Bookmark and Share Next Time: The Curse of the Black Spot

4/30/2011 07:19:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

As reported earlier in the week, the BBC have now released a "prequel" for next week's episode, The Curse of the Black Spot, featuring a journal entry from the Captain of the good ship Fancy (played by Hugh Bonneville):


Prequel: Curse of the Black Spot, BBC, via BBC Website


In addition, the episode trailer is now available to watch, alongside the "Next Time" trailer from this week's episode, Day of the Moon:


Trailer: Curse of the Black Spot, BBC, via BBC Website and YouTube



Next Time: Curse of the Black Spot, BBC, via BBC Website


 
The Curse of the Black Spot will premiere on BBC1/BBC1HD at 6:15pm, 7th May in the United Kingdom; then follows on SPACE in Canada at 8:00pm ET, BBC America in the United States at 9:00pm ET, and on ABC1 in Australia at 7:30pm on the 14th May.

The TARDIS is marooned onboard a 17th-century pirate ship whose crew is being attacked by a mysterious and beautiful sea creature, as the time-travelling drama continues.

Becalmed and beset by cabin fever, the pirates have numerous superstitious explanations for the Siren's appearance. The Doctor has other ideas but, as his theories are disproved and every plan of escape is thwarted, he must work to win the trust of the implacable Captain Avery and uncover the truth behind the pirates' supernatural fears – and he must work quickly, for some of his friends have already fallen under the Siren's spell...

 

Bookmark and Share Matt Smith - Cameraman

4/30/2011 11:08:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have released a small clip from tonight's Doctor Who Confidential which features Matt Smith demonstrating his prowess with a portable camera!


Matt Smith in the White House, BBC, via YouTube
(no spoilers for the episode are in the video)



Doctor Who Confidential is on tonight on BBC Three and BBC HD at 7:00pm.


 
Meanwhile, BBC America released the fifth in their series of online behind-the-scenes features; this edition of Doctor Who Insider is entitled On The Set:
Go deep behind-the-scenes of the Cardiff, Wales set of the new season of Doctor Who - and see the cast like never before. Featuring exclusive interviews with stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill plus Executive Producer/Lead Writer Steven Moffat.


Doctor Who Insider: On The Set, BBC America, via YouTube

Bookmark and Share Monopoly

4/30/2011 12:30:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Monopoly is about to have a Doctor Who makeover this summer, with Hasbro releasing a version of the long-lived board game dedicated to the Time Lord.

Listed by Forbidden Planet, the game is limited to 5000 copies, and will feature "all your favourite heroes, villains, monsters, planets and places."

It is due to be released on 1st August 2011.

Bookmark and Share New Doctor Who/Torchwood Teasers

4/29/2011 10:27:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster



Today saw the BBC release two trailers featuring clips from the new series of Doctor Who and Torchwood!

The first trailer aired after the morning coverage of the Royal Wedding showcasing popular BBC shows to the tune Bring Me Sunshine, popularised and sung by comedy duo Morecambe and Wise; captioned When it's worth watching, watch it with us, as well as Doctor Who and Torchwood the trailer featured classic shows like One Foot in the Grave, the aforementioned Morecambe and Wise and Only Fools and Horses, and more recent shows such as Gavin and Stacey, Merlin and Sherlock.




The second trailer aired after this evening's edition of The One Show, and focused on a number of shows that will be broadcast over the course of the summer; captioned Original British Drama, shows covered included The Shadow Line (with Christopher Eccleston), Exile (with John Simm), The Night Watch (with Michael Gambon and Bill Nighy), Luther (with Paul McGann), and of course Doctor Who and Torchwood.






No date was given for when Torchwood would be broadcast, though it is expected in July 2011.

Bookmark and Share Coming Soon: The Curse of the Black Spot Prequel

4/28/2011 09:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Following on from the first "prequel" for The Impossible Astronaut, the BBC have announced the second of their mini-episode preludes, this time providing an introduction to episode three, The Curse of the Black Spot, due to be broadcast on 7th May.

The full prequel will be available from here and the BBC website on 6:45pm Saturday, straight after the conclusion to Day of the Moon.


Coming Soon: The Curse of the Black Spot Prequel, BBC, via BBC iplayer

Bookmark and Share The Game of Rassilon!

4/28/2011 07:02:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC's Doctor Who website have launched a new quiz, entitled The Game of Rassilon.

Legends tell of a Time Lord challenge that would test the guile, intelligence and fortune of those brave enough to step forward. The challenge was known as The Game of Rassilon.

The Time Lords may be near to extinction and Gallifrey consigned to history, but after centuries in abeyance the game will be soon be resurrected...

The quiz features clips, images, exclusive new footage with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, plus other members of the cast and crew. It is aimed to test the player's knowledge on Doctor Who, with different questions every time, and themed around the episode on television that week (currently The Impossible Astronaut).

The game can be played here.

Bookmark and Share Timeout: Easter Collectible Cover Offer

4/28/2011 06:32:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster


To celebrate the return of Doctor Who, last week's Timeout London (21-27 April) published six different covers depicting the characters from The Impossible Astronaut - previewed in that issue - plus interviews with the stars and head writer Steven Moffat.

The magazine is now offering all six covers online worldwide as a collectors set, which can bought via their Timeout Shop.



Previously, the magazine celebrated Doctor Who in December 2009, when it published covers for each the ten Doctors that had played the role to date.

Bookmark and Share Who to Watch tomorrow!

4/28/2011 05:47:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Tomorrow sees several channels dedicated to coverage of the Royal Wedding; however, as an alternative, you could always experience the first few adventures of the Ninth Doctor instead, with digital channel Watch broadcasting Rose, The End of the World, Aliens of London/World War 3, The Long Game and Father's Day from 10:00am!


Alternatively, you can watch The Doctor gate-crash a different wedding in the morning, with the CBBC channel broadcasting the compilation version of The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith between 9:00-10:00am!

