Friday, 28 May 2004

North America DVD Covers


May 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has received the cover illustrations for the forthcoming late-summer North American DVD releases ofEarthshock and Pyramids of Mars; click on each cover for a larger version. "Earthshock" bears the Warner Home Video catalog #E2022 while "Pyramids of Mars" bears catalog #E2023.

New Dreamwatch


May 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The new Dreamwatch features an interview with Sylvester McCoy conducted by Sophie Aldred! Also, Russell Davies shares his thoughts on the new series; pick up a copy today at your local newsstand.

Late Week Press Clips


May 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's press clips update, with thanks to Steve Tribe, Andrew Harvey, Paul Engelberg, Mark Healey and Roger Anderson:

Today both BBC News Online and The Register gauge fan reaction to the casting of Billie Piper. "Doctor Who fans are apparently beside themselves with excitement at the news that former popstress Billie Piper will become Doctor Who's new assistant for the scheduled return of the roving Time Lord," says the Register article, which quotes DWAS spokesman Antony Wainer: "She's a very pretty lady, her acting credentials have been proven and she will have a wide appeal." The articles also discuss fan reaction while referring to posts on Outpost Gallifrey's Forum (referred to as "Gallifreyone.net"), showing both sides of fan reaction: fantastic casting versus publicity stunt casting.

Yesterday's Belfast Telegraph has more about Christopher Eccleston's forthcoming gig with the band I Am Kloot. Says the article, Eccleston "was so taken by I Am Kloot, that he approached the band and asked if he could work with them. He stars in the clip for forthcoming single Proof. 'I haven't actually met him,' says a disappointed [frontman John] Bramwell. 'He's been to a few gigs and he got in touch. We came up with the idea for the video and we were very flattered he agreed because he's a great actor. In the video, he just stares at the camera and doesn't mime or anything. His expression just changes ever so slightly from tearful to joyous - it's very simple and intense, just small changes and it's fascinating to watch.' I Am Kloot head to the Empire in Belfast on June 6 as part of a brief Irish tour."

The Billie Piper coverage is slowing down, though there were some letters in Metro, the free newspaper on Britain's trains, in response to their article on Tuesday. However, today's BBC News Online weekly quiz of the past week's news includes a passing mention of Piper in question 2, "A colourless, viscous liquid which gradually turns red, then brown and then plastic-like has been in the news. What is it?" Answer option D is "An alien-busting weapon to be handed to Dr Who's new assistant, Billie Piper."

World Entertainment News Network on May 27 published the following story: "Elizabeth star Christopher Eccleston is constantly teased by his pals since landing the role of Doctor Who in the latest TV series about the time-traveller. The English actor, 40, is delighted to have won the coveted role in the BBC series, which hits TV screens next year (05). But Eccleston says, 'I've had so many phone messages from mates, all drunk as monkeys, doing the theme tune for me.'"

BBC Books Notes


May 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Amazon.co.uk has story blurbs up for two forthcoming Doctor Who novels, The Sleep of Reason by Martin Day (due in August) and The Algebra of Ice by Lloyd Rose (due in September). They are as follows. Update: story blurb for "The Sleep of Reason" has been removed, as Outpost Gallifrey has received the actually BBC Books cover blurb; see story on June 2.
The Algebra of Ice, by Lloyd Rose

Edgar Allen Poe lies dying in a gutter in Baltimore... The Doctor and Ace cannot help him - his death has already happened. Poe will be taken to a hospital, and will die in three days time without ever coming out of his coma. But even as the Doctor explains this, the man in the gutter groans and expires. Bewildered, the Doctor hurries Ace back to the TARDIS. At the door, they look back and see that the gutter is empty. In a moment, Poe staggers around the corner, drops to his knees in the gutter, then gets up and stumbles into another bar... Can the Doctor discover what is causing the time anomaly? Will he be able to prevent the universe itself from unravelling when everyone seems to have turned against him - even the TARDIS? Will he be able to escape the cold hell of absolute order? The answer, it seems, lies in the algebra of ice...

