Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fiftieth Anniversary Poll: William Hartnell

At the beginning of every month from now on there will be an individual Fiftieth Anniversary Poll dedicated to each Doctor which the Doctor Who Bar will run over the course of the anniversary year.

We would like you guys and gals on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook to tweet us your favourite Doctor Who stories.  This very first Poll is the William Hartnell one and the most popular stories will go on the Poll for next Saturday.  You will then have another week to vote for which story wins and get's watched on the following Saturday.  If you are tweeting us please use the special hashtag #DWBarWH.

You can also use the comment box attached to this article to nominate any stories you would like to see on the William Hartnell Poll, which will go up on the Doctor Who Bar site on Saturday 5th January.  

So please get in touch everyone as the Bar begins it's celebrations for the Fiftieth Anniversary of Doctor Who.

Friday, 28 December 2012

'The Mind Robber' Preview

‘The Mind Robber’ is an unconventional story. First broadcast in 1968, it follows directly on from the previous serial ‘The Dominators’ and opens with a flood of lava rapidly approaching the TARDIS. The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and companions Jamie and Zoe (Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury) are forced to dematerialise and take the TARDIS “out of reality” in order to escape the flood of what appears to be melting cheese.

After landing ‘nowhere’ – an everlasting expanse of white – the crew are lured out by visions of home, where they face a group of robots.  Despite the Doctor managing to get everyone back into the TARDIS, he is unable to stop it exploding, the outer shell shattering and the console spinning off into the distance.

From then on the story takes place in “The Land of Fiction” which is ruled over by The Master (but not that one). Battling irritating children and robot toy soldiers, the Doctor and his companions struggle not to become a work of fiction – as this will mean that they are trapped forever.

Frazer Hines caught chicken box during filming of this serial, which meant that he was replaced by Hamish Wilson in episode two (explained by having the Doctor rearrange an image of Jamie’s face incorrectly). The previous story had originally been conceived as a six parter, but had been reduced to five parts, meaning that the ‘leftover’ part of the story became the first episode of the previously four part ‘The Mind Robber’.

We will be watching ‘The Mind Robber’ on Saturday the 29th. The Bar opens at 9.45pm GMT and we press play at 10.00pm GMT. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 21 December 2012

'The Next Doctor' Preview

‘The Next Doctor’ is a massively misleading title, but that doesn’t mean the story isn’t a good one. Broadcast on Christmas Day 2008, it attracted 13.1 million viewers. It starred David Tennant as the Doctor, accompanied by David Morrisey as Jackson Lake (or possibly the Doctor) and Velile Tshabalala as Rosita Farisi.

Ok, it’s a bit silly (particularly the two Doctors getting pulled around on the rope by the Cybershade) but that can be forgiven, it is a Christmas special after all. It’s not all fun and games however, with some quite emotional moments throughout. The child actors working in the Cyber factory all seem to be straight out of Oliver Twist, but again, it would be stupid to pick holes in a story designed to be so Christmassy.

Miss Hartigan makes a good villain, and the Cybermen are as threatening as ever, even if the Cyberking is a bit of a dodgy CGI representation. David Morrisey makes a likeable Doctor (spinoff series anyone?)

All in all, ‘The Next Doctor’ is a good story with an interesting plot line and some nice character moments and comedy elements.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fiftieth Anniversary Poll

We are bringing back the Poll next year briefly because 2013 is Doctor Who's Fiftieth Anniversary.

At the beginning of every month there will be an individual Fiftieth Anniversary Poll dedicated to each Doctor which will run over the course of the year.

We would like you guys and gals on Twitter or Facebook to tweet us your favourite stories belonging to each Doctor and the most popular will go on the Poll.  You will then have a week to vote for which story wins and get's watched on the Saturday.

The first Saturday of every month will be the Fiftieth Anniversary Poll.  The first Poll the William Hartnell one is Saturday 5th January.

So join us to celebrate the Anniversary over the course of the year.

Friday, 23 November 2012

What Doctor Who means to me

As you can probably guess, Doctor Who means a fair bit to me. The first story that I saw was ‘Day of the Daleks’, which was lent to me by my uncle on VHS when I was five or six, and from then on I just carried on loving the series.
When the series was restarted in 2005 I watched that and enjoyed it (although ‘Fear Her’ not so much for obvious reasons). Although my favourite era is the Patrick Troughton years, the newer seasons of Doctor Who have proved that a classic series can be reinterpreted and the shows popularity can be seen to still be considerable even after forty nine years.

Doctor Who has brought me into contact with people I would never have otherwise met, particularly on the internet through websites like Twitter. Ok, some are slightly insane and still want Amy and Rory back, but on the whole Doctor Who has had a positive effect on my life and worked as a route to finding other science fiction television shows such as ‘Blake’s 7’.

Doctor Who has been a constant in my life for years now, and hopefully it will continue to be for years to come. Happy Forty Ninth Birthday to Doctor Who, and lets hope that it’ll be around for another forty nine. 

Happy Forty Ninth Anniversary Doctor Who!

Today is the birthday of a landmark television series.  On this date in 1963 the very first episode of a brand new sci-fi show was transmitted for the very first time.  The programme was called Doctor Who and viewers watched enthralled as two curious school teachers discover that one of their pupils actually lives inside a Police Box at 76 Totters Lane!

Carole Ann Ford played the character of Susan Foreman, who would be revealed to be the Doctor's grand daughter.  The Doctor himself was played by the noted character actor William Hartnell, who was best remembered for The Army Game as well as the films The Way Ahead and Carry On Sergeant.  He was well loved in the role of the Doctor and only left the part when he became too ill to continue.

No one back then could even begin to perceive just how popular this show was going to get until the TARDIS actually left the Stone Age and landed on the planet Skaro.  However let's just forget about the Daleks for a moment, we all know it was their first story which catapulted Doctor Who into the success story it now is.

I wasn't born when Doctor Who first began but the very first episode of the show is a ground breaking piece of television drama.  It set's up the basic format of Doctor Who which would endure for another twenty six years on BBC1!  Thanks to the concept of regeneration which allowed the shows Producer's to change the lead actor, the long term future of Doctor Who is assured.  I have no doubt that the programme will always continue as not only is it a popular show but it is held in high regard by the BBC as a super brand because of it's marketing and merchandising potential.

There is something special about Doctor Who which transcends it for me as more than just a television programme.  It is looked at with great affection and love by many people worldwide.  The shows legacy gives us era's of the programme which are unique thanks to the fine actors cast in the title role. The programme's fan base and appeal consists of kids of six up to adults in their eighties.  Such is the power of a programme which grew from modest beginnings way back on this particular day in 1963.

In truth Doctor Who is possibly one of the greatest television shows ever created, if not the greatest!  The show has a limitless appeal, and since it's return in 2005 it has garnered even more fans. 

So let us raise our glasses today at 5.00pm as the Doctor Who Bar's Special Session of An Unearthly Child get's under way and we celebrate the birth of a television legend.

We press play at 5.15pm on the first episode of the longest running sci-fi series in the universe!

Happy Forty Ninth Birthday to Doctor Who.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

'The Two Doctors' Preview

‘The Two Doctors’ was the fourth story of Doctor Who’s 22nd Season and was first broadcast in 1985. The story stars Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, as well as Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, who returned to their roles for this multi-Doctor story.

While this is a story featuring the return of the Sontarans and Servalan actress Jacqueline Pearce, as well as a crazed chef who puts Gordon Ramsey to shame, the main event is of course the meeting of the second and sixth Doctor. Patrick Troughton may look a bit grey and Frazer Hines slightly middle aged, but if you ignore this, then you are likely to enjoy this story.

This story is also a key part the “Season 6B” fan theory, which proposes that between ‘The War Games’ and ‘Spearhead from Space’ the second Doctor worked for the Timelords an ‘unofficial agent’. This would explain his actions in ‘The Two Doctors’ in meeting Dastari, and also several other lines in different serials. While this theory remains unconfirmed by the television version of Doctor Who, it has been expanded upon in books and comic strips.

We will be watching ‘The Two Doctors’ on Wednesday. The bar opens at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Would you like to host & take part in the DWBar?

Unfortunately there have been members of the current Bar team who have been unwilling to host any of the sessions.

This puts a strain on the members of the team who do host, and who occasionally cannot fulfill the function due to other commitments.

That's why the Bar is looking for genuine people who would like to host the sessions, rather than people who would like to be associated with the Bar but do nothing!

If you are passionate about Doctor Who and would like to watch the show whilst tweeting on Twitter about it, then the Bar is for you!  You can even submit articles on the site too.

Please DM @Via_the_Void or @TheDoctorWhoBar if you would be interested, or use the email box on the website thanks.

'The Caves of Androzani' Preview

On my first viewing of Robert Holmes’ ‘The Caves of Androzani’, I wasn’t overly impressed. Yes, it has the great part one cliff-hanger, but other elements such as the Magma Monster let the story down in my eyes. I was surprised to see it voted Doctor Who Magazines number one story, and decided to watch it again. This time I formed an entirely new opinion on the story.

The story benefits from a set of good cliff-hangers – in particular the episode one execution of the Doctor and Peri. Although Sharaz Jek is a clichéd villain (a madman who wears a mask to conceal horrific disfigurement) he is played in an interesting way and becomes the first in a long line of bad guys to lust after Peri.

The final scene marks the first appearance of Colin Baker as the Doctor (having previously appeared in the 1983 story ‘Arc of Infinity’ as a different character) and the final appearance of Peter Davison after three years in the role.

While arguably some elements of the story fall flat, on the whole ‘The Caves of Androzani’ remains a very good story. We will be watching it on Wednesday. The bar will open at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways Preview

Bad Wolf/ Parting of the Ways was the two part finale to the 2005 season of Doctor Who. It starred Christopher Ecclestone, Billie Piper and John Barrowman. It also sees the resolution of the ‘Bad Wolf’ plot arc that had been present throughout the season.

The TARDIS crew find themselves in futuristic equivalents of reality TV shows, onboard a space station. Separated and confused, the Doctor and Jack eventually meet and go to the stations control room, where they are greeted by the cybernetic Controller. Rose, while appearing on ‘The Weakest Link’, has appeared to have been disintegrated after failing to win the round. However, the Controller reveals that the contestants are instead sent to a point in space – this turns out to be a Dalek fleet. The episode ends with the Dalek fleet preparing to invade Earth with Rose trapped on board. This cliff-hanger is resolved in the following episode, ‘Parting of the Ways’ which was Ecclestone’s last episode in the role.

So join us on Wednesday at 8.00pm for this 2005 two-parter. Hope to see you there. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

50 Years of Doctor Who: Preachrs Podcast Live!

Hello all! Some exciting news from Benjamin's podcast.

50 Years of Doctor Who: Preachrs Podcast Live is all about celebrating a 50 year history of the longest running Sci-Fi show ever. Travel through the vortex of time as we take a look at the changing face of Doctor Who. Throw in some quizes and audience interaction and, Geronimo!

Preachrs Podcast is a podcast that focuses on all aspects of the TV show “Doctor Who” and can be found at or on iTunes. The podcast features interviews with the stars, reviews, exclusives and more. Guests on the podcast have included: Nicholas Briggs - voice of the Cybermen and Daleks in the New Series; Sophie Aldred- a companion Ace to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor; Barnaby Edwards - Dalek Controller in the New Series; Gary Russel - Script editor on the New Series.

Preachrs Podcast celebrated its second birthday during 2012 and was featured on the ABC Radio National show “Top of the Pods” (2012).

This show will be hosted by three avid “Whovians”: Benjamin Maio Mackay – the creator of the podcast and show; Rob Lloyd, a Melbourne-based actor and comedian; and Nicholas Finch a fellow whovian.

Come and join us for a ride down the time vortex of Doctor Who.

Now performing at:
Adelaide Fringe ( Adelaide, 3 shows only)
Whovention: Gold (Sydney, 1 show only)
Lords of Time (Melbourne, 1 show only)

Tickets from here:

More dates soon so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

'Remembrance of the Daleks' Preview

‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ is a turning point in Doctor Who. The first serial of the programme's twenty-fifth season, it introduces several elements that script editor Andrew Cartmel hoped would reintroduce a mysterious element about the Doctor.

The seventh Doctor and Ace land in 1963, near the location of the first serial, ‘An Unearthly Child’ due to unfinished business regarding a Gallifreyan super weapon, The Hand of Omega. The story deals with the inevitable amount of old Doctor Who references much better than the heavy handed continuity of ‘Attack of the Cybermen’. Here they encounter a group of Daleks, as well as a group of soldiers lead by Group Captain Gilmore. 

As if one set of Daleks wasn't bad enough, a civil war breaks out between the Renegade Daleks under the control of the Black Dalek Supreme and the Imperial Daleks under the control of the Emperor. Lots of explosions ensue, to the point where the fire services were called in during the production of the story, mistakenly believing that the exploding Dalek casings were an IRA bomb. As well as this, a full sized Dalek spaceship lands next to a school, one of the best executed special effects of the 1980’s from which a new 'special weapons' Dalek emerges.

But the story is not all explosions. A scene where the Doctor sits in a café and talks to the owner about the implications of choices is one of the best scenes during McCoy’s tenure in my opinion.

Several of the characters from this story would reprise their roles in a Big Finish box set of audio plays released earlier this year.

In summary, this story has everything; Daleks, creepy children, and great performances from the entire cast. We will be watching ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ on Wednesday. The Bar now opens at 10.30pm and we press play at 10.45pm GMT.

Hope to see you there. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Weekend Schedule Update

Hi everyone, just to let everyone know that the DWBar is changing the timings of it's sessions again.  The Saturday session is moving to a later slot, we open at 9.45pm GMT and press play at 10pm.

So for all of you who fancy having a night time drink whilst watching Doctor Who, then the new Saturday DWBar session is for you.  Our first story is the Tom Baker classic The Seeds of Doom.

The Sunday Matinee sessions were less successful and this session is now closed but if some of you would like to do a lock-in in the afternoon then perhaps the 3pm/3.30pm slot may be opened again.  Get in touch by tweeting or messaging @Via_the_Void on Twitter.

Hope to see you all in the Bar.

Monday, 22 October 2012

It's back!

The Doctor Who Bar account is back where it belongs.

Can I also stop any malicious rumours by stating categorically that I never believed that #TARDIStweets had anything to do with it.  So please no unfounded pointing of fingers.

The @TheDoctorWhoBar account is back where it belongs and that's all that matters.

Hope some of you can join in our sessions.

David (Via_The_Void)

It's Gone..

Thank you to the people who have contacted me about the @TheDoctorWhoBar account no longer existing.

Yes, unfortunately the hackers have deleted the account. Of course if we regain access in the next 30 days it can be saved!

Until then follow: @DoctorWhoBar2 which now hosts any of the Bars sessions. Until further notice.

Thanks for your co-operation

Benjamin and David

Help The Doctor Who Bar

We need you!

If anyone has ideas on how to regain access to our main account please let us know.

We are back

Guys we have started a new twitter account. @DoctorWhoBar2 so please follow this for updates and thank you again for working with us in this tough time.

Benjamin and David
#DWBar and #DWBarOZ

Twitter Account has been hacked

Hello all,

The main twitter account has been hacked. We have no control at all over it. We are trying to regin it, but all people have been unfollowed and some blocked. We are very sorry any queries direct to @PreachrsPodcast and @Via_The_Void .

Please bare with us, for now stay tunned and Wednesday's session may be suspended. Watch this space for news or updates.

Thanks and sorry

Benjamin & David
on behalf of #DWBar and #DWBarOZ

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Weekend Schedule Update: Frontier In Space & Planet of the Daleks

Frontier In Space will kick off tonight from 8.45pm GMT and we'll press play at 9pm GMT.

However there has been a change to the Planet of the Daleks session on Sunday, instead of opening at 3pm GMT and pressing play at 3.30pm GMT the session will kick off at 7.45pm GMT and we'll press play at 8pm GMT.

Hope to see all of you in the Bar for some Pertwee action.  Don't forget the #DWBar hashtag when tweeting in the session.  Please Join Us.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

'Day of the Daleks' Preview

'Day of the Daleks' was the first Doctor Who story that I saw after being lent it on VHS by my uncle. It was also the first serial of Doctor Who’s ninth season, broadcast in January 1972. The story stars Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and Katy Manning as Jo Grant. It was written by Louis Marks.

It concerns freedom fighters coming back in time to assassinate Sir Reginald Styles – a diplomat who they believe will create a timeline leading to the Dalek takeover of Earth by triggering an explosion that will wipe out other world diplomats at a Peace Conference, which will become the catalyst for a third world war.
The adventure begins with the Doctor and Jo being captured by the freedom fighters who are mistaken in believing that he is Sir Reginald Styles. Trips between the twenty second century and whenever the UNIT stories are set (nobody seems quite sure) ensue, with the Doctor and Jo ruthlessly pursued by the Daleks and their latest sidekick the Ogrons.