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience: Royal Wedding Offer

4/28/2011 04:42:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Doctor Who Experience have made a special offer on tickets available in celebration of the Royal Wedding taking place tomorrow - for Friday 29th April only, tickets can be purchased for just £4.29 (plus fees)!


Tickets may booked from the Experience website, and are subject to availability.


 

Bookmark and Share The Doctor's Wife - Press Details

4/28/2011 02:07:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC have released press details for episode four of the current series, The Doctor's Wife, written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark
Doctor Who: The Doctor's WifeThe Doctor receives a distress signal from an old friend. Could there really be another living Time Lord out there? Hopes raised, he follows the signal to a junkyard planet sitting upon a mysterious asteroid in a Bubble universe, populated by a very strange family, as the time-travelling drama continues.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are given the warmest of welcomes by Auntie, Uncle and Nephew. But the beautiful and insane Idris greets them in a more unusual fashion – what is she trying to tell the Doctor? As the Doctor investigates, he unwittingly puts his friends in the gravest danger.

The Doctor is played by Matt Smith, Amy by Karen Gillan, Rory by Arthur Darvill and Idris by Suranne Jones.

The programme is due to be broadcast in the UK on Saturday 14th May at a time to be confirmed next week.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that the UK Broadcast of Episode Three: The Curse of the Black Spot will be at the slightly later time of 6.15pm. It will again be sandwiched between Don't Scare the Hare and So You think You Can Dance. ITV1 will show New People Do the Funniest Things.

Bookmark and Share The Hand of Fear to be repeated

4/26/2011 04:04:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Radio Times have reported that The Hand of Fear is to be broadcast as a tribute to the late Elisabeth Sladen; the story was her last appearance as series regular Sarah Jane Smith alongside Tom Baker's portrayal as The Doctor.

The story will be broadcast on BBC4, with parts one and two on at 7:40pm and 8:05pm respectively on Monday 9th, and parts three and four in the same timeslots the following evening.



Episode details may be found both on the Radio Times and from our own Doctor Who Guide.

Bookmark and Share Impossible Astronaut scores AI of 88

4/26/2011 11:16:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: Impossible AstronautDoctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut, scored an Appreciation Index figure of 88, one of the highest figures of the weekend.

The Appreciation Index, or AI figures is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. It is a score out of 100 based on responses from a 5,000 strong panel.

The score is the joint highest ever received for a series opener, Smith and Jones also scored 88. Last year only two episodes managed a score of 88 or above. Only Lewis on ITV1 scored higher over the weekend, with the show preceding Doctor Who, Don't Scare the Hare receiving one of the lowest scores on record, 46.

In a measure of how successful Doctor Who was over the weekend, no programme on Sunday managed to get more than 6 million watching, including Coronation Street which had 5.9 million viewers; this means Doctor Who remains in 13th position for the week, one which will rise when final figures are released.

David Tennant's performance in United had an audience of 3.2 million on BBC Two/BBC HD.

Bookmark and Share BAFTA nomination for Matt Smith

4/26/2011 10:05:00 am - Reported by Anthony Weight

Matt Smith has been nominated for the British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Actor for his performance as the Eleventh Doctor in the 2010 series of Doctor Who - the first time in the programme's history that one of its leads has been nominated for this prestigious award. He is up against Benedict Cumberbatch (for BBC One's Sherlock, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss), former Comic Relief Doctor Jim Broadbent (for Channel 4's Any Human Heart) and Daniel Rigby (for BBC Two biopic Eric and Ernie).

The BAFTA Awards are the most prestigious awards given in the British television industry, analogous to the Primetime Emmy Awards in the United States. The winners of most of the categories, including the one in which Smith is nominated, are decided by a jury of industry experts. Doctor Who last triumphed at the main ceremony in 2006, when the first season of the new series, starring Christopher Eccleston, won the Best Drama Series category, and the programme also took home the viewer-voted Audience Award, and Russell T Davies was given the honorary Dennis Potter Award for achievement in television writing. The 2008 series, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, was also nominated for the Best Drama Series category at the 2009 awards, but lost out to BBC One's British version of Wallander.

The series and its personnel have, however, won several awards at the BAFTA Cymru and BAFTA Craft Awards ceremonies since Doctor Who returned to the screens in 2005, including the Best Writer Award for Steven Moffat in 2008. The winners of this year's main BAFTA Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday 22nd May, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. BBC News has a report on the nominations.

Bookmark and Share Record Ratings for BBC America and SPACE

4/26/2011 04:07:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: BBC AmericaBBC Worldwide have revealed that the series premier of Doctor Who broke new records for BBC America giving the channel its highest-rated, most-watched telecast ever in Live + Same Day ratings.

Altogether Doctor Who delivered almost 1.3 million viewers in the states, a rise of 71,000 viewers over last season’s opening episode The Eleventh Hour.

The channel also notes
  • Viewership across all of BBC America's Doctor Who YouTube content reached an all-time high of 3.5 million views.
  • The official debut of Doctor Who on Tumblr reached over 10,000 followers in two weeks.
  • Doctor Who is currently the number 1 TV series on the iTunes store.
  • BBCAmerica.com pulled in its largest traffic ever. On its best day, Saturday, April 23, 74% of users were new visitors to the site.


Meanwhile across the border on SPACE, a record 538,000 total viewers watched the premier in Canada, up 3% over the previous most-watched Doctor Who episode, making The Impossible Astronaut the most-watched SPACE broadcast this year.

The premiere also broke records among several key demographics including Adults 18-49 (up 7% with 292,000 viewers); Women 25-54 (up 50% with 111,000 viewers); and Women 18-49 (up 62% with 114,000 viewers).

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who nominations in 2011 Hugo Awards

4/25/2011 12:43:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Following a long tradition, Doctor Who is once again been nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in the annual Hugo Awards. This year sees A Christmas Carol (written by Steven Moffat), The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (also by Moffat), and Vincent and the Doctor (Richard Curtis) vying for the award, up against The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan and **** Me, Ray Bradbury by Rachel Bloom.

