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Bookmark and Share Monday series bulletins - updated!

3/22/2004 12:20:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

March 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The official press release has now been published by the BBC Press Office, but we've reproduced it at the end of this article for your reading pleasure.

Outpost Gallifrey has revealed the cover for issue #342 of Doctor Who Magazine, which features Eccleston on the cover... obviously a rushed job over the weekend by amazing editor Clayton Hickman just in time to get it to the printers! "Christopher Eccleston is the Doctor!" cries the cover... you can check it out on the main News Page.

Mentions of the Eccleston casting today hit two large American news networks, both CNN and the Fox News Channel.

No More Props for "Darker" Doctor is the headline on BBC News today. "Enthusiasts think he may portray a darker character than many of the previous doctors, who were often quirky, offbeat and replete with props," says the article, which features quotes from the DWAS' Antony Wainer and Boyd Hilton, TV editor of Heat magazine. "I think it's quite exciting," said Hilton. "He's one of the best actors of our time, and rather than going for a colourful character actor as they've done in the past, they've gone for a brilliant actor." Said Wainer: "It's about the quality of the writing and the audience expectation, and things that just catch on."

Doctor Who Fans Endorse Eccleston was another article at BBC News, which includes comments from fans around the world.

The Daily Express reports that "NEW Dr Who Christopher Eccleston has shot to number two in this weeks OK! Celebrity Chart..." How the chart is compiled and who decides who (no pun intended!) comes where is anyone's guess! Meanwhile, the Western Morning News wonders why nostalgia has "such compelling appeal" (the article mentions the new series of Doctor Who but in no great detail.) The Guardian features an article on "Why I Love William Hartnell" (also mentioned here on our main news page); that particular item can also be read online here. All three can be also seen at theCuttings Archive.

Our comprehensive list of press links has been updated three times today and is seen in the separate story below.

The press release is as follows:

BBC Press Release
Christopher Eccleston to play Doctor Who

Acclaimed British actor Christopher Eccleston is to play Doctor Who in the forthcoming 13-part drama series for BBC ONE, it was announced by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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