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4/08/2005 07:10:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon


April 8, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Contrary to previous reports, it appears that the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles will not have an impact on transmission of "The Unquiet Dead" on Saturday. BBC One seems to have dropped an earlier programme from its schedules, allowing Strictly Dance Fever and Doctor Who to start on time.

The precise viewing figures for "Rose", episode one of the new series, have finally come in from the BARB. According to their official listings, the actual viewing figure for "Rose" is 10.81 million viewers, putting it at #3 in the BBC1 chart, and #7 overall for the week, beaten only by four episodes of "Coronation Street" and two "Eastenders" episodes. ("Doctor Who" is actually #3 in the top ten individual shows for the week, combining the "Coronation Street" and "EastEnders" episodes.) "Doctor Who"'s main competition, "Ant + Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway," came in at #20 for the week (#9 on the overall individual episodes list.) These figures exclude repeat/omnibus showings (e.g. the BBC Three repeats of EastEnders and Doctor Who) but do include figures for people who have recorded the show and watched it within seven days. "Rose" is also the third most watched non-soap show in the UK of 2005 so far, behind early March's "Comic Relief" and the New Year's Day special of "The Vicar of Dibley".

Some additional ratings information: Doctor Who was a huge success inCanada this week: 989,000 viewers watched the CBC broadcast of "Rose" on Tuesday, April 5. Says the Doctor Who Information Network, "Compared to the 9.9 million in UK this number might seem small...but for Canadian television numbers, and for the CBC this is HUGE, and exactly where we wanted the show to come in at." Also, the BBC3 repeat of episode 2 of "The End of the World" last Sunday at 7pm was watched by 402,980 viewers, according to ViewingFigures, representing a 2.78% share of all multi-channel viewing within the early evening time slot (6pm-8pm) and ranked 16th out of all the available multi-channels in the UK. This is another great performance considering there are over 250 multi-channels.

Russell T Davies appeared today at the Celtic Film Festival, in fact interviewed by his co-executive producer Julie Gardner, in the Balmoral Suite of the Holland House Hotel just outside the centre of Cardiff. Russell was interviewed on stage by BBC wales Drama chief Julie Gardner. the well-attended session commenced with an eight-minute montage of clips from Russell's work - including a lengthy clip from the Aliens of London story. Russell spoke at length and in great detail about his career, from his first drama writing credit on Dark Season (which he feels particularly fond of), through Queer as Folk and its attendant controversy, the Second Coming, Mine All Mine (the failure of which clearly baffles and frustrates him) and, of course, Doctor Who. An 'open mic' session finished off the discussion and several Who-slanted questions were forthcoming from the audience. A tabloid journalist asked if Chris eccleton's leaving the show had been a disappointed and both Russell and Julie stated unequivocally that it was always planned that he would do just one season and that the end of episode thriteen was supposed to be an enormous surprise for the audience - a surprise now blown. Russell stated that he ahd a very clear vision of how he wanted to do the seriesd, he spoke of some of the difficulties on mounting such an enormous production and when asked if they had favourite episodes both Julie and Rusell said their favourites changed from day to day. Russell said that 40-somethings would love the Dalek episode for the way it answered so many questions about the Daleks and said that the two-part story about to be shown is "very dark". Julie did reveal that the last scene of "The End of the World" is her favourite scene in the entire series. No news and details about the Christmas special or season two. We have a report in the SPOILERSsection below from a clip that was shown, along with the BBC Press Release details for the next story (see next item)

The BBC Press Office has this afternoon released programme information for Week 17 (16-22 April). This includes the Penelope Wilton interview from this week's Press Pack Four among the week's highlights features here (note: PDF file) as well as a spoiler-prone preview of Episode 5, "World War Three"(finally confirmed as the title!) in the highlights for their Saturday listing here(also a PDF file) with a preview article on that week's edition of Doctor Who Confidential. Click on the SPOILER TAG at the bottom for details!

The May issue of SFX Magazine, Issue 131, in the shops on April 13, includes a set visit from episode six of the new series, "Dalek". SFX was there on "Dalek Day", as Christopher Eccleston filmed the scenes where the Ninth Doctor confronts his mortal enemy for the first time. The SFX website will also be making a full transcript of their interview with director Joe Ahearne (conducted on the day of the set visit) available online, and they're running reviews of each episode of the new series as it airs. Issue 131 also comes with a pull-out A3 poster. one side of the poster features Billie Piper as Rose!

Meanwhile, the issue of TV Zone magazine released yesterday includes interviews with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, and an in-depth look at the new Dalek, featuring Mike Tucker and Nicholas Briggs - and new photos from Episode Six, Dalek! The issue also includes special reviews of Rose from the TV Zone staff, plus opinions from guest reviewers Rob Grant (creator of Red Dwarf) and Sci-Fi author Stephen Baxter. The issue also includes interviews with the director of the new Quatermass Experiment, Sam Miller, and star Isla Blair, a special Flashback feature on the work of Nigel Kneale, and features on The West Wing and the new Captain Scarlet. You can order it using these links: UK Order and US Order.

The CBBC channel's Newsround Showbiz at 3.50pm on Saturday appears to be including a behind-the-scenes feature on the new series again - this is the third one, so it look like a series...

ITV Teletext today has an article titled "The monsters who take on Doctor Who" which begins by interviewing Mike Tucker who discusses working with scale models: "You do spend a lot of time making models and setting them up only to destroy them in a matter of seconds, but it's part of the job." He goes on to add: "And I got to work on the new Dalek - what a bonus!" Mike goes on to say that Doctor Who works now because it is so up-to-date. Meanwhile, 'Special effects specialist' Neill Gorton discusses how he had no idea what a big job creating monsters for Doctor Who would be. He explains that Doctor Who monsters are planned well in advance from such descriptions as "green, 8ft baby-faced monsters" and are a team effort. Discussing the challenge of designing the inside of the new Dalek he states: "It was glimpsed in an old Tom Baker episode, but only as a blob-like being, so we were really starting from scratch, and Russell T Davies had some very strong ideas about it... We went through a lot of concepts and designs. They were about 80 per cent Russell's ideas and 20 per cent mine. He always wins when he wants to!"

Buxton Today features an article about Bruno Langley, who appears in two episodes of the series playing the role of Adam. The article interviews his sister, Lakshmi Langley, who mentions that "Bruno spent two months filming the episodes in Cardiff ù which feature the Daleks ù and he had an absolutely brilliant time. He got on so well with Christopher, saying he was an amazing actor. Bruno's character is one of the good guys. He plays a sort of intellectual college boy ù a genius ù which made us all laugh." Diane Langley, Bruno's mum, said: "This will be something quite different for him. He wants to explore different sides of his profession and not just stick to the same things."

The media player on the official site has been updated to include "The Seventies", the second in the series of clips and contemporary music (and originally part of the "Doctor Who Years" video shown at DW conventions in the UK.) According to the site, the 35-minute programme includes "clips from each story, there are also some interesting off-cuts, including an almost unbelievable appearance by Tom Baker on Swap Shop." Also on the official site... very subtle additions to the BBC Doctor Who Who Spy portion of the website that may or may not be noticed by many. They are clarifying the exact placing of each photo and where it fits in to the series.

Reports in the Daily RecordAlien Online and icHuddersfield, among others, note that Patrick Stewart will be playing a role in "Eleventh Hour," a ú4.5m production being billed as ITV's answer to Dr Who and is written by Stephen Gallagher, who penned the classic Doctor Who series episodes "Warriors' Gate" and "Terminus".

The Metro's Green Room reports that the BBC will no longer put up posters for the new series, as they keep getting stolen! Says a BBC source: "... they are just getting steamed off and collectors are selling them on the Net."

Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki in the early years of "Doctor Who," is interviewed in the Bucks Free Press as she directs the play "Structures" at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham. Maureen admits that, although she and the cast are busy rehearsing in London, she did have time to watch the first episode of the latest of the series. "I really liked it. They really have something going for them and the casting is perfect. Christopher Eccleston reminds me so much of William Hartnell. All of the other doctors had something of a silly quality about them, that seemed to lesson the show somehow but, like Bill, Christopher is a really frightening, dangerous Dr Who. Slightly off-the-wall. And I think the reason why Billie Piper's goes off with him is great. I used to try and make my character, Vicky, a proper character but I don't think the 1960s were quite ready for that."

A snippet in the April 1 issue of Guardian, shopping section, titled "Dr Who's leather jacket": "Shame on you, Christopher Eccleston. No, not for quitting after one series. Shame on you for bringing the previously unimpeachable style of Dr Who into disrepute. Eight successive Doctors have steered the timelord's wardrobe through tricky sartorial waters, and now, after one single episode, Eccleston has stripped the Doctor of his style credentials. Gone is Tom Baker's long striped scarf legacy of the1970s. Its replacement? A shabby black leather peacoat. Nothing about this coat is stylish - it doesn't suit the cropped haired Doctor. We can only hope that now that Eccleston has bowed out, the jacket will be retired from duty too."

Express NewsLine says "The BBC's latest episode of Doctor Who is set in Cardiff, Wales, even though producers shot the sequences in Swansea. The episode set for broadcast Saturday portrays the Welsh capital in 1869, but a lack of period architecture drove the BBC team to Swansea, which has far more Victorian buildings than Cardiff, icWales reported Thursday. The show features Christopher Eccleston's battle with the eternal ghost-like aliens known as the Gelth and was written by author Mark Gatiss, who penned 'The League of Gentlemen.'"

"Who's back. And Who's looking vastly entertaining" says the Globe and Mailthis week, reviewing the first episode of the new series that was just transmitted in Canada. "Yes, the most distinctive theme music in the history of television is back, because that fella Dr. Who rides again," says the article. "Tonight's first episode of Dr. Who is terrific. It's wacky, colourful, lively and vastly entertaining. (I'll tell you here that I was never smitten with the series. Even when I saw it as a kid, I thought it was a very square drama.) In fact, it's a great example of a tired concept being expertly revived and cast. The BBC brought in Russell T. Davies, creator of the original Queer as Folk, to write it and he's done a superb job. ... Given the vast weight of the history of Dr. Who, the light, vaguely comic touch is absolutely necessary.

