Spy seems to believe that the Doctor Who movie is going ahead and that Yates will be the Director.

But didn’t we have Steven Moffat quash this rumour many weeks ago? Didn’t the Doctor Who show runner go on record saying that if there were to be a movie, it would be linked directly to the current series rather than a side step with a different production team? Surely the BBC would want that?

Maybe there is a movie and it’s part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary. Maybe Yates is lined up to direct a feature length episode for the BBC. Or maybe this is all a rumour that has got out of hand (although if you read what Yates has been saying, he seems to have other ideas).

Basically, don’t give in to that little voice at the back of your head asking “is this actually happening?” because the chances are that if Steven Moffat hasn’t mentioned anything then it’s not happening.

We’ll just have to wait!

New Companion Sex Tape Scam

Users of The Twitter beware – several scammers have gone on Twitter and are posting links to what they claim is a sex tape of Jenna-Louise Coleman, the recently announced new companion to Matt Smith’s Doctor.

The first problem with this, which you’ve probably already deduced as I’m calling them scammers, is that there is no sex tape. Clicking on the links will take you through to (according to the Telegraph) a hardcore Asian porn website. Clicking on the video thumbnails will lead you to unwittingly follow a Twitter account. Personally, I think this is a bit of brilliance on behalf of the scammers. They took the news that Jenna-Louise Coleman was to be the new companion and merged it with the recent leak of the rubbish and all too real Tulisa sex tape to create what some people might see as plausible (and therefore less likely to be a scam).

The second problem is this: say there was a sex tape. If you are of an age to be clicking such things, chances are you range between the ages of 18-40. If you watch Doctor Who with somebody else, you have the eternal image in your head of the Doctor’s companion naked while the others watching with you don’t have their minds untainted by such unwholesome things. And that’s something no man should have on his mind or his conscience when he’s watching a family show.

I guess a few things we’ve learned from this brief blip of a story on the Doctor Who radar are: it’s probably for the best that Coleman has been advised to commit to a Google ban, be careful what you click on, and don’t bother with the Tulisa sex tape.

(Sources: Graham Cluley’s security blog and the Telegraph!)

The Daleks Are Coming!

We’re still at least six months away from the return of Doctor Who, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t get excited by the return of the Daleks, whose presence in Series 7 was confirmed in the recent teaser trailer.

It will be around 18 months between appearances when they turn up later this year – possibly in the first episode – and while Steven Moffat has avoided giving much away the BBC seem happy to provide some interesting close up shots of the little green blobs in bonded polycarbide armour.

As you browse through the images, something will strike you. Not: “they’re all Smartie Daleks!” or “oh look, a Time War Dalek!” But:

“Hang on! It’s all of them!”

Following their escape at the close of Victory of the Daleks, we knew they would be back one day (The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang notwithstanding) but who could ever have imagined that we would see so many different designs?

Has the backlash from fans (and, it seems, some of the Doctor Who production team) over the New Paradigm Daleks been felt at the BBC?

It certainly seems so!

From the Vortex

Violence & Vulnerability: Anthony Dry’s Recollections of the Fifth Doctor, first published in February 2005

If it wasn’t for Davison, I’m pretty sure that I would not be writing, illustrating or designing for Kasterborous. Indeed in all honesty I probably would not have as much affection for the show as I do.

Although I remember Tom Baker vividly (I think Destiny of the Daleks was one of my very first recollections of Doctor Who), unlike many I was never upset when one day I tuned in to see the curly-haired traveller fall off a radio telescope to his death – saving the Universe never seemed so easy for the Fourth Doctor. However what followed completely changed my view on the show, developing from passive interest into addiction.

In 1980, newly installed Producer John Nathan-Turner was widely criticised by many for some of the major changes he introduced to the show – including the removal of K9 and the Sonic Screwdriver – cast Peter Davison as Doctor number five. Known primarily for his role as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great & Small, Peter Davison’s casting was seen as a bit of a gamble by JN-T for such a hugely popular role. Many felt Tom Baker was an irreplaceable Doctor. I can’t imagine how daunting it must have been, as well as a challenge for Davison, to take over from such a cult figure – as popular a Doctor today as he was back in the seventies!

