Doctor Who returns to ItalyBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 December 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: RAIDoctor Who returns to Italy next month, when the state broadcaster RAI brings the show to their entertainment channel RAI 4 available on digital terrestrial television in Italy and digital satellite television through Tivù Sat.

The channel has acquired all five series of modern Doctor Who as well as the specials. Day and time of broadcast are, at present, still under development but the channel has confirmed via their Facebook page that the series will start sometime in January.

The first three series were previously shown on satellite television in Italy and RAI will be using the same dubbed transmission tapes when they show the series. The fourth and fifth series will be new to the country. The translation is being handled by BBC Worldwide.

For a full roundup of Doctor Who around the world, see our sister site This Week In Doctor Who.

A Christmas Carol: Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 December 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol achieved an Appreciation Index or AI score of 83.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. Although the score is down slightly on previous years, it was still the second highest AI on BBC One for Christmas Evening with just The Royle Family scoring more with 84.

The Sunday evening BBC Three repeat was watched by 527,000 viewers.

With overnight ratings available for the whole week, Doctor Who finished fourth, with a decent chance of moving up the chart when the official figures are released next week.

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 December 2010 - Reported by Harry Ward
John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) has won the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing. He told the Daily Mail that on the possibility of hosting the dance show: "If [Bruce Forsyth, current host] were to offer those dancing shoes to me, I would gladly take them. It would be an incredible gig.".

Katherine Jenkins (Abigail Pettigrew, A Christmas Carol) was due to sing for the troops with James Blunt in Afghanistan but because of the snowy weather hitting the UK the plane was unable to take off. She posted to her Twitter account: "Am so gutted - words can't describe how disappointed we all are." The BBC have a video of Katherine singing for the troops on board the plane.

Jane Espenson (Writer, Torchwood: The New World) has indicated via her Twitter page that she'll be producing the episodes that she writes for The New World.

David Harewood (Joshua Naismith, The End of Time) has joined the cast of forthcoming US Showtime drama pilot Homeland. Deadline has more information about his role.

Carey Mulligan (Sally Sparrow, Blink) is on the front cover of ELLE UK for January 2011 which features an interview with her. There is a behind the scenes video of the photo shoot for the magazine. Click here for more details about the issue.

Daphne Ashbrook (Grace Holloway, TV Movie) has released her first music CD entitled Grace Notes. It is available to download from iTunes and other online stores. Daphne was talking about her new CD and musical career with The Happiness Patrol podcast.

David Tennant has narrated Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice. The BBC YouTube channel has uploaded 3 preview clips. 1, 2 and 3.

A Christmas Carol debuts down underBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 December 2010 - Reported by Adam Kirk
A Christmas Carol has debuted in Australia to good ratings. TV Tonight reports that Carol averaged 880,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, despite stiff competition from the commercial networks. It won its time-slot, was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's top-rating drama of the day and was the eighth highest rating programme of the day overall. Doctor Who at the Proms also rated a respectable 141,000 viewers at the early timeslot of 5pm.

The fast-tracking of the Christmas special has also attracted considerable local media, including a number of interviews with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Gillan has been interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times, while Smith has spoken to the Herald-Sun, the Sunday Telegraph and the Sun-Herald where he expresses the hope of visiting Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has also rated 'A Christmas Carol' its 'show of the week' with Michael Idato writing that it 'is sure to be the firmest and finest footprint in the life of the 11th doctor so far.'

Boxing Day shoppers and restaurant goers got an unexpected surprise in the middle of Melbourne when the giant screen in Federation Square switched from the end of Australia's tragic day's play in the Ashes to a live feed from ABC TV showing the entirety of the 2010 Christmas Special!

Doctor Who Experience: Pilot test daysBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 December 2010 - Reported by Harry Ward
BBC Events are offering fans the chance to take part in pilot days to test the Doctor Who Experience attraction before opening up to everyone.

The test days will take place on Saturday 5 February and Wednesday 9 February. You can enter the random draw at any time until 4pm on Friday 14 January.

More information below from the events listing.

