Bookmark and Share Weekend Press Clips, Including Episode Leak

3/06/2005 12:39:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The rumor mills have been working overtime this weekend on news that the first episode of the series, Rose, has been leaked on the internet, courtesy an unidentified employee of a foreign broadcaster of the show. We weren't going to mention it originally, in order to help keep this from becoming even more widely known, but BBC News and other news services made that a moot point. Obviously, Outpost Gallifrey isn't going to tell you how or where to download it, but don't be surprised if you find reviews all over the web.

BBC News itself addresses the leak of "Rose" in a story that also reveals that Christopher Eccleston emailed Russell T Davies about the role. "He e-mailed me and said if we were looking for a Doctor Who, he'd be interested," Davies told Radio Times according to the news article. "It was gobsmacking because you think he's going to be doing Hamlet all the time. Which, come to think of it, he was." It says that episodes 1 and 2 were written before he was cast. "So I'd established a template for what I wanted, which fitted Chris perfectly. That was a happy accident - we both wanted to strip it down, make it more down-to-earth."

In an interview with today's Media Guardian, new series producer Russell T Davies explains how producing the new series of Doctor Who is a lifelong dream come true. When they approached him, "I worried they meant a cheap pastiche version, or an ironic version, but it was the real deal - Saturday night, proper budgets. All those things you think you'd have to fight for. Astonishing." The interview discusses his work on previous shows such as Children's Ward, Queer as Folk and Mine All Mine, as well as his thoughts on being a child transfixed by Doctor Who. "When I was eight, walking home from school down Hendrefoilan Avenue, I always used to think 'I could turn round the corner and the Tardis would be there - and I would run inside and I would fight alongside the Doctor.' It was the one programme that encouraged you to make up stories. The Tardis could land in the everyday world and no other science-fiction programme would do that. You were never going to be a member of the crew on the Enterprise when you were eight years old: it was in the future and they were the navy. Even if we don't get an audience, I hope there will be some eight-year-olds sitting there thinking the same thing. That's when I fell in love with it. I was transfixed." Read the full interview at the website.

A report in today's Observer discusses the obsession of fans with Doctor Who, framed in the context of the return of the series. It includes comments from Russell T Davies ("If we had tried to be ironic we would have died a death") and notes that there are only a few thousand fans of Doctor Who that are considered active or interested. (Strange, Outpost Gallifrey's front page got over 17,000 unique visitors last Thursday!) The report talks about websites and fandom and Doctor Who Magazine (in fact, noting DWM's circulation is "around 30,000") and how the new show, based on a preview is "not, and never will be - how shall I put this? - Doctor Who." You can read the whole article at that site.

The Ain't It Cool website, a major source of online film gossip, has published several negative reviews of the first episode of the new series along with a positive one, based upon the recent leak of an episode on the Internet.

An article in today's Times discusses the Daleks who apparently are upgraded: "In previous series of Doctor Who, the Daleks were warlike metal aliens engineered by the evil Davros on the planet Skaro. They were beings of ruthless logic with one small but significant flaw: you could evade them by running up a flight of stairs. The upgraded versions take to the air using rocket-boosters, enhancing their ability to exterminate, exterminate. The new Daleks are also bigger than the ones last seen in 1989 and have more lethal weaponry than the old guns that resembled sink plungers. But fans will have to wait: the evil forces do not appear in the first episode, to be shown on BBC1 on Easter Saturday." It also contains ver minor spoilers about the first episode.

Another Times article, much more in depth, discusses the upgrading of the Doctor Who series itself. "For 25 years, Doctor WhoÆs creaky charm captivated a nation," the article says. "Now Russell T Davies has polished it up, with slick effects and an even slicker script." It notes that the scripts themselves are "slick, witty and, most important of all, fresh. They also have Davies the MouthÆs fingerprints all over them. The DoctorÆs slightly deranged monologue sounds suspiciously like Russell T himself." The article notes that the new series has "about 800" special effects. Says The Mill's Robin Shenfield, "I'm pretty sure nothing of this scale has ever been attempted ù certainly nothing British." Mike Tucker, who's doing miniature-effects on the series, says the original show "was always pushing against the boundaries of its budget, trying to do stuff it couldnÆt possibly achieve. They would try to make the Loch Ness monster attack a village, or theyÆd have an attack with a horde of Daleks when they had only three Dalek props. It was one of its great charms. But then Star Wars came along and raised the game. These days, kids are so effects-literate." The article discusses how CGI effects have been implemented, and gives some spoilers about the new show (protected by our Spoiler tag, below), as well as noting that "Doctor Who is a huge gamble for the BBC. It will probably go out in its old slot, early on Saturday evening," noting that it will happen at the end of March.
According to the Times article, the character Cassandra in "The End of the World," is all that remains of the purely human species, several billion years in the future, and has "has definitely overdone the dieting, having become no more than a stretched film of skin with a face. Voiced by Zo? Wanamaker, sheÆs like Patsy in Ab Fab: bitchy and randy. But she turns out to be murderous, and has a fantastic death." Another episode -- the two parter started by "Aliens of London," in fact, deals with the takeover of the bodies of the British cabinet by aliens. This produces "unfortunate amounts of gas." And there are the Daleks. "The big issue, of course, is the Daleks. They are back, and they look much the same, except that they now have a harsh bronze sheen and are plainly better built. They still have the sink-plunger weapon, which, on the originals, really was a sink plunger, and they still appear to be severely restricted in their evil work by their inability to climb stairs. Davies, typically, has turned both these attributes into roguish gags. The sink plunger kills somebody horribly ù a sort of face-sucking operation, I gather ù and when Piper runs up a staircase to escape a Dalek, she discovers, to her horror, that they can fly. Obvious, really."