CBBC presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith confirmed today that he has been cast as a guest star in the upcoming second series of Doctor Who, as announced on CBBC ONE at 5.35 this afternoon. Hayden-Smith, who played Ben in the CBBC drama "Byker Grove" and who has presented, among other items, the CBBC special Best Of Byker, CBBC's The Saturday Show and Live And Kicking, CITV's Diggit and Sky's Fish, will be playing the role of Jake Simmonds; he begins filming next week, when the two-part Cybermen story is set to be recorded.
Update 1700 GMT: CBBC News confirms that Hayden-Smith's character will be in episodes 5 and 6 with the Cybermen. Says the actor, "I am so excited about joining one of the most famous programmes on TV. I am a real fan of David Tennant and can't quite believe I am going to be in the show. It's an absolute dream job for me. I can't wait to get started." The CBBC site says that he will be away for a week while he participates in filming. The official Doctor Who site now also mentions the casting news.
BBC Radio 2 will be presenting a new documentary special, Doctor Who: Regeneration this December, Outpost Gallifrey has learned. The new documentary from the radio channel, which earlier this year presented the two-part documentary "Project: WHO", "examines how this year's adventures of the Time Lord became the most talked about television event of 2005. Just how significant was the departure of Christopher Eccleston to the programme and its production team? Has the success of 'Doctor Who' changed the battleground of Saturday night television? And is the TARDIS safe in David Tennant's hands?" The documentary features new interviews, exclusive music by "Doctor Who" composer Murray Gold, and excerpts from the new series, and "tells a fascinating story of why it took forty-two years to become the nation's most popular drama series." Key interviewees include David Tennant, Billie Piper, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Murray Gold, Alison Graham of Radio Times, BBC1 Controller Peter Fincham, Jane Tranter, Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), directors James Hawes and Euros Lyn, and others. Written by Brian Sibley and produced by Malcolm Prince, the documentary airs on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 20 December at 8:33pm.
Today's issue of The Sun heavily features Doctor Who as it follows up the show's triumph at the National Television Awards. A TV biz double-page special on what it labels the "Telly Oscars Bash" has a single-column piece on Billie Piper(website), saying she hopes to star in a third series. Collecting her award, it says, Billie thanked her 'lovely boyfriend' Amadu Sowe and her ex-hubby, media mogul Chris Evans, at the National Television Awards, and later celebrated her win by going to dinner with Chris at a swanky London restaurant - the pair are pictured while out - and also has a shot of her as she went to buy newspapers near her north London home yesterday (Wed). According to the piece, Christopher Eccleston was booed for failing to be at the awards in person to pick up his gong. Sun cartoonist Bill Caldwell takes a humorous look at Doctor Who's success at the award here (click on "Today's cartoon" in the fourth column as of time of writing). Beneath that cartoon in the newsprint edition, there is a feature by Paul Sutherland - bylined as The Sun spaceman - which takes a look at "how Russell T Davies turned the Doctor from axed laughing stock to award-winning pride of the Beeb". Illustrated with pictures of the Tardis, a new-series Dalek, Billie Piper, Christopher Eccleston and Davies, it credits the revived show's success as being down to a bigger budget, great writing, top actors, restoring it to Saturday night transmissions, keeping it "oh so British" and including the Daleks. The piece finishes by praising David Tennant and saying "For this timeless hit programme, the future looks brighter than ever"; read the piece herefor that. Finally, TV columnist Ally Ross takes an alternative, swiping look at the awards in a piece illustrated with a photo-composite shot of the Tardis with two EastEnders actors stepping out.
During the National Television Awards, which we've covered over the past several days, the clips shown include the 'sorry I was a bit slow' sequence from Dalek, up to the extermination and Eccleston whipping off his earpiece (for the Most Popular Drama segment); Rose telling Jackie she was there when Pete died, from Parting of the Ways (for Most Popular Actress), and 'everybody lives, Rose!', complete with conversation with Dr Constantine, from The Doctor Dances (for Most Popular Actor). In addition Anthony Cotton (who won Most Popular Newcomer for his role as Sean Tully in "Coronation Street") took time in his speech to thank Russell T Davies for Queer as Folk, a series without which, he said, a gay character such as Sean 'would never be on primetime television'. Anthony played Alexander Perry in the original Channel 4 version of the series. Additionally, for the first time in three years, Dr Who arch-rival "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" failed to win Most Popular Entertainment Show (although hosts Ant and Dec did nab Most Popular Entertainment Presenters), being beaten by Sharon Osbourne-hosted talent show "The X Factor". MediaGuardiannoted that the National Television Awards show on ITV last night gained an average 7.1 million viewers, a 31% audience share, winning its slot between 8pm and 10.30pm last night... that's probably all you Doctor Who fans tuning in!
BBC Wales Today on Tuesday night featured a brief chat with Julie Gardner on the TARDIS set about the awards and what we can look forward to next year; while there was very little in the way of new information, Gardner did mention they had been filming at a riding school earlier in the day, and that the ‘Christmas Invasion’ is in post production.
