Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What were we thinking?!

I've got to admit, I was very worried about the news Kasterborous released on Saturday concerning the casting of Paterson Joseph as the Eleventh Doctor.

Worried for a few reasons:

Firstly that other than a naughty leak from Philip Hinchcliffe at a convention concerning the likely release of a DVD some months later (before clearance had been acquired - we're sorry, Restoration Team) Kasterborous has not in almost 4 years been in a position to reveal "exclusive" news (although given the circumstances in which the story was released, we were under the impression that DoctorWhoNews.com (the OG of old) and DWO were all in possession of the same information).

Secondly, that despite all indications pointing to a tabloid release of the news on Sunday, there was nothing leaked early on Saturday evening (and in the event no news on Sunday...)

Thirdly, of course, that we might be wrong. Which would have resulted in a Daily Mail-like episode in which the world celebrates Bill Nighy as the Doctor while getting Christopher Eccleston. In this quite plausible online mirroring 5-odd years later, Paterson Joseph is heralded as the new Doctor while the part in fact goes to Richard Ayoade out of The IT Crowd, or some other unseen piece of casting.

(I should add at this point that in the remotest chance that this news should be incorrect, if Doctor Who fans have been mislead in any way, I will issue a full retraction and apology both here, on Kasterborous itself and on YouTube.)

Fourthly - over the last few days no one at all issued the news. "Gagging order!" was the first thing that came to mind. However nerves started to show on Monday, and at one point I did consider pulling the piece. Nipping over to the DoctorWhoForum.com (again, at the old OG) didn't help, either.

Of course, the news is still up, and has today been joined by more as speculation in the mainstream press steadily grows.

And it will keep on growing...

Friday, November 07, 2008

No One is Telling‏

Lips appear to be sealed across the country – certainly in Wales and London – as to the identity of the 11th Doctor Who.

Although assumptions can be made (based upon prior events and previously gained experience) it is difficult to say definitively that casting has taken place.

However, if it hasn’t then it certainly is taking place right now, with various sources indicating shortlists of various lengths and composition.

Suggestions ranging from Harry Hill to Jeremy Irons are dancing around the interwebnet, and interestingly there is little in David Morrissey’s IMDb profile that indicates that he would be unavailable during the expected production period from June/July 2009 through to March/April 2010.

However, the same goes for many actors linked with the role, with Kasterborous favourite Sean Pertwee – insultingly referred to in the sloppy Den of Geek as “a big treat for fans of his Dad” currently shooting a movie with James Purefoy and Natasha McElhone, with little else other than voiceover work on the horizon.

Even the Prof is bewildered with this – it’s looking very definitely like a case of wait and see!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Please: put us out of our miseries!

There has always been music.

In the 1990s in Britain, there was "Britpop" a rather lame description for a whole bunch of bands that normally wouldn't get signed and promoted, being as they were, talented.

You know, they could write songs and play instruments.  Most of them weren't perfect singers, but then who is?

Amongst all of this wonder was a group of cheeky lasses (and a brother) from the North East city of Sunderland, who called themselves Kenickie after character from Grease.  They had modest album success before splitting, leaving lead singer Lauren Lavern to begin a career in broadcasting.

Which brings us to Doctor Who.  And Den of Geek, who this week have used advanced (contrived) arithmetic in order to predict the identity of the new Doctor Who.

This ridiculous waste of time, posing as journalism and entertainment actually only works if you don't find Lauren Lavern to be smug and irritating.  At best she is vaguely attractive while possessing some Fraggle-like expressions.  At worst she is annoying.

One week into the whole Eleventh Doctor speculation and it's crap like that getting read that gives the whole process and Doctor Who a bad name.

(I won't launch into a rant about how Doctor Who fansites should be picked up by Google News instead of crap like Den of Geek.  That's for another day.)

So please, BBC, put us out of our miseries and just tell us who it is.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

And the 11th Doctor is...

Already shortlisted, auditioned and cast - and I may well know who he is!

Oh yes, being a multimedia metrosexual kind of a guy, I've been hobknobbing and rubbing shoulders with all sorts of "in the know" types, and I can guarantee to you that the Eleventh Doctor Who will be played by an actor - or actress, natch - who has a superb ability to "learn lines".

That's right - in a piece of casting that is bound to blow the cobwebs out of the TARDIS and make Doctor Who fans have a right old discussion about it, I can now confirm that the new Doctor Who is...

...coming your way at some point in 2010.

But don't worry - we've plenty of David Tennant before then, who I understand is thrilled to be handing over to his successor, whose name I know.

So ner ner ne ner nerrrr.

I am not Neil Wilkes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doctor Who Limbo

Despite several weeks of rumours and conjecture, David Tennant still took me by surprise as I watched the National Television Awards, and he addressed the viewers directly and announced his departure.

And yet we've got him for another year.

5 more episodes of Tenth Doctor thrills, no doubt some returning companions and villains... Hopefully some sense of impending tragedy... But other than that business as usual.

When he does go, I'm sure I'll shed a tear, and I won't be alone. Eccleston may have been at the pit face of the series' revival, but Tennant's popularity has made it an enduring hit.

Whoever takes over has a hard act to follow.

As for the identity of his replacement, we will have to wait and see. Let's trust The Grand Moff on this one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vworp Vworp!

So the Vworp Vworp event at The Lass O'Gowrie in Manchester as part of Manchester Literary Festival has been and gone, and while I think of some words for a proper review of the day, a few things leap out at me.

First off though, apologies to all concerned - particularly Professor Peach himself Gareth Kavanagh - for getting to this so late. I fell asleep on the train back Saturday evening, halfway through jotting notes and woke up 5 miles outside of York with a drooly, inky face.

Minutes before I passed out, a very pretty girl had been looking over at me, and must have been so impressed with the snoring wreck I'm sure I became. If that was you, ma'am, I'm sorry. I'm also happily wed, so quit with the eyes!

Intimacy and common purpose, that was the secret of Vworp Vworp!'s
success. Chaps from DWM, Big Finish, some TV show in Wales, Torchwood comic strip and the fans that turned up were all there, clear as to what the day was about, and what they hoped to get out of it.

The pub venue is far better than the hotel function room, there's no herding of guests and fans from one room to another, and I'm sure no one asked for an autograph for anything other than the charity auction.

I was sat chatting on occasion coherently and on other occasions vaguely to people whose work I've admired for some time, while I looked over at Kasterborous' own Anthony Dry having a chat with other "fandom names".

It's hard to get the balance you know, but on the whole, larger than life or not, these people are exactly that, people. Just like you and me but with a different profession, that doesn't make them gods or geniuses or whatever superlative you want to throw. It's just that they're adept enough at their roles to be very good and make a name for themselves.

It was truly wonderful company at The Lass, from the foxy barstaff to the assembled guests, and if you didn't go, you should have done, and you definitely must make the effort next time.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Carolyn Edwards Interviewed

It's been a busy year, new Who, new websites - but OK I admit it: I forgot to run this interview with Carolyn Edwards from last year.

Carolyn, if you're reading this - I'm so sorry!  And please reply to my emails!

