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

Russell T Davies in fictionBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 August 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Outgoing executive producer Russell T Davies featured as a character in Wednesday's Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4.

The comedy takes place as a tidal wave threatens London. When the BBC forms an action committee to save the environment via a blockbuster movie Russell T Davies, played by Rupert Degas, heads up the committee. Can Mel Hudson and Vicki Pepperdine reach the meeting in time to pitch their idea and get back for the school run?

As well as Davies as a character, the play features the TARDIS and a Dalek. It can be heard worldwide for the next seven days on the BBC iPlayer, and is repeated on Radio 4 next Tuesday.

Thanks to gazhack of Gallifrey Base

FILTER: - People - Russell T Davies - Radio

The End of Time - DWM 412Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Highslide JS

This month's Doctor Who Magazine confirms the title of David Tennant's swansong to be The End of Time. The final episode will be 75 minutes long, with the penultimate episode running to 60 minutes. Former James Bond, Timothy Dalton will play The Narrator in these final episodes where he is joined by Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott, June Whitfield playing Minnie Hooper, Catherine Tate returning as Donna Noble and John Simm as the Master.

The magazine once more features the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, on the cover, the first time since issue 258 that Baker has featured on the cover two months running. Inside can be found the second part of DWM's interview with the longest running Doctor, in advance of his return to the role, with the release of Hornets' Nest next month. The magazine was present at the recording and gives a full report on proceedings, including interviews with the cast and crew.

Also in the magazine
  • Sixth Doctor companion actress, Nicola Bryant takes her turn to delve into the TARDIS tin!
  • The Doctor turns sleuth as he races to save New Old Detroit from the ominously-named World Bomb in the complete new comic-strip adventure, The Deep Hereafter with words by Dan McDaid and art by Rob Davis.
  • Everything you need to know about the Doctor’s Sixth and most colourful incarnation in one easy package, thanks to The Watcher and his continuing guide to the lives of our favourite Time Lord.
  • Step back in time to 1974 with The Fact of Fiction and take a look at the Fourth Doctor’s first adventure, Robot.
  • The Time Team’s Richard, Peter, Jac and Clay turn their square eyes to The Curse of Fenric and share their thoughts on this terrifying tale of World War II espionage, vampires and chess games.
  • Mary Tamm, who was the first incarnation of the Fourth Doctor’s companion, Romana talks to DWM about writing her autobiography and being a grandmother.
  • Outgoing Doctor Who supremo, Russell T Davies reflects on life in America, (including the revelation of chicken sausages) and his thoughts on the Eleventh Doctor’s costume.
  • There’s a photo special in this month’s Gallifrey Guardian rounding up all the pictures and coverage for the first day of filming for next year’s Series One, starring Matt Smith.
  • Neil Harris celebrates the unseen heroes of Doctor Who, including Leonardo Da Vinci who has the honour of not appearing in the series on two separate occasions!

FILTER: - Specials - Russell T Davies - Magazines - DWM - Series 4/30 Specials - Classic Series

Big Finish licence renewedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Classic Doctor Who audio producers Big Finish have announced that their license to produce the adventures of past Doctors has been renewed until 31st December 2011.

Says executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery:
“We’re thrilled that the licence has been renewed, and we’ve got some fantastic stories lined up for the rest of 2009, and through 2010 and beyond. Not only from the Doctor Who main range, but also the New Eighth Doctor Adventures and the Companion Chronicles, plus additional ranges like The Lost Stories. All of us at Big Finish love making Doctor Who on audio, and we feel privileged that the BBC has entrusted us to continue."

FILTER: - Audio

SJA Series Three Titles revealedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has revealed the episode titles for the forthcoming third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, due to air this coming Autumn on BBC1/CBBC.
Prisoner of the Judoon, by Phil Ford
The Mad Woman in the Attic, by Joseph Lidster
The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, by Gareth Roberts
The Eternity Trip, by Phil Ford
Mona Lisa's Revenge, Phil Ford
The Gift, by Rupert Laight

The magazine also confirms that the fourth series is in pre-production, but that it has yet to be formally commissioned.

