Monday, 30 November 2009

Barrowman signed up for Torchwood 4

John Barrowman has said he expects Torchwood is to return for a fourth series as a full 13 episode run. Speaking on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2, Barrowman confirmed he was signed up for the long rumoured return, although a production date has yet to be finalised.

He said there are currently no plans for Captain Jack meet to Matt Smith's Doctor in Doctor Who.

Doctor Who medal

Doctor Who is celebrated in a new set of commemorative medals struck by the Royal Mint.

The limited edition, gold and silver, medals feature the likeness of David Tennant as well as the Daleks, K-9 and the Tardis.

The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom was founded over 1,100 years ago and is the body permitted to manufacture, coins in the United Kingdom. As well as minting coins for the UK, it also mints and exports coins to many other countries, and produces military medals and commemorative medals. This is the first time that television characters have featured on a Royal Mint medal.

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin, praised the show's "enduring appeal", calling the Doctor "timeless" while the head of UK Licensing at BBC Worldwide, Richard Hollis said: "David Tennant's performance as the Doctor has been applauded and celebrated across the country and these medals are a fantastic way for fans to collect a lasting memento."

Mona Lisa Final Ratings

Final figures now available for story five of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Mona Lisa's Revenge, give Part One an official audience of 1.12 million , with Part Two getting 0.92 million viewers.

The figures are almost identical to those achieved by the previous week's episodes and triple the average achieved by CBBC in this timeslot. Full ratings data and Audience profile can be found here.

Even though Series Three has now finished its run on BBC One, Sarah Jane continues to rate well with repeats of Series One getting ratings of around 0.6 million in the same slot.
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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Gadget on Display

Gadget The Robot has gone on display at the Doctor Who Exhibition in Coventry in the West Midlands.

The exhibition, which has an extended run until January, now features the Robot along with other props and costumes from The Waters of Mars including The Water Zombie and the costume of Captain Adelaide Brooks.

Visitors to the exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum, can also see Bessie, the Third Doctor's yellow roadster car and Jon Pertwee's costume.

Chief executive of the museum, Gary Hall, said: "The Doctor Who exhibition has been a big hit, with visitors coming again and again to see the exhibition. Getting new props for Christmas provides our visitors with a fantastic opportunity to visit the exhibition during Christmas holidays. We would urge people not to miss out on seeing the fantastic new props and costumes and posing next to Bessie for a photograph."

Note that although there is a charge to see the Doctor Who Exhibition, entry to the general museum is free. Visitors can see Bessie for nothing.

Radio Times: Death of a Doctor - Updated

Doctor Who once again graces the front cover of the next issue of the Radio Times (5-11 Dec 2009); this edition features a three page preview for "The End of Time", including interviews with Bernard Cribbins and Russell T Davies who reveals that John Simm is back as the Master, the Doctor’s arch nemesis for nearly four decades.

Davies tells how he wasn't daunted by the inconvenience of having killed off the Master in 2007 – this is sci-fi, after all: “It’s personal for the Doctor. The Master is his enemy, his opposite, and yet so tantalisingly close to being his soul mate. There’s something epic about their sheer existence – the last two survivors of an ancient race. It’s a clash of the titans. Both of them heading for death, and yet both determined to survive – at any cost!”

Radio Times is on sale in the UK from Saturday.

You can find a gallery of previous Doctor Who covers on the Radio Times website.

Friday, 27 November 2009

End of Time Cleared for DVD Release

The British Board of Film Classification has cleared not only The Waters of Mars for DVD release, but also the two parts of The End of Time.

The Waters of Mars has been given a 12 certificate meaning, in the opinion of the Board, the story is not suitable for anyone under that age. No one under 12 can rent or buy the DVD in the UK.

Both parts of The End of Time get a PG certificate meaning the programme is generally suitable for family viewing, but parents should consider the content before showing it to younger or sensitive children. Details submitted include the running time, which for Part One is 59 minutes 42 seconds with the final Tennant episode clocking in at 72 minutes 47 seconds.

Two new Confidential titles are revealed which are listed in the spoiler box below.

Also cleared is a 21 minute feature Doctor Who at Comic-Con International 2009. This may be a feature to be included in the Specials Box Set. The Comic Con was attended by David Tennant and Russell T Davies and saw the first screening of a promo for The End of Time.

The two Doctor Who Confidential titles revealed are
Lords and Masters
Allons-y
The BBFC has also cleared four items believed to be connected to the mysterious Special Project 3 mentioned by Davies in his production notes in DWM.

The special project is believed to be Christmas Idents for BBC One featuring Doctor Who.
00:00:30:11 BBC ONE (BBC CHRISTMAS IDENT - DR WHO CHRISTMAS)
00:00:05:02 BBC ONE (BBC CHRISTMAS BLIP - DR WHO DIGGING IN SNOW)
00:00:05:02 BBC ONE (BBC CHRISTMAS BLIP - REINDEER SNIFFING BY TARDIS)
00:00:05:02 BBC ONE (BBC CHRISTMAS BLIP - REINDEER SNORT)

Eccleston to play Lennon

Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston is to play Beatles star John Lennon in a new play commissioned by BBC Four, with Torchwood star Naoko Mori playing Yoko Ono.

Lennon Naked is a 90-minute film charting Lennon's life over the period 1967-1971, as he transforms from "Beatle John" to enduring and enigmatic icon.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says: "Securing Christopher Eccleston to play John Lennon is further testament to the calibre of drama on BBC Four. The Women We Loved season currently on air is attracting record audiences and the channel is steadily building a reputation for portraying some of this country's best loved icons."

Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, says: "BBC Four is the place where dramas look to explore that space between artists' public works and private lives, shedding light on the artistic process while offering intelligent entertainment."

Lennon Naked is currently filming in London. The 90-minute drama is written by Robert Jones (The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Party Animals) and will be broadcast in 2010. Full details from the BBC Press Office.

Collinson joins Corrie

ITV Studios has confirmed that Phil Collinson is to join Coronation Street as the show’s new Producer, taking over in the summer of 2010.

Collinson was Producer for Doctor Who from the start of its return to production in 2004 until the end of Series Four. He was one of the main creative forces behind the return, working closely with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner.

After leaving the series he moved to Manchester as BBC Head of Drama for the region. In his book "The Writer's Tale", Russell T Davies comments that he believes the BBC offered him the Manchester job to prevent losing him to Coronation Street earlier. He will join Coronation Street next March, and after a suitable handover period will take over from current producer Kim Crowther in the Summer.

Speaking of his new role, Collinson said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Corrie, the nation’s favourite street and a show I’ve been a huge fan of all my life . It goes without saying that it’s a tremendous honour to be entrusted with building on Coronation Street’s success and creating the must-see storylines for 2010 and beyond. Kim will be a tough act to follow but I will be working with one of the best teams in the business and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Reader's Digest and Doctor Who Adventures

According to the Reader's Digest, David Tennant has admitted he has “nothing to say” to new Doctor Matt Smith.