So, as the back end - in fact the crown jewel - of our Paul McGann/Eighth Doctor articles last Autumn, we were going to run this interview.  Sadly something happened, got inthe way, and this never occurred.

So to all of you out there and particularly the lovely Carolyn - sorry.  Now read it, its rather FAB!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Who Zone

Well, that was really nice!

A few days in the Algarve, and your editor is fully refreshed and raring to go for another few months into and beyond Christmas.

A very massive thanks to Mr Simon Mills for his Kopic's Newsround news updates to keep the candle burning in my absence, and to Anthony Dry for keeping the ship afloat.

Also, thanks very much to all of our visitors over the past few weeks, who have confirmed that there's more to Doctor Who than just new news.

So - what did I learn while hanging around Albufeira?

Well, lots of things. For instance, soft Cornettos are rather nice, strawberries taste strawberrier on the continent and swordfish is a remarkable tasting fish.

More importantly though - I didn't see any single reference to Doctor Who anywhere.

Now I'm pretty certain I've read that Doctor Who has been dubbed into Portuguese, but it seems that it doesn't translate into the same sort of fanaticism over there that it does over here.

This wasn't just a television/book/magazine thing either. There wasn't even any poorly made replicas amongst the poorly made replica Transformers and Star Wars toys.

Quite literally, Portugal seems to be a No Who Zone.

In fact, I didn't even refer to David Tennant, Daleks or the TARDIS in conversation while on holiday, and nor did I dream about Freema Agyeman. 

(I've been having that dream for a while now, and I'm starting to miss it!)

I'm delighted to say, however, that thanks to Mr Brian Terranova, I did get the Issue #1s of both of IDW's Doctor Who series, Doctor Who and Doctor Who: The Forgotten - both waiting for me on my doormat when I landed yesterday.

Cheers, Terra!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paul McGann Back in the TARDIS!

OK - so there's no confirmation from the BBC as to whether this is true or not... but imagine it!

David Tennant's Tenth Doctor recalling in flashback the Time War... and in his flashbacks, the Doctor is as played by Paul McGann - more than likely (99% we reckon) without the curly wig.

Paul McGann, as the Doctor, fighting Daleks! Exactly how does this rumour get any better?

We Kasterborites have a lot of time for McGann - he's a bloody nice chap, for a start off, and as normal as the bloke in the pub. He just happens to be one of Britain's best character actors, certainly of his generation.

Even if McGann is in this particular special, and whatever its plot, for 5 minutes, it will be watched and rewatched over and over again here at K Towers.

"Why?" I hear you ask. "He only did one episode!"

It's simple - without McGann's Doctor, regardless of his limited screen time that will hopefully soon be doubled, many of us over say 25 wouldn't be Doctor Who fans anymore. We certainly wouldn't have stuck with the show during the downtime from 1996-2005 (see what I did there, anyone?).

McGann's portrayal was so distinct and engaging during his 50-odd minutes of screentime that a whole sub-industry of novelisations was launched on the back of it, and his popularity with fans was such that Big Finish launched a series of audio adventures for the Eighth Doctor, which continue to this day.

Even if this rumour turns out to be empty - we older Doctor Who fans who hoped for much more McGann in the TARDIS have had a magical day of mind-racing Whovian fantasy.

He's that good.

Monday, September 08, 2008

So I've got this new phone...


It's called a HTC Touch Diamond, and it's totally magic.

I haven't got hold of any Sonic Screwdriver-esque applications for it yet (although it does have a lightsaber), but it is jolly nifty for writing blog posts on.

That's how I'm writing this post.

And it's all part of the wonderful web of Doctor Who, that enables me to listen to (and conceivably record) podKasts with a K, send blog posts, view any Doctor Who website I care to on my Windows Mobile phone courtesy of the Opera browser, receive blog posts and news via a handy RSS reader and listen to Doctor Who audio adventures, view videos and even record footage of conventions and other wonderful Whoey stuff.

How the hell did we ever get by before all of this?

When I was a wee lad, it was all Doctor Who Weekly and Target novelisations, perhaps a vinyl audio adventure starring Tom Baker is you were lucky!

We have it luxurious these days, nothing like the age of transistor radios, televisions that had to "warm up", telephone boxes costing 2p and computers that took up entire rooms... in come cases buildings.

The world is marching on, and technologically speaking we're light years ahead of the mid 1990s... so it's a massive relief to see that while older, equally successful shows as Doctor Who are struggling to remain relevant or attract new fans that the Doctor is still with us, fighting injustice with the power of intelligence and ingenuity. He's gadget-mad, has the greatest vehicle in fiction and stands up for all that is right, true, and often the underdog.

Did I mention I have a new phone...?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vworp Vworp!

Wahey! It's September - which means we're into the final stretch of the year, closer to a new Doctor Who episode and with lots of interesting stuff coming up.

Most importantly to us right now, however, is the upcoming comic appreciation event at The Lass O'Gowrie pub in Manchester.

Vworp Vworp! Comic Book Adventures in Time and Space is just 7 weeks away, taking place on Saturday October 18th - and your very own Christian Cawley (that's me, by the way) has been asked by organiser Gareth "Prof Peach" Kavanagh to look after one of the panels...

So - having not run anything like a panel or discussion in a good few years (since college) and not having sent anytime before an audience since by abortive stand-up days, I'm in the market for hints, tips, cheatsheets, reminders, encouragement and advice on how not to get too drunk before an event like this!

I can't wait to go, however - the event affords Ceri and me a weekend away for her to shop loads and me to meet up with lots of folk, new and old. And sample the wonders of draft bitter in a Manchester pub.

With a superb guest list, it's going to be a grand day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Festival Prize

Once again, Doctor Who has been named as the top show of 2008. The highest profile industry event on the British calendar is of course the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

It was at that event that the series won Best Programme of 2008, for the second year running.

And of course, the award adds to the ridiculous tally of trophies that Doctor Who has received since 2005.

doubt whether anyone outside of BBC Wales is keeping a tally, but on an
average of 12 a year (which includes the rather vulgar ceremonies of
rags like TV Quick) we reckon Doctor Who has chocked up between 45 and
50 awards for acting, writing and various aspects of production as well
as being the nation's most loved show.

That's a pretty good comeback, but also testament to how the show is part of the British cultural fabric.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Don't Have Sci Fi

This Bank Holiday weekend hasn't exactly been boring for me... but if it had, I would have been kicking myself that I don't have the Sci Fi Channel.

With hours of Doctor Who - including some real classics - padding out the regular programming, I would have been made up for the weekend, with pizza and beer and vodka all on the menu.

As it turned out, a few minor disasters from the middle of last week overspilled onto this weekend, leaving me to bemoan minor disasters and a lack of the Sci Fi Channel in my wing of Kasterborous Towers.

Now I don't want this to turn into one of those "isn't it wonderful" gushes, but how far have we come now that Doctor Who can make up a weekend of programming on Sci Fi, and a comic and actor can appear on a popular Friday night comedy panel show dressed as the Fifth Doctor without anyone batting an eyelid?

The whole Russell T Davies era has been like a parole, a reintegration back into society for Doctor Who.

