Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry CBE
With the TARDIS hurtling full throttle on its way back to BBC One, it is only right that two TV legends will be making their Doctor Who debut.
TV icons Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry CBE will both appear in the series opener when the TARDIS lands once more, with Jodie Whittaker reprising her role as the Thirteenth Doctor. Armed with a wealth of acting, comedy and writing credentials both are more than equipped to come face to face with the Time Lord and her friends, but will they be friend or foe remains to be seen…
Speaking ahead of his Doctor Who appearance Stephen Fry said
“Short of being picked for a British space exploration programme and I readily concede that I’m past the age where I’d be considered (if I was ever the right age for such a posting) – then being in an episode of Doctor Who will certainly do as a very sweet second-place excitement.”
Sir Lenny Henry CBE added
“It was absolutely brilliant to be welcomed into the fantastical world of Doctor Who. The nearest I have been to the TARDIS was when I played the Caribbean Doctor in the Lenny Henry Show , so as a life-long (hiding behind the sofa type) Doctor Who fan this is a very special moment for me.”
Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said
“Doctor Who is coming back with a bang - with two great British icons in major roles. One of the great joys of Doctor Who is getting to work with actors from your wish list. Stephen and Lenny are two of my absolute favourite actors - and to be able to bring them into Doctor Who, in one of our biggest ever stories to kick off the new series, is an absolute thrill.”
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With the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends well on their way to landing back on our screens, the next series is set to welcome an exciting host of new directors and both new and returning writers.
Three new writers have jumped on board the TARDIS for series 12:
Also making their debut in 2020 and joining the fam, are four new directors ready to travel through space and time:
Jamie Magnus Stone
Lee Haven Jones
In addition, three writers return from series 11:
Vinay Patel (Demons of The Punjab)
Ed Hime (It Takes You Away)
Pete McTighe (Kerblam!)
Chris Chibnall says:
"We’re thrilled that Doctor Who continues to attract some of the most exciting and dynamic talent working in television. Along with our returning faces, we’re excited to welcome new members to the Doctor Who family. The Doctor Who team is crammed with British television’s brightest writers and directors: we’ve adored working with them, and can’t wait to show you the explosive stuff they’ve created!”
Doctor Who returns in early 2020 when Doctor Who makes an explosive return to screens for another action-packed series of thrilling adventure.
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54 years after the original BBC television broadcast, BBC Studios will premiere a new production of Mission to the Unknown, a missing Doctor Who episode that has been faithfully recreated by a team of students, graduates and staff of the University of Central Lancashire.
Mission to the Unknown will be premiered on the Doctor Who YouTube channel at exactly 5.50pm BST on the 9th October to mark the anniversary of the original broadcast of the episode, which was first aired on BBC One in 1965.
The project was master-minded by Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries at the university, and brought together a dedicated group of students from a wide range of disciplines including film and television, acting, fashion, music, design and dance to recreate the episode from the original script as authentically as possible, carefully researching and reproducing as faithfully as possible the original 1960s production techniques to re-create the classic look of the series.
The recreation caught the imagination of several Doctor Who luminaries including Nicholas Briggs, who has provided the Dalek voices for the recreated episode, and stars including Peter Purves, who played 1960s companion Steven Taylor, and Edward de Souza, who played Marc Cory in the original episode, visiting the new set to lend their support.
The episode will be followed by a making-of documentary short created by YouTuber Josh Snares featuring the cast and crew of Mission to the Unknown with voice of the Daleks, Nicholas Briggs, original cast member Edward de Souza and the classic Doctor Who companion Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) who played the companion to the First Doctor in the 1960s.
Luke Spillane, Digital Publishing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios, said:
“I’m delighted that we will be bringing the story of Space Security agent Marc Cory to our 1.3 million subscribers on the Doctor Who YouTube channel as it is such a fantastic recreation, made lovingly with real craft and expertise by everyone at the University of Central Lancashire. I hope audiences around the world can imagine that it’s tea time on the 9th October 1965 as they rather excitingly watch a black and white episode of Doctor Who premiere on their television sets, mobile phones and tablets.”
Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, said:
“It is such a loss to our cultural heritage that so many episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives. This project presented us with an exciting opportunity to address that, to explore a new way of bringing these missing slices of TV history to life, and in the process, help students learn their craft by comparing contemporary production methods with historical approaches. The project gave so many people great experiences, and it is wonderful to see the Daleks menacing a black and white jungle once more.”
Click here to watch Mission to the Unknown on the Doctor Who YouTube channel at exactly 5.50pm BST on the 9th October.
We are sad to report that Terrance Dicks, one of the original writers of Doctor Who has died at the age of 84.
Terrance worked as script editor on more than 150 episodes of Doctor Who, as well as writing classic serials such as The War Games and The Five Doctors, although he is perhaps most well known for his huge number of Doctor Who novelisations for Target Books, writing more than 60 titles.
Chris Chibnall has said
“The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks. He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off. As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations. As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be. Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.”
When Jodie Whittaker returns to Doctor Who next series, the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends won’t be the only familiar faces. The show, currently filming, is set to welcome back The Judoon as one of the Doctor’s fearsome adversaries.
More than twelve years after they stampeded onto screens to terrorise the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones on the moon in 2007’s “Smith and Jones", the rhino-headed, brutish intergalactic police are returning to cause havoc and thrill children and adults alike.
These ruthless enforcers are on a deadly mission: but what for? And why has it brought them to present-day Gloucester?
The episode will also star acclaimed actor Neil Stuke. Neil has an established career on stage, television and films, and is a two times BAFTA nominee. Neil’s recent credits include Doctor Foster, Silk and Silent Witness.
Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said “No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: one of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series. And we’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor."
The eleventh series of Doctor Who was the biggest series of the show in over a decade with an average audience of 8.6m viewers in the 28 days following broadcast, across all available devices.