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 Magazine 397Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

Jack's back! And he's taking on the Daleks! In the new edition of Doctor Who Magazine, published in the UK tomorrow, John Barrowman talks exclusively about his return to Doctor Who and on working with Elisabeth Sladen.

Click on the spoiler box for an extract from the interview, although be aware that it contains information about the series finale that you might not want to know before it airs. In addition, the spoiler box has details of a magazine feature that reveals aspects of the finale.

Also in DWM 397:
  •  Previews of the final two episodes of Series Four, featuring new and previously unpublished photos.
  • An interview with Elisabeth Sladen.
  • Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's showrunner-in-waiting, speaks candidly about taking over the series - and how to write a Doctor Who story.
  •  Planet Earth has been moved! But how? And by whom? Find out what happened the first time the Earth was stolen, as The Time Team watch the first four parts of the epic 1986 adventure The Trial of a Time Lord.
  •  See the Doctor and Donna in dead trouble! The fight against zombies and Sycorax continues in part three of the latest, full-colour, comic-strip adventure The Widow's Curse
  •  Could you make it as a DWM journalist? The decisions are all yours as you go behind the scenes and talk to the stars as you investigate the filming of Turn Left.
  • DWM talks to Lesley Sharp, aka Sky Silvestry, about what makes a scary story, working with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant and the fun of going bonkers.
  • Before iPlayer, DVDs and videos, the only way to relive an old Doctor Who story was by reading a Target book. DWM takes a nostalgic look back at this fondly remembered series of novels.
  • Discover why too much information can be a bad thing - and just what The Doctor's Daughter has to do with 1978'sUnderworld – in You Are Not Alone.

    Plus all the latest news, exclusive photos, reviews, previews, competitions and a free, vintage Target Doctor Who book.

"I'm in love with Lis," confesses John. "The first time that I met her, a year or so ago, she was coming out of an elevator. I grabbed her and said, 'I just want to say what an honour it is to meet you. I am so thrilled! Hopefully, we'll get a chance to work together one day.'

"She was very gracious, but after she'd gone I thought, 'John, you idiot, you've embarrassed yourself in front of Sarah Jane Smith!'

"When she came on set for these final episodes there was a point when Davros appeared and I grabbed her hand, and we're looking at each other as John and Elisabeth, looking and thinking, this is so surreal! We were part of history that day. We all had to take in the moment, because it will probably never happen again. And our final scene together – oh, it was beautiful."

Is Sarah Jane attracted to Jack? "I think Jack finds her sexy." Should he even go there? "There's one bit where we hint at it," John replies, cheekily. "There is an element of flirtation there. I wonder if they've left it in. If anybody can flirt with Sarah Jane, it's Captain Jack Harkness!"

Also in issue 397 of the magazine, Elisabeth Sladen reveals all about her encounters with Davros - and whyJourney's End could be her last meeting with the Doctor.

FILTER: - Magazines - DWM - Series 4/30

The Time Traveller's AlmanacBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

BBC Books has released details about the forthcoming Doctor Who publication The Time Traveller's Almanac.

Billed as 'The Ultimate Intergalactic Fact-Finder', the hardback book explores parallel versions of Earth, counts sightings of Captain Jack Harkness through history, relives the Doctor's encounters with Charles Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and Queen Victoria, tracks the origins of the Family of Blood, the Chula spacecraft and the Vespiform, and focuses on events such as the First World War, the Great Depression and the Battle of Canary Wharf.

From the fall of Troy to the Apollo moon landing, Shakespeare and Agatha Christie to the Gelth and the Reapers, it tracks key events throughout history and includes tales of great lives, explanations of important issues in science, technology and the arts, and retells the stories that have defined each era.

Among the features, it also delves into the eruption of Vesuvius plus the mysteries of Carrionite science, takes a look at the eminent artists of the 16th, 19th and 21st centuries, and examines where the Daleks come from.

Fully illustrated with photos and artwork, The Time Traveller's Almanac, by Steve Tribe, will be published on September 25, 2008.

FILTER: - Production - Books

Midnight - Final RatingsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Final figures released by BARB give episode Ten of Series Four, Midnight, an official rating of 8.05 million viewers.

The episode finished in fifth place in the weekly top ten, just beaten by the two main soaps and The Apprentice. The chart position is the joint second highest the programme has achieved in its 45 year history. The highest charting episode was last Christmas's Voyage of the Damned. The only other episode to reach the top five was the second episode of the 1975 Tom Baker story The Ark in Space.

The Sunday repeat on BBC3 which was watched by1.07 million viewers and was the 2nd most watched programme on multi-channel for the week, just beaten by Heroes on BBC3.

The Saturday showing of Doctor Who Confidential got 0.59 million viewers, making it the 28th most watched multi-channel programme.

