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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Review: Radio Times - Doctor Who Collectors' Edition

Radio Times and Doctor Who. Two inseparable phenomena held together by the power of a magnificent television series and the best TV Guide at this moment in time. I could write more about how great both of these are, but I’m only, for my own sanity, reviewing a particular souvenir book marking the end of David Tennant’s era as the Doctor.

In fact, Radio Times is one of the main reasons why I first watched the new series way back in 2005 (only that long?!). Yes, more than I’d thought. If I hadn’t had that particular Radio Times on the first weekend of the first series, I may never have watched it on that spring evening. It could have been one of the biggest mistakes I’d never have known about. I can’t particularly remember that first cover of the Tardis, but I can’t say I didn’t notice it at all. I assume it’s what first showed me that bright, spectacular, ‘coral’ interior of the famous time machine. I remember most definitely the 16-page guide to the series. I loved that, and was most upset that it wasn’t a pull-out guide again the next year. I’ll never forget highlighting/colouring the
episode titles and guides on the back page. I didn’t know much about the series, so I doubt that there was even a simple key to the colours. But certainly, if it weren’t for that Radio Times it would have been very different.

Of course, I don’t want to necessarily give my whole life story here, so I should take a look at the book itself. Just from the cover, you just know that you have something special in front of you, sporting an exclusive image of the Tenth Doctor taken before ‘The End of Time’. But that is NOT the only exclusive image presented before you once you venture inside. Oh No! Nothing is more eye-catching than the first page with every cover of Doctor Who Radio Times for the past five years. I’m sure you’d look at each one and see if you remember it or wonder if you still have it, at the top of your dusty cupboard. I can’t say that the creators of this book haven’t worked hard at all, it’s just so perfect, attractive to look at and exclusive filled. There is even a foreword from ex-executive producer and head writer Russell T. Davies, with a very old picture of him from 2005. I remember that! I hadn’t a clue who he was then, nor the fact that in a few years I’d meet him in person! There are occasional inputs from the cast and producers for more relevance to the show, rather than it just being written by Radio Times.

I literally could talk for days about all the features in book, but I’d rather not, so straight on. The main layout is episode guides in order for each series, from ‘Rose’ to ‘The End Of Time’, so we’re all up-to-date (for now, at least). Although, I don’t think I could really call them episode guides. They wouldn’t fare well for any reader who is not really a fan. I can confidently say that this is predominantly a ‘fan’s’ souvenir, because any ‘fan’ should be ashamed if they don’t look through it and jump for joy at least once. Any Doctor Who ‘muggles’ would look at the pictures and think they’re pretty, probably. There is a short guide for each episode, which is just enough to be satisfying and so to not make the layout too complex. Next to most of the pictures are extended captions to provide us with great facts for each topic of picture. It does also include transmission dates, writers and directors for each episode. But then there’s also a rating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a rating and I was pleasantly surprised to see them, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of them are very subjective. I don’t know who’s rated the episodes, or if it was a joint effort, but I hope to god that nobody takes these as official ratings, which you should bide by or die. They could have gone in the direction of having readers vote, I suppose, but this is pretty minor. I’ve probably gone and made a fool of myself though, as they probably have done this or something of the sort. I can’t help but pull a face at the ‘Love & Monsters’ rating of 5/5! I thought it was somewhat unpopular. Anyway…

I’ve always had Radio Times while Doctor Who’s been on the telly, and on a lot of weeks I’ve
gone to the Doctor Who section and seen outstanding and stunning pictures to go with theweek’s episode, and been hugely impressed that Radio Times have done all these exclusive photo shoots and have things that the internet doesn’t. I honestly thought a couple of years ago, ‘wouldn’t it be so fantastic having all these together, a memory and something to enjoy looking at?’. Radio Times, you answered my prayers. Thank You! They’re all here, in this book of wonders, in their rightful place. Also included are many behind the scenes pictures as well as episode photos showing how they did filming, creating sets like the Tardis, prosthetics like Dalek Sec Hybrid and more. It’s full of these marvellous images and they’re more special than ever. I’ve looked through it and thought ‘I remember that!’ or ‘Wow, that’s new!’. So don’t think you can get by just having the Radio Times magazines. I’ve even had some of these pictures up on my bedroom wall thanks to the exclusive posters and that’s special in itself, but this is the ultimate collection!