Wednesday, 26 May 2004

Dalek Film Showings


May 26, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to This Week in Doctor Who, Sky One will air the 1960's Dalek film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150ADstarring Peter Cushing late Saturday, May 29. Meanwhile, Showtime Greats in Australia has added a note to the info on the May 24th airing of the film, indicating that it was the final appearance of the movie on their channel. The movie had aired a number of times on the network since last year, back when it was Encore Australia. (Thanks to Benjamin Elliott)

BBC and Big Finish Books


May 26, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The new DWM has information about both BBC Books' plans for 2005 as well as the rest of the year's Big Finish anthologies. On the BBC Books front, March through May will feature the frist three tie-in novels with the new series' characters, while Lance Parkin's book is due out in June and now has a name, The Gallifrey Chronicles. Barry Letts pens The Island of Death in July, a Third Doctor/Sarah novel, while August sees the Sixth Doctor book Future Nostalgia by Gary Russell. Richards tells DWM that they're still in the planning stages of the "ninth Doctor adventures," working with the production team to make sure the characterizations are correct; they will be distinct from the regular series for both fans and new viewers, but may have elements from the regular series crop up within them.

Meanwhile, Big Finish's Short Trips: Monsters, due out this summer and edited by Ian Farrington, features the following short stories: "Feeding Time" by Samantha Baker, "How I Stopped Trying to Kill the Doctor and Learned to Love Myself" by Nev Fountain, "The Secret of Fire" by Matt Grady, "Categorical Imperative" by Simon Guerrier, "The Touch of the Nurazh" by Stephen Hatcher, "Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life" by Anthony Keetch, "Trapped" by Joseph Lidster, "The Colour of Monsters" by Steve Lyons, "Best Seller" by Ian Mond & Danny Heap, "Chiaroscuro" by Jim Mortimore, "The Last Rites" by Marc Platt," and "Screamager" by Jacqueline Rayner. Meanwhile, the next Short Trips folume after that will be Short Trips: 2040 edited by John Binns, with stories by David Bailey, John Binns, Andy Campbell, Xanna Eve Chown, Matthew Griffiths, Alexander Leithes, Rebecca Levene, Kate Orman, Lance Parkin, Marc Platt, Jacqueline Rayner, Richard Salter, Tara Samms, Gareth Wigmore and Huw Wilkins. Finally, Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury is due out in December and is edited by Paul Cornell, with the author list to be announced soon.

Davies, Production Designer Comments


May 26, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The new issue of DWM features an interview with new series production designer Edward Thomas. "As Production Designer," Thomas tells DWM, "I will be responsible for the overall look and feel of all 13 episodes... I will have lots of help in the form of art directors, illustrators, set designers, CGI and a whole host of other creative people who will assist me in introducing a brand new look, whilst retainging a few of the most unforgettable features." He also talks about what the TARDIS will be like ("Big ... On the inside that is!") and about the interior of the time ship.

Also in the issue, Russell T. Davies gets to the bottom of whether or not the Eccleston Doctor is the ninth incarnation. "Of course he bloody is!" writes Eccleston. "There is no official, co-ordinated BBC policy on this, and never will be; but ... Chris is number nine." He also discusses the number of the episode (it will start with #1) and season ("it's Series One"), and says that he's just finished writing the fourth episode. On the subject of production codes, Davies says, "Because the forthcoming series has shifted base to BBC Wales - and on a simpler level, because no one involved in the production would even stop to worry about this - then the Production Codes are brand new. They don't continue from the 1996 movie, or the 1989 series. The new series is not called Season Twenty-Seven on any documents, it's Series One. And the first episode is officially episode one, not episode 697." However, he goes on to suggest that time, reference books, fans, etc "will take care of this and simplify... see you here in 20 years." For more details and to read the full interviews with Davies and Thomas, check out DWM #345 which hits newsstands tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

Doctor Battles Beckham?


May 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's Daily Mirror features an interesting spoiler "exclusive" (reprinted on the Daily Record site later in the day) about the Doctor battling a rather famous sport celebrity and many others. You can read it at the Mirror and Daily Recordsites.) (Thanks to Andrew Harvey, Stephen Norris, Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg)etails.

Feisty Barmaid?


May 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Several of our readers have forwarded a story from the NME website, which discusses the Billie Piper casting... and also describes the character Rose Tyler as a "feisty barmaid". While we're not totally sure of this, the fact that the character of Alison Cheney, played by Sophie Okonedo in the BBCi webcast "The Scream of the Shalka", was a feisty barmaid leads us to believe that NME got their wires crossed. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, 24 May 2004

Unregenerate Productions Audios


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Unregenerate Productions Presents two new fan-published audio adventures. The Maltese Video of Doom by James Potter and John Claydon is promised to be "the first ever audio comedy made entirely in black and white" while The Five Directors of Doom by Stuart Robinson is said to contain "the worst pun ever heard in a civilised country." These two Doctor Who "sitcom audios" featuer special guest appearances by Rob Shearman, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Alistair Lock, Mark Donovan, Rupert Booth, militant Lobsters and Super intelligent, genetically engineered Kangaroos. (No, really!) For details visit www.vspace.co.uk.