I've recently been researching my family tree, and was astounded to discover that there was very few diagnoses for the myriad of now-identified mental disabilities and conditions in Victorian times. As a result pariahs were commonly identified and cast into workhouses or Bedlam.

This is in many ways what happened to Doctor Who between 1989 and 2005, give or take a few weeks for compassionate leave in 1996. Dismissed as unsound of mind and character, the show was carted off to asylum, from where it was soundly mocked and derided. It's purpose was lost.

Yet the show never really changed that much; several key themes from season 26 were continued 16 years later in season 27, notably the notion of the companion being such an important character.

So next time when we see a weekend of Doctor Who, or young children wandering around conventions with their parents, we should avoid thinking along the lines of "remember when..."; instead celebrate a 16 year moment of national lunacy being swept under the carpet in much the same way as 1980s Doctor Who was.

Oh and realise - as I now have - that having Sci Fi isn't that important.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who On Demand

Sat watching The X Factor this evening (wiping away the tears of laughter inspired by some of the hopefuls), I realised that here we are, in the middle of the year and there's no Doctor Who until Christmas.

Saturday nights are of the light variety type until then, and there isn't even a series in 2009 to look forward to!

This got me thinking to exactly how we organise our lives around Doctor Who. For instance one Friday every month I venture into town to buy Doctor Who Magazine. I also spend a lot of time collating news for Kasterborous as well as planning articles and reviews.

Many of us of course spend 13 weeks a year looking forward to Saturdays. Suddenly however there is nothing to look forward to for at least 18 months - short of some specials - and the whole dynamic of Saturday night and in fact the calendar year is going to be unrecognisable until season 31.

So what is the solution?

As angry as I was at the news of a "gap year", it's a good time to take stock, and sit back. There's a universe of Doctor Who out there that doesn't exist solely on television - books, audios, toys, fan productions and of course Doctor Who Adventures and Doctor Who Magazine.

It doesn't have to be a gap year - make it a Who On Demand year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hi Lo Silver Lining

The Times Literary Supplement - bastion of what is good and what is not and if you disagree you're some sort of imbecilic pleb - has deemed a review of the Tennant-starring Hamlet necessary.

This is the Times' fourth review of Hamlet. It's also the one that would most likely put you on the back foot:

television role as the Time Lord Doctor Who and as Hamlet has dominated
media coverage – and ticket sales – as an irresistibly unlikely coupling of
high and low culture.

That's right - the day after a report declares the north of England as worthless, the Times then tells us that if you don't do Shakespeare you're a proponent of what they call "low culture".

That they also include Doctor Who in this description is particularly bewildering. That there is a high and a low is also rather puzzling.

Dismissing a universe of alien foes and friends and wonder and deceit and redemption is, however, nothing more than snobbery. Small minded, self-absorbed demeaning snobbery and frankly in this day and age, with a fractured society and increasingly remote elite, the Times have done an injustice not only to one of the most successful fictional worlds ever created, but to their own credibility.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Village Green

The image “http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/images/2005/01/25/daemons_203x152.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.News of The Sarah Jane Adventures second series conclusion - which features Sarah Jane and Luke thrown back in time to a 1950s village fete - reminded me of an interesting point.

Since nuWho returned, we've had fat green aliens, fat green aliens and Catherine Tate providing frivolous, and at times unnecessary comedy. We've had space opera, base under siege, TARDIS acrobatics and regenerations, returning friends, foes, future companions and whispers...

...but we haven't had a mysterious English village as seen in The Daemons or The Android Invasion.

Nice to see then that The Sarah Jane Adventures is attempting to level things out. We haven't even had a real village in Torchwood, just a small town or that bizarre cannibal episode that is better off forgotten.

So there's one thing on the list of stuff to look out for under The Grand Moff. Scary villages.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Opinions? Everyone has one...

Scottish comedian and comedy actress Elaine C Smith has a column in The Sunday Mail. She doesn't use the space very wisely.


Here, let's see:

I'VE never watched Dr Who since I was 10 and was petrified by the Cybermen.

don't really get the obsession but I am a big fan of David Tennant and
I understand why he is refusing to sign Dr Who memorabilia while
playing Hamlet for the RSC.

He knows most of it will end up on eBay and making money for professional autograph hunters.

McGregor did the same when he was in Guys And Dolls but the stage door
was queued out with Star Wars geeks. What is it with sci-fi fans? Why
do they get so obsessive about it?

I suppose the truth is out there.

By her own admission, she doesn't "get it" - so why waste her and the paper's readers' time writing about it?

As for Mr Tennant refusing autographs - well I haven't seen it printed anywhere that he was behind the decision. Ms Smith would do well to note that his co-star is the face of two major US sci fi franchises over the last 20 years, and it's more than likely that both stars agreed with the RSC that this decision should be made and announced.

Jeez, would someone pay me to ponce in front of a keyboard for five minutes to fill a bit of space in their Sunday rag? Looks p*ss easy from here...

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Love Summer

As a child, summer was a time for playing in the garden, creating fantasy space adventures in my silver PVC inflatable landing capsule (Marshall Ward were out of Police Boxes…) or having a kickabout with my mates.

In later years, the summer months meant booze, birds and blasting rock music, and it was during one such summer that I and three college friends embarked upon a journey to the south of France to a resort known as Canet.

In preparation for this jaunt I picked up various reading material from the local newsagents – and happened upon Doctor Who Magazine.

The 1994 Summer Special was the first edition of the magazine in several years whose cover appealed to me, and wasn’t an awful publicity photo such as those seen on the cover of the monthly releases.

With a feature on the Seventh Doctor Cyberman adventure Silver Nemesis piquing my interest, I found myself hooked once more into the world of the Doctor, Time Lords, TARDISes and Daleks, after five years in the wilderness.

I’ve never looked back, and still get the warm shiver of excitement when I look at that 1994 Summer Special…

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Time for a new Theme Tune?

We've been saddled with Murray Gold for 4 seasons of Doctor Who now, and with the incoming Grand Moff likely to stamp his own mark upon the series as much as RTD did, an easy cosmetic change is the Doctor Who theme tune.

The current version is nothing more than a facelift for the arrangement introduced in 2005, and it is long overdue a revamp.

Get rid of the strings - which are frankly sooo 1990s - and get back to the bassy, mysterious sounds of the 1960s and 1970s.

Recent BBC dramas like Life on Mars prove that while the use of pop music is important to place scenes in context, so commissioned incidental music is vital in developing tension and suspense. It's no coincidence that some of Murray Gold's best work on Doctor Who has bee in the Steven Moffat stories.

Whoever comes in to replace Gold - one of the series' greatest servants - needs to have a good look at where the series is in terms of incidental music and the use of pop tracks, as well.

Plus, they will need to be careful with their sound levels!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Musical Who

The image “http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/79/Spearheadfromspace.jpg/250px-Spearheadfromspace.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The use of popular music in Doctor Who has been pretty limited over the years, and it has only been since The End of the World that we've seen contemporary pop in the show (Britney Spears' Toxic and Soft Cell's Tainted Love)... although this wasn't the case in 1970.