One of the best and most memorable things about the book it the sheer simplicity and colours used throughout. The layout, the colours. It all works, all looks spacious and appealing to any person with a crafted mind. In whatever mood you’re in, it’s so easy to look at, and this honestly cannot be said of a lot of things. The black background on every picture and page is a real advantage for this. It’s a very unique thing in the Doctor Who universe because I think it’s the first real thing like this I’ve ever seen. The pictures released in places such as the Doctor Who site would never work in this form.

I never thought I’d write this much already, but I’m nearing the end, so I have to say this. You have to get this if you like Doctor Who even in the slightest, as there’s a lot to enjoy. Is it worth £6.99? Yes! In fact, for the effort and content of 164 pages, it’s absolutely amazing value, so don’t miss out as there’s nothing like it! In fact, I bet, apart from tiny words, ‘exclusive’ has been one of my most used words, so that may just tell you something…

This is such a good book for keeping around (as long as no one spoils it) to just pick up and look at, by yourself or with others. There’s enough in it to keep you satisfied for at least a couple of months. It’s an absolute treasure and if you purchase it I’m sure it will be something you’ll keep very safe for at least the rest of your life. You may never think that, but it’s just one of those things!

I must admit, there really isn’t much bad about it, that the only truly major downfall is that it doesn’t include anything exclusive on Series 5! Or am I pushing my luck?

RRP £6.99 (Free P&P)
Where From: Call 0844 543 9822 (Limited!)
Pages: 164
10 Stars

Monday, 5 January 2009

Journey's End...

I'm still finding this very difficult, seeing as it is the last thing that I will be writing for the site. I, the owner, have had a wonderful and amazing time over the last nine months, but I had originally thought that it would last longer. For some of you, this might be completely new information, others hints, and a select few heard the story from behind-the-scenes. I don't know how much I'm going to write here, but I am not aiming for it to be very long at all.

If you didn't already know, I put a very large amount of time and effort into the site, and look at what has become over this time. Now, you may think that all this hard work would be silly to just leave behind me. The truth is, that if I did carry on, I would have to put that same amount of work into it, and there is a lot of pressure to keep on going. Of course, I could do less, but I don't really want to continue if it isn't as good as it used to be.

The Christmas break made me realise. When I first stopped for the short amount of time, I still wanted to carry on. I kind of still do now, but I picture a life without it, and it seems so free. I enjoyed that break so much that it is actually very hard to get into it again. The break gave me an opportunity to end. Of course, no updates, like they said they would, occured just before the new year and into 2009, and I just left it. Now, I change my mind every ten minutes "Yes, I want to do it" ... "No, I can't do it".

This closure of the site is not an easy decision, but, at the moment, is a final decision. What has kept me crawling back are the many positive comments about the site. Thanks You so much to absolutely everyone who evryone who did this. It's also very hard to do this because it's so popular! I'm amazed at the number of visitors we had each day, and that just makes it all the more disappointing to stop. Oh, how do I thank everyone! Should I list the main people? Oh, this is hard, there are so many. Here goes (in no particular order);

  • Brad
  • Mark
  • Kyle
  • Lee
  • Bex (TOCS)
  • Axlart
  • Zobles
  • Ro Lean
  • Aryton
  • thedoctorwho07
  • Patar
  • Redevil 987
  • Miss Gallifrey
  • The Powerful Boy
  • Toys
  • Jamie
  • Luke
  • deicario
  • TA
  • Alex (Whovian Rift)
  • Alexander (DWDU)
  • Ash (MDWM)
  • SJA
  • Dave (The Doctor)
  • Cybershade/Cyberking
  • Life-On-Gallifrey
  • Bigwhofan
  • Ryane
  • Will and Seb
  • Combom
  • The oncoming storm
I know you will all hate me, because I know you couldn't think of the internet without this site ;). And, wow, first ever smiley! Please, anyone, if there is anything you would like to say, put it in the cbox. I should respond.