On Wake up to Wogan on Radio 2 on 26 October, after the news report on Doctor Who's win at the NTA awards, Terry Wogan announced that the forthcoming Who segment during "Children in Need" would be 15 minutes long.
The official Doctor Who website has changed again, now back to a more familiar design that was with us throughout the lead-up to the first series, including the now-familiar visage of the Moxx of Balhoon...
UK Gold have a series of local radio ads for their Doctor Who week taking place this week, about favourite characters and monsters; at least one of them has a viewer talking about how the Face of Boe is his favourite, and how he should have his own series.
Today's Daily Mail asks, "Is that a trout pout, Billie, or just lashings of lipstick?" "She has been travelling in time and space with Doctor Who. But now some are asking if the Time Lord has turned his hand to cosmetic surgery. For as Billie Piper collected an acting award, onlookers couldn't help commenting on her apparently fuller lips. 'I could hardly concentrate on what she was saying,' said a member of the audience at Tuesday's National Television Awards in London. 'Even Angelina Jolie's lips aren't that luscious.They were just enormous, and when she smiled they became all tight and unnatural looking. Her top lip moved up, exposing all her teeth and her gums. It just looked odd and a lot of people noticed it.' Others put the look down to carefully applied lipstick, and a spokesman for the 23-year old said: 'I can categorically say that she has never had any surgery to enhance her lips.' But leading plastic surgeon Jonathan Baker commented: 'Her lips are startlingly full and plump. Personally, I have never seen anyone whose lips naturally look like that. 'Lips are not normally that full unless they have been exposed to some sort of toxin, such as collagen for example.'"
Yahoo Business notes that the SF TV series, "Firefly," was voted the world's best space science fiction work ever in an international poll conducted by NewScientist Magazine; among the items noted in the poll, "The survey also suggests that, unlike many genres, great works of science fiction transcend gender, with male and female fans voting incredibly closely. The only difference in their top ten was Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation Series,' an epic work of science fiction written over 49 years ago. 'Foundation Series' was voted into tenth place by male sci-fi fans, but did not appear in the women's top ten, its place being taken by 'Doctor Who.'"
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, John Bowman, Phil Newman, Matt Kimpton, Mark Clapham, Rob Stickler)
The BBC Shop is now listing volumes one, three and four of the Series One releases in UMD (for Playstation) format on Monday 12 December. Volume 1 and Volume 4 both have a recommended retail price of £17.99, while Volume 3, which features four episodes, retails at £19.99.
Correcting a previous DVD news item, Nicholas Courtney did notrecently record a commentary for "Inferno" (despite a misstatement by the actor) but has participated in interviews for a potential DVD release.
The Mirror last night announced the casting of Roger Lloyd-Pack in Series Two as a new villain, John Lumic, a human who becomes the Doctor's opponent in several episodes with the Cybermen (likely episodes 5 and 6). The 61 year old actor plays Trigger in the classic BBC comedy "Only Fools and Horses" and Owen Newit in "The Vicar of Dibley" and can also be seen as Barty Crouch in the forthcoming "The Goblet of Fire"; ironically, David Tennant plays his son in the film, Barty Crouch Jr. "We're really thrilled to have signed Roger," a BBC insider told the Mirror. "It's a great coup for the show and the viewers will love him. The character is a million miles from Trigger."
The Mirror also noted the casting of Tracy Ann Oberman from "EastEnders," who plays a villain named Yvonne Hartman. "It's a great role," added the Mirror's 'insider'. "Yvonne is a sophisticated sort of baddie. In fact, I don't think she's really that bad - but then I didn't think Chrissie was either." Oberman goes before the cameras next week, as filming continues on the Cybermen two-parter. BBC News,CBBC and the official Doctor Who website also confirmed the information this morning. (Thanks to Steve Tribe, John Bowman, Lloyd Ellis)
According to a report this week on the website of the Leicester Mercury newspaper, the Doctor Who Exhibitioncurrently located in Brighton will be moving in November to this town in central England. "The time-travelling hero and the fearsome Daleks will be at the National Space Centre next month for a Doctor Who exhibition. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the creatures that have sent generations of youngsters diving for cover behind the sofa. As well as the Daleks, a host of famous characters, costumes and props from the latest BBC series will be on show at the exhibition. Fans will be able to meet the Slitheen, Autons, Jabe and the Moxx of Balhoon after catching a glimpse of legendary time-travelling machine the Tardis." Says Malika Andress, communications manager at the space centre, said: "This is a huge event in our calendar and we're so excited to be hosting this exhibition. The characters and costumes are all actual props from the BBC series and people will be able to get close to some of them."
The exhibition, which has been at the Brighton Pier for months and closes on November 6, will open on November 22 at the Space Centre, and will run until January 8. The article also notes that "experts from the series will show visitors how Daleks are made and will bring in some of the original models from the earlier TV series" on December 10-11, and that characters from "The Christmas Invasion," likely the Sycorax, will be put into the Exhibition on December 27. (Thanks to Del Shorley)
Several Doctor Who-related events take place this weekend:
CultTV 2005 takes place on October 28-31 at the Renaissance Solihull Hotel in Birmingham. Among the event's guests this year are Carole Ann Ford (Susan), William Russell (Ian), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine), Brian Grant(Series One director) and frequent guest stars Philip Madoc, Prentis Hancock and Michael Keating.