The serial concludes with a pitch battle between Daleks and UNIT troops. As the Daleks enter the house where the conference was to be held, a freedom fighter, Shura, detonates a bomb, destroying the Daleks and providing the explosion remembered by “history”. However in this case the delegates have not been killed, meaning that the Dalek invasion timeline ceases to exist. This "timey-wimey" plotting is something that appears to have become the norm during recent seasons, but here it is in fact an early example of the plot device. 

The serial was released on DVD in 2011 with the correct title 'Day of the Daleks' as the VHS releases of it contained an error in the form of a previous working title 'The Day of the Daleks'.  This release featured a special edition release of the story, with new sequences filmed and updated Dalek voices provided by Nicholas Briggs.

We will be watching the “original transmitted version” of “Day of the Daleks” (as in the one which isn't the special edition) on Wednesday together by tweeting along using the hashtag #DWBar. The Bar opens at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.

Weekend Schedule: Frontier In Space & Planet of the Daleks

There will again be no poll for this weekend.  Instead we'll be watching the Jon Pertwee story arc of the Dalek War, which comprises the two stories Frontier In Space and Planet of the Daleks.

On Saturday 20th October the Bar will open at 8.45pm and we'll press play at 9pm, we'll be watching Frontier In Space, which features the last Doctor Who appearance of Roger Delgado who played the Doctor's arch enemy The Master.   Then on Sunday 21st October the story arc will be completed when we watch Planet of the Daleks, we'll open 3pm and then press play at 3.30pm.

Hope you can join in with our latest sessions.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

"The War Games" Preview

To call “The War Games” less than epic is a bit of an under statement. The ten part finale to Patrick Troughton’s time as the Doctor flips between time periods and reveals things we never knew about the main character. It was also the last Doctor Who story to be filmed in black and white and the last to feature companions Jamie Mcrimmon and Zoe Herriot.

The serial begins with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe (Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury) finding themselves in the First World War. Picked up by friendly ambulance driver Lady Jennifer and they are captured, escape, and then get captured again, all the while being accused of spying for the enemy. The first episode ends with the Doctor under execution by firing squad, a scene echoed in 1984’s “The Caves of Androzani”.

It soon becomes apparent that they are not in World War One after all – that time zone is just an area in a much larger war game, featuring Roman legions and soldiers from the American Civil War. The majority of the remaining story is spent travelling through these different zones in search for a control centre and you guessed it, getting captured and escaping only to be captured again several times.

The Doctor is forced to call on his own people, the Time Lords in order to sort everything out at the end of the serial. Despite attempts to escape into various bits of archive footage from “Fury from the Deep” and “The Web of Fear”, the Tardis is eventually forced to return to its original planet, Gallifrey, where the Doctor stands trial for interference in the course of history. Even though the Doctor claims he has helped the universe (with the assistance of more archive footage) the Time Lords decree that he should be exiled to Earth and given a new appearance. Jamie and Zoe are forced to return to their original points in history, their memories wiped. It’s a sad ending for all of the Tardis crew, and breaks new ground in Doctor Who.

Join us to watch “The War Games” over two days. We will be watching episodes one to five (the first DVD disk) on Saturday. For that session the Bar will open at 8.45pm and we will press play at 9pm. The second disk of the DVD (episodes six to ten) will be watched as part of the Sunday Matinee session, opening at 3pm. We will press play for the second disk at 3.30pm. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Autons

If the Autons were real, they could take over the world as easy as anything. Next time you are in a shopping centre, look around and imagine just what would happen if all those immobile plastic figures suddenly came alive. It’s an unsettling image used to great effect in both 1970’s “Spearhead from Space” and 2005’s “Rose”. It’s a testament to these villains that they were used to kick-start two different eras of the series, the transition to colour and the eventual return of the series under Russell T.  Davies.

The Autons also raised questions in the House of Lords over whether Doctor Who had become unsuitable for children, mainly due to several scenes in the second Auton story “Terror of the Autons”. A scene where a policeman was revealed to be a masked Auton and another in which a doll kills its owner were put under criticism, the latter apparently preventing children from taking their toys to bed with them. 

The Autons have also spawned some of the most iconic scenes in Doctor Who history – the shop window dummies coming alive and gunning down pedestrians (although it is debatable what’s more terrifying – the marauding aliens or the dreadful clothes they have on), the man being eaten by the (rather unconvincing) plastic chair, not to mention the Auton that breaks into an old woman’s house and wrecks the place in a particularly unnerving scene from “Spearhead from Space”.

The Autons are monsters that make everyday objects menacing. They remain a popular adversary to this day, continuing to appear in Doctor Who and ranges of other media, including a spin off straight to video film trilogy.

Join the Doctor Who Bar on Wednesday for the Jon Pertwee classic "Spearhead from Space". Bar opens at  7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The War Games for Saturday & Sunday, Spearhead From Space on Wednesday

There will be no poll for next week.  Instead we'll be watching the Patrick Troughton swansong adventure, The War Games.

On Saturday 13th October the Bar will open at 8.45pm and we'll press play at 9pm, we'll be watching all five episodes on disc one.  Then on Sunday 14th October the final five episodes on the second disc will commence as normal for the Sunday Matinee, we'll open 3pm and then press play at 3.30pm.

The War Games saw the end of an era for Doctor Who, not just for the Pat Troughton era but also because this was the last story to be made in black and white.  The first colour story of the new Jon Pertwee era was Spearhead From Space, which is what we're watching in the Bar for this Wednesday's session (10th October) , we open 7.30pm and press play at 8pm.

Hope you can join in with our latest sessions.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Angels Take Manhattan Review

“The Angels Take Manhattan” promised a lot and delivered some of it. A story that claimed to “make people cry” has never really appealed to me, but I decided to sit down and watch it anyway because it’s Doctor Who, so you can’t really complain.

