News and Views on Doctor Who merchandise, books and audio

Author: doctormark68

Doctor Who : Time Lord Victorious – Road to the Dark Times Blu-Ray

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Road to the Dark Times

The Dark Times. A universe where Death is still finding its feet. A universe where terrible races are born into eternal battle. Where the Great Vampires rage across the skies, where the Racnoss devour worlds, where gods play games with the future. A universe before even the Time Lords. A history that it is forbidden to enter. The ultimate battleground between the Dalek Empire and the Time Lord Victorious. Welcome to the Dark Times.

The Time Lord Victorious story is set in the Dark Times, as the Doctor comes face to face with Death (or, at least, the race who bring death to the universe – the Kotturuh) and the Daleks.

This Blu-Ray brings you TV stories linked, at least tangentially, to those Dark Times. If you are just a 21st century Doctor Who fan, this could be a great way to discover what the ‘classic’ 20th century show was all about. Meet the 3rd, 4th and 7th incarnations of the Doctor dealing with Daleks, vampires, Time Lords and ancient evil. And be reminded of how the 10th Doctor became the ‘Time Lord Victorious’! Four Doctors, seven tales, one epic backstory!

The Seven Stories

These seven stories aren’t, on the face of it, linked but bring a back story to either the Daleks, the Time Lords, or some of the ancient evil that existed before either of them.

The Third Doctor

Planet of the Daleks
After pursuing the Daleks through space, the third Doctor lands on the planet of Spiridon, in the midst of a tropical jungle. There he, and his companion Jo Grant, find more than just Daleks. Poison-spitting plants, an ancient Dalek enemy, invisible aliens and a vast hidden vast army waiting to mobilise and conquer.
Just another day at the office!

The Fourth Doctor

Genesis of the Daleks
The Time Lords give the Fourth Doctor a mission – stop the Daleks becoming the dominant force in the universe, in whatever way necessary. (My ‘head canon’ says that this was part of the Dalek/Time Lord Time War, as seen in 21st century Doctor Who.) Follow the Doctor, with companions Harry Sullivan & Sarah Jane Smith, as they witness the birth of the Doctor’s deadliest foe at the hand of their creator Davros – will they be able to avert the Genesis of the Daleks?

The Deadly Assasin
The Fourth Doctor, travelling alone, returns to his home world of Gallifrey, where he is arrested for the assasination of the Time Lord President. Can the Doctor discover who is really behind this plot, and will he survive a battle of the minds in The Matrix?

State of Decay
The Fourth Doctor and travelling companions , the Time Lady Romana and faithful robot dog K-9 (and, unknown to them, the young stowaway, Adric) are trapped in the universe of E-Space. They land on a planet with a medieval society, where the peasants live in fear of the Three Who Rule – immortal vampires. They discover that, behind it all is a mighty, ancient enemy of the Time Lords, who is slowly regaining power. Can the Doctor and Romana defeat The Great One, before becoming vampire sacrifices?

The Seventh Doctor

The Curse of Fenric
The Seventh Doctor and Ace arrive in wartime Britain, but discover a foe far greater than the Nazis – an ancient evil who has been manipulating the Doctor in order to get released from the prison the Time Lord himself had put him in centuries before. A story involving Vikings, vampiric Heamovores, ancient evil, WWII decoding machines, deception and faith – Business as Usual for the Doctor.

The Tenth Doctor

The Runaway Bride
The Tenth Doctor finds Donna Noble transported on to the TARDIS direct from her wedding – and she’s not happy! Returning to Earth mysteries pile up, ending up with the Doctor facing the Empress of the Racnoss – a race thought to be wiped out by fledgling Empires in the Dark Times. Can the Doctor stop The Empress from destroying the Earth, and will Donna finally get to have her Moroccan honeymoon?

The Waters of Mars
The Tenth Doctor lands on Mars, only to discover that it is the doomed Bowie Base One – a fixed point in time that he cannot change. As the members of the crew each become infected by a Martian virus the Doctor suddenly decides that, as he is the last Time Lord, he can determine which Laws of Time apply and which don’t! Can the Doctor stop the Martian virus from reaching Earth, and will he regret becoming the Time Lord Victorious?

