The Next Doctor fast-tracked to AustraliaBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus

The Next Doctor will make its Australian debut on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday 25 January 2009 at 7.30pm on ABC1. This contrasts with previous years when the Christmas specials have debuted on ABC TV several months after the UK. This may also suggest that the ABC will 'fast-track' the other Doctor Who specials to be broadcast in the UK in 2009.

The ABC has also confirmed the Australian broadcast details of the 2008 Christmas special on its website.

Thanks to TV Tonight and the contributors to the Australian forums.

Inside the World of Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The experts of Doctor Who have revealed some of the secrets behind the show, from making the TARDIS appear to shooting Cybermen. What's it like to work with Daleks? How do terrifying monsters come to life? What do you use to blast a Cyberman?

BAFTA teamed up with the London Children's Film Festival and the BBC to present a special event in front of 2,000 Doctor Who fans at the Barbican Centre, London, the highlights of which are now available online at the BAFTA website.

Inside the World of Doctor Who brought together the experts responsible for creating the series, from creating a universe of sound to animating a Slitheen or the Ood. With excerpts from the show and real props from the programme, this is an unmissable opportunity to experience what it's really like backstage at Doctor Who.

Watch presenter Kirsten O'Brien emerge from the TARDIS and welcome a range of special guests to the stage including members of the Doctor Who special effects team and the man behind it all - Executive Producer and Lead Writer, Russell T Davies.

Video Highlights

  • Writer Russell T Davies shares his Doctor Who secrets
  • Master monster maker Neill Gorton introduces a range of Doctor Who creatures
  • Conductor and arranger Ben Foster plays music from the show
  • Special effects supremo Danny Hargreaves shows an audience member how to fire a Phaser (and attack a Cyberman!)

Christmas Special Press LaunchBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The official BBC press launch for the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Next Doctor", was held in London today. A somewhat lower-key affair than the corresponding events of previous years, the event has nonetheless managed to attract a good deal of media coverage on television, radio, online and in print. Readers are warned that any or all of the following links may contain spoilers for "The Next Doctor".

SFX Magazine have posted a spoiler-free review of the episode, which they describe as "not an out-and-out classic episode, but it is great Christmas entertainment. And it does have a few classic moments." OffTheTelly describes how outgoing BBC Controller of Fiction Jane Tranter implored journalists "to promise not to tell anyone else what to make of that. The ability of Doctor Who is to ask big questions and keep everybody guessing. Please enter into the spirit of that, and allow everyone to keep asking questions."

Gareth McLean, writing for The Guardian, describes the episode as "a lot better than last year – a lot – and not just because David Morrissey is a magnificent actor and a lot easier on the eye than Kylie Minogue. For a start, The Next Doctor is about something. It has a proper story (as opposed to a surfeit of CGI), some lovely sharp lines and self-referential moments that, mostly, aren't self-indulgent." Michael Deacon in The Telegraph says the episode is "a blizzard of action... Much of the plot is devoted to the relationship – at times amusing, at times poignant – between these two Doctors, as we begin to learn the life story of Morrissey’s character."

Writer Russell T Davies appeared in the last half-hour of BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire programme to discuss the special, and also popped up on television on the BBC News channel's coverage of the press launch.

Tennant expected to be fit for specialsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 December 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
BBC News reports that Doctor Who chief writer and executive producer Russell T Davies expects Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant to be fit enough to begin work next month on the first of the four specials which will end his tenure in the part.

Tennant is due to resume work on Doctor Who on the 19th of January, but has recently undergone much-publicised back surgery which forced him to pull out of several dates of the London run of his acclaimed starring role in Hamlet. However, speaking at the press launch for the Christmas special "The Next Doctor" today, Russell T Davies commented that he was hopeful Tennant would be fit to start work on schedule.

Davies did, however, comment that: "We'll have to be very careful. I don't think we'll be swinging him on a wire on his first day back." He did, however, add that no rewrites were expected to be needed to accommodate Tennant's injury.

