Sunday, 21 April 2013

That Was The Week That Was 21.4.13


Last night's episode, Hide, had a disappointing overnight viewing figure of 4.4 million. This is the lowest since The Hungry Earth. Most of the UK saw some long-awaited Spring sunshine, which would have meant lots of people being out and about, and it overlapped with a certain popular talent show on ITV. No doubt the time-shifted figures will bring it up to similar levels as the other stories this series.
For a ghost story, I do have to have another moan about this business of Doctor Who being best shown in the Autumn / Winter months. Moffat keeps saying this, and yet only 5 episodes of his tenure have been shown at this time of year. I'm lucky in that I've got nice heavy curtains to create a bit of a mood (they belonged to a Pope you know, but that is a story for another day...).


David Tennant has continued to film scenes for the 50th Anniversary story (at Chepstow Castle, and again featuring the Zygons in Tudor times). He turned 42 on Thursday - sharing his birthday with Camille Coduri (still the same age as Cuba Gooding Jnr she tells me...).
A belated happy birthday to them both.
John Hurt was seen on location for the first time - also at Chepstow, though not in any Tudor costume. The SFX website has some photographs.
Poster images were released for the final four episodes of the current series, the last of which revealed the title of the season finale.


The Cyberman one is now my desktop background - not that you are probably interested.


In other news, another couple of Doctor Who Proms have been announced. A musical event to celebrate the anniversary was always on the cards - though we didn't know if it would be a Prom or another concert in Cardiff. I argued last year that any events such as this should take in the whole of the UK - not just London / Cardiff.
There will be two performances - 7.30pm on Saturday 13th July, and 10.00am on Sunday 21st July (a morning one for the grown-ups who might be too scared seeing monsters so close to bedtime). Tickets go on sale as of 11th May. I'm not sure why the first performance has been dubbed Prom 2, and the second Prom 3, when there have already been three Prom performances.


Onto DVD news, and the covers for The Mind of Evil and The Ice Warriors have been released.
It has been announced that a number of "Monster Collection" DVD sets will be released on 8th July - featuring the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Silurians, Davros and the Master. Contents and pricing have not been revealed.
The advertised June release for a "Regeneration Box Set" has been pulled - though it is still appearing on some internet retail sites.


A new Character Options set to look forward to is one for The Daemons - featuring the Brigadier, Bok and the be-robed Master. A Forbidden Planet exclusive as usual. Personally, if the picture is to scale, Bok is a bit too wee.



Lastly, in a Who / Not Who moment, I would just like to say how pleased I am to see that Peter Cushing is to be honoured by a postage stamp. As well as portraying the Doctor in the two Dalek feature films, Peter starred in numerous Hammer films (I am almost as big a fan of these as I am of Doctor Who). He played Sherlock Holmes in their adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as on TV.
His Van Helsing is a total hero, his Baron Frankenstein an amoral and twisted one (only truly villainous in the first film of the series). In between lie characters such as his duplicitous doctor in The Gorgon.
His finest moment is the conclusion of Dracula (1958) - running along the refectory table and pulling down the curtains, then using the candlesticks to form a cross to hold the Count in the rays of the sun - both ideas proffered by Cushing himself.
Everyone who met him said he was the nicest, most down to earth, genuine person they had ever encountered. I remember seeing him appear on Jim'll Fix It - an old gentleman requesting that a new rose be named after his deceased wife.
Get a hold of Steve Cambden's book "The Doctor's Effects" and read the foreward by Doctor Who and Hammer SFX man Ian Scoones for a snapshot of what Cushing was like - messing about with model boats with the local children and then taking a keen interest in helping a young fan make it into the film world.
This is a long-overdue tribute to an exceptional actor and wonderful human being.

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