The New Series (2005)
Last Alteration: Sunday 16 May 2021
The following are earlier news items from 2005; you can find the current news items here.
Christmas Invasion Ratings (26th December 2005)
Overnights for The Christmas Invasion give the average rating for the show at 7.84m (40.6% share), with the audience steadily increasing throughout to some 8.47m (42.4%) tuning in for the finale! The show was only beaten by Eastenders (8.84m at 9:00pm), and Coronation Street saw 8.42m tune in at 8:00pm.
However, The Sun reports figures placing Doctor Who as the second highest rated programme, with Eastenders at 10.1m, Who at 9.4m and Coronation Street also at 9.4m.
There is a special commentary for the episode available from the BBC Cult site, featuring Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson and Russell T Davies.
David Tennant on Front Row (8th December 2005)
New Doctor David Tennant was interviewed on Radio Four's Front Row tonight, talking about how he grew up with the show and of course now being in it! There was also discussion about the forthcoming drama on ITV next week, Secret Smile.
The show is available on their Listen Again service until tomorrow evening. Warning: some spoilers are mentioned!
First Christmas Trailer airs (2nd December 2005)
Tonight saw the first teaser trailer for The Christmas Invasion air, just before and after Eastenders on BBC1 (8:00pm and 8:30pm); if you happened to have missed it the BBC Cult site has it online, plus a note about the second exclusive trailer next week.
Meanwhile, next week's Radio Times (10-16 Dec) includes an interview with David Tennant, and the Christmas double issue will feature Doctor Who on the cover for the very first time!
Christmas Invasion Press Release (22nd November 2005)
The BBC have issued a press release for their Christmas line-up, not least of which is showcasing the Doctor Who special The Christmas Invasion; however, the exact time that the episode will be on still hasn't been mentioned, though the media widely believe it to be sandwiched between two special hour long Eastenders episodes during the evening on Christmas Day.
Stephen Fry Interview (11th November 2005)
In an interview with Scotland Today, Stephen Fry comments on his involvement with the new series:
In addition to his book on the mechanics of poetry, Stephen Fry is also writing a movie and a script for TV's longest-running science fiction show Dr Who
"I've done a strange thing, I've never done anything quite like it, I've written an episode of Dr Who. We are bound by all kinds of secrecy, I can tell you that it deals with a well-known British legend which has alien origins rather than just folklore origins. And that one of the most exciting moments of my life was starting the first page and writing "Exterior - The Tardis. The Tardis materialises on the surface of a strange planet." You write that and you think "I can't believe I have just written that."As one of the absolutely original Dr Who generation - I can remember the very first episode - and being hooked from that moment on."
Filming Notes (11th November 2005)
After the filming that took place in London last week, the South Wales Echo reports on more location shooting back in Wales, with shots filmed along the River Usk near the Riverfront Arts Centre; said a BBC spokeswoman: "We wanted a location that looked like a stretch of the Thames in London."
An adversary revealed! updated Friday) (10th November 2005)
The BBC Cult site unveils an adversary for the Doctor this coming season - so don't look unless you want to know!
Featured at: BBC Cult, BBC News, UTV, Glasgow Daily Record, Sky News, Daily Mail, and in print in Metro.
Primaevel rival to Doctor Who? (10th November 2005)
ITV is developing a new science fiction series said to rival Doctor Who, reports The Stage this week; the £6m six-part programme will follow a team of scientists who travel into prehistoric times and other worlds through black holes. The series will feature CGI from Impossible Pictures (behind shows such as Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Beasts), and will be written by Adrian Hughes (adaptations of David Copperfield and Charles II). No transmission date or day has been decided as yet, though it would be expected in an early weekend evening.
Also reported in: Brand Republic, Daily Record, Broadcast (sub), DeHavilland, InTheNews
Doctor Who Children In Need Special (8th November 2005)
The Radio Times reports that the Doctor Who special for Children in Need is expected to air at 9:00pm on 18th November. Actual broadcast time is subject to the vaguaries of the overall event's timings!
Christmas Day for Invasion? (3rd November 2005)
After the accidental slip on a BBC news page a few weeks ago, today's Sun proclaims on the front page that David Tennant's premiere appearance will be Christmas Day itself; the hour long episode will be accompanied by two episodes of Eastenders. The Mirror also reports on the story, commenting that it is expected that Doctor Who will be broadcast between the two soap episodes, though a BBC spokesman is quoted as saying: "There will be a Dr Who Christmas special starring David Tennant but it's too early to say where it will be scheduled.".
ITV plan two Coronation Street episodes to compete against the BBC line-up. (which will mean that once again Doctor Who is up against the long-lived soap ...)
Character Options releases for 2006 (26th October 2005)
Toy manufacturer Character Options announced a new set of Doctor Who figures and toys to be released next year, at this week's Brand Licensing Expo. The sets will include:
Reported by Eye of Horus
National Television Award Triumph (26th October 2005)
Doctor Who had a triumphant win at the National Television Awards, held last night; the show won all three of the categories it was up for, with Christopher Eccleston (Best Actor), Billie Piper (Best Actress), and the show itself (Best Drama).
Billie Piper, Noel Clarke, Camille Coduri and Russell T Davies were in attendence, with the latter also collecting the award on behalf of Eccleston, who was unable to attend the event due to flu; reading out a message from the actor: "Thank you to everybody who voted for me, and to the British public for their encouragement over the last 17 years. They have always been honest with me and I'm very grateful." Billie thanked her boyfriend, ex-husband Chris Evans, and Eccleston "for being a fantastic doctor and teaching me so much.".
The award for the show was presented by the two Conservative leader nominates David Davis and David Cameron. The show itself is broadcast on ITV1 tonight from 8:00pm.
Coverage at: BBC News, CBBC, The Sun, Independent, Mirror, Sky, Contact Music, Guardian, DeHavilland, Media Guardian, RTE, Daily Mail, Western Mail, Daily Post, GM:TV, View London, UTV, The Scotsman, Digital Spy.
Doctor Who on Children in Need (25th October 2005)
The BBC Schedule Information for the week commencing 12th November includes information about this year's Children In Need, including details about "an exclusive mini-episode of Doctor Who, written by Russell T Davies".
Boxing Day Invasion of Canada (18th October 2005)
A press release for BBC World Canada today confirmed that audiences there would see The Christmas Invasion special air on Boxing Day, with a special introduction by Billie Piper; the second series itself is also due during 2006, and the release mentions a DVD release of the first series in February. (... which means the series looks likely to be available in Region One format before the States sees any episode broadcast!)
With Boxing Day cited for Canada, it seems likely that the UK broadcast will be either then or before that date!
Torchwood to be repeated on BBC1? (18th October 2005)
John Barrowman appeared on ITV1's Loose Women today, during which the topic of Torchwood came up; John mentioned that the series might well be repeated on BBC1! He also noted that "no one will know how he gets to present day Earth".
reported by Richard
Torchwood revealed (updated Tues) (17th October 2005)
The BBC and this morning's Independent report on the latest development in the Doctor Who universe, Torchwood. An anagram of the main show, of course, the name first came up as a throwaway line in Bad Wolf then registered by the BBC online as torchwood.org.uk, the name now has a meaning: the name of a new spin-off television series investigating modern-day alien activities in Britain, and headed up by ... Captain Jack!
The new series is scheduled to broadcast on BBC3 during the summer next year, which sounds like it will be shown after the end of the second series of Doctor Who itself; this new series will be darker, more adult-oriented, and as Stuart Murphy, controller of BBC3 observes: "The people have affairs with one another. There will be sex and swearing, I assume. I'm quite relaxed about that, it will be post-watershed and Russell (T Davies) can do it in a funny and sexy way.". On the commissioning itself: "We had never done sci fi before and it is a genre which people treat in a certain way. You look at what he has done with Dr Who and we said to Russell what would you do with a post-watershed sci fi? Each episode of Torchwood will be a one-off story and will be funny in a way that Casanova brought humour to period drama."
Russell T Davies, writing the new series, observed: "Torchwood will be a dark, clever, wild, sexy, British crime/sci-fi paranoid thriller cop show with a sense of humour - the X Files meets This Life." Stuart Murphy added: "It's a renegade bunch of investigators who investigate real-life, normal crimes. They also look into alien happenings. They have been charged by the British government to find alien technology that has fallen to Earth and they need to do it without the FBI and UN knowing. It's set in modern-day Cardiff. Unlike Doctor Who, which made Cardiff look like Dickensian London, this will look like Cardiff."
Captain Jack will of course once more be played by John Barrowman. (which we would guess means that he must get to modern day Wales somehow!)
See also: The Independent media section, Digital Spy, BBC Cult, and BBC Press Office; 17th Oct additional: icWales, Brand Republic, Pink News, gay.com, Scoopt, C21Media, Waveguide, Belfast Telegraph, Yahoo, Contact Music, SyFy Portal (US), CJAD (US) Canoe (CA), Macleans (CA); 18th Oct: Playbill, Ananova, IMDB, The Register, Toronto Sun, Western Mail, Female First, DVD Times, Sci-Fi Wire, Liverpool Daily Post, Edmonton Works, Media Bulletin, The Sun, The Times, and the Telegraph; 18th Oct additional: Mirror, Evening Times, Dark Horizons, Female First, Monsters & Critics, Sky Showbiz News, In The News, Kansas City Star; 19th Oct: Sydney Morning Herald, Entertainment Wise.
Doctor Who starts 5th November in France (12th October 2005)
French station France 4 will begin broadcasting the first new series of Doctor Who from 5th November, from 10:30pm, says Allocine. Interestingly, the article mentions David Tennant already, so no surprises for French viewers!
(Google English Translation)
Sun publishes spoiler for series end (12th October 2005)
Unsurprisingly, the Sun published a spoiler about how the series will end. The full story is only in the print version, but the online article mentions enough - don't read unless you want to know!
(discussion on Outpost Gallifrey about the story)
Added 18th Oct: Manchester Evening News
National Television Awards Nominations (11th October 2005)
Nominations for the National Television Awards have now been announced, with Doctor Who in the following:
See also: BBC News, CBBC, Entertainment Wise, Manchester Evening News, Scotsman, Sky. Female First, Daily Mail, UK Gay, and Waveguide. Added 18th Oct: The Stage
Casting News Update (4th October 2005)
It was reported in the weekend's Sunday Mirror that Pauline Collins (who appeared as Samantha Briggs in 1967 serial The Facelesss Ones) is appearing in Series Two as Queen Victoria. She has been present at the latest location filming, believed to be for episode two, Tooth and Claw, which on set reports suggest is set in late 19th Century Scotland.
Block Two also consists of episode four written by Steven Moffatt, the working title of which is believed to be The Girl in the Fireplace. Actress Sophia Myles' own website says that she will be playing the part of Louis XV's famous mistress Madame Du Pompadour. This would seem to add strength to previous speculation that the episode is set in 18th Century France. (Will the Doctor run into his time twin Giacomo Casanova who spent a number of years as a courtesan of Louis XV?!)
compiled by Richard
Known cast for the first block include:
Today's Metro "Green Room" notes: Charlotte Church would love to star in the new Doctor Who series but only if she can get a crash course in acting. "It's filmed in Cardiff so I can do the accent but I'm really rubbish at acting," she admits.
And finally, on a related note Alan Davies discusses how he considered the role of the Doctor in The Telegraph: The duffel-coated star of Jonathan Creek was once considered a favourite to play Dr Who. "When it was mooted, I thought it was going to be six half hours, like it used to be. And then when I heard it was 13 hour-long episodes and they were going to be in Cardiff for 10 months, I thought: Oooh," he says. "Then they worked Christopher Eccleston into the ground, he quit and the BBC put it about that he didn't want to be typecast. The truth was they just overworked him and he was exhausted."
Kick Boxing in Doctor Who? (26th September 2005)
This is Gwent featured an article on a group of fans who are proficient in Tae kwon do and kick boxing; they are to appear in the next series as Shaolin monks, and will be filming late this month and early October - and discuss having their hair shaved off for the parts!
Series One DVD box set extras (21st September 2005)
A quick roundup of the DVD boxed set extras that have been classified by the BBFC for the forthcoming special release of the first series in November.
DVD Extras (classified 1st September)Retailer Amazon report the features on the disk set to be: Commentaries on all 13 episodes from cast and crew including Russell T Davies, Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Mark Gatiss and Simon Callow ; Billie Piper's Video Diary - On Set With Billie ; Making Doctor Who with Russell T Davies ; Waking The Dead ; Mark Gatiss video diary ; Special Doctor Who Confidential disc with 13 specially edited episodes plus an exclusive episode 14 containing behind-the-scenes footage from The Christmas Invasion ; Exclusive featurettes: Destroying the Lair, Mike Tucker's Mocks of Balloons, Designing Doctor Who, Laying Ghosts - The Origins of The Unquiet Dead, Deconstructing Big Ben, The Adventures of Captain Jack ; BBC Breakfast Interview with Christopher Eccleston ; Trailers ; Exclusive 5.1 Surround Sound ; Collector's booklet including an introduction by Russell T Davies ; English SDH subtitles for all video elements ; Audio Description for all episodes
This set of extras compromises various featurettes that will appear on the fourth disk:
00:03:21:05 DESTROYING THE LAIR 00:04:49:05 DECONSTRUCTING BIG BEN 00:05:29:20 MOCKS OF BALLOONS 00:20:50:04 DESIGNING DOCTOR WHO 00:19:02:06 ON SET WITH BILLIE PIPER 00:11:41:23 CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON INTERVIEWDVD Extras (classified 16th September)
This set of extras compromises various trailers that were broadcast during the series, plus another featurette Laying Ghosts:
00:08:23:06 LAYING GHOSTS 00:00:28:20 00:00:29:04 (STATIC CREDITS) 00:00:06:11 NO TITLE ON SCREEN 00:00:06:13 NO TITLE ON SCREEN 00:00:06:11 NO TITLE ON SCREEN 00:00:50:09 DOCTOR WHO SATURDAYS 7.00 00:00:31:05 DOCTOR WHO SATURDAYS 7.00 00:00:21:16 DOCTOR WHO SATURDAY 7.00 00:00:21:06 DOCTOR WHO NEXT SATURDAY 7.00 00:00:22:09 DOCTOR WHO AFTER STRICTLY COME DANCE FEVER 00:00:11:05 TOMORROW AT 7.00 00:00:29:15 DOCTOR WHO AFTER STRICTLY COME DANCE FEVER 00:00:10:02 TIME IS UP IN 5 DAYS 00:00:10:03 TIME IS UP IN 4 DAYS 00:00:09:24 TIME IS UP IN 3 DAYS 00:00:10:06 TIME IS UP IN 2 DAYS 00:00:10:02 TIME IS UP IN 1 DAYS 00:00:16:01 DOCTOR WHO TONIGHT 7.00 00:00:34:21 TIME IS UP 00:00:49:05 COUNTDOWN TO THE CHRISTMAS INVASION 00:00:51:08 (DOCTOR WHO) 00:00:13:18 (DOCTOR WHO)Doctor Who Confidential (classified 16th September)
The Confidentials in their "Cut Down" form; this classification only includes the first seven of the confidentials so far, though it has been reported that all thirteen plus an additional special are expected:
00:12:03:06 BRINGING BACK THE DOCTOR 00:11:14:19 THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY 00:11:07:15 TARDIS TALES 00:10:57:11 I SIDE KICK OUT OF YOU 00:13:06:21 WHY ON EARTH? 00:10:49:20 DALEK 00:11:36:01 THE DARK SIDE
The fate of a character revealed? (15th September 2005)
Today's Sun reports on the fate of a character in the new series.
BBC3 Schedule this weekend (15th September 2005)
The strangeness that is BBC3 scheduling for Doctor Who continues this weekend, with another back-to-back couple of episodes being shown on Sunday evening; this time it's the turn of Boom Town and Bad Wolf. Boom Town will be preceded at 7:00pm by it's respective Confidential, Unsung Heroes and Violent Death.
This scheduling would seem to indicate that the tenth Confidential. The Weird Science of Doctor Who would not get broadcast; however it will be on Friday 23rd in its "cut down" form at 9:45pm after The Doctor Dances is broadcast. Saturday 24th sees the full length of this Confidential, and everything returns to "normal" on Sunday 25th with The Parting of the Ways at 7:00pm followed by the "cut down" The Last Battle at 7:45pm.
(The scheduling is a little surprising as one might have expected Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways to be paired up instead!).
Just a reminder, this coming Friday sees the re-showing of The Empty Child at 9:00pm, followed by the first broadcast of the "cut-down" Special Effects Confidential, which was not shown originally over the Eurovision weekend in May. Saturday sees the full length version repeated at 7:45pm.
