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3/07/2006 01:39:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon


According to a BBC Press Office Programme Information release (link - note, PDF document), "The Chatterley Affair" will be broadcast on BBC Four on Monday 20 March, from 9pm to 10.30pm. David Tennant appears as journalist Richard Hoggart, and the dramatisation of the Lady Chatterley trial is directed by James Hawes ('The Empty Child', 'The Christmas Invasion').

Iowa Public Television, one of only two stations in America who still syndicate the classic series, is now accepting pledges to keep the show on the air for the next calendar year. "With the Christopher Eccleston series about to broadcast on The Sci-Fi Channel, Mad Norwegian Press is asking WHO fans -- even those who don't live in Iowa -- to make a small pledge and aid the cause by keeping one of the last remaining bastions of classic WHO on the American airwaves," says Lars Pearson of Mad Norwegian Press. "Simply put, IPTV is a non-profit organization, and the show cannot remain on the air without freely-given funding. The IPTV broadcasts benefit those inside Iowa and some surrounding areas... With the Eccleston series' debut, we're hoping there'll be a lot more people curious about the old run. Anyone wishing to donate to IPTV to keep WHO on the air can do so through the IPTV website by going here. Those who make a pledge should scroll down and vote for their favorite Doctor -- IPTV will begin running the winner's stories on April 8." There will also be a live pledge drive on Saturday, March 11 at 11 pm... the special edition of "The Five Doctors" will be shown at this time.


According to the What's On Stage website, Sylvester McCoy will star in the world premiere of "The Pocket Orchestra - The Unlikely Lives of the Great Composers" at the West End’s Trafalgar Studio 2 next month. "The new play by Graeme Garden and Callum McLeod runs from 26 April 2006 (preview 25 April) for a limited four-week season to 20 May 2006. The comedy takes an “irreverent, satirical and shamelessly anecdotal” look at the history of classical music and the often bizarre and anarchic lives of the great composers."

Former companion Caroline John will be appearing as one of the leads on Radio Four in the afternoon play on Wednesday March 15th at 14.30 (British time). The play is a ghost story called 'The Midnight House' and centres around an episode in world war two whereby pictures from the London Art Galleries were evacuated to a remote slate mine in North Wales. The play will be available to listen to for up to a week online at the Radio Four website.

This week's Radio Times has a two-page article (in their behind-the-scenes section) on Adam Garcia (Alex in "The Christmas Invasion"), who plays the Russian ballet star in "the BBC's lavish Riot at the Rite, the story of Nijinsky's infamous version of Stravinsky's 'The Right of Spring' ballet. 'Very few people can do justice of Nijinsky, so what chance do I have?' laughs Adam. 'Aussie-born Garcia had a little help from ballet double Ivan Putrov'. BBC2 Saturday 11 March at 9pm."

Christopher Eccleston made a surprise appearance on the final of Junior Mastermind on BBC One on 26 February, his first public appearance in connection with Doctor Who since the new series publicity in March last year. Eccleston appeared in a pre-filmed insert, chatting to Sam, the young contestant who had chosen "Doctor Who 2005" as his specialist subject. Describing himself as an "unemployed Time Lord", Eccleston said that the best thing about being in Doctor Who was "the response from children". When asked what he had brought to the role, he indicated his ears; he also suggested that he would do "terribly" in a Mastermind round on Doctor Who, and declared that the Doctor "absolutely" fancied Rose. He seemed relaxed, and pleased and impressed with Sam's enthusiasm for the show. Not helped by a convoluted question about 'Father's Day', Sam went on to achieve a good score of 16, though this was not enough to win the contest.

Eccleston will also participate in a special called "The Best Ever Muppet Moments!" on Saturday, March 11 at 7pm on ITV. Says the Mirror, "Hosted by Kermit The Frog - as all shows should be - the programme will celebrate our favourite bits from The Muppet Show, complete with tributes from fans including Robson Green, Christopher Eccleston, Davina McCall, Angus Deayton and Michael Parkinson."