Tennant told Reader’s Digest, in an interview for the December issue, that he’d spoken to his successor several times “but there’s nothing to say. I think we both thought we’d be able to exchange lots of ideas. But actually it’s none of my business how Matt does it and nothing I say can really help him.”

Talking about his final foray as the Doctor in this year’s Christmas special, Tennant says “This year we’ve done something different. It is still set in Christmas, but it’s perhaps not got quite as much, er… Christmas cheer as before.” Tennant adds that come Christmas Day he’ll be watching his own send off. “Just to enjoy the moment. It’s my last Doctor Who – it will be nice to witness that.”

Tennant is now the proud possessor of his own sonic screwdriver, the Doctor’s signature gizmo. “I have one of the real things! I’ve only once used it to impress a child. It was a charity thing but it was quite cool. He was only about five, so it was a nice, wide-eyed moment.”

While he “doesn’t have any regrets” about leaving the iconic series Tennant is prepared for the inevitable “pangs of jealousy” once he’s handed over the Doctor’s mantle.

Hinting at possible future plans, Tennant reveals that as a child he loved Marvel’s The Avengers, a comic about a team of crime-fighting superheroes. “It’s yet to be made into a film, although I think there are rumblings. I’d be quite happy to be involved.” Indeed the film is in pre-production, with Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson already signed on.


Meanwhile, this week Doctor Who Adventures magazine reveals the ten biggest surprises in Doctor Who. From Rose discovering the TARDIS to the Doctor crashing through a mirror riding a horse – the magazine asks which will come top in this shocking countdown?

You can also find out lots of Gadget facts and how it saved in day in The Waters of Mars. The magazine also has an interview with Sarah Jane Adventures actress Elisabeth Sladen about the two new Sarah Jane Adventures CDs.
Also, free Doctor Who fridge magnets; find out about the eighth Doctor – what was he like and why did he regenerate?; part 2 of life-size Doctor Who poster.

Richard Curtis confirms casting


In an interview with the website Bullz-Eye.com, Doctor Who writer Richard Curtis has confirmed the casting of actor Tony Curran in his episode of the forthcoming new series starring Matt Smith as the Doctor. Curtis also confirms the role Curran will be playing in the episode; for the benefit of readers who are avoiding such details this far in advance of the episode being shown, this information is contained in the clickable spoiler box below.


Curtis told the website: "Well, we’ve got a brilliant guy playing Vincent van Gogh – which is who it’s about – who you should look up on YouTube. He’s a guy called Tony Curran, who really could not look more like. He’s a wonderful actor who was in this brilliant movie called “Red Road” that came out, a rather serious movie. But he’s going to be great. I’ve had a lot of fun. We start to shoot in about a month."


News Roundup

The Doctor Who Restoration Team have provided details of the restoration of the UK January DVD release, Peladon Tales. Full details of the extras are listed on the groups website.

On his website, Tom Baker has confirmed he recently recorded a commentary for the DVD release of the Season 15 story, The Sunmakers, with co-stars Louise Jameson and Michael Keating and Director Penant Roberts. Note that DVD commentaries are often recorded way ahead of release.

Tom Baker's audio story Hornet's Nest will be released as a box set on the 12 January 2010 on both sides of the Atlantic. The recording co-stars Richard Franklin. Parts 4 and 5 will be released in the UK on 3rd December.

ABC Television in Australia have confirmed that although The Waters of Mars will be shown on ABC HD, it will not be the genuine HD copy that will be seen, but a SD copy up-scaled. The reason cited is cost with ABC's Director of Television, Kim Dalton, saying the priority for the network is the development of SD channels rather than the HD one. There will however be a move to develop the HD output in 2010. The Waters of Mars comes to New Zealand this Sunday and to Australia a week later.
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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Tennant and Davies on Radio 2

The BBC Press Office has released details of the forthcoming radio programme "Who on Who?", to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday the 29th of December at 5pm. The one-hour programme will feature David Tennant interviewing Russell T Davies about his career and the success of the Doctor Who revival, just days before the broadcast of the pair's final regular work on the programme.

Over Ten Million Watched Waters of Mars

Final figures issued by BARB show the UK premiere of The Waters of Mars was watched by 10.32 million people.

On BBC1 the programme got 9.94 million watching, making it the second most watched programme of the week on the channel, just behind Strictly Come Dancing. However an additional 376,000 watched the simulcast on BBC HD. If these figures are combined then the rating is pushed above ten million and makes the programme the 5th most watched on British Television for the week. It got higher ratings than all the Soaps and was only beaten by the ratings juggernauts The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

If the HD figures are included in the total then the rating makes The Waters of Mars one of only 9 out of 754 episodes of Doctor Who to have made the top five programmes for the week. In terms of raw ratings, it is the episode with the 95th highest rating on first showing. Since the series returned in 2005 only four episodes have beaten this rating.

On Multichannel Television the HD showing is the biggest audience ever achieved by BBC HD, nearly 100,000 higher than the second placed programme. On BBC Three, Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.63 million with an additional 100,000 watching on BBC HD. This gave the episode a total rating of 0.73 million and made it the 19th most watched programme on Multi Channel TV for the week.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bernard Cribbins awarded special BAFTA

Bernard Cribbins is to receive a Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards, which will take place next Sunday at the London Hilton.

Cribbins, who plays Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who, is receiving the award for his outstanding creative contribution to the industry. The citation says "His name is synonymous with quality, traditional entertainment for children in a career spanning six decades and covering film, television and other entertainment mediums."

BAFTA Chief Executive, Amanda Berry, said:
"Bernard Cribbins has made an amazing contribution to children’s entertainment throughout his outstanding career and is still entertaining children today, now playing Wilfred Mott in ‘Doctor Who’. He is a worthy recipient of this year’s Special Award; in fact he deserved it a long time ago! We are absolutely delighted he has accepted."
On television Bernard Cribbins has appeared in many classic programmes including over 100 apperances on Jackanory as well The Good Old Days, The Avengers and Worzel Gummidge alongside Jon Pertwee. He has a long career in British Films starting in 1957 with an appearance in The Yangtse Incident alongside William Hartnell, before moving onto classics such as The Railway Children and three of the Carry On... films. In 1966 he starred with Peter Cushing in the second Dalek movie, Daleks' Invasion - Earth 2150 AD.

Cribbins will be presented with the award by his Doctor Who co-star Catherine Tate.

He said
"It is truly an honour to receive this award from the British Academy. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and for children throughout my career and am privileged to have been involved with some amazing projects."

On Tuesday Bernard Cribbins was a guest on BBC Breakfast and later on BBC Radio Five Live talking about his career.

Cribbins will also be at the BFI Southbank on Saturday 16 January 2010 to discuss his work for children and families in film and television. The event is a co-production by the BFI and BAFTA and will be followed by a screening of Daleks' Invasion - Earth 2150 AD.



