Details have today been announced about the Doctor Who stories due to be broadcast during the first half of the anniversary year, 2013.
Series 7B, which is just over halfway towards completing filming, will comprise eight episodes and looks likely to be transmitted in the spring. The series kicks off and concludes with episodes written by Steven Moffat, the first of which is directed by Colm McCarthy, a newcomer to Doctor Who but the man behind last year’s Anthony Horowitz mini-series Injustice, as well as the launch of the young Inspector Morse series Endeavour.
Between these showrunner-penned bookends, Series 7B will also include two episodes by Neil Cross, the writer behind Luther and an alumnus of Spooks. Cross’ episodes will be second in the run (this one to be directed by The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’s Farren Blackburn). And fourth (directed by Jamie Payne, of Primeval, Ashes to Ashes and the revived Survivors; this episode is the one set to feature Dougray Scott in the cast). Mark Gatiss, ex-League of Gentlemen and author of The Unquiet Dead and Night Terrors, is also author of two episodes. The first of these, directed by The Power of Three’s Douglas Mackinnon, will be third in the run, and is the David Warner and Liam Cunningham-starring story rumoured to feature the return of the Ice Warriors (as heavily hinted by Matt Smith earlier in the year), while the Saul Metzstein-directed episode which features the pairing of Dame Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling is due to appear sixth. Metzstein was the director who filmed Series 7A’s Spanish-shot western A Town Called Mercy, as well as Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and the Pond Life mini-episodes.
Rounding out Series 7B are a script by Stephen Thompson, of Sherlock and The Curse of the Black Spot (Episode 5, directed by Mat King, of Law & Order: UK and M.I. High), and the highly anticipated return of writer Neil Gaiman. Gaiman’s episode is the penultimate story in the series, and will be directed by Stephen Wolfenden, who worked as a second unit director on several of the Harry Potter movies.
No titles were given, and no news has yet been announced as to the BBC’s plans for Doctor Who in the second half of 2013.
Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide have given details of some of their DVD releases in the classic series range during the first half of next year.
The anniversary will kick off with the release on January 7th of the Legacy box set, comprising a restored version of the 1992 VHS edit of Doctor Who’s legendary unfinished story and the 1993 30th anniversary documentary More than 30 Years in the TARDIS, plus around three hours’ worth of brand new extras. Later in January, on the 28th, the highly anticipated The Reign of Terror is released. Hailing from 1964, this story is short of two of its six episodes in the archives, and the DVD will include brand new animated versions of the missing instalments, in the first of what is hoped to be an ongoing series of such releases.
February (the 18th) and March (the 11th) are home to two “revisited” stories from earlier in the range. The first of these is popular Tom Baker story The Ark In Space, while the latter is The Aztecs, a first-season William Hartnell story that will also now be a home for Air Lock, the recently-recovered third episode of lost story Galaxy 4.
No details were given for April or May, but on June 25th Terror of the Zygons will finally take its DVD bow. June will also see the release of the first (and perhaps only) classic series Blu-ray story, Jon Pertwee’s debut Spearhead from Space – which was recorded all on film due to a BBC strike during its production, thus giving it a unique place in Doctor Who’s history.
No news yet on the other stories expected next year, including a hopefully fully-colourised The Mind of Evil, the two incomplete black and white stories The Tenth Planet (the first regeneration story, and the debut of the Cybermen) and The Ice Warriors, and a revisited Inferno, nor on the plans for the other recently-recovered lost episode, from The Underwater Menace. Patrick Troughton’s incomplete Cyberman story The Moonbase is also rumoured a re-release.
Further details on all of this news can be found in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine.
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