Christmas Day Broadcast? (14th September 2005)
Well, according to an article on the BBC News site, "A Christmas special is due to be broadcast on Christmas Day, followed by a 13-part series next year." Obviously there is no official confirmation of the broadcast date as yet, though it is interesting that this is a BBC site reporting the date for The Christmas Invasion.
The article itself is about the current TUC conference taking place in Brighton, where the Writers Guild of Great Britain heaped praise on the new series, saying "there was no substitute for well-resourced, home-grown drama and comedy material written, performed and produced in the UK". Said member Hugh Stoddart: "The popularity of the series demonstrates that there is still an audience for quality family entertainment, and that distinctive UK television productions can still provide a talking point for the nation."
Note: susequent to this, the article has been modified to only say that the show would be on at Christmas, not on the 25th itself
Mike Tucker's company to work on series two? (3rd September 2005)
The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club held their twelfth annual convention Dimension Jump last weekend, during which a special effects panel took place including Who effects designer Mike Tucker. During the course of the interview he and his team discussed what they had been up to, and during talks about their new freelance company the subject of Doctor Who came up! As mentioned in the official Red Dwarf site report for Saturday, not only have they been working on the impending Doctor Who Christmas Special, but would then be taking on the new series!
Old Companion Returns (24th August 2005)
The Mirror this morning reports that, as well as Sarah Jane Smith, another old companion will be returning, though will only be expecting to be in one episode.
The BBC Doctor Who site confirmed the story, noting that the actor in question is delighted to be back in the series. The script is for the third episode of the new series, School Reunion, written by Toby Whithouse, and also features guest star Anthony Head.
Updated Thu 25th: more from BBC News, CBBC, Digital Spy, and Manchester Evening News.
Blue Peter Monster Winner (17th August 2005)
The competition was judged by series executive producer Russell T Davies, Blue Peter producer Richard Marson, and presenter Gethin Jones. The overall winner of the competition was announced by new Doctor David Tennant on the show as the creature 'Abzorbaloff' (right), by William Grantham from Colchester, whose prize is to see his design turned from drawing to a real monster appearing in the show itself. William's was chosen from the nine winning designs, with 500 runners up.
In a BBC Press Release producer Richard Marson said: We were staggered by the popularity of the competition. We knew Doctor Who had been a huge hit with our audience but this was something else. Every day brought more sacks and, as well as getting all hands on deck in the Blue Peter office, we also had to draft in extra help to get through the mountain of highly inventive designs."
The show also included a brief interview with David Tennant, talking about starting on Doctor Who and taking questions from viewers, and afterwards he participated in a live webchat. There was also some further pictures from the runners up and another competition on the CBBC Extra Interactive channel on Digital.
Chris Evans in Series Two? (updated Monday) (14th August 2005)
Billie Piper's husband Chris Evans is being considered for a part in the new series, at least according to ITN;
Monday update: DigitalSpy, ViewLondon and DeHavilland also carry the story, and attribute the .
Christmas Invasion Filming (9th August 2005)
Filming on The Christmas Invasion has continued in central Cardiff, says the Western Mail, with various shops having a makeover to give them a more festive look, including a giant Christmas Tree near the Central Library. However, all is not so good for the cast, with Billie Piper having to wear a fur-lined coat in spite of the hot weather the UK is experiencing at the moment! Also mentioned by Digital Spy and News24.Com (South Africa).
In news over the weekend, DigitalSpy reported on an article in the Mirror about how fans had been disrupting filming by using flash photography, and a request by the BBC for those attending filming to be more considerate of the recording process. The official BBC site has more on the incidents.
Some older news items:
Doctor Who one of the first shows to be filmed in HDTV? (8th August 2005)
Broadcast Magazine has reported that Doctor Who will be one of the first shows to be filmed in high definition television. Simon Walker, BBC Controller of Corporate Strategy, said that HD is a priority at the BBC, where commissioners are urging program suppliers to shoot future productions in HD, especially for flagship programs such as Dr Who. The BBC is aiming to be completely HD by 2010, though Walker has warned that this may be limited only to commercially funded platforms (such as Sky or NTL) as current Freeview bandwidth is too limited.
Monday Location Filming (5th-1st August 2005)
Some photos from the location filming that took place in Cardiff on Monday 1st August in Cardiff.
Friday Update (29th July 2005)
A collection of the links etc. that have come up during the course of this week.
The Queen is amused! (26th July 2005)
Says the Mirror this morning: A Buckingham Palace source said: "The Queen loves the programme and has requested a full set of DVDs. She has asked the BBC to send her copies so she can watch the series again during her stay at Balmoral." Her courtiers ordered the 13-part DVD set from the Cardiff-based team at BBC Wales which made the series for a record £10million. The monarch has followed the show since it began in 1963 with William Hartnell as the first of nine actors to play the time-travelling hero.
Also reported by Ananova, Female First.
Media coverage on new costume etc. (26th July 2005)
Not surprisingly the media leapt upon the news yesterday on the start of production, and in particular the new Doctor's "geek chic" costume. Says the Guardian: Tennant has eschewed Eccleston's contemporary styling and the gentleman cricketer look sported by Peter Davison in the 1980s for a brown pinstripe suit, ankle-length brown coat and cream plimsolls. But his long flapping coat will remind many longstanding "Whovians" of the classic Doctors played by Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee in the 1970s..
The Times: DOCTOR WHO has discovered classic men's tailoring during his latest regeneration, according to the first pictures of David Tennant emerging from the Tardis. Pinstripes, tie and a heavy-duty overcoat will replace Christopher Eccleston's black leather jacket when the Scottish actor takes over the role for the next BBC One series. The ensemble was created by Louise Page, a freelance costume designer. A pair of white Converse sneakers maintains the Doctor's eclecticism to offset the sleek, Soho-louche look.
Other reports covering yesterday's general press release information include: Manchester Evening News, Glasgow Daily Record, Glasgow Herald, The Scotsman, Western Mail, Ananova, Daily Mail, Sky News, Liverpool Daily Post, and Hello Magazine.
CBBC also cover the news of the series, and are currently running a poll on what you think of the new costume. At the time of writing 50.33% think it is a good costume, 15.57% think it isn't too good, and 34.10% preferred the Eccleston look!
Meanwhile, the comments by Tennant about fans' thoughts on him reach the southern hemisphere, reported by the New Zealand Herald.
The New Doctor Revealed! (25th July 2005)
Says Tennant: "I think we've come up with something distinctive that's both timeless and modern, with a bit of geek chic and of course, a dash of Time Lord! Most importantly Billie tells me she likes it - after all she's the one who has to see me in it for the next nine months."
And Billie Piper, confirmed to be in all the episodes of this series, says: "I'm thrilled to be stepping back into the role of Rose. We plan to make series two even bigger and better and challenge the viewers' imaginations like never before - wait until you get a load of the new doctor!"
Russell T Davies says about the second series: "We were delighted and honoured by the first series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs, new heartbreak and some terrifying new aliens." The Christmas Special will feature a new alien called Sycorax, who brings the whole of Earth under it's shadow; the story also sees the return of MP (now Prime Minister?) Harriet Jones, played once again by Penelope Wilton.
Other guest stars include Anthony Stewart Head and Adam Garcia; however, of most interest for veteran fans is the return of arguably the most favourite companion from the 20th Century, Sarah Jane Smith, once again played by Elisabeth Sladen!
Feedback for the new Doctor (21st July 2005)
The media today report on how David Tennant is finding fan feedback on his assuming the role of the Doctor. Referring to the interview appearing in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, The Mirror. BBCi, icScotland, Daily Record, Contact Music, Western Mail, and Scotsman all comment on his observations about him from fan forums like Outpost Gallifrey: "The first comment I read was very nice, and the next comment was terribly flattering, and then the next one said something like 'I can't bear the sight of him!' The one after that said 'That's it! The dream is finished! Somebody who looks like a weasel could never play the Doctor!'".
Others like The Sun, Contact Music, and DigitalSpy concentrate on his views of new co-star Billie Piper: "Obviously I've been admiring her in the show; she's just great. Fantastic. Just absolutely perfect. Spunky and quick and sexy... just the ideal companion really. So I'm very very pleased that she's doing the whole series."
And on his own arrival on screen this Christmas: "I hope they stick with it and give it a chance. I know everyone loved Chris, and so did I, but hopefully I won't disappoint people!"
In addition, Sci-Fi Wire, the Ottawa Citizen, and SyFyPortal discuss Tennant's appearance at BBC America's recent Autumn press preview in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles. On the rumours about him wearing a kilt: "No kilt. That was a joke I made one night, and somebody wrote it down as a fact. Look, I don't have any big ideas about this. It's not as if I'm going to do it with a limp or something. But you always try to find a way to make it your own."; on the recent terrorist attacks in London affecting future stories: "It's a very interesting question, I really don't know. There's certainly nothing in the three scripts we're starting that would give pause for thought."; and on coming to the event: "It's very exciting and fantastically daunting that you come to L.A. and everyone here knows about it as well, because there's a lot of attention - it's very scary right now because I haven't started."
Doctor Who repeat update (6th July 2005)
Not surprisingly, the BBC3 schedule for the first UK repeat series of Doctor Who has been changed from last week (and might well change again!). Since the original Radio Times report of Saturday 16th July at 7:45pm, this has now been revised to Sunday 17th July, at 7:00pm; also, the documentary series Doctor Who Confidential has been scheduled as the Cut Down version, running from 7:45-8:00pm - the first five of these were never broadcast orginally, so something "new" to see!
The BBC Doctor Who site reports that the episode will now be re-repeated on Fridays at 9:00pm rather than on Wednesday.
Note: at the time of writing, the Radio Times site actually has Rose listed as 7:00-7:15pm!
Awards on the way? (5th July 2005)
ITV have announced their annual National Television Awards, a public vote for a ceremony to take place in October - and Doctor Who has a number of nominations you can vote for!
Reports on the award nominations can be read at BBCi, Daily Mail, Ananova, The Scotsman, The Sun, This Is London, UTV, Western Mail, RTE Online, Sky News, and Breaking News IE.
Meanwhile, Doctor Who also fared well in the recent third Metro Urban-Life Survey for 2005, with the show being considered the fourth most loved programme on television (12%); this was behind Desperate Housewives (31%), CSI (14%) and ER (12%). Fifth place was taken up by The Simpsons with 10%.
Series Two Salaries (4th July 2005)
The People on Sunday reported that Billie Piper would be playing the role of Rose throughout the second series of Doctor Who, having negotiated herself a £210,000 for the part. Say a BBC spokesperson: "It's great that Billie is staying. Her deal is what she deserves as she's a favourite with fans." The deal places her on a higher salary than incoming Doctor David Tennant, who is to earn £166,000 for his first series; however, it is also reported that this will actually be £500,000 for a full three series contract. The story was taken up by DigitalSpy and on Monday by Female First.
The series is reported to be broadcast from next February.
Stephen Fry to write for series? (25th June 2005)
BBCi and the teletext services have reported that the BBC are talking to actor/writer and QI presenter Stephen Fry about writing for Doctor Who; however, a BBC spokeswoman made it clear that there were (currently!) no plans for him to appear in the series. The story was picked up by Waveguide.
End of the Week Roundup (24th June 2005)
Christopher Eccleston held his first interview after the end of the series yesterday, at a Mencap charity event. Talking to Radio 1's Newsbeat, he said: "The best thing about 'Doctor Who' for me has been the response I've had from children, both in the street and the number of letters and drawings of me and daleks, which are all over my wall at home. In all the 20 years I've been acting, I've never enjoyed a response so much as the one I've had from children and I'm carrying that in my heart forever."
The New Statesman for the 27th June issue carried a review of the end of the series this week; Andrew Billen comments: The successfully regenerated Doctor Who has now reached the end of its current run, as has its star, Christopher Eccleston. "My head is killing me," said Rose, who had swallowed the time vortex through her eyeballs and was in danger of speaking truer than she knew. "You need a doctor," said the doctor and initiated a kiss as long delayed as that joke. Eccleston is not the first old git to be knackered by proximity to a teenage sex bomb, but the effects this time were spectacular. The Gallifreyan Asbo-flouter exploded and turned into David Tennant - the only known example of a woman not only making a man feel ten years younger, but literally making him so. Tennant is 34, surely the very minimum age for a Doctor Who. And finally: Yet, paradoxically, and despite the variations in tone, this was a serious piece of work that wove historical traditions into the fabric of our times and thereby managed to embroider everything from reality TV to bisexuality. Just as the police box once represented the presence of the state in every high street, Davies's Tardis became a symbol of public-service quality in the Saturday-night schedules. And that makes three cheers in all.
A further reviews, also positive, from SyFyPortal: The final episode, however, exterminated that cheese, once again reuniting the Doctor with his most feared enemy. And not just one of them, but an entire invasion army poised to harvest the human race. As the Dalek god proclaimed "Behold The Doctor: The Great Exterminator!" I could feel the hair on the back of my neck rising and the goose bumps forming. Chills ran down my spine and I knew once and for all that "Doctor Who" was back--and as the Dalek invasion force entered the lower levels of Satellite Five intent on killing the human civilians, I wanted nothing more than to be able to dive behind my sofa. The scale of the invasion was completely unexpected for a British television show. This series has broken all boundaries and gone to show that Britons can make epic sci-fi just as well as anyone else. So with a weirdness you'd never see on "Star Trek," the gut-wrenching emotion of the best dramas and an epic scale that even the most creative television shows are unable to create, Davies' "Doctor Who" has shown it is a match for anything currently in production. The only regret about the series is that Eccleson will not be returning for the second season. David Tennent has a tough role to follow, and I can only hope he is up to the challenge.
The Sun, in the guise of Ally Ross at least, was a little more reserved: But an exciting, superbly paced, life-affirming piece of drama to finish off Christopher Eccleston's run. And BBC1 really should be applauded, not just for its technical excellence but also incredible restraint in not appointing Graham Norton as the next Doctor Who. You think that's fanciful? Don't. For as good as many of the episodes in this series were, there were other times when Doctor Who became a Tardis-sized pain in the arse, due - as always - to familiar BBC flaws and obsessions. June plugs for the Christmas special have alerted everyone to the fact that Doctor Who is now spreading its tentacles all over the crapper parts of Beeb1's schedule, just like Strictly Come Dancing. And after a discussion of the various political and sexual comment that occured in the series: Hopefully, BBC1 will remember its main audience before series two. Because Paisley boy David Tennant seems like the right choice for the role and if he can get rid of the home counties accent he picked up during regeneration - anything is possible.
And then The Star: "It's the ones you love that always break your heart and, after my tidal wave of gushy emotions over Dr Who, blow me if the last episode wasn't - well - a little bit pish. Don't get me wrong. I was gripped throughout and tears were in my eyes when Eccleston gave his farewell speech. And that's what made the writing so brilliant. Because these flowery speeches masked the fact that actually the plot of the last episode was bollocks."
Meanwhile The Independent report on Labour MP Harry Cohen highlighting an issue where an Early Day Motion he'd tabled regarding praise for Doctor Who but it had been discarded due to problems over 'farting aliens'!
Finally, The Guardian reports that Endemol - company behind Big Brother - boss Peter Bazalgette has become a member of the DWAS! Talking about the most recent series at a broadcasting conference: "The most magnificent piece of TV I can remember for a long time."
Michael Grade converted to the cause! (21st June 2005)
Back on the 15th April 2002, the former Controller of BBC1 appeared on Room 101, and consigned the old series away to the room. Now, however, the new Chairman of the BBC seems to have been swayed by the adventures of the 2005 version of the series! The BBC Doctor Who site report that Michael Grade, whose son is now a fan, had sent an email to the Director General Mark Thompson praising the show: "This is not easy to write - as you will readily understand. But here goes - congratulations to all involved in Dr Who: to whoever commissioned it, those who executed it, the writers, the cast, the publicity folk that promoted it, the schedulers and of course the late Sydney Newman who invented the whole thing."
Wednesday's Guardian picks up on the story, commenting: The list of superlatives for BBC1's Doctor Who revival grows ever longer: seeing off Celebrity Wrestling, winning over diehard fans and a new generation of viewers, and resurrecting family TV viewing almost singlehandedly. But today the show achieved perhaps its greatest triumph to date - winning the glowing approval of one of its biggest critics, the BBC chairman, Michael Grade, who suspended Doctor Who for 18 months when he was running BBC1 in the 80s. And in an earlier article it corrects one of the common misconceptions of the public: Mr Grade became a hate figure for Doctor Who fans when he rested the show in early 1985. It returned the following September, but he was still not happy, insisting on the replacement of Colin Baker before agreeing to commission a further series. But Mr Grade was not at the helm when Doctor Who was finally retired for good in 1989 - that decision fell to the then BBC1 controller, Jonathan Powell.
The story also featured in the paper version of The Daily Mail.
Aftermath! (20th June 2005)
Phew! Well if there was ever a point where the small screen seems far too small for Doctor Who then Saturday's episode reached it! Please do send us your thoughts on the finale, and the series as a whole!
Speaking of films, the Sunday Telegraph reports that The television phenomenon of 2005 is heading for the big screen for the first time in 40 years. The BBC confirmed that it is considering a film adaptation after the triumphant climax of the Doctor Who series last night. Paul McGann commented: "I think the fans were starved for some new material and were bored of the repeats. The new series came at exactly the right time. I think a cinema version could do very well." However, there is no confirmation from the BBC that a film will be made, only that it is under consideration (and has been for some time). Also reported by Contact Music, though they neglect to point out that it is only being considered!
Ratings-wise, the lower viewing figures seen across the board for Saturday have been attributed to the excellent weather that day; BBCi reported on the BBC's opinion: The BBC spokeswoman said that, despite viewing figures being down, it was still the most watched television show of the evening, with a 41.8% share of the audience in the 1900-2000BST slot. "Almost half of those watching television tuned in to Doctor Who," she said. "It continues to be the most-watched television show on a Saturday night." Also reported by DigitalSpy, Female First, The Guardian, The Scotsman, MediaWeek, and in various other papers on Monday.
Former BBC Chairman Greg Dyke talks about Doctor Who in his column for today's Independent; commenting on it's success: "The reason Doctor Who was a triumph is that, for the first time for some years, we had a new (at least, it felt new) early-evening drama that could be watched by the whole family, something that many in television thought was close to impossible to achieve in the multi-channel age. Just listening to Jonathan Ross raving about the series on his Saturday morning show on Radio Two tells you why it was so special; it gave him the opportunity to sit with his children and watch a programme that they all enjoyed, but on a range of different levels.".
The Manchester Evening News was also positive about the show, with review Iain Hepburn raving about Daleks everywhere, "Anne Robinson" getting exterminated: "For the fans though, and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm one of the old-school breed, this was outstanding. Clever, subtle references in dialogue and storytelling to the original series, with enough modern touches to make it still feel as fresh and energetic as the Doctor himself. Some may be churlish and point out the flaws in the plot. Or complain about Captain Jack kissing both Rose and the Doctor goodbye (and those that do - please leave now. Really, switch off your computer and don't come back.). I'm not going to. There was no pretentions here, this was just great, balls to the wall entertainment. Fourty five of the best minutes of Doctor Who, and possibly of family drama, ever.".
The kiss is likely to cause a controversy though, according to the Star at least: TV bosses are bracing themselves for a backlash from moral crusaders tomorrow night when they screen a kiss between Dr Who and bisexual time-traveller Captain Jack Harkness. In the last episode of the series, the Timelord and Rose face the wrath of the Daleks - and Captain Jack, actor John Barrowman, 38, is sure they won't survive. As he gets set to mount an attack on the aliens, he plants a smacker on the Doctor's lips and says: 'See you in hell!' Despite the cheeky nature of the kiss, telly watchdogs are already up in arms about it. David Turtle of MediaWatch said: "This is totally inappropriate, considering Doctor Who goes out in the early evening and is meant to be for family viewing."
Other reviews included an exploration of what happens when religion gets a little too carried away in The Herald, more positive ones from The Telegraph and Independent, but the Mirror felt that the series and Christopher Eccleston only excelled when the Daleks were about; Gary Bushell in the People wasn't so keen on the creations of Russell T Davies either. On the other hand, Scotland's Sunday Mail understandedly concentrated on the arrival of David Tennant! And today's Metro gave the episode five stars for the second week running! "Woe! oh woe! It's over. But gosh, it was a corker. Even after weeks of 'fantastic foreplay - false scripts, bogus Internet rumours (www.badwolf.org.uk), frittering away BBC cash on red herring endings - the last episode of Doctor Who did not disappoint. An exploding TARDIS! A new (utterly scrummy) Doctor! A galaxy-worth of evil Daleks hovering over Earth like greedy weight-watchers round the sausage tray! Top telly writer of the universe Russell T Davies knew what fans young and old wanted - and he delivered it in spades!"
Other news bits relating to the last episode:
Looking forward ... (20th June 2005)
CBBC's Newsround Showbiz featured a two-part interview with Russell T Davies over it's two shows this weekend, the first examining the lead up to the evening's episode and the mystery of Bad Wolf, and the second the second considering the future direction of the series. Apart from confirming the further third series and Billie staying on, Davies also reported that, as well as the much-publicised return of classic enemy the Cybermen, there would also be new villains and some returning characters from the last series too. He also confirmed that there would again be a running theme through the second series, set up by a word which has already been heard on screen in series one! On other aspects like how Tennant will play the role, all he would say is: "You'll have to wait and see, there are big revelations on the way and I can't say any more than that." .
Noel Clarke and Camille Cadori will certainly be back in their respective roles of Mickey and Jackie, in the Christmas special at least, and John Barrowman said that he would be back at some point as Captain Jack during his interview on Entertainment Today last Friday. Meanwhile, the Sun seems to think that one of those characters mentioned would be former companion Sarah Jane Smith, with K9. Russell T Davies is quoted as saying: "Talks are under way with Elisabeth Sladen to revive the iconic character Sarah Jane Smith, who is remembered by a whole generation of Doctor Who fans."
Broadcast Now reported that though the third series has been commissioned, it hadn't as yet confirmed that new Doctor David Tennant hadn't as yet signed a contract for it; says a BBC spokesperson: "We're still in discussions with David Tennant and Billie Piper. The third series has only just been announced, so it's still early days."
One Day Until The End! (17th June 2005)
Into the last full day before the series ends, and the media keep up their interest ... and try to spoil the ending for the masses, with both The Sun and The Mirror concentrate on the final moments of the show (no prizes for guessing on what!).
The Western Mail for Cardiff also reports on the ending, but goes on to discuss future series direction with Russell T Davies. "One of the hardest things about the second series will be sticking to the same road we've created. In many ways, after you've proved successful with one series, the second series is the biggest, most dangerous challenge, so none of us are resting on our laurels. We want to stay faithful to the roots of the programme, while also pushing it further." He also mentions that, contrary to some rumours, Harry Potter author JK Rowling hasn't been approached to write for the second series: "... she turned us down, and I'm not crawling back to ask a second time!" And finally, on the new Doctor's personality: "... as the Doctor, he won't be hugely different to Christopher Eccleston. He'll have a different style of dialogue, and his own quirks - just like you had Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison - but he's still the Doctor. He'll be wearing different clothes, but rumours that David will be wearing a kilt are completely untrue."
Other areas of the media didn't 'survive' either, with John Barrowman appearing on Entertainment Today on ITV, and again on the on the Nicola Heywood Thomas show on BBC Radio Wales; the latter show also featured a discussion on how successful Doctor Who has become, including DWAS Press Officer Antony Wainer! Executive producer Russell T Davies also appeared on the welsh station earlier, during Good Morning Wales. Commenting on where his inspiration came from, Russell said: "I went back in my mind to the sixties ... and their imagination back then was limitless ... they were so imaginative it didn't matter they didn't have the budget; it was very much going to back and writing Doctor Who as it always was in the minds of its creators - it's just now that we have CGI and a nice budget that we can actually show some of these things, but in its heart it's always been this imaginative, and always this big." And on Christopher Eccleston's departure: "the name of the programme had become a joke and Chris, as one of the country's leading actors, by being willing to step up to the line and take on that part - a very risky part, he really put himself on the line - and has proved himself to be magnificent; so he has turned it around so now you get actors like David Tennant, who is the next generation, just about one of the best actors in the world. David himself has said that he wouldn't have touched this part if Chris hadn't done it, as the part had become a joke but Chris has salvaged it and made it new."
The spoiler list of sites for today include: The Sun, The Mirror, Western Mail, Dark Horizons, The Scotsman, Radio One, Brand Republic, The Register, and Belfast Telegraph.
And just to have something non-spoiler-based to go and visit: The Guardian published a letter on the Wookey Hole Dalek; Wakefield Today talks about local "Horbury Dalek"; the Carlisle News & Star interview Peter Tyler, model unit director for photography on the series; and Sci-Fi Online have an article on where they think episode breaks should occur if the show was to revert back to the traditional 25 minute episode format.
And finally, Radio 4's Today programme featured a discussion on the effect of television in educating the public, including a reference to Doctor Who and Rose's motivations in Father's Day.
Please note all Listen Again links above are limited to when the next relevant programme goes out!
Why is Doctor Who such a success? (16th June 2005)
In the Times article mentioned earlier today, market research had suggested that the BBC were heading for a disaster by bringing back Doctor Who; according to the research "no one wanted to watch Doctor Who. Kids said it was a programme for their parents. The parents said it was a dead show." The paper went on to say that the show was a "niche" series for "science fiction geeks", with the recent Thunderbirds film used as an example of how resurrecting old favourites can fail.
But of course the ratings have shown otherwise!
So why is the series such a success? The Times would like to know, and the best answers will be considered for publication!
Click here for more details.
Series Three Confirmed (16th June 2005)
A special presentation of the final episode of this series, The Parting of the Ways, took place at BAFTA last night, during which Head of BBC Drama Commissioning Jane Tranter and executive producer Russell T Davies confirmed that the second series begins production in July to be broadcast early in 2006, and that Billie Piper will appear throughout the series as Rose. The Christmas special will be called, appropriately enough, The Christmas Invasion; Russell is to pen six of the thirteen scripts for this series.
Also, a further third series of of thirteen episodes has been commissioned; with a second special for Christmas 2006 also expected this means we will have at least 41 episodes to look back on at the end of 2007!
Much of the success has been put down to the wider range of viewers watching the show and the writers themselves; the Guardian quotes Jane Tranter: "Russell is a fantastic writer. Who else could have had the Doctor save the world from a council estate to Downing Street and bring him to the heart of the darkness of reality TV." And CBBC report on Russell's own comments: "What was most pleasing is that people have been watching this series as a family. I think a children's show should have a full range of emotions including grief and comedy.". The Times adds: "I wanted the series to deal with adult themes such as grief and loss. A six-year-old can watch and feel what is going on even if he doesn.t fully comprehend everything. The world is not always a happy place."
Of course, the screening means that the media are now beginning to report on what we can expect on Saturday, so stay clear of the papers and online sites if you don't want to know! Link-wise, if you really wish to read further ...
Series Two Directors (15th June 2005)
BBCi report that Phil Collinson has announced the first three directors for the next series of Doctor Who. Block One will be directed by James Hawes (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances), and block two by Euros Lyn (The End of the World/The Unquiet Dead); block three will see the return of old-time director Graeme Harper, who is responsible for the classic tales The Caves of Androzani and Revelation of the Daleks. The BBC site also carries a video of the announcement (which seems likely to be featured as part of the CBBCExtra digital broadcast this coming weekend).
CBBC Special (14th June 2005)
More on the CBBC special mentioned, yesterday. The show will "air" from Friday and run until Sunday; to access it, simply press the red button on any BBC channel and then type in the number 570, or alternatively go to Sky Channel 616 and press red for CBBCExtra.
There will be some exclusive Doctor Who footage, including a new Phil Collinson interview.
Four Days and Counting (14th June 2005)
WHY ARE YOU READING THIS?!!!
BBCi have issued a statement warning Doctor Who fans to stay away from the Internet in order to avoid any spoilers that may appear about the last episode! Though of course, reading between the lines the references to the spin-off sites like Bad Wolf and to the online trailers for this week might make you think otherwise ... (grin)
The Times also picks up on the story, with some thoughts on what 'Bad Wolf' might actually mean! As the media will be seeing previews imminently, the papers might also be no-go areas for this week, too! Broadcast Online's email bulletin made it their "quote of the day"!
The "Time is Up in Five Days ..." trailer was broadcast yesterday evening on BBC1 before and after Eastenders, and the first "In Four Days" went out after Breakfast News at 9:15am this morning (same scene); the second trailer was broadcast after Eastenders at 8:00pm this evening - be ready for more followup teasers over the next few days' lead-up to the Saturday broadcast! Or, if you want to ignore the BBC warning you can find them on the BBC Doctor Who website.
BBCi also report that former 'enemy' of the Doctor, BBC chairman Michael Grade, has become a fan of the new series! "It has been a memorable year in terms of the BBC showcasing strong Welsh productions for the whole UK audience to enjoy: Casanova, Tribe, A Year at Kew - and, of course, my favourite, Doctor Who. We will not dwell on the fact that I - in an earlier incarnation - took Doctor Who off the air. You live. You learn... especially in Wales, you learn."
The DWAS site won't be posting any spoilers for the episode in the clear at any time during the week, so you can safely visit our site - if you want to read them then follow links off our site or click on the spoiler links such as the one below!
Five Days to Go ... (13th June 2005)
The BBC home page now have a banner counting down the days before The Parting of the Ways premieres on BBC1 next Saturday; the banner also reports that there will be a clip broadcast just before Eastenders tonight, at 8:00pm. You can also watch the clip online via their website. (The link on the homepage was pulled later in the afternoon, which might well have been down to so many attempts to access the trailer!)
Also, Brendan Sheppard, content producer for CBBCi, has advised us that there will be a new selection of Doctor Who related content available via the children's section of BBCi this coming Friday, including a clip that has not been shown elsewhere. CBBCi is available to digital TV viewers in the UK by pressing the red button your remote. The Doctor Who content is likely to be available on page 560.
Monday Roundup (13th June 2005)
Plenty to read from The Guardian today; as well as a glowing review of Bad Wolf, there is also an interview with Russell T Davies on how returning back to his 'first love' of Doctor Who was not a bad thing to do! And as for the Christmas special: "just wait til you see what we do with Santa!". There are also related articles on the ITV problems against Who, with Granada boss Simon Shap saying that ,"there is no need to panic", and ITV entertainment chief Claudia Rosencrantz saying that the channel "is not in crisis"; Shaps comments that ITV was trying out new shows, whereas the BBC's biggest hits, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who, were revivals.
Also in the news:
Baker's Inspiration (11th June 2005)
New Doctor David Tennant is reported in the Sunday Mail as being inspired to be an actor by former Doctor Tom Baker. Tom, in turn, has said that he is proud of the fact, saying "'I have caught a glimpse of Tennant and he has a kind of mercurial quality. I suppose it's star quality. You can believe he has secrets. I'm looking forward to David being hugely successful,"
Bad Wolf / The Ultimate Guide notes (10th June 2005)
The official Doctor Who website has the BBC3 repeat of Bad Wolf listed as 12:15am Sunday morning; however, the main site schedule still lists the repeat as being at 10:55pm. We understand the 10:55pm time to be the correct one (with Confidential following on straight afterwards).
There will also be a further showing of both Bad Wolf and Doctor Who Confidential Cut Down on Friday 17th June on BBC3 at 9:00pm to get us in the mood for Saturday ...
... which will also see a further documentary for the series a further documentary for the series, broadcast before the final episode, The Parting of the Ways, at 6:15pm on the 18th June. Entitled Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, it has been made by the "Confidential" team and brings together the elements seen in the series over the course of the last twelve episodes leading to the 'epic' finale!
Series Two Enemy (6th June 2005)
Today's Sun reports on an enemy to be seen during Series Two; FemaleFirst also reports on the story online. Spoiler-content on the page, but has been reported in DWM.
Boom Town opinion (6th June 2005)
This morning's Telegraph talks about the triumph of the new series. Says Sam Leith: "Old Europe is collapsing. The Japanese are drilling a tunnel to the centre of the Earth. Scientists have produced what looks like an accurate computer-generated model of how the universe came into existence. The Hitchens brothers have even been persuaded to talk to each other. Yet all I can think about is one thing: bad wolf.". The underlying theme for this series has certainly captured his imagination, and hopefully that of the nation. "The new Dr Who - ahead of any possible expectations - is a triumph. Funny, scary, moving, silly and above all really, really well crafted, it is as good a piece of popular entertainment as television has lately produced. It serves - and for this we must surely thank it - as a standing rebuke to the notion that the unplanned formats of reality TV and docudrama are the way forward."
The Herald reviewed the episode, wryly commenting on the premise that nobody in London would notice a nuclear explosion in Cardiff. And on the TARDIS: The Tardis itself saved the day. All of a sudden, it's alive, and telepathic to boot. Stare into its heart and you cease instantly to be a satirical symbol of New Labour. It could only happen in science-fiction.
