Planet Gallifrey: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29

Christmas Time Announced!

The BBC have announced that The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe will air at 7pm on Christmas Day!

Wednesday, November 23

BBC releases Christmas Special synopsis!

And here it is...

It’s Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home, in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor.

He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish.

Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever.

The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true…

Madge Arwell is played by Claire Skinner, Lily Arwell by Holly Earl and Cyril Arwell by Maurice Cole.

Happy Birthday, Doctor Who!

Doctor Who turned 48 today!

Let's rejoice and watch the first episode...

Tuesday, November 22

A Witty Little Knitter!

Jennifer D, hailing from Canada, sent us in some uh-mayzing pictures of her knitted creations. Jennifer sells her knitted works, which include cell phone cases and amigurimis (stuffed toys), cases on Etsy and they definitely look like gifts worth getting!

Jennifer's crotchet TARDIS also has its own blog, documenting its travels - how cute!

The TARDIS visits Hogwarts!

Hot Shots: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe

Here are two amazing HQ shots from the Christmas special!

Monday, November 21

Watch: DVD "Night" Minisodes

Here are the "Night" minisodes which are on the Series 6 boxset!

Sunday, November 20

Interview: Sophie Aldred

Now I could write a cringeworthy intro about how amazing Sophie Aldred is, but I don't need to. Because she is. And I interviewed her. Also, she has the nicest voice ever.

Mac: Have you been enjoying today's show?
Sophie: It's been a fantastic event! I arrived a little late because of the trains, but it has been so lovely to catch up with everybody again, particularly the girls - Katy Manning, Sarah Sutton and Deborah Watling. It's always so lovely to have a good old chinwag with them and get together.

Mac: So in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane addressed many companions and one of them was Dorothy, who supposedly ran a charity called A Charitable Earth, the initials being A.C.E. What do you think Ace would be doing in 2011?
Sophie: Well when I first heard that, I thought, Oh no, I can't imagine Ace doing charity work! And then I had another think and thought, well actually, if she was doing anything it would be like Greenpeace, direct action in space, and I actually thought that it was a really great idea that she could be behaving her normal self and using unorthodox methods but helping and giving to people who needed it.

Mac: It was reported a few months ago that you were doing a Cbeebies show with David Tennant. How's that going?
Sophie: It's going really well! We're actually having a preview next week, I think. So we're just going to be seeing a couple of episodes on the big screen. It's actually coming out in March and David and I are just starting to film a few things for publicity, so watch this space!

Mac: Great! When I was younger, I remember you on Words and Pictures and then a few years later on Zzzap! as Minnie the Magician. Would you say that your home was on children's TV?
Sophie: I guess. I suppose that's what i did a lot of. Perhaps I'll come back and do some 'grown up' TV? I did do some grown up TV, but not as much as children's. I do love working for children and it was wonderful time I had doing those things but maybe when I come back, I'll be a bit old so maybe I'll have to do some grown-up telly. We all have to grow up eventually! (chuckles)

Mac: And finally, how do you feel about Ace's fanbase running strong to this day?!
Sophie: Oh I am so delighted! Without the fans, we wouldn't get the opportunity to come here and meet up with each other and have a laugh. I really, seriously believe that there would not have been a new series if it was not for the support of the fans. So yeah, keep 'em coming! 

Thank you so much for the interview!
Sophie: Oh my pleasure!

Saturday, November 19

Interview: Frances Barber

Amongst many other things, many of you probably know Frances Barber for playing the evil/marvellous Madame Kovarian. In a fit of excited nerves, I caught up with the super-actress to chat about her role on the show and more!

Mac: Hi Frances, I'm such a fan!
Frances: Well I'm glad!

Mac: So to start off... to the viewer, Moffat's storylines are sometimes quite complex. When you first got your scripts, did you feel the same way about the stories?
Frances: Well, I personally found them quite complicated to understand, I have to admit! But then I am not the sort of Doctor Who expert, and I thought maybe it was just me who didn't understand and that I was a bit dim, but now I understand that they were complicated for everyone. They end up making sense in the long run, but when you get them episode-by-episode, they get a bit complicated.