Jo Joyner, who played perky Lynda Moss in the final two episodes of last season's Doctor Who series, told this past weekend's Sunday Mercury, "If I do nothing else in my life, I can always say I was exterminated! ... It was so cool to be part of Doctor Who. Filming my death was a real buzz. I had a large plate of sugar glass in front of me which shattered, and three huge sub-woofers behind me, blowing air out like giant hairdryers to whip my hair back in the blast. I'm a huge fan of Big Brother but I'd hate to go on it. As I say, I like people-watching, not having people watch me!"

Camille Coduri will be featured in a segment on My Spirit Radio after March 21, hosted by Esoteric Entertainments, a paranormal site. "In this exclusive interview [Coduri] talks about Doctor Who, her outlook and life and as an Aries woman what she looks for in a lover! The interview will be available as an mp3 download as well."

Justin Richards, Creative Director of the Doctor Who books, is interviewed at CBBC: "I suppose my absolute favourite though was Doctor Who In An Exciting Adventure With The Daleks - which is quite a title! It came out again later as just plain: Doctor Who and the Daleks. The book was written by David Whitaker from the original scripts of the very first Dalek story on Doctor Who, which was by Terry Nation. Both hugely talented writers who knew all about adventure and thrills!"

Robert Hands, who played Algy in "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances", is to star with Tim Curry in the forthcoming West End version of "Spamalot."

Additional Press Items

The New York Times discusses the launch of the series in America along with Russell T Davies and the controversy surrounding the series being produced by an openly gay producer. "'There's very classically and traditionally a strong gay fan base for 'Doctor Who,' said Mr. Davies, 42, in a telephone interview from his home in Manchester, England. 'He is a loner and a wanderer. He doesn't represent the authority -- he is a man, unlike any other, doing his own thing. I think you can see the emotional connection.' ... So when the BBC approached Mr. Davies in late 2003 to update 'Doctor Who' for the 21st century, he was already teeming with ideas. 'It's a genuine love of mine,' he said, 'and loving a program means you're not blind to its faults.' ... 'It was very important to Russell that the Doctor not be posh,' said Mark Gatiss, a co-star and co-creator of the quirky ensemble television comedy 'The League of Gentlemen,' who was recruited onto Mr. Davies's writing staff. 'It's all about the Doctor being a kind of burning, firework personality that is incredibly attractive, but also slightly dangerous to be around.' ... In the days leading up to the premiere of the new 'Doctor Who' in March 2005, the British tabloid press did its best to insinuate that Mr. Davies -- who is openly gay, and proud that his 'Queer as Folk' series included, in his words, 'more sex than any other program ever' -- might somehow be an unfit candidate to re-establish a beloved cultural icon. The faithful, however, declined to take the bait. 'The vast amount of fans out there were just elated that the show was coming back,' said Shaun Lyon, editor of the 'Doctor Who' fan Web site Outpost Gallifrey ( 'Pointing out that Russell's gay, let's be honest, you can no longer get a story out of that. Gay is officially boring now.' ... But controversy eventually caught up with the series: four days after the premiere, the BBC published a news release in which Mr. Eccleston revealed that he would not be returning for a second season — an awkward situation made more so when he protested that the BBC had falsely attributed quotes to him and had broken an agreement to withhold the announcement until after the show's first season had ended. 'I'm sure it could have been handled better,' Mr. Davies said. (Mr. Eccleston declined to comment for this story.)" Read the full article at the website.

More coverage of Noel Clarke's film "Kidulthood" which arrived over the weekend can be found in the Independent, the Daily RecordFuture MoviesBloomberg News, the Sunday Times,">ITN, the Guardian. There have also been a ton of in-print articles written but not available online. Meanwhile, Clarke was on BBC Radio 5 Live's weekly film review on 4 March with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode; Doctor Who interest is sparse, other than, at the end of the interview, a bit of badgering him about how long Billie will be in it for (and of course, he doesn't give them anything.)

Other items: Television Without Pity, a large television website, has opened up a new Doctor Who section to cover the show's broadcast on Sci-Fi. CBBC News mentions the debut of "Totally Doctor Who" and has the same information as on the official site, which we reported over the weekend. Also, there's more news about the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards at C21 Media.

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Andrew Harvey, Peter Weaver, Neil Marsh, Jonathan Hall and Lars Pearson)