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Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Doctor Who Worldwide

In Denmark, the national broadcast TV and radio station DR (Danmarks Radio) started today with Doctor Who at 11.00pm on their main tv station, DR1. There is nothing on DR's web page on the series, only a link to BBC's DW site and two DW books in Danish translation. There is a short description of the first episode and though no title is given, it is the first one, "Rose", that is being shown.

Finland now has a formal date and time for the start of Series 1 in the country on the YLE2 network: 10 September 2006 at 8.05pm.

According to This Week in Doctor Who, the first season of the new series (2005) Mexico and Latin America on the People + Arts channel. "People + Arts claims to be co-owned by the BBC and Discovery Channel. Episode 4 (Aliens Of London) is running this week. The schedule seems to be the same for Mexico and other countries, though they give the option to switch between versions. It is unclear how many countries this channel is available in, and whether it can be seen in South America. The website does not make it clear which time zone it is providing listings for. Based on the website, episodes premiere Fridays at 10PM, repeat Late Friday at 3AM, Saturday at 7AM, Wednesday at 10PM, and Late Wednesday at 3AM. Episodes should air weekly (with repeats) through Friday August 25 (or Wednesday August 23 if the source is right)."

UKTV Australia has added the following to their FAQ page: "Are there any plans to screen Doctor Who? Yes, UKTV will be screening the new series of Doctor Who in October this year." We're assuming for now that they mean the 13 Christopher Eccleston episodes from 2005. This would be the second showing of the episodes in Australia (well, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, maybe more - UKTV likes multiple airings). To date they have aired one time on ABC TV.


The tabloids' big story from today: "Billie Piper said today she will not take even 'a penny' from her multi-millionaire husband when they divorce. The Dr Who star said she is not interested in a slice of Chris Evans's 30 million fortune, insisting: 'I'm not taking a penny from him. I think that's disgusting.' Piper, 23, who has just been awarded a six-figure deal for her autobiography, said her greatest regret is not having invited her parents to her wedding to the Radio 2 presenter in Las Vegas in 2001. 'I regret it in retrospect and we didn't speak for a while, although they understand now that at the time I had to be selfish,' Piper tells Radio Times. 'I didn't want them to question it because in my head it was perfect, the first time in years I felt happy. Chris and I found each other when it could have gone badly for both of us and we saved each other from our worlds of madness.' ... Piper will quit Dr Who at the end of this series and said: 'The longer I stayed the more scared I'd be of leaving because it's so comfortable and nice.' Of her autobiography, she said: 'I hope it's an inspiration to young girls who constantly ask how I did it. It will be warts and all.'" Naturally, the papers have all followed this particular part of the story today with news reports at The SunEvening EchoDaily MailBBC NewsThe IndependentThe ScotsmanDaily RecordMirrorSkky ShowbizMetroAnanovaRTE,Entertainment WiseMegastarBelfast TelegraphThe TimesManchester Evening NewsYahoo News,UnisonContact MusicThis Is LondonIrish ExaminerBreaking NewsHello Magazine and other places.

The Mirror on 24 June said that "she's travelled the universe in the Tardis, but Billie Piper says she won't be jetting off to Hollywood any time soon. The Doctor Who actress insists she isn't tempted by the glamour of Tinseltown and would prefer to star in lowkey indie films. She said: 'There are lots of great movies coming out of the US but it's not something I'm ever really interested in.' What, even if a big role came up? She said: "Yes, I'm happy in the UK. I absolutely love it and I've finally got a great group of friends. I've got a lovely little flat and my work's here.'"

The latest BBC's It's Hot magazine (issue 53) mentions that: "Despite her saying otherwise, actress Billie Piper is rumoured to be swapping time travelling for a spot of chart topping. Billie, who plays Rose on Doctor Who, was famous yonks ago for shouty pop songs, but her new stuff is supposed to be a more grown up affair. Oh well, only time will tell." However, in the magazine's interview with her, in response to the queston 'Do you ever wish you were a pop star again?', she replies: "I've realised I shouldn't make music - I should be a fan. I'm the biggest music fan and I love all different types." On being asked if she could time travel in the TARDIS, where would she go and why, Billie comments: "I'd like to see what my 30s look like. Not too far ahead - we're talking about eight years down the line. I'd like to see what's going on in my life then. I think that would be really interesting."

