Who fans, unite (again)!

From my fave spot for Doctor Who news, cultbox.co.uk:

Following the successful fan events of #SaveTheDay and #TripOfALifetime, Doctor Who Magazine writer Emily Cook has organized another communal fan watch-along and live tweet of the Doctor Who series 5 episode Vincent and the Doctor – on Vincent van Gogh’s birthday.
On Monday March 30, Cook invites fans all over the world to watch Vincent and the Doctor from their homes with Matt Smith (the Doctor) Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Tony Curran (Vincent van Gogh), Bill Nighy (museum curator Dr. Black), writer Richard Curtis, and script editor Emma Freud.

Along with March 21st’ The Day of the Doctor and March 26th’ Rose, these events are organized to help alleviate the loneliness, restlessness and anxiety Doctor Who fans are experiencing from the confinement and physical distance from others due to the need to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Take your DVD off the shelf or watch a streaming service and join Karen Gillan and your fellow Doctor Who fans on Twitter on Monday, March 30 at 7pm GMT to watch Vincent and the Doctor.
Keep an eye on @Emily_Rosina, who will direct you to Bill Nighy’s and Richard Curtis’ new Twitter accounts and use the hashtag #TheUltimateGinger to join the conversation.

Doctor Who in the media?

I heard what might have been a Doctor Who reference on a radio show this morning. The host had as her guest a chef who was going to suggest easy meals to cook for those who are unused to cooking but currently find themselves stuck at home. Before the interview began, the host shared some of the more interesting ‘meals’ she had heard about from her listeners: hotdogs and strawberry jam, melted cheese with barbecue sauce, and fish fingers and custard!

To pass the time…

If you’re hunkered down (Florida talk) suffering from corona-imposed social isolation and looking for something to do, check out our trivia contests and puzzles.  They can be found in the posts for January 16 and 30 in 2018; and March 24, April 21, May 29, and September 22 in 2019.  Answers are available on our Answers Page (d’uh!).

Future posts will include patterns for Doctor Who crafts the club has made over our 34-year history.

Spoilers if you didn’t see the finale

I’m back after my extended work-related absence. So much to catch up on; finished off the current season today. I enjoyed the 3-parter, but did have a few “hmmmm…” moments:

Did anyone else think The Master behaves more like a child who was tortured by their mother-figure than the Doctor? Having lived for eons (from the beginning of Time-Lord culture) would also explain his insane desperation to ‘end it all’–taking his own life along with all other organic creatures on the planet.

Seeing how easily The Master dispatched the Cybermen’s fanatical human leader really drilled home how much The Doctor’s refusal to kill hampers her ability to stop a villain before they commit further atrocities. Fortunately for the universe, she always succeeds in the end.

And who didn’t guess the old warrior would sacrifice his life so The Doctor wouldn’t have to do it?

Ken Spivey, a Memorial

Ken Spivey, well-known in Central Florida for his Time Lord Fest events, passed away on January 14.  If I try to write about Ken, the man, I will break down in tears and be unable to finish this post, so I’m going to focus instead on Ken, the fan. Here are my memories of him and his legacy, in pictures.

Ken created an affordable, family-friendly Doctor Who event, with an emphasis on entertainment that brought together a wide selection of performers, vendors, and fans. The highlight of each event was the Concert/Masquerade combo, with so many costumed participants they often had to be judged in groups.

The Guardians of Gallifrey were invited to have a Club table at Ken’s first Time Lord Fest event, in Orlando in July of 2011. The first thing I noticed was the high percentage of cosplayers compared to other fan events, a trait that continued in future TLFs. There were multiple Doctors and River Songs, Amys, TARDIS dresses, and Fezzes, to name a few. Lord President Arthur Dykeman, as a Time Lord, posed with some attendees and the Delegate from Alpha Centauri.

Many more fans turned up than Ken had expected, making the event a definite success and insuring future events.

