Newsletter #5

Remember, if you cannot view the newsletter in HTML, head to www.kasterborous.com/category/newsletters where you will find all newsletters so far.

Welcome to the fifth Doctor Who Newsletter from Kasterborous.com!

Before we get going this time around, I would just like to thank to 50 or so people who have so far taken an interest in our fundraising efforts for Children in Need and AICR via the eBook and print copies of Time Leech.

At the time of writing, over £200 has been raised, which at present can be split between both charities 50:50.

However we’re only a few weeks into this campaign and I am pretty confident that we can hit and pass £1000. So if you haven’t already purchased your copy, please consider doing so.

Meanwhile if you have and enjoyed your read, please let other people know, and send them to the Time Leech page. Remember that the free P&P offer will end on the print copies once they start to ship, so the earlier orders come in, the better!

You can pre-order the print version for £4.99 (including p&p) if you live in the UK or £9.99 overseas (again including postage) from Kasterborous right now. Please note the p&p free option is a limited pre-order offer – once the pre-order stage is over, copies will be dispatched for £2.99 (subject to revision) – so get your orders in now!

 

Kasterborous in April

This month has been an interesting one, with our first newsletter and lots of Doctor Who news to reflect upon. Series 7 is underway, and as a result Kasterborous has been receiving lots of hits from regulars and newcomers alike.

I’m often asked how we plan for the peaks and troughs, and this is a tricky question to answer. After seven years, the troughs are often easy to predict, but occasionally they take you by surprise. For instance, this past week has seen much less activity, despite the presence of Daleks in the news. This may or may not be due to our reluctance to steal the thunder of exclusives on other sites, I couldn’t say for definite (although having a roving fan with a camera in South Wales on side would be ace…!)

What we’re most interested in on Kasterborous these days, however, is our readers and inspiring them to join the conversation. If you have anything to say about a particular news item, remember that you don’t have to sign in or sigh up to the site to leave your thoughts. Simply input a name, email address (which won’t be misused) and let us know how you feel!

So, what might have you commented on this week?

 

Top News Stories This Week

A Graveyard of Companions

The following article contains spoilers for the upcoming series of Doctor Who, notably the story featuring the departure of the Ponds.

If you don’t want to gain clues and hints about Series 7, we suggest you refrain from clicking the + symbol below…

Graveyard Spoilers

There are various accounts online, notably at DoctorWhoTV, summarizing these images which all take place in a graveyard and are from the story midway through Series 7 that sees the Doctor finally say goodbye to Amy and Rory.

With Matt Smith, Alex Kingston and Karen Gillan all at the shoot, which takes place in a graveyard – just the place to find a statue of an angel – you would be right to expect the scenes filmed there to be pretty intense, not to mention crucial to the episode.

Will Amy somehow offer herself to a Weeping Angel? Which version of River Song is this?

You’re probably wondering just where the heck is Arthur Darvill? Well, we probably shouldn’t say, even in a spoiler. But if you want the details, just remember that time travel solves a lot of things.

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond - for the last time.

We’ve already seen the Doctor reading this book in New York – here Amy reads it, sat next to a headstone. It’s pretty likely that Melody Malone refers to River Song.

[collapse]

So there you have it. We’re not going down the same route of total spoilerification as our source – there is more than enough here to speculate on.

Please note that spoilers may appear in the comments below.

Robots of Death Live!

Paul Darrow guests in Robots of Death: Live

New Robots of Death and Storm Mine adaptations set for debut at the very first Greater Manchester Fringe, with a special guest star in the shape of Paul Darrow!

Building on the critical success of January’s adaptation of Midnight, Lass O’Gowrie Productions are back with brand new adaptations of 1977′s Robots of Death – a Tom Baker classic Doctor Whostory from 1977 and Storm Mine, the final drama in a series of Robots of Death tie in audio sequels Kaldor City from producers Magic Bullet. Robots of Death is considered by many fans to be Doctor Who‘s golden era and was voted in the top 10 by fans in Doctor Who Magazine‘s poll of polls in 2009.

As with January’s production of Midnight at the Lass O’Gowrie, neither the Doctor or his 1977 companion Leela will feature in Robots of Death, but instead this classic Doctor Who story has been adapted to feature the main characters from Magic Bullet’s series of audio adventures – Kaston Iago and Elska Blayes. The adaptation of Robots of Death is being undertaken by Alan Stevens, mastermind behind the Magic Bullet Kaldor City audios, based on original writer Chris Boucher’s rehearsal scripts and are promised to add a new dimension to this classic tale, whilst remaining consistent with both the original Doctor Who tale and the Kaldor City audios.

The productions will be staged at Fab Cafe and the Lass O’Gowrie as part of the inagural Greater Manchester Fringe in July. Robots of Death will run at Fab Cafe in the first week of July, with Storm Mine following in the second week of July.

Both productions will include a brand new, full cast; but for a very special launch event on July 1st at Fab Cafe, the producers are thrilled to announce that Paul Darrow – famed as Avon in BBC TV’s Blake’s 7 – will be reprising the part of Kaston Iago in both productions on the opening night only. This will be the first time he has ever played the part live, and is an amazing treat for fans of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7 and inteligent sci-fi alike.

Speaking about the productions, Producer Gareth Kavanagh:

“Anyone who knows their Doctor Who will tell you Robots of Death is one of the best Doctor Who’s ever made in the past 49 years, so no pressure! But I’m confident that as with Halo Jones and Midnight at the Lass O’Gowrie, we’ll pull this off with style.

“And with original writer Chris Boucher’s blessing and amazing rehearsal scripts, the brilliant Alan Stevens and his Kaldor City extended universe AND Paul Darrow with us for one day reprising his role as Kaston Iago, what could be better? Colour us officially excited…”

Tickets for both productions will be available from Quay tickets from late May, whilst more information on the Greater Manchester Fringe is available from www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk from Friday.

The following links will be of much use to anyone interested in attending. We’ll have more details as and when they become available.

www.thelass.co.uk
www.fabcafe.co.uk
www.kaldorcity.com
www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk (live from Friday)
www.avon-paul-darrow.co.uk

Barrowman Wants Captain Jack Return for 50th

It’s fair to say that with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who coming up, everybody and their mums has been speculating on who will be appearing in the episodes in question and what form the celebrations will take.

John Barrowman as Captain Jack HarknessSo it’s nice to see that Cap’n Jack himself has attempted to kick up a campaign to get him brought back to Who for the 50th. What better way to celebrate a big milestone than getting your mates together for a big birthday bash? (Mind you, not many people can invite their previous selves, as some people have suggested is happening.)

He has to get this campaign started because, according to him:

It’s not up to me, it’s up to the executives, and it’s also kind of up to the fans, because if they want it, all they have to do is start writing.

Something that will be of interest to the fans is the fact that he and Matt Smith have actually discussed this:

Matt and I actually had a conversation at the BBC once, sitting around a table – we thought it would be a great idea.

It’s interesting that he was apparently already at the BBC considering all the other things he’s doing, such as Gilded Lilys, a US pilot from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe there’s more going on here than he’s letting on? After all, we already know that Moffat is interested in having him back on the show (he would’ve been in A Good Man Goes To War but was busy with Miracle Day).

I’m willing to bet that if he’s not been approached by now, he probably won’t be. If you’ve ever read The Writer’s Tale, you’ll notice that most of the plot twists and whatnot were planned out about two years in advance. So the odds are that if he was on the team, you would know about it by now. Having said that, he is one of my favourite characters and I’d love to see him make a return (and have it not be a rehash of Journey’s End).

What are your opinions, dear reader? Care to see him make a comeback, or is he just trying to get himself shoehorned into a project that has no place for him?

 

Who’s a Naughty Girl?

The Radio Times website has been running for a while now, but never has it run such an in-depth and fascinating article as today, when an interview by Patrick Mulkern in which he chats at length with Katy Manning, was published.

You’ll have to head over there to read the details yourself, which covers car crashes, Jon Pertwee, TV lesbians, vomiting and Lis Sladen, not to mention nudity with Daleks.

The really interesting thing, however, is that despite a showbiz lifestyle that rivals (and arguably outdoes) that of her predecessor Anneke Wills, Katy – who of course played Jo Grant from 1971-1973 – has no intention of publishing an autobiography.

“I am asked all the time. Daily! I’m exaggerating, but I’m a very private person. I’ve been secretive since childhood. It would be so goddamn boring tracking back over my life, which ain’t over yet. There are too many people involved I don’t really need to talk about.

