Thursday, December 28, 2006

Looking Back…

Well, it’s been a funny old year.

The departure of Billie Piper, the travesty that was New Earth, the astonishing reaction to Love & Monsters - these were all massive subjects for discussion across online fandom.

Equally as popular however was the news that David Tennant was voted Best Doctor in Doctor Who Magazine, the wonder of The Satan Pit, the superb Children in Need concert and the secrecy surrounding Series 3.

While we approach 2007 with strong rumours that David Tennant could be leaving the show in Series 4, here is a list of things to look out for in the next 12 months.
  • Doctor Who returns in the Spring – probably Easter weekend, Saturday 77th April is a fairly good guess.

  • Phil Collinson is revealed as the actual model for the Ninth Doctor 12 inch doll.

  • David Tennant is revealed to be… SCOTTISH!

  • Billie Piper returns to Doctor Who as the Rani, while Noel Clarke returns as the Master. The reason for their facial similarity? The Face of Boe…

  • The Face of Boe’s message is finally revealed… “What yo’ talking about Willis?”

  • The 11th Doctor is revealed to be an animated version of Norman Wisdom, thanks to the wonderful work of Cosgrove Hall. According to Rustie Lee Davidson:
    “The Eleventh Doctor is going to win over the hearts and minds of Doctor Who fans young and old, with his hilarious pratt falls, simpering and calls of “Mishter Grimshdale!”. It’s astonishing really that over the whole history of Doctor Who – going back to when I was a boy – that Norman was never involved in the show, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to redress that balance. Would you like a Kinder Egg?”

  • All this and more, coming to the world of Doctor Who in the next 12 months!

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Christmas Countdown

    Can you feel it? It’s coming, and the Doctor is coming with it – it’s Christmas 2006 and the adventure is continuing! It’s hard to step back and consider what is going on sometimes, so let’s just have a quick recap of the last 3 years.

    September 2003 – The BBC announces a new series of Doctor Who. Doctor Who fans around the world fall over as they are simultaneously attacked with feathers.

    March 2004 – The BBC cast Christopher Eccleston as the new Doctor amongst rumours of Paul Daniels, David Jason, Richard E Grant and some bloke called McGann. The world sites up and takes note for a day or so.

    June 2004 – Billie Piper is cast as the Doctor’s new assistant. People scratch their heads a lot.

    March 2005 – Doctor Who is back. Everyone falls over as it is rather good. Several species of giant birds become extinct as their feathers have become quite useful.

    And of course since then we’ve had announcements of new series, Christmas episodes, spinoffs and new websites. And revamped websites (hello OG!) and blogs and new magazines and toys, lots and lots of toys. And people cashing in, like those clever individuals who purchased Cyberman voice change helmets at retail price six months ago and are now selling them at 200% on eBay.

    It’s been a funny few years, with lots of new people appearing in our lives, the British television industry becoming re-energised and an obsessive desire developing in yours truly to make sure that while the Kasterborous News section might not feature "breaking news", "as it happens news" or "exclusive news" (often…), it remains interesting, objective, occasionally controversial but most importantly relevant, as well as providing a voice for the little people.

    This site has become a monster. And I am it’s creator… Igor! Igor, I need an image – and quick about it man…

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    Happy Birthday to Who

    Wow. What an age – 43. So much has happened in the world since Doctor Who began – a world that was a very different place just a day before. The assassination of President Kennedy, so often tied by us fans to the history of Doctor Who was a moment of global relevance, whose shockwaves continue to affect us to this very day – this is where the conspiracy theory was born. I would, however, urge you to continue your research on that particular matter elsewhere.

    I’ve had a look for other people who are 43 this month, just to see how they have contributed to the world. Astonishingly Cherokee cherub Tori Amos is 43, having celebrated her birthday in August, while actor Rupert Graves celebrated his birthday in June as did Helen Hunt. But all entertainment, not really earth shattering, are they? How about Garry Kasparov, the chess player? Or Abu Faraj al-Libbi, allegedly third in command of al-Qaeda? Graham Norton, however, is now forever linked to Doctor Who due to a certain technical balls-up during the premier of Rose, and one-trick pony director Quentin Tarantino is also 43. Martin Bashir too may get a mention in the footnotes of history, but save for countless rock musicians, actors and policians, no other significant birthdays or events celebrate 43rd anniversaries in 2006. So a very happy birthday to one of the most significant events of 1963 – Doctor Who!

    What is most astonishing about Doctor Who being 43 is that I’m 31 in December. That means Doctor Who was just 12 when I was born. Yet I’m still so enthusiastic about the show, whether I’m up or down, whether the show itself is up or down. And it’s nearly Christmas, which means we’re in for a new adventure in just 30 odd days…

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Oh Grace, Where Art Thou…?

    So, we had a great time at the convention – Brian and Jen travelled to Manchester airport, Ant picked them up, and soon they were here in the North East wing of Kasterborous Towers. After a meal on the Saturday night we turned up for some top class entertainment at the Corus Sports & Social Centre, a small annex we had built some time ago where the local shobogans like to come and watch X-Factor rejects.

    Sunday came around, and after a bacon sandwich we got ourselves up to Stockton for Dimensions 2006. We started slow, missing the Eric Saward/Graeme Harper/Philip Hinchcliffe on-stage talk but soon things brightened up when Gareth Kavanagh of Black Scrolls met up with us.

    Generally a great day was had by all… however I don’t think it can ever be topped.

    I met a stunningly lovely lady by the name of Daphne Ashbrook – Dr Grace Holloway herself – and I was absolutely smitten. What a smile! What a laugh! Such lovely eyes! Ooh, nice hair too!

    Actually I’m not exaggerating. She really is a rather smashing lady, and it got me thinking about what Doctor Who could have been, and what a great companion she could have made.

    I’ve also been astonished to find that there is no Daphne Ashbrook homepage or fan-run site! Is the world mad?!?! (Strokes chin, thoughtfully…)

    The things I saw going through my mind... it was like an episode of Peepshow, I tell you.

    Of course, I’m giving the impression that we were chatting for hours. Sadly, the whole experience lasted just 2 minutes. But it was very nice. And a sharp contrast to my meeting with Tom Baker several years ago. I’ll have to tell you about that some time…

    Oh, I also met Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy too…


    Saturday, November 11, 2006


    It is that time of year again… as I type this, Anthony, Brian and his lady Jen are driving through Kasterborous Towers to stay in the Cawley wing. Why? For it is the weekend of Dimensions 2006, of course!

    Last year, the three of us met up for the first time, as well as encountering some Kasterborous friends including Gareth Kavanagh of Black Scrolls Magazine whom we hope to join up with this year.

    Of course, as I type this the event is underway – but no matter, cause we’re only attending on Sunday! And looking at the event schedule – Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook and Sylvester McCoy are all in attendance tomorrow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the TV Movie – I reckon it will be a pretty busy event.

    As with last year, we’ll have a report on the event, although at the moment it hasn’t been determined who will be writing it…

    The Who Factor

    Just to underline that Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s biggest shows, 3 guests of “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross” over the last 3 weeks have been past or future Doctor Who companions.

    Both Billie Piper and Catherine Tate (who appears alongside David Tennant in this years Christmas episode The Runaway Bride) appeared on the same show two weeks ago – notable for Wossy describing the Rose Tyler toy as resembling “a grumpy lesbian” – and just last night the rest of the show failed to live up to opening guest John Barrowman.

    Sadly, I cannot go into what was or wasn’t said (save that it was very funny) as this is a family website…


    The next new section of Kasterborous - the Fanzone - should be live by the end of this weekend - so keep your eyes out forthe new fanfic section, the new home of the desktop downloads and much more.

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Project Mojo

    The time is thankfully upon us at last - the Doctor Who Spinoffs section has arrived!

    We've had a few fits and starts getting this sorted, but thankfully due to some time on my hands and an intermittent broadband connection, I've managed to implement phase 1 of the changes.

    Phase 2 will restore the temporarily missing desktop backgrounds page to a magical fun-packed new section some time in the next 7 days - I cannot wait!

    (Incidentally, if you encounter any problems with the site, don't hesitate to contact us via the Forum)


    It is almost that time of year again - the Dimensions 2006 event is almost here, providing Ant, Brian and myself another opportunity to get together and be generally daft for a day.

    It doesn't seem like five minutes since last years event, and like last year we'll be reporting back on what we saw and who we met - Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy will both be in attendance this year, as will the OFFSTAGE Theatre Group who will be performing their TV Movie Spoof entitled 'The Six Million Dollar Fan'

    Of course don't be too surprised if we don't get back to you straight away... I haven't even considered who is going to write it this time!

    Nigel Kneale

    He didn't like Doctor Who, he didn't work on Doctor Who, yet the work of Nigel Kneale - who dies last Sunday - left a giant footprint on the shape of Doctor Who. Most notable for being set on Earth, the Jon Pertwee era - in particular the first two seasons - owe an awful lot to the adventures of Kneale's most famous creation - Professor Bernard Quatermass.

