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Sci-Fi Media Television

New Animated Dr. Who Series 182

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the rockin-the-tardis dept.
smak writes "To celebrate the doctor's fourtieth anniversary, the BBC and Cosgrove Hall Films are webcasting a fully-animated adventure starring Richard E. Grant. You can watch the first episode of Scream of the Shalka and new episodes will be launched every Thursday. Enjoy." It requires Flash 4, but also looks pretty damn cool.
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New Animated Dr. Who Series

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  • Showing Dr. Who (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Munger (695154) on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:10AM (#7471394) Homepage
    At the moment in Australia, we're enjoying Dr. Who weeknights at 6:00. The ABC [abc.net.au] (Our government run station), is showing them from the very first episodes. Great days for Australian 'Who' Geeks. It's great seeing the emergence of the Daleks and all your old fav's.
    • I never got to see William Hartnell as Dr Who - Jon Pertwee was when I came into the series. I didn't miss much methinks. Things got a lot better in a few short years...
      • The Chase, The Keys of Marinus, The Space Museum, The Web Planet - some great Hartnell stories there. I think you missed a lot.

        Though the Pertwee stuff was good as well...probably some of the best.
      • I never got to see William Hartnell as Dr Who - Jon Pertwee was when I came into the series. I didn't miss much methinks.

        Between Hartnell and Pertwee was Patrick Troughton, probably my favourite, though this is from misty 30-year-old memories. I think a lot of episodes from his era were lost, so you won't see many unfortunately. The first two Doctors did a lot of historical stories, where Pertwee spent most of his stint "trapped" by the Timelords in the 1970s, fighting off alien invasions, which coinciden

        • Not just in England, but in one quarry in England. I mean, what were the odds of that?
          • Not just in England, but in one quarry in England. I mean, what were the odds of that?

            Gee, Doctor, couldn't we cut out a lot of all this travelling about if we'd just move UNIT headquarters there?

            There, there, Jo. I've made a few improvements to Bessie, and we should be there in no time...

    • I'm really enjoying "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" -- probably the best so far in this run. It's a shame that there are some episodes from back then that weren't preserved, of course...
    • God yes, seeing the Daleks trundle around that old Welsh pit again brings back fond memories, and what is even better, is I can now introduce my five year old son to the wonders of $2.00 special effect supporting million dollar actors.

      The only thing I am waiting for is Tom, bring on Tom Baker!!!!

    • Back when I paid attention to Dr. Who in detail (late 80's), there were lots of missing episodes from the early years, especially the first two Doctors. The BBC had somehow lost all copies of them internally.

      Have all or at least some of these been found in the last ~15 years?
      • When I last heard, there were 110 episodes missing (This was 10 years ago)

        These are mostly Hartnell and Troughton episodes. During the Pertwee era (Colour) the BBC took black & white footage too, and although some colour footage is missing, all the black and white films remain. Additionally, the BBC still has audio recordings of everything.

        Since the BBC sold stories to other countries, occasionally, foreign copies are found (Sometimes in the vault of a crypt, somewhere in mid-eastern Europe), but it
    • Bastards! That clashes with the Simpsons! Can't the stations co-ordinate, instead of clashing? (And I've only got free-to-air, it's not like there's ten things on at once...)
    • It's a bit diffrent in America as we don't have goverment owned stations. With the exception of the one staring Paul McGahn (FOX), Dr. Who was carried by our PBS (Public Broadcasting system), which is a publicly funded (comercial free) network. I can't honestly say every PBS station in America carried dr. who... the first time I saw it was when I was visiting relitives in Philly circa early 1980's, but clearly wasn't shown in Virginia.

      But here in Washington they are also showing the very first episodes a
      • They still show it in Iowa, but Nebraska hasn't had any science fiction programming on their PBS stations for more than a decade, unless you count Queen LaBiblia and her computer 1Z2Z. They brand themselves as Nebraska Educational TeleVision (NETV), unlike Iowa Public TeleVision (IPTV).

        I donated to IPTV last year. Got a little Dalek Rolykins Christmas ornament.
        • Ah, IPTV and Friday Night Sci-Fi. I got my first viewing of the Hartnell years and Blake's 7 from them in the late 90's. Do they still have "Floating Old Guy" for a host?
    • I'm happy again! Can't wait for next Thursday.
  • Flash 4? (Score:3, Funny)

    by clifgriffin (676199) on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:15AM (#7471417) Homepage
    I hate it when a site thinks they are so big and cool and make you upgrade to the latest player.

