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

Torchwood: Week Ten/Eleven ProductionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster

A quieter fortnight in terms of news filtering out from the ongoing production of Miracle Day - at this point, principle photography was taking place on episode five, with production meetings taking place for episodes seven and eight. However, public announcements over the course of the two weeks more than made up for quieter set reporting!

Last week saw the first official poster released by Starz for Miracle Day, announcing the launch date in the United States for Friday 8th July 2011, with a press release indicating the time as 10pm ET/PT. The United Kingdom broadcast date is yet to be confirmed, but is widely expected to be close to the the same date.

However, publicity photos have yet to be released for the series, though shoots for these took place in Swansea (28th January) and in Los Angeles (5th March). It seems likely that the publicity engine will kick into full gear at the MIPTV Media Market in Cannes on Monday 4th April; as previously reported, the show is one of several being showcased at the event, with principle stars John Barrowman and Bill Pullman there to help with promotion, alongside executive producer Julie Gardner.

The press release for this event also indicates that the series will consist of ten 50 minute episodes.

The principle cast have all been busy this fortnight, with John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer and Alexa Havins seen on location, and Kai Owen tweeting prominently from the sets! As production has progressed, of course, more of the supporting cast and extras have come to light. The following is a list of those previously unreported, compiled from various casting agencies, resumes, and IMDB listings: Cris D'Annunzio; Richard Augustine (George Sayer); Brad Bell; Amy Benedict (Bridget Howe); Marina Benedict (Charlotte Willis); Candace Brown (Sarah Drummond); Ron Butler; Antonio D. Charity (Airport Security Guard); Tug Coker (Geoff Reed); Ewan Chung (Yu-King So); Jonathan Dane ("handsome man"); Joseph Eid (Man #1); Chrissie Fit (Assistant); Andrew Fowler (immortal patient); Laura Gardner; Brittnee Garza; Lauri Hendler (Angry Nurse); Paul James (Noah Vickers); Liz Jenkins ("Recurring"); Ronobir Lahiri (Simran Baidwan); Shaun Lucas ("patient"); Don Luce (Gate Guard); Jessica Matthews (News Anchor); Nick Salter; Jeffery Self (James Percey); Jonathan Spencer (Tony); A.J. Tannen (Government Clerk); Brian Treitler (Dr. Murphy); Randa Walker (Candace Perlmutter); Maurice Webster (Cop); Luke White (Emt); David Youse (Dr. Rosenbloom).

Another name associated with the new series is Olivia Hallinan; listed on IMDB as playing "Emma / Kate Dysart", the actress has appeared in Torchwood before in the Series One episode Out of Time, where she played Emma-Louise Cowell, the only time traveller from that story to continue her life in the present day. However, there has been no official confirmation of the actress's casting, or if "Emma" is indeed the same character.

Production-wise, the BBC Production Office reported that special effects and makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero had joined the production team; previous television projects include The Walking Dead, The Pacific and Deadwood, and films like Predators, Surrogates, Sin City and Kill Bill Vols 1+2.

Times cited within reports below are in Los Angeles local time.

Monday 14th March

Back to the beach! The production returned to Venice Beach for further filming during the day, this time along Westminster Avenue; scenes involved John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer and Alexa Havins, with action including Rex being taken away in the back of an ambulance.

Jeremy Burleson was visiting the beach that day and saw some of the activity, even ending up in the background for a shot!
14:56 At this movie shoot on Venice Beach!!!!!!!! Wow 
14:57 Literally at a Movie shoot right now.
15:01 They bout to start filmin.
15:11 Mann!! We get to be In the Background of this movie..
15:16 Torch 1..
16:31 Naww its a Tv Show
17:16 haha naww it was some white actors.. We was in the background tho
21:21 I still can't believe we got to be in the Background of this TV show
they was filming in LA today.

At this TV shoot in Los Angeles (via TwitVid)
(note: some browsers may need to right-click, "reload frame" to see video)

Other filming-related tweets include:
14:11 CF  Walking down Venice and ran into the #Torchwood team filming
a scene there! So random and cool :)
15:18 SBA I just went to get coffee on westminster in venicebeach venice beach
#losangeles and walking into the torchwood Scifi set filming today lol
16:55 BBC We're having our first spotting session for Episode #1 RIGHT NOW!
While the crew films at the beach. Here's to great Mondays.
17:09 AS Life's a beach.
Photos from the shoot were also published of the cast members by the Visual Press Agency, and may be seen via Padabee.

Tuesday 15th March - Friday 18th March

Documentation reported that filming would be taking place at Angels Gate Park at San Pedro for the rest of the week, though little was to be heard of the crew whilst there, Kai Owen also indicated further work at Venice Beach on Wednesday, though of course he could just have visited as a tourist!

Jane Espenson revealed on Tuesday that Brad Bell, aka "Cheeks", would be guesting on the show; an artist who experiments in the world of music, art and the media, he has become a popular icon on the Internet. This will be one of his first television roles.

On Wednesday the BBC Production Office reported that Greg Nicotero was on board to build an alien for the show - the first indication that there is more to the mysterious 'immortality' that pervades the 'Miracle Day' than meets the eye!

Tweets over the next couple of days:
15 18:17 KO  Beautiful LA evening off out for a burger and beers with @natiejay.
16 10:32 WK Finished Shooting Torchwood in L.A. and its a buuuuzzz. I feel this is my
best role since Nedry. Your in for a treat folks! watch this space
16 12:02 NS Working background on Torchwood today.
But we talk about Doctor Who, not Torchwood.
16 16:03 AF Torchwood tomorrow!
17 01:03 AF Ah, but you shall not see me for I be but a stand-in. :)
16 18:50 KO Been down Venice Beach today! Crazy place.
16 20:11 ST Crazy busy day Started on location two hours away
Raced back to WB for fitting with JB,new ep to break down, budget meetings
I <3 my job :-)
16 20:13 ST Late call tomorrow so I get to drive my kids to school. Bonus :-)
16 20:52 BBC Looks like tomorrow is the start of our late night shooting.
Team Torchwood, nocturnal entertainment like you've never seen before...

Back in Week Five, Shawna Trpcic posted this photo via Twitpic of a 'mystery man' posing alongside herself and John Barrowman. Filming on the day (11th February) had revolved around a bar, with the storyline reported of Jack picking up a barman for the evening. The man of mystery has now been revealed as actor Dillon Casey, who talked about his experiences with Torchwood and John Barrowman in his blogging video:

Living in LA With Dillon Casey! Episode 7: Gay Day! (via Funny or Die)

As reported above, night shoots were on the way, with schedules indicating long production days of 09:00-04:00 (17th) and 09:00-05:00 (18th), the final evening this week assuming its usual 'Fraturday' designation!
17 21:45 ST  Moulin rouge inspiration 
17 22:48 ST A visiting DP asked us to cover red soles of shoes huh...
Any one know why NOT!
17 23:25 JE Production meeting in the morning. So it's time to put what's left
of the pies back in the fridge and close my eyes. Z!
18 09:43 ST Concept meeting with @JaneEspenson and the dept heads
for episode 8. This show is amazing!!
18 12:01 AS Tree trimming outside my hotel room at 8am (on the morning
I get to sleep in) makes me not a very happy camper. Happy Friday!

After late nights, it's early calls for next week!
19 07:37 ST  Monday call for 3 of my crew is 4:30am @ location 2 hours away
rest of us in at 6:42am we r shooting in rain possibly laced w/ radiation :-/
19 07:37 ST Love my job though. :-)

Monday 21st March

Monday saw filming return (according to schedules) to Angels Gate Park, with Brad Bell filming his first scene and rumours of Greg Nicotero's creation being on set too!

"Arriving at location. So pretty!" - Jane Espenson, via Twitpic
06:08 BB Long drive. Rain. Aliens.
06:28 JE Arriving at location. So pretty!
06:41 JE Luckily, California is not playing
the role of Wales today.
07:47 JE Rumors of more rain on the way.
But right now, #torchwood set is dry
and dramatic. And cheeky.
09:07 JE Torchwood shooting going so well.
Ep 5 hits hard.
10:06 JE Pouring rain can't dampen
our torchthusiasm!
10:39 AS Omfg... Seriously, miserable does not
begin to describe this.
11:08 BB The set is incredible! ...and drenched.
Shot my scene with @Mekhi_Phifer.
Awesomely nice dude.
Chatting w/ Alexa Havins.
Trying to stay dry.
11:13 BB You're gonna DIE for the new season!
It's unreal!
So excited for the fans & as a fan,
I'm quite excited to see it myself!
11:26 BB Already asked what I could share.
"The fans are gonna wanna know!"
Answer: Top Secret.
Gotta wait til summer...
13:06 ST Wow @JaneEspenson LOVE!! The rewrites on episode 7. Really really love it.
Wow. Powerful stuff!
13:12 JE Thank you much @Trpcic ! The last polish was the work of RTD,
and it put the frosting on it. I'm so proud of it!

Tuesday 22nd March

Tuesday was another quiet day, believed again to be the park; meanwhile, plans for the next photoshoot for Captain Jack were also unveiled ...

10:29 KO  Just been for a run around the park. Great way to start the day. 
16:43 BBC We can't say who yet but we're prepping for some serious publicity for
tomorrow's shoot. We're finally all back on the lot!
18:07 JE We are sharing the writing credit on episode ten.
It's still very much his baby-- he'll do all the final writing on it.
18:10 ST One crew working 5am to 5pm one crew working 3pm to 3am.
And a promo shoot with Captain Jack headed for a TV near you. Busy costume dept :-)

Wednesday 23rd March

Today it was reported that filming would be taking place at the Alexandria Hotel, though the famous iconic site may have been used for the Captain Jack promotional shoot mentioned on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Jane Espenson further elaborated on Russell T Davies's importance to the show:
12:46 Torchwood does not require prepping with Doctor Who. 
13:37 Jane Espenson: It's Russell's show. I'm just riding on top and enjoying the breeze!
14:14 Worry not. Original producers with hands firmly on wheel. Feels like same show.

And of course, todsy was when Starz unveiled the launch date for Miracle Day for the United States - 107 days and counting!

Thursday 24th - Friday 25th March

Production Meeting, BBC, via
Back to the backlot it seems, and at least Kai Owen sounded happy: "On set today with some fine WELSH talent."

Meanwhile, production meetings continued apace:
13:35 BBC Production meeting for Episode 7
happening upstairs! @JaneEspenson it
sounds fun up there what's happening??
13:54 JE @BBC_Torchwood it IS fun! Ironing out
all the production details
for eps 7 and 8.
14:16 BBC A look inside our production meeting!
#Torchwood. Going to set, will
report with more news soon.
Plenty of faces to recognise around that table!
Onto Friday, and two views from Torchwoodland, courtesy of Shawna Trpcic:

View outside torchwood offices misty California morning.
Photo: Shawna Trpcic, via Twitpic

Sunset near the Torchwood set.
Photo: Shawna Trpcic, via Twitpic

08:08 All TW offices are in "houses" that are used on lot as sets. 
14:06 Wow running like wild today, 2 units costumes in every one.
Background as well as actors all new. My cutter/fitter is going crazy Sew sew sew
21:18 1st and 2nd units still shooting. Been here since 6:30 I'm starting to drag :-)
waiting to move on to next big scene to establish new looks
00:18 JB is awesome!!
00:21 Still going @Team_Barrowman just encouraged the crew got applause

And after a long night, Kai Owen sums up:
23:12 Good night/morning. X

Key to initials: AF - Allyson Floyd (stand-in); AS - Alana Stone (fashion designer); BB - Brad Bell; BBC - BBC Torchwood (production office); CF - Chrissie Fit; JE - Jane Espenson (writer); KO - Kai Owen (Rhys); NS - Nick Salter; SBA - SB Arts TV; ST - Shawna Trpcic (costume designer); WK - Wayne Knight

For Week 12, Cris D'Annunzio reported that he would have a guest role on the series. And Kai Owen has suggested that next week he'll be joined by his 'partner in crime', Tom Price:
18:55 @pricetom looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday mate.

And finally, to whet our appetites:
"Monday morning beautiful sunny day. All is peaceful as we shoot and continue to prep biggest ep yet ..."

FILTER: - Torchwood - Production - Miracle Day (Series 4)

BBC launch Schools CompetitionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC have launched a new competition which gives a team of UK primary school children the chance to write their own Doctor Who mini-adventure starring the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. The competition, produced by BBC Learning and Doctor Who Confidential is for school children aged 9 to 11 years who will be encouraged to collaborate on a three-minute script that takes the Time Lord on a new quest travelling through space and time inside the TARDIS. The winners will travel to the BBC's studios in Cardiff where they will see their script brought to life by the Doctor Who team and cast, including Matt Smith. Doctor Who Confidential will take viewers behind the scenes to show how the script gets developed from paper to television screen – from the first script meeting, a cast read-through, on-set filming... all the way to the final edit. Saul Nassé, Controller of BBC Learning, said:
Doctor Who is loved by children across the UK, and I can think of no better programme to inspire the next generation of story tellers. The Script to Screen competition is a fantastic way for children to learn new writing skills, whether or not they are winners. We are delighted that the stellar cast and crew of Doctor Who are on board for this journey of learning through time and space."
The script must feature Matt Smith as The Doctor, and can include one of four aliens from the show: Ood, Judoon, Cyberman or Weeping Angel, as well as a brand new human character to test the wits of the Doctor. Tailored learning resources will be available on the BBC Learning website to help guide teachers and pupils through the process. Head writer at Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, will also offer his expert advice and helpful tips on how to pull together a stand-out script with memorable characters.
Doctor Who made me want to write. It made me fall in love in television, script-writing and storytelling, and led me by the hand to the best job in the world. It also made me want to defend the Earth from aliens but that hasn't come up so often. I know the power this show has to set young imaginations alight, because I've lived it, so I'm incredibly excited to be involved in this project. Plus it's never too early to start looking for your replacement.
The winning script will be chosen by Steven Moffat, Saul Nassé and executive producers of Doctor Who, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis. Full details of how to enter the competition, with the judging criteria and terms and conditions will be available on from 20 April 2011. Downloadable BBC Learning resources will be available from 23 April 2011 and the closing date for entries Monday 13 June 2011.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Competitions

Reminder: A Christmas Carol Soundtrack CompetitionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
Last week we launched a competition to win a copy of the soundtrack to A Christmas Carol by Murray Gold. This is just a reminder to say that you have until Wednesday 6th April to get your entries in.

We have six copies of the CD up for grabs courtesy of Silva Screen Records. To be in for a chance of winning the competition, simply answer this question:

In A Christmas Carol, what is the name of the device that Abigail sings into so that the space liner can land safely?

Send your answer with your name, address and email to us at, with the subject line A Christmas Carol CD Competition.

FILTER: - Competitions - Editorial

Torchwood: Miracle Day fast-tracked to AustraliaBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Adam Kirk
TV Tonight blog reports Torchwood: Miracle Day will be fast-tracked to Australia on UKTV Australia in early July, immediately following its global premiere on Starz.

Jana Bennett, the new President for BBC Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer, said:
Torchwood: Miracle Day is a courageous and exciting piece of drama which will resonate with audiences all over the world. I’m genuinely delighted that Torchwood will add to UKTV’s compelling selection of first-run drama in 2011.
Julie Dowding, Sales Director for BBC Worldwide Australia, added:
Torchwood: Miracle Day is set to be one of the most exciting dramas we’ve brought to Australia this year. UKTV audiences and Torchwood fans alike are in for a huge treat with this latest chapter from Captain Jack and the team.

FILTER: - Torchwood - Miracle Day (Series 4) - Broadcasting - Australia

The Impossible Astronaut reaches SPACEBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Canadian broadcaster SPACE have now confirmed that, like the USA, the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who, The Impossible Astronaut will be broadcast on Saturday 23rd April 2011 at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Announced via their Spacecast blog, the channel reports:
This just in! The new Season of DOCTOR WHO will be coming to SPACE SATURDAY APRIL 23 at 8E/P. We're thrilled to be airing a new season of heart-pounding adventures, with Matt Smith as 11th Timelord and Karen Gillan as his feisty partner-in-time, Amy Pond.
The series will be preceeded by a marathon of Doctor Who, kicking off on 21st April with the final four episodes of the Tenth Doctor, followed by Eleventh's first series leading into the premier, with Christmas specials following later that evening.

FILTER: - Canada - Series 6/32

New Doctor Who trailer for WednesdayBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Having whetted our appetites with the two teaser trailers last week, the first episode prelude a couple of days later, and then an "iconic" image for the episode itself, the BBC are now about to unleash a new 60 second trailer which will premier on BBC1 on Wednesday.

No time has been confirmed for the trailer at present, though it is expected to during primetime viewing in the evening.

The trailer will also be broadcast on the CBBC channel, but in a shortened 20 second form to remove some of the 'scarier' scenes, as BBC Publicity clarified:
The trailer is a 60" and we usually play them on CBBC as well (for obvious reasons). We think this will be the first that will need to be edited down to a 20" to make it suitable and remove the scary bits (remember that we have six year olds and younger watch CBBC as well as twelve year olds)

The 20" is just for CBBC. The 60" also has a 40" cut-down version that will be rotated in.

Update: the 60" trailer was originally reported for Tuesday evening, but has been put back to Wednesday.

FILTER: - Series 6/32

Title of Episode 4 revealedBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 March 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
Doctor Who Magazine have confirmed the title of Neil Gaiman's Doctor Who episode. Episode 4 of the new series, which guest stars Suranne Jones (Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa's Revenge) as Idris and Michael Sheen, will now be called The Doctor's Wife.

There had been speculation of the title on a number of fan sites and this evening SFX was given permission by the BBC to reveal the title.

Speculation began yesterday when Steven Moffat Tweeted to Gaiman:
Ohh, just watched your one again! It's really good, isn't it? And look who it is! LOOK WHO IT IS!!!

