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Bookmark and Share Euros Lyn to helm Tennant finale

1/31/2009 12:27:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

A press release published on the Newsarama website has revealed that director Euros Lyn is to oversee the final two special episodes of Doctor Who which will see out David Tennant's time as the Tenth Doctor. The news was revealed as part of the promotion for Lyn's forthcoming appearance at the New York ComicCon event in the United States, where he is to promote Torchwood: Children of Earth, which he has also directed.

Lyn is the only director to have worked on every production block to date of the new Doctor Who series. He helmed The End of the World and The Unquiet Dead for the first series; Tooth and Claw, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Idiot's Lantern and Fear Her for the 2006 run; the Christmas special The Runaway Bride for the third production block, and most recently the two-parter Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead for series four in 2008. In addition, Lyn directed the mini-episodes Children in Need Cutaway in 2005 and and Music of the Spheres in 2008, the former of which was David Tennant's first full broadcast scene as the Doctor, meaning Lyn will have bookended the actor's time in the TARDIS.

The first two special episodes to be shown this year are being directed by James Strong and Graeme Harper. No broadcast dates are yet known, but it is expected that Lyn's two-part finale will be shown over the Christmas and New Year period.

Bookmark and Share K9 Production Latest

1/31/2009 12:26:00 am - Reported by DWNP Archive

Posted By John Bowman

Production on spin-off series K9 is well under way in Brisbane, with the fourth block of filming due to complete at the end of next week.

Paul Tams, who along with Bob Baker is the show's co-creator and co-associate producer, told The Doctor Who News Page that there would be 13 blocks, each comprising two half-hour episodes, with principal photography set to end on May 7.

Taking the opportunity to put the record straight on various matters regarding the show, he confirmed that the series would be known purely as K9, adding: "Bob and I are pleased with the interest shown and hope K9 will be viewed as a series that Who fans old and new will all find something enjoyable from."

And as a teaser, he said: "I've made sure that hidden in most episodes fans will spot some nod to the past - either a mention or a visual treat."

Regarding the electronic dog itself, he said: "K9 will be seen on screen as both an animatronic prop and in CGI form. The latest design I have done that is being used in the show is sleek and different from any previous images seen on the net, etc. K9 will, however, be recognisable to fans new and old as the K9. And to clear up the identity of which mark K9 this is, to quote Doctor Who itself he is the original you might say!"

Most information - including cast and characters - was being kept under wraps but Tams added: "The show will feature several new races of monsters created by Bob and myself, alongside the Jixen Warriors as reported previously.

"We first planned and created the show back in 1998, so it has taken 11 years to get to the production stage. It has been a long and rocky road and we are working with some very talented people here: actors, artists, sculptors, costume-makers. The schedule is very hectic and full on.

"I have to tip my hat - if I wore one - to the creative teams in the '60s who worked under such pressure to turn monsters, costumes and sets around at such a fast pace on Doctor Who. I now know how they must have felt - exhausted!"

A new logo has been created, which will be revealed in due course, and Tams said that the show would be airing later this year, with Australian broadcaster Network Ten currently lined up to carry it.

Bookmark and Share Prop Bus Damaged In Dubai

1/31/2009 12:25:00 am - Reported by DWNP Archive

Posted By John Bowman

Extensive damage was caused to a bus due to be used in Dubai for filming the Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead.

Dubai newspaper 7DAYS has uploaded a report with a picture showing the double-decker's roof crushed. It says the vehicle was damaged by a crane operator at Dubai port as it was being brought into the United Arab Emirates state. The left side of the bus was also crushed inwards, windows were smashed, the frame was bent and paint was ripped from the roof. The vehicle is currently being repaired. (NB: The 7DAYS report could be considered to contain a minor spoiler.)

The accident has also been covered by BBC NewsThe Sun and Telegraph. (NB: Both newspaper reports contain plot details.)

Although parts of the story's script had to be rewritten the BBC said that filming was "continuing as normal". Another bus is being used for filming in Cardiff.

The images below show more of the damage that was caused to the bus. (NB: These pictures are copyright and courtesy of 7DAYS. They may not be copied or published anywhere else without permission of 7DAYS.)

Bookmark and Share Gallifrey 2009 Update

1/31/2009 12:24:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

In less than two weeks, Gallifrey 2009, the twentieth annual North American Doctor Who and science fiction media convention will begin! The official convention of Outpost Gallifrey and the Doctor Who Forum, the 2009 Gallifrey One event takes place February 13-15 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, and features an enormous guest lineup including Doctor Who 2005-2008 producer Phil Collinson in his first-ever convention appearance; the sixth Doctor,Colin Baker, sponsored by Alien Entertainment; Nicola Bryant and Wendy Padbury, Peri Brown and Zoe Heriot from classic Doctor Who; Torchwood star Gareth David Lloyd (Ianto Jones); recurring Torchwood cast member Kai Owen (Rhys Williams) sponsored by Tenth Planet Events; writers Phil Ford (head writer for "The Sarah Jane Adventures"), Keith Temple ("Planet of the Ood"), Paul Cornell ("Human Nature"), James Moran("The Fires of Pompeii") and Rob Shearman ("Dalek"); "Doctor Who: The Forgotten" comic writer Tony Lee and illustrator Pia Guerra; Big Finish producer Jason Haigh-Ellery and cast members Laura Doddington and Ciara Janson; actor/comedian Toby Hadoke; and Doctor Who/Torchwood novelist and script editor Gary Russell.

In addition, Gallifrey 2009 has confirmed a variety of new guest appearances in the past few weeks, some appearing on stage and some signing autographs only on one or more days, including Claudia Christian (Babylon 5); Tracy Scoggins (Babylon 5 and Crusade); John Levene (Sgt. Benton from Doctor Who, signing at the Sci Fi Sea Cruise tables); Damian Samuels (Mr. Lloyd from the Doctor Who episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances"); writers David GerroldMarc Scott Zicree and Marv Wolfman; Doctor Who novelists and audio writers Simon Guerrier, Nev Fountain, Mark Wright, Caroline Symcox, Darin Henry and Peter Anghelides; and many, many more!

For more information, visit the website here at Outpost Gallifrey.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures: Issue 100

1/30/2009 12:28:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Adventures celebrates its 100th issue this week with 100 Doctor Who prizes up for grabs, including books, DVDs, audiobooks and toys. There is also a special feature about some of the sonic devices in the series, everything from the sonic screwdriver to the sonic blaster.

Also in the issue:
  • Posters: Matt Smith, a Dalek, the Graske and Miss Hartigan.
  • Interview: Actress Dervla Kirwan talks about her time as horrible Hartigan.
  • Tales from the TARDIS: the Doctor and Donna meet Miss Foster…
  • Secrets: Special stunts from The Next Doctor.
  • Doctor’s data: Facts about Rosita, the Other Doctor’s companion.
  • Who's where?: Monsters invade the Doctor Who Adventures office.
  • Terror through time: Have you ever heard of the Vervoids?
  • Comic strip: The Doctor and his new friend Heather take a trip to Delquis.
  • Subscription offer: Subscribe today and get a Sarah Jane Adventures CD!

Bookmark and Share Once More for Freema

1/27/2009 12:29:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Both Teletext and The Sun are reporting today that Freema Agyeman will return to Doctor Who for one more appearance as Martha Jones before David Tennant leaves the role. Agyeman is, according to the reports, scheduled to appear in one of the four upcoming specials that Tennant will appear in before turning over the role to Matt Smith. Says the Sun, "Freema's on board. It's early days so it's unclear what exactly Martha will be up to in the new show."

Agyeman will be doing a Q and A, with Chris Chibnall, Ben Daniels and Dick Wolf after a preview screening of Episode 1 of Law and Order on Thurs 5th Feb at the British Film Institute in London.

