Saturday, 31 May 2008

Moffat speaks to Big Issue Scotland

Steven Moffat has given his first full-length interview since being announced as the next lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who to the new issue of Big Issue Scotland, the weekly magazine sold by the homeless in Scotland.

In the interview, Moffat admits that he had to think hard about whether to accept the role, comparing his replacing Russell T Davies with fellow Scot Gordon Brown succeeding Tony Blair as Prime Minister.

"You wouldn’t immediately say yes to that job. You imagine that you would say yes immediately, but it’s a huge job and you have to think about it," he tells the magazine. "I was kind of the other contender, which puts me sort of in the position of Gordon Brown. And look how that turned out. The surly Scot comes in and it all goes to ******."

The full interview is available in Big Issue Scotland, on sale now across Scotland.

Agyeman Cast In Survivors

Posted By John Bowman

Freema Agyeman is to star in the BBC's remake of the Terry Nation series Survivors.

According to the BBC Press Office, filming for the action adventure drama is currently taking place in Manchester and will continue until September for an autumn 2008 transmission on BBC One.

The Doctor Who and Torchwood star is playing the role of primary school teacher Jenny Collins.

The original BBC show ran for three series from 1975 to 1977 and the remake reimagines some of the original characters. Based on the character synopsis, it seems likely that Agyeman's role is a reimagining of the character of Jenny Richards (originally played by Lucy Fleming).

Also appearing in it are Shaun Dingwall, who played Rose Tyler's father, Pete, and the parallel-universe Pete Tyler, as well as Paterson Joseph, who portrayed Rodrick in Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways.

BBC Drama Productions acquired the rights to develop the series from the Terry Nation estate last year. The writer and co-executive producer is Adrian Hodges, who wrote the screenplays for The Ruby In The Smoke and The Shadow In The North, both of which starred Billie Piper.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Agyeman had secured the role of Tattycoram in the BBC's television adaptation of Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens, which is also to be broadcast on BBC One this autumn.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Piper Talks About Coming Back

Posted By Brigadier Bill

In an interview with BBC NEWS Billie Piper talks about her return to Series Four of Doctor Who. Check out the link for more info but it does contain some minor spoilers.

"I wouldn't have missed this for anything," the 25-year-old told Doctor Who Magazine.

"It means so much to me, this show, and so do the people that make it, so I really wanted to be here for these final episodes."

Doctor Who Magazine 396


In this months Doctor Who Magazine actress Billie Piper talks about her imminent return to Doctor Who and how Rose's character has developed. "She's changed. She's hardened. She's been through a lot in her parallel world. I think she's been through emotional turmoil. She's quite sad and lonely, but also really bolshy and, that great quality that Rose has, just so headstrong and single-minded."

Billie promises another healthy quota of tear-jerking, heart-rending moments in this year's finale. Are those sorts of scenes as exhausting to perform as the technically-complex effects sequences? "It's just a different kind of intensity, but equally as intense, because you really have to focus. You're imagining things, seeing things, that aren't there. That takes a lot of concentration. But this series will make you cry. That’s a promise."

  • DWM talks to The League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton about his role in the much-anticipated Doctor Who story, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.
  • Previews of the forthcoming Series Four episodes – Midnight and Turn Left – featuring new and previously unpublished photos
  • Russell T Davies talks candidly to DWM readers about his latest trip to the BAFTA awards and meeting an acting legend in Production Notes.
  • Who's best? UNIT or the Sontarans? There was only one way to find out. FIGHT! DWM was there to file an exclusive report on the epic battle.
  • Whodunnit? And why – and how? DWM investigates the mysterious happenings at Eddison Hall with a behind-the-scenes look at The Unicorn and the Wasp, featuring excusive interviews with the cast and crew.
  • The Doctor and Donna encounter Zombies and Sycorax in Part Two of the latest, full colour, comic strip adventure, The Widow’s Curse.
  • Who are the great 'unsung heroes' of Doctor Who? Discover the surprising answers in You Are Not Alone!
  • Actor Joe Dempsie, star of The Doctor's Daughter, reveals all on love, war and, er, kissing a Hath.
  • It's the end of the series and Davros is back! Find out what happened when the Time Team watched 1985’s Revelation of the Daleks.
  • Which story do fans most want out on DVD? Discover the answer, and much more, as the results of the DWM merchandise poll are finally revealed.
  • PLUS all the latest news, exclusive photos, reviews, previews, competitions… and a double-sided poster.

Classic Era Items Up For Auction

Posted By John Bowman

Two items from the 1980s era of Doctor Who are to be auctioned at the Knightsbridge branch of Bonhams next month.

A moulded and painted foam baby Tyrannosaurus rex in a jar from the 1985 Colin Baker story The Mark of the Ranicarries an estimate of 600 to 800 pounds.

The lot originally came from the collection of the late producer John Nathan-Turner.

Also going under the hammer in the entertainment memorabilia sale on June 18 is a Dalek guard costume from thePeter Davison adventure Resurrection of the Daleks.

This particular lot has 'Rula Lenska' plus a measurement inscribed in ballpoint on the neck and comes with a moulded weapon plus background paperwork, including a copy of a note by Lenska, who played Styles in the 1984 story, and a signed photo (of whom is unclear but a good guess would be Lenska).

The estimate placed on the costume is 800 to 1,200 pounds.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Unicorn and the Wasp - Final Ratings

Final figures released by BARB give episode Seven of Series Four, The Unicorn and the Wasp, an official rating of 8.41 million viewers.

The programme was the 7th most watched for the week on British Television and the 2nd most watched on BBC Television. It got higher ratings than three editions of EastEnders.

Helped by the later timeslot, the figure is a million higher than the previous week and nearly two million higher than The Poison Sky. The reach of the programme, which includes all repeat showings and iPlayer downloads, is back above 10 million for the first time since The Fires of Pompeii.

On multi-channel television, the Sunday BBC3 repeat was watched by 0.82 million viewers and was the 10th most watched programme on multi-channel for the week. The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.69 million viewers making it the 20th most watched multi-channel programme.

Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
Top Programmes w/e 18 May 2008

1 CORONATION STREET (MON 2030) - 9.78 - ITV1
2 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (SAT 2000) - 9.11 - ITV1
3 CORONATION STREET (MON 1933) - 9.07 - ITV1
4 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 9.05 - ITV1
5 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2029) - 8.99 - ITV1
6 EASTENDERS (MON 2000) - 8.76 - BBC1
7 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1858) - 8.41 - BBC1
8 EASTENDERS (FRI 1958) - 8.06 - BBC1
10 EASTENDERS (THU 1930) - 7.17 - BBC1
11 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2100) - 7.11 - BBC1
12 EMMERDALE (FRI 1902) - 6.97 - ITV1
13 CASUALTY (SAT 2136) - 6.83 - BBC1
14 WAKING THE DEAD (MON 2101) - 6.69 - BBC1
15 I'D DO ANYTHING (SUN 1931) - 6.66 - BBC1
16 EMMERDALE (THU 1900) - 6.51 - ITV1
17 WAKING THE DEAD (TUE 2100) - 6.50 - BBC1
18 CORONATION STREET (WED 1859) - 6.44 - ITV1
19 EASTENDERS (TUE 1929) - 6.37 - BBC1
20 EMMERDALE (MON 1902) - 6.36 - ITV1

Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 18 May 2008

1 EASTENDERS (Thu 2200) 1,378,000 - BBC3   
2 HEROES (Thu 2230) 1,364,000 - BBC3   
3 GLADIATORS (Sun 1800) 1,257,000 - Sky One
4 EASTENDERS (Tue 2200) 1,149,000 - BBC3   
5 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (Sun 1959) 962,000 - ITV2   
6 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2202) 948,000 - BBC3   
7 LOST (Sun 2102) 922,000 - Sky One
8 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2223) 862,000 - BBC3   
10 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2002) 821,000 - BBC3   
11 HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1828) 806,000 - Fiver
12 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1828) 801,000 - Fiver
13 LIVE FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Tue 1930) 794,000 - Sky Sports
14 EASTENDERS (Mon 2202) 792,000 - BBC3   
15 HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1829) 790,000 - Fiver
17 DONT FORGET THE LYRICS (Sun 1902) 760,000 - Sky One
18 HOME AND AWAY (Thu 1828) 756,000 - Fiver
19 EASTENDERS (Fri 2203) 721,000 - BBC3   
20 DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL (Sat 1945) 688,000 - BBC3

Source BARB

Series Four in Australia

ABC have revealed the start date of Series Four in Australia.

According to a reply on their message board, the series will start on ABC1 on Sunday 29th June with Voyage of the Damned. The rest of the series follow, starting on the following Sunday.

Series Four in Canada

The Doctor Who Information Network has reported that Series Four of Doctor Who will debut on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on September 19th, 2008. The information comes from sources at the CBC.

Doctor Who will air on Friday evenings at 9pm. This was previously the time slot for Torchwood during the Autumn of 2007. The last two series of Doctor Who have aired on Monday nights at 8pm.

Doctor Who Adventures 66

The scariest scares so far

This week's Doctor Who Adventures magazine is full of monster shocks as it looks back at the most frightening moments from the series so far.

The Doctor and Donna encounter danger in the dark in the first part of Steven Moffat's chilling adventure Silence in the Library this Saturday. ReThere is a sneak preview inside.

This issue comes with free stickers, four badges and either a Sontaran or a Heavenly Host mask.

Four posters: Daleks, the Sontarans' faceless clone, the Doctor and Donna in the snowy Ood Sphere, and Cobb, Cline and Peck.
Tales from the TARDIS: There's double trouble for Martha in The Sontaran Stratagem.
Make: A Sontaran helmet.
Quiz: How well do you remember eps 1-7?
Secrets: Discover how supermum Sylvia really saved Wilf with that axe.
Doctor's Data: All you need to know about horrible, hairless Halpen.
Comic strip: Part one of The Continuity Cap, trouble for the Doctor and Donna in an alternate reality.
Time Teasers: Help Agatha solve a mystery and work out who has become Oodkind.
Who knows! How did the Beast get control of the Ood and how did the Time Lords build the TARDIS?
Win: A huge stash of Doctor Who goodies in the monster competition!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Gaiman to write new Who?

According to columnist Rich Johnston at Comic Book Resources, Neil Gaiman has already been asked by forthcoming Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat to write an episode of the show in 2010.

Johnston also mentions a couple of rumors flying around that have not yet been comfirmed nor denied. To read the entire article, click here.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Doctor Who Adventures - Faulty Badge

BBC Magazines have asked us to alert readers of Doctor Who Adventures of a faulty pin mechanism on the plastic badge cover-mounted on the current issue of the magazine.

While they don't believe the badges pose any serious hazard, they are placing adverts in the national press to alert readers to the problem with this badge, and suggest readers dispose of it, and to offer them an alternative free gift.

In a statement BBC Worldwide said it prides itself on the quality of its cover mounts and all cover mounts are required to pass the relevant EU safety regulation tests before going on sale. They added "The relevant safety and quality tests were carried out on this particular item, so we are obviously taking this matter extremely seriously and are investigating it further with our supplier."

Mid Series Trail

The BBC has released a mid series trail for Doctor Who. The promo, which was first shown on BBC One, is available online via the official Doctor Who Website and on the BBC's YouTube Channel.

For copyright reasons some material may not be available outside the United Kingdom.

The Series returns to BBC One next Saturday at 7pm, with the Steven Moffat episode, Silence In The Library.

Forum discussion may contain spoilers.

Friday, 23 May 2008

DVD Series 4 - Volume 2 has received a draft version of cover of the forthcoming DVD release of Series 4 Volume 2.

The disc will contain the four stories The Sontaran StratagemThe Poison SkyThe Doctor's Daughter andThe Unicorn and the Wasp.

The disc is due for release in the United Kingdom on 7th July 2008.

Moffat reaction round-up

The news that Steven Moffat is to replace Russell T Davies as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who has garnered a large amount of media reaction, particularly in the UK. On Tuesday after the news broke the story was even featured on the BBC News television channel, as well as in the hourly bulletin on BBC Radio 2, the most listened to radio station in Britain. The BBC News website also ran an article, which was the main front page feature in their Entertainment section after the news broke on Tuesday.

The story ran in British national daily newspapers, such as The Mirror and The Times, and today The Independentpublished an opinion piece by Thomas Sutcliffe, bemoaning the fact that Moffat's talents were, like Davies's, to be wasted on a children's programme such as Doctor Who. Industry newspapers such as The StageBroadcast and even the Hollywood Reporter in the United States ran articles on the news.

Reaction has not been limited to news sources - blogs have been particularly active in relaying and commenting upon the news. Doctor Who scriptwriter Paul Cornell, celebrated comics writer and novelist Neil Gaiman, writer Warren Ellisand musical comedian Mitch Benn are all amongst the many hundreds to have passed comment on the news in their online journals.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Brain of Morbius Missing Music Restored

Posted By John Bowman

The forthcoming DVD release of The Brain of Morbius in the UK will see the story presented as originally transmitted for the first time in more than 30 years, thanks to work by the Restoration Team and, in particular,Mark Ayres.

In an update to the team's website, Steve Roberts tells how they solved the mystery of a short section of incidental music that was there in episode one when the story was broadcast in January 1976 but never made it to subsequent releases, transmissions and even the BBC transmission masters.

The four-part Tom Baker story is due to be released on July 21.

Extras will include:
  • A commentary by Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Philip Madoc, producer Philip Hinchcliffe and directorChristopher Barry.

  •  A 32-minute feature entitled Getting A Head, in which the making of the story is recalled by the production team and cast.

  • A six-minute feature called Designs on Karn that sees Barry Newbery talk about how he created the planet on which the story is set.

  •  A 3D CGI tour of the BBC Television Centre studio in which the adventure was taped, showing how the sets were arranged and built.

    (With thanks to Tony Clark.)
  • Doctor Who Adventures 65

    Doctor Who Adventures issue 65, is out now across the United Kingdom.
    Press Release

    Freema Agyeman talks about goo and Who!

    There’s an interview with Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman in the next issue of Doctor Who Adventures. She talks about what it’s like to be back, new companion Donna, and about all the goo she was covered in for the part of the Martha clone!

    What was it like seeing the Doctor with a new companion? "One of the main factors of the show is change so it didn’t feel that strange. I knew I was never going to do it forever and ever. I was just grateful Martha was given a chance. Now it’s Donna’s turn!"

    How about her relationship with the Doctor? "She’s slightly outgrown the Doctor, in the sense of that wide-eyedness that she had the first time round! She’s qualified as a doctor now and is working with UNIT. Plus, she’s engaged, so there’s a slightly different dynamic."

    Are Sontarans as scary as Daleks? "I think Daleks are really menacing. Maybe because you can’t see their faces. But as soon as the Sontarans take their helmets off, some kids will giggle, as they look a bit like a potato!”

    On being covered in goo. "I have to say being out in a freezing quarry and getting in that muddy bog in episode six was easier than doing the gloop scene in episode five! It was definitely my yuckiest ever moment in Doctor Who!

    This issue of Doctor Who Adventures comes with a free set of Doctor Who monster rollers plus an Ood dress-up kit – which includes yucky Ood fronds! Perfect for an instant Ood appeal.

    Other highlights include:
    Win: Design a Dalek and win a fantastic Dalek voice changer helmet!
    Three cool posters: The Doctor, Donna and Agatha Christie from The Unicorn and the Wasp, Martha, and the buzzing Vespiform.
    Tales from the TARDIS: Trouble with Mr Halpen in Planet of the Ood.
    Activity: Make an Ood orb to go with your Ood fronds! Plus a creepy Hath mask!
    Doctor Who Confidential: How a car splashes into the water in The Sontaran Stratagem.
    Doctor's Data: Fourth Doctor facts.
    Comic strip: Something strange is happening on a farm in a new comic strip adventure called Windswept.

    Wednesday, 21 May 2008

    Doctor's Daughter - Final Ratings

    Final figures released by BARB give episode Six of Series Four, The Doctor's Daughter, an official rating of 7.33 million viewers. The programme was the 10th most watched for the week on British Television and the 4th most watched on BBC1. The only programmes to beat it in the ratings were the two big soaps, EastEnders and Coronation Street, and Saturdays Britain's Got Talent.

    On multi-channel television, the Sunday BBC3 repeat was watched by 0.95 million viewers and was the 10th most watched programme on multichannel for the week.

    Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
    Top Programmes w/e 11 May 2008

    1 CORONATION STREET (MON 2031) - 10.73 - ITV1
    2 CORONATION STREET (MON 1934) - 10.07 - ITV1   
    3 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2029) - 8.99 - ITV1   
    4 EASTENDERS (MON 1959) - 8.92 - BBC1
    5 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 8.75 - ITV1   
    6 EASTENDERS (THU 1931) - 8.62 - BBC1
    7 CORONATION STREET (WED 1930) - 8.57 - ITV1   
    8 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (SAT 2000) - 8.17 - ITV1   
    9 EASTENDERS (FRI 1959) - 8.16 - BBC1
    10 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1844) - 7.33 - BBC1
    11 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2100) - 7.17 - BBC1
    12 MIDSOMER MURDERS (SUN 2005) - 6.88 - ITV1   
    13 EMMERDALE (MON 1903) - 6.88 - ITV1   
    14 FLOOD (MON 2104) - 6.79 - ITV1
    15 EMMERDALE (FRI 1902) - 6.53 - ITV1
    16 EASTENDERS (TUE 1931) - 6.50 - BBC1
    17 WAKING THE DEAD (TUE 2100) - 6.46 - BBC1
    18 WAKING THE DEAD (MON 2100) - 6.42 - BBC1
    19 THE BRITISH SOAP AWARDS 2008 (WED 1958) - 6.32 - ITV1
    20 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) - 6.25 - ITV1

    Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 11 May 2008

    1 GLADIATORS (Sun 1759) - 1,564,000 - Sky One
    2 EASTENDERS (Tue 2202) - 1,449,000 - BBC3   
    3 FORD SUPER SUNDAY (Sun 1402) - 1,226,000 - Sky Sports
    4 LIVE FORD FOOTBALL SPECIAL-MATCH (Mon 1530) - 1,177,000 - Sky Sports
    5 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (Sun 2004) - 1,122,000 - ITV2   
    6 HEROES (Thu 2233) - 1,105,000 - BBC3   
    7 DONT FORGET THE LYRICS (Sun 1902) - 1,039,000 - Sky One
    8 EASTENDERS (Thu 2203) - 1,001,000 - BBC3   
    9 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sun 2105) - 960,000 - ITV2   
    10 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2001) - 946,000 - BBC3   
    11 LOST (Sun 2101) - 905,000 - Sky One
    12 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sat 2159) - 868,000 - ITV2   
    13 EASTENDERS (Fri 2202) - 808,000 - BBC3   
    14 GAVIN AND STACEY (Mon 2132) - 786,000 - BBC3   
    15 60 SECONDS (Mon 2159) - 738,000 - BBC3   
    16 EASTENDERS (Mon 2202) - 736,000 - BBC3   
    17 HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1828) - 719,000 - Fiver
    18 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) - 707,000 - Fiver
    19 DEC APPEAL (Thu 2200) - 678,000 - BBC3   
    20 60 SECONDS (Tue 2159) - 655,000 - BBC3   

    Source BARB

    Tuesday, 20 May 2008

    Steven Moffat to succeed Davies as Executive Producer

    The BBC Press Office and various media sources (originally broken by MediaGuardian) have announced thatSteven Moffat is to succeed Russell T Davies as the chief writer and executive producer of Doctor Who when it returns for its fifth series.

    The article states that Moffat will replace Davies in 2009, taking over as "showrunner" for the fifth series in 2010. Moffat has been responsible for several episodes of the revived Doctor Who to date, including the BAFTA Award-winning "Blink" and the forthcoming two-parter "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead".

    Davies is quoted as saying: "It's been a delight and an honour working with Steven, and I can't wait to see where his extraordinary imagination takes the Doctor. Best of all, I get to be a viewer again, watching on a Saturday night!"

    The BBC press release includes a comment from Moffat himself: "My entire career has been a Secret Plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light, and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."

    Moffat will continue as a director on the board of Hartswood Films, which produced Coupling and Jekyll, where he is also working on a new comedy Adam & Eve with wife Sue Vertue.

    Monday, 19 May 2008

    Unicorn and the Wasp - AI and Digital Ratings

    Episode seven of series four, The Unicorn and the Wasp, achieved an Appreciation Index of 86. It was the highest score for Saturday on the two main channels.

    With overnights now available for the whole week, Doctor Who is currently the 8th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in 9 days time.

    Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.63 million viewers, according to unofficial overnights. The programme, which had a share of 3.2 %, was the 2nd most watched on multi channel television on Saturday.

    Sunday's BBC3 repeat of The Unicorn and the Wasp got an overnight audience of 0.57 million, a 2.8% share and was the 8th most watched programme on multi channel TV for Sunday. Doctor Who Confidential got an audience of0.23 million for the repeat showing.

    Meanwhile last Friday's repeat of The Doctor's Daughter got an audience of 0.45 million and was the 6th most watched multi channel programme for the day.

    Sunday, 18 May 2008

    Unicorn and the Wasp - Overnight Ratings

    Unofficial figures show that episode seven of Series Four, The Unicorn and the Wasp, was watched by 7.7 million viewers, giving it a 36.1% share of the total television audience.

    The programme was helped by a later start and wet weather across much of the United Kingdom and achieved an increase of over a million on last week's figures.

    The top rated programme was still ITV1's Britain's Got Talent with 8.6 million. Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on BBC1 for the day, beating Casualty by 1.3 million.

    The programme is currently the 8th most watched of the week, almost guaranteeing a final Top ten place. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

    Friday, 16 May 2008

    Eurovision Puts DW On Hold Again - UPDATED MAY 20

    The Series Four run of Doctor Who will take a break for one week on Saturday, May 24 because of the Eurovision Song Contest.

    The Radio Times listings for that day show I'd Do Anything from 6.50pm to 7.50pm, the National Lottery draws at 7.50pm and Eurovision following from 8pm until 11.15pm.

    Episode eight, Silence In The Library, which is the first instalment of a Steven Moffat two-parter, will air onSaturday, May 31 instead, as confirmed by the BBC Press Office.

    The same thing happened last year when Series Three episode seven, 42, was pushed back by a week because of the contest. The previous episode, The Lazarus Experiment, was followed by a 'Coming Soon . . . ' trailer to make up for the disappointment. Whether this will happen tomorrow at the conclusion of The Unicorn and the Wasp is currently unknown.

    UPDATE - MAY 20: The official website has announced that a special trailer showing highlights from the rest of Series Four will be shown on Saturday, May 24 at 6.45pm. It will then be available to view online at the official site, where there will also be other bonus treats to help make up for the gap. (NB: The online trailer might only be viewable within the UK.)

    Thursday, 15 May 2008

    Doctor Who Adventures 64

    Posted By John Bowman

    The Doctor and his daughter Jenny are on the cover of the new Doctor Who Adventures magazine, out today.

    Issue 64 looks at last Saturday's episode and has a sneak preview of The Unicorn and the Wasp, which airs this coming Saturday.

    The free gift is a special Doctor dress-up kit, with a pair of glasses, a sonic screwdriver and two badges.
      Also in the magazine:
    •  Posters: Martha and the Hath, UNIT's Ross Jenkins, and the High Priestess
    •  Tales from the TARDIS: A scene from The Fires of Pompeii
    •  Activity: How to draw a Pyrovile
    •  Make: An Adipose mask
    •  Quiz: How well do you remember The Doctor's Daughter?
    •  Secrets: Discover how an actor turned into Oodkind
    •  Doctor's Data: Facts about Ood Sigma
    •  Comic strip: Part two of Nightmare on the Boulevard
    •  Win: The final part of the competition to win an Ood head worth 700 pounds

    Wednesday, 14 May 2008

    Poison Sky - Final Ratings

    Final figures released by BARB give episode five of Series Four, The Poison Sky, an official rating of 6.53 million viewers. The programme was the 18th most watched for the week on British Television.

    On multi-channel television, the Sunday BBC3 repeat was watched by 1.09 million viewers and was the 4th most watched programme on multichannel for the week. The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.61 million viewers and was the 25th most watched programme of the week.

    Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
    Top Programmes w/e 27 April 2008

    1 CORONATION STREET (MON 2029) - 10.40 - ITV1
    2 CORONATION STREET (MON 1932) - 9.84 - ITV1
    3 EASTENDERS (MON 2000) - 9.79 - BBC1
    4 CORONATION STREET (WED 1932) - 9.50 - ITV1
    5 EASTENDERS (TUE 1930) - 9.23 - BBC1
    6 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 9.13 - ITV1
    7 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (SAT 2007) - 9.12 - ITV1
    8 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (TUE 1928) - 8.98 - ITV1
    9 EASTENDERS (FRI 2000) - 8.72 - BBC1
    10 EASTENDERS (THU 1930) - 8.46 - BBC1
    11 CORONATION STREET (SUN 1936) - 8.30 - ITV1
    12 FLOOD (SUN 2008) - 7.69 - ITV1
    13 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2100) - 7.28 - BBC1
    14 EMMERDALE (WED 1900) - 7.20 - ITV1
    15 EMMERDALE (TUE 1859) - 7.19 - ITV1
    16 EMMERDALE (MON 1901) - 7.19 - ITV1
    17 WAKING THE DEAD (MON 2101) - 7.06 - BBC1
    18 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1819) - 6.53 - BBC1
    19 EMMERDALE (FRI 1903) - 6.52 - ITV1
    20 WAKING THE DEAD (TUE 2100) - 6.39 - BBC1

    Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 27 April 2008

    1 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE (Wed 1900) 2,486,000 - Sky Sports
    2 UEFA CUP (2007- 2008) (Thu 1928) 1,224,000 - ITV4   
    3 HEROES (Thu 2229) 1,195,000 - BBC3   
    4 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2001) 1,086,000 - BBC3   
    5 LIVE FORD FOOTBALL SPECIAL-MATCH (Sat 1200) 1,051,000 - Sky Sports
    6 EASTENDERS (Tue 2201) 1,034,000 - BBC3   
    7 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2200) 986,000 - BBC3   
    8 EASTENDERS (Thu 2159) 951,000 - BBC3   
    9 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 944,000 - Fiver (was
    10 FORD SUPER SUNDAY (Sun 1536) 942,000 - Sky Sports
    11 KATIE AND PETER: THE NEXT CHAPTER (Thu 2059) 871,000 - ITV2   
    12 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sat 2209) 803,000 - ITV2   
    13 FORD SUPER SUNDAY (Sun 1259) 798,000 - Sky Sports
    14 LOST (Sun 2103) 787,000 - Sky One
    15 HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1829) 786,000 - Fiver (was
    16 EASTENDERS (Mon 2201) 740,000 - BBC3   
    17 HOME AND AWAY (Thu 1828) 708,000 - Fiver (was
    18 HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1829) 698,000 - Fiver (was
    19 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sun 2107) 688,000 - ITV2   
    20 EASTENDERS (Fri 2201) 676,000 - BBC3   

    Source BARB

    Tennant backs academy campaign

    David Tennant has joined the campaign to prevent cutbacks at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. The academy has to make 600,000 pounds of savings in the coming year.

    In a statement Tennant said: "Nothing I have managed to achieve in my career would have happened without my training at the RSAMD. The drama training I received was world class and the idea that the opportunities I got there might be compromised for future generations is deeply upsetting."

    Other famous alumni include Billy Boyd, Robert Carlyle, Tom Conti, Alan Cumming, Emma Fielding, Denis Lawson, Ian Richardson and Ruby Wax.

    Full story from BBC News

    Thanks to Ian Kildin

    New Torchwood Books

    BBC Books have revealed details for three new Torchwood novels due to be published on 2nd October 2008.
    Pack Animals - Peter Anghelides

    Shopping for wedding gifts with your fiancĂ© is enjoyable, unless like Gwen you witness a Weevil massacre in the shopping centre. A trip to the zoo is a great day out, until a date goes tragically wrong and Ianto is badly injured by stolen alien tech. And Halloween is a day of fun and frights, before unspeakable monsters invade the streets of Cardiff and it’s no longer a trick or a treat for the terrified population.

    Torchwood can control small groups of scavengers, but now someone has given large numbers of predators a season ticket to Earth. Jack’s investigation is hampered when he finds he’s being investigated himself. Owen is convinced that it’s just one guy who’s toying with them. But will Torchwood find out before it’s too late that the game is horribly real, and the deck is stacked against them?

    Peter Anghelides wrote the bestselling Another Life for the first series of Torchwood novels. He has written more than a dozen Doctor Who novels, short stories and audio plays.

    SkyPoint – Phil Ford

    "If you’re going to be anyone in Cardiff, you’re going to be at SkyPoint!"

    SkyPoint is the latest high-rise addition to the ever-developing Cardiff skyline. It’s the most high-tech, avant-garde apartment block in the city. And it’s where Rhys Williams is hoping to find a new home for himself and Gwen. Gwen’s more concerned by the money behind the tower block – Besnik Lucca, a name she knows from her days in uniform.

    When Torchwood discover that residents have been going missing from the tower block, one of the team gets her dream assignment. Soon SkyPoint’s latest newly married tenants are moving in. And Toshiko Sato finally gets to make a home with Owen Harper.

    Then something comes out of the wall…

    Phil Ford has written scripts for both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures for BBC Television, and also wrote the Alternate Reality Game for the official Torchwood website. His extensive screenwriting credits include episodes of Taggart, Bad Girls, New Captain Scarlet and Coronation Street.

    Almost Perfect - James Goss

    Emma is 30, single and frankly desperate. She woke up this morning with nothing to look forward to but another evening of unsuccessful speed-dating. But now she has a new weapon in her quest for Mr Right. And it’s made her almost perfect.

    Gwen Cooper woke up this morning expecting the unexpected. As usual. She went to work and found a skeleton at a table for two and a colleague in a surprisingly glamorous dress. Perfect.

    Ianto Jones woke up this morning with no memory of last night. He went to work, where he caused amusement, suspicion and a little bit of jealousy. Because Ianto Jones woke up this morning in the body of a woman. And he’s looking just about perfect.

    And Jack Harkness has always had his doubts about Perfection.

    James Goss spent seven years working on the BBC’s official Doctor Who website and co-wrote the website for Torchwood Series One. In 2007, he won the Best Adaptation category in the annual LA Weekly Theatre Awards for his version of Douglas Adams’ novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

    Hinchcliffe on New Who

    This week's issue of The Stage entertainment industry newspaper contains a feature where 1970s Doctor Whoproducer Philip Hinchcliffe analyses the recent new series episode "Planet of the Ood", and compares the state of the programme now to how it was when he produced it.