The Weeping Angels themselves were on top form (despite some inconsistencies about how they work that sent fans running to the closest forum). I felt that the Statue of Liberty angel seemed like a good idea on paper but was not so effective in real life. However the new cherub angels more than made up for this, and the original angels were used to great effect – the “time farm” idea being a particularly creepy one.

The main substance of the story of course revolved around the departure of Amy and Rory. While I personally feel that because they kept getting dropped off back on Earth at the end of most adventures and Rory had died so many times I had just stopped caring, although the final scenes managed to remain emotional.

Steven Moffat’s Radio Times interview explains “why Amy had to die!” which in my opinion is a massive piece of overreaction. She died in the same way that many companions did, after a long life rather than on screen. Does that really count as a death as opposed to Barbara’s departure or Jamie’s? Logically those characters would also pass away after they stopped travelling with the Doctor – that hardly warrants a “companion death” status. 

I personally enjoyed the majority of the story, despite its flaws. Join us for the BBC3 repeat on Friday 5th to give us your own views. Bar opens at 6.45pm and the repeat is broadcast at 7.15pm. Hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Dalek Invasion of Earth Preview

As I write this article, Doctor Who fans are (allegedly) in tears over the departure of the Ponds last weekend. However, in this week’s Doctor Who Bar Wednesday session, we will be going back to the very first departure of a companion, in Terry Nation’s “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”.

After the success of the original Dalek story, the Producers of Doctor Who were keen for the enemies to return. Nation wrote a six part story in which the Daleks invaded the Earth, planning to extract the core of the planet and pilot it anywhere around the universe.

“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” makes great use of its setting. The London landmarks sprayed with Dalek graffiti reminds us that this story is indeed happening where we live, and that increases the tension. The Daleks trundling over Westminster Bridge is an iconic image that is still recognised today.

This serial was also adapted into the film “Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD” starring Peter Cushing. It was the second and last of the Peter Cushing films due to the fact that it wasn't as popular as the first film - "Dr. Who & the Daleks." The movie is noted however for featuring the first Doctor Who appearance of Bernard Cribbins.

The story ends with the Doctor double-locking Susan out of the Tardis, knowing that if he doesn't she’ll sacrifice her own happiness (Susan has fallen in love with a character in this story, the freedom fighter David Campbell) to look after her grandfather. It is painful for the Doctor to leave Susan behind, but it's because that he knows that she would never leave him which is why he leaves her. It's a lovely poignant scene, watch out for it! This marks the very first time we see a companion depart, and you can bet if they had had Twitter back then, attention seeking fangirls would be all over this scene. Susan would return in the Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors", as well as in a number of Big Finish audio productions.

So join us on Wednesday Night and tweet along. Bar opens at 7:30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Origins of the Cybermen

The Cybermen are often regarded as the second most famous Doctor Who villains.  But how where they first created? In the Doctor Who universe there are all sorts of theories and contradictions that exist around the Cybermen’s past, so I will be focusing on how they were envisioned in real life, by Kit Pedler.

Kit Pedler, a medical researcher, had been drafted into the Doctor Who production team as a kind of scientific advisor – he was presented with hypothetical and fictional problems, and then asked to give an idea of what would happen if the event really took place. His response to the question “What would happen if an alien intelligence got inside the Post Office Tower?” was later developed into the script for “The War Machines”.  When script editor Gerry Davis asked Pedler about a new planet similar to Earth drifting into the Solar System, his response formed the basis of the final William Hartnell story “The Tenth Planet”. Pedler wrote the script featuring cybernetically enhanced humans, as his biggest fear, being a doctor, was “dehumanising medicine”. He predicted a time when spare part surgery had become common place and a time where it would be impossible to tell how much of the original human remained. He predicted that these creatures would be motivated by logic and the will to survive at any cost, sacrificing their entire bodies and minds for immortality. From this concept, he created the Cybermen.

cyberteam2-786396.jpg Cybermen Through the Years
Cybermen through the years
After “The Tenth Planet”, the Cybermen would go on to appear in later stories, in a variety of new designs. They have also appeared in a range of BBC books and Big Finish audio plays.

So vote in our poll to decide your favourite Cybermen story. We will watch the winner on Sunday afternoon. The Bar opens at 3.00pm and we press play 3.30pm.

Hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Planet of Giants Preview

Planet of Giants was the ninth serial and the first of the second season of Doctor Who. It was originally broadcast in three episodes between October and November 1964. The story stars William Hartnell as the Doctor, Carole Ann Ford as Susan, William Russell as Ian, and Jacqueline Hill as Barbara.

It features the Tardis crew being shrunk to an inch in height after a malfunction during landing causes the doors to open mid-flight. While travelling through a land of gigantic matchboxes and enormous insects, the crew come under threat from a dangerous new insecticide, DN6, which is fatal to all life.

The interesting thing about this story is that it was originally going to be a four part serial (made up of Planet of Giants, Dangerous Journey, Crisis and The Urge to Live). However, it was felt by Donald Wilson (the then BBC Head of Serials) and Sydney Newman (then Head of Drama), that the episode lacked the punch required for the opening of season two. They would have preferred to have started the season with Terry Nation’s “Dalek Invasion of Earth” but because this serial featured the departure of series regular Carole Ann Ford, it could not be broadcast before Planet of Giants. Eventually the decision came to edit the material from the final two episodes into a single part, so that Nation's story could be broadcast as soon as possible. This left a single episode gap in the season, which would later be filled with the Doctor-Lite story “Mission to the Unknown". The “missing” episode has since been recreated on the 2012 DVD release of this story.

