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4/18/2005 06:55:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon


April 18, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
News items from Saturday through Monday. (Note: we're still awaiting ratings news for Saturday night's "Confidential" and yesterday's BBC3 repeats...)

David Tennant was at last night's BAFTA awards ceremony, though he was not nominated. He did, however, speak briefly about his role, noting that "The expectations are fierce." Asked how long he had signed up for, he said: "Let's get through one at a time. I'd love to do 100 years but they might sack me". He also noted that Tom Baker wore a long scarf but they havenÆt worn one since so I donÆt know if I will wear one." Asked if he was going to play the part in a Scottish accent he said: "All of that is up for grabs at the moment but Dr Who is the best show ever and I canÆt wait." Tennant also noted that he was delighted that Billie Piper would continue in the role as his assistant Rose: "SheÆs not going to get away from me, I think sheÆs a very good actress." You can view news stories at the following sites: BBC News,Hello MagazineVogueEvening TimesScotsman.

Lots of coverage of the David Tennant casting news the past two days. Here's an updated list of everywhere we know of with links, although no new information in any of them: Times Online (updated link), FilmForceABC AustraliaDark HorizonsCNNNineMSNContact Music,InTheNewsTV New ZealandThe Herald,Sydney Morning Herald,Evening StandardRTECBC NewsTV SquadStuff.co.nzNZ HeraldBBC Radio 1Zap2ITThe StageRegional Film and Video IrelandAnanova (with second story here),icNetworkMegaStar,MyTelusYabedo.

The official site's parody site Who Is Doctor Who? (glimpsed in the first episode, "Rose"), now has at least two companions. The BBC has opened theunit.org.uk UNIT website and has registered the site badwolf.co.uk. Keen-eyed viewers may start recognizing clues as to what that last site will entail...

The BBC has begun to trail Saturday's episode in tandem with "Strictly Dance Fever". Starting with "Strictly Dance Fever" the voice-over runs: "An entire nation desperately trying to stay in time...and a Time Lord who's biggest problem is just staying alive! Saturday from six on BBC1." The "Doctor Who" segment contains a mix of the specially shot trailer (Eccleston walking to the TARDIS console and Rose and the Doctor standing facing the camera) along with clips from the upcoming episode: the Doctor's "Oi! You want aliens? You've got 'em!", a Slitheen smashing through a door and chasing Rose and Harriet Jones through another door, two Slitheen and the Doctor running through a corridor, and Rose/Harriet Jones hiding behind furniture as a Slitheen crows "Where are you?". The whole trailer runs to 20 seconds and was transmitted this evening at 10pm straight after "Casanova" (Strange that...!).

Christopher Eccleston is to star as "an albino killer monk" alongside Tom Hanks in the movie version of "The Da Vinci Code," according to news reports. "Insiders say he will play brainwashed monk Silas whose life is controlled by the Opus Dei religious sect in the best-selling novel about the Holy Grail," says theMirror. "A movie insider said: 'As soon as film producers spotted Chris on Doctor Who they knew they had to go for him - he has everything they want. He is a very serious and respected actor who always gives a great performance. He would be brilliant as Silas. Some big names have already signed up for the film. Chris has now been sent a script and is mulling it over - but he has been told he may have to wear a long white wig.' Oscar winner Hanks plays the book's hero, American academic Robert Langdon, while French beauty Audrey Tatou will be codebreaker Sophie Neveu. British film veterans Sir Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine are tipped for the role of eccentric Holy Grail hunter Sir Leigh Teabing and craggy French star Jean Reno has been cast as police chief Bezu Fache. The movie will be directed by American Ron Howard and is due to be released in May next year. Shooting is about to begin in Paris and will also include locations in London and Scotland." Sites covering this includeMovieHoleDark HorizonsDigital Spy,FilmForceThe Hollywood News.