Mac: Were you a fan of Doctor Who before you joined?
Frances: A massive fan, yes! And when it started again with Chris Eccleston and Russell T Davies, I was desperate to be in it. And everyone else seemed to be in it except me, so I was so thrilled to be asked. And I have to say, Matt Smith is a sensational Doctor and he's probably my favourite.

Mac: So out of all the episodes you did, which would you say was your favourite?
Frances: Erm... I mean, the one that I suppose was my most favourite to film was the last one because Amy kills me and we think she kills me and we don't know because it was a different time line etcetera etcetera, but that was fun because we were all there together with River Song and I really enjoyed that.

Mac: What was your initial reaction when you read about the strange method in which the Doctor would escape his death?
Frances: Well I was just as surprised as everyone else, to be honest. I presume even Matt was surprised! So like everyone it was like, Wow, look at that! When I saw the first episode with the Astronaut coming from the deep, I just thought it was one of the most exciting episodes I've ever seen. So I knew that it was going to be super clever.

Mac: So I was doing some research on your fantastically eclectic career; you've done theatre, films, TV... out of everything you've done, what would you say was the most enriching or rewarding?
Frances: It's really hard to answer that question because I am in the lucky position to have so many different things with so many actors so I always like to believe that the next job will be just as exciting and as wonderful as the others. I've love doing theatre and film and Doctor Who.

Mac: Did you have fun playing Madame Kovarian?
Frances: Oh yes I loved it! I relished every second of it! (laughs)

Mac: With Doctor Who comes a massive fanbase, (and I have been following your zany tweets!) How would you say you have reacted to this massive fan universe that you've been thrown into?
Frances: Oh I have to say I have absolutely adored it! All the Doctor Who fans are really respectful, they are really knowledgeable. I mean, I think that's the biggest thing that they're respectful and courteous and I am loving the fact that, like at the last convention I did, girls came dressed as Madame Kovarian! And I was so chuffed and blown away by that.
Mac: Yes they do make an effort!
Frances: Yes, by their dedication and the huge effort they made and it's really appreciative. So yes, I am loving it! And I return every fan letter I get as soon as I possibly can!

Mac: Would you ever return to the show?
Frances: Oh I'd leap at it in a heartbeat!

Mac: Thank you so much, Frances!
Frances: It has been my pleasure!

'The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe' trailer

Shown on Children In Need last night:

Friday, November 18

Christmas Competition: Win tickets to the Doctor Who Experience!

Planet Gallifrey is offering two lucky people the chance to win tickets the critically-commended Doctor Who Experience!

Packed with amazing special effects and exclusive scenes by Matt Smith, this multi-sensory experience is fun for the family and fans alike. Your action-packed journey includes escaping from the Doctor's enemies, flying the TARDIS and coming face-to-face with some of the scariest monsters seen on screen including the deadly Daleks, cold-hearted Cybermen and notorious Sontarans.

Doctor Who Experience also offers the largest ever collection of original Who props and artefacts including the entire collection of Doctors’ iconic costumes, the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS set and one of the Doctor's latest adversaries... The Silence.

If you win, you can choose to attend at any date and time up until 12th February 2012 (inclusive). It's an opportunity not to be missed, and if you would like to be in with a chance of winning, then here's what to do...

The Competition
Every day from the week beginning 21st November 2011, we will be tweeting a quote from a Christmas-themed episode from the Whoniverse on our Twitter page. To enter, you must note down, for all seven quotes, the character who says it and the episode it is from, pop them in a list and email them to us at The lucky winners will be picked at random and will be revealed soon after!

Please read the terms and conditions after the jump before you enter... Good luck!

Monday, November 14

Is there a MOVIE in the works?!

Apparently, director, David Yates, is teaming up with the BBC to make a Doctor Who movie.

According to Variety, Yates is working with Jane Tranter, who is the LA head of BBC Worldwide, previously Head of Fiction at the BBC until 2008.

"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

Yates says that the movie will not be continuing from Russell T Davies' or Steven Moffat's writing, confirming that "we have to put that aside and start from scratch."

Doctor Who has had a bunch of films in the past, the most recent being the 1996 movie, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

The news is quite an exciting prospect, but let's hope it doesn't ruin the 'Britishness' of the show by making it American (see: Shameless, Skins etc.)

Update: This has been confirmed!

Mini episode for Children In Need?