FILTER: - Sarah Jane - Broadcasting

Postcards from AmericaBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Left to right: Davies, Tennant, Lyn, Gardner.
Image source:
As previously reported, David Tennant, Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Euros Lyn have sent two "audio postcards" from America to BBC Radio Wales. An extended version of the first postcard can be heard here, and the second postcard can be heard here. In the second postcard, David Tennant discusses driving in Los Angeles and his first Hollywood audition, Euros Lyn and Russell T Davies chat about Muscle Beach, and Julie Gardner explains the dangers of doggie bag culture.

FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Production - David Tennant - Radio - Julie Gardner - Broadcasting

Doctor Who’s Greatest MomentsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - Reported by Dean Braithwaite
Doctor Who’s Greatest Moments is a new three-part documentary series from the Doctor Who Confidential team.

Patrick Mulkern, in the new issue of the Radio Times has this to say:
With 58 Doctor Who Confidentials already under their belt, Gillane Seaborne and her team deliver a trio of themed docs – a fast, fun celebration of all that has made Doctor Who a storming success since its rebirth in 2005. [Parts 2 and 3] Companions and Enemies will follow, but this week it’s the Doctor’s turn in the limelight. What makes the Bachelor of Time tick? Why does he need reigning in occasionally? And who are his own heroes?
As well as clips from the series, there’ll be interviews from the “nearly departed” David Tenant, Freema Agyeman, Georgia Moffett, “next Doctor” David Morrissey and Captain Jack himself, John Barrowman.

Each episode is an hour in length, and the first, The Doctor, will be shown in the UK on BBC3 on Thursday, 20 August 2009 at 8:00 pm.

FILTER: - Documentary - Radio Times

BBC America press release: Best week, more WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe

BBC America has announced in a press release that Torchwood: Children of Earth and Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead helped the cable channel to its best ratings week:

Torchwood: Children of Earth is BBC AMERICA's most successful series ever, reaching 3.3m in Live+SD across the week. It delivered an average audience of 705,000 viewers per episode, with Friday's finale attracting 847,000, the largest average audience in the channel's history. Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead also performed strongly with 657,000 viewers in Live+SD.

In the Monday-Friday, 9-10P hour among A25-54, BBC AMERICA ranked #13 in coverage rating (.51) and #22 in delivery (380k) among the 75 Nielsen-rated ad supported cable networks. For the week, July 20, in the 9-10P hour, the channel - available in 64 million homes - outperformed, in Live+SD A25-54 delivery several nets with significantly higher distribution, such as MSNBC, Animal Planet, Bravo, BET, Travel, Oxygen, Hallmark, TV Land, Soap, MTV, E!, WE, and Headline News.

The press release also confirms that BBC America has acquired the next season of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor. The series will air on BBC America in "Q2, 2010 following soon after its UK premiere"; "Q2" refers to the second quarter of the year, or April, May and March.

FILTER: - USA - Children of Earth (Series 3) - Series 5/31 - Broadcasting

The Writer’s Tale – New editionBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 August 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
Details posted on reveal that a new edition of The Writer’s Tale, Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook’s detailed account of the making of series four of the new Doctor Who, is to be released in January 2010. The book, which takes the form of collected e-mail correspondence between Davies and Cook, proved extremely popular on its original release in late 2008. The new edition will contain over 300 pages of new material, detailing the conclusion of Davies’s time on the programme, culminating in the final special episodes to star David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

FILTER: - People - Russell T Davies - Books

Tennant/Davies on BBC Radio WalesBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 August 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Radio Wales featured one of its regular "radio postcard" broadcasts from Russell T Davies in Los Angeles this morning, and was joined by Julie Gardner, David Tennant and Euros Lyn to discuss the recent ComicCon. The broadcast will be available from BBC's iplayer for the next seven days (approx 2hrs 20min into the show).

There will be another 'postcard' on Monday.

See: BBC Wales Press Release

FILTER: - Russell T Davies - David Tennant - Radio - Broadcasting

Dalek War in OctoberBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 August 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The Dalek War Box set, featuring the third Doctor stories Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks, will be released in the UK on the 5th October.

The release was originally expected in December, but it is understood a slot became available in October when the release of Torchwood - Children of Earth was moved to a release date immediately after transmission.

Details of the extras included in the release are posted here.

It is not known whether another release will take the slot now available on 28th December. A trail has recently been classified for the release of the Fifth Doctor stories The King's Demons and Planet of Fire, indicating a Kamelion box set could be on the way.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD