Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh, Jesus

Don't blink. Just don't blink.
The Doctor Who World Tour has made its final stop in the Brazilian city of Rio by the Sea-o. And, to prove it we have pictures. As yer actual Keith Telly Topping's old mate Danny Blythe notes, here we see 'an eternal icon worshipped by millions of believers worldwide ... Plus a statue of some bloke out of the Bible.'
On Facebook, Andre Tessier idly wondered if that Cyberman is, actually, travelling with Peter, Jenna and The Lord Thy God Moffat as part of the tour ('hey man, I'm with the band, all right!'). Keith Telly Topping his very self reckons it's either that or he's just arrived from Mondas and is about to upgrade Jesus The Redeemer. Which would, of course, be wrong. Very wrong.
Meanwhile, another of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's old pals, Rob Francis, speculated on what the conversation was like before a recent Doctor Who photo-session. 'So Jude, just remember that when you do the Capaldi shoot for the Radio Times, be sure to get that iconic shot of The Doctor in his famous blue box.' So, they did.
And, it's probably worth reminding you all, dear blog reader, there's only ...
Which is, of course, very nice.

For anyone that missed it - so, that'll be most of you, like as not - yer actual Keith Telly Topping's piece on BBC Newcastle's The Afternoon Show with the very excellent Si Logan about the new series of Doctor Who can be heard on iPlayer here for seven days, from 22 August: Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is on from approximately two hours fifty four minutes into the show and continues, in three chunks, over the next twenty minutes or so either side of the Three O'Clock News. And, quite entertaining it is too, in its own inconsequential way. Don't worry, Si has been informed that 'Whovian' is a completely uncceptable term to describe anyone with an ounce of dignity or self-respect about them. (I know neither of those things are the first descriptors which spring to mind when talking about TV fandom but, hey, some of us do at least try, dear blog reader.) Items discussed include Peter's shady past in the sub-Postcard band Dreamboys with Craig Ferguson, the proper pronunciation of 'Capaldi', Smudger's long face(!), 'it's not a children's show, right!', the merits of the last season of Sherlock, British TV's first lesbian kiss and its relationship to the new series and whether the sonic screwdriver is better than K9 (it is). And, most importantly, whether drinking wine on your own in your gaff is beyond sad or otherwise. This was a public service announcement. With guitars.

The new digital issue Radio Times, available iOS on Apple's Newsstand, celebrates the dawn of a new Doctor with exclusive additional Doctor Who content, including a digital reproduction of the Doctor Who tenth anniversary Radio Times special. The sixty eight page supplement was first published in 1973 and inspired the then fifteen year old Peter Capaldi to write to Radio Times in praise of the special edition. The letter was published in a subsequent edition. The tenth anniversary supplement features the third Doctor (yer actual Jon Pertwee) on the cover and includes episode guides for the first ten years, a guide to build your own Dalek and a (then) new Dalek story by the (now) late Terry Nation.
The Radio Times digital special also features a unique animated Doctor Who cover, only available with the digital edition, featuring Peter, plus a picture gallery of the new Doctor from Radio Times's previously mentioned 'exclusive' photoshoot. Features inside the new issue include an exclusive interview with Peter, another with showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat and his guide to all twelve episodes of the new series, an exclusive interview with José Mourinho by the comedian, author and long-time Doctor Who fan David Baddiel plus comprehensive TV and radio listings for 23 to 29 August. Radio Times on iPad contains all the features, interviews, reviews and comprehensive TV and radio listings for one hundred and forty six channels available in the print issue, alongside additional interactive features to enhance the readers' experience. All of which is totally mad brilliant unless, like yer actual Keith Telly Topping, you don't possess the technology required to obtain this thing. In which case, frankly, it's all a bit of a irrelevance. The Radio Times digital issue is available at special summer half-price promotional rate of just ninety nine pence. Radio Times is available on the Apple Newsstand every Tuesday, for iPad and iPhone, at £1.99 per issue, £6.99 for a monthly subscription or £79.99 for an annual subscription. The digital issue is initially available on Apple devices and will be rolled out across other mobile and tablet platforms thereafter. Apparently.

There is a, properly, beautiful piece on Doctor Who in the Torygraph this week written by Frank Cottrell Boyce about what Doctor Who means to him and about how joyous he is to, finally, be getting to write for a show he's loved for so long. It begins: thus 'All beautiful art, wrote Friedrich Nietzsche, begins with gratitude. I'm grateful to Doctor Who for a long list of things – my first crush (Katy Manning who played Seventies companion Jo Grant), my first delicious experience of inconsequential fear (The Cybermen), the way in which it made my family feel a bit better after not winning the Pools on Saturday night. The first piece of electronic music I ever heard was Delia Derbyshire's eerie, indelible arrangement of the theme tune. I'm willing to bet it was the first piece of electronic music that Brian Eno or David Bowie or the members of 808 State heard, too. So it may be that we have The Doctor to thank for ambient, house and electropop. Definitely I have to thank him for one of my best ever days out. When I was asked to write an episode for the latest series of Doctor Who, the only question I asked was: "Do I get to take my kids in the TARDIS?" "Yes. Now with regard to ..." "I'll do it." "And that," says the producer, Brian Minchin, "is how that conversation always goes."' It's all as wonderfully written as that, dear blog reader, but this blogger particular enjoyed the following bit: 'If anything ever began afresh, it was this show. Dropped from the schedules in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, then controller of BBC1, the flame was kept alive by enthusiasts, writing books and audio scripts and holding conventions. These were Space Jacobites dreaming of the return of the king. In science fiction the relationship between the audience and the writer is blurred. Fans are part of the process. I think the series' secret power is that the show runners and major writers were all fans first. Russell T Davies, who brought the show blazing back to life in 2005, wrote a novel for the Virgin New Adventures series (original stories about The Doctor which were published when the show was off-air) as did most of the series' best writers – Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. That's why it has none of the contempt for the original material that you feel, for example, in the recent Star Trek movies. In an age of irony, Doctor Who means every word. For all its intelligence, it is never smart-alec ... There's an old Italian saying – the tale is not beautiful until you add to it. The truth about Doctor Who is that over the years we have all added to it. It belongs to all of us. And now it's time to add my bit and if I say nothing else I'll say thank you.' Yes. That.
Tourists visiting London's Parliament Square got more than they bargained for on Friday morning, as the TARDIS crashlanded in front of Big Ben. Yer actual Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self posed in front of the TARDIS to promote the new series of Doctor Who. The TARDIS was made to look as if it had risen from the ground in the Square, surrounded by rubble and dinosaur bones. Tasty!
The BBC has announced Doctor Who Extra - a brand new series, exclusively on BBC iPlayer. Essentially, an online version of Doctor Who Confidential, Doctor Who Extra will follow yer actual Peter Capaldi every step of the way throughout the creation of his first season as The Doctor. Over the course of twelve programmes it will trace the highs and lows of Doctor Who's most ambitious run of episodes yet, getting the inside take on series eight from the people who made it. The Doctor Who Extra team had unparalleled access to stars including Peter, Jenna Coleman and Sam Anderson plus guests Frank Skinner, Keeley Hawes, Michelle Gomez, Ben Miller and Foxes. Writers, such Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) and directors also contribute as they reveal the on and off-screen drama. Doctor Who Extra is described as 'essential viewing for everyone who's ever watched Doctor Who and wondered what it's a like to be a part of the team that brings this global phenomena to our screens.' So, that's most of fandom, basically. Doctor Who Extra is produced by BBC Cymru Wales and executive produced by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, Brian Minchin and Jo Pearce. Each ten minute Doctor Who Extra episode will be available online after that week's Doctor Who episode has been broadcast on BBC1. It will also be available via the BBC's Red Button.