So join us on Wednesday and tweet along. Bar opens at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Watch Doctor Who in the Doctor Who Bar

To those of you who don't know, the Doctor Who Bar watches Doctor Who, what else!  Except we watch it in synchronisation with a few people on Twitter using our own DVD's or videos.  Yes folks even the videos, your VHS tapes haven't been forgotten!

There are quite a few similar such ventures on Twitter who have a similar service to our own.  All of them quite successful, due to the popularity of Doctor Who.  This little article is just to remind everyone of the Doctor Who Bar itself.

The Bar has three sessions, two of them are on Sunday.

The first Sunday one is the Sunday Matinee, this is the one where the story selected is voted for by you as a result of the Poll on this blogger site.  Don't forget to vote on our Sunday Matinee Poll, promo tweets for it are put out on Twitter during the week. We open at 3pm and press play at 3.30pm in synchronisation with each other.  This is then followed by the New Series session, where we watch your recording of Saturdays latest Doctor Who episode.  The time of this session is flexible due to the showing of the previous Sunday Matinee, but usually it will be around 5.30pm/6pm.

The third and last session is the mid-week Wednesday session which opens at 7.30pm pressing play at 8pm.  This session is where we select a random story.  You can also tweet us with your story suggestions of what you would like to watch for this session.  Just tweet or DM the @TheDoctorWhoBar or @Via_The_Void Twitter accounts.

Finally if you would be interested in hosting the sessions on Twitter and becoming part of the Doctor Who Bar, tweet or DM the two Twitter accounts above. 

Please join us in the Doctor Who Bar to watch Doctor Who.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Peter Davison Biography

Peter Davison (born Peter Moffett) was born in 1951 and grew up in Surrey. He left school when he was sixteen with only a few qualifications and as a result decided to become an actor. He managed to gain a place on a course at the Central School of Speech and Drama and trained to become a professional actor.  He came to public attention as a result of his casting as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small. This role brought Davison to the attention of Doctor Who Producer John Nathan Turner, who was on the look out for an established television actor to replace Tom Baker after his seven years as the Doctor. Although Davison was initially unwilling to take on the role as he considered himself unsuitable for the part, he was eventually won round.

He began his work on Doctor Who in April 1981 when he was thirty years old. This meant that at the time, he was the youngest actor to play the part of the Doctor, only beaten by Matt Smith in 2010, who was twenty six when he was cast.  

After leaving Doctor Who in 1983 after three seasons in the part, Davison went on to appear in a variety of other television roles. He resumed his part as the Fifth Doctor in a variety of Big Finish audio plays, as well as the Children in Need special “Dimensions in Time”. He also appeared alongside Tenth Doctor David Tennant in the multi Doctor mini episode “Time Crash”. His daughter Georgia Moffett would later appear in Doctor Who in the 2008 episode “The Doctor’s Daughter” and in the animated Doctor Who series “Dreamland” in 2009. And whatever all the wild theories on Twitter would tell you, she most certainly isn’t Oswin just because they sat in a similar chair. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Time Meddlers ride out to Mercy

The Time Meddlers are looking for your thoughts on the latest Doctor Who episode, A Town Called Mercy. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just a few words is fine!

You can tweet @TheTimeMeddlers, @ianrdw, @PCJ_PCJonathan or @DaveMorganNT, email or post a comment at

We'd love to hear from you - our review will be recorded tomorrow (Wednesday 19 September) and released as soon as possible afterwards.

Ian Redman
Creator, Producer and Co-Host, The Time Meddlers

The Krotons Preview

You’d find very few people who would say The Krotons is their favourite Doctor Who story. But that’s not to say it’s the worst either. Originally broadcast in 1968, it is one of the few remaining Patrick Troughton stories that survives in its entirety (although many a fan has claimed that they would much prefer if Evil of the Daleks had survived instead).

It is by no means terrible despite its B Movie feel. It features the late Philip Madoc delivering an epically over the top performance and stealing every scene from his fellow actors. The Custodian (played by Maurice Selwyn) gives us a performance so utterly terrible that you can’t help but enjoy it. It also happens to be the first story written by the great Robert Holmes, so it deserves some respect.

The Krotons themselves rank in my opinion as some of the silliest Doctor Who monsters ever (beaten only by the Dominators and the Quarks). Immediately the name of this feared robotic race makes you envision them as a type of food with a similar sounding name (often found floating in soup). They aren’t exactly quite so threatening after that comes to your mind. In appearance…well…they are not exactly Daleks. Nonetheless, they make this story an enjoyable enough experience with their deep booming voices.

So join us on Wednesday and give us your own opinion. Bar opens at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Death to the Daleks Preview

Death to the Daleks was one of the first Doctor Who stories I saw. It features Daleks trundling around a gravel pit. You can’t get more Doctor Who-like than that!

The story involves the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee and Sarah Jane Smith, Elisabeth Sladen landing on a mysterious planet that is emitting a mysterious power which is draining the TARDIS's energy banks and preventing them from leaving.

This serial makes great use of a misty planet and a well chosen musical score to ramp up the tension.

The Doctor and Sarah get separated (inevitably) and the Doctor meets up with some humans. They reveal that they have come to this planet seeking a cure for a space plague (This follows the Terry Nation trend of making stuff sound cooler by putting “space” in its name.)

The planet is inhabited by a race called the Exxilons. They might look like men in sacks to you, but I was terrified of them as a child. I found the scene where the Exxilons trash the human's spaceship to be particularly disturbing. The Exxilons are scary because they creep up behind the characters. That’s unnerving.

The cliffhanger return of the Daleks is great, even if they do sound like they have flu.

So join us on Wednesday in the #DWBar and tweet along. Bar opens at 7:30pm and we press play at 8.00pm.

Hope to see you there. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Review

This story felt like a traditional Doctor Who story, it felt very much like a base under siege story which was a staple of the original series.

