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Bookmark and Share TARDIS Report: Mid-February Catch-Up Report

2/23/2006 01:54:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon


February 23, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Series Two Items

New! Magazine (issue 151) has a two-page article (mostly pictures) of "Billie and David's TARDIS trip to the 50s!" The article reads, "Billie Piper and David Tennant get to rock around the TARDIS in the next series of Doctor Who! Our snaps were snatched on the set of the popular BBC1 drama in a street in Cardiff, Wales, last week, where the pair were in the midst of filming David's first series in the lead role. Billie looked a lot more excited by her retro costume than her co-star, but we don't blame her - she looked fantastic! She'd swapped her 21st century daywear for a fantastic flared pink skirt, matching heels and quirky pink shades, while David was wearing The Doctor's usual suit, jazzed up with a funky rockabilly quiff and sideburns. Still, David got to swap the time-travelling TARDIS for a zippy blue Vespa, which explains why he was recently spotted taking motorbike lessons. Billie, 23, seemed to enjoy riding on the back as much as David, 34, enjoyed driving, and she recently revealed, "Screen kisses? I love them. Especially with David." No wonder the actress, who recently received a breakthrough gong at the prestigious South Bank ShowAwards, insists on three takes to get their on-screeen snogs right. The pair were filming an episode in which their TARDIS lands in the 1950s, where they battle aliens who travel thoughTV airwaves. Filming took place in a residential street bedecked with bunting, retro adverts and lined with vintagcars, while diversions were in place to stop modern-day cars beign caught on film. The new series is expected to air in April. We can't wait!"

Actress Michelle Ryan mentioned the series in a brief interview in theMetro magazine. "There are rumours you're going to be Dr Who's new assistant. Are they true?" asks the paper, to which she replied, "Everyone's been rumoured to be up for that. The media speculate as to who they'd like to see in the role but as far as I know, no offers have been made. I'd consider it if it came up, though."

The Sun on 16 February asked "Who's my Valentine?" "Shirley Valentine starPauline Collins gets her teeth into the role of Queen Victoria in Doctor Who - before being bitten by a werewolf! Actress Pauline, 61, below, stars in an episode called Tooth and Claw in which the Queen meets the Time Lord (David Tennant) and his sidekick Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) in the Scottish Highlands. The trio spend the night with a Royal pal - who turns into a beast when night falls. Pauline - who first appeared in the sci-fi show in 1967 - said: 'It's really a tale of good against evil.'"

Series two guest star Maureen Lipman was on "Wogan Now and Then" on UKTV Gold on 14 Septemberr. She talked briefly about her episode in the new series, couple of minor spoilers about how it is set before the Coronation in 1953, that she is an alien, that she filmed her part separately from the main cast at Alexandria Palace studios, and scenes like "15 seconds having all the energy sucked out of (her)".

The South Wales Evening Post notes that "Swansea Valley's landmark Craig y Nos has been transformed from a 19th Century gothic pile into a dark and dour Scottish castle for the latest Dr Who sci-fi adventure set in Victorian times. A caravan of 30 BBC trucks descended on the castle to film the new series of adventures featuring the time travelling Doctor, in the shape of David Tennant, and his feisty companion, played by Billie Piper. Most of the filming was done over three days in the outer courtyard of the castle. The appearance of the castle facade needed changing to give it a bleak, period feel and security lights and other modern fittings had to be camouflaged. Martin Gover, managing director of Selclene, the domestic cleaning agency which now owns the castle, said: "The highlight of one of our overnight hotel guest's stay turned out to be the moment Billie Piper accidentally trod on her dog's tail between scenes." Mr Gover, who has put 1.2 million of his own money into renovating Craig y Nos, said: "The storyline concerns someone with a werewolf in their cellar. "Aside from that, we know as little about the plot as anyone else. All the shots of the castle were of the front entrance and the atrium block. We had all the windows painted black to give the castle a mediaeval look." The Dr Who cavalcade arrived during the worst of the autumn rain. "It bucketed down with rain," said Mr Gover. "We asked what they were going to do about the remaining daylight scenes as it got dark. One of the technicians said 'You haven't seen our sun, mate'. A huge crane arrived and hoisted an immense lighting array some 70ft above the castle, bathing the hamlet of Craig y Nos in bright 'sunshine'. The rain, however, continued sheeting down. 'Not even the BBC could control the weather," he added.