Where to get The Road to the Dark Times for the best price

The Blu Ray is out on November 9th, but is available for pre-order now. Here are the best deals I could find:
Amazon : £22.99
Zoom: £22.99

The Time Lord Victorious is a multi-stranded story, being told with books, audio and comic strips. To see more details about what's to come in the Time Lord Victorious stimeline see my earlier Blog here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at the Road to the Dark Times Blu-Ray. If you have, please leave some comments below, and please sign up to my newsletter to get deals, news & views from the worlds of Doctor Who by e-mail. Thanks.

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25% off Doctor Who at Zoom

Zoom Day is featuring 25% off if you spend £15 on Doctor Who. Ends midnight (UK time) today 28/09/20.

Click here for the deal.

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Fury from the Deep – Where to find the best deals

The 60s Doctor Who story, Fury from the Deep, has had an animation makeover and is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and limited edition Steelbook. Below we’ll talk about the best places to buy it, some background to the story and, in this year that would have been Patrick Troughton’s centenary, it seems fiiting to discuss the Second Doctor’s era in more detail (and discuss where you can buy more of his stories, and other items).

Fury from the Deep

Combination picture of Fury from the Deep standard DVD box, and Limited Edition Blu-Ray steelbook

Fury from the Deep is one of the missing stories from the 1960s, when the BBC wiped various recordings to make room for new ones (thinking that people wouldn’t be interested in seeing them again[!]). The story featured in the series’ fifth season, and took part over six episodes. It’s notable for featuring the first appearance of the Doctor’s trusty sonic screwdriver, and the last appearance of companion Victoria. Not much of the original recording is left, but what is left is available as one of the Special features.

The TARDIS brings the Doctor, Victoria and Jamie to the Kent coast of England, where the ESGO complex is drawing up natural gas under the North Sea via a huge network of pipes linked to their off-shore rigs. But the Doctor is convinced he can hear something in the pipes, a heartbeat, something… alive?

Others at the complex have heard it too, and one by one contact with the rigs is being lost. But Chief Robson will have none of it, and work will continue. And so it does… until sentient, aggressive seaweed begins attacking the base and taking over the personnel one by one, creating a spearhead from which is will launch its attack and enslave the entire human race… Can the Doctor discover a way to stop the weed advancing? Or does the only real chance of success lie with Victoria and if it does, can a way be found to utilise that without harming one of the Doctor’s very best friends…

Special Features

All six episodes animated in HD and full colour Episode 6 Behind the Scenes 8mm Footage
Alternate Black & White presentationBehind the Scenes
Audio Commentaries Photo Gallery
Episode 6 Film TrimsPDF Scripts
New 5.1 Surround Mix by Mark Ayres Teaser Trailer
Production Subtitles The Cruel Sea- Making Fury From the Deep
Surviving Footage The Slide Audio Drama
Telesnap Reconstruction with Optional Narration by Frazer HinesArchive Interviews

Where to buy (updated 29/09/20)

 SteelbookBlu-RayDVD
Amazon.co.ukFrom £45.99£18.99£14.99
ZoomSold out!£18.99£14.99
HMVSold out!£19.99£14.99
Ebaybids from £11.50£18.50£13.99
ArgosX£20.00£15.00

Who is the Second Doctor?

In case you only know 21st century Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston -> Jodie Whittaker), or just want to dig a bit deeper into the Second Doctor stories, here’s a bit of background, and some places to find out more.

Patrick troughton as The Doctor, playing a recorder

Doctor Who began in 1966 and for three years the title character was played by William Hartnell. He loved playing this children’s hero, but became ill and would no longer be able to carry on in the role. This could have been a major problem for the BBC, but the writers of the show came up with the idea that, as The Doctor is an alien, perhaps he could ‘renew’ his body and, thus, be played by a different actor! An idea we’re all comfortable with now, but was a major gamble at the time, as they did not know if the show could still be  successful without it’s familiar leading man.

Producer Innes Lloyd chose Patrick Troughton for his wide experience and versatility (see IMDB for his credits), and the decision was made to play him as a “cosmic hobo”, a bit like a Charlie Chaplin in space. Troughton was very nervous about stepping into Bill Hartnell’s shoes, and felt the pressure of the show upon him. But audiences were won round to this charming, sometimes clown-like figure, who’s outer joviality hid a steel-trap of a mind, and a deep sense of justice.

The second Doctor fought many monsters, old and new. The Cybermen featured in 4 stories, and the Daleks in 2, and new returning enemies arose in this era : the Ice Warriors and the Great Intelligence. This Doctor travelled with many companions – two he inherited from the “first” Doctor Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills), soon to be joined by young Scot Jamie McCrimmon (Fraser Hines) who stayed with this Doctor from the second story right through to his last. Jamie was joined by Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) and Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury). This era also saw the first stories to feature UNIT, with their leader, firstly Colonel, later Brigadier, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).

2nd Doctor with a Yeti, Dalek, Ice Warrior, Cyberman and Kroton

The end for the Second Doctor came in an epic ten-part story, The War Games, where we ended six years of mystery, finding out that The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. When he reluctantly calls on his people – from whom he is on the run – to help, they do so but they also put the Doctor on trial for breaking their laws of non-interefence in other worlds. The Doctor puts up a strong defence saying that there are evils in the Universe that need fighting, but is sentenced to exile on a planet he has shown much interest in – Earth – and for his appearance to be changed again . . .

Troughton seemed unaware how loved his Doctor was until he started participating in conventions in the 80s, and was thrilled to find out. He reprised his role in the 10th anniversary story The Three Doctors, and the 20th anniversary The Five Doctors, and the non-anniversary The Two Doctors with sixth Doctor, Colin Baker.

Where you can find 2nd Doctor stories and collectables

Before I ever saw him on TV I first encountered the Second Doctor through the story novelisations by Target. You can find many of these on Ebay and Amazon, and you can hear many of them being read as audiobooks on Audible. Some of them have also been made into beautiful, collectable vinyl albums ( like The Abominable Snowmen).

Doctor Who - The Abominable Snowmen Vinyl

You can, of course, buy the DVDs/Blu-Rays. Some are the whole story. Others, because the original was wiped,  like Fury, are animated (The Faceless Ones, Power of the Daleks). Some are stories that were missing, but have now been found – like this blog’s name’s sake The Web of Fear, and The Enemy of the World), and you can hear the story of how they were found in the interview below for the ‘Time Space Visualiser’ virtual con. You can find the DVDs at Amazon, Zoom and Zavvi.

I have made a list of all the 2nd stories and how they are able to be experienced – Target novelisation, audio recording with narration, audiobook, dvd and blu-ray. Go to the ‘Extras’ link at the top of the page (or click here).

If this has given you a taste for the Second Doctor and you want to hear new stories, there are a few ways you can do this.  Big Finish continue to produce classic Doctor stories, and you can find Second Doctor ones here. You can also buy CDs of these stories on Amazon, and hear them on Audible.

Finally you can commemorate the Second Doctor with various other items of interest from stamp covers, to a model of the Doctor with the Tardis‘Mr Men books’, all of which can be found at Amazon, and figurines & badges available from Eaglemoss. Iwoot also have various Second Doctor items like artwork or, if you’re so inclined, a mask!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at the time of the Second Doctor. If you have, please leave some comments below, and please sign up to my newsletter to get deals, news & views from the worlds of Doctor Who by e-mail. Thanks.

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The Best deals on the Doctor Who Annual 2021

Today sees the release of this year’s Official Doctor Who annual (2021), by Random House Childrens, Penguin & BBC Studios, and we’ve listed the best deals we could find .

Packed with the usual activities, puzzles and stories, the annual also links in with the current multi-stranded Time Lord Victorious storyline, with a guide to the ‘Dark Times’ in a special River Song story! There’s also a peek into the world of the TARDIS with a TARDIS Tour and TARDIS Trip Reviewer. Plus more in depth fact files on episodes like Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror and multiple opportunities to get to know your enemies better with breakdowns of 12th season monsters like the Skithra, the Dregs, the CyberMasters and much more. 