Russell T Davies will be signing copies of "Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts" this Saturday October 29 at 12.00pm at Waterstone's, The Hayes, Cardiff; the telephone number of the store is 029 2066 5606 for customer details or further information.
Alan David (Sneed in "The Unquiet Dead") and Arthur Bostrom (in the new Big Finish audio "Scaredy Cat") will be signing on Saturday October 29 at Tenth Planet.
The BBC has posted a press release about David Tennant and Billie Piper lighting the Cardiff Christmas lights this year. "The switching-on of Cardiff's Christmas lights at the Civic Centre promises to be an event to remember this year, with a special appearance by two extraordinary intergalactic time-travellers. On Thursday 17 November, the capital is going to have its very own Christmas Invasion as David Tennant and award-winning actress Billie Piper – stars of BBC Wales' hit drama Doctor Who - materialize from their busy filming schedule in Wales to inject a huge dose of Christmas spirit into Cardiff. The free event is staged and managed by Cardiff Council in partnership with BBC Wales, City Centre Management and Red Dragon FM. The entertainment starts at 5.45pm when the Red Hot Santas take to the stage to play some Christmas favourites; and the big switch-on will take place at 6.45pm. Visitors can then move into the city centre for late night shopping until 8.00pm or get their skates on and take to the ice when the open-air ice rink at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland opens its doors to the public at 7.45pm. Billie Piper says: "I'm really looking forward to kick-starting the Christmas spirit in Cardiff. We filmed a lot of scenes for the Christmas episode, The Christmas Invasion, in the city centre and I can't wait to see it lit up for real. I hope everyone has a fantastic time.' Cllr Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, says: "We are delighted to work with BBC Wales and I know that Cardiff will welcome Billie and David to the Christmas Lights Switch On. It should be a great night for the family and a wonderful start to Cardiff's Christmas festivities.'"
Billie Piper, at the National Television Awards, made a few comments about the Christmas special coming up in December, as reported in today's Media Guardian. While a bit innocuous, they're nevertheless enclosed in the spoiler tag below.
Also, several media outlets, including ITV's This Morning and Radio Forth, have reported another casting for this season:Tracey Ann Oberman, who plays Chrissie in EastEnders. According to Radio Forth, "She won't reveal whether she's a goodie or a baddie, but says she can't wait to work with David Tennant. Chrissie's just filmed her last scenes in Albert Square and will leave our screens next month." (Thanks to Paul Hayes, Luke McCullough, Peter McCleary, Neil Marsh)
From Media Guardian: Piper, who won the best actress prize, one of three gongs for Doctor Who, was rather more forthcoming on other topics, not least the eagerly anticipated Doctor Who Christmas special. Fans who really don't want to know anything about the festive episode at all, should probably look away now. I said look away now. "It's got scary Christmas trees, Santa attacks, there's an invasion, and the Doctor stays in bed for a long, long time. I am carrying most of the show." Monkey's set the Sky+ already. As for her new co-star, Piper said the new Doctor Who, David Tennant, was a "lot lighter on his feet" than Eccleston. "He is a bit more child like and dances around a lot. I'm sure you will like him." You never know, if the second series gets nominated for an award, Tennant might even turn up.
More coverage of yesterday's big win for Doctor Who at the National Television Awards:
Billie Piper featured on the cover of "Daily Mirror" (with the caption "Brillie!" and which was shown on the 25th October edition of BBC2's "Newsnight"), as well as the "Daily Star" and "The Sun" (with the title "Who Dunnit!"). "Doctor Who" was the main feature of the accompanying articles with "Daily Star" focussing on how Billie seemed to have 'dressed down' for the awards (in an item titled "Doctor Timelords It: Billie the scruff's night of triumph") while the item in "The Sun" was headlined "Hip Hip Who-Ray: TV gongs for Dr and Daleks".
Manchester Online reported that the reason Christopher Ecclestondid not attend was because he was suffering from the flu. The exact words of his note, read by Russell T Davies, were, "I am very sorry I can't be there tonight – a heartfelt thank you to the British public for their encouragement over the past 17 years. I’d like to dedicate this award to the memory of a little boy who loved Doctor Who and loved life, Kieran Wynne." As the Manchester Online reported, Eccleston's agent later explained that the star had met the boy before he died but could give no other details; it says that the actor had planned to attend the awards but was struck down with flu and also felt ill after having injections in advance of a forthcoming trip abroad.
Clips from the ceremony have been shown today on ITV news, including a very emotional Piper accepting her award, while clips from "Aliens of London" and "World War Three" were briefly played on the screens. Meanwhile, the websiteof ITV -- which lost its timeslot to Doctor Who earlier this year when the show beat their variety series "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" -- acknowledges its own winners, but doesn't note any of the BBC's! Says today's MediaGuardian Monkey column: "You can understand why ITV might be a bit miffed, after the BBC gate-crashed its National TV Awards last night and made off with the best actor, actress and drama awards for Doctor Who and the best soap gong for EastEnders. But still, it seems a tad churlish for ITV.com's report on the bash today not even to mention the BBC winners. Instead, ITV.com leads on 'X Factor cleans up at TV Awards' - although to be fair, the talent did win two gongs - and goes on to list all the other ITV winners. ITV.com - first with the news. As long as it's about ITV. "
BBC Wales Radio had quite a bit on the awards this morning, including an interview over the phone with producer Phil Collinson. He said how pleased he was and so on, and revealed that the prize will be kept in the BBC’s Drama Dept offices in Llandaff. He also mentioned that they were half way through filming the new series, and were looking for it to return to the screen at Easter time.