    What? Flash 3 couldn't cut it. ARE THEY TOO GOOD FOR FLASH 3?! Geez.

    Blogzine [blogzine.net]
    Fortress of Insanity [homeunix.org]
  • It doesn't look like Paul McGann to me, is it a new incarnation?
  • by mbourgon (186257)
    Anyone wanna give directions for Moz? I'm running a fairly current nightly, but the Flash installer doesn't seem to work. Any ideas?
    • Depends. If you're on Linux, the Flash player seems to have weird shared library dependencies that always make it segfault on my system. Under Windows, the only problems I've had installing Flash are some weird interactions with Samba that make upgrades fail when installing to a network drive--uninstalling and reinstalling fixed it.

    • I'm running Linux and it worked just fine on Moz 1.6a. Make sure that libflashplayer.so is in the mozilla/plugins directory.

      If you are on Windows and Mozilla doesn't work, try the browser that comes with the OS. It works when there's a tight spot.
  • by bobobobo (539853) on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:22AM (#7471470)
    Should provide adequate sustinence for the Animated Dr Who marathon!
  • by devphil (51341) on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:25AM (#7471491) Homepage


    It occurred to me the other day that there was a 4th Doctor story ("Deadly Assassin") involving a computer-generated world called the Matrix. One sat down, put some gear on one's head, then appeared inside this world using a virtual body. If one's Matrix body dies, one's real self dies as well. The lone hero struggles against an enemy who can take advantage of the fact that the "laws" of physics, well, aren't.

    No bullet dodging, but given that the BBC's special effects budget was about the price of a cheeseburger, that should come as no surprise.

    • Yep, you're right. (Score:4, Informative)

      by sethadam1 (530629) * <adam@@@firsttube...com> on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:56AM (#7471670) Homepage
      There is no spoon [f9.co.uk].
    • by NanoGator (522640) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:16AM (#7471760) Homepage Journal
      There's also an episode called "Trial of a Time Lord", with Colin baker as the Doctor. The last chunk of it involves entering the 'Matrix'. It was a little different, though. In this ep, the Matrix was a repository of all Time Lord knowledge. Or something like that. Imagine the universe having a black box recording everything that happens, then having a Holodeck to walk into and witness events that occured. It was taken over and the laws of physics were messed up, etc.

      Though I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this episode had significant influence on the Matrix movies, it'd be difficult to say it was more than simply inspired.

      • The Matrix (at least, the Amplified Panatropic Net) was also a knowledge repository in the previous stories. In fact, I think it's been mentioned in that role in every story set on Gallifrey, even if only a brief scene or two.

      • . In this ep, the Matrix was a repository of all Time Lord knowledge.

        This sounds more like the Autobot Matrix of Leadership than Neo's Matrix. One probably shouldn't derive too much meaning from an obviously overused word.
        • No, in the one of the Tom Baker stories the Doctor and the Master both enter the Matrix and fight in the battleground of the mind. And if you die there, you die for real. (Sorry, couldn't resist all the cliches. Well, they're cliches now, but they weren't at the time.) The Master is defeated, but manages to escape at the last minute.

          It really is a virtual reality world in the story. The master controls the environment much more than Neo or Agent Smith does. We don't get to see superhuman battles, just
    • I'll take the cheeseburger-priced effects combined with the decent story any day.

      My brain can forgive the cheesy fx, sets, etc... in favour of a plot.

      It can't forgive high-end fx that are just there to be there.
    • Actually, I think it's more likely that The Matrix films were more directly influenced by William Gibson's fiction, which refers to the fully-emersive VR global communications net as The Matrix. Though arguably, Doctor Who did it first. *shrug* I'm just saying that the idea is far from new, not that you were saying it was...
      • I just heard a lady on the radio yesterday morning, can't remember her name though, who is suing either studio, the Wachowski brothers, or both, for copyright infringement over the first Matrix movie. She wrote a book and a movie treatment a few years back, and was turned down because the tehcnology for the fx weren't there. She said the FBI was brought in to investigate the claims and concluded that every major character in the movie came straight out of her book. This would certainly explain the last two
  • The theme! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThisIsFred (705426) on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:32AM (#7471538) Journal
    I guess I'm way out of the loop. What have they done with the theme song? It's all... techno. BTW, does anyone know where I can legally get a Dr. Who theme as an MP3?
    • You could always buy this and rip it [amazon.com]...
    • Re:The theme! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Chatmag (646500)
      I found some as wav files, if that helps. Dr. Who Themes [barbneal.com] scroll down the list for the Dr. Who themes.
    • Techno Dr. Who (Score:2, Informative)

      by apoplectic (711437)
      Or you could listen to "Doctor?" from Orbital's album "The Altogether" for the truly techno'ed version.
    • Re:The theme! (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There are a number of mixes/arrangmenets of the theme freely and legally available at whomix.mutagene.net [mutagene.net]. They aren't the original Delia Derbyshire version and none of them try to be, but I humbly suggest that they include some of the better remixes of theme made. Certainly better, for my money, than the mix used in Scream of the Shalka.