Bookmark and Share News Round Up

1/27/2009 12:29:00 am - Reported by Marcus

David Tennant's performance in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet, has won him the best Shakespearean performance award from the Critics Circle. Tennant shared the award with Sir Derek Jacobi who won for his performance of Malvolio in the Donmar Warehouse's production of Twelfth Night. Tennant described the experience of playing Hamlet "a dream I never imagined I would get to fulfil".

Former companion and Blue Peter presenter, Peter Purves's autobiography is being published by Green Umbrella Publishing on 10th February. The book, which is being promoted as a scandalous read, will cover Purves time on Doctor Who, working with the first Doctor William Hartnell, as well as his later work on Blue Peter and Kick Start. He will be making several appearances at signing sessions around the UK.

Torchwood has been nominated for best Drama Series, in the annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) media awards. GLAAD is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The awards will be presented at three separate ceremonies: in New York on March 28, in Los Angeles on April 19 and in San Francisco on May 9.

Former companion Louise Jameson has given an interview to Kent Life. Jameson who played Leela, talks about her relationship with fourth doctor Tom Baker and well as her work on other projects.

Scorenotes.com has uploaded an audio interview with Doctor Who composer, Murray Gold. Gold discusses both Doctor Who and Torchwood in the segment.

Radio Times has put together a selection of photographs from the recent Radio Times Covers Party. They are available on the website.

Thanks to Roger Jones, Andrew Futter, Rob Turner and Tom H.

Bookmark and Share Australian news and ratings

1/25/2009 12:30:00 am - Reported by Adam Kirk

The 'fast-tracked' The Next Doctor has debuted in Australia to disappointing ratings. The 2008 Christmas Special averaged only 738,000 in the five major capital cities, compared to the 1 million plus viewers who regularly watched Series Four in 2008. The lower ratings are probably explained by the summer 'non-ratings' period, the Australia Day long weekend and the 1.745 million viewers who watched Australian Jelena Dokic's remarkable progress to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Channel 7. Meanwhile the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will start repeats of series two on ABC1 on Tuesdays at 8.30pm, starting with 'The Christmas Invasion' on 27 January 2009. The national broadcaster will also broadcast the corresponding episodes ofConfidential Cutdown for series two, starting with 'New New Doctor' on Tuesday 3 February 2009 at 9.15pm. This will be the free-to-air debut of this series of 'Confidential' on Australian television.

Meanwhile, in the local media, Patricia Maunder of The Age calls 'The Next Doctor' a 'bit of a tease'. TV Tonight in its preview of the same episode also writes that 'ultimately, this Christmas edition feels like the universe, or 'WHOniverse', is undergoing great change – rather like some of the plots we've enjoyed before. With Donna Noble's tale concluded in 2008, The Doctor is now sans assistant. As enjoyable as it tries to be, the writing in this episode is no better or worse than a weekly episode, upstaged by the 2007 Titanic special featuring Kylie..' Meanwhile Ian Cuthbertson ofThe Weekend Australiawrites of 'The Next Doctor' that 'it would be hard to go past a sensational line-up on the national broadcaster this evening, which has a little something for everyone.'

Thanks to the contributors to the Australian forums.

Bookmark and Share Specials casting confirmed

1/23/2009 12:31:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC have confirmed the casting of Michelle Ryan in the Planet of the Dead, the first of four Doctor Whospecials which will air in 2009.

Ryan, who is best known for her roles as Zoe Slater in EastEnders and Jaime Sommers in the recent remake of Bionic Woman, will play the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza, who joins David Tennant, as the Doctor, on a bus trip which takes a very unexpected detour into danger. She said "I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who and very excited to be joining David Tennant and the Doctor Who team. It is such a fantastic show and I can’t wait to get started!"

British comedy star Lee Evans will also be joining the cast playing a character called Malcolm, whose life becomes connected to the Doctor's under extraordinary circumstances.

Noma Dumezweni returns to the series as Captain Erisa Magambo, last seen helping Rose and Donna save the world in Turn Left.

Executive Producer and writer Russell T Davies said "Michelle is one of the most sought after young actors in the country and we are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team. As always the script is being kept strictly under wraps however we can reveal that Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who's going to have a huge impact on the Doctor! "

The episode will be screened at Easter.


UPDATE:
Lee Evans will be appearing on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 10:35pm on BBC1 tonight.

Several newspapers have covered this casting news, including The TelegraphThe Daily MailThe SunThe Guardian, as well as BBC News.

Bookmark and Share Lee Evans cast in special

1/22/2009 12:34:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

The Doctor Who News Page has learned that actor and comedian Lee Evans has been cast as "a Professor" in one of the forthcoming special episodes of Doctor Who, four of which will be broadcast during 2009 and into New Year 2010. Evans confirmed his casting during this afternoon's studio recording of tomorrow's edition of BBC One chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, saying that he had been approached a few days beforehand and was delighted to be working on the series.

Evans has worked as both a stand-up comic and an actor, appearing in several Hollywood movies. His films include MouseHunt, There's Something About Mary and The Fifth Element. On stage, he appeared in the 2004-05 London run of The Producers, as Leo Bloom.

The news of his casting has also been reported at Chortle.co.uk.

UPDATE, 18.15 GMT: Evans's comments during the Jonathan Ross recording have been confirmed in a BBC Press Release.

Bookmark and Share Dubai newspaper reports on filming plans

1/22/2009 12:33:00 am - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Following on from an earlier blog report from The Guardian, the Dubai-based newspaper 7DAYS has reported that filming for one of the forthcoming Doctor Who specials will take place in Dubai. There has been no official word from BBC sources; the7DAYS article quotes an unnamed "BBC insider" confirming that the series will be filming in Dubai "later this year". The same article also states, "At least one other episode will be shot in the US, it was disclosed."

The newspaper also created a few images of Doctor Who aliens and villains in Dubai scenes; one of these is at right. The rest can be seen in the "e-paper" available on the7DAYS website after (free) registration.

Thanks to "chelwood" of the Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share Michelle Ryan cast in special

1/22/2009 12:32:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Since Matt Smith's announcement at the beginning of the year, media speculation has moved onto who the companion to his Doctor will be for the next series. Whilst the media has speculated on a number of names for the role, such as Lily Allen and Rachel Stevens, most recently they have turned their attention towards former EastEnders actress Michelle Ryan.

Betting company William Hill had initially placed the odds on the actress at5/1; however the Sunday Mirror reported last weekend that Ryan had been "in secret talks with BBC bosses" over the role of companion to the eleventh Doctor, and that an announcement would be made by the BBC very soon (also reported by Digital SpyCoventry TelegraphMarie Claireand Den of Geek).

However, with production having now commenced on the first Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead, fans who have been watching events unfold in Cardiff over the last few days have reported on Ryan being involved with this episode. This was confirmed last night with the actress being seen performing with current Doctor David Tennant. Though there has been no official confirmation of her role from the BBC as yet, it is believed that she is playing the part of companion to the tenth Doctor for this special, with The London Paper today reporting her character name as 'Lady Christina de Souza'.

Ryan has recently been seen on television in the BBC's Saturday night fantasy series Merlin, and the short-lived re-imagining of The Bionic Woman. She also appeared in Doctor Who's new head writer Steven Moffat's previous series on the BBC, Jekyll.


Update 2200: further coverage of casting in Den of Geek and Daily Mail.

(with thanks to Lee Tucker and the Cardiff Kinda Group)

Bookmark and Share Shooting resumes on Doctor Who

1/20/2009 12:36:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

For the first time since the completion of material for "The Next Doctor" in April 2008, BBC Wales have resumed the production ofDoctor Who. Work began yesterday, on Monday the 19th of January, with director James Strong helming material for the forthcoming special Planet of the Dead at Museum Avenue and Park Place in Cardiff.