Since its return in 2005, Doctor Who has only been beaten once in this category: Steven Moffat was successful for the first three years with The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (2006), The Girl in the Fireplace (2007) and Blink (2008); 2009 was the 'gap' year with Moffat's Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Russell T Davies's Turn Left losing out to Joss Whedon's Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog; last year saw Davies and Phil Ford win the award with The Waters of Mars.

Also nominated for an award in the Best Related Work section is the book Chicks Digs Time Lords, A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, published by Mad Norwegian Press. In the book a host of award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses come together to celebrate the phenomenon that is Doctor Who, discuss their inventive involvement with the show’s fandom and examine why they adore the series.

This year's award winners will be revealed on Saturday 20th August at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction convention taking place at Reno, Nevada over that weekend.

Bookmark and Share Impossible Astronaut - Overnight Ratings

4/24/2011 09:56:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut was watched by 6.5 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The programme which has a share of 37% of the total audience, was the highest rated show on BBC One for the day, a remarkable achievement given the early timeslot and the excellent bank holiday weather across the UK. It was more than two million viewers ahead of the next programme on BBC One, Casualty.

Overall it was the second highest rated programme on all TV with Britain's Got Talent on ITV1 taking the top slot with 9.5 million watching. Against Doctor Who, March of the Dinosaurs had an average audience of just 1.3 million watching.

To show what a draw Doctor Who is, the programme preceding it had just 1.9 million watching. The BBC One audience jumped from 2.2 to 6.0 million as Doctor Who began, with the audience growing throughout the programme and an average of 7 million watching the final fifteen minutes. At the end of the show, over half of the viewers left BBC One, with the channel seeing its audience plunge from 7.0 million to 3.2 million.

Of the 6.5million viewers watching Doctor Who, 0.76 million watched on BBC HD.

On BBC Three, Doctor Who Confidential had 0.55 million viewers, with an additional 40,000 watching on BBC HD.

On CBBC 0.71 million tuned in for the tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, My Sarah Jane, a 4.1% share of the total audience.

Doctor Who is currently the 13th highest rated show for the week. Final figures, including those who recorded the show and watched it later, will be released next week.

Bookmark and Share The Impossible Astronaut: Press Reaction

4/24/2011 09:46:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

A roundup of some of the comments in the press for the premiere of The Impossible Astronaut. Please note that as these are reviews, spoilers may be present.


United Kingdom

Gavin Fuller writes in the Telegraph:
Moffat clearly loves the way Doctor who can play around with concepts of time, and this episode was one which dealt in a mature manner with this, aided by some fizzing dialogue as the episode progressed; this was quite a wordy episode which concentrated more on atmosphere than pace and visual thrills.

Matt Smith still arguably needs to find the right balance between serious and humour. The latter occasionally jarred in such a deeply layered episode as this. I don’t quite see why Amy had an urgent need in the middle of a warehouse to tell him about her pregnancy, unless the Silence’s instructions to her previously in the episode were responsible in some way (tricky though as she’d surely forgotten them after leaving the rest room?).

This minor quibble aside, this was a cracking start to the first part of the 2011 series, with the shocking ending of Amy seemingly shooting a girl making one keen wait for the conclusion next week to see how it all resolves itself.
However, Robert Colvile, was less impressed:
The central problem, however, is that while the Nixon references were wonderful (who knew the Doctor was to blame for Watergate?) and the jokes sparkling, many of the elements felt not just frenzied, but familiar. It’s one thing to refer to previous episodes, but Moffat recycled a host of tropes and tricks from his own work on the series ... It could be, given Moffat’s stellar record on both Doctor Who and Sherlock, that this was entirely deliberate, and will pay off later. But stir in the brain-melting time-travel paradoxes and multitude of dangling plot threads, and this felt like a writer stirring everything into the pot, and damn the need for exposition. The result was an episode that rewarded the dedicated fan but could leave the younger or casual viewer baffled.

Similarly Dan Martin of the Guardian enthuses:
Hello sweeties! And welcome back. There's really nowhere else to begin than with that death scene. Sudden and brutal and unexpected even though, on thinking about it for even a minute, it was really quite obvious who was going to die. But the cremation on the boat and Amy's numb horror ramps things up to a series-finale level of intensity from the off – and it doesn't let up for the duration of this staggeringly confident series opener. There's little time to even breathe as the episode then switches into an Oval Office comedy of manners, morphs into gothic horror and finally flings you to the ground with its cinematic cliffhanger.
However, Andrew Anthony of the Observer observed:
The key to great fantasy is that it conforms to its own reality. It doesn't matter if there are three-headed dogs, pink seas and everyone worships Dermot O'Leary, as long as it's all logical in that particular universe. The problem with Doctor Who is that logic long ago collapsed like a neutron star and there is no reality, but instead an ever-more frenzied effort to cover up the absence of what, back in this universe, we still refer to as a coherent plot.

... Most of the script was taken up with characters repeatedly saying things such as "Who's he?", "What's he doing?" and "Who are you?" It was like watching TV with one of those people – some of whom I share a house with – who keep asking you what's going on, except that on this occasion they were on the TV itself.

Kevin O'Sullivan of the Mirror was similarly disappointed:
SATURDAY night, BBC1... and Doctor Who storms back with the first of a two-part ­adventure called The Impossible Astronaut. As in impossible to understand. ... this ball of all-round confusion was no way to start a series. But I’m guessing the second instalment will end with the sonic screwdriver guy saving the world with seconds to spare. Again.

Dan Golder of SFX said:
So what we have here is a clever, ingenious plot, packed with standout set-pieces and boasting a feast of quotably funny lines. It feels darker, it feels slightly more adult, and it feels like a show willing to take risks. The direction and lighting are outstanding – especially in the underground scenes, which are edgy as hell. But there are some niggles.