The Best Deals

The Recommended Retail Price is £7.99, and here are the top deals we could find:

Amazon.co.uk £6.50
Blackwells £6.50
Forbidden Planet £5.99
Foyles £7.99
Waterstones £7.99
The Time Lord Victorious is a multi-stranded story, being told with books, audio and comic strips. To see more details about what's to come in the Time Lord Victorious stimeline see my earlier Blog here!

If you want to be kept updated with news and views on Doctor Who merchandise please subscribe to my newsletter. And please leave any comments below if you found this blog helpful.



Where to buy”Defender of the Daleks” #1

Today marks the start of the Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious, and is kicked off by by issue one of Defender of the Daleks from Titan comics. Below I have listed the various places you can buy it, and the prices so you can get the best deal!

Amazon/Comixology  £3.85

Forbidden Planet (main variant covers A-E) £3.75 (+£1 p&p) 

Forbidden Planet (Ltd Ed FP exclusive variant)
– only 500 printed! £12.99 (& £3 p&p)

Time Lord Victorious Trailer

To find out more about the other elements of the Time Lord Victorious adventure, see my earlier blog post here.

Cover Variants

Cover by Lee Binding featuring the Eighth, Nineth and Tenth Doctors
Cover A (Lee Binding)
Cover B by Priscilla Pertaites
Cover B (Priscilla Petraites)
Time Lord Victorious "Defender of the Daleks" Issue 1 Cover C by Andie Tong
Cover C (Andie Tong)
Cover D by Hendry Prasetya
Cover D (Hendry Prasetya)
Cover E a sketch version of Cover D by Hendry Prasetya
Cover E (Hendry Prasetya)
Forbidden Planet special cover for limited edition, one Dalek based on the main one from Cover D
Forbidden Planet special Cover (Hendry Prasetya)

If you want to be kept updated with news and views on Doctor Who merchandise please subscribe to my newsletter. And please leave any comments below if you found this blog helpful.

Time Lord Victorious – join the adventure

Missing Doctor Who? Can’t wait until series 13 for more adventures in space and time? Then perhaps this epic adventure will help tide you over.

Doctor Who has a long history of imaginative stories, but I don’t know if it has attempted anything as ambitious as the Time Lord Victorious – a story that encompasses books, comics, audio adventures, figurines, escape rooms and features three different incarnations of The Doctor, along with foes old and new.

See the Time Lord Victorious trailer here.

So, where and when can you buy the different elements and follow this story?

Contents
1. September
2. October
3. November
4. December
5. 2021
6. Conclusion & calendar

September

Defender of the Daleks cover - an illustration of the Tenth Doctor brandishing his sonic screwdriver, surrounded by hundreds of daleks.

So it begins
It all starts on 2nd September with the Tenth Doctor facing his old enemies in Defender of the Daleks issue 1 by Titan Comics. “When the Doctor faces his ancient foes once again, it soon becomes clear that things aren’t what they seem – time is all wrong and something is coming that terrifies even the Daleks.

It’s written by Jody Houser (Spider-Man: Renew your vows, Stranger Things volume 3, the Thirteenth Doctor Volume 2) and illustrated by Roberta Ingranata (the Thirteenth Doctor – a Tale of two Time Lords, Witchblade), the first issue will have five different covers, (and a special Forbidden Planet-specific one). Issue 2 follows on 8th October.

See this blog to see what purchase options there are for Defender of the Daleks!

The latest Doctor Who Annual, out on September 3rd, contains the next connected story – featuring the time-travelling archeologist, River Song (more information to follow when we know it).

See more details about the annual here.
Monstrous Beauty cover - an illustration of the Ninth Doctor and Rose on an alien planet running from alien soldiers and spaceships who are shooting at them.

The next linked story will be part 1 of Monstrous Beauty, a Ninth Doctor and Rose comic strip in issue 556 of Doctor Who magazine (out 17th September), written by Scott Gray (Doctor Who: The Clockwise War, Batman: Night of the Owls) who created the strip with artist John Ross (Doctor Who: The Clockwise War, Star Wars: Honor and Duty). The story continues over the next two issues.

October

1st October sees the 10th Doctor kick off the main story, with the BBC book The Knight, The Fool and the Dead by Steve Cole (Young Bond – Shoot to Kill, Doctor Who: Combat Magicks), and we’re introduced to a new character, Brian the Ood. (New to us, at least but, as you’ll see later, not to the Doctor).

The cover of 'The Knight, The Fool and the Dead' - showing the Tenth Doctor on an alien planet with an Ood and, in the background, a mysterious hooded figure.

The Doctor travels back to the Ancient Days, an era where life flourishes and death is barely known… Then come the Kotturuh – creatures who spread through the cosmos dispensing mortality.” However “the Doctor is an old hand at cheating death. Now, at last, he can stop it at source. He is coming for the Kotturuh, ready to change everything so that Life wins from the start. Not just the last of the Time Lords. The Time Lord Victorious.

The Cover of 'Short Trips: Master Thief / Lesser Evils' featuring a mysterious hooded person, and two versions of the Master (as portrayed by Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley)

Masterly
Next we move from The Doctor to his nemesis, The Master in Big Finish’s short story audio Short Trips : Master Thief / Lesser Evils. This is will be available from 7th October (but can be pre-ordered now) as a digital download. A CD version will be available as part of the Eighth Doctor bundle (see below). Master Thief, by Sophie Iles (Doctor Who Magazine contributor, and artist) features the first incarnation of The Master that we met on the television (opposite Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee), as played by the late Roger Delgado. His renegade Time Lords boots are filled by by voice artist Jon Culshaw (probably best known for his impressions on BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers – where, amongst others he brilliantly impersonates Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker). He also takes on the mantle of the other incarnation of The Master to feature in these stories, as played on screen by the late Anthony Ainley (opposite the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors!) – Lesser Evils is written by Simon Guerrier (Doctor Who : The Women who Lived, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats, and many Big Finish audio adventures).

8’s here
Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor takes the reins next in the first of a Big Finish audio trilogy – He Kills me, He Kills me not – available October 14th. Written by new author, Carrie Thompson, it features the return of his oldest enemies, the Daleks and (re)introduces us to Brian the Ood.

The cover of 'He Kills me, He kills me not', featuring the Eighth Doctor standing in front of the tardis holding his sonic screwdriver, next to an Ood in a tuxedo.

On the desert world of Atharna, the Doctor’s life is about to be changed forever. Looking to visit one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe, he’s quickly embroiled in a web of deceit. Worse than that, this Wonder of the Universe is missing, and the Doctor is about to encounter one of his most dangerous and duplicitous adversaries. The Doctor is about to meet Brian.

A picture of the two Dalek figures, a golden Emperor, and a silver and blue drone.

October 20th see the first Time Lord Victorious figurines from Eaglemoss/Hero Collector – the Dalek Emperor & Dalek Drone. They will be a 1:21 scale and are the first of four sets, followed on November 1st by the Dalek Commander and Dalek Scientist.

November

The Eighth Doctor continues his adventure on November 11th, with the next in the Big Finish audio trilogy – The Enemy of my Enemy, by Tracy Ann Baines.

The cover of 'The enemy of my enemy' with the Eighth Doctor stood on an alien planet with three daleks behind him, looking at him.

The people of Wrax are happy to begin peaceful negotiations with the Dalek Empire. The two species are preparing to engage in an alliance that will last throughout the ages. The only one who seems to object to this happy union is the Doctor. He knows that you can never trust the Daleks. But more than that, he knows that the Wraxians should never have existed…

Doctor Who day, November 23rd, see the 3rd Eaglemoss/Hero Collector set released – Dalek Executioner and Dalek Strategist.

8 & 10 on vinyl
Doctors Eight and Ten join forces (well, almost) in Echoes of Extinction – a dual story released on vinyl LP on November 27th (from selected Asda stores), and on download from Big Finish on December 4th. These two seperate, but interlinked, stories are written by Alfie Shaw, a Producer, Director and author at Big Finish, and also stars other actors from the worlds of Doctor Who – Arthur Darvill, Torchwood’s Burn Gorman and Mina Anwar ( The Sarah Jane Adventures).