In the first episode of the Jon Pertwee debut Spearhead from Space, we were lucky enough to get a passage of Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well playing on a radio in the plastics factory. As far as quality music goes, this is top notch.

Fingers are crossed for more quality blues rock in future - as well as a new arrangement of the theme tune, which I'll cover next time...

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's Next?

Kasterborous is offering you the chance to vote for the Doctor Who stories to be featured in upcoming opinion and review articles.

A quick hop over to the Kasterborous Forum will reveal a poll that you can vote in - looking something like this:

First Doctor - 100,000 BC/Unearthly Child
First Doctor - The Aztecs
Second Doctor - The Ice Warriors
Second Doctor - The Invasion
Third Doctor - The Silurians
Third Doctor - Day of the Daleks
Fourth Doctor - Masque of Mandragora
Fourth Doctor - The Leisure Hive
Fifth Doctor - Castrovalva
Fifth Doctor - Earthshock
Sixth Doctor - Revelation of the Daleks
Sixth Doctor - Mindwarp
Seventh Doctor Audio - Death Comes to Time
Seventh Doctor Book - Human Nature
Eighth Doctor Audio - Invaders from Mars
Eighth Doctor Book - The Dying Days

One story from each Doctor will be featured, so make your vote count - you'll be surprised by the current standings...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Buzz Off

http://www.kasterborous.com/images/rtdobe.jpgWherever you are, whoever you are, remember this - there's more to life than Doctor Who. It doesn't matter if you're a record producer, a magazine editor, a national frontist or some guy who once set up a website - each of us is capable of getting lost in the whole Whodom, but at the end of the day we've got to find some time on our own.

I mean, even TV producers can get a little bit lairy. Take friend Russell, who recently referred to obsessive fans as "mosquitoes".

He claims that a vocal minority is dominating fandom.

"They are not real fandom," Davies stated. "They are a core of mostly men who like to complain. Fandom is bigger and richer than that, and they are only about 1,000 people who give everyone else a bad name and build their life around a show."

Tell us again, Russell, what have you been doing for the last 5 years?

Seriously though, any popular show, book, movie, toy - whatever - has a movement of fans around it, each with a varying bunch of opinions. You've got to deal with it.

For instance - and this would be very presumptive on my part and only for the purposes of this example - if RTD was referring to elements on this website, or at worst me (!), it would be a simple matter to point out that everyone has an opinion, and a right to express it. To paint a very negative picture of a vocal minority of Doctor Who fans of being 1000 complaining blokes is irresponsible, and bloody immature.

As far as I am aware - and correct me if I'm wrong but I've been in online fandom for 14 years now - the most vocal segment of Doctor Who fans are found at the erstwhile Outpost Gallifrey. The forum of that site - the biggest Doctor Who discussion forum on the web - are renowned for their amazing ability to declare each successive episode of Doctor Who as "BEST EPISODE EVER!", unable as they are to apply any critical reasoning.

Plus there are several thousand members at that website, so the question remains - exactly who is RTD talking about...?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Blimey, what do I do now?

That's it then - nothing left to do but talk about Doctor Who, buy DVDs and Dalek Helmets and read the books (the old Virgin or BBC Books, anything pre-Ninth Doctor when they were "dumbed down" for kids. Never understood that - after all JK doesn't "dumb down" Harry Potter does she?) and graphic novels and listen to audios and reconstructions and...

Oh Doctor Who is on again!

And you know, we're very lucky - we've never had so much Doctor Who! Regardless of what your favourite medium is, whether its the whole text or just individual episodes or stories, Doctor Who is without a doubt one of the most interesting and deep fictional universes ever created. So it's no surprise that with just 4 new adventures to come before the next series, there is no chance of running out of Doctor Who.

On the other hand, its a good chance to unwind from Doctor Who, build a new website, find a new job, start a new career, write that book, build that greenhouse, put up those shelves, move that shed or go and get married - all safe in the knowledge that there'll be some more Who in a few months!

You can never be bored with Doctor Who!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The End of the Line

Pity the Donna. Initially an annoying, loud, OTT whinging bride, she soon won us over with her searching for the Doctor, encountering Romans, Ood, Sontarans, Agatha Christie and alternate realities.

And yet, it seems it was all part of Dalek Caan's game to rid the universe of the Daleks,his own race. He seems to have agreed with Dalek Sec in the end, albeit a bit too late.

Catherine Tate has been totally marvelous this season as Donna Noble. Prior to season 30, I had some interesting chats with various parties and we generally concurred that her presence was going to be the blight on the 2008 run of Doctor Who.

Instead she has enhanced it, and contributed a veneer of believability to a batch of episodes that in many ways have become formulaic.

At least, of course, Donna didn't die. She simply forgot everything, and will need to remain that way for the rest of her life.

So a massive thank you to Catherine Tate for a superb performance. I know she'll never return to Doctor Who, and is on stage at the moment, but my wife in particular would really love her to do another series of her character comedy sketch show.

It seems though that her career is going from strength to strength; on the back of 13 episodes of Doctor Who, it's easy to see why.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Buzz (and I'm not talking alien bees...)

So - the regeneration issue is the matter of massive discussion across the United Kingdom this week, with Doctor Who creating a buzz that I don't think has been seen since we were introduced to Rose, back in 2005.

To say that Russell T Davies has raised his game may be an overt criticism of his earlier Doctor Who episodes. What he has done, however, is turn on the style in a way that leaves Doctor Who fans as the first point of contact for the answer to "is David Tennant leaving!?!"

The Stolen Earth was classic Doctor Who in a way that we have rarely seen in the modern era - an expansive, jaw-droppingly realised space opera with, I think you'll agree, the Earth invasion to end all Earth invasions.

I hope under the Grand Moff we get a few more rogue scientist storylines to balance off the deluge of alien races wanting a piece of Earth that we've seen in recent years.

Back to the point, however: everyone I know wants to know what's going to be the outcome of the cliffhanger. Wives and girlfriends are formulating theories in notebooks and rewatching the episode on iPlayer or Sky+; everyone wants to know what's coming!

We'll all have to wait and see, whether we know, think we know, don't know or even don't care (yes, you!).

What is likely however is that the media attention will lead to a very good turn-out in front of the box on Saturday night, maybe even beating Rose - which would be a fitting end to the (regular) Davies era.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Greatest Cliffhanger Yet?

Russell T Davies has got us all by the balls. He knows it, and we know it. With Sarah Jane about to be EXTERMINATED, Gwen and Ianto about to be EXTERMINATED and the Doctor seemingly about to be REGENERATED, the cliffhanger to The Stolen Earth - TO BE CONTINUED - lead to much analyzing and wonder, the like of which the Kasterborous Forum has never seen before.

Yes, the search for answers brought a helluva lot of people to Kasterborous.com on Saturday evening, where Doctor Who fans young and old discussed how on earth the Doctor and co would get out of this one, but mostly needing answers to the question "Is David Tennant leaving?!"

Of course, we don't know. Not really, 100% certainly with no chance of the wool being pulled over our eyes. I mean, over the years we've built a few links, and know people who know people. You wouldn't believe some of the secrets we've kept in the last 3 years.