The next of Ken’s events attended by the Guardians (again, with a Club table provided for free) was the first Whovian Singles Night. As a true Whovian entrepreneur, Ken was brilliant at coming up with new ideas to attract and entertain the fans. The Whovian Singles Night was just what it sounds like–an opportunity for like-minded singles to meet others in a fun and safe setting, a kind of DW version of speed-dating. Inside, the Ken Spivey Band supplied the ambience, while vendors outside reflected the spirit of the event. (The Guardians gave out the Kissing Crossword–created specifically for the event–and stickers and bookmarks with Doctor Who-themed pick-up lines.)

In 2013, Ken attended the Guardian’s Wholiday Party–and brought a banana–posing with and in the TARDIS, watching Doctor Who from behind the sofa, and chatting with other fans around the Who tree.



In 2015, Time Lord Fest ticket purchases included an additional ticket to the Fan Boy Expo, where The Ken Spivey Band had a table for selling merchandise to fund future events. That year’s TLF was (as usual) attended by lots of cosplayers, including a very impressive Weeping Angel.


In 2016, The Ken Spivey Band performed at Leesburg Library’s Sci-Fi Day to a packed room, and ran the costume contest for the event.

Time Lord Fest grew and added more guests (Sophie Aldred, Robert Allsopp, Louis Robinson, Marnix Van Den Broeke, and others), performances (musicians, dancers, aerialists, and fans acting in their own original plays or audio dramas), and activities (crafts, “Cyberman Says,” and The Weeping Angel Game). Ken even made it possible for fans who might never have the opportunity to travel to England to see guests from overseas through projected live chats.


Costumer Robert Allsopp                                 Shinobi School DW Aerial Stunt Show

Cyberman Says                                           Weeping Angel game — children, then teens

Ken had a knack for finding usable spaces, including a coffeehouse, a church, and a university. Besides Time Lord Fests, there were also several New Year’s Eve Time Lord Balls, held at a live music venue in Tampa. Hundreds of fans turned out for each Time Lord Fest, many returning year after year, often in costume.

The program for Time Lord Fest 2015 included a Code of Conduct which made it clear fans were expected to treat each other with respect and courtesy. A portion of ticket sales from Time Lord Fests were donated to the North Brandon Family YMCA, to aid in their charitable work. Ken’s high moral character was evident in the way he treated the fans, his guests, and the many individuals and groups who worked with him. He did more to reach out to others active in fandom (and provide them with opportunities to promote themselves or their group) than any other event-runner I have known.

[Crying now, so I may as well continue] I am so glad he found the love of his life, Audrey (his Rose Tyler), and so sad they had too short a time together. He was a good, kind, and generous man, and fandom is poorer without him.

For more information,  go to the Guardians of Gallifrey’s Facebook page. Don’t miss tonight’s Mark Who 42 tribute to Ken.


News That Didn’t Make it into the Gallifrey Guardian

Doctor Who Time Fracture, an immersive adventure, is in development by the BBC and Immersive Everywhere. The show will be launched in London autumn of 2020, and give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures. More information is available here: https://www.immersivedoctorwho.com/

NEWS (Only a spoiler if you haven’t seen Spyfall)

One more review of Spyfall, from iNews: “Whittaker’s debut series established a Doctor Who that had never looked more slick or cinematic, but Spyfall goes even further, with huge, stylish, lavishly shot set-pieces like a frantic, gun-toting motorbike chase through striking Californian farmland.”

SPOILERS (for a few more days)

Anjli Mohindra (The Sarah Jane Adventures) will guest star in Episode 4. (Bradley Walsh appeared in the SJA story The Day of the Clown with Mohindra.) She described her role of Queen Skithra as “bringing some terror to the joint.”

Episode 4 was written by Nina Metivier, and features Goran Visnjic as Nikola Tesla and Robert Glenister as Thomas Edison. The official synopsis reads:
It is 1903 and on the edge of Niagara Falls, something is wrong at Nikola Tesla’s generator plant, where someone—or something—is sabotaging the maverick inventor’s work. Has Tesla really received a message from Mars? And where does his great rival Thomas Edison fit into these events? The Doctor and her companions must join forces with one of history’s greatest minds to save both him and planet Earth. (According to a 1901 article in the San Francisco Examiner, Tesla did once claim to receive a message of sorts from a nearby planet.)

