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7/21/2008 06:40:00 pm - Reported by Adam Kirk

Doctor Who's excellent ratings in Australia continue with it topping the one million mark for the fourth week in a row.The Fires of Pompeii rated 1,101,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, while Planet of the Ood rated 1,092,000. The Confidential Cutdown versions of 'The Italian Job' and 'Oods and Ends' also rated extremely well gaining 875,000 and 936,000 viewers respectively in the five major capital cities. By way of comparison, series three of Doctor Who only averaged around 846,000 viewers in its old Saturday night timeslot with a top rating of 928,000 for 'Smith and Jones'.

Meanwhile, 'Doctor Who' continues to attract some local media. Graeme Blundell of 'The Weekend Australia' writes affectionately of a programme he and his children grew up with and where 'there is still a highly enjoyable kind of campiness at work...Tennant is perfect comic strip-style Doctor ... [while] wonderful Tate provides a nice comic turn as Donna, shades of the many characters from her own series ghosting across her face as she chases after the Doctor.'Ruth Ritchie of The Sydney Morning Herald is a bit more ambivalent about series four though, suggesting that Catherine Tate may be too much of a good thing. She writes that 'when both leads have funny bones, when the story involves an extreme dieting conspiracy where the fat is harvested from obese Britons to make babies for beings from another thingy and when the fat-babies are animated globules that leap from the back-fat of women in pubs … you can see how that sort of material might not benefit from the inclusion of a wild-eyed redhead who makes Lucille Ball look shy. This week they go to Rome - well, Pompeii - on "volcano day", as the Doctor so succinctly points out. It leans heavily towards Carry On Up The Toga territory.'Tim Hunter though praises Tate's 'down-to-earth, no-nonsense attitude that keeps the Doctor on his Time Lord toes.' CitySearch and The Sydney Morning Herald also preview recent episodes.The Sydney Morning Herald has also reprinted the 'New York Times' interview with Russell T. Davies. MeanwhileChris Hook of The Daily Telegraph says 'with the Doctor on TV, everything else should pretty much stop' thoughMelinda Houston of The Sunday Age suggests 'there's a slight shadow falling across the reinvented Doctor Who. We got a taste of it at the conclusion to the last season – that is, the elevation of the Doctor to some kind of godhead, often at the expense of irreverence and therefore its (and his) charm.'

Thanks to contributors to the Australian forums