But this time - it's just not clear.

We'll look back on this and laugh in a few weeks, and applaud how RTD and co hoodwinked us. Or we'll discuss the success with which James Nesbit has made the role his own in such a short space of time...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Darkness is Coming....

I have to confess: I am wetting myself with excitement over the season 30/Series 4 finale.

Regular readers will know that I'm not one to get all over excited, emotional and generally "OH MY GOD!" about Doctor Who, with a few rare exceptions.

Yet with Rusty Lee Davidson raising his game terrifically in the past few weeks, and a set of teasers that would make the most ardent Who non believer curious, I can honestly say that I am ready, as well as slightly fearful.

After all, beyond the wonderful "EXTERMINATE" trailer - do they do awards for these things? - The Stolen Earth and Journey's End, that is effectively it for Davies and the Doctor Who era 2005-2009. A handful of specials that may or may not have direct input from the big man aside, we're approaching the end of an era, folks.

While they state of 2009 is still up in the air, we'll refrain from providing a detailed retrospection of The Davies Era of Doctor Who. Instead, let's put things in perspective - he had the balls to do it his way, regardless of what fans like me, fans like Mad Larry and fans like the fiercely anti-gay mob on rec.arts.drwho felt, said and wrote on the matter.

There is little more impressive than someone sticking to their guns.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The New Team

I'm not talking about the Doctor, Donna, Rose, Martha, Jack, Sarah, Mickey, Ianto, Gwen, and whoever else should turn up in the next few weeks.

No, I'm talking about the new team here at Kasterborous.com!

That's right, hot on the heels of our warm and functional new design, we've made some editorial changes too.

First off, we've got the news; no longer the realm of "Christian Cawley and his RTD-baiting" (a someone nicely put it), a four-man team of Brian A. Terranova, Anthony Dry, Simon R Mills (of Kopic's Doctor Who News Service) and newcomer Chris Davids all guided by myself will bring you the latest Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures news.

Next up, say hello to Nick Brown - he's a regular contributor whose articles have been tickling our readers for some months now. Basically he's so good, that when he writes an article, I publish it.

And finally - with just two weeks of Doctor Who remaining for a good 18 months at least, look out for a distinct gear change on Kasterborous as we revisit classic Doctor Who in a series of articles over the coming months...

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Let me let you into a little secret - Kasterborous has been redesigned! I know, it's amazing isn't it, you could barely tell. In fact I had to be told by text message by Messrs Dry and Lum pointing out the differences while I was away visiting London Village last weekend.

(Incidentally we stumbled across a small revue where something called Spamalot was playing. Very funny. Had that Jim Robinson off of Neighbours in it. But anyway...)

This isn't the first time Kasterborous has been redesigned, of course. Oh no. This on the right is Kasterborous v3.1 - a development of the very similar looking v3, but with added Torchwood goodness. This version premiered in 2006, and we've been pretty much stuck with it for quite some time - initial plans for a revision began around a year ago, but time constraints through work and all that other rubbish sadly got in the way.

Now on the right is Kasterborous v3 - very similar, but you can see where the differences are. Love that pic of Troughton and the Cybermen!

However before the sexy blue number there were others...

Kasterborous v2.1 - now there's a new one for many of you! In principle very similar to v3, it was very pale, but a good showcase for Anthony Dry's artwork. When Kasterborous started, we gave it a simple mission statement - "rant and draw". I would rant and Anthony would draw. It's worked pretty well over time with more ranting from me leading to a lack of drawing, but I digress.

Kasterborous v2 is when it all started happening, really - with a database-driven website we could achieve so much more. Excellent piece of work by Mr Dry in the top left there too - you don't get many Tom Baker pics out of him, let me tell you.

In late 2004, v1.2 was launched and already Anthony was working on v2. The reason? I was very dissatisfied with the way news was handled on the existing websites, all parrot-like repetition with very little - if any - opinion. I mean that approach is fine for a lot of people; after all, how many of us have a proper good look behind the news in any subject? So the brown became white. Of course before the brown...

...We had the green.

In these days I didn't know much about web design - it was all magic to me. As such I thought that green looked ace, and that Anthony Dry was the cleverest man in the world. It does look bloody awful though, looking at it again now.

Kasterborous v1, so the official story goes, came about following a chance meeting between Anthony Dry and me, Christian Cawley, in the Outpost Gallifrey forum. Of course, official stories are rarely true. Anthony, Terra and myself were of course there at the beginning of Doctor Who - in fact, you could say that we founded Doctor Who fandom, way back in 1964...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Pest Control Winners

Our Pest Control competition closed on Saturday, Midnight UK time, and I would first of all like to thank everyone who took part, and for all of your comments in support of Kasterborous - it means a lot to all of us!

The answer to the question "Who destroyed Gallifrey first - Russell T Davies or Peter Angelhides" was, of course, Peter Angelhides, who with Steve Cole wrote The Ancestor Cell in 2000 (which featured the Eighth Doctor resorting to the apparentaly permanent destruction of Gallifrey in order to thwart the Faction Paradox).

The whole competition was a very nice gift to us from a very charming lady at BBC Audiobooks, of course, so many thanks to them!

For the full list of winners, visit the Kasterborous forum

Thanks again to everyone who took part!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

podKast 7

podKast 7, starring Christian Cawley and Brian A Terranova, is now available to listen to via The Fanzone, or the Forum.

Since the very first podKast, Christian and Brian have interview various characters from Doctor Who such as the Master, and Omega/Eldrad. They've spoken to the man who continued to deny that Daleks could fly (until one flew and EXTERMINATED him), and been waited on by a Slitheen butler named Gerald who later died in a freak fish n chip accident.

Recorded in the depths of Kasterborous Towers, the podKasts are strange, crazy and skewed looks at the world of Doctor Who fandom, peppered with some coherent chat about the show and recent episodes.

If you haven't tuned in yet, download your first podKast with a K today!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pest Control

It's all go this week at Kasterborous - we have a new interview with Peter Anghelides, the writer of new Tenth Doctor Audio Book Pest Control, as well as 3 copies of the CD version to giveaway!

Pest Control is the first Doctor Who audio-exclusive story to be published by BBC Audiobooks and is released this week (8th May). The title, read by David Tennant, will be available on CD and on download and will not be published as a book.

In Pest Control, the Doctor and Donna face monstrous insects and a ruthless robot exterminator in this thrilling, exclusive audio story, read by David Tennant. The TARDIS is lost in battle on a distant planet.

Anghelides is a veteran of original Doctor Who drama, and co-wrote the classic Eighth Doctor novel The Ancestor Cell.

You can read the interview with Peter Anghelides now - stay tuned for the competition details!

Time Tots

If I had a daughter, I have to say that frankly I would be disgusted that she was wandering around with a gun shooting at things.

So how the Doctor is going to feel this week when he finds his daughter doing just that?

And how much continuity are we going to get? Any mentions of Susan and Gallifrey, for instance?

Family mentions in Doctor Who have been rare - we have to go back to the Troughton era for the last original run example, while Marc Platt's Ghost Light was originally going to be the story that became the novel Lungbarrow and set on Gallifrey in the Doctor's family home. Had it been made, genetically loomed Time Lords would have become series lore...