The South Wales Evening Post notes that "a child actor from Swansea is to grace the big screen with two very different types of Doctor. Parklands Primary School pupil Lara Philippart, aged eight, will appear on television this weekend with a role in BBC's Casualty. But she is also due this week to star filming the latest series of Dr Who, which is underway in Cardiff. Lara, who attends Centrestage Drama School in Sandfields, is following in the footsteps of big sister Millie, aged 13, who recently returned from travelling Europe filming Crusade in Jeans, a children's film about time travel set for general cinema release later this year. Dad Kneath Philippart, from Sketty, said: "They just seem to get picked for these roles. But credit really has to go to the staff at Centrestage for all the work they do." Lara will be appearing in Casualty on Saturday."

A 16 February article in the Daily Star says that "Doctor Who bosses have gone monster mad after a script for the new series was left on a park bench. The top secret document was abandoned by someone who works on the BBC hit, which stars David Tennant, 34, and Billie Piper, 23. And the script for a forthcoming episode called The Idiot's Lantern could already have been read by passers-by and even posted on the internet. TV chiefs were left fuming when a member of the public rang the Beeb to say the weather-beaten script had been found in a central London park. Producers are said to be furious that someone working on the programme could have been so careless as to leave the script lying on a bench. A BBC source said: "They were stunned that anyone could just leave a secret script just lying around for all the world to see. These things are sacred because so few are given out and the ones which are often have the names of the cast or crew member printed on the top. The last thing we want is leaks on the internet. It can ruin the story and surprises for fans before the programme even goes on air. As yet we have no idea who left it there and so far no-one has owned up to us that they've lost their script. But everyone's been given a talking to about security issues." The Idiot's Lantern - said to be one of the spookiest-ever episodes - will feature in the new series which begins in April. It was written by League of Gentlemen star Mark Gatiss, 39. Only scant details are known about the plotline but we can reveal that the Doctor and Rose land back on Earth in the 1950s, only to find the planet being invaded by ghosts who travel through soundwaves in TV sets. The show is set to include guest appearances by comedy actress Maureen Lipman, 59, and telly psychic Derek Acorah, 55."

More articles about Trisha Goddard being a guest star in series two can be found at Sky.com, the Mirror (updated article) and Ananova. We should note that it appears that "I'm In Love With a Ghost" is actually the episode of the celeb's talk show within the Doctor Who episode...

Noel Clarke's Kidulthood

RWDMag interviews Noel Clarke about his forthcoming film "Kidulthood" coming out in March. "Basically it all started with a case of sitting down in front of the computer and writing it," says Clarke. "The reason I started was, I feel in terms of a lot of things that are happening today in society (with young people) - I didn’t think things were being told right. I wanted the film to be something that people haven’t seen before. The fact that a certain newspaper was trying to attack it, is just a testament to… people don’t like it when situations are told the way they really are. ... Young people do have sex; I mean this country has one of the highest youngest pregnancy rates in Europe. Young people do take drugs. The film doesn’t highlight, promote or justify any of this – I’m not a drug taker and never have been – BUT, it’s happening. You need to bring circumstances like this to people’s attention. The bullying in the schools and the workplaces needs to be brought to people’s attention. You can bring out all the blue bands you want, kids just wear them as a fashion accessory and children get bullied anyway. ... We tackle bullying, teenage suicide, drug taking and other major issues, what I want is the Government to figure out ways that young people can address these issues; with workshops and more money spent on these things that youth culture go through. I’m not saying I know the answers but if we shine light on the actual situation, kids relate to the characters and then someone (in power) can see what’s going on and deal with it. ... In terms if the writing, I mostly scripted it. Even though I’m a bit older I still know what’s goin on. I still go to the same barbers in Ladbrook Grove. Certain words never change. The actors helped a great deal, so they used some updated/ ad-libbed words. ... Basically the three main characters, Jay, Trife and Mooney are based on people, me and two of my friends from college. I was there for the casting and the Director [Menhaj Huda ‘Huds’] chose an excellent bunch. With the main characters everyone can relate to them. Working with all the cast was great and we had loads of joke on set. ... My character [Sam] is based on bullies I saw around the neighbourhoods. In school they’re all big but now when you see them on road they’re all silent. They only have the power with a weapon or with their crew around them. Once I knew I was playing that part (I didn’t know at the start); I had to make sure he was intimidating enough. ... The reactions have been 96% positive, which is alright ya know. I didn’t write/ make the film for people to like it. I made/ was involved because it was real and if you do things for OTHER people’s approval all the time, that’s the wrong reason. Go watch the film and you’ll see how things go down."