Last week, Bruno Langley was on an internet radio station called 'The Soap Show', and he talked not only about the play he is currently starring in (A Taste of Honey), but about his role on last year's Doctor Who as Adam. Langley said he was too young to remember the original series, and that he felt Doctor Who was an institution. He said he likes fans, some are weird but others are very intelligent, so you get such a mix of people. He also talked of the fathers and sons who he often sees together when they go to meet him at stage doors - which he thought was great. He talked a bit about the actual filming of the episodes, and said that he is still in contact with the producers/writers, and that they text each other occasionally, though he doesn't think Adam will be back. He says they haven't asked him back, and he hasn't asked to be brought back, either. He said if they want him back then they'll ask him....which they haven't! He said he is happy just to sit and watch it now. Langley added that he is about to watch the first boxset DVDs as he missed a couple of eps, and that he'll get the DVDs of series 2 when they come out. He says he has only caught bits of the new seris due to work, but he says that the new series looks really good... as does David Tennant.

Fear Her - Aftermath

The Guardian: "So I'm on a train from Luton to London the other day, and at St Albans a woman in her 30s gets on with her son, who must be about eight or nine. Nice-looking kid. She turns out to be the mother from hell, though. She's yabbering away on her phone to someone, so he goes to get his Game Boy out of her bag. But then she has a right old go at the poor lad for going in her bag without asking. He says he's sorry, she was on the phone and he thought it would be OK. But no, it isn't OK, and now he's being cheeky, so that means another bollocking. The whole thing snowballs out of control: she's hollering at him, telling him what a bad boy he is. Then it's time to pronounce sentence for all his heinous crimes, and guess what his punishment is? No Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday), that's what, which is about as bad a punishment you can give a child right now. And for a lot of adults, too. He's been dead strong up to this point. But as the full meaning of missing Doctor Who sinks in, his chin wobbles a bit, then his face does that terrible melting thing, and soon he's sobbing, silently and bravely. His mum, meanwhile, is back on the phone, nattering away to her mate. I know I should have told him he could come round mine to watch it, or at least secretly got his address so I could send him the DVD. And certainly I should have alerted social services, so that he could be removed from his evil devil-mother. But of course, pathetically, I did none of those things, onaire husband when they divorceper instead. It turned out to be a great episode, too. ... It's absolutely terrifying: kids must be a lot more robust these days than they were in my day. I'm watching it from behind the sofa and I'm 41. ... Maybe there was another more sinister reason than the Game Boy incident. Surely these events can't be unconnected. Maybe I wasn't on a train to Kings Cross Thameslink at all, but a train into the future (it did seem remarkably spacious). And why have I just picked up a pencil and now find myself involuntarily (but perfectly) drawing evil train woman ... ? [Cue Doctor Who music.]"

The Financial Times says that "Doctor Who continues to be a wondrous thing, Russell T. Davies and his collaborators having managed to retain the playful spirit of the original while creating storylines consistently smarter and even more inventive than previous incarnations of the show. Tonight's episode sees the Doctor and Rose visiting London before the 2012 Olympics. As well as paying homage to The Exorcist, Paperhouse, ET and The Shining, it proves that Huw Edwards's decision to make his living as a newsreader was no loss to acting."

Other Media Items

The official site discusses the BBC Three repeats starting next week, mentioned last week on Outpost Gallifrey (and seen in our calendar on the left side of this news page).

CBBC has Lizo's early review/preview of "Army of Ghosts". "Sadly, the end is in sight for this series of Dr Who. Like last year, it ends with a two part story of which Army of Ghosts is the first. The focus is on Rose from the very start, and there's no doubt that what she has to say will shock many of you. And then things come full circle. In this season's first episode, Rose said good bye with her ruck sack. Now she's back, with the bag full of washing for Jackie. But things are very different on Earth, with people across the planet welcoming back what they believe are the ghosts of their loved ones. Are they really ghosts, and how is the mysterious Torchwood involved? Not to mention a mysterious sphere that doesn't even seem exist. The Doctor and Rose want to get to the bottom of things. But they're facing old enemies who put the whole planet in danger. Phew, things really rattle along in this episode, with Rose's story especially appearing to head for its conclusion. Which, of course, ties in with the news that Billie Piper will be leaving the series after the last two episodes. But with Russell T Davies writing the script there's bucketfuls of humour. Chat show host Trisha and Peggy from EastEnders make hilarious appearances. But the story he's telling is a serious one. There are quite a few deaths before the final credits roll, as well as a beautifully played scene where Rose and Jackie talk about the future. And that's what at this heart of this episode. Will Rose choose to stay with the Doctor forever, and should she? And will that choice be taken away from her? Of course, there's a huge amount of action too as things ramp up for the end of the second series. But be prepared for a quite a few shocks as well! Mention should also be made of composer Murray Gold's musical score, which really excels here. And overall it's a splendid story which leaves us on a great cliff hanger for the last episode Doomsday. Four out of Five."

