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Here is a whistlestop tour of just some of the many things that are going on in space and time this week:
• Jemma Redgrave is the latest actress to be confirmed for the 50th. She’ll be reprising her role as the Brigadier’s daughter, Kate Stewart.
• You can see her here, in this on-location report from the Tower of London.
• Christopher Eccleston (The Ninth Doctor) will not be making a return for the 50th Anniversary special. A BBC spokesperson tells Digital Spy: “Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.”
• Jenna-Louise Coleman has revealed how much of a laugh it was working with Dame Diana Rigg on Mark Gatiss’s Season 7 story The Crimson Horror. It turns out, quite a lot of a laugh, as she told Vulture, : “Oh my God, she was so funny on set. She’s got a lot of banter on her.”
She went to to explain a bit about the story, saying, “She’s our villain and she runs a place in 1800 Yorkshire called Sweetville, which is kind of Stepford Wives-y. She has a big factory and she’s up to no good.
“Her daughter, Rachael Stirling, is also playing her daughter on the show, and they just go at each other.”
• “Is Clara the new River Song?” io9 asks.
• Matt Smith shares a tea with Victoria Wood:
• There’s no way to ease you into this news slowly: Richard E Grant is going to be the HBO comedy Girls, playing a character called Jasper (via The Hollywood Reporter).
• This is amazing. Doctor Puppet (Episode 1, Episode 2 is further down), as created by animator Alisa Stern (who is interviewed here by the Nerdist):
• He also has a tumblr: doctorpuppet.tumblr.com
• Did you see the interview with Steven Moffat in Doctor Who magazine, in which he explained that Amy Pond’s first moments had (sort of) already been worked out as a cunningly backwards plot device before David Tennant announced he was going to leave the show?
“My pitch was that it would start with the TARDIS crashing in Amelia’s back garden — as now — and a terribly battered and bruised Tenth Doctor staggering out. Amelia finds him, feeds him fish custard (no that was for Matt, it would have been something more Davidy) and generally helps him. But we, the audience, can see he’s in a truly bad way. Dying maybe. Eventually he heads back to his TARDIS, and flies off.
“But when he returns – many years later for Amy – he seems perfectly fine, and indeed doesn’t remember any of those events. And of course over time, we realize what we saw was the Tenth Doctor at the end of his life, about to regenerate. Events that we return to in Episode 13…”
• And while we’re being intrigued by David Tennant, he wants to play Mr. Fantastic? Really?
• And speaking of fish custard. Matt Smith’s face on a box of fish fingers…
• Brooklyn’s Whovian hordes congregate (in full cosplay mode, naturally) in something called a “nerd bar” to watch Doctor Who on Sunday nights. The New York Post has this report.
• An app that turns your smartphone into a Dalek’s-eye view of the world…
• And as promised, here’s Doctor Puppet episode 2:
• Let’s end with another enormously intriguing thought. The artist Dan Norton — probably best known for working on the Thundercats cartoon — posted some amazing Doctor Who images on his deviantART account, which he says is from a failed pitch to make a cartoon version of the show. His accompanying text says:
“Yeah man, we were so close… Had a few revisions creatively that were requested and so we retooled. It was going to be epic man. End of the day, BBC didn’t want anything to distract from production of the TV show…
“Well, what was close to happening didn’t. Since the BBC eventually passed on [it], you will be rewarded with [it]! This is the pitch poster I had only 7 hours to do. Starting with [the] First Doctor, the series would have touched on all the versions and filled in some gaps.”
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic