Monday, 31 December 2012

Five New Series Expected on Anime on Demand Free

Andrew Partridge made the following comments about Anime on Demand on the forum of the Anime UK News website. Got five new shows to announce for AoD actually it seems - final contract pending but while a few i's and t's are dotted I persuaded folk to make this season of Anime on Demand free as well.

Broadcast will be as close to Japan as possible but for at least one of our partners it's only their second season of simulcasts so they're still adapting. Partridge also mentioned that the series Magi will remain free on Anime on Demand as it continues into the new season. He added, "We're warming up for something big pretty soon."

People round up

David Tennant made one of his regular guest appearances on the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio on 21st December, again starring in the show's festive performance - this time as the Virgin Mary in their Nativity, Dude, Where's My Donkey? The play was recorded and can be watched in three parts: One;Two; Three.

The actor also made the news for his novel way of deterring foxes from his back garden. [Standard, 21 Dec 2012]

Steven Moffat talked about his rituals over Christmas (as well as watching Doctor Who of course!). For example, on the subject of the inevitable requirements to put things together: "Sue will tell me to assemble something. Maybe just put batteries into some toys. And I'll sit on the floor with a screwdriver, and do my Daddy thing. Slowly, by degrees, it becomes a compulsion. I find more and more things to assemble. And then I need more and more! I'm rummaging in the bins, trying to find the instruction manuals among all the scarves and Sue's new jewellery. They start calling me for Christmas lunch, but "No!" I cry. "Just one more thing. I need to assemble just one more thing!" Then I'm breaking into the boys’ Lego kits and putting them together like a crazed junkie, destroying weeks of fun at a stroke. Somehow, though, before I can make it to Ikea to demand flatpacks at gunpoint, Sue will manage to get me to the dinner table to eat with the family." [Standard, 21 Dec 2012]

The recent series of Pointless Celebrities in the lead-up to Christmas - hosted as always by Alexander Armstrong - saw a number of Doctor Who-related actors and actresses taking part in the quiz. Nicholas Parsons appeared in episode eight, though he and partner Rick Wakeman were unable to win through to the final. However, former companion actress Bonnie Langford did reach the final with partner Todd Carty, though they were unable to find the pointless answer they needed to win the prize money for their charities. Likewise, the final episode of the series saw the pairing of two stalwart character actors Derek Martin and Graham Cole also make it to the final but fail to be pointless!

BBC Radio One DJ Reggie Yates presented his last edition of The Official Chart on 23rd December. He has been at the BBC for some ten years, and presented the chart show on Sunday evenings for the last five. Future projects include a new documentary series for BBC Three.

Karen Gillan has published a photo of her and co-star Brenton Thwaites during filming for her upcoming movie Oculus. [Karen Gillan via Twitter, 23 Dec 2012]

Louise Jameson goes on tour in January and February with the adult-themed play My Gay Best Friend. She will be appearing at The Lass O'Gowrie in Manchester onSaturday 5th January, Hull Truck Theatre on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th January, The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday 12th February, Harrow Arts Centre on Wednesday 13th February, and The Under Ground Theatre in Eastbourne on Thursday 14th February. Jameson will also be appearing in Pulling Faces at The Berry Theatre in Hedge End on Friday 8th February. Again, this production has adult themes. [] 

New Year Honours List

Michael Cashman has been made a CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire - for public and political service. The former actor played Bilton in Time-Flightbut became more widely known as an actor for his role as Colin Russell in EastEnders. He is now a Labour MEP for the West Midlands and was a co-founder of Stonewall.

As an aside, the singer-songwriter Kate Bush has also been made a CBE, with her honour being given for services to music - for many years a fan myth persisted that she had written both Kinda and Snakedance under the pseudonym of Christopher Bailey - something the real Bailey found quite amusing!

Friday, 28 December 2012

DW interview with stephen moffat and caroline skinner

DW: The Snowmen Press reaction

A roundup of selected quotes from the media after the broadcast of The Snowmen on Christmas/Boxing Day. Links to the full review can be found by clicking on the author's name. You can also read our own review here.

Note: reviews can contain spoilers!

UK: The Independent

Overall Moffat has dished out a stronger offering this year. The story was apparently based on a piece written by Douglas Adams. This may the reason why this year was decidedly more comic than previous Christmas specials. The humour is largely thanks to Strax who provided most of the laughs through his Sontaran view of the human race. But it was also more disturbing in a behind-the-sofa way, even at Christmas a little scare isn’t always a bad thing. The Snowmen has now brought the Doctor out of his state of retirement and ready for action again after such a brooding period.

While the episode was enjoyable the problem was that the story feels truncated and rushed. Granted the time frame leaves little room for dalliances but it would have been nice to have seen more of Simeon’s developing relationship with the Great Intelligence. Grant is brilliant as the villain but more of him would have been even better.

UK: The Radio Times

Well, hats off to Steven Moffat. He’s just presented us with alternative abominable snowmen, and not only reintroduced the Great Intelligence but also established how this malignant, disembodied force came into being.

There are lots of lovely images (the Jack and the Beanstalk-like spiral staircase leading to the clouds), and my favourite moment being the truly wonderful effect of the camera (and hence the viewer) following the Doctor and Clara directly through the police box doors into the huge Tardis interior. Has this effect ever been achieved before..? I may have forgotten. And how was it done? Where’s BBC3’s Doctor Who Confidential when you need it! 

UK: The Mirror

Suddenly, the Doctor is faced with an intriguing new mystery – one that involves, among other things, soufflés. So where the kids will look forward to it and the fans will discuss it endlessly, maybe the casual watcher will be intrigued enough to follow the Time Lord into his golden year, just to see how the latest curious twist of the twice-dead girl unfolds.

Where this year’s Who snowtacular fails is appealing to the dinner-bloated and mildly disinterested middle viewer. It’ll totally pass by family members who, at 5.15 in the afternoon, just want to sleep for a bit until they feel the need to attack the cold cuts. Through sprout-engorged eyes and a brandy befuddle, it’s a great piece of entertainment but it doesn’t hold up to much sober fanboy scrutiny. It’s miles better than anything else on, but for the casual Christmas viewer there’s little to hold the interest besides noticing how gorgeous the new companion is, and well... maybe the ending. 

UK: The Telegraph

It was an enjoyable enough romp, I suppose, and I imagine that reference-spotters had a field-day. There were nods not only to The Snowman but also to Sherlock – cheekily suggested to have been, in “real-life”, the lesbian Silurian Madame Vastra. The shadow of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw could be detected in the CGI figure of the dead governess, made of ice and snarling “That’s The Way To Do It!”. There were shades of Dickens and CS Lewis and maybe even the smoke-fashioned staircase from the Mary Poppins film too in the episode’s best touch - having the newly refurbished Tardis float above town on a bed of “super-dense water vapour”, reachable only by a vertiginous spiral staircase.

At least twinkly-eyed Matt Smith was on irrepressible form as always, his careworn Doc emerging from ethical hibernation to save the world, again, and exchange repartee with, oh please no, his adopted comedy sidekick Strax (Dan Starkey) of the once terrifying now just silly Sontaran race. The sooner his luscious new companion, revealed as Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara – former barmaid and erstwhile Dalek (yes, really) – fills the Pond-shaped void in his life the better but I fear that if Moffat doesn’t rein in his tendencies to make every script a brain-teaser of Sudoku-like complexity, his young audience will melt away, fast.

UK: The Guardian

Welcome back, Merry Christmas, and wow. The Snowmen was easily the finest Christmas special under this regime. After last year's dog's giblets of an episode, it needed to be, but this poetic romp was actually the best since The Christmas Invasion, and possibly better. It had everything we like about Doctor Who (frights, romance, running, a menacing baddie, lizard people) while being just sentimental enough to tick off a lot of things we like about Christmas.

UK: Crave Online

Matt Smith was terrific as always, particularly during the inspired bit when the Doctor briefly impersonates Sherlock Holmes. But as the Doctor is won over by Clara, the audience is as well. And when Clara is lost, the Doctor makes the viewers feel that loss as well.

“The Snowmen” was a rousing “Doctor Who” story that feels like it matters in the long term of the series. A new TARDIS, a new opening sequence and a new companion? That’s the start of a new era for sure. And the prospects for it look good for now.

USA: Los Angeles Times

Clara appears to be a mirror image of the Doctor: fearless, curious and intuitive, a match not only of wits but of shared delight in the power of knowing. That is the perpetual tension that fuels the Doctor. A Time Lord weighted with the wisdom of the ages, believing himself to be the last of his kind, has only his sense of wonder to protect him from the great sorrow born of endless knowledge and experience. Fortunately it is boundless, like his energy, and of all the recent Doctors, Smith best captures the power of willful youthfulness. Not in appearance, though he is the most boyish of the canon, but in resilience, the springiness that allows a child to find miracles in the mundane, to truly believe that today will be better than yesterday.