Born Peter Moffatt in April 1951, after a spell working in a tax office in Twickenham Davison landed his first TV roles, which included appearances in The Tomorrow People before finding fame in All Creatures… It was in this late seventies show, that he caught the attention of John Nathan Turner, who immediately earmarked him as the next Doctor. It took several attempts to lure him to the role, mainly because of Davison’s own doubts about his suitability for the character, but it was announced finally in November 1980.

Davison’s Doctor presented a more human hero, gone was the air of alienism, replaced with a more general concern for all life. Some may argue he was oversensitive, but Davison played the role more akin to Troughton’s Doctor with a very English attitude – quite similar to Pertwee. Of course the Fifth Doctor would later die from poisoning, a similar fate to that of his bouffanted predecessor.

Season 19 was a fairly stable introduction for Davison’s Doctor, helped in large by the previous seasons behind-the-scenes changes. The season boasted stories such as Black Orchid a classic who-dunnit, serving up a terrific fare utilising the BBC’s excellent period wardrobe, Earthshock a twisty space shocker introducing a modernised version of one of his oldest foes and Kinda a Buddhist themed and quite complex tale about the mind. These are testimony to these changes. Not only did the show begin to deviate away slightly from the core children’s audience (with complex storylines and characters in Kinda and Castrovalva) the show also moved to a midweek slot, further proof that the show was trying to hit some middle ground among children and adults.

JN-T also brought the Doctor’s character back to his thinking roots which allowed Davison more slack in his portrayal of the Doctor. Out went the sonic screwdriver in The Visitation, destroyed by the Terileptils; it gave the Doctor a chance to flex his problem-solving muscles again after years of get out clauses, K-9 being the other prominent clause. This move also allowed vulnerability to become a facet of the Doctor’s character.

The Doctor would find himself suddenly under pressure to do the best thing he could, often with dire consequences; this is shown to full effect in Earthshock, with the Cybermen using emotional blackmail against the Time Lord threatening him with Tegan’s life at one point, and of course the loss of a companion (I can hear the whoops of joy right now) as Adric is left aboard the doomed freighter, they were moves that rippled the Doctor Who community not used to expecting this sort of scenario and reinforcing what I have always believed the Doctor should be and that is the Doctor is best served as a character when he’s vulnerable and not everything goes to plan. My view is fully reinforced by the brilliance that is Robert Holmes’s The Caves of Androzani.

Although the pinnacle of Season 21, Androzani nevertheless sums up my feelings for Davison’s Doctor. Strong-minded yet weak, alert and forthright yet not a fighter, only acting when the odds are strictly against him. From realising the worst of his and Peri’s condition to hijacking a shuttle craft to find the raw Spectrox nest, the Doctor has no chance. He knows this, but will do anything he can in his power to leave Peri as a survivor, even if this regeneration kills him. It almost does.

Unfortunately we were only given a short reign for Davison’s Doctor. After a now infamous meeting between himself and Patrick Troughton with the former giving him the advice of only staying in the role for three years, Davison made his mind up in 1983 that he should bow out of the show, this of course was a decision taken on the back of season 20, for Davison personally, a frustrating season as he didn’t find the material offered him enough scope to play the Doctor as he wanted, and of course by the time Season 21 had arrived and an upturn in material, Davison had already made his decision.

However it was a season that was excellently handled to go out on, with the highlights being Frontios, Resurrection of the Daleks and of course The Caves of Androzani. Frontios offered Davison the chance to play the character as he saw him, against the odds, thrust into a tough situation, and this all round well written story really shines and is possibly one of the most underrated gems of the shows tenure.