The Guardian's Media Monkey comments on the "bad wolf" references cropping up in the series, and what will it all mean?
David Tennant "best male actor" (6th June 2005)
The Scotsman reports on David winning the Best Male Actor award at the Critics Awards for Theatre of Scotland, for his role as Jimmy Porter in John Osbourne's play Look Back in Anger. Says Tennant: "I'm supremely chuffed to win this award. It's a part I've wanted to play for such a long time. Theatre work is part of what I do and I don't see it as something you leave behind."
The Times adds: "To get a prize as well seems almost unjust. I am especially grateful to the rest of the cast, the best playmates any actor could have."
The Daily Record and Dundee Courier add that he was also up against former Doctor Who actor Nabil Shaban (Sil) for the award.
As the new Doctor, David Tennant is already under "non-disclosure", says the The Herald, which discussed how everyone is playing the new arrival close to their chest so as to not tempt fate after Christopher Eccleston's departure. The article goes on to talk about the actor's role in the re-launched Dixon of Dock Green, and that he is about the only Scottish actor that hasn't appeared in Taggart!
Now Empty Child is too scary! (5th June 2005)
Today's Points of View saw a number of letters on how the last couple of episodes were considered very scary for children, echoing the fuss over The Unquiet Dead back in April. The programme also included an interview with producer Julie Gardner, who didn't actually confirm whether Billie Piper would leave early in series two, but did rave about how good the last two episodes are going to be!
ITV are planning to introduce a new quiz show which it hopes will revive the falling ratings since Doctor Who started - though the quiz itself, which starts on the 18th June, isn't expected to be in the same slot as the BBC's overwhelming success story! More on the plans in The Guardian.
Other news from the weekend
Davison's Return? (3rd June 2005)
Former Doctor Peter Davison has been said to have expressed interest in returning to the new series alongside incoming Doctor Dabid Tennant. He says: "I would love to do a cameo visit as my old self. I'm disappointed that Eccleston is only doing one series but Tennant is a genuine Doctor Who fan and a great actor. He'll bring a real sincerity to the role.". The story has been reported online at Contact Music and in the Daily Express.
You don't know everything (3rd June 2005)
The latest tie-in site to the current series of Doctor Who, www.badwolf.co.uk, is now up and running ...
... and if you want to know some spoilers about the story in question, both The Mirror and The Daily Record discuss a guest appearance!
Cast Your Vote! (2nd June 2005)
Listings magazine TVQuick are running a poll on the best actors, drama, soaps, etc., and amongst the categories you can find Christopher Eccleston in "Best Actor" (as well as former Doctor Peter Davison for his "Last Detective" series!), Billie Piper in "Best Actress", and the series itself in the "Best New Drama" category!
You can cast your vote here, and you don't have to pick Doctor Who of course! (It isn't in the best soap section though!)
Note: the poll is for UK viewers only.
Doctor Who around the world (updated Sunday 5th) (1st June 2005)
The BBC Press Office issued a release yesterday on BBC Worldwide licensing, showcasing Doctor Who amongst others for international sales. Describing the series as "a top quality drama, with a sci-fi twist", the release notes that BBC Worldwide are looking for partners to market both the series and its merchandise around the world.
Of course the series has already begun broadcast around the world, with a number of others already having bought the series to show!
Bank Holiday Roundup (31st May 2005)
The News of the World reported that Billie Piper wouldn't be leaving the series, echoed by the BBC's CBBC site; on the other hand The People suggested that she was being paid an additional £120,000 to appear in four more episodes, also mentioned by DigitalSpy.
The Telegraph reported on the sale of the series to South Korea, and to a number of airlines (see broadcast news item); on the way in which sales have gone: The BBC, which now makes more money from selling formats than actual shows, had feared that the programme's distinctly British feel might put off overseas viewers. In fact, the reverse has turned out to be the case. The corporation has not released an exact figure for how much the sales will net. Industry observers, however, believe that the brand could be worth more than £70 million worldwide when merchandising is included.
And for today, the Western Mail reports on the nefarious activities to be expected in Cardiff in next week's Boom Town: "We're in Cardiff, no-one from London cares. The South Wales coast could fall into the sea and no one would notice ..." (warning: the article contains spoilers about the episode! But if you like that sort of thing there's also a preview in our reviews section)
Companion Stakes (updated Sun 29th) (26th May 2005)
With the news that Billie Piper would be leaving the role during the course of next year's series, the speculation on who would be taking over as the Doctor's companion continues!
The Mirror reports that auditions have already started for the role as of last week, and that the BBC are looking for "a brunette who is sophisticated but feisty. Most of all she must ooze sex appeal and have good legs - because they plan to put her in short skirts.". The paper goes on to list a range of potential actresses for the role:
The Daily Star, on the other hand, believe that Jennifer Ellison from Hell's Kitchen is the one to watch. The actress's spokesman has said: "She would love the role - she'd be ideal!", and 'a source' mentions: "There are many names in consideration, but Jennifer's is on everyone's lips at the moment.". The paper also mentions Michelle Ryan, and Footballers Wives star Lailla Rouass being considered. Also reported by Megastar (switching allegiance from Michelle!), Sky News, Ananova, ITV, Female First, and DeHavilland.
Not content with their articles so far, Megastar are also running a poll to find out who we think should become the next companion! (hover over the photo for the Megastar opinion!)
As always, until we have official confirmation from the BBC these names are simply press speculation!
Friday 27th: Billie's reputed departure got a mention on the Lenny Henry Show!
Sunday 29th: The CBBC website reports that Billie will be staying for the series, at least according to a Sunday newspaper! DigitalSpy report that the People had printed the story, and that Billie was going to do seven instead of three. The BBC Press release about no decision either still stands ...
Other news bits:
Scariness continues (24th May 2005)
The question about whether Doctor Who is too scary continues to cause debate, with former Doctor Peter Davison now entering the fray to say what he thinks in The Stage this week; of his children he says: "They reckon the new Doctor Who is too scary and asked if they could watch Daddy playing him instead." The actor also talks about Eccleston leaving, and on his role in The Last Detective.
Other news bits
Billie to leave? (23rd May 2005)
After some speculation on how long Billie Piper will remain in the series, today's tabloids report that she is to leave next year.
The Sun comment that she might only appear in the first three episodes; however, the paper also comments that programme bosses hope she'll remain for around seven. It also reports claims that Mickey might become a full-time companion ...
The Mirror meanwhile comment that no actual episode count is known as yet. They cite the source as Dreamwatch magazine, and also speculate on who could replace Billie, with singer Rachel Stevens and Eastenders actress Michelle Ryan being mentioned. Later on in the day, the Wiltshire Advertiser mentioned Spooks star Keeley Hawes and Kelly MacDonald from Trainspotting.
Also mentioned by Sky News, ITV, CBBC, Guardian, Female First, New Woman, The Daily Mail, Daily Record, U TV, Brand Republic, Breaking News, Megastar, Hello Magazine, RTE, Manchester Evening News, icEaling, Ananova #1 and #2, The Evening Standard, and finally More Magazine, which also carries a poll showing only 16% of it's readers watching the show!
BBC Press Release
The media discussion today has prompted the BBC to issue a press release on the subject of Billie in Who, though it doesn't clarify any of the speculation.
Weekend Roundup (23rd May 2005)
A run through of the news bites that came in during the last few days.
Friday Roundup (20th May 2005)
Big Brother (19th May 2005)
The Big Brother website has now confirmed that the Doctor will be setting the TARDIS down in the Big Brother house in a forthcoming episode, with the company Endemol granting the BBC permission to film there, as reported in the Star a few months ago!
The surreal story about entertainment shows also sees spoofs of The Weakest Link, with "Anne Droid" hosting the show (voicecd by real host Anne Robinson), and also of Trinny and Susannah's Not To Wear.
DeHavailland also cover the story, mentioning that the BBC hope that BB Presenter Davina McCall can do a voiceover for the show, too. Also reported by DigitalSpy
There were also comments made about the Doctor landing in Big Brother territory from HecklerSpray.
Empty Child faces cuts (18th May 2005)
It has been reported that the forthcoming episode on Saturday, The Empty Child, is facing cuts due to being "too horrible". Scenes in question apparently involve the sounds of 'skulls cracking', which have been considered a little too scary for the early evening time slot.
Says producer Phil Collinson: "The whole sound effect that went with that was a lot more visceral. We watched it for the first time and said that was crossing over the line because it was a bit too horrible."
Further controversy seems to have arisen over new character Jack Harkness, introduced in this episode, in terms of how the relationship between this character and Rose and then the Doctor will be seen to develop over the course of the series.
Read more on this from BBCi, The Scotsman, WaveGuide, Breaking News, The Scotsman (updated), and Manchester Evening News
Chris the (radio) Doctor (18th May 2005)
Today's Metro Green Room carries the story: Christopher Eccleston would like to return as Dr Who - but not on TV. "If there was a radio version I would definitely look at that as it won't take up so much time,' he said.
News Roundup (18th May 2005)
Christopher Eccleston has talked about how gruelling he found recording Doctor Who, and how it had an impact on his health, especially skin complaints that he felt 'disfigured' him, particularly during Dalek. He also commented on how working on the show was not good for social life! "You can't have a life. You can't socialise. It's like having a Tardis in your skull and every time you open your mouth you see a Tardis." Reported in the Star, and online by Contact Music, Digital Spy, and Female First.
Excessive cruelty to Daleks? (updated Tuesday) (16th May 2005)
Censors have banned young children from buying the new series of Doctor Who on DVD, says The Times this morning; this means that it looks likely that the second DVD will join the first in having a 12 certificate!
A spokesman for the BBFC said: "We were concerned at the use of violence to resolve problems. The Doctor is a role model for young children but he takes out his anger on the Dalek. A good role model should not use torture to satisfy his desire for revenge. It is not an acceptable way to deal with problems of power. The DVD must not be supplied to anyone under the age of 12."
A further article from The Times comments on the BBFC decision: Many, however, will see this ruling not as a helping hand for nervy fathers but the interfering arm of the nanny state, intent on exterminating all free thought. For the BBFC's principal objection to Doctor Who lies not in concern that it may be too frightening, but a politically correct nervousness about depicting "the use of violence to resolve problems". The censors take issue with one scene where the Doctor "tortures" the last of the Dalek race. It concludes: No story can fire a young mind if it is all kittens and cotton wool. Indeed, some of the most successful children's tales, from Harry Potter to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, contain elements of cruelty. What makes them morally appropriate for children is not an absence of conflict, but a demonstration that good can triumph if it asserts itself.
A "Double Life" for Chris? (updated Tuesday) (15th May 2005)
British company Cougar Films have announced at Cannes that they will be producing a new film, Double Life, a film about a man who thinks he loves twin sisters. Described as a "high concept sci-fi genre piece", it will be directed by Joe Ahearne and starring Christopher Eccleston.
Cougar Films was founded by popular writer Lynda La Plante, and Sophie Balhetchet, who also produced Joe Ahearne's successful but short-lived Ultraviolet vampire series on Channel 4. The film is said to have a £3.5 million budget and co-produced with Hungarian Film Connection and Ildiko Kemeny.
Reported by Hollywood Reporter, Variety, BBCi, Breaking News, and The Scotsman.
(There has been no further recent news on Chris's suggested role of Silas in the film version of The Da Vinci Code.)
The Empty Child running time? (14th May 2005)
The schedule for next Saturday by the BBC show that not only is Doctor Who on earlier due to the Eurovision Song Contest, but also that it is some five minutes shorter than usual! The timeslot is shown as 6:30-7:10pm, ie. just 40 minutes long. However, the BBC3 repeat later in the evening shows 12:20-1:05am, which is the normal 45 minutes.
So, we don't know as yet if there is simply a mistake in the schedule on the BBC website at present - originally it had been expected to start at 6:25pm - or if the BBC1 broadcast will be cut in some way!
Brighton Exhibition (13th May 2005)
The Brighton Exhibition had its press launch yesterday; CBBC Newsround were there to give a report and photos on the opening (watch out for this on the programme itself!), which features a whole host of monsters and props from the current series. The exhibition is due to stay open until at least November, and if you go now it'll be worth visiting back again later in the summer when new items from the unbroadcast stories are added to the exhibition!
Photos from the day can be found in our gallery.
Film version imminent? (12th May 2005)
The Doctor Who film debate has risen again, this time from the latest Cannes film festival, where BBC Films mentioned the idea during discussions about the part-financed film Match Point by Woody Allen. BBC Films boss David Thompson is said to have confirmed that they are pushing ahead with plans for a Who film, but it is dependent upon how the series is received in the States. Mentioned by BBC News.
Mike Tucker's contract not renewed (12th May 2005)
Female First and The Sun report that Mike Tucker, responsible for some of the notable special effects from the current series - the crash into St. Stephen's Tower and the Dalek to name but two - will not be having his contract renewed by the BBC. This seems to be down to financial reasons, ie. the BBC cannot afford to keep on the team, despite the astounding work put in for the series.
Captain Jack (11th May 2005)
Both The Sun and The Star commented on the soon-to-arrive Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, in the 21st May episode The Empty Child. Featuring a photo of his character and Rose together in front of Big Ben, both papers imply that there will be some tension between new boy Jack and the Doctor over his interest in Rose! "The pair really connect and there is a real sexual chemistry between them," said a show source. Also mentioned is guest star Richard Wilson, featured adorned in a gas mask by the Sun.
Wrestled off the air (10th May 2005)
After much speculation of the fate of failed series Celebrity Wrestling, it has finally been formally announced as being taken off the air. An ITV spokeswoman said: "Despite a strong start bringing in a large share of younger viewers to ITV1, in the last couple of weeks we have seen that share fall and as a result have decided to take Celebrity Wrestling out of the schedule." This Saturday sees the last showing of the programme, which will see a new reality show starting on the 16th May, Celebrity Love Island, says BBCi. Meanwhile, The Scotsman reports that the wrestling will be replaced by repeats of the Star Wars movies according (hoping to cash in on the hype surrounding the soon-to-be-released "third" movie?).
(More on the company behind the new show in development at NetImperative) and Revolution Magazine.)
The Guardian reports that this is the biggest failure of ITV scheduling so far in 2005, and last year a number of reality shows failed in peak time.
Other sites reporting the story include Ananova Brand Republic DeHavilland, Sky News. and The Sun
On a related note, Heckler Spray comments on the show being the most breathtakingly inane spectacle TV has ever seen. Quite!
Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no, but ... (9th May 2005)
With recent news reports on the Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams being involved in a story for series two (and the latter maybe writing an episode), it's now reported that Billie Piper might be reciprocating by appearing in the next series of the comedy show! According to the Star and Sky News, she'll be playing the arch nemesis of chav queen Vicky Pollard. Also mentioned by Megastar, Yahoo, and ChartSingles
Continuing the ratings-bashing reports from last week, the Express and Star today also comments on how Doctor Who has exterminated all opposition from ITV on Saturday evening, even noting that Strictly Dance Fever is beating Hit Me Baby One More Time in the ratings, too.
Rupert Smith in today's Guardian was pleased about this weekend's episode and it's view on publishing: After the emotional rollercoaster of BBC2's scheduling, Doctor Who (Saturday, BBC1) seemed comforting and reassuring, despite being set in the year 20,000 and featuring a very large, angry alien. Anything that satirises the profession of journalism is all right with me, but this did it with style ... Max eventually blew up in chunky, juicy gobbets; would that all meddlesome publishers could be so easily dealt with.
Other news bits:
Weekend Roundup (8th May 2005)
It seems that the toll on ITV's Celebrity Wrestling means it'll be taken off air imminently, says The Mirror on Saturday. ITV Director of Programmes, Nigel Pickard, has now vowed to step in. He said: "It's a certain type of show. We're trying it on Saturday nights and that's been a complete battleground for the last 20 years. We had a bad night last Saturday, but we got a very good share of the 16 to 24-year-olds. I've scheduled the next two weeks' programmes, but if it's still getting the same after that, we'll be looking at it." Also mentioned by Digital Spy.
The Guardian reports that this might take the form of nostalgic programmes to ostensibly celebrate the channel's 50th Anniversary.
CBBC's Charts for the last week mention that Doctor Who was the favourite television show, whilst Billie Piper entered the Celebrity chart.
Exhibitionalism (6th May 2005)
There is a new Doctor Who exhibition opening in Brighton, which will be concentrating on presenting exhibits and information from the current series. The exhibition will be at Brighton Pier from the 14th May. More details from BBC Cult.
