We understand that some fans may have received in error their Blu-ray edition of Series 7.2 early. We respectfully ask those fans not to divulge information or post content publicly so that fellow fans who have yet to see the episodes do not have their viewing pleasure ruined. If everyone keeps the secrets safe until next Saturday we will release a special new clip featuring material of the 10th and 11th Doctor.
The ten-year anniversaries of Doctor Who have been marked in various ways. The 10th Anniversary brought us The Three Doctors, the first multi-Doctor story, in which all three of the first Doctors were able to participate. For the 20th anniversary, The Five Doctors reunited companions, monsters and Doctors in an ambitious romp, but the late William Hartnell had to be replaced Richard Hurndall, and Tom Baker was represented only by footage lifted from the then-unseen Shada story. The next two anniversaries were marked during the wilderness years when the series was on hiatus. Stalwart fans at a Chicago Doctor Who convention considered themselves lucky to watch their series favorites in a live feed of Dimensions in Time from the 1993 BBC Children in Need telethon. While the series was still inactive in 2003, fans celebrating Doctor Who’s 40th anniversary were happily anticipating the series revival announced for 2005. Now the series is stronger than ever as its 50th Anniversary approaches.
To commemorate the occasion, BBC America Shop has commissioned an exclusive, limited edition pair of sterling silver dog tags. One bears the popular TARDIS-shaped “DW” logo on one side, and on the reverse “November 23, 1963,” the date that the BBC broadcast “An Unearthly Child,” the first Doctor Who episode. The other tag is a TARDIS, whose reverse side as the engraved names of the actors who played the eleven Doctors we have seen so far. Only 2,000 dog tags will ever be produced, and they may be pre-ordered now for delivery after June 20, 2013.
Fan Alert: April is Fourth Doctor Month on Doctor Who Revisited, and that means the ever-popular Tom Baker! On Sunday night, April 28th, at 8ET/7CT BBC America will revisit Tom Baker followed by Pyramids of Mars, an unforgettable story of ancient Egypt and outer space that regularly figures in the top ten in fan polls. Doctor Who Revisited (profiles and representative stories) will also be available on DVD later this year, and the first volume, devoted to the First – Fourth Doctors, may be pre-ordered now.
We are looking forward to the return Call the Midwife on PBS March 31st. Jessica Raine, Helen George and Bryony Hannah (left to right) will be back with more lovely babies, and so will Pam Ferris (Rosemary & Thyme), Miranda Hart (Miranda), Judy Parfitt (Little Dorrit) and Jenny Agutter (MI-5). This time around, the season has been extended to eight episodes.
Call the Midwife Season Two will be available on Blu-ray and DVD later this year, including the incredible Christmas Special that aired last December.
Coming this November, Jessica Raine will play the coveted role of TV pioneer Verity Lambert in An Adventure in Space and Time. Written by Mark Gattiss (Sherlock), the drama will tell the story behind the creation of the Doctor Who series in 1963. David Bradley (Harry Potter films) will co-star as First Doctor William Hartnell.
Doctor Who fan alert: Check out these excerpts from three upcoming Doctor Who tie-in novels here. These new adventures go on sale April 2nd!
We are looking forward to the return of Doctor Who March 30th on BBC America and Space. Series Seven, Part Two will run to eight episodes, and as usual the DVD and Blu-ray will be available in half season and full season options later in the year. That’s not forgetting last month’s special “The Snowmen,” which will be included on all four releases.
But we are also looking back, as this year marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, which debuted November 23, 1963 with William Hartnell in the starring role. Over the years eleven actors have played the Doctor, a tidy total that dovetails with the number of months in the countdown to the anniversary. Each month this year BBC America will present a retrospective profile on one of the Doctors, starting with First Doctor William Hartnell this Sunday, January 27th, at 9pm ET/PT. The profiles will be followed by a representative story from the Doctor’s era. To enhance the series’ educational value, the First Doctor checked quite a few historical destinations off his Bucket List during his three-year run. The Aztecs is the earliest extant historical Doctor Who story, and a fine example of how to recreate an ancient civilization on a BBC soundstage. This rare color photo shows a scene in which the Doctor is soon to learn the unexpected repercussions of making cocoa with an Aztec lady. A Special Edition DVD of The Aztecs, available March 12, may be pre-ordered now.
