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 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Doctor Who Adventures 7Bookmark and Share

Friday, 23 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Issue seven of Doctor Who Adventures is due out on Thursday 29 June, and here's a preview courtesy BBC Magazines, below; click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.
Prepare for Cyber invasion with issue 7 of Doctor Who Adventures!

In another exciting issue we preview the last two episodes of series two, The Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. Our adventure guide features loads of Cyber action in The Age of Steel and we go behind the scenes to look at the making of the story.

Get all the facts you'd ever need if the Nestene returned in our guide to Living Plastic. Enter the danger zone to look at some of the most frightening scenes in Doctor Who - we get Jackie Tyler to rate the scariest! There's also a fact file about one of the greatest monsters of all time, the Daleks - and you can also make your own Dalek mask!

We interview Barney Harwood and Liz Barker from CBBC's Totally Doctor Who and find out who their favourite guests have been so far…

All this plus fantastic competitions, a yucky Abzorbaloff poster, fun quizzes - and a brilliant new comic strip featuring the Doctor and Rose.

The issue comes with a free squirty sonic screwdriver (fill it with water and it's perfect for soaking monsters and mates) and a special set of Doctor Who stickers. Make sure you don't miss it!

FILTER: - Magazines - DWA

UK Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The final rating released this week by the BARB for The Satan Pit, episode nine of the new seasons, stands at 6.08m. This is Doctor Who's lowest consolidated rating since its return last year, although the episode remains in the top 20 for the week at number 19 and was also the week's ninth placed individual programme.

Meanwhile, last Saturday's 6.23 million viewer overnight ratings/38.33% share for Love & Monsters (the detail on the numbers coming from Broadcast magazine) places the episode in 15th place in the week's chart. (This is likely to drop when the BARB figures are released next week, since live football coverage counted as one programme in the overnights will be divided into separate match/pre-match/post-match "programmes" in the final chart.) The BBC3 Sunday repeat of the episode is at No. 4 in the multichannel chart for the week, just behind Saturday's Doctor Who Confidential at No. 3, with the Cut Down Confidential from Sunday appearing at No. 22.

This week's early evening reruns on BBC Three of episodes 6, 7 and 8 were watched by 168,800 (1.2%), 149,500 (1.0%) and 158,500 (1.2%), according to the overnight results. (Thanks to 'Shaun Lyon,' Andy Parish, Keith Armstrong)

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

Final Three Official BBC Episode BlurbsBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Official promotion for the end of Series Two has begun, though on a small scale, with the BBC Press Office issuing Programme Information for Week 28 today and the previous two weeks over the past few days. Curiously, there have been no feature articles for the last three episodes, though they have been "highlights for the week" from BBC Television. The following are the three short blurbs for the final three episodes of Series Two.
Doctor Who: Fear Her
When the Tardis lands in 2012, the Doctor plans to show Rose the London Olympics. But on a nearby housing estate, a desperate mother is hiding her daughter's unearthly powers. Can the Doctor defeat the danger nestling at the heart of an ordinary British household? David Tennant plays the Doctor, Billie Piper plays Rose, Edna Doré plays Maeve and Nina Sosanya plays Trish.

Doctor Who: Army of Ghosts
The human race rejoices as the ghosts of loved ones return home in the latest adventure from the nation's favourite time traveller. But as the Doctor, Rose and Jackie investigate the Torchwood Tower, the whole of modern-day Earth threatens to fall to an almighty invasion force. David Tennant plays the Doctor, Billie Piper plays Rose, Camille Coduri plays Jackie Tyler and Tracy Ann Oberman plays Yvonne Hartman.

Doctor Who: Doomsday
It's the end of an epic journey as two mighty armies wage war across the Earth, with the human race caught in the middle. But as an unstoppable terror emerges from beneath Torchwood, the Doctor faces an even greater dilemma – does saving the world mean the death of Rose Tyler? David Tennant plays the Doctor and Billie Piper plays Rose.