    Kneale's career was far broader than a professor and some martian insects, however, and jut as his work influenced Doctor Who, it has been mirrored in modern television. I suggest a quick visit to our news section to read snippets of Mark Gatiss' various tributes to the writer before following the links provided...

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    Everything Changes…

    Oh there’s so much I want to tell you, of artists and ghosts and secret meetings and Hallowe’en (or was it Christmas?) – but I’m beginning to read like Russell T Davies’ DWM column, so I’ll refrain for now, save to mention that this week you’ll come across the words “apricot”, “”Royston” and “itchy”.

    As you can see the Inferno feature is well underway, with our John Levene interview attracting much attention and Stahlman’s Video Diary already coming first in the “Funniest Article on Kasterborous Top 1”, so well done Brian A. Terranova.

    Our special guest contributor Steve Preston (he of Black Scrolls Magazine!) has reviewed parts 1 and 2 of Torchwood for your pleasure – you can see his thoughts in the Reviews section.

    Torchwood continues to roll, with Episode 3 providing much suspense, so keep your eyes peeled for reviews on that instalment; incidentally the Torchwood news items are currently our-ranking the Doctor Who news items. You weird lot.

    Still to come in our Inferno series is “The Shape of Doctor Who… Inferno” which details how the story affected the direction of our favourite show, as well as a profile on everybody’s favourite Brigadier, um the Brigadier.

    Finally… those changes I was on about last week – remember? Well, astonishingly (and I mean astonishingly – they’re about 7 months late!) they are nearly here. Now of course if things don’t work for some reason, then I’ll go all quiet and then remind you in a few months that things didn’t work out… but I’m quietly confident this time.

    And thanks to all of you for your continued support over the months. We’re a short step away from our 2nd birthday – who would have though? – so I’m feeling like a proud parent at the moment. Even if the Forum did go under for 24 hours….

    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    Spin City

    Well, it has been a long time coming, it’s been part of Doctor Who lore for 18 months now – and finally Torchwood is upon us!

    It has put us in a strange position, as a Doctor Who site. “Do we cover Torchwood or not?” was a question we threw around in the early days and while we obviously have and will continue to do so, it has been something of a slow burner in terms of development, and certainly doesn’t have the same coverage in the press and elsewhere as Doctor Who. Of course in covering Torchwood, we need to be fair to the other spin-offs – so watch out for some changes to Kasterborous over the next few weeks as some long-planned additions to the site are finally introduced (yay!).

    But more content means more work… and while I’m busy with Kasterborous and a new comedy website, there is room for anyone wishing to contribute anything – but in particular Torchwood-related content – to have their work published on this very website. If you’re interested, drop myself or Brian a line via the Forum.

    (Thanks to those who have got in touch so far!)

    Finally – it’s taken almost as long as Torchwood, but this weekend sees the long-awaited first instalment of our Inferno feature. What better way to kick it off than an interview with the man behind one of Doctor Who’s best loved characters – John Levene who played UNIT Sergeant John Benton from 1969-1975.

    Oh, and don’t forget to vote for Doctor Who at the National Television Awards website -voting closes on the day of the event itself, Tuesday October 31st, 2006.

    I’ve already voted – guess what for…?

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    The Shape of Things to Come…

    It is with a huge sigh of relief that I offer you this weekend the final instalment of our 2006 Round Table!

    Over the last few weeks we’ve covered the character development of supporting characters, guest actors, returning elements and we conclude this week with a discussion of the Doctor himself…

    A massive bunch of thanks must go out to the contributors; if you haven’t yet read any of the pieces (why not?!), then a roll call is required. First off, Kasterborous brothers in arms Anthony Dry and Brian A. Terranova; artist Nigel Parry whose work adorns several articles on this website; Black Scrolls masterminds Gareth Kavanagh and Steve Preston; Daniel Bohm of German Doctor Who website, Simon Mills of the Doctor Who News Service; and Barnaby Eaton-Jones of the OFFSTAGE Theatre Group.

    Their comments and observations have been a joy for me to edit, and I’m sure they’ve been just as entertaining for the readers; some of our most successful articles of all time!

    And it is with massive amounts of pride that I announce a very special interview to be presented in the next week or so – with Sergeant Benton himself, actor John Levene who took time a few weeks ago to answer our questions!

    The interview is the first of our series of articles devoted to the Jon Pertwee classic serial Inferno which will run through to November, so look out for them all!

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006


    We’ve heard today that Outpost Gallifrey’s much-loved news page is no more.

    I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but that does constitute a big day in Doctor Who fandom. As a common or garden Doctor Who fan, I frequented Outpost Gallifrey back in the days when the banner had a police box in a snowy location. The news page was a nexus, a drip feed and a vital tool for conversation either in the OG forum, the old BBC discussion board or rec.arts.drwho.

    As many of our regular readers may know, if it wasn't for the OG news pages, I would never have joined the OG forum, answered Ant's plea for a writer and built this site.

    I think the fate of the OG news page has been a direct result of Shaun's success with the site, and it is something that Ant and I have been experiencing to a lesser degree - Ant with his work on the Series 2 DVD and me with my work on a new video games magazine.

    I dare say that Outpost Gallifrey will continue to be successful, not least as a forum but as the biggest online repository of Doctor Who on the internet.

    So while now is the time to convert your fellow fans to the Kasterborous Doctor Who News Page, it’s also the beginning of an interesting period in online fandom…

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    The Move

    Well, with still a bit of time before Torchwood comes, I’ll keep this week’s editorial on a personal level.

    This weekend I’ve moved house (a simple explanation for the lack of coherent news items over the next few days…) and it got me thinking about the whole concept of the Domestic Doctor vs the Alien Adventurer…

    A couple of throwaway remarks in The Impossible Planet raised the possibility of the Doctor living with Rose, and experiencing change on a human level. You know when things change for us, people change jobs, move house, get married, have children, and die.

    Our friend the Doctor doesn’t need to worry about moving house for starters (even if he does – according to some – have a house in the South East). He certainly doesn’t need to worry about earning money which he evidently sees as an inconvenience and has several neat tricks to get around the fact that he has no means of income. Things which we take for granted don’t attract the Doctor – and if we tried to live our lives in the same set of suits, travelling from one place to the next, doing odd jobs and picking up pretty girls… well, wouldn’t it be nice?

    Children? Certainly a Granddaughter, and as for death, well he’s cheated it enough times in the past one way or another, and will continue to do so for a long time – certainly past his twelfth regeneration…

    But with a TARDIS would you want to settle down? Would you want to stay in one place with one person doing one thing? Of course not! And that is the wonder of Doctor Who – the variety, the choice of times and places to visit. We wouldn’t hang around a car park in Ealing if we could travel to faraway galaxies.

    Which brings us nicely to the topic du jour – should there or should there not be more alien planets in Doctor Who?

    The answer must be "yes".

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Love & Falcons...

    Well, I’m sitting here with my first copy of Doctor Who Battles in Time!

    There it is, sat patiently in its thick cardboard backing, cards safely wrapped up on the right hand side, waiting for me to unwrap them. But I won’t…

    Not yet anyway. I want this to remain pure, unsullied and perfect. I’m not waiting for any particular moment – no I’m waiting for something else. Issue 2, perhaps?

    No it’s not that either. So why can’t I open the damn thing?

    Could it be… yes, yes that’s it. Fear. Fear of what this represents, should I open it and examine the cards. Oh I’ve been here before, I can tell you.

    1982. Millennium Falcon. Original Millennium Falcon. Huge it was, with photos of the interior and Luke and Han and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the box. I remember the box, but luckily I’ve had my memory jogged by, which also reminded me how the actual toy looked, because I no longer have that either.

    1984, meanwhile, was Optimus Prime year. I still have the old red juggernaut – in three guises – but the original is the best. I remember his box too, without the help of an online auction this time, because I cut it up! All for the special points on the back of the boxes which I saved up and bought a cardboard Autobot base with!

    So, you see, opening my cards does something to my copy of Doctor Who Battles in Time. It makes it used. Its value vanishes in a blink of an eye. I won’t be able to auction it for 20 times its original value in 30 years time because the cards will be played with, and the pages of the magazine well-thumbed. It will have become part of my life, part of my relationship with Doctor Who…

    …and as such, making it truly valuable. Monetary value holds know sway over love, as any fan knows – we’ll buy anything, regardless, just because it says “Doctor Who” on it.

    Do you know what? Even if my Millennium Falcon and Optimus Prime were still boxed, I would never have sold them, ‘cause I loved them, and I still do.

    And I love Doctor Who too.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    This bloke goes into a pub...

    ...and whips out his mobile while waiting for some friends. It’s a really flash mobile – known as a smartphone – and he’s quickly browsing online via a wireless hotspot.

