Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Last Sontaran Part One - Overnight Ratings

The Sarah Jane Adventures returned to BBC1 on Monday with unofficial figures showing that Part One of The Last Sontaranachieved a rating of 0.7 million. The programme got a 6.3 per cent share of the audience.

The average for the time slot is around 0.4 million viewers.

The Appreciation Index for the episode was 84, the joint highest figure on BBC1 for the day.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Australian ratings and news - Updated

Series four of Doctor Who has finished its Australian run with impressive ratings. The Stolen Earth averaged 1,156,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, while Journey's End rated even more with 1,207,000. This episode was the Time Lord's best Aussie ratings since the record 1.248 million for 'Voyage of the Damned', even beating Channel Ten's high-rating 'Australian Idol'. The series finale was also the top-rating program of the day on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the top rating drama of the day on all channels and fourth overall for the day. TheConfidential Cutdown version of 'Friends and Foe' also had the programme's best Australian ratings ever with 1,015,000 viewers. 'End of an Era' at the later time of 10.45pm also scored a respectable 223,000 viewers. Sunday night has proved a ratings triumph for Doctor Who and the ABC, series four averaging 1.1 million as compared to an average of 850,000 on Saturday nights for series three. Media commentator Glenn Dyer of Crikey predicts that the ABC will lose 'half a million viewers' on Sunday nights with the end of 'Doctor Who.'

Meanwhile, in the local media, Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald praises 'Journey's End' writing it 'has the rare power to move you to tears, especially as the sinister Dalek Caan's prophecy - that the "most faithful" of the Doctor's companions will die - comes true in an unexpected and heartbreaking fashion'. CitySearch in its preview of the same episode also writes 'it's Catherine Tate as Donna who really shines. Like the show itself, she has moments of humour, depth, brilliance, drama and heartbreak.' Meanwhile The Canberra Times in its preview of the same episode writes that 'an astounding 45 years after its debut, this classic series is still a force to be reckoned with.' Ian Cuthbertson of The Weekend Australia writes that 'the faithful will be rewarded handsomely in this spectacular finale...Led by Davros and a mad Dalek who looks like a plate of calamai with a dog's eye in the middle, the old villains allow writer Russell T. Davies to delight in references to 'Doctor Who' and other sci-fi shows. "Resistance is useless," a Dalek shrieks. The Earth moves, literally; the universe is on the brink of extinction; and the Daleks soar through the skies of Germany, sounding very much at home in that language, "Exterminieren! Exterminieren!" OK, they made that up, but "Ausrotten, ausrotten!" wouldn't have been funny.' Catherine Deveny of The Age, also gives 'Journey's End' her 'pick of the day.'

Meanwhile, TV blog TV Tonight reports that The Sarah Jane Adventures will make its Australian debut onNickelodeon Australia on Friday October 31 2008 at 7pm.

Thanks to the contributors to the Australian forums.

Dalek cover wins award

The front cover of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine from the week of April 30th-May 6th 2005 has been voted the greatest British magazine cover of all time, in a poll organised by the Periodical Publishers Association.The cover featured a new series Dalek crossing Westminster Bridge in front of the Houses of Parliament, accompanied by the strapline "Vote Dalek!" This combined coverage of the transmission of the first new Dalek television story in over 16 years with the British General Election, which took place in the same week.According to The Guardian, the cover received over a quarter of the 10,000 votes cast in the public vote, beating off competition from issues of Vogue, The Face and OK!

Radio Times editor Gill Hudson is quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying: "It was a very complex cover to put together; simply getting Daleks onto Westminster Bridge at night was very challenging."

Editors were asked to submit UK-only covers but not their own. Submissions were accepted from any era or decade, including titles that were no longer being published.

Adam Pasco, editor of Gardener's World, who nominated the Dalek cover, stated in his original citation: "This Radio Times cover captures the essence of the mood of the nation in a brilliant and original way, and delivers on every level.

"The cover is totally unexpected and brings a contemporary twist to the iconic image of a Dalek to grab readers of all ages at the newsstand."

More than 40 front cover nominations, spanning more than 100 years, were initially put forward by magazine editors. These were whittled down to a shortlist of 16 by a panel of judges. Members of the public were then invited to vote on their favourite.

Nicola Rowe, the circulation director of the Periodical Publishers Association, said: "We had many outstanding entries but Vote Dalek! captured the popular vote. It is sharply observed, funny, and to the point. It is, in its own way, a truly inspired reflection of the British sense of humour."

UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 30: A Radio Times photo gallery showing how the cover was created is now online here.

(Additional reporting by John Bowman.)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

New DVD Titles in the Pipeline

Infomation from the BBFC website indicates the titles of four more stories due to be released on DVD in 2009.

From the First Doctor's era The Rescue and The Romans will be released as a double set. The Rescue is a two parter featuring the arrival of Maureen O'Brien as Vicki, while The Romans is a four part romp set around the court of the Emperor Nero. Both stories were first shown in 1965.

From the Sixth Doctor's era we have The Twin Dilemma which was Colin Baker's debut story, shown in 1984 and Attack of the Cybermen, first shown in 1985.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Coventry To Get DW Exhibition

Posted By John Bowman

Coventry Transport Museum is to host the official touring Doctor Who exhibition next year.

According to the Coventry Evening Telegraph, it will open on March 13 and is expected to be at the Millennium Place venue for several months.

In the report, the museum's head of collections, Steve Bagley, said: "This is really fantastic news for the Coventry Transport Museum and the city.

"We knew that the exhibition was touring around the country and had been in some museums, so I contacted them to ask if Coventry would be a suitable location.

"They came to the city and had a look and have only recently confirmed that they will set up the exhibition at the museum next year."

A Doctor Who exhibition is also due to open in Glasgow next March, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Doctor Who Adventures 83

PRESS RELEASE

Sarah Jane returns

The Doctor's former companion returns to CBBC on Monday for the next action packed series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. To celebrate, this week's Doctor Who Adventures has a sneak preview of the first episode - The Last Sontaran. There's also a fact file on schoolgirl turned alien investigator Maria Jackson and a Sontaran mask for readers to wear.

We also look ahead to Christmas when an old enemy will stomp back on to our screens. What do the Cybermen want this time? And how will the Doctor cope on his own without Donna by his side?

This week's issue has got two brand-new features. In Blast from the Past we journey back in time to the former Doctors' adventures. This week it's City of Death and the moment the Count turns into the yucky Scaroth. Also, Action Replay puts some of the scariest moments from Doctor Who under the microscope.

The issue comes with a free sonic pen and TARDIS sticky notes.

PLUS:
  • Three posters! The Weeping Angels, Luke and Commander Kaagh, and Jenny and the Doctor.
  • Fact file: The Hooverville heroes.
  • Ultimate Companions: Part three of K-9’s guide to team TARDIS.
  • Activity: Cut out and wear the Sontaran helmet.
  • Comic strip: The Alice in Wonderland Circuit.
  • Rel Race: Complete all the puzzles in 300 Dalek Rels to avoid extermination!
  • Woven wordsearch: Solve the puzzle and you could win a copy of Doctor Who – Shining Darkness.
  • Win: Doctor Who DVDs and a Wii up for grabs!
  • Subscription offer: Subscribe and you’ll get FREE Doctor Who files on the Doctor and the TARDIS.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Studios Competition And Christmas Special Title

Posted By John Bowman

A behind-the-scenes tour of the studios where Doctor WhoThe Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood are filmed is being offered as a prize in this year's BBC Children In Need appeal.

The BBC Press Office announced the competition today - and at the same time confirmed that the title of the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special is The Next Doctor.

The BBC will be opening the studio doors just outside Cardiff to 100 competition winners and their friends and families onNovember 8 and 9, during a brief gap in the production schedule.

Russell T Davies said: "This is so exciting. Giving fans the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at where we film Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures is just brilliant.

"It'll be the perfect opportunity for the whole family to experience something unique and truly extraordinary. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and the best thing is that all the money raised will go towards BBC Children in Need."

To be in with a chance of winning a place on the tour, people will have to correctly answer a multiple-choice question. This will be announced on Friday, September 26 on The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 and on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

It will also be available on the official Doctor Who website, along with the full terms and conditions.

