Doctor Who will be starting in Spain on the Digital Plus satellite platform from Thursday January 19. The series is being broadcast on the "People + Arts" channel (number 27 on the Digital Plus channel listing) which shows a range of BBC drama, comedy and entertainment shows. The first broadcasts are on Thursday 19th at 2230 spanish time (GMT+1) with a repeat at 0230 on the morning of the 20th; further showings will take place on Friday 20th at 0630 and 1500, with three more timeslots on Saturday 21st at 0600, 1400 and 2130. Although it's not clear if these are all repeats of the first episode this would be the usual pattern for the channel.
There's an assortment of items of interest to Doctor Who fans in the new edition of Radio Times (issue dated 14-20 January 2006), including how Russell T Davies came up with the Sycoraxic language. John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack, is granted a panel piece in a three-page feature about the ITV show Dancing On Ice, in which he is taking part. Headlined "Captain Jack of all trades", it looks at Broadway and West End productions he appeared in before Doctor Who, and mentions him co-hosting BBC1's The Sound of Musicals the same evening (Saturdays from 14 January). The article states, surprisingly, that Captain Jack is back in Doctor Who this year (which might simply be a misnomer) and will have his own show - Torchwood - which Barrowman denies will be an "X-rated Doctor Who". He says: "It's going to be Britain's answer to The X-Files, with the craft and the humour from This Life." In the Letters section, the Letter of the Week has an amusing suggestion as to what kind of man the new Doctor is, following on from the character's bid to find out in The Christmas Invasion: spending most of his time in bed; strange things issuing from his mouth when he opens it; spending the day wandering around in pyjamas after having a cup of tea - that makes him a teenager. It is illustrated with a Christmas Invasion publicity still of David Tennant and Billie Piper in costume in front of the Tardis with snow and Christmas tree.
On the next page, in the You Ask Us feature, a reader poses the questions was Sycoraxic based on a real language, was it backwards words, were there hidden messages, was it a real, functioning language such as Klingon, or were the actors making up gibberish? Russell T Davies, who scripted the Sycorax word for word, answers: "Sycoraxic was completely invented. I just made it up! But I did try to give it some logic, so that the same word always meant the same thing: 'Soo chack chiff!' means 'You're going to die!', which tends to get said a lot in Doctor Who. And I did try to parse the verbs, but it wasn't too rigorous - I don't think universities will be offering degrees in Sycoraxic any time soon!" It is accompanied by a picture of the Sycorax leader, with the caption VOICE OF DOOM "Soo chack chiff" yourself. In the One Final Question section at the back of the magazine, Patrick Stewart takes a swipe at journalists by denying that his new series Eleventh Hour is anything like an ITV version of "Doctor Who". Interviewer Benji Wilson asks him: "A newspaper journalist said it was like an ITV Doctor Who . . ." to which Stewart replies: "That couldn't be more wrong and only came about through some of your lazy colleagues seeing my name and the word 'science' in the same sentence, and the only thing they could think of was science-fiction. It has nothing to do with science-fiction and nothing to do with Doctor Who." He states there are no aliens, and that he plays a retired physicist working for the government as a scientific adviser out in the field. "My job is to investigate illegal, criminal, dangerous or bad science," he says.
The BBC Press Office has today released some details of the launch this afternoon of Blue Peter's 'Music Makers' competition, "a search to find 40 viewers passionate about music - to help make television history". The winners "will get the chance to work with top TV composer Murray Gold, of Doctor Who fame, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra". More information is available at the Musicmakers website on BBC online, and the full press release can be read here, while Gold's interview on Blue Peter, in which he discussed both his new version of the theme and Delia Derbyshire's original, is currently available in full on the official Doctor Who website.
The official site also today has a brief interview with Murray Gold about the song used at the end of "The Christmas Invasion". "It's called 'Song for Ten' in honour of David Tennant being Doctor Ten," says Gold to the official site. "James Hawes mentioned in passing, while I was writing the score for TCI that he might need a song or two. I sang Jingle Bells and made my voice sound weird then performed the backing vocals on Song for Ten. I watched through the sequence lots of times and tried to find the sentiment that was true to the moment and express it lyrically. I wanted to hit that lovely moment when the Doctor and Rose smile at each other, and the lyric: 'You followed your star, cause that's what you are...' just leapt out. ... If you think it does have a Phil Spector way about it, I'm happy, because I adore him, and also the songs of Holland Dozier Holland who are the Lennon and McCartney of Motown. Phil Spector's often described as creating a 'Wall of Sound.' Big production, lots of timpani and strings and multi-tracked vocals. It's basically fantastic pop music. You just need lots of spare tracks." He notes that the song was sung by Tim Phillips, who he calls "a real upcoming talent. I wanted to nab him to sing a song in case next time he's too big. He's got an album out soon which he partly mixed in my studio. As I said, he and I performed backing vocals. I played the instruments. ... If there's ever an album of Doctor Who music from the series, I'm sure it would be on that."
David Tennant was listed in third place in the February edition of the SCI-FI Channel's official magazine under "26 People to Watch in 2006" along with many other notable celebrities from television and film.
This Saturday's edition of The Guardian newspaper will be giving away a free DVD copy of "Let Him Have It", Christopher Eccleston's 1991 film debut in which he stars as Derek Bentley, the real-life story of how a 19 year-old was hanged for murdering a policeman who was shot by Bentley's friend when Bentley himself was already in police custody.
Also, MediaGuardian.co.uk's "Monkey" gossip column has another report about the "Doctor Who Adventures" magazine.
(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, John Bowman, Paul Hayes, Nigel Rainford, Frank Dana, Mike Mould and Brian Smith)