One of the telephone numbers from the episode "Aliens of London" turns out to have been real. Says the Behind the Sofa Again site, "As well as the episode being set in a year's time, there are a couple of other things I noticed (and I don't think anyone else has mentioned) on watching it again: The housing project in which Rose lives is called The Powell Estate. Could this be a reference to the controller of the BBC who actually cancelled the show in the late eighties? Although neither of the telephone numbers for the Alien Helpline on the Rose posters work, there is another one on the doors of the army vehicle which are block The Doctor's sight of the craft and what's happening. If you call it, there is an answering machine which thanks people for calling what sounds like the Freephone Army Driving line (whatever that might be)." Of course, we'd rather you don't call it...

New Zealand Broadcaster Paul Holmes talked to UK correspondent Malcolm Stuart on Holmes' weekday morning Breakfast show on 15/04/05 on NZ Radio Station Newstalk ZB. Amongst the topics discussed was of the reaction from the New Series amongst many parents who believe that it is too scary for their children to watch. An audio link can be foundhere; scroll down the page and look for the heading marked 'Dr Who spooks kids'.

From our correspondent Prakash Bakrania regarding our report about televised announcements (or, a lack thereof) of the Tennant casting: "I just read the following about News 24 not covering the Tennant announcement much. Admittedly there wasn't much because of Rover but I did leave the DVD Recorder running from 3am to 9am and it did record about five news instances of Tennant's arrival as the Tenth Doctor."

Additional discussion of the ratings report from yesterday at Sky News, theMirror, the Guardian and the Daily Record.

The Guardian reviewed the latest episode: "Doctor Who (Saturday, BBC1) has picked up a lot of publicity in the last week for terrifying the nation's tots - just in time to promote the best episode yet. It was called Aliens in London, and it actually lived up to that marvellous title. A spaceship crashed into Big Ben, and this was such an audacious opening, fraught with echoes of 9/11, that we watched the rest in delighted disbelief. A pig in a spacesuit ran down a corridor into a hail of bullets, sinister farting fat people took over 10 Downing Street, and, best of all, some horrible baby-faced aliens were unleashed to terrify yet more kiddies. Now that's what I call entertainment." "Aliens of London" was also the Pick of the Day yesterday in the Times: "Davies's cartoonish sense of humour is one of the main obstacles standing in the way of the current series improving on the Pertwee and Baker eras. His reliance on noisy bodily functions (the burping bin in the first episode, the farting lizards here) might appeal to the eight-year-old in him that he aims the new show at, as will the Benny Hill style chases through No10 that really require a Yakety Sax soundtrack (and somebody who is able to run and can stand in for Billie Piper). He also seems overly proud of one of the best lines from the pilot episode ('Lots of planets have a north'), so that gets wheeled out again. Fortunately, however, there is something for an adult audience, too, including political satire -naughtily smuggled into a normally escapist drama shortly before a general election. As the Doctor tries to prevent nuclear destruction, aided by Rose and an earnest MP (Penelope Wilton), the PM's grounds for making war mockingly echo Tony Blair's: somewhere in space there are 'massive weapons of destruction' that can be 'deployed in 45 minutes'. Fortunately, the Doctor remembers how Hannibal managed to cross the Alps with his elephants, so the world may yet be saved."

Today's edition of Blue Peter contained a report on the Wray Village Scarecrow Festival and began with presenter Simon Thomas' introduction: "Now, today the Blue Peter garden has been invaded by some very strange things. Not aliens from the brand-new Doctor Who series...". However, despite Simon's promise, a small mock-up of a Black Dalek could clearly be seen throughout most of the item on scarecrow building...

In today's edition of The Sun TV critic Sara Nathan chooses "Casanova" as one of her TV Picks, ending her preview with: "Fans of David Tennant, fear not, pretty boy will return...in a Tardis." Also, in today's edition of News Of The World is an article in which it is claimed that Christopher Eccleston is splitting from his Cardiff-based girlfriend as he "needs more space". It is also reported that the Labour Party is attempting to recruit Eccleston, with his 'working class' background, for their General Election campaign.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, Jamie Austin, Prakash Bakrania, Paul Hayes, Faiz Rehman, Jamie Austin, Stuart Ian Burns, David French, Alistair Moore, Ben Goudie, Mark Oliver, Rich Kirkpatrick, John Bowman, Chris Wischer, Matt Kimpton, Mustafa Hirji, and Jon Preddle)