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Bookmark and Share John Hurt awarded Knighthood

12/31/2014 12:12:00 am - Reported by Marcus

John Hurt, who played the War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

The actor was given his award for services to drama. Sir John Hurt has had a career lasting more than five decades, appearing in films such as The Elephant Man, where he played John Merrick, Nineteen Eighty-Four where he played Winston Smith and Scandal where he played Stephen Ward. On Television he is best known for playing Caligula in the renowned I, Claudius and Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant. His distinctive voice has been used in many productions such as Watership Down and the animated The Lord of the Rings.

Also honoured is actor James Corden who played Craig Owens alongside the Eleventh Doctor, who has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or OBE. Corden, who was also honoured for services to drama said he was delighted at with award.
I'm thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way. I feel very lucky to be born in a country where creativity is both encouraged and valued. My family are very proud. My mum is already fretting about what to wear.
Other actors honoured include Sheridan Smith who is made a OBE and Meera Syal who is made a CBE.

The awards are given by Queen Elizabeth on the advice of the British Government.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Christmas offers

12/29/2014 08:25:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Companion Chronicles: The Scorchies (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish are running a "12 Days of Big Finish-mas" special offer over the course of the festive period, during which each day sees an item from their catalogue of series made available for download at a special price of £2.99 for 48 hours.

Details of each day can be found via their website: today's offer features the Companion Chronicle The Scorchies, which stars Katy Manning reprising her role as Jo Grant.

Bookmark and Share Toby Hits 100

12/27/2014 02:50:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Toby Hadoke has completed the 100th Podcast in his quest to get anecdotes about every Doctor Who story broadcast during the show's first fifty years.

The actor and comedian, and the man behind the review Moths ate my Doctor Who Scarf, began his quest in January 2013 by interviewing special effects make-up artists Susan Moore and Steve Mansfield. Over the next 100 editions he has talked to a vast range of personal associated with the series in its long history, giving a real insight into the way the show was made and uncovering previously unheard stories.

The 100th edition was released on Christmas Day and reveals whether Hadoke was successful in his quest.

All The Podcasts are hosted by Big Finish and all are available to download for free from the Big Finish Website.

Everyone involved has given their time for nothing and listeners are invited to make donations to the interviewee's favourite charity.

Bookmark and Share Australian overnight ratings for Last Christmas

12/27/2014 12:07:00 pm - Reported by Adam Kirk

Last Christmas has debuted in Australia, averaging 563,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. It was the top-rating drama of the day and the thirteenth highest rating programme of the day overall.  These ratings do not include regional or time-shifted viewers.
Media Links: TV Tonight

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - AI:82

12/27/2014 11:20:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Last Christmas had an Audience Appreciation Index score of 82.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

The highest scoring programmes from Christmas Day were Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

The BBC Three repeat of Last Christmas had 0.42 million watching, a share of 1.9% of the total TV audience.

Bookmark and Share Moments in Time - Goodbye Susan, Goodbye My Dear

12/26/2014 12:00:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Carole Ann Ford (Credit: BBC)Moments in TimeIt was on Saturday 26th December 1964, fifty years ago today, that we said goodbye to the first regular to leave Doctor Who, with the departure of Carole Ann Ford from the series.

When 12.4 million viewers saw Susan fall in love with freedom fighter David Campbell and the Doctor lock the TARDIS doors so she wouldn't have to choose between her grandfather and her new love, it was the end of an era for the Doctor and his granddaughter. For the programme Doctor Who it was a major milestone, with one of the quartet of actors to have created the series moving on to new challenges, and leaving a sizable hole in the tight-knit team.

Carole Ann Ford was an experienced character actress when she joined Doctor Who. She first appeared in a film at the age of eight. After appearing in a number of commercials and walk-on work, her first proper role was in the play Women of the Streets. She had appeared in the TV Movie Expresso Bongo and had roles in Horrors of the Black Museum, Probation Officer, The Ghost Train Murder, Emergency-Ward 10, Dixon of Dock Green, No Hiding Place, Crying Down the Lane, The Day of the Triffids, Mix Me a Person, Harpers West One, The Punch and Judy Man and Z-Cars.

It was that role in Z-Cars which led to her being cast as Susan, a role originally envisaged, and pitched to Ford, as a much more alien character than that which eventually emerged. It is well known that the changes to the proposed role frustrated Ford. In 2013 she talked to The Daily Telegraph:
I was a very good dancer and had been an acrobat. They told me Susan was going to be an Avengers-type girl – with all the kapow of that – plus she would have telepathetic powers. She was going to be able to fly the Tardis as well as her grandfather and have the most extraordinary wardrobe. None of that happened.
The role of Susan had been toned down on the instructions of the Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, who wanted the character to be much more ordinary, a character that a teenager in the 1960's could relate to.

Carole Ann Ford decided to leave the series at the end of the first year of production. She completed her last studio recording on Friday 23 October in Riverside Studio 1. Following the recording she sent a note to the BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, thanking him for allowing her to appear in the series. He replied the following week
Memo - Sydney Newman - 28 October 1964

Are you kidding - expressing your appreciation for appearing in Doctor Who! Fact is, we are greatly indebted to you. You have done a fine job for us in the BBC and we are deeply appreciative of your work.

May I wish you the very best of luck in your future career, and hope to see you time and time again on the BBC screen in roles other than that of the 'waif from outer space' (what a title!)
Following her departure from the series Carole Ann Ford had a couple of small roles in British Television. However as a key member of one of the most successful series in the BBC repertoire, seen by up to twelve million viewers each week, Ford found herself typecast. She told the Daily Telegraph
I was incredibly annoyed because I wanted to do more television and films and the only thing that people could ever see me in was a recreation of what I had done. A Susan clone. Some kind of weird teenager. I wanted to do work that would disconnect me from Doctor Who. That is a very difficult thing to accomplish, as many other actors who have played the companions have found out.
In 1965 she played a prostitute, Jenny Graham, in an episode of Public Eye, the long-running British TV series starring Alfred Burke, but received complaints from parents expecting the role to be a copy of Susan. In 1974 She played Valerie in an episode of the comedy Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?.