So with the show moving into a new decade, with a new producer and with new ideas, it was nothing short of a masterstroke casting the talented Davison. It was always drubbed home, even by Peter Davison that the Doctor should not be a Luke Skywalker figure, but that’s exactly what he was in my eyes at the age of 6. This older, forlorn and weary Doctor had suddenly become a youthful, heroic Doctor which to me meant a little more action and parity with Buck Rogers, Starbuck and Luke Skywalker.

A mention must also go to the costume designers who came up with the most impressive identity (to date, in my opinion) for Peter Davison. The mix of cricketing jumper, pinstripe trousers and Edwardian frock coat gave the Doctor a refreshing look away from the previous incarnations of frilly shirts, dark coats and dark coloured scarves, announcing Doctor Who to a bright new era. Importantly for the new Doctor this era saw a change in character. We had a Doctor just as intelligent as previous incarnations but very vulnerable too, a Doctor who made mistakes, who didn’t always think before rushing into danger and of the dire consequences of his actions. We had a show that also had added violence, and a show, still with wit, but with a serious underlying morality and a vision that carried Doctor Who forward in a fantastic modern way.

When Doctor number five drew his last energies feeding Peri the Spectrox antidote and began the change for Doctor number six a small part of my appreciation for the show died; I knew I had seen and grown up with my favourite and my feelings remain the same today, 21 years on.

This Week’s Exclusive:

The Official Doctor Who Fan Club: Volume 1

Coming soon from Keith Miller is an amazing recollection of the events that led up to and the trials and tribulations of his first few years as the secretary of the Doctor Who Fan Club, back in the early 1970s.

Although the club existed prior to Miller’s involvement his was the hand that created the first widely-available fanzine, and his were the eyes that got to see archive material before most other fans.

Self-penned, self-printed with a screen printer and some stencils, Miller’s members were the recipients of insanely marvellous feats of monthly magic with a Doctor Who theme, usually focussing on the Jon Pertwee episodes but with as much information as Miller could find on the previous Doctors.

Imagine being a fan, for a moment, in a world without the Internet, without 24 hour TV on multiple channels… without Doctor Who Magazine. Keith Miller’s BBC-endorsed fan club was the only way to get a fix of time travelling terror when the series was off air, and offered a unique resource into the history of the show, occasionally throwing up the odd interview with people like Jon Pertwee.

No doubt the vast majority of those thin fan club magazines are lost to time… which is why this book is a vital addition to any Doctor Who fan’s collection, reproducing as it does Miller’s collection of those original works.

This is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of material, some good, some not so good but all created with immense love and attention. We Internet-age Doctor Who fans running our own websites with custom-built content management systems have it easy compared to Miller and the creators of other fanzines, and we all have an awful lot to thank him for.

Featuring a foreword from the great Paul Cornell, the book covers the period up to the departure of Jon Pertwee and Barry Letts, ending with bemusing epilogue and setting the scene for Volume 2, and a new Doctor…

Personally, I can’t wait!

Get full details on The Official Doctor Who Fan Club: Volume 1 at www.odwfc.com

Competition Time!

We’ve got a single copy of Terry Nation’s Genesis of the Daleks to give away to one of our lucky newsletter readers! All you have to do to enter is reply to this email changing the subject line to “DALEKS!”

The draw will be announced in next week’s newsletter.

Good luck!

Interview Exclusive!

When Anneke Wills Introduced the Beatles to America…

I took the [Beatles] album to America and went to see my friend Peter Cook who was at the top of his success because he was doing “Beyond the Bridge” there in New York, so that was amazing to be with him in New York at  that time. Then I had come with this album which was the first one they had brought out which was called Help! This was music we had never heard and I said to Peter “these four guys are going to be big here!” And by the time we had come back from America four months later they had played at the London Palladium and the crowd went bananas and the Police didn’t know this was going to happen and couldn’t handle them!

So Anneke Wills brought Beatlemania to New York?

I did! We were all down in the basement and Dudley Moore was there and I was teaching them all the new dance!

Anneke Wills was speaking to Gareth Kavanagh at the Cavern Club, May 6th 2007.


Christian Cawley

About

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


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