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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Just what the Doctor Ordered: Why each actor left the role of Doctor Who

William Hartnell, the first Doctor, was pushed rather than jumping from the Tardis. He very much wanted to stay in the role that was beloved by millions and had helped create a massive hit for the BBC. However Hartnell was in his late 50s at the time, and was increasingly erratic and, on occasion, had to miss an episode. Producers took the dramatic, unprecedented (and not to mention, historic) step of replacing their lead actor.

The actor that replaced Hartnell was Patrick Troughton and he , took on the role on the proviso that this was a three-year gig. He's also commented on the fact that, as an actor, he didn't want to be typecast.

Third Doctor Jon Pertwee claimed that he quit the role because of a chronic back problem, but it later emerged that there was an arguement over money with the BBC that provoked him laying down the sonic screwdriver. 

Fourth Doctor , Tom Baker handed in his notice every year, but was always lured back by a better deal from the BBC.  However when producer John Nathan-Turner came along, attitudes changed. JNT, as he is affectionally known, wanted to bring the show into the futuristic decade that was the '80s. Who got a shiny makeover. A makeover that would see Baker's notice finally accepted.

Fifth Doctor, Peter Davidson  took Troughton's advice of not staying longer than three years despite producer John Nathan-Turner asking for him to stay. He did say, however, "It was very demanding, so I was too tired to feel sad when it was all finally over."

Doctor number 6, Colin Baker was effectively sacked from the role when his contract was not renewed although he was asked to come back for four episodes in the following season for his regeneration story. The actor felt more than a little aggrieved and refused the BBC's plans,

 "I told them what they could do with their offer. I have been treated shabbily." Colin Baker.

No 7 was Sylvester McCoy - Doctor Who came to an end in 1989 but the show wasn't actually officially cancelled at any stage. McCoy has often lamented the short-sightedness of the BBC given that he and companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) were just hitting their stride. So this entry is an oddity: he didn't leave and he wasn't sacked.He just vanised from the screens.

For one night only, back in 1996, the Withnail & I actor, Paul McGann was most definitely the best thing about the ill-fated Doctor Who TV Movie. But a series didn't follow and fans had to make do with his Big Finish audio dramas.When the show returned, some nine years later, McGann was nowhere to be seen. Not even a regeneration. 

Doctor No 9, Christopher Eccleston quit the show after just one season.
He says the relationship with Russell and the producers (which included Julie Gardner, Mal Young and Phil Collinson) broke down "irreparably" at the start of filming and "never recovered".
Eccleston added, "They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them."

Doctor 10 - David Tennant spectacularly announced his decision to leave Doctor Who live on ITV during the National Television Awards in 2008.Deciding to move on after making the role his own, the Scottish actor didn't want to "outstay" his welcome, saying: "It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will."

Matt Smith, Doctor No 11 simply felt it was time to move on. "When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!" Matt stated in his official leaving statement in 2013.

In an emotional interview on BBC Radio 2, Peter Capaldi announced that he was leaving the show. The Twelfth Doctor said it was "the right time to move on".  It now seems that three years has become the norm for an actor to stay in the role.

Doctor Who returns this autum with Jodie Whittaker in the title role.




Book News: Comey's Book comes up Trumps

A Higher Loyalty, the memoirs of fired FBI director James Comey sold in excess of 60,000 copies in its first week, propelling it to the top of the book charts.

Publisher Flatiron Books, a division of privately-owned Macmillan, said it has printed more than 1 million copies of Comey's book, which has made national headlines.Flatiron did not say whether the first week sales were global or limited to the United States.

Comey has been on a media blitz, sitting for numerous television and radio interviews, while also on a book tour that has seen him appear before sold-out audiences of more than a thousand.
The book has drawn Trump's ire as Comey compared the president to a mob boss who stresses personal loyalty over the law and has little regard for morality or truth.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Where the Dead things are.....

Available now in print and eBook -my new crime/mystery thriller.

1940 – France has fallen and Britain stands alone against the might of the German war machine; a fierce battle for supremacy of the air rages in the skies as the Battle of Britain hits full stride.

For Chief Inspector Frank Parade, and his much depleted team there are many challenges to policing the small Welsh mining village of Gilfach Goch, for whilst miles away from the theatres of war the Home Front faces unique challenges of its own. The wartime demands thrown on the country mean that each officer in Parade’s team must do the work of two men – three even.