    He stumbles upon the unitnews forum where someone has used the anonymous posting service there to make some comments about this blokes website…

    "kasterbonkers are big dissapointment because they were so very, very promising and for some short time the one of the very best Doctor Who site out there"
    ”Blimey!” he thought, “What brought this on?” He read more…

    'Kasterbonkers used to be the bright star of new doctor who sides in 2005, exciting new outlook, fresh snazzy design, intelligent articles - very very nice artwork and wallpapers (still have one on my pc) ...'
    A quick defence later lead to a set-to with the proprietor of said forum, with some admirable defence from the Kasterborous Forum regulars, and an eventual settling of the issue.

    This all took place in a short space of time on Sunday night/Monday, and concluded with this forum post, from the bloke:

    I'm inviting the lady or gentleman who made the post prior to Martin closing the thread on his forum to bring their concerns to me, either via this forum or by email christian@kasterborous dot com.
    Well, suffice to say that the said poster didn’t get in touch, and but this whole issue lead the bloke to wonder… “What if people could post anonymously on my forum…?”

    And then he quickly saw the light – it’s frankly an idea only for someone with a very tight grip on moderation. Otherwise all sorts of trouble could erupt, such as statements like those above being made. Anonymity is very useful when bidding on expensive artefacts at auction and unnecessarily troublesome when you have a comment to make.

    So, one last try, thought the bloke – and once more extended the offer to discuss the matter either in person, on the phone, via MSN, this websites forum or email.

    Finally… all this has got me thinking about Kasterborous’ place in the “Doctor Who websites foodchain”. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if K was just a little articles site with a blog attached, as long as I knew people were interested, and reading what I have to write. As it is we get a couple of thousand hits a day, no one has yet come to us and said “Do you mind? How dare you?!” or anything of the sort.
    This website reflects on the large my feelings and thoughts, with large contributions from Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry. If I feel that a particular aspect of Doctor Who isn’t what it should be then I’m going to talk about it, highlight it and invite discussion on it.

    What’s more, I’m going to continue to do so for as long as I have to.

    No one pays us, we have no editorial bias, and we don’t have a quota or sales target. We can criticise positively or negatively, depending on the situation, to our hearts content and that is a good thing, because NO ONE ELSE IS DOING IT.

    A quick strawpoll with other Doctor Who fans and webmasters on Monday quickly proved to me that our tone is spot-on, exactly what it should be and exactly what it was before Series 1 started.

    That means that for 21 months we’ve been providing critical analysis and discussion of Doctor Who.

    And had no complaints.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    What a Week!

    Well, when I decided to take a week off, not for one moment did I expect brand new news about Sarah Jane Investigates (now Sarah Jane Adventures!), Doctor Who: Battles in Time, the November DVD release of The Invasion, a new issue of Doctor Who Adventures and the new series of Eighth Doctor audio adventures on BBC7!

    There’s only one thing for it – no more holidays for me! Big thanks to Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry for holding the fort in my absence, of course, and hopefully you won’t have to wait too long to witness the fruits of my labours…

    Imagine, however, a world without holiday. One where we’re tied to the desk, the lathe, the sink – whatever – 40 hours a week, or even more. No entertainment for us, just work, work, work, and a bland news service that doesn’t even tell us the whole story. No music, no films, no games, and worst of all no Doctor.

    Without dancing down the road of politics and big statements, I would like to take a line or two to point out that the world has changed a great deal in the last five years. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new there; but I may be telling you something new when I suggest that perhaps rather than taking at face value what is printed in the press or broadcast on the television news, we look into things more deeply, consider things for ourselves and then make our own decisions.

    I have done this myself, and come to one terrible conclusion.

    It is in this weekly editorial, dear reader, that I finally come clean – I thought Rose Tyler: Earth Defender would have been bloody marvellous, despite what everybody else and the dastardly press thought.

    Billie for PM!

    NOTE: Yes, I was of course alluding to the 9/11 Truth Movement there, and frankly you should visit Propaganda Matrix if you need some convincing.

    If you don't want to open your eyes, don't worry. The Doctor will save you...

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Whose Holiday?

    Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year once more… worn out and battered, your editor Christian Cawley (that’s me) must make merry with a few friends, plan his first wedding anniversary and spend a few days concentrating on the development of other projects.

    As such, other than a further news update and part 2 of the Round Table 2006, there will be no site updates for a few days.

    Yes, I know it is a little disappointing that no one else can brighten up your Doctor Who news items with pithy remarks and wild speculation, but the Kasterborous Forum remains open 24 hours a day and is open to everyone, new fans and old fans alike. Prospective new contributors should also voice their availability via the Forum or email contributions @ (without the spaces).

    To make the week off worthwhile, we’ve got some great stuff coming up on Kasterborous from late September onwards, including a group of articles in typical Kasterborous manner based on the superb Jon Pertwee Season 7 story Inferno, a brand new series of articles about the Time Lords as well as a very special interview…

    In the meantime, you might well have noticed some errors with Kasterborous pages recently. Well, I’m tentatively suggesting that these are behind us now, and we can all look forward to trouble-free Kasterborous browsing. If however you do notice anything, reply to my post at the top of the Kasterborous Forum and we’ll see what we can do to fix the issue.

    Finally – get yourselves logged on to the BBC’s Official Doctor Who site and start reading Mark Gatiss’ excellent Nightshade which features the Seventh Doctor and companion Ace uncovering ancient alien interference in a northern village…

    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    A Time for Reflection…

    As we approach the last quarter of the year it’s a good time to consider the highs and lows of Doctor Who 2006.

    Back in April we anticipated the new Doctor’s first full outing with excitement, looked forward to the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9, expected great things from Rise of the Cybermen - but what really happened?

    Mid-season audiences showed a dip when compared with the same stage of Series 1, yet the season finale pulled in a higher yield. TARDISODES and online commentaries complemented the series, as did the Doctor Who: Confidential series.

    But did Series 2 work as well as Series 1? Well, we’re going to attempt to find out. Last year, our Adherents of Doctor Who "round table" articles discussed the return of Doctor Who, and this year we mull over the "difficult second season".

    Joining the discussion are Kasterborous stalwarts Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry; Black Scrolls whiz kids Gareth Kavanagh and Steve Preston; OFFSTAGE Theatre Group auteur Barnaby Eaton-Jones; some-time Kasterborous artist Nigel Parry; Simon Mills of the essential Doctor Who News Service; and Daniel Bohm of German fansite

    The discussions kick off this week on the matter of Sarah Jane and K9’s return, how they felt about it then, and now.

    Check back every week as we move through various topics about Series 2 and establish how could Series 2 really was; click here to get started.

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Torchwood Lit

    Torchwood Image
    We're just weeks away from a historical moment in the Doctor Who universe - a moment that sees Torchwood, the first full series spin-off airing on BBC3.

    It could of course have been so different; forget Rose Tyler: Earth Defender and Sarah Jane Smith Investigates and the like - there was much talk 30-odd years ago of a UNIT spin-off, featuring the Brigadier and his men battling alien incursions without the help of the Doctor...

    While a massively attractive idea, it sadly never materialised. but it was a concept of its time, one which is still fondly thought of by Doctor Who fans and isn't a milion miles from the concept of Torchwood. The world is a different place in 2006 - while we've seen UNIT as a secret ogranisation once more in The Christmas Invasion, we've seen that Torchwood is even moreso thanks to the same adventure and the conclusion of Series 2.

    So what has this got to do with Kasterborous? Well, seeing as we like you all so much, expect some coverage of Torchwood over the next few weeks as we get closer to the October launch.

    But also expect some UNIT coverage too over the next few months as we celebrate the release of the 1970 classic Inferno on DVD with a series of articles about the story which will build up to our interview with Sergeant Benton himself, actor John Levene!

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Don't Forget...

    Look out for the new series from the producers of Doctor Who!

    “I’m a Slitheen, Get Me Out Of Here!” features those loveable Raxicoricartoonfartingpatorians trapped in a jungle on the planet Florana as they attempt to outwit, outsmart and basically survive in the face of a Dalek onslaught!

    With the Dalek Supreme controlling the challenges from the safety of his treehouse, and the Special Weapons Daleks manning the escape routes, the Slitheen have a 40 square mile area to cross and survive in a 1 week period.

    Coming face to face with the Daleks will certainly give the ropey green giants something to fart about – and don’t forget, you can pick up a special Slitheen Fart Generator toy in special issues of Kasterborous.

    Executive Producer of “I’m a Slitheen, Get Me out Of Here!” is Rusty Lee Davidson, who is looking forward to seeing the challenges the Slitheen will face unfold on screen.

    “You couldn’t have planned it any better! When the Slitheen told me they wanted to take part in the show I thought ‘Fantastic!’, and then all of a sudden the original concept – of Billie Piper and John Barrowman dancing on ice on the edge of a pulsar – went out of the window when the Dalek Supreme declared his interest.”