The 19 February edition of the Independent says that the film "shows what children really get up to when mum and dad aren't looking. ... It promises to be the most controversial British film of the year. The Sun has already called for it to be banned and The Times has accused it of pandering to middle-class voyeurism in its portrayal of crime, bullying and sexual abuse. Set among a group of white and black teenagers in west London, from working-class and middle-class families, and based entirely on true stories, Kidulthood claims to be the first feature film to accurately reflect what life is like for urban kids. There are graphic scenes of drug-taking, violence, casual sex and organised crime. The characters are all 15. The film opens with a middle-class schoolgirl being horrifically bullied in a classroom. When her preoccupied businessman father picks up her from school, he fails to spot the bruises. Ten minutes later, she has hanged herself. In another sequence two girls trade sexual favours with older men for pocket money to spend at Topshop. A young black boy cuts a man's throat to impress his drug-dealer uncle. Running parallel, however, are story- lines about coping with bad skin and how to choose your friends wisely. Not surprising then that the film, out in two weeks, has divided critics. But is it an unflinching portrayal of teenage life, or a manipulative assault on the paranoid anxieties of Middle England? For one thing is sure - this film is certain to put the fear of God into parents everywhere. ... Noel Clarke, who wrote the screenplay, insists it is the essential truth of his work that makes the film so controversial. 'It touches a raw nerve,' he says. 'It's on the pulse of what's happening in society right now. Kids these days are growing up too fast.' Clarke, 30, best known for playing Billie Piper's boyfriend in Dr Who, is sure of his material. He grew up in the Ladbroke Grove and Harrow Road area of London where the film is set. His childhood bedroom is used in one scene. For a year he collected newspaper articles about teenagers in trouble, then condensed them into a 90-minute storyline, seen from their point of view. With a cast that includes Clarke, Jamie Winstone - the teenage daughter of Ray Winstone - and Rafe Spall, son of Timothy Spall, and a "hip-hop and grime" soundtrack by Dizzee Rascal, The Streets and Lady Sovereign, Kidulthood is seriously hip. It also looks fantastic: the director of photography, Brian Tufano, shot Trainspotting and Quadrophenia. Some are predicting it will join the ranks of cult films such as City of God and La Haine. But the film-makers are adamant that style shouldn't get in the way of substance. 'You have a bullying storyline, young people coming up against issues of sex for the first time, taking drugs, dealing with teenage pregnancy,' says Hannah Jolliffe of the youth website www.TheSite.org, which gives advice to young people on everything from drugs to sexual health. 'What is impressive is it doesn't try to moralise.' The highly multicultural film shows that in the new Britain, all kids face the same temptations." More at the website.

The Telegraph also says of the film that "There's a new kids' film on the block. Hardly a scoop - barely a week goes by without the release of another movie featuring some plucky youngster battling good and evil with their pals. Kidulthood, out in a fortnight, is no exception: it follows 15-year-old Trife and his schoolfriends getting up to all sorts of adventures one day in December. But Harry Potter it ain't. Not for these teenagers tutorials in wizardry and bashful blushes across the Quidditch field. The only time we see a blackboard is when a girl gets her face smashed against it by a classmate. The only time we see a science lab is when Trife uses the equipment to customise his gun. And the only time we see someone pick up a pen is to write a suicide note. Playing fields are for sex, mobile phones are for videoing fights, coke is for snorting, cabbies for fleecing, babies for getting rid of in case they make you look fat. Parents barely figure - they're dimly liberal at best, at worst completely absent. The real authority figures are an ageing drug-dealer, who trades pills for sexual favours, and Trife's gangster uncle, who gets his nephew high on heroin, then forces him to maim a business associate he is torturing in the cellar. It's a shocker all right, and intentionally so. The more adults who tut, the more teenagers who will buy tickets. With a soundtrack featuring cutting-edge home-grown talent, such as The Streets and Dizzee Rascal, Kidulthood is a film of formidable grit that aims to expose the tough-nut centre of chocolate-box London. It is set on the council estates bordering Ladbroke Grove, a landscape of grim towers and graffiti-scrawled underpasses rarely visited by film crews, despite being cheek by jowl with some of the most expensive postcodes in town."

More about the film can be found on its official website.

David Tennant Items

icWales notes that "IT MAY not be an issue at the forefront of people's minds as they are sizing up their favourite celebrities, but the owners of the sexiest pair of famous ears have been named. The RNID, the charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, today picked singer Charlotte Church, also a former winner of Rear of the Year, and Doctor Who actor David Tennantas having the best set of lugs. Others shortlisted for the female prize were actress Keira Knightley, singer Jamelia and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, while the men who just missed out on the prize included presenter Jonathan Ross and singer Robbie Williams. The RNID has now launched a search for the nation's sexiest pair of ears, with members of the public invited to send in a picture to be judged by the charity." Also reported at theBelfast Telegraph, Edinburgh NewsGM.TVDaily Record.

Tennant appears as the Doctor on the front cover of the 'Equity Review of the Year 2005' (the annual report of the British actors' trade union). There's no reference to him or the series inside, however.

Stuff.co.nz reviewed "Casanova" starring Tennant, saying it "was an engaging romp, in the tradition of Vanity Fair, Barrie Lyndon and Moll Flanders -- only updated, into a sort of Minder in costume. ...It was initially disappointing that a rather scrawny and average-looking actor, David Tennant, was the chosen young Casanova. He didn't look remotely like our modern idea of an Italian dreamboat. He was barrow-boy common, and when seen in bed, had those nasty spaghetti arms which we're so unaccustomed to seeing on TV since the advent of Les Mills. But he imbued the role with enough grating charm, impishness and gallows self-deprecation, that in the end he seemed acceptable. Tennant has a nice, Everyman face and surplus eye-twinkle, and will doubtless become as ubiquitous as Robson Green in time. But for my money, he was outshone comedy-wise by his manservant Rocco, played with stoical, eye-rolling sullenness by Shaun Parks."

Tenannt is also said to be backing a fundraising drive for a cash-strapped Scots hospice in his home town of Paisley according to the Daily Record of 14 February. "The ACCORD Hospice have just six weeks to buy their buildings from Argyll and Clyde Health Board. Tennant has stepped in to give the buy-a-brick campaign celebrity backing. David said: 'Coming from Paisley, I'm very proud of the ACCORD Hospice and the care they provide.'"

The official website asks, "If you've ever wondered what going on a date with David Tennant would be like, and let's face it, who hasn't, the BBC Film Network has the answer. They've just published romantic comedy Nine and a Half Minutes on their site. Made back in 2002, it stars the Tenth Doctor actor alongside Zoe Telford. They play Charlie and Heather, a couple who meet on a blind date and then go on to imagine a whole relationship in just under ten minutes. Warning - the film does contain some very strong language, alongside images of David Tennant pretending to be a crocodile wrestler."

More People

John Barrowman is listed to appear on Loose Women Friday 3 March, ITV1 1.30-2.30 (along with one of the Dancing on Ice judges Jason Gardiner) (according to DigiGuide).

BBC News reports that "Actors Joanna Lumley and Tom Baker own the UK's best voices, according to a Radio Times poll of nearly 5000 people. Users of the magazine's website were asked to choose the nicest and the most grating tones from 50 of the most distinctive voices in TV and radio. Julian Clary and Janet Street-Porter topped the worst voices list. Lorraine Kelly and Jeremy Clarkson made both the best and worst line-ups. Other favourite voices included Des Lynam, Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup. ... 'His voice is so fruity and dark,' [Dead Ringers star Jan Ravens] said of Tom Baker, who is currently the voice of BT's talking text message service. 'But I think it would be hard work to carry his voice round with you all day.'" Also reported at Brand Republic.

The 18 February Birmingham Post featured their "Saturday Interview" with Tom Baker. "You can't deny it's a neat idea. For the next three months, whenever you send a text to a landline number, thanks to computer technology and a mammoth stint in a recording studio, the recipient will hear former Doctor Who Tom Baker reading out your message. "I think I'm a good choice," chuckles the 72-year-old actor, "because here's the voice of Little Britain, now the voice of BT." Holed up in a hotel suite in London's Fitzrovia, Tom is in top form and seems genuinely amused by his latest project. "It took about 60-odd hours over 11 days to record every sound and combination in the language they need to make the service work," he says. "In many ways it could have been a very boring job, because a lot of the stuff I was saying was phonetic. They were looking for sounds and not the sense. Despite the fact it was all nonsensical, I had to read it with aplomb. "I said to the engineer, 'I don't know how I can do this', to which he replied, 'Well, I just heard you talking a load of rubbish in the entrance. It was fantastic, just do that'. I thought, 'Gosh, that's a sharp observation'. "It was a nice job because most of the messages that are going to go out being read by me will be rather pleasant. I'm looking forward to people in the street saying, 'I had a call from you last night!'."

Tom Baker has made a lot of money for BT -- over 500,000 pounds in less than three weeks! "The actor, 72, has been the voice of BT Text since the start of February," says the Daily Star on 19 February. "The service allows mobile phone users to send an SMS to a landline, with the words then being converted into a spoken message by Baker. And already millions of Brits have been plagued by cheeky messages left on their answering machines by the narrator of the hit comedy. Little Britain catchphrases including "I want that one", "bitty" and "I'm a laydee" have been booming out in homes across the UK. The actor, who played Dr Who between 1974 and 1981, earned himself new-found cult status after being signed up to narrate Little Britain. And he has proved so popular that BT, which has cashed in on the 10p-atime service since the start of the month, is now ready to extend his three-month contract. A BT spokesman said: "Within the first week, the number of people using the text-to-landline service soared. There was a 71% increase as people jumped at the chance to play pranks on their friends and have a bit of fun." Prankster Ryan Sloan, 27, said: "I'm a great fan of Dr Who and Little Britain, so getting Tom Baker on my answering machine is always funny."

Baker will be heard on the Colin and Edith Show on Radio 1 on Friday 24 February from 1-4pm according to the officialwebsite.

Director James Hawes says he "wants to be reincarnated as a Timelord," according to an interview in Broadcast. Says Hawes to several questions: "What's the cruellest thing you've ever done? Use an air rifle to shoot holes in my sister's David Soul album. ... What's the worst rejection you've ever had? Esther Rantzen turned me down as a director for That's Life. ... Who would you like to play you in a movie? Ronnie Corbett. ... If you could be reincarnated who or what would you be? A Timelord."