Thursday Roundup (5th May 2005)
FemaleFirst has reported that Simon Pegg, appearing in the forthcoming The Long Game, managed to fluff on of his lines twenty times during the course of filming! He said: "It is without question the toughest line I have ever been given to say. "I could sense everyone's buttocks clenching every time we got to shooting that bit. But I could feel everyone willing me to get it right."
Wednesday Roundup (4th May 2005)
More on the Saturday night ratings, this time in today's Independent, which said that Celebrity Wrestling only made 800,000 viewers!. This is an error, they meant the show lost that many viewers! The Mirror also commented on how ITV hasn't got a strong line-up: The lack of ideas or ambition on ITV is shocking. By comparison, the BBC's schedule - Strictly Dance Fever, Dr Who, Casualty and Match of the Day - looks more like a proper night's family viewing. The Daily Record also carries the story.
New Doctor David Tennant was at the premiere for Kingdom of Heaven last night, and Film Focus briefly interviewed him. On taking on the role: "It's very exciting and very daunting, in equal measures. Just the amount of attention it gets is quite overwhelming. But there's no better show in the world. We start shooting in July."
Meanwhile, the official Labour Party site, continuing it's campaign to use actors who have benefitted from Labour's policies, quotes Tennant on voting: "(it) will take you 30 seconds and will last five years". On a lighter note, the Dalek Party makes an appearance in Milton Keynes, with a manifesto including free space travel for pensioners, home rule for Skaro and zero tax on sink plungers..
Please note: the Society does not endorse any political party, and is merely reporting Doctor Who-related news.
Computing Magazine blog 'backbytes' throws up the question as to whether daleks use Bluetooth or WiFi ... (!)
More Dalekmania (3rd May 2005)
Online gadget retailer GadgetWizard.com reported that they had unprecedented sales of their remote controlled dalek during the Bank Holiday weekend, almost certainly down to renewed interest with the broadcast of Dalek. Steve Owen, GadgetWizards' Managing Director: "The Remote Control Dalek consistently features in our top sellers list, but the number of purchases over the weekend for this product was way beyond are expectations. We had predicted that we might see a surge in demand after the Dr Who Daleks episode and are delighted to have been able to meet all our customers' orders". Reported by ClickPress.
More on the ratings "wipeout" for ITV in The Guardian and The Scotsman, reporting on their third lowest audience for the evening ever! None of its main shows managed more than an 18% share, and averaged at 15.5%. An ITV1 spokeswoman defended the show, however: "This was only the second episode and the show is still bedding in."
However, according to Broadcast Now the tables have been turned for yesterday, when the BBC suffered its worst overall audience share for a day at 18.8% (21.2% peak).
The Manchester Evening News repeats the comments made by Peter Davison about Christopher Eccleston leaving the role so early.
Dalek Conquers and Destroys! (2nd May 2005)
The overnight ratings for Dalek have come in, showing that once again Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on Saturday evening; more details on our ratings page.
DigitalSpy look into the success of the story; says reviewer Dek Hogan: Had we got an episode steeped in Dalek mythology I think I.d have been bored to tears; what we actually got was something akin to Beauty and the Beast via Silence of The Lambs and it turned out to be the best episode so far.
CBBC's Blue Peter featured a behind-the-scenes item on Dalek in their Friday edition, and the online site presented a series of images from the episode. The site then had a poll on whether the Dalek frightened you or not (at the time of writing it was 28.91% thinking it scary, 71.09% not). And if that isn't enough there is also a Dalek quiz for you to take!
The Mirror had an article on Raymond Cusick, commenting that the designer of the Daleks only got paid £80 for his work. Talking about his work for the BBC and how well the Daleks were received, he ended by saying: "I was doing a question and answer at a fan convention in Liverpool and they all stood up and gave me a standing ovation. I couldn't believe it. I won't forget that." The story is also mentioned by DigitalSpy, and a more local interview with Ray Cusick from West Sussex Observer.
Stairway to Heaven reports Rupert Smith in The Guardian as he reviews the episode. "The Daleks are back on BBC1, Ian McKellen is starring in Coronation Street and beautiful people are ripping each other's clothes off for our entertainment on ITV1. If this isn't the golden age of TV, then what is?" However, not everybody was so happy, as the Observer noted: The BBC was braced for viewer complaints last night after screening possibly the most terrifying Doctor Who episode ever. In the story, shown on BBC One before the watershed, Time Lord Christopher Eccleston came face to face with his arch-enemy, a Dalek, which then went on a killing spree. In one scene the Doctor was shown half-naked being tortured with electric shocks.
Back Behind The Sofa - it's A Dalek is the positive review from The Times: All the Daleks. dubious design features were gleefully addressed by Robert Shearman.s script for Saturday.s story. So there were references to .space dustbins., the Dalek.s sink plunger sucked someone to death, and there was no escape in running upstairs because it took to the air. No wonder the body count was alarmingly high. Shearman also continued to strike the right balance between the respect and renovation displayed by the series which has finally given Doctor Who some proper dialogue.
The Sun report on manufacturer Ian Clarke, who holds an exclusive license to make replica Daleks for sale at This Planet Earth.
Bank Holiday Roundup (2nd May 2005)
David Walliams, recently touted as being in the second series of Doctor Who alongside Matt Lucas, has now been suggested as a writer for the series, according to the Sunday Mirror. Says an 'unnamed TV insider': "Russell T. Davies, the chief scriptwriter, is a massive fan of Little Britain. He was impressed by the fact David's comedy writing is always full of really original ideas. David jumped at the chance and is taking it very seriously.". Also mentioned by UK Comedy Guide Chortle and DigitalSpy.
Calm before the storm? (29th April 2005)
Not a lot of news this morning, which might be the prelude to massive coverage for tomorrow's grand adventure ... or maybe not! The Guardian does makes a brief mention of tomorrow's episode in its 'Must List'. Later on in the day The Times also featured an article, with Simon Barnes reminiscing on Daleks and tennis!
In the meantime, steel plant engineer Stephen Grylls talks to BBCi about Dewi, a Dalek he has been building over the last three years.
With one ex-Doctor speaking his mind on the departure of the 'ninth', another talks about the arrival of the 'tenth'! Sylvester McCoy talks to the Daily Record about fellow Scot David Tennant, pointing out that he had to tone down his accent for his own tenure in the role! He also hopes to be able to come back as a villain in the new series at some point. The article also includes comments on both actors' lives, and also mentions that Sylvester might be off to Australia to promote the new series there, alongside Tom and Colin Baker.
NME reports on the release of Dr Who at the Radiophonic Workshop Volume 1 & 2 on 13th June, covering the music, effects and atmosphere from the first four Doctors' eras.
Ambassadors, Daleks and Treasuries! (28th April 2005)
Christopher Eccleston is becoming an ambassador for the learning disabilty charity MENCAP. Says Chris: "Learning disability used to be known as 'mental handicap' but times change and people with a learning disability now find the old term offensive. I am very proud and excited to become an ambassador for Mencap and will do my best to justify such an honour.". Reported by Yahoo News, icCoventry, and later by the Manchester Evening News.
In the run up to this weekend's episode, Dalek items are to be expected. The trusty Sun unearths a dalek-shaped drinks cabinet! In Doctor Brew & The Barleks, fan Neil Woods talks about his creation. Paul English from the Daily Record talks about both this and last weeks' episodes. And Daleks are to appear at the Churnet Valley Railway this weekend to celebrate the return to the TV series, says the Staffordshire Sentinel. And finally another article on dalek designer Bill Roberts, this time in the Milford & West Wales Mercury.
Sunderland University lecturer and Doctor Who fan Neil Perryman has just landed some publicity from both his local paper (online in This is North East) and on BBCi for a short story that is due to be published by Big Finish in their anthology, Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury.
In another Christmas 'tale', the Paisley Daily Express report that new Doctor David Tennant will be turning on the festive lights at his native town.
Australian Who (27th April 2005)
ABC have finally set the date for the premiere of Doctor Who in Australia, commencing the run on Saturday 21st May from 7:30pm; broadcast information is on their website. The news is reported in Brisbane's Courier-Mail.
Tuesday (26th April 2005)
Peter Davison had some words to say about Christopher Eccleston leaving in the Mirror: "He is letting down the programme. His commitment should have been for at least a couple, maybe three, series. I hate to see, after all the effort that went into getting the programme back on TV, Doctor Who scuppered by an actor saying 'I don't want to do this anymore'." The story was picked up by Sky News, Digital Spy, Waveguide, Ananova, and Contact Music which pointed out how the decision had 'infuriated fans'.
Another former Doctor Who-related commentator talks in The Telegraph; this time it's former script editor Christopher Bidmead, commenting on the return of the sonic screwdriver amongst other things! "Our purging of silliness from the show wasn't just political correctness. It made the stories much better. The Doctor's ''sonic screwdriver'', for example, was magical baggage we had to lose. A pen-sized gizmo that could blast through tempered steel, translate Azurian into English, and fend off the Karturi by generating an impenetrable neutron dome might be just the ticket in real life, but in fiction was a sure-fire story-killer. We didn't want our audience shouting out from behind the sofa 'where's the sonic screwdriver?' whenever peril threatened."
The Times comments on the way in which the Prime Minister and his cabinet were portrayed in the series in their election section, and the apparently thinly veiled comments about weapons of mass destruction. The article ends: Labour strategists clearly have not watched the show. They made an informal approach to Christopher Eccleston, who plays the Doctor, to come out for Labour. He refused politely.
"Let Doctor Who give us a fright", says Bristol's Evening Post in an article by Nigel Griffen on what the watershed is about and how people should determine what they watch. So, to the knee-jerk reactionaries. To people who apparently exist in a tidy, fluffy-bunny world, where amnesia clearly reigns supreme, I offer this thought: shut up, would you, and go to bed! You complain about frightening telly before the watershed which, incidentally, was a voluntary development; created to offer a guide to viewers.
Ratings Winner (25th April 2005)
Call him Dr View now! The Sun proclaims, as the ratings for the weekend show the series way ahead of ITV for the evening (more details on the ratings); the article also goes on to talk about next week's excitement with the Daleks and Bruno Langley a week later.
The Guardian also reported on the overnights' success of the show, which also went on to indicate that ITV's whole evening wasn't particularly successful!
Dalek Terror returns to Doctor Who says BBCi, reporting on the return of the Doctor's oldest non-human adversary! Talking about revamping the image of the creature away from it's previous 'disadvantages', The new Dalek can also spin its torso independently of his head, so creeping up from behind is no longer an option. Its trademark "sink plunger" attachment also reveals a terrifying new function.. Says Mike Tucker, "We have taken all the perceived weaknesses of the Dalek and made them deadly."
The Sunday Mail reports on what David Tennant would like the Doctor to wear on his travels: 'I would love to be the first Time Lord to wear a kilt. And I intend to speak with a full Scottish lilt when I make it into the Tardis.'. The story also appeared in the Mirror, also mentioned by DigitalSpy.
The Scotsman today features more on David Tennant; talking about his first 'appearance' in the paper's student guide back in 1991, "Horace Can't Help It" covered a student's-eye view of Freshers Week.
The Wales on Sunday suggests the Daleks could speak with a "Valleys accent"! The article then goes on to interview Gareth Hopkins, whose uncle Bill Roberts was one of the principal designers of the original Dalek look.
Other news bits over the weekend
Friday News (22nd April 2005)
The Scotsman this morning carried an article with Louise Nicoll of The Famous Grouse bar about a certain new Doctor's penchant for whisky, having visited there on BAFTA night! The brief item discusses his (third party) views on Romeo and Juliet, and Casanova.
Robots fail to keep Character out of red says the Telegraph Money section today, talking about the decline of sales for company that owns the license to a number of Doctor Who toys. However, things are improving: Mr King said the worst was behind the company, pointing out its remote-controlled Daleks, as part of the Dr Who range, were selling very well. "They will be the must-have toy this Christmas." He was also pinning his hopes on a range of talking mugs based on the cult BBC comedy series Little Britain.
DWAS Local Group Sutton Whos are featured in the Croydon Advertiser (article referenced at icSouthCroydon); the item contains comments on the new series and casting from both group leader Kate Green and long-time member Robert Preston. Kate has since pointed out that the online article has misquoted them!
Bit of an old one this, but last Saturday's Guardian Sport had a brief mention of Who it Dave Podmore's column: Still nothing from the BBC about Dave Podmore becoming the new Doctor Who. Let's face it, miseryguts in the leather coat was never in it for the long haul in any dimension you care to mention, and the selectors have embarrassed themselves. To give me a head start over Mike Gatting I've offered a 2-for-1 deal whereby Jacqui would be my pretty assistant, sending in a tape of her handing out bits of French cheese and demonstrating Iams No Hairball cat food at Brent Cross on the same morning as proof of her versatility.
Little Who? (21st April 2005)
The Sun's paper version reports on Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams making a cameo appearance in the next series of Doctor Who. Online, both Sky Showbiz and Ananova comment on the story, also mentioning pop star Will Young as another possible guest star. (Young was commented on looking for acting roles on Top of the Pops on the 9th April - which also wondered if he'd take on the role of the Doctor himself!). icBerkshire comments on how Matt Lucas and David Tennant are already friends from their time on Casanova together.
Plenty to read over at Filmforce this morning, with an analysis of "the Doctor"'s salary, the specially set up websites for the show like UNIT's, plus a review of The End of the World (don't forget our own recently created reviews section!) There is also a comment about sci-fi revivals and will we next see The Tomorrow People and Sapphire and Steel back before long!
The Wheel in Space director Tristan de Vere Cole opened an exhibition on the work of his father John Augustus at the Fordingbridge Museum, Southampton, reports the Southampton Daily Echo.
Dalek Upset (20th April 2005)
Doctor Boo Hoo says The Sun, as it reports on a rather upset Dalek at the start of the sixth adventure. As usual the Sun mentions it's single-handed success in getting the daleks back on screen! The Daleks, saved for the show by The Sun, return in force later for a space war.
More on the upcoming adventure from WaveGuide.
Tennant Extra (updated 4:30pm) (19th April 2005)
Discussion on David's Tennant's appointment with the TARDIS continues, with BBCi opening one of their Talking Points on the subject.
Doctor Hooch says The Mirror, commenting on Tennant's departure from the BAFTA's with a bottle of whisky! The paper also commented how he is getting lessons on how to deal with big 'star nights' from Blackpool co-star Sarah Parrish, who accompanied him on the night.
The Daily Mail reports on Tennant's salary, citing that with the cuts in the BBC e has been forced to accept around half of Christopher Eccleston's earnings (£600,000 according to the paper). A source close to the production said: 'There was some relief that Chris went as he was so expensive. The show was only going to be recommissioned if the costs were cut.'
The South Wales Evening Post reports that Russell T Davies is busy writing the first script to feature the new Doctor.
Other media sites are still playing catch-up, with more reports in The Herald Sun, New York Times, Chud.com, Holland Sentinel, and Variety.
More on former Doctor Christopher Eccleston's potential next role in The Da Vinci Code in FemaleFirst, which also mentions Jim Carrey as another possibility; the Guardian talks about how deals are being struck over locations in the film; Radio One, Monsters and Critics, Sky Showbiz, TypePad. Story also mentioned at the movie sites FilmFodder, IMDB and movies.com.
Other news bits
Ratings Slip (18th April 2005)
This morning saw comments on how the ratings for Doctor Who this weekend slipped below Ant & Dec's for the first time in its run. Says The Mirror: The final instalment in the current run of their ITV1 show peaked with 9.1million when Ant McPartlin was forced to do a Bushtucker Trial by sidekick Declan Donnelly. Their show drew an average 7.1million viewers compared with 7million for Doctor Who, which peaked at 7.6million - the lowest rating in the series..
The Daily Record said something similar, but attributed the slump to Christopher Eccleston leaving the role. (not that this affected the ratings for The Unquiet Dead!)
However, The Guardian is much more conservative on the peak, saying: The final episode of the current series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway drew an average of 7.1 million viewers, peaking at 7.8 million when Ant McPartlin was forced to do a Bushtucker Trial and ended up covered in insects. The article also points out that Doctor Who is still the BBC's strongest performing non-soap production, with a healthy 34% of the audience. Scotsman commented on actor David Tennant at yesterday's BAFTA awards: The next Doctor Who star, David Tennant, led the way down the red carpet, wearing a kilt for the bash at the Theatre Royal, in London's Drury Lane. He said of his new role: "The expectations are fierce. Tom Baker wore a long scarf but they haven.t worn one since, so I don't know if I will wear one." Asked about how long he'd stay for: "Let's get through one at a time. I'd love to do a hundred years but they might sack me."