      Mind you, the BBC is releasing a Doctor Who remix album in 2004 featuring 808 State, the Orb, Lemon Jelly and a bunch of other artists. That might up the bar a bit.
      • Now, if you want to hear some truly bad Dr. Who music, try to find the mp3s that are floating around of the album of songs inspired by and performed by cast members of Dr. Who. Some of them, like "The Earthlings" or "Dance of the Daleks" are decent Ventures-style instrumental rock (that have, nonetheless, little to do musically with pieces from Dr. Who). There are three or four different versions of the Dr. Who theme, including one over which Jon Pertwee reads a poem. And then there are the songs where a
    • I was just about to comment on this. Granted, I haven't seen a whole lot of episodes, but this thing sound like the some sort of "appeal to younger viewers" update thing. I'm used to #5 from that site linked in the adjacent post.
    • Orbital (Score:3, Informative)

      by OS24Ever (245667) *
      Orbital on "The Altogether Now' has a song that is Doctor ? which is a nice techno version
    • Well can you see the title sequences here [bbc.co.uk]. I'm sure you could get the theme from them:
  • Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crumbz (41803) <<remove_spam>jus ... m > g m a i l.c> on Friday November 14, 2003 @12:34AM (#7471548) Homepage
    I love Dr. Who, but the first four minutes of episode 1, the Shambala or whatever, was really really bad. And not the good campy bad. Just not good. As in bad. Oh well, I guess it is back to my old video tapes of Dr. Who from PBS in the mid-80s. Now where is my BetaMax?

    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TomV (138637)
      Oh, I don't know. I thought the New Zealand meteorite scene was a little stiff, but basically a tributr to Spearhead From Space and the ubiquitous Pertwee-era yokels. Just one step up from Sam Seeley and the immortal Pigbin Josh.

      After that, things just got better. The new Doctor's first contact with humans in the pub was glorious, then he turned on the charm and kindness, and back at the house he was definitely back into the swing. What I think I loved most was the way Paul Cornell managed to recreate
    • I have to agree. The animationg was less a celebration of the 40th anniversary and more a digging up of your grandmother's corpse and skullfucking it. On Easter. In front of your 5 year old daughter.

      Meanwhile, Big Finish [bigfinish.com] has been pumping out some damn fine original radio drama material for years with Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy reprising their roles. Paul McGann has been involved too, and numerous companions come back as co-stars. Sir Derek Jacobi has even done a one-shot as the Doctor
  • I just finished WTFA and I must say, I'm impressed. I've never seen Dr. Who before, but it seems to be an engaging and interesting Sci-Fi series. Maybe we're finaly starting to see the promised media on demand.
    • If you've never seen Doctor Who before, don't start by watching this animation!

      Full appreciation can only be achieved by watching a classic Jon Pertwee era episode (say the Green Death one), from behind a cushion on the sofa. And by being six years old...

      .
  • Why FLASH? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why is all this crap done in Flash or Shockwave or whatever? Don't they realize that the majority of their viewers (geeks) don't have Flash installed because it's just some method for advertisers to make us all sick?

    Put the damn things out in mpg and I'll watch 'em!

    Hell, I'll even get out my scarf first!
    • Don't they realize that the majority of their viewers (geeks) don't have Flash installed because it's just some method for advertisers to make us all sick?
      Maybe they do and they just got a bunch of us to re-enable Flash.
    • Re:Why FLASH? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Ahh, young nerds today, so full of righteous energy, so not very resourceful. Flash isn't too bad, it has no DRM (yet), it has no spyware or adware, no need to banish it forever. Grasshopper, this is how you access the few Flash sites that are actually useful:

      You have one stripped-down browser to do safe surfing (I use Opera 5 with no JavaScript, no Flash, no nothing, nice and safe). You have one browser to do e-errands like banking, buying, whatever that requires JS (I use Mozilla). Then you have the plug
      • That world ended when the first marketing consultant was spawned.

