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6/01/2004 01:11:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

June 1, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Sunday Mirror on May 30 published an article entitled "Tardis Girls Who Just Disappeared" which notes how most of the various Doctor Who female companions over the years have apparently "disappeared". It discusses several of the ladies in order of their appearance, starting with the late Jacqueline Hill, although it really doesn't add any insight on what they've done since they were in the series. The same day, the Mirror printed an article called "Watch It Billie, Curse of Dr. Who Ruined My Life" which features comments from Lalla Ward about her history with the show, her one-time marriage to Tom Baker, and advice to new companion Billie Piper. About Ward, says the article, "And now she says that she wishes that she'd never set foot in the Tardis. Afterwards, like many of the assistants in the hit BBC1 series she became typecast and virtually unemployable on TV. .... And Lalla, assistant to Tom's scarf-wearing hippy version from 1979 to 1981, had some timely advice for her. 'Billie should bear in mind that the show is very hard work - and she could easily become typecast. All the girls had the same problem, you came out of it feeling you had to prove you weren't just the Time Lord's floozy.'" Of course, Ward does mention a fringe benefit: "I'd never have met either husband if I hadn't been in the series," referring to both Baker and her current husband, Richard Dawkins. The Mirror also held a strange comment that day: "Well done to Billie Piper, just confirmed as the new Doctor Who girl. Isn't she married to his brother Chris?" Very curious... Update: A lot of our readers have written us about this comment, i.e. husband Chris Evans being related to him... as in "Chris Who?" A very poor joke to be sure.

May 31's Sunday Express interviewed Sylvia Young, drama teacher of Billie Piper. "Sitting here looking through her file, every report from every teacher said she was brilliant, " Young told the Express. "In one, when she was in Year Eight and just 13 years old, a drama coach described her as 'very talented, indeed potentially brilliant'. He went on to say that she had an incredible comedic talent, too. This is one of the hardest kinds of acting, and Billie excelled." Young then makes a comparison with Piper and another star, calling her Britain's answer to Nicole Kidman! "She was without doubt of National Theatre quality. From the second she stepped into our school for her first audition, I knew there was something special about her. There wasn't an area she was weak in, she just did very well all round. Teachers always noted her application, her talent and her wide repertoire. We always knew that her real talent lay in acting. She only got into the singing side by mistake."

The May 28 Express and Echo interviewed Mary Tamm, which mentions her current stage acting work in this summer's run of "Mixed Feelings" at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, and also briefly, both the classic and the new Doctor Who series. "When Mary appeared in the cult children's show in the 1970s, Tom Baker was the doctor. Together they fought blood-sucking rocks which were roaming the English countryside in Stones of Blood and contended with a killer queen, a space pirate and a robot parrot in Pirate Planet. She admits that being associated with the show is something of a blessing - and a curse. 'Actors crave recognition and then when we get it we don't always like it! But it is nice for people to ask for your autograph.'" Tamm on the new show: "I don't know whether the new Dr Who is going to be as child orientated as it used to be."

The Sun on May 31 features an article which says that the metal band Slipknot may be remaking the theme tune... although, it looks like just a quest for publicity for the band. Yet the article says that the "BBC are interested in getting them involved. ... It turns out the nine-strong nu-metal band are obsessed with the time travelling doctor." Says drummer Joey Jordison, "I'm so excited Doctor Who's coming back. It's a great show, wild and exciting. I watched it as a kid and it freaked me out. I'm 29 now and it was only a couple of years ago that I figured out what was going on." The article mentions that "Slipknot are such Doctor Who anoraks they have even dedicated Prelude, a track on new album Volume3 (The Subliminal Verses), to the show." The article was picked up by several syndicates such as World Entertainment News and Ananova.

BBC News' online 'Magazine' section includes a 'Faces of the Week' report every Friday; last week included a summaryof the Billie Piper story.

The Observer's Radio Choice article on May 30 lauded Christopher Eccleston's turn in "Crossing the Dark Sea" on Radio 4. "Christopher Eccleston brings his customary passion to the part of a wartime squaddie crossing the Channel."