One of the most exciting Doctor Who moments in recent seasons was the casting of John Hurt in the role of the War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary Special, which aired in 2013. In a fascinating interview in Doctor Who magazine, Hurt reveals that he initially turned down the role of the War Doctor, as he was unsure if he was suited to play an incarnation of the Doctor. It was at the insistence of his wife (brilliant woman) that he decided to take the instantly iconic role. He tells Doctor Who magazine, “It opened up a whole new era for me.” Perhaps even more than that, because two years later, Hurt was awarded an OBE. Side note: Hurt is the only actor to portray the Doctor and also have been knighted.
The actor returned to the part of the War Doctor in an audio series for Big Finish. The first volume, titled Only the Monstrous, has been recorded and was released in December 2015. The chapters were The Innocent, focusing on the beginning of the Dalek attack on Gallifrey; The Thousand Worlds, about a rescue attempt for a Time Lord; and The Heart of the Battle, in which a showdown looms between the War Doctor and the Daleks. Three new audio episodes are planned, and the writers of the next series, Infernal Devices, are on hand in this issue of the magazine.
Also in this issue of Doctor Who Magazine is a Q & A with outgoing show runner Steven Moffat, who discusses the latest season of the show. Moffat addresses questions from readers about stories from season 9. There is a touching tribute to Anthony Read, a writer and script editor for Doctor Who was who known for overseeing the “Key to Time” arc as well as helping promote a young Douglas Adams.
The magazine covers decades of Doctor Who video game ideas, and visits the Time Team, a group dedicated to watching the entirety of Doctor Who in order. They’ve just reached The Beast Below –a wonderful episode featuring those creepy faces in the booths, and Amy Pond’s very first TARDIS trip.
Fiction this issue has the Fifth Doctor (1983) meeting King John back in 1215 as the Magna Carta is being written. In a comic adventure, the Doctor meets Harry Houdini, the Doctor of escapes. Columnist Jacqueline Rayner ponders if it’s fair to like both Doctor Who and Star Wars. Other features include reviews, Doctor Who news, and the crossword.
The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, issue 496 is on stands now and costs £4.99.