The cover of 'Echoes of Extinction' - 
A picture of the Eighth and Tenth Doctors with aliens behind them.

“Trapped, a haunted monster waits to consume new victims. It needs help. It needs a doctor. Unfortunately, it also needs to kill whoever it meets. Thrust into immediate danger, and on the back-foot, it will take all of the Doctor’s ingenuity to triumph.

Two interlinked adventures. Two Doctors. One foe.”

December

December 3rd sees the Tenth Doctor, and Brian the Ood, feauture in the BBC Audio The Minds of Magnox, written by Darren Jones who has penned several Doctor Who audios for BBC Audio and Big Finish. The story will be told buy actor Jacob Dudman – who has read Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor stories for Big Finish. This is the first BBC Audio that will be available as download, CD and Vinyl. (The CD will be available from Forbidden Planet, and all three versons from Amazon/Audible.)

The cover of 'The Minds of Magnox' featuring the Tenth Doctor and an Ood.

In this original story, the Doctor travels with Brian, the Ood assassin, to the planet Magnox, one of the greatest receptacles of knowledge the universe will ever know, and home to the Minds of Magnox. The Doctor needs to ask a vital question, but the answer is Grade 1 Classified. In order to gain an audience with the Minds of Magnox he must take a dangerous test. 

Meanwhile, Brian gets involved with a criminal group and is asked to assassinate the Minds of Magnox. However, others also have the planet within their sights…

The Trilogy completed
The third installment of the Eighth Doctor trilogy, Mutually Assured Destruction, is released December 9th. It’s by Lizzie Hopley, who has gone from acting in Doctor Who audios to writing them!

The cover to 'Mutually Assured Destruction' with the Eighth Doctor stood in front of an exploding futuristic building.

The fallout of the great battle.

Outnumbered and alone, on a Dalek time-ship careering through the vortex, the Doctor must use all his cunning to survive. As the saucer disintegrates around them, the Doctor is trapped with a crew of increasingly desperate Daleks.

Or are the Daleks trapped with him?

It all comes together
Finally (for this year, at least) the various story threads culminate in Una McCormack’s All Flesh is Grass published by BBC books on December 10th. Una is a New York Times best seller of Science Fiction who is passionate about “women’s writing, science fiction, and helping people find their words and voices.” Her previous works include the Star Trek: Picard novel The Last Best Hope, (which became a USA Today bestseller), and Doctor Who: The King’s Dragon.

The cover to 'All flesh is grass' with the Tenth Doctor in Gallifreyan regalia, stood in front of the Eighth and Ninth Doctors, with an army of flying Daleks behind them.

The Tenth Doctor has sworn to stop the Kotturuh, ending death and bringing life to the universe. But his plan is unravelling – instead of bringing life, nothing has changed and all around him people are dying. Death is everywhere. Now he must confront his former selves – one in league with their greatest nemesis and the other manning a ship of the undead… .

2021

A picture of a person dressed up in the fourth Doctor's long scarf looking at the tardis which has behind it to the right modern london, with the London Eye, and behind it to the left wartime London with searchlights and zeppelins.

Next year there is another Eaglemoss/Hero Collector to look forward to – Brian the Ood, with the tenth Doctor in his Gallifreyan Time Lord Victorious garb (March 1st, pictures to follow, when available) and a new immersive experience called Time Fracture, which is open for booking (with dates from 17th February).

Conclusion

So the next 4 months have a roller-coaster of a multi-threaded adventure with the Eighth, Nineth and Tenth Doctors as they fight death itself, work with the Daleks and meet Brian the Ood. Stories to read and listen to (to be enjoyed on their own, or as part of the bigger picture), and linked collectibles to add to your shelf.
And all in time for Christmas!

If you want to be kept updated with news and views on Doctor Who merchandise please subscribe to my newsletter. And please leave any comments below if you found this blog helpful.