But, the good news... The chat page is still open! And a page that was never completed, Classic Series, can be found here!

Well, hasn't it been fun! I hope you have had a brilliant time. I will still be around, so don't think you're rid of me. But the site may come back in the future. (And before you ask, TA, no you cannot have the site) We will have to see...

Thank You, Everyone! It's not goodbye really, but anyway!
Have a fantastic life...

Alex (Adv)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Last Post of 2008...

I told you about this yesterday, and yes, it is still going to happen. Adventures Through Time and Space will be closed until 2009, with no updates. Christmas is a big thing in the year, and, to be honest, the least thing I would like to be doing is sitting in front of a computer on the day, rather than having all these festive things I want to do. I don't want the site to spoil my day, but not that it will of course. You may have thought that it would be a better idea to close it from 24th to the 26th, but now I will tell you why not. Early tomorrow morning, I will be going away to London for two days, and so obviously I won't be able to update. Then, on 23rd, I'm sure I won't want to, but just have a really fun day, two days before the day. Then, the 24th is a big day, as well as the 26th, and of course the 25th is too, not saying why. The 27th will probably be a bit like the 23rd. And then, on the 28th, the site will be closed with no access at all. This means that you will not be able to view anything, as I want to make it ready to re-open for 2009, all tidied up, and fresh for a new year. I hope you feel that this is the right thing to do, as I certainly do! I do need that long-awaited break!

With this temporary closure, it means no more Competitions until the New Year, no site reviews, nothing updated, apart from one thing, that would be silly to close. The Advent Calendar will be running as normal, but don't expect a big thing on Christmas Day. It will probably just be a 'Merry Christmas!' message, but I doubt you'll want to visit the site on that day, and you should have too many other things to be doing! So a thing you might quite enjoy will be on the 24th. There isn't really much else to say really. I may still be able to talk a little bit on the chat page and so on, but not much really. I will still read comments, and please, please vote on the awards. And if you can vote on every section, that would be great!

I hope you all do have a wonderful, jolly Christmas! Get lots of presents from Santa, enjoy your Christmas Lunch, sing carols and whatever else you may do. And, of course, don't forget the Christmas special at 6:00pm on the day. Don't miss it! Thank You for a wonderful eight months with the site, and I will see you in 11 and a bit days!

Oh, and one last thing, there are so many other sites to visit over Christmas which will be having all the news you need, and so here is a list of some of the great sites for news, in no order, and sorry if I have missed anyone out!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Until 2009...

~ Adv (Owner and Editor)

Dervla Kirwan Interview

Yesterday, the evil Miss Hartigan was interviewed on Paul O'Grady's chat show. If you didn't already know, behind the female villian that will star in this year's Christmas special, The Next Doctor, is an actress known as Dervla Kirwan. The video of it is now on Youtube for you all to watch, and has an extra-special, brand spanking new clip from The Next Doctor. On top of that, Derval does her M&S voice! Exciting? Then watch it below!

Site Awards and Articles

A couple of things about the site here, that have just recently happened. We have just won another two awards on two different sites! How splendid! The first is from Tardis Updates, as it is now called, which used to be Doctor Who - The Blog. We won the award for 'Most Up To Date Blog'. Thank you very much Sylar for this, and you can see the site's award page, here! The other award is from the site called 'Whovian World'. For that we won 'Magnificent Blog of 2008'. Well, that is... Magnificent! You can see this site's award page, here! Thank you so much to both owners, Sylar and The Powerful Boy, and you can see the actual awards made here and here. The second thing is that ATTS is in Via the Void Magazine! For the magazine, I, the owner, answered some quick fire questions, and the site was 'Site of the Month', and there is a little article of the site in the magazine. It is a lovely piece of writing, and left me feeling really happy after reading it. You can read the latest issue of Via the Void magazine, the online magazine of The-Oncoming Storm, here.

More Pictures!

Even more promotional pictures have surfaced online. Radio Times have got thirty-two images, some new and some ones that we have already seen. I'm not going to put them on here, because there are quite a few of them, but you can see them all on the Radio Times website, here. There are images of the Doctors, Rosita, Miss Hartigan, the Cybermen and many other characters appearing in the Christmas special. There are also a few other images. The first is from The Next Doctor's press screening, and has the stars Dervla Kirwan (Miss Hartigan), Velile Tshabalala (Rosita), Russell T. Davies and a Cyberman with a Doctor Who logo background. The second is an alternate image to one of the standar promotional pictures, and has both Doctors, Miss Hartigan, Rosita and the Cyber Leader. The last one is a picture of just the Cyber Leader. You can see all three below, and click to enlarge. There may be more pictures leading up to Christmas Day, but, unfortunately they will not appear here.

The Next Doctor First Reviews

Carrying on with more Christmas news, two reviews have already been posted online for The Next Doctor. The special is due to air on Christmas Day, but there was a press screening event held very recently, but we actually did not hear any news about. But here they are, and thankfully in these reviews, nothing much 'spoilery' is told. The first is from SFX, which you can see here, or view a short snippet below;

Morrissey is great, and there's a lot more to his role than just pastiching the Doctor. The Cybershades are also surprisingly effective - they may look a bit naff in the trailers, but they prove worthy successors to the Cybermats. The Cybermen themselves aren't exactly on top form; they're more like Ciphermen much of the time, and come across a bit stupid. They also seem a lot weaker than usual. What happened to their super strength? And if you've heard that there's an Oliver Twist element involving lots of kids, well, there is, but don't worry - it's more Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom than the Baker Street Kids.

The second is from the Guardian, which you can see here, or again, view a short snippet below;

I would say The Next Doctor is pared down, but it would be difficult for it not to be after the frustratingly busy finale of the last series, which featured Rose, Martha, Donna, Sarah Jane, Captain Jack, Mickey and Jackie (and is surely available in a special And the Kitchen Sink box set). Indeed, the restraint of The Next Doctor – I realise that restraint isn't really a word you'd readily associate with the big, bold visions of Russell T Davies, so let me remind you that context is everything – could perhaps be a sign of things to come in 2009. Davies has said that in the next special the Doctor will be without a companion and without the Tardis – though how David Tennant's back injury will affect filming, which is supposed to begin next month, is anyone's guess.

All this looks pretty exciting already, but you'll be glad to know nothing is spoiled in these reviews. What do you think?