    Meanwhile, that woman with the glasses is optimistic about the Slitheen’s chances… “Oh I think they can do it. They’re so wonderfully green you know, just like jungle, and well, you know they can outsmart the Daleks, I’m sure, boyo.”

    Don’t forget to tune in also to “I’m a Slitheen, Get Me Out Of Here! - Unplugged” the new companion show on BBC3 which features various Doctor Who monsters singing in front of a studio audience with the threat of electrocution if they fail to make the grade. Featuring such highlights as the Mara singing “You Were Always On My Mind”, and the Eighth Doctor with “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool”, “I’m a Slitheen, Get Me Out Of Here! - Unplugged” is guaranteed to be a riot!

    “It’s Marvellous!” says Rusty Lee Davidson – and who dare argue?

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Too Much Spin

    In this day and age it might well be normal to cash in on the success of a show like doctor who - after all we've had toys since the 1970s, books and films starring the Daleks. But in light of news that a new has been devised starring Lis Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, as well as Torchwood, one has to wonder firstly where the money is coming from and secondly where it is going...
    The process of making television shows in the UK these days is pretty similar to the rest of the world. Shows like Doctor Who are put in a budget banding, and it’s interesting to note that “Silent Witness” has similar money spent on it as doctor who. While this negates the argument that if the BBC has money for two spin offs then they have money for more Doctor Who, it allows other questions to be asked.
    For instance, while torchwood looks good on paper, following the recent issues with the camera equipment, is it going to look as good on screen?
    If there is a demand for a third Doctor Who spin-off series, then why is it one starring Sarah Jane Smith? Now regular readers will know how much I love Sarah Jane, but a spin off show called "Sarah Jane Smith Investigates" sounds as though it will be picking up where "K9 and Company" left off. And when we have Daleks trundling around exhibitions season after season - a group who have waited 40 years for their own spin off series - without a sniff of even a CGI adventure show... Well there's something very, very wrong.
    And its interesting that these snippets of information should all come to light as the BBC Wales Doctor Who team moves into its new "Camelot" multi-million pound studio.

    Is this to be some sort of albatross around RTD’s and Julie Gardner’s necks...?

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Weathering the Storm

    It can be a risky business, outdoor filming, especially with the notoriously unreliable British weather. How exactly can film crews get around the problems that inclement or unsuitable weather conditions place on shooting a story that requires certain elemental elements to be radically different?

    We’ll take the current obvious example – filming a Doctor Who Christmas story in the beating heat of modern Britain. Cardiff is melting and it’s supposed to be Christmas 2006. David Tennant and Catherine Tate are no doubt sweating – Ms Tate is wearing a wedding dress, after all – and the sun is beating down in a way that only occurs between 9 am and 1pm at that time of year.

    Rewind 34 years and we see how a January shoot of The Claws of Axos was disrupted by a snowstorm that fell between location shoots. Pigbin Josh wanders through snow for a short time, but little of it is seen later on.

    What is interesting here is how the production teams deal with these issues. In 2006, apparently the Doctor and Donna suck on ice cubes before takes in order to give the impression that their breath is condensing in the cold London winter; meanwhile in 1972 (depending on your UNIT dating…) the descent of the Axos craft/being through Earth’s atmosphere caused localised disturbances in the weather, thanks to a quickly rewritten piece of dialogue that made the presence of snow completely acceptable and perhaps even appeared to be a bit of a special effects triumph…

    What I would really like to know is:

    How will the Christmas 2006 of The Runaway Bride be affected by the Christmas 2006 of The Christmas Invasion, and vice versa…?

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    So… what shall we talk about?

    The history of Doctor Who is littered with lulls – 1969-1970, 1985, 1989-1996, 1996-2005 - but few will seem as long or as foot-dragging as this one. There’s around five months until the next episode of Doctor Who, and whether or not we have the Captain Jack show in the meantime, that still means lots of weekends without television.

    I’m not a big television watcher. I love lots of the older serials, and particular comedy stuff, such as “Have I Got News For You”, “QI”, etc. but mostly I’m reading, writing, gaming or watching Doctor Who. And I’m really missing it at the moment. Saturday’s seem so empty…

    “But hang on there!” I hear you cry, “You just spent the best part of 13 weeks slagging the show off! How can you be missing it?!”

    Well, there is of course a difference between disliking a show and loving it so much that you instinctively know when something is wrong. I’m not going to dwell on the imperfections of Doctor Who 2006, suffice to say I hope most of them are ironed out by the time we see Doctor Who 2007. I mean, at the end of the day it was a damned sight better than Season 24.

    While that might be a generally accepted opinion, it might not be universally accepted. One debate that has raged in the Kasterborous Forum over the last few weeks has been how Series 2 compares to Series 1. While the latest adventures garnered more viewers than the series did last year (despite being shown later), its still being discussed how the series compare. I think the jury will be out on that one for a while…

    It is all based on opinion. Our likes and dislikes are shaped by our personalities, and we’re never all going to agree on anything. And it would be boring if we did – take this website for instance. If Anthony and myself agreed on everything from day one, we’d be talking about BSG, writing comic strips and writing songs in honour of Doctor Who…

    Sunday, July 23, 2006

    Get your old DVDs and videos out!

    There has not been a better time to get digging through your shelves and cupboards for old videos of Doctor Who, old New Adventures books by exciting new writers such as Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss and Russell T Davies, and Big Finish audios starring one or four of the old Doctors.

    Doctor Who is off air until Christmas, so let’s turn out attention to the shows rich history! Relive the moment that the Doctor discovered that the Master still lived in The Keeper of Traken! Watch with a tearful eye as the Doctor leaves Jo Grant’s party in The Green Death! Watch in awe as the Daleks are born and kill for the first time in Genesis of the Daleks! Cringe with shame as the Seventh Doctor struggles to keep his balance in Time and the Rani… shudder in fear at the terror facing mankind’s near future in various Second Doctor adventures and gasp in awe as William Hartnell remembers a full episode worth of dialogue without fluffing his lines!

    What better time than to throw on your multi-coloured dream coat with built in variable waist size? The weather may not be perfect for such a heavy garment, but you’ll certainly be noticed! You might on the other hand prefer to rewatch such disasters as the death of Adric, or the TV Movie…

    Of course, if you’re in the mood for old Doctor Who, we have lots of it between now and Series 3. We’ll be running articles on some of the best episodes, profiling a larger-than-life incarnation as well as some other Time Lords and reviewing some of the key DVD releases of 2006.

    If you’ve got any suggestions for content that you would like to see or contribute, feel free to contact me at or post the request in the Kasterborous Forum.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Happy Holidays…

    Well, well, well. That’s it until Christmas – and as such we’re moving the focus of Kasterborous away from the new series and back to Doctor Who as a whole.

    Over the coming months we’ll be introducing a new series of articles, a new section to Kasterborous, as well as some in-depth analysis of some classic stories, including the Jon Pertwee Season 7 classic Inferno.

    It’s a sad goodbye to Doctor Who Series 2 - despite my gripes there still wasn’t anything else new that came close to DW on the box from April to July. ITV 3 and 4 might push you in the right direction if you’re based in the UK, with repeats of the classic ITC series, whereas there’s an amazing selection of documentaries on BBC 4 and UKTV History. As for drama, the Doctor Who effect has yet to take hold completely, with a second series of "Life on Mars" currently shooting, alongside "Robin Hood", due for a return to TV screens this autumn.

    As for American imports – notoriously over-rated at the best of times, "Lost" continues to baffle, perplex and frankly annoy plenty of people, and while its makers evidently expect it to carry the same sort of aura as "Twin Peaks", it’s likely to make the transition to theatrical release resolution before the planned ninth series… but if you’re in a real Who-vacuum, you could do a lot worse than pick up some episodes of "Medium", possibly the cream of the US series. Starring Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber, it follows the adventures of a lady who is employed by the local District Attorney's office. She’s also a medium, and a wife and mother. While it might sound soapier than certain elements of the recent series of Doctor Who, it’s certainly worth a try…

    So, we’ve got little over 5 months until the next episode of Doctor Who, and with such a bizarre cliffhanger, there’s plenty to talk about in the Kasterborous Forum, which continues to go from strength to strength, currently averaging a new registration every other day – it’s amazing what the right forum software can do…

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    New Destinations

    So the Doctor will get a new companion – Martha! While there are some raised eyebrows at the moniker, I think it’s a lovely name. And what a great smile!
    Casting someone who dies in a key episode of the series and then casting her as fandom lets out a wistful “Well, it’s not her then after all – bloody agents…” was a typical RTD curveball, and well done to him.
    But I’m a bit peeved by the whole “companion status” thing. If you listen to “respected” publications such as The Daily Mail (yeah, I know, but hear me out) and even supposed free-thinkers such as the Independent, Freema Agyeman will play Martha, the Doctor’s first black companion.
    Off you go Noel Clarke, back into the shadows! You never really mattered anyway, you tin dog you!
    You see with these statements, the newspapers redraw Doctor Who history with a single pen-stroke. If Mickey isn’t a proper companion, then neither is Grace, neither is the Brigadier, or Benton or Captain Yates. It’s sloppy writing, it’s irresponsible and it’s degrading to read, so I can only imagine how Noel Clarke might feel.
    I sit daily scanning interesting news articles, either at home, at work or via my PDA, and do you know what? The so called “national Press” don’t know squat. They type away in ivory towers doing nothing to further mankind or challenge perceptions, instead dancing to the tunes of media hype and political spin.
    This is where you find real news, on the Web. Whether it’s concerning the trivialities of a television series or the contents of an Iraqi’s Blog, the newspapers have had their day…
    And welcome to Doctor Who, Freema!

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    It’s the end…

    …But the time has been prepared for. How well prepared, though?

    For months on end, we’ve had speculation about Billie Piper’s future with Doctor Who, speculation that was only resolved when the BBC – rather early in the series, considering – revealed that she would indeed be leaving the show.

    Yet nothing has been said about the Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

    Other than the cursory "as long as they’ll have me", his future with the show is almost as up in the air as Christopher "I’ve done the long haul" Eccleston’s. And Billie Piper’s departure could be a massive smokescreen…

    A rumour – and note that it is only a rumour - has recently reached Kasterborous regarding the imminent departure of David Tennant. Now you should take this with a pinch of salt, but it is one rumour which should be given plenty of thought – after all, how exactly can the Doctor deal with a Cyberman victory and a Dalek invasion? The odds are stacked against him even more than they were in Series 1 – and that is saying something.

    While he might have Mickey, Rose and Torchwood behind him, both the Cybermen and the Daleks are impervious to bullets – so the vast store of alien weapons will no doubt come in useful – I’m scratching my head and have to wonder out loud whether there could be some truth to the rumour.

    If so, then this could be a serious shame for Doctor Who. The audience needs to be able to develop a relationship with the Doctor in order for regeneration to work, and I don’t feel that annual renewal is achieving this.

    At the end of the day, however, the Doctor will survive regardless. If Tennant really has left the role, then best of luck to him for the future.

    However if it is – as seems likely one of those cock-and-bull stories, then good luck Doctor in saving the world next Saturday!

    Friday, June 30, 2006

    A Storm is Coming…

    …and we trust that Doctor Who will never be the same again.

    Despite what various personal opinions might be on the quality of the stories this season, Doctor Who is entering it’s second end-of-season finale that promises to bring drama, shocks and revelations. The departure of Rose is being kept strictly under-wraps, and Doctor Who is subject to tighter control on plot developments than “EastEnders”.

    Obviously this means that there are changes in store for the Doctor and by definition the show. A new companion, a new backstory – no more Jackie Tyler. Will this result in a refocusing of the show’s narrative on the Doctor himself?

    Probably not. A new companion will bring new baggage with them, and while there’ll be no Jackie Tyler, there’ll be a special someone waiting for them to return. Concentrating more on the Doctor brings with it certain problems, such as an increased workload for the shows star (see Tom Baker) less chance of identifying with the companion and as such a lower frequency of new viewer take-up.

    Of course, much of this is debateable, and what we all want to see is Doctor-centric adventures in Series 3 as the last Time Lord battles evil in all shapes and forms. It would probably be wise to avoid cartoon scribbles, although beings that exist in radio wave form (the Vardans?) and Absorbaloff’s shouldn’t be shied away from if they can be approached correctly…

    We know the Face of Boe returns in 2007, and that he has a secret to tell the Doctor. We know the Doctor has a new companion, and that another classic series monster will return. Whether it’s the Silurians, the Ice Warriors, the Sontarans or the Zygons is a matter for us to look forward to – as is the surely definitive comeback of them all.

    If the Face knows of other Time Lords that have survived, there are bound to be one or two up to know good. And what’s the point in creating a new Time Lord villain if there is already one out there who is something of a Master…?

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Disappointed of Kasterborous

    Sirs: It is with bewilderment that I watched the last episode of Doctor Who reasonably expecting the Doctor – the shows main character – to save the day in face of astonishing adversity. Instead I got a charming yarn about cartoons coming to life and the children on the estate being saved by a blonde girl named Rose.

    The benefits for and against the heroism of this character have been well documented but I find myself and the character at an impasse; one week she is portrayed as cocky, selfish and jealous and another she is the best thing since sliced bread.

    Her portrayal in this series of Doctor Who has been one of several let downs from a production team which brought the show back so convincingly last year. While conceptually the Absorbaloff from Love & Monsters should be admired, it was introduced in a completely inappropriate context. And I’m saying nothing of the performance of Peter Kay, as I’m a fan; however the Roald Dahl nature of the beast and indeed the tale were the episode’s only saving grace.

    In a season that promised so much, it was I think ultimately expected that we would get so far through feeling so under-whelmed. Were we spoiled last year? Did the team try harder? If so why? If the show really was better last year, and it’s not simply nostalgia getting the better of us, then could the reason for it have been down to the leading man?

    I’m not for one moment suggesting that David Tennant is unsuitable; he’s slotted into the role very well. But he isn’t as highly-regarded in the industry as his predecessor, and for me at least Eccleston’s short-lived era is overshadowing this new age of Doctor Who simply because the producers of the show have failed to match the quality of last year.

    Army of Ghosts has the potential to silence me, and eat the above words. Perhaps it will be that good that the budget savings on Fear Her and Love & Monsters will be made worthwhile. It might even be the best ever Doctor Who story ever. The poorer aspects of the 2006 series will be overlooked and heralded as the best ever, based on two good single-parters and two good two-parters.

    They say that history is written by the victors. As such, the victors need to get it right for Series 3

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Questions, Questions, Questions…

    When Ant and I first got chatting on the OG Forum way back in 2004 (is it two years already Ant?!) one of the stipulations for the website we were developing was that if possible we should attempt to contact people in the world of Doctor Who in order to interview them.

    (Another stipulation was that if possible we would send readers pieces of original artwork by Ant if they sent us enough chocolate. Alas, sorting offices are warm places...)

    Once Kasterborous (I should add that the name was my idea – admittedly a fluke…) was finally up and running, we were in almost straight away with an interview with the artist Peter McKinstry, whose work graces the ebook version of Justin Richards’ The Sands of Time on the BBC Doctor Who site. It wasn’t long before we were recruiting other artists such as Andrew Skilleter, Darryl Joyce, Pete Wallbank and Lee Sullivan, and indeed soon we were interviewing writers, such as Jean-Marc Lofficier.

    Particular favourites of mine – not having had much to do with the artists which were all Ant’s own work – include the Peter Purves interview (being the first time we had a former star of Doctor Who featured on Kasterborous), the OFFSTAGE interview with Barnaby Jones (simply for being, well, Barnaby) and of course the Mat Irvine piece, which was very satisfying as an admirer of his work on Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, as well as his appearances on Saturday morning kids TV.

    But if you had told me we would get the opportunity to chat with someone working on the new incarnation of Doctor Who – well I wouldn’t have taken you seriously! So, readers of Kasterborous, head for the Interviews section of this website and witness the first part of a chat with Neill Gorton, the visual effects and prosthetics designer on Doctor Who. We’re very grateful for the time Neill’s taken from what must be an insane schedule to answer our questions, and we’re sure you will enjoy reading it.

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    My Rose is Leaving Me!

    Well, I just knew it was leading somewhere.

    When I wrote the article “My Rose Has Left Me” I confess I was pretty miffed with what I saw as poor characterisation of Billie Piper’s character this series. I was sick of her – and to some extent still am – but hopefully what I at first saw as the weakness of some of Piper’s performances where down to the fact she was being “roughed up” a little, to ease her out as it were without an uproar from the fans.

    Obviously the most popular Doctor Who companion in a very long time, Rose has been everywhere with the Doctor, and their relationship is so close it just makes you wonder how they will part company. Hopefully the surprise will remain until the end of the series, even if the departure of the actress hasn’t…

    Exactly how many more newspapers did the news sell, really? In the middle of a football World Cup competition, did the tabloids really have to push it? Why couldn’t they let it lie for a month until the end of the series, keep quiet and let us have our surprise – you know, the one we didn’t get when the Ninth Doctor had his day?

    But it is of course a necessary evil. It would be so nice to hear RTD and the BBC having a go at the Press – but the need the papers to promote the show. Even when the TV critics were hammering Doctor Who in the 1980s, the same papers where clamouring for its return upon cancellation.

    Doctor Who, you see, is magical. Everyone loves it, and those that don’t – well, I dare say imaginations will be for sale in the next 30 years the way medical science is progressing.