More Colin Comments


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Colin Baker is the subject of a feature article at the Eastern Daily Press from May 18, in which he discusses his role in the forthcoming "HMS Pinafore". "Colin Baker's two-year stint as the Doctor in the 1980s was relatively short and yet he seems more popular than ever thanks to lending his voice to the Doctor Who audio range in recent years," says the article, which interviews him and also gets his take on the casting of Christopher Eccleston. "I think he is going to be more complicated, more complex...a Doctor who is going to appeal to a brand new audience." Read the full interview at their website.

More BBC Radio 7


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In addition to their daily runs, BBC Radio's airings of the Jon Pertwee radio dramas are also being repeated each day at midnight. (Thanks to Mick Daniel)

No More I in BBCI?


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Online appears to have dropped the moniker "BBCi" across the board... of course the official Doctor Who site can still be found here.

1996 Movie: New US Airings


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie starring Paul McGann will soon air on the Starz/Encore suite of premium channels in the US starting in June. This may mean that the US Sci-Fi Channel's rights to the movie (where it aired a few times over the past couple years) have expired. Nine broadcasts are scheduled on the Starz Mystery Channel, and three on Starz' MOVIEPlex channel. The following are the scheduled airdates and times; if you have one or both of these channels, remember to determine which Feed(s) you have access to and adjust for local time. (Thanks to Benjamin Elliott at "This Week in Doctor Who")

Thursday 3 June 9:30AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Thursday 3 June 4:45PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Wednesday 9 June 7:30AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Wednesday 9 June 3:20PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Sunday 13 June 11:45AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Friday 18 June 7:45AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Friday 18 June 8:45AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - MOVIEplex
Friday 18 June 4:50PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Friday 18 June 5:50PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - MOVIEplex
Friday 18 June 11:10PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery
Late Friday 18 June 12:10AM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - MOVIEplex
Tuesday 29 June 2:40PM EDT East Feed / PDT West Feed - Mystery

Tamm in Dick Whittington


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Mary Tamm ("Romana") will be starring as the Queen Rat in the Secombe Theatre's forthcoming Christmas Pantomime production of "Dick Whittington" which runs December 11, 2004 through January 8, 2005. Tickets are already on sale, with those booked booked on or before 1st October 2004 are at a special Early Bird price. The Secombe Theatre is the main performance space in the London Borough of Sutton. You can get more details by clicking here. (Thanks to Ian Kildin)

Hartnell, McGann on DVD


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
William Hartnell starred in the comedy "And the Same To You" (1960), which will receive its first home video release (VHS and DVD) in the UK on 14 June 2004. The movie is about a clergyman's nephew who decides to become a boxer but must maintain an outwardly religious appearance. Also stars Brian Rix, Tommy Cooper and Sid James. Meanwhile, the thriller "Downtime" (1997), which stars Paul McGann as an ex-police psychologist trying to talk down a suicidal woman on the roof of a building, receives its first widescreen home video release (DVD) in the UK on 7 June 2004. Also stars Susan Lynch and Tom Georgeson. (Thanks to Steve Hill)

Richards on "Legend"


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The May 18 edition of "UK Newsquest Regional Press - This is Lancashire" discussed the now sold-out hardcover Doctor Who book The Legend by Justin Richards. "YOU'VE heard of coffee table books?" said the article. "Well this massive tome is hefty enough to be a table in its own right." It noted that Richards was "a long time fan of the series and actually met second doctor Patrick Troughton on a visit to the set in the sixties at the tender age of eight" and notes that there "are many [photographs] here among the 500 that have never been seen before and some have been borrowed from private collections."

Telos' Time Hunters Books


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Telos Publishing has released details on the fourth and fifth books in their new Time Hunters spinoff series, which continued the characters and situations from their Doctor Who novella of last year, "The Cabinet of Light". Kitsune by John Paul Catton, due out September 23, "sees Honor? Lechasseur and Emily Blandish in the year 2020 where they find themselves thrown into a mystery as an ice spirit wreaks havoc during the Kyoto's Gion Festival, and a haunted funhouse proves to contain more than just paper lanterns and wax dummies." The Severed Man by George Mann ("The Human Abstract") is due out on December 2, in which "Honor? and Emily investigate the links between a clutch of sinister murders in Victorian London, an angel that appears in a Staffordshire village in the 1920s and a small boy running loose around the capital in 1950 and discover that nightmares can turn into reality." (Thanks to David Howe)

Ainley Obits Finally In


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
New obituaries for the late Anthony Ainley have finally been turning up, albeit a few weeks late, in the UK press. The UK Newsquest Regional Press, in their "This Is Local London" section on May 21, ran an obit and noted that he died at Northwick Park Hospital. The May 20 edition of "The Stage" ran an obit noting that Ainley was 71 years old (his actual age and birthdate have been the subject of speculation; Doctor Who Magazine's obit in the June issue will attempt to get to the bottom of this.) The Harrow Times and the Guardian have picked up the story as well. May 27th's Courier Mail also ran an article, "Forever The Master, arch-nemesis of Dr Who". (Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Andrew Harvey, Francis Moloney)

Who's Next: A Guide to Broadcast Who


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In early 2005 Virgin Books will publish WhoÆs Next: An Unofficial & Unauthorised Guide To All Of Broadcast Doctor Who, a "comprehensive, critical journey through every episode of Doctor Who broadcast by the BBC on television, radio, and the Internet" by Mark Clapham, Eddie Robson and Jim Smith. Says the press release: "WhoÆs Next will be the immediate, obvious way into the seriesÆ past for new fans introduced to Doctor Who by its imminent return to television as well as offering new perspectives and opinions on the show to those already intimately familiar with it." Says Robson, "This isnÆt a continuity guide or a production history. Not only are such books already available, but also the seriesÆ lengthy history necessarily makes them weighty tomes. We recognise that this can be daunting for the uninitiated viewer and so weÆre aiming to boil it down to the essentials. ItÆs a viewersÆ handbook, the entry point in the seriesÆ vast and rich history. For those who are already very familiar with the series, we offer a fresh perspective on much-dissected material." An email list has been set up for updates and information, and can be found atgroups.yahoo.com/group/whosnextbookinfo. (Thanks to Mark Clapham)

Recent Press Clips


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Some general Doctor Who press mentions (thanks to Steve Tribe):

May 17th's "This Is Lancashire" featured an article on Doctor Who fans and the recent Doctor Who Autograph Collectors' Club day in Darwen. The article quotes Terry Molloy and Mike Tucker, who waxes on his time doing effects on the show and how it compares to the new one: "Dr Who was a challenge. Producers wanted Star Wars-style effects but gave us a small budget."

BBC News online Entertainment section this morning includes a brief but positive review of the DVD release of The Green Death, which can be found by clicking here.

Today's Guardian Diary has brief (and mocking) mention of Tim Collins, who has given an interview to an unnamed magazine for a piece called 'My Sci-Fi', in which he cites the Doctor as his hero. The text is as follows: "Tory education spokesman Tim Collins shows a neat sense of timing in a magazine interview entitled My Sci-Fi. 'The Doctor, of course,' replies the Doctor Who fanatic, when asked to name his favourite sci-fi hero by SFX magazine. 'Mind you, not the pale pink pacifist some believe him to be. Rather the guy who fights evil and who mocks those who think you can strike a deal with it. The Donald Rumsfeld of the cosmos,' he concludes, 'not the Robin Cook.'" For registered readers, it can be foundhere.

The Guardian's Online section reports the following: "The science fiction genre has its own vocabulary, and a project is now underway to help gather citations for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) for words that were first used in science fiction stories. A huge number of words are covered, from 3-di to zero-gravity. There are also guidelines to help you contribute your own citations, and a graph to show which decade has been responsible for the most new words." Clickhere. No direct Doctor Who connection, as you can see, but of interest for obvious reasons - with a bit of effort, Doctor Who entries could probably swamp everything else!!

New Series Press Clips


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Some recent New Series press clips, with thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, James Crout, Gary Pryke, Andrew Screen, Phillip Vaughan:

The May 21st edition of Broadcast magazine, the "Weekly newspaper of the Television and Radio Industry," ran an interview with new series executive producer Mal Young which mentioned Doctor Who several times. "Leslie Grantham's webcam antics may have terrified a nation and been a sore point for EastEnders bosses," said the article, "but award-winning BBC drama boss Mal Young seems more concerned about the Daleks." The article quotes him on the subject of whethere the Daleks are coming back: "Yeah, they are, and they're going to be scary. They might be a bit more sophisticated but they're still scary as f--- as far as I'm concerned." The story ended with the following: "Interview over, Young picks up what he says is 'the most valuable thing in this office'. It's Russell T. Davies' script for the first episode of the new Doctor Who." The Sun picked up on the story later in the week, quoting the "They're scary as f----" comment. There was also a two page spread on the return of the series in the April 8 edition of Broadcast.

'I can't wait to bring my Tardis back to Cardiff' was the title of an article on icWales on May 20, in which new Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston told of "his excitement at coming to work in South Wales." "I think it's a whole new life for me," Eccleston said, "a whole new element to my career and I'm looking forward to working in Cardiff because I worked there 12 years ago. I like the people and I like the place. I think it's good that it has not gone to London or Manchester, that somebody else has got this thing." Read more of the article at icWales.

Last week's Radio Times featured an interview with Jon Culshaw of Dead Ringers. "I'd really like to play Doctor Who," says the cover. Culshaw's comments about the new series are quoted in the interview, including "It will be interesting to see how Christopher Eccleston plays the part. He brings a lot of intensity to what he does." He also talks about his Tom Baker impersonations. "The Tom Baker character is indelible. My favourite is the Doctor phoning the Cosmos bingo hall, asking 'Where is the Cosmos?' and this Manchester housewife answers, 'Eccles, luv.' Eventually I'd like to evolve into straight acting, although I don't underestimate it like some shallow pop star. What I'd really like is to play Doctor Who in my late 40s."

May 8th's edition of The Australian (Australia's national daily newspaper) featured an article called "Who is Doctor Who?" by Mark Juddery. It starts by giving a history of Christohper Eccleston and his new role as the Doctor. It also features a history of the show and a lot of trivia information, and concludes with the statement, "More important, they hope the dust settles before the new series begins filming in the (northern) spring. Whoever plays the Doctor, he's always more fun with the Daleks."

Channel 4's Teletext music pages mentioned the other day that Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison had grown up watching Doctor Who - and he wanted his band to be given the chance to record the new theme. Obviously there will be many people wanting to do the same...

Orbital's forthcoming new album features a sample of Christopher Eccleston from "The Second Coming." The track, entitled You Lot, samples Eccleston's most Doctorish moment when he first addresses the worlds media and talks of how the human race is set to become gods after unravelling DNA and cultivating bacteria that can wipe out all life on Earth.

Finally, the UK gossip column Popbitch.com noted the following late last week: "'Dr Who filming at the IBM offices in Cosham right now Eccleston running around the quad as I type'." Now, we don't think they've started filming, and indeed there was speculation that Bill Baggs' team was filming something in the area. We'll let that rumor close out this edition of the press update...

Aliens of London?


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's Media Guardian has a snippet about a possible story in the forthcoming series, maybe in the two-part "Aliens of London" or another story. Click on the spoiler tag below to read it. (Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe)

Dalekmania Calendar


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Galaxy 4 has sent Outpost Gallifrey the cover illustration for the forthcoming Dalekmania 2005 Doctor Who calendar, seen at right. We hope to bring you further details, such as the release date, very soon. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. (Thanks to Galaxy 4)

The Tomorrow Windows


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Courtesy Tenth Planet, here is the cover illustration and blurb for the forthcoming novel The Tomorrow Windowsby Jonathan Morris, due out very shortly from BBC Books. (This has to be the closest instance yet of a book cover coming out immediately before the novel is due; in fact, some retailers are reportedly already selling advance copies of the book.)
The Tomorrow Windows, by Jonathan Morris

There's a new exhibition at the Tate Modern - The Tomorrow Windows. The concept is simple: look through a Tomorrow Window and you'll see into the future. You'll get "The Gist of Things to Come". According to the press pack, The Tomorrow Windows exhibition will bring about an end to war and suffering.

Which is why someone decides to blow it up.

Investigating this act of wanton vandalism, The Doctor, Fitz and Trix visit an Astral Flower, the show-world of Utopia, and Gadrahadradon - the most haunted planet in the galaxy. They face the sinister Cecces, the gratuitously violent Vorshagg, the miniscule Micron and the enigmatic Poozle. And they encounter the doomsday monks of Shardybarn, the warmongers of Valuensis, the politicians of Minuea and the killer cars of Estebol.

The also spend about half an hour in Lewisham.

First Director Named?


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to the Industry Casting Newsletter PCR, the first director for the new series is Keith Boak, who's described as being "the helmer of the first block." His IMDb repetoire can be viewed here. (Thanks to John Dorney and "cazndave")

The Leisure Hive DVD Cover


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tenth Planet has sent us the cover illustration for the forthcoming UK DVD release of The Leisure Hive, the Season 18 Tom Baker serial also starring Lalla Ward. Click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version. (While this is likely the final version, if it's not we'll bring you the cover as soon as we can!)

Doctor Who on TV Guide Cult List


May 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
This week's (May 30) edition of TV Guide Magazine in the US features their "Top 25 Cult Shows" list. A big surprise at #18... Doctor Who! Usually our show doesn't get a mention in the US magazines, especially non-genre ones. There are few surprises on the list, which includes "Twin Peaks" (20), "Dark Shadows" (19), "The Avengers" (17), "Quantum Leap" (15), "Babylon 5" (13), "The Twilight Zone" (8), "The Prisoner" (7), "The Simpsons" (6), "Monty Python" (5), "Buffy" (3), "The X-Files" (2) and "Star Trek" (1). Still, definitely nice for the show to be mentioned... and in such good company!

Sunday, 23 May 2004

Billie Piper is Rose Tyler


May 23, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Originally posted 23-24 May; updated 25-26 May with new press info & additional links

Actress Billie Piper will be playing Rose Tyler, the new Doctor Who companion in the forthcoming Doctor Who TV series. Below (end of this news post) is the official press release from BBC Television.

Piper was originally rumored as a possible companion as early as last September, after the announcement of the new series, in press put together by her agent. Piper has been speculated as a front-runner, especially earlier in the lead-up, but her name was recently away from the spotlight in deference to others thought to be finalists for the role, including Keeley Hawes, Anna Friel and Carla Henry. Indeed, in March, Piper's agent told the Radio Times: "It may be that the idea has been mooted, but it's not a conversation I have had." Radio Times went on to quote a "BBC spokeswoman" who said "an announcement wasn't expected for another two months".

Page 3 of the May 24 edition of the Daily Mail was one of the first sources (and actually the first online source) that stated Piper was in the role today; in an article 'Evans Moves a Few Rungs Down the Property Ladder' about Piper's husband Chris Evans, it also mentioned the following: "As well as winning the part of Dr Who's assistant in the new BBC series, the former pop singer has gained her first starring role in a movie." Today's Media Guardian also mentioned that "BBC drama bosses still want Mrs. Chris Evans, aka Billie Piper."

The May 25 edition of "The Independent" featured the following comment: "Billie Piper will play Doctor Who's assistant in the new BBC series. The 21-year-old said she was 'thrilled' to have landed the role of Rose Taylor [sic]" alongside Eccleston's Doctor.

The Cuttings Archive was updated late May 25 with press clippings from the various UK papers. Says Roger Anderson of the Archive, "The most notable coverage is in the Daily Express which not only has a large colour photo of Billie and a teaser headline on the front page also includes and excellent full page article on page 7." There is also a string of photos of previous Doctor Who companions.

The Daily Record (Scotland) includes a short piece in the "off the record" column which comments "SO Billie Piper is to be Dr Who's new assistant. Pretty young girl hooks up with old weirdo who wonders what planet he's on - inspired stuff. But hasn't she done that already?" Meanwhile, Metro, the free newspaper on British trains, mentioned the news on the cover on May 25, with a boxout in the top right corner that included a picture of Billie and the teaser tagline "Dr Who's new buddy ... all the way from planet pop page 3". The full story on page 3 covers most of the page and includes a rundown of "five of the Doctor's assistants", categorising them as follows: Sexiest - Jo Grant (Katy Manning); Brainiest - Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill); Most Loyal - Leela (Louise Jameson); Poshest - Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling); Coolest - Polly (Anneke Wills).