The competition phone lines will be open from 8am on September 26. Callers must be over 16 years old and have the bill-payers' permission. Each winner will be able to bring up to three guests, who must all be aged five or over.

The 2008 BBC Children in Need television show is on Friday, November 14.

Although not stated in the press release, the official website says that entrants must be UK residents.

Tranter leaves for the US

The current BBC Controller of Fiction, Jane Tranter, is to leave her current post for a new job based in the United States. She will join BBC Worldwide as executive vice-president of programming and production, looking after its US scripted and reality business in Los Angeles.

Tranter was in charge of all BBC Drama output and was responsible for commissioning the return of Doctor Who in 2005. The current BBC Director of Vision,Jana Bennett described Tranter as an "unequalled force in British drama." She has reinvented family drama in Doctor Who, Robin Hood and Merlin and launched acclaimed contemporary series such as Spooks and Life on Mars as well as Cranford."

Tranter will be succeeded as the Controller of drama commissioning by Ben Stephenson, who has worked closely with Tranter in his current role of Head of Drama commissioning. A new Controller of Fiction will be appointed in the new year.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Dalek Stage Play Nominated For Awards

Posted By John Bowman

It was a huge hit at the box office - and now the Interalia Theatre production of The Dalek Masterplan is up for two awards.

The play, which was staged at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth last October, was the fourth and final "lost" Doctor Who adventure performed by the non-professional company, which reworked and condensed the 1965-66 12-part William Hartnell epic.

It proved to be a sell-out, and the daily paper for the Portsmouth area, The News, has included the play and two of its actors among the nominations this year for its prestigious awards that recognise and celebrate the local arts scene.

Nick Scovell, who played the Doctor, and James George, who portrayed Mavic Chen, are each nominated in the Best Actor category, while the play itself is among those in the Best Amateur Drama Production section.

Those who saw the play can vote for it online by clicking on this link and filling in the form. There are other categories but people do not have to vote in all of them.

The closing date for votes is Friday, October 10 and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the Kings Theatre in Southsea on Monday, November 10.

The official blog about the production, with exclusive photos and videos, can be found here.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

McCoy on BBC1

Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy returns to BBC1 in October, guest-starring in an episode of the daytime drama series Doctors.

McCoy portrays an actor who once played a time traveller on children's television in a show called The Amazing Lollipop Man. He now finds his life consists of giving DVD commentaries and posing for photos in his old costume, though nowadays he can't do the buttons up.

The episode is written by David Semple, who told DoctorWhoNews.com: "Sylvester gives an extraordinary performance: funny, touching and incredibly inventive. He also manages to appear 40 years old in one scene and 60-something in the next, despite the fact that Doctors is shot in a day and he filmed the young scenes in the morning and the aged ones in the afternoon."

Doctors: The Lollipop Man is on BBC1 on Monday 13th October at 1.45pm.

E-Space Trilogy coming to DVD

The British Board of Film Classification has passed a trailer for the Fourth Doctor E-Space Trilogy.

While classification by the board is no guarantee of a DVD release, it is the first official indication that the stories should be available in the next few months.

The three stories, Full CircleState of Decay and Warriors' Gate, were first shown in the autumn and winter of 1980-81. They come from Tom Baker's final season and feature the arrival of Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse, and the departures of K9, voiced by John Leeson, and Romana, played by Lalla Ward.

Thanks to Mark Snyder.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Canada: Series Four on CBC Tonight

Series Four of Doctor Who will debut tonight Friday September 19th on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at 9:00pm EDT across Canada (9:30pm in Newfoundland). In some markets this will put Doctor Who in direct competition with Series Two ofTorchwood which is currently running on " style="color: rgb(44, 111, 154); text-decoration: none; font-weight: bold; ">SPACE.

The CBC is launching Series Four with Partners in Crime. At this time there is no word on if or when the 2007 Christmas special Voyage of the Damnedwill air on CBC.

The CBC have updated their Doctor Who Websitefor Series Four.

Series Four Soundtrack On Its Way

Posted By John Bowman

Silva Screen Records is to release music from Series Four of Doctor Who in mid-November.