As has become the custom, the shooting of Doctor Who has attracted the attention of fans, several of whom have been down to the location to observe activity and take photographs, one of which is reproduced at the right. The Doctor Who News Page will avoid giving any spoilers for episodes while they are in production, but those interested in finding out more about the production in Cardiff can follow the link to the set reports thread in the Doctor Who Forum by clicking below.

Picture by Scooty of The Doctor Who Forum

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who special effects nominated at VES

1/20/2009 12:35:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The seventh annual award ceremony for the Visual Effects Society is taking place on the 21st February, and Doctor Who has been nominated for two awards:

In the Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special, the Christmas special The Next Doctor has been nominated for its effects for the Cyber-King; it will be up against 'Generation Kill', 'Knight Rider' and 'John Adams'.

For Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Broadcast Program or Commercial we seeSilence in the Library nominated, up against 'Generation Kill' and 'Merlin'.

The VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. The VES is the entertainment industry's only official trade organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.

(with thanks to The_Iceman2288)

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Eighth Doctor Adventures

1/19/2009 12:37:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Big Finish Productions are to release the third series of the Eighth Doctor adventures as a series of downloads every Saturday from 7th March 2009.

The full-cast audio Adventures feature Paul McGann as the Doctor travelling with his companion Lucie, played by Sheridan Smith. Each 30-minute episode will be available on Saturday night, with the complete two-part story subsequently available on CD. There will be eight stories produced over a 16-week period. There will be a bonus ninth adventure which will be released as a Christmas special in December 2009, entitled Death in Blackpool.

The season will see the Doctor and Lucie facing some new foes and a number of favourite and iconic Doctor Who monsters, including the Krynoids (killer plants from the 1976 TV story The Seeds of Doom), the Wirrn (deadly insects from the 1975 tale The Ark in Space) and the Giant Spiders of Metebelis III (from the 1974 Jon Pertwee story Planet of the Spiders).

Big Finish have lined up an impressive list of guest actors for the series, which includes: Andrew
Sachs
 (Manuel in Fawlty Towers), Laura Solon (Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul), Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, The Colour of Magic), Lysette Anthony (Dark Shadows, Dracula: Dead and Loving It), Miriam Margolyes (Happy Feet, the Harry Potter films), Samuel Barnett (The History Boys, Beautiful People), Colin Salmon (Resident Evil, Die Another Day and Dr Moon in Doctor Who: Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead), Daniel Anthony (Clyde in The Sarah Jane Adventures), Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, Ms Wormwood in The Sarah Jane Adventures), Phil Davies (Bleak House, The Curse of Steptoe, Lucius in Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii),Phill Jupitus (Rex the Runt, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), Stephen Moore (Brassed Off, Mersey Beat and Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Sophie Winkleman (Peep Show) and Sanjeev Bhaskar(The Kumars at No 42, Notting Hill).

Bookmark and Share The Guardian attacks Dubai filming

1/16/2009 12:38:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

The website of The Guardian newspaper has published an article by Gareth McLean, attacking the alleged decision of the BBC to carry out location shooting for one of the forthcoming Doctor Who specials in the state of Dubai.

Although the shooting in the United Arab Emirates has not yet been officially confirmed by the BBC, McLean quotes the Corporation as having told him that "There are no restrictions governing the filming of BBC drama in Dubai." McLean attacks the possibility of the programme being filmed there, on the basis of the country's human rights record.

Says McLean: "Though Dubai might be doing an effective job of presenting itself as a glitzy tourist destination, a place associated with mind-boggling decadence and the embodiment in glass and steel of the determination of the human spirit, the fact is, you may run out of fingers counting the ways in which filming even some of Doctor Who there is wrong."

Bookmark and Share Tate To Spoof DW On Sunday Night Project

1/16/2009 12:37:00 am - Reported by DWNP Archive

Posted By John Bowman

Catherine Tate can be seen spoofing Doctor Who this weekend on entertainment showThe Sunday Night Project.

She is the guest host on the Channel 4 programme on January 18, and as well as delivering a monologue she puts on a wig, sideburns, suit and overcoat to assume the guise of the Tenth Doctor. The show's format also sees guest hosts facing questions from the studio audience.

In addition, regular co-host Justin Lee Collins portrays a bride, echoing Tate's first appearance as Donna Noble in Doctor Who.

The programme will air at 10pm.

David TennantBillie Piper and John Barrowman all guest-hosted during the show'sFriday Night Project incarnation.

Bookmark and Share Keys of Marinus heading for DVD

1/15/2009 12:39:00 am - Reported by Marcus

2 entertain have confirmed that the First Doctor story The Keys of Marinus is scheduled to be released on DVD in the first half of 2009. This release is in addition to the stories previously announced.

The Keys of Marinus was William Hartnell's fifth story and was originally shown between 11 April and 16 May 1964. It was written by the Daleks' creator,Terry Nation, and directed byJohn Gorrie. The Doctor Who restoration team has an article on the making of the DVD including details of previously unknown cuts in the episodes and how this missing material was restored.

The team also have a feature on the upcoming release of thePatrick Troughton 10 part epic, The War Games.

There are 11 DVD release slots scheduled in 2009. The two remaining slots are likely to be filled with a box set consisting of three stories, and a stand alone release.

The current confirmed UK DVD release schedule is as follows:

• 26 Jan 2009 - E-Space Trilogy Box (Full Circle, State of Decay and Warriors' Gate)
• 23 Feb 2009 - The Rescue / The Romans
• 16 Mar 2009 - Attack of the Cybermen

In addition, the following are slated for UK release in 2009, with specific dates yet to be announced: The Keys of Marinus; The War Games; Dalek War box set (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks); The Deadly Assassin; Image of the Fendahl; Delta and the Bannermen

Bookmark and Share Davies Talks About Next Special

1/14/2009 12:42:00 am - Reported by R Alan Siler

Executive Producer and Head Writer Russell T. Davies reveals that the forthcoming Doctor Who special Planet Of The Dead will serve as an "antidote" to recent adventures.

The departing showrunner told Doctor Who Magazine: "After the events of Journey's End and The Next Doctor I think it's time to get away from the past and have an adventure with lots of new elements. And lots of fun too!

"The next Special should be a nice antidote to Christmas, with a bit of sunshine if we're lucky. And with not one but two alien races that you've never seen before."

Bookmark and Share John Barrowman To Write Torchwood Comic

1/14/2009 12:41:00 am - Reported by R Alan Siler

When the March issue of Torchwood Magazine hits the newsstands, readers will find a special treat inside: an original Torchwood comic strip written byJohn Barrowman

The actor, who plays Captain Jack Harkness in the Doctor Who spinoff, has penned "Captain Jack and the Selkie" with his sister Carole E. Barrowman and editor Martin Eden.

Eden told the magazine: "I'm so excited to be working on this story. John and Carole are an absolute pleasure to work with. Believe me, the readers are in for a treat."

Carole revealed that the project has been on her and John's agenda for some time, saying: "When John and I were working on [John's autobiography] Anything Goes, we spent a lot of time together on the Torchwood set.

"In between our storytelling and moments of inspired silliness, we decided we'd like to work on a project together that involved Captain Jack."

Bookmark and Share Moths Tour Heading For New Zealand

1/14/2009 12:40:00 am - Reported by DWNP Archive

Posted By John Bowman

Comedian Toby Hadoke is to take his solo show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf to New Zealand during this year's tour of the production. The venues have yet to be confirmed but Hadoke told The Doctor Who News Page he would be appearing in Wellington from May 12 to 16 and Auckland from May 18 to 23.

It will be at selected locations in England between February and May, and is making its North American debut at the Gallifrey 2009 convention in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 14 - the first time the show will be performed outside the UK.

The England tour venues and dates are as follows:

Friday, February 20: The Wave Centre, Maryport, Cumbria
Friday, March 6: Selby Town Hall
Saturday, March 7: The UstinovTheatre Royal, Bath
Sunday, March 15: Tobacco Factory, Bristol
Sunday, May 24: Salisbury Festival at Salisbury Playhouse

For updates, visit the Moths website.

Bookmark and Share Billie Piper Talks About New Doctor

1/14/2009 12:40:00 am - Reported by R Alan Siler

Talking to TVGuide.comBillie Piper has added her insight on new Doctor Matt Smith, speaking as his former co-star.

The two appeared together in The Ruby in the SmokeThe Shadow in the North and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Piper labels herself a "big fan" of Smith. "I love him. He's a stirring actor, and he has the right energy," she says. "That's what the Doctor is about, essentially - having that energy that you just can't understand."

Addressing the concern that Smith, at 26, is too young to effectively play the good Doctor, Piper notes, "The fans get so concerned about these things, and they should just relax. It's going to be fine. They're in good hands."

Piper also comments on the rumours that a woman - possibly even herself - was being considered for the role of the new Doctor. "David [Tennant] has joked about me doing it, but... I don't think the Doctor should be a woman," she says. "It's like going, 'Let's make James Bond a woman.' It's a man's role."

Bookmark and Share The Doctor Who DVD Files

1/13/2009 12:43:00 am - Reported by Marcus

This week sees the launch in the UK of a Doctor Who DVD and magazine series, theDoctor Who DVD Files.

Published by GE Fabbri, which also produces Doctor Who Battles in Time, it will be available fortnightly. Every issue comes with a DVD featuring two full-length episodes and a unique pull-apart magazine to form a reference work about the show.

The first issue features Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor as he meets Rose Tyler in the opening episode of the new series, "Rose", then takes her to "The End of the World". Subsequent issues follow the series through in broadcast order as the Doctor and his companions travel the universe, facing monsters such as the Daleks, Slitheen and Cybermen, and villains such as the Editor and Cassandra.

Every DVD comes with a 24-page magazine containing insider information and specially-commissioned artwork. "Because of the way it builds up you'll soon have hundreds of pages of invaluable information," says GE project manager Ben Robinson.

The magazine will feature never-seen-before photographs, exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, episode guides, profiles of monsters, heroes and villains, new artwork showing classic moments from the show's history and specially created diagrams and cutaways produced by members of the Doctor Who art department.

The first edition is out on January 14.

Bookmark and Share John Scott Martin (1926-2009) - UPDATED

1/12/2009 12:45:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

The Stage entertainment industry newspaper reports that actor John Scott Martin, veteran of countless roles in over 100 episodes of the classic series of Doctor Who, died on January 6th at the age of 82. His daughter Catriona has penned an obituary for the paper, outlining his career.

Martin is best remembered by fans as the main Dalek operator across the 26 years of the classic series, but he also played various other monsters opposite the first seven Doctors, and had a more visible role as the miner Hughes in The Green Death. In 2004, he told BBC News how he would love to play a Dalek again for the new series.

In addition to his Doctor Who work, Martin appeared in BBC series such as Quatermass and the Pit and I, Claudius, as well as in films (including Little Shop of Horrors) and the theatre. In 2004, he appeared as the old man who inherits all of Swansea in the Russell T Davies comedy-drama serial Mine All Mine for ITV1.

UPDATE - 23 JANUARY: The Press Association has reported Martin's death, including a comment from his widow, Margaret. She said he enjoyed the Dalek role, adding: "It was a good thing, because being a Dalek nobody saw your face. He was able to do other things without people recognising him. That was useful." According to the PA report, Martin had had Parkinson's disease for a decade.

The Telegraph, The Times and The Daily Mail have printed obituaries describing his long standing work on Doctor Who.

Bookmark and Share Tentative Torchwood broadcast date

1/12/2009 12:44:00 am - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Michael Jensen of AfterElton.com has revealed tentative plans for the broadcast of the five-part Torchwood miniseries, Torchwood: Children of Earth. Please bear in mind that these comments represent early plans, which may change.

If the report is accurate, it may disappoint some British Torchwood fans, who had been hoping that the miniseries would air in the spring. But the report has good news for American Torchwood fans, who may not have to wait as long as usual to see the latest episodes:
BBC America president Garth Ancier is here in Los Angeles for the Television Critics Association January tour and after he presented panels for BBC America's latest offerings, I had the chance to ask him if he had an air date for Torchwood: Children of Earth on BBCA. He didn't yet have a firm air date as BBC America is waiting for the BBC to finalize their date, but he was fairly certain that it was going to be the first part of this summer, possibly late June or early July.

He also said that not only would BBC America air the five episodes on consecutive nights as they are doing across the pond, but that they would also air in the U.S. the same day as they did in the U.K. meaning American audiences will have almost no lag time in seeing the series. (The U.K. is five hours ahead of the east coast of the U.S meaning the delay should be about that give or take). Ancier said the series might also air in High Definition, a first for BBCA.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who at the Proms

1/11/2009 12:46:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

An extended version of Doctor Who at the Proms is currently available for UK Digital viewers to watch on the red button. As well as the Doctor Who related music as broadcast on New Year's Day, the broadcast also includes "Song for Ten", and other classical music such as "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Holst's "Jupiter" from the Planets suite. The concert runs for approximately 95 minutes.

Bookmark and Share Character Options Unveils New Toy Line

1/10/2009 12:47:00 am - Reported by R Alan Siler

Character Options, which recently renewed its license with the BBC to produce action figures and related merchandise forDoctor Who and its spin-offs, will be launching a new line of "mini" figures in March, according to Action Figure.

The new line, called "Time Squad", features cartoon-like sculptures of characters from the first four seasons of the relaunched Doctor Who.

The new figures will be available in both 2- and 5-pack sets with the 5-packs containing some unique figures. The packaging configurations are:

Cyberman & Dalek
Doctor & Sontaran
Doctor & Vashta Nerada
Scarecrow & Pyrovile
Slitheen & Weeping Angel
Supreme Dalek & Clockwork Man

Cyberman, Black Dalek, Scarecrow, Vashta Nerada & Sontaran

Bronze Dalek, Sycorax, Natural Ood, Pyrovile & Clockwork Man

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures: 97

1/09/2009 12:49:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The latest issue of Doctor Who Adventures, out now, is a special collector's edition, with two different covers to choose from. Cover 1 has the Cyberleader from the Christmas Doctor Who story, along with the Tenth Doctor and the evil Miss Hartigan while cover 2 has a Cyberman alongside the mysterious 'other' Doctor, played by David Morrissey, and his assistant Rosita.

Both issues come with loads of Doctor Who stickers and the first part of a giant double-sided poster of a Cyberman on one side, and monsters and villains on the other.

ALSO in this issue:
  • Posters: Rose, the Cyberleader and two Doctors, the Ood.
  • Win a Cyber head!: Part one of a great new competition.
  • Fact file: Comparing the two Doctors from The Next Doctor and everything you need to know about the dangerous Void.
  • Tales from the TARDIS: Trouble for the Doctor in the Library.
  • Make a mask: The Other Doctor.
  • Terror through time: Find out about creatures from the Doctor’s past. This week it’s the Yeti.
  • Comic strip: The Aquarius Condition.
  • Comps: Win loads of goodies including an audiobook CD of Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowman.
  • Subscription offer: Subscribe today and get a Sarah Jane Adventures CD.

Bookmark and Share The Next Doctor - official ratings

1/09/2009 12:48:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The Next Doctor was watched by 13.1 million viewers on Christmas Day, according to official figures issued byBARB. The final figure is much larger than the initial overnight ratings, and includes those who recorded the programme and watched it within one week. The figure puts Doctor Who as the number two programme of the week, the third episode running to make the top two.