The Next Doctor Guide

The BBC Doctor Who Advent Calendar has opened its twentieth door today, marking the date, the 20th December. Today's feature is the site's guide to the Christmas special, The Next Doctor. The guide has not been up at all until now, and with it comes many new wallpapers, a fear forecast, and all the trailers laid out to get to them easily. There are twelve wallpapers at the moment of the page, and all show many scenes of the special, including some promotional pictures. There are two trailers up at the moment, and the fear forecast you can read below;
  • 0 min - This looks familiar. "Perhaps XXXXXX is behind the TARDIS," grins Adam.
  • 1 min - The family cheer!
  • 2 min - Harry: "Cool!" Samuel: "How?"
  • 3 min - Amy's suddenly concerned.
  • 4 min - Rosita springs into action. Harry demands an explanation.
  • 5 min - Amy whispers to Dad, "Why doesn't he... ?"
  • 6 min - Harry's delighted with a vision.
  • 8 min - Amy clutches Dad's leg.
  • 9 min - Mum harrumphs significantly. Samuel announces that he is a fish.
  • 10 min - The kids have never seen the sonic screwdriver used like that before.
  • 11 min - Watch and learn. The kids are agog.
  • 13 min - The Doctor recalls the night he regenerated. "It makes sense now!" says Samuel gleefully.
  • 14 min - A sudden appearance alarms Amy. Adam has his doubts.
  • 16 min - Amy feels quite sorry for the Doctor.
  • 17 min - The Lady in Red outrages Samuel.
  • 18 min - Amy's eyes widen in apprehension. Harry groans in dismay.
  • 20 min - Why is Dad talking about his nice cardigan?
  • 23 min - The Doctor reveals his favourite personal technology for the very first time.
  • 26 min - Samuel's initial reaction reveals something about last week.
  • 27 min - Samuel is delighted to see a very familiar face.
  • 29 min - Mum and Dad are horrified.
  • 31 min - Amy feels musical.
  • 34 min - What is the racy nightmare?
  • 35 min - Samuel slaps his forehead. "Why did the Doctor do that?"
  • 36 min - The kids cheer!
  • 38 min - Samuel is impressed.
  • 40 min - What makes Amy wriggle in her seat?
  • 41 min - The kids debate royal nomenclature.
  • 42 min - Samuel whoops. Harry grins.
  • 43 min - Harry's advice to the XXXXXXXX is: "Run!" So why are they slowing down?
  • 45 min - "He's called what?" asks Adam.
  • 46 min - Gasps and cheers. The watching parents are misty-eyed.
  • 47 min - The boys are hugely impressed.
  • 49 min - "It's like XXXXXXXX!" says Samuel. "It's a scary XXXX with XXXXX-XXXXXX!" says Harry.
  • 51 min - Samuel realises something about the Doctor... but which one?
  • 53 min - "Wooaaahh!" gasp the kids.
  • 55 min - "The cloister bell!"
  • 56 min - "This is even better than last year!" decides Adam.
  • 57 min - The Doctors have an appointment to keep.
  • 60 min - "Very good show!" declares Harry, and the whole family agree.
You can view the guide here, or the fear forecast here!
You can see all days of the advent calendar on the main page here.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Digital Spy Hints

Well, there has been a lot of news popping up lately, all to do with the Christmas special, and I want to get as much in before I close the site for Christmas, so here are some hints. Like usually, Digital Spy have released their exciting hints for the upcoming episode. There are ten overall, but we are not actually sure yet whether any of them are false or not. You can see all of them below;
  1. The mysterious Cybershades can jump quite high.
  2. Neither the Doctor nor the Other Doctor recognise each other. But the latter doesn't remember much anyway.
  3. There are two words that the Doctor never refuses.
  4. The Other Doctor has a TARDIS - and it's magnificent.
  5. For a while Rosita becomes the Doctor's companion
  6. The script includes the customary line "what about the children?"
  7. At least one previous incarnation of the Doctor makes an appearance.
  8. Miss Hartigan is a very special lady.
  9. The Other Doctor's fobwatch is a very important clue.
  10. "I suppose ** *** ***, **** ***** ** *****."

Another Velile Interview

Another source has posted an interview with Velile Tshabalala, after proviously doing one for Last Broadcast. Velile plays the characters of Rsita, the other Doctor's companion in this year's Christmas special, The Next Doctor. Velile Tshabalala's talk has been put up on Digital Spy and they talk all about her character, not delving at all into her life, apart from her early life with the show and other television roles. Below you can read a short snippet from the interview;

What are the Cybershades? They look like dogs with cyber-faces.
"They're funny little things, aren't they? They've got robotic faces and they're all covered in feathers. I didn't know what to make of them at first. I thought they were quite nice and thought I might borrow one of their outfits for Friday night! They're quite menacing but they're obviously not as strong or scary as the Cybermen. They pop up quite a lot in the episode - they're always coming out of dark corners and stuff. They're a bit of a nuisance to be honest!"

Jobsworth Judoon

The BBC Doctor Who Advent Calendar has opened its ninteenth door today, marking the date, the 19th December. Today's feature is another fun game to play! The game is called Jobsworth Judoon. The main aim of the game is for the Doctor to use his Sonic Screwdriver to break the security codes made by the Judoon on the Tardis so that The Doctor can escape. It is a game of strategy, where you have to join a link up, and actually requires some skill, rather than just making the Doctor run around everwhere battling monsters. It is a good game, and has three settings; Easy, Medium and Hard, and each has three levels. You can play the new game here.
You can see all days of the advent calendar on the main page here.