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A Newsletter of Discord!

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

We’re a bit later with the newsletter this week, but we’ll crack right on with it!

A lot has happened this week, from the sad news released today about the loss of 1970s companion Caroline John (UNIT’s Dr Liz Shaw) to the escape of monsters from the Doctor Who Experience.

As I write this newsletter, a box of Time Leech comics sits behind me, evidence at last that we’re coming to a new phase in the project. If you’re one of the many who pre-ordered a copy of our charity comic book (all funds raised will be donated to Children in Need and the AICR, of which David Tennant is a patron) then you’ll be very happy to know that we’re going to begin the process of distribution this weekend!

We’ve had a lot of interesting feedback over the weeks about the newsletter, and how much you enjoy it, but if there is anything you would like to see in here, do let me know – simply reply to the email with your thoughts.

One regular correspondent is Paul Salamoff, who some of you may know as “the Eighth Doctor’s TARDIS guy” due to his restoration of that particular prop. Paul regularly says some really nice stuff about Kasterborous and our newsletter, so it’s time to return the favour. He’s currently using the Kickstarter crowdsourcing website to raise funds for his new graphic novel, TALES OF DISCORD which has a strong Doctor Who link – the twin brothers Moonshadow & Solris are modelled after Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith).

We think it looks great, and backing opportunities range from $2 to $1200 with various bonuses and bells and whistles added at each level, such as a complete collection of the series, signed copies and even an appraisal of your own script.

Find out more at the TALES OF DISCORD Kickstarter page, where you will find encouraging words from Noel Clarke and IDW’s Tony Lee.

Best of luck to Paul with the project, which closes in just 10 days time…

Top News Stories This Week

Moffat’s Mega-Monster Madness!

Steven Moffat has announced that he’s come up with a new monster for Series 7 of Doctor Who and has promised that it will deliver the scares that we’re all expecting.

Writing on Twitter, the show runner Tweeted:

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/steven_moffat/status/213248619132891137"]

We’ve already got the return of every Dalek ever, a strange looking cyborg in the Wild West, Weeping Angels, the departure of Amy and Rory forever, a trip to New York and the arrival of a new friend for the Doctor in the form of Jenna Louise-Coleman and that’s only the first six episodes!

Moffat has been responsible for creating not only some of Doctor Who’s creepiest monsters (gas mask zombies, clockwork killers, Weeping Angels, the Silence and the Headless Monks) but also some of its most wonderful episodes (The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, The Eleventh Hour and Let’s Kill Hitler) so if anyone can invent a creature for the show that’s guaranteed to send you hiding behind the sofa, it’s him.

Since the first half of Series 7 is already in the bag, it would be not unreasonable to presume that the monster he’s come up with will be for the 2013 batch of episodes but whether he’ll be writing the episode itself or has given it as a brief to another writer will have to wait to be seen.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One later this year.

Karen Gillan’s Doctor Who Sadness

Karen Gillan won at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2012Try as they might fashionistas couldn’t out-vogue Karen Gillan on Monday night where the flame haired clothes horse took home the Scottish Fashion Icon of the Year award at the 2012 Scottish Fashion Awards.

Wearing a bright yellow shirt dress by Twenty8Twelve, teamed with purple nails and a mulberry lipstick, Gillan certainly made an impression but kept her comments on her upcoming departure from the TARDIS strictly low key.

Speaking to STV Gillan said:

“It was so sad. It was this bittersweet thing cause I’m really excited to move onto other things, I’m actually going on to do a film in Glasgow which I’m really excited about, but yeah it was so sad cause I’m leaving my best friends in a weird way.”

Moving ever forward, the film in question is Not Another Happy Ending where Gillan will be play a miserable writer who finds success only to be struck by writers block – leaving her exasperated publisher to get back to her miserable ways and writing again.

Held at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium and hosted by Alexa Chung, the awards celebrated the best of Scottish fashion and being an icon, Gillan offered her view on the recent wave of innovation.

Head over to the Metro for a full gallery of the great and the good at this year’s Scottish Fashion Awards.

Matt Snapped in the Rain

The Sun newspaper has caught a few teasing shots of Matt Smith filming scenes in Wales for the new series of Doctor Who and since the actor was wearing a plastic bonnet to keep the rain off his head, they opted for the ingenious strap line of “Who looks a bit silly in that Matt?”.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) peers at the top of his TARDISWhilst we take a second for the laughter to subside, the paper did get some fun shots from the set, including the Doctor atop the TARDIS exterior, lifting the lid off the lamp and trying to make a phone call at the same time, quite who he’s calling we have no idea of but it’ll be fun to find out!

