breaking news

No Series 12 Till 2020

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/12/2018 - 6:59am in

The BBC has confirmed that Doctor Who will not return for a full series in 2019, but will instead be back on air in early 2020.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said:  “We’re delighted that the Doctor and her friends will be returning to thrill audiences in 2020. I know Chris and the whole team are already working on a whole new set of exciting adventures. In the meantime we’ve got a very special episode on New Year’s Day for everyone to enjoy.”

The New Year’s Day special, Resolution will be shown in 2019, of course, and is due to air on BBC One at 7:00pm

Anglicon Cancelled

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 13/10/2018 - 1:12am in

 text and water

All of us here at Whotopia are extremely sad to hear that the Seattle-based Doctor Who and British media convention Anglicon has been cancelled due to low ticket sales and one of the celebrities booked unable to attend.  The cancellation announcement was made October 11th on their official website.

As reported on, “It is with great regret we must announce that Anglicon 2018 will not happen. There are many factors that lead to this decision, including low ticket sales, insufficient hotel room reservations, and a major guest that had to cancel due to professional obligations.  Further updates will be forthcoming, including information about the refund of memberships.”

Anglicon had mounted an extremely successful event in December 2017 featuring Fifth and Seventh Doctors, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy after a 20+ year break.

This year’s event was to include guests: Nicola Bryant (Doctor Who), Eve Myles (Torchwood) and Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Picture Show). No mention has been made if the fan organized event will return in 2019.

The full announcement can be read on the Anglicon website.

Three cheers for Urgenda!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 7:38am in

I’ve been absent here since over the last weeks all my time except for teaching and other non-postponable duties has gone into nation-wide activism to end the underfunding of universities in the Netherlands – about which another time, hopefully soon, more in another blogpost. But I wanted to briefly interrupt my absence to share with you the good news that Urgenda, has won the Appeal that the Dutch State made against the famous 2015 Climate Case that Urgenda won, on which I wrote here at the time. For some brief reports about today’s ruling, see the NYT, the Guardian, or in Dutch, NRC.

The government keeps saying that it resents and rejects the fact that the courts are sitting on the seat of parliament which should control the government, and that the courts should not judge over policy issues. Now, I haven’t read the entire court ruling yet (here in Dutch, here in English translation)—but what strikes me is that drastically reducing greenhousegas-emissions is not a policy just like any other: they are necessary in order to safeguard the very preconditions of human life without excessive suffering. The analysis made by Henry Shue (and other climate ethicists) about the strong moral duties to act, makes decades-long weak action (from the state) a very good reason for the courts to step in and speak up. And it may even be enough reason for civil disobedience, perhaps even more.

Importantly, this is the bolstering of the 2015 ruling which was an international precedent – it provides hope and inspiration to climate action groups around the world who judge that their governments are not doing enough: if lobbying, persuasion and other measures do not yield enough results, that they can sue their governments.

So I salute Urgenda, thanking them for their leadership, at a time when our official leaders have been letting us down, since for decades they have been doing too little, too late.

Feed My Funny Exclusives

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 03/07/2012 - 4:00am in

Feed My Funny - Web Exclusives

Last month YouTube celebrated its 7th birthday. Hulu, the largest legal TV streaming service in the US, will be 5 in August (It's four months older than iPlayer). There's been much talk in the US recently about online video "growing up". Google's decision to foster partnerships with content producers, starting with its YouTube Partner Program, has now seen the launch of premium video channels. At a presentation to advertisers in May, US comedian Chris Hardwick, who runs YouTube's popular Nerdist channel, summed up Google's intentions best: "The web will be to cable TV what cable TV was to broadcast".

Google though is not an isolated case, and other online platforms are taking it further. Both Hulu & Netflix have commissioned exclusive web series including political sitcom "Battleground", a new reality show from Morgan Spurlock, and a series of documentaries from the acclaimed director Richard Linklater. US online video services are for a wide variety of reasons evolving, but what's still unknown, and so exciting, is what effect the continual growth of this video market will have on Television.

This is contextually interesting, and relevant to the BBC, because today we published seven brand new comedy shows online. Of course that happens regularly on the iPlayer, but these shows have never been on television; they were commissioned for Promoted by BBC Three as Feed My Funny Exclusives, and championed by controller Zai Bennett as a chance to find "the next Gavin and Stacey or Little Britain", they throw up exciting possibilities for comedy, a genre where traditionally you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the next Prince or Princess, like Mrs Brown.


Dawson Bros. Funtime

New talent, new formats and new scripts can be developed at relatively low cost in relation to TV production and put in front of an audience. Architecturally, the Feed My Funny Exclusives, use the same templates as TV shows, working within, utilising iBroadcast, and they can appear in IPlayer. But the differences are what makes this so exciting going forward. These shows don't need to be 28 minutes long, they cost less to make than most TV comedy and they are at that intersection between technology and storytelling Ralph Rivera described a few months ago.

How many of this year's Feed My Funny Exclusives will go to full TV series remains to be seen. What we do know is that when more are commissioned later this year, we can ask some interesting questions. For example, what would data driven comedy look like? After all, Yahoo, who now commission web series, make programming choices driven by data. After tracking the torrent of clicks that news stories about wedding engagements routinely get they commissioned a reality web show "The Ultimate Proposal".

Could we create a personalised comedy akin to the Tipp-Ex Bear on YouTube using bbc programme pages? Or create live comedy driven entirely from social media feeds? Technology is changing what we can do with comedy but all that really matters is how funny the end product is. So I will leave you to judge and comment on what's been produced for the first series of Feed My Funny exclusives, but I would like to point out that without this project we would never have been able to unveil the latest revolution in equine technology. It keeps you up to date with news for horses, surf websites for horses, and connect with friends, who are horses.

Feed My Funny Exclusives

Will Saunders is an executive producer within BBC Comedy.