Bookmark and Share Media round-up - UK in Doctor Who meltdown

7/04/2008 09:05:00 pm - Reported by Anthony Weight

The British media has gone into Doctor Whooverdrive in recent days, with a frenzy of comment, speculation and analysis across all kinds of outlets on television, radio, the internet and in print. As the week has gone on the avalanche of coverage ahead of tomorrow's climactic finale to series four has continued to build, and the excitement shows no sign of dying down yet.

This evening, BBC One's main early evening news bulletin, the Six O'Clock News, carried a report from entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba, looking at the secrecy surrounding tomorrow night's episode. It featured a short new clip from the episode, as well as comments from Freema Agyeman - who said friends had been texting her about the series, and people on the street had been asking her about the episode all week - and Russell T Davies. Following the showing of the report, the weatherman commented that this Saturday's rainy weather would be suitable for staying indoors and watching Doctor Who!

Davies is interviewed in text and in video on the BBC News website, answering questions from viewers and commenting on the secrecy surrounding the finale. In the former he reveals that he has no plans to write for the series under Steven Moffat's control - "I think Steven's more than his own man. He doesn't need me at all. I won't write for it in the future. I'm done with it" - while in the latter he extols the virtues of keeping plot details secret from the press, and comments on how the degree of excitement surrounding the cliffhanger ending to last week's episode has taken him somewhat by surprise! The subject of just how the production team have managed to keep the ending to the series a secret is studied in another piece by Lizo Mzimba on the BBC News site.

Concurrently with the BBC One Six O'Clock news, the series finale was also a topic on the BBC's flagship radio news programme, the Radio 4 news at six o'clock. This was then immediately followed by the comedy series The Now Show, one of the team behind which is fan and Doctor Who Forum regular Mitch Benn, which again mentioned the impending finale. And this was by no means the only BBC radio coverage of the day - producer Phil Collinson discussed the series on this morning's edition of Five Live Breakfast. Meanwhile, over on BBC television's breakfast programming, Freema Agyeman appeared as a guest on BBC One's "Breakfast".

All of this media promotion has not been limited to the BBC, however. On ITV1, Sylvester McCoy was a guest on the early morning GMTV programme, while later on in the morning Russell T Davies was a guest on the "This Morning" sofa. A particularly entertaining passage ensued when a clip was shown of Davies presenting the young children's programme "Playschool" in 1987! He answered various questions sent in by viewers, but refused to give away any information about tomorrow night's episode. Later on, in the early evening, a discussion of the series was a major feature of "Richard and Judy", the popular Channel 4 chat and lifestyle programme.

The print media has been no less enthusiastic in discussing the series ahead of Saturday. The Daily Telegraph newspaper, in particular, seems to have become something of a Doctor Who fanzine in recent days, publishing features on The Ten Greatest Doctor Who Stories, a Q&A with their resident "Doctor Who expert", a piecespeculating about the fates of various characters, an article explaining how Doctor Who is "Britain's favourite alien", a feature about reinventing Davros, and a piece generally celebrating the excellence of the series.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail wonders who the best Doctor is, as well as claiming that Doctor Who fever is sweeping the nation. Jane Graham blogs for The Guardian about Doctor Who helping to teach children about empathy and tragedy. The Bournemouth Echo interviews local boy Julian Bleach. And last but not least, What's On Stagefeatures David Tennant and Catherine Tate on its cover.

Many thanks to PolyG and all on the Doctor Who Forum media thread, without whom...