At times it’s undeniably a little talky. There is an awful lot of information – a lot of it important, series-spanning information – and meaningfully salient character points shovelled into the mix, and this leads to a bit of story-telling drag occasionally. ... In fact, a lot of vital info suffers slightly by being delivered like a stand-up comedian going for a gags-per-hour record. Okay, we don’t want a return to the days when every piece of information was spoon-fed to us, but conversely, if something’s important then it shouldn’t be treated like a throwaway line. There’s a difference between watching something with your brain in gear, and having to hang on every single word, making notes.

But none of this cancels out the fact that “The Impossible Astronaut” is unique, exquisitely acted, beautifully shot and quite unlike anything else you’ll see on TV. Doctor Who’s back but you can’t help thinking – with delicious anticipation – that this year, things are going to be very different.

Simon Brew of Den of Geek:
... One final element I want to praise, and that's the setting, and how director, Toby Haynes, made the most of it. The last time Doctor Who tackled America, it was the troubled Daleks In Manhattan, notorious for British actors attempting to do American accents. By shifting the location shoot to the US, Haynes has some glorious scenery to stage his shots in, and he really doesn't disappoint. This is, at times, wonderfully cinematic Who (backed by a terrific Murray Gold score), and hopefully, such ambitious location shoots will be back on the agenda again in due course.

The Impossible Astronaut was, in all, a triumphant return for Doctor Who, bubbling with confidence and throwing down story strands that hint at an engrossing series. I could quibble about the fact that I struggled to always hear what The Silence had to say, if I was being really picky. But I don't want to be. This was glorious television, all the more remarkable for being a 48-year-old show that's still, time after time, finding interesting stories to tell.


United States

Rick Marshall of MTV:
Steven Moffat and the "Doctor Who" crew offer up yet another great episode with Toby Haynes behind the camera — though the episode's big cliffhanger will likely cause more than a few fans' heads to explode. Much like they did in "A Christmas Carol," the cast and creative team show a knack for playing with the wibbly-wobbily nature of time and keeping things moving at a pace that prevents you from pondering the criss-crossed timelines The Doctor leaves in his wake.

Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times:
One year in, Matt Smith is screwed into this role good and tight. Like many a mythological figure, his Doctor is an ancient child, an unstable mix of authority and impulsiveness. "I'm being extremely clever up here, and there's no one to stand around looking impressed," he says irritably, his three friends having gone off to discuss something he can't be allowed to know. "What's the point of having you all?"

What "Doctor Who" gives us, that so much science fiction does not nowadays with its pathological analysis of heroism, are romantic mad adventurers, not without their moments of doubt and pain but having a good time in between: The series conducts its serious business with a good deal of comedy. (These opening episodes are very funny, even by local standards.) That's not to say the darkness doesn't get in, within and without them; indeed, stories have gone repeatedly to the brink of nothingness — the extermination of the Earth, the unweaving of reality.

Matthew Milam of Chicago Now wasn't so impressed:
A few minutes into it, under the pen of current executive producer Steven Moffat, I came to realize one thing. The people behind the scenes of Doctor Who are beginning to run out of energy. As a result, they have run out of ideas. .... Doctor Who used to be a show that was fun. A show that never took itself seriously and a show that had the sense to cast good actors in the role who could take the most typical of science fiction plots and give them a new life. ... I cry because no one, including the actors, seem to be fighting for the show anymore. I cry because I believe I have officially come to the close conclusion that Doctor Who needs to retire again. Perhaps, I dare say it, forever. ... The reason I say cancel Doctor Who is not because I am a spiteful arse. I have written some good reviews for Doctor Who on Blogcritics. The problem is that good episodes of Doctor Who are far and few between. Even in the classic series that was an issue, but at least it felt like there was some attempt at making the characters connect with you. Maybe, just maybe, the BBC in now seeing this as a cash cow don't feel the need to develop strong stories, or even cast good actors for the show.

Bookmark and Share My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen

4/23/2011 11:54:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Tonight, the CBBC channel broadcast a special programme in tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, who died this week, aged 63.

The show featured memories of the actress from her co-stars on The Sarah Jane Adventures, Daniel Anthony, Anjli Mohindra and Tommy Knight, the two recent Doctors she worked with, David Tennant and Matt Smith, and series creator Russell T Davies, plus contributions from Katy Manning, John Barrowman and Barney Harwood. A variety of clips from throughout her 38-year association with Doctor Who appeared in the programme, including a montage at the end set the song She (as sung by Elvis Costello for the film Notting Hill).


The tribute programme is available to watch in the United Kingdom via the BBC iplayer until next Saturday (30th April).


My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, BBC, via BBC iplayer (may not play outside the United Kingdom)

Update: The programme was watched by 707,000 viewers when broadcast, representing some 4.1% of the audience.

Bookmark and Share Trailer: Day of the Moon

4/23/2011 11:01:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have released the trailer for the next episode of Doctor Who, Day of the Moon, which will be broadcast next Saturday at 6:00pm on BBC1.


Day of the Moon Trailer, BBC, via YouTube

The Doctor is locked in the perfect prison while Amy, Rory and River Song are being hunted down across America by the FBI, as the time-travelling adventure series continues.

With the help of new friend and FBI-insider Canton Everett Delaware the Third, our heroes are reunited to share their discoveries, if not their memories. The world is occupied by an alien force that controls humanity through post-hypnotic suggestion, and no one can be trusted.

Aided by President Nixon and Neil Armstrong's foot, the Doctor must mount a revolution to drive out the enemy and rescue the missing little girl. No one knows why they took her. Or why they have kidnapped Amy Pond...

 

Bookmark and Share Character options

4/23/2011 02:09:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

With media interest in the imminent return of Doctor Who running high, it is perhaps unsurprising that some of the popular characters from previous series were discussed, looking at the possibility of their return in the future.

John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack Harkness

Speaking to The Gothamist, series head writer Steven Moffat talked about his views on the return of older characters, including Captain Jack:
There's no rule against that. People talk as if somewhere there's been some schism. There isn't an intentional line at all. I do think there's a danger, if you're always harkening back.

Jack - who I wrote in the show - I'd love to have him back. I was thinking he should really be here recently but he's busy (filming Torchwood: Miracle Day).
 

