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

Dubai newspaper reports on filming plansBookmark and Share

Thursday, 22 January 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Following on from an earlier blog report from The Guardian, the Dubai-based newspaper 7DAYS has reported that filming for one of the forthcoming Doctor Who specials will take place in Dubai. There has been no official word from BBC sources; the7DAYS article quotes an unnamed "BBC insider" confirming that the series will be filming in Dubai "later this year". The same article also states, "At least one other episode will be shot in the US, it was disclosed."

The newspaper also created a few images of Doctor Who aliens and villains in Dubai scenes; one of these is at right. The rest can be seen in the "e-paper" available on the7DAYS website after (free) registration.

Thanks to "chelwood" of the Doctor Who Forum.

FILTER: - Specials - Series 4/30 Specials - Press

Michelle Ryan cast in specialBookmark and Share

Thursday, 22 January 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Since Matt Smith's announcement at the beginning of the year, media speculation has moved onto who the companion to his Doctor will be for the next series. Whilst the media has speculated on a number of names for the role, such as Lily Allen and Rachel Stevens, most recently they have turned their attention towards former EastEnders actress Michelle Ryan.

Betting company William Hill had initially placed the odds on the actress at5/1; however the Sunday Mirror reported last weekend that Ryan had been "in secret talks with BBC bosses" over the role of companion to the eleventh Doctor, and that an announcement would be made by the BBC very soon (also reported by Digital SpyCoventry TelegraphMarie Claireand Den of Geek).

However, with production having now commenced on the first Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead, fans who have been watching events unfold in Cardiff over the last few days have reported on Ryan being involved with this episode. This was confirmed last night with the actress being seen performing with current Doctor David Tennant. Though there has been no official confirmation of her role from the BBC as yet, it is believed that she is playing the part of companion to the tenth Doctor for this special, with The London Paper today reporting her character name as 'Lady Christina de Souza'.

Ryan has recently been seen on television in the BBC's Saturday night fantasy series Merlin, and the short-lived re-imagining of The Bionic Woman. She also appeared in Doctor Who's new head writer Steven Moffat's previous series on the BBC, Jekyll.

Update 2200: further coverage of casting in Den of Geek and Daily Mail.

(with thanks to Lee Tucker and the Cardiff Kinda Group)

FILTER: - Specials - Production - Series 4/30 Specials - Press

Shooting resumes on Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
For the first time since the completion of material for "The Next Doctor" in April 2008, BBC Wales have resumed the production ofDoctor Who. Work began yesterday, on Monday the 19th of January, with director James Strong helming material for the forthcoming special Planet of the Dead at Museum Avenue and Park Place in Cardiff.

As has become the custom, the shooting of Doctor Who has attracted the attention of fans, several of whom have been down to the location to observe activity and take photographs, one of which is reproduced at the right. The Doctor Who News Page will avoid giving any spoilers for episodes while they are in production, but those interested in finding out more about the production in Cardiff can follow the link to the set reports thread in the Doctor Who Forum by clicking below.

Picture by Scooty of The Doctor Who Forum

FILTER: - Specials - Production - Series 4/30 Specials

Doctor Who special effects nominated at VESBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The seventh annual award ceremony for the Visual Effects Society is taking place on the 21st February, and Doctor Who has been nominated for two awards:

In the Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special, the Christmas special The Next Doctor has been nominated for its effects for the Cyber-King; it will be up against 'Generation Kill', 'Knight Rider' and 'John Adams'.

For Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Broadcast Program or Commercial we seeSilence in the Library nominated, up against 'Generation Kill' and 'Merlin'.

The VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. The VES is the entertainment industry's only official trade organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.

(with thanks to The_Iceman2288)

FILTER: - Production - Awards/Nominations

Big Finish Eighth Doctor AdventuresBookmark and Share

Monday, 19 January 2009 - Reported by Marcus
Big Finish Productions are to release the third series of the Eighth Doctor adventures as a series of downloads every Saturday from 7th March 2009.

The full-cast audio Adventures feature Paul McGann as the Doctor travelling with his companion Lucie, played by Sheridan Smith. Each 30-minute episode will be available on Saturday night, with the complete two-part story subsequently available on CD. There will be eight stories produced over a 16-week period. There will be a bonus ninth adventure which will be released as a Christmas special in December 2009, entitled Death in Blackpool.

The season will see the Doctor and Lucie facing some new foes and a number of favourite and iconic Doctor Who monsters, including the Krynoids (killer plants from the 1976 TV story The Seeds of Doom), the Wirrn (deadly insects from the 1975 tale The Ark in Space) and the Giant Spiders of Metebelis III (from the 1974 Jon Pertwee story Planet of the Spiders).

Big Finish have lined up an impressive list of guest actors for the series, which includes: Andrew
 (Manuel in Fawlty Towers), Laura Solon (Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul), Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, The Colour of Magic), Lysette Anthony (Dark Shadows, Dracula: Dead and Loving It), Miriam Margolyes (Happy Feet, the Harry Potter films), Samuel Barnett (The History Boys, Beautiful People), Colin Salmon (Resident Evil, Die Another Day and Dr Moon in Doctor Who: Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead), Daniel Anthony (Clyde in The Sarah Jane Adventures), Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, Ms Wormwood in The Sarah Jane Adventures), Phil Davies (Bleak House, The Curse of Steptoe, Lucius in Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii),Phill Jupitus (Rex the Runt, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), Stephen Moore (Brassed Off, Mersey Beat and Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Sophie Winkleman (Peep Show) and Sanjeev Bhaskar(The Kumars at No 42, Notting Hill).

FILTER: - Audio

The Guardian attacks Dubai filmingBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 January 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The website of The Guardian newspaper has published an article by Gareth McLean, attacking the alleged decision of the BBC to carry out location shooting for one of the forthcoming Doctor Who specials in the state of Dubai.

Although the shooting in the United Arab Emirates has not yet been officially confirmed by the BBC, McLean quotes the Corporation as having told him that "There are no restrictions governing the filming of BBC drama in Dubai." McLean attacks the possibility of the programme being filmed there, on the basis of the country's human rights record.

Says McLean: "Though Dubai might be doing an effective job of presenting itself as a glitzy tourist destination, a place associated with mind-boggling decadence and the embodiment in glass and steel of the determination of the human spirit, the fact is, you may run out of fingers counting the ways in which filming even some of Doctor Who there is wrong."

FILTER: - Production - Press

Tate To Spoof DW On Sunday Night ProjectBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 January 2009 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

Catherine Tate can be seen spoofing Doctor Who this weekend on entertainment showThe Sunday Night Project.

She is the guest host on the Channel 4 programme on January 18, and as well as delivering a monologue she puts on a wig, sideburns, suit and overcoat to assume the guise of the Tenth Doctor. The show's format also sees guest hosts facing questions from the studio audience.

In addition, regular co-host Justin Lee Collins portrays a bride, echoing Tate's first appearance as Donna Noble in Doctor Who.

The programme will air at 10pm.

David TennantBillie Piper and John Barrowman all guest-hosted during the show'sFriday Night Project incarnation.

FILTER: - People - Catherine Tate

Keys of Marinus heading for DVDBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 January 2009 - Reported by Marcus
2 entertain have confirmed that the First Doctor story The Keys of Marinus is scheduled to be released on DVD in the first half of 2009. This release is in addition to the stories previously announced.

The Keys of Marinus was William Hartnell's fifth story and was originally shown between 11 April and 16 May 1964. It was written by the Daleks' creator,Terry Nation, and directed byJohn Gorrie. The Doctor Who restoration team has an article on the making of the DVD including details of previously unknown cuts in the episodes and how this missing material was restored.

The team also have a feature on the upcoming release of thePatrick Troughton 10 part epic, The War Games.

There are 11 DVD release slots scheduled in 2009. The two remaining slots are likely to be filled with a box set consisting of three stories, and a stand alone release.

The current confirmed UK DVD release schedule is as follows:

• 26 Jan 2009 - E-Space Trilogy Box (Full Circle, State of Decay and Warriors' Gate)
• 23 Feb 2009 - The Rescue / The Romans
• 16 Mar 2009 - Attack of the Cybermen

In addition, the following are slated for UK release in 2009, with specific dates yet to be announced: The Keys of Marinus; The War Games; Dalek War box set (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks); The Deadly Assassin; Image of the Fendahl; Delta and the Bannermen

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Davies Talks About Next SpecialBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - Reported by R Alan Siler
Executive Producer and Head Writer Russell T. Davies reveals that the forthcoming Doctor Who special Planet Of The Dead will serve as an "antidote" to recent adventures.

The departing showrunner told Doctor Who Magazine: "After the events of Journey's End and The Next Doctor I think it's time to get away from the past and have an adventure with lots of new elements. And lots of fun too!

"The next Special should be a nice antidote to Christmas, with a bit of sunshine if we're lucky. And with not one but two alien races that you've never seen before."

FILTER: - Specials - Russell T Davies - Production - Series 4/30 Specials - Press

John Barrowman To Write Torchwood ComicBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - Reported by R Alan Siler
When the March issue of Torchwood Magazine hits the newsstands, readers will find a special treat inside: an original Torchwood comic strip written byJohn Barrowman

The actor, who plays Captain Jack Harkness in the Doctor Who spinoff, has penned "Captain Jack and the Selkie" with his sister Carole E. Barrowman and editor Martin Eden.

Eden told the magazine: "I'm so excited to be working on this story. John and Carole are an absolute pleasure to work with. Believe me, the readers are in for a treat."

Carole revealed that the project has been on her and John's agenda for some time, saying: "When John and I were working on [John's autobiography] Anything Goes, we spent a lot of time together on the Torchwood set.

"In between our storytelling and moments of inspired silliness, we decided we'd like to work on a project together that involved Captain Jack."

FILTER: - People - Torchwood