In five days the great tradition of the Doctor Who Christmas Special will be renewed with a new adventure “The Snowmen.” It’s a lavishly costumed romp set on Christmas Eve 1892, with Richard E. Grant (The Crimson Petal and the White) guest-starring as the sinister Doctor Simeon and introducing the Doctor’s new companion Clara (Jenna Louise-Coleman, Titanic ). Off-screen, the voice of the Snowmen is provided by none other than Sir Ian McKellen. “The Snowmen” will premiere on BBC America December 25th at 9pm ET / 8pm CT / 9pm PT, and on Space December 25th at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. Releases on DVD and Blu-ray will follow sometime in 2013.
Fan Alert: Martin Freeman, currently starring as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is well-known to longtime fans of The Office and Sherlock. He’s pretty easy to spot even in make-up, but recognizing other BBC talent presents a greater challenge. Beneath the dwarves’ beards and prosthetics are Richard Armitage (Robin Hood, MI-5) as Thorin, Aidan Turner (Being Human, Desperate Romantics) as Kili, and James Nesbit (Jekyll, Ballykissangel) as Bofur. We failed to spot Stephen Fry (Blackadder) as the Master of Laketown, but something essentially Sylvester McCoy (Doctor #7) shone through the persona of the wizard Radagast the Brown. The most disguised of all, performance capture wizard Andy Serkis as Gollum, may be seen in Little Dorritin his Emmy-nominated performance as Rigaud.
As the last Doctor Who episode until Christmastime airs tomorrow, September 29th, many Whovians may experience pangs of withdrawal, especially since tomorrow’s episode marks the final appearance of Karen Gillen and Arthur Darvill as Amy and Rory. If you’re a newcomer to Doctor Who, or just lately realized that you’ve become a super-fan, we’re putting together a big gift set for release November 20th. In addition to all of the new series seasons and specials through Season Six and “The Christmas Carol,” the Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set also includes the popular Eleventh Doctor sonic screwdriver, a bonus disc of three BBC America specials on DVD for the first time, three art prints and the “Doctor Who at Comic Con” comic book. Even at full list price, the savings are over 50% of the cost of buying the DVDs separately, but you can save even more during this weekend’s 20% off sale at bothBBC America and BBC Canada Shops.
Viewer Alert:Call the Midwife premieres on PBS this Sunday, September 30th, at 8pm ET in the time slot before Masterpiece. If you like what you see, the home video releases offer even more – the full 60-minute versions of the episodes. Coming November 6th, the DVD and Blu-ray, as well as the companion book are available for pre-order now.
Nearly fifteen years ago The Ice House aired on Mystery! and introduced us to a young actor named Daniel Craig. He was not yet a star, but his intensity as McLoughlin, a police detective dealing with the pressures of a difficult case, marked him as one to watch.
When a body is discovered in the ice house at Streech Grange, McLoughlin’s more experienced partner Inspector Walsh (Corin Redgrave, The Forsyte Saga) is already convinced he knows the victim and the killers. The corpse must be David Maybury, who went missing ten years before. David had been unhappily married to Phoebe (Penny Downie, Hamlet ), who still lives on the estate with two women (Kitty Aldridge, House of Cards Trilogy and Frances Barber,Doctor Who [S6]). The local villagers share the notion that the three women are murderers, Lesbians and perhaps even witches. Equally hostile to outsiders, the women of Streech Grange are none too helpful to the police with their inquiries. But something special happens in the scenes between Daniel Craig and Kitty Aldridge that sets The Ice House apart even after all the complexities of the mystery are settled.
Doctor Who fan alert: Series Seven premieres tomorrow, September 1st, on BBC America and on Space in Canada at 9pm ET.
Last year’s three-episode debut of the new version of Upstairs Downstairs left us with more of a taste of the drama’s potential than a full grounding in the characters’ lives. Season Two, which premieres October 7th on Masterpiece, is a full six episodes, allowing a deeper treatment of the characters’ hopes, desires and, above all, secrets. While we were disappointed to learn that Eileen Atkins would not return in Season Two, Alex Kingston (Doctor Who) introduces a fresh dynamic into the house as the late Lady Holland’s younger sister who stays on indefinitely after the funeral. In the months leading up to World War II the curse of “living in interesting times” descends on 165 Eaton Place. Emotions run high, and the judgment of even the most reliable residents breaks down under the pressure. The DVD of this most compelling second season of Upstairs Downstairs will be available on October 23rd and may be pre-ordered now. The Canadian premiere has not yet been announced.
Doctor Who fan alert: Series Seven will premiere on BBC America and on Space in Canada on September 1st at 9pm ET.
The date for the return of Doctor Who is not yet announced, but the first authorized image came in today. Though much of the information about the upcoming season is still under wraps, we do know that the final appearances of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as Amy and Rory are in store. There will also be guest appearances by Rupert Graves (Sherlock) and two familiar faces from the Harry Potter films, Mark Williams and David Bradley.
For now, Matt Smith can be seen in Going for Gold, the London 1948 Olympics drama that just came out on DVD. This was our first release to offer access to an UltraViolet copy you can download to your favorite devices.
Misfits Fan Alert: Misfits Season One is now on DVD, and to celebrate we have launched two Misfits apps on Facebook:
Tug of War: Vote for your favorite Misfit for a chance to win a Season One Prize Pack! Prize pack includes a Misfits: Season One DVD and collector’s t-shit. Vote HERE.
Quiz: Put your Misfits knowledge to the test for a chance to win a collector’s t-shirt and Season One DVD! Visit the quiz tab HERE.
We had hoped to post a message or two from Comic-Con last week, but we found ourselves serving shoppers and visitors round the clock in the BBC America booth. There were a few stolen moments when we snapped a costume photo or two to send to Anglophenia (whose coverage was fantastic), but that was the extent of our journalistic contributions.
Thanks to all our booth visitors for their exceptional patience in negotiating our extended shopping line. Luckily, our video wall offered 45 minutes of previews, clips and fun features to pass the time and spark conversations. One shirtless shot of David Tennant (from the upcoming BBC America miniseries Spies of Warsaw) spurred a great deal of interest, as did the promo for Matt Smith in the Olympics drama Going for Gold, which airs next Wednesday, July 25th.
San Diego is a beautiful city with one on the most enviable summer climates in the country, and we were glad to see that the stars of Doctor Who had a chance to get out and about town:
We suspect that the only outdoor exposure some Comic-Con attendees get is waiting outside the convention center for their favorite panel:
In the spirit of Comic-Con, we are releasing Misfits Season One on DVD July 31st. This BAFTA-winning drama about unruly teens who develop superpowers was described by New York Magazine as “Heroes with Buffy-esque snark.” The DVD includes over 70 minutes of extras and an on-pack offer for a T-shirt in that “community service” shade of orange that is so trendy this summer.
Congratulations to BBC’s nominees for this year’s Emmy Awards!
Luther and Sherlock both garnered Best Miniseries nominations. Acting nods went to Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Idris Elba (Luther), Martin Freeman (Sherlock), and Emma Thompson (The Song of Lunch). Also in the running are writers Neil Cross (Luther), Steven Moffat (Sherlock), and Abi Morgan (The Hour), and directors Sam Miller (Luther) and Paul McGuigan (Sherlock). Sherlock also received seven technical nominations, including Outstanding Music by David Arnold and Michael Price.
Landmark nature series Frozen Planet earned five nominations, including Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and Outstanding Cinematography.