John Simm, aka The Master

Speaking to Life of Wylie, John Simm wouldn't rule out a return to Doctor Who as the Master, if the production team asked:
I’m sure I could but no-one’s mentioned it. Steven Moffat is a brilliant writer and it would be nice to see what he does with The Master. Maybe they’d want him to regenerate into somebody much younger. Somebody from Skins or something like that. Or a woman. And what would be wrong with that?

They can do whatever they want with The Master. You’re at their mercy. But I’d seriously consider it if they asked me. I’d love to have a go at Matt Smith because I think he’s really great.
 

James Corden, aka Craig Owens

Speaking to Shortlist, producer Marcus Wilson commented on the potential of James Corden as a series regular:
What’s lovely about Doctor Who is that people want to guest star in it. We set out the story commissions for this series and we knew that we wanted to do a sequel to The Lodger. James said, "Tell me when, I’ll be there." We thought that his episode would be a one-off, but it did so well that everyone was keen to do another. Now he’s pitching to us for a trilogy.
 

Bookmark and Share "Today" on Who

4/23/2011 12:23:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

American broadcaster NBC has announced that its morning news show Today will meet Doctor Who on 6th May! Forming part of an initiative to broadcast from places all around the world, the show's presenter Meredith Vieira will visit the set of the show in the United Kingdom, and will also feature in a cameo in an upcoming episode. It has yet to be revealed whether she will be appearing in her role as Today presenter or in some other capacity.

Vieira's appearance follows a tradition of cameos in the series, which include Barbara Windsor in Army of Ghosts, Sharon Osbourne, Anne Widdecombe and band McFly in The Sound of Drums, Richard Dawkins and Paul O'Grady in The Stolen Earth, and Patrick Moore in The Eleventh Hour, plus the vocal talents of Anne Robinson, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine portraying their robotic counterparts in Bad Wolf.

The first four series of Doctor Who regularly featured American news reports by Trinity Wells (played by Lachele Carl) from fictional network AMNN.

Media Links: UPI


Bookmark and Share "Silence Will Fall" tonight...

4/23/2011 09:03:00 am - Reported by Josiah Rowe



The Impossible Astronaut, the first episode of Doctor Who's sixth series (or thirty-second season, if you prefer) will air tonight at 6:00pm BST on BBC One in the UK, at 9:00pm Eastern (6:00 Pacific) on BBC America in the USA, and at 8:00pm Eastern (5:00pm Pacific) on SPACE in Canada. US viewers will also be able to purchase episodes from iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.

After the episode airs, viewers in the UK will be able to view My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen on the CBBC channel. Doctor Who Confidential will follow on BBC Three at 7:00pm.

Finally, to tease the final hours before the debut of The Impossible Astronaut, the BBC's Doctor Who website has posted some potentially spoilerrific photos from the episode, as well as this enigmatic video under a link to "The Silence":


"Are real", BBC, via BBC website


"Silence Will Fall Tonight", BBC, via BBC Website

Bookmark and Share Big Finish goes "Fourth"!

4/22/2011 11:21:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have revealed that Tom Baker's debut adventure with them as the Fourth Doctor got underway today, with the actor performing alongside Louise Jameson, who reprises her role as Leela. Recording commenced at 10:00am this morning, with the photo depicting the duo enjoying the sunny Good Friday morning beforehand.

The first series of six episodes will be available to buy on CD and via download from January 2012, and may be pre-ordered from Big Finish.


The news was first announced last month, with Big Finish clarifying that these adventures are independent to and will not clash with the successful BBC Audio adventures (with Tom Baker teamed with Richard Franklin as Mike Yates).

The actor commented:
In my twilight years, I am looking forward to a tremendous Big Finish and the sooner the better.
Louise Jameson added:
I'm delighted at the possibility of working with Tom again. I've always rated him as a brilliant and unique actor with the most marvellous voice, Big Finish must be over the moon that he has agreed to re-visiting the sci-fi world.

Producer David Richardson has also revealed that the adventures will utilise the 'gothic' wooden console room from Season 14!

Bookmark and Share Fans pay tribute to Elisabeth Sladen

4/22/2011 04:55:00 am - Reported by Marcus

With the sad news of the death of Elisabeth Sladen still raw in many people's minds and so difficult to comprehend, many fans around the world have been making their own tributes to a woman who was such a central part of so many childhoods.

British folk singer Talis Kimberley has recorded her own tribute, Goodnight Sarah Jane, available as a download from her website. Kimberley says "this is my tribute to the actor Lis Sladen. Along with many other people I was desparately saddened to hear of her death; her portrayal of Sarah-Jane Smith was an inspiration during two periods of my life."

Other tracks released include Companion by Parralox and What's the Story Sarah Jane by New Magnet.

The tribute page in Gallifrey Base now stands at over 2000 posts and a special thread has been setup where fans can post their own artwork. Meanwhile a whole new generation of fans have been expressing their sense of loss on the BBC's Newsround page, which has had its biggest response ever to a story covered on the site. Some of the messages from children are read out by the co-stars of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Tommy Knight and Daniel Anthony, who are mourning the loss of the woman they called their "Mother Hen, ...always smiling, always laughing".

Many fans have made their own tribute videos which can be found on YouTube. Dork Tower, the online comic, has also produced its own cartoon in tribute.

A group of fans have launched a JustGiving site raising money for the charity Cancer Research UK, in memory of the actress. To date over £3000 has been raised. Other fans have been donating to the Lymphoedema Support Network, which was understood to be a charity the actress supported. A JustGiving site has been set up to buy an imaginary pint to toast Sarah Jane.

The BBC's programme in memory of Elisabeth Sladen, My Sarah Jane, which contains contributions from many of those who worked with her, can be seen in the UK on CBBC at 6.45pm Saturday, directly after Doctor Who finishes on BBC One.


