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Doctor Who

Whoogle Weekly Roundup for Friday, 18th July 2014

TARDIS Newsroom - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 10:35am

A mega round-up of news, reviews, pictures, podcasts and videos from the world of Doctor Who for the discerning Whovian...

[View the story "Whoogle Weekly Roundup for Friday, 18th July 2014" on Storify]

Categories: Doctor Who

Interview with Nicholas Briggs

BBC - Doctor Who - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 2:33am

UPDATE: The Doctor Who: Cybermen Monster File is now only available from BBC Worldwide.

Nicholas Briggs has been the ‘Voice of the Cybermen’ since their return in 2006 and so who better to read Cybermen: Status Update, the new adventure that you’ll find in Doctor Who – The Cybermen Monster File Ebook?

Aside from the Cybermen he’s also voiced an array of aliens including the Daleks, Skaldak the Ice Warrior, Zygons and the Judoon. 

We caught up with Nicholas and asked for his unique take on the Cybermen, their new story, his favourite Cyber moments and who would have won the Time War had the Time Lords been fighting the Cybermen…


Question: The Doctor has faced literally hundreds of villains and monsters over the decades… What makes the Cybermen so special?

Nicholas Briggs: I think what makes them so scary is that they are essentially ‘us’ but with all the humanity removed. The walk, they talk, but they have blank faces and no emotions. That means they are devoid of all the things that make us human. They have no conscience, no pity and no love. And they want us to be like them. Terrifying.

Q: The Cybermen are emotionless creatures… How difficult does that make them to voice?

NB: It actually makes it really difficult, because if we were to be strictly ‘logical’ about how the voice should sound, it would be utterly monotonous and boring to listen to. All the things that grab our attention in a human voice are to do with emotions. The Daleks are very emotional, which is what makes their voices so scary, because they’re so cross and afraid all the time. The Cybermen… well, they don’t give anything away in their voices at all. So when we devised the new Cyber voices in Age of Steel, we went for ‘tactless’, which gave them an unpleasant edge.

Q: In terms of the audio version of the story, could you describe Cybermen: Status Update for us?

NB: It’s a really clever little tale from the point of view of a piece of social media software from the future on another planet. The idea is that instead of just posting on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter or whatever, you actually connect BOB to your brain and it updates your statuses with your thoughts and feelings. So, when the unfortunate lead character gets involved in a Cyber invasion of their planet, you get a real first-hand, terrifying account, as told through their thoughts and emotions. And imagine how weird that is when the person connected to BOB gets Cyber-converted!

Q: What’s been your favourite scene featuring the Cybermen since their return in 2006?

NB: There have been so many. I think their face-off with the Daleks in Doomsday was pretty good.

Q: Reaching back a little further, which of the early (pre-Rise of the Cybermen) stories is your favourite?

NB: I have a controversial fondness for Revenge of the Cybermen, but I’m rather fond of The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Invasion.

Q: And do you have a favourite line of Cyber dialogue?

NB:  You belong to us. That’s a pretty horrifying thing to hear.

Q: What was your favourite version of the Cybermen and why? And you’re not allowed to pick the current version!

NB: My favourite version to look at is the version from The Invasion. That design is so streamlined and simple — if you ignore the laces on the boots! But the best voice, although it’s the most difficult to do, was in The Moonbase and The Tomb of the Cybermen. It was produced using an artificial larynx, the kind of thing that people who’s lost their vocal chords use. It produces a vibrating, buzzing sound that can be articulated by the movement of your mouth. Very difficult to do.

Q: If the Time War had been fought between Cybermen and Time Lords, who’d have won?

NB: Well, no one really won the Time War did they? Forgive me for being a bit serious here, but I think the point that’s being made with the whole Time War thing is that no one really wins a war. Even the people who win suffer appallingly. It’s best to avoid wars. So, I think it would have been a horrible stalemate that would probably raged for eternity. Not nice.

Q: Which is your favourite of the many iconic photos featuring Cybermen?

NB: The one from The Invasion, when they’re walking down the steps from St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Q: If you could give the Cybermen just one emotion, what would it be?

NB: I’d give them a conscience if I wanted their ceaseless thirst for conquest to stop!

