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

Two more Hugo nominationsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The nominations for the 2009 Hugo Awards have been announced, and once again Doctor Who has been nominated for the "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" category. Two Doctor Who stories received nominations: "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" by Steven Moffat, directed by Euros Lyn; and "Turn Left" by Russell T Davies, directed by Graeme Harper. They will compete against episodes of Lost andBattlestar Galactica, and Joss Whedon's Internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog".

The Hugo Awards are given each year for the best works of science fiction or fantasy, as determined by the members of the World Science Fiction Society. Doctor Who has won every year since its return to television in 2005: the last three winners have been "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" (2006), "The Girl in the Fireplace" (2007) and "Blink" (2008), all written by Steven Moffat. Five other Doctor Who stories and one episode of Torchwood have been nominated in the past.

This year's winner will be announced at Anticipation, the 67th Annual Worldcon, in Montreal, Canada in August.

Thanks to Steve Manfred.




FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Russell T Davies - Awards/Nominations - Series 4/30

Sun reports on companions for Tennant's finale: possible spoilersBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The Sun has a story about the companions who will accompany the Tenth Doctor in his last story, and the story's antagonist. The information, if true, may be considered a spoiler; click the box below for details if you wish.

Please note that this has not been confirmed by any official source.

David Tennant will appear in four more special episodes of Doctor Who. One will air around Easter, and the other three will air around Christmas 2009 and New Year's 2010. The last two specials form a two-part story; this is the story which the Sun's news concerns.

Thanks to James Robertson.


Spoiler: 
The Sun is reporting that in David Tennant's final story as the Doctor, he will be accompanied by Billie Piper as Rose, Freema Agyeman as Martha and Catherine Tate as Donna. According to the tabloid, the three companions will face off against John Simm, returning as the Master




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

News snippetsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The Daily Mirror has reported that one of the Doctor Who specials which will air later this year will be set on Mars. In classic Doctor Who, the recurring monsters known as the Ice Warriors were native to Mars; the planet was also the prison of Sutekh in 1975's "Pyramids of Mars", and in a 1970 serial, human astronauts met "The Ambassadors of Death" on their way to Mars.

The Mirror also reports that the special will star Australian actor Peter O'Brien and actress Gemma Chan as "evil characters" in one of David Tennant's final Doctor Who stories.

The Doctor Who News Page previously reported that The Sarah Jane Adventures had been nominated for a Royal Television Society Programme Award, in the Children's Drama category; the awards were announced on March 17, and SJA lost to junior spy adventure M.I. High.

Finally, the Edinburgh Evening News reports that the Edinburgh police force are planning to bring "Tardis-style" police boxes back into use in the city's downtown. Many Edinburgh police boxes have been converted into coffee shops, but if this initiative goes through others would be used by police, as they were in the 1950s and 1960s.


Thanks to Chuck Foster and "nabusan" of the Doctor Who Forum.




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

Davies defends children's TVBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By Brigadier Bill

Russell T Davies has taken the lead in a big push to save children's programmes on the BBC. In a speech to BAFTA members, Davies said: "They put money into rubbish films, why can't they put money into children's television?"

Davies created The Sarah Jane Adventures for CBBC, but he claims that because of a cutback in funding for children's programming, the show has nearly been cancelled on three occasions. BBC News reports that he has called for National Lottery funding to be made available to ensure the future of children's programmes. He has insisted that: "It needs to be a special case. They're our children, they're the most vital and precious resource you could ever find. It is more important than industry, it is more important than the economy, it is more important than food and education."

Series three of The Sarah Jane Adventures was affected by a reduction in its budget. Davies explained: "We had to look and say, do we want to make a version of Sarah Jane that's a travesty? It was truly shocking to have a successful show having to face cuts which are that severe."

In the end, the series found the required money due to different BBC departments pulling together to fund it. However, Davies still maintains that in general "children's (TV) is sinking lower and lower down the agenda".




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Production

Alien Talent SearchBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Since the return of Doctor Who to British television, there have been many opportunities for UK children to participate in the programme, from the Blue Peter contests that gave us the Abzorbaloff and young Creet in "Utopia", to the "Doctor Who Backstage" contest held for Children in Need last year. Now older Doctor Who fans will have an opportunity to appear as an alien in a special Doctor Who scene.

John Barrowman is hosting a new programme called "Tonight's the Night", in which members of the public will be able to reveal their hidden talents and perform in a professional venue. According to an earlier press release, "this could mean duetting with a favourite pop group, singing with a big band or tripping the light fantastic with the cast of a hit West End musical."

Now the BBC's Doctor Who website has revealed that "Tonight's the Night" is holding a contest for Doctor Who fans over the age of 18 to appear as an alien of their own creation in a specially written scene.

The contest will be held in several stages. For the first stage, contestants are asked to create a costume for a new Doctor Who alien and submit a photograph of themselves in the costume to the programme makers. They must also create a name, home planet, powers, weaknesses and other details about their alien and submit them with the photograph.

The judges will select 50 "aliens" to participate in the second stage, an "Alien Activity Day". There, the contestants will compete in several group and character tasks and be judged by the programme's panel. Ten semi-finalists will be selected and will meet the judges individually and be assessed on their "vocal, movement and scene stealing abilities", and three finalists will be chosen. The finalists will complete a series of "alien oriented challenges", and a winner will be chosen. The winner will appear in a Doctor Who scene exclusively written for him or her, which will air on "Tonight's the Night" in April or May.

Full details and the application form are available at the BBC's Be on a show website. The photograph and application must be submitted by 28 March 2009, so get to work!




FILTER: - Production

Second image of new K9Bookmark and Share

Monday, 16 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The official website of K9 creator Bob Baker has revealed a new promotional image for the forthcoming series. The image  shows the new K9 prop in clearer detail, as well as three characters from the series (presumably "Starkey", "Jorjie" and "Darius", as described in Park Entertainment's summaryof the series).

The image appears to have been created for promotional use at MIPTV in Cannes. Earlier reports indicated that K9 will air on Australia's Network Ten and on digital channel Jetix in the UK; Jetix recently announced that it will be rebranded under the name Disney XD later in 2009.




FILTER: - K9

Red Nose Day - RatingsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The Red Nose Day edition of The Sarah Jane Adventures was watched by around 8.3 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures, out rating Emmerdale on ITV1.

The David Tennant part of the evening had an average of 9.2 million watching, peaking at 11.3 million at 8pm. Comic Relief peaked at 9pm with 12.7 million watching.

David Tennant hosted the first 90 minutes of the programme along with Big Brother star Davina McCall. As well as the special Sarah Jane episode, Tennant and McCall went head to head in a live edition of Mastermind, with Tennant answering questions on Doctor Who 1963-2009. The whole programme is available to viewers in the United Kingdom for the next seven days, via the BBC iPlayer with highlights on theBBC YouTube channel.

A short selection of highlights can be seen around the world on the BBC Newswebsite. A number of images are on the Red Nose flickr site.

The evening raised a record 57 million pounds, around 80 million US Dollars, smashing the previous record of 40.5m pounds from 2007. The money raised from Red Nose Day will go towards helping disadvantaged people across Africa and in the UK.




FILTER: - Ratings - UK

Sarah Jane on Red Nose DayBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has released a short teaser for the forthcoming special episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures due to be shown as part of Red Nose Day 2009.

The charity telethon, organised by Comic Relief, will be shown on BBC One this Friday. The charity aims to raise money to help poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people throughout the world's poorest countries as well as in the UK.

The show begins at 7pm UK time and the first hour will be part hosted by David Tennant. This hour will feature the special episode of Sarah Jane staringElisabeth Sladen and guest star Ronnie Corbett.

The episode is written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman and also stars Tommy KnightDaniel Anthonyand Anjli Mohindra.

The Sarah Jane Adventures website contains a number of images and wallpapers based on Red Nose Day.

The video may not be available outside the United Kingdom.

The official Red Nose Day YouTube site contains a video on the making of the Sarah Jane Adventures episode.



Other Doctor Who related events for Red Nose Day include Doctor Whoogle, a Google custom search site which is sending its revenue to Comic Relief and Children in Need.

The previous Comic Relief special of Doctor Who, The Curse of Fatal Death, is now available on the UK iTunes site, with most of the charge going to Comic Relief. The story, written by new show runner Steven Moffat, was first shown as part of Red Nose Day 1999. It stars Rowan AtkinsonRichard E. GrantJim BroadbentHugh Grant andJoanna Lumley all as the Doctor.