Ford was taken ill in 1977 when a mistreatment for a back injury caused her to become hyper allergic. She nearly died in Spain when an aspirin caused anaphylactic shock. Her weight plummeted to just five stone (70lb) and she lost her voice.

To help her recover Ford undertook voice coaching which led to a new career as a vocal adviser for actors, politicians and business leaders. In 1983 she well enough to return to the role of Susan when she was offered a part in the Doctor Who Twentieth Anniversary special The Five Doctors. She was still very possessive of the role, insisting the script was changed when she was initially asked to refer to The Doctor rather than Grandfather.

Carole Ann Ford now lives in North London. She has reprised the role of Susan in a number of Doctor Who audio plays by Big Finish Productions. In 2013 she appeared in a cameo role in the BBC Two docu-drama about the creation of Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time, a play where Ford herself was played by Claudia Grant.

She still holds great affection for the series she left fifty years ago, the show she helped to create.
I wish William Hartnell was here to share in all this. Even before we started he said, 'This is going to go on for ever.’ He was right, bless him. He loved it so much.


Goodbye Susan 
Susan has fallen in love with resistance fighter David Campbell, and the Doctor decides to leave her on Earth to find a new life with him, bidding her a fond but firm farewell

SOURCES: The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994); Daily Telegraph 7th April 2013

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Overnight Ratings

12/26/2014 10:02:00 am - Reported by Marcus



Doctor Who: Last Christmas was watched by 6.3 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Doctor Who was the seventh most watched programme of the day, with BBC One once again dominating Christmas night viewing. Mrs Brown's Boys which had 7.6 million watching, topped the list for the second year running, albeit with a much lower rating than last year.

Ratings across the board were down on previous years, last year The Time of the Doctor had 8.3 million watching. Final figures, released next week, which include those who record the programme for later viewing, should see Doctor Who move up the chart.

Bookmark and Share Jenna Coleman's future confirmed - Spoilers

12/26/2014 09:30:00 am - Reported by Marcus

This items contains spoilers from the Christmas Special

The BBC has confirmed that Jenna Coleman will be staying with Doctor Who for the foreseeable future, with the actress signed up for the entire run of Series Nine.

The confirmation follows speculation that Coleman would leave the series after the Christmas special, Last Christmas, or part way through the next series. Head writer Steven Moffat told an invited audience at the Press Screening for Last Christmas that he was delighted the actress was staying with the show, although he admitted it was touch and go for a while.
I always think I’m good at winding people up but Jenna completely outplayed me by saying, ‘I’m not telling you whether I’m staying or going because it’s more exciting.’ And it occurred to us all that we don’t start shooting until January so, for once, we could actually keep it a secret.
Coleman said she was delighted to be staying
It's wonderful to have a whole other series with the Doctor. For me, I couldn't walk away with the story being unresolved. There's so much more to do, I think. They've finally reached a point where they understand each other.
Doctor Who Season 35 begins shooting in January.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Preview

12/25/2014 02:43:00 pm - Reported by Harry Ward

The BBC have released preview clips from Last Christmas and the accompanying Doctor Who Extra.

Last Christmas: Preview - Santa arrives!:

Doctor Who Extra: Preview Clip 1:

Last Christmas: Preview - Clip 2:


Meanwhile the latest Radio Times free downloadable retro poster, created by designer Stuart Manning is now available.

Manning told Radio Times:
The title for this episode provided an idea almost immediately. The Tardis trapped in the hourglass is a little nod to the Radio Times Doctor Who Christmas cover from 2005. The typography owes a debt to 1960s cocktail-era design, drawing on Christmas cards from the time. I wanted it to look a bit like an old Christmas card – pleasant at first glance, but more sinister when you look more closely...

Last Christmas - Radio Times Poster  (Credit: Radio Times/Stuart Manning)

Bookmark and Share Best Sci-Fi Character of All Time

12/24/2014 08:50:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Doctor has been voted the Best Sci-Fi Character of All Time in a survey conducted by the British Film Institute

Thousands voted in the survey, which has been running since August, which saw the timelord top the list, just beating Ellen Ripley from the Alien saga by a mere 110 votes and out raking such icons as Darth Vader, Mr Spock and Fox Mulder.

The most popular companion was Rose Tyler who came in at number 44 on the list, closely followed by Donna Noble at 46 and Amy Pond at 69. Sarah Jane Smith, who had her own spin off series in the form of The Sarah Jane Adventures came in at number 65.

River Song came in at number 73 while the Doctor's nemesis, The Master was number 90.

Captain Jack Harkness was 13th in the list with his Torchwood colleague Ianto Jones making 19 and Gwen Cooper coming in at 87.

Only one Doctor Who Monster made the list, with The Daleks at number 32.

Characters from television rather than cinema were prefered, with characters originating on the small screen taking 61% of the vote. 22% of votes went for characters from the 1980s, 28% from the 1990s and 20% from the 2000s.

60% of votes were for male characters, with 33% for female, non-specific entities chalking up 6% and one character qualifying as both – following Michelle Gomez’ casting as the Master/Missy in this year’s series of Doctor Who.

The full list is on the BFI website.

Bookmark and Share Robot Orchestra perform Doctor Who theme

12/24/2014 12:40:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC have released a clip from a forthcoming Royal Institution Christmas Lecture featuring a Robot orchestra performing the Doctor Who theme.

The lecture, entitled A New Revolution is due to be shown on BBC Four next Wednesday at 8pm.

Bookmark and Share Sneak Peek - Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor #6

12/23/2014 09:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Wednesday January 7, 2015 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #6 by Robbie Morrison and Daniel Indro. This issue comes with a special cover by artist Tommy Lee Edwards.
STONE HANDS STALK THROUGH THE CRATERS OF THE SOMME…

When Gabby and the Doctor arrive by accident in No Man’s Land in July, 1916, they’re met by Corporal Jamie Colqhoun – a soldier who knows from bitter experience that there are worse things than the Jerries out in the rat-strewn trenches.

Things that drift through the smoke of a thousand cannon shells, and move only when you look away. Shadows that flit over artillery-blasted field hospitals and throw their terrifying wings over the living. Statues that steal your life in an instant.

The Weeping Angels.

But in a conflict where the life of young men is cheap, and thousands die every day – are the Angels actually offering salvation?

Trapped in the midst of a flock of starving Angels, the Doctor faces his most challenging and terrifying moral dilemma yet!
Comes with three covers to collect including a special cover by artist Tommy Lee Edwards.

Tenth Doctor #6  (Credit: Tommy Lee Edwards/titan) Tenth Doctor #6  (Credit: Titan) Tenth Doctor #6  (Credit: Titan) Tenth Doctor #6 Tenth Doctor #6  (Credit: Titan) Tenth Doctor #6  (Credit: Titan)

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Guide

12/22/2014 02:29:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Doctor Who Guide, part of Doctor Who News, has recently been updated to include details of every Doctor Who episode ever shown.

The guide now contains full cast and crew lists, with each episode checked against transmitted credit lists and official BBC paperwork to include every actor, including extras, known to have appeared in the programme. Details of original transmission times and ratings are available, complete with a list of every known UK repeat of the show.

The guide also includes details of Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 as well as a comprehensive guide to the many factual TV and Radio programmes dedicated to Doctor Who.

Over the coming year we hope to expand the guide to include descriptions for each character to have appeared in the series. We welcome submissions of a short biography about each role to the site. Simply pick a character from the main index for which the description in missing, and write a short guide to that character. Data should be verified and the text should be original. A name credit will be given to each submitted entry used on the site. Send submissions to guide@doctorwhonews.net
A reminder that Doctor Who News and the Doctor Who Guide is available as a iPhone/iPad App.

The free app gives users access to the complete archive of Doctor Who News stories, dating back to 1997, via the search option on the main news page.

The App is available free from the iTunes store.





An ad-free version of the app is also available for a small charge.

Bookmark and Share Predict the Ratings: Big Finish update

12/21/2014 04:13:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

We are pleased to announce that Big Finish have provided us with a new prize for our annual Predict The Ratings competition for Last Christmas - the winner, who comes closest to guessing the final consolidated viewing figure for the episode, will now receive a year's free subscription to their main range of Doctor Who audio adventures, which next year chalks up its 200th adventure!

The signed scripts will still feature as an additional prize for the runner up with the next closest guess.

You can find the full competition entry details in this article.


Big Finish main range adventures in 2015


The first three adventures for 2015 see the Doctor return to E-Space, travelling this time with Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa. In January's Mistfall (by Andrew Smith) the quartet end up on Alzarius and face vying factions of another starliner. Then in February's Equilibrium (Matt Fitton) they arrive on the icy world of Isenfel and learn the price of survival. Finally, March's The Entropy Plague (Jonathan Morris) sees a race on to find the exit from E-Space before all power is lost to ever increasing entropy.

Big Finish: Jan 2015 - 195: MistfallBig Finish: Feb 2015 - 196: EquilibriumBig Finish: Mar 2015 - 197: The Entropy PlagueBig Finish: Apr 2015 - 198: The DefectorsBig Finish: May 2015 - 199: Last of the CybermenBig Finish: Jun 2015 - 200: The Secret History

Then the second quarter of 2015 sees a special set of adventures to celebrate the regular range reaching number 200; script editor Alan Barnes explains:
For some time, I'd been thinking it was a shame we couldn't make more use of the first three Doctors' companions in the Main Range. Continuity permitting (or even not!), we can always have the Fifth, Sixth or Seventh Doctors meeting up with friends they said 'goodbye' to years before... but there have been a fair few School Reunion-type stories now, and they're great, but I couldn't help wondering: can't we do something different?

Then I thought: what if the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors turned up bang in the middle of earlier, unseen adventures – standing in for their 'proper' selves, who've gone AWOL for some reason or other...? Locum Doctors, if you will! And that's what we've done!

In The Defectors (by Nicholas Briggs), the seventh Doctor finds himself alongside his third incarnation's UNIT cohorts Jo Grant Captain Mike Yates. Then, the sixth Doctor explores a strange citidel alongside Jamie and Victoria in Last of the Cybermen (Alan Barnes). And finally, the range reaches its 200th adventure as the fifth Doctor arrives in sixth century Constantinople alongside Steven and Vicki, and discovers why he's being dragged back into the lives of his former incarnations in The Secret History (Eddie Robson).


Heading into the latter half of the year, July sees the seventh Doctor and Mel arriving in the 1980s in We Are The Daleks, and then in August the duo find something disturbing in a deep space packaging facility. The rest of 2015 has yet to be announced.


Bookmark and Share Paddington Who? auction in progress

12/20/2014 04:29:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Paddington Who? by Peter Capaldi (Credit: London & Partners)The Paddington Who? statue designed by Peter Capaldi is currently available to bid on in an auction by Christies in aid of the NSPCC and ChildLine. The auction runs until just after 3:00pm on the 7th January, and at the time of writing is at £2,800.

The auction notes report:
Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor Who in the hit BBC TV series, also stars in the new Paddington movie as Mr Curry. He has combined the bear with The Doctor to create a thrilling marmalade-eating time traveller. Has there ever been a more intrepid, daring and sure-to-find-trouble combination? One word of warning though: beware of the Dalek on his back!

The TARDIS is known to transport The Doctor and his companions through time and space on the TV series, so where better for Paddington Who to end up than right where time begins and ends each day: on the Prime Meridian line? From here there are a number of ways to explore the world’s history, and possibly its future, with attractions to enjoy such as the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House. Just make sure you pack enough sandwiches under your hat before you leave home.

The statue is still available to view outside the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Greenwich Royal Observatory until 4:30pm on the 30th December.

Bookmark and Share New Ninth Doctor Comic ​Mini-Series​ Confirmed

12/20/2014 01:30:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Titan Comics has confirmed​ a brand-new ​5-part Doctor Who​ ​mini-series starring the ​N​inth ​D​octor as played by ​C​hristopher ​E​ccleston.

Hitting comic stores on March 11, 2015, the series ties-in with the ​10th Anniversary of the return of Doctor Who on television.

​Originally reported in November, the series is w​ritten by the co-author of bestselling ‘​W​ho-ology’​, ​C​avan ​S​cott​ and illustrated by artist Blair Shedd (Legends of Oz, Ghostbusters). The ​5-part mini-series ​also features ​characters Rose and Captain Jack!

Issue #1 comes with a brand-new painted cover by ​fan-favorite ​artist Alice X. Zhang​.
The Ninth Doctor #1 (Credit: Titan) BRAND-NEW 5-PART MINI-SERIES STARRING THE NINTH DOCTOR AS PLAYED BY CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON.

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Blair Shedd
Number of Issues: 1 (of 5)
Page Count: 32pp
Publisher: Titan Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 11, 2015
Diamond Order Code:​ JAN151599​


The Ninth Doctor is BACK with a brand-new miniseries: WEAPONS OF PAST DESTRUCTION!

Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market!

Now the threat of a NEW temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?

Bookmark and Share Children vote for the Doctor to appear on banknotes

12/20/2014 12:01:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Yorkshire Building Society undertook a survey in November to discover who children would like to see on new banknotes, with the favourite among the 2000 7-16 year olds wanting it to be the Doctor!

A quick trip in the TARDIS to the future would reveal that a new face has regenerated on to British banknotes, if the nation’s children had their way.

The Doctor has been chosen as the face of future currency in a survey of seven to 16-year-olds conducted by Yorkshire Building Society to mark its 150th anniversary.

The Time Lord from Gallifrey was the overwhelming favourite to be featured on the next banknote with one in six children (17%) selecting him. Mum and Dad were the next most popular choice with just over 10%, followed by Cheryl, One Direction and Wayne Rooney.

Other answers given for the survey of 2,000 children included Radio 1 breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw, Winston Churchill, Stephen Hawking and Sherlock Holmes.

If the Doctor – who is currently played by Glasgow born actor Peter Capaldi - was to appear in his current incarnation on the note, he would be the third Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note.

Eighteenth century economist Adam Smith became the first Scotsman to feature on an English banknote in March 2007 when he appeared on the new series of £20 notes issued by the Bank of England.

Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, James Watt, was the second to appear in 2011 on a new £50 note.

Tanya Jackson, Head of Corporate Affairs at Yorkshire Building Society, said:
The results from our survey show just how popular the iconic character of the Doctor is to children.

It is a happy coincidence that last year Doctor Who celebrated its own milestone anniversary with the programme reaching its 50th year and Yorkshire Building Society has also stood the test of time as we have been celebrating our 150th birthday this year.



In an alternative universe the Doctor has already had that privilege ... fake notes created for a scene in the 2006 Christmas Special The Runaway Bride where a cashpoint spewed out lots of money included the image of the tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant on the "£10" notes (with then-producer Phil Collinson adorning the "£20" notes).

Bank note featuring the 10th Doctor (Credit: BBC)

(with thanks to Yorkshire Building Society)

Bookmark and Share Predict the Ratings for Last Christmas

12/19/2014 11:34:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

As we enter the last few days before Christmas Day, the battle over which show will top the overnight ratings continue apace. Out of ten bookmakers currently offering odds on the winning programme, Doctor Who is currently fifth-placed at 11/1; Mrs Browns Boys is the favourite at the time of writing at 6/5, followed by Eastenders at 5/2, Miranda at 4/1 and The Queen's Speech at 6/1.

The full evening line-up for BBC1 and ITV show the following odds:

BBC1  5:00pm Strictly Come Dancing   35/1    ITV  5:20pm You've Been Framed                 100/1
BBC1  6:15pm Doctor Who              11/1    ITV  5:50pm Paul O'Grady For The Love Of Dogs  100/1
BBC1  7:15pm Miranda                  4/1    ITV  7:00pm Emmerdale                           96/1
BBC1  7:50pm Call The Midwife        19/1    ITV  8:00pm Coronation Street                   26/1
BBC1  9:00pm Eastenders               5/2    ITV  9:00pm Downton Abbey                       47/1
BBC1 10:05pm Mrs Browns Boys          6/5

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

Doctor Who News: Predict The Ratings Competition

The prizes for this competition have been updated.

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)Another tradition at Christmas is our "Predict the Ratings" competition, and we are once again proud to be running the competition in association with Big Finish Productions, who this year offer a year's free subscription to their main range of Doctor Who audio adventures, now approaching its 200th story! Also this year we have a prize for the runner up of a copy of Jago and Litefoot 5 signed by its stars, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, plus three additional signed scripts from recent productions. In addition we will also include a copy of Last Christmas when released on DVD or Blu-ray for the winners.

The aim is to guess the final consolidated viewing figure, as reported by BARB to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). This figure includes all those watching the episode within a week of broadcast, but does not include those watching on iPlayer.

For comparison with previous years, you can view the final ratings for The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, The Next Doctor, The End of Time part one, A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor via This Week in Doctor Who.