Karen Gillan's cousin wins role

Karen Gillan's cousin has won a role in the next series of Doctor Who. Caitlin Blackwood, who is nine years old and comes from Inverness in Scotland, landed the role over hundreds of hopefuls. A pupil at the city's St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School, she has just returned from Cardiff, where the first series to star Gillan and Matt Smith is currently being filmed.

Blackwood is quoted as saying: "It was really exciting. Doctor Who was really nice and good fun." Christine Cameron, St Joseph's headteacher, said the whole school was delighted for Caitlin, adding "Everyone involved in the production of Dr Who is impressed with Caitlin, her ability to listen to and follow direction, be flexible in her approach, and get on with new people."

The Inverness Courier has a full report on its website.

It was also announced on the Paul O'Grady show today that actor Meera Syal will appear in two episodes of the new series. Syal rose to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me and became one of the UK's best-known Indian personalities portraying Sanjeev's grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42.

Tennant on TV

David Tennant shows his versatility with many appearances on British television this Christmas, in addition to his swansong as the Tenth Doctor.

He takes on the role of storyteller for the BBC's channel for pre-school children, CBeebies, where Tennant will read five bedtime stories. Included in the selection is The Christmas Bear by Henrietta and Paul Strickland, which will be shown on Christmas Eve; How High Is The Sky by Anna Milbourne, illustrated by Serena Riglietti; Small Mouse, Big City by Simon Prescott; Emily Brown And The Elephant Emergency by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton; and Miki by Stephen Mackey.

As previously reported, Tennant's critically acclaimed performance in the title role of Hamlet is also being shown on BBC Two this Christmas, and it has been revealed that the real skull of pianist André Tchaikowsky was used during the filming of the famous "Alas, poor Yorick" scene. The skull was bequeathed to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the hope it would be used on stage. It was used by Tennant in the original Stratford production of the play and also for the London run despite press releases at the time saying the version was a fake. Greg Doran, the plays director confirmed the use of the skull. He explained how important he felt the use of a real skull was to the production. "You can't hold a real human skull in your hand and not be moved by the realisation that your own skull sits just beneath your skin, that you will be reduced to that state at some stage. That is what Yorick's skull does to Hamlet. It reminds him of the very real presence of Death in Life."

Also over Christmas, David Tennant will host a special edition of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, with Bernard Cribbins and Catherine Tate as panellists. He also appears as a guest in Tate's Christmas special.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Sarah Jane Appreciation Index

The third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures ended on a high with Episode One of The Gift getting an AI score of 84 and Episode 2 receiving a score of 87.

The scores are once more way above the average for Children's Television, which is 72.

Final figures now available for story four, The Eternity Trap give Part One an audience of 1.14 million with Part Two getting 0.93 million viewers, an increase of 200,000 viewers over the initially reported overnights.

The End of Time - press release


The BBC Press Office has published its official preview of Christmas programming on the BBC, including a heavy emphasis on the forthcoming two-part Doctor Who special, "The End of Time", which will see the departure of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. The release states:

Highlights of this year's offering include David Tennant's final farewell in a two-part special of Doctor Who called The End Of Time. The Doctor's oldest enemy – the Master (John Simm) – returns alongside former companion Donna (Catherine Tate) and old favourite Wilf (Bernard Cribbins), as the entire human race faces its last ever Christmas – unless the Doctor can save the day.


A fuller preview of both episodes appears in the Network TV Programme Information release for weeks 51 and 52. This is available here, and contains some minor spoilers. It is also reproduced in the spoiler box below.


Doctor Who – The End Of Time: Part One

It's the Tenth Doctor's final journey – but his psychotic nemesis the Master has been reborn, on Christmas Eve. With both determined to cheat death, the battle ranges from the wastelands of London to the mysterious Immortality Gate, while the alien Ood warn of an even greater danger approaching, as a terrible shadow falls across the entire Universe.

David Tennant stars as the Tenth Doctor and guest stars include John Simm, Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate, Timothy Dalton, David Harewood and June Whitfield.

The End Of Time – Part One is written by Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. The producer is Tracie Simpson.

Doctor Who – The End Of Time: Part One is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.


Doctor Who – The End Of Time: Part Two

The Doctor faces the end of his life as the Master's plans hurtle out of control. With the sound of drums growing louder, and an ancient trap closing around the Earth, the Doctor and Wilf must fight alone. But sacrifices must be made, and the deadly prophecy warns: "He will knock four times."

David Tennant stars as the Tenth Doctor and guest stars include John Simm, Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate, Timothy Dalton, David Harewood and June Whitfield.

The End Of Time – Part Two is written by Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. The producer is Tracie Simpson.

Doctor Who – The End Of Time: Part Two is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

News Round Up

The Evening Standard reports that the new European Union Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, is the proud owner of a full sized Dalek. The replica was given to her by her husband as a fiftieth birthday present and proudly greets visitors to their home.

Michael Moorcock has written in the Guardian about Doctor Who and his new commission to write a novel for BBC Books first reported here.

BBC Worldwide has won its court case over the administrator of retail chain Woolworths in a dispute over 2entertain, the company which produces the classic series DVD's. BBC Worldwide, which already has a 60% majority stake in 2entertain, now has first option to buy up the remaining shares at an appropriate value. A spokesman for BBC Worldwide told Broadcast Magazine "This latest judgment fully upholds the position we have maintained from the outset, and we now look forward to being able to move ahead with taking full ownership of 2entertain". The dispute is over ownership of the company and will not affect the production of Doctor Who DVD's.

Doctor Who was mentioned in the US TV series NCIS when Tim McGee, the character played by Sean Murray, mentioned that the container trailer they were investigating reminded him of the TARDIS. "A contraption Doctor Who travels in time and space" His companion replies "Doctor Who? Who watches that?"

A revised version of the BBC iPlayer has been launched as a dedicated channel on the Nintendo Wii. The new version is faster and has a full-screen user interface. It is available free from the Wii shop.

Children in Need Ratings

Over 12 million tuned into BBC One to see the 3 minute preview of The End of Time on Children in Need last night.

The quarter hour beginning at 8pm had an average audience of 11.9 million viewers on BBC One, the highest peak of the evening on any of the channels. The share was 49.5%. Once the Doctor Who clip had been shown the audience dropped off by 2 million with some viewers switching to ITV1 for Coronation Street. Overall the first section of Children In Need had an average audience of 9.8 million. An additional 260,00 viewers watched the Doctor Who clip on BBC HD, taking the total above 12 million.

Meanwhile the final part of The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Gift, finished its strong run with an audience of 0.8 million and a share of 6.4%, far above the average for the channel at this time.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Preview on YouTube

The special preview clip of The End of Time, shown as part of the BBC Children In Need appeal is now available on the BBC YouTube channel.

BBC America have also posted their clip on their website and revealed that the full episode will be shown in the USA at 9pm EST on the 26th December 2009 a day after the expected UK showing and 1 week after the US showing of The Waters of Mars.


The charity Telethon also featured an appearance from fifth Doctor Peter Davison with a dog and John Barrowman dancing in his boxers.