The high rating makes Doctor Who the fifth most watched programme of 2008, beating every episode of EastEnders and Coronation Street shown during the year. It was the highest rated drama of 2008. The top programme of the year was Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, co-written by K9 co-creator Bob Baker, with 16.15 million watching. The only other programmes to beat Doctor Who last year were The X Factor and the final of Britain's Got Talent.

The Next Doctor has the ninth highest rating in the series' 45 year history, a remarkable achievement seeing that for much of its life Doctor Who only faced opposition from ITV and BBC2.



Bookmark and Share Clarke earns BAFTA nomination - UPDATED

1/08/2009 12:50:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

Noel Clarke, the actor, writer and director who played the character of Mickey Smith in Doctor Who off and on from 2005 until last year, has been nominated for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Rising Star Award.

Clarke, who also wrote an episode for the first series of spin-off programme Torchwood in 2006, has been recognised in the category for his work on the films Kidulthood and Adulthood, both of which he wrote and the latter of which he also directed.

BBC News reports that Clarke is up against Toby Keppell, Rebecca Hall, Michael Fassbender and Michael Cera for the prize.

The winner, decided by an online and text message public vote, will be announced at the BAFTA Film Awards ceremony in London on February 8th. Further details can be found on the BAFTA website.

UPDATE: Clarke's nomination came five days after it was announced that Matt Smith had got the role of the Eleventh Doctor, and interviewed at BAFTA Clarke said he was delighted for him.

"I'm absolutely chuffed that Matt Smith is the Doctor. I don't know the guy but I could not be happier," said Clarke, adding that the fact Smith was only 26 would mean he had "no baggage". He said: "It's going to be fantastic. I know he's going to be brilliant. He's going to be his own Doctor."

Bookmark and Share September Novels

1/08/2009 12:50:00 am - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

The BBC has released covers and synopsis for the three 'classic monster' novels being released in September.

The Taking of Chelsea 426 by David Llewellyn

The Chelsea Flower Show: Hardly the most exciting or dangerous event in the calendar, or so the Doctor thinks. But this is Chelsea 426, a city-sized future colony floating on the clouds of Saturn, and the flowers are much more than they seem.

As the Doctor investigates, he becomes more and more worried. Why is shopkeeper Mr Pemberton acting so strangely? And what is Professor Wilberforce’s terrible secret?

They are close to finding the answers when a familiar foe arrives, and the stakes suddenly get much higher. The Sontarans have plans of their own, and they’re not here to arrange flowers...


The Krillitane Storm by Christopher Cooper

When the TARDIS materialises in medieval Worcester, the Doctor finds the city seemingly deserted. He soon discovers its population are living in a state of terror, afraid to leave their homes after dark, for fear of meeting their doom at the hands of the legendary Devil’s Huntsman.

For months, people have been disappearing, and the Sheriff has imposed a strict curfew across the city, his militia maintaining control over the superstitious populace with a firm hand, closing the city to outsiders. Is it fear of attack from beyond the city walls that drives him or the threat closer to home? Or does the Sheriff have something to hide?

After a terrifying encounter with a deadly Krillitane, the Doctor realises the city has good reason to be scared.


Autonomy – Daniel Blythe

Hyperville is 2013's top hi-tech 24-hour entertainment complex – a sprawling palace of fun under one massive roof. You can shop, or experience the excitement of Doomcastle, Winterland, or Wild West World. But things are about to get a lot more exciting – and dangerous...

What unspeakable horror is lurking on Level Zero of Hyperville? And what will happen when the entire complex goes over to Central Computer Control?

For years, the Nestene Consciousness has been waiting and planning, recovering from its wounds. But now it’s ready, and it’s deadly plastic Autons are already in place around the complex. Now more than ever, visiting Hyperville will be an unforgettable experience.

Bookmark and Share New DVD Releases Announced

1/07/2009 12:51:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Planet of the Daleks is due for release on DVD this year as revealed in this month's Doctor Who Magazine. Episode three of the 1973 Jon Pertwee story previously only existed in the BBC archive as a black and white film recording. However, using partly the same process recently used on an old episode of Dad's Army ("Room at the Bottom", broadcast on BBC2 last month in colour for the first time in 39 years) using information contained in the film print, and partly artificial re-colouring in the United States, colour has been restored to the episode. The story will be released as a box set with Frontier in Space, which sees the Doctor meet the Draconians and features the last appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master. Full details of the restoration of episode three of Planet of the Daleks can be found in an article on the Restoration Team website.

Other stories due for release in 2009 are the swansong of the Second Doctor, The War Games, the Fourth Doctor stories The Deadly Assassin and Image of the Fendahl and the Seventh Doctor story Delta and the Bannermen.
The current release schedule is subject to change:
  • 26 Jan 2009 E-Space Trilogy Box set comprising of the 4th Doctor stories Full Circle, State of Decay and Warriors' Gate.
  • 23 Feb 2009 - The Rescue / The Romans
  • 16 Mar 2009 - Attack of the Cybermen
  • TBA - Delta and the Bannermen
  • TBA - Image of the Fendahl
  • TBA - The Deadly Assassin
  • TBA - Dalek War box set: Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks
  • TBA -The War Games

Bookmark and Share Character Options Renews Licence Deal

1/06/2009 12:54:00 am - Reported by DWNP Archive

Posted By John Bowman

Character Options has renewed its Doctor Who master toy licensing deal with BBC Worldwide, it was announced this morning.

A report on Toy News Online said that BBC Worldwide had confirmed the renewal and extension of the licence.

Character has held the licence since the show's 2005 relaunch and will lead development of new products featuring Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.

According to the report, the new items are expected to hit the shops in the summer of 2010. BBC Worldwide will also be developing new style elements for licensees to accompany Series Five.

Neil Ross Russell, the managing director of BBC Worldwide Children's and Licensing, said: "We're thrilled about the announcement of Matt Smith as the new Doctor, not least because of the opportunities it gives our creative team and licensees.

"Doctor Who is a long-term priority for us as a commercial business, and with Matt on board we will be looking to develop a new style guide with fresh creative elements to inspire our licensing partners."

(With thanks to Dave Colville.)

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Production Team Takes Shape

1/06/2009 12:53:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

With the casting of the Doctor now finalised, the Doctor Who Production Team are now in the process of recruiting the next full-time producer of Doctor Who to fill the role vacated by Phil Collinson. Interviews for the position take place in February, with the successful candidate assuming the role from April this year for pre-production on Series Five. The initial contract runs through to June 2010.

The role of the producer in Doctor Who is cloudy at times, and there is far more to producing a television show than one might expect! The role and comprehensive responsibilities, as featured in the official job advertisement, are outlined below.
JOB SPECIFICATION:
- To be accountable for the delivery of productions on time and within the agreed editorial brief and production budget.
- To contribute to the continued development and implementation of the editorial vision for Doctor Who.
- To produce high quality, cost-effective drama within the framework of BBC Editorial Guidelines and Corporate objectives.
- To encourage, foster and develop creative talent and ability on behalf of Wales Drama Department.
- To ensure that the production values of Doctor Who are competitive with standards globally.