    The Stage's website has published a preview article for the feature, highlighting some of Hinchcliffe's comments. "It's flipping the familiar sci-fi idea of a people enslaved," he tells the paper. "Here the humans are the masters and the aliens, the slaves. It's a good, clear concept. Obviously it’s been concertinaed and compressed to fit 45 minutes, but it’s still a powerful central story.

    The print issue is available across the UK from tomorrow.

    Tuesday, 13 May 2008

    Doctor's Daughter - AI and Digital Ratings

    Episode six of series four, The Doctor's Daughter, achieved an Appreciation Index of 88. Once more one of the highest scores for the weekend on any of the five main channels.

    With overnights now available for the whole week, Doctor Who is currently the 11th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in 9 days time.

    Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.59 million viewers, according to unofficial overnights. The programme, which had a share of 3.8%, was the 2nd most watched on multi channel television on Saturday.

    Sunday's BBC3 repeat of The Doctor's Daughter got an overnight audience of 0.65 million, a 3.4% share and was the 7th most watched programme on multi channel TV for Sunday. Doctor Who Confidential got an audience of 0.27 million for the repeat showing.

    Meanwhile last Friday's repeat of The Poison Sky got an audience of 0.49 million and was the 5th most watched multi channel programme for the day.

    BBC Blocks Fan's Knit Patterns has reported that the BBC has issued a copyright infringement notice to a fan who has created knitting patterns of Doctor Who characters (including an Ood, Cassandra, the Face of Boe and two others) and shared them - for free - on the internet.

    The person behind the Mazzmatazz website stated: "The patterns I created, inspired by Doctor Who, were never for sale - they were shared under Creative Commons licenses, to prevent resale, so that other fans could enjoy and share the fun too."

    Mazmatazz's case has also been picked up by the Open Rights Group, an online civil liberties organisation. A statement on the ORG website said the BBC should play a role in "stimulating the creative economy" by allowing fans to alter its content in a non-commercial context. "The approach the BBC have taken with Mazz’s knitting patterns demonstrate a distinct lack of flexibility," the organisation said. "It is quite possible that through transforming the characters in Doctor Who into knitting patterns, Mazz may have infringed upon the BBC’s copyright. But it’s hard to see how Mazz’s non-commercial knitting patterns actually damage the commercial interests of the BBC."

    Various bloggers have expressed disagreement that the infringement notice is in any way valid, as the knitting patterns are not "direct representations of their [the BBC's] characters", and that these patterns should rightly fall into the category of fan art.

    "They are misplacing their energies pursuing a fan who has done nothing more than to display their love to the show by making a highly original design," said technology law blogger Andres Guadamuz

    Monday, 12 May 2008

    Doctor And Donna Books Announced

    Posted By John Bowman

    Details of the forthcoming first three original, stand-alone novels featuring the Doctor and Donna have been released.

    Ghosts of India by Mark Morris, The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham and Shining Darkness by Mark Michalowski will be published in hardback by BBC Books in September.

    See below for the synopses.
    Ghosts of India: India in 1947 is a country in the grip of chaos - a country torn apart by internal strife. When the Doctor and Donna arrive in Calcutta, they are instantly swept up in violent events.

    Barely escaping with their lives, they discover that the city is rife with tales of 'half-made men' who roam the streets at night and steal people away. These creatures, it is said, are as white as salt and have only shadows where their eyes should be. With help from India's great spiritual leader, Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi, the Doctor and Donna set out to investigate these rumours.

    What is the real truth behind the 'half-made men'? Why is Gandhi's role in history under threat? And has an ancient, all-powerful god of destruction really come back to wreak his vengeance upon the Earth?

    The Doctor Trap: Sebastiene was perhaps once human. He might look like a 19th-century nobleman but in truth he is a ruthless hunter. He likes nothing more than luring difficult opposition to a planet then hunting them down for sport. And now he's caught them all - from Zargregs to Moogs, and even the odd Eternal…

    In fact, Sebastiene is after only one more prize. For this trophy, he knows he is going to need help. He's brought together the finest hunters in the universe to play the most dangerous game for the deadliest quarry of them all. They are hunting for the last of the Time Lords - the Doctor.

    Shining Darkness: For Donna Noble, the Andromeda galaxy is a long, long way from home. But, even two and a half million light years from Earth, some things never change . . .

    A visit to an art gallery turns into a race across space to uncover the secret behind a shadowy organisation. From the desert world of Karris to the interplanetary scrapyard of Junk, the Doctor and Donna discover that appearances can be deceptive, that enemies are lurking around every corner - and that the centuries-long peace between humans and machines may be about to come to an end. Because waiting in the wings to bring chaos to the galaxy is The Cult of Shining Darkness.

    Sunday, 11 May 2008

    Doctor's Daughter - Overnight Ratings

    Unofficial figures show that episode six of Series Four, The Doctor's Daughter, was watched by 6.6 millionviewers, giving it a 38.4% share of the total television audience.

    While most programmes have been getting lower figures than the previous week, Doctor Who has increased its audience to bring it back over the 6 million mark.

    The top rated programme was still ITV1's Britain's Got Talent although its audience was down by a million at 7.5 million. Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on BBC1 for the day and had the biggest share of any programme on Saturday.

    The programme is currently the 11th most watched of the week, once more beating all episodes of Emmerdale. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

    BAFTA win for Moffat

    Steven Moffat has tonight been awarded the British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Writer, for the script of his 2007 Doctor Who episode "Blink". The Award was presented at the annual BAFTA Craft Awards ceremony, which honours those who work behind-the-scenes in the industry. Moffat won the award ahead of Jimmy McGovern (for "The Street"), Tony Marchant (for "The Mark of Cain") and Heidi Thomas (for "Cranford"). Full details can be found on the BAFTA website.

    One of the highest accolades available to a British scriptwriter, it is Moffat's second BAFTA Award in recent weeks, having also won the BAFTA Cymru (Welsh BAFTAs) scriptwriting category, again for "Blink".

    Tate In West End Play

    Posted By John Bowman

    Catherine Tate will be appearing in London's West End this summer in the play Under The Blue Sky.

    It is being staged at The Duke of York's Theatre, in St Martin's Lane, from Tuesday, July 15 until Saturday, September 20.

    The play, by David Eldridge, consists of three love stories that are connected subtly. Tate will be appearing with Francesca Annis, Lisa Dillon, Chris O'Dowd and Dominic Rowan.

    Her previous theatre credits have included Some Girls at The Gielgud Theatre, with David Schwimmer, as well as The 24 Hour Plays at The Old Vic.

    Friday, 9 May 2008

    Doctor Who Adventures 63

    Posted By John Bowman

    Sontaran stationery is the giveaway with this week's Doctor Who Adventures.

    Issue 63 looks back at last week's episode, The Poison Sky, and previews what is happening in tomorrow's adventure,The Doctor's Daughter.

    Also in the magazine:
    • Tales from the TARDIS: The Doctor meets Donna again in Partners in Crime
    • Who's where? Trouble for the Doctor on The Weakest Link
    • Quiz: What do you remember from The Poison Sky?
    • Puzzle: Get the Adipose back to the Nursery Ship
    • Secrets: Making Vesuvius erupt
    • Doctor's Data: UNIT facts and statistics
    • Comic strip: Part one of Nightmare on the Boulevard - trouble in Hollywood for the Doctor and Donna
    • Who knows: What happened to the Lazarus experiment and who does the Doctor fear the most?
    • Part two of a three-part competition to win an Ood head worth 700 pounds

    Thursday, 8 May 2008

    Tate was robbed of Comedy Award

    An investigation by the British broadcasting industry regulator OfCom has found that Doctor Who star Catherine Tate was unfairly denied the People's Choice Award at the 2005 British Comedy Awards, screened on the ITV network. The recipient of the award was to have been decided by a telephone vote from viewers.

    BBC News reports that even though Tate won the most votes in the category, the prize was given to presenting duoAnt and Dec. This was done because pop star Robbie Williams had agreed to attend the ceremony and present a prize, but would only do so if it could be for Ant and Dec. As they had not won any of the jury-decided categories, it was decided that they should win the audience award to ensure Williams's attendance.

    The Times quotes a spokesman for Tate as saying that the actress was an "innocent bystander" in the matter, and had no desire to comment. Ant and Dec have said that they will return their award, which will presumably now be given to Tate.

    Wednesday, 7 May 2008

    Sontaran Stratagem - Final Ratings

    Final figures released by BARB give episode four of Series Four, The Sontaran Stratagem, an official rating of7.06 million viewers. The programme was the 17th most watched for the week on British Television.

    On multi-channel television, the Sunday BBC3 repeat was watched by 1.04 million viewers and was the 6th most watched programme on multichannel for the week. The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.59 million viewers. Also listed is Fridays repeat of Planet of the Ood which got 0.64 million viewers.

    Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
    Top 20 Programmes (w/e 27 April 2008)

    1 - CORONATION STREET (MON 2029) 10.81
    2 - CORONATION STREET (MON 1933) 10.22
    3 - BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (SAT 2005) 9.86
    4 - EASTENDERS (MON 2000) 9.66
    5 - CORONATION STREET (FRI 1933) 9.41
    6 - EASTENDERS (THU 1929) 9.19
    7 - CORONATION STREET (FRI 2029) 9.14
    8 - CORONATION STREET (WED 1931) 8.87
    9 - EASTENDERS (FRI 1959) 8.79
    10 - EASTENDERS (TUE 1929) 8.59
    11 - UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (TUE 1928) 8.53
    12 - MIDSOMER MURDERS (SUN 2002) 7.98
    13 - THE APPRENTICE (WED 2100) 7.85
    14 - EMMERDALE (MON 1901) 7.49
    15 - EMMERDALE (FRI 1902) 7.20
    16 - EMMERDALE (THU 1903) 7.15
    17 - DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1819) 7.06
    18 - EMMERDALE (TUE 1859) 6.77
    19 - EMMERDALE (WED 1900) 6.72
    20 - CASUALTY (SAT 2057) 6.56

    Top Twenty Multichannel Programmes (we 27 April 2008)

    1 - UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE (Wed 1900) 1.77m - Sky Sports 2
    2 - LIVE FORD FOOTBALL SPECIAL-MATCH (Sat 1200) 1.39m - Sky Sports 1
    3 - BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (Sun 1959) 1.19m - ITV2
    4 - EASTENDERS (Tue 2202) 1.09m - BBC3
    5 - EASTENDERS (Thu 2201) 1.04m - BBC3
    6 - DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2002) 1.04m - BBC3 
    7 - HEROES (Thu 2231) 990,000 - BBC3
    8 - FORD SUPER SUNDAY (Sun 1533) 968,000 - Sky Sports 1
    9 - BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sun 2103) 921,000 - ITV2
    10 - KATIE AND PETER: THE NEXT CHAPTER (Thu 2101) 876,000 - ITV2
    11 - UEFA CUP (2007- 2008) (Thu 1859) 872,000 - ITV4
    12 - EASTENDERS (Mon 2200) 810,000 - BBC3
    13 - 60 SECONDS (Tue 2200) 807,000 - BBC3
    14 - BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT AUDITIONS (Sat 2204) 760,000 - ITV2
    15 - HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 710,000 - Fiver
    16 - HOLLYOAKS (Mon 1900) 708,000 - E4
    17 - HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1829) 706,000 - Fiver
    18 - HOME AND AWAY (Thu 1829) 705,000 - Fiver
    19 - HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1829) 700,000 - Fiver
    20 - HOME AND AWAY (Tue 1829) 694,000 - Fiver

    Source: BARB

    Sylvester McCoy stars in 'The Mikado'

    Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy will be playing the lead in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. The production opens at the Sheffield Theatre Lyceum following a successful run in the West End and features the Oscar-winning sets and costumes from Mike Leigh's film Topsy Turvy.

    Starring alongside the Professor is Nichola McAuliffe, who will be reprising her role of Katisha from the West End run. McAuliffe previously appeared in Doctor Who as Vivien Rook in 2007's "The Sound of Drums" and was also the voice of James Bond's BMW in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies.

