Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror

Thursday News: Dickens, The Dame, The Ghost, And BRIAN BLESSED

Set your settings to FEBRUARY, HUMANIAN ERA for your first News Blast of the month! Faster than slipping on ice, here’s your News, delivered crisp, cool and Who-ey… Desert Islands, Steam-Punk Dickens, BBC Beta testing and Arrow are all packed in below for your informatinal pleasure…

Royal Disappointment

The wonderful Brian Blessed, King Yrcanos in 1986’s Mindwarp has had to stop playing King Lear with the Guilford Shakespeare Company due to health problems. Following a collapse just after he began his lines on 19th January he recovered enough to persevere with the rest of the show, gesturing to his heart and giving a thumbs up at the end.

He has reluctantly withdrawn from the rest of the run on medical advice. The role is being continued by Terence Wilton.

Recovered Records

Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror

We recently reported on the discovery of a desert island discs interview with First Doctor, William Hartnell from 1965 which is available on iPlayer. Also recently recovered and being made available are installments featuring Louis Armstrong and Series 7b’s Mrs Gillyflower (The Crimson Horror), Diana Rigg who is best known for her role as cat-suited ass-kicker, Emma Peel in The Avengers.

Another features Reverend Wilbert Awdry, the originator of another British television institution, Thomas the Tank Engine, a series of childrens’ programs about steam engines narrated by Beatle, Ringo Starr who, among *other* successes, cameo’d in 1965’s The Chase.

 Steam-Punk Dickens…

Doctor Who comic writer, Tony Lee, who penned a number of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors’ illustrated adventures may have a Dickens-inspired book turned into a film.

Genre supremo Edgar Wright (writer/director: Sean of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) has submitted a more humerous treatment of Lee’s Dodge & Twist which saw older versions of titular pick-pocket Oliver Twist and his pal, the Artful Dodger in a steam-punk 19thCentury London trying to pilfer the Crown Jewels. I can’t think of anything wrong with that. Stick some animal-headed aliens in and it’d sit comfortably anywhere in RTD’s Doctor Who.


In Cult Brit news, new Sky drama, The Enfield Haunting stars Ripper Street’s Matthew MacFadyen and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Secrets and Lies) and explores events surrounding the most heavily documented poltergeist haunting in Britain. Set in 1977, it’s based on the book This House is Haunted by Lyon Playfair and is directed by Kristoffer Nyholm (The Killing). It is expected to debut in the Spring.

The Other Moff…

Disney-Lucasfilm animated series, Star Wars: Rebels has re-introduced Peter Cushing’s character from the original Star Wars movie Episode IV: A New Hope, Grand Moff Tarkin. The Imperial Governor and ultimately commander of the Death Star was one of the franchise’s most chilling villains played with a voice like cut-glass by Cushing who also portrayed the big screen version of the Doctor in both 1960s Doctor Who feature films. While he might not sound quite like Cushing himself it’s all thoroughly *English* and those cheekbones could cut through time-space…

Rate Strax’s NewsBlasts

Strax and his spade

The BBC are launching a new website, BBC Taster, where the public can try out projects-in-the-making for a limited time, including one with a familiar lone clone…

The aim is for users to vote for their favoured projects and spot any glitches. This “beta testing” site is unusual for the Beeb which has traditionally been more, um, traditional in it’s interaction with viewer-users. One interactive gem will be Strax News where the Sontaran warrior-nurse guides viewers through an video info-bank of Doctor Who history.

Be sure to take a look – there are two months to go from the time of writing.

Barrowman & Barrowman on Arrow

Finally Kasterborites, John Barrowman – the irrepressible Captain Jack Harkness – who currently stars in U.S. Sci-fi drama Arrow as the villainous Merlyn, has his sights on the comic book medium for an expansion of his character. His sister is keen too having collaborated with John on Torchwood writing projects in the past – they aim to expand on the relationship between Barrowman’s character and Oliver Queen, the titular hero, Arrow. You can hear some of his ideas here

That’s all for now. Consider yourself well and truly blasted.


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