Soon the already overwhelming workload is increased when not one but two bodies turn up, and Parade finds himself having to investigate two murders as well as cope with everything else thrown his way.

Chief Inspector Frank Parade is going to become the new superstar cop. An excellent book.’ *****

'The wartime setting is authentic, the suspense well handled. Highly recommended.' ****

Available from Amazon, iBooks, Playstore

The Woman in White

I'm looking forward to the BBC's adaptation of The Woman in White, based on the 1859 book by Wilkie Collins -  the book is often credited as being the first mystery novel and is one of the best supernatural stories ever written. The five-part series follows Walter Hartright as he encounters a ghostly woman dressed in all white on a moonlit road and is drawn into a mysterious and disturbing world.

It starts tonight on BBC1 - The Victorian mystery has inspired five silent movies, a major Hollywood film, a German TV mini-series, a Soviet version, and two previous BBC mini-series.
And now it’s back. This new BBC1 adaptation, written by Fiona Series and directed by Carl Tibbetts, immerses viewers in the story of Walter Hartright (Ben Hardy) and the mystery of the Woman in White, as well as the two young ladies Walter tutors: Marian Halcombe (Jessie Buckley) and Laura Fairlie (Olivia Vinall).

The TV adaptation takes a different approach to narrative structure, starting at some point towards the end of the story and then taking viewers back to the beginning. We then flash between the two time periods as events unfold. Novelist Wilkie Collins started out with a much more linear approach. The novel, which was published in serial form between 1859 and 1860 in Charles Dickens’ magazine in the UK and in Harper’s Weekly in the US, begins with Walter’s invitation to Limmeridge House and his moonlit encounter with the Woman in White. Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective, so readers have no idea where the story might end up.

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee: Muhammad Ali Limited series in the works

Now this is interesting -

CBS All Access is developing “8 Fights — The Life of Muhammad Ali,” a limited series that will tell the story of eight critical moments in the life of the legendary boxer. Each of the eight episodes episode will be framed by one of Ali’s fights. The story of each episode, however will focus on Ali’s internal struggles and the drama of his life outside the ring. The project will explore the heart and mind of one of the most consequential and controversial figures of the 20th century.

The limited series will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment, and is based on the recent biography “Ali: A Life” by Jonathan Eig. Dan Kay will serve as writer and executive producer. Freeman, Lori McCreary and Beth Miyares will exec produce for Revelations Entertainment. Erica Shelton will serves as a consulting producer through her overall deal at CBS Television Studios.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

eOneBook Dual

It's an innovative design in eReaders - the device contains two eInk screens - The eOneBook 7.2 inch dual screen manga reader is a tour de force of sensible design and functionality. It has a detachable dust jacket that is removable and looks like any other hardcover book when its on your shelf.

Find a full Hands-On review HERE

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The reason ears were invented


Available from Audible now - never been a better time to get into Granny's adventures.

There's a brutal murder in the small Welsh village of Gilfach. The police are clueless. With no motive and no real suspect, the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Anne Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the 71-years-young, pipe-smoking, heavy metal-loving, chaos-causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem, and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you're never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that 71 is actually the new 21.
Murder's never been so much fun.
©2012 Gary Martin Dobbs (P)2016 Gary Martin Dobbs

  • Granny Smith Investigates

  • The Little Old Lady Who Solves Crime
  • By: G. M. Dobbs
  • Narrated by: Fiona Thraille
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-04-16
  • Language: English 


  • A Welsh woman won't be stopped!

    I knew from the first few minutes that I was going to enjoy this audiobook and I was right. The dry (yet sassy) humour was spot on and the narration was perfectly matched to the tone of the story. Highly recommended!
    You voted on this review!



    Fantastic voice acting from Fiona Thraille

    The narrator really brought the characters to life. Great performance, fun and engaging murder mystery.

    Hilarious

    Where does Granny Smith Investigates rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
    at the top of the list..often laugh out loud funny. Brilliantly written and performed.
    What other book might you compare Granny Smith Investigates to, and why?
    Agatha Raisin series but edgier
    Have you listened to any of Fiona Thraille’s other performances? How does this one compare?
    very good.
    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
    Miss Marple on steroids