The world always needs the Doctor, but perhaps never more than on Christmas day.

USA: New York Magazine - Vulture

There can’t be enough praise showered on Coleman at this point, who is quite simply a breath of fresh air for this series, at a time when it so desperately needs it. I’ve not fallen for a new companion this hard and fast since Rose Tyler, who had the benefit of being there when the series relaunched, so that’s not even a fair comparison. This new girl just devours the camera lens; a more photogenic companion we’ve probably never seen. It was easy to understand the Doctor’s reinvigoration through her, because as viewers we were experiencing the same feelings, and the scene in which he gives her the TARDIS key, only for her to be lost seconds later, was a serious tearjerker; that was more moving than anything in “The Angels Take Manhattan.” 

I had mad, crazy love for both “A Christmas Carol” and “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe,” Moffat’s previous holiday outings, and hoped to feel the same about “The Snowmen,” but ultimately didn’t. Yet this episode held a much different function in the series than either of those entries, coming in the middle of a season as it did. Whereas his first two Christmas specials were entirely standalone tales, this one was anything but, steeped in the ongoing storyline as it was. What worked within it worked very, very well, and what didn’t was disastrous.

USA: EntertainmentWise

So, there you have it - it was one intense episode full of adventure and tense scenes, but what would Doctor Who be without all of the chaos? In between such madness the Doctor and Clara even managed to find a moment to embrace in a loving/unexpected kiss and joke around with each other, including Doctor Who doing a one man version of Punch and Judy - what more could you ask for? It gave us all a brilliantly entertaining hour on our Christmas day and I am sure it has left most of us wanting to know what happens next! We will just have to wait very patiently for later on into the year.

USA: io9

... an episode that shows Moffat returning to form with a lot of fun and zaniness bolted onto a pretty successful fairy-tale framework. The overall task of this episode is to relaunch Matt Smith's Doctor with a new(ish) companion and a new(ish) semi-regular supporting cast, and in those terms it works beautifully. The story takes the classic "companion becomes fascinated with the Doctor and learns about him/tracks him down" storyline and does something new and interesting with it. And it advances the Doctor's arc of trying and failing to go it alone, which Moffat has been building since "The God Complex."

USA: Wired

I came away from this episode with a major question: Is Moffat setting us up for a new Doctor romance? Or is there more to Clara than meets the eye? The flirting between her and the Doctor reminds me a lot of the flirtatious relationship he has with River Song, and I wouldn’t put it past Moffat to be playing us. Given that Clara has a remarkable gift for not dying, could she be regenerating somehow? But then why is this the first time “Clara” has seen the TARDIS in this episode. Then again, we’ve never seen the first time that River saw the TARDIS. In “Let’s Kill Hitler”, she knew the Doctor had a time machine and didn’t have the standard “It’s bigger on the inside argument.”

Despite a few short-comings, this years Christmas outing is a good deal stronger than last years rather disappointing “The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe.” That was an episode with a lot of promise but a story that never seemed to gel. “The Snowman” had a story that, despite a sentimental ending with a families tears defeating the frozen menace, still held together.

USA: The Examiner

It was an excellent episode, and it was a nice and welcome Christmas present for all the fans of the show. The biggest mystery of course (besides the fact that the sonic screwdriver can obviously harden clouds enough to walk on) is Clara. How is it possible for her to be the same person? Because based on her name and the words Clara threw at the Doctor, she is one and the same. The past and the future. How is that possible?

Australia: WA Today

All told The Snowman is a strong Doctor Who episode. Jenna-Louise Coleman, who we first met as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks, returns as Clara Oswald, presumably an ancestor. In true Moffat style, we finish the episode knowing a little more, and whole lot less, about her.

Further Reading

Daily Mail, International Business Times(UK), LSMedia(UK), IGN(UK), Forbes(USA), Wall Street Journal(USA), TGDaily(USA), AssignmentX(USA), ComicMix(USA),Blast(USA), Mashable(USA), TwitchFilm(CA), The Age(AU), The West Australian(AU)

DW: The snowmen AI

The Snowmen had an Appreciation Index, or AI score, of 87. The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme.

The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes. Doctor Who scored higher than most of the Christmas Day output. The most appreciated programmes were Downton Abbey on ITV1 and Call the Midwife on BBC One, both of which scored 90.