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 95Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
DWA Issue 122
This issue of Doctor Who Adventures celebrates the arrival of the Christmas Special with an exclusive preview of The Next Doctor featuring photos of the characters and a two-page photo-story of the first couple of minutes of the story. The bumper issue also contains a mega competition to win loads of Who goodies, a Cyberman mask, a massive Christmas quiz, and a special festive comic. The magazine also comes with a Christmas bumper gift pack containing a monster popper folder, a set of colouring pencils, an eraser and a sketch pad.

The Christmas bumper special of Doctor Who Adventures is on sale 18th Dec 2008 – 1st Jan 2009.

Doctor Who most-viewed iplayer showBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Statistics released this week by the BBC, and reported in various sources such as The Guardian, have revealed that Doctor Who's fourth series was the most-watched programme on the BBC's iPlayer catch-up service during 2008. The iPlayer allows UK broadband internet users, as well as users of certain cable television and mobile phone devices, to stream or download episodes of various BBC television programmes for a limited time following their original television transmission.

Sarah Jane Adventures RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The season finale of The Sarah Jane Adventures was watched by 0.7 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures.

Final figures are available for the first part of the series which give an average rating of around 0.75 million viewers for each episode. This is considerably higher than the average rating for this time slot, around 0.45 million.

Every episode, apart from episode One, has been first shown on the CBBC channel, where they have been getting an additional half a million viewers.

The series has also been achieving high Audience Index figures, with most episodes scoring higher than 80. The highest rating was 86 for Part2 of The Last Sontaran, and the lowest 76 for Part 1 of The Mark of The Berserker.

In addition the Sunday Repeats of Series One on BBC One have been getting ratings of around 1 million viewers.

Highslide JS

Russell T Davies interviewBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Out - RTD Interview
The Christmas edition of outnorthwest, the free monthly magazine of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, features an interview with Doctor Who Executive producer Russell T Davies.

The Magazine is available online.

To see big, noisy, public people being gay, and being happy, is a really important thing." - Russell T Davies.

Russell made his name as the creator and writer of the groundbreaking gay drama Queer as Folk; aired on late night Channel 4, it was the first UK TV drama to be centred around gay, bisexual and lesbian characters. Now, ten years later, he's prime time BBC 1, celebrated for reinventing Doctor Who, and is widely regarded as the most powerful writer in UK television.

In the interview, Russell talks openly about the responsibility he feels as a gay public figure to be as visible as possible, to highlight LGB people leading happy, positive and successful lives:

"Every interview I do I mention the fact that I'm gay, but I think that if your 15, to see big, noisy, public people being gay and being happy is a really important thing."

He also slams the critics who accuse him of bringing a gay agenda to Doctor Who: "If people genuinely see it as a problem, then the problem is theirs. Their life is small, inhibited, and stunted. They're not living fully, their heart isn' t open, their mind isn't open."

outnorthwest also gets the low down on Russell's career, from Queer As Folk to Doctor Who, his favourite TV shows and his celebrity crushes.

Russell has close contacts with Manchester; he still lives in the city, and many of his early shows were set there, he is also a patron of the Manchester based Lesbian and Gay Foundation. He stressed that talking to outnorthwest gave him the opportunity, "to pay something back."

Grahame Robertson, Editor of outnorthwest said:

"We first spoke to Russell nearly ten years ago, at the height of Queer As Folk-mania. Since then he's gone on to become the most influential person working in television today. I'm over the moon he's taken the time to speak to us again."

So, to find out if Russell spills the beans on any Doctor Who storylines, download or grab yourself a copy of outnorthwest!

The Next Doctor - trailer onlineBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The official BBC website has published a trailer for the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Next Doctor", as the gift behind the window on Day 15 of their "adventure calendar". The trailer runs to approximately 50 seconds.

Due to rights issues, the video is only available to internet users in the UK.

Canada: edited Finale on CBC, unedited OnlineBookmark and Share

Friday, 12 December 2008 - Reported by Marcus
According to the Doctor Who Blog the version of Series Four season finale Journey's End that will air tonight on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tonight at 9pm will be edited down to 44 minutes. The unedited 63 version of the episode will be available for viewing on the CBC website tomorrow morning, Saturday December 13th.

Visit to watch streaming episodes of Series Four of Doctor Who online (available from Canada only).

UPDATE - DECEMBER 13: The Doctor Who Information Network has posted a list on their website of what was edited out of Journey's End on the CBC.