Monday, 30 June 2008

Stolen Earth - AI figure and Digital Ratings

Episode Twelve of Series Four, The Stolen Earth has received a record breaking Audience Appreciation figure of 91. This is not only the highest score the programme has ever received, but is one of the highest figures ever achieved for a mainstream television programme.

Sunday's football was the most watched programme of the week making Saturday's Doctor Who the 8th in the list. This position may rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days' time.

Sunday's BBC3 repeat got an overnight audience of0.78 million viewers. It was a 3.4% share of the multi-channel audience and the most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 1.13 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 6.8 %, was the most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday with double the audience of the second placed Poirot. The Sunday repeat had 0.53 million watching.

Press round-up

The British press has been full of comment and speculation following the broadcast of "The Stolen Earth" on Saturday. As might be expected, many of the articles published in the past couple of days contain spoilers for the series to date, so the rest of this report should not be read - and the links contained herein certainly not followed - if you have not yet seen series four in general or "The Stolen Earth" in particular.

Various newspapers carry reviews of Saturday's episode. Sam Wollaston of The Guardian felt that "It's going to be hard to top this episode. It had everything - Martha, Rose, the Torchwood lot, impending darkness, daleks - even cameos from Paul O'Grady and Richard Dawkins." Andrew Billen of The Times had mixed feelings - although he wrote that the series is "almost as pleased with itself as David Tennant's performance", he did concede that "For the first time for a while, I am actually looking forward to the next episode." Thomas Sutcliffe of The Independent was more critical: "My brain began to lock under the repeated assault of the kind of lines that could be scattered at random over any Doctor Who episode at all without seeming out of place: "But... that's impossible!"; "It can't be!"; "Exterminate! Exterminate!" Change the record, guys."

The viewing figures of the series are the subject of several other media reports. Both Digital Spy and theMediaGuardian mention Doctor Who's strong performance at the weekend in connection with the rival ITV1 channel achieving what is believed to be the lowest Saturday all-hours share in its history, with just 10.2% of the watching audience across the day, compared with 26.9% for BBC One. The Sunday Telegraph, meanwhile, turns its attention towards predicted ratings for next Saturday's climactic episode, claiming that the BBC expects 10 million people to watch "Journey's End".

The Sunday Telegraph's sister paper, the Daily Telegraph, has run a feature tipping Scottish film star Robert Carlyleas Tennant's successor in the role as and when he leaves the series. The Daily Mail has a similar story. The subject of the departure of David Tennant has become a hot topic of conversation after the cliffhanger ending to Saturday's episode: the Guardian's website features a blog posting from Stephen Brook speculating about whether a new Doctor is about to be cast, as well as another piece from Gareth McLean, praising the unexpected plot twist.

Finally, the Wimbledon Guardian carries a report of Catherine Tate opening a summer fair at the weekend, in aid of a local primary school. She was greeted by several children in Doctor Who-related costumes.

New Radio Times


The latest issue of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine, on sale across the UK from Tuesday, once again featuresDoctor Who as its cover story. The image - a larger version of which can be seen by clicking on the thumbnail picture at the bottom of this report - is a significant spoiler for the final two-part story of series four, so overseas readers should be aware, if they are avoiding spoilers, not to read on.

The cover is the 44th the Radio Times has granted Doctor Who in its long history, and the 7th this year alone, including the four alternative covers produced to tie in with the broadcast of "Partners in Crime". It comes only two weeks after the previous Radio Times cover feature, which tied in with Rose's return in the episode "Turn Left".

Featured within is an extensive article looking behind-the-scenes at the final episode of the series, "Journey's End". Interviewed are various members of the cast and crew, including actor Julian Bleach (Davros), who comments: "I knew this character, this Dalek world and everything from my childhood — that's so deep in my memory. But so strange as well, to be suddenly plunged into the middle of it." Russell T Davies says of the finale: "For all the spectacle, it's about character, in the end. It's an honour to write dialogue for David and Catherine – whether I'll ever get that chance again depends on what happens in this final episode."

Record Australian ratings for "Voyage"


Voyage of the Damned has scored the highest Australian ratings ever for Doctor Who in the modern era. According to David Dale 'Voyage' rated 1,248,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. The record breaking Christmas special, starring Australian Kylie Minogue, was only beaten in its timeslot by Channel Nine's 60 minutes which was the top-rating programme of the day with 1.8 million viewers ('Voyage' was the top ABC programme for the day and 7th overall). The previous highest rating Doctor Who episode for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was 'Rose' which scored 1.1 million Australian viewers back in 2005. As way of comparison, the ABC's top programme for the preceding week was 'Spicks and Specks' which received 1.35 million viewers.

The return of Doctor Who has also received some significant media coverage down under.
The Sydney Morning Herald gave 'Voyage' its show of the week and their online TV guide also gives the show a positive review while Kylie Minogue's return to acting has also received some local attention. The Sun-Herald gives 'Voyage' four stars saying there 'is a lot to love about this story, which is part Titanic, part-The Poseidon Adventure.'Melinda Houston of 'The Sunday Age' also previews 'Voyage', analysing 'the enduring sex appeal of the ever-changing Time Lord' noting that the Doctor 'loves smart women', is 'mature', 'saves planets', 'maintains a childlike sense of fun, is 'practical and hands-on', 'a man of mystery, and increasingly swahsbuckling' but perhaps 'most importantly, is kind. A little dotty and thoughtless occasionally, but immensely kind. And that, gentlemen, is a quality consistently underestimated by the Mars-dwelling gender, and valued immeasurably by we Venus types.'Ian Warden of 'The Canberra Times', who claims to have seen every series since 1963, says David Tennant 'is the best doctor there's been' even if he says we should 'respect' the show 'for being . . . easily the longest-running TV science-fiction pantomime in the world.' Meanwhile,Crikey TV commentator,Glenn Dyer, also describes 'Voyage' as 'the highlight of the night.'

As previously reported, the ABC has also confirmed on its online TV Guide that it is indeed showing Doctor Who Confidential Cutdown on ABC1 after each episode of Series 4 starting with "A Noble Return" on Sunday 6 July 2008.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Stolen Earth - Overnight Ratings

Unofficial figures show that episode Twelve of Series Four, The Stolen Earth, was watched by 7.4 millionviewers, giving it a 38.3% share of the total television audience.

The programme was the highest rated on Saturday, beating Casualty by nearly 2 million viewers. BBC1 had a drop of over 3 million viewers when Doctor Who finished.

ITV1's highest rated programme of the day was Who Dares Sings with 3.7 million.

Doctor Who is currently the 7th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

Episode 13 trailer (UPDATED)

The official BBC Doctor Who website has put online a copy of a new trailer for the final episode of the current series. The trailer was first shown on BBC One television this afternoon, and features a speech from Davros intercut with brief excerpts from the next episode, as well as clips from last Saturday's cliffhanger ending.

The trailer is also available to view on the BBC's YouTube channel, here. As with all videos on the BBC's official website and YouTube page, these clips are only viewable by UK internet users.

UPDATE, 30 June: The trailer is now available on the BBC's Bebo page, and can be seen by viewers worldwide. Also available on the Bebo page is a clip of the last 30 seconds of "The Stolen Earth", including its cliffhanger; readers who have not seen "The Stolen Earth" should be warned that this contains majorspoilers.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Media round-up

Various members of the Doctor Who cast have been out and about promoting the forthcoming series-ending two-parter on British television this week. Things began on Tuesday, when Freema Agyeman appeared as an in-studio guest on children's show Blue Peter (see picture), talking about the programme and helping show viewers how to make their own Doctor Who board game. The episode also featured a report on Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones's turn as a Dalek in the forthcoming series finale, including a never-before-seen clip from episode thirteen. British broadband viewers can watch this edition of Blue Peter online on the BBC iPlayer.

On Thursday Bernard Cribbins, who plays Donna's grandfather Wilf, appeared on BBC One's early evening magazine programme The One Show, and an exclusive clip from the series was shown. Cribbins commented that he was interviewed for the role of the Fourth Doctor, but lost out to Tom Baker. The One Show is also available to view on the BBC iPlayer for British internet users.