Sarah Jane Ratings - Thursday

Episode one of The Gift was watched by 0.8 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures, again far exceeding the average rating for the timeslot. The audience share was 6.2%.

Final figures will be released in two weeks time.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The End of Time Part One – New Picture


The BBC official site has confirmed the title of David Tennant's penultimate episode will be The End of Time, Part One. It is the first time since the series returned that a story title has been split into two parts. Previous two-part stories have always had their own title.

BBC Children in Need will feature an exclusive 2-minute scene from the episode on Friday night, at some point between 8.00 and 8.30. The official site has a short audio clip from this scene here.

A photo of David Tennant taken from the Children in Need scene has now been issued.Follow the Doctor Who News Page on Follow Doctor Who News on Twitter

Doctor Who Adventures 142

This week’s Doctor Who Adventures magazine is all about The Waters of Mars. The magazine investigates the planet Mars and finds out if it is a place you should visit or avoid. It asks if you were to visit Mars with the Doctor what would you take and gives an essential checklist.

You can meet the brave woman who helps the Doctor – Adelaide Brooke. Discover who she is and how she ended up at Bowie Base. The week’s Top 10 is all about watery moments. Water bombs, raining in reverse and sea monsters; who will come top in this slippery countdown?

Plus…
• Find out how well you know The Waters of Mars in this week’s quiz
• A Doctor Who note book and pencil
• Claim a free Dalek rucksack
• Part 1 of life-size Doctor Who poster

Waters of Mars Repeat Ratings

The Wednesday BBC Three repeat of the Waters of Mars was watched by 470,000 viewers according to unofficial overnight figures.

Dreamland Update

The BBC has confirmed that the animated story, Dreamland, will be shown, complete, on BBC Two on Saturday 5th December at 10am and on the BBC HD channel at a time to be confirmed.

Dreamland which stars the vocal talents of David Tennant, Georgia Moffett, David Warner, Stuart Milligan and Clark Peters, is set in the infamous alien hotspot Roswell and described by writer Phil Ford as 'Doctor Who meets a Fifties monster B-movie'.

The BBC Two showing will follow the story's début on the BBC's interactive services from Saturday 21st November. The six episodes will air on a daily basis and will be available on the BBC website as well as on the Red Button services on Sky and Virgin from 7am on 21 November to 4am on 28 November.

The service will also be on freeview at various times depending on other broadcast requirements.

Planned freeview times are

21 November – 7.00-8.50am, 11.10am-2.20pm, 7.25-10.35pm
22 November – 12.10am-7.50pm
23 November – 12.10am-7.50pm on 24 November
24 November – 10.40pm-2pm on 25 November
25 November – 3-10.15pm, 11.10pm-9.50am on 26 November
26 November – 7.10pm-9.50am on 27 November
27 November – 6.10pm-4am on 28 November

The story will not be available on Freesat.

Dry Springs, Nevada, 1958. During a visit to a local diner, the Doctor befriends a young waitress, Cassie, and her friend Jimmy. When he stumbles across a strange alien artefact, the Doctor is led to the mysterious Area 51 in Roswell, also known as Dreamland, the most secret base in the USA. There, he has a dark encounter with the sinister Colonel Stark.

So begins a momentous mission for the Doctor who, with the help of his new companions and Jimmy's grandfather, Night Eagle, sets out to rescue the stranded alien, Rivesh Mantilax, and his wife, Saruba Valek, from the threat of the ruthless Viperox, led by Lord Azlok, and the clutches of the American military.

As sunset falls the Viperox battle drones start to attack the US army base. Can the Doctor find a way to halt the seemingly unstoppable aliens in their tracks?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Classic Series on YouTube

BBC Worldwide have released a number of Classic Series episodes onto their YouTube Channel.

Stories uploaded so far are

The clips are usually blocked in the UK as under the terms of the BBC Charter it is not allowed to operate commercially in the UK. However viewers in the UK can view classic episodes on MSN Video, which is currently showing The Web Planet, The Tomb of the Cyberman and Planet of the Spiders, and BlinkBox which is also showing Tomb of the Cybermen and The Krotons.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Waters of Mars Appreciation Index


The Waters of Mars scored an AI of 88.

The score was the second highest of the weekend, only beaten by Foyle's War on ITV1.

The AI - Appreciation Index - score is a measure of how much an audience enjoyed a programme. The average score for drama is 77. For any programme, a score in excess of 85 is excellent. Any score in excess of 90 is exceptional. Any programme that falls below 60 has received a poor AI.

Meanwhile, Sunday has been dubbed "Super Sunday" by the media, as the total TV audience for peak hours was the highest since January 2000.

The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter

BBC Books has announced the forthcoming publication of Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter by outgoing showrunner Russell T Davies and DWM and Radio Times journalist Benjamin Cook. It will be published in paperback on 14 January 2010.

This is a new and updated edition of The Writer’s Tale originally published last Autumn. The book has been expanded to cover Davies's final year as Head Writer and Executive Producer of the show. This edition will also include new, never-before-published photos from behind the scenes of David Tennant’s final adventures. There are 300 pages of new material taking in events from the entire five years since the show’s return in 2005.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Radio 4 documentary to focus on Shada


A forthcoming BBC Radio 4 documentary is to examine what led to the cancellation of Shada - the six-part Fourth Doctor story originally intended to end Doctor Who's 17th season.

Shelved takes a look at three TV programmes that were made in 1979 but which never aired because of socio-political, industrial or cultural problems. The three comprise a particularly violent episode of ITV show The Professionals, the last episode of BBC series Secret Army, and Shada.

Interviewees for the Shada segment are Tom Baker, director Pennant Roberts and Jeremy Bentham - the Doctor Who historian, author, former associate editor of Doctor Who Magazine and co-founder of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. The story, which was never completed at the time because of a BBC strike, would have been broadcast in January and February 1980.

The 30-minute documentary is scheduled to be broadcast on Saturday, December 12 at 10.30am, and it is understood it will make a key revelation relating to Doctor Who through documentation unearthed by producer/presenter Shaun Ley. Recording of the documentary took place at the BBC's Westminster studio on Thursday, November 5.

Incoming Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner tried to remount Shada, but those attempts failed and production was formally abandoned in June 1980. In 1992, the recorded footage was released on video with linking narration by Tom Baker completing the story. It was subsequently reworked as an audio play by Big Finish Productions, featuring the Eighth Doctor and with Paul McGann in the lead role. This version was webcast on BBCi in 2003 and broadcast on digital radio station BBC7 in December 2005, with a repeat the following year. The webcast is currently available to listen to on the official Doctor Who website (may only be available within the UK).

Sarah Jane Ratings – Final Figures

Final figures now available for the third story in Series Three of The Sarah Jane Adventures show that part one had an audience of 1.59 million, a 13% share of the audience, with part two being watched by 1.47 million – a 12% share.

The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith featured a guest appearance from David Tennant. The figures are spectacularly good for BBC One at this time of day and substantially above the initially reported overnight figures. The average audience in this time slot, for this year, is 0.37 million. Over 35% of the audience was in the 4–15 age range, roughly the same percentage other CBBC programmes achieve, indicating the programme is reaching its target audience.