Full ratings data, including data for iPlayer downloads, can be found in the Doctor Who Forum.
Top Programmes w/e 15 June 2008

1 THE APPRENTICE (WED 2059) - 9.29 - BBC1
2 CORONATION STREET (WED 1930) - 8.36 - ITV1
3 EASTENDERS (TUE 1931) - 8.25 - BBC1
4 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1934) - 8.06 - ITV1
5 DOCTOR WHO (SAT 1910) - 8.05 - BBC1
6 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2030) - 7.79 - ITV1
7 EASTENDERS (SUN 2000) - 7.47 - BBC1
8 EASTENDERS (WED 2000) - 7.06 - BBC1
9 EASTENDERS (MON 1959) - 6.78 - BBC1
10 EMMERDALE (FRI 1903) - 6.67 - ITV1
11 EMMERDALE (THU 1903) - 6.64 - ITV1
12 EMMERDALE (TUE 1859) - 6.53 - ITV1
13 BBC NEWS (SUN 2200) - 6.41 - BBC1
14 CORONATION STREET (SUN 1858) - 6.29 - ITV1
15 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) - 6.24 - ITV1
16 CASUALTY (SAT 2046) - 6.19 - BBC1
17 EMMERDALE (MON 1859) - 6.13 - ITV1
18 EURO 2008 LIVE (MON 1929) - 5.74 - ITV1
19 THE NATIONAL LOTTERY - 1 VS 100 (SAT 1955) - 5.69 - BBC1
20 EURO 2008: MATCH OF THE DAY LIVE (FRI 1929) - 5.58 - BBC1

Top Multi Channel Programmes w/e 15 June 2008

1 HEROES (Thu 2201) 1,233,000 - BBC3
2 DOCTOR WHO (Sun 2032) 1,068,000 - BBC3
4 EASTENDERS (Mon 2202) 913,000 - BBC3
5 EASTENDERS (Tue 2201) 819,000 - BBC3
6 EASTENDERS (Wed 2201) 778,000 - BBC3
7 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT (Fri 2059) 760,000 - ITV2
8 HOME AND AWAY (Wed 1829) 751,000 - Fiver
9 FILM: LOVE ACTUALLY (Tue 2158) 738,000 - ITV2
10 GLADIATORS (Sun 1800) 734,000 - Sky One
11 EURO 2008 LIVE (Sun 1929) 732,000 - ITV4
12 HOME AND AWAY (Tue 1829) 714,000 - Fiver
13 COME DINE WITH ME (Sun 1850) 703,000 - More4
14 HOLLYOAKS (Thu 1859) 680,000 - E4
15 HOME AND AWAY (Mon 1829) 675,000 - Fiver
16 THE QUEEN (Sun 2020) 663,000 - ITV3
17 SUPERNATURAL (Sun 2100) 650,000 - ITV2
18 HOLLYOAKS (Mon 1859) 645,000 - E4
19 60 SECONDS (Mon 2159) 642,000 - BBC3
20 FAMILY GUY (Thu 2306) 631,000 - BBC3

Source BARB

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30

Fans Take Up the Project of Animating Lost EpisodesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
The June 26th edition of The Guardian features an article describing the efforts of a very talented group of fans who have taken inspiration from the 2006 DVD release of 1968's "The Invasion" and are animating lost episodes of Doctor Who.

Garrett Gilchrist is a director and artist based in the US. For the past eight months he has been working on an ambitious project to restore to life an episode of the lost 1967 Patrick Troughton epic, "Evil of the Daleks."

"'The Invasion' DVD was such a gift to fans, such a wonderful project," he says. "The first thought in everyone's mind was, 'So, when are you animating the rest of them, then?' "

Gilchrist is taking a very loyalist approach to the project. "They (the animations) have to match the original episodes as closely as possible, and feel like the 60s Doctor Who, not updated," says Gilchrist. "Just recreated with new technology. Recreated, not updated."

The article includes a 'sample reel' of scenes from various episodes, ranging from "Marco Polo" to "The Wheel in Space"

FILTER: - Animation - Classic Series

Turn Left - AI and Digital RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 June 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Episode eleven of series four, Turn Left, scored an Appreciation Index of 88, again one of the highest scores of the week and firmly in the excellent category.

Sunday's football just edged ahead of Saturday's Doctor Who making Turn Left the 7th most watched programme of the week. This position may rise when corrected figures, including numbers for those recording the programme, are released by BARB in 9 days' time.

Sunday's BBC3 repeat got an overnight audience of0.60 million viewers. It was a 2.7% share of the multi-channel audience and the third most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for Sunday.

Saturday's edition of Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.77 million viewers. The programme, which had a share of 4.3 %, was the most watched on multi-channel television on Saturday. The Sunday repeat had 0.34 millionwatching.

Last Friday's repeat of Midnight got an audience of 0.29 million viewers. It was the 7th highest multi channel programme.

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30

Casting Rumour: New Girl for ChristmasBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 June 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
The Sunday Mirror is reporting that supermodel Agyness Deyn is being lined up as the new Christmas companion for the episode that will air on Christmas Day. Below is the body of the article; as always consider this to be strictly a rumour until confirmed officially by the BBC.