FILTER: - Series 2/28 - Press - Broadcasting

Doctor Who on UMDBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The TV Shows on DVD website reports that Warner Home Video, in addition to their July 4 DVD release of "The Complete First Season" in North America, will issue four individual releases of the first season (in four volumes) in the UMD format, designed for Playstation (PSP) systems. "The Complete First Season: Volume One" through "Volume Four" are also due out on July 4, the same day as the DVD release. (Thanks to David Lambert/TV Shows on DVD)

FILTER: - USA - Series 1/27 - Blu-ray/DVD

Susie Liggat Joins as ProducerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

According to a report at the official Doctor Who website, production on series three will welcome a new addition: Susie Liggat, who will be assuming the role of producer while current producer Phil Collinson "takes a holiday". Liggat was recently listed as First Assistant Director on the recent episode "Love & Monsters," her first credited job with the series. Collinson has recently produced the series (for BBC executive producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner) without the help of an associate producer; that job was recently filled by Helen Vallis, who left after "The Age of Steel". Liggat, meanwhile, has worked on several series including "Casanova," "Burn It," "Teachers" and the films "The Magdalene Sisters" and "Beautiful Thing".

FILTER: - Production

More Weekend RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

A brief update on ratings for various Doctor Who related programmes this weekend. Saturday night's installment ofDoctor Who Confidential at 7.45pm on BBC3 was watched by 747,400 viewers, with a 5.9% audience share; it was followed at 8.15pm by a repeat installment of "Confidential" (episode three from this season) which was viewed by 402,200 viewers with a 3.0% audience share.

On Sunday night, the BBC3 repeat of Love & Monsters was seen by 700,000 viewers, with a 5.2% share, followed immediately by the repeat of Saturday night's "Confidential" in "Cut Down" edition, viewed by 519,000 viewers (3% share). The Sunday episode repeat was the day's most watched programme on non-terrestrial/satellite channels.

The audience appreciation index (AI) figure for "Love & Monsters" was reported at 76... a low for the season by tied with the first season's "Rose" and "The End of the World".

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

Doctor Who UK DVD and Audio UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBC Video, BBC Audiobooks and 2 Entertain have announced details of forthcoming Doctor Who DVD and audio releases in late 2006 and early 2007.

In September 2006, BBC Audiobooks will release Doctor Who at the BBC Volume Four: The Plays, a further installment of the audio documentaries released over the past several years. Says the blurb at, "Over the years, Doctor Who has provided the inspiration for a number of original radio plays. Three of them are presented here in their entirety, and each focuses on the effect which Doctor Who has had on the lives of ordinary - and some extraordinary - people. 'Regenerations' by Daragh Carville is a powerful and moving play about a group of six friends who reunite for their annual Doctor Who convention. Set against a backdrop of the Belfast troubles, the play deals with themes of sexuality and love, and features appearances by Tom Baker and Sophie Aldred. 'Blue Veils and Golden Sands' by Martyn Wade tells the story of Delia Derbyshire, the delightful and unusual woman who created the unique sound of the original Doctor Who theme tune. Finally, 'Dalek, I Love You' by Colin Sharpe is a recent BBC7 production. It tells how one young lad's obsession with Doctor Who causes him to meet the girl of his dreams - named Romana..."

October will see the UK DVD release of The Sontaran Experiment, a single-disc release of the two-part Tom Baker serial from 1974. The disc will be an "off month" release which the most recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine quotes 2 Entertain as saying will be more common in 2007 (releases with fewer extras filling gaps in the schedule, creating more releases for the year.)

November features the Patrick Troughton serial The Invasion... with a twist. The eight-part serial is missing two episodes, parts one and four, and the BBC has partnered once again with Cosgrove Hall (animators of "Scream of the Shalka") to recreate the two episodes in animated form, aided by the original soundtrack. Says Sophie Walpole of BBC Interactive Drama and Entertainment, "In the year that the Cyberman have returned to Doctor Who, it seemed a good idea to complete one of their finest outings from the 1960s. We have found a unique and innovative way of presenting this classic adventure by lovingly restoring the soundtrack and setting it to new animation." Cosgrove Hall Lead Animator Steve Maher says he found it "a slightly surreal experience. [Patrick Troughton] has a wonderfully animatable face, so he was a gift. Baddies are invariably more fun to depict than the good guys so the sneering, unblinking Tobias Vaughn was a lot of fun, too." The story on the official Doctor Who website features a video trailer created for the episodes late last year.