Excluding bank holidays and special events such as the Olympics and the World Cup, the last time a CBBC programme scored higher ratings at this time was an edition of The Basil Brush show on 23 December 2003.

An additional 300,000 have watched the episodes on iPlayer.

Full Audience data for series three is available here.

Waters of Mars Ratings


9.1 million watched last night's BBC One showing of The Waters of Mars, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The programme had an audience share of 33.9% and was the third most-watched programme of the day, behind The X Factor and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, both on ITV1.

The audience built throughout the programme, with 9.6 million watching the final quarter-hour. On ITV1, All Star Family Fortunes had 6.1 million watching at the same time as Doctor Who was on.

An additional 310,000 watched the programme on BBC HD. If confirmed on the final figures this will be the highest ever rating for BBC HD

On BBC Three 590,000 watched Doctor Who Confidential with an additional 100,000 watching on BBC HD. It was the 8th most watched programme on digital TV for the day.

The overnight figures put Doctor Who as the 6th most watched programme of the week. This is likely to rise when the final figures, including those who timeshift the programme, are published in 9 days time.

Waters of Mars – Press Reviews

Reviews of the UK première of The Waters of Mars are now available online.

NB The reviews have been published after the showing of the episode in the UK. Please do not click on the links if you want the plot to remain unspoiled. Reviews are available from The Guardian, The Mirror, TV Overmind, Den of Geek, Digital Spy, Coventry Telegraph, Express and Star, Metro, Monsters and Critics, Unreality TV

The podcast to accompany the episode, featuring Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and David Tennant, is now on the BBC iPlayer.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sarah Jane Appreciation Index


Episode one of Mona Lisa's Revenge got an AI score of 84, with Episode two scoring 86.

The figures indicate how much the audience enjoys the programme. The average score for Childrens programmes is 72.

Charity Auctions

Two rare sets of pre-production UK release ‘Time Crash’ figures, featuring the fifth and tenth Doctors are being auctioned for charity on Ebay. Both sets are signed by David Tennant and Peter Davison and have been donated to the Lynn North memorial fund by the Doctor Who Art Department.

Meanwhile doctorwhotoys.net has launched its annual auction for Children in Need with a Real Time action figure of Colin Baker up for grabs.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sarah Jane Ratings: Friday

Mona Lisa's Revenge Part Two was watched by 0.8 million viewers, with an audience share of 6.3%.

Final figures will be released in two weeks time.

Frazer Hines: Hines Sight

A revised autobiography of Frazer Hines's autobiography (originally published as "Films, Farms and Fillies" by Boxtree in 1996) entitled Hines Sight is being released; the hardback book is being published by Frazer Hines himself, with assistance from David Howe and Sam Stone, and also features 16 pages of photos from the actor's own collection covering his life and career, plus a foreword by variety entertainers Ian and Janette Krankie.

For full details and ordering information visit the Frazer Hines website.

Hines Sight

Frazer Hines is one of the UK's most charismatic stars of stage and screen. From his early days as a child actor in films such as X The Unknown, and appearances in Emergency Ward 10 and Coronation Street, Frazer became a household name playing the time-travelling Scot, Jamie McCrimmon, alongside Patrick Troughton in the BBC's cult series Doctor Who. In 1972 he was cast as Joe Sugden in the fledgeling soap opera Emmerdale Farm, and became the housewife's favourite farmer for over two decades.

In this compelling and funny book, Frazer reveals his own thoughts and feelings when faced with stardom at an early age, the pressure of being an early 'media celebrity', his love of horses and cricket, and what it was actually like to date, marry and divorce some of the most eligible and beautiful women to have crossed stage and screen in the last 40 years.

Michael Moorcock Will Write Who Novel


Award-winning novelist Michael Moorcock has announced on his forum that he will be writing a Doctor Who novel:
Looks like it's official. I'll be doing a new Dr Who novel (not a tie-in) for appearance, I understand, by next Christmas. Still have to have talks etc. with producers and publishers but we should be signing shortly. Should be fun.


Moorcock is perhaps best known for his fantasy stories and novels featuring Elric of Melniboné, and for his series featuring the sexually ambiguous spy and adventurer Jerry Cornelius. He has also written critically acclaimed literary fiction, and has received many awards.

UPDATE:
On his forum, Moorcock has responded to questions from that site and from Gallifrey Base:

Hmmm. I couldn't get to the Gallifrey site but I can answer the odd question here:

1) I've been watching Dr Who since it began. Haven't liked all the doctors and after Peter Davison stopped watching regularly until the new BBC Wales series.
2) Since the Tom Baker series, a lot of my ideas crept into the stories and so in many ways I'll be writing a story which already echoes my own work.
3)I do have to submit it to editors so they can make sure it fits into the canon and this, of course, is understandable. By saying it wasn't a tie-in I did, of course, mean that it would be an original novel, not one which was linked to previous stories.

I share an enthusiasm for the current Dr Who broadcasts with quite a few friends who are 'literary' novelists and I sense in some of the Gallifrey remarks a suspicion of the 'outsider' which you used to get when someone with a reputation as a non-sf writer would decide to write an sf novel. All I can answer to this is 'wait and see'. I'm certainly not a non-watcher! Neither am I someone who ascribes a kind of religiosity to an enthusiasm. This phenomenon crops up a lot, these days associated with sf/fantasy, LOTR, H.Potter, Twilight and so on. I hate these presumptions of exclusivity either in my own corner of the literary world or elsewhere. Mike Kustow, once director of the Royal Shakespeare Co, described this as 'the anxious ownership syndrome', when faced with his first confrontation with sf fandom in Brighton 1968. He'd found the same sort of expression with Shakespeare fans when someone from 'outside' showed an interest.

I've been asked to write Dr Who scripts or stories almost since the series began, because I was known to enjoy Dr Who. Only recently did the time feel right to me to do one. I'm going to enjoy that, too.


Friday, 13 November 2009

Waters of Mars in New Zealand

New Zealand has become the latest country to schedule The Waters of Mars, with Prime announcing that the special will be shown on Sunday 29th November at 7.30pm.

The broadcast will be less than two weeks after the première in the UK and makes New Zealand the second country to show the special, a week ahead of Australia and three weeks ahead of North America.

Sarah Jane Ratings: Thursday


Mona Lisa's Revenge, was watched by 1.0 million viewers, with an audience share of 7.4%.

Again the rating is incredibly good for 4.35pm on BBC One where the average audience is around 0.4 million.

Final ratings are now available for episodes three and four of the series, The Mad Woman in the Attic. Part one was watched by 0.75 million, with part two having an audience of 0.84 million. Final figures are more accurate than the initial overnights and include those who record the programme and watch it within one week. They do not include iPlayer figures.
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Thursday, 12 November 2009

New Magazines

Both Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Adventures not surprisingly feature next Sunday's special, The Waters of Mars, in issues published today.