    Rose’s departure – whether permanent or short-term – will simply allow the show to move into a new era. No longer tied to bloody Jackie Tyler and the Powell Estate, the Doctor will be free to roam the universe with a companion of his own choice, not the choice of his earlier self.

    A new companion – imagine the possibilities! The one good thing that has come out of this earlier-than-intended-but-later-than-expected leak is we can play “guess the new companion” in the final story of the series/first story of the next series.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    And We're Off!

    Oh yes, welcome to Kasterborous as we celebrate the start of Doctor Who, 2006 style!

    There are a couple of adventures in store this season as the Doctor and Rose kick off their adventures by landing on a small planet orbiting none other than a black hole! Gasp as they tackle Satan himself, then travel on for more adventures back on Earth.

    Comedian Peter Kay stars in Love & Monsters as the villainous Victor Kennedy, while this 6-part series concludes with a rumoured return of the Cybermen!

    Of course, it could have been so easy to give us just 6 episodes this year. Start with Episode 8 and give us a bang to the new season. But RTD instead chose to start with New Earth, and give us a start to the series arguably weaker than its 2005 predecessor, Rose.

    Now I could easily go into “bash mode” here, criticising Davies and the executive production team, as well as possibly the script editors. But frankly if they can produce delights such as The Girl in the Fireplace and The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit in the same season as New Earth then there’s nothing I can say to them. They know.

    I’m just an IT Analyst and part-time freelance writer. If I can see the faults in Doctor Who 2006, so can the BBC and the shows production team. In their defence, we should consider that they didn’t get it totally right in 2005, and that it is still a learning curve…

    However, after the quality we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks I expect – nay demand – that the show build upon this for next season.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    And You Will Worship Him

    Can I come out yet? I’m scared, disturbed and shocked. I’m also considering a career in football management after last weeks team talk…

    The Impossible Planet has all the hallmarks of an instant classic, and really that IS saying something, isn’t it? Claustrophobic, intense, eye-catching, chilling and thrilling all at the same time, this is the Doctor Who I’ve been waiting for since New Earth.

    I’m not going to say too much about it for those who haven’t’ seen it, suffice to say there will be at least one review live in the next day or so.

    The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that when we feature a particular Doctor Who story, we do it across four articles – yet our recent-ish Caves of Androzani pieces only totalled 3… all is not lost, however – only the article was! Totally our mistake, and shortly we’ll have an appreciation of the Fifth Doctor Who courtesy of Brian A Terranova.

    We’ve also got an exciting array of articles ready when the series ends… after all, we can’t fill 40 weeks of the year with reviews of the same articles, can we?!

    Monday, May 29, 2006

    Half Time

    The Idiot’s Lantern was episode 7 of the current run of Doctor Who, and as such it’s half-way point. I have to say that at the moment things are leaving me a little cold…

    What has happened to Doctor Who in Series 2? Last year had its faults, but everything seemed to be pulling in the same direction. It all reached an ultimate end with the “Bad Wolf” meme that was in various degrees successful. The overall quality in 2005 was pretty much uniform; even if the story wasn’t very good, the direction and the cast made up for it. This year however, we’ve had a marked levelling off of quality across the board, with poorer scripts, questionable casting and re-used special effects.

    That last one is particular bug-bear of mine. The old Glen A Larson series of the 1980s often reused special effects – notably KITT’s “turbo boost” in “Knight Rider” or various “Airwolf” manoeuvres. It seems strange that a BBC show in 2006 is reusing explosion visuals from an episode in 2005 – in particular its most-watched episode!

    Granted, the series has got darker as the season progresses, and that seems set to continue as the Doctor and Rose encounter The Impossible Planet this Saturday. Finally the new series will discard its Earthly shackles and venture out into the universe…

    So in light of the impending FIFA World Cup, I present a list of manager-style objectives for the second half of the Doctor Who season:
    • More consistency with the plot down the right flank
    • Less mercy in front of goal – you’re supposed to be thrilling audiences, not baffling them
    • A better range of guest players
    • Let’s build towards a rousing finale
    • Drop the Torchwood tactic. We keep getting caught out at the back…

    Thursday, May 25, 2006


    Ah, there's nothing like a bit of a change. It's as good as a rest, apparently, and is certainly something the Doctor Who fans should not be afraid of.

    We invariably are, however...

    To stick to the point, however, the new forum is only the beginning of the changes that we have in store for Kasterborous. In the near future, users can expect a new dedicated fan fiction section and a couple of very secret sections...

    The response to the new forum has been astonishing, actually, and hanks go to everyone who has visited and posted, and sent the emails of approval – it means a lot to us!

    If you haven’t checked it out, the forum is pretty much what you would expect from a 21st century forum – polls, attachments, private messaging, custom avatars, extensive profiles as well as a special feature called "karma", which allows any member with over 50 posts to commend or denigrate other posters. Now we want to underline that this is an experimental feature, and shouldn’t be abused – it’s about establishing which forum members have a good reputation. It should be used wisely…

    There have been some reports of the forum page not opening at all. They came later than expected, but the workaround is simple – use the forum URL and you’ll get straight in!


    Okay – so Rise of the Cybermen wasn’t all that, but its concluding episode, The Age of Steel was nothing short of nailbiting. It was excellent stuff on the whole, with perhaps a fraction of the faults of the previous episode.

    There’s a review of The Age of Steel courtesy of Brian A. Terranova. You’ll notice that we’re alternating the reviews this year – it’s purely to provide you the readers with a different voice, as well as to allow me to divert more attention to my study…

    This week’s Doctor Who is restored to its 7 pm broadcast time. Set in the 1950s during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, The Idiot’s Lantern is by Mark Gatiss, who previously wrote last season’s The Unquiet Dead as well as the excellent Seventh Doctor book Nightshade. It promises to be a slightly unsettling episode…

    [picture from]

    Affiliate Links...

    A little bit can go a long way... we've made a small change to the forum to allow for a bit of assistance in paying the hosting fees - this post is from the new Kasterborous Forum:

    It would be completely amiss of us to to implement this without informing our loyal members.

    In the next couple of days, we're going to start trialling affiliate links. Words such as '', "" and "" etc will be automatically hyperlinked. These links will contain affiliate codes and should anyone visiting click on the links and end up making a purchase, then will benefit.

    Anthony, Brian and myself pay for Kasterborous' hosting out of our own pockets, and are happy to do so. However this isn't an ideal situation, and you will notice that there isn't a single advert on Kasterborous other than the links to Doctor Who websites.

    You will find these links unobtrusive, and there is my no means any compulsion to click them. Forum users are encouraged to use full URLs for commercial websites should they intend to link to DVD, books or auctions, whatever.

    For instance where you might have once simpy typed "" and hyperlinked it to the Genesis of the Daleks DVD, now you will need to simply type "Amazon". Typing will, as you can see, produce an affiliated hyperlink.

    If you have any queries or observations, please feel free to let us know.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    The New Kasterborous Forum

    It’s finally here at last – and I have to say, not before time!

    Our regular forum users will notice that I haven’t been too chatty lately – and this is the reason, a brand new forum utilising the excellent and supremely flexible SMF (Simple Machines Forum) software.

    There’s added functionality and a new URL for the forum – – which will enable the forum to run unhindered by Kasterborous, and vice-versa. The link in the top left of your screen will take you there!

    Existing members of the forum – no doubt starved by the 24 hour downtime – have each received an email explaining the changes. Those of you who aren’t members, simply lurkers – you can join any time, and the forum is still free to view!

    The new Forum has been a long time coming. Last September we knew that as the main site grew, so would the database. Two databases running the same website resulted in performance issues which now will be a thing of the past.

    But why, when other Doctor Who websites use vBulletin forum software, did we choose the rarely used SMF? Economics, mainly. And flexibility. Whatever the old Snitz database could do relied on custom-made modifications - but these were becoming rarer as use of the software begins to decline. SMF meanwhile is a nice solid piece of software that is used on the website. If it's good enough for one of the greatest rock bands of all time, its good enough for Kasterborous!

    Thursday, May 18, 2006


    Now that’s what I call a cliffhanger – no "Next Week" trailer to spoil it!

    Just when we were all expecting to find out what was going to be on the table in next weeks episode, the spoon-feeding we got last series has gone! And Rise of the Cybermen was all the better for it, I would say.

    But you should have all noticed that we are approaching Episode 6 –which means this time next week we’ll be halfway through the season. You could call it the unknown country – after all, most of the promotional material for this series concerned clips from episodes 1-6. We know very little of what will come towards the end of the series.

    Which is just how we like it, isn’t it? Last years events were by and large unknown and surprising, for better or for worse. We also knew that fate would catch up with Eccleston’s Doctor around Episode 13 – but this year, save some rumours about Billie Piper and some unconfirmed news about Noel Clarke, we’re kept in the dark.

    Spoilers or no spoilers, though, nothing can beat a Doctor Who cliffhanger without a "Next Week" trailer.