MAIN DUTIES:
- To be involved in the assessment of scripts in conjunction with the Executive Producers, Script Editors and Writers, and to balance editorial/artistic aspirations against cost.
- To be responsible for the construction of a full production schedule and budget in conjunction with the Associate Producer, Production Accountant and others as appropriate.
- To be responsible for the choice, negotiation, control and co-ordination of required production facilities, technical resources and staff and their cost-effective deployment including the work of the Associate Producer and Production Accountant assigned to the production.
- To be responsible for all required production staff and crew; to ensure that they possess appropriate qualifications (e.g. electricians), experience and safety expertise, and are appointed in line with BBC Editorial Guidelines and employment policy.
- To refer to specialist support departments as necessary e.g. HR Direct
- To ensure that scripts are finalised, in conjunction with the Head of Drama, Executive Producer, Director, Writer and Script Editor, so that dramatic standards of the required quality are achieved, within the legal, budgetary and timescale constraints.
- To ensure that on-screen content reflects the diversity of British society and that ethnic and other groups are portrayed appropriately, in line with BBC Editorial Guidelines.
- To be involved in casting and appointments of Directors.
- In conjunction with the Associate Producer and Drama Safety Rep(s), to ensure that all staff have undertaken the interactive health and safety training module, prior to commencement of the production.
- To be accountable for the maintenance of health & safety standards throughout the production process.To generate creative ideas for all aspects of the production. To monitor production values and artistic standards and to balance these aspirations with costs.
- To ensure that day-to-day production expenditure is monitored in conjunction with the Associate Producer and Production Accountant.
- To assess the impact of decisions affecting the budget and schedule, to monitor expenditure levels, revising production schedules and managing expenditure as necessary within the budget.
- To establish and maintain contact with co-producers, and the BBC Wales New Media Production Team, and Doctor Who Confidential ensuring that their views and requirements are accurately represented and that contractual obligations are complied with.
- To ensure that all copyright, artist, freelance, supplier, and staff commitments and contractual obligations are met.
- To ensure that adequate insurance arrangements are in place in accordance with the BBC insurance scheme, and where possible, to take action to reduce the cost of any claims. To ensure compliance with the requirements of any completion bond companies or insurers.
- To assess rushes, to identify and resolve problems in conjunction with the Director.
- To provide leadership, motivation and support to the whole team; to facilitate an effective working relationship between the team and the Director.
- To manage staff throughout the production.
- To ensure staff performance is accurately and objectively monitored, recorded and communicated to the appropriate line manager or employer. To give feedback to individuals, to identify and resolve problems where
necessary.
- To be aware of the full extent of the financial and purchasing authority of the post, and to ensure that this authority is exercised in accordance with Network Television and BBC financial arrangements.
- To offer ideas/support to the Director, to attend when necessary, rehearsals, shooting and post-production. When filming overseas, to attend location(s) and ensure that shooting complies with the laws, regulations and customs of the host country.
- To stimulate press and media interest in the production, authorising journalists and photographers agreed access to filming in conjunction with BBC Press and PR departments, BBC Wales Brand Team and Head of Drama.
- To be responsible for the delivery of the finished programme within all BBC editorial guidelines.
- To ensure that production documentation and agreed delivery materials are completed and passed to appropriate areas as required by the BBC and co-producers within the agreed delivery schedule.
- To manage the immediate and longer term public response effectively, particularly where the production may result in controversy.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 404

1/06/2009 12:52:00 am - Reported by Kenny Davidson


The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out this week, features an interview with Dervla Kirwan, Miss Hartigan in The Next Doctor, who talks about playing the beautiful and ruthless 'lady in red'.

So, about that frock then...? "In her very first scene, drab, matronly, grey dress, and then she sort of transforms into this vision of red!" laughs Dervla."We don't know how she did that really. We assume there's some handy Cyberman with needlework skills and great make-up boxes!"

Also in DWM 404:

  • It may seem like a bleak midwinter with no full series of Doctor Who to look forward to this year. But fear not! DWM is on hand to provide the essential guide on How to Survive 2009
  • DWM joins the Doctor Who team as The Next Doctor is filmed and reports on the making of the show – featuring never-before-published photos and exclusive chats to the cast and crew, including David Tennant, David Morrissey, Velile Tshabalala, Edmund Kente and Russell T Davies!
  • It’s a snowy day in the Doctor’s favourite English village. But how does he come to find himself in the within the mind of Maxwell Edison? Find out in The Stockbridge Child Part Two by Dan McDaid, with art by Mike Collins.
  • The Time Team continue their quest to watch every single Doctor Who story, from the start. Will they give the Seventh Doctor and Mel a frosty reception when they travel to Iceworld in 1987's Dragonfire?
  • What's it like to visit the sets of Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures? Children in Need made it possible for a lucky few to get a guided tour – and DWM was there to help you share the experience
  • DWM talks to former companion Frazer Hines about lovely ladies, being telepathic and how his character, Jamie, could return to Doctor Who
  • The Fact of Fiction travels back to 1968 to a land Unicorns and Minotours to reveal the remarkable truths behind the Second Doctor story, The Mind Robber
  • DWM pops round to see old friends of the Doctor, the Brigadier and Sarah Jane, with a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of the finale of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Enemy of the Bane.

Bookmark and Share BBC staff magazine tells the secret

1/06/2009 12:52:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

Ariel, the weekly in-house magazine for BBC staff, has published a feature in its latest edition looking at the secret preparations that led to the announcement of Matt Smith's casting as the Eleventh Doctor in a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential last Saturday. The feature reveals that the process was entirely conducted via verbal conversations, with no written record left in e-mail form and as few people as possible made aware of the casting decision.

The special edition of Confidential was organised at a secret meeting in December between executive producer Piers Wenger, BBC One controller Jay Hunt, BBC Controller of Fiction Jane Tranter and Head of Scheduling George Dixon, after Smith had been offered the role but before he had officially signed up to play it. On the day that he did sign a contract, Smith was secretly interviewed by a two-man Doctor Who Confidential crew, and then on Christmas Eve took part in a photoshoot in the basement of BBC Television Centre in London. Neither the photographer nor the stylist involved knew what the shoot was for, with the TARDIS later being photoshopped into the background of the pictures. Time was booked to show the Confidential on BBC Big Screens in town centres across the UK, without the various Big Screen producers in those towns knowing what they would be showing.

Julian Payne, the Communications Chief for BBC One and BBC Drama, tells Ariel: "Right up until the show went out newspapers were firing names at me but in the end, the media too were excited by how the announcement happened. Luck undoubtedly played a part but it was testament to a great team effort, including by BBC Wales, BBC Worldwide,
the big screens team and the Doctor Who website who all swung into action."

Bookmark and Share Companion search now in spotlight

1/05/2009 12:54:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

With the announcement of Matt Smith's casting as the Eleventh Doctor having been made over the weekend, The Daily Telegraph - never slow to run a Doctor Who-related story with the least excuse! - report today that the BBC and the production team have now stepped up the search for an actress to play the companion figure in the 2010 series.

The paper quotes executive producer Piers Wenger, saying that "Someone terribly exciting like Billie Piper, who was at the beginning of her acting career but who had a profile for other reasons, would be great. We are looking for someone whose light can burn brightly." The Telegraph suggests that this could mean performers such as singersLily Allen (right) and Rachel Stevens or television presenter and actress Kelly Brook could be under consideration. The paper claims that Allen is "a favourite with bosses at the BBC," while Wenger says that "We would never cast anyone on the basis of their celebrity, but if Lily wanted to audition we would be delighted. It would be a lot of fun."

Wenger is also quoted on the subject of the much-touted casting of a black actor as the Doctor not having happened. "We saw a dozen or so people, some of them black. There was never any resistance to the idea of a black Doctor and it would have got us all sorts of headlines and brownie points, but we set out to cast the best actor for the role irrespective of ethnicity or age, and that was Matt."

The idea of Lily Allen as the companion is also featured in a story at Gigwise.com.

Bookmark and Share Over 6 Million tune in for new Doctor

1/04/2009 12:57:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Overnight figures show an average of 6.1 million viewers tuned into BBC One on Saturday evening to see Matt Smith revealed as the Eleventh Doctor.

The special edition of Doctor Who Confidential had a share of 29.6% of the total audience and outrated the FA Cup on ITV1 which had around 5 million watching at the time. Despite its early showing the programme was the second-highest rated programme of the day, beating Casualty, Demons and Eurovision: Your Country Needs You.