FILTER: - Sarah Jane

K9 newsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
K9 creator Bob Baker has revealed more details about the forthcoming K9 TV series. Of K9's appearance, Baker said that he and associate producer Paul Tams are "very pleased with the new look and especialy with his CGI movement."

Baker confirmed that in his first appearance in the series, K9 will look "identical to the one Leela had on Gallifrey", before regenerating into his new form.

Replying to a question about whether John Leeson would be performing K9's voice, Baker said, "There is great debate about the voice, I take your point about using John, but, it being a co-production we have many masters to please, but I'm sure you and all K9 fans will like what we eventually come up with since new K9 is the same character and his speech patterns are the same."

Baker said that K9 will contain "a menagerie of super monster 'uglies'." He also noted that more images from the series will be released soon, probably atMIPTV in Cannes (which will be held from March 30 to April 3 this year). Baker's posting can be read in full at his forum.

The series' premise has changed from earlier plans. Details, from the website of production company Park Entertainment, can be seen by clicking on the spoiler box below.

A partial list of episode titles is also available, at the Metal Mutt production site. Australian actor Remi Broadway will appear as Robin Hood in episode 4, titled "The Last Oak Tree in England".

Thanks to "NewtonDKC" of the Doctor Who Forum.
From the writer of Wallace and Gromit, Bob Baker, comes…

K9 – The Series

GENRE: Comedy
Running Time: 26 x 1/2 hr episodes

PREMISE
Somewhere in the future...

COMING SOON

Originally created for the 1970s DOCTOR WHO series by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, K9 has long been an iconic television character. Now comes a brand new adventure series featuring everyone’s favourite robot dog!

K9 is a children’s sci-fi/adventure series combining comedy, action and suspense "X Files" meets "Men in Black" with a zany dash of "Ghostbusters". K9 mixes live action characters with stunning visual-effects.

London, in the future: STARKEY (14) orphan and rebel ultimately plans to bring down the system but for the time being he is prepared to simply slip through the cracks. While evading the police he takes refuge in a large detached house, now the residence of reclusive scientist, Professor GRYFFEN. He is followed by JORJIE (14) an adventurous girl who partly admires Starkey’s dissident stance, but mostly wants to share whatever excitement is afoot.

Inside the dilapidated mansion, they see Gryffen absorbed in an experiment with a strange piece of alien technology, a Space Time Manipulator (S/TM). DARIUS (15) an artful dodger who, among his many occupations, runs errands for Gryffen, confronts the pair, but at that moment a portal opens and through the hole torn in the fabric of space/time burst two reptilian warrior JIXEN. The Jixen attack Starkey. The teenager is saved from certain death by a small dog-like robot, K9 Mark I, who follows the Jixen through the portal and places himself between the monsters and boy.

In the ensuing battle, the only way K9 can defeat the Jixen is to blow himself and them to pieces. One surviving Jixen limps out of the mansion. Before expiring, K9 is able to give instructions that allow Starkey to initiate a regeneration program. A new, more sophisticated and futuristically designed K9 is regenerated.

K9 and Starkey, with the assistance of Jorjie, Darius and Gryffen, become the earth’s front line defence against dangers threatening from anywhere and anytime in the galaxy. They will have a lot of fun, action, adventure, and some scares along the way, saving the earth from alien creatures, monsters and more than a few human threats.




FILTER: - K9

DVD UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 6 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
Various DVD sites are listing the 1976 Tom Baker story The Deadly Assassin for DVD release in early May.

The story, written by Robert Holmes and directed by David Maloney, was the third of Doctor Who's fourteenth season. It features Peter Pratt as the Master, as well as Angus MacKay playing Borusa and Bernard Horsfall as Chancellor Goth.

It is only serial of the original Doctor Who series in which the Doctor does not have a companion.

Some sites also have the 1987 Sylvester McCoy story Delta and the Bannermen listed for release in the later part of June. This story was written byMalcolm Kohll and directed by Chris Clough.

Other stories scheduled for release in 2009 are The Keys of MarinusThe War Games and the Dalek War box set (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks).

An additional box set of three stories, and a stand alone release, are also due in 2009.




FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD