Episode 238: A Moffaty Christmas

On the podcast this week Martyn and Chris discuss and review the Steven Moffat era, of Doctor Who Christmas specials.

The Doctor Who Christmas episodes started with “The Christmas Invasion” in 2005 and ended with 2017’s “Twice Upon a Time“.

Your dynamic duo also discuss if moving from Christmas Day to a New Year’s Day slot, is good for the series.

Listen to our review of the Russell T Davies Christmas specials here.

Martyn’s interview with Steven Moffat can be found here. The interview with David Bradley and Claudia Grant can be found here.



Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Chris is taking part in Movember, if you’d like to donate you can do so here.

Check out our Youtube, We Sound Familiar and, Comedians talking football.

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Doctor Who zone launches in BBC’s Nightfall game

Young gamers can now transport themselves inside the iconic world of Doctor Who for a limited time in Nightfall, the BBC’s online multiplayer game.

Nightfall’s REM Zone 2 has been transformed until Tuesday 29 September, and it’s up to Nightfallers to work together and keep the Doctor’s most infamous villains – the Daleks – at bay.

The free-to-play game gives players the chance to claim new outfits and style their Nightfaller as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, or as one of the Doctor’s long-standing enemies, the Cybermen. Once they’ve unlocked the outfits, they’ll be able to keep them forever.

In Nightfall, players control a version of themselves that exists in their dreams – a Nightfaller. Their purpose: to work with other Nightfallers and defend the Dream from Nightmares, made up of worries from the waking world.

The Doctor Who takeover of REM Zone 2 is one of five REM zones available within the game, hosting up to 20 players across them at a time. Nightfall is being continuously updated and this time-limited feature is the latest in a series of collaborations with BBC brands, with more coming soon.

Rachel Bardill, executive editor, BBC Children’s says: “Nightfall puts collaboration before competition, and this new Doctor Who zone is an exciting addition, transporting children inside the world of the Doctor to unite and take on the Daleks together. It’s especially important now for kids to connect when they’re apart from friends and classmates, and Nightfall is bringing them together in an online dream world to help defeat Nightmares.”

The Doctor Who zone is available until Tuesday 29 September. Download Nightfall now for iOS, Android and Amazon devices, or play online here.

Dalek tells humans to stay home

A Dalek has been spotted ordering people to stay indors.

Most of the UK is currently on a government-ordered lockdown as part of a national effort to save lives, although there are some members of the public who’ve been disregarding the guidelines this weekend, due to unseasonabily warm weather.

A video posted on Twitter has shown a Dalek, roaming the street in a countryside village.

As people have been so blatantly flouting the guidelines, I think we need Nicholas Briggs to redub this video with the official voice of the Daleks.

Episode 224: Series 12

In which two angry men, talk to one heavily medicated man, about the last three episodes of series 12 of Doctor Who. The trio discuss the strange times of Covid 19 and the recent positivity its brought about within the Doctor Who fandom. Which saw the likes of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and, Matt Smith join Twitter for a Doctor Who watch along. Episodes Included Rose, Day of the doctor, Vincent & The Doctor and, The eleventh hour.

Steven Moffat wrote a new short video, featuring Dan Starky reprising his role as Strax. Russell T Davies released a prequel and sequel to ‘Rose’. The prequel was written long before the concept of The War Doctor, was introduced by Steven Moffat. It featured the regeneration of Paul McGann’s incarnation of The Doctor, into Christopher Eccleston’s

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to;

Podchaser, Player fm, Stitcher and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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The intro is taken from We Sound Familiar.

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Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

Episode 196: The good, the bad and The Chib

Bad Wilf is back! In this exciting instalment, Martyn and Gerrod discuss life, work, holidays and the Doctor Who series 11 episodes, The woman who fell to Earth, Ghost monument and, Rosa.

The eleventh series of Doctor Who began its initial run on 7 October 2018, and will consist of ten episodes. The series is the first to be led by Chris Chibnall as head writer and executive producer, alongside executive producers Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle.



The series introduces Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, with Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole playing her companions.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as;

Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

If you’d like to support the show, then please check out our Ko-Fi, or shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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Interview-Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat

HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE TOLD OF PLANS TO NOVELISE NEW SERIES DOCTOR WHO EPISODES?

RTD: I was very excited! I’d collected Target books as a kid, so it felt like closing a circle. And I wanted to test myself too, I was interested to find out what the process would be like. And to look back on an old piece of work after 13 years was fascinating.

SM: Well, surprised – I knew nothing of the plans, because this all started around the time I was leaving. The biggest surprise, though, was that I actually wanted to novelise The Day Of The Doctor. I had a hell of a time on that script, I had no idea I wanted to revisit it!

WHAT DID THE ORIGINAL TARGET DOCTOR WHO BOOKS MEAN TO YOU, GROWING UP?

RTD: I loved them. I’ve still got them all, on a shelf here in my office! In the days before DVD or streaming, they were the only official records of an adventure. And they were so mysterious, detailing stories we thought we’d never see again. Some we still won’t, because they’re missing from the archive. I can probably tell you where I was, which shop I was in when I bought it, for every single one of my Target originals.

SM: Every time I’d go to a bookshop – and I was a keen reader, so I went a lot – I’d head straight to the Doctor Who book section. Because I’d stared at all the book covers I already owned with such manic intensity, they were carved into my brain like wounds – so I could tell from right across the shop, by the tiniest variation in colour or artwork, if there was a new one on the shelf, and if there was my heart would leap. Then, sometimes, I’d wake up. So you could say I was – y’know – over invested. I think that’s the polite way of putting it.

WHAT ELSE DID YOU READ AS A CHILD? DID THE ORIGINAL TARGETS LEAD YOU INTO OTHER SERIES OR AUTHORS?

RTD: I read anything and everything. Enid Blyton! Tolkien. C.S. Lewis. Agatha Christie. Dune. Jaws. I was a voracious reader, I still am, I was trying D.H. Lawrence by the time I was 11. A lot of young readers will tell you that Targets led them onto many other books, which is brilliant, but frankly, I was there already!

SM: I’m very old, so I was already a voracious reader before the Target series got started – I loved the Narnia books, and The Hobbit, and especially Tom’s Midnight Garden. Reading and Doctor Who were my two favourite things. But the thing I wanted more than anything was to combine my enthusiasms. I longed for there to be Doctor Who books! There were Star Trek books, so it didn’t seem fair there weren’t any Doctor Who ones. And then, suddenly there they were. I was on holiday in Cornwall, in a little town called Mevagissey, and in a shop called Dunns there was a solitary rack of books which I’d always walk round and round, looking for something to read – then one day my Dad grabbed and my arm and pointed to the bottom row of paperbacks: Doctor Who And The Daleks, Doctor Who And The Zarbi and Doctor Who And The Crusaders. I was so happy!

HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE TASK OF NOVELISING YOUR OWN SCRIPT?

RTD: It was tricky, I wanted to capture the essence of the TV episode, but I didn’t want to repeat it. I’d long since lost the scripts! I’m always asked to give away Doctor Who stuff for raffles and prizes, so everything has gone. I found a transcript online, and someone found me a copy of the very first draft. But I didn’t always look at them. I was a bit more freefalling. Or rather, I wanted to add stuff to most of the dialogue because I knew fans would know a lot of it off by heart already, so there had to be new things to discover.

SM: I just sort of started. I had a few ideas about how it might translate, but really, as with any writing, I just dived in. I found the shooting script on my hard drive, and was shocked to see how much I’d altered it during filming. Quite often, I’d have to watch the DVD and transcribe useful bits of dialogue, because I found I had no written record of really quite important scenes. Then, of course, you find the parts that don’t quite work in prose. The shock of seeing David and Matt together, John Hurt as the Doctor, surprise appearances by Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi – you have to find a way to make those moments work in a book, without surprise guest stars, which can be a challenge.