Today, Gaiman told his Twitter followers:
Yes, Doctor Who Ep 4's title has made it onto the internet. Because the title is a spoiler, I will let you find it yourself.

Edward Russell, Senior Brand Executive for Doctor Who Tweeted in reply to Gaiman:
in retrospect, we should have hung on until Friday [April] 1st... Then no one would have believed us!"

Director of the episode, Richard Clark was surprised to have learned that the episode title had been released so soon:
Ep4 title is out there. How is that possible? [adding] The title was only signed off a couple days ago. Anyone know what date Ep4 is transmitted?

Gaiman told Doctor Who Magazine:
Idris is someone who is beautiful, and who bites, and who might just turn out to be an old acquaintance with a new face... [adding] it starts in void-space, with something – or someone – we have not seen since The War Games, and a knock on the TARDIS door...
Steven Moffat described the episode as:
a beautiful poem of an episode" and says that Suranne Jones "will change the way you see Doctor Who forever forever – and that’s a hand-on-heart promise.
The Doctor's Wife was originally used as a fake title by John Nathan-Turner to discover possible leaks in the production office back in the 1980s.

FILTER: - Series 6/32 - Production

Cardiff Exhibition ClosesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 27 March 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Since its opening in December 2005, the Up Close Exhibition based in Cardiff Bay's Red Dragon Centre has provided a focal point for Doctor Who fans visiting the spiritual home of the 21st Century series, and also a popular venue for the public visiting Cardiff Bay, with some half-million visitors over its five years.

However, today sees the exhibition close for the final time, as preparations begin for a new permanent home for the Doctor Who Experience, due to move to Cardiff in 2012 once the current operation at Olympia in London finishes.

The exhibition's manager, Graham Jones, had been campaigning to keep it open, and believes that the closure today is ill-timed; speaking to the South Wales Echo, he said:
It is damaging to the economy of Wales and the economy of Cardiff. We thought that (BBC Worldwide) would have respect and regard for their fans. It does seem that this decision has been made in a way that is not very compassionate towards Cardiff. If you want to see wee kids crying then you ought to come down to the Red Dragon this Easter because they will come down here to an empty shell.

BBC Worldwide, however, have great expectations for the Doctor Who Experience's arrival next year:
We have consulted with the city council for the past two years regarding our plans and we are confident that the attraction’s features, size and location will draw many more fans to the Welsh capital from across the UK.

The closure follows that of the Land's End Exhibition at the beginning of the year. The Doctor Who Experience officially opened in London last month.

FILTER: - Exhibitions

Revisitations 2: First Look clips from 2|EntertainBookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 March 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
2|Entertain's Classic Doctor Who have released three "First Look" videos on their YouTube channel to promote the Revisitations 2 boxed set, due out on Monday.

Fifth Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks is represented by deleted scenes from the story, here with an extended scene of Tegan's arrival on the Dalek ship. Ian Marter is the subject for the Third Doctor's Carnival of Monsters clip, with On Target with Ian Marter looking at the actor/author's work for Doctor Who. Finally, representing Second Doctor story The Seeds of Death is a segment from Monsters Who Came Back For More!, where Nick Briggs and Peter Ware discuss monsters that recur in the series (an earlier clip from the documentary Lords of the Red Planet was released earlier this month).

Clip from Resurrection of the Daleks, 2|Entertain/ClassicDW, via YouTube

Clip from Carnival of Monsters, 2|Entertain/ClassicDW, via YouTube

Clip from The Seeds of Death, 2|Entertain/ClassicDW, via YouTube

Full details on the Revisitations 2 release are in our earlier article; the Boxed Set is also available to pre-order now from our Amazon Shop.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Autism project calls for Doctor Who fansBookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 March 2011 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Researcher Michaela Schubert is working on a book about Doctor Who and the autism spectrum, and is calling for Doctor Who fans to answer a few questions about their experiences with the show. Says Schubert,
The idea is to get as many people, especially those on the spectrum themselves, to respond and share their Doctor Who viewing experiences as possible, so that the book can reflect as many different viewpoints as possible. Because the show's audience and the autism spectrum are both so varied, the most important thing this project can do is to let everyone have their own say.
Schubert emphasizes that contributions are welcome from all, regardless of how much Doctor Who you've seen or whether you have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition.

Schubert is a PhD candidate at Penn State College of Medicine, and describes herself as "a Doctor Who fan and an Aspie". Information on the book project and links to a brief questionnaire can be found here; the questionnaire can also be found online in PDF or DOCX formats.

FILTER: - Miscellaneous