 This year's score is higher than the majority of the previous Christmas Day specials, with last year's The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe scoring 84. Only the first part of the Tenth Doctor's swansong, The End of Time - Part One, equalled the score of 87. An additional 0.56 million have now watched The Snowmen, via the Boxing Day repeat on BBC Three, where it achieved a 2.3% share of the total TV audience.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

DWM 456

DW Q&A with matt smith and jenna louise coleman

DW: The Snowmen Australian ratings

The Snowmen has debuted in Australia, averaging 697,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. It came second in its time-slot, was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's top-rating drama of the day and the twelfth highest rating programme of the day overall. These ratings do not include regional or time-shifted viewers.

Obituary: Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012)

The composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett has died aged 76. As well as many and varied classical pieces, he also wrote film and TV scores, with the incidental music for the 1964 story The Aztecs being among them.

The four-part adventure is to be released as a special edition DVD in March. Born in Broadstairs, Bennett - who was also an accomplished jazz pianist - studied and later taught at the Royal Academy of Music. His film work included the score for Nicholas and Alexandra, which starred Tom Baker as Rasputin and Michael Jayston as Nicholas and featured Julian Glover, Maurice Denham, Gordon Gostelow, Brian Cox, and Steven Berkoff.

 He also provided the score for Four Weddings And A Funeral, written by Richard Curtis and starring Hugh Grant, who was one of the Doctors in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, written by Steven Moffat. Other films to feature Bennett's music included Murder On The Orient Express, with George Coulouris among the cast.

 Bennett was Oscar-nominated for his music for Far From The Madding Crowd, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Murder On The Orient Express, with the latter garnering him a BAFTA award. Appointed a CBE in 1977, he received his knighthood in 1998. Bennett moved to New York in 1979 and in his later years also became an artist noted for his collage work.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Studio Ghibli Screenings on Film4

The following Studio Ghibli films will be screened on the Film4 channel. Wednesday December 26 (Boxing Day) - 1.10 p.m. Ponyo.

The Film4 website does not indicate if this is subtitled or dubbed, although the Radio Times listing says, "with the voice of Noah Cyrus" (an actor in the dub).

 Sunday December 30 - 4.55 p.m. Arrietty, dubbed (U.K. version featuring Saoirse Ronan and Tom Holland).

 Thursday January 3 - 11 a.m. Arrietty, subtitled.

DW Series 7 trailer

DW 2012 Xmas special the snow men intro titles

DW: Xmas special 2012: The Snowmen Full stream

DW: The snowmen overnight ratings

The Snowmen had an overnight audience of 7.59 million viewers, a share of 33.9% of the total TV audience. Doctor Who was the fifth most watched programme of the day, which saw BBC One take seven of the top ten places in the ratings chart. The most watched programme of the day was EastEnders which had 9.4 million watching. ITV1's highest rated show of the day was Coronation Street with 8.6 million viewers. Doctor Who was down on last years overnight figure, which saw the show transmitted in a slightly later time slot, where it had 8.9 million watching. This year, against The Doctor, Emmerdale achieved 4.7 million viewers. Final figures, which will include those who recorded the programme and watched it later, will be available next week.

DW: 50th Anniversary stamps revealed

The Royal Mail have now confirmed that they will release a set of stamps in March to commemorate Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary. All eleven television Doctors will be represented by 1st Class stamps, with their image surrounded by the title sequence and associated logo.

A five-stamp miniature sheet will also be released, with pride of place going to the TARDIS as a first-class stamp. The other four stamps will be for second class and will feature a Dalek, Cyberman, Ood and Weeping Angel.

Andrew Hammond, Managing Director, Stamps and Collectibles at Royal Mail, said:
We are delighted to be able to celebrate this remarkable 50th anniversary. These stamps pay tribute to the brilliant actors that have played the Doctor over the years as well as the adversaries that helped make the show so popular.

Fiona Eastwood, Product Development Director, BBC Worldwide Consumer Products, said:
The Doctor Who stamps are the perfect way to mark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of this much-loved programme. The collection is really impressive, and I am sure they will delight all Doctor Who fans.

The stamps will be launched on Tuesday 26th March 2013, and can be pre-ordered by registering with Royal Mail.

DW:the Snow men Behind the scenes

Monday, 24 December 2012

Final tokumei sentai episodes

Messiah had been defeated once again, and the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters is now facing a bigger threat. As the series is getting closer toits final episodes, the latest magazine images reveals what the team has to face next!

Enter's power brought Escape is back! But she is now more loyal to him over Messiah. Not only that, Escape Evolve is more powerful than ever. Meanwhile, Enter wants to become Messiah himself, and gains the ability to turn living things into Metaroids. One of them is theKuwagataRoid.

Thanks to Enter's newfound abilities, he will use the 13th Messiah Cardon Hiromu's body. Moreover, here are the episode titles for the January episodes of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters:
In addition, Ayame Misaki, the actress who plays Escape, tweeted that she is done filming Escape's death. 

Distant Star's Makoto Shinkai Makes Kotonoha no Niwa Anime Film

The official website for Makoto Shinkai — the auteur director behind Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Children Who Chase Lost Voices — announced on Christmas Eve that he is creating a new anime film called Kotonoha no Niwa. Shinkai plans to open the film in Japanese theaters in the first half of next year, and he began planning this past spring. The tagline on the website reads, "A tale of 'lonely sadness,' older than even 'love.'" Shinkai wrote on his website that this is the first time he is making a "love" story — in the traditional Japanese meaning of the word.

He added that there were words long before there were characters to write them in this world. The Japanese language during the era when it had no written form is known as "Yamato kotoba." The language during this time had its own pronunciations, before the importation of kanji characters from China.

 At the time, "love" was written as "lonely sadness" (koi). Moreover, according to Shinkai, the modern concept of "love" (ai) was imported from the West. While his new Kotonoha no Niwa film is set in the modern era, it will be about koi in the original "lonely sadness" meaning — of longing for someone in solitude, as opposed to the modern meaning. [Via Purple Pig] Update:

The title can be translated as "The Garden of Words" or "a garden of thousands pieces of words." Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and last year's Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Streetfighter II Film to Be Released on Blu-ray by Kaze

Kaze has confirmed to ANN that it will release the 1994 feature film Street Fighter II: The Movie on U.K. Blu-ray, while a DVD release is 'to be confirmed." This follows a report on the UK Anime News website; it noted that the film has been newly listed on the BBFC website as a Kaze release. No U.K. release date has been given. (As UK Anime News also noted, Kaze is releasing the film in France on both Blu-ray and DVD on February 27.)

 The feature film adaptation of the CAPCOM fighting game was previously released in the U.K. as a Manga Entertainment DVD (pictured right), but this has been long deleted.

Berserk and Gintama Movies Plus Persona 4 Released Christmas Eve

Manga Entertainment will release Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - The Egg of the King on Christmas Eve in three different formats. There will be a DVD-only edition; a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack; and a "Collector's Edition" (pictured) which also contains the film on both Blu-ray and DVD. The film is the first part of a trilogy animated by Studio 4°C, adapting Kentarou Miura's violent fantasy manga about a swordsman in a medieval-style world. Manga Entertainment is also releasing the first volume (nine episodes) of Persona 4 The Animation as a Blu-ray/DVD doublepack, pictured left.

Adapted from the Persona 4 game, the story involves several youngsters in a Japanese country town who discover a fantasy world through a TV screen. The doublepack will include the Japanese language-track on the Blu-ray disc. (In America, anime licensor Sentai Filmworks had to omit the Japanese language track on its Blu-ray release of the series.) It is the first of three combo packs containing the 26-part series. Finally, Manga is releasing Gintama: The Movie, a comedy-action film set in an alternative nineteenth-century Japan where samurai exist alongside aliens and flying warships.

It is spun off from the long-running Gintama TV series and manga; the TV anime has not been released in the U.K. to date. In a Manga Entertainment podcast in July, Jerome Mazandarani said,"It's a good jumping-on point for people who have heard of Gintama but haven't seen any of it... Let's see if there's an appetite for Gintama."

Cowboy Bebop Blu-ray and DVD in Q3 from Anime Limited

Anime Limited has tweeted that it will release Cowboy Bebop on UK Blu-ray and DVD in the third quarter of 2013. It is the first acquisition announcement by the new company (which was itself announced earlier in December), set up by Andrew Partridge of Kaze UK and Scotland Loves Anime.

 On its facebook page, Anime Limited added that it would announce one new title a month. Its next announcement will be on January 31, or earlier if the page receives 2000 'likes.' (As of writing, it has just over 1000 'likes.') Update - In the subsequent discussion, Anime Limited said its blu-ray would be using the same material as the Japanese release.

The blu-ray would not be an upscale, but "would match the Japanese job, which I think actually was a proper job." Regarding the film version of Cowboy Bebop, Anime Limited said the film was still with Sony, but "We'll be looking into what we can do for it."