Doctor Who Magazine 415 talks to Lindsay Duncan, who plays Captain Adelaide Brooke of Bowie Base One, who reveals in an interview what was it like working with David Tennant? “His energy levels are so high. You think, oh God! In terms of my character, but also in terms of myself, the actor, I desperately wanted to keep up with him, but I have to admit it – I can’t run as fast as him! But I gave it a good shot. I didn’t want Adelaide to drop the ball. I didn’t want her to show any kind of weakness...”

Also in the magazine Russell T Davies pays his own personal tribute to former Doctor Who producer, director and writer Barry Letts in Production Notes. The magazine reveals the the long-awaited results of the competition to ‘Be a Doctor Who Magazine reporter’, and follows the winner as she gets to go behind the scenes of the series – and chat to David Tennant and Russell T Davies! In the latest comic strip the Doctor and Majenta uncover the terrifying secret behind the apparitions in the London Underground and in Without You Neil Harris asks how different would things be if the TARDIS hadn’t taken the Doctor on some of his adventures?

The magazine takes a look at stories that nearly made it onto TV that are now being made at last. Scripts featuring Sil, the Ice Warriors, the Celestial Toymaker and many more are now being realised on audio. The Watcher continues his essential guide to the Time Lord’s many incarnations and uncovers everything you ever needed to know about the northern Ninth Doctor and the Fact of Fiction looks at Douglas Adams’ memorable Fourth Doctor story from 1978 – The Pirate Planet.

The magazine for younger readers Doctor Who Adventures 141, also takes a sneak peak at Sunday's special with pictures of some of the scariest monsters ever and their own interview with actress Lindsay Duncan who tells the magazine all about Adelaide and why she’s different from previous people who’ve teamed up with the Doctor.

Also this week a preview of the next episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, three posters and a free Doctor Who notebook and pen.

Not to be outdone, Radio Times has launched a new gallery of pictures from Sundays special.

Big Finish announce The Lost Stories

Big Finish have announced a new range of audio adventures based on "lost stories" of Doctor Who - the series has launched this month with audio adaptions of the Sixth Doctor's adventures after Revelation of the Daleks, the unmade Season 23, kicking off with Graham Williams' The Nightmare Fair.

Big Finish plan to release another series of stories next year, following the Seventh Doctor's adventures post-Survival - these are made in collaboration with the then script editor Andrew Cartmel. Says range producer David Richardson:
Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989, but the production team already had plans for the following year. It’s been my pleasure to collaborate with script editor Andrew Cartmel, who is rebooting those original storylines together with the writers who had been pencilled in for the season. Script writing is underway – in fact, the second story is nearly finished - and we hope to record these in the early months of 2010. It seemed like it was meant to be. I was at the Regenerations convention in Swansea, and Sylvester McCoy came over and suggested that Big Finish should make his Lost Stories. Sophie Aldred was in the next room, so I texted her on my mobile, she joined us and committed to the idea instantly. Big Finish executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery was there and gave the green light, I contacted Andrew Cartmel on Facebook and he said yes, and a representative from the BBC was in Swansea too, and gave us the go-ahead instantly. The whole project came together in about two hours!
The twenty-seventh season would also have introduced a new companion in the form of safe-cracker Raine; the character has been cast, with the identity to be revealed next year.

The early years of Doctor Who will also be represented, with two boxed sets covering the first two Doctors. The Hartnell Years will feature the scripts of Moris Farhi, "Farewell Great Macedon" and "The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance", both of which were published recently by Nothing at the End of the Lane; these will be presented as audiobooks with narration by William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, with a guest actor to portray Alexander the Great in the former. The Troughton Years will feature adaptations of "Prison in Space" by Simon Guerrier from Dick Sharples's original script, plus an audio version of Terry Nation's unmade US TV Dalek pilot show, "The Destroyers". The two boxed sets are expected to be released in November and December next year respectively.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hollywood star joins cast list for Tennant's swansong

Writing in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Russell T Davies confirms that the preview of the Christmas special, to be shown on this year's Children in Need programme, will not be the pre-titles sequence, but rather a specially packaged clip from the story. This is because the pre-titles sequence from the story is too plot-heavy to work as a standalone preview.

The title of David Tennant's penultimate episode has still not been revealed, but according to Davies it will be six words long, the longest title yet. Final casting for the final episodes took place as late as October, when what is described as a "wonderful and distinguished" Hollywood actor provided the voice for one of the aliens in the story. The voice will be used in the trail for the Christmas episodes which will air directly after The Waters of Mars.

In the run up to the UK showing of The Waters of Mars, David Tennant has been co-hosting the breakfast programme on Absolute Radio. To celebrate the fact, the station mocked up a TARDIS façade for the front of the station.

In the first programme Tennant announced that he is to auction off his own bed live, which is in is own words "a nasty old bed that's seen some action." All proceeds of the auction will be going to Children in Need.

Tennant will be with the programme for the rest of the week, and a podcast of the first programme can be heard via the Absolute Radio website, along with a photo gallery and a video diary.

Chris D'Oyly John

Former Production Unit Manager Christopher D'Oyly John has died.

D'Oyly John worked on many stories from the classic era of Doctor Who. He was an Assistant Floor Manager on the William Hartnell story The Ark, before working as Production Assistant on several Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee stories.

As Production Unit Manager, he worked on six Tom Baker stories working with producer Philip Hinchcliffe on some of the most-loved stories in the series history, including The Robots of Death and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

His work outside of Doctor Who included The Bill, Poldark, House of Elliot and EastEnders.

He died peacefully at his home in Eastbourne on 21st October.

    Assistant Floor Manager
  • The Ark
    Production Assistant
  • The Macra Terror
  • The Invasion
  • Doctor Who and the Silurians
  • Inferno
  • The Curse of Peladon
  • The Mutants
  • Carnival of Monsters
  • Death to the Daleks
    Production Unit Manager
  • The Masque of Mandragora
  • The Hand of Fear
  • The Deadly Assassin
  • The Face of Evil
  • The Robots of Death
  • The Talons of Weng-Chiang

DVD March update

The latest edition of DWM clarifies the UK DVD release schedule for the first quarter of 2010.

Following the release of the Peladon Boxset on 4th January and the fourth Doctor story The Masque of Mandragora on 8th February, March will see no fewer than five stories released.

On 1st March the two First Doctor stories The Space Museum and The Chase will be released. A promo for this story was cleared by the BBFC last month. Just four weeks later the Myths and Legends boxset will hit the shops. This is now confirmed as including the Third Doctor story The Time Monster, and the Fourth Doctor stories Underworld and The Horns of Nimon.

The Kameleon Boxset and Time and the Rani, both of which are listed for sale on several DVD sites, have been pushed back to later in the year.

A full release schedule can be see in the sidebar on the right.