Extra caution is advised with this particular report, given that the episode in question has already been shot!
Supermodel Agyness Deyn is being lined up to appear in a Doctor Who Christmas special.

TV executives are considering several character options for the catwalk queen who will follow in the footsteps of previous guest stars Kylie Minogue and comedy veteran Bernard Cribbins.

A bbc source revealed: "Doctor Who remains the Beeb's jewel in the crown and bosses love pulling out the stops to land a bigname star to add a bit of extra showbiz sparkle to the Christmas special.

"Agyness is the perfect choice. She's talented and fast becoming a household name."

The part will be the first big acting role for Agyness, who is best known as the face of designer brands like Burberry and Armani.

Agyness, 25 - real name Laura Hollins - was discovered while working in a chip shop in Ramsbottom, Lancs, in 1999. Since then she has won a string of lucrative contracts as well as carving out a career in music - lending her voice to indie band The Five O'Clock Heroes' single Who.

She now divides her time between London and New York after splitting from long-term boyfriend Josh Hubbard, lead singer with The Paddingtons, last month.

Two years ago, Dr Who bosses brought in comedienne Catherine Tate to play bride Donna Noble in festive special The Runaway Bride. She proved a hit with viewers and was brought back as the Doctor's assistant, replacing Freema Agyeman. Pop princess Kylie Minogue was drafted in last year to play waitress Astrid Peth in Titanic-themed episode The Voyage Of The Damned.

Doctor Who - currently starring David Tennant - was an instant ratings winner for BBC1 when it was revived in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and former pop singer Billie Piper as his assistant.

FILTER: - People - Series 4/30

Colin Baker to star in Bath PantoBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 June 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
Colin Baker, the sixth actor to star in Doctor Who (1984 - 1986), is set to star in the upcoming pantomime "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the Theatre Royal in Bath.

Baker stars as Fleshcreep, the baddie in the piece. While he is best known for having been the Doctor, he's also famous for other villain roles, most notably that of Paul Merroney in The Brothers from 1974 - 1976. He also portrayed Bayban the Butcher in the Blake's 7 episode "City at the Edge of the World" and first appeared in Doctor Who as Commander Maxil, the Fifth Doctor's executioner, in "Arc of Infinity".

"Beanstalk" also features Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon as the Fairy and 19-year-old singer Lewis Bradley - a finalist in Any Dream Will Do - as Jack.

The panto will run from Thursday December 18 to Sunday January 25.

To book call the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844.

FILTER: - People - Colin Baker

Clarke's Adulthood top UK-made filmBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 June 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Noel Clarke's latest film, Adulthood, has become the number one British film at the UK box office. In the weekend's box office tally, Adulthood is the number four film overall, and has the highest per screen average.

Adulthood is written and directed by Clarke who also stars as Sam, released from prison six years after being involved in a killing. The sequel to the 2006 low budget drama Kidulthood, Adulthood is a urban drama dealing with life in the crime ridden slum areas of our major cities. It's set in a location where a life of drugs, crime and violence is often seen as the best choice for youth and where an ever increasing number of teenage lives are lost through the use of knives and guns. Although unflinching in its portrayal of street attitudes and behaviour the film does have a strong message of redemption.

The film took £1.2 million in its opening weekend with some of the many cinemas showing it around the country having to move it into bigger screens to meet audience demand, moving out big studio releases like The Incredible Hulk and Sex And The City.

Clarke said: "I'm thrilled that so many people both young and old have queued up to see Adulthood on the big screen as it was intended to be shown. This film carries an important message and it is very rewarding to know how widely it is being received."

John Fletcher, Pathe Distribution Managing Director, said: "We are delighted that Adulthood has performed so well at the box office. The fact that this British indie sequel is one of the most popular films this weekend demonstrates how well Noel Clarke's powerful drama has connected with audiences across the country."

The BBC showing of Kidulthood was the most requested programme on the BBC iPlayer last week, beating Doctor Who into second place.

FILTER: - People

Turn Left - Overnight RatingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 June 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Unofficial figures show that episode eleven of Series Four, Turn Left, was watched by 7.0 million viewers, giving it a 35.1% share of the total television audience.

The programme was the second most watched on Saturday, just being beaten by Euro 2008 on ITV1 which started just as Doctor Who finished. The programme won its time slot, getting double the audience of ITV1's Animals Do The Funniest Things. BBC1 had a drop of nearly 4 million viewers when Doctor Who finished.

Doctor Who is currently the 6th most watched programme of the week. Final figures will be released by BARB in ten days' time.

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30

New episode 12 trailersBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 June 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The BBC has started running two new trailers for episode 12 of the current series, separate from the "Next Time" trailer seen last night. There is a 10-second teaser trail featuring the Daleks, and a longer 30-second trail containing many elements from the episode, including a malevolent voiceover.

UK internet users can view both of the trailers on the official BBC website, or on the BBC YouTube channel.

FILTER: - Series 4/30 - Press