Eighth Doctor Returns (again!)

The BBC have announced that the Eighth Doctor is to return to the airwaves once again as BBC7 repeats the first series of Paul McGann’s Doctor’s adventures from Big Finish.

According to the Official site, the run will kick off with a repeat of the Douglas Adams story Shada (which was originally recorded with Tom Baker as the Doctor in 1979 before BBC strike action lead to the adventure being scrapped). The Eighth Doctor’s Big Finish debut Storm Warning will follow, where we meet India Fisher’s character Charley, followed by adventures Sword of Orion (featuring the Cybermen), The Stones of Venice, Mark Gatiss’ Invaders from Mars and The Chimes of Midnight.

In Shada, the Eighth Doctor reunites with his former companions Romana and K9 as they try to track down the most powerful book in the Universe.

Paul McGann is joined by Lalla Ward as Romana and John Leeson as the voice of K9, with Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs as the villainous Skagra and acting legend James Fox as the myserious Professor Chronotis.

Shada begins this Sunday July 16th; from Sunday 27 August the series continues with Storm Warning.

The Dimensions 2006 convention is scheduled to take place once more this year at Stockton-on-Tees’ Swallow Hotel on the 11-12 November, and – hold your breath – the guests scheduled so far are – and these are of course subject to professional work commitments – Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso all from the 1996 BBC-Fox co-produced TV Movie. It’s quite an exciting line-up that also includes Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Elleray of Big Finish and Alan Ruscoe from Series 1 (The End of the World) – we’ll have to wait and see whether the Kasterborous team can make this year’s event…

Also from the Official site, news that NOT BEFORE TIME Murray Gold’s best scores for Doctor Who Series 1 and 2 will be released by the BBC on CD! Incidentally, is it me or does Julie Gardner sound as though she is calling him “Merry Gold” on the commentary for Rose? I had visions of a Hobbit tinkering at a keyboard…

Oneof my favourite mentions of Who in the online reviews and blogs in the last week has been this piece by Tony Whitt on Now Playing Magazine as he stands in for usual contributor and Outpost Gallifrey stawart Arnold T. Blumberg. I’m in strong agreement with Whitt on his summaryof Tennant’s Doctor – his silly bits are rather knuckle-gnashing,

But when he’s subtle, he’s very, very subtle – and very, very good. We get to see the Doctor’s hearts break twice in this season, and Tennant plays those moments so well (complete with tears at one point) that our hearts break as well.

His pain at telling former companion Sarah Jane Smith in “School Reunion” why he never came back for her is palpable, especially when he explains the same issue to Rose.

And his stand-off with the head of the Torchwood Institute in “Army of Ghosts,” in which he simply stares unblinkingly and smiles maniacally at her, is a classic Doctor moment.

And there’s a massive hole in my television week now. Well, I say “hole”; I don’t have a television week now. There’s nothing on…


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