Many thanks to Nicholas Briggs!

Categories: Doctor Who

Interview with Doctor Who Writer, Joseph Lidster

BBC - Doctor Who - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 5:48am

UPDATE: The Doctor Who: Cybermen Monster File is now only available from BBC Worldwide.

Doctor Who – The Cybermen Monster File Ebook is available to download now and contains a brilliant, brand new adventure called Cybermen: Status Update, written by Joseph Lidster (Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Wizards vs Aliens). 

We caught up with Joseph and asked him about the new adventure, his favourite Cyber moments and any advice he might have for aspiring writers…

Question: Could you sum up the new adventure, Cybermen: Status Update, in 140 characters or less?

Joseph Lidster: Status Update is the tale of a normal teenage boy living a normal teenage life until the day the Cybermen invade. And it features pork pies.

Q: Talk us through where Cybermen: Status Update came from… What inspired the story and the ideas for Jacob and BOB?

JL: I've found in the past that telling short stories in the first person gives you more of a chance to tell something a bit different. There have been so many brilliant Cybermen stories over the years so it can be quite difficult to come up with something new for them to do - and even harder to do this in a short story. By telling it from the point of view of a teenage boy it allowed me to explore what it would be like if an invasion actually happened. It's about what he goes through, his family, the girl he fancies and so on. I then decided to give it a little extra by having it told through social media. We're all using social media more and more so it felt a bit new and relevant. It also meant that, as the BOB device records your thoughts directly, I could keep telling the story from the main character's point of view - even when terrible things are happening. Plus, of course, there's some fun to be had comparing our reliance on social media and technology to what the Cybermen have done to themselves.

Q: Why do you think the Cybermen remain so popular after so many decades?

JL: I personally always found them scarier than the Daleks because they just seem so unstoppable. Most monsters are different to us. The Cybermen are better than us. They are us but stronger and faster. There's a real logic to what they did to themselves and to what they want to do to every living creature in the Universe.

Q: What’s been your favourite scene featuring the Cybermen since their return in 2006?

JL: It's got to be them fighting the Daleks in the Torchwood Institute in Doomsday. "This is not war. This is pest control."

Q: And delving back a little further, which of the early (pre-Rise of the Cybermen) stories is your favourite?

JL: My favourite has to be Silver Nemesis. It's my first real memory of the Cybermen. It's not the most popular story but I love it for just how entertaining it is. Lady Peinforte is a fantastic character and the Doctor and Ace are just absolutely lovely in it. It's funny and bonkers and still feels fresh and modern today.

Q: What was your favourite version of the Cybermen and why? And you’re not allowed to pick the current version!

JL: I think the original version with their cloth faces are still chilling, even today!

Q: Cybermats, Cybershades or Cybermites?

JL: Cybermats! I remember watching the video of Revenge of the Cybermen when I was younger and there's a moment when one jumps up and attacks Sarah Jane Smith and it's horrific!

Q: If you could give the Cybermen just one emotion, what would it be?

JL: Well, it wouldn't be anger! An angry Cyberman would be even more terrifying. Joy! A really happy Cyberman would be sweet.

Q: And finally, what advice would you give anyone who wants to become a writer?

JL: The most important piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a writer is that they should write! It sounds obvious but it's true. Write stories, plays, anything. I'd then suggest looking for local acting and writing groups so you can meet other writers. The BBC Writersroom website is also really helpful so do check that out.

Many thanks to Joseph Lidster!

Categories: Doctor Who

305 - Doctor Who: Podshock

Doctor Who: Podshock - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:23am

Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 305
Running time: 1:12:59

We have a classic interview with the co-founder of the Doctor Who Fan Club of America, Ron Katz, a recent interview with Peter Howell of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, plus news, and more. Hosted by Louis Trapani.

Presented to you by the Gallifreyan Embassy and is a production of Art Trap Productions. Interview segment courtesy of Chuck Rabb of the Chuck Rabb Show. The Peter Howell interview was conducted by UK correspondent, Nick Joy.

This podcast is made possible in part by and is brought to you by Podshock Supporting Subscribers and from donations from listeners like you.

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Categories: Doctor Who, Podcasts

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