    Poster Competition Update

    Thanks to every single one of you who entered – it’s good to know people are reading this part of the site!

    We’re sorting through the entries, and will let you lucky winners know by email when the posters will be dispatched!

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Cyber Tribe

    The Cybermen are coming. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

    Giant augmented humans with a skin of steel – they’re everywhere! Saturday night’s Doctor Who showcases the return of the Doctor’s second most famous enemy – a re-imagined Cybermen army created on a parallel Earth. It looks fantastic, it has a great cast, it has a director who was involved in Doctor Who in the 1970s and 80s, and looks as though it might have something that Series 2 as a whole has been missing – darkness.

    There’s been no edge, has there? It’s been nice so far – apart from New Earth - and cosy and very "family". But last year we were discussing the impact of the loss of Gallifrey and the Time Lords, and the Doctor’s ability to deal with the Time War.

    Then there was Bad Wolf, and the sneaking "conspiracy theory" feel that the series developed. There was more talk, on the whole, outside of the Saturday night comfort zone. Will Rise of the Cybermen see the beginning of this for Series 2?
    We certainly hope so…

    Poster Competition Update!

    Ladies and gentlemen, by midnight tonight this Poster Competition will be turned inside out.
    There will be nothing left.
    So get your entries in – send to!

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    It's a busy old week...

    Anthony Dry is sitting in on my blog-writing duties this week...

    So, The Girl in the Fireplace comes and goes and not without its controversy. I've actually rewatched it and thought it not as bad as my immediate viewing. Ah well what can you do, shoot the reviewer? Well actually don't...

    Anyway we have the small matter of The Cybermen invading our screens this weekend, in Rise of the Cybermen, something i have personally been looking forward too for quite some time and the trailer looks fantastic.

    The new Radio Times is also giving out free sticker books of Doctor Who and its out tomorrow.

    And thats not all.

    If you are interested in grabbing yourself a free poster check out the recent competition in the news section, there's 50 to give away courtesy of the wonderful folks at Radio Times, so get your names and addresses sent in to And if you fancy trying to double your advantage, our friends at have sets to give away too.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Remote Controlled Daleks...

    ...and David Tennant figures, Slitheen walkie-talkies, Davros cookie jars, postcards, Top Trumps decks, TARDIS playsets, mugs, noisy pens, Sonic Screwdrivers new and old, DVDs, videos, books about science in Doctor Who, guest stars, old stars, book deals at 23 and new magazines.

    What do the above all have in common? They are, of course, all part of the big Doctor Who Cash Cow, The Franchise, the capitalists dream, and of course the shifting back into mainstream for everything that is Doctor Who merchandise. I'm sat with a 1990s Dapol 4th Doctor figure on my desk who is looking on aghast at the range of new material listed above - at least he would be if I hadn't blu-tak'd a photocopy of the 10th Doctor's face onto his bonce.

    The main point is yes, the above are all examples of the vast amount of cash that is flowing into Doctor Who now, but there is also a key sub-point... is unique among Doctor Who websites not only in that it features pages upon pages of original - and dare I say it well-written content, but it is also stunningly designed and features beautiful art not only by Anthony Dry but also other contributors such as Nigel Parry and Carolyn Edwards.

    Rather good material for a book, you might say...

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    To Debate is Great!

    Ahhh, Sarah Jane Smith. It was as though she had never been away. Actually there were some who wished she had. My wife was completely bemused by her presence and that of K9 - surely Romana took K9, she remarked.

    Most of Saturday night was, therefore, spent detailing the lives of the various K9s.

    Could have been worse, I suppose. She might have asked me how the Master keeps escaping and changing form...

    It's very easy to get carried away watching an episode of Doctor Who. Take New Earth for example. Here we are, new series, new Doctor and the first episode turns out to be a damp squib.

    Yes, it was funny in places. But so is The Ribos Operation, and that was much better. Being more akin to something that occured when Doctor Who was in it's doldrums (Time and the Rani) is not a good thing at all.

    However, at the end of the day it was of course my review and my opinion (with a further few observations by Anthony Dry). It isn't necessarily fact or gospel or set in stone or even something that anyone else should agree with. Although I should point out that I have impeccable taste... :)

    We very much encourage any debate on not only the latest TV episodes but also any of the articles, news, reviews and interviews found here on Kasterborous. There isn't another site like this one - I mean that universally, not just in the Doctor Who sense - so can be difficult to gauge the popularity or impact of some of the items we produce. Page hits don't necessarily mean that an interview is good, after all. Just that lots of people read it...

    So feel free to email us, or join the forum and start a discussion!

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    K9 and Company

    Would you believe it? Not only is K9 back in Doctor Who this week but it seems he's finally getting his own show! And in a remarkable case of serendipity (qv The Green Death), we have a two-part interview with none other than Mat Irvine, the man charged not only with remote-controlling K9 but also knocking up visual FX for Doctor Who and Blake's 7 back in the 1970s, as well as various shows in the 1980s/1990s ("Red Dwarf" for one...).

    Bearing in mind we've already interviewed Peter Purves (1960s companion Steven Taylor/Blue Peter presenter), artists such as Lee Sullivan and Andrew Skilleter, writers Mark Campbell and Jean-Marc Lofficier and the name on everybody's lips Barnaby Jones (in his house anyway), this is possibly the most exciting - and satisfying - pieces that Kasterborous has run since the "round-table" Adherents of Doctor Who back in July.

    As a writer it's always good to get your teeth into some really good material, and even more so when it is uttered by real people who have made a living working on everyone's favourite television show. It took some time, and a new approach, and finally the interview is ready to be seen by the public - hopefully a lot easier to read than earlier pieces.

    Mat has a lot to say on various issues such as the BBC Visual Effects Department, the "Space Race", K9 and modern Doctor Who as well as a few other more challenging questions - so much so in fact that we have had to split the interview in two.

    Part One is live for your reading pleasure. Expect Part Two sometime before 7.20pm, Saturday night...

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    New Earth

    Wasn't the best Doctor Who episode ever, sadly but I'm sure we'll all get over it. It's easy to take things personally when the show we all love doesn't follow the path that we might expect it to. Although frankly the 1996 TV Movie made more sense than what I watched last night... still 8.3 million viewers can't be wrong, can they?

    So on to Tooth and Claw our attentions turn. The preview at the end of last night's Doctor Who was great. The TARDISODE is pretty fab too, and I would suggest that we'll see one of Russell T Davies' strongest episodes - and probably a better contender for series opener than New Earth would have been...

    But no, I'm over it now. Having waited 4 months since the last episode of Doctor Who I think I can cope with another before the series starts in earnest. Because we are happy to have it back aren't we? And lucky. Very, very lucky.

    And that dear friends will be the argument when a truly dire episode goes out and the BBC actually listen to the fans criticisms. It will be interesting to see how many tune in next week having regretted watching New Earth. As fans we have seen the best and worst of Doctor Who both as a TV show and as an issue.

    It really isn't too much to ask that now the show is back they keep the quality consistent.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    This is the bit where I say "He's back - and it's about time!" because frankly it is about time. 4 months without new Doctor Who is frankly too much after the treat of 2005.

    Here we are, a little over 12 months later, with a now fully-fledged website and an ever-increasing audience . Kasterborous is something I'm massively proud of, and to be able to talk about Doctor Who as something current is simply fantastic!

    So let's get ready for trips to the far future, to a parallel world, to 19th century Scotland and 17th century France, to the 1950s and beyond. We've only seen a slice of what's out there in the Rose's travels with the Doctor, and I am 100% confident that this series is going to be better than the last. I might even enjoy 13 episodes instead of the 12 I raved over last time.

    Cap off time - I was wrong about Dalek, I admit it. Dont' get me wrong, I stand by what I said at the time. It made me uncomfortable having my perceptions of what makes a Dalek a Dalek played with in such a way. But on rewatching (plus the benefit of digital surround) the episode has everything. While I'm still not totally happy with the Doctor's reaction at the end - verring a bit too close to Resurrection of the Daleks for me, it is a powerful tale and like every other episode of the 2005 series (Charles Dickens, Father's Day, Aliens of London, Boom Town) asks what it is to be alive and to be human.

    I have already tied myself to the sofa. I have installed the TV with an uninteruptible power supply. Nothing can stand in my way...

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Low Key?

    Is it me, or is it all a bit low key this year?

    Certainly in the real world, I’ve seen no posters or phone booths or double page spreads in magazines. I’ve seen preview pieces in television magazines and I’ve seen the TARDISODE, the trailer for the download and of course the trailer for the new series. Just doesn’t seem as big this year…

    And I guess there’s a reason for that. While at this stage last year we were thrilling over shots of the Doctor legging it from a fireball, this year we’ve got flying werewolves and cat nuns and Cybermen. The Doctor and Rose are now accepted, and the show doesn’t need blatant visual trickery to create a wonderful spectacle to entice new viewers like it did last year.