Smith was also seen recording a meeting with a mysterious hooded figure that looked a tiny bit like Gideon Vandeleur, one of the former envoys of the Silence from The Wedding of River Song. It could have also be a headless monk without the CGI or it could be a brand new character altogether.

The Sun also got a wonderful publicity image of the Eleventh Doctor and his new friend, played by Jenna Louise-Coleman with Matt Smith sporting not only a waistcoat but a stylish new tweed jacket in a much darker colour, perfect for the Doctor to witness the fall of the Eleventh and visit the Fields of Trenzalore!

As the rest of Series 7 starts to take shape, you may see more and more images that contain spoilers appear in newspapers and the internet, if you don’t want to know anything about what’s to come, you’re probably well advised to avoid tabloid papers altogether!

Who Is Cassandra?

Naomi Ryan: Cast in Doctor Who Series 7?

It’s a loaded name, one that has appeared in Doctor Who several times, most recently in 2006′s New Earth.

So why the fuss about the character “Cassandra”, apparently played by actress Naomi Ryan in Series 7 according to the actress’ Spotlight page?

Well, it seems that a lot of Tenth Doctor/Russell T Davies era fans (have they read Ultimate Regeneration?) are getting their knickers in a twist over a supposed “re-casting” of Lady Cassandra O’Brien, the “bitchy trampoline” from End of the World (2005) and New Earth.

After all, why would Steven Moffat reuse a character name?

It’s not like he’s already called the maid of his Victorian-era Silurian adventurer Vastra something along the lines of “Jenny”, now is it?

Similarly, it’s not exactly the case that Doctor Who has already tackled the the topic of the Cassandra from Greek legend. We’d all remember if the First Doctor and companions had found themselves in a version of Troy as described in Homer’s Iliad, wouldn’t we? Or if Frances White had been cast as prophetess “Cassandra” in 1965?

Note to name-grumblers = all of the above has previously happened. Why not congratulate Naomi Ryan (who you might recognise from EastEnders, Coronation Street, Dream Team) on her role and move on? Or at least email her agents and let them know that the current series of Doctor Who is 2012, not 2011…

(With thanks to Scott)

Ice Warriors Back for 2013?

Matt Smith has hinted that the Ice Warriors might return in Series 7…

Doctor Who: Ice Warriors to Return (at Long Last)?While similar reports have been rife over the past few years, Matt was pretty non-committal when asked about the possible return of the Martian creatures at The 11th Hour convention in Birmingham, merely smiling and offering no comment. But this smile has led to a knee-jerk reaction that’s sent the internet alight with speculation.

Could this be a confirmation of The Daily Star’s report last week, which stated that they’d return to face-off with the Doctor and the new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman? The newspaper claims the episode will be written by Mark Gatiss (The Idiot’s Lantern; Victory of the Daleks). A ‘source’ supposedly told The Daily Star:

Who fans have been crying out for the return of the Ice Warriors. Now they’ve got their wish. It’s going to be an exciting year with the 50th anniversary celebrations.”

The Ice Warriors first appeared opposite the second Doctor in 1967 before returning in 1969’s The Seeds of Death. They next appeared in The Curse of Peladon (1972), convincing the Third Doctor that they had turned over a new leaf – then a rebellious faction returned in The Monster of Peladon. Though they haven’t been on-screen since the 1974 adventure, the Ice Warriors have returned in numerous other mediums, like audio (including Red Dawn and Deimos/ The Resurrection of Mars), books (like Legacy and The Dying Days) and comics (such as 4-Dimensional Vistas and Cold Blooded War!).

They’ve most recently appeared opposite the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory in Dan Abnett’s novel, The Silent Stars Go By. They also were proudly displayed alongside newer monster costumes at the official Doctor Who convention – a further clue that they might return?

And it seems that there’s plenty of call for the reappearance of the cool (heh) monsters: at the time of writing, the Radio Times’ poll reports a huuuuge 93.94% of voters want the return of the Ice Warriors for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.

I suppose it’s obvious what Kasterborous readers think about the news…?

From the Vortex: Was the Eighth Doctor Really So Different?

Back in 2007, Brian Terranova compared and contrasted the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth incarnations of the Doctor, with fascinating results…

With the recent success of the new series we are hearing more and more backlash from many fans about the canonical nature of the TV Movie (TVM) starring Paul McGann. Most complain that it was “Americanized,” that the plot was jumbled, or that it messed too much if the past history of the show.

But was the TVM so different? Does it deserve its place in the history of the show?

Let’s take a look at the Eighth Doctor’s only TV outing and see just how different it really was.

One thing that most fans agree on is that Paul McGann made a fantastic Doctor. Even his outfit was in keeping with the shows past. It was very Edwardian and helped him to stand out in a crowd. He even wore a wig much like William Hartnell.

To be honest, getting the Doctor right seems like pretty much half the job there. I mean after that all you need is a good companion, the TARDIS, an alien threat (or major historical event), and a good story.

Let’s look at the new companion, Dr. Grace Holloway, played by Daphne Ashbrook. Grace is a medical doctor with a career and a life already in motion for herself before she meets the Doctor and gets caught up in his hectic world of saving the universe, or as is more often the case, the Earth. From her first scene entering the TARDIS we can see that she has a good understanding of scientific theories as well as her medical skills. (True this could be the Master’s influence over her, but nonetheless it’s there) But is she right? Is this too different for Doctor Who?

It would seem that Grace set the standard for one off companions. Until the new series invited Catherine Tate back to the show as a full on companion she was by all intents and purposes considered a companion. Who knows if she would have been given that title had the precedent not been laid out before by Daphne Ashbrook’s character.

As I said before, Grace is an intelligent woman, not to mention a beautiful one, and looking back on the 26 years of past companions it’s easy to see that Dr, Holloway fits in with the history of the show. You need only to look as far back as the Pertwee era where we have the pretty and very brilliant Dr. Elizabeth Shaw to see that Grace is in good company. Fast forwarding to 2007 we can see Dr. Shaw’s, but more so, Dr. Holloway’s influence in the character of, medical student, Martha Jones.

Not so different so far. Let’s try another!

The TARDIS. From the exterior it seems to be the same machine as ever–a big, blue Police Box. The interior, however, is a subject of much fan debate.

For one thing it is still much bigger on the inside than the outside. Chalk one up for the TVM. It still has a central console and center column that rises and falls when in flight. That’s 2 for the TVM. The console is made of wood, however. Could we have a difference here? A deviation from the original series? No, I don’t think so.

Looking back as far as the Tom Baker era we can clearly see that, for a few seasons at least, the console room and the console itself were both made out of wood. We also saw the Doctor give the console a complete overhaul in the Davison era, and Sarah Jane mentioned a “redecoration” of the console room in School Reunion. So it’s natural to assume that the Doctor had redecorated again some time before the TVM and was forced, or preferred to use 19th century components in his ship.

The TVM also seems to have influenced the New Series once again with its console design. This can clearly be seen in the floor to ceiling central column, as well as the coral support structures that mimic the steal framework surrounding the TVM console.

Another complaint heard from many fans is the stonework and leaves that were in the room with the Eye of Harmony. Which is odd when you think about it, because in Tom Baker’s last story we see that the cloister room had both stonework and vines in abundance. In fact, going further back to The Invasion of Time we are shown that the TARDIS interior can change its shape just like the exterior. In that story we see the Castellan press a button on a stone statue that disappears along with the rest of its surroundings in that section of the ship. This would prove that the Doctor’s ship is capable of making solid structures out of holograms, or perhaps nano technology.

The New Series is keen to point out that the TARDIS is a living machine (a concept that has been mentioned in the past as well) and proves this with its coral design growing all over the place. That and the Doctor’s comment that TARDISes are grown show very clearly that vines and leave should seem right at home in this living structure.

“But Brian, you mentioned the Eye of Harmony but didn’t explain it, did you think we would let you get away with that?” No, not really. Here we go:

Yes, the TVM placed the Eye of Harmony inside the TARDIS, where previously we had seen it only on Gallifrey itself. This doesn’t mean that it is a break from continuity though. Until Deadly Assassin we’d never heard of the Eye, so why should we assume that it was never in the TARDIS before now? After all we never knew the TARDIS had a Zero Room before the Fifth Doctor needed it in Castrovalva. We also never heard the word “regeneration” until the Third Doctor did just that at the end of his era. More recently we found out about ‘The Chameleon Arch’ in Human Nature, which seems to have been a permanent feature in all TARDISes, yet it was new to us. I expect there is a lot we don’t know about this ship.

