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3/29/2006 02:04:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon


March 29, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Alert: BBC Wales Today will cover the press launch this evening at 6.30pm UK time; those who receive the broadcast can tune in for a special preview tying into the press launch.

Meanwhile, coverage of Tuesday's press event has been sporadic due to the press embargo in effect until late tonight (after which we expect a flood of press coverage, which of course Outpost Gallifrey will report to you). Here's a small sample of what's been issued so far:

Today's edition of The Sun has a brief picture story on last night's press launch of the new series. Headlined "It's Doctor Who And The Bra-Dis", the half-page piece has a main picture of David Tennant and Billie Piper and draws attention to the fact that Piper is wearing a see-through top as she "cosies up to" Tennant. It says Tennant "who has taken over from Christopher Ecclestone [sic] as the Doctor . . . has already appeared as the Timelord in a Christmas special" and adds that "Camille Coduri, who plays (Piper's) screen mum Jackie Tyler and Noele [sic] Clarke - boyfriend Mickey Smith - also attended the Cardiff screening." Coduri and Clarke are also pictured. Both pictures are in mono in the newspaper, but the web piece has them in colour.

Coverage, concentrating on David Tennant and Billie Piper arriving at the launch, continues in the UK press with an article in the Daily Star [not yet online] and at U.TV, as well as a piece in the Daily Express noting Maureen Lipman's guest appearance in the series.

Evening Times notes that ""fans today get a sneak preview of amazing scenes from the first episode of the eagerly-awaited new series. The hit TV show - the first full series starring Scots actor David Tennant as the Doctor - will return on BBC1 in the spring. In the opening episode, the Tardis lands in the distant future of New Earth. ... Later in the series, fans will see Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay joining the Tardis. Kay will play "cold and powerful" character Victor Kennedy in episode 10. He landed the role after sending a fan letter to writer Russell T Davies saying how much he loved the first series. However, Kay will be swapping his trademark gags for serious acting. Other guest stars who have signed up to appear in the new series include Maureen Lipman, Pauline Collins and EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman."

Hello Magazine says that "Billie Piper is fond of describing herself as 'low-maintenance', but at the press launch for Dr Who's second season the actress was looking decidedly sexy in a combo of a sheer taupe-coloured top and white trousers. Her co-star, gorgeous Scottish actor David Tennant, had likewise gone for casual chic in a trendy jacket and jeans. The pair regularly stop traffic in Cardiff where most of the series is filmed. Just last month, for an episode set in the 1950s, diversions were placed in streets near the shoot so modern cars weren't caught on camera. Billie also surprised locals by dressing up in a puffball skirt, zip-up jacket and headband, looking for all the world like an extra out of Grease. Meanwhile, David was sporting sideburns and a Teddy-Boy quiff, which were still in evidence at this week's screening. The second series got a boost when acting veterans Pauline Collins and Maureen Lipman announced they're joining the show's line-up, along with comedian Peter Kay and Tracy-Ann Oberman, last seen doing time for the murder of Dirty Den in EastEnders. Pauline portrays Queen Victoria, while Maureen battles the Time Lord as an invading alien who occupies TV sets. The comedienne was thrilled with her role. 'I had to respond to commands such as: 'OK Maureen, now could you give us 15 seconds of having every last drop of energy sucked out of you?',' she enthused. 'It was great! This will earn me my entire year's worth of street cred!'"

Also, BlogCritics discusses the April 15 announcement. "After the long wait between episodes, the question still needs to be asked: Can David Tennant's Doctor take center stage? In the very first season in 1963, The Doctor (then played by William Hartnell) was more of a background character whose companions were at the forefront of the action while the Doctor figured a way out of the situation given in an episode. Later on, the producers of the series found a way to manage the characters so that both would be allowed ample screen time. Series 1 felt more like a return to those early years, which is fine, but not for every episode. When Tennant took over the role from Christopher Eccelston (who did the Doctor for Series 1) in 'The Parting Of The Ways,' it finally seemed like an actor had stepped in with enthusiasm and interest in the character. As luck would have it, we got our chance a few months before Christmas with the mini-segment 'Children-In-Need' special. Now with this excitement and joy with a new Doctor at hand, we had to deal with whether the result was worth it. For the CID special, I didn't feel it. ... With that out of the way, and April 15th approaching, I can only hope that the show returns to it's full glory and allows it's main hero to take center stage."

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, John Bowman, Paul Engelberg)