Monday, 26 December 2005

TARDIS Report: Late Monday

Canada got the new series tonight... and several of our readers noticed that the CBC network wasn't noted as a co-producer this time, but rather was noted with a "special thanks to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation" notice. Meanwhile, Billie Piper hosted the show in much the same way Eccleston did, wearing a red Roots hoodie with "Canada" on the front, and at one point explicitly thanking the viewers for making Series One a success.

The Daily Mail has comments from a BBC1 spokesman on the ratings triumph for the BBC on Sunday: "We are delighted that the audience turned to the BBC to be entertained this Christmas. It has been a wonderful climax to the year for Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing. And once again EastEnders proves to be the jewel in the Christmas schedule."

Tomorrow's Times notes that "science fiction has overtaken reality shows as space-and-time travel becomes the new hit formula on TV. David Tennant’s first appearance as the Doctor in the Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who was watched by 9.4 million viewers, beaten only by BBC One, with more than ten million switching on to EastEnders. In America, entire channels are devoted to big-budget space dramas. Now digital technology has made convincing sci-fi epics affordable on British budgets. ITV is responding to Doctor Who with Primaeval, a 6 million, six-part epic about scientists who travel into prehistoric times through black holes. The team behind Walking with Dinosaurs is creating the graphics. Next year the BBC will follow up the success of Red Dwarf, the sitcom set on a spaceship, which has spawned four million DVD and video sales. A new BBC Two sci-fi comedy Hyperdrive consciously echoes its predecessor, the channel’s highest-rated sitcom with eight million viewers. ... The resurrection of sci-fi has surprised some. Senior BBC figures were sceptical about Doctor Who, believing a revival would fail to reach a mass audience despite a much bigger special effects budget for the 13 million series. In fact there is a large international audience for British sci-fi. The new Doctor Who has been sold to 12 countries, including South Korea and Australia."

The Times also notes that a "pre-Christmas mini-revival that pushed ITV1's audience above BBC One has not stopped Britain's leading commercial broadcaster losing viewers this year, denting its prospects of pulling in advertising in tough conditions. The BBC, which is usually strong over the holiday, has featured shows such as Dr Who this year."

Tomorrow morning's Daily Record says "Thank you David Tennant. The new Doctor Who triumphed over the Sycorax in a rattling good Christmas special. And he did so in a woollen dressing gown and striped winceyette pyjamas and made them sexy - according to a highly scientific poll of females in and around my house. Now, if I can manage a regeneration of my own,by losing four stones and 15 years while regaining a luxuriant head of hair, maybe those aforementioned females will consider me in my night attire to also be 'hot.' As opposed to a sad old git schlepping around in dressing gown and PJs."

More comments on the ratings success of "The Christmas Invasion" are atThe GuardianThe TelegraphDigital Spy, and the Daily Record. Meanwhile, BBC News has a feature on "Entertainment Year in Pictures 2005" with shots of Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Mustafa Hirji, Brian Newall)