Christopher Da Vinci (17th April 2005)
Christopher's Eccleston's next project seems to be to play a part in the forthcoming film adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling book The Da Vinci Code, according to the Sunday Mirror. Chris would be playing the brainwashed albino monk Silas if he accepts the role, though he might have to wear a long white wig! Filming for the film starts in June for a 2006 release.
Also mentioned by , DigitalSpy, Filmforce, Hollywood News, and MovieHole
Bushell on the Box in today's People makes a small comment on how Doctor Who last night wasn't that scary: NO danger of last night's Dr Who frightening kids. The Slitheen looked like Tinky Winky on steroids. They were aliens who broke wind. Laugh? You'll never start. On the plus side Rose's mum punched the Doctor, but she still couldn't wipe the daft grin off his face.
Other news bites:
The New Doctor (episode two) (16th April 2005)
BBC Breakfast News are the first to broadcast the announcement on-air at 6:10am: The Scottish actor David Tennant has signed up as the new Doctor Who. The Casanova star is replacing Christopher Eccleston, who announced he was bowing out of the famous role after just one series. The 33 year old will become the tenth Time Lord. Good luck to him!
The Daily Record report that David Tennant has landed a £500,000 deal to play the role, also pointing out that it's his 34th birthday on Monday! Also mentioned is the number of lives that seem to be rapidly used up: Fans have pointed out it was established years ago that Time Lords have a limited number of regenerations - which will soon run out if actors quit after a single series. Antony Wainer, of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said: 'He has 13 bodies so he's getting through them. The way things are going, the series could be finished off in the next three years'.
The Mirror report that Tennant signed the contract a few weeks ago, but had been sworn to secrecy. As well as also mentioning the £500K deal, it also says that Eccleston had earned £650K for his role. Plus a brief resume of his current life.
Being a Scottish actor, The Scotsman understandably followed up the earlier announcement with a short biography of David Tennant (orginally McDonald), from his early days forging a career in Scotland to his highly successful role as Casanova.
The article at icWales goes on to say that a BBC spokeswoman refused to discuss if Tennant's contract covers a second series in the role.
BBCi have been keeping up to date with developments. In an updated article from this morning, there are now plenty of reader feedback on the casting, plus a new article on how "Actor David Tennant conquers TV". There is also a poll on whether you'd prefer Chris, David, or someone else as the Doctor - at the time of writing the results were 41.13% for Chris, 32.33% for David, and 26.55% for someone else, out of 2648 votes.
Other items: ABC News, CultTV, Daily Mail, DarkZero, icScotland, Manchester Evening News, Monsters and Critics, morons.org, MovieHole, Reuters, Reuters (India), SlashDot, WaveGuide, Western Mail, Yahoo; for the Harry Potter connection there are mentions at CBBC, Harry Potter's Page, MuggleNet, The Leaky Cauldron, Wizard City.
On a lighter note, The Spoof reports on how Ecclestone(sic) decided to resign after the BBC traded in the TARDIS for a Reliant Robin!
The New Doctor Announced! (16th April 2005)
Tonight at just after midnight, the news we've been waiting for since the accidental announcement of Chris leaving the role came out ...
And as the media frenzy begins once more ...
First out is The Times, who talks about a regeneration at the end of the series that could scare viewers under the age of eight!
BBCi's report comes out at 1:11am, basically saying the same as the press release but reminding us of the other actors whose names had been linked with the role beforehand. Other sites covering the news in the early hours of the morning include: The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Scotsman, Digital Spy and Reality TV World, which says that the BBC wanted to secure Tennant before his film career takes off!
Friday Roundup (15th April 2005)
The debate over whether The Unquiet Dead was too scary for young children continues; this morning's Times updates its comments from yesterday, noting that the BBC were now examining future episodes to determine if they had scenes in them that could produce a similar outcry; it also noted that regulator Ofcom was investigating whether the show had breached watershed guidelines.
The Independent briefly mentions the statement in print: The BBC has withdrawn its advice about Doctor Who being too frightening for under-eights to watch. A statement on the BBC's complaints website on Wednesday saying the show was not for children under the age of eight had been "a mistake", said a corporation spokesman.
The Western Mail reports on the opinion of Children's Commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, who said: "Some children aged eight and under would not be at all fazed by an episode of Doctor Who whereas someone of 12 might be. The BBC has done the right thing in bringing it to parents' attention and it should be commended as it didn't have to do that. It might be helpful to give parents an age guideline otherwise they wouldn't have a clue how frightening it is. But while many children may find some children's programmes frightening others wouldn't so the BBC shouldn't give the impression that all children under the age of eight should miss out on Doctor Who." It also mentions the comments by Conservative Shadow Education Secreatary Tim Collins, adding: "I personally don't have any problem with it. I think it's perfectly appropriate entertainment. There are much, much worse things that quite young children are seeing up and down our land. Doctor Who is probably one of the healthiest things they can watch."
A few more reports on the news: South Wales Echo, The BigNews network; and from yesterday Evening Standard and Radio One.
Was Unquiet Dead "too scary"? (14th April 2005)
This morning's Times commented that Doctor Who is becoming too scary for young children, after the (successful) fright caused by happenings in The Unquiet Dead: Now the BBC has issued advice that young children should not watch the revived series, after 50 parents complained that their offspring were still suffering sleepless nights following Saturday's episode. The Guardian also reported on the story, noting that there were over 50 complaints made and could rise to 100 when emails are taken into account. The corporation rejected the complaints, but did say the series was inappropriate for children under eight years old.
The BBC's (original) response to the complaints, below:
However, in an interesting backtrack the BBC have now withdrawn the statement, stating on their website that the original comment was "a mistake". You can read the amended response in full here, of which the last paragraph now reads:
The Times noted the retraction on its website, and might be in tomorrow's print edition. Other reports at Morons.Org.
And if you want to vote on how scary you think Doctor Who is, CBBC are currently running a poll.
Effects of London (13th April 2005)
Today's Evening Standard (at least online) talks about how the special effects for the new series are far better than in the old days. Focussing on the up-and-coming story for this Saturday, it also talks about the hand-made effects made by Mike Tucker used for the spaceship smashing through St. Stephen's Tower, as seen in the trailers.
More on the effects in this week's Radio Times!
Doctor Leslie (13th April 2005)
John Leslie is the latest name to come up for the vacant role of the Doctor. According to The Sun his friends have said: "John has cleaned up his act in recent months and is looking trimmer than ever. He has lost a couple of stone and reckons he fits the bill for the Time Lord.". Also reported by Ananova.
Tuesday Roundup (12th April 2005)
The Daily Record has an interview with Colin Baker, who is appearing as Van Helsing at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh; he said he'd prefer to share the TARDIS with Billie Piper than any of his previous sidekicks!
Norfolk Now considers whether humans could ever become masters of time with the Norwich Astronomical Society. Says society chairman Mark Lawrik-Thompson: "Dr Who has yet again captured public imagination and Christopher Eccleston's character has certainly given the time-travelling Time Lord a new lease of life. We usually do lectures about astronomical objects such as stars and the galaxy, but with all the hype around the new series we decided to look at time travel."
BBC Worldwide Press Release (11th April 2005)
Monday Review (11th April 2005)
Another positive review from Rupert Smith in today's Guardian, though he is perhaps getting a little tired of the "Eccleston grin", but still loving the leather coat! In the Media section there's is an article on how advertising agencies played the publicity around the series return. Also, a brief letter from a David Cochrane in Dublin: Maybe the BBC should have a different Doctor Who each week. It seems to work for Have I Got News For You. Another article on the stealth tax from premium rate phone-ins also happens to mention Who, wrly commenting on how we missed out on voting for whether the Daleks should be in the series or not! And finally a quick note on tonight's BBC4 Timeshift on Russell T Davies.
This morning's Metro also contained a positive review (plus 5 out of 5 stars!). This is the classic stuff today's lille 'uns will look back on with childhood nostalgia. Today's Sun comments on how once again Doctor Who has beaten Ant & Dec in the ratings (8.34 vs 7.14 million, audience share 36% vs 32%).
MediaWeek report on a new phone-box advertising campaign to coincide with the release of the first DVD for the new series; commencing on 9th May, some 450 kiosks will be made up to look similar to the TARDIS.
Weekend Roundup (10th April 2005)
The Wales on Sunday reports that Russell T Davies would never cast a woman Doctor in a million years! Talking about Eccleston's departure, he confirmed that the BBC always knew of his intention to leave, but that it wasn't meant to be announced to the end of the series. He also heaped praise on Chris's performance, citing him "the best Doctor in the world." Also reported by DigitalSpy.
News is definitely slow today, with the People having to resort to digging up Christopher Eccleston's nude appearances in his films!
Very minor mention of the series in the Sunday Times by Rosie Millard in an article commenting on being wealthy and in debt: One correspondent berated me for laughing at people "forced to stay at home and watch Doctor Who", as if that in itself were a shameful thing to do".
Scotland on Sunday interviewed Mark E Smith of The Fall, during which he comments on turning down the chance to become the Doctor: "... 10 years ago there was talk of me being the Doctor. I was down at the BBC, doing a session for (John) Peel, and this bloke - he must have been a Fall fan - said a place on the short-list was mine if I wanted it. 'Nah, I don't do acting,' I said. Well, could you see me fighting t'Daleks?"
Wales's Western Mail talks to Russell T Davies about his series, both successful and not-so successful as he talks about Doctor Who and Mine All Mine.
The Mirror reports on Christopher Eccleston launching a fund-raising campaign by recording a voiceover for a cinema commercial; more on the research itself in reports yesterday from BBCi and Manchester Evening News.
Brief mention in the Independent's finance section on items that might turn out to be a lot of money, including a bit on Doctor Who toys: Dr Who toys are experiencing a revival, for example. A 1965 Daleks snowstorm with its original box recently made £640 at a Vectis auction.
Friday roundup (8th April 2005)
Not a lot on Who today at all, but the Daily Record mentions that ITV are planning a rival sci-fi series starring veteran 'space traveller' Patrick Stewart! The series is called Eleventh Hour and is penned by sci-fi and former Doctor Who writer Stephen Gallagher. As the series is due to go out in Winter, however, it seems unlikely to be a challenger directly to Doctor Who itself!
You can find out more information from Stephen Gallagher's own website; also reported in Alien Online.
The Express Newsline repeats the article yesterday about the Cardiff scenes being filmed in Swansea for The Unquiet Dead.
The Northern Echo reports on looking for a home for rescued dog "K9", currently at the Dog's Trust, Darlington.
Thursday (7th April 2005)
This morning's Times has a brief bit in its People section on 74 year-old Ronnie Corbett is putting himself up for consideration for the role of the Doctor! "I'd love to be considered for the part. Mind you the episodes are likely to be shorter." Ha ha.
Meanwhile, CBBC presenter Devon Anderson has joined the list of names, according to their website. The presenter has been using his slots on the channel to promote himself as the 10th Doctor, and is supported by other show presenters including Newsround's Lizzie Greenwood.
The Metro's "Green Room" reports that the BBC will no longer put up posters for the new series, as they keep getting stolen! Says a BBC source: "... they are just getting steamed off and collectors are selling them on the Net."
icWales comments on the irony of a series being made in Cardiff having to film Cardiff scenes in Swansea for this weekend's The Unquiet Dead!
Australian Broadcast Set (updated Thu 1:00pm) (6th April 2005)
Main news today is that Australian broadcast ABC has announced that it has the rights to screen the new series of Doctor Who in Australia. The exact date of broadcast hasn't been given as yet, but it is expected from mid-May.
Says ABC's Head of Programming, Marena Manzoufas: "This is Doctor Who, 21st century-style, and it most definitely will appeal to people who are new to the Doctor Who phenomenon, as well as long-term fans. I am in no doubt that a whole new Australian audience will be attracted to the series."
BBC Worldwide's Head of Sales for the Australasia region, Julie Dowding, said: "Doctor Who is one of the most significant BBC dramas of the year. It's the ultimate adventure series with the ultimate cast. We're very happy that it's come to earth in Australia."
See the offical BBC Press release; news also covered in: The Daily Telegraph, The Courier, Herald Sun, C21Media, news.com.au, Courier (new post), Adelaide Advertiser, The Australian, WorldScreen, The Age, Bordermail, The Mercury.
Tuesday News (updated 1:00pm) (5th April 2005)
The BBC, have now admitted that it released a false statement from Christopher Eccleston last week on his decision not to continue with another series of Dcotor Who. Though an agreement between the BBC and the actor had been made in January not to reveal his intention not to play the Doctor in a future series, the press office inadvertently confirmed the news after the announcement of the new series. Says Head of Drama commissioning Jane Tranter: "The BBC regrets not speaking to Christopher before it responded to the press questions on Wednesday 30 March. The BBC further regrets that it falsely attributed a statement to Christopher and apologises to him.". The Telegraph picked up on the news for the morning's paper. The Guardian's media section expands on Jane Tranter's statement: "In January 2005 the BBC and Christopher mutually agreed not to make public the fact that he would not be doing a second series. It was also agreed that any subsequent announcement would be done jointly. Because of the stories being put to the BBC, this was not the case. Contrary to press statements, Christopher did not leave for fear of being typecast or because of the gruelling filming schedule.".
Other sites have picked up on it during the morning, including: CBBC Newsround, Manchester Evening News, Breaking News, This is London, Waveguide, ITV, Irish Examiner, ContactMusic, DigitalSpy, Brand Republic, C4.
Simon Pegg's role in the series was also mentioned by CBBC; the character, in episode 7, will be called The Editor. Says Simon: "It's a real honour to be in it. To be a Doctor Who villain was a bit of a dream come true, so I was very happy to do that." Sky Showbiz also reported on the news, citing an interview in Nuts magazine. ICWales reports pretty much the same thing. Also covered by: This is London, RTE Ireland, Daily Record, Yahoo News, Scotsman, UTV Internet, This is Bolton.
Monday Roundup (4th April 2005)
Today's main coverage is on the lower ratings seen for the series this weekend; Media Guardian reports on the loss of 2.5 million viewers from last week's debut, making the figure 7.3 million (36% audience), but this is a general viewer reduction for the weekend as Ant & Dec suffered similarly (6 million, 31% audience). The story is also covered by Media Week Online, which reports on BBC1's Casualty performing best of the evening with 7.5 million viewers in its slot. The Daily Record puts a much more positive spin on the ratings with its own headline "Doctor still tops with viewers"! Also mentioned in The Mirror, which includes a BBC comment: "We expect viewing figures for an episode after a big launch to drop slightly. But the show has fantastic storylines and people have been waiting 16 years to see them."
The Sun reports that sales of leather jackets have soared, with Littlewoods reporting that "it's a must have. He's the nation's new hero!" The story also reported by Ananova.
The Guardian (at least online) carries a feature, Net Notes, which explores each of the Doctors, with links to sites with more information about them.
The Times briefly mentions David Tennant as a potential Doctor in its recommedation for Casanova for tonight's television.
And in other related news, Swindon's Evening Advertiser reports on Chris Evans assertions of Doctor Who causing the failure of his marriage, reported in Q Magazine; Norfolk's Norwich Evening News reports on brothers Angus and Duncan Cameron running the London Marathon as Cybermen; and Birmingham's Evening Mail reports on the Memorabilia event over the weekend.
Broadcast: Blue Peter featured a short article involving a Dalek created from a old compost bin and assorted household items by two children - and an unexpected appearance by Chris Eccleston using a Blue Peter badge to 'exterminate' it! You can build this yourself following the instructions from the Blue Peter homepage. Watch out for the "Dalek" special item coming up in the next few weeks for the Doctor Who story of the same name!
Weekend Roundup (updated Sun 1:30pm) (2nd April 2005)
After the review madness of last weekend, today is fairly quiet on that front, at least online. Terry Wogan makes some comment on 'Bernie Ecclestone' in his column in The Telegraph, whilst weblog BlogCritics still feels a bit negative about the new series; a much more positive review at DVD Times.
"Christopher Eccelston: Who the hell does he think he is?" asks The Times, which concentrates on the factors that might have led him to make his decision to quit the role, and the similarities of this to the other famous British role, James Bond.
The Sunday Mirror reports on how Christopher Eccleston had 'promised' the BBC that he would come back for another series; the story talks about an interview removed from the BBC website once he quit where he had said he planned to play the role 'over the next two to three years'. The story is also reported online by DigitalSpy.
The People concentrates on Chris Evans and Billie Piper, where Chris cites Doctor Who as being a key reason for their eventual split. The story was also reported by, you guessed it, DigitalSpy. Conversely, in an interview with the Wales on Sunday Billie doesn't blame the series at all for their breakup, but it would have happened in the end, anyway. She also talks about her career in general and how Doctor Who has come to so influence her life.