On Friday morning, Freema Agyeman and Elisabeth Sladen appeared together on Richard Arnold's entertainment news show, part of the morning GMTV programming on ITV1. They discussed the forthcoming finale and verbally sparred with a Dalek who also featured in the studio!

On Friday afternoon, British-based American actor Michael Brandon appeared on husband-and-wife team Richard and Judy's chat show on Channel 4. Brandon enthused about his role in the forthcoming episodes, and another exclusive clip was shown.

A blog on the website of the American Wall Street Journal newspaper looks into why British fans are so excited about the forthcoming finale - spoilers are included, so be warned. The Toronto Star in Canada includes K9 in a run-down of famous "cute" science-fiction robots. The Scotsman, meanwhile, reports that BBC bosses are allegedly ready to offerDavid Tennant 100,000 pounds per episode to sign up for the fifth full series of Doctor Who.

The Stage entertainment industry newspaper previews tonight's episode in its Square Eyes column, saying that: "The Stolen Earth is an audacious yarn from the pen of Russell T Davies - it's like one of those cracking Marvel Comic team-ups that have Spider-Man, the X-Men and The Avengers all turning up in the same comic." The Scotsman also runs a preview, enthusing: "This crowd-pleasing episode is so relentlessly enjoyable I wouldn't be ashamed to run naked around Westminster Abbey roaring its praises to the rafters. Look for me on the news."

The current edition of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine also praises the episode, making it their "Pick of the Day" for Saturday, with television editor Alison Graham commenting: "Even sensible adults in the audience might feel a tiny quiver of fear as the Daleks deliver their message to Earth in those unforgettable quivering voices: 'Exterminate! Exterminate!'." The magazine also has a brief interview with scientist Richard Dawkins about his cameo appearance in the programme, and a three-page feature on the return of the Daleks.

Website Den of Geek has interviewed Dalek voice artist Nick Briggs about various aspects of his Doctor Who career.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Doctor Who Adventures - 70

Press Release

The Daleks are coming!

They’re almost here, so look out and find out more about the Daleks in the new issue of Doctor Who Adventures!

There’s a special preview of Saturday’s episode (brace yourself!) and we look at our favourite bits from the fantastic Turn Left.

And if you like Daleks, you’ll love the free gifts this issue. There’s a Dalek pencil case, Dalek Sec Hybrid eraser, pen, pencil and ruler. And remember, Daleks rule!

PLUS:

  • Three brilliant posters: The Master and the Toclafane, a Dalek, Turn Left.
  • Tales from the TARDIS:The Vashta Nerada attack!
  • Quiz: How much do you know about Turn Left?
  • Who’s where? Football fun for monsters!
  • Secrets: Skeleton scares from Forest of the Dead.
  • Activity: Draw a Hath.
  • Make: A Sontaran mask to cut out.
  • Doctor's Data: The Doctor’s daughter, Jenny.
  • Comic strip: part one of The Black Hole Gang.
  • Time Teasers: Wasp Watch and Name the Node!
  • Who knows!: Why weren’t the Sontarans in the Time War and can the Doctor regenerate into a woman?
  • Win: Goodies up for grabs, including the DVD of Partners in Crime, The Fires of Pompeii and Planet of the Ood.
  • Subscription offer: Subscribe and you’ll get a FREE Doctor Who –Creatures and Demons book!

Phil Collinson Comes to America

Gallifrey Conventions has announced the confirmation of Phil Collinson for his first-ever convention appearance in North America at the forthcoming 2009 Gallifrey One convention,Gallifrey One: 20 To Life, which takes place February 13-15, 2009 at the Marriott Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport.

Phil Collinson has been the producer of Doctor Who for the past four years, responsible for the day-to-day production of the series since its return to television in 2005. Having produced nearly every episode of the series in its first four years (executive producing a handful while on leave, handing that over to Susie Liggat), Collinson has been there for every moment... from Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper and John Barrowman to David Tennant and Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate. Collinson also executive produced the first series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Collinson announced his intention to leave the series at the conclusion of its fourth year, and is currently the head of drama for BBC Manchester. Previously, Collinson also worked on the series "Born and Bred" as producer, and has produced or directed episodes of "Linda Green," "Sea of Souls" and "Peak Practice".

Gallifrey 2009 is the twentieth anniversary of the world's longest-running annual Doctor Who convention. More information about this year's convention -- which also so far includes director Graeme Harper, comedian Toby Hadoke ("Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf") and others, with headlining Doctor Who actor guests to be announced soon -- can be found at the website at www.gallifreyone.com/gallifrey.php.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Air Date For Canada

Posted By John Bowman

The second series of Torchwood will begin airing in Canada on Friday, August 8 on the English-language speciality cable channel Space.

The news is revealed in a Toronto Star interview with John Barrowman by pop culture writer Malene Arpe and on Barrowman's official website, which says it is an exclusive deal.

Torchwood is co-produced by the CBC, which showed the first series, as did Ztele and HD Net Canada
(With thanks to Gajo.)

Doctor Who Magazine 397

Posted By John Bowman


Jack's back! And he's taking on the Daleks! In the new edition of Doctor Who Magazine, published in the UK tomorrow, John Barrowman talks exclusively about his return to Doctor Who and on working with Elisabeth Sladen.

Click on the spoiler box for an extract from the interview, although be aware that it contains information about the series finale that you might not want to know before it airs. In addition, the spoiler box has details of a magazine feature that reveals aspects of the finale.

Also in DWM 397:
  •  Previews of the final two episodes of Series Four, featuring new and previously unpublished photos.
  • An interview with Elisabeth Sladen.
  • Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's showrunner-in-waiting, speaks candidly about taking over the series - and how to write a Doctor Who story.
  •  Planet Earth has been moved! But how? And by whom? Find out what happened the first time the Earth was stolen, as The Time Team watch the first four parts of the epic 1986 adventure The Trial of a Time Lord.
  •  See the Doctor and Donna in dead trouble! The fight against zombies and Sycorax continues in part three of the latest, full-colour, comic-strip adventure The Widow's Curse
  •  Could you make it as a DWM journalist? The decisions are all yours as you go behind the scenes and talk to the stars as you investigate the filming of Turn Left.
  • DWM talks to Lesley Sharp, aka Sky Silvestry, about what makes a scary story, working with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant and the fun of going bonkers.
  • Before iPlayer, DVDs and videos, the only way to relive an old Doctor Who story was by reading a Target book. DWM takes a nostalgic look back at this fondly remembered series of novels.
  • Discover why too much information can be a bad thing - and just what The Doctor's Daughter has to do with 1978'sUnderworld – in You Are Not Alone.

    Plus all the latest news, exclusive photos, reviews, previews, competitions and a free, vintage Target Doctor Who book.

"I'm in love with Lis," confesses John. "The first time that I met her, a year or so ago, she was coming out of an elevator. I grabbed her and said, 'I just want to say what an honour it is to meet you. I am so thrilled! Hopefully, we'll get a chance to work together one day.'

"She was very gracious, but after she'd gone I thought, 'John, you idiot, you've embarrassed yourself in front of Sarah Jane Smith!'

"When she came on set for these final episodes there was a point when Davros appeared and I grabbed her hand, and we're looking at each other as John and Elisabeth, looking and thinking, this is so surreal! We were part of history that day. We all had to take in the moment, because it will probably never happen again. And our final scene together – oh, it was beautiful."

Is Sarah Jane attracted to Jack? "I think Jack finds her sexy." Should he even go there? "There's one bit where we hint at it," John replies, cheekily. "There is an element of flirtation there. I wonder if they've left it in. If anybody can flirt with Sarah Jane, it's Captain Jack Harkness!"

Also in issue 397 of the magazine, Elisabeth Sladen reveals all about her encounters with Davros - and whyJourney's End could be her last meeting with the Doctor.

The Time Traveller's Almanac

Posted By John Bowman

BBC Books has released details about the forthcoming Doctor Who publication The Time Traveller's Almanac.

Billed as 'The Ultimate Intergalactic Fact-Finder', the hardback book explores parallel versions of Earth, counts sightings of Captain Jack Harkness through history, relives the Doctor's encounters with Charles Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and Queen Victoria, tracks the origins of the Family of Blood, the Chula spacecraft and the Vespiform, and focuses on events such as the First World War, the Great Depression and the Battle of Canary Wharf.

From the fall of Troy to the Apollo moon landing, Shakespeare and Agatha Christie to the Gelth and the Reapers, it tracks key events throughout history and includes tales of great lives, explanations of important issues in science, technology and the arts, and retells the stories that have defined each era.

Among the features, it also delves into the eruption of Vesuvius plus the mysteries of Carrionite science, takes a look at the eminent artists of the 16th, 19th and 21st centuries, and examines where the Daleks come from.

Fully illustrated with photos and artwork, The Time Traveller's Almanac, by Steve Tribe, will be published on September 25, 2008.

Midnight - Final Ratings

Final figures released by BARB give episode Ten of Series Four, Midnight, an official rating of 8.05 million viewers.

The episode finished in fifth place in the weekly top ten, just beaten by the two main soaps and The Apprentice. The chart position is the joint second highest the programme has achieved in its 45 year history. The highest charting episode was last Christmas's Voyage of the Damned. The only other episode to reach the top five was the second episode of the 1975 Tom Baker story The Ark in Space.

The Sunday repeat on BBC3 which was watched by1.07 million viewers and was the 2nd most watched programme on multi-channel for the week, just beaten by Heroes on BBC3.

The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.59 million viewers, making it the 28th 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 15 June 2008

1 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2059) - 9.29 - BBC1
2 CORONATION STREET (WED 1930) - 8.36 - ITV1
3 EASTENDERS (TUE 1931) - 8.25 - BBC1
4 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 8.06 - ITV1
5 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1910) - 8.05 - BBC1
6 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2030) - 7.79 - ITV1
7 EASTENDERS (SUN 2000) - 7.47 - BBC1
8 EASTENDERS (WED 2000) - 7.06 - BBC1
9 EASTENDERS (MON 1959) - 6.78 - BBC1
10 EMMERDALE (FRI 1903) - 6.67 - ITV1
11 EMMERDALE (THU 1903) - 6.64 - ITV1
12 EMMERDALE (TUE 1859) - 6.53 - ITV1
13 BBC NEWS (SUN 2200) - 6.41 - BBC1
14 CORONATION STREET (SUN 1858) - 6.29 - ITV1
15 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) - 6.24 - ITV1
16 CASUALTY (SAT 2046) - 6.19 - BBC1
17 EMMERDALE (MON 1859) - 6.13 - ITV1
18 EURO 2008 LIVE (MON 1929) - 5.74 - ITV1
19 THE NATIONAL LOTTERY - 1 VS 100 (SAT 1955) - 5.69 - BBC1
20 EURO 2008: MATCH OF THE DAY LIVE (FRI 1929) - 5.58 - BBC1


Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 15 June 2008

1 HEROES (Thu 2201) 1,233,000 - BBC3
2 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2032) 1,068,000 - BBC3
3 MARGARET THATCHER - THE LONG WALK TO FINCHLEY (Thu 2101) 1,019,000 - BBC4
4 EASTENDERS (Mon 2202) 913,000 - BBC3
5 EASTENDERS (Tue 2201) 819,000 - BBC3
6 EASTENDERS (Wed 2201) 778,000 - BBC3
7 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT (Fri 2059) 760,000 - ITV2
8 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 751,000 - Fiver
9 FILM: LOVE ACTUALLY (Tue 2158) 738,000 - ITV2
10 GLADIATORS (Sun 1800) 734,000 - Sky One
11 EURO 2008 LIVE (Sun 1929) 732,000 - ITV4
12 HOME AND AWAY (Tue 1829) 714,000 - Fiver
13 COME DINE WITH ME (Sun 1850) 703,000 - More4
14 HOLLYOAKS (Thu 1859) 680,000 - E4
15 HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1829) 675,000 - Fiver
16 THE QUEEN (Sun 2020) 663,000 - ITV3
17 SUPERNATURAL (Sun 2100) 650,000 - ITV2
18 HOLLYOAKS (Mon 1859) 645,000 - E4
19 60 SECONDS (Mon 2159) 642,000 - BBC3
20 FAMILY GUY (Thu 2306) 631,000 - BBC3

Source BARB

Fans Take Up the Project of Animating Lost Episodes

The June 26th edition of The Guardian features an article describing the efforts of a very talented group of fans who have taken inspiration from the 2006 DVD release of 1968's "The Invasion" and are animating lost episodes of Doctor Who.

Garrett Gilchrist is a director and artist based in the US. For the past eight months he has been working on an ambitious project to restore to life an episode of the lost 1967 Patrick Troughton epic, "Evil of the Daleks."

"'The Invasion' DVD was such a gift to fans, such a wonderful project," he says. "The first thought in everyone's mind was, 'So, when are you animating the rest of them, then?' "

Gilchrist is taking a very loyalist approach to the project. "They (the animations) have to match the original episodes as closely as possible, and feel like the 60s Doctor Who, not updated," says Gilchrist. "Just recreated with new technology. Recreated, not updated."

The article includes a 'sample reel' of scenes from various episodes, ranging from "Marco Polo" to "The Wheel in Space"

Monday, 23 June 2008

Turn Left - AI and Digital Ratings

Episode eleven of series four, Turn Left, scored an Appreciation Index of 88, again one of the highest scores of the week and firmly in the excellent category.

Sunday's football just edged ahead of Saturday's Doctor Who making Turn Left the 7th most watched programme of the week. This position may rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days' time.

Sunday's BBC3 repeat got an overnight audience of0.60 million viewers. It was a 2.7% share of the multi-channel audience and the third most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.77 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 4.3 %, was the most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday. The Sunday repeat had 0.34 millionwatching.

Last Friday's repeat of Midnight got an audience of 0.29 million viewers. It was the 7th highest multi channel programme.

Casting Rumour: New Girl for Christmas

The Sunday Mirror is reporting that supermodel Agyness Deyn is being lined up as the new Christmas companion for the episode that will air on Christmas Day. Below is the body of the article; as always consider this to be strictly a rumour until confirmed officially by the BBC.

Extra caution is advised with this particular report, given that the episode in question has already been shot!
Supermodel Agyness Deyn is being lined up to appear in a Doctor Who Christmas special.

TV executives are considering several character options for the catwalk queen who will follow in the footsteps of previous guest stars Kylie Minogue and comedy veteran Bernard Cribbins.

A bbc source revealed: "Doctor Who remains the Beeb's jewel in the crown and bosses love pulling out the stops to land a bigname star to add a bit of extra showbiz sparkle to the Christmas special.

"Agyness is the perfect choice. She's talented and fast becoming a household name."

The part will be the first big acting role for Agyness, who is best known as the face of designer brands like Burberry and Armani.

Agyness, 25 - real name Laura Hollins - was discovered while working in a chip shop in Ramsbottom, Lancs, in 1999. Since then she has won a string of lucrative contracts as well as carving out a career in music - lending her voice to indie band The Five O'Clock Heroes' single Who.

She now divides her time between London and New York after splitting from long-term boyfriend Josh Hubbard, lead singer with The Paddingtons, last month.

Two years ago, Dr Who bosses brought in comedienne Catherine Tate to play bride Donna Noble in festive special The Runaway Bride. She proved a hit with viewers and was brought back as the Doctor's assistant, replacing Freema Agyeman. Pop princess Kylie Minogue was drafted in last year to play waitress Astrid Peth in Titanic-themed episode The Voyage Of The Damned.

Doctor Who - currently starring David Tennant - was an instant ratings winner for BBC1 when it was revived in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and former pop singer Billie Piper as his assistant.

Colin Baker to star in Bath Panto

Colin Baker, the sixth actor to star in Doctor Who (1984 - 1986), is set to star in the upcoming pantomime "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the Theatre Royal in Bath.

Baker stars as Fleshcreep, the baddie in the piece. While he is best known for having been the Doctor, he's also famous for other villain roles, most notably that of Paul Merroney in The Brothers from 1974 - 1976. He also portrayed Bayban the Butcher in the Blake's 7 episode "City at the Edge of the World" and first appeared in Doctor Who as Commander Maxil, the Fifth Doctor's executioner, in "Arc of Infinity".

"Beanstalk" also features Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon as the Fairy and 19-year-old singer Lewis Bradley - a finalist in Any Dream Will Do - as Jack.

The panto will run from Thursday December 18 to Sunday January 25.

To book call the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844.

Clarke's Adulthood top UK-made film

Noel Clarke's latest film, Adulthood, has become the number one British film at the UK box office. In the weekend's box office tally, Adulthood is the number four film overall, and has the highest per screen average.

Adulthood is written and directed by Clarke who also stars as Sam, released from prison six years after being involved in a killing. The sequel to the 2006 low budget drama Kidulthood, Adulthood is a urban drama dealing with life in the crime ridden slum areas of our major cities. It's set in a location where a life of drugs, crime and violence is often seen as the best choice for youth and where an ever increasing number of teenage lives are lost through the use of knives and guns. Although unflinching in its portrayal of street attitudes and behaviour the film does have a strong message of redemption.

The film took £1.2 million in its opening weekend with some of the many cinemas showing it around the country having to move it into bigger screens to meet audience demand, moving out big studio releases like The Incredible Hulk and Sex And The City.

Clarke said: "I'm thrilled that so many people both young and old have queued up to see Adulthood on the big screen as it was intended to be shown. This film carries an important message and it is very rewarding to know how widely it is being received."

John Fletcher, Pathe Distribution Managing Director, said: "We are delighted that Adulthood has performed so well at the box office. The fact that this British indie sequel is one of the most popular films this weekend demonstrates how well Noel Clarke's powerful drama has connected with audiences across the country."

The BBC showing of Kidulthood was the most requested programme on the BBC iPlayer last week, beating Doctor Who into second place.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Turn Left - Overnight Ratings

Unofficial figures show that episode eleven of Series Four, Turn Left, was watched by 7.0 million viewers, giving it a 35.1% share of the total television audience.

The programme was the second most watched on Saturday, just being beaten by Euro 2008 on ITV1 which started just as Doctor Who finished. The programme won its time slot, getting double the audience of ITV1's Animals Do The Funniest Things. BBC1 had a drop of nearly 4 million viewers when Doctor Who finished.

Doctor Who is currently the 6th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days' time.

New episode 12 trailers

The BBC has started running two new trailers for episode 12 of the current series, separate from the "Next Time" trailer seen last night. There is a 10-second teaser trail featuring the Daleks, and a longer 30-second trail containing many elements from the episode, including a malevolent voiceover.

UK internet users can view both of the trailers on the official BBC website, or on the BBC YouTube channel.

Doctor Who trailers on the ABC - Confidential Cutdown confirmed

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has begun promoting Doctor Who with a trailer showing brief excerpts from Voyage of the Damned and the first five episodes of Series Four. The ABC has also put its trailer for 'Voyage of the Damned' on itswebsite.

A previous report that the ABC will broadcast each of the cut down editions of Doctor Who Confidential immediately after the broadcast of the corresponding episode of Series Four has not yet been officially confirmed by the ABC although its website indicates a 55 minute timeslot for Partners in Crime on Sunday 6 July 2008.

Update 26 June 2008: The ABC has confirmed on its online TV Guide that it is indeed showing Doctor Who Confidential Cutdown on ABC1 after each episode of Series 4 starting with "A Noble Return" on Sunday 6 July 2008.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Press round-up

The Radio Times is not the only British listings magazine to devote its cover to the return of Rose Tyler this week - both TV and Satellite Weekand TV Guide also make the news their cover story, with corresponding articles inside.

In the TV Guide feature, Russell T Daviessays of Rose's return: "She's a huge protagonist in the action and we see her meeting Donna for the first time. It explores how the two of them get on and, of course, they both have different agendas." In TV and Satellite Week, Davies comments on his successor,Steven Moffat: "It will be brilliant to watch it as [he] is full of ideas. You have never seen a man more excited than Steven is."

The Sun newspaper has today published a short article with a screen grab from this Saturday's episode - it is a minor spoiler, so be advised. Meanwhile,The Stage has published its review of last weekend's episode, "Midnight", saying it is Russell T Davies's "finest script from four years of Doctor Who".

SFX Magazine has gone a week further ahead and posted a preview of episode 12, "The Stolen Earth", which can be found here. Again, minor spoilers are included, so watch out if you are avoiding all advance details about the episode.

Meanwhile, an actor appeared on the BBC's "Breakfast" news programme earlier this week, and confirmed that he will be appearing in a forthcoming episode of Doctor Who. No plot spoilers were given, but for the benefit of those avoiding casting details, the information is included in the spoiler box below.
It was Noel Clarke who appeared on "Breakfast", stating that the BBC Press Office had given him clearance to say he would be returning as Mickey Smith in a forthcoming episode.

Series 4 End Party in London

A special end-of-series party is planned to be held in London on July 5. The free event will be taking place at a gastropub in Clerkenwell.

Says organiser Jason Gorman: "We are planning to screen the series finale, Journey's End, when it is broadcast at 7pm (as currently scheduled!) - we believe it will also be screened just down the road in Trafalgar Square (for Pride London), and we expect many guests to come after that, so the party will just be getting started by 8pm.

"There'll be live music - with a Parisian theme - later in the evening, and we're working on some special video screenings later in the evening that we hope will amuse and divert. The party will probably go on well past midnight.

"Doors open from 5pm and tickets are free. As there are only 50 left we are limiting them to two per person, and those coming need to be 18 or over."

To confirm you want tickets, please contact Jason at the email address finale@parlezuml.com, stating your full name, address (to send tickets to), and contact number (in case the organisers need to contact you urgently).

Update 22 June: all the tickets have now been allocated, and should be distributed in the next week.

David Brierley

Posted By John Bowman

The actor David Brierley, who provided the voice of K-9 for four stories, has died of cancer, according to an announcement in the current edition ofThe Stage.

Born in 1935, he appeared in such shows as Z Cars, Arthur of the Britons, The Tripods and Howards' Way, as well as the 1984 BBC drama Threads. Brierley took over from John Leeson as K-9's voice during season 17, which originally aired between September 1979 and January 1980.

He also provided the robot dog's voice in an October 1979 edition of Blue Peter.

(With thanks to Chris Winwood.)

Auction Items Fetch Thousands

Posted By John Bowman

Two items from the 1980s era of Doctor Who were sold for more than 3,000 pounds yesterday.

An entertainment memorabilia auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, saw a moulded and painted foam baby Tyrannosaurus rex in a jar from the 1985 Colin Baker story The Mark of the Rani go for 1,080 pounds, while a Dalek guard costume from the 1984 Peter Davison adventureResurrection of the Daleks sold for 2,040 pounds.

As reported by this site last month, the model T rex had an estimate of 600 to 800 pounds, while the Dalek guard costume's estimate was 800 to 1,200 pounds. The guard costume had 'Rula Lenska' plus a measurement inscribed in ballpoint on the neck and came with a moulded weapon plus background paperwork, including a copy of a note by Lenska, who played Styles, and a signed photo (believed to be of Lenska)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Forest of the Dead - Final Ratings

Final figures released by BARB give episode Nine of Series Four, Forest of the Dead, an official rating of7.84 million viewers.

The episode saw the series edge back into the weekly top ten, just beaten by the two main soaps and The Apprentice. Doctor Who beat one episode of EastEnders and one episode of Coronation street in the final ratings.

The Sunday repeat on BBC3 which was watched by0.82 million viewers and was the 7th most watched programme on multi-channel for the week.