Similarly, it is now confirmed that the Master and the Doctor are not brothers; yet the Doctor has referred to other family several times since 2005's season 27.

Of course the main question about this weeks adventure is this: is Jenny really The Doctor's Daughter?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Spurious Morality

We've gone, we've seen, we've conquered.

We've been promised access all areas and been denied it at the last minute, and we've chatted with Richard Franklin about politics.

We've got bladdered at the bar, met a bird who bedded a popular Doctor Who cast member, as well as met up for the first time in one place with Prof Peach and Charlie Croker.

In fact while Anthony Dry and mine's weekend of booze, Whooze, and taking the wives out for dinner was punctuated by viewings of Return of the Saint and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Yet there's a bad taste left in the mouth. A hint of disappointment, of broken promises, of bad decisions, and a heavy whiff of sloppy organisation and self-serving masturbation when the punters have paid £25 a head.

Cattle markets are for the big events - the previous air of grace and intimacy that made the 2007 cavern event a success has been lost.

You can't use certain loaded statements in emails to individuals and then deny them or ignore them when the time comes. Certainly not when they're going to write about it later.

It's not on - its bad form, bad karma, and bad manners.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Doctor Who and the Cavern Monsters!

This week, I'm on the road again!

I'll be accompanied at Who at the Cavern by Mr Anthony Dry, designer of this parish, as well as swapping storied with one or two other members of the Kasterborous Forum!

Last year we had a great time, meeting Anneke Wills and Terrance Dicks, enjoying pots of beer and catching up with people such as Sebastian Brook from Doctor Who Online, and the lovely Carolyn Edwards, the rather super illustrator.

(Note to all/self: we have an interview with Carolyn to be published in the next few weeks.)

So if you're visiting one of the best - and certainly the most intimate - Doctor Who conventions in the calendar in Liverpool this Bank Holiday weekend, don't forget to say "Hi!" to me or Dryzer.

You'll be able to find us at the bar.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Super Sontarans!

This weeks Doctor Who is almost upon us, and I have to say I am almost wetting myself with excitement! (Actually I'm still laughing at the lunchtime football result, but I digress)

The trailers and build up features (particularly the space craft in the Radio Times) have been superb, and with the return of lovely Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones and the renamed UNIT (Unified Nations Taskforce), The Sontaran Stratagem has Doctor Who classic stamped all over it.

Of course it is easy to get carried away, but it is a better concept and setting than Daleks in Manhattan, the last two-parter by Helen Raynor, and with a villain that hasn't been seen in over 20 years - and was used sparingly before that - this is a dead cert to be a good episode, and certainly one to remember at the end of the run.

So prepare yourselves for clones aliens, running around, guns, spaceships, two companions and an "intruder window" - the Sontarans are back, and it's about time!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I recently wrote this editorial on Kasterborous...

I'm out and about again this weekend, this time visiting Sheffield to attend a conference on Spirituality and Doctor Who.

The event will be held at Wilson Carlile Campus in Sheffield, organized and compèred by Andrew Wooding, with Barry Letts among the guests.

It's set to be a fascinating day, and I'm expecting to gain some rarely revealed insights into the use of religion and faith in Doctor Who, a subject that I've noticed becoming more prevalent recently, both in the series and in my own conclusions.

Anyway hopefully I won't be missing Doctor Who, as long as I can get from Sheffield to a handy TV between 4pm and Doctor Who O' clock.

Incidentally, if you're visiting the event and spot me, don't be shy to say hello!

Well - what a superb day, in which I met some very interesting and friendly people, not to mention had a lovely bit of pasta for lunch!

We were treated to a good deal of Barry Letts, who revealed that he was now in remission following chemotherapy for cancer. He's 83 years old and sharp as a knife, and you could quite easily sit and listen to him all day long.

Also talking was Peter S Williams and Anthony Thacker, but the hero of the day was Andrew Wooding whose organisation of the event had it running (to the audience, at least) very smoothly. The team at Wilson Carlile Campus also made everyone feel very welcome, so a very big thank you from me for a fascinating day.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Dare I say it?

I'm going to miss Doctor Who tomorrow.

Family day out takes precedence under the circumstances, and you know what? It's fine.

I don't actually need to watch it when everyone else watches it. I can watch it when I like.

There are of course the illegal options - someone somewhere will have saved the episode onto their PC and have it available via torrent by 9pm.

Following that, I would in theory be able to view it on my PC, PSP, or mobile phone.

Legally, I could watch The Fires of Pompeii on my PC via BBC iPlayer. Using the same system I could also view it on my Apple computer, iPhone or Nintendo Wii.

So despite a trip out of town, I won't miss Doctor Who - and that's something we should all remember. Sure, we can engage in that warm feeling of togetherness while watching it at 6.45pm, and that's certainly my preference. But I won't mind just this week letting my family take first place.

It will be the first episode of Doctor Who I haven't watched on broadcast since 1989.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Welcome Back Doctor Who!

It took us in a wonderful direction with an early curveball, but despite the light hearted tone of Partners in Crime Doctor Who is back for 2008.

I enjoyed watching Tate and Tennant on Jonathon Ross last Friday, and it did seem as though they would make a good team, watching them sat together - and thankfully this feeling was proved right on Saturday evening.

The episode might well go on to be remembered for something else entirely, but that doesn't matter - it brought the Doctor and Donna back together well, and Catherine Tate has certainly (so far) proved this viewer wrong.

Forum Tweaking

Just a brief note to let you all know that you may find the forum closed from time to time over he next few days as we run some upgrades and tweaks.

If you do see it is down, try back an hour later as it won't be unavailable for any more than 1 hour at any time.

You'll soon see the benefits...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


With theories of returning foes and companions hitting us left, right and centre, it's reassuring to have the feeling that something else is going on.

What is it? Well, I have my suspicions, but then I've been wrong since Doctor Who returned.

The thing is, if you look around and see exactly how, much promotion is taking place this year, and compare it with the previous two, well it's not up to par, is it?

Doctor Who now generates its own interest, plus with a season of Torchwood ending the night before, the adventures of the Doctor and his friend Donna get a helping hand by their fictional universe just being there for anyone to dip into before the ride begins.

I don't think we'll be quite ready for what happens in the new series, but I'm confident it's going to be fun all the way.

One More Thing

Massive thanks to Simon R. Mills of Kopics Doctor Who News Service who is running a semi-regular news round up for us during the opening weeks of this 30th season of Doctor Who.

He's doing such a good job, I might even ask him to stay on...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What are we waiting for?

Newspaper coverage, press launches, Radio Times cover announcements - we're just TEN DAYS away from the premier of Doctor Who Series 4 and I can't see any of the above anywhere.

All we have so far is a confirmation of the start time on April 5th - 6.20pm.

Of course, that's better than nothing, but we're just dying to get our teeth into it!

I've got Brian Terranova on standby to provide an interesting American angle to my Quintessential Comedy blog, while our esteemed forum member and all round top Sontaran Lord Kopic himself is Simon R Mills is preparing to provide in-depth news coverage with a return of Kopic's Doctor Who Newsround.

