The New Series (2004)

Last Alteration: Monday 26 September 2022

News reports from 2004; you can find current news reports here.

 More Filming (23rd September 2004)
Here are some photos from the latest location filming this week during 'Block Two':

  • 20th September, at Swansea.
  • 22nd September, at Monmouth.

  •  Daleks will return! (4th August 2004)
    The BBC issued a press release today, finally answering speculation over the last few weeks over the fate of the Daleks in the new series.

    Doctor Who to face Daleks in new BBC ONE series

    Mal Young, BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, and Tim Hancock, agent for the Terry Nation Estate, announced today that the Daleks will return in the new series of Doctor Who which is currently in production for transmission on BBC ONE in 2005.

    Hancock says: "I am absolutely delighted that the Terry Nation Estate and the BBC have been able to reach agreement on terms for the use of the Daleks in the new Doctor Who series. We look forward to working closely with the production team in the forthcoming months."

    Young added: "As well as coming face-to-face with a number of new and exciting monsters, it's good news that the Doctor will also do battle with his arch enemy the Daleks in a series which promises to surprise and entertain a new generation."

    Starring Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, the Doctor's companion, the new 13-part series is currently filming in Cardiff and London for transmission in 2005.

    Casting also includes Penelope Wilton (Calender Girls), Noel Clarke (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet), Annette Badland (Cutting It), Camille Coduri (England Expects) and John Barrowman (who is currently in the West End production of Anything Goes).

    Doctor Who is produced by Phil Collinson. The writers are Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman. Executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner, and Russell T Davies.

    The media soon picked up the story; unsurprisingly the Sun on the 4th and 5th was claiming a victory after their campaign to get the Daleks back! See also:
  • 4th: BBCi, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Waveguide, The Register, Reuters, The Scotsman, Irish Examiner, Ireland Online, icWales, News Wales, Yahoo News
  • 5th: Times, Guardian, Slashdot, Boing Boing,, Sydney Morning Herald

  •  Family Matters (1st August 2004)
    The part of Rose's mother Jackie will be played by 38-year old actress Camille Coduri, most recently seen in the TV drama Family, and films such as King Ralph and Nuns on the Run.

    This follows the recent announcement of Auf Weidersehn Pet actor Noel Clarke in the role of Rose's boyfriend, Mickey (who you can see with Billie Piper in a recent Sun article on filming at Trafalgar Square last week).

     Location filming begins! (31st July 2004)
    Filming on the new series has now begun in earnest, with the first location shoots in Cardiff receiving quite a bit of press attention!

    Here are a few 'teaser' photos of work so far; more detailed photos and reports will be appearing in the next (August) CT!

    Warning: the photos below may show scenes that can be considered spoilers for the new series!
  • Sunday 25th July John Adam Street (night shoot)
  • Monday 26th July Westminster Bridge and The Embankment (night shoot)
  • Thursday 29th July Brandon Estate, Kennington (night shoot)
  • Friday 30th JulyBrandon Estate, Kennington (night shoot)

  •  It is Billie! (24th May 2004)
    The months of speculation ended today as the BBC officially announced that the role of the Doctor's companion Rose Tyler would be played by singer/actress Billie Piper. See the press release below for full information!

    The story has been taken up by a number of online sources: BBC News, Ananova, Breaking News, The Guardian, The Irish Examiner, ITV, Reuters, The Scotsman, Sky News, Teletext, Waveguide, and Yahoo. The BBC have also run a photo gallery on the Doctor's companions.

    Billie Piper is Doctor Who companion

    Billie Piper is confirmed to play Rose Tyler, companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Julie Gardner, Head of Drama, BBC Wales.

    The former singer who made her acting debut last year in the critically-acclaimed BBC ONE drama serial Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale, will star alongside Christopher Eccleston in the forthcoming 13-part drama series which returns to BBC ONE early next year.

    Julie Gardner says: "Billie is beautiful, funny and intelligent. We needed to find a unique, dynamic partner for Christopher Eccleston, and Billie fits the bill perfectly.

    "She will make an extraordinary Rose Tyler. Doctor Who has his new assistant!"

    Piper, who also received critical-acclaim for her role in Bella and the Boys, a one-off drama for BBC TWO, is currently starring opposite Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom in The Calcium Kid.

    "Doctor Who is an iconic show and I am absolutely thrilled to be playing the part of Rose Tyler," says Billie Piper.

