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

London Filming plus DWAS photosBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
As noted by the Daily Star and Outpost Gallifrey has been able to confirm, filming over the past couple of days moved to London to do some location work. We have been told that as of Monday, the production moved to London (for either two or three days) to do filming in and around Westminster.

Meanwhile, the Doctor Who Appreciation Society's August edition of member magazine Celestial Toyroom will feature location reports on new series filming; a small sample of related photos (which are quite dark and were taken in London over the past couple of nights) can be seen on their website here and here.




FILTER: - Series 1/27 - Filming Reports

TV Guide: The Doctor's a LegendBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The new issue of TV Guide Magazine in the US features a list this week of their "top 25 greatest science fiction legends", featuring characters (or, in one case, a real person) who have impacted the science fiction genre. The Doctor came in on the list at #22 (remember, this is the US!). The article on the Doctor reads as follows: "Known only as 'The Doctor', the title character of this low-budget British series was a cranky, two-hearted, time-traveling alien. The Doctor was as charming as he was quirky, and dedicated himself to protecting the species he loved best -- humans. Fans never tired of the Doctor, in part because the series was frequently freshened with new actors -- seven in all, including No. 4, Tom Baker, above -- explained by his ability to 'regenerate' his body. An eighth Doctor appeared in a 1996 TV-movie. Who's next? Christopher Eccleston will star in new BBC episodes next year." The list was actually topped by "Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling, followed by the various "Star Trek" crews, Ray Walston's Uncle Martin ("My Favorite Martian"), George Jetson ("The Jetsons") and Jane Badler's Diana ("V") rounding out the top 5. Some strange choices to be sure -- and Doctor Who should've been closer to the top. Check it out in the new issue this week. (Thanks to Felicity Kusinitz, Stephen Kelley)




FILTER: - Press

Treat Him Well, He's the DoctorBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The July 27 edition of the Express featured a brief sidebar about Colin Baker and his tiring of fans commenting on his "expanding waistline". Says the article, "Recalling a recent encounter in Nottingham, the rotund 61-year-old - who was relatively slimline in his Time Lord days - complains that insensitive comments about his weight have become an all too frequent topic of conversation. 'I was greeted with words that are now becoming familiar,' says Colin who played the Doctor from 1984 to 1986. 'I remain at a loss to understand the thought processes that lead the questioner to feel that it is OK to address a stranger with the words, 'My God, you've put on a bit of weight since you left Doctor Who'.'" We hope that this isn't any of our fans... after all, Colin's a smashing bloke. So be nice! (Thanks to Paul Engelberg)




FILTER: - Colin Baker

Casting News: Noel Clarke as MickeyBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Today's edition of The Sun states that "Auf Wiedersehen" star Noel Clarke will play the role of Mickey, Rose Tyler's (Billie Piper) boyfriend in the new series. Says The Sun: "Noel ù Geordie WayneÆs son Wyman in the hit comedy ù has signed to appear as Mickey, boyfriend of Rose Tyler, the Time LordÆs feisty sidekick." This confirms a rumor we've heard over the past week, and was confirmed on July 28 by BBC News. According to the "Drama on TV" section of the BBC website, Clarke's previous credits include Metrosexuality, Judge John Deed and Waking The Dead. The website also notes that "Away from acting, heÆs also a keen writer. One of his scripts was recently turned into a short film. He appeared on stage at the Royal Court Theatre in Where Do We Live directed by Richard Wilson. The performance earned him a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer." (Thanks to Graham Cluley, Doug Chen)




FILTER: - Guest Stars - Series 1/27

TV Zone 179 CommentsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The latest issue of TV Zone Magazine is out and features interviews with Russell T. Davies and designer Bryan Hitch. In his interview, Davies comments on the glut of rumors surrounding the new show. "I did see that one rumour in the Guardian about Cabinet members who became alien when they lied, or something," he notes, "which was hardly credible, since the disguise wouldn't last long! It does seem some rumours get so strong that the production team is asked to make an official statement, which I'm absolutely refusing to do. Comment on nonsense, and you give that nonsense an official status. No chance!" He also waxes on plans for historical adventures ("No, none at all. Which doesn't rule it out for the future, if the right idea came along"), regeneration ("I think it would be lovely if fan fiction, or the other versions of Doctor Who - print, audio or whatever - came up with that") and scheduling ("This was never conceived as a 9.00 show. Not in 1963, and certainly not now..."). He also discusses the influence of Buffy on the new series, and specifically the character of Rose: "She hasn't got superpowers or a secret destiny. At least not yet. I just used Buffy as an example of a well-written modern leading female role." Davies also noted the choice of writers for this first season: "We considered lots of people, some Who writers, some not... every single writer is a fine writer in his own right; that's the only thing that matters! Bear in mind that a lot of people had to approve of these names, all sorts of Heads of Drama - and the existence of a Virgin novel or whatever wouldn't mean that much to them! ... just you wait 'til you see their work!" Hitch, meanwhile, discusses the influences on his design work ("Everything from blown glass to high architecture has given us ideas...") and discusses budget restrictions: "We have all been allowed to think about how it should look. How we want it to be and then working out a way to do it within budget rather than letting the budget dictate the look... we are getting pretty close to what we want." The new issue of TV Zone is now on sale. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Series 1/27

