One of the great pioneering Television Directors of her generation, Paddy Russell, has died at the age of 89.
Patricia Russell, known to all as Paddy, had a long and distinguished career as one of the first female Directors in British television. She trained as an actor attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Before long she realised that she was more at home behind the scenes moving to become a stage manager.
In the 1950’s Television was crying out for theatre staff to work in the new medium and Russell was recruited as a production assistant, working with the famed director Rudolph Cartier. Acting as the director’s eyes and ears on the studio floor, Russell worked on some of the most innovative and pioneering dramas of the day including the Quatermass science-fiction serials as well as the 1954 adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four starring Peter Cushing.
In 1963 she became a director herself, directing many episodes of the soap opera Compact. Over the next twenty years, she worked on many of the best known classic television series.
Her first encounter with Doctor Who came in 1966 when she became the first female Director to work on the show. She helmed the First Doctor story The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve. One advantage the newish Director had when faced with the notoriously irascible William Hartnell was the fact that for the majority of the story he was not playing The Doctor, but another character, The Abbot of Amboise.
In a way, I still think ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’ was the best one I did. It was the hardest to do – a complete beast and I suppose I accepted it for the challenge. The biggest difficulty was deserted London which we got around by going out at five one Sunday morning.
River Song as played by Alex Kingston, is to meet the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, in a new set of audio adventures released by Big Finish.
Series Four of The Diary of River Song, to be released in August 2018, will see the archaeologist encounter Doctor Number Four, in a set of new adventures alongside the longest serving Doctor.
Meanwhile Series Three of the Diary of River Song will released in January 2018, and will feature the Fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison, battling against the most evil midwife in Doctor Who history, Madame Kovarian, played by Frances Barber.
This box set will contain four hour-long adventures where the Doctor’s wife, archaeologist, crack shot with an intoxicating kiss and time traveler will have to face the demons of her past, present, and future.
When River Song goes shopping for a whole load of unclaimed loyalty points, she uncovers secrets linked to her tangled past.
The Doctor arrives, and the mystery deepens. He is already exploring the universe with another companion – someone River knows nothing about.
Madame Kovarian has been busy, and this time she will not accept failure…
A fifth series is planned for release in January 2019
They’ll be on hand when Doctor Who resumes with a 10-part series in Autumn 2018.
Thanks to File 770 for these bits of news
1. Couldn’t go to World Con in Helsinki? Or, like me, couldn’t get into the room? First shock of the con was not being able to watch the opening ceremony because the room only held a couple of hundred! It seems the opening ceremony, the masquerade, and several main event panels are on YouTube. But no Hugo ceremony? How did that get missed? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_U7RhKFr-If4pusZY6g8A/videos
2. I have not yet seen confirmation, but some news sources are reporting that Brad Walsh is the new companion for the Doctor.
3. A street too far?
The developer of Charlemont Rise at Geelong in Victoria said he had been forced to change the name of Lannaster Road because of the link to the incestuous Lannister siblings from Game of Thrones.
“The name was knocked back by the developers next door because of the relationship between the Lannister brother and sister on the show,” said the project manager, Gary Smith. “I even changed the spelling to make it not as obvious.” Lannaster Road will henceforth be known as Precinct Road.
There have been no complaints about the other street names in the estate, more than a dozen of which were inspired by the show, Smith said. Among the names are Stannis, Winterfell, Greyjoy, Baelish and Tywin.
The most popular, however, is Snow Street – named after the fan-favourite Jon Snow. “The only big mistake we’ve made was naming a small street Snow Street. We thought Jon Snow was going to be dead but then he came back to life in the next season,” Smith said. “He’s everybody’s favourite – we should’ve given him a large avenue.”
4. Actor Jay Thomas (1948-2017) died August 24.His genre work included 20 episodes of Mork and Mindy, 6 episodes of Hercules, voicing an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and The Santa Clause 2 and 3.
By Steve Green: Deborah (Debbie) Watling (1948-2017): British actress, died 21 July aged 69 Best-known for playing Patrick Troughton’s companion “Victoria” in Doctor Who (40 episodes, 1967-68), her other genre appearances included H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man (11 episodes, 1958-59), Out of the Unknown (1966 adaptation of John Rankine’s ‘The World in Silence’), Where Time Began (a 1977 animated adaptation of Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth). She reprised her Doctor Who role in the 1993 Comic Relief minisode Dimensions in Time and the non-BBC Downtime (1995), then appeared as herself in the 2013 spoof The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, directed by former timelord Peter Davison.
She was a five-time guest at Gallifrey One, the Los Angeles Doctor Who con. Her first visit was in 1991.
Few TV casting announcements can have been as long awaited as the name of Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord and when the revelation finally came it sent social media into a frenzy.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world joined the debate about the news that Jodie Whittaker is to star as the first female Doctor.
While some people talked about the great role model the new Doctor would be for girls and women, others wondered why it had taken so long and some were firmly in the camp that the Doctor was only ever meant to be male.
And a few Doctor Who Christmas videos until the real thing.
The Doctor Puppet Christmas special was a labour of love made before the launch of the Doctor Puppet series.
Join the Doctor Puppets for a musical Doctor Who Christmas adventure! “A Timelord Christmas” is a labour of love made by a truly dedicated crew of artists and musicians. It was produced and animated in under a month in a tiny Brooklyn apartment. The music and vocals were produced and recorded in England.
Join the Twelfth Doctor and Clara for a mysterious Christmas adventure.
Doctor Puppet is a Doctor Who fan series made by a team of professional artists and musicians. It’s a labor of love. The puppets and animation are created in a tiny New York City apartment. The music and vocals are produced and recorded in England. This video took over 3 months to make.
The Twelfth Doctor plays a Christmas duet with the stars. Peace, joy, and rock n’ roll.
Doctor Puppet is a Doctor Who fan series made by a team of professional artists. It’s a labor of love. The puppets and animation are created in a tiny New York City apartment. The music is produced and recorded in England.
UNKNOWN CHRISTMAS COMPANION. ScreenRant says who is a mystery: “Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special Features ‘Different Guest Companion’”.
EXEC COMMENTS ON TREK FAN FILM GUIDELINES. Axamonitor has a thorough article covering what a CBS representative has said about interpreting the new guidelines.
COSTUMERS AHOY! Costume-Con 36 (2018) in San Diego has picked its hotel and set a date. The con will take place May 11-14, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mission Valley. The hotel is adjacent to the Hazard Center Mall (which offers several restaurant options) and it is across the street from the San Diego Trolley.
TOLKIEN AT WAR. On the anniversary of the first day of the Somme, Joseph Loconte muses about “How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front”. Loconte’s book A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 was released a year ago.
The science fiction drama is coming in 2018 http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/30/12064988/lost-in-space-tv-reboot-netflix-announced