    "I am also looking forward to working with Christopher Eccleston and writer Russell T Davies."

    Executive producer/writer, Russell T Davies, adds: "The Doctor's companion is one of the most important and cherished roles in the history of TV drama.

    "I'm delighted that someone of Billie's talent is coming on board the Tardis, to travel through time and space."

    Filming in Cardiff later this year for transmission on BBC ONE, Doctor Who is written by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman.

    The producer is Phil Collinson and executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

     Tuesday roundup (23rd March 2004)

     Media Interest Continues (22nd March 2004)
    Further online coverage this morning!

  • BBCi update update their original article, fan reaction to the news, and a a 'darker' Doctor.
  • Radio One
  • The Daily Mail's feMail section.
  • Teletext interview with DWAS P&P Antony Wainer
  • Ananova

  • The Daily Record's tongue-in-cheek fan reaction to no Daleks.
  • Hello Magazine
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • New Zealand Herald
  • Stuff
  • Empire Online
  • nZoom

    Leftover from yesterday: ICWales

  •  BBC Press Release (22nd March 2004)
    Acclaimed British actor Christopher Eccleston is to play Doctor Who in the forthcoming 13-part drama series for BBC ONE, it was announced by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning.

    Eccleston, star of Flesh & Blood and The Second Coming, will take Doctor Who into the 21st century - travelling through time and space, fighting monsters on all fronts, in a fresh and modern approach to the popular science fiction series.

    He said: "I am absolutely delighted to be playing Doctor Who.

    "I am looking forward to joining forces again with the incredible writer Russell T Davies and taking both loyal viewers and a new generation on a journey through time and space - which way is the Tardis? I can't wait to get started!"

    Jane Tranter says: "We are delighted to have cast an actor of such calibre in one of British television's most iconic roles.

    "It signals our intention to take Doctor Who into the 21st century, as well as retaining its core traditional values - to be surprising, edgy and eccentric.

    "We have chosen one of Britain's finest actors to play what, in effect, will be an overtly modern hero."

    Executive producer/writer Russell T Davies adds: "We considered many great actors for this wonderful part, but Christopher was our first choice.

    "This man can give the Doctor a wisdom, wit and emotional range as far-reaching as the Doctor's travels in time and space.

    "His casting raises the bar for all of us. It's going to be a magnificent, epic, entertaining journey, and I can't wait to start!"

    Filming in Cardiff later this year for transmission in 2005, Doctor Who is produced by Phil Collinson.

    The writers are Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman.

    Executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

     Sunday coverage (21st March 2004)
    A few more sites mention the news today!

  • Sunday Mail, featuring Tom Baker's views on the new Doctor!
  • Sunday Telegraph

  • ABC (Australia, 20th)
  • Oman Observer (Reuters)
  • SlashDot

  •  New Doctor Announced! (20th March 2004)
    After months of speculation, the BBC have finally announced the actor who will play the part of the Doctor - Christopher Eccleston.

    The 40 year old actor has previously been seen in films such as Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later and The Others, and in television from Flesh and Blood and Russell T. Davies's own The Second Coming.

    Says Russell T Davies: "Christopher was our first choice. His casting raises the bar for all of us. It's going to be a magnificent, epic, entertaining journey, and I can't wait to start."

    Says BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning Jane Tranter: "We are delighted to have cast an actor of such calibre in one of British television's most iconic roles. It signals our intention to take Doctor Who into the 21st century, as well as retaining its core traditional values - to be surprising, edgy and eccentric."

    News Reports:
  • BBC News (Entertainment)
  • BBC News
  • BBC Cult
  • The Telegraph
  • The Guardian
  • The Times
  • The Sun
  • The Mirror
  • The Scotsman 19th, 20th
  • Ananova
  • Reuters (Borsa Italiana, Khaleej Times)
  • Digital Spy
  • Metafilter
  • Teletext
  • Sky News
  • ITV News
  • Melbourne Herald
  • Ireland Online
  • Manchester Online
  • Daily Record
  • Film Force
  • Belfast Telegraph
  • Breaking News (Ireland)
  • UTV Internet
  • Online Ireland
  • Yahoo

  •  Press Association release (14th March 2004)
    By Sara Naylor, PA Features

    The countdown has begun for the BBC to unveil the new Doctor Who and the cream of British writing talent has been drafted in for the return of the cult series. But after more than a decade since it was last seen on television, how will its most devoted fans react to the racier storylines that are being mooted for the modern Time Lord?

    Russell T Davies, the brains behind Queer As Folk, is leading Mark Gatiss, writer of The League Of Gentlemen, and Steven Moffatt of Coupling in scripting the 13-part series for BBC One which will be shown early next year. Paul Cornell and Rob Shearman complete the team. Davies reveals: "I grew up watching Doctor Who, hiding behind the sofa like so many others. Doctor Who is one of the BBC's most exciting and original characters. He's had a good rest and now it's time to bring him back.

    "The new series will be fun, exciting, contemporary and scary. I'm aiming to write a full-blooded drama which embraces the Doctor Who heritage, at the same time as introducing the character to a modern audience."

    Davies also says that the Doctor loses his asexuality and that the monsters in the opening episode are likely to be shop dummies rather than the Daleks that terrorise a London housing estate.

    "I have a philosophy - I can do what I want. If we can think of the perfect story for him to fall in love then he will. "The purists may be up in arms, but there are more things to worry about in life. There is no pure Doctor Who."

    Actor Tom Baker, who became the fourth Doctor when he began his seven-year stint in 1974, agrees wholeheartedly.

    "It will be interesting to see what changes they make because the first time round it was unique.

    "People don't like changes in cult programmes but they've got to make some otherwise there's not much point in doing it, you might as well just promote the old DVDs."

    Antony Wainer, official spokesman of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, says the new series will get a positive reaction from fans who are simply delighted with the revival as well as the calibre of the writers.

    "There is such excitement to get back the programme we have loved and missed for so long, I think we're ready to accept anything," says Wainer. He says the audio productions, novels and the 1996 Paul McGann film - which have filled the void since the Doctor disappeared from television 14 years ago - have readied the fans for novel storylines.

    "If a new script idea was presented to us that was out of the ordinary, it would be accepted," says Wainer. But he admits one or two may still be surprised if the new Doctor was regenerated as a woman although a precedent was set by a recent audio production which starred Arabella Weir, of The Fast Show, as the Doctor.

    Although the role is unlikely to be played by a woman, speculation is reaching fever pitch about who will play the latest incarnation. Tom Baker wants to see comic Eddie Izzard to take over.

    Baker says: "It's a brave decision to bring it back because it will be scrutinised. They will have to do it stylishly and get someone good."

    The BBC refuses to comment, but speculation is rife that Love Actually actor Bill Nighy is front runner, although other names continue to surface. Robert Lindsay and Paul Bettany, who played the surgeon in the 2003 box office hit Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, have emerged for the first time as possible candidates this week.

    Wainer says Nighy would be perfect for the role. "I understand they are desperately keen to have Bill Nighy but he's doing The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and I think there is some delay in the announcement because they are trying to tie up schedules or speed his contract up so that he can do all that filming and then play the Doctor."

    Bob Riches of the TV Times says: "I think people tend to build up mental pictures of how the Doctors look and if they bring back a Doctor who is not quite how they imagine him to be, sparks could fly."

    Paul Murphy, of TVQuick, also doubts there will be no complaints, though he has little time for critics.

    He says: "There will be diehards who complain because it does not feature in their version of how Doctor Who should be. But if you don't like it get off your backside and do something about it.

    "The new writers are people who quite cheerfully admit they are fans. Mark Gattis is a huge fan. He got off his backside and worked himself into a position where he can do something about it."

    Murphy says the official fan club is right to be confident about the future direction of the series in Davies's hands. "I have a lot of faith in the way he will take it."

    However Riches warns against scripting a love affair for the Doctor that turns more passionate given the BBC's intention to give it a tea-time Saturday slot.

    "I think viewers may baulk at a bit of hanky panky. It's always been about fighting monsters, ridiculous plots and harmless fun. As far as sexing it up goes, I don't think the viewers are quite ready for it."

    Wainer believes Davies intends to take his inspiration from the show's roots. "I don't think they are going for any reinvention at all. I don't think it will be a million miles away from what we know.

    "I think it will be very traditional story telling for a very traditional audience."

    But he says the important point is that the show must attract a new generation to survive.

    "The Doctor Who Appreciation Society represents nearly 2,000 people in this country and the US," he says. "We are a small clique but this is a new Doctor for a new era that needs to bring in lots of children who only know Doctor Who through UK Gold.

    "After all the present fans, myself included, were the children who watched the series in the past."

    Follow these links for current news in 2005 and earlier news in 2005 and 2003.

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