A news item on its website says the tracks, composed by Murray Gold, will include Song Of Freedom - the choral piece that marked the Daleks' defeat in Journey's EndThe Doctor's Theme is another of the tracks, but no other titles are known yet.

The exact date of the CD's release has still to be announced.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Doctor Who Magazine 400

Posted By John Bowman

Doctor Who Magazine reaches its 400th issue today in style, with eight extra pages and an exclusive photoshoot withDavid Tennant.

"I bought the first issue, in 1979," he tells DWM. "I just thought, at last! Why's this not happened before now? I was delighted."

Asked if he thinks the magazine could run for another 400 editions, Tennant replies: "You know, I'm tempted to say, 'If the television series continues,' but Doctor Who Magazine thrived when the series was nowhere to be seen, to be fair, so I can see no reason why it won't run and run. But hopefully the series will be there with the magazine, side by side, all the way. That's how it should be. Yeah, with me on the cover! Forever . . . "

Also in issue 400:

  • Executive producer Russell T Davies looks back over the past five years, in his most candid DWM interview ever

  • An exclusive competition where the prize is the chance to become a DWM reporter and go on the set of the TV series

  • Discover what dangers lie ahead for the Bannerman Road gang as DWM talks to writer Phil Ford and previews the new series of The Sarah Jane Adventures

  • Former editor Gary Gillatt takes an affectionate look at just what makes Doctor Who the best TV show ever

  • The Watcher casts a nostalgic eye over the past 400 issues as he charts the surprising, amusing and often bizarre history of Doctor Who Magazine

  • The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, joins The Time Team to watch the end of the epic 1986 adventure The Trial of a Time Lord

  • It's the start of a new era for the comic strip as the Doctor discovers a familiar face aboard a prison in space - Part One of Thinktwice is by Dan McDaid, with art by Martin Geraghty

  • A free, double-sided poster featuring an exclusive image of David Tennant on one side and every single cover of DWM on the other.
  • Wednesday, 17 September 2008

    The Writer's Tale Signing Sessions - UPDATED

    Posted By John Bowman

    Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook will be signing copies of their forthcoming book, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, at bookshops in England and Wales next month.

    The dates, venues and times are as follows:

  • October 8: Waterstone's, Piccadilly, London, 6pm


  • October 9: Waterstone's, High Street, Birmingham, midday, and Waterstone's, Trafford Centre, Manchester, 6pm


  • October 10: Borders, Bristol, 12.30pm, and Borders, Cardiff, 5.30pm.

    Only copies of the book will be autographed.

    The 512-page tome is published by BBC Books on September 25.
  • Torchwood Radio Episode To Be Released

    Posted By John Bowman

    The specially commissioned episode of Torchwood that was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last Wednesday as part of Big Bang Day will be released by BBC Audio tomorrow.

    Lost Souls will be available in CD and download formats.

    The CD, which is 75 minutes long, will feature a bonus programme, Torchwood: All Access - a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the TV show - which was first broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and has interviews with Russell T Daviesand members of the TV series cast and crew.

    The download will not have any extra material.

    Tuesday, 16 September 2008

    Media round-up

    Russell T Davies's comments from his new book, excerpted in today's issue of The Times and reported yesterday on the Doctor Who News Page (see below) have been widely reproduced across the British media today. The two main angles being focused on are Davies's suggestion of actor Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame in "Voyage of the Damned") as a possible Eleventh Doctor, and his idea of basing the 2008 Christmas special around an appearance by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

    BBC NewsCBBC NewsroundDigital SpyThe Mirror and The Guardian, amongst many others, all make the Tovey casting suggestion the focus of their story, with Guardian columnist Daniel Martin suggesting that the next Doctor "...has to be someone with a massive future who's never had their one defining part."

    Under the headline "Dr exterminates role for Rowling", The Sun make JK Rowling's non-appearance in the programme their focus of the story, as does another piece in The Guardian. Here Lindesay Irvine points out that: "it's not entirely certain that Rowling was tapdancing at the idea herself."

    Meanwhile, The Times themselves have published the second part of their preview of "The Writer's Tale".