    The update of the show is complete. The Doctor is firmly a part of the furniture in the BBC1 schedules once more. Not only that, but it’s about flaming time!

    Seriously though – don’t bemoan the fact that promotion of Doctor Who doesn’t seem as prominent as it did last year. There’s new methods being used (TARDISODES, of course) and last years publicity campaign was all about bringing the show back after 16 years. He’s only been gone 3 and a half months this time – so just sit back and wait to enjoy it again.

    ‘Cause you haven’t seen it all…

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006


    In a slight change from the regular programming, I’m going to be a good communicative chap and discuss Kasterborous’ news and article submissions policy. There are now a lot more of you reading this, so I hope to underline a few key points that should make things a lot clearer in the general scheme of things.


    We have a mostly open policy on article submissions. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming up with new ideas and angles, and Brian A Terranova has written some wonderfully witty stuff (such as The Krau Timmin Interview). But new blood is always appreciated, so if you have an idea or concept for an article that you would like to write, or even if you would just like to suggest something Whovian for us to tackle, feel more than welcome to get in touch. Due to spamming issues, that will have to be via the Forum for the foreseeable future, but we should have a nice new email account sorted soonish.

    Remember, an article on Kasterborous won’t make you famous. It won’t pay you any bills. But it will be accompanied by the artwork of one of our wonderful artistic contributors, and that’s what makes us a bit different, not just in online Who fandom, but on the WWW as a whole.


    I’ll be frank. News submissions are rare. Unless we’ve had a press release sent by one of the magazines (the Doctor Who Adventures news being a case in point), then news has come from one of the following sources:

  • unitnews
  • Eye of Horus
  • Outpost Gallifrey
  • Kopic’s Doctor Who News (a great aggregation of Doctor Who-related RSS feeds)
  • emails from various bodies and organisations
  • Regularly checked news reports from The Sun, The Mirror, The Times, The Guardian, The Observer,, The Independent,, BBC Press Office, Digital Spy
  • Google News
  • Regular contributor Christopher Durie
  • Google News RSS Feeds
  • Some RSS sources of my own that are broadcast-related
  • Under no circumstances, however, would Kasterborous use news from other sources uncredited, nor have we ever intentionally done so. If you do happen to spot an error, however, do let us know.

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    And the trailer aired! And the fans all roared! And the Doctor asked "Think you've seen it all? Think again!"

    And frankly it was spine-tingling. And since the trailer, the TARDISODE and the Press Launch I've wathed The Christmas Invasion and Father's Day. It's all happening again!

    We've got two news items to run on Kasterborous; 3 new ones went live yesterday and they hardly have anything in them other than key information and my opinions.

    Kasterborous truly is a monster. With hits for the first time over the 6000 level on Friday, it further underlines our mission while conversely underlining the fact that if we'd known what it was going to be like when we started putting it all together nearly two years ago, we probably wouldn't have bothered.

    Philosophy is a great thing, cause you can make statements like the one above and not worry that everyone's going to take you seriously.

    Kasterborous is growing up, hits-wise, and even got a (sort of) name check by the Doctor himself. Fair enough, the newer fans - and some of the oldtime fans - won't necessarily recall Kasterborous as being the constellation in which Gallifrey once resided, but that's not massively important.

    Neither Kasterborous or Gallifrey have been mentioned in the new series, and I strongly suspect that this hasn't adversely affected Outpost Gallifrey's readership!

    I wonder if either word will be uttered in Doctor Who again...

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    Earnest Who?

    So finally the countdown begins in earnest! This evening sees the Press Launch of the 2006 series of Doctor Who in Cardiff – and about bloody time!

    I’ve been moaning dear Ceri’s socks off since Boxing Day about when the next episode of Doctor Who is actually going to be on. Even during my “Who Hols” I was jotting question marks on post it notes and leaving them in strange places like the teapot, the alarm clock, the bottle bank and Rotherham.

    Thankfully, it seems as though the nightmare is about to cease for 3 months or so, as David Tennant returns as the Tenth Doctor on (probably…) Saturday April 15th 2006.

    Get ready for the trailers! Gasp at the posters! Hold on tight for another trip of a lifetime! Expect yet another catchy tag line!

    Of course, it’s not all good news. I mean yes, it’s great and everything, but it’s not wonderful. Ok it is wonderful, but it comes at a cost…

    Sleepless nights, drinking binges, over eating – all things I’m not going to have over the next three months. So missing out on the first one isn’t such a bad thing, but – as any of the Doctor Who web-meisters will agree – there’s a lot of work to stay on top of between now and July. Press releases, reviews, endless news items, image formatting, the list goes on.

    You might find we’re a wee bit late with some news, but as ever we’ll present it with (almost) total irreverence…

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Let's have a nice picture of the greatest dog in the world - K9!
    (Incidentally, clicking on the metal mutt will take you to a page on Kasterborous where you can download a selection of desktop wallpapers, including one of K9...)

    So, why are we having a K9 pic?
    Well... I've just read through an email from Mr Mat Irvine, former Doctor Who visual FX wiz and K9 keeper.

    We've interviewed Mat for Kasterborous recently, and the results should be available within the next 4 weeks. But what's really stood out is what a lot he has to say...

    For this interview (you may or may not know, we've previously interviewed actor/presenter Peter Purves, writer Jean-Marc Lofficier and artists Andrew Skilleter and Daryl Joyce) we approached things a little differently. Lessons learnt and all that. Open-ended questions were used, as well as plenty of time given to the subject. Having knowledge of the subject's work is of course a major plus in these cases, as well.

    Previous interviews have pretty much been of a "question and answer" format. However, following last years triumphant return of Doctor Who, Kasterborous ran an article featuring the thoughts and comments of many people from the world of Doctor Who fandom, including some of those mentioned above. This article, Adherents of Doctor Who (parts 1 and 2) successfully merged comments, opinions and thoughts into an apparent discussion, and proved very successful indeed...

    You'll see a similar tone with the Mat Irvine interview - fingers crossed it works!

    Thursday, March 23, 2006

    Can it get any worse than this? The waiting is unbearable!

    Still, I have at least got my collection of BBC books to keep me going, with continued adventures of the Ninth Doctor and Rose, and later Captain Jack keeping my Who fix just about ticking over.

    I did the right thing, I feel, having a break from the old fella a couple of months back. Hopefully this shows in my writing in this blog, in the Kasterborous Forum and in the new series of articles on the wonderful Caves of Androzani. If you haven’t already clicked the link to see why I believe Doctor Who would never reach the heights of Androzani for around 21 years, then please click it now.

    It’s articles like this that are at t he heart of Kasterborous. As suggested last time, we wanted to do something different. A quick look around the web at Doctor Who websites shows a big bunch that are similar, based on a certain long-running other site, or just plain dull. The key Who sites are those that have made an effort to be different, and we count ourselves in that number. After all, where else could you find an account of Krau Timmin’s rise to CEO of the Sirius Conglomerate?

    And if that’s the sort of variety of content you’re looking for, then don’t forget to come back in future. And if you like a Doctor Who-related laugh, I sincerely hope you’ve checked the current issue of Black Scrolls, which also features a wealth of articles on the wonderful Caves of Androzani, including interviews with Maurice Roeves (Stotz) and John Normington (Morgus)

    If you haven’t seen Androzani, trust us. It really is that good!

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    This might be my first blog entry here, but it's really an extension of the limited space I'm allowed to do this sort of thing at Kasterborous. You'll pick up the gist of that site by visiting it or just reading this blog, I guess. After all, the return of Doctor Who is imminent...

    It’s all around us. The anticipation is swelling, on both sides of the Atlantic almost simultaneously. Doctor Who Series 1 premieres on the US Sci-Fi Channel this Friday night, while the 2006 Series 2 is almost upon us, almost certainly due for an Easter Saturday showing.

    The hit rate for Kasterborous has slowly increased over the last fortnight as interest continues to grow, and Outpost Gallifrey reports that the series Press Launch is due to take place on March 28th – expect to see plenty of UK press coverage of the new series from March 29th onwards.

    What does this all mean? Well, it means a vast swathe of daily information will come your way, and there will be a lot to wade through. Stopping off at Kasterborous will save you loads of time as I’ll read it all for you and tell you the best bits. Plus when the new series starts I’ll even tell you whether the episode you just watched was any good or not.

    But you see, that wasn’t the plan, back in the beginning. The idea was I write some interesting pieces (I think I’ve mainly kept my side of the bargain) and Ant would give us some nice images to accompany them (he’s done pretty well there, too). From somewhere, Brian came on board, the new series decided to be really, really good, and Kasterborous just went mad. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without you guys…

    So if new Who isn’t whetting your appetite, you’re either dead or a fan of Caves of Androzani, the closing story of the Fifth Doctor Peter Davison’s era. We're looking at that story in-depth on Kasterborous right now...