The highest rated programme of the day was Total Wipeout with 6.5 million watching.

Official figures will be released in ten days time.

Bookmark and Share The New Doctor: Press Clippings

1/04/2009 12:56:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Inevitably it was moments after Matt Smith was announced as the Doctor that the press published its first reactions to the casting. As one might expect, the initial reports were mainly based around the BBC Press Release and comments within Doctor Who Confidential itself. However, as the evening/morning progressed further media comment began to emerge, a selection of which are reported below.

Andrew Pettie of the Telegraph commented on how Doctor Who is a 'savvy multi-million-pound brand' and how casting has become a major news event. "... Doctor Who is a success primarily because it is so effortlessly entertaining. This is in large part due to the elasticity of its sci-fi premise. Thanks to the Tardis, the Doctor can travel anywhere in space or time. One moment he's rubbing shoulders with Shakespeare, the next battling aliens far in the future. And the Doctor has a further ace up his sleeve: the ability to change not just the actor playing him, but the nature of his character. ... Which is why Matt Smith is such a bold and exciting choice as the next Doctor. His relative lack of fame shouldn't matter a jot. It's hard to recall now, but before he regenerated as the Doctor, Tennant's most high-profile TV role had been in the BBC3 drama Casanova, written by Davies. Indeed, the key to Tennant's success as the Doctor has been how the crackle of his performances has matched the exuberance of the scripts."

The Independent commented on what fandom might think of the casting: "Smith is not black and he's not a woman, which left some fans wondering why a more daring decision had not been made; but he is the youngest of the 11 actors to have played 'official' versions of the time-travelling Doctor who first stepped out of that battered blue police box called the Tardis in 1963. ... Smith now faces the challenge of winning over two passionate camps: the families who sit together to watch on the sofa on a Saturday night and the hard-core Whovians, some of whom still complain that the lavish effects, high production values and often superb scripts of the modern version are somehow a betrayal of their hero. The Doctor Who Forum online was so busy last night that only veteran contributors could get in. Elsewhere, blogging fans admitted they didn't know much about Smith. 'He's so young,' said one. 'They must be going for the Twilight market.'"

The Sunday Herald also carries opinions on the casting, with Antony Wainer from DWAS commenting: "It's a different choice and I'm delighted by it. But I do think it has taken some people by surprise. The shadow of David Tennant looms large. He was so great, which makes the job for the next person even harder. But here's someone who is younger, and with that youth comes more enthusiasm. It is the only way you could trump Tennant." Also from Glasgow South MP and Who fan Tom Harris: "In the Whovian community there's a huge amount of respect for Steven Moffat because he's been the best writer for the past three or four years. So any people with reservations will give Smith the benefit of the doubt because he was Steven's choice."

Matthew Sweet commented in the Guardian: "The idea of a black or woman Doctor is something we only seem to be able to enjoy as a tease. When Tom Baker left, for example, there was speculation about Joanna Lumley taking over. There is a little part of me that's disappointed the Obama effect hasn't reached Gallifrey yet. This was one of the best kept secrets. Matt Smith has got a fascinating face. It's long and bony, with a commanding jaw. He looks like someone who could have been in Duran Duran. He has a quality of the old man trapped in the young man's body. I suspect he might be a more sensual character than David Tennant, who had no kind of dangerous sexuality about him. There's something Byronic about Matt Smith – he's got the lips for it." The paper also carries a comment by former companionSophie Aldred: "I'm delighted. I'm so pleased that they haven't chosen a big name but gone with someone who's obviously a good actor but not well known to the public at large. He's got a very interesting face and a fantastic presence. It's going to be a difficult job to follow David Tennant, but I think he'll be a safe pair of hands."

The News of the World decided to lead with Smith's intimate appearance alongside former Doctor Who companionBillie Piper in her show, The Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Other reports on the casting may be read from: Times(1)Times(2)TelegraphMailSunSunday Mirror,ScotsmanGlasgow Sunday Mail,Wales on Sunday. You can find many more media reports on this and other topics in the Doctor Who Forum's Media Watch thread (linked below)!

Bookmark and Share Tennant returns to Hamlet

1/04/2009 12:55:00 am - Reported by Marcus

David Tennant has returned to the role of Hamlet at the Novello Theatre in London.

A press release from the Royal Shakespeare Company reports that Tennant has made good progress following his recent back operation. The company will be assessing his progress a day by day basis. Ticket holders are advised to check the RSC Websitefrom 12 noon each day for an update for that evening's performance. Alternatively, please call the theatre box office.

The production ends its run at the Novello Theatre on 10 January.

Bookmark and Share Official: Matt Smith is the Eleventh Doctor

1/03/2009 12:57:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

26-year-old actor Matt Smith has been cast as the Eleventh Doctor, as revealed in today's special broadcast of Doctor Who Confidentialon BBC One. Smith will succeed David Tennant in the role for the fifth series, which begins filming this summer and will air in 2010.

Smith has appeared in various television productions, including alongside Billie Piper in the BBC's adaptations of the Philip Pullman novels The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North. He co-starred in the drama series Party Animals, and on stage was in Alan Bennett's acclaimed play The History Boys.

Smith was born and bred in Northampton, England, and later attended the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He is the youngest actor ever to have been cast as the Doctor in the TV series.

BBC News quotes Smith as saying: "I've got this wonderful journey in front of me where I've got this six months to build this Time Lord - and that's such an exciting prospect." Executive producer Piers Wengerhas said that: "It was abundantly clear that he had that 'Doctor-ness' about him. You are either the Doctor or you are not." The BBC News site has also published a profile of Smith, while the official website has avideo interview with the actor available to UK users. The first BBC News story has been updated with a clip from an interview with Smith, which is available to users worldwide.

The BBC Press Office, meanwhile, has a full release with quotes from new chief writer Steven Moffat, who was one of those behind Smith's casting. "The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man."

Some biographical notes on Smith follow, from the official BBC Doctor Who website:
Matt Smith, 26, grew up with his family including one sister in Northampton. He was head boy at Northampton School For Boys where he excelled at sports, music and drama. Initially, Matt wanted to be a professional footballer and played for Northampton Town Under 11 and 12s, Nottingham Forest Under 12,13,14s and Leicester City Under 15 and 16s before a back injury forced him out of the game.

Following his injury, and with the encouragement of one of his teachers, Jerry Hardingham, Matt decided to join the National Youth Theatre. It was during this time that Matt first gained attention at the Royal Court Theatre when he was cast in the play Fresh Kills, directed by Wilson Milam, whilst still at the University Of East Anglia where he was studying Drama and Creative Writing.

Already a stalwart of the National Youth Theatre, his performance at the Court led to a variety of theatrical experiences at the National Theatre: in the award winning History Boys (directed by Nick Hytner), On The Shore Of The Wide World (directed by Sarah Frankcom) and also in the acclaimed trio of plays Burn / Citizenship / Chatroom (directed by Anna Mackmin).

These roles led to Matt's first outings on the small screen, alongside Billie Piper in Phillip Pullman's period detective stories, The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North, where he played Jim, right hand man to Billie's detective heroine Sally Lockhart. These pieces were followed by the lead role of Danny in the BBC Two series Party Animals, the brilliantly observed drama set in the world of young politicians.

In a dazzling return to the Royal Court in 2007, Matt played Henry in Polly Stenham's award winning first play That Face, opposite Lindsay Duncan. His performance gained Matt an Evening Standard Best Newcomer nomination and a year later the play had a second life in the West End at the Duke of York's Theatre. In between the two runs, Matt played Guy opposite Christian Slater's Buddy in Swimming With Sharks, Mike Leslie's searing West End adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood film. In this time he also played a lead role in the BAFTA winning BBC One series, The Street, opposite Gina McKee and Lorraine Ashbourne.