The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidentialgot 0.87 million viewers making it the 5th 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 8th June 2008

1 CORONATION STREET (MON 1932) - 9.16 - ITV1
2 CORONATION STREET (MON 2029) - 9.03 - ITV1
3 EASTENDERS (MON 2001) - 8.70 - BBC1
4 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 8.69 - ITV1
5 CORONATION STREET (WED 1930) - 8.42 - ITV1
6 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2030) - 8.15 - ITV1
7 EASTENDERS (FRI 1959) - 8.07 - BBC1
8 EASTENDERS (THU 1930) - 8.00 - BBC1
9 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2100) - 7.94 - BBC1
10 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1900) - 7.84 - BBC1
11 CORONATION STREET (SUN 2003) - 7.75 - ITV1
12 EMMERDALE (MON 1901) - 6.71 - ITV1
13 EMMERDALE (TUE 1858) - 6.61 - ITV1
14 EMMERDALE (FRI 1903) - 6.59 - ITV1
15 EMMERDALE (THU 1902) - 6.44 - ITV1
16 EASTENDERS (TUE 1929) - 6.18 - BBC1
17 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) - 6.06 - ITV1
18 CASUALTY (SAT 2037) - 5.89 - BBC1
19 TRAFFIC COPS (TUE 2100) - 5.64 - BBC1
20 BIG BROTHER (THU 2102) - 5.59 - Chann

Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 8th June 2008

1 EASTENDERS (Tue 2202) 1,270,000 - BBC3
2 HEROES (Thu 2230) 1,080,000 - BBC3
3 FILM: THIS IS ENGLAND (2006) (Mon 2100) 1,005,000 - Film4
4 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT (Fri 2104) 992,000 - ITV2
5 DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL (Sat 1946) 865,000 - BBC3
6 HOME AND AWAY (Tue 1829) 853,000 - Fiver
7 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2001) 819,000 - BBC3
8 HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1828) 784,000 - Fiver
9 EASTENDERS (Thu 2200) 757,000 - BBC3
10 EASTENDERS (Mon 2203) 740,000 - BBC3
11 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2224) 738,000 - BBC3
12 HOLLYOAKS (Thu 1900) 730,000 - E4
13 HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1829) 722,000 - Fiver
14 60 SECONDS (Mon 2201) 717,000 - BBC3
15 HOLLYOAKS (Mon 1900) 711,000 - E4
16 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 708,000 - Fiver
17 60 SECONDS (Tue 2159) 651,000 - BBC3
18 HOME AND AWAY (Thu 1829) 648,000 - Fiver
19 HOLLYOAKS (Fri 1859) 636,000 - E4
20 MIDSOMER MURDERS (Tue 2205) 623,000 - ITV3

Source BARB

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Photo spoiler in The Sun

The Sun daily national newspaper in Britain has published a story about a returning enemy in the final two episodes of the current series of Doctor Who. The story also features a high-quality photograph of this character, and also of another aspect due to feature in the finale. The information is contained in the spoiler box below - please do not click if you do not want to be spoiled!

Today's Daily Telegraph is also running the spoiler story, although their photograph is not from the current series.

The returning enemy is Davros, the creator of the Daleks, previously seen in five classic series stories. According to both papers, he is now played by actor Julian Bleach, who previously appeared in an episode of Torchwood.

A new type of Dalek, a Red Dalek, is also pictured in The Sun's story.

Doctor Who Adventures 69

Posted By John Bowman

Get set for the return of Rose Tyler in this week's edition of Doctor Who Adventures.

Issue 69 looks at this coming Saturday's episode, Turn Left, in which Donna runs into the Doctor's old friend.

Also in the magazine is a Vashta Nerada mask, and readers can learn about the Doctor's long history with the Sontarans.

The free gift is a bumper sticker pack, with 91 different Doctor Who stickers in total, including a set of Dalek stickers, two sets of holo stickers and a sheet for sticking on the front of notebooks and diaries.

PLUS:
  • Three posters: Cyberman, Midnight and Sontarans
  • Tales from the TARDIS: A shock for the Doctor in The Unicorn and the Wasp
  • Secrets: Creating the Nodes from Silence in the Library
  • Doctor's Data: Fifth Doctor facts
  • Comic strip: Can the Doctor and Donna escape the wormhole?
  • Who knows: How many rooms are inside the TARDIS and is Miss Foster a Time Lord?
  • Win: Goodies up for grabs, including the new K-9 Tales DVD box set
Doctor Who Adventures issue 69 is out on Thursday, June 19.

K9 Series Production Latest

Posted By John Bowman

Production on the long-awaited spin-off series featuring K9 is due to start in Australia next month, according to the Pacific Film and Television Commission.

An article in its June newsletter says that Bob Baker is currently in Queensland, writing the 26-part show. He co-created the character of the robot dog with Dave Martin, who died in March 2007.

According to the PFTC, Baker is working on the spin-off - called simply K9 - with Queensland writers Shane Krause and Shayne Armstrong.

It is being produced by Simon Barnes, and Richard Stewart and Penny Wall from Brisbane company Stewart Wall Entertainment.

A PFTC spokesman told The Doctor Who News Page: "The series certainly is imminent! K9 is in pre-production at present in Queensland. However, exact dates for production have not yet been confirmed."

Outpost Gallifrey reported last July that an unspecified amount of funding had been approved by Australia's Film Finance Corporation.

TV distribution agent Park Entertainment has said the half-hour episodes, to be made by Jetix Europe, will be live action and CGI.

(With thanks to Anacleto.)

Monday, 16 June 2008

Press round-up

The most recent episode of Doctor Who, "Midnight", is reviewed in two of the British broadsheet newspapers this morning. The Times's reviewer Andrew Billen felt that the episode was "too much of a writing exercise to be really scary," however he does concede that: "It showed that even if it fails as often as it succeeds, this series is not afraid of variety. Like the passengers aboard the charabanc, Doctor Who is dead scared of repetition." Sam Wollaston of The Guardian gives a very positive assessment: "It's great. Because what we can't see is much more alarming than what we can. It's tense and claustrophobic, and it gnaws away at you."

icWales yesterday published an article examining what next for Welsh-produced drama once Russell T Davies leaves Doctor Who, claiming that Welsh drama productions are the envy of Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. The article rather oddly refers to Davies's successor, Steven Moffat, as first English, before later pointing out his Scottish origins.

Davies's impact on television drama is also examined further afield: the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune have both published a piece by journalist Sarah Lyall, looking at Davies and Doctor Who's influence on the industry and British popular culture as a whole.

Midnight - AI and Digital Ratings

Episode ten of series four, Midnight, scored an Appreciation Index of 86, once more putting the show firmly in the excellent category. It was the 2nd most appreciated programme on BBC1 and ITV on Saturday after Trooping the Colour.

Continuing the general run of low ratings, none of Sunday's programmes were able to beat Saturday's Doctor Who, making it the highest rated programme for the whole weekend and the 5th most watched programme of the week. This position may rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days time.

Apart from the last Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned, which was 2nd in the weekly list, the highest chart position Doctor Who has ever previously achieved is 5th for episode two of the 1975 Tom Baker story The Ark in Space.

Sunday's BBC3 repeat got an overnight audience of 0.91 million viewers. It was a 4.5% share of the multi-channel audience and the most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.52 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 3.1 %, was the most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday.

Last Friday's repeat of Forest of the Dead got an audience of 0.35 million viewers. It was the 6th highest multi channel programme, and the highest rated on BBC3.

New Radio Times


The new edition of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine, available across the UK from tomorrow, once again focuses on Doctor Who as its cover feature. The magazine published four alternative covers for its series four launch issue, and has also made the Sontarans cover stars during the current run of the programme.

The cover, a preview of which is shown below, promotes a feature by Russell T Davies, looking at the roles of the Doctor's recent companions. "The companion acts as our eyes and ears, our gateway into the Doctor’s extraordinary world," Davies tells the magazine. "The companion is there so that the kids watching at home can think, 'That could be me!' I hope the companions still make children think that's possible, to travel in time and space."

K9 Tales - Faulty Disc - UPDATE

2 entertain, the company which produces the classic series DVDs, has confirmed there is an authoring error with the latest release, The Invisible Enemy, out this week as part of the K9-Tales disc set. The error is towards the end of Episode Three and causes the disc to skip part of the episode.

2 entertain will replace all faulty discs and have set up a helpline which will be active from Monday. Customers with faulty discs are advised to either emaildvd.support@bbc.co.uk (NOTE CORRECTED ADDRESS!) or call 020 7612 3186. Instructions on what to do are on the voicemail of the phone line and on the auto reply from the email.

The current DVD release schedule is listed below. Schedule is not confirmed and may change.
  • 16 June - K9 Tales
  • 21 July - The Brain of Morbius
  • 18 August - Trial of a Time Lord
  • September - Four to Doomsday
  • October - The War Machines
  • November - Battlefield

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Torchwood comes to BBC1

According to the latest issue of Torchwood Magazine, Executive Producer Julie Gardner has confirmed rumours that the show will move to BBC1 with a much shorter run.

The magazine reports that the third series will consist of five episodes forming one continuous story with at least one penned by Russell T. Davies.

"It's the longest and most ambitious story we have ever made, so be prepared for some shocks and surprises!" Gardner told the magazine. She added: "Life at Torchwood is never quiet or easy and the whole of Captain Jack's world is about to be turned upside down!"

The new series will begin filming in August for transmission in early 2009.

Midnight - Overnight Ratings

Unofficial figures show that episode ten of Series Four,Midnight, was watched by 7.3 million viewers, giving it a 37.8% share of the total television audience.

The programme was once more the most watched of Saturday, beating the second placed Casualty by 1.5 million viewers.

ITV1's highest rated programme of the day was Euro 2008 with 3.8 million.

In a week when ratings were down across the board, Doctor Who actually increased its audience over the previous week.

As a measure of how well the programme has performed, it is currently the 5th most watched of the week, ahead of editions of Coronation Street and EastEnders. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

John Barrowman in Canada

John Barrowman is in Canada this summer to serve as a judge on the Canadian version of the hit BBC series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?. The series is being broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and premieres today Sunday June 15th at 8:00pm across the country and at 8:30pm in Newfoundland.

Shows in front of a live studio audience will begin in Toronto on Sunday June 22nd. Tickets to be in the live audience are available from the CBC Maria website.

On the morning of Monday June 16th Barrowman will be appearing live on Breakfast Television on CITY TV in Toronto. Barrowman is scheduled to be on the show between 7:00am and 8:00am.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Episode Twelve Title

The mystery title of Episode Twelve of Season Four, has been released by the BBC Press Office.

Please don't click on the link if you want to avoid spoilers for the episode.

Thanks to Neil Matthews and Jack Martin
The Stolen Earth Ep 12/13

Saturday 28 June

Earth's greatest heroes assemble in a time of dire need, in tonight's penultimate episode in this series of Russell T Davies's Bafta Award-winning time-travelling drama. But can the Doctor's secret army defeat the might of the new Dalek Empire?

With battles on the streets and in the skies, the Doctor and Donna must brave the Shadow Proclamation to find out the truth. However, a fearsome old enemy waits in the shadows.

David Tennant plays the Doctor and Catherine Tate plays his companion, Donna Noble.

Russell T Davies awarded OBE


Russell T Davies, the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who and the man who has spearheaded the revival of the programme since 2003, has been created an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - OBE - in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. One of the highest civilian honours available to a British subject, the OBE is awarded by the Queen, on the advice of the Government, and has been given to Davies for his services to drama.

The Times quotes Davies as saying: "I'm delighted to accept, and I hope it does the whole industry a bit of good, for the writing of television drama to be recognised." Davies is the second Doctor Who producer to have been accorded the honour - the late Verity Lambert was given an OBE in 2002.

According to the Press Association, the BBC has released a statement saying: "We are delighted for Russell - he is one of this country's greatest writers and it is fantastic that his talent has been recognised in this way."

The story is covered in many other news sources, including: The IndependentThe GuardianThe Scotsman and BBC News. BBC News have also published a profile of Davies.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Doctor Who Confidential Down Under

In a comment on their message board the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has revealed that it has, for the first time, purchased the Australian rights to Doctor Who Confidential and will broadcast each episode immediately after the broadcast of the corresponding episode of Series Four.

Presumably, these will be the cut down versions which will fill the 8.15-8.30pm timeslot and commence with Partners in Crime on Sunday 6 July.

The ABC has also confirmed that, as previously reported, the latest series will start on ABC1 on Sunday 29th June, 7.30pm with Voyage of the Damned.

Silence in the Library - Final Ratings

Final figures released by BARB give episode Eight of Series Four, Silence in the Library, an official rating of 6.27 million viewers.

The week was dominated by ITV which had 15 of the top twenty places, thanks to the runaway success ofBritain's Got Talent, the final of which is now the most watched programme of the year to date.

Doctor Who was the 27th most watched for the week on British Television and the 9th most watched on BBC Television. It is the first time the programme has dropped out of the top twenty since The Empty Childin 2005 and the lowerst position since the series returned in 2005. The rating is the lowest sinceThe Satan Pit in 2006, which got 6.1 million watching.

Some of the missing viewers watched the Sunday repeat on BBC3 which was watched by 1.35 million viewers and was the 2nd most watched programme on multi-channel for the week. To date over half a million have also watched it on the BBC iPlayer and the total reach of the programme is over 8.5 million.

The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.57 million viewers making it the 31st most watched multi-channel programme. The Sunday repeat was higher in the chart with 0.63 million watching and number 24 in the chart.

Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
Top Programmes w/e 1 June 2008

1 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT FINAL RESULT (SAT 2131) - 13.88 - ITV1
2 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (FRI 2101) - 11.86 - ITV1
3 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (SAT 1849) - 11.52 - ITV1
4 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (MON 2100) - 11.33 - ITV1
5 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (THU 2030) - 10.13 - ITV1
6 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (WED 2031) - 10.03 - ITV1
7 CORONATION STREET (MON 2029) - 9.99 - ITV1
8 CORONATION STREET (MON 1931) - 9.89 - ITV1
9 EASTENDERS (MON 1959) - 9.38 - BBC1
10 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (TUE 2030) - 9.29 - ITV1
11 CORONATION STREET (WED 1929) - 9.23 - ITV1
12 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1933) - 9.09 - ITV1
13 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2029) - 8.96 - ITV1
14 EASTENDERS (FRI 2000) - 7.95 - BBC1
15 EASTENDERS (THU 1929) - 7.46 - BBC1
16 EMMERDALE (MON 1900) - 7.31 - ITV1
17 I'D DO ANYTHING - THE FINAL (SAT 2044) - 7.18 - BBC1
18 MATCH OF THE DAY LIVE (WED 2000) - 7.07 - BBC1
19 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) - 6.99 - ITV1
20 THE APPRENTICE (TUE 2100) - 6.84 - BBC1
21 EMMERDALE (FRI 1901) - 6.68 - ITV1
22 EASTENDERS (TUE 1930) - 6.60 - BBC1
23 EMMERDALE (THU 1858) - 6.37 - ITV1
24 EMMERDALE (TUE 1859) - 6.34 - ITV1
25 BBC NEWS (MON 1830) - 6.32 - BBC1
26 AN AUDIENCE WITH NEIL DIAMOND (SAT 2030) - 6.28 - ITV1
27 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1902) - 6.27 - BBC1
28 HEARTBEAT (SUN 1959) - 5.70 - ITV1
29 I'D DO ANYTHING - THE FINAL (SAT 1800) - 5.46 - BBC1
30 THE INSPECTOR LYNLEY MYSTERIES (SUN 1959) - 5.30 - BBC1


Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 1 June 2008

1 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Sat 2158) 2,172,000 - ITV2
2 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2001) 1,345,000 - BBC3
3 LOST (Sun 2101) 1,166,000 - Sky One
4 EASTENDERS (Tue 2201) 1,162,000 - BBC3
5 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Wed 2159) 1,150,000 - ITV2
6 HEROES (Thu 2231) 1,141,000 - BBC3
7 EASTENDERS (Thu 2201) 1,122,000 - BBC3
8 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Mon 2230) 1,117,000 - ITV2
9 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Sat 2027) 931,000 - ITV2
10 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Fri 2231) 914,000 - ITV2
11 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Thu 2159) 875,000 - ITV2
12 GLADIATORS (Sun 1759) 844,000 - Sky One
13 BRITAIN'S GOT MORE TALENT (Tue 2159) 825,000 - ITV2
14 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (Sun 2001) 744,000 - ITV2
15 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 713,000 - Fiver (was
16 60 SECONDS (Sun 1959) 712,000 - BBC3
17 HOME AND AWAY (Tue 1828) 710,000 - Fiver (was
18 HOME AND AWAY (Thu 1828) 690,000 - Fiver (was
19 BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT FINAL RESULT (Sun 2144) 685,000 - ITV2
20 THE SIMPSONS (Sun 2031) 664,000 - Sky One
21 HOME AND AWAY (Fri 1829) 653,000 - Fiver (was
22 HOLLYOAKS (Mon 1859) 647,000 - E4 In
23 HOLLYOAKS (Wed 1859) 636,000 - E4 In
24 DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL (Sun 2045) 632,000 - BBC3
25 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2202) 630,000 - BBC3
26 HOLLYOAKS (Tue 1859) 630,000 - E4 In
27 HOLLYOAKS (Thu 1859) 611,000 - E4 In
28 DONT FORGET THE LYRICS (Sun 1901) 598,000 - Sky One
29 FAMILY GUY (Sun 2223) 593,000 - BBC3
30 BONES (Thu 2101) 586,000 - Sky One

Source BARB

Monday, 9 June 2008

Forest of the Dead - AI and Digital Ratings

Episode nine of series four, Forest of the Dead, scored an Appreciation Index of 89. Equal to last week, the figure is the joint highest score for the programme for all time. It was the most appreciated programme on BBC1 and ITV on Saturday.

Sunday's Coronation Street got just 16,000 more viewers than Saturday's Doctor Who, just enough to push Forest Of the Dead into 11th place for the week. This position is likely to rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days time. A top ten place is a reasonable possibility.

Sunday's BBC3 repeat got an overnight audience of 0.6 million, much lower than the repeat of Episode 8. It was a 3.2% share of the multi-channel audience and the 2nd most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday. The highest rated programme was Family Guy.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.76 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 4.8 %, was the most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday, with 50% more viewers than the second placed Top Gear. The Sunday repeat got 0.25 million viewers.

Last Friday's repeat of Silence in the Library got an audience of 0.43 million viewers. There were a large number of requests for Silence in the Library on iPlayer on Saturday.

Bruce Purchase 1938 - 2008

Actor Bruce Purchase has died at his home in London at the age of 69.

Bruce Purchase, who was born in Thames, New Zealand, was best known to Doctor Who viewers for his role as The Captain in the fourth Doctor story The Pirate Planet.

He was a founder member of Sir Laurence Olivier's National Theatre and a regular performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 2003 he gave the first performance of Johnson is Leaving, John Wain's adaptation of his 1974 biography of Dr Samuel Johnson, at The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Wain wrote the drama especially for Purchase after the two men met in Oxford and Purchase subsequently performed the play around the world.

He appeared opposite Richard Chamberlain in a European tour of My Fair Lady and his television work included I, Claudius, Blakes 7 and Rumpole of the Bailey. His film performances included Richard III and All Quiet on the Western Front.

Purchase's autobiography Changing Skies was published shortly before he died and he was also an accomplished artist who exhibited in London and abroad.

He became seriously ill while touring in a production of The Last Confession last year which also starred David Suchet.

He lived in Putney with his partner, Sara Hebblethwaite.

Press Association

Thanks to David French

Hamlet: London Dates

Posted By John Bowman

David Tennant can be seen in Hamlet in London from December 3 to January 10, 2009, it has been announced.

The Royal Shakespeare Company production will be transferring from Stratford-upon-Avon to The Novello Theatre in Aldwych.

The news has not been universally well received, though. In an article in today'sTimes, acclaimed director Sir Jonathan Miller hit out at what he called "an obsession with celebrity" by West End producers. In the interview, Miller referred to Tennant as "that man from Doctor Who". However, Michael Billington, theatre critic of The Guardian newspaper for the past 37 years, has written a rebuttal of Miller's views, claiming that Miller was "ignoring the fact that Tennant has a strong classical pedigree including a first-rate RSC Romeo".

Miller's production of Hamlet in Bristol, with Jamie Ballard in the title role, was highly praised but Miller says London producers weren't interested in it without any star names. (Jude Law is also to play Hamlet in London. That particular production will be at the Wyndham's Theatre from May 2009 as part of the Donmar West End season.)

Tickets for the Novello Theatre run of Hamlet go on sale to the general public from September 12. Priority booking for RSC members runs from June 16to September 5.

Love's Labour's Lost, in which Tennant plays Berowne, is apparently not transferring from Stratford.

(With thanks to Rod Henderson.)

Tom Tomorrow's Tennant and TARDIS

It's not uncommon for British political cartoonists to cast politicians as Daleks or Cybermen, but it's far more rare for Doctor Who to be referenced in American media.

However, this week liberal American cartoonist Tom Tomorrow included the Tenth Doctor and the TARDIS in his weekly cartoon This Modern World, by way of making a comment about Barack Obama winning the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

The panel can be seen at right, and the full cartoon can be read at Salon.com.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Comic Con Special Releases

Underground Toys is set to release two more special edition figures this year at the San Diego Comic Convention being held July 24th to the 27th at the San Diego Convention Center. As with last years release of the Assault Dalek and Damaged Cyberman, this year's figures are limited to 3,000 pieces each. Each figure is individually numbered and include the unique SDCC 2008 logo.

The figures are:

A Ninth Doctor in the Green Jumper from "Father's Day" with full articulation.

A "Time Crash" Twin Pack featuring an exclusive Fifth Doctor figure with celery exclusive to this pack and Tenth Doctor figure in blue suit with red converse shoes and a new burgundy shirt.

Forest of the Dead - Overnight Ratings

Doctor Who was back at the top of the list with unofficial figures showing that episode nine of Series Four, Forest of the Dead, was watched by 7.1 million viewers, giving it a 40.0% share of the total television audience, the highest overnight share this series.

The programme was by far the most watched of Saturday, beating the second placed Casualty by 1.6 million viewers.

The quarter hour figures show that the only time any of the networks got over 6 million viewers watching was the 45 minutes when Doctor Who was on. The final 15 minutes had an average of 7.7 million.

ITV1's highest rated programme of the day was Euro 2008 with 4.0 million.

The programme is currently the 10th most watched of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.

Tennant on Marr

David Tennant was a special guest on the BBC1 Sunday morning programme The Andrew Marr Show.

Sandwiched between the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary, and appearing primarily to promote the DVD release of the BAFTA winning Taking over the Asylum and his forthcoming appearance as Hamlet, Tennant also talked about his role as the Doctor.

Asked whether he would be appearing in the fifth series, Tennant said he hadn't yet been asked, but would consider the question if it came. He confirmed he will be appearing in four specials to be shown in 2009.

The interview can be viewed here and a transcript can be read here. The whole programme can be watched on theBBC iPlayer.

David Tennant also joined current show-runner Russell T Davies and show-runner elect Steven Moffat in this week's Doctor Who Podcast. As well as providing a commentary to Moffat's Forest of the Dead, the trio discussed Moffat's appointment as the head of the series as well as their favourite Borusa and their thoughts on The Keys of Marinus.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Trial of a Time Lord DVD Box Set Update


June 7, 2008 • Posted By John Bowman
The Restoration Team has released details of the forthcoming four-disc release of the Trial of a Time Lord DVD box set in the UK.

The 14 episodes, comprising season 23 of the classic era, originally aired between September and December 1986 and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor.

There is a host of extras with the set, including extracts from Blue PeterWoganPoints of ViewChildren In NeedSaturday Picture Show andOpen Air.

It will also have deleted and extended scenes, plus the video for the 1985 charity song Doctor In Distress - the celebrity single that was released under the group name Who Cares? in protest at the show's suspension and feared cancellation.

In addition, there is a 55-minute documentary that takes a look at Colin Baker's time as the Doctor. Among those featured are Baker, Nicola BryantJohn Nathan-TurnerEric Saward and former BBC heads of series and serialsDavid Reid and Jonathan Powell.

The box set is due to be released on August 18.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Hartnell On UK Stamp - Image

Posted By John Bowman


Royal Mail has released an image of a forthcoming first-class stamp that prominently features William Hartnell.

A set of six stamps are being brought out in the UK on Tuesday, June 10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Carry On series and the first Dracula movie by Hammer. They depict the posters for Carry On Sergeant (which starred Hartnell and was the first of the Carry On films), Carry On Cleo, Carry On Screaming, The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy.

Peter Cushing, who played the Doctor in the two Dalek films of the 1960s, was in the Hammer films that are featured, while Jon Pertwee was in Carry On Cleo and Carry On Screaming, although he is not mentioned on the relevant stamps.

Royal Mail is producing stamp cards, a presentation pack and a first-day cover to accompany the Classic Carry On and Hammer film stamp issue.

The presentation pack contains all six stamps and comment from cult-film critic and author Kim Newman, who wrote the Doctor Who novella Time and Relative.

See the Royal Mail website for more details.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

December Novels - Updated

Information has been released on the trio of New Series hardback novels slated for release on Boxing Day.

Author Lance Parkin has started a blog about the writing of his novel.
Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell

Donna Noble is back home in London, catching up with her family and generally giving them all the gossip about her journeys. Her grandfather is especially overjoyed - he's discovered a new star and had it named after him. He takes the Doctor, as his special guest, to the naming ceremony.

But the Doctor is suspicious about some of the other changes he can see in Earth's heavens. Particularly that bright star, right there. No, not that one, that one, there, on the left . . .

The world's population is slowly being converted to a new path, a new way of thinking. Something is coming to Earth, an ancient force from the Dark Times. Something powerful, angry, and all-consuming . . .


The Eyeless by Lance Parkin

At the heart of the ruined city of Arcopolis is the Fortress. It's a brutal structure placed here by one of the sides in a devastating intergalactic war that's long ended. Fifteen years ago, the entire population of the planet was killed in an instant by the weapon housed deep in the heart of the Fortress. Now only the ghosts remain.

The Doctor arrives, and determines to fight his way past the Fortress's automatic defences and put the weapon beyond use. But he soon discovers he's not the only person in Arcopolis. What is the true nature of the weapon? Is the planet really haunted? Who are the Eyeless? And what will happen if they get to the weapon before the Doctor?

The Doctor has a fight on his hands. And this time he's all on his own.


The Story Of Martha by Dan Abnett, with David Roden, Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis, Robert Shearman, and Simon Jowett

For a year, while the Master ruled over Earth, Martha Jones travelled the world telling people stories about the Doctor. She told people of how the Doctor has saved them before, and how he will save them again.

This is that story. It tells of Martha's travels from her arrival on Earth as the Toclafane attacked and decimated the population through to her return to Britain to face the Master. It tells how she spread the word and told people about the Doctor. The story of how she survived that terrible year.

But it's more than that. This is also a collection of the stories she tells - the stories of adventures she had with the Doctor that we haven't heard about before. The stories that inspired and saved the world . . .

Featuring the Doctor and Donna.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Doctor Who Adventures - 67

Run from the shadows.

Stay out of the dark and look out for this week's issue of Doctor Who Adventures. You can't miss it. It's bright green and there's a skeleton on the cover!

There is everything you need to prepare you for this Saturday's scary episode, Forest of the Dead.
Crammed with creature features, you can also find out about the natural Ood in the monster fact file.
There is a cool new game for you to play, too. Can you get to the other side of the board before the Vespiform catches up with you!

This issue comes with a free Bannakaffalatta notebook, pen and stickers of the cheeky cyborg.

PLUS
  • Four posters: The Fires of Pompeii, Forest of the Dead and Judoon and the Doctor and Martha.
  • Tales from the TARDIS:Watch out for a big explosion at the end of The Poison Sky!
  • Quiz: Test your knowledge on Silence in the Library.
  • Secrets: How the Doctor’s daughter cartwheeled to safety!
  • Doctor's Data: All about bad boy Luke Rattigan.
  • Comic strip: Part two of Continuity Cap– the world’s gone mad for the Doctor and Donna!
  • Time Teasers:Spooky Shadows, Parallel Picture and more!
  • Who knows!:How many hearts does the Master have and how did the Family control the Scarecrows?

Doctor Who Adventures issue 67, is out across the United Kingdom on Thursday 5 June.

Burn Gorman in Oliver!

Torchwood star Burn Gorman has been confirmed in the role of Bill Sikes in the upcoming West End production of Lionel Bart's Oliver!. Torchwood guest star Julian Bleach will also be appearing, as Mr Sowerberry.

Fagin is being played by Rowan Atkinson, who portrayed the Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, which was written bySteven Moffat.

Adding to the Torchwood element of the musical, John Barrowman was on the panel of judges for the BBC One showI'd Do Anything, which led to the selection of Jodie Prenger as Sikes's lover, Nancy.

Previews of Oliver!, which is being staged at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane, begin on December 12. The opening night is January 14, 2009.

Thanks to Silent Hunter. Additional reporting by John Bowman.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Fans flock to Shakespeare

Tickets are selling fast for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production ofHamlet staring David Tennant in the title role and Patrick Stewart as Claudius.

The season, which runs from 24 July until 15 November 2008, at the Courtyard Theatre, is almost sold out before rehearsals have even begun. The websiteseatchoice.comreports that the show is the fourth hottest ticket in the United Kingdom, beating West End blockbusters such as Hairspray.

Hamlet is penciled in for a London run following the season in Stratford.

David Tennant discussed his role in the production with Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 last Saturday. The interview can be heard on a Podcast and on the Radio iPlayer. The interview contains spoilers for the 2008 Christmas episode.

Tennant will also be a guest on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday 8th June.

Thanks to Daniel Smith

Monday, 2 June 2008

Silence in the Library - AI and Digital Ratings

Episode eight of series four, Silence in the Library, was the most appreciated programme on any of the four main channels on Saturday with an Appreciation Index of 89. It was the highest score for series four and equal to the highest score for the programme for all time.

Sunday's highest rating was 5.4 million, so Doctor Who is still the 28th most watched programme of the week. This position is likely to rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days time. A top twenty place is just possible but unlikely.

Some of the viewers who went missing on Saturday turned up to watch Sunday's BBC3 repeat which got an overnight audience of 1.14 million, nearly double the audience for the repeat of Episode 7. It was a 5.6% share of the audience and the most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday, comfortably ahead of the repeat of Britain's got Talent.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.52 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 2.7 %, was the 3rd most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday. The Sunday repeat got 0.60 million viewers and was 10th in the chart.

Torchwood Series Three - Just Five Episodes?

TV Guide is reporting that John Barrowman has been signed up for Torchwood Series Three - which may only be five episodes long.

The site quotes co-executive producer Julie Gardner as saying: "We've decided to do a five-part mini-series, one big story that will run during one week."

However, more episodes may be given the go-ahead, says the report, which adds that the series will begin filming in August for transmission on BBC1 next spring.

Thanks to Darren Bevan and TardisKid.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Shearman nominated for Awards

After winning a Sony award for The Chain Gang, his serial for BBC7, Robert Shearman (DALEK, The Chimes of Midnight) has been nominated for two major awards for his short story collection Tiny Deaths.

He's on the shortlist for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, awarded in July, one of the highest honors in the UK for single author collections. Last year's nominees included Neil Gaiman.

Tiny Deaths is also longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, the highest prize in the world for the form, which will be announced in September. Press releases for both make great mention of Shearman's work on Doctor Who, and his dealings with Daleks!

Silence in the Library - Overnight Ratings

Doctor Who suffered at the hands of the ITV1 hit Britain's Got Talent with unofficial figures showing that episode eight of Series Four, Silence in the Library, was watched by 5.4 million viewers, giving it a 25.4% share of the total television audience.

Britain's Got Talent got 11 million viewers for the main show, with the results programme getting a massive 13.1 million. Doctor Who was only the 5th most watched programme for the day and the second highest rated programme on BBC1. For the first time since the series returned in 2005, the programme did not win its timeslot.

The programme is currently the 28th most watched of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days time.