Step into the TARDIS and be part of the adventure.

BBC Worldwide invites you on a journey of a lifetime. The Doctor Who Experience promises to be an unmissable adventure featuring an exhilarating and unique walk-through experience and an awe-inspiring exhibition.

You'll be invited to step through a crack in time to become the Doctor's companion on an adventure. Your challenge will be to reunite the Doctor with the TARDIS whilst fending off threats from a Dalek spaceship and Weeping Angels along the way, before exploring the wonders of Doctor Who at an out-of-this-world exhibition.

Prior to opening to the public on Sunday 20 February 2011 at Olympia Two, we are inviting an audience to take part in two pilot days to fully test the attraction. These audiences will be the first lucky people to view the new attraction, therefore their patience and understanding will be required due to the fact that it will be a test day.

The test days will take place on Saturday 5 February and Wednesday 9 February.

Due to the popularity of this attraction we are operating a random draw and limiting ticket requests to four tickets per household per day.

You can enter the random draw at any time until 4pm on Friday 14 January.

Further information:
The Doctor Who Experience operates a timed ticket entry. You will be allocated an arrival time between midday and 2.30pm. Guests are asked to arrive 20 minutes before their allocated time slot to allow for queuing time, ticket checks and security checks.

Like the television series, the new Doctor Who Experience includes monsters and scenes that young children may find scary, so parental guidance is recommended.

Visitors are not permitted to take any pictures, video or audio recordings of the Doctor Who Experience pilot event or disclose any other information about the Doctor Who Experience pilot event without BBC Worldwide's prior written approval. BBC Worldwide reserves its right to bring legal action for breach of this condition.

CCTV will be in use at this event for your security and safety.

Please note filming will be taking place, by attending you give BBC and BBC Worldwide the right to use the whole or part of your contributions in all media and markets throughout the world.

Please note that by applying for tickets you are agreeing to your details being passed to production who may contact you before the event.

To enter the random draw visit the BBC Events Website or call the BBC Ticket Line on 0370 901 1227.

Doctor Who 2011 Series TrailerBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 December 2010 - Reported by Harry Ward
BBC America have posted the trailer for the 2011 series of Doctor Who to their Anglophenia blog. The trailer originally aired after the end credits of A Christmas Carol. The next series of Doctor Who is expected to air sometime in Spring. You can read our summary guide for series 6/32 by clicking here.

Update (29/12)
BBC America have also been playing a specially made promo video featuring The Doctor and Amy Pond on their network:

A Christmas Carol: UK press reactionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 December 2010 - Reported by Chuck Foster
UK press coverage in the aftermath of A Christmas Carol have been muted so far, with only a few of the broadsheets reviewing the episode; of those, both Dan Martin from the Guardian and Phil Hogan from the Observer were positive on what they saw:

Dan Martin: Moffat scripts are always ingenious, but A Christmas Carol is a remarkably small-scale caper. There's no malevolent alien invasion force – just Michael Gambon perfectly cast as a lonely old man with a grudge against the world in general and Christmas in particular. Because we need a behind-the-sofa sequence there's the flying shark, but "Clive" (as she was dubbed by the production team to ward off spoilers) turns out not to be a baddie after all. And while we don't want to belittle the lives of 4004 people, the stakes are remarkably low – no threat of enslavement of a population, no nuclear Armageddon circling the Earth, no madmen flirting with the end of reality. Which feels right – because Christmas isn't really about those things. It's about the kind of warm and shameless sentimentality in which this episode deals, a time where it always snows and love always saves the day.

A Christmas Carol riffs magnificently and faithfully on the beauty and simplicity of its source material. At Christmas people always talk about the Greatest Story Ever Told in other terms, but this is a sumptuous triumph from start to finish.

Read the full review here.
Phil Hogan: It was a pity that Sardick's journey to niceness via fear and self-loathing had to bring so abrupt an end to his excellent scathing wit, but I suppose you don't want an audience grinning too much through the heart-thawing and ground-out repentance. Things worked out in the end, though not without some syrupy longueurs as the now twentysomething Sardick fell in love with the fragrant Katherine (playing the fragrant Abigail) only to find – after umpteen slightly uneventful secret outings from her cold prison – that she only had one day left to live. I'm sorry to say that in my mind's eye I could only see hordes of philistines wandering off to the kitchen for a mini pork pie during her big aria, but what's the point of hiring a world-class Welsh mezzo-soprano if you're not going to give the girl a bit of quality emoting time?

Read the full review here.

However, not everybody was happy with the Christmas serving of Doctor Who, with Chris Harvey of the Telegraph being quite negative about it:

Phew, that was a bit rich, wasn’t it? I think I’ve eaten too much. I’m not sure if it was that festive sleigh-ride across the rooftops in a carriage pulled by a giant fog-breathing shark that had been tamed by the sweet song of a cryogenically frozen maiden that did it, but I actually feel rather queasy.

Of course, Matt Smith’s first Christmas Special as the Doctor had been written with the word “Christmassy” in mind, it’s not really for old curmudgeons like me, who got more of a kick out of Michael Gambon’s miserly Kazran Sardick when he was sneering and snarling at the beginning of the episode than when he had been thoroughly heartwarmed by the end.
But there was just something so overblown about the whole thing, it reminded me of the worst excesses of the Russell T Davies era, when everything just kept getting bigger, louder, more operatic… feebler.

Read the full review here.

In other places, the Metro concentrated on how Katherine Jenkins was being received by people on social communication tool Twitter, quoting several fans for and against the singer's first acting role.

Further reviews may be found from Seenit, Den of Geek and On The Box; further links will be added via Doctor Who in the Media over the forthcoming days.

10.3 Million watch A Christmas CarolBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 December 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor WhoUnofficial overnight figures show Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol was watched by an audience of 10.3 million on BBC One and BBC One HD last night.

The programme was the second highest rated for the day with EastEnders taking the top place with 11.4 million. The new Matt Lucas / David Walliams comedy, Come Fly With Me was third with just a few thousand viewers short of Doctor Who.

Once again the BBC triumphed with eight of the top ten places. Against Doctor Who ITV scheduled Emmerdale, which got 7.2 million watching. Doctor Who got a share of 39.8% of the total audience.

So far Doctor Who is the fourth most watched programme for the week, behind one Coronation Street and two EastEnders.

1.3 million watched the programme on BBC One HD.

Last year, Doctor Who achieved an overnight rating of 10.4 million watching on BBC One and BBC HD, and was third for the day.

On BBC Three Doctor Who Confidential had 207,000 watching, a 0.8% share of the audience.

It is important to note that the overnight figures are an initial estimate. Final figures, including those who record the programme and watch it within a week, will be published by BARB in around 8 days time.

NB: The 9am Christmas Day repeat of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Death of the Doctor, got an overnight rating of 1.4 million, far higher than its initial showing on the channel.

BBC America TARDIS Building ContestBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 December 2010 - Reported by Harry Ward
BBC America have launched a competition to find the best homemade TARDIS.

The first place winner will be awarded the grand prize of a Doctor Who screening event at a venue in their area in September 2011, with a maximum of 50 guests, plus one copy of every episode of Doctor Who currently available on DVD in the United States.

Judging will be based on documentation of the following:
  • Most original design of the TARDIS
  • Most creative use of materials
  • Most creative placement in a public location
  • Most Facebook likes on

The competition is open only to legal residents of the Continental United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) who are eighteen years of age or older at the time of entry.

More information can be found at

And now on BBC One ...Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 December 2010 - Reported by Chuck Foster
It's Christmas Day, and after a day of celebration evening draws in and its time to settle down to ...

And now on BBC One ...

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol - 6:00pm UK, 9:00 US (ET)

See how the Doctors celebrated their own Christmas back in 2005 ...

(from the Dead Ringers Christmas Special 2005 - via BBC Comedy Greats on YouTube - may not play in all regions)

And a Happy Christmas to all of you at home, from the Doctor Who News Team!