As reported by several viewers on our Forum, BBC1 tonight aired a promotional trailer for "The Christmas Invasion" with an overview of Series One after the BBC News at 10pm. The trailer is very much akin to the one shown in June, but with additional footage (from last year's episodes) on it, and the note about the "countdown" being on at the end.
More on the possibility of singer Charlotte Church being in the new "Torchwood" series: late last week, the Mirrornoted that she "has been brought in to play a raunchy, Satan-worshipping teenager" and that a show insider had told them, "Charlotte is a big Dr Who fan and she was thrilled when we approached her. The role is ideally suited to her - she is beautiful but can be very vampish when she wants." There is, however, nothing definite and this could merely be publicity for the singer/actress. Additional locations reporting on the story since last update include Dark Horizons,Daily Record,Contact Music, Monsters and Critics, Female First.
John Barrowman appeared last week on "Loose Women," the TV chat show. In his second appearance on the series within a month, Barrowman spoke about "Torchwood," including noting that the show might have a BBC1 repeat showing following the original BBC3 transmission, and that he was very excited to start working on it, but no further details were mentioned.
Dark Horizons has an interview posted with Adam Garcia, who stars in the Christmas special. "Chatting with some grunt from Showtime Australia during the announcements of the iF award nominations, the actor confirmed his taking part and speaks highly of the new Doctor David Tennant - 'He is amazing and his dream as an actor was to play Dr Who and then when it was not happening, he was really disappointed but he was like "I'm still gonna become an actor". Now he actually gets to live his dream and he is marvelous, he really is exceptional'. He continued about his love for the new show: 'I have been a fan of Dr Who since I was (obviously) little and at the read throughs -you know just getting to read the scripts is amazing because they keep them all secret - you get told you're doing it and then you go "Oh! This is what I am doing!" And then you spend a lot of time looking at walls going "They're coming straight for me!" pretending things.'" Dark Horizons also mentions our coverage of the Charlotte Church rumors and other casting information.
Anthony Stewart Head appeared on the Jonathan Ross show on BBC Radio over the weekend. Head was full of praise for David Tennant, who he said was naturally "quirky" and a really nice person to work with. He implied he's playing a school teacher who is not nice, but not necessarily the villain. There was talk about how the old K9 prop still had problems, which Jonathan later compared to Fiona Philips' dancing. Also later in the show, they talked about the toy Daleks.
BBC Radio Cornwall recently reported an actor named Spencer Hawken would be appearing in the second series, possibly as "an evil Time Lord" in two episodes. The rumor mill notes that "by the end of the second story the character, named John, is not as he should be..." There's no word about whether this is credible or simply a publicity item.
According to the Serendipity website, toy manufacturer Character Options has announced a new set of Doctor Who figures and toys for release next year. The announcement, made at this week's Brand Licensing Expo, noted that the sets will include the Tenth Doctor in long overcoat (plus sonic screwdriver); Rose and K9; "Intergalactic Warlord", the Sycorax (complete with two weapons); the Lady Cassandra and Moxx of Balhoon; Slitheen action figure, with extendable claws; and the Tenth Doctor and radio-controlled K9 double pack. There will also be a TARDIS console room playset, including "six buttons control ten sound effects, plus chair, hat stand and lift-out access panels in the floor to reveal the TARDIS mechanisms and circuitry." The figures are said to be in the 5" size to tie in with the already released Dalek figure from this year.
Says the official Doctor Who site, David Tennant and Billie Piper will switch on the Christmas lights in Cardiff this year. "Santa has an early present for Cardiff-based Doctor Who fans this year. 17 November sees the Welsh capital's own Christmas Invasion as Billie Piper and David Tennant arrive to turn on the festive lights. Seasonal celebrations begin at 5.45, with the Red Hot Santas taking to the stage to play some Christmas favourites. The big switch on by the Doctor and Rose happens at 6.45, after which visitors can move on to the City Centre and shop until 8pm. Or they can get their skates on and head to the open-air ice rink at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland, which opens its doors to the public at 7.45pm."
According to the BBC Press Office, executive producer Russell T Davies will pen a special "Doctor Who" mini-episode to air during the BBC's Children in Need 2005 Appeal. According to the schedule, this mini-episode is slated to be part of the event on Friday, 18 November. There is currently no word on what it is comprised of, but rumors have already suggested it might be set between "The Parting of the Ways" and "The Christmas Invasion" and will feature David Tennant and Billie Piper. This would be the second standalone "Children in Need" Doctor Who segment to be broadcast, the first being 1993's "Dimensions in Time". We'll keep you posted with further details.