“And I’ve been a naughty girl. Naughty girls don’t write books!” A throaty cackle. How naughty, Katy? “I think I’ve been about as naughty as you can get.” She gives one of those faraway but saucy, you-name-it/I’ve-done-it grins.

It’s a shame, but you might understand why. It might barely be suitable reading for a Doctor Who fan!

Get Your TARDIS in Order

This week on Channel 4, reality challenge-the-hoarder show Get Your House in Order features a Doctor Who fan…

Former Doctor Who Colin Baker appeared in Channel 4's Come Dine With MeIt seems that 42-year-old lab technician Barry Phillips is an avid collector of all things TV-related – but mainly Doctor Who. Featuring location footage recorded at the Big Blue Box convention earlier this year (organized by Stephen Elsden for his Compaid charity), the show is hopefully going to help Barry find a way through the maze of artifacts that he has collected.

With a house crammed high with unopened Doctor Who toys and over 5000 copies of the Radio Times, naturally Barry realises something needs to change (otherwise they would have featured someone else) so it will be interesting to see just what he does with his most prized possessions.

Fortunately, interior designer Abigail is on hand to give Barry a ‘retro bachelor retreat’ design scheme that will hopefully inspire him not to clutter his home again, while dealer Nick needs to raise £3000 to pay for the redesign.

Fortunately, Colin Baker is on hand at the Blue Box event, and helps to sell Barry’s memorabilia.

But will Barry stick to his side of the bargain and keep his house in order for good?

Find out Thursday night, 8pm on Channel 4!

(Thanks to Paul Gee)

The PodKast

Do you subscribe to the Kasterborous PodKast (with a “K”)? For weekly musings and discussions about classic and modern Doctor Who, you can find us listed on iTunes or subscribe to our RSS feed

From the Vortex: Anthony Ainley: Master & Commander

Anthony Dry writes in 2005 about his childhood love for the Master…

Those eyes. Sparkling and glittering yet creepy. ‘Yep I definitely think this fella is scary’ I thought as I finished off my pizza and chips, watching as Adric was tied up in a metal web thing.

And that’s the first memory I have of the Master, Anthony Ainley.

Years later of course after finding out it was Castrovalva I had been watching, I have no recollection of any of his previous appearances, but strangely enough, from that moment on he registered with me and I’d make extra effort not to miss the show just in case he was in it. Battling against Peter Davison’s fifth incarnation, not since Pertwee had we seen so much of the Master pitting his wits against his old pal from Gallifrey, a move John Nathan Turner was more than pleased to use; especially since, unlike the Master’s previous portrayal by Roger Delgado, Ainley had a talent for disguise and many a time I sat there opened mouthed, gaping at the screen in shock when the Master finally revealed himself.

Anthony Ainley was born on the 20th August 1937 into a family of actors, although originally trained as an insurance clerk before he found himself drawn in to acting, enlisting into RADA. It wasn’t until the mid sixties that his career finally took off, appearing in such films as You only Live Twice (1967), Inspector Clouseau (1968) and Oh! what a Lovely War (1969) as well as a notable appearance in The Land that Time Forgot (1975) with Doug McClure.

However, with the tragic death of Roger Delgado and with the show under the new guidance of John Nathan-Turner, who he had previously worked with on in The Pallisers in 1974, Ainley was offered the role as the Master to see in a new more modern era in 1980. And what a fantastic start. The Keeper of Traken was an inspired choice of story to bring back the Master, with Ainley playing Nyssa’s father Tremas, before snatching his body and shocking everyone revealing himself as the Master, beginning a series of showdowns between him and Tom Baker in Baker’s final season, ending in dramatic fashion with the Fourth Doctor’s fall and the introduction of Doctor number five.

Ainley’s first appearance in The Keeper of Traken as Tremas was played convincingly; kind and warm, a strong leader and loving husband, and father to Nyssa. More disturbing therefore, was his subsequent possession by the Master.

But this is where it gets a little difficult. As a kid watching the Davision era, I always fondly remembered the appearances of the Master, the evil air about him and that chilling factor, he did scare me, of course not as much as Daleks or Cybermen, but he did chill me. But going back and re-visiting the likes of Time-Flight and The King’s Demons or The Five Doctors Ainley’s Master really is a mixed bag of the good and the not so good.