Terracotta To Release Korean Live-Action Antique Bakery in February

The U.K. video label Terracotta will release Antique Bakery, a Korean live-action film based on the manga of the same name, on February 11. In the story, based on the manga by Fumi Yoshinaga, four handsome men run a small bakery. The characters include two classmates (one of whom has an unrequited crush on the other), an ex-boxer and a guard who is worried about a killer on the loose.

The film is directed by Min Kyu-dong. The manga was adapted into a 12-part anime series in 2008 (shown in the Noitamina strand, following a live-action Japanese TV drama in 2001.

ReCon Events in Liverpool and Birkenhead in January

The next events in the series of ReCon 2.0 comics and manga events (facebook page), held by Diamond Comic Distributors, includes one at Waterstones Liverpool One on Wednesday January 23. This event has its own facebook page, indicating that it will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include art and cosplay competitions, plus a quiz. Tickers are £2.

 There will also be an event at Waterstones Birkenhead on Friday January 11, mentioned on the shop's facebook page. It will similarly include art and cosplay competitions.

DW: Xmas special 2012: teaser preview 2

BFI; DW @ 50

As mentioned earlier this month, the BFI plan to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who with special screenings each month next year in the lead-up to the Anniversary itself; the organisation has now announced details about the first quarter of 2013.

 As previously mentioned, the season kicks off at the very beginning with William Hartnell's An Unearthly Child on 12th January; this will be followed on 9th February with Patrick Troughton tackling the Tomb of the Cybermen; then in March Jon Pertwee is up against The Master as The Mind of Evil is unveiled in newly restored colour! All stories are accompanied by a Q&A panel, though guests have yet to be announced. Justin Johnson, BFI Programmer, said: The BFI is very proud of our long relationship with both the BBC and the Doctor Who production team. We are delighted to be playing complete stories featuring each incarnation of The Doctor, supported by Q&As with special guests.

As well as the TV work, we also plan to play newly digitally restored versions of the Peter Cushing films, courtesy of Studio Canal. This is the perfect opportunity for old fans and new to come and learn about the genesis of the show and its continuing jounrney.

 Doctor Who's executive producer Caroline Skinner said: To be doing this enormous and exciting project for the BFI is just a dream come true. We're delighted that in this 50th year of the show we have such brilliant support from the BFI for our celebration of Doctor Who's cultural heritage.

 Some of the stories we're going to show are thrilling, surprising, funny and just plain classic TV. Enjoy, everyone!

 In November, the climax of the BFI's celebration will include a special preview of An Adventure in Space and Time , the drama written by Mark Gatiss exploring the personalities that brought the longest running sci-fi series to life. The stories representing the other eight Doctors will be confirmed next year.

DW Xmas special 2012: preview clip

DW Xmas Special:publicity roundup

A roundup of coverage for The Snowmen that has taken place in the past week or so - please note that what follows below includes some plot details that might be considered spoilers.


Steven Moffat was a guest on the Simon Mayo Drivetime show on BBC Radio Two on Monday. Talking about Doctor Who's appeal on Christmas Day, he felt the show's accessibility as a "shared live viewing experience" was a great benefit:
... much more so with the Christmas one than with the others, yes, there's a big live audience for it - because, yeah, you watch it as a family. Sometimes people actually watch it later, because their family aren't there - people tend to watch it in groups, that's very true of Doctor Who.

I think Doctor Who is always a bit Christmassy, it's that kind of show, it always feels substantially madder than every other show, and we're always striving to make it an event - so you have to make Doctor Who even more so when it's Christmas Day. One thing I'd say I think it needs to be more accessible to new viewers, because more people are dragged in to watch Doctor Who on that day than on any other occasion it's on.
Talking about an initially melancholy Doctor in the episode, he explained:
What you need to remember is that the last time we saw the Doctor he had lost the Ponds - he lost Amy and Rory - he lost them to the Weeping Angels, and when you begin this story he's in a terrible place, he's in a right old grump, he's retired from saving the universe, he's having nothing to do with anyone, and although there's a building threat to humanity he's having none of it, he's just storming away being a sort of Scrooge.
The full interview is currently available to listen to via a BBC podcast (from 12:50) until Monday.

Ahead of the press screening on Tuesday evening, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman popped into the BBC Radio One Breakfast Show hosted by Nick Grimshaw. The duo chatted about their recent trip to New York and Jenna's arrival in the show (1:36:45), and later answered listeners' questions (1:52:55, and a clip is available to watch via the BBC iPlayer and YouTube).