In a sign that the show's fortunes have now changed from what they were a mere two years ago, Doctor Who became the big winner on Tuesday night at the National Television Awards as the show was given the Most Popular Drama award, Christopher Eccleston won Most Popular Actor, and Billie Piper won Most Popular Actress, according to a report from the UK Press Association. The BBC1 drama series beat such competitors as "Desperate Housewives," "The Bill" and "Bad Girls," while Eccleston and Piper beat such competitors as Martin Clunes and Sally Lindsay.
While PA's report suggests that Piper did not thank Eccleston stage, a later release notes that Piper thanked her "lovely boyfriend Mr E" and her co-star Eccleston "for being a fantastic Doctor and teaching me so much." She ended her acceptance speech by saying, "Thank you so much. This means so much to me, I can't even begin to tell you"; she then thanked show bosses for taking what she called a huge gamble. Eccleston was not present at the ceremony, which Piper noted later to reporters, "Chris is not here this evening, I don't know why." She said of Tennant, "He's a lot lighter on his feet and I am sure you will all be thrilled."
Russell T Davies later appeared on stage on Eccleston's behalf, reading a note of thanks from the actor: "I'm very sorry that I can't be there tonight. Thank you to everybody who voted for me, and to the British public for their encouragement over the last 17 years. They have always been honest with me and I'm very grateful." Eccleston stated in his note that he would dedicate the award "to a little boy who loves Dr Who and loves life."
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 5 covered the results from the National Television Awards this evening with presenter Dalya Raphael. The 10.30pm report carried a story on Conservative Party leadership contenders David Davis and David Cameron, who were booed when they went up on stage to present the Most Popular Drama award. Following the news and sport, at 10.38pm they went onto the actual coverage of the awards from their reported there Colin Paterson. Raphael described "Doctor Who" as "sweeping the board". Both said they liked "Doctor Who", and were pleased to be able to present the trophy to Piper. Both said Jon Pertwee was their favourite Doctor (although this was related by Paterson rather than being a direct clip.) Eventually discussion went to the actual Awards, Piper described as seeming "genuinely quite touched". Again the show was described as "the big winner on the night," and Eccleston's non-appearance was described as "maybe not surprising." Piper was said to be "almost crying" when he interviewed her by Paterson, and an interview clip was played where she said she "didn't even think I had a shot". She remarked how it was the first thing she'd won since Most Fanciable Female in Pop at the Smash Hits Poll Winners' Party many years ago. The report then moved on to talking about the other award winners.
The awards were taped this evening and will air on ITV at 8.00pm on Wednesday, 26 October.
The Blue Peter Annual 2006, now in release, features a two-page picture spread on Christopher Eccleston's appearance on the children's BBC1 show, which took place on 21 March this year. The 112-page hardback is published by Pedigree Books.
Doctor Who related items in the press from the past week:
SFX Magazine has a feature interview online with Russell T Davies from their next issue. Davies notes that this year has "a whole different feel, with David now at the centre of things - a different energy, a different Doctor, which makes it a different show. But at the same time, it's still good old Doctor Who." Davies notes that he thinks that part of last year's success was "that we didn't fiddle with the basic format too much. They got it right in 1963!" Using K9, he says, left everyone in awe, "but really, K-9 didn't stand a chance, because [Elisabeth Sladen] stole everyone's reactions... I thought Stephen Fry was going to faint. ... And it was the same, walking on set, seeing her with David and Billie. And it's hell of a ride, cos one minute you're remembering the past, but as soon as Toby Whithouse's blistering dialogue rips out, then you know immediately that this isn't nostalgia, it's a great, new story to tell about the Doctor's life. Then you add Anthony Head, who's just brilliant. Then the new Krillitanes! It's a hell of a mix; I'm very excited by that episode." Davies characterises this season as "not presuming anything, we're just battling to make it as good as it can be. And there is a temptation for sci-fi shows, more than any other, to get very wrapped up in mythology and back-story, and I'm guarding against that. ... We're bringing back some old elements, like Lady Cassandra, partly to shore up the show and ease the changeover of Doctor. At the same time, there's only a fleeting mention of her escapades on Platform One, so brand new viewers can start from scratch. But actually, the most powerful reason for bringing Cassandra back is that I thought she was the most amazing piece of CGI, voiced by one of the UK's best actors and, crucially, I thought of a brand new story for her. That's the clincher, that's all that matters, the story." He doesn't specify anything on Tennant's accent, and briefly mentions the Sad Tony petition (see separate story). Finally, for the third series, he notes that he's got "one or two... not threads as such... just a couple of hints and mentions which might pay off in 2007. Or not, if I change my mind. But again, nothing crippling or binding, we're keeping the mythology and continuity light. Which fits the Doctor, a man who flits from place to place without ever stopping. It's hard to tie him down with a continuous story, and that's one of the elements I love about the show. But a lot of plans are in place for series three. I was just talking to Julie Gardner this morning, and we realised that we've probably got about ten of next year's episodes nailed down already. Including that episode in Nobby's Circus Tent with the talking gay elephants. I think we'll transmit that live." Read the full interview at the SFX website.