To enter the competition, please send the following details to comp-ratings@doctorwhonews.net:
  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final rating to the nearest 10,000 (eg. 15.31m)
Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 6:15pm GMT, 25th December 2014.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB figures are expected around 10 days after transmission; we will contact the winner once they have been published.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Extra: Last Christmas on the Red Button

12/19/2014 03:24:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)This year's Christmas Special, Last Christmas will be accompanied by a fourteen minute edition of Doctor Who Extra, available online after the story has broadcast like with Series Eight earlier this year. The behind-the-scenes documentary will also be made available on the BBC Red Button service, with the dates to the end of next week currently known:

Join Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Nick Frost as the cast and crew of Last Christmas reveal the inside story of the Twelfth Doctor's first seasonal special!

Christmas Day7:10pm-10:25pm
Boxing Day8:55pm-10:00pm
SaturdayMidnight-6:00am

More broadcasts are expected over the course of the weekend and following week.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Character Joins Doctor Who - Legacy

12/18/2014 02:31:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


Tiny Rebel Games have announced that the Big Finish character Charley Pollard is today joining the online game Doctor Who Legacy.

Charlotte Elspeth Pollard, played by India Fisher, was a companion of the Eighth Doctor in the award winning audio series.

A new level featuring Charlotte Pollard as the Eighth Doctor’s ally in a new battle with a Sontaran spaceship, is released today.

To celebrate the arrival a livestream chat with Big Finish's Nicholas Briggs took place on Wednesday, and is available to watch here. Livestream players can use a special code, 9374-6962-9398-2687, to unlock coloured time fragments to help with leveling up Charley. The promo code can be redeemed by going in-game and selecting the options menu, then choosing the promo code tab and entering the key into the field.

Doctor Who: Legacy is currently available on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Appstore and on Facebook.

Bookmark and Share The Magician’s Apprentice

12/18/2014 01:18:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has revealed the title of the first episode of the next series of Doctor Who will be The Magician’s Apprentice.

The name was revealed by showrunner Steven Moffat at the press screening of Last Christmas held at the BFI in London last night.

The series, the thirty-fifth in the show's history, and the ninth since the series returned in 2005, begins filming in early January.

Bookmark and Share Minecraft: Doctor Who Wave 2

12/17/2014 08:51:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

A new set of Doctor Who-inspired skins will be available to purchase for the game Minecraft from tomorrow, featuring a range of characters from both the classic and modern series. As reported on the XBox website:

Doctor Who fans can add a new collection of Time Lords, companions and foes to their Doctor Who-inspired Minecraft universes with the Dec. 18 release of “Doctor Who Skins Volume II” for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition and Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. “Doctor Who Skins Volume II” provides more than 50 new character skins, including the classic Seventh Doctor, Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness, monsters and Cybermen. With this skin pack, you can now finally pair K9 with The Tenth Doctor while building a home that is bigger on the inside.

Minecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol II

The full set contains the following: the tenth Doctor; the tenth Doctor (Suit); the eighth Doctor; the seventh Doctor; the fifth Doctor; the third Doctor; the second Doctor; Donna Noble; Martha Jones; Captain Jack Harkness; Liz Shaw; Jamie McCrimmon; Ace; Jo Grant; Tegan Jovanka; Wilfred Mott; Mickey Smith; the Master (2007); Sontaran (2010); K9; Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart; Bannakaffalatta; Judoon; Sycorax; Cyberking/Miss Hartigan; Racnoss; Slitheen; The Beast; Rassilon; Heavenly Host; Scarecrow; Cybershade; Azal; Axon Monster; Omega; Alpha Centauri; Gell Guards; the Nimon; Sutekh; Sea Devil; Ood; Saturnynian (fish form); Cyberman (2012, non-Cybus); Cyberman (2013); Cyber-Lord; Cyberman (2006, Cybus); Black Cyberman (1980s); Cyberman (1980s); Cyberman (1970s); Cyberman (1960s v1); Cyberman (1960s v2)

The Skin Pack will be available to purchase worldwide by Minecraft players on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 via the XBox Store.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - The 2015 Yearbook

12/17/2014 01:52:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The 2015 Yearbook (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The latest Special Edition of Doctor Who Magazine reviews an incredible year for the programme, its spin-offs and licensed merchandise. Highlights include the magazine's first major interview with the show’s executive producer, Brian Minchin, in which he reflects on Peter Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor and looks forward to further adventures with the twelfth Doctor.

Editor Marcus Hearn said:
This is the Doctor Who Magazine almanac. We’ve taken a fresh look at every episode from Peter Capaldi’s first series, but we’ve also explored many other corners of the Doctor Who universe. For many fans, the television series is just part of a world that includes DVDs, Blu-rays, books, soundtrack albums, audio dramas and action figures. We’ve tried to reflect the last 12 months in all those different areas.

Also inside the 100 page issue:
  • Features on every episode in Peter Capaldi’s first series.
  • We speak to the team that accompanied Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on the Doctor Who World Tour.
  • Fourth Doctor Tom Baker discusses his return to television and audio Doctor Who.
  • Eighth Doctor Paul McGann reveals what he thinks about Capaldi’s Doctor.
  • Orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster previews the 2015 Symphonic Spectacular.
  • Inside the new ‘making of’ show, Doctor Who Extra.
  • Behind the scenes at the new Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.
  • Interviews with some of the key players behind recent books, soundtracks, audio dramas, DVDs, Blu-rays and action figures.
  • Highlights from the year’s newspaper and magazine reviews of Doctor Who.
  • A round up of Doctor Who’s awards and honours from the last 12 months.
  • Detailed tributes to the Doctor Who luminaries who passed away in 2014.
  • ...and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine: The 2015 Yearbook is due out on Thursday 18 December.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience advert to be shown in cinema and on television

12/16/2014 11:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

In the run-up to Christmas the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will be promoted in cinema and television in a new advert featuring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor:

Some TV and cinema viewers will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in the new Doctor Who Experience TV advert. The advert gives fans and families a sneak preview of some of the adventure visitors will go on. Spoiler Alert - we haven't given too much away but you will see some of the interactive adventure.