May 26th's Daily Express featured a long article entitled "Billie: Just What the Doctor Ordered," a long biographical article in the context of her being the new Doctor Who girl. "Whether they're escaping from Daleks, combating Sea Devils or helping to save Earth from an intergalactic war, the life of a Doctor Who companion has always been fraught with danger and full of adventure," writes Shaun Lyon Dunk. "It's safe to say ... that none has been quite as young or as nubile as Billie Piper." The article quotes Piper herself as saying, "Doctor Who is an iconic show and I am absolutely thrilled to be playing the part of Rose Tyler." The article then goes into her life, career and her marriage to Chris Evans, before getting reactions from two former Doctor Who companions, Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Louise Jameson. "It sounds like a cliche," Bryant says, "but when you join Doctor Who you are entering an extended family and every year I still attend conventions around the world and get incredible fan mail. I'm still in touch with the old Doctors and some of the assistants are among my closest friends. I imagine Billie won't have to put up with the outrageous costumes I wore. My first scene had me in a bikini and I seemed to wear revealing clothing for the rest of the series. Their budget will be bigger, too. We had to work very hard because whenever we blew anything up, we were only allowed one take. As an actress, nothing really compares with Doctor Who because its appeal is so overwhelming." Jameson told the Express, "I wanted Leela to be strong and tough, not some screaming girl who couldn't take the action. But I also had to wear a tight leather costume. I was disappointed my character exited the show by getting married - I'd have preferred to have died trying to rescue the Doctor. What's really incredible about Doctor Who is how loyal fans are. When there have been gaps in my work over the years I've always managed to get work that is a spin-off from those few months of doing Doctor Who. I still try to attend conventions and meet the fans of the show whenever I can. Billie should be aware of the huge interest. It can take you by surprise. But she's probably used to coping with the media by now." The article will be on the Cuttings Archive later today.

An article from Billie Piper's local paper from March 1995 which shows that she actually had a lot of acting experience prior to her brief period as a pop star, including winning a scholarship to one of London's leading stage schools, is available at This is Wiltshire. (Thanks to Mike Simpson)

Meanwhile, Russell T Davies spoke to the BBC Doctor Who site about the casting of Billie Piper as Rose. "It was a long, thorough search to find Billie - despite the fact that the tabloids have been touting her name for months now!" Davies said. "We auditioned all sorts of actors - some famous, some unknown - but we've now met with Billie three times, and she's absolutely perfect, and very close to the description of Rose on the page - I think Billie's 21, and Rose is 19, so that's a great fit! ... Over the course of 13 episodes, Rose will change and grow, and hopefully, we can keep that story going in the years to come."

To read more of Davies' comments, as well as a gallery of Piper's previous roles and some video clips, visit the official site.

Additional Press Coverage & Links from May 24 & 25:
BBC News
The Sun
Yahoo! News
Big News Network
The Scotsman
The Guardian
Hello Magazine
Manchester Online
Daily Mirror
The Times
Reuters
The Guardian (#1) (registration only)
The Guardian (#2) (registration only)
BBC Companions Gallery
Waveguide
The Daily Record
Daily Telegraph
Newkerala.com
Irish RTE
GQ Magazine
The Age
ABC New South Wales
Top of the Pops (BBC)
Australia Advertiser
BBC Radio 1 News
ITV News
Stuff New Zealand
Irish Independent
Ananova
Ireland Online
Irish Examiner
Sky News
Teletext
icSouth London
NineMSN
Seven.com.au
4ni.co.uk
Brand Republic
Los Angeles Times
Irish Examiner
Megastar.co.uk
WebIndia
This Is London
News Wales
icKent
icEssex
Daily Mail
BBC Sport (Game)

There were also stories in MX Australia, Australian Associated Press Bulletins, the Daily Star, the Birmingham Post ("He's got two hearts, Doctor Who, and they can both be broken," Eccleston says about the Tyler character, obviously from an earlier interview), the Press Association (in which Piper's role is one of four quiz questions from yesterday: "who's playing the new Doctor Who girl?"), the Independent, the Western Daily Press, Bristol Evening Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, the Irish Independent, the Western Mail ("What's Up Doc?"), ABC Radio (Australia), the Melbourne Herald-Sun, the Newcastle Herald (Australia), the Adelaide Advertiser, the South Wales Echo, and the aforementioned Express ("Dr. Who and the Teenage Pop Star"). The ABC New South Wales article adds a curious (and laughable) comment: "The new BBC series of Doctor Who has been a bit slow in terms of getting organised but it will be on the small screen in 2005." (With thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Tim Collins, Stephen Durrant, Robert Byrne, Chuck Foster, Andrew Harvey, Andrew Pierce, Roger Anderson, Mike Simpson and everyone else who's sent us info & links)
From the BBC Press Office

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information about Billie Piper, Doctor Who and past companions, visit bbc.co.uk/doctorwho.