Misc: Luton Today on Doctor Who Day 2, by Parallel Worlds.
Broadcast-wise, as well as UKTV Gold's repeat of Nightmare of Eden, and BBC3's repeat of The End of the World, BBC2's Heaven & Earth Show at 11:30am featured an interview with Christopher Eccleston, and later in the afternoon BBC1's Points of View at 4:35pm featured viewer comments on the first two episodes of the new series. On radio, BBC Radio Wales repeated the second part of Doctor Who: Back in Time, which also mentioned a third part which will broadcast on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May, devoted to Terry Nation.
The Daleks may not be back for the second series, says The Sun. The negotiations for the Daleks to return was only for one series apparently, and if they are to be in the next series the BBC will need to re-negotiate. The decision as to whether they will depends on how it goes this year, a spokesperson said. More details online from DigitalSpy.
The Globe and Mail report on the return of Doctor Who to the airwaves in Canada this coming Tuesday.
Both The Mirror and The Daily Record talk about website Outpost Gallifrey's "meltdown" last week after strong fan reaction to the news of Eccleston quitting.
Broadcast-wise, we had a repeat of Creature from the Pit on UKTV Gold, and of course the new episode The End of the World on BBC1 at 7:00pm, plus Who Confidential: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly on BBC3 at 7:45pm; in additional Newsround Showbiz on CBBC featured a behind-the-scenes look at the second Doctor Who episode. Radio-wise, BBC Radio Wales broadcast the second part of their special Doctor Who Back in Time: Who's Who at 1:00pm
Other Friday Items
Aftermath (updated 4:30am) (1st April 2005)
The Daily Mail today talks about how merchandising for the series has been thrown into disarray now that Eccleston is leaving the role, with licensed Manchester firm Character Options previously planning some 20 items involving his image. However, the Manchester Evening News reports the Eccleston action figure will still be available, which will make it quite a collectors item!
The Mirror report that the last episode of the series is to have its final moments re-shot to take into account Christopher Eccleston leaving. Says a BBC spokesman: "We have filmed two different endings for the series finale, but we don't want to give anything away. You'll just have to wait and see.".
The Times concentrates on David Tennant (a long term fan of the series) being the BBC's preferred choice to take on the role. Meanwhile the Western Mail mentions that the departure had already been planned and will unfold on screen. Later on in the day, The Mirror prints another article on David Tennant being tipped to be the Doctor. Harry Potter's Page talks about both David Tennant and David Thewlis being up for the role, both being in the Harry Potter films.
TV-wise, some mention of the departure of Chris on GMTV this morning, plus a preview of The End of the World; also BBC Breakfast talked to Mark Gatiss about the live broadcast of Quatermass tomorrow, and of course the Doctor!
More reports on Eccleston quitting: The Sun, Gulf Daily News, Herald Sun (Australia), Wizard City, FilmForce, ProFindPages, Yabedo, Ananova, This is London.
Rather bizarrely, Monsters & Critics seem to think that it will be Orlando Bloom, with Prila Loof as assistant! Not to be outdone, Waveguide report that Jordan will be a regular character in the new series, playing the leader of a race of women in an episode called "Land of the Vixens". Plus a small part for her husband-to-be Peter Andre.
April 1st, anybody?!!!
Other articles today:
Well, here we go again! (updated 8:00pm) (31st March 2005)
After yesterday's announcement that the series was to come back for a second series, today sees confirmation that this won't be with current Doctor Christopher Eccleston. Says a spokeswoman for the BBC: "We can confirm that he is not returning for the second series as the Doctor because he does not want to be typecast. He is always looking for new challenges." In a BBC statement Christopher has said: "The audience's response to the new Dr Who has been incredible. I'm very proud to be part of it and I hope viewers continue to enjoy the series".
More on the dangers of type-casting here.
The BBC indicate that talks are now taking place with actor David Tennant, who is about to feature on BBC1 as Casanova in another of Russell T Davies's productions. This page also has a link to the video of the report about the decision to leave. More from BBC Cult. The BBC have listed contenders for the role, which as well as David Tennant, also includes old favourites Bill Nighy, Alan Davies and Richard E. Grant, plus David Thewlis. You can also say who you think should e the next Doctor on their Have Your Say section!
There is now an official Press Release on the series and Eccleston leaving.
Meanwhile, odds are starting to appear on who will get the role; Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush said: "Public demand has forced us to produce a long list of possible doctors despite the fact that David Tennant is so hotly tipped for the role. There's even a real doctor in the betting but Harry Hill is seen as a 1000/1 chance." The full odds (as of 12:50pm today), are: 1/10 David Tennant; 12/1 Alan Davies; 14/1 Bill Nighy; 16/1 Sean Pertwee; 16/1 Eddie Izzard; 16/1 Mark Gatiss; 20/1 Richard E Grant; 25/1 David Thewlis; 33/1 Alan Cumming; 40/1 Jonathan Pryce; 40/1 David Warner; 50/1 Chiwetel Ejiofor; and 80/1 Jon Culshaw. Less likely contenders are: 500/1 Tom Baker; 500/1 Colin Baker; 500/1 Sylvester McCoy; 1000/1 Paul Daniels; 1000/1 Roger Daltrey; 1000/1 Neil Fox; 1000/1 Johnny Vegas; 1000/1 Harry Hill; 1000/1 Graham Norton.
However, the books have been closed! William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe says: "I'm afraid that it is a question of Dr No for Dr Who punters. It appears that the BBC has moved quickly to secure David Tennant's services following the departure of Eccleston - and it seems that the role is his should he want it, which makes it impossible for us to open a book."
In general the newspapers all report on the news and the possibility of David Tennant assuming the role, but The Mirror speculates on other possibilities like David Warner and Eddie Izzard. Oh, and it is also a Sun exclusive!
You can also listen to BBC Radio Five's Breakfast Show which talks about the announcement (01:37:00 into the stream), and our own Antony Wainer being "announced" as the new Doctor! (02:53:45).
Online Reports: The Times, Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, This is London, The Scotsman, Ananova, Ananova again, and again on David Tennant, Sky Showbiz, Manchester Evening News, Digital Spy, MovieHole (Australia), Waveguide, Variety, UTV Internet, YNet News, Reuters, Reuters again, More Magazine, Liverpool Daily Post, Western Mail, Radio One, ITV, Hello Magazine, Daily Record, RTE Ireland, Pink Football, icHarrow, MegaStar, The Register, MyTelus, Yahoo Canada, SlashDot, HecklerSpray (weblog), Boing Boing (weblog).
Other news items:
Second Series in pipeline? (30th March 2005)
Head of BBC Drama Commissioning, Jane Tranter, commissioned a new series of Doctor Who yesterday, says The Guardian today. The article goes on to say that not only can we expect a second series, but also a Christmas Special! However, the paper also mentions that neither of the current main stars Christopher Eccleston or Billie Piper have been signed up as yet, speculating on a cast change for next year!
BBCi talks to Russell TV Davies about the renewal: "It's particularly good for BBC Wales. This is a major flagship show for the region, and their staff and crews are the best you could find. It's a tribute to them that Doctor Who is returning.". More in BBC Cult.
The Stage also reports on the story, and cites that Russell T Davies has already written the first six episodes for the next series. Repeating a comment from Chris in a recent issue: "It is a huge responsibility to shoulder and I do not want to be thought of as the Doctor to the exclusion of everything else I do in the future. So I'll have to think long and hard about it"
Here's hoping ...
Other reports in: The Times, Manchester Evening News, UTV Internet, Digital Spy, Breaking News.
A Toy Story! (30th March 2005)
The papers this morning have gone on a toy binge, reporting about the release in the coming year of all the merchandise we can look forward to, such as a new remote controlled dalek, action figures, a Playstation game in development, and other items such as DVDs and birthday cards. Our Antony is reported in the Metro this morning: "What's really exciting is that the toys we played with in the 1960s and 1970s will be relaunched for a whole new generation." (no sign of any Doctor Who underpants this time around so far!)
As well as the Metro above, the story is also reported in The Guardian, The Telegraph. The Scotsman, and The Record.
The Times, as well as printing a selection of letters submitted to their Debate yesterday, plus a small piece on Simon Callow, who will play Charles Dickens in Doctor Who next month, is not a fan of the TIme Lord: "I saw the first episode in 1963 with William Hartnell as the Doctor. It wasn't for me so I missed the entire procession of Doctors that followed."
"I'm not surprised... I knew that Dr Who would be massive" says Billie Piper in Scotland's Evening Times. Meanwhile, "Dr Who is Perfect" as far as the Carlisle News & Star is concerned, an opinion shared by the Birmingham Evening Mail.
Tuesday update (29th March 2005)
A more negative review in today's Mirror, with Polly Hudson seeming bemused by the whole thing!
The Sun reports on a fan's dismay to discover that a police box he had flown from the States to get had been burned a couple of weeks earlier!
The Western Mail plays "spot the location", looking at some of the locations in Cardiff that appeared in the first episode of the new series.
More on the ratings success of the series in the media. Today's see an item in The Standard, Sky News, MediaWeek, the BrandRepublic's Media Bulletin, and Yabedo. A few more ratings reports from yesterday: Leeds Today; South Wales Echo; Reality TV News; Filmforce.
The Times Online currently has a debating page for people to submit what they thought about the return of the series.
Continuing the leak coverage: Silicon.Com.
And, if you can read Dutch, there's an article over at ZDNet!
Monday Roundup (28th March 2005)
Unsurprisingly, the papers this morning concentrate on how Doctor Who won the ratings war on Saturday night.
"Who's the daddy as 10m find time to see the Doctor" says The Times as they report on the BBC's gamble on the series paying off. The 10 million figure is twice the average seen so far in that slot and said to give new BBC Controller Peter Fincham a boost. Later on in the day we also had "Just What The Doctor Ordered" on the success of the series return, and a review by Michael Grove.
"Zapped by Doc" has The Sun, who hails the Doctor's triumphant return and Sun readers' praise. Also, Caldwell's View
The Guardian reports on the success, plus a round-up of the Sunday paper reviews.
After last night's brief comment, a more in-depth report from The Scotsman which also speculates on Rose gaining the biggest ever debut story ratings (10.8 million) once the official figures are in!
Other sites covering the ratings news and reviews: Decterminate! says The Mirror; letters on the show in The Telegraph; The Daily Mail; Western Morning News; CBBC; Western Daily Press; This is Wiltshire; DeHavilland; The Daily Record; canada.com; LogicVoice (weblog); Blogcritics (weblog).
Also, on radio TIMELESS local group leader Timothy Farr talked about the return on BBC Radio Wales's Good Morning Wales programme, and at the same time Radio Five Live Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogerty were also discussing the programme! (for the latter it is on their Listen Again service, at about 02:51:00 in the stream).
Other news: Marketing VOX News on the leaker being sacked and subsequently vanished.
In related articles: The Guardian's politics section had "The brutal world of Spin Doctor Who", which was actually about the Conservative party, though some mention of Daleks!
Doctor Who ratings (27th March 2005)
The BBC website report that the debut of the new series beat off the opposition of Ant and Dec to gain the higher ratings of yesterday evening.
The unofficial figures for the programme show an average audience of 9.9 million viewers with 43.2% of all viewers (peak viewing at 10.5 million/44.3%). The ratings for Ant and Dec came in at 7.1 million.
The article also includes an apology from the BBC over the sound fault at the start of the episode, when parts of Graham Norton's live show bled into the broadcast.
Other sites reporting the success: ITV, The Scotsman.
Sunday Opinion (27th March 2005)
The first morning of the new era, and the first reviews start to appear in the media.
"After a decade lost in space, Dr Who returns with a bang" says Chris Hasting in the Sunday Telegraph. Chris reports that fans have been very positive on the return of the Doctor to our screens, including comments from Sylvester McCoy.
"Timelord triumphs in our age of irony" proclaims The Observer as science editor Robin McKie reports on the experience of watching the new series with his nine year old daughter.
"Doctor Who puts sonic screwdriver to work to boost BBC funds" cites The Independent, as their article on the return also suspects that the Doctor's device looks set to become a must-have toy for Christmas!
Graeme Virtue of the Sunday Herald reviews the first Underworld episode, Gangster, but finishes with a comment on Doctor Who last night, liking Eccleston's performance but not so sure about the TARDIS interior.
The Times has a slightly more negative report, comparing the new series to the Avengers.
Taking the fan perspective, the Manchester Evening News prints the views of local fans and Hyde Fundraisers Kevin Taylor and Wayne Broughton. Speaking of them, Star Wars site The Force report on Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch appearing in their forthcoming play The Trial of Davros.
"Kids give thumbs up to new Dr Who" says CBBC, reporting hundreds of emails from viewers giving a positive view of the programme.
On a lighter note, fan Ken Meikle caused a bit of a stir outside the Houses of Parliament when he trundled up inside a Dalek, reports the Sunday Mail; Ken was filming a promotional video for a stage version of Doctor Who. The story was also picked up by This is London.
Other sites: Political Animal weblog.
In related news: a surreal allusion to Doctor Who in The Sunday Times in an article about Greek dishes at the Konaki restaurant in Scotland.
Saturday Night (26th March 2005)
A few links that have come up during this evening:
Saturday (26th March 2005)
Well, the time has finally come, tonight sees the return of Doctor Who after all these years, and we've got a whole day of Who programming in store, with UKTV's Gold's back-to-back old episodes, BBC1's Who Confidential special at 5:25pm, and of course at 7:00pm ...
But what do the papers think?
The Telegraph welcomes back the series, with a very positive response to the return. But as they conclude: Will it be popular? This is not for an adult to say. My teenage son twice purred "This is really cool," which augurs well. But he worried that his friends would not watch it. "It's sad watching programmes your parents liked." Do these children have no sense of tradition?
The Guardian's Sarah Dempster wonders if the new Doctor will stand the test of time, with a series of "Then and Now" comparisons between him, the companions, TARDIS and monsters.
Canadian-based Globe and Mail also talks about the return of the series, and if old fans will accept it.
The Sun provide a list of Who Was Who? in Doctor Who, the online version showing June Brown as an example; meanwhile the paper also interviews Will Hadcroft, who cites Doctor Who as one of the primary forces in helping him deal with Asperger's syndrome.
The Scotsman consider the series return and the ratings battle against Ant and Dec on ITV. Digital Spy believe that the duo is likely to win the ratings, though the odds have recently been slashed to 2/1. The Record talks about the fortunes being gambled on tonight's line-up, especially with David Beckham on Ant and Dec, as does ITV, Breaking News, and The Mirror.
Plenty in the Times today. The Whys and Whats of Doctor Who presents all you need to know about Doctor Who; Dr. Who vs the Cyberkids looks at whether the series will appeal to modern youngsters; The Doctor faces a high-tech challenge concentrates on the work of special effects makers The Mill; and finally an article on gadgets, including the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
More on the series return in This is North East, Belfast Telegraph, News & Star, and Express & Star on the series return (from Fri).
Two links to the show have been uncovered in the West County, reports the Western Morning News from Devon.
In other related news: The Sun reports on the most frightening moments, mainly concentrating on Coronation Street; CBBC have a quiz and an interview with Christopher Eccleston (from Thurs).
A New Dimension: BBCi; Radio Times; Radio Times; Sky
Rose: BBCi; Radio Times, and Today'a Highlights; The Sun, On the Box as Best New Series; The Mirror; The Guardian; Sky
Doctor Who Confidential: BBCi; Sky
News Roundup for Friday (25th March 2005)
BBCi carry an article this morning on the good old Doctor's TARDIS, discussing the history of the police box in the UK. The Ordnance Survey have been tracking them down and now know of 237 in the UK. Other articles on this from The Scotsman, The Sun, and .
The Guardian features an article on the role of the Doctor's assistants, whilst the Financial Times considers the return of the series.
Local paper Highbury & Islington Express mention the forthcoming Doctor Who party at the Printworks pub in Farringdon.
The Yorkshire Post carry an interview with Christopher Eccleston. Also, the Scotsman re-run the Standard's article by Matthew Sweet with Chris.
The Daleks come in second in a poll for TV's Top Fright moments, in a survey by furniture retailer Harveys; the Cybermen came fifth in the poll in which Coronation Street's conman Richard Hillman's won. (The Scotsman, Manchester Evening News, UTV).
Mark Gatiss is interviewed about his work on Doctor Who in Teeside's Evening's Gazette.
Other bits include: the US distribution situation mentioned at Relish, Winston Salem Journal; an opinion of the leak from The London News Review; Scottish fans might miss out on the start of the Milan match if Doctor Who overuns (Evening Times); London News Review comments on the music in Rose; Leeds Today looks at the fan's anticipation of its return.