Props from this year's Christmas Special, Last Christmas, are also being displayed in the Experience's foyer.


The attraction is closed today (16th December), and between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. It will also be closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays during January.

Bookmark and Share Tom Adams 1938-2014

12/13/2014 05:56:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The actor Tom Adams has died at the age of 76.

Tom Adams was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing Commander Vorshak, the leader of Sea Base 4, in the 1984 Fifth Doctor story Warriors of the Deep.

He played Dai Nimmo, known as Diversions, in the classic 1963 film The Great Escape.

On television he appeared in many classic series including Casualty, Strike It Rich!, The Enigma Files, Dixon of Dock Green, Spy Trap, Z Cars, General Hospital, The Avengers, Emergency-Ward 10 and The Onedin Line where he played Daniel Fogarty in twenty episodes.

Adams had a distinguished voice and worked as a voice-over artist on many adverts. He was a long-running voice of E4.

His agent Emma Harvey paid tribute
A true gentleman, his personality was as big and warm as his voice. We’ll miss him very much.
The actor died after a battle with cancer.

Bookmark and Share Sneak Peek: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

12/13/2014 02:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

December 24 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 by Robbie Morrison and Dave Taylor and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.
In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country's rich myths and legends. Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return. But her psychic essence could not be killed... nor her millennia-long quest for vengeance.

Now, in the 23rd Century, she is on the brink of resurrection. And with India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it's not only Earth that falls to her predations if she succeeds – but the whole cosmos!

In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India's past, present and future – if they are to survive... THE SWORDS OF KALI!
Comes with three covers to collect!

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

Bookmark and Share Fish Fingers and Custard - Issue 15

12/13/2014 01:44:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


Issue 15 of the fanzine Fish Fingers and Custard is out now.

Included in the magazine
  • Reviews of the 50th Anniversary
  • A 50th Anniversary Diary
  • Goodbye Matt Smith
  • 'Thrifty Fives'
  • Where's The Money Gone
The Issue can be purchased from fishcustardfanzine.co.uk for £2 (UK) and £4.50 (Rest of The World).

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - New Trailer

12/11/2014 06:42:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a new trailer for the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

Bookmark and Share The Tenth Doctor #5 - Sneek Peek

12/11/2014 02:40:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Next Wednesday December 17 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 by Nick Abadzis and Elena Casagrande and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.
GABBY IS DYING FOR HER ART.

With the Doctor half the man he should be, under the draining influence of an alien tourist trap, Gabriella is left to shoulder the burden of saving him, the planet, and the future of art in our galaxy - and all on her first off-world trip, no less!

Trapped in a terrifying creative retreat, where what was once beautiful has been rendered corrupt and horrifying, is Gabby strong enough to reverse whatever has been done to the Doctor and save an intergalactic artistic community from itself? You’d better hope so!

And who, or what, are the deadly Consultants… and what plans do they have for the Doctor?!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 comes with two covers to collect: an art cover by Verity Glass and a photo cover.

Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 481

12/10/2014 03:00:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 in bag (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine previews the festive special, Last Christmas, with head writer Steven Moffat giving the magazine the lowdown on the Doctor's face-off with Santa ...

I think I’m being pretty open that it’s Santa meets Alien meets The Thing from Another World meets Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a weird mash up! There’s a base under siege, there are scary monsters. It’s one of the scariest Christmas Specials we’ve made, actually...

Also inside this issue:
  • DWM talks exclusively to Santa himself, Nick Frost, along with his elf helpers, The Wolf and Ian, played by Nathan McMullen and Dan Starkey. Meanwhile, Michael Troughton, who plays Professor Albert, talks about making his television Doctor Who début, and his close family connection to the series.
  • Rachel Talalay, director of this year's phenomenal two-part finale, Dark Water and Death in Heaven, talks to DWM about the challenges of bringing this masterful Cyber-story to our screens.
  • DWM comic strip artist Mike Collins goes back to the drawing board and reveals all about his new role as a storyboard artist for the latest television series of Doctor Who.
  • Former showrunner Russell T Davies reveals new facts about 2007's Voyage of the Damned in The Fact of Fiction!
  • This year gave us a new series and a fantastic new Doctor, and DWM looks over the past 12 months with the Review of 2014!
  • The first part of a brand-new comic strip for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara as they embark on a wartime desert adventure in The Instruments of War, written and illustrated by Mike Collins.
  • The intrepid Time Team passes comment on 2008’s festive Cyber-Special The Next Doctor.
  • It may be Christmas, but Steven Moffat still has time to answer readers’ questions in his exclusive column.
  • Jaqueline Rayner compiles her Christmas wish-list for Relative Dimensions.
  • The Watcher presents his annual Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz!
  • Have your say on Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor in the DWM Season Survey.
  • Dark Water and Death in Heaven are put under the spotlight in The DWM Review.
  • The Watcher goes back to the early days of Doctor Who merchandise in Wotcha!.
  • The DWM Crossword, competitions, and much more!

The bumper-sized 100 page DWM Issue 481, which includes a giant double-sided poster, is out tomorrow.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Interviews

12/10/2014 01:18:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a set of interviews with showrunner Steven Moffat and the stars of the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas.

Trapped on an arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call?

Santa Claus!
Steven Moffat - Q&A

What can you tell us about the plot of this year’s Christmas special?
Well obviously as everyone knows from the end of Death In Heaven, it’s the ultimate meeting of Christmas heroes - Santa Claus meets Doctor Who. The buddy movie you’ve always wanted. In addition to that, it’s quite surprising - it won’t be what some people expect because it’s a thriller of an episode. The Christmas element is covered in the fairly notable form of Santa Claus and the elves and their sleigh. But the rest of it is very much Doctor Who – scary, in a polar ice cap base, scientists under threat. I keep describing it as Miracle On 34th Street meets Alien.