Matt has recently completed work on Moses Jones for BBC Two, directed by Michael Offer, in which he plays the lead role of Dan Twentyman, alongside Shaun Parkes in the title role.

Bookmark and Share Odds on Who

1/03/2009 12:39:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The announcement yesterday of this afternoon's Doctor Who Confidential: The 11th Doctor brings to an end some nine weeks of speculation in the media as to who the next Doctor will be! Throughout those weeks a large number of names have been bandied about, not least in the last month leading up to the broadcast of The Next Doctor on Christmas Day.

Ever since Tom Baker first mentioned the possibility of a woman as his successor, it has arisen whenever casting has been the subject of media attention. In December the debate opened further as UKRC, a group consisting of women working in science, engineering and technology, put forward their view on why the Doctor should be played by a woman. "There is a distinct lack of role models of female scientists in the media and recent research shows that this contributes to the under-representation of women in the field. The UKRC believes that making a high-profile sci-fi character with a following like Doctor Who female would help to raise the profile of women in science and bring the issue of the important contribution women can and should make to science in the public domain." Suggestions from the group included Sandi Toksvig, Alex Kingston, Helen Mirren, Jenny Eclair and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko. (Covered by Telegraph, CBC,Escapist Magazine)

Head writer Russell T Davies threw his own suggestions into the frame at the press screening of The Next Doctor, mentioning actresses Catherine Zeta Jones and Lesley Sharp. (Press Association, Guardian,Telegraph, Western Mail) The Sun suggested Catherine Tate or Meera Syal, and reported an insider as saying:"The BBC really wants to shake things up. There is no reason storyline wise why the Doctor cannot be a woman and from any ethnic background.The Doctor has morphed before and will do so again. To keep the edge they need to change and update the show otherwise there is a danger it will look tired."

Writer Mark Smith, however, was not so convinced: "The problem is every time there's been a change of Doctor since, the idea of a woman has been mooted - even though it is a terrible idea. I mean, why would you bother? Russell T Davies has had success with the Doctor Who revival over the last four years because he understands the concept and has not tinkered with the basics: the character of the Doctor, his relationship with his companion, the Tardis and the baddies. I suspect Russell is just being a little naughty; he remembered Tom Baker's joke and thought it would be a good idea to do it again. We Doctor Who fans do take it all terribly seriously, so he probably could not resist being a bit mischievous."
(Herald)

However, the official BBC press release isn't giving anything away: "... the new Doctor will be giving his or her initial reaction to being the new, 11th incarnation of one of television's most loved characters."

In the lead-up to The Next Doctor, interest inevitably turned to David Morrissey, though he refused to be drawn in the many interviews he undertook in the show publicity. However, since broadcast of the episode the odds on the actor have, unsurprisingly, tailed off.

Meanwhile Paterson Joseph has remained one of the favourites to be the next Doctor since his name was first cited by the BBC's entertainment correspondant Lizo Mzimba back in October, and maintained the top spot throughout December. Rumours were also fuelled by fellow Survivors actor Phillip Rhys making a sly comment during an interview on E24: "Paterson, who is the next ... possibly Doctor Who ...". The actor himself has remained tight-lipped on his possible succession to David Tennant.

The Sun reported on fans of the comic Bill Bailey signing an online petition for the BBC to consider him for the role.

The Daily Record reported an exclusive comment by actor Robert Carlyle about playing the role: "This has followed me for two years. But no one has ever approached me about it and I never wanted to talk about it because you can't talk about another actor's part. I would treat it with respect and regard it properly, but I would have to be approached about it first."

Next up, comedian David Walliams entered the frame, with the Telegraph reporting: "The Little Britain comedian apparently sparked the betting frenzy after admitting he would accept the role if it was offered." The paper reported the odds on the actor dropping to 8-1. However, the actor seemed surprised at the news when questioned about it on ITV1's daytime chat show Loose Women.

Just after Christmas, the Star reported that chatshow host Jonathan Ross was touting his friend Russell Brand for the role on his blog: "He could go back in time and steal Manuel's ansaphone. His companion would have to be a strong woman. Helen Mirren or Germaine Greer or Maggie Smith."

Bringing us up to date, last night saw the odds on who would be the next Doctor fluctuate as further names came into the fray. Online betting companybetfair dropped the odds on actor Ben Whishaw dramatically, closely followed byJack Davenport and Aiden Gillen.

The Mail is backing the favourite, Paterson Joseph, though suggests that former companion Billie Piper is possible. The Sun doesn't think a woman is likely though, citing the ubiquitous insider: "It was thought it might be a bit tricky trying to explain the sex change bit to the kids so the idea has been parked."

The Guardian agrees: "It is understood that those hoping for the first female doctor will be disappointed. Doctor Who's new executive producers, Coupling creator Steven Moffat and BBC Wales head of drama Piers Wenger, are said to have stuck with tradition and cast a man in the role. However, Moffat and Wenger are thought to have steered away from the more obvious names that have been linked to the role."

BBC Breakfast covered the news, with guests Lizo Mzimba and Moray Laing refusing to speculate on air! A filmed report by Mzimba reiterated possibilitiesCatherine Zeta Jones, Russell Tovey, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paterson Joseph and a new name to the list, Matt Smith. BBC News has also provided a list of possible contenders for the role. And finally, former Doctor Sylvester McCoy spoke on the BBC News channel, saying that he would like to see comedian Billy Connolly playing the role.

All will be revealed tonight, BBC1, 5.35pm!
ODDS FROM BETFAIR, MIDDAY 3RD JANUARY
Paterson Joseph - 31/10
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 22/5
James Nesbitt - 37/5
David Morrissey - 20/1
Billie Piper - 21/1
Aidan Gillen, Sean Pertwee - 24/1
Jack Davenport - 25/1
Ben Wishaw, Rhys Ifans, Robert Carlyle - 29/1
Colin Salmon - 43/1
Russell Tovey - 47/1
Alan Davies, Jennifer Saunders - 49/1
Richard E Grant - 54/1
John Simm - 59/1
Catherine Tate - 64/1
Richard Coyle - 79/1
Paul McGann, Jason Statham, Rowan Atkinson, Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry - 99/1

Bookmark and Share Eleventh Doctor announced tomorrow

1/02/2009 01:00:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

BBC News has announced that the identity of the actor who will play the Eleventh Doctor, succeeding current Doctor David Tennant, will be revealed tomorrow.

The news will come in a special edition of tie-in documentary series Doctor Who Confidential, which is being transmitted on BBC One tomorrow evening at 5.35pm. The episode will also be shown at the same time on BBC Big Screens in town centres across the UK.

The actor was confirmed in the role over the Christmas period and will begin filming for Series Five this summer, for transmission in 2010. New executive producer Piers Wenger is quoted as saying: "We believe the actor is going to bring something very special to the role and will make it absolutely their own. I just can't wait to tell everyone who it is - it has been a nail-biting Christmas trying to keep this under wraps!"

The release from the BBC Press Office confirms that the Confidential episode has been retitled "The Eleventh Doctor" (it was formerly advertised as "The Ten Doctors"), and will feature the actor concerned giving his or her thoughts on having been cast. The press release also suggests that the last of David Tennant's episodes as the Doctor will be broadcast in the New Year of 2010.

The BBC has created a special trailer for the Doctor Who Confidential episode, which is also available to British internet users on its official YouTube page.

Bookmark and Share Next Doctor repeat ratings

1/02/2009 01:00:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The New Year's Day repeat of The Next Doctor was watched by 2.2 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures. The programme, shown at 2.45pm, had a 15% share of the total television audience and was just out-rated by Agatha Christie's Poirot on ITV1 which had 2.4 million watching. Overall, Doctor Who was the 21st most-watched programme of the day. The Doctor Who Prom was watched by 1.7 million, with a 12.6 % share of the audience.