The Eastern Daily Press says that Colin Baker will appear at "a Midsummer Invasion at Holt on June 25. It will feature more than 100 daleks and cybermen, and guests also include Terry Molloy, who played Davros, the evil creator of the daleks. Organiser Nigel Pearce said people from across the country were interested in attending, which was good news for the town. Fun events, including parades, and other visiting sci-fi characters from Star Wars and action comics, will be in the town on the Sunday. There is a meet and greet session involving the actors the previous evening. More than 350 people attended a recent event launch, and there would be another "incident" with a red dalek at Budgens super-market at 9am on Friday."
Yahoo News notes that Tracy-Ann Oberman, who appears in the final episodes of series two, "has landed her first major TV role since leaving EastEnders in 2005. The actress, who played murderous former Queen Victoria landlady Chrissie Watts in the serial, will appear in the BBC's new comedy drama Sorted. Written by Daniel Brocklehurst, it follows the lives and loves of six Manchester postmen. Tracy-Ann stars as Amy, who is dating Dex, played by Shameless star Dean Lennox Kelly. The couple are living together and he has become a father to her kids, but they are unsure whether they are ready to take the next step and tie the knot. She's not the only soap veteran in the cast. The show also features Will Mellor, who first found fame on Hollyoaks before going on to serve a two-year stint on Casualty. Eva Pope, who played scheming Tanya Pooley in Coronation Street, will also appear as one of the posties' wives. Other cast members include Hugo Speer, Mark Womack, Cal Macaninch and Neil Dudgeon. The six-part series is currently being filmed, and is due to be screened on BBC One before the end of the year."

The 23 February edition of the Wembley and Kingsbury Times mentionsNicola Bryant's new play "Taboos". "Sally and Harriet, a lesbian couple in San Francisco, each have a child using sperm from their partner's brother, while one of the brothers uses an egg from his sister's partner to help his wife get pregnant. Sounds like a Jerry Springer biological special, but, in fact, it's the latest play by Carl Djerassi, the scientist turned dramatist who invented the contraceptive pill. During the past 15 years he has turned to fiction and the theatre, with a series of science-in-fiction novels and plays, An Immaculate Misconception, Oxygen, Three on a Couch, Calculus and last year's Phallacy. In Taboos, Djerassi returns to what he describes as 'the impending separation of sex and reproduction' to explore the ethical complications of parenthood in an era where social and legal structures lag behind scientific advancement. Djerassi said: "Assumptions that marriage must be heterosexual and that a child cannot have two parents of the same sex were never even considered assumptions, because they were beyond questioning. Some would blame in vitro fertilisation technology during the past three decades for these developments, but major social and cultural changes, primarily in the USA and Europe, were even more responsible for the monumental shift that's caused so much fear and antagonism. So why not write a play about a situation where 'family' and 'parent' have assumed disturbingly fuzzy meanings?" Sally, Notting Hill's Nicola Bryant, best known for her role as Dr Who assistant Peri Brown, and Harriet believe they can invent a family with the necessary biological ingredients, but find it proves a more emotionally involving process than expected."

Merchandise

Doctor Who is currently on the cover of the Sci-Fi Channel magazine (website here) which it says has "a sneak peak at David Tennant, the latest incarnation of the immortal Doctor Who." Also, the channel's website has areview of the Radio Controlled Dalek.

Issue #343 of the American genre TV magazine Starlog features a four-page article about the show which notes the February 14 Canada release date.

Canada's Brandon Sun briefly reviews the Doctor Who series one DVD package, as do Metronews CanadaBrooks BulletinNews1130 and the Globe and Mail of Canada.

Scifi.com says that "Classic SF franchises such as Doctor Who, Space: 1999 and Lost in Space are still very much alive in 2006, with new collectible lines based on the classic shows debuting at the American International Toy Fair in New York this week. Product Enterprise, Ltd., a British-based toy manufacturer specializing in cult TV and films, showed off an expansive line of new products coming to stores this year. Company designer Graham Humphreys told SCI FI Wire that the company will offer a 12-inch talking Doctor Who, based on actor Tom Baker's 1974–81 version of the immortal character, as well as a Talking Cyberman from the 1975 story "Revenge of the Cybermen." "We've had the classic license for six years, and there's always been a huge market for [Doctor Who]," Humphreys said. "The new items are coming out in October. We also have Micro-action Daleks, radio-control Daleks and the inflatable Daleks available now.""