Jenna Coleman her very self remained somewhat coy about rumours - started by that bastion of truthful and accurate reportage the Daily Mirra quoting and alleged, unattributed 'source' - that she's soon to be leaving Doctor Who during an appearance on This Morning on Friday. The actress said that she wouldn't confirm (or deny) rumours of her departure because she believed that the uncertainty was benefiting the show. 'The truth is, I don't want to tell you the truth,' Coleman said. 'I quite like these rumours. People don't have any idea [if I'm staying or going]. I think people can watch the show, not knowing whether I am [going] or not, and I think that's exciting.' Speaking about working with yer actual Peter Capaldi, Coleman claimed that her new leading man had 'a glimpse of naughtiness' and that the pair had been 'laughing continually' since the third day on set. During an appearance on The ONE Show on Thursday evening, when that witless jabbering waste-of-space numskull Alex Jones blurted out that wasn't it a shame Jenna was leaving, Capaldi appeared to play down rumours about his co-star's departure. 'I'm not looking for a new assistant,' he told Jones and Matt Baker. 'I don't know where these rumours have started.' This blogger does, Pete - the Daily Mirra and their anonymous and, therefore, possibly fictitious alleged 'source'. 'I've read she may be leaving at Christmas, but I don't even know if she'll get to Christmas,' Peter added. 'You'll have to watch it and see what happens.'
The new edition of Doctor Who Magazine catches up on set with Peter Capaldi for what is billed as his most extensive and revealing interview to date. The issue, which is a bumper one hundred pages, includes a giant double-sided poster featuring Capaldi on one side and a Dalek on the other. There's also extensive previews of the first four episodes of the new series – Deep Breath, Into The Dalek, Robot Of Sherwood and Listen – as DWM talks exclusively to writers Steven Moffat, Phil Ford and Mark Gatiss' The Moffat also answers readers' questions and reveals more behind-the-scenes secrets in his exclusive column. DWM is available, now, from all good newsagents (and some bad ones as well).
FOX Deutschland have announced on Facebook that they will not be able to broadcast the German dub of Deep Breath on Saturday, but will, instead, broadcast the original English language version. According to the channel this decision is due to the BBC's enhanced security after the leaks which occurred last month and which resulted in the material arriving later than usual thus making it impossible to finish the German dub on time. FOX has apologised to viewers and stated that they will make the German-dubbed episode available through On-Demand services from Sky and Kabel Deutschland 'as soon as possible.'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has spoken about the new Doctor Who title sequence, which was inspired by a fan's online creation. Speaking to TV Guide, The Lord Thy God Moffat said that he was 'proud' of the 'creative response' that fans have to Doctor Who, which he added is 'unique' to the popular family SF drama. He said: 'The most important thing is that [there is] an extraordinary creative response to Doctor Who that is almost unique to Doctor Who and that's all we should look at. It has turned people into actors, it has turned people into writers, it has turned people into scientists. That's an extraordinary thing. And that title sequence which I'm so proud of is a result. That's online Doctor Who. That's the real part of it, that's the real story,' he concluded. The new title sequence is inspired by a creation by Billy Hanshaw, a motion graphics designer from Leeds, which received over seven hundred thousand views and eventually found its way to Moffat.

This week's episode of the CBBC magazine programme Blue Peter will be a special programme dedicated to yer actual Peter Capaldi as the incoming Doctor and featuring the winners of last year's competition to design sonic devices for Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Commander Strax. The Twelfth Doctor: A Blue Peter Special - presented by Barney Harwood, Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya - takes the three young contest winners Connor, Arthur and Amber behind the scenes of Doctor Who to see their sonic gauntlet, lorgnette and hat pin in action, where they also meet Peter. In addition, Dan Starkey, who plays Strax, talks about how he is turned into a Sontaran via prosthetics, while the make-it will be a TARDIS T-shirt. If you miss it, the episode will be repeated on Saturday at 8.20am and then again at 6.25pm as part of a range of Doctor Who-related programmes being shown on CBBC on Saturday afternoon - also comprising episodes from The Sarah Jane Adventures as well as the animated adventures The Infinite Quest and Dreamland plus the documentary Twelve Again - in the run-up to the broadcast of Deep Breath that evening. The show will also be available to licence-payers in the UK for a limited time via the BBC iPlayer.
As part of its celebration of the new series of Doctor Who, the Blue Peter website also has details about how to make Doctor Who character masks (probably not out of sticky-back plastic as it's a bugger to get off) as well as Doctor Who T-shirts and is inviting people to invent a new Doctor Who character.

Some proper lovely news now, dear blog reader. Yer actual Frazer Hines has been cast in the forthcoming television adaptation of the time-travel romance Outlander. Diana Gabaldon, the author of the novels on which the series is based, has previously stated that she was inspired to write the books in the first place after watching an episode of Doctor Who featuring Frazer as Jamie McCrimmon (reportedly 1969's The War Games). 'I rarely watch TV, but at the time I was in the habit of viewing weekly PBS reruns of Doctor Who, because it gave me just enough time to do my nails,' Diana noted. 'While pondering the setting for my hypothetical historical novel, I happened to see one very old episode of Doctor Who featuring a companion of The Doctor's - a young Scottish lad named Jamie whom The Doctor had picked up in 1745. This character wore a kilt, which I thought rather fetching and demonstrated - in this particular episode - a form of pigheaded male gallantry that I've always found endearing: the strong urge on the part of a man to protect a woman, even though he may realise that she's plainly capable of looking after herself. I was sitting in church the next day, thinking idly about this particular show when I said suddenly to myself, "You want to write a book, you need a historical period, and it doesn't matter where or when. The important thing is just to start, somewhere. Okay. Scotland, Eighteenth Century."' Diana subsequently gave her male protagonist the first name Jamie, after the character who had inspired her creation. The character's surname is Fraser although Gabaldon had always maintained that this was, actually, a complete coincidence: 'Fraser has nothing to do with Jamie's [real] last name. Owing to the local PBS station cutting off the credits in order to run pledge appeals, I didn't know the actor's name until some years later, after the first book had been written. I did send a copy to Frazer then, though, thanking him for the kilt!' Now, Frazer will appear in the television series based on the books which he helped to inspire. Frazer will play the character of Sir Gordon Fletcher, an English prison warden, in an episode which will be broadcast in the second half of the first series of Outlander (currently scheduled for early 2015). Sam Heughan has been cast as Jamie Fraser whilst other actors involved in the production - which sounds really rather good - include a whole bunch of actors with Doctor Who links; Tobias Menzies, Annette Badland, Simon Callow and Bill Paterson to name but four. Frazer himself was happy to announce his casting on his Facebook page also posting a picture of himself with Diana and Sam Heughan.

To some ratings news now: The Honourable Woman concluded with 1.6 million overnight viewers on Thursday. The Maggie Gyllenhaal-fronted BBC2 drama had an average audience share of qa fraction under eight per cent at 9pm, rising by around one hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's episode. Earlier, Young Vets brought in 1.30m at 7pm, while Russia's Lost Princesses interested 1.73m at 8pm. On BBC1, Britain's Compulsive Shoppers attracted 2.88m (14.8%) at 8pm, followed by Tamzin Outhwaite's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with 4.33m at 9pm, which topped the night overall. Motorway Cops was seen by 1.95m at 10.35pm. ITV's Tonight special The Food We Eat proved somewhat unappetising, appealing to but 2.53m at 7.30pm, while Harbour Lives fared even worse, being seen by 2.29m at 8.30pm. Kids With Cameras gathered a mere 1.28m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location continued to feature couples from the Home Counties with 'that's not a real job'-type jobs to an audience of 1.59m at 8pm, followed by an Educating Yorkshire special with 1.66m at 9pm. First Time Farmers interested five hundred and twenty seven thousand punters at 10pm. Channel Five's Prom Queen Divas UK was watched by seven hundred and eleven thousand viewers (who, presumably, couldn't believe what they were seeing. Did we really fight the war for this?) at 8pm, followed by the latest Celebrity Big Brother fiasco with 1.62m at 9pm. Suspects continued with seven hundred and twenty six thousand at 10pm.

The Great British Bake Off climbed to a new high this series on Wednesday. The third episode of the BBC1 series gained nearly six hundred thousand overnight punters from the previous week to 7.44 million at 8pm. Earlier, Fake Britain brought in 3.08m at 7.30pm, while Operation Wild attracted 3.29m at 9pm. BBC2's Young Vets appealed to 1.08m at 7pm, followed by The Stuarts with a million viewers at 8pm. The second of Michael Mosley's - terrific - Horizon specials was seen by 1.38m at 9pm, while Some People With Jokes was watched by 1.02m at 10pm. On ITV, Trawlermen's Lives interested 2.17m at 8pm, followed by Secrets From The Asylum with 1.76m at 9pm. Channel Four's Double Your House For Half The Money gathered nine hundred and seventy four thousand at 8pm, while Undercover Boss attracted 1.34m at 9pm. The Mimic ended, to no great fanfare or, indeed, much regret, with three hundred and seven thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, Extreme Nightmare Neighbour Next Door garnered 1.22m at 8pm. The latest desperate z-list fright show, Celebrity Big Brother continued with 1.75m at 9pm and Suspects returned for a new series with eight hundred and twenty six thousand viewers at 10pm.