There was an impressive guest cast, Riann Steele almost steals the show as Queen Nefertiti, Rupert Graves was a delight, as was Mark Williams as Rory's Dad Brian but for sheer acting honours Matt Smith really pulled out all the stops in this episode.

It was a lovely storyline which felt dare I say it, a bit like an episode of the original Star Trek.  A spaceship on a collision course with a planet.  In this case the Earth of course, not that Doctor Who didn't do those sorts of story too, hello Mawdryn Undead!  Whilst Mawdryn had Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier, this story had dinosaurs in it.  They were very beautifully realised on screen, the Triceratops in particular must come in for some very well due praise.

A shame we didn't get dinosaurs like this in the classic Jon Pertwee story Invasion of the Dinosaurs, where that story holds up really well is in it's story telling.  Dinosaurs on a Spaceship didn't disappoint either, although I must admit on watching this latest Doctor Who adventure, I kept getting mental flashbacks to Jon's encounter with them.

The humour in the characters was good and modern too with a liberal dose of Carry On standard double entendre's.  Rory's crestfallen look of horror at the Doctor kissing him was priceless! If Russell T. Davies had written this one there would've been the obligatory pokes at his gay agenda, but he didn't, Steven Moffat did.

It was a story which felt very safe.  I just knew that Solomon was gonna get his comeuppance, and it was nice to see the actor best remembered for playing Hogwart's Argus Filch, David Bradley, in a much more meatier role on screen.  Filch might be a nasty character but Solomon was much nastier, even after the Doctor helped him to walk again.

Another epic story which didn't fail to disappoint, and thankfully not much bickering between the Ponds in this story, which is a shame as we know their relationship is doomed to failure.

Looking forward to the next story in the series, A Town Called Mercy looks awesome, it really does.  Don't forget to join us in the Doctor Who Bar on Sunday from 5.15pm pressing Play 5.30pm when we re-watch it.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Doctor Who Bar Sunday Matinee & Schedule Update

As of next week, with the New Series airing on the Saturday we have decided to have a new Sunday Matinee Session instead.

The first new Poll of the Sunday Matinee Session, Terrific Tom, will open at 3.00pm GMT and we'll press Play at 3.30pm.

Also added to the Wednesday session for this week will be a twitter viewing of the aired New Series episode, in this case it will be Asylum of the Daleks after the scheduled story which on Wednesday is The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

From next week the New Series re-showing will follow on the Sunday after the Sunday Matinee session.

Watch the Doctor Who Bar main twitter account:  @TheDoctorWhoBar for details.

So Join Us In The Bar To Watch Doctor Who.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Asylum of the Daleks Review

Who wasn't excited last night (or this morning, depending on where you are) when Doctor Who burst onto our screens for the first time in nine months.

Doctor Who has now a completely new logo and title sequence, the title sequence I loved, while I thought the logo was too corny. It almost looked more suited to Broadway!

The actual story in itself was superb, everything was just right. Skaro was surprisingly back, who knows maybe Gallifrey and the Time Lords next?

So introducing the new companion was a big surprise, but seeing she turned out to be a DALEK where is that storyline going?

Now I do have one thing to say, only four types of Daleks were used, not all as Steven Moffat had said previously.

The character drama between Amy and Rory (who were getting divorced) was superb! And finishing with the Daleks saying "Doctor Who" (as they can't remember him) was perfect!

If I had to rate this out of ten, most certainly a nine star episode.

So next week there is Dinosaurs on a Spaceship to look forward to!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Flick of a Page - Why I love the Doctor Who Books

Ever since I have been a Doctor Who fan there has always been something to keep my enthusiasm going for the show when it was off air. Those of course were the Doctor Who Books and Novels which spring new and exciting Doctor Who stories to life.

It is incredible how authors can produce such imagination into every Doctor Who novel out there where one page can hold as much adventure as a whole TV episode.

It is outstanding how many books have been published since Doctor Who began to the present day, here is a list of the type of Novels that we've had:

The TARGET Doctor Who Novelisations
The Virgin New Adventures
The BBC Doctor Who novels
Panini Graphic Novels

A while ago I asked some of my Twitter Followers to pick out their favourite classic or New Doctor Who Novel's, and here is what they said:

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Filming Continues on 2012 Christmas Special: Exciting Spoilers!

Filming has continued on the 2012 Christmas Special, the episode that will introduce Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion and will guest star Richard E. Grant and Tom Ward.

Scenes were shot in Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff, with returning stars Catrin Stewart and Neve McIntosh, as Jenny and Madame Vastra, present alongside Matt Smith. The scene, witnessed and photographed by @ryanfarr, involved the three characters mourning somebody at their grave. The Doctor, Vastra and Jenny all lay flowers on the grave and the Doctor storms off. Vastra shouts: "Where are you going?!" And the Doctor replies "To find her! To find Clara!" Matt Smith was fetching a brand new purple jacket and a top hat in this scene.

Jenna-Louise Coleman was also present wearing a few different types of modern clothing which could alter speculation that her character is from the Victorian Era.

Filming on the Christmas Special is set to continue over the next couple of weeks.

Farewell to Neil Armstrong 1930 -2012

Neil Armstrong the first Astronaut to set foot on the moon has passed away.

He set foot on the moon in 1969 and was the first person to do so. Some of you may remember the feeling of being dismissed early from work or school to go home and to watch the moon landing in black and white. Unfortunately I wasn't alive then and only recently saw the moon landing when it was replayed in memory of Neil Armstrong.

One small step for man one big step for mankind.

Rest in Peace Neil Armstrong.

Return of the....DWBarOZ

Last Saturday the first of the new #DWBarOz sessions began with The Seeds of Doom. On September 22nd we will return with a double bill new series episodes.