    Transporting you to the magnificent Japanese court of Titipu, this hilarious tale of love, marriage, executions and heroics brings to life some of Gilbert & Sullivan's most colourful and popular comic characters from Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner, Pooh-Bah and Nanki-Poo, to the delightful three little maids.

    The Mikado plays seven exclusive performances from Tuesday 27 May to Saturday 31 May, 2008. For more information, please visit

    Freema Agyeman cast in BBC One's Dickens

    BBC Drama Production today announced the key cast for Little Dorrit, Andrew Davies' major adaptation of Dickens' novel, which will be broadcast on BBC One this autumn (date to be announced). Freema Agyeman, best known to audiences as Martha Jones from Doctor Who and Torchwood, has been cast as Tattycoram, the foundling companion of the Meagles' daughter Pet.

    The Dorrit family are joined by a host of colourful characters who they encounter on their way from rags to riches in Dickensian society.

    When the benevolent Arthur Clennam returns from overseas he is determined to solve the mystery of his father's dying words, "Put it right Arthur. Your mother. Put it right."

    The 15-part drama series began filming last week (commencing 28 April 2008) and will film throughout the summer in locations in and around London, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Herefordshire.

    Adapted by acclaimed writer Andrew Davies (Sense And Sensibility, Bleak House) Little Dorrit will play out in soap opera format with 14 half-hour episodes following an initial hour-long episode.

    Kate Harwood, BBC Head of Series and Serials, says: "We are very proud to be presenting this wonderful line-up of cast who will be bringing to life one of Dickens' broadest range of characters in a gripping, witty and touching script by the inimitable Andrew Davies. Part-murder mystery, part-love story, and wholly entertaining, Little Dorrit promises to be an autumn treat."

    Tuesday, 6 May 2008

    Bernard Archard 1916 - 2008

    Classic series actor Bernard Archard has died at the age of 91.

    Archard created two memorable roles in the series. In 1966 he played the role of Bragen, the security chief seeking complete control of a colony of humans on the planet Vulcan, in Patrick Troughton's first story, The Power of the Daleks.

    He returned to the series in 1975 to create the classic role of Marcus Scarman in the Tom Baker story Pyramids of Mars a story highly rated by fans.

    Bernard Archard had a long and distinguished career appearing in such series as No Hiding Place (1962), The Avengers (1968), The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971) and Bergerac. A detailed obituary is available in the Independent.

    Thanks to Trevor Smith

    Monday, 5 May 2008

    The Poison Sky - AI and Digital Ratings

    Episode five of series four, The Poison Sky, achieved an Appreciation Index of 88. Not only one of the highest scores in the series history, but the joint highest score for the weekend on any of the five main channels.

    With overnights now available for the whole week, Doctor Who is currently the 19th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in 9 days time.

    Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.58 million viewers, according to unofficial overnights. The programme, which had a share of 3.3%, was the 3rd most watched on multi channel television on Saturday.

    Sunday's BBC3 repeat of The Poison Sky got an overnight audience of 0.63 million, a 3.1% share and was the 5th most watched programme on multi channel TV for Sunday. Doctor Who Confidential got an audience of 0.32 millionfor the repeat showing.

    Meanwhile last Friday's repeat of The Sontaran Stratagem got an audience of 0.39 million and was the 11th most watched multi channel programme for the day.

    Sunday, 4 May 2008

    The Poison Sky - Overnight Ratings

    Unofficial figures show that episode five of Series Four, The Poison Sky, was watched by 5.9 million viewers, giving it a 32.5% share of the total television audience.

    Although dipping below the 6 million mark, the programme was still the second most watched of the day, being beaten by ITV1's Britain's Got Talent, which got 8.5 million viewers. It was the highest rated programme on BBC1 for the day.

    The programme is currently the 17th most watched of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

    Doctor Who to Church's Rescue

    As reported in the Telegraph today, leaders at a church conference were encouraged to study Doctor Who and to draw upon the themes that run parallel to Christian doctrine in their sermons as a means of reaching more young people.

    Andrew Wooding, a spokesman for the Church Army, which organised the conference, said that its intention was to give vicars new ideas for conveying their message. "There are countless examples of Christian symbolism in Doctor Who, which we can use to get across ideas that can otherwise be difficult to explain," commented Wooding.

    In sessions with titles like "Meaningful Monsters: Daleks Through the Decades", members of the clergy watched clips of various episodes and discussed the relevance of certain scenes to Christian teachings. The Rev Andrew Myers, vicar at St Aidan’s in Leeds, commented: "We saw the Doctor persuaded to save a family of Pompeians in one of the most recent episodes, surely a reference to Genesis and Abraham’s bargaining with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah."

    Former Doctor Who producer Barry Letts said it was right to look at the series for religious parables. "I think it’s inevitable because of Britain’s cultural heritage that a long-running programme about the fight between good and evil will have some Christian themes as a backdrop," he said.

    "Sontaran" Director Douglas MacKinnon Interview

    Today's Sunday Mail carries an interview with Douglas MacKinnon, director of just-broadcast episodes "The Sontaran Stratagem" and "The Poison Sky".

    Having grown up watching Doctor Who as a young man, and remembering the Sontarans' debut appearance in 1973's "The Time Warrior" starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen, directing these episodes was a dream come true for him.

    "To get a two-parter with Catherine Tate and Freema Agyeman and the Sontarans was just fantastic. I'd personally put the Sontarans third after the Cybermen and the Daleks as big legends in the legacy of Doctor Who villains."

    MacKinnon, a Scotsman, had nothing but praise for series lead David Tennant: "He's everything people say, generous, kind and, most importantly, a very, very good actor. The thing with Doctor Who is the leading actor sets the pace to an extent and David's enthusiasm for the role is infectious for everyone."

    But the production was not without incident: at one point during the shoot, MacKinnon managed to break the TARDIS.

    "During filming I was working on the TARDIS and I managed to break the bit in the middle which goes up and down. I wanted it to go too fast for a dramatic scene and it just stopped working. I couldn't believe I'd broken the TARDIS! Thankfully, we managed to fix it half an hour later but I had this surreal phone call with my nine-year-old son Thomas, who is a massive Doctor Who fan, back home in Fife and said: 'You'll never believe what I did today...' And he shouted to my wife Mandy: 'Mum, dad's broken the TARDIS!'"