Thursday, March 23, 2017

Essential Doctor Who Robots

Out today from the makers of the official Doctor Who Magazine is The Essential Doctor Who: Robots.

Among its many delights there is me, cheerfully chatting to Michael Kilgarriff about playing the robot - the definite article - in Robot (1974-5), to Tom MacRae about the legal issues that affected the design of the Handbots in The Girl Who Waited (2011), and to Kate Walshe about the many maniacal machine people manufactured by Millennium FX in recent years. She also provides a glut of never-before-seen photographs.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Pick of the Week

Our documentary, John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls (still available on iPlayer) was one of the 14 programmes included in Pick of the Week on Radio 4 last night, introduced by Ernie Rea. We're covered 32.58 into the programme.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Colin and the Carrionites

July sees the release of Doctor Who: Classic Doctors, New Monsters vol. 2, and I've written the Sixth Doctor's encounter with the witchy Carrionites (last seen battling the David Tennant and Shakespeare on TV).

As I said for the news story at the Big Finish website,
"Matt Fitton asked me to write for Colin and the Carrionites. The Carrionites get their power from words, and the Sixth Doctor is the most logophile of Doctors, so I knew there was something potent there. David Richardson suggested the 1980s setting, invoking something of the Enfield poltergeist of the late 1970s, and I drew a bit on Hammer's To The Devil a Daughter, or at least my memories of being terrified of that in my teens. And I was keen to ensure that this was definitely the Carrionites, not just any witchy aliens, so I looked for something to link it firmly to The Shakespeare Code..."

Friday, February 17, 2017

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls is a new documentary I've produced with my brother Tom to be broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday 26 February, and then available on iPlayer.

Presenter Samira Ahmed has written her own piece about the documentary, but here's the blurb:

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls

Eurythmic dance at
Queenswood School, 1920s
Perhaps you did music and movement at school. There was a time girls across the country learnt to dance as if they were flowers. At the start of the 20th century, Jacques-Dalcroze developed Eurythmics to teach the rhythm and structure of music through physical activity. But the idea had earlier roots, including an unlikely champion of women's liberation.

John Ruskin - now derided by feminist critics as a woman-fearing medievalist - was at the centre of a 19th-century education movement that challenged the conventional female role in society. Amid concerns about the health of the British empire he looked back to the muscular figures in medieval painting and the sculpture of the ancient Greeks, in their loose-fitting clothes. Perhaps the Victorians needed to shed their corsets and free their minds for learning. In Of Queens' Gardens he set out a radical, influential model for girls' education.

Samira Ahmed argues that Ruskin was an accidental feminist. To understand where his ideas came from, how they were enacted and what survives in the way girls are taught today, she ventures into one of the schools set up on Ruskinian principles, tries on the corsetry that restricted Victorian women's lives, and gets the insight of Victorian scholars.

Contributors: Matthew Sweet (author of Inventing the Victorians); Dr Debbie Challis (Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL); Louise Scholz-Conway (Angels Costumes); Dr Fern Riddell (author of A Victorian Guide to Sex); Dr Amara Thornton (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) and Isobel Beynon, Dr Wendy Bird, Annette Haynes, Dr Jean Horton, Diane Maclean, Aoife Morgan Jones and Natasha Rajan at Queenswood School. Readings by Toby Hadoke.

Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producers Simon and Thomas Guerrier
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

From Croydon to Gallifrey

Yesterday, I was the guest of Janet and Steve on Croydon Radio's From Croydon to Gallifrey, talking Doctor Who, the casting of the next Doctor, the impending 50th anniversary of The Evil of the Daleks (on which I have written a book), my recent typing for Big Finish and much else besides.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Graceless title sequence

The t'rific Tom Saunders has made this tremendous opening title sequence for my science-fiction series, Graceless.

As the video says, it stars Ciara Janson and Laura Doddington with Annie Firbank and Sian Phillips, is written by me, directed by Lisa Bowerman and you can buy Graceless IV now.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Radio Free Skaro and Whographica

Win a free copy of Doctor Who infographics book Whographica via the terrifying beings who run podcast Radio Free Skaro in conjunction with my masters at BBC Books.

As an added bonus, you can hear me, my co-author Steve O'Brien and illustrator Ben Morris explain all the many secrets involved in writing the thing.