According to an article at BBC News, "The Long Game" guest starSimon Pegg is to feature in "Mission Impossible 3" in a sizeable role.
The BBC have officially confirmed the commissioning of the rumoured new Robin Hood series, a 13-episode stablemate of Doctor Who to run in the Saturday evening family drama slot sometime during 2006 when the Time Lord is off-air. The BBC News website coverage of the story is illustrated with a picture of TV's first ever Robin Hood from 1953, Patrick Troughton.
The Daily Star last Friday cried, "See David Tennant dressed as a woman!", the thrust behind the page three lead flagging an airing of the BBC comedy series Rab C Nesbitt ("Touch") which will air on UK terrestrial channel Five's "Greatest Before They Were Stars TV Moments" this Thursday 27 October at 8pm, in which Tennant's "frockingly embarrassing" appearance will air. (It's unclear from the piece whether it will be a clip or stills.) Tennant's TV debut was in 1993 as barmaid Davina in an episode of the series, and that in that role he bore a striking similarity to David Walliams as rubbish transvestite Emily "I'm a laydee" Howard in the BBC's comedy hit-of-the-moment Little Britain. According to a C5 source: "Everyone has skeletons in their cupboards but some rattle louder than others. This programme is there to find them and this one should certainly haunt David. I rather think that he was hoping the pictures would never resurface. Goodness knows what the Daleks would make of it - maybe he could avoid being exterminated by hitting them with his handbag."
The Mirror reported this week that "Dr Who star David Tennant has split from his actress girlfriend who he has been dating since May. David, 34, and 22-year-old Keira Malik enjoyed a low-key romance and shared a tent at Glastonbury over the summer. But friends say they have called time on their relationship, blaming conflicting work schedules. A source said: 'Keira and David were a great couple and very close. They're both down to earth and neither is very interested in the showbusiness scene. But work commitments were keeping them apart for longer and longer periods of time. It's very sad things didn't work out. In the end, though, they both agreed that it was better if they just split.'"
The South Wales Evening Post has a feature on Edward Thomas, the new series' production designer. Among the highlights: "You probably won't recognise his face, you may not know his name but over the last few months, his work has been seen by millions. ... He is responsible for everything from the revamped Tardis and Daleks to overseeing the design of new monsters like the Slitheen and even Christopher Eccleston's sexy black leather look. Edward, who grew up in Neath and now lives in Gower, is part of the dream team who brought Doctor Who to our screens. ... 'I heard that BBC Wales was doing Doctor Who so I rang up to say that I was around. I asked if I could call in and see them which I did. I met Russell and we clicked straight away - two Swansea boys... I was lucky enough to get the job. I knew it was going to be enormous, but I don't think anything could have prepared me for the immense success. ... 'Initially the biggest challenge was to get the Tardis done both on the inside and the outside. I was racking my brain - because it's not a space ship, it's a time machine - it's of Gallifrey, which is the Doctor's planet. We had to really establish the architecture of the world that the Doctor would have come from. In the same way that the way our cars look today is a result of the architecture we are surrounded by, so the Doctor's 'car' had to be a part of the planet he had come from even though we have never seen his planet. It evolved - it is 700 years old and we came up with the concept that it was an organic thing and it was constantly growing. And that's why it has changed into the cathedral-like shape that we have today. I wanted the console to be made up of hundreds of bits - anything that the Doctor might have seen and thought 'that might make a good defabricator' and just picked it up and stuck it on. So it is a bit of a mish-mash and amalgam of all sorts of technology. ... When we were designing the Daleks I knew there were restrictions because of Terry Nation ... At one point they weren't coming back, and then they were coming back, then they weren't, we'd start designing it and we'd stop designing it and then start again. ... We made a few changes. We made them taller, more chunky. It was bigger scale, really. We pumped them up and made them much more beefy. ... When you bring a major production like Doctor Who to Wales, there are huge requirements technically like animatronics, for example, or prosthetics. And what I find with the crew in Wales is that, even though there is a level of crew here who work for BBC Wales and S4C, you are left with a void and you have to bring people down from London and I don't want to do that. ... I'm not a great fan of the rubber monsters. I like the monsters that are part of the period so I loved the Gelth (from the episode set in the Victorian era). They were part of the period and they were really fitting. I loved the gas mask children. You've got to love the Daleks just because they are the Daleks. I read somewhere that they were one of the top three design icons in Britain.'" He notes that at the moment he "can't think much beyond Doctor Who. There is a third series and another Christmas special but whether I'll be involved in that I'm not sure yet. Hopefully there will be other stuff in the offing for BBC Wales but I see my career path in feature films and I've had a few offers to do films which I've had to turn down. I think I can only do that for a certain amount of time before I have to accept something. So I probably will have to spread my wings a little at some point but right now Doctor Who is my life and that is where I'm focusing everything and then we'll see."
In the latest issue of Australia's "TV Week" magazine is a feature on the top ten villains on television; the Daleks come in on the list at #5. Says our correspondent, "The accompanying note begins with the usual myth about them being foiled by stairs until the new series but when faced with the Doctor they proved to be the most evil villains of all time."
