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...