Davison's Distant ShoresBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Peter Davison opened a fundraising day at a North East lifeboat station on July 24, according to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Davison was joined by actress Samantha Bond, with whom he's filming a new ITV comedy, "Distant Shores." The fundraising event is for maintenance of the lifeboat station, which features in the series.




FILTER: - Peter Davison

Ghost Light in AustraliaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Roadshow has confirmed that the next UK DVD release Ghost Light will make its way down to Australia in February 2005 (and likely New Zealand very shortly thereafter). While the 'Lost in Time' collection has been announced in the UK and US, it is yet to be confirmed in Australia; they expect a confirmation very soon. (And note the 4 month gap between Leisure Hive & Ghost Light!) (Thanks to Dwayne Bunney)




FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Late Week Press ClipsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Everyone's jumped on the bandwagon with the new TARDIS. The Mirror (July 23) ran a piece on the TARDIS being spotted in Cardiff. Says the South Wales Echo (July 22), "As filming for the revival series of Doctor Who takes to the city"s streets, rumours are flying that the traditional exterminating enemy has been replaced by an army of suave but evil mannequins." The Echo also noted on July 23, "Drinkers in Cardiff might have been alarmed to find their favourite watering hole had been take over by the police. But there was no need to worry - it's all in the name of Dr Who. The back door of the Toad at the Exhibition bar in Working Street, Cardiff city centre, was transformed into the front door of a police station for filming of the all-new Doctor Who series. Large blue stickers with white lettering reading Police were stuck in the windows of the bar which faces St David's Centre, and a sign hanging from the outside wall was covered with a police banner. Half of the bar was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and last night, to accommodate the crew."

The Manchester Evening News got into it on July 24: "It may be forty years since blue police boxes were last seen on the streets, but Dr Who fans were celebrating after catching a glimpse of one still in perfect working order," said the paper. "Viewers had been worried that the doctor's antiquated time and space machine might be axed along with the Daleks who fell victim to a legal wrangle between the Beeb and late creator Terry Nation's estate. But the refitted and repainted TARDIS - which stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space - materialised next to a shopping centre where the Time Lord's new adventures are being shot."

An article entitled "Doctor Who Mania: Why the Brits are taking this quirky Sci-Fi revival so seriously" at ElitesTV notes that "'Doctor Who' mania has surged again since the announcement that BBC Wales will begin filming the revival this summer. ... Fans of the classic show are waiting to see a fresh cast take on the task of recreating one of BritainÆs favorite stories. However, changes to the show and its characters are inevitable. The new version will have an edgier, more emotional Doctor and a sexy new assistant. Unfortunately for fans, the Daleks, Doctor WhoÆs most feared enemies and voted the most evil villains on television by British TV viewers, wonÆt be returning for the new show. Negotiations over issues of creative control between the BBC and the estate of creator Terry Nation have resulted in a Dalekless series. Nevertheless, the writers are confident they can provide Doctor Who aficionados with new foes to feast on." Read the full article at the website.




FILTER: - Press

Lost in Time: UKBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Galaxy 4 have sent us a thumbnail of the cover of the UK edition of the DVD release of The Lost in Time Collection; click on it for a slightly larger version. We hope to bring you the final cover illustration shortly. (Thanks to Galaxy 4)




FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

About TimeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 July 2004 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Mad Norwegian Press will be releasing a new six-volume Doctor Who reference guide. About Time by Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood, will "focus on the tenure of one the actors who portrayed the Doctor, with the eras of Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGannùdue to their relatively short stays with the programùcombined into a single volume. ... In addition to the usual concerns such as the TV showÆs continuity (alien races, the DoctorÆs abilities, etc.) and lore (anecdotal, "Did You Know?"-style material), Miles and Wood will examine each story in the context of the year/historical period it was produced, determining just how topical the stories were. Along those lines, each About Time volume will include several essays on a myriad of comprehensive Doctor Who topics such as 'When are the UNIT stories set?' 'WhatÆs the Timeline of the Earth Empire?', 'How believable is the British Space Programme?' and 'Just How Chauvinistic is Doctor Who?'" The first volume, about Jon Pertwee's era, will be published in October; subsequent volumes include Tom Baker (November), Peter Davison (December), Colin Baker/Sylvester McCoy/Paul McGann (February), William Hartnell (March) and Patrick Troughton (April). (Thanks to Lars Pearson)




FILTER: - Books