        And that world will never return because they keep coming back after you frag them...

    • Re:Why FLASH? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hyrdra (260687) on Friday November 14, 2003 @03:58AM (#7472346) Homepage Journal
      Because MPEG is expensive, both in bandwidth and server CPU. It can't be easily compressed further during transport (like Flash) and is terribly inefficient at simple animation like this series (at least not without a lot of optimization and tweaking). It's also resolution dependant meaning if they did offer it in MPG, it would be painful to watch, in a tiny 320x240 size.

      Flash is vector based graphics with some code to make it all move and some sound. It has the added benefit of being both animation studio and viewer of the final product, which makes it a perfect choice for animation like this, so much that there is a whole genre of (entertaining) flash mini-series out there on the 'net.

      Get off your righteous high arse, download Flash, disable it if you must, and enable it when you want to view things like this. Personally, Flash ads are offensive and annoying, but I find I can quickly ignore them -- filter them out, or turn them off within an instant when the need arises. Flash itself isn't bad, just like HTML itself isn't bad. That doesn't mean I am going to uninstall my web browser because I can't stand the latest X10 (HTML) ad.
    • Re:Why FLASH? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TomV (138637)
      It's done in Flash, oddly, for the very reason you've posited - to make it available to the widest possible audience, *given the quality they wanted for this production*. MPG would have been very portable, but to allow the smoothness and image quality at full-screen, the file sizes would have excluded those of us not on broadband. With Flash there's less need to compromise between the neds of the 56k audience and the ADSL audience. Remember, the target audience is not geeks but people interested in a new
  • Would it ruin anything if one watched these new animated eps without seeing *any* of the original series?
    • There is a scholl of doctor Who continuity which goes for in-depth exhaustive analysis of past stories. However, one of the core features of Doctor Who to date has been that it consists of multi-part stories (usually 4 or 6 parts but up to 12 occasionally), at the end of which the Doctor and his travelling companion depart for a new destination and the reset switch is thrown. Knowing that the setting of Shalka is somewhat reminiscent of the early 1970's TV stories adds a certain rich piquancy for the long
  • by NaugaHunter (639364) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:15AM (#7471757)
    Here [bbc.co.uk] - all six episodes.

    I'd never really watched Dr. Who before, but I enjoyed this - probably because of Professor Chronotis and good ol' Adam's wit. I'll watch the newer ones when I get a chance, but I figured I'd point this out for those the Adam's fans that didn't see the link on the bbc page.

    (There's also another 6 episodes called 'Real Time', talking about the return of Cyber Men. Probably an inside Dr. Who thing - if you've never seen Dr. Who but are interested and are a Douglas Adam's fan his series is probably the best introduction.)
    • If you can get hold of a VHS tape of the story 'City Of Death' from series 17 (1979), it's another Adams-penned story (credited to 'David Agnew' as a series' script editor wasn't really supposed to submit scripts) which was completed (the original production of Shada was disrupted by strikes in 1979 and never broadcast) and which consistently comes top three in fan polls of favourite Who stories over the last two decades. It's just delicious. Sadly this isn't one of the DVDs released so far.

      Adams also wr
    • Ha! Thank you for the link, I had forgotten the Dr. Chronitis/Cambridge/Dr Who/Douglas Adams link... I recently re-read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and had completely forgotten the Dr. Who background to the story.

      Everyone, go read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. Quiz later.
  • BBC owns the Net (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zeromous (668365) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:18AM (#7471766) Homepage
    What can I say other than it seems to me the BBC has an amazing handle on the Internet, and how to use it to its fullest potential. It seems every week something prompts me to say out loud: "BBC Rules!".... ..In fact, so much more than any other pre-internet broadcaster I have seen. "Major Kudos", its nice to watch some Doctor for the first time in a long time.
    • The reason is simple. They do not have to figure out how to make money from the internet. On top of this they have huge amounts of good content available from their broadcast channels.

      The British TV license (a lot less than a satellite of cable TV sub btw) pays for all this.
    • Re:BBC owns the Net (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blue Stone (582566)
      The BBC is using the internet in innovative, creative [bbc.co.uk], positive [bbc.co.uk] ways, but that doesn't please some people.

      Rupert Murdoch of the UK's SKY, and the US's Fox is out to crush the BBC's website [guardian.co.uk], along with others, strangely and disturbingly including the respected Left-Wing Guardian Newspaper. Here's one of their hatchet articles [guardian.co.uk].

      These companies want to ruin it for everyone, to serve their own selfish interests.