Meanwhile we've got some special features, reviews and interviews lined up throughout the next 14 weeks, plus one or two very special changes in store.

Incidentally If you're desperate for up to the minute Doctor Who News, Kopic's Doctor Who and Torchwood News Network is a recommended stop, while conversation on Doctor Who Series 4 will be carrying on throughout the 13 episodes and beyond in theKasterborous Doctor Who Forum

So - what are we waiting for - let's get this party started!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's that time of year again

EVERYONE is trying to ruin Doctor Who Series 4.


If it's not rumours about companions, enemies and alien planets, its talk of what is planned for Torchwood, Doctor Who, Robert Carlyle and Steven Moffatt.

There comes a time when during the build up to a series of Doctor Who, we say "Enough spoilers!"

Somehow, with the launch date still to be confirmed by the BBC, we find ourselves in this position at least a month before airing.

So as with previous years, unless it is front page news, there will be no spoilers on the news pages of Kasterborous until Series 4 is over. We will endeavour to keep things as tight as possible, minimise speculation and more importantly, give you the choice of what you want.

You can stick with us, for intelligent, light-hearted and passionate discussion of Doctor Who.

Or you can fly away and check out one of our fellow Doctor Who sites who are all doing very well (see The Fanzone for more).

In fact, you can take a bigger step and visit one of those sites that collect all of the rumours and stick them in one place. Complete with insider photos and the like, revealing secrets the like of which you have not seen before!.

Alternatively, you could do all three. Or you could hide away from the web, the press, the television trailers.

None of them will be as entertaining as Kasterborous though!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Verity Tribute is Not Before Time

It always saddens me that we associate "tribute" with "death".

There really is little reason for the BBC to have left things so long with the announcement that BBC Four will broadcast an evening of programming devoted to the late first lady of British Television, who died in November.

I can't help thinking it would have been better to see her take part in it while she was still with us, however.

Nevertheless, a fine chance for some interesting and groundbreaking television shows to be seen, and I'm particularly hoping for a rare single episode of Doctor Who, possibly from an unreleased and incomplete story...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Davros is Back?

Well it had to happen.

After four years of nuWho the clues point strongly to a return for loony Dalek creator Davros, who by accounts should have been stranded on earth or nearabouts since 1963 and the events of Remembrance of the Daleks.

The question is though - when is nuWho going to give us some new classic monsters?

I want to see the Sycorax again for definite; the Judoon should also receive a good "fleshing out"; the Ood too have played their part.

So where are the new classic monsters going to come from?

Howabout real life?

Both Russia and the US are displaying some modern forms of facism; we live in a world of suicide bombers and ecological fears; as a race we are more supersticious.

Fear is rising.

Plenty to work with there, surely?

Monday, February 18, 2008

podKast number 6 is here!

And not before time!

The latest podKast (with a "K") from the Kasterborous team sees Brian Terranova and Christian Cawley discuss Voyage of the Damned as well as reveal the sad fate that befell their Slitheen butler, Gerald, on Christmas Day.

Added to that is a brand new feature, "Who Am I?" in which a lucky member of the Kasterborous Forum gets the chance for a tour around the fantastic Kasterborous Towers.

podKast is an irreverent look at Doctor Who, and is written and performed (to varying levels of success) by Christian Cawley and Brian Terranova. It is the sixth installment of a series that began late 2006, and has so far featured interviews with Doctor Who villains such as Omega, the Master and Eldrad, as well as interesting Doctor Who fans such as "The man who denies Daleks can fly".

podKast is available from the Kasterborous Fanzone, as well as the Kasterborous Forum.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Doctor's Daughters

The recent report in The Sun that the Doctor and Donna will encounter a girl claiming to be his daughter has - shall we say - raised a few eyebrows in fandom.

If true, this would serve to reconcile the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan and the concept of the Doctor having a family; something raised for the first time in 38 years in Fear Her.

Of course it might be stuff and nonsense; Georgia Moffet - daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison - is said to be playing the part.

However this isn't the first time that the Doctor has been revealed to have a daughter...

In Lance Parkin's Father Time, the Doctor adopted a girl called Miranda, a descendant of his own people.

It would be wonderful to see this element from the novels brought to the fore as Human Nature so brilliantly was.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Everyone’s talking about it…

The Doctor Who cinema trailer for Series 4, of course – and wow, it looks good, doesn’t it?

You won’t be able to see it online just yet (although it is on Youtube, somewhere - and of course you could stop reading this and go to the cinema to see Jumpers!) but I’m pretty sure once you get to see it all memory of the dour and low key trailer that we got at the end of Voyage of the Damned will be lost! So to summarise:

Gasp - Sontarans marching!
Shock – that newspaper seller from Voyage of the Damned is Donna’s grandfather!
Awe – a giant insect thing!

But more importantly:


The Doctor on his knees…

What does it all mean? Why is Martha wet? Only a few weeks until the trip of a lifetime continues – and I don’t think anything will be quite the same again.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Doctorin' The TARDIS pt2

Doctor Who is unique in British culture as no other series - book, cinematic or televisual - has had the effect of inspiring a hit record.

And for the jury I think we can safely discount anything to do with stop-motion animation and people in suits; Anita Dobson singing the theme tune to EastEnders really doesn't help is here either.

Blending the siren wail of The Sweet's "Blockbuster", Dalek exclamations and a popular Gary Glitter tune "Rock n Roll (Part 2)" it is a triumphant classic, a blend of various elements of a 1970s childhood.

Yet to afford too much praise, or use the music to accompany any Doctor Who footage would be a step into the darkness.

Gary Glitter has been convicted on more than one occasion of various crimes against minors, including the incident that sparked his fall from grace, having images of paedophilia on his laptop.

So where does that leave the most popular Doctor Who related song?

And is it really the best?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doctorin' The TARDIS...

22 years ago the fate of our favourite show hung in the balance. Some people who should have known better got together and recorded "Doctor In Distress".

Which didn't really help.

However months later a shock hit threw Doctor Who back into the public consciousness (albeit in a Tom Baker era nostalgic way).

The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu; the KLF; the Time Lords; call them what you will, their track Doctorin' The TARDIS could easily be one of the most culturally important pieces of music in British history.

We'll look at that last statement in more detail in the next post...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm not angry...

But I know a guy who is.

Thanks to the Doctor Who Webguide (links to the Kasterborous mirror) I've discovered the wit and wisdom of Angry Who Fan.

This angry, sarcastic and bloody funny blog takes issue with Doctor Who and Torchwood, and the most recent post is a good ripping of a very poor piece of the Torchwood websites "Torchwood wants YOU!" campaign, featuring a very satisfied (and slightly chubby) looking Ianto Jones talking directly to the viewer in what is a rather unnerving manner.

Of particular entertainment value is their deconstruction of Voyage of the Damned, the which features several highlights - but my favourite accompanies a photo of Kylie driving the forklift:
Kylie can give us a good ramming any time she likes.

Not 'arf

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Torchwood Magazine?

Discovering a few months back that there would be a Torchwood magazine came as a bit of a shock.