Matt later appeared on ITV1's This Morning (after the first ad break), hosted by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby - the first time he'd appeared on the show. He chatted about his inspirations for the character of the Doctor, the enthusiasm of fans, things he kept from the old TARDIS, and of course not really saying what to expect on Christmas Day! Enthusing about guest star Richard E Grant, he said:
He was born to be a Who villain, he pitches it on that perfect level and tone.

The end of the week was rounded off by an appearance by Matt on The Graham Norton Show, but although this was to promote the Christmas Special, as Matt pointed out:
As always, I can't tell you anything, this is the tragedy of the show I'm in is that you come on and you can't actually promote it!
Recorded last month, the show was still able to treat viewers to a brand new clip featuring the Doctor, Clara and Strax.

Norton mentioned that fellow guests Billy Connolly and Jennifer Saunders had once been suggested as potential Doctors, though the former said it wasn't true and the latter said she started the rumours herself! 

Matt was also 'required' to kiss a member of the audience by other guest Dustin Hoffman, which the actor only reluctantly agreed to as his mum was watching! A clip of this exchange is available on YouTube and BBC iPlayer.

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw, 18 Dec 2012 Matt Smith on This Morning, 18 Dec 2012 Matt Smith on The Graham Norton Show, 21 Dec 2012

UK Press Screening

The press screening for the episode took place in the evening of 18th December, followed by a Q&A session with Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, during which the adventure and the further adventures next year were discussed.

As seen in the trailer, the Doctor once again gets a firm kiss from his co-star, and speaking at the Q&A of their on-screen "relationship", Matt said:
I think always with this show and always with this relationship in this show, it will constantly evolve. And it should. And hopefully over the course of the next eight or nine episodes that we see subsequently to this it will evolve even further. We're excited about next year now and getting into that and actually going, "Well, now we know what we know about each other and the way we work and who we are and all the rest of it..." I kind of likened it, Steven, earlier, in an interview, to an arranged marriage. Not that I know what an arranged marriage is like. But it's like, "You're married, have chemistry." Do you know what I mean?
On the other hand, Jenna responded:
I likened it to a blind date. I felt like I was on a blind date... It's like putting two people together. Like, "Oh I know someone you'll really get on with." And then go in to save the world!

The Doctor (Matt Smith) with the new TARDIS interior. Photo: BBCThe new TARDIS interior was also discussed, with Steven explaining how it came about:
It was mainly saying to Michael Pickwoad (production designer), "What would you do with the TARDIS?" But we had a notion because I thought we'd been getting progressively whimsical with the interior of the TARDIS. And I started to think, "Well, why is that? It's not a magical place, it's actually a machine." So we did say 'machine' and actually, potentially, as you'll see more spectacularly later, quite a scary place sometimes. We make a lot of use of that. And it's also a lot easier to shoot, I have to say.”
Inevitably, the question of where the team would travel to in the TARDIS came up:
Matt: I'd do a few things. I’d go and pick up Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. I'd try and marry one of them. Get them to sing to me. And maybe one of them could do both. And then I'd go and see England win the World Cup in '66. And I'd go and visit some sort of Jurassic age, I think.

Jenna: I'd go back to ancient Egypt. I was watching a TV programme – where did the pyramids come from? I'd go find out where they came from. I'd go find out how they were built. And then other than that, maybe New York in the Twenties.

Steven: I'm a perfectly happy man. I'd go right here. I don't want to go anywhere. I'm having too much fun to leave. I'd be terrified. Wouldn't you?

"The Kiss"

The BBC have released a couple of publicity shots to "cherish" the moment(!):

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Photo: BBC The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Photo: BBC

Media Coverage (United Kingdom)

Reporting on the preview, Catherine Gee of The Telegraph said:
For all its new features, this is an episode filled with knowing nods to please Who fans, including a reference drawn from elsewhere in the Moffat catalogue, and the return of some of the Doctor’s old friends in the shape of Strax, Vastra and Jenny. Dr Simeon's ominous warning that "winter is coming" also suggests that Moffat may be a Game of Thrones fan. . . . It's not quite as action-packed as previous specials but compared with the other sedate period Christmas Day offerings of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey, or the impending apocalypse-free episodes of The Royle Family and Strictly Come Dancing, this festive instalment of the sci-fi series will give the post-dinner snoozers a much-needed boost.
Vicky Frost of The Guardian said:
New music, new titles, a fetching new costume, sleek new Tardis interior and, most of all, a new companion, make this year's festive Doctor Who special filled with surprises. . . . It is not as if the 60-minute Christmas special – which perhaps controversially comes sprinkled with a seasonal splash of romance – is unambitious: among the co-stars is Richard E Grant as the deliciously wicked Dr Simeon, a man dreaming of a white Christmas.
Jenna explained a little of her character to Neela Debnath from The Independent:
I think it's one of these things where she meets this guy that she's incredibly interested in and by and wants to know more but there's also something - he has answers that she wants. She wants answers. She's on her own mission. (Clara) is the kind of girl who lives by her own means, she doesn't need other people as much to get by, so she's a bit more of an equal. As soon as she meets him - and he's not the kind of guy that you meet every day - she's interested and wants to know who he is and where he's come from and she doesn't give up and follows that track.
Further coverage of the press screening can be found from the Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Western Mail. 