Monday, 17 May 2004

Grade Begins His Job


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An article in the Scotsman discusses Michael Grade's first day on the job as BBC Chairman. (Thanks to Andrew Harvey)

Radio Dramas on BBC7


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC7 Radio is currently airing The Paradise of Death drama starring Jon Pertwee again, Mon-Fri at 6pm; they will be repeating the follow-up, The Ghosts of N-Space, next week in the same time slot. The airing of "Paradise of Death" is the pick of today's Guardian TV and radio listings. (Thanks to Steve Tribe, Tony Gallichan)

Time Shift: Fantasy Sixties


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
As part of the BBC's upcoming "Summer of the Sixties" season, a program set for broadcast in June, Time Shift - Fantasy Sixties will feature Doctor Who clips, among others. The BBC has posted a press release about the broadcast. (Thanks to Phillip Madeley)

Fisher on Dead Ringers


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
India Fisher, who plays Charley Pollard opposite Paul McGann in the Eighth Doctor audios from Big Finish, will be on this evening's installment of the "Dead Ringers" comedy program at 9pm on BBC2, in at least one sketch originally recorded for the DR Christmas Specials according to writer Nev Fountain. The episode will be repeated this Saturday on the same channel, time to be announced. (Thanks to Paul Hayes)

Ainley Obituaries


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Sunday issue of the Guardian features an obituary for Anthony Ainley, almost a week after the one came out last Monday in the "Independent" which was the first word that Ainley had died. Says the Guardian obit, "The Master was to BBC Television's Doctor Who what Moriarty was to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes." Outpost Gallifrey has learned that Mr. Ainley's funeral was held the middle of last week. Meanwhile, the Doctor Who Appreciation Society has posted its own obituary and tribute for Mr. Ainley on their website. (Thanks to Chuck Foster, Andrew Harvey)

Monday Press Updates


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A few press mentions, with thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Ed Stradling and Andrew Foxley:

The town of Penarth could soon be the new home of the Doctor, according to the This is Penarth website. New Doctor Christopher Eccleston has "been spotted property shopping in the town. The acclaimed star, who is taking on the title role of the cult science fiction television series, was seen looking at exclusive homes at Penarth Marina on Saturday." The article states that "it is understood that most of the shooting will be done around Wales, co-ordinated in BBC Llandaff, and it is known that the BBC has a policy for housing their actors close to the place of filming."

A May 9 article in the Sunday Times discusses the new season of "Coupling" and writer Steven Moffat, who's penning two episodes of the forthcoming Doctor Who series. "Not that Moffat need worry about returning to America for work," says the article. "He has other projects to keep him busy, like working on the new Doctor Who, for instance. He says it will be much like it always was but with more laughs and less shaky walls. 'There's no point in doing it if it isn't the same, so it will be the way you remember it when you were 11 -though I'm not sure if Bacofoil will take over the world,' says Moffat." The article mentions he'd written a Dalek into episode two of "Coupling" before he was offered the Doctor Who job (Oliver runs a sci-fi book shop).

Keith Aitken's editorial in the May 6 Express on the Daleks in the new series is called "BBC is Right to Pay Up." Says the article, "Can't share, I'm afraid, in the hoo-hah over the Beeb shelling out a quarter of a million to the estate of Terry Nation for the right to revive his brilliant creation, the Daleks, in its new version of Doctor Who. The BBC knows it wouldn't be Doctor Who without Daleks. That's the measure of Nation's genius in rising above his budget to create a monster that, uniquely, didn't look like an actor in a rubber suit, and which is still the scariest sci-fi baddie of all."

Empire Online has this bit about the Daleks on their website: "Daleks Can Fly? We know it's not film, but it is intriguing. There are reports that the Daleks, set to return in the new Doctor Who series, will have acquired some new abilities, including the ability to fly. While we are having rather confused visions of flying dustbins as a result, this would put paid to the Dalek's central weakness: namely, that one could generally escape them by running upstairs."

DWM 344


May 17, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, #344 is due out May 27 in the UK. In the issue is more news about the forthcoming show including Russell T. Davies production notes and an interview with the new show's production designer. Meanwhile, "DWM celebrates its 25th anniversary with a trawl through the back issues in the first part of Happy Times and Places! Comic strip adventure in Sins of the Fathers as Space Monkeys attack! Andrew Pixley examines the Doctor's natural home of Saturday evenings on BBC1 in Part 4 of Scheduled for Success! The Telesnap Archive continues with Part Three of Marco Polo! The Time Team meet the boggle-eyed Fourth Doctor as their quest to watch every single Doctor Who episode continues! Plus all the Reviews, News and Previews to keep you sated for another four weeks!" The cover is at right. (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)