    Monday, 15 September 2008

    Australian ratings and news

    Doctor Who's Australian ratings continue to impress on Sunday evenings. Midnight averaged 1,095,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, whileTurn Left rated even more with 1,169,000. The latter episode being the Time Lord's best Aussie ratings since the record 1.248 million for 'Voyage of the Damned', 'Left' even beating Channel Seven's high-rating 'Dancing with the Stars'. The Confidential Cutdown versions of 'Look Who's Talking' and 'Here Come the Girls' also had excellent ratings gaining 853,000 and 941,000 viewers respectively, the latter being the programme's best Australian ratings ever.

    Meanwhile, in the local media, Russell T. Davies has told Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald that 'there is a fundamental format to Doctor Who, which should never change-he's a wanderer...You're never changing the character, you're just putting more and more material into it and a bigger range of emotions...It's not like I think of 13 ideas and pick the ones I want, it's about thinking which writers will do what ideas well and keeping things spinning...In each season you want a historical story, a futuristic story, a modern-day story; some which are funny, some which are dark and there are some things you want to revisit. There are certain tent poles in the series that help you know where you are'. He also says of his successor Steven Moffatt that while 'he's famous for writing episodes that explore darker aspects of the story...he's also written some of the wittiest dialogue...Steve will do a brilliant job.' CitySearch previews 'Turn Left' writing that 'it makes for engrossing, tense and sometimes jaw-dropping television. Tate pretty much carries this episode on her own, and what a great job she does, too. It's around about this episode that all her critics should be quietly retracting their earlier comments.' Meanwhile Pat Sheil also of 'The Sydney Morning Herald', previews The Stolen Earth and laments that while the new series has 'lost its sense of the ridiculous' this episode is 'a hoot.'

    Meanwhile, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has confirmed that it is showing the full 65 minute episode version of 'Journey's End' with the 25 minute Confidential Cutdown at the later time of 10.45pm on Sunday 28 September.

    Thanks to the contributors to the Australian forums

    Davies book preview

    The Times newspaper in the UK has today published on its website a series of extracts from "The Writer's Tale", the forthcoming book by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook about the making of the new series of Doctor Who. The book is due to be released in the UK on September 25th.

    The same newspaper has also made a news story out of the extracts, focusing on Davies's suggestion of Russell Tovey as a candidate for the Eleventh Doctor, and the fact that he considered attempting to get Harry Potter authorJK Rowling to appear in the 2008 Christmas special.

    Further extracts will be published in Wednesday's paper.

    Thanks to PolyG on the Doctor Who Forum

    Sunday, 14 September 2008

    Hamlet Three-Hour Sale

    Posted By Brigadier Bill

    With some people camped out overnight and some 270 people lined up outside, 6,000 tickets for Hamlet starring David Tennant at the Novello Theatre in London sold out in under three hours, BBC Newsreports.

    "We're very pleased that the play is accruing so much interest," an RSC spokeswoman said.

    Tennant has been playing the title role with the RSC at Stratford-upon-Avon. It transfers to London in December for a short run.

    Some tickets for the Novello performances will be available at the box office on each performance day for that day only.

    "The great news for us is that it's encouraging that younger contingent of theatre-goers, which is one of our real aims. David has been wonderful in encouraging those people to come," the spokeswoman said.

    Thursday, 11 September 2008

    2009 Specials Casting Rumours - UPDATED

    The Sun is reporting inside information on some major cast news for the 2009 specials starring David Tennant. Details are found in the Spoiler box below.

    Remember, consider all such information as strictly rumour until confirmed publicly by the BBC.

    UPDATE - SEP 12: The BBC today rejected one of the claims. The details are in the Spoiler box.
    The Sun is reporting that casting for the 2009 specials includes Catherine Tate, John Simm, Bernard Cribbins and Paul McGann.

    On September 8 it wrote that insiders had revealed that Tate, Simm and Cribbins would make returns. "Fans will be delighted to see Catherine back. She was one of the wackiest companions of all time and she brought heaps of humour.

    "And it’s great to have John back - he and David Tennant have a real nemesis chemistry."

    Donna's return would be in light of the events that occurred at the end of Series Four, in which the Doctor wiped her mind of all knowledge of him and of her adventures in order to save her life. The Sun's source commented: "Anything can happen in Doctor Who. His assistants are always recurring and Donna is no exception. When you’re a Time Lord you can go back to any point in history and meet whoever you want."