Reviewing the episode, Jonathan Carley of What Culture said:
Put simply, The Snowmen makes the Christmas Special feel fresh again, so much so it may as well be vacuum packed and wrapped with foil. So the firm underpinning of a good script is there, and I can tell you this will reward repeat viewing afterwards to reassess the intricacies of the plot. I myself am looking forward to re-watching on Christmas day if my family can tolerate my smugness. But there is also plenty going on to keep you entertained if you're feeling quite relaxed about it.
Simon Brew of Den of Geek concluded:
The Snowmen certainly bodes very well for the year ahead. It’s a lower key story on the surface, perhaps, albeit an episode that proves once again Moffat's skill for introducing major new characters. It's also an excellent Christmas special, and quite a serious one. And whereas seasonal outings for Doctor Who have proven quite divisive in recent years, we suspect this one is going to have a lot more people on its side. It's very much worth your time.

The Telegraph interviewed Jenna-Louise Coleman while on set last month and chatted about her career leading up to becoming the latest Doctor Who sidekick. In addition, Digital Spy have conducted video interviews with Steven Moffat about writing his third Christmas Special and and how to entice a new audience to the show, and with Matt and Jenna chatting about the Special.

Other general media coverage of The Snowmen include: Daily Mail; Daily Mail(2); The Sun; Independent; Metro; Mirror; Daily Star, and Radio Times.

Media Coverage (United States)

The United States press had their own screening in New York earlier in the month. Alex Zalvin of MTV reported:
This is probably the second best Christmas episode ever after 2010’s superlative A Christmas Carol. Since the latter episode is probably my favourite episode ofWho ever, that's certainly putting it in high company. The episode is laugh out loud funny, emotional, and more importantly, captures the spirit of the holidays.

There's a beautiful sequence about halfway through that might be one of the most magical, storybook creations the show has ever done, more on par with a stage play than a TV show, but by golly, it works.

Jenna-Louise Coleman is a brilliant, perfect addition to the cast. Her patter, delivery, and whole demeanor make her a female Matt Smith, and it's brilliant. She matches him line for line, move for move, and if you’re not in love with her by the end of the’ll be in love with her.
Other coverage of the press screening appeared in: Wall Street Journal; io9; Forbes; and Huffington Post.

At an interview held at the BBC America offices (reported by CNN), Jenna was quizzed about her experiences of entering the very public world of Doctor Who:
You see "it" everywhere and you're used to it, like I was used to seeing Matt's face all over the place. But, when I was auditioning, being sat on the Tube and you see the posters, and it was always like he was pointing at me. There's not very much time to analyze as you go. It is only now that I feel like I've just been playing with all my mates for the last couple of months, and then suddenly, I'm like, "but people are going to see this," you know?

"This" life is so exciting on a daily basis. Everything's so dramatic every day, and it's the end of the world every week. You're either running or there's a snow machine or rain machine, or you're in a harness and you're on wires. ... On an off day, I find that I get bored quickly, like, "Where's the Cybermen?"
Jenna also revealed that she had auditioned for the show before, and what her grandmother thought!
I auditioned for Amy's best mate in it, and was pretty close to getting the part, and my grandma was absolutely devastated I didn't. So, we came back around, and I don't think she can believe it, actually. It is quite surreal for her, and she's quite looking forward to meeting Matt.
As previously reported, Matt and Jenna also undertook a Q&A for BBC America's Doctor Who Tumblr, fielding questions from the social networking community.

With Doctor Who having made the cover of TV Guide this December, the magazine also spoke to the two stars about their first jobs, what they do in their free time, their favourite current and childhood television shows, awkward moments, and what stands out for them in the Christmas Special.

Entertainment Weekly discuss Doctor Who and The Snowmen in their latest InsideTV podcast. Other US-based coverage included: Miami Herald; Tulsa World; San-Antonio Express; and Winston-Salem Journal; Seattle Times.