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12/20/2007 07:30:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe


December 20, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Today's news round-up begins and ends with CBBC's Newsround. Newsround's Lizo Mzimba was the first journalist to review "Voyage of the Damned". Mzimba says that David Tennant and Kylie Minogue "have great chemistry" and that the story as a whole, though "not a perfect episode", "beautifully juggles different elements ranging from tragedy to comedy."

Gareth McLean of The Guardian says that this year's offering is "the best of the three Christmas specials", but sniffs that Kylie is "blank and insipid". However, Nick Sketchfield of SFX calls Kylie's performance "unshowy but winning", and says that "Voyage of the Damned" is "the sixpence in the pudding, a perfect Christmas Day adventure that blends the disaster movie trappings of The Poseidon Adventure with the kind of madcap, quasi-2000 AD flavourings of those old Doctor Who Weekly comic strips."

There's one more video of David Tennant speaking at Tuesday night's premiere, this one from The Press and Journal. Speaking to Swansea's Evening PostRussell T. Davies was full of praise for Tennant, saying, "He's literally Britain's finest actor. I honest to God think that, so when you're writing for him you want him to do anything and go anywhere, and he's capable of anything."

In a survey of young men sponsored by Zoo magazine, Tennant came third in a list of the 100 Coolest Men in Britain. He was behind musician Noel Gallagher and football (soccer) player Steven Gerrard, but ahead of James Bond actor Daniel Craig. John Simm came 51st. Simon Pegg and Peter Kaywere first and fourth respectively in Zoo's top five of funny blokes, while Ricky Gervais, who plays a Doctor Who extra/slug monster in the ExtrasChristmas special, was second in that particular poll. Pegg, Gervais and Kay came seventh, eight and 17th respectively in the Zoo poll to find the coolest bloke of 2007.

Kylie Minogue's involvement gets "Voyage of the Damned" column-inches from Australia's Nine News (which quotes one "Robert T. Davies") and The Sunalso has a story claiming that Madonna turned down an invitation to appear in Doctor Who as "The Last Cassandra". The item appears, appropriately enough, in the newspaper's "Bizarre" section, accompanied by a mock-up of Madonna as Cassandra. (Presumably the photo editors were bored with sticking celebrities' heads onto Davros' body.)

The Times reports that some Christian groups are upset at the use of religious iconography in "Voyage of the Damned". Only one such group is named: the evangelical organization Christian Voice, which previously objected to the BBC's broadcast of "Jerry Springer: The Opera". However, a Church of England spokesman dismissed the concern, saying, "Science fiction at its best helps to illuminate eternal themes, and that’s something the Church can happily work with."

One Doctor Who star who will be found in a church soon is Billie Piper. Piper, who has recently been in Wales filming for the return of Rose Tyler to Doctor Who, will marry actor Laurence Fox on New Year's Eve. The Midhurst and Petworth Observer reports that the two will wed at the parish church in the West Sussex village of Easebourne, where Piper owns a home. The Daily Mail notes that the reception will be held at a pub owned by Piper's ex-husband, Chris Evans.

And finally, we circle back to Newsround. The parents of George Baker, 10, have decorated his bedroom as the TARDIS console room -- complete with a rather impressive console. Fans of all ages can surely envy young Mr. Baker.

Thanks to "PMount" of the Doctor Who Forum and Paul McDermott.