    And The Sun reported today that one of the specials would be a "flashback" tale that would feature the return ofPaul McGann to the role of the Doctor, which he played on screen only once, in 1996. "Fans loved Paul’s Doctor and feel he was never given the proper chance to shine. Reference is often made to the Time War which wiped out the Time Lords and this will give them a taste of that," The Sun's source revealed.

    According to the story, flashback scenes will see him battered from the Time War and shorn of the long hair he had in the 1996 TV film.

    UPDATE: According to Digital Spy on September 12, the BBC has quashed the story of the McGann casting. A spokeswoman is quoted as saying: "There is no truth to the story at all."

    Wednesday, 10 September 2008

    Doctor Who - The Movie?

    Various sources in the British media are today reporting fresh speculation about a potential Doctor Who feature film. A report in The Sun newspaper has suggested that series star David Tennant is negotiating with the BBC about starring in series five of Doctor Who in 2010, with the proviso that a feature film version of the series comes as part of the deal.

    The Sun's report quotes a "show source" as saying: "For ages, BBC Worldwide held the rights and were planning to make a movie, but it got held up and former BBC1 boss Lorraine Heggessey decided to bring back the TV series in 2005. But everyone is keen now and the fans are clamouring. Part of David’s conundrum is that he wants to do films, so this looks like it would solve both issues."

    The story has also been picked up by The Daily TelegraphMetroWhat's On TV and TeleText, amongst many others.

    Tuesday, 9 September 2008

    DW Scoops More Awards

    Posted By John Bowman

    Doctor Who and its two lead stars were winners in the TVQuick and TVChoice magazine awards last night.

    The ceremony at The Dorchester hotel in London saw David Tennant take the Best Actor honour for the second year running for his portrayal of the Doctor, while Catherine Tate was named Best Actress for her role as Donna Noble.

    The show itself took the Best-Loved Drama title for the third year.

    Phil Collinson made a jokey oblique reference to the ITV phone-in scandal when he accepted the Best-Loved Drama gong. He said: "I'm really glad that I'm producing a show that stars Catherine Tate that actually gets given an award."

    A surprised Tate said at the ceremony: "I genuinely don't know what to say, because Judi Dench was nominated and other great people. This is the first nomination I've ever had for anything that's not comedy-related."

    Bernard Cribbins, who played Donna's grandfather Wilf Mott, was presented with Tennant's award, and Collinson told the official website: "The biggest thrill of the night . . . was hearing the huge cheering and applause Bernard Cribbins received when he took to the stage to collect David's award. It was a special moment and something I'll always remember."

    Readers of both listings magazines voted for the awards.

    Torchwood on Radio 4

    BBC Radio Four this Wednesday 10th September at 14.15 UK time as part of the station's Big Bang Day coverage.

    The 45-minute episode, Lost Souls, was written by Joseph Lidster and stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd and Freema Agyeman.

    The story is set in CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider, which this week will attempt what is described as the most powerful physics experiment in history. The Radio 4 website features an article on the use of CERN in science fiction, including the episode of Torchwood.

    The play can be heard in the UK on BBC Radio 4 FM and around the world via the Radio 4 website. It will then be available for one week via the Listen Again feature.
    Torchwood go to Geneva where Martha Jones, ex-time traveller, is now working as a doctor for a UNIT task force at the world’s biggest physics laboratory, CERN. Deep in an underground tunnel, a giant particle accelerator is about to be activated for the first time. But something strange is happening. Scientists are hearing voices and collapsing with a strange illness. Is something lurking in the underground tunnel? Do the dead ever really stay dead.

    Sarah Jane Adventures press pack

    The BBC Press Office has released details of the new series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, including information on characters and broadcast dates.

    The release confirms that the first episode of series two will be broadcast on BBC One on Monday 29th September at 4.35pm. The second episode will then follow on the CBBC digital channel at 5.15pm. This will be the pattern for the rest of the series, with episodes debuting on the CBBC channel.

    The run finishes with the BBC One broadcast of episode 12 on Monday 15th December.

    Friday, 5 September 2008

    Sarah Jane Adventures cinema trailer

    The official BBC website for the Doctor Who spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures has made available a newcinema trailer for series two of the programme, which is due to begin broadcasting in the UK later this month. The trailer is only available to view to broadband internet users in the UK.

    Thursday, 4 September 2008

    Torchwood Soundtrack Now Available

    Posted By John Bowman

    The original soundtrack album to Torchwood is now available to download from theSilva Screen Records website.

    It features Series One and Two music composed by Ben Foster and Murray Gold and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a studio orchestra.

    The 32 tracks can be downloaded individually or as a full album.

    The CD will be released on September 22.

    (With thanks to Ben Dawson and Pierre Schramm.)

    Wednesday, 3 September 2008

    Doctor Who Adventures - 80

    Doctor Who Adventures issue 80, is now out across the UK.

    PRESS RELEASE

    This week in Doctor Who Adventures we’re off to a dangerous world. You’ll find everything you need to know about the mysterious monster that trapped the Doctor when he visited the planet Midnight.

    The weird thing is, we never got to find out what the creature looked like – so we’ve got a competition to draw what you think the creature looks like. The winning entry will receive a Dalek Voice Changer Helmet – and have their monster appear in a future issue of Doctor Who Adventures.

    The issue comes with a free set of monster pens and stickers – featuring a scary Sontaran and deadly Dalek. There’s another set in next week’s issue too.

    PLUS:
    • The Fourth Doctor: A look at some of this Doctor’s top moments!
    • Four posters! The Midnight gang, the hideous Trickster, Rose and the Ninth Doctor and a brilliant Cyberman poster.
    • Win! Part two of your chance to win a Roboform head.
    • Ultimate Ood: Concluding part of our guide to the Ood.
    • Who knows: Your questions answered.
    • Tales from the TARDIS: A shock for Yvonne Hartman and Jackie Tyler in Doomsday!
    • Adventure Guide: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
    • Comic strip: Part one of a new adventure for the Doctor and Donna – By Order of the Bonemenders.
    • Doctor’s Data: Tim Latimer the psychic schoolboy!
    • Time Teasers: Fun puzzles for you to work out!
    • Activity: Make a Dalek Caan mutant.
    • Woven wordsearch: Solve the clues and win a Doctor Who audio book.
    • Win: Monster artwork and Doctor Who storybooks up for grabs!

    Monday, 1 September 2008

    Australian ratings and news

    Doctor Who's unbroken run of million plus ratings continues in Australia despite tough competition from the high-rating '60 Minutes', 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'Australian Idol' on the three commercial networks. Silence in the Libraryrated 1,054,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, while Forest of the Dead rated even more with 1,092,000. The Confidential Cutdown versions of 'Shadow Play' and 'River Runs Deep' also had excellent ratings gaining 770,000 and 732,000 viewers respectively.

    Meanwhile, in the local media Ian Cuthbertson of The Weekend Australia describes 'The Unicorn and the Wasp' as 'terrifically entertaining.'CitySearch also previews 'Silence in the Library' while Tim Artlett of The Daily Telegraph, also previewing this episode, writes that 'Doctor Who is very quickly becoming more than just a sci-fi program with retro special effects...Fans won't be disappointed by the fast-moving pace of this episode but will be left waiting for more as it ends on a devastating cliffhanger.' Chris Hook also of the 'Telegraph' writes of 'Forest' that while 'most of the writing in the reimagined Doctor Who has been good...the Moffat-penned yarns have particularly shined.' Canberra Timescolumnist, Michael Ruffles also writes 'that the resurrected Doctor Who is a hit with the kids. Friends have revealed their children, in the late primary school age group, are enchanted by the adventures of the Time Lord and whatever lady he has with him at the time. A group of the young fans even conspired to gather and watch the first three series in a marathon viewing.'

    Meanwhile, The South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club reports that pay-TV channel Nickelodeon Australia has bought the first two series of The Sarah Jane AdventuresSecret Diary of a Call Girl starring Billie Piper also makes its debut on Australian TV on Channel Nine on Tuesday 2 September 2008 at 10.30pm.

    Thanks to Benjamin F. Elliott, the SFSA and contributors to the Australian forums.