Doctor Who: The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kolos

Doctor WhoThe 852nd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1 (the 153rd episode since the series’ revival), bringing the eleventh season of the new series to an end (though a special episode is yet to be shown on New Years’ Day). Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill star. Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey, Lovejoy), Mark Addy (The Full Monty, Game Of Thrones), and Percelle Ascott (Wizards vs. Aliens) guest star.

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Terrance Dicks, Doctor Who writer/script editor, dies

Terrance DicksTerrance Dicks, script editor of Doctor Who from 1968-1974, and writer of many episodes of the show both during and after that time, dies at the age of 84. He first took on Doctor Who script editing duties during the Patrick Troughton years under producer Derrick Sherwin, culminating in taking over as co-writer of an epic ten-part finale for the second Doctor, The War Games, when two other planned scripts fell through on very short notice. In incoming producer Barry Letts and frequent writer Malcolm Hulke, Dicks found a kindred spirits keen to introduce real-world issues into Doctor Who’s storytelling, resulting in what many fans of the original series regard as a golden age for the series. During the break between the 1973 and 1974 seasons, Dicks and Letts collaborated on an original science fiction series, Moonbase 3, which lasted a single season. When Tom Baker took over from Jon Pertwee, Dicks was succeeded by his protege (and frequent Doctor Who writer) Robert Holmes as the script editor, and then wrote numerous stories of his own, including Baker’s debut story, Robot, The Brain Of Morbius, The Horror Of Fang Rock, State Of Decay, and The Five Doctors. After Doctor Who ceased to exist as an active BBC production in the 1990s, Dicks contributed scripts to numerous commercial (but largely fan-made) direct-to-video productions, such as Shakedown, Mindgame, and Mindgame Trilogy. He also wrote for Space: 1999, Big Finish Productions, and the vast majority of Target Books’ voluminous output of Doctor Who novelizations in the 1970s and ’80s, based upon both his own scripts and those of other scriptwriters, which may ironically be the work for which he is ultimately best known.

The year sci-fi took over the Emmys

Emmy nominationsThe nominees for the 72nd annual Emmy Awards are announced, and genre shows are unusually well represented. HBO’s comics adaptation Watchmen raKes in 26 nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and the best actor, actress, writing, directing, music, costuming, and design awards in the Limited Series category. The Mandalorian is nominated in 15 categories, including Best Drama Series, music, guest actor, voice-over performance, and visual effects; Westworld is nominated in 11 categories, The Handmaid’s Tale is nominated in ten (including Best Drama Series), Stranger Things nets eight nominations (including Best Drama Series), Star Trek: Picard is nominated in five categories, and Space Force is nominated in four. One nomination each goes to Star Trek: Short Treks, Star Wars: Resistance, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, Lost In Space, Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, Chasing The Moon, The Boys, Black Mirror, and the interactive feature Doctor Who: The Runaway. CNN’s Apollo 11 documentary is nominated in five categories.

Jackie Lane, actress, dies

Jackie Lane as Dodo in Doctor WhoFormer actress Jackie Lane, who portrayed the first Doctor’s companion, Dodo Chaplet, in the third season of Doctor Who opposite William Hartnell, dies at the age of 79. One of the actresses originally considered for the role of Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter, at the beginning the series, Ms. Lane wasn’t offered a role until the show entered its third season. The character of Dodo was rather abruptly introduced at the end of part four of The Massacre, and then is not seen again after the end of part 4 of The War Machines, presumably having decided to stay on Earth in her native time period, though the character’s fate is never specified; in real life, her contract was allowed to expire with no attempt made to keep her in the series. Burned by that experience, she retired from acting and became an agent, representing fellow Doctor Who stars Tom Baker and Janet Fielding during that phase of her career. Though she appeared in a handful of DVD bonus features covering her time on Doctor Who, she chose to stay out of the convention ecosystem, resisting offers to make public appearances.

Tony Selby, actor, dies

Tony Selby as Sam in Ace Of WandsActor Tony Selby, known to British sci-fi and fantasy fans both as recurring rogue Sabalon Glitz in Doctor Who and as series regular Sam Maxsted in the first two (now missing) seasons of Ace Of Wands, dies at the age of 83. With his first credited TV role at the age of 13, Mr. Selby was a frequent fixture in British TV and films. He made numerous appearances in The Wednesday Play, and appeared in The Avengers, Department S, Callan, Special Branch, and Crown Court. He also made movie appearances, in such films as Villain, Adolf Hitler – My Part In His Downfall, and uncredited roles in Alfie and Superman. His 21st century TV appearances included Dream Team, New Tricks, and Doctors.