The Daleks invaded Norfolk as hundreds of fans turned out to see Colin Baker, Terry Molloy, Deborah Watling and to put the marker down in the Guinness Book for the largest gathering of fan built Daleks in the UK. BBC Norfolk was there and features interviews (audio) with Colin, Terry and Deborah as well as new video content. Meanwhile, the Eastern Daily Press covered the event: "Hundreds of fans swarmed to the streets of Holt, which are more used to well-heeled shoppers than raygun-wielding sci-fi space invaders. The event was a fund-raising effort helping raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and helping to put Holt on the intergalactic map. Scores of daleks turned up, roaming around the streets and courtyards, squawking at firing at wide-eyed children, launching attacks on targets including a tardis police box, and even taking part in a supermarket trolley dash. Amid the mayhem, calmly signing autographs, were stars of the popular television series, currently enjoying a revival. Colin Baker, the sixth doctor from 1983-86, said the success of the show was the way it had updated itself with special effects, and retained the ability to 'scare the living daylights out of children.' Scientific journalist Paul Parsons, included a 'hiding behind the sofa' chapter in his book The Science of Dr Who, admitted he used to be petrified of the daleks and reckoned their 'facelessness' continued to make them scary. .. Early assistant Deborah Watling, said the strength of the storylines were a key factor, while actor Terry Molloy, who played dalek creator Davros, said the success was also down to the doctor's heroic role as an 'intergalactic Biggles.' Visitors included two cybermen and an 'alterntiave ninth doctor' Tristan Stopps from the Fourth Dimension Lords a Dr Who group based at Martham, whose members range from children to middle aged men, welcomed the Holt event which was 'overdue in Norfolk.' Organiser Nigel Pearce said the event, which filled a hole left by the carnival which was not being held this year due to lack of support, had gone well, and there were plans to hold it again next year."

The Sydney Morning Herald from Australia yesterday featured a story about the show in anticipation of the series' return on Saturday, July 8. "Doctor Who, the mysterious stranger who travels through time and space in a battered London police phone box, is a difficult character to define. As one of the most enigmatic characters in popular culture - along with film spy James Bond, sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare's Hamlet - he has been played by many actors and interpreted in many ways. David Tennant is a British actor of rising acclaim, whose credits include Casanova and Blackpool. Wearing a dark brown pinstripe suit, brown overcoat and Converse sneakers, he is the 10th actor to portray the Time Lord and admits the Doctor is a hard man to master. 'He's not Hamlet or Benedick because they will always have the words they have,' Tennant says. 'It's not James Bond or Sherlock Holmes because each time somebody comes to one of those characters, the character is still who the character always is - James Bond will always be 'shaken not stirred', Sherlock Holmes will always be 'elementary', deerstalker and pipe.' So, who is Doctor Who? "Each actor gets to rewrite the rule book a little bit," Tennant says, and perhaps that's the beauty of it. ... Tennant says he agreed to take the role because of the pedigree of the creative team behind the revival of the series - notably, writer-producer Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk) and writers Steven Moffatt (Coupling), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Toby Whithouse (Hotel Babylon). 'They're the best writers you could possibly want and if the scripts are good, then the battle is half won already,' he says. ... Davies promised this season would be "more emotional" than the last, a departure from the classic structure of Doctor Who - simple morality plays wrapped in the distracting kitsch of period science fiction and peppered with MacGuffins and deus ex machina twists. 'I think one of the great things about the way the show has been reimagined is the relationship between the Doctor and Rose [his companion, played by Billie Piper], which is now a love story more than it was ever allowed to be before,' Tennant says. 'It's still not consummated - that's important because that's not the vibe - but the emotional back and forth is an important part of the show. I think we dip our toes into some new waters in this coming season.'" Doctor Who returns to the ABC on Saturday, July 8, at 7.30pm.

Other news: The Sun has a vaguely spoilerish preview of this weekend's episode; BlogCritics reviews "Fear Her";

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, Paul Hayes, Adam Kirk, Mark Dando, Klaus Gramstrup, George Forth, and Benjamin Elliott)

FILTER: - Press - Radio Times - Broadcasting