With a maximum this year of 26 episodes to talk about, one has wonder exactly what publishers Titan are hoping to fill the pages with.

Not only that bit they seem to ignoring Doctor Who websites when it comes to promotion of the new periodical.

I discovered today that more than one individual had visited Kasterborous.com on the back of a google search term of "Eve Myles nude" - sadly I don't think even that can help Torchwood Magazine long term.

Series 4 Casting Thoughts

Over the months there has been some consternation concerning yhe names cast in series four of Doctor Who.

Many fans take issue with the casting of former soap actors such as Lyndsey Coulson and Sarah Lancashire simply because they appeared in soaps.

Yet Mary Tamm, Caroline John, Louise Jameson, Peter Purves and Freema Agyeman somehow get off scot-free.

Soap operas are the most popular form of television. FACT.

So soap snobs, what's your beef? They're actors and its not as if Doctor Who hasn't had its share of stinkers in the past who WEREN'T former residents of a fictional suberb. Even as recently as Gridlock.

Besides, it was Charles Dickens who popularised the serial drama format with Bleak House - the recent adaptation of course starred Torchwood's Burn Gorman.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whatever Happened to Ianto Jones?

I very recently compared Torchwood's Ianto Jones to white paint.

Seemingly in response to this damning declaration, he spent the duration of Sleeper expressing pithy, macabre observations in a manner that suggested he had rather an autistic grasp of events; a far cry from the shy and reserved butler of series 1.

So I'm guessing he's joined the gays.

Nothing wrong with that, you might rightly point out, except that as a case of character development I find it:
A) obvious
B) dull

What exactly is being said here? Are dull, bland people in actual fact raving closet cases? If such look out boys, Brad Pitt wants YOU!

On the other hand it could just be very poor demonstration of that staple of modern drama - character development.

But with questionable character consistency amongst the useful members of the team, wouldn't it be better to let them develop fully before we learn more about "Dulux"?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Return to Sender?

Series 4s biggest news to date is the presence of companions Rose, Martha and Donna at various stages throughout the run.

So do we really need Captain Jack and Sarah Jane?

In the old days this many characters would appear only in a regeneration vision... So is this the end of Doctor number Ten?

Sandwiching Jack into Last of the Time Lords wasn't really a winner - so how are 5 characters going to work? And what about Mickey??

I am worried by this. However as with Torchwood Series 2 I await the highlights - Martha and the Sontarans (good name for a musical combo!) - with keenness.

Torching Hopes

I had been looking forward a great deal to Torchwood, expecting a show that had finally found its feet.

I was disappointed.

Despite all the big, positive noises made by Chris Chibnall, KISS KISS BANG BANG, was as poor as thwarted worst episodes from the first run.

But how??

Long term readers of this blog and Kasterborous.com will know that I shy away from personal attacks. I just don't see any instance in which they might be warranted.

Yet Chris Chibnall has proved himself utterly out of his depth on Torchwood, if the series' first episode of its second run is anything to judge.

Everything that should have been fixed is still there, naked on the floor while all the good stuff is tucked away mid series.

With a magazine released this month, it seems that Torchwood does have a long term future - a literary backwater once occupied by its parent show.

Yet unless Russell T Davies loses Chibnall, it won't even make it that far.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kylie & David Sitting In A Tree, K I S S I N G

Well that David Tennant is a lucky so and so, isn't he? Not one but two potential lovers in a pretty young BBC staffer and the Queen of Pop herself, KYLIE.

To say that I'm jealous is putting it mildly.

The scrawny Time Lord has been far too fortunate with the ladies quite frankly, and as if lovely Billie marrying bland streak of piss Lawrence Fox wasn't bad enough it now looks as though her former (and future ) costar David is "having it large" with little Kylie.

Damn it, Doctor - I saw her first!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Unfolding Text...

Russell T Davies' recent declaration that Doctor Who is safe seems to confirm what we've long suspected about the semi-series of special Doctor Who adventures in 2009.

With furtive late night phonecalls and quiet nods, Doctor Who's future has been secured - and meanwhile Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson have been confirmed as moving on.

So when is Russell going?

If - as seems likely - he moves on after the three specials, one can foresee a "handover" period to the incoming production team who will then be busy mounting Series 5 for broadcast (hopefully late) 2010.

Any new names mentioned in the immediate future are only guaranteed to be working on the remainder of Series 4 and the series of specials - but keep your eyes open for new names.

As for a new executive producer? Well conventional wisdom says it's Steven "Grand Moff" Moffat and I suspect that after Series 4 - or perhaps in time for the first of the specials - we'll know for sure.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clive Swift -Tells It Like It Is

Bit of a stir in Who fandom at the moment following the release of Doctor Who Magazine 391.

Put simply, actor Clive Swift wasn't too happy about being interviewed for DWM, and berated the "poor journalist" (who perhaps should have focussed a bit more on Swift's 42 year screen career) as follows:

DWM - "Right, one final question..."

Clive Swift - "I think that's more than enough isn't it? How many pages are you going to have on Mr. Copper?"
DWM - "Well, I was just going to ask....

CS - "There's no reason why I should talk to you at all, so you shouldn't push it. I'm sure you'll write something very nice (stony silence). I know that you all think that this is a big world, this Who business. But it isn't. There are much bigger things than this"

DWM - "Maybe, but it means a lot to a great many of us."

CS - "Yeah yeah. Goodbye"

Rude? Definitely.

Right? Yes. Completely and utterly right. There are much bigger things than Doctor Who, ranging from the works of JRR Tolkien or Led Zeppelin to the hellish state of geopolitics and the obscene ways in which so called democratic governments indulge in corruption and cronyism.

If we can't accept that Doctor Who is nothing more than (usually) very good, entertaining escapism, then we don't deserve to be part of anything other than a civilization that is trundling quickly towards hell in a very cramped handcart.

On the other hand, it could be useful to see that Clive Swift has a point - he has been around a long time, after all - and that Doctor Who is there for us once we've done the important things that need doing in the world.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Welcome to 2008!

Another year, another series of Doctor Who.

Strange to think, then, that this is the last time we'll get a regular series until 2010. And yes, I'm still angry about that, and still even more angry at the BBC's dreadful statement. We'll leave that behind now however, and wonder...

Reports suggest that the Doctor Who production team are after a new companion. This suggests that we'll not be seeing Martha for much longer beyond Series 4. Add to this the confirmed departure of Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson, the much-expected moving on of Russell T Davies and a lack of any real answer regarding Tennant's longer term future with the series (2010 is two years away, I know - however recording for that would begin next year, so someone would know by now on a series that takes as long to produce as Doctor Who) and the only thing we can realistically predict is a change of production team.

Doctor Who's first real regeneration of the new era, and you know it's pretty exciting really. We could have new opening credits, a new TARDIS interior, a new way of storytelling, new enemies, new friends, new worlds - a darker tone, a lighter tone, a different approach.

All of these things we've seen in Doctor Who's 45 years (this year!) and it's only right to expect them in the future, and soon, lest the show dry up and die.

Here's to 45 Years, and here's to change - not a moment too soon!