Manchester Online and BBC News report that Christopher Eccleston will star in the latest commercial created by the McCann Erickson agency for Manchester's Christie Hospital. The new campaign is part of a re-brand for the Christie charity and Eccleston will take part. "Scientists in Manchester say a cure for all types of cancer could be available on the NHS within five years," says BBC News. "The world's first patient trials in a technique which genetically engineers cells will take place at the city's Christie Hospital later this year."

Says icNorthWales, actor Rhys Ifans is not in line to play the Doctor, succeeding Christopher Eccleston. "I haven't the time," he jokes..

Billie Piper is profiled in Hello! Magazine, with details of her history and career to date.

Following up our story about CBBC presenter Devon Anderson wanting to be the next Doctor, BBC News is now reporting on the "campaign". "Describing himself as "a Doctor for the youth of today", Devon has been using his CBBC presenter slots to show how good he would be as the 10th Doctor."

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Paul Mount, Dominic May, Paul Hayes, Craig Mullin, Dan Knight, Jamie Austin, Peter Weaver, Andy Parish, Rod Mammitzsch, David Farmbrough, Tony Jordan, Eddie Brennan, Stephen Graves and Ian Berriman)
Clip Shown at Davies/Gardner appearance today

A fairly breathless but amusing clip from the Aliens of London/World War Three episodes. The Doctor, Rose and Penelope Wilton's character are cornered in the Cabinet briefing room by three Slitheen. The Doctor keeps them at bay with a decanter of whiskey which he threatens to detonate with some device or other which may have been the sonic. He tells the Slitheen the device can triple the effects of the explosion. The Doctor has a rousing discussion with the Slitheen about their plans; the Doctor asks them why they're on earth and asks them if it's an invasion. The Slitheen, who speak in a squeakly, modulated voice, reveal that their names aren't Slitheen....from what I recall I believe one of them said it was a first name or family name and then one of them rattles off an uindistinguishabvle alien name. Wilton's character, realising the Slitheen are aliens, is told by Rose that the Doctor is too. "But he sounds like he's from the North!" says Wilton';s character. Rose says "L:ots of planets have a North." The Slitheen announce they're in the mood for a bit of slaughter. The Doctor admits his threatened explosion was just a ploy and he seals the room by activating steel shutters (installed in 1991!) which slam down over the door and the windows. He grins with self-satisfaction, saying that the Slitheen can't get I. "But how are we going to get out?" says Rose. The doctor looks crestfallen. "Ah!" During the Doctor/Slitheen interchange there's some typically-amusing banter, particularly with the Doctor remarking that this whole area was a wasteland thousands of years ago and that a couple of hundreds of years ago the land belonged to "Mr Chicken....lovely bloke." The clip was bright and breezy, I'd say much in the style of 'Rose'.
-- Paul Mount

Doctor Who - BBC Press Release Details

Doctor Who û
World War Three Ep 5/13
7.00-7.45pm BBC ONE
With The Doctor, Rose and Harriet Jones trapped inside Downing Street, the world edges towards mankindÆs first Interplanetary War in the second part of a two-part episode written by Russell T Davies. But the real danger is much closer to home.The Doctor, Rose and Harriet race against time to unmask the villainous Slitheen û but only RoseÆs mum, Jackie, and boyfriend, Mickey, hold the key to salvation. Can the missiles be stopped? Christopher Eccleston stars as The Doctor, Billie Piper is Rose, Penelope Wilton is Harriet Jones, Camille Coduri is Jackie Tyler and Noel Clarke is Mickey Smith.

Doctor Who Confidential û
Why On Earth..? Ep 5/13
14 Saturday 23 April 2005
BBC TWO Saturday 23 April
BBC THREE Saturday 23 April
BBC Three tackles the burning question of Why On Earth Doctor Who is so fond of us Earth-dwelling mortals.The nationÆs favourite Time Lord may look and sound human but he is, in fact, an alien from Gallifrey. Doctor Who Confidential explores his affinity with the human race and his ongoing battle to save Mother Earth. Earlier this evening,The Doctor saved the world from an unpleasant family of aliens called the Slitheen. This programme goes behind the scenes to see how CGI and prosthetic costumes combined to create these deadly creatures. Narrated by Simon Pegg, Doctor Who Confidential features interviews with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, stars of the new series, and previous Time Lords Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Also in tonightÆs episode,The Doctor directed RoseÆs boyfriend, Mickey, played by Noel Clarke, to the homepage of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) to save the day. But, as Mickey reveals,The DoctorÆs association with this top-secret intelligence group goes back years.This programme looks back to when The Doctor first encountered UNIT in the days when Jon Pertwee was the Time Lord with Jo Grant at his side. It also meets The Brigadier and follows him as he teams up with subsequent Doctors û until Sylvester McCoy calls him out of retirement for one last time.