Maxine Alderton wrote Episode 8 of Series 12, about something showrunner Chris Chibnall says Alderton is “very passionate about” but would not give specifics, referring to the story as “amazing.”

Party update – More Presents!

Yup, thanks to a generous donation by our newsletter editor, we will have DVDs of classic Who to give away as door prizes — no one goes home empty-handed! DVDs are pictured below:

Also, the price for the Bernice Summerfield audio collection in the auction has been lowered to $15. Check the November 25 GoG Blog post for the list.

And here’s our piñata, with candy for all (if we dare open it!).

More Pics from Doctor Who Anniversary Day

Here are two more photos from Fandomania at the Deltona Library:  a view of our second Club table and one of fans adding to the Clara Memorial TARDIS (which will be available for even more graffiti at the Wholiday Party).


And here are two from Gods & Monsters, which offered a free drink to cosplayers (check out the Specials).


Finally, a last bit of excess newsletter material:

On The Graham Norton Show, Jodie Whittaker reflected on the fame that has come with being the Doctor, and revealed a particularly embarrassing incident. “It’s an interesting thing and it’s all over the world and you have this weird narcissism thing where you think everyone is watching you,” she continued.
“The most embarrassing thing happened to me yesterday on the tube. I was standing on the platform with my empty reusable cup and an elderly gentleman walked towards me and put his arm into my space and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’
“He said sorry and explained he was trying to put some money in my cup! He had no idea who I was!”

More to come, but right now I’m off to party prep!

Wholiday Party details

I’ve been posting about it for weeks and forgot to start with specific details–d’oh! It’s the annual December meeting/party held by the Guardians of Gallifrey and hosted this year (and many past) by me. Hey, I’ve got a classic TARDIS console room set in my garage–how else am I going to show it off? Saturday, December 21, from noon to midnight at 170 Broadmoor Ave. in Lake Mary, Florida, join other Doctor Who fans to celebrate the season.

We’ll have food, Doctor Who viewing, a trivia contest, Doctor Who versions of party games like Pictionary and Character Headbands, carny-style games of Bowling for Daleks and TARDIS Toss, piñata-bashing, an auction, and more activities. The piñata will be taken care of around 3:00 p.m., weather permitting, and the auction at 6:00 p.m. Other activities are free-flowing and continuous, ending with a late-night genre but non-Who movie. For an idea of what to expect at a Wholiday Party, check out GoG Blog posts from December 2017 and 2018. For more info on this year’s party, go to our website and Facebook page.

This year’s theme, in keeping with the (W)holiday, is PRESENTS! Bring your favorite Doctor Who gift for Show-n-Tell, or just tell the story behind it. (Mine is featured in the GoG Blog post from December 2.)  We’ll have a mini-gift exchange, with gifts supplied by the Club, and maybe some door prizes, too. It’s all about the giving!

Excess Newsletter Material (including Spoilers!)

According to a student who attended a question and answer session at Sheffield Hallam University, Chris Chibnall told the audience that the Doctor Who Series 12 opener will be “the biggest episode in the show’s history.” A BBC One source to the Mirror said, “It’s going to be huge. The scale is just epic. No one will be disappointed.”

TV & Satellite Week magazine published an interview with Chibnall which gave more details on Series 12. The show will be going deeper into the characters and into the Doctor’s past. The new series is “more ambitious in terms of scale and storytelling. But you’re also going to have a massive laugh because it’s hugely entertaining.”
Radio Times recently interviewed Chibnall, who said the new series will be a step up, with more scale, fun, and some new and old monsters. Chibnall said he “really wanted to see Jodie against the Cybermen…we’ve done something slightly different with them.” There appear to be several types of Cybermen for Series 12, who—according to the Mirror—are to appear in Episode 8, which is set in the 19th Century.