Monster of Peladon – Extras

The British Board of Film Classification has today passed the extras for the second Peladon story, The Monster of Peladon, set for release in the UK in January.
  • The Peladon Saga: Part Two: The Monsters and the Monarchs
  • Where are they now?
  • BBC News: Jon Pertwee races Lord Montagu
  • Easter Egg No2
  • ON Target - Terrance Dicks
  • Deleted Scene
  • Photo Gallery
Extras for the first Peladon story were cleared last week.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Radio Times Cover

With a new episode of Doctor Who just five days away, the programme returns to the cover of Radio Times this week.

The magazine takes a look at the special and contemplates whether The Waters of Mars may be the scariest adventure that the intrepid Time Lord's ever had. Russell T Davies explains just why he's ladled on the fear.

Over the years Doctor Who has featured on the cover of the magazine over forty times; the first time it was accorded this honour was in February 1964. There is a full gallery of the covers on The Radio Times website.

Waters of Mars - Confirmed Canadian Date

The Waters of Mars will come to Canadian Television on Saturday 19th December when it premiers on SPACE at 9pm ET. This is the same date the special will be shown in the US on BBC America.

The final two specials are expected to be shown over the Christmas holiday.

The Waters of Mars is now scheduled in most of the English speaking world with premiers confirmed in Australia, Canada and the United States, all less than 6 weeks after the special has premièred in the United Kingdom.

The Doctor is in, and the countdown is on! David Tennant’s final four adventures as the Tenth Time Lord unfold exclusively on SPACE. The second of four high-octane specials, Doctor Who: The Waters of MarS premieres Saturday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

To kick-start the event, 24 hours prior, SPACE is re-airing DOCTOR WHO: PLANET OF THE DEAD. SPACE fans laid claim to the esteemed DOCTOR WHO franchise when this first installment reached nearly half a million viewers earlier in the year. Cited as the most successful and longest running sci-fi series in the world, the latest DOCTOR WHO specials are also available on-demand at www.spacecast.com.

After 900 years of phone booth travel the Tenth incarnation of the Doctor is tidying up the Tardis for the Eleventh Time Lord’s residency. In one of Tennant’s most thrilling adventures yet, Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars tracks the Doctor and his companion Adelaide (Lindsay Duncan), as they face terror on the Red Planet. Peter O’Brien (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) guest stars as Ed, Adelaide’s second-in-command at the base.

The final two DOCTOR WHO specials starring David Tennant as the iconic Time Lord are scheduled to premiere over the holidays.

DOCTOR WHO: The Waters of Mars is written by Russell T Davies (Torchwood, Queer as Folk) and Phil Ford and directed by Graeme Harper. Davies and Julie Gardner (TORCHWOOD, LIFE ON MARS) serve as executive producers.

SPACE is Canada’s national science fiction, speculation and fantasy channel. Offering the finest in genre programming, viewers need not look further for their fix of the paranormal, edgy, scary, creepy and fun! SPACE is the station for all those who dare to challenge their imagination. SPACE is owned by CTV Limited, a division of CTVglobemedia, Canada's premier multi-media company.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Timothy Bateson (1926-2009)

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has published an obituary for actor Timothy Bateson, who died in September at the age of 83. Bateson enjoyed an acting career stretching from the 1940s to the present decade, and in 1955 appeared in the first London production of the play "Waiting for Godot". He appeared in Doctor Who only once, in the 1978 serial The Ribos Operation, where he portrayed Binro the Heretic. In this role he took part in the scene where Binro explains that be believes there are other planets and other stars; this is frequently regarded as one of the most memorable scenes from Doctor Who, most recently acclaimed as such in Doctor Who Magazine's "200 Golden Moments" special edition. The serial, along with the others in the 1978 "Key to Time" series, is due to be re-released on DVD next week, following its previous limited edition issue.



Image courtesy of the Doctor Who Image Archive

Ambassadors DVD Commentary

Speaking at the Missing in Action convention, the actor Nicholas Courtney reported that he has just recorded a commentary for the seventh season story The Ambassadors of Death, alongside other members of cast and crew including Terrance Dicks, Peter Halliday and Derek Ware.

It should be remembered that commentaries are often recorded way in advance of DVD release (years in some cases!), so this is no indication that the story is currently scheduled to appear in the shops soon!

Restoration Team member Steve Roberts recently discussed the colour recovery process at a talk for the Doctor Who Information Network, during which he reported that recovery work hadn't been undertaken on the story at that point.

Sarah Jane Adventures – Appreciation index


Both parts of The Eternity Trap received an AI score of 86. The score is again way above the average score for Children's drama. The scores were one of the highest on BBC One on either Thursday or Friday with only New Tricks scoring higher.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Alan Chuntz 1927-2009

The actor and stuntman Alan Chuntz has died at the age of 81. Chuntz appeared in at least 15 stories from the classic series. He was a member of HAVOC, the team that provided much of the stunt work for the programme. He played Omega's champion in The Three Doctors and had a rare speaking role as the Chauffeur in The Seeds of Doom.

As well as his work on Doctor Who, Chuntz was a regular face on British Television in the seventies appearing in series such as Z Cars, Some Mothers Do Ave Em, The Avengers, The Persuaders, The Onedin Line, Hazel and Minder.
  • The Invasion - Stuntman
  • The Seeds Of Death -Technician
  • The Ambassadors Of Death - Soldier
  • Inferno - Soldier
  • Terror Of The Autons - Stuntman
  • The Mind Of Evil - Prisoner
  • The Sea Devils - Stuntman
  • The Three Doctors - Omega's Champion
  • The Green Death - Security Guard
  • Planet Of The Spiders - Stuntman
  • Genesis Of The Daleks - Kaled Guard
  • Revenge Of The Cybermen - Stuntman
  • The Seeds Of Doom - Chauffeur
  • The Face Of Evil - Stuntman
  • The Talons Of Weng-Chiang - Stuntman
  • State Of Decay - Guard
  • The Visitation - Stuntman

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Doctor Who Adventures 140

This weeks Doctor Who Adventures magazine is packed with top scares from swooping Reapers to the destructive Toclafane. Everything you need to know about monsters that fly.

The story guide is all about an explosive Cyberman clash. And to find out how well you know robot dog K-9, with the quick quiz.

Also there is a look at the Fifth Doctor. What did he wear and how long was he the Doctor?

Sarah Jane Ratings - Friday


Part Two of The Eternity Trap, was watched by 0.8 million viewers, with an audience share of 6.6%.

The series, which is rating well above the average for the time slot, has received a slight legacy boast following the appearance of David Tennant in the series last week.

Final figures will be out in around two weeks time.

Friday, 6 November 2009

North America - DVD Update

March 2nd sees the Dalek War box set come to North America with the release of the two third Doctor stories Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks.

Starring Jon Pertwee as The Doctor and Katy Manning as Jo Grant, the set includes the recently restored episode three of Planet of the Daleks, now in colour for the first time in 30 years.

Frontier in Space features a commentary with Katy Manning, as well as producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks.