Miscellaneous

The Scotsman says that "a Dalek built by a Penicuik paramedic has raised almost 300 pounds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation's appeal which aims to open a family support centre. The cash was raised when the "life-size" creature, which was built by Jeff Dunn, 40, appeared at the Cameron Toll Shopping Centre in Edinburgh last weekend. The Evening News-backed Drop-in Centre appeal aims to raise £100,000 to establish a centre near the Sick Kids Hospital for the parents of ill children. If you want to raise funds for the appeal, call 0131-668 4949."

icWales says that "fans will be spending more time getting up close and personal with Doctor Who. The Time Lord exhibition in Cardiff Bay has proved so popular that it will now be open to the public for longer than its planned two-month run. More than 80,000 visitors have already come face-to-face with Daleks at the Red Dragon Centre's free behind-the-scenes show, Doctor Who Up Close. Now fans will be able to see the props and costumes for at least another month, but they will have to pay a fee after February 26, when it was due to close. Martin Wilkie, spokesman for organisers Experience Design and Management, said: "We will keep the admission charge at a modest rate to enable us to welcome as many visitors to the exhibition as possible. We are very happy for school groups to come on an organised basis free of charge. We have been overwhelmed by the response to the exhibition so far." New displays featuring props, costumes and monsters from the forthcoming series starring new doctor David Tennant are set to be featured. Last month exhibits from the Christmas special, including evil Santas and the killer Christmas tree, were introduced. Emma Sandrey, 18, a Cardiff University film and media student, from Llanedeyrn, said: "I think it's fantastic that they're keeping it open. I've been there a few times and really enjoyed it. I don't think paying will put people off going and I'd go again." Doctor Who Up Close is open throughout half-term week from 11am until 8pm, and admission will still be free."

Biz.Yahoo.com on 21 February notes that Nuance Communications' RealSpeak technology has been used to develop the voice for BT's new Voice Text Service, including that of Tom Baker;

This Is Hertfordshire covers a Labour Party leaflet which "shows a Dalek chasing Councillor Brian Salinger. Hendon MP Andrew Dismore is refusing to apologise after labelling the borough's Conservatives as far right extremists' in a Labour Party leaflet delivered to hundreds of homes in the borough. The A4 leaflet, which has been posted to residents in Hale and West Hendon wards, pokes fun at the internal fighting among Tory councillors. It reads: 'There's nothing worse than seeing old friends fall out unless it's the Conservative far right extremists.' The text is accompanied by a mock picture of a Dalek chasing council leader Brian Salinger, with the headline EX-TORY-MATE! EX-TORY-MATE!' Hale Conservative councillor Brian Gordon said the comment was offensive and provocative."

The Brentwood Gazette notes that "One of television's best-loved characters will be making an appearance at Billericay's Mayflower High School next week. K9, Doctor Who's robot dog, will accompany owner Mat Irvine, former judge and advisor on TV programme Robot Wars, who will be judging the school's family learning day. Children and parents will work together on several science projects, including a chance to build robots together to enter into a Robot Wars-style arena competition. K9, who accompanied Tom Baker's Doctor Who during the 1970s, will be making a reapperance when the show returns later in the year."

BlogCritics discusses the arrival next month of the first season of the new Doctor Who series on SCI-FI in America, giving a synopsis of the show and then noting, "Based on what I have provided here, I hope everyone tunes in to Doctor Who mid-March. In many respects, it is the best space opera show out there. And yes, I believe it even surpasses the new Galactica in cliffhanger endings and complexity of storylines. In fact, the entire first season is one gigantic story that is highly reminiscent of the Tom Baker "Keys to Time" and the Colin Baker "Trial of a Time Lord" expansive serials on the classic show. Let's show SCI FI that intelligent viewers like us desire Who for a long time to come. So tune in after Galactica ends, and plan to be surprised! Oh, I forgot to mention the Doctor's name. It's...I forget now. You just have to check out the show yourself to get that question answered. Be seeing you in March." Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times mentioned the series in answer to a question about whether or not the show would ever make it to the US.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, Elaine Shanks, Chris Megson, John Bowman, Peter Weaver, Ryan Piekenbrock)