I never blamed Ainley himself, a consummate pro he is bound to follow the director and the script; but I can’t help but think they sometimes showed him up. His appearance in Time-Flight was a throwback to season 18, donning a disguise and playing the role brilliantly leads the viewers into a flase sense of security until he reveals himself. While that story was way too ambitious to produce on the shows budget at that time, it was a total contrast to The Five Doctors, where he could almost be playing at The Liverpool Empire in a production of Puss In Boots where his character is over the top and to me, un-Master like. Is he playing it for laughs? I blame the story and direction and the problem of bringing together so many big names and dealing out a decent share of the storyline – I always thought they just didn’t have one for Ainley.

Preceding The Five Doctors, The Kings Demon’s is short, but still stands out as one of my favourite Master memories, and it still remains so after all these years. Although short again, Ainley plays the disguise to near-perfection, although his accent is questionable and with the inclusion of Kamelion this two-parter is short and sweet and leads into events and continuation in Planet of Fire which would be his last duel with the Fifth Doctor, and again Ainley plays the part well even though the plot is a little low key for my tastes.

I must confess, I have never seen Mark of the Rani so that still stands out as a must watch when I finally get around to it, but there’s no doubt, apart from the lukewarm Trial of a Time Lord saga, Ainley saved his best for last in the final transmitted episode of Doctor Who. In Survival the Master has finally succumbed to one of his many villainous schemes and entices the Doctor into his trap to try and free himself from the planet, which is reacting in destructive ways to the temperament of its inhabitants. And its here that Ainley really, really shines, when he turned up in the tent with his yellow eyes I almost yelped! Ainley gets the chance to play the Master as he should be dark and evil, a throwback to Delgado and his earlier portrayals in season 18, and with an added dark humour. The Master and the Doctor play off each other best when the stories they are in give little snippets of their past lives, giving the humour just a hint of who they are, and this allows McCoy and Ainley to bring the best out of the characters and for Ainley a fitting end to his onscreen portrayal of the Master in just under a decade.

With the new series I had just a glimmer that one day we would see him back, but sadly he passed away on the 3rd of May 2004. A keen cricketer, a regular at conventions and my Master growing up, he will be sadly missed both as an actor and as a contributor to the world of Doctor Who.

 

Competition Time!

This week’s competition is a little bit special, as the winner will receive a copy of all three Torchwood novels from 2011. The Men Who Sold the World by Guy Adams, Long Time Dead by Sarah Pinborough and First Born by James Goss were released by BBC Books last year as Miracle Day prequel/tie-ins.

Winning this triumvirate of alien and conspiracy fighting literature, simply send an email with the subject line “BLOODY TORCHWOOD” and cross your fingers!

Last week we gave you the chance to win a copy of The Jade Pyramid, an Eleventh Doctor adventure by Martin Day and read by Matt Smith.

Congratulations, this week to Caity Marsh – please drop me an email to christian@kasterborous.com with your preferred postal address!

 

Interview Exclusive

Gareth Mugridge recalls how his home-built Dalek came to appear in Doctor Who…

“I had built the Dalek and took it into work for the book event. Little did I know that one of the guys that worked there, Rob Keech, worked on the committee for the Cardiff Pride Event, one of the patrons of which was Russell T Davies. Rob asked if I would be prepared to take my Dalek to the Mardi Gras and be on stage with Russell. You can imagine the answer!”

“That day arrived, Russell was very complementary and we acted out a skit on the main stage, an amazing experience!”

It wasn’t long before Gareth found himself meeting Russell again while working short-term with the BBC Wales Drama Dept Branding team – working on Doctor Who and Torchwood!

“Shortly after my contract had ended I received a call from the Branding team asking if I still had my Dalek and if so, could they borrow it for an upcoming episode as they wanted as many physical props on set as possible, Russell had remembered my Dalek and suggested they call me!!

“So Bernard was collected, and taken to the studio and consequently appeared on “Newsround” on CBBC and if you look closely and are quick with the pause button you may just catch sight of him in the Series 4 finale two-parter The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End.”

Look out for more from Gareth in an exciting new Kasterborous publication later this year…

That’s all for this week – see you next time!


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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