The BBC has released press details for the forthcoming The Scream of the Shalka, which has been announced as starting on Thursday, November 13 on BBCi. Says the press release:
ItÆs not only cats that have nine lives ... Doctor Who is back! As the cult series prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday, Richard E Grant, star of films such as Withnail And I, Jack And Sarah and Bram StokerÆs Dracula, steps out of the Tardis as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor û only on BBCi. The new, animated Doctor Who series, The Scream Of The Shalka, premi?res on BBCi atwww.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho this week and fans can access it at the click of a mouse whenever they wish. Grant, who is joined by an all-star cast including Derek Jacobi, Sophie Okonedo and Diana Quick, describes his interpretation of the much-loved Time Lord as 'something of a Sherlock Holmes in space'. The six-part drama, animated by Cosgrove Hall and posted on BBCi at lunchtime on Thursdays, follows hot on the heels of the success of previous BBCi web dramas, including Shada, a lost Doctor Who script written by the late Douglas Adams, and the Prix Europa-nominated Ghosts Of Albion, starring Leslie Phillips, written by Amber Benson (who plays Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer). The Scream Of The Shalka has been scripted by established TV writer Paul Cornell, who has worked on series including BBC OneÆs Casualty and has written a number of science fiction novels. BBCiÆs Martin Trickey says: 'We are delighted to be able to bring another fantastic series of Doctor Who to a whole new generation of people. Broadcasting the series via the BBCi website means that people can watch it whenever they want to, so theyÆll never have to miss a minute!' To celebrate the new series, BBCi is also running a competition in which fans of the Time Lord can phone 0870 787 4040 and leave a message for the Doctor û the person who leaves the funniest message will win a Doctor Who goodie bag.
The article from the BBC Press Office goes on further to describe the story, the first story information so far released:
The series is available to download in six weekly episodes at www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho from 12.30pm on Thursdays. The series begins as an unexplained meteor crashes into the side of a New Zealand volcano, unleashing the snake-like Shalka, an alien species with a deadly scream.Thousands of miles away in a Lancashire town, the Tardis materialises on a Saturday night. The streets are empty, the pubs are deserted and random, unexplained pools of lava keep appearing on the ground. Time isnÆt on the DoctorÆs side and neither, it seems, are the townÆs inhabitants û with the possible exception of feisty barmaid Alison. When the Tardis disappears in a pool of lava and the Doctor and Alison are confronted by the hunting Shalka, it seems that thereÆs just no way out...
Looks like it's only a few weeks away. (Thanks to Phil Creighton, Steve Tribe)