It looks like we might not be getting just a Christmas special preview... but some mini episode(s) too?

According to Doctor Who's official Twitter page...

There's an extra special treat for #DoctorWho fans on Friday’s Children
in Need… Or at least there will be if things go according to plan!

Hurray! Things ARE going according to plan! Steven Moffat’s mini-script has just hit the in-boxes of a lucky few… Must look over shoulders…

Great! We can confirm that Matt Smith will be back in the bow-tie soon because the Doctor returns on Friday night in Children in Need.

We’ve seen the short script and it is NOT what you’d expect. Oh, it’s funny and fast and Doctorish and brilliant… but not what you’d expect…


Sunday, November 13

Elisabeth Sladen's Autobiography to launch at Doctor Who Experience

To celebrate the publication of Elisabeth Sladen's posthumous autobiography and her amazing life, Aurum Press will be hosting a one-off event at the Doctor Who Experience. Elisabeth's daughter, Sadie Miller, the 4th Doctor: Tom Baker, and Doctor Who writer and producer Terrance Dicks will be in conversation with TV Choice magazine's Ben Lawrence, discussing the life and their memories of Elisabeth Sladen in the screening room at the Doctor Who Experience at 2.30pm on November 26th.

The event is free to Doctor Who Experience ticket holders. As there are only a limited number of spaces available they will need to book a slot in advance. To do this, visitors must select 12.30pm/ 1pm or 2pm time slot on Saturday 26th November. When they select their ticket type they will also have the option to select ‘Elisabeth Sladen book launch entry’. They will then be issued with a separate ticket for this.

To book tickets to this event, visit:!

Don't forget to check out our review of Elisabeth's autobiography too.

Friday, November 11

BBC announces first Doctor Who convention!

BBC Worldwide have revealed that they will be hosting the first ever Doctor Who convention on the 24th and 25th March 2012 at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales.

There are only 1500 tickets available for each day and it is certainly not something you would want to miss! The convention promises a whole host of stars, including Matt Smith and Steven Moffat! You can also get a once-in-a-lifetime insight into the mechanics behind Doctor Who, with Danny Hargreaves, Michael Pickwoad, Marcus Wilson and the Millennium FX team also in attendance!

According to their press release,

The unique interactive programme will include theatre sessions and Q&As with cast and crew; behind the scenes sessions show-casing the script to screen process; discussions with episode directors and writers and demonstrations from Special FX and prosthetics experts that will illustrate the challenges and scale of their work on the world’s longest running sci-fi show. Autograph and photo opportunities will also be available with attending cast members and there will be official Doctor Who merchandise and collectables on sale.

Tickets are priced at £99 and will go on sale at 9pm on November 14th here.

Review: Elisabeth Sladen - The Autobiography

With its origins way back in 2009, Doctor Who fans everywhere were eagerly awaiting the release of the much-loved Elisabeth Sladen's autobiography. After her unfortunate and untimely death in April 2011, the prospect became unheard of, until a few months ago, when we were told that the posthumous autobiography was going to be released in November.

Although at first I had slight doubts about the book, the prologue alone dispelled any and every concern. In it, David Tennant reminisces on his first day at work where he met Elisabeth Sladen, and the absolute awe he had for her, saying that the scenes they shared were "the most thrilling [he] had on Doctor Who."

Throughout the book, a similar feeling of awe resonated in me, and I am sure, in every reader too. Elisabeth's effortless introspective narrative shifted between her time on The Sarah Jane Adventures, and her time on Doctor Who, reflecting the similar importance she had of both.

Between the illustrious and heart-warming memories Elisabeth shares with us is a selection of photographs, highlighting key moments in Elisabeth's life. It was interesting to see the various newspaper clippings from her personal collection, including photos of her time with various Doctors. Most interesting was a Midsummer's Night Dream programme, a production which starred Helen Mirren! "In a toss up between me and Helen Mirren, I was voted 'Most Likely to Succeed!'" she remarked.

Elisabeth's witty and detailed anecdotes on her time as Sarah Jane Smith gives a real insight into the mind of such a talented actress, someone who has achieved so much and experienced a lot too. Whilst reading the autobiography, it almost felt as if Elisabeth's warm voice was pouring over every word: her endearing sighs at bygone disappointments, her surprised tones at shocking discoveries and her gentle laughter at the humorous memories.

Brian and Sadie Miller's epilogue really summed up why Elisabeth Sladen was so fantastic both on-screen and off. Her passion and devotion to both her work and her family paid off and she will be forever remembered as the hard-working and appreciative actress whose presence was like a glimmering hope and whose death shall always be regarded as one of the most heartbreaking of them all.


Thanks to Aurum

Thursday, November 10

Another jam-packed Whofest at Memorabilia 2011!

The Winter Memorabilia, held at the NEC in Birmingham, is set to be one of their biggest yet.

The event, spanning the 19 - 20th November, will include a whole host of Doctor Who stars, past and present. The legendary Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, and the bumbling action hero Rory, Arthur Darvill, will be making an appearance, as well as the clumsy-adorable Rhys Jones, Kai Owen.

And that's not all! Also attending are the Doctor's companions: Katy Manning, Sophie Aldred, Deborah Watling, Louise Jameson and Sarah Sutton.

If that hasn't enticed you enough, this year's Memorabilia will also have cast reunions of Only Fools and Horses, Hi-De-Hi, Village of the Damned and Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter.

For more information, you can check out the website here!

Wednesday, November 9

What Can Doctor Who Do Next Year?

We have a very long time to wait for the next series, and here's hoping it's a good one! That's not to say that Series 6 wasn't any good; it was, but here are four issues which we believe could be improved in the next series...

1. Address Melody Pond
Amy and Rory's baby is lost somewhere in time and space. Yes, they have seen her as an adult, but what about all those lost years as a baby? Surely Amy and Rory have the parental compassion to actually have her back or at least talk about not having her with them?

2. End the arc
It gets annoying when you have to wait three years for a question to be answered, so please end the arc at the end of this series! We want to know more about the Silence and we want the question to be answered, or at least addressed.

3. Amy and Rory are getting lame-y and snore-y
Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, but please introduce some more long-term companions! One of the main reasons why Russell T Davies' stories worked so well is that he put emphasis on his characters. Maybe having a story where we follow one character around on her daily routine would do something good for the series.

4. Continue to surprise
Having said all of that, Moffat must know that his surprises are amazing and he should keep doing them!

Do you have any wishes for next year? Post them below!

Saturday, November 5

Sadie Miller on BBC Breakfast

Sadie Miller, daughter of the late Elisabeth Sladen, had a chat with BBC Breakfast on Friday about her mother's autobiography. Check it out below:

Thursday, November 3

Bernard Cribbins gets an OBE!

Bernard Cribbins has been appointed an OBE for his services to drama!

The star, who we all know and love as Wilf, has a large range of credits to his name, including being the narrator in The Wombles and starring in The Railway Children.

According to the BBC, Bernard said had no intention of retiring, adding: "I love it, I can't stop, why should I? I'm still able to read and write."

Well done Mr Cribbins!

Wednesday, November 2

The Doctor & River - explained!

Anglophenia have posted this amazing graph/time-line thingamajig to explain the relationship between the Doctor and River!

Doctor Who Encylopedia launches iPad app

BBC Books have revealed that they have launched the Doctor Who Encyclopedia on an iPad app.

According to Doctor Who Online,

It allows you to scroll your way through a complete A-Z of the show and explore and search thousands of entries by series or episode. You will discover the Doctor’s fiercest enemies, closest allies and key places and objects and have the opportunity to preview and buy those must-have episodes.

The app contains over 3000 entries and each entry includes links to episodes, people, places and objects that relate to it. Additionally, each entry has an episode reference, allowing you to search the Encyclopedia by episode or series – so you can find out all you ever need to know about the Doctor, his allies, enemies and everywhere he’s ever visited. You can also preview episodes and buy your favourites directly from iTunes.

The initial purchase of the app will be priced at £4.99 and will include all of the Eleventh Doctor’s content. Further downloads at £4.99 each include all Ninth and Tenth Doctor content.

The app also contains 11 unique portals - special interactive entries, for the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River and other major characters. The Doctors’ portal uses parallax technology which allows users to move their iPad to scroll through a 3D environment, featuring the Doctor’s closest companions and deadliest enemies.

You can buy it here and check out some screenies below.