Dinosaur's on a Spaceship &
A DWBar first, watching the live broadcast of:
A Town Called Mercy.

We understand that their is a 1/2 hour time difference between some states in Australia so 6:00pm Adelaide time the Bar opens and we press play of the first episode at 6:30 Adelaide Time. For the live broadcast we want everyone who can to join in but just use #DWBarOZ and #drwhoseries7 or #DWS7 instead of individual story titles.

Thanks and see everyone on the 22nd!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Terry Nation's unmade Dalek spin-off series - by @SomebodyImNot

The Daleks are something that everyone, fan or not, associates with Doctor Who. It can easily be said that they saved Doctor Who from an early cancellation, as they were the monsters that brought Doctor Who to the eyes of the public.

During the 1960’s, Dalekmania spread throughout Britain. There were many merchandise opportunities, such as Anti-Dalek water pistols, annuals, and even Blue Peter cake Daleks. In the pages of one such annual, “The Dalek Outer Space Book” there was a story, which featured the character of Sara Kingdom (killed during “The Dalek Master Plan” but alive in this story) and a futuristic army known as the Space Security Service. These characters had fought the Daleks in this story, and Terry Nation was willing to bring this idea to television as a spin off series.

Terry Nation had no copyright on the character of the Doctor, so this spin off would solely feature Nation’s own creations and the SSS. Plans for a colour television series were beginning to take shape, with the role of Sara Kingdom to be filled with Jean Marsh, who had played a similar character in Doctor Who.

A pilot episode, entitled “The Destroyers” was provided, and almost made.
However, the BBC dropped out of the project, and after Nation failed to sell the idea to NBC, the production ground to a halt.

It’s interesting that despite the series not being made at the time, there seemed to be an unwritten rule that made selling Doctor Who stories featuring the Daleks to foreign broadcasters less feasible after the idea was put to the BBC. These facts meant that many of the Dalek stories missing from the BBC archives could have survived if they had been sold abroad, and do not as a result.

If there is anyone wanting to experience the unmade series in some form, Big Finish included an audio recreation of the pilot story as part of their Lost Stories range. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Asylum of the Daleks Premiere Date

It's been confirmed by the Radio Times, but not yet by the BBC itself that Asylum of the Daleks will air at 7.20pm on 1st of September.

So the long wait is over, and there are apparently two shocking plot twists in this opening adventure to savour! 

So tune in Saturday 1st September, to find out what is going on as the maverick Time Lord comes face to face with his arch enemies.

UPDATE:  It has now been confirmed by The Official BBC Doctor Who twitter feed @BBCDoctorWho that Asylum of the Daleks will indeed be broadcast at 7.20pm BST on 1st of September.

BBC America has just announced that they will also premiere the adventure on the 1st of September, but at 9pm ET.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Doctor Who Bar Down Under

The Doctor Who Bar is now branching out to Australia, New Zealand and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere through the new DWBarOZ hash tag on twitter. I (Benjamin) will be hosting a once a month session and if we have enough people joining we will make it a weekly occurrence.

Meanwhile DWBarUSA is still on hiatus and we are hoping that some of the Americans can join in on DWBarOZ, as I know for some parts of America they are only a couple of hours behind or ahead of us.

Our first story on Saturday 25th of August will be the Seeds of Death (Second Doctor).

Hope you can all join us. Bar opens at 7:00pm (Adelaide Time). Press play at 7:30pm.

The Second Doctor and the Ice Warriors

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Leisure Hive - by @SomebodyImNot

The Leisure Hive was the first story of Doctor Who’s eighteenth season, and starred Tom Baker and Lalla Ward.

It’s all about the Doctor and Romana going on holiday to the planet Argolis and what they find going on at the planet’s “Leisure Hive” after a trip to Brighton fails to live up to expectations.

They arrive at the Leisure Hive, which is in danger of going bankrupt due to its out of date facilities. What the Hive does have, however, is a method of cloning people.

The Argolans are also working on a system to allow the body to be rejuvenated.

The Hive has been invaded by an alien, which we only see the eyes and claws of. It helps to build the suspense in this story.

During a demonstration of the cloning process, one volunteer is pulled apart in a pretty grim scene. Granted there is no blood, but the shot of the various parts of the man’s body lying disconnected on the floor is quite an unnerving one.

The first episode ends with the Doctor himself in the machine, being torn apart in front of the viewers. It’s a great cliff-hanger, although the beginning of the next episode turns it into a little of an anti climax.

So please join us to give your own views on this 1980 story. Bar opens at 7.30 pm and we press play at 8pm. Hope to see you there. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Who's Matt?

Matt has appeared in Doctor Who since 2010 and he said at comic con 2012 "I love Doctor Who, it is the most amazing show to be a part of."

Matt Smith now more commonly known to us as the 11th Doctor didn't always want to be an actor.
Originally Matt Smith aspired to be a footballer, but spondylosis forced him out of the sport. He then joined National Youth Theatre and in 2003 became a full time actor. 

His first role was in the TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's 'the Ruby in Smoke' and he continued on in TV and Theatre. Before appearing in Doctor Who as the youngest Doctor Who ever he appeared with Billie Piper quite intimately in 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl'.
Matt Smith as the Doctor 

In 2009 he was announced as the new Doctor. It was a large announcement and over 9million people tuned in to find out who was taking David Tennant's shoes. Matt Smith's Doctor who he calls "Troughtonesk" first appeared in 'The Eleventh Hour'.

Matt Smith used his former football talents in the episode 'the Lodger' he is confirmed to play the Doctor at least until the end of 2013 covering all the 50th anniversary specials. 

The promo pic for series 7

Matt Smith is returning as the Doctor in series 7 on the 25th of August.

Looking forward to it! Aren't you?