Viewers will be thrilled to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again - what can we expect from this and what can you say about what brings them together?
They’re brought together by a crisis that returns the Doctor to Earth to help Clara. The stuff that separated them, the lies they told each other – all of that will be addressed in this episode. We don’t just ignore it for the sake of Christmas. It is properly addressed and forms the emotional core of the episode.

Nick Frost seems an inspired choice for Santa Claus – how did that casting come about?
As ever with Doctor Who we’re very lucky to have Andy Pryor casting for us and he suggested Nick Frost. The moment you think of Nick Frost as Santa Claus you just know he’s exactly right – he has the right style, has the right attitude and more than that he seems like a slightly 'funky' Santa Claus – the sort of Santa Claus that OUGHT to turn up in Doctor Who. Simultaneously he subverts the role of Santa Claus and affirms it very definitively. He’s a truly great Santa. It’s hard to think of anyone else for the role once you’ve seen him.

Will we see the traditional Santa we know and love, or should we expect a different side to him?
Santa Claus will be real, and definitely not evil. Parents shouldn't worry, Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa Claus?
As was shown in the Children In Need clip, Clara encounters Santa Claus on a rooftop with a crashed sleigh and a couple of grumpy elves. Then the Doctor turns up too.

Did you also have Dan (Starkey) in mind as one of the elves?
Obviously we know Dan really well because he plays Strax, and we’ve been thinking that he should play a part without all the prosthetics on. We needed elves with attitude and real comic timing and Dan is a brilliantly funny actor. So if Dan will forgive me, it’s fair to say he’s the right height, genuinely funny and we just thought he’d be perfect for that role.

How does writing and filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
The Christmas special is an oddity because it’s on its own. As a matter of production, we don’t have episodes either side of it. We just have a few weeks where we shoot that one episode so certain pressures are removed from us – we’re not prepping another show. You should also be slightly aware that there will be more people than usual who don’t usually watch it by virtue of the fact it’s on at Christmas time. It’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition to watch Doctor Who so there will be a number of people who maybe haven’t seen it since the last Christmas special.

What is it about Peter’s Doctor that you think fans are enjoying the most?
What Peter triumphs in is that he is bracing. We’ve been used to a particular kind of Doctor across three very different actors – Chris (Eccleston), David (Tennant) and Matt (Smith). The Doctor has been younger, blokier, slightly more modern, you might say more approachable. We’ve now thrown that into reverse. There are moments with the other three actors where you can see a spiky, scary older man inside him and now we’re seeing more of that man. Peter is bracing – he’s a reminder that the Doctor isn’t your best mate or your big brother; he is in fact a quite scary man from outer space who nonetheless will save your life. He makes you look for the heroism more which I think is exciting - it throws you off balance. It’s almost like going from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as James Bond. Making the Doctor older has inadvertently made the show feel new again. He’s different and different is good.

The show is now a global phenomenon. How was it this year to see the reactions of fans in different countries?
We’re quite used to seeing Doctor Who launched in the UK and it’s always fun, but essentially people here are used to it. Seeing the extraordinary reactions when we arrived at various airports on the world tour when people were chanting our names and shouting like we mattered was very exciting. We had no idea that it would happen and that people who lived in other parts of the world were so invested in it. The increasing world significance of the show is something that we don’t really see most of the time. We just go to Wales and make our show, we’re not thinking about the people in Rio or America who seem to be hanging on our every word. It’s been great to see how it plays out on the world stage.
Peter Capaldi - Q&A

Everyone will be pleased to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again for this Christmas special. What does bring them together?
A terrifying festive dilemma forces the Doctor back to Earth to help Clara. Then a story unfolds which is quite unexpected – I can’t really say more than that.

How does filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
It’s all very festive and even though you’re shooting in October it does lull you into the festive spirit, because there are lots of Christmassy things around. There are snow machines all the time which is lovely but they’re noisy like lawnmowers or concrete mixers. We have Christmas lights, polystyrene icebergs - which is classic piece of set dressing on Doctor Who. There’s a roast dinner going on in Clara’s house and a big Christmas tree. There were also lots of tangerines!

What was your reaction to Nick Frost being cast as Santa? What sort of Santa does he play?
I was delighted when Nick was cast, I’m a big fan of his. I love Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead. He’s actually quite a traditional Santa but with a comic undertone. He is the real Santa – he’s not a robot or an alien, but he is a little bit cantankerous. He’s a little bit like the Doctor and at first they don’t really get on together.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa?
Santa appears on the roof of Clara’s house and only the Doctor knows the danger of it.

What can viewers expect from this episode?
It’s both really scary and really festive. It manages to be quite frightening and still have Santa Claus in it. It is extremely Christmassy but there is a plot line in it that is quite dark and I think Steven (Moffat) has done a brilliant job at balancing those two things. It’s perfect for Christmas viewing – it supplies everything that Doctor Who should supply at Christmas. It’s scary but it leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.

What have been your fondest memories of your first year as the Doctor?
It’s difficult to say what specific moments were significant to me because the whole thing has just been amazing. So many things have been fantastic. The first time you go onto the set, the first time you meet a Dalek or even the first time the TARDIS wobbles when you shut the door. I know it won’t last forever so I’m just enjoying it all.

The show is now a global phenomenon – how was it to see the reactions of fans in different countries earlier this year? What is it about your Doctor that you think they’re enjoying?
It was extraordinary to see how popular the show is all over the world. I’ve had the great benefit of riding the wave of success that Matt (Smith), David (Tennant) and Chris (Eccleston) had started. I myself was fascinated by what made the show so popular abroad. To me it seems a particularly British thing. However, it seems that the themes of escapism and adventure are universal. Fans of Doctor Who are usually so warm-hearted and creative. It’s quite moving to see how much they love it. You don’t realise when you’re making the programme that it’s reaching out to so many people in Latin America or Asia or Australia. Obviously the character is so popular now and the concept is so clever, so I think that is what they’re responding to rather than me.