HOW DID THE EXPERIENCE OF WRITING A NOVEL COMPARE TO WRITING A TV SCRIPT?

RTD: It’s all hard work! But it’s a different focus. That became clear with the character of Mickey, Rose’s long-suffering boyfriend. On screen, played brilliantly by Noel Clarke, he flies past, he’s wonderful, he’s fast and fun and furious, but when a novel goes inside someone’s head, I had to give him more focus. Also, bear in mind, on TV, I knew I had 13 episodes to tell Mickey’s story, but in a one-off book, I had to complete him a bit more.

SM: When you write a screenplay, you make the audience a witness to events. When you write a book, you make the reader experience them. You go from the grandeur of spectacle to the intimacy of inside someone’s head. I don’t think either is better than the other, but they are different. Twists and turns, suspense, humour – they all work in different ways. You’re aiming for the same effects, but by other means.

IN A WORLD WHERE THE ORIGINAL SHOW CAN BE ACCESSED IN A DOZEN WAYS ON DEMAND, WHAT PLACE DOES A NOVELISATION HAVE?

RTD: New stuff! Newness. Sheer newness. New action, new dialogue and new insights. A fan might have seen something a dozen times, so I felt honour-bound to add things that could only be found inside the pages of the book. And I know what fandom feels like, there’s nothing we love more than discovering something new about something old.

SM: Well, we’ll find out, won’t we? Back when the Targets started, those books were our only permanent record. The shows were on your telly exactly once, and then disappeared forever, like smoke up the chimney. Back then, Terrance Dicks would give us perfect, prose replicas of the originals, scene for scene, line for line, and very brilliantly done. He’d also do sly little fixes on the plotting when he felt inclined. But a few years later – from about Peter Davison on, I think – we all had VCRs, and we could keep the originals exactly as they were so we didn’t need the prose replicas. So the Target books changed – more of the original writers got involved, and they became more like alternative versions. Perhaps that’s how it will go now? As I say, we’ll find out.

WERE YOU TEMPTED TO ‘GO BIGGER’ WITH THE ACTION, UNFETTERED BY BUDGET?

RTD: Oh, a bit. A lot! Bear in mind, there’s a great big invasion of London by shop-window dummies at the end, so I’d paved the way for some epic action. On screen, the London Eye just sits there in the background. In this version, it’s a lot more involved! I loved writing that stuff.

And writing action is hard – seeing a bullet fly on screen is easy, describing it in prose is much harder, so that was a good test.

SM: Sometimes, yes. I don’t think it’s the big difference. In a way, many of the finest creative decisions in Doctor Who are direct responses to budgetary limitations – there’s a reason the Doctor’s space ship looks like a phone box, and he spends a lot of time in dark tunnels – so its good to go epic, so long as you don’t lose the signature style. I’m not the first person to say it, but the clash of the epic and domestic is a big part of what makes the show what it is.

REVISITING AND RE-PRESENTING PAST WORK – DID YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC?

RTD: I just felt old! But I felt mighty proud. Rose was the first episode in 2005, and for all the changes to the show, it’s fundamentally still the same show.

SM: Too soon for me. The day was only five years ago, and I’ve barely finished as showrunner. I don’t think I’ll ever feel nostalgia for Doctor Who, exactly – I think it will just carry on being my favourite show on TV, and I’ll have fond memories of having worked on it once.

WITH THESE NOVELISATIONS UNDER YOUR BELT WOULD YOU CONSIDER WRITING FURTHER BOOKS – EITHER FOR WHO OR SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?

RTD: I think it’s more exciting to consider something new, now. I really loved writing this, and I think the chance to write brand new stories with brand new characters would be exhilarating. One day!

SM: Hugely enjoyed writing the book. Very much indeed. So yes, I hope I get another go at prose, in whatever form.