The BBC1 drama In the Club topped the overnight ratings on Tuesday outside soaps. The series continued with 4.49 million viewers at 9pm. On BBC2, Young Vets interested 1.41m at 7pm, followed by Coast with 1.80m at 9pm. Super Senses: Secret Power of Animals interested 1.52m at 9pm, while Some People With Jokes spectacularly failed to amuse nine hundred and two thousand punters at 10pm. ITV's coverage of The Arse's Champions League draw with Besiktas scored 3.01m from 7.30pm. Which is a damn-sight more than either The Arse or the Turks scored given that a game ended goalless. On Channel Four, Dogs: Their Secret Lives appealed to 1.35m at 8pm, followed by Worst Place To Be A Pilot with 1.36m at 9pm. Gordon Ramsay's Hotel Hell kicked off with eight hundred and nine thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Dog Rescuers brought in eight hundred and sixty four thousand at 8pm, while CSI had an audience of 1.30m at 9pm. Celebrity Big Brother continued with 1.64m at 10pm (107k/1.2%), dropping around six hundred thousand from Monday's launch episode.

ITV has announced that Stars In Their Eyes will return. Harry Hill will host a rebooted version of the musical talent show, which originally ran from 1990 to 2006. So tonight, Matthew, I'm going to avoid that like the plague.

Dame Judi Dench and Keeley Hawes have joined Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC2's second series of The Hollow Crown. Huge Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Sophie Okonedo and Tom Sturridge will also star in the channel's upcoming adaptations of William Shakespeare's history plays. BBC2 are working on three films as part of their second series of Shakespeare's history plays: The War of the Roses, Richard III and Henry VI, which will be broadcast in two parts. Dench will play Cecily, the Duchess of York in Richard III, which stars Benny in the, villainous, title role. His casting was announced in April.
The legendary commentator Barry Davies is making a one-off return to the BBC's Match Of The Day this weekend. Bazza his very self will commentate on managerless Crystal Palace versus the soon-to-be-managerless Hamsters on Saturday as the programme marks its half-century on-screen. Barry Davies began working in television for ITV before the 1966 World Cup and joined the BBC three years later. 'He is one of the programme's most iconic voices,' said Philip Bernie, the BBC's Head of TV Sport. Bazza, who is now seventy six, will join the regular commentary team of Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Alistair Mann and Barry's old mate John Motson for Saturday's games. Although best known for his football commentary, Barry has covered a wide range of sports for the corporation and is a familiar face through his work at the Olympics and as the voice of The Boat Race. He last worked on Match Of The Day almost ten years ago.

The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant has grovellingly apologised after it tested its new app by publishing a story which wrongly reported the death of Johan Cruyff. The story, headlined Johan Cruyff Deceased, was supposed to be part of an internal software test but went live 'by mistake' and quickly spread on social networks before it was taken down. The paper's editor, Philippe Remarque, called it 'a stupid mistake' and apologised personally to Cruyff, the former Ajax and Netherlands forward, Barcelona manager and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite footballer ever (with the possible exception of yer actual Saint Peter Beardsley). 'On behalf of Volkskrant I offer my apologies to Johan Cruyff and anyone who has been upset by this,' he said. 'The app was tested this morning with fake stories, and a technician came up with this as a way of testing a major breaking news story. By mistake it appeared with this headline.' The paper tweeted: 'Due to an error on our new test site, we accidentally published a message about the death of Johan Cruyff. We're sorry.' The Dutch news blog Welingelichte Kringen said the story had 'sent a shudder across Twitter and throughout the country.' Happily, Johan isn't dead. Merely resting.

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