In last week's free Metro newspaper: "Doctor Who has a lot to answer for - a third of Britons believe time travel is possible because of the BBC programme. It is just one example of how science fiction has helped people believe some concepts are science fact. Another 26 per cent think black holes could one day form the gateway to another universe. And a fifth believe Star Trek-style teleportation might become a reality. ... The survey was carried out by TV channel UKTV Gold." The story has also been mentioned at the Daily Record, The Sun and DeHavilland.
Last week's Daily Record noted that Billie Piper "travels back in time for her glamorous new look. In her latest TV role, the 23-year-old dresses as movie icon Marilyn Monroe. And the effect couldn't be further away from Billie's normal tomboy look of scruffy jeans and a pony-tail. The actress and former pop princess posed as tragic star Marilyn in publicity shots for her new BBC drama, Much Ado About Nothing. In the programme - which is part of a Shakespeare Retold series - Billie plays weathergirl Hero. She causes a storm when she dresses up as Monroe for a fancy dress party." Hello Magazine also notes that "Having already won the praise of critics for her roles in The Canterbury Tales and Doctor Who, former pop star Billie Piper is now trying her hand at Shakespeare. ... The forthcoming flick, which is due to hit UK television screens next month, is just one of several Shakespeare plays that are getting a contemporary revamp courtesy of the Beeb." The BBC has put out two press releases, here and here, about the production. TheGuardianalso mentioned it.
Marking the transmission of Family Guy on BBC2 on 22 October, the Guide section of the Guardian looked at fan attempts to save axed TV shows. Inevitably, the article eventually reaches the Doctor in Distress: "Yet it's not just the fans who've protested. Sometimes, it's the crew. Former Take That producer Ian Levine was asked by Dr Who insiders to create a protest record after internal wrangles left it on the verge of the cancellation back in 1985. The result - Who Cares?, featuring the then lead actors Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant and several Bucks Fizz members - was not, however, an overwhelming success. Or, as Levine puts it: 'It was an absolute balls-up fiasco. It was pathetic and bad and stupid. It tried to tell the Dr Who history in an awful high-energy song. It almost ruined me.'"
BBC News mentions the new Nicholas Courtney autobiography "Still Getting Away With It," along with notes about co-writer Michael McManus. 'Tony Blair is often derided as an "actor-politician" (or praised for his presentational skills). McManus recalls his first meeting [with Courtney]. Their discussion of the prime minister prompted Courtney to announce: "I do wish these people would leave the acting to the professionals!"'
The British Computer Society London website notes that David Throssell from The Mill will be giving a lecture on CGI on 27 October, including "how some of the recent developments in software have enabled the creative advances, and the challenges in producing and supporting the software and infrastructures that make it all possible."
In 21 October's "Kent and Sussex Courier": "The Creator of a life-size Dalek could see his plans for Children In Need in Tunbridge Wells exterminated by terrestrial bureaucracy. Inventor, Ashley Haffenden, 41, of Rusthall, operates his model of Dr Who's arch enemy and mutant from planet Skaro by climbing inside. The father-of-two wanted to hold a 15-minute battle with characters from his favourite BBC series along with others from Star Trek and Star Wars on November 18. ... But his plans soon faltered when he learned from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council he would need public liability insurance. Speaking from his home surrounded by models and his art-work, Mr Haffenden said on Tuesday: 'I have always been into Dr Who. My sister and I were two of those children who hid behind the sofa. To me the daleks are iconic. I built mine from scraps salvaged from skips and neighbours. I just wanted to hold it outside the BBC studios in the town and make something fun for the kids. Bureaucratic red tape winds me up. I said I wasn't going to blow anything up.' Mr Haffenden said West Kent Police in Tonbridge told him they would 'look into' his invitation for officers to appear in his show, and he said he would go ahead if he could. 'It's a sad state of affairs when red tape gets in the way of raising money for charity,' Mr Haffenden said."
United Press International notes that some of the biggest names in London theater are assembling Sunday to celebrate the 75th birthday of Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. "Sondheim, who maintains homes in the United States and Britian, will be feted by Barbara Cook, Daniel Evans, Eartha Kitt, Rosemary Ashe and John Barrowman, to name just a few."
Finally... the Outpost Gallifrey site has been mentioned in theGuardian this week as one of their top websites. "Doctor Who returns with a Christmas special and another series in 2006 starring the 10th timelord, David Tennant, taking over the job of destroying evil cat people and farting aliens (someone's got to do it). In the meantime, there's plenty of news on this site to intrigue fans, including plotlines for most of the forthcoming shows. Stephen Fry and Mark Gatiss are both writing episodes, but the most exciting leak is the return of pathetic robot dog K9, Doctor Who's answer to Scrappy Doo. Elsewhere on the site there's a selection of articles with unappealing titles like "Faction Paradox: A Primer"; location shots of the Piper in action (well, looking grumpy); episode guides and reviews." The site was also listed this month on the gay-oriented Cybersocket website, as part of a list of "50 Geek Websites: Bookmarks for the new cool".