News links: Obituary, Doctors pay tribute, Elisabeth Sladen Tributes, Press Roundup

Bookmark and Share BBC America: The Companions

4/21/2011 11:41:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

BBC America have released another clip from Doctor Who Insider, looking ahead to the new adventures starting this Saturday


BBC America, via YouTube

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 214

4/21/2011 04:22:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

This week's Doctor Who Adventures features a new cover design, and comes with either a free TARDIS money-box or Doctor Who pencil set.

The magazine is also launching a competition to win a Sony Cyber-Shot Camera by submitting a photo of the TARDIS in the "craziest place imaginable", closing date 18th May 2011. (see our earlier article for readers' votes on TARDIS landing sites)

Also in this issue:
  • Letter from the Doctor
  • Who’s Who – get up to speed with Doctor Who!
  • Top secret preview of Episode 1The Impossible Astronaut!
  • Mega Who Win – win over £1,000 of prizes!
  • Matt Smith interview
  • AAAGH comic – William and Katie ask the Ood for wedding help!
  • Meet the monster panel – DWA’s own quality control crew!
  • We Want Answers – The Doctor Who mysteries we hope they solve this year!
  • Doctor, Doctor – the Doctor answers YOUR questions!
  • Silence scares!
Plus the usual comic strip adventures, exclusive posters and puzzles.


Issue 214 of Doctor Who Adventures is out in the UK now.

Bookmark and Share Olympic TARDIS?

4/21/2011 04:01:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Worldwide have revealed the results of a poll undertaken to see where readers of Doctor Who Adventures would like the TARDIS to land:

Doctor Who fans want to see TARDIS in Olympic adventure

For a machine capable of travelling through time and space in seconds, the 100 metres or high jump should be a breeze for the TARDIS, as a survey of Doctor Who fans reveals the place they would most like to see the time machine land is the Olympic Stadium, Stratford, London.

In a poll of 1,428 BBC Magazines readers, conducted for Doctor Who Adventures Magazine, 21% of respondents said the Olympic Stadium was the place they would most like to see the TARDIS land, beating off competition from the pyramids (13%), with music festival Glastonbury coming third with 11%. This was followed by next weekend’s Royal Wedding (10%) and then the Silverstone Grand Prix (6%).

The new issue of Doctor Who Adventures (214), features a competition for readers to submit photos of the TARDIS in the "craziest place imaginable", with the chance to win a Sony Cyber-Shot camera. Full details of the competition are in the magazine.


 
Of course, the Doctor has already visited the Olympic Stadium on screen, with his tenth incarnation arriving in time for the Opening Ceremony (Fear Her, 2006). Indeed, it was the Doctor himself who saved the Games by carrying the Torch to its final destination - and lighting the Olympic Flame!

Bookmark and Share The Sarah Jane Companion: Volume Two

4/21/2011 01:24:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Today sees the release of the latest Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition, which looks in depth at series three and four of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The Sarah Jane Companion
Volume Two

The ultimate guide to the adventures of the Doctor’s best-loved companion, as played by Elisabeth Sladen.

Written and researched by Andrew Pixley.

Sarah Jane Smith – journalist, mother and friend of the Doctor. Over the last few years, Sarah Jane has been responsible for saving the Earth on countless occasions. With the help of her robot dog K9, her computer Mr Smith, her son Luke, and her young friends Clyde Langer and Rani Chandra, she’s faced a multitude of menaces including Judoon, Shansheeth, Slitheen, the Trickster... even the Mona Lisa! And twice recently, she was visited by the last of the Time Lords, in remarkable adventures that would test her courage to the limit.

Doctor Who Magazine takes you behind the scenes of Series Three and Four of The Sarah Jane Adventures with an in-depth episode guide – including original storylines, deleted scenes, media appearances, ratings information and thousands of facts about the day-to-day life of the making of the award-winning programme – all illustrated with gorgeous, never-before-seen photographs. This collectors’ edition examines Prisoner of the Judoon, The Mad Woman in the Attic, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, The Eternity Trap, Mona Lisa’s Revenge, The Gift, The Nightmare Man, The Vault of Secrets, Death of the Doctor, The Empty Planet, Lost in Time and Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith, as well as the Alien Files, the specially-made trailers and more.


 
Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury reflects on the sad timing of this particular publication:
Just as it was for everybody else, it was a massive, massive shock on Tuesday evening, when I heard the news of Elisabeth Sladen’s passing. It scarcely seemed possible. It was sadly ironic that we’d just received copies of the latest DWM Special in the office that morning; this one focusing on The Sarah Jane Adventures. I was greatly looking forward to seeing Lis’ reaction to the magazine. She was always so kind in complimenting the work we put into the mag – but in truth we could never do any of it without the huge support of the people who make the programmes. Elisabeth was more generous than anyone in offering up her time for interviews.

This DWM Special Edition is officially published today, and although it certainly wasn’t intended to be a commemoration of Elisabeth’s life and career, I hope people enjoy it, and find comfort in the huge amount of pleasure she gave to millions of viewers – children of all generations. In due course, DWM will be publishing a proper tribute issue, which will look at Elisabeth’s life, with contributions from friends and colleagues.

Bookmark and Share CBBC Elisabeth Sladen tribute programme

4/20/2011 08:25:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have announced that there will be a special programme broadcast this coming Saturday, called My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen. The show is due to be shown on the CBBC channel at 6:45pm, directly after Doctor Who finishes on BBC1 and before Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3 at 7:00pm.
Elisabeth Sladen created one of Doctor Who's best loved and most enduring characters, Sarah Jane Smith. For over 35 years she brought the feisty, compassionate journalist to life, creating a figure that was adored by audiences of all ages - truly a heroine whose appeal had no boundaries.

This 15 minute programme is both a tribute and a celebration of Elisabeth Sladen. It brings together stories from friends and colleagues and draws on a rich archive of material to remind us of Sarah Jane's journey, from companion to the Third Doctor to the central character in CBBC's award-winning The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Doctor Who Magazine have also reported that there will be a dedication to the actress at the start of Saturday's episode, The Impossible Astronaut.

Bookmark and Share Doctors Pay Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen

4/20/2011 01:55:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The three surviving actors to play Sarah Jane Smith's "Doctor" have paid tribute to their former co-star Elisabeth Sladen, who died yesterday morning.

Elisabeth SladenTom Baker

Sarah Jane dead? No, impossible! Impossible. Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions. She can't be dead. But she is: she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone. A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith. ... Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen. I am consoled by the memories. I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her.

Full tribute here

Elisabeth SladenDavid Tennant

I just can't believe that Lis is gone. She seemed invincible. The same woman who enchanted my childhood, enchanted my time on Doctor Who and enchanted generations who have watched her and fallen in love with her – just like I did. I feel very honoured to have shared a TARDIS with Sarah Jane Smith, and I feel very lucky to have shared some time with Lis Sladen. She was extraordinary.

Elisabeth SladenMatt Smith

What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane.

Sixth Doctor Colin Baker has also paid tribute via Twitter:
Very sad to hear of the death of Lis Sladen. Great sympathy for her husband and daughter. She was far too young to be lost to them.


Bookmark and Share Elisabeth Sladen Press Roundup

4/20/2011 05:48:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Greatest Doctor Who girl ever, is how the British tabloid The Sun reports the sad death of Elisabeth Sladen yesterday, at the age of 65. The paper reports how Doctor Who fans are in mourning over the loss of one of the most popular actors to have worked on the series. The Guardian confirms the tribute stating Sladen is widely regarded as the most beloved companion in the show's 48-year-history.

BBC News interviewed former Doctor Who showrunner, Russell T Davies, who spoke of her love for the character of Sarah Jane and how devastated the Doctor Who family are at the loss. "It was a joy to know the woman", he said "and an honour to work with her".

Sladen had been suffering with Cancer, something known only to her close family and friends. Davies spoke of her privacy and how she hated any fuss. "She would give me a good nudge in the ribs for talking about her on the Radio" he said. "She was a great great woman and a great actor... If I'm glad about anything in my career I'm so glad we brought her back, so a whole new generation of children could fall in love with her"

The loss has made headlines around the world, reported in publications from the US to Australia and from Canada to New Zealand, with the news trending on Twitter for much of the evening - a number of media articles are listed below.

The BBC's heavyweight news programme Newsnight closed its Tuesday edition with Jeremy Paxman reading a tribute to Sladen and a clip from The Sarah Jane Adventures. The following morning saw a tribute running on BBC Breakfast and the BBC News channel throughout the morning - this is available to watch via the BBC News website. The Classic Doctor Who channel on YouTube features a section highlighting her work on Doctor Who.

Other broadcasters also covered the news, with items running on Sky News, ITV's Daybreak and Lorraine shows, and even on Channel 10's news in Australia.

Many fans and colleagues have also posted tributes, which are reported in our earlier article.




Media Articles: BBC News, Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, Sun, Express, Press Association, BBC America, Entertainment Weekly, ABC News, TVNZ, Variety, Airlock Alpha, Entertainment Weekly, ABC Australia, Den of Geek, CBS News, Digital Spy, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, AOL, Examiner, Gather, Unreality TV, ATV Today, SFX, TV Guide, TV Overmind, Wired, contactmusic.com, E Online, MTV, Geeks of Doom, UTV, Canadian press, Stuff, eCanada, likeitido, nowpublic, Crave, SheKnows, Nerd Reactor, All Headline News, Courier Mail, Big Shiny Robot, San Antonio Express, gather Celebs, Theatermania, Comic Book Resources, 411mania, Apex News, AV Club, Orlando Sentinel, KSN, KVOS

Bookmark and Share Elisabeth Sladen Tributes

4/19/2011 11:43:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Many tributes have been paid Elisabeth Sladen who died earlier today.

Russell T Davies who brought the character of Sarah Jane back to Doctor Who and who later created The Sarah Jane Adventures said: "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's current Lead Writer and Executive Producer said:"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody's hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah-Jane - Lis Sladen herself - she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way."

John Barrowman, who worked with Sladen on Doctor Who, posted on twitter:"I loved my time on the Tardis with her. I am proud to have worked with such an icon of the sci fi world, your Dr Who family are very sad and will miss you and your beautiful smile."

Keith Jones, Director, BBC Cymru Wales which make The Sarah Jane Adventures, said:"A brilliant presence on screen and on set, she brought the excitement and energy of the Doctor Who family of programmes, of which we are very proud at BBC Wales, to a whole new generation. She will be missed by all at BBC Wales who worked with her."

Damian Kavanagh The Controller of CBBC said :"Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will."

Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said:"She was not just a client, but a dear friend. She was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating. She couldn't believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series."

Mary Tamm, who played Romana in the classic series, said: "Sad, sad day. Just heard the news of Elisabeth Sladen's death. I can honestly say she was one of the loveliest women I ever met - beautiful, talented, charming and clever. I was over the moon for her when her career in who was resurrected with the Sarah Jane Adventures; she was brilliant in it. how we will all miss her. Goodbye Liz, you were loved more than you knew, dear friend."

Colin Baker: Very sad to hear of the death of Lis Sladen. Great sympathy for her husband and daughter. She was far too young to be lost to them.

Mark Gatiss: A tear, Sarah Jane?' Farewell to the wonderful, irreplaceable Lis Sladen.

Paul Cornell: Very sorry to hear about Elisabeth Sladen, a great actor, special to everyone of my generation and a whole new one.

Gareth Roberts: Can't really find the words. Goodbye, our wonderful wonderful Lis.

Matthew Graham: Sarah Jane was a childhood pal, a childhood crush, a childhood hero. And she never stopped being. Goodbye Mistress. Xxx

Lizo Mzimba: Very sad news that Elisabeth Sladen has died.

Nicola Bryant: I'm so sorry to have to say I've just had a call to say Liz Sladen has died. It's too much to take in, but it's true. How tragically young.

Phil Ford: Sarah Jane was my Companion as a kid. To later know Lis and write for her and share a laugh with her was a privilege.

Joe Lidster: The last time I saw Lis. http://bit.ly/9uP9QJ The interview shows her fantastic sense of humour & how much she cared about the show. Lovely.

