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1/05/2006 04:18:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

January 5, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The December 24-January 6 edition of Canada's TV Guide Magazine features a two page artcle on the new Doctor Who and The Christmas Invasion. The article previews the Christmas special and interviews Billie Piper, and states that the next season of Doctor Who hits Canadian airwaves in "fall 2006". It therefore looks like that, if the second series debuts in the UK in April as we expect, it'll have more of a delay for Canada than this past year.

Some brief new series book updates: one of the Doctor Who Files from BBC Children's Books has been retitled - "New Earth" is now "Sycorax". All four books in the Files series, initially listed for May, are now listed by Amazon for August; Amazon is also now listing "Sticker Guide 2" as"Regeneration Sticker Guide".

Today's Times has a feature on the Times/South Bank Show Breakthrough Award in which two of ther critics argue why you should vote for the entrants. Critic James Jackson argues for Billie Piper, who he says "has been splashing around the media for years, of course. Just as the Sylvia Young stage-school scamp faced Z-list obscurity after her 15 minutes as a pop star clocked off in the late-1990s, she was back — as the bride of Chris Evans. Which makes the toothy Swindon girl’s emergence in the past year as a serious actress all the more irresistible. There had already been signs of screen talent — her spirited debut as a barmaid in the BBC’s update of The Miller’s Tale in 2003 raised approving eyebrows. But it is, of course, her performance as Rose Tyler in the reimagined Doctor Who franchise that has provided career lift-off. Much of the series’ success has to be credited to Piper. She confidently held her own against Christopher Eccleston’s showboating and by being everything from petrified to spunky to heartbroken, she has succeeded in making Rose every bit as central to the show as the Doctor himself. Tellingly, it’s hard not to feel that her meatiest TV roles are yet to come — after all, she’s still only 23."

Newsquest Media is running a story about the filming of "The Christmas Invasion" at Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean. "More than nine million people watched BBC Wales' production and saw the new doctor touch down in the Tardis in the cave's massive cavern. The caves are owned by Ray Wright, who has turned them into a tourist attraction, and he explained that they were sworn to secrecy during filming of the Christmas special. The programme makers were looking for somewhere that could give the illusion of a space ship being carved out of a meteorite. And the location was chosen because the programme's designer Edward Thomas remembered filming a horror film Grim at Clearwell, in 1995, and he decided that the caves were capable for the transformation to enable the Doctor to fight the evil Sycorax. The caves remained open to the public while the set was being prepared and filled with glowing eggs and tortured aliens along with a host of other special effects. The caves are now firmly on the Dr Who trail and already the owner has seen an influx of fans seeing for themselves where the episode was filmed. Mr Wright said that on the first day they opened after the Christmas break he heard a lot of people talking about the episode and he presumed they've come to see where it was made, adding that its was good publicity for them. For the next series of the cult programme the film crew from BBC Wales also visited the historic building and the grounds of Treowen House in Dingestow for an episode that is set in the Scottish Highlands."

There's also a media mention of Russell T Davies being awarded #1 in The Stage's list of "Top Ten Movers and Shakers in the world of theatre and light entertainment" (see January 2 TARDIS report for details!) on the ic Network of media feeds.

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Michael Doran)