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Matt Dale, Chuck Foster, Paul Hayes, John Bowman, Paul Blakemore, Matthew See, Roger Anderson, Karen Davison, Peter Weaver, David James, Jason Tucker)
Just a reminder... the National Television Awards broadcast is this Wednesday, October 26 at 8pm on ITV1. Both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, as well as the series' first season, are up for awards, and voting is still open until midday Tuesday; call 0901 8888 007 in the UK to vote.
The latest issue of Enlightenment, the Doctor Who Information Network's bi-monthly fanzine, includes "Tennant's Pride: What will David Tennant bring to the role of the Tenth Doctor? We try to find some clues from his career! Plus: More reviews of Season One, including a review by BBC Books author Lloyd Rose!; Shipping and the New Series; Who is the Emperor Dalek? We have a theory!; Should K9 Come Back?; Lance Parkin on why December 25th should be Doctor Who Eve!; and: reviews of all the latest books, audios and DVDs." The cover is at right; you can order it directly from the DWIN's website. ((Thanks to Mike Doran)
As we previously reported this month, Christopher Eccleston will be appearing in Rachel Wagstaff's "Night Sky" at the Old Vic Theatre in London next Sunday, October 30 at 7pm, a reading in aid of "Index on Censorship". The event also stars Bruno Langley (Adam in "Dalek" and "The Long Game") and Navin Chowdhry (Indra Ganesh in "Aliens of London"). Tickets are available through the Old Vic Box Office: 0870 060 6628 or in person from The Old Vic, The Cut, London, SE1 8NB. Post-Performance Party tickets include best seats and entrance to post-show champagne reception with the cast; VIP Party Tickets include the above plus a pre-performance reception with a personal introduction to the cast. Tickets for this are strictly limited. For Party and VIP tickets only, please contact: Despina Tsatsas at Index On Censorship on 020 7278 2313 or viaemail; all other ticket enquiries must be directed to The Old Vic Box Office. (Thanks to Anna Hobbs)
This week's UK Gold rebroadcast of the first season of the new Doctor Who series also includes additional rebroadcasts a day later on the UK Gold+1 channel and early morning broadcasts; we've updated the Outpost Gallifrey broadcast calendar with full details on times. Also, we've learned that the show will also be repeated as part of the Big Night in campaign on Saturdays from Week 44; trails have been made to promote the Doctor Who week.
Meanwhile, below are two photos of the UKTV Gold billboard and the UKTV Gold phone box ad for the broadcasts of the current series on the channel, which are noted by our correspondent as "reasonably rare relative to the ads for the new series back in March." Click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to Anthony Forth for the photos)
Issue 137 of SFX Magazine is out shortly, and contains an interview with Russell T Davies about season two (highlights are in today's "Press Clips" section), as well as an interview with Simon Pegg ("The Long Game"), and stories about the new comedy SF series "Hyperdrive," as well as other items. The cover is at right.
Meanwhile, did you see the results of Blue Peter's "Design A Doctor Who Monster" competition? SFX Magazine did, and "great though the winner is, our favourite in the SFX office is Sad Tony. Apparently, Sad Tony is actually his nickname, because no human can pronounce his real monster name. And Tony's species has a terrible wind problem - his little wings aren't for flying, they're for flapping the trump smell away so he can smell where he is going. Aw. We reckon that Sad Tony deserved much better than just a runner-up position, and - as you'll know if you read our last issue - we've launched a campaign to get him into the next series. And our campaign is succeeding!" SFX proceeded to speak to series exec producer Russell T Davies with our demands, who apparently responded, "I'll see what I can do. Tell you what, I don't write that episode until December, so if your petition gets over 500 names, I'll give the Tonester a mention. On BBC One. On Doctor Who. Um, somehow." And so, Outpost Gallifrey is happy to help our friends at SFX by directing them to this page, which will soon have the petition available as well as directions on where to send them. Says SFX, "We'll forward them onto Russell, and you will have played an important part in making Doctor Who history - and making a little girl called Emily very happy." (Thanks to Ian Berriman, Steve O'Brien)
According to a press release from the BBC, Germany is the latest country to acquire the new series, through a deal with commercial broadcaster ProSieben; the show will be seen on the German private TV station "Pro7". The sale was announced at the closing day of MIPCOM, the international audiovisual content market in Cannes. "ProSieben have licensed both the first series ... and the second series, which is currently in production. Russell T Davies' first series of Doctor Who attracted huge ratings and received critical acclaim when it aired on BBC ONE earlier this year. Announcing the deal, Isabelle Helle, Head of Germany, BBC Worldwide, said: 'The series has gained iconic status outside of the UK as well and has already been licensed to broadcasters in sixteen countries worldwide. We are excited that Doctor Who's time travelling will now take him to ProSieben so that viewers in Germany can also enjoy the adventures of the Time Lord and his companions.' ProSieben Head of Programming, Thomas Schultheis, said about the deal: 'Doctor Who is one of the most clever and entertaining series to come from Great Britain. The production values are visibly high and Russell T Davies' scripts provide top quality entertainment for a wide range of viewers: from science fiction fans to family audiences.'" The series is likely to start on ProSieben next year. The story was first announced on the German website www.wunschliste.de. (Thanks to Harald Gehlen, Steve Tribe, Martin Hoscik)