Doctor Who 50th Anniversary



I’ve recently watched The Doctor Who Prom 2013 again, which was a concert showcasing incidental music from theBritish science fiction television series Doctor Who, along with classical music, performed as part of the BBC’s Proms series of concerts and  was originally performed on 13 and 14 July 2013 and was repeated 21 November to celebrate to 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. It was hosted by actors Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Neve McIntosh and Dan Starkey who portray the Eleventh Doctor, companion Clara Oswald, Madame Vastra and Strax respectively. THowevere concert also featured guest appearances by Peter Davison and Carole Ann Ford who portrayed the Fifth Doctor and Susan Foreman in the show’s original incarnation, both of whom received standing ovations for their appearance.


Sketch214201926To celebrate the fiftieth Anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC are repeating the first ever Doctor Who episode ‘AN UNEARTHLY CHILD’. The first episode starts in a junkyard in Totters Yard ,London and introduces : the Doctor, schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, who are concerned about one of their pupils at Coal Hill School named Susan , who seems to have a very alien outlook on England.Susan is precocious, but seems to have strange gaps in her understanding of the world, the teachers have come to her listed address to investigate. Here they encounter what they think is  a police box . However The TARDIS proves to be no ordinary police box: and when Ian and Barbara enter, they discover it to be much bigger on the inside than the outside, They find out that Susan lives with her grandfather, the mysterious Doctor,  a cranky, hostile, suspicious old man who appears to be a fugitive. To escape he takes the machine to the Stone Age Where they become involved in a brutal power struggle within a Stone Age tribe. In “The Cave of Skulls”,  and are subsequently imprisoned by them in a large cave   in this primitive Stone Age society.


“The Night of the Doctor” is a mini-episode of the British science fiction televisionseries Doctor Who. It was made available on BBC iPlayer and YouTube on 14 November 2013, as part of the BBC One lead-up to the show’s 50th anniversary special. Written by Steven Moffat, it starred Paul McGann as the DoctorThe episode, set during the Time War, shows the previously unseen last moments of the Eighth Doctor (McGann), and his  regeneration into the War Doctor (John Hurt).

An Adventure in Space and Time,

As a part of the worldwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who  the BBC will broadcast An Adventure in Space and Time, a docu-drama written by  Sherlock and Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss, , chronicling the inception and early years of Doctor Who. and starring David Bradley as the first Doctor William Hartnell, the drama follows the series’ first producer Verity Lambert- who was also the BBC’s first female producer – and director Waris Hussein as they struggle to get the innovative children’s show off the ground through the decision to introduce the idea of regeneration, allowing the series to live past any one actor’s portrayal.An Adventure in Space and Time will air on 21 November 2013 on BBC Two and BBC Two HD and be repeated on BBC America in the United States on 22 November 2013 . “

Alex James (blur)

Alex James, the bassist with seminal Bitpop band Blur was Born November 21st 1968. Formed in London in 1988 as Seymour, the group consists of singer/keyboardist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur’s debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing. Following a stylistic change influenced by English guitar pop groups such as The Kinks, The Beatles and XTC, Blur released Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995). As a result, the band helped to popularise the Britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a chart battle with rival band Oasis in 1995 dubbed “The Battle of Britpop”.In recording their follow-up, Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, showing influence from the lo-fi style of American indie rock groups. “Song 2″, one of the album’s singles, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States. Their next album, 13 (1999) saw the band members experimenting with electronic and gospel music, and featured more personal lyrics from Albarn. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). Containing electronic sounds and more minimal guitar work, the album was marked by Albarn’s growing interest in hip hop and African music. After a 2003 tour without Coxon, Blur did no studio work or touring as a band, as members engaged in other projects. In 2008 Blur reunited, with Coxon back in the fold, for a series of concerts and have continued to release several singles and retrospective releases. In 2012, Blur received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Tribute to Anne McCaffrey

Moreta-and-Orlith-the-dragonriders-of-pern-33409691-360-282best known for the Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series  the American Born Irish Novellist Anne Inez McCaffrey sadly passed away 21 November 2011. Born 1 April 1926  in Cambridge, Massachusetts.She attended Stuart Hall (a girls’ boarding school in Staunton, Virginia), and graduated from Montclair High School in New Jersey. In 1947 she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe Collegewith a degree in Slavonic Languages and Literature.In 1950 she married Horace Wright Johnson who shared her interests in music, opera and ballet. They had three children: Alec Anthony, born 1952; Todd, born 1956 and Georgeanne (“Gigi”, Georgeanne Kennedy), born 1959.Except for a short time in Düsseldorf, the family lived for most of a decade in Wilmington, Delaware. They moved to Sea Cliff, Long Island in 1965, and McCaffrey became a full-time writer.McCaffrey served a term as secretary-treasurer of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1968 to 1970. In addition to handcrafting the Nebula Award trophies, her responsibilities included production of two monthly newsletters and their distriution by mail to the membership.McCaffrey emigrated to Ireland with her two younger children in 1970, weeks after filing for divorce. Ireland had recently exempted resident artists from income taxes, an opportunity that fellow science-fiction author Harry Harrison had promptly taken and helped to promote. McCaffrey’s mother soon joined the family in Dublin. the following spring, McCaffrey was guest of honor at her first British science-fiction convention. There she met British reproductive biologist Jack Cohen, who would be a consultant on the science of Pern.