Also in November, has listed The Complete Series Two: Limited Edition Cyberman Head Box Set with Unique Lenticular Postcard. The Amazon website has a photograph (which is clearly marked "not final design") of this purported set which will be exclusive to the online retailer. The release joins the standard Complete Series Two DVD set which DWM says will feature a dual-sided lenticular cover: on the front, the TARDIS in flight through the vortex, with another image on back.

For next year, also reported in the new issue of DWM is the January 2007 release of the Return of the Master Boxed Set featuring three classic serials with the late Anthony Ainley (the Master) that form his debut trilogy: The Keeper of Traken starring Tom Baker, Logopolis featuring Baker and introducing Peter Davison, and Castrovalvawith Davison in his first full adventure.

DWM also notes that actress Katy Manning has provided the linking narration for at least part the forthcoming audio release of Monsters on Earth, a Doctor Who CD tin featuring the audio soundtracks of classic Doctor Who serials "The Sea Devils," "The Silurians" and "Warriors of the Deep" as broadcast on BBC television.

FILTER: - DWM - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Love & Monsters OvernightsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Ratings for Love & Monsters, the eleventh episode of the new season, are in: according to the overnight viewing figures, 6.22 million people tuned in to see the episode, with a total audience share of 38.3%. The episode was Saturday's #1 most watched program in the UK in terms of number of viewers, though the episode was second on the list in total audience share (World Cup Match of the Day Live, which aired much earlier in the day, had a 38.9% share but only 3.1 million viewers at that time.) As usual, individual ratings on the five-minute period charts show the episode peaked at 7.15 million viewers in the final five minutes of the episode. The episode was also #12 on the list of most watched programmes for the week, after episodes of "Coronation Street," "EastEnders" and several instances of World Cup programming (including, so far, the week's top rated England v. Trinidad & Tobago match on Thursday.) More details later. (Thanks to 'Shaun Lyon' and Andy Parish)

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

Doctor Who Magazine 371Bookmark and Share

Friday, 16 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Issue #371 of Doctor Who Magazine will be released next Thursday, 22 June, and the following is a preview; click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)
Get ready for another Abzorbing issue of Doctor Who Magazine!

This issue Peter Kay tells DWM about how he came to play the Abzorbaloff in Saturday's episode Love & Monsters:

"It's not like anything I've done before - which is great! It were last June that I wrote to Russell [T Davies], and I didn't hear back til September, and he mentioned this Blue Peter competition to design a monster. 'I'm
trying to make the episode special,' he said. 'Would you be interested? I'd love you to do it.' I immediately rang him back - he were watching Cash in the Attic - and said, 'I'd love you to do it!' We originally discussed me playing Elton, but I said, 'I'd love to do something different, cos I've always played this UFO-spotter type - a bit nerdy, kind of.' I did a thing in Coronation Street, and they're very similar parts. I've not got a problem with that... but really, let's be honest, if you're going to be in Doctor Who, you either want to be Doctor Who or a baddie! Know what I mean? And Russell said, 'Why not? Have a go.' I said, 'I won't let you down.' And I've loved it. I've absolutely loved it!"

Also this issue there's a look at the making of Love & Monsters; the script-to-screen journey of The Idiot's Lantern; and The Impossible Planet's director James Strong writes his own production diary on making the story.

Plus there are previews of Fear Her, and Billie Piper's departure from the series in Army of Ghosts and Doomsday - and the Doctor and Rose conclude their latest comic strip adventure in the final part of F.A.Q.

There's also some exclusive DVD news in Gallifrey Guardian, Russell T Davies takes readers backstage at the BAFTAs, the Time Team watch State of Decay and Warriors' Gate, and all the latest previews and reviews, competitions, readers' views, and the results of the Off the Shelf Awards!

DWM 371 is on sale from Thursday 22 June.

FILTER: - Magazines - DWM

Canada Gets Series Two in OctoberBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

CBC Television announced today that Canada will see series two of Doctor Who this coming October. "New Earth," the first episode of the new season, will premiere on Monday, October 9 at 8:00pm (8:30pm in Newfoundland); further episodes will likely air weekly on Monday nights. (Last season's episodes aired on Tuesdays.) More information about the network's fall schedules can be found here.

FILTER: - Canada - Series 2/28 - Broadcasting