Steven Moffat publishes day of the Doctor script, that featured Christopher Eccleston

The former Doctor Who showrunner has made the first draft of the day of the Doctor script, available for the charity project A Second Target for Tommy. There are a couple of changes.

Moffat says:

“While novelising Day of the Doctor, I went back through all the many drafts of the script, and I found this version of the barn scene.

The Moment is clearly not Rose Tyler in this draft, and the barn itself has a different, erm, origin. If barns can be said to have origins.

But the other big difference is the one that people might get a kick out of. Hope you enjoy, but please do keep in mind this is the roughest of early drafts…”

THE NINTH DOCTOR

Don’t sit on that.

RAGGEDY GIRL

Why not?

He strides over to her, grabs her arm.

THE NINTH DOCTOR

Because it’s not a chair, love – it’s the most dangerous weapon in the universe.

THE NINTH DOCTOR

Listen. A very bad thing is gonna happen here and I’m not sure how it’s gonna work. But I don’t think you want to be here when it does, okay?

RAGGEDY GIRL

…you’ve got a funny face.

THE NINTH DOCTOR

You should see the other fellas.

RAGGEDY GIRL

I like it though.

THE NINTH DOCTOR

Thanks, it’s new. Not sure about the ears yet, they just sort of kept going. Now, you need to get away from here. You need to pick a direction and just run –

RAGGEDY GIRL

You sound clever

THE NINTH DOCTOR

Not clever enough to figure out how this thing works, so could you give us some hush?

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Pearl Mackie discusses the possibility of staying on for series 11

In an interview with ITV’s this morning, earlier today. Pearl Mackie was asked about her experience as part of team-TARDIS. When asked by Eamon Holmes, about Peter Capaldi’s departure by and whether she would like to stay on for series 11. She said:

“I don’t know, I mean it’s not up to me. Peter is such a wonderful Doctor, and I think the dynamic that he and I have playing The Doctor and Bill together is something that really works. That’s not to say it wouldn’t work with a different Doctor. But, yeah, it’s always a new adjustment, getting a new Doctor. Inevitably the dynamic is different because your different actors. And different characters.”


Pearl has quickly endeared herself to critics and fans alike, with some already dubbing the the best companion of the Nu-Who era. It certainly would be a shame to see her depart after one series.

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Episode 171:Texting, snogging and vegan wraps

On the latest exciting installment, Martyn and Gerrod discuss the return of Doctor Who and look at episode one of series 10, The Pilot.

It is the first episode to feature Pearl Mackie as the new companion Bill Potts, after the departure of Jenna Coleman at the end of the previous series. The episode also sees the brief return of the Daleks, their last major appearance being that of the previous series’ premiere, “The Magician’s Apprentice” / “The Witch’s Familiar.

Is it a success, or has Steven Moffed it up again?

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

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Some thoughts on the way the BBC handled Class

It’s no secret the Doctor Who spin-off hardly broke ratings records, when it premiered on the IPlayer a few months ago.
It’s recent terrestrial broadcast didn’t fair much better either, pulling in just 0.94 million when it aired on BBC One earlier this week.

Even though it did manage to build a fanbase. A second series looks unlikely. Members of the cast have even been retweeting a petition for a new series.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at the way the BBC handled the show.

From announcement to broadcast, the BBC have handled the show rather poorly.
I mean, logistically speaking. Who in their right mind launches a spin-off show, that doesn’t feature pre-existing characters (in a lead role), when the main show has been off the air for a year?

Yes, I know Star Trek did shows set in the same universe.
As did CSI, but those were different. Those were expansions on already familiar concepts. If you call a show CSI:Miami, there’s instant brand recognition, same with Star Trek.

With the upcoming Star Trek:Discovery, we already basically know what to expect. We can guess the key ingredients.

Just what is Class to the average channel hopper?

When Torchwood launched in 2006, Doctor Who was at its height of popularity. It featured a recognisable character from Doctor Who. There was brand familiarity.

What the BBC have essentially done, is give a Friends spin-off, to a character that never appeared in Friends. Mental.