Rowena_Morrill_Dolphins_of_PernMcCaffrey had had two short stories published during the 1950s. The first (“Freedom of the Race”, about women impregnated by aliens) was written in 1952 when she was pregnant with her son Alec. It earned a $100 prize in Science-Fiction Plus. Her second story, “The Lady in the Tower”, was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction by editor Robert P. Mills and published again by editor Judith Merril for The Year’s Greatest Science Fiction.McCaffrey said “she thought of the story when wishing herself alone, like a lady in an ivory tower”.Judith Merril matched McCaffrey with her long-time literary agent Virginia Kidd (died 2003) and invited her to the Milford Writer’s Workshop (to which she returned many times), where participants each brought a story to be critiqued.After her first Milford workshop in 1959 she worked on “The Ship Who Sang”, the story which began the Brain & Brawn Ship series. At the story’s end, the spaceship Helva sings “Taps” for her human partner. she considered it her best story and her favorite.[“I put much of myself into it: myself and the troubles I had in accepting my father’s death [1954] and a troubled marriage.”McCaffrey then wrote two more “Ship” stories and began her first novel. Regarding her motivation for Restoree (1967),  McCaffrey explained that it  “served its purpose of an intelligent, survivor-type woman as the protagonist of an S-F story”. her 1969 novel Decision at Doona  opens on “an overcrowded planet where just talking too loud made you a social outcast”. As a settler on Doona, the boy talker has a priceless talent.McCaffrey made a fast start in Ireland, completing for 1971 publication Dragonquest and two Gothic novels for Dell, The Mark of Merlin and The Ring of Fear.With a contract for The White Dragon (which would complete the “original trilogy” with Ballantine), her writing stalled.

During the next few years the family moved several times in the Dublin area and struggled to make ends meet, The young-adult book market provided a crucial opportunity. and McCaffrey started the Pern story of Menolly. She delivered “The Smallest Dragonboy” for $154, and four stories which later becameThe Crystal Singer. McCaffrey completed Menolly’s story as Dragonsong and The tales of Menolly are continued in Dragonsinger: Harper of Pern, and Dragondrums as the “Harper Hall Trilogy”.

Whilst brainstorming about dragons and their “bad press all these years”. she devised a “technologically regressed survival planet” whose people were united against a threat from space (in contrast to an America divided by the Vietnam War). “The dragons became the biologically renewable air force, and their riders ‘the few’ who, like the RAF pilots in World War Two, fought against incredible odds day in, day out—and won.”The first Pern story, “Weyr Search”, was published in 1967 by John W. Campbell in Analog Science Fiction and Fact. It won the 1968Hugo Award for best novella, voted by participants in the annual World Science Fiction Convention

The second Pern story, “Dragonrider”, won the 1969 Nebula Award for best novella, voted annually by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Thus she was the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction and the first to win a Nebula.”Weyr Search” covers the recruitment of a young woman, Lessa, to establish a telepathic bond with a queen dragon at its hatching, thus becoming a dragonrider and the leader of a Weyr community. “Dragonrider” explores the growth of the queen dragon Ramoth, and the training of Lessa and Ramoth. . The third story, “Crack Dust, Black Dust”, was not separately published, but the first Pern novel (Dragonflight,  was a fix-up of all three..Readers waited a long time for the completion of the original trilogy. Progress was not made until 1974–1975, when the New England Science Fiction Association invited McCaffrey to its annual convention  as guest of honor (which included publication of a novella for sale on-site). She wrote A Time When, which would become the first part of The White Dragon which  was released with new editions of the first two Pern books, with cover art illustrated by Michael Whelan. It was the first science-fiction book by a woman on the New York Times bestseller list, and the cover painting is still in print from Whelan. The artists share credit for their career breakthroughs.

Early in McCaffrey’s 46-year career as a writer, she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her 1978 novel The White Dragonbecame one of the first science-fiction books to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list.In 2005 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named McCaffrey its 22ndGrand Master, an annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. She was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame on 17 June 2006McCaffrey died at age 85 on 21 November 2011 at her home in Ireland, following a stroke