Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Audience of Evil

When episode 1 of The Evil of the Daleks was first broadcast at 6 pm on BBC One on Saturday, 20 May 1967, it was watched by 8.1 million people.

Except that the viewing figures usually given for Doctor Who in the 1960s are the BBC's own internal estimates from the time. These figures often differ significantly from estimates by the agency Total Audience Measurement (TAM), which were until 1968 used by ITV networks and advertisers, and based on numbers of households watching not individual viewers.
EpisodeTx dateAudience (BBC)Audience (TAM)
120 May 19678.1 million4.3 million
227 May 19677.5 million
33 June 19676.1 million
410 June 19675.3 millionunder 4.45 million
517 June 19675.1 million
624 June 19676.8 million3.4 million
71 July 19676.1 millions2.9 million

The TAM figures here are taken from The Stage and Television Today issues #4498 (29 June 1967), #4501 (20 July 1967), and #4506 (24 August  1967), where Doctor Who episodes were among the top five most-viewed children's programmes of the preceding month. For episode 4, TAM figures published in issue #4497 (22 June 1967) give the top 20 most-viewed programmes for the week ending 11 June. Doctor Who is not listed but the figure for the 20th most-viewed programme is 4,450,000.

Since 1981, a single, independent measurement of viewing figures has been produced by the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), but methods of estimating numbers of viewers have evolved over the years so we should be wary of the conclusions we draw from comparing data from different periods. However, it may help contextualise the figures cited above to know that BARB estimates that in January 1967 there were 18 million homes in the UK, 15.9 million of them with TVs; by January 1968 that figure had risen to 18.2 million homes, 16.4 million with TVs. See www.barb.co.uk/resources/tv-ownership/

(This was a footnote cut from my book on The Evil of the Daleks.)

Monday, May 08, 2017

K-9 & Company

I had a lovely weekend at the Doctor Who Appreciation Society's Capitol event, where we launched my book on The Evil of the Daleks.


The Lord of Chaos was delighted to poke his nose inside the TARDIS, to meet K-9 (he approves of the new look for the forthcoming film as it is cuter than the original) and to come home with no end of new toys.

I saw lots of old friends, had a nice chat with Bob Baker who'd I'd not met before, and really liked the exhibition of photos, letters and other curios from the collection of the late Alec Wheal, senior cameraman on 1980s Doctor Who, .


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You can buy Evil now

You can now buy my 244-page book on the 1967 Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks.

It's £3.99 for an epub or mobi electronic version, £4.99 for a paperback - which is a special sale price just now - and £7.99 for both a paper and electronic version. This is such tantalisingly good value it is surely impossible to resist, so do buy it. You will obey!

There's also a free extract on the publisher's website: The Evil of the Daleks - Here and Now.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Toys & Games

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition is in shops now, devoted to toys and games over the past six decades.

Among its wonders, I've interviewed Alex Loosely-Saul from The Who Shop (where I spent a lovely afternoon drinking lots and lots of tea), and former head of licensing Richard Hollis, designer Dave Turbitt and current creative development executive Ross McGlinchey about the role of BBC Worldwide in matching toys to the series since 2005.

Speaking of interviewing people involved with Doctor Who, I've added a 2015 interview with SFX producer Kate Walshe from Millennium FX to my Koquillion archive site - and another interview will be added next week, too.

And I've posted a special thread on Twitter. since today marks 50 years exactly since filming began on The Evil of the Daleks.

(I might have mentioned I've written a book about that story...)


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Koquillion

This striking-looking fellow is Koquillion, star of the 1964 Doctor Who story The Rescue.

I have pilferred his name for my new blog collecting together interviews I've conducted over the years with the cast and crew of Doctor Who. Thirteen interviews went live this morning, and I'll add another one each week.

http://koquillion.blogspot.co.uk/


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Outliers

Big Finish have announced a new Doctor Who audio adventure written by me, due out later this year. It features the Second Doctor.
In The Outliers (October) by Simon Guerrier, the travellers arrive on a asteroid in the far future, where miners are mysteriously vanishing. It’s up to the Doctor, Polly, Ben and Jamie to investigate - and the Examiner’s badge from the planet Vulcan is their passport… Debbie Chazen (Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned) plays Dr Goro, while Alistair Petrie (Rogue One) is Richard Tipple.
Pre-order The Outliers from Big Finish.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Doctor Who paper dolls

New book out in August:


Take a romp through time and space with this fantastic collection of Doctor Who paper dolls.

Hours of crafty fun to be had, with 26 dolls – including all 12 Doctors and a range of companions and characters, from Rose and Donna to Missy and new companion Bill – and over 50 different outfits to change them into.

Learn the secrets behind the costumes, with insights from the actors and producers, and find out how to take your own dress-up to the next level with cosplay tips from Doctor Who: The Fan Show’s Christel Dee.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Simon Guerrier is co-author of Whographica and The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who, and has written countless Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays and documentaries.

Ben Morris has illustrated for Radio Times, Sunday Times and The Scotsman, and is a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine. He has created dozens of character icons and puzzles for Doctor Who Adventures.

Christel Dee is the presenter of Doctor Who: The Fan Show. A cosplayer, convention enthusiast and long-time Whovian, her popular YouTube channel features interviews with fans and cosplayers.
Doctor Who: Paper Dolls is published August 24, 2017 — pre-order here.


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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cover of Evil

Here is the cover to my forthcoming book on 1967 Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks - out in May from the Black Archive series:


The artwork is by Blair Bidmead and Cody Shell. The blurb for my book is as follows...

‘Without knowing, you have shown the Daleks what their own strength is!’

 In the midst of swinging London, the Daleks run an antique shop. The Victorian items on sale are all completely genuine – but they’re also brand new. Soon the Doctor is following a trail back to 1866 and then to the Dalek home planet of Skaro. It’s not just the authenticity of a few antiques that’s at stake but what it is that makes us human – and how that can be used. 

The Evil of the Daleks (1967) is an epic, strange and eerie conclusion to Doctor Who’s fourth series, originally commissioned to kill off the Daleks for good. For all it’s set in history and on an alien world, the production team were consciously grappling with very contemporary issues – and improvising round practical circumstances out of their control.

This Black Archive title explores how The Evil of the Daleks developed from commission to broadcast 50 years ago – and beyond. Painstaking research and new interviews with many of those involved in the production shed fresh light on the story, its characters and its mix of science and history. 

Simon Guerrier is a writer and producer, and author of a number of Doctor Who books, comics and audio plays.

For more stuff about The Evil of the Daleks, click the label below.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Graceless offers and trailer

Here, hear the amazing trailer for Graceless IV which is out later this month. The writing is by me but the extraordinary song is the work of Duncan Wisbey.



In the meantime, this weekend those splendid fellows at Big Finish are offering special offers on previous Graceless adventures.