James Moran: Without Elisabeth Sladen, the world is a less magical place. Can't believe she's gone. You'll be missed, Sarah Jane. So much.

Murray Gold: Elisabeth Sladen enchanted three generations, never seeming to age, tire or cloud. RIP

Mark Ayres: Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith; friend and colleague. We are in shock. Love to Brian and Sadie. R.I.P. xx

Ed Stradling: V sorry to hear the shock news about Lis Sladen. Here's a very short vid of Lis at her amusing best in 2002 (via YouTube)


Toby Hadoke: I hate today, unbelievable. My eyes are stinging with tears. My children will be devastated tomorrow. By God she was good. RIP Lis Sladen.

Tom Spilsbury: I feel utterly drained. Farewell, Lis - I'm so sorry I didn't have the chance to say goodbye. We'll do you proud in DWM, I promise.

Benjamin Cook: Lovely lady. Met her many times over the years. She was always so kind. Heartfelt condolences to Brian & Sadie. Such sad news.

Clayton Hickman: Will miss Lis Sladen more than I can say. A beautiful person and an outstanding actor. Oh it's all too sad for words.

Gary Gillatt: A hand, tight on your arm; anxious, uncertain. But you're amazing, you would say. Thank you, she'd reply, are you sure? Yes, Lis. Amazing.

Stephen Fry: What terribly sad news about Elisabeth Sladen - her Sarah Jane was part of my childhood. Deepest sympathy to her family.

Noel Clarke #SARAHJANESMITHLIVES because Elisabeth Sladen made her Great. Liz, you were awesome and will be missed

Neil Gorton Big sadness. Rest in Peace

Finn Jones saddened to hear elisabeth sladen has passed away - a truly beautiful, talented and wonderful woman - a pleasure and honour to work with



 
You can listen to a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen from Russell T Davies via BBC News, and BBC Worldwide have published a YouTube playlist of Sladen's finest moments.



Bookmark and Share Elisabeth Sladen 1946-2011

4/19/2011 08:51:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

It is with great sadness that we report the death of the actress Elisabeth Sladen - forever known to us as the Doctor's best friend, Sarah Jane Smith.

Born in Liverpool in February 1946, Elisabeth Sladen took an interest in acting from an early age; she joined the Liverpool Playhouse repertory company as assistant stage manager after drama school, where she would meet her future husband Brian Miller. After a stint touring the country in repertory, she settled in Manchester, during which she had her breakthrough television role in 1970, appearing as Anita Reynolds in Coronation Street. More small roles were to follow in popular shows like Doomwatch, Z Cars and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

Then in 1973 came what would be her defining role as she was cast as the replacement companion for third Doctor Jon Pertwee. Following in the footsteps of popular companion Jo Grant played by Katy Manning, Sladen was to hit the ground running as investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith in her debut story The Time Warrior, and over the next three years would see her popularity soar as she became part of what is arguably known as the "golden years" of Doctor Who alongside fourth Doctor Tom Baker, an era including the story frequently appearing top of fan polls, Genesis of the Daleks.

Despite choosing to leave the programme in 1976, with an emotional departure scene at the conclusion of the serial The Hand of Fear, Sladen later stated in interviews that although she had left Sarah Jane, "Sarah Jane never left me". Although she declined producer John Nathan-Turner's offer to come back as support for the Fourth Doctor's regeneration (being present at his own arrival at the end of this week's DVD release Planet of the Spiders), she did returned to the role for the 1981 pilot: having been described by the Doctor as his best friend, Sarah was form her second long-lasting partnership with his "second-best friend" in the titular K9 and Company.

Sladen was re-united with "her" Doctor, Jon Pertwee, in the 1983 20th anniversary celebration The Five Doctors, and again during the 1990s for the two radio stories The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space, written and produced by the person who originally cast her, Barry Letts - the two would also be joined by another popular Doctor Who legend in the form of Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier.

Outside of Doctor Who, Elisabeth continued to work in theatre and television, often alongside her husband Brian; roles included Josie Hall in Take My Wife, a small role in the film Silver Dream Racer, and as Lady Flimnap in a production of Gulliver in Lilliput by her former producer Barry Letts, followed a few years later in his production of Alice in Wonderland as the Cheshire Cat. However, with the birth of her daughter Sadie in 1985, she was to focus more on her family.

However, Sarah would never be far from her life, with the actress continuing to be a popular guest at Doctor Who conventions, and also featuring in a series of audio adventures from Big Finish. Then, in 2005, a discussion with the revived Doctor Who's head writer and long-term fan of hers, Russell T Davies, led to a guest appearance in the second series adventure School Reunion, which re-united Sarah (and K9!) with the Doctor in his most recent incarnation (David Tennant) - her appearance proved instrumental in cementing the connection between the 20th and 21st Century productions in a way that the Daleks couldn't!

The character, and Sladen's performance, proved to be as popular as ever, if not more so, and led to her own starring role in spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures; the CBBC series continued on from her re-introduction in Doctor Who as an independent investigator of alien activity - now joined by her young own assistants as well as her faithful K9 - and winning a whole new legion of fans, both young and old. It is also a testament to the strength of the show that it has been graced by the appearance of the both the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney), and the Doctor himself in both his Tenth incarnation in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (and David Tennant's final performance as the Doctor), and Eleventh in the form of Matt Smith in Death of the Doctor - where Sladen was also to come 'full circle' by performing with the actress she 'replaced' way back in 1973, Katy Manning, aka Jo Jones né Grant.

The series itself has gone on to win awards, including the Royal Television Society award for Children's Drama last month.

At the time of her death there are still three stories of The Sarah Jane Adventures to be broadcast on television, and her autobiography, Who's That Girl is due out later in the year.


Elisabeth Sladen died in the morning of 19th April, having been battling with cancer for some time. She is survived by her husband Brian Miller, and daughter Sadie.


Media Obituaries: Toby Hadoke for The Guardian; Scott Matthewman for The Stage.