More items from yesterday ...
Who Watch for the coming week (25th March 2005)
A quick update on known Who-related articles due over the week or so, with links to further information where known (note that links to programmes on days that have past may not work any more!):
Thursday news (24th March 2005)
The Sun continues its large-scale coverage of the series return, this time with a page dedicated to those celebrities who look like new monsters in the show! With such comparisons as Anne Robinson as Lady Cassandra and Jade Goody as the Moxx of Balhoon (also seen online) you can see where this is leading ... Also, on page three, the Sun have found K9 in a dog's home! (the usual brief online report).
The Guardian's Media section reports on the BBC's official response to the leak of the first episode on the Net, and the huge discussion the whole incident caused. The Guardian also presents a review of Rose, written by Sylvester McCoy (spoilers!). This has prompted a comment on the Megastar site about the review! Also, BBCi also present the "fans countdown to new Doctor Who".
Billie Piper's appearance on BBC Radio One's Chris Moyles Show yesterday morning caused a bit of a stir when she inadvertently swore on the live show, The Daily Record reports.
The Mirror tracks down the Doctor's previous female assistants to see what they did since leaving the series.
In other news, mother Shona McClaren talks about her phobia of the Daleks in the Scottish Daily Record; and a very brief comment in The Times Football section in an article about Joe Cole.
Who is Doctor Who? (24th March 2005)
Do you know anything about this man? If so you should visit www.whoisdoctorwho.co.uk and let Clive know!
Wednesday Coverage (23rd March 2005)
So scary it's Doctor Boo! screams the Sun this morning in another of it's (daily) spreads on the new series; as usual a very cut down version of the article appears online.
An article in Scottish paper The Herald looks into what to expect from the new series. Also, Karen Price of the Western Mail looks at Russell T Davies (and the series return in general on the previous page).
Meanwhile Andrew Marr talks about his small role for the series in his Notebook article in the Telegraph.
In other items, BlogCritics compares Doctor Who versus Battlestar Galactica in the television age.
New BBC Press Pack (22nd March 2005)
The BBC have released the second of their press packs, with more details on the series, detailing special effects, production design, miniature effects, prosthetics, makeup, and monsters and facts.
BBC Press Pack Information
Tuesday Roundup (22nd March 2005)
"Eccleston set to shine" says the Manchester Evening News in an interview with him in today's paper. Also, Matthew Sweet in The Standard presents another interview with the star.
Meanwhile, the Daily Post has an interview with husband and wife Davy Jones and Lin Davie, responsible for makeup and design on the new series.
This morning's Mirror reports on how Billie Piper and Chris Evans can still be friends after their breakup; this is also in the Sun (with truncated version of the story on their website).
In other news, Ru Green talks about the nostalgic return of Who on icCoventry; Louth Today talks about a replacement enemy to the Daleks in the series first episode; Variety mentions the return; an appearance of Doctor Who in Middleton(?); and Collector Fair Memorabilia, taking place on 2nd-3rd April, gets a mention at Alien Online.
Monday Roundup (21st March 2005)
Christopher Eccleston is interviewed in this morning's Sun, during which he said he's had the time of his life. However, the paper edition suggests that he is seriously considering whether he would go onto a second series, fearing being type-cast. The same story is taken up at icWales, and mentioned at ContactMusic.
According to The Mirror, Billie also wouldn't be watching her appearance on television, but would instead head off down to the pub; this was also reported on Ananova. Meanwhile, she doesn't quite make it to the top of a poll on the Doctor's 'sexiest' assistant, either - according to both the Mirror and the Daily Record. she was beaten to first place by Louise Jameson!
More reports on Rohdri Morgan almost achieving Doctor Who fame in The Guardian Politics section, Western Mail, The Sun. an amended report in The Scotsman, Western Daily Press, Ananova, and on the Standard's This is London site - the group's free newspaper Metro also briefly mentioned the incident at the BBC Wales studios this morning.
The Guardian also enthuses over the return of the series (again) in an article by Mark Lawson, Carry On Doctor!.
For those who watched her triumph on Saturday's Mastermind, DWAS Publications Officer Karen Davies is interviewed by BBC Norfolk, and also gets a mention on the local Norfolk Now site (and repeated verbotem in the Norwich Evening News).
Weekend Roundup (19th March 2005)
The Observer talks to Christopher Eccleston about becoming the Doctor.
The Sunday Herald presents a preview of the first episode of the new series, comparing style over content.
Welsh minister Rohdri Morgan nearly ended up landing a part in Doctor Who, report several papers today; the minister arrived on set for an interview for show Dragon's Den but got mixed up with extras! Reported in: BBCi, Wales on Sunday, The Scotsman, The Express, UTV, DeHavilland.
Paper-wise, both the Sunday Sport and Sunday Express ran articles concentrating on the previous companions in the run-up to the new series, whilst the Independent features an interview with Billie Piper.
The Times looks at how Billie Piper's career has progressed from a teenage pop star into the companion of the most famous time traveller on television.
The Telegraph presents an A-Z of Doctor Who, from Autons to Professor Zaroff(!).
Paul Whitelaw talks about his excitement on the return of the Doctor in The Scotsman.
BBC Norfolk have recently conducted an interview with Terry Molloy; My life with Davros discusses Terry's most famous role, and his excitement at the return of the series.
Also: the Radio Times listing for tonight's Doctor Who Night.
Thursday Roundup (updated Friday 8:30am) (17th March 2005)
Today's Metro mentions in it's gossip column The Green Room: Graham Norton hankered after a role in the new Doctor Who series. 'I did train as an actor so why don't you want me?' he flounced. The paper also singled out Warrior's Gate as an item you can get from VicPine, a specialist in rare items on VHS and DVD!
Tonight's Culture Show features Who; information from their distribution list today: This Easter sees the return to our screens of one of the great characters of British television, Doctor Who. It's been sixteen years since the BBC last made the programme - no big deal for a Time Lord perhaps, but a lifetime for his legion of dedicated fans. Matthew Sweet, something of a Doctor Who obsessive himself, has been examining what it was that made the original series so distinctive, and wondering whether the new version can carry it off. Mark Lawson and his team will be reviewing Dr Who tomorrow on Newsnight Review.
Filmforce report that in the US the new series might only be seen on DVD! Both the States and Australia have yet to have a station successfully negotiate to show the series.
In related news, The Un-broadcastable Radio Show is a new pilot being developed for Radio 4, and stars comedians from Fallowfield, Manchester. Said to be following in the footsteps of Little Britain and The League Of Gentlemen, the South Manchester Reporter cites member and sci-fi buff Toby Hadoke basing one of his characters on Davros!
Also, Simon Pia's Diary in the Scotsman talks about a new "dematerialising" loo to appear (and disappear!) in Aberdeen.
News Roundup (16th-15th March 2005)
The Gloucester Citizen considers the way in which the old series could scare.
Meanwhile, as investigations into Rose being leaked onto the Net continue, Wired speculates on how likely the leak was to have been deliberate, generating a lengthy discussion on SlashDot.
The Barking and Dagenham Recorder reports on local resident Peter Biddell, who built a police box in his garden - for his children, of course!
News Roundup for Tuesday (updated 2:30pm) (15th March 2005)
The Bath Chronicle talks to Michael Stevens about BBC Audiobooks, who are based in Bath, in particular the Dalek set that's just about to come out.
The Guardian presents a brief press overview of the series return in their Editorial section, and also mentions that Billie Piper would be appearing in the BBC's new adaptations of Shakespeare plays.
This is Nottingham talks to actor Nicholas Pegg, who is appearing in episodes 12 and 13 of the new series. Besides Daleks, the article also implies the return of another of the Doctor's adversaries!
In other news, This is Bolton reports on Tom's top spot. `
Digit Magazine Information (14th March 2005)
Monday (14th March 2005)
Christopher Eccleston reported on BBC News last Tuesday that this Saturday would see the final wrap for the series filming, and today's Independent (Review, p14) goes on location to see the final story being recorded, and talks to the writers.
The Guardian's Media section looks at the new, re-vamped BBC Cult website for the series.
Tom Baker has been voted the nation's favourite Doctor in an SFX poll, proclaims The Sun this morning; The Guardian displays a little more decorum on the subject! Also covered in The Scotsman.
From yesterday, Russell T Davies defends various decisions made in where Doctor Who was filmed and how it was cast to the Wales on Sunday. Meanwhile, The Observer looks into why we are still fascinated by aliens.
In related news, The Times briefly compare the Millenium Statium in Cardiff used in the new series against Coventry's new stadium opening later this year; they also have a cartoon accompanying an article on Gordon Brown's budget to be.
Weekend Roundup (13th March 2005)
"Doctor Who: be afraid, be slightly afraid", says Sunday's Independent, as the article discusses the impact of the series on the public since 1963.
Similarly, "Carry on Doctor" proclaims The Sunday Herald as it explores the history of the long-lived series, and why the time maybe right to bring it back to the screens.
In other articles, The Times Woman mentions the Doctor's eccentricity; Engadget discusses the TARDIS in its Movie Gadget Friday.
Yesterday, Psychoanalyst Darian Leader explored why the Doctor remains so popular in The Times; The Scotsman "Opinion" reports on Christopher Eccleston's non-fan admissions.
Also: Waveguide briefly mentioned Doctor Who Confidential; David Stuckey points out to The Times that they forgot Peter Cushing (Friday); Filmforce have a news roundup from Friday.
Friday roundup (11th March 2005)
After the madness of the last few days, things are much calmer today. Russell T. Davies appeared on BBC1's Breakfast News to talk about his new series Casanova, and some other series also returning imminently ... meanwhile on ITV's GM:TV Entertainment programme there was a special feature on the return of the series and interviews with its stars.
The Mirror's 3am section carried a small piece on how the previous days' rumours on her re-launching her pop career are unfounded - she's quite content to be an actress at present!
The Guardian presents a quiz by Andrew Pixley to test your knowledge on the series. Go on - see how well you do!
On a more personal note, This is Derbyshire talks about the return of the series with local Northampton fan Steve Marriott.
BBC Press Release on New Series (10th March 2005)
Thursday Review (updated 3:00pm) (10th March 2005)
The Times again discusses Eccleston's admission of not being a fan of the original series; the paper edition also features a front-page, full colour photo of character "Jabe the Tree", played by Yasmin Bannerman.
The Guardian concentrates on the thoughts of the cast and crew on the return of the series, and opinions held by those viewers at the preview on Monday evening, including the third Doctor team of Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks.
The Sun also delves into new monsters from the series, with "The Face of Boe", Autons, "The Moxx", and "The Ambassadors" (not of Death?). Also, Doctor Who saved my life on how Christopher Eccleston helped Billie Piper through the breakup of her marriage (also covered by news sites Sky News and Ananova v1) and v2).
The Independent reported on the special MP screening from last night, though another debate on the anti-terror bill threatened to intefere with politicians' enjoyment, not least of which was well-known fan Tory education spokesman Tim Collins!
Other items from today: Manchester Evening News on the new series and Eccleston's northern origins; Daily Record has an interview with Jimmy Vee, who plays the aforementioned Moxx; Bella has a brief guide to the original series; BBCi mentions the coverage in the papers this morning, including a copy of the Times front page. And catching up from yesterday: BBC Newsround, including the broadcasted item available to view on-site.
More on the leaked episode (updated Thurs 8:20am) (9th March 2005)
Reuters have recently issued more information on the situation regarding the way in which Rose ended up leaked on the Internet, linking the incident alongside the BBC's initiative to provide Internet streaming of television programmes. Full details below:
New Series Coverage (updated Thu 8:20am) (9th March 2005)
The Media not surprisingly have reported on the formal launch of the series, and both Chris and Billie appeared on this morning's BBC Breakfast Time programme, with reports on location from Cardiff. Meanwhile, the announcement was covered on BBCi, talkin about the preview last night and how the series will develop.
This is London, covering the Daily Mail were very complimentary of the first episode preview; however, the Telegraph sees the return as a hope for an ailing BBC. The Western Mail describes 'a steamy opening' to the comeback, whilst the South Wales Echo is pleased about Daleks are back! Meanwhile, the Sun says Top of the Docs!. See also: Manchester Evening News, Radio One, Times Review.
Other articles concentrate more on Christopher Eccleston's admission that he wasn't a fan of the original series when he was younger: Evening Standard, The Times, IC-Wales, U-TV; added Thurs: The Times ITV.
The Daily Record also reports that Billie Piper said the series was not the cause of her split with presenter Chris Evans.
icCoventry invite you to send in your memories of the old series.
Project Who site goes live (8th March 2005)
BBC Radio 2 have launched a site for their forthcoming Project Who documentary shows.
The two shows are Bigger on the Inside (22nd March), exploring how Russell T Davies went about returning Who to the screen, and Reversing the Polarity (29th March) examining what makes a good Doctor Who story.
The site also features audio clips from recent Radio Two shows, amongst others. See the site for further information.
BBC Launches Doctor Who (8th March 2005)
Well, it's finally here! The BBC launched Doctor Who tonight in Cardiff, with live coverage on the BBC Wales local news programme at 6:30pm. Expect a number of trailers on tonight and from now on in the lead up to the 26th March broadcast date.
See the BBC Wales website for more details.
Christopher Eccleston on BBC Breakfast News tomorrow (8th March 2005)
BBC Breakfast news on BBC1 will be presenting an article on the new series tomorrow morning, including some behind the scenes coverage and Christopher Eccleston is to appear on the show.
Media Roundup for Tuesday (updated Weds 4:45pm) (8th March 2005)
More coverage of the leak of Rose on the Internet over the weekend; The Guardian discussed the recent increase in Internet downloading in general, whilst Canadian broadcaster CBC wondered if the leak was planned or not. The Inquirer simply reports that "The BBC doesn't know how this could have happened". Coverage also on The Times, Reuters, The Register, DigitalSpy, CNET, Digital Lifestyles, DM Europe, Guardian (Blog), Hollywood Reporter, ICWales, The Inquirer, Manchester Evening News, news.com.au, Telegraaf (NL), Times of Oman, Yahoo, SlashDot, and NetImperative.
Added on 9th March: Ananova, BBC CBBC News, This is London, Dark Horizons, ITV, Washington Times, Times (updated), Telegraph (AU), Sydney Morning Herald (AU), Megastar, Daily Record, Stuff (NZ), Peninsula (US)
BBC Radio News this morning reported that the leaked episode is a breach of copyright and only a rough draft version, not the final version! This was followed up by the BBCi article on the incident being updated:
BBC News reported on local group The Hyde Fundraisers, in particular Andrew Green's Special Weapons Dalek!
26th March is D(W) Day! (7th March 2005)
Russell T. Davies was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme at 7:15pm this evening (Monday). As well as talking about his 'current' series Casanova, conversation of course turned to the other key series coming back soon! His enthusiasm for the show shines through as ever, especially on how the 20th Century production crew managed to put stories together on their budgets.
But most importantly, presenter John Wilson reported the news that we've all been waiting for, that the series will be broadcast from the 26th March at 7:00pm!
You can listen to the interview online from the BBC's Listen Again service until the next show is broadcast (7:15pm on Tuesday).
The Doctor volunteered! (7th March 2005)
BBCi reported today that Christopher Eccleston e-mailed executive producer Russell T. Davies to volunteer for the role! The revelation came from an interview Davies had with the Radio Times (to be published soon!).
For more details on the casting, see the BBC News article, which also mentions about the first episode Rose being leaked onto the Internet over the weekend.
See also: Digital Spy
Series status in the States (1st March 2005)
Filmforce report that the US Sci-Fi channel are no longer in negotiation for the new series; parent company NBC Universal were reported to be aiming to buy both the new and old series, but executives felt that it didn't fit into their schedules. This does not mean that the new series won't appear in the States, however, as the company owns another channel, Universal HD that could run the series.
The full article in on the Filmforce website, along with other recent news reports!
Who Confidential (24th February 2005)
Website for the sci-fi magazine SFX have released details for the forthcoming Who Confidential series that will be broadcast on BBC3 after each episode of the new series. Each episode is going to be themed, covering such areas as the return of the series, special effects, "wierd science", and of course Doctor Who fans themselves!
Full details about the show can be found in the article.
And so it begins ... (1st January 2005)
A little after 9:00pm on 1st January saw the first teaser trailer for the new series of Doctor Who being broadcast on BBC1, just before the start of The Vicar of Dibley; though Internet fans would have immediately have recognised it as the same as the version seen online at the BBC Cult website, it was still a treat to see it in it's full television widescreen glory, and the first time the general public get to experience the thrill of the run-up to the new series debut!
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