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3/27/2005 02:39:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon


March 27, 2005  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The past two days have seen a whirlwind of press, much of it regurgitating each other over and over. Here's a quick recap of what's transpired late Saturday, all day Sunday, and into Monday morning's press:

A large collection of papers (many of which do not have online versions) have printed reviews. Internet-accessible ones include BBC News with a review by Sylvester McCoy!; The Herald ("Cracking script makes this a welcome visit from the Doctor"), Scotstman (includes comments on ratings), also reviewed hereThe ObserverThe Independent; TheSunday HeraldTimes OnlineCBBC, a special page on children's first reactions to Doctor Who; Express Newsline, India; The Telegraph; the Sunday Mail (a review by the "McInnes Family");

Summing up what many of the papers said today:
• "I was hooked from the outset. The whole thing thing was stuffed with in-jokes I wasn't sure I was fully getting, but I laughed anyway" - Guardian.
• "After 16 years locked in the warp-shunt fantasies of the plasters-on-specs brigade, Russell T Davies has breathed new life into an old favourite. The doctor got his girl and BBC1 found itself reacquainted with an old pal.Quality. Brilliant." - News of the World.
• "The current incarnation of the Time Lord has barely moved on and the one thing the future can't afford to be is old-fashioned" - Sunday Times.
• "The new Who is poorly cast, badly written, pointlessly northern, relentlessly silly and, fairly crucially, the sci-fi is thoughtless and throwaway." - The People. (They also manage to insult Billie Piper; the writer obviously thinks he's quite clever, when he's not.)
• "The new Doctor Who succeeded in establishing its own reality: skewed, sprightly and assured, without ever taking its audience's attention, or goodwill, for granted." - Sunday Telegraph
• "The much-vaunted special effects with which the series has been retro- fitted struck me as being as clunky as ever, and Ecclestone's performance was a bit too reminiscent of a nerdy teenager, but it has a real heartbeat... or perhaps even two." - The Independent
• "After such a fanfare, Doctor Who could hardly fail to disappoint. But amazingly, it didn't. OK, the monster was feeble and the lack of a cliffhanger ending was a shame. But Christopher Eccleston portrayed a far more complicated Doctor character than we've become used to seeing, certainly since Jon Pertwee - and far more interesting as a result." - Independent on Sunday
• "Dr Who, with Christopher Eccleston in the title role and Billie Piper as his comely assistant, was ill received in the Highland home where I spent Easter. The much-hyped special effects were considered a prodigious waste of money by the BBC." - Daily Mail
• "If it's all the same to you BBC1, I think I'll stick with Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. But thanks for trying." - Mirror (spoilsports!)
• "An alien form, called entertainment, has been discovered on Saturday nights. It's a thoroughly bizarre, glossy new concoction called Dr Who." - Sunday Express. (There's also a positive little review of "Project: Who" in the radio review column on page 63)

Lots of coverage of the ratings (which we reported on as early as we could this morning!) Many stories on this includingBBC NewsMedia GuardianThe SunITVCBBCTimes (mentions Outpost Gallifrey!), TelegraphScotsman, with commentary about what it means for the BBC, Daily RecordGuardianPittsburgh LiveWashington TimesChannel 4WaveGuideBig News NetworkManchester Online (with fan review). The Daily Mail and other papers also covered this (articles not online).

Photos of a flying Dalek appeared in today's "News of the World" (actually, a photo of the Dalek as seen in the latest trailers, as well as a photo of the underside of a Dalek on a staircase). The tabloid mentioned the return of the Cybermen, too; however, we know that this is only a rumor that's been discounted already (they aren't in this season... well, not exactly.) A photo of the Gelth, the aliens from episode 3, "The Unquiet Dead," appeared in yesterday's The Sun.

Lots of places commenting on last night's gaffe with the Graham Norton voice in the BBC 1 broadcast. Says BBC News: "The Time Lord had Graham Norton breathing down his neck too, as a technical problem meant the sound from Strictly Dance Fever was briefly played over the opening scenes of Doctor Who. 'There was a technical problem which was resolved as quickly as possible,' a BBC spokesperson said. 'We apologise if it affected viewers' enjoyment of Doctor Who.'" Says the Sunday Express: "The BBC was last night probing an embarrassing technical blunder which allowed the voice of Graham Norton to drown out Dr Who's triumphant return to the small screen" they happily exaggerate. However, they do go on to point out that "...last night's technical problems echoed technical difficulties with the very first episode of Dr Who." A BBC spokesperson says that "It was a technical problem which meant the voice of Graham Norton - who had been presenting Strictly Dance Fever on BBC1 - continued faintly when his show transferred to BBC3 on digital. It only affected the first few minutes of Dr Who and we apologise to any viewers whose enjoyment was in any way impaired." BBC3 did run the show this evening without the voiceover... but of course, with the BBC THREE logo emblazoned on it for the entire broadcast!

Last night's Tommy Boyd Show on BBC Southern Counties radio apparently had a great response. The folks at the Tommy Boyd Shrine wrote us to say that "For those who missed Dalek mastermind among many other features, we have the show up on the site now," so click on the link.

The Independent says Doctor Who puts his sonic screwdriver to work to boost BBC funds: "The mysterious silver gadget has helped to keep the Daleks and assorted life forms at bay for hundreds of years - when it actually worked. Now Doctor Who's unreliable sonic screwdriver is expected to become one of the must-have toys this Christmas."

Today's Sunday Herald and This is London mention that "a Doctor Who fan prompted a security alert when he posed as a Dalek outside the Houses of Parliament. Ken Meikle, 46, from Barrhead, Renfrewshire, was filming a promotional video for a stage version of the sci-fi classic. But armed Metropolitan Police officers suddenly confronted the "alien invader" as he approached Parliament over London's Tower Bridge."

Oh, and the "Can Doctor Who Be Gay?" article reran in today's Sunday Independent...

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, Paul Hayes, Andrew Hearne, John Paul Street, David Traynier)