      A recent review by the UK government took place. Let's hope they aren't swayed by these bodies, and

  • Awful animation (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Kris_J (10111)
    It's a shame more traditional cell animation is giving way to this paperdoll-style flash crap. They should just do a radio play and distribute it as Ogg Vorbis files.
    • It's a shame more traditional cell animation is giving way to this paperdoll-style flash crap.

      As far as I'm aware, there never was a cell animated Doctor Who. Doctor Who was live action, and as far as I'm aware always was. Indeed, in some ways, using Flash and similar technologies is the most appropriate way of doing this - the original Doctor Who was famous for its low budget effects, likewise Flash is animation on a budget. The skills of the artist become absolutely critical, instead of the amount of c

  • by t0qer (230538) on Friday November 14, 2003 @03:51AM (#7472332) Homepage Journal
    I remember this SNL skit about this copier that took a crappy show's script, and made it something better. Case in point on the script was the golden girls got turned into designing women.

    I think if Dr. Who went through the same machine, we would end up with a show starring Scott Bakula as this time traveler that went around solving peoples problems, K-9 would be replaced by ziggy, and Dean Cain would replace the Dr.s female sidekick.
  • All those wobbly cardboard sets and rubber clad monsters, I guess it wasn't so hard to make an animated series using the sets that they used in the 'live action' version.

  • Am I crazy or is the male bartender in the 2nd episode wearing a Bobbins/Scary-go-Round tshirt?


  • Here I sit with the finest computing gear $2K can buy and I can't FF or REW a video presentation?

    What a load of dingoes kidneys this is.

    This is no way to show a show.
  • Is it illegal for me to post a link to a publically available file on someone's website if the link is not immediately obvious????

    For example, by using wget (and not even my "hacked" version that ignores robots.txt files) I can grab the source of a page and from there see where the links to, in this case, the SWF files for these are.

    So if I provide links to files that I can see in your browser with no restriction am I breaking the law?

    • Not at all. I see no problem with pointing out that episode 1 part one is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/shalka/one/fla sh/broadone.swf and that substiting 'broadtwo', 'broadthree', broadfour' into the URI will get the other files for episode one.

      However, I'm viewing it from the BBC site because I want them to see the hits to encourage them to do more web animations and so the bosses can see that the spend was worthwhile.
      • I agree with the previous post and that people should view on the site to encourage.

        However - in a same topic (legality) but different subject (Harry Potter), here are the links to the trailer. Dont see any point in going to the website for these really as they will keep churning them out as long as they make money.

        http://raincloud.warnerbros.com/harrypotter/us/ m ed /azkaban/azk_tlr1_500.rpm
        http://pdl.warnerbros.c om/harrypotter/us/med/azkab an/azk_tlr1_500.wmv
        http://media.warnerbros.com/a ll/quicktime/ne
  • I got to see the first half hour of this at Panopticon [dominitemporal.co.uk] this year (the 1st & 2nd of November... this certainly took its time to hit slashdot!)... I'm not even a Dr Who fan and I found this to be pretty good... definitely entertaining. The story just draws you in...

    My GF is converting me to Who fandom. I am afraid.
  • I remember watching the black&white Dr. Who on PBS everytime I could. I found Tom Baker (Doctor #4) with Leela and K9 to be my favorite, but later Doctors where tolerable. This is true nostalgia restored at it's finest! No scarf or Jelly Bellies true, and a bit odd artwork but in true Dr. Who fashion the story hooks you deep and hard pulling you in.

    So...how long till DVD box sets!
  • ..have they got "Shaggy" from scooby-doo in the first part?

    Otherwise not too bad, maybe a bit thin in parts. Still cant beat Tom Baker..
  • ...can be found over at Big Finish productions [doctorwho.co.uk], where for their 50th Doctor Who CD (nicely enough being released this month), they united pretty much every single actor who's played on their shows so far, including the last 4 doctors, most of their respective companions including their "new" companions they've added to keep some variety into the show, Nick Courtney as the Brig, John Leeson as K9, and a whole bunch of others, for a 3-CD story.

    There's a wonderful set of pictures [doctorwho.co.uk] from the recording sessions available. Yes, the various doctors are getting old, and only McGann could probably reprise his role on screen...but on the radio/audio, the voice and your memories and imagination make it all work.
  • by Chacham (981) *
    Again! THis nis *really* annoying.

    STOP PUTTING THE STORY IN THE TITLE!!!

    The story does not mention "Dr. Who" it just mentions "the doctor". Talk about bad journalism. Sheesh!

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