Extras Include:
  • Perfect Scenario: Lost Frontier
  • The Space War, the making of the story
  • Roger Delgado: The Master, a biography of actor Roger Delgado
  • Stripped for Action: The Third Doctor's comic book adventures


Planet of the Daleks also features a commentary with Manning, Letts and Dicks and also includes Prentis Hancock who played Vaber and Tim Preece who played Codal.

Extras Include:
  • Perfect Scenario: The End of Dreams
  • The Rumble in the Jungle, the making of the story.
  • Multi-colourisation, a look at the colour restoration of episode three.
  • Stripped for Action: focuses on the Daleks
  • Blue Peter.

Also released on this day is the special edition of the seventh Doctor story, Remembrance of the Daleks.

First shown in 1988 the story stars Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor  and Sophie Aldred as Ace.

The story was first released on DVD in 2002. This special edition has a audio commentary by actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as well as a number of documentaries about the programme.


  • Back to School: "Making Of" documentary (32 mins)
  • Remembrances: Influences and references to earlier Doctor Who adventures (15 mins)
  • Davros Connections: In-depth look at the history of the Daleks' creator (43 mins)
  • Extended and Deleted Scenes (12 mins)
  • Outtakes (4 mins)
  • Multi-Angle Sequences (2 mins)
  • Isolated Music Option
  • Trailers and Continuities (5 mins)
  • Photo Gallery (8 mins)
  • Easter egg
  • DVD-ROM material: Radio Times listings
  • Production Notes Subtitle Option

Sarah Jane Ratings - Thursday


The Eternity Trap, was watched by 0.9 million viewers, with an audience share of 7.3%.

The rating is once more much higher than usual for this slot on BBC One, which has an average of 0.4 million.

Time, Unincorporated 2 Coming from Mad Norwegian


Mad Norwegian Press has announced that Time, Unincorporated 2, the second in a series of fanzine article collections, will see print in May 2010. Previously titled "Classic Series Cornucopia," Volume 2 will actually see print under the title "Writings on the Classic Series," while the forthcoming Volume 3 will be "Writings on the New Series." Volume 2 of this series contains nearly 75 essays that examine every era of the classic Doctor Who series that ran from 1963-1989, as well as the FOX TV movie (1996). The essays stem from a wide array of venerable fanzines such as Enlightenment, Shockeye’s Kitchen, Burnt Toast, Faze, Dark Circus, The Whostorian and more. Collectively, the essays derived from these sources form one of the most diverse compilations of Doctor Who writing ever produced. As a bonus, ten of the essays were written exclusively for this volume by the likes of Matt Jones (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Simon Guerrier (The Slitheen Excursion), Pyr Books editorial director Lou Anders, and Jim Sangster (TV Heaven).

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Web Planet Online

BBC Worldwide has done a deal with MSN Video to supply classic episodes of Doctor Who online. The stories are available free on the MSN website. The series is starting with the 1965 William Hartnell story, The Web Planet.

New episodes will be added on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10th November.

Video may not be available outside the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Never Mind The Buzzcocks Special

Phil Jupitus with David Tennant
Photo by Phil Jupitus
posted on YFrog
Comedian Phil Jupitus has announced a Doctor Who Special edition of the comedy panel music show Never Mind The Buzzcocks, which will feature David Tennant as the guest presenter; the show will also sees Bernard Cribbins on Phil's own team, alongside presenter Jo Whiley, whilst Noel Fielding's team will have Catherine Tate with singer Jamie Cullum.

No broadcast date has been announced as yet, though it is expected to be in the week leading up to Christmas Day.

(announced by Phil Jupitus on twitter)


Dreamland Broadcast Date

The BBC Press Office have released details for the broadcast of the animated Doctor Who adventure Dreamland. Episode One will premiere on Saturday 21st November on the BBC's Red Button service, and the subsequent five episodes each day thereafter. The episodes will be available all day on Sky and Virgin, with a limited service on Freeview. The episodes will also be available from the BBC's Doctor Who website, which will be enhanced by a brand new comic reader application.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Tennant wins NBC role

David Tennant is to make his US television debut when he plays the title character in a hour long pilot for NBC called Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.

Tennant plays Rex Alexander, a top Chicago lawyer who begins suffering panic attacks and takes up coaching clients to represent themselves in court.

Written by Andrew Leeds and David Lampson the pilot is directed by David Semel, who directed the pilots for "Heroes" and "Life". The project has been in development for two years with casting for the lead actor taking place over several months until Tennant clinched the role in August.

Tennant will hope to follow the success of another established British TV actor with virtually no American TV experience, Hugh Laurie, as the lead on Fox's medical drama "House."

DVD Extras

The British Board of Film Classification has passed the extras for two upcoming DVD releases.

The Curse of Peladon. Confirmed UK release 4th January 2010
  • The Peladon Saga:Part One:The Market and the Miners
  • Jon and Katy
  • Photo Gallery
  • Storyboard Comparison
  • Warriors of Mars

The Masque of Mandragora. Expected UK release 8th February 2010
  • Bigger on the inside
  • The story was the first to use the wood-panelled secondary control room.
  • The Secret of the Labyrinth
  • Photo Gallery
  • Beneath the Masque of "The Masque of Mandragora"
  • Now and Then - The Locations
  • The Story was filmed at Portmeirion in Gwynedd, Wales.
  • Trails and Continuity

Monday, 2 November 2009

The Waters of Mars fast-tracked to Australia - Updated


TV Tonight blog reports The Waters of Mars will make its Australian debut on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during the week beginning Sunday 6 December 2009 on ABC1. This follows the ABC 'fast-tracking' the last two Doctor Who specials broadcast in the UK.

TV Tonight also reports that Torchwood: Children of Earth will make its Australian free-to-air debut during the week beginning Sunday 3 January 2010 on ABC2.

Update 8 Nov: TV Tonight has since confirmed that 'The Waters of Mars' will indeed debut on ABC1 on Sunday 6 December 2009 at 7.30pm.

Thanks to TV Tonight.

Record AI score for Sarah Jane

The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith received an AI score of 87 for Part One and 89 for Part Two. Both episodes got the highest AI scores on any of the main four channels for the two days.

The two scores are the highest received for the series which also received the highest viewing figures on BBC one at this timeslot for this year.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience liked the programme. It is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel including a large childrens section. The average score for children's television is 72. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor.

Writers' Guild award nomination


Doctor Who is up for an award from The Writers' Guild of Great Britain.

It has been nominated in the television drama series category, where it faces competition from fellow BBC series Being Human and Little Dorrit.

The awards will be announced on November 29 at the Free Word Centre in London.

Series Three of Doctor Who was named best TV series in the guild awards of 2007, while in 1975 season 11 of the show (Jon Pertwee's last series, which aired between December 1973 and June 1974 and comprised The Time Warrior, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Death To The Daleks, The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders) won a guild award for best writing in a children's serial.

The guild is a trade union for professional writers and the awards are deemed to be special because the work of writers is honoured by their peers and colleagues.

It follows the news that spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures has been nominated for a Children's BAFTA. These awards will, again, be given on November 29 in London.

(Thanks to John Bowman)