As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 3 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 14 May 2012

Piers Wenger to assume Julie Gardner's roleBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 December 2007 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC Press Office has announced that Piers Wenger will become Head of Drama for BBC Wales in 2009 when its current head Julie Gardnerleaves, and also assumes her role as an executive producer of Doctor Who for its fifth series - this confirms a story this morning from The Guardian.

Piers Wenger, 35, recently left his job as head of drama development at Granada, where he worked on the BAFTA and RTS award-winning Housewife 49. Earlier this year he helped set up independent producer Mammoth Screen. He will join the BBC in the new year and spend a 12 month period taking over from Gardner. He said "I'm incredibly excited to be joining BBC Wales, the success of the drama team there has been extraordinary and I look forward to taking the team to even greater heights. Working with Julie Gardner on Doctor Who over the next year will provide an invaluable insight into the secrets and success of the series. I couldn't have a more inspiring leader."

Gardner will continue to contribute to BBC Wales, and to take the responsibility for the development and commissioning of new Saturday evening drama for BBC One, as well as working with Controller of BBC Fiction, Jane Tranter, on a wide and diverse range of special projects.

Tranter paid tribute to Julie Gardner describing her as "one of the most impressive television executives in the UK". She said "Her success over the past four years in BBC Wales drama has been unparalleled and her work on Doctor Who has earned her a place in TV history."

Gardner herself said she had been on the "trip of a lifetime" over the past five years. "I know that when I hand over my sonic screwdriver to Piers for season five of Doctor Who, it will be to someone who loves and understands the show."

Gardner will continue to work on Doctor Who for the next year, overseeing the fourth series, as well as three specials for broadcast in 2009.

FILTER: - Production - Press - Julie Gardner

Torchwood's U.S. rootsBookmark and Share

Friday, 24 August 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive

Julie Gardner, executive producer of the BBC series Torchwood and head of drama development for BBC Wales, tellsSCI-FI WIRE that Torchwood'sroots lie in a fascination with American science fiction shows - particularly those in the boom of the 1990s.

She talks about an early series she and Russell T Davies developed calledExcalibur which centered around a paranormal investigation team.

"It was a kind of [an] urban-landscape, present-day series," Gardner said.

"And the scene that Russell in his two-page pitch described was the scene where there was this sexy group of investigators in an alleyway at night, it's raining, a corpse is on the ground, and one of them brings out a glove and is able to bring the corpse back to life, which is, of course, the central first scene in Episode 1 of what became Torchwood."

FILTER: - Torchwood - Production - Julie Gardner

Gardner Rules Hopper OutBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 July 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive

iF Magazine has an interview with BBC head of drama commissioning Julie Gardner in which she talks about a range of subjects concerning Doctor Who,Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, all of which she also co-executive produces.

In the interview, she quashes speculation that Dennis Hopper will be appearing on Doctor Who. "That's an unfounded rumor I'm afraid. He's not going to be on the show. It was all over the place, but he's not coming," she says.

However, Gardner gives a strong indication that the Master will be returning.

"It would be rude not to, and he’s a great character. John Simm is amazing and I would go to work every day with him. His scenes were so much fun to do," she says.

FILTER: - Production - Julie Gardner

Julie Gardner interviewBookmark and Share

Friday, 30 March 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Julie Gardner, executive producer of Doctor Who, answered calls from fans today on BBC Radio Wales's phone-in programme with Richard Evans.

One surprise caller was Russell T Davies's father, talking about his son's lifetime passion for the series.

The interview is available for the next seven days via the BBC listen again facility.

The interview starts approximately 1 hour 8 minutes into the programme.

FILTER: - Production - Radio - Julie Gardner

Long running rumour confirmedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 January 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson
Julie Gardner, the executive producer of Doctor Who, has confirmed a long running rumour concerning the nature of Paul Cornell's story, which will form episodes eight and nine of series three. The confirmation comes as part of an interview to be published in the final issue of Dreamwatch magazine.
According to the new Dreamwatch website, Gardner confirms that Paul Cornell's story has links to his novelHuman Nature, published as part of Virgin's New Adventures series in 1995. This confirms a long running debate in our spoilers forum.

In the novel, the Doctor gives up his Time Lord persona to experience life as a human teacher.

FILTER: - Production - Series 3/29 - Julie Gardner

Radio Wales interview onlineBookmark and Share

Friday, 22 December 2006 - Reported by Marcus
Julie Gardner, executive producer of Doctor Who, has given a wide ranging interview to BBC Radio Wales. Julie told presenter Richard Evans how much she loved working on the series. She confirmed the series has not yet been commissioned to continue beyond season three, but said she hopes to be working on it for many years to come.

As well as taking calls from fans and answering questions about the series future, the programme also featured a surprise appearance from David Tennant who rang the programme pretending to be a mad fan from Bristol.

The programme will be available for the next couple of days, via the listen again feature on the BBC Wales Website.
Go to the Richard Evans link and cursor one hour into the programme.

FILTER: - Production - Radio - Julie Gardner

Gardner on Radio WalesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 December 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Julie Gardner, executive producer of Doctor Who, will be on the Richard Evans show on BBC Radio Wales on Friday 22 December from 1-2pm. Gardner will take phone calls on a variety of topics concerning the programme, including commissioning Russell T Davies to bring back the Doctor, the success of the show's spin-off Torchwood and the series Life on Mars. Fans can call in on +44 8100 100 110, text message +44 7786 20 10 40, or send email with questions.

Radio Wales can be listened to online by following the link on the BBC Wales Website

FILTER: - Production - Radio - Julie Gardner

Davies, Gardner on CasanovaBookmark and Share

Thursday, 9 September 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
New series producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner will follow up production of the first season of "Doctor Who" with a lavish three-part period production of "Casanova" for BBC1, according to Broadcast Magazine. Originally commisioned by ITV from Granada's LWT in May 2002, Davies was originally set to produce it for ITV, but then Gardner, who was originally with Granada Television, joined BBC Wales as Head of Drama. Says Broadcast, "Her departure is thought to have prompted Davies to take the project to the BBC and sign it as part of a deal that also included him agreeing to write the new series of Doctor Who, which Gardner is overseeing." BBC controller of drama commissioning Jane Tranter told Broadcast: "We were keen to do what Russell wanted to do and to enable Julie to continue an ongoing relationship with Russell on Casanova and Doctor Who." Outpost Gallifrey is aware that Davies will be producing "Casanova" beginning in October 2004, and will hopefuly return to production of the second season of "Doctor Who" in the new year. (Thanks to Martin Day)

FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Production - Series 1/27 - Julie Gardner

Gardner on BBC Wales Evening NewsBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 March 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Julie Gardner, new series executive producer, was interviewed on the BBC Wales Evening News program this evening. When asked what the most enduring element of Doctor Who was that she personally wanted to bring back to the show, her considered answer was very simple: "Fear." She also confirmed that the production team was working hard to ready the series by "early next year," drawing closer to the rumored January start than in previous statements. The program is available to be watched for the next 24 hours; you can watch it by visiting the Wales Today section of BBCi. (Thanks to Kenny Davidson)

FILTER: - People - Production - Julie Gardner