Jodie Whittaker, as reported in the January issue of SFX magazine said, “Some of these episodes go in a direction that is different for the Doctor than the previous seasons, that shows a side to her that we haven’t seen yet.”
Chris Chibnall, in the same article (which covered the press event at Roath Lock Studios on September 24) said there will be more historical stories in Series 12. Known historical episodes include Episode 2, set in occupied Paris during World War II; Episode 4, set in New York City in the time of Nikola Tesla; and Episode 8, with scenes set in the 19th century filmed at Merthyr Mawr House in Wales.
The press event included a tour of the TARDIS interior set for the attending journalists. It appears the new Production Designer, Dafydd Shurmer, has made changes to the TARDIS. Journalists were not allowed to take photos, and photos posted by a fan on Instagram who visited the set over the summer have been removed.
During the press event on September 24, Chibnall hinted at a possible series arc. “It’s probably a bit scarier…We’ve definitely got some bigger action set pieces. We’ve got some old monsters [and] some really brilliant new monsters. And there’s a little thread trickling through.” A line of dialogue in the trailer could affirm the story arc, as the Doctor says, “Something’s coming for me. I can feel it.” [Some theorize it could refer to the Timeless Child mentioned in The Ghost Monument.)

In an interview with Radio Times, Bradley Walsh warned of terrifying new monsters in Series 12. In his words, “[they] will absolutely make your hair curl. There’s a couple of monsters that they’ve come up with that are absolutely terrifying – and I mean terrifying.” Walsh said his character, Graham, will be thrown into even more incredible situations than in the previous series.
On the multiple press visit to Roath Lock Studios on September 24, the cast spoke of a terrifying monster that can pass through walls. “I was proper scared,” said Tosin Cole, who plays Ryan. “The one in the wall…there is a scene where it was me and Mandip and the wall and we were barricaded in…came through the wall.”
“I was really scared,” said Jodie Whittaker. “One of the notes from the director was ’I know you’re scared but the Doctor would probably kind of maybe contain it a little more.’ And I’m screaming! I can’t cope with something coming out of the dark.”
Cultbox.uk theorized the most likely episodes to feature this monster are Episode 3, where the beige bone-like leg of a monster was spotted on a crew member’s social media post; Episode 4, rumored to have a scene in New York City during the Victorian Era; Episode 5, alleged to have children in the cast; or episode 7, which did not have much location filming.

Jodie Whittaker had a close encounter with a dangerous spider while filming in South Africa. On The Graham Norton Show, Jodie said: We were filming in South Africa and…I run out of the building into the wilderness as this Sac spider just crawled down my face, on my collarbone and went [inside my costume]…I absolutely bricked it and can’t repeat what I said. Costume was off and our [First Assistant Director] was English, pretty casually just picked it up and chucked it as all the South Africans were going, “No no no no!” And then we found out I could have died! Apparently a spider was part of the filming of the episode, as explained by Whittaker to fellow guest Kevin Hart.

Director Emma Sullivan posted photos from Episode 7 filming. A photo of Jodie Whittaker holding an Episode 7 slate has the outline of a hand on it, with Whittaker wearing a high-tech-looking cuff on her wrist. Other photos include a slate with a silhouette of the Doctor peering through the TARDIS doors; a photo of Tosin Cole on the TARDIS interior set; and other sets including a young girl’s bedroom, a fireplace, and the garden of an estate (likely Merthyr Mawr House). The drawing of the hand and the mysterious cuff are clues to Episode 7. Episode 8 was filmed at Merthyr Mawr House and is rumored to feature Mary Shelley. You can see the photos on Instagram here:

From what has become my favorite place for Doctor Who news, here are breakdowns (with still photos) of the first two trailers and the wrap party release video:




This image of Sir Lenny Henry from Spyfall was released along with the trailer.

And here’s Stephen Fry

Guest stars Goran Visnjic and Robert Glenister, who will appear in later episodes.

Hey, Guardians, can you guess which news articles in the Gallifrey Guardian go with these photos?