Next we have the alien threat, The Master. Executed by the Daleks and yet still clinging to life with every ounce of evil that he is.

Now we get to the good stuff.

Power of the Daleks - Reimagined

Daleks holding a trial ending in the execution of the Master and not their mortal enemy, the Doctor, who came to collect his remains from them?

Not so odd when you think about it. Going way back now to the Troughton era, we know that the Doctor gave a group of Daleks emotions and personalities when he gave them the “human factor.” It would make sense that these Daleks are still out there growing in numbers and trying to better the universe. Since the Doctor gave them new life it also makes sense that they would not try to exterminate him when he shows up on their doorstep to retrieve the Master’s urn.

With that in mind it would also be believable that, with these newfound emotions, they would gain a sense of society and hold fair trials for their criminals rather than just exterminating them on sight.

Another possibility that could explain this trial, if a second one was needed, is the revelation of “The Cult of Skaro,” the elite group of Daleks crated by the Emperor to think outside the box. This trial of the Time Lord could have been an exercise in understanding for the Cult. Just one of their experiments. Perhaps they even brokered a truce with the Time Lords during this period as part of those experiments.

I said in the beginning of this article that some complain about the Americanization of this story and when I ask what they mean by this, I am usually given the motorcycle chase scene as an example. When this happens I refer them back to the James Bond… er, Pertwee era, to see that the motorcycle scene was not so far removed from its past.

The New series seems to understand the need for a good chase scene as well when they had the Doctor and Rose on a moped in The Idiots Lantern. Which I might add was a totally British production.

The story itself seems like the last stop here.

It’s said to be potpourri of ideas over the nine years the show was off air, but more so it is considered to be a bit of a rehash of a Tom Baker story Deadly Assassin. But is this true? It’s certainly not a word-for-word copy of the script. The main similarity is the Master’s use the Eye of Harmony to gain more lives.

In Deadly Assassin he tried to use the power of the eye itself to give him new life. In the TVM he uses it to try to steal the Doctor’s life. Different enough. If you try to make a house out of wood and fail on the first try you don’t say “That’s it, I’m using brick!” No! You “try, try again.” A good idea is a good idea, and when you are clinging to life with only one chance in sight, you take it.

This story also brought us the Doctor’s first on-screen kiss, but because it is a battered old subject I’ll leave you with this thought: Susan is the Doctor’s Granddaughter. She had to come from somewhere, and although kissing doesn’t make babies, it is the first step in the process that gets you there. Not convinced? Remember that Paul McGann’s Doctor kissed his new friend during a fit of happiness upon remembering who he was – this is no different than Tom Baker’s or Patrick Troughton’s boisterous hugs with their companions during bouts of happiness. Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

Looking back on this 11 years later, it’s nice to see that while there is change it was still very traditional. Infact, throughout the 26 years of the Original series, change was a constant. The TVM was no different and now the New Series is proud to continue the trend. In the end, the TVM is just as canonical as the story that started it all way back in 1963.

Dark Horizons Winner

No new competition this week, sadly, but what we do have is a winner!

Last week we asked you to enter to win a copy of JT Colgan’s Dark Horizons by telling us her usual pen name, which is – of course – Jenny Colgan. We had a great response (lots of interest in this book) so a big well done to Jenny Hibbert, of Mexborough!

You’ll have your copy shipped over just as soon as the book is released.

The Clue Is In the Name

Over the past few weeks I’ve been tenuously (and tediously?) hinting at a special Kasterborous project that must remain nameless.

Have no doubt that I really want to share it with you. You’ve seen some of it already, in these very newsletters; you might have even guessed as to what it is.

When the time comes, it will be so immensely obvious that you’ll not only wonder why you didn’t guess, you’ll also wonder why no other website has thought of it.

We’re getting closer to the time of reveal (one of the reasons why this week’s newsletter is so late, in fact) and we’re confident that you’ll be impressed, that you’ll enjoy it and most importantly you’ll spread the word. This is a project that has support from people who really know a good idea when they see one, and we’re really excited about it.

In the meantime, be aware that as a subscriber to our newsletter you will receive special treatment as far as the project is concerned. That’s all I can say… for now.


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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