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6/01/2009 05:38:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The 'fast-tracked' Planet of the Dead has debuted in Australia to excellent ratings. The Easter special averaged 1,051,000 in the five major capital cities, compared to the 738,000 viewers who watched 'The Next Doctor' in January or the 869,000 who watched the Michael Palin special 'Around the World in 20 Years' the week before at 7.30pm. 'Planet' was the ABC's top rating drama of the day and its second highest rating show after the 7pm news. Meanwhile the ABC has also started promoting Torchwood which will commence on ABC2 with 'Everything Changes' on Friday 19 June 2009 at 8.30pm. The national broadcaster has the rights to the first two series of 'Torchwood' and has also indicated it will screen Children of Earth at some later stage.

Meanwhile, 'Planet' and the impending departure of David Tennant has attracted some local media attention. Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald has spoken to David Tennant about his thoughts upon leaving the show. The Canberra Times and TV Week also feature interviews with Tennant, the latter with a poll saying that 68% of readers will miss his incarnation of the Doctor. Ruth Ritchie describes 'Planet of the Dead' a 'must see' and Kerrie Murphy of The Weekend Australia writes that while 'the plot...isn't the greatest...it's still a terrific jaunt.' Melinda Houston of The Age comments that 'a dimension-jumping London bus, evil steel stingrays, friendly giant flies and a very dashing new companion - and the kind of witty, warm-hearted writing we've come to expect - make this one-off a real treat.' Troy Lennon of The Daily Telegraph also writes of 'Planet' that it 'is fast-paced, has great effects, the right amount of science to make it almost sound plausible and enough fantasy to excite the imagination.'

Thanks to the contributors to the Australian forums.