What will you be doing this Christmas and is there anything you want from Santa?
I’ll be watching the Christmas Special and I want a tangerine and a Doctor Who annual because that’s what I had as a kid.
Jenna Coleman - Q&A

What’s it like for Clara to be reunited with the Doctor in the Christmas Special?
She’s just really glad to be back with him. She’s dealing with the death of Danny Pink but happy to be back in the arms of the TARDIS again, and meeting Santa. A lot of the episode is about telling that adventure, and it’s about the Doctor and Clara resolving what they’ve just been through.

What was it like coming back to film the Christmas Special?
It was good because we’d had the build up to filming the finale, and then Peter and I went off on the World Tour, so we were obviously tired but we were rejuvenated having had a break. We had such a big reaction from around the world and then you get back to filming and back to what feels like your home really. It’s always like that when you’re filming the Christmas Special, and you’re surrounded by tinsel and mince pies and all of that on set every day. Even though it’s October you get a bit of Christmas spirit.

It’s a very Christmassy theme this year. What did you think when you heard there was going to be a real Santa Claus, and played by Nick Frost no less?
Genius. And it’s like Steven (Moffat) said in the read-through - his name is actually ‘Frost’ so it couldn’t be more perfect. Nick really pitches Santa Claus so well between being the Santa as we know him and being very traditional, and then also cutting the act and giving quite a contemporary feel. So it works really well within the context of the episode and he has got the right tone. He’s really nice to have around on set, very funny in between takes and on camera.

You must have had a lot of fun filming the Christmas episode with Nick?
I keep using the word funny to describe Nick but what I mean is he can take anything and make it hilarious. You can give him any line and he’ll just do something with it and I don’t even know how he does it. I’ve never seen Peter (Capaldi) corpse as much as when we were working with Nick. Even in make-up every morning before you get ready to go on set he would have you cracking up.

What does Clara make of Santa Claus?
When she meets him she can’t quite believe he’s there, because bumping into Santa Claus on your roof is quite a weird way to wake up. Deep down she has always wanted to see him, and so when he materialises it’s really a nice thing.

And working with the fabulous elves played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen?
It was like they’d been working together for years. I thought they must have been rehearsing in their trailers because the timing and the double act between the two of them is like they’ve grown up together almost. But they’d only just met!

What can viewers expect from the Christmas special
It makes you question reality. You can’t quite figure it out. It makes you question what is real and what isn’t, but with a thriller and psychological element. It’s very Doctor Who - it’s got all of the traditional elements as well, and the one sequence we have with the sleigh is so magical. It’s what you want to sit down and watch at Christmas.

How do you like to spend Christmas?
With my family eating lots of food, surrounded by grandparents and nieces and lots of good TV, and going for nice big country walks. I really embrace Christmas. I love it.
Nick Frost - Q&A

How much of a Doctor Who fan are you?
On a scale of one to ten I’m probably a seven, if I’m being honest. I suppose most actors would just say ten. I was a big Tom Baker fan and I liked Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison. Then I missed out on that Saturday evening TV for a long time. I lived abroad and I travelled and I worked most Saturdays, so it just drifted out of my consciousness. Matt Smith reignited my love of the show and my love for that special feeling you get on Saturday when you can put your feet up and watch. There’s so little original sci-fi on British television, and to get something like Doctor Who that’s prime time Saturday night is something really special I think, as a science fiction fan. When Matt left and Peter came in I thought ‘he’s perfect’. It’s like James Bond. If you love Connery more than Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan more than Timothy Dalton – they’re still James Bond. They just bring different things to it. I love what Peter’s doing with it – I think it’s great.

How did the part come about?
It was just offered to me which was fantastic. I was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. It was about 5 o’clock and I had about two percent battery left on my phone. My agent phoned me and all I heard was ‘they’re going to offer you a part as the guest lead in the Christmas special on Doctor…’ I thought Doctor what? Doctor Kildare?! So then I had to wait until I got home to get the message and I was thrilled. It’s a big deal to be a guest lead in Doctor Who for the Christmas special. It’s the most popular show in the world right now essentially, and with this one feature in this one episode, more people will probably see that than all things I’ve done combined.

Was it fun playing Santa and being part of the production?
I’ve loved it. I felt quite bereft that I wouldn’t get to put on my beard once we’d wrapped. I think the real secret of Doctor Who is the fact that people presume and assume that they have essentially a bottomless budget – but they don’t. It’s just that the people who work on the show make it seem like they have because of their inventiveness and ingenuity. It’s great to watch, and everyone made me feel welcome. It’s a place where you can do some good work because you trust everyone and like everyone.

How would you describe your Santa?
There’s a percentage of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ as every good Santa needs, but that’s all people ever see of Santa. They never see him day to day or when he’s a bit grumpy, or when he’s in a playful mood or if he’s a bit cross. I’ve tried to get all those sides to him. Hopefully he’s funny. I wanted him to be funny and I wanted him to be like what he is essentially – and that’s the spirit of Christmas.

How does he get on with his two elves (played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen)?
It’s fairly fractious. They take any chance they can to undermine him in front of people, and it makes Santa very cross but at the same time he’s very protective. I’m not sure if they’re his sons or not? What’s the relationship between the elves and Santa Claus? Are they just friends or are they just employees? Is there some kind of blood line? I’m not sure…

What would you say viewers can look forward to from this Christmas special?
There’s going to be a nice combination of comedy and terror, and cool creatures – and Christmas fun. There’s a sleigh ride and snow. It’s going to be beautiful!