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

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat has won the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Mini-Series or Movie for the Season 3 episode of Sherlock His Last Vow.

Moffat was presented with the award at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday evening. Diana Rigg who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in Game of Thrones, lost out to Allison Janney.

Paul Cornell has achieved a life's ambition with an article in the new issue of Fortean Times

The article is about the history of Fortean themes in Doctor Who (that is, the appearance of UFOs, ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, etc.)

It’s based on a lecture the author delivered several years ago at the Fortean Times Unconvention, but has been updated to include the whole of the current series thus far.

ABC have released the pilot of Selfie, the new comedy starring Karen Gillan

Based on the My Fair Lady story, Gillan plays young woman Eliza Dooley, who is desperate to become famous via social media, but gets lessons in how to make real friends from an ettiquette expert.

She stars alongside Star Trek and Harold and Kumar actor John Cho as well as Homeland's David Harewood in the series which debuts on the US network ABC on September 30th.

The channel has added the whole programme to its Twitter feed.

FILTER: - Karen Gillan - Steven Moffat

Into the Dalek - New ImagesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has released new images from the second episode in the new series of Doctor Who, Into The Dalek.

Doctor Who: Into the Dalek. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014Doctor Who: Into the Dalek. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014The Doctor: Into the Dalek. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014Journey Blue (Zawe Ashton) and Colonel Morgan Blue (Michael Smiley) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)Clara (Jenna Coleman) (Credit: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014)Into The Dalek (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)Colonel Morgan Blue (Michael Smiley) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)Clara (Jenna Coleman) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014Journey Blue (Zawe Ashton) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) (Credit: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014)

A Dalek fleet surrounds a lone rebel ship, and only the Doctor can help them now… With the Doctor facing his greatest enemy, he needs Clara by his side. Confronted with a decision that could change the Daleks forever, he is forced to examine his conscience. Will he find the answer to the question, “am I a good man?”

Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat, and directed by Ben Wheatley (Kill List)

The episode introduces Samuel Anderson (History Boys) as Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School, where Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) also teaches.

FILTER: - Series 8/34

Deep Breath: Canadian RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus

Viewers tuned into Canadian channel Space in record numbers on Saturday night where the debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Time Lord, Deep Breath, delivered 805,000 viewers, making it the number 1 program of the day on all of television among the key A25-54 and A18-49 demographic, and the most-watched Space episode this broadcast-year-to-date, reaching nearly 1.4 million viewers overall.

On Twitter, #DoctorWho garnered more than 5,000 tweets on Saturday, creating an estimated 6.5 million estimated impressions on the social media platform in Canada. Throughout the day, multiple Doctor Who related topics appeared in the Top 10 trending list.

FILTER: - Canada - Ratings - Series 8/34

Deep Breath: US RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Deep Breath has an audience of 2.6 million on BBC America, the biggest ever audience for a series opener on the channel.

The initial screening, scored 2.2 million, slightly down on the record breaking figure of 2.4 million achieved by the 50th Anniversary story, The Day of the Doctor, last year, but up by 46% on the last equivalent premiere.

The total of 2.6 million includes plays and same-day views.

In the demographic of adults 25-54, Doctor Who had just over 1 million viewers.

During the premiere on Saturday evening, Doctor Who was the most-watched show on cable. It dominated Twitter for the day among TV shows.

FILTER: - Ratings - Series 8/34 - USA

Deep Breath: Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Deep Breath had an Audience Appreciation Index score of 82.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

The score, while lower than Doctor Who has achieved in recent years, still puts the programme as one of the most appreciated of the weekend.

Ratings on Sunday were incredibly low, meaning Doctor Who retains its place as the third highest rated programme, on overnights, for the week. The highest BBC One could manage on Sunday was 5.1 million for the News, while ITV scored 2.4 million with its highest rated programme Come On Down: The Game Show.

On BBC Two the repeat of the drama on the origins of Doctor Who, An Adventure in Time and Space, had an audience of 0.6 million, a 4.6% share of the total TV audience.

Final figures for the week will be published next Monday.

FILTER: - Ratings - Series 8/34 - UK

Updated: Overnight Australian ratings for Deep Breath and Australian simulcasts Bookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2014 - Reported by Adam Kirk
Deep Breath averaged 1.187 million national viewers in Australia (these figures include the five major capital cities and regional and rural viewers). It was the highest rating drama of the day and the eighth highest rating program of the day overall.  Excluding regional and rural viewers, Peter Capaldi's debut averaged 710,000 viewers in the five major Australian capital cities and was the ninth highest rating program of the day overall in the big cities (the second highest rating drama in the cities after ANZAC Girls). The 4.50am broadcast simulcast with the UK also averaged an impressive 260,000 national viewers. These rating do not include time shifted viewers.

Update: The ABC has also confirmed that it will continue to simulcast Doctor Who with the UK for the remainder of series eight, and will also continue to make each episode available on its iview player from Sunday morning.

FILTER: - Australia - Broadcasting - Ratings - Series 8/34

Overnight Australian ratings for Deep BreathBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2014 - Reported by Adam Kirk
Deep Breath averaged 1.187 million national viewers in Australia (these figures include the five major capital cities and regional and rural viewers). It was the highest rating drama of the day and the eighth highest rating program of the day overall.  Excluding regional and rural viewers, Peter Capaldi's debut averaged 710,000 viewers in the five major Australian capital cities and was the ninth highest rating program of the day overall in the big cities (the second highest rating drama in the cities after ANZAC Girls). The 4.50am broadcast simulcast with the UK also averaged an impressive 260,000 national viewers. These rating do not include time shifted viewers.

FILTER: - Australia - Broadcasting - Ratings - Series 8/34

Into the Dalek: Next Time trailerBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus

Welcome to the most dangerous place in the universe… The Daleks are back and the Doctor embarks on his deadliest mission ever.

FILTER: - Series 8/34

6.8 Million watch Deep BreathBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Deep Breath has an audience on BBC One of 6.8 million viewers. It had a 32.5% share of the total TV audience.

Doctor Who was by far the most watched programme of Saturday night, getting over two million more viewers than the second placed Casualty, which had 4.2 million watching. Tumble, the programme leading into Doctor Who had 3.3 million. The BBC took the top five places of the day with ITV's highest rated programme being Tipping Point: Lucky Stars with 3.3 million viewers.

The audience rose slowly through the episode, peaking at 7.0 million towards the end.

Doctor Who is currently the third highest rated programme for the week, with The Great British Bake Off leading the charts with 7.4 million.

Figures for the week are generally lower than average due to it being towards the end of the holiday season in England and Wales, with many families being away from home. The last season opener Asylum of the Daleks, shown 1st September 2012, had an overnight figure of 6.4 million.

The overnight figure is an estimate of the numbers watching when the show was transmitted and on catchup the same day. It does not include those watching at the Cinema. A full consolidated figure, including those who watch the programme within 1 week of transmission, will be released by BARB next week. The consolidated figure is likely to be substantially more then the initial overnight and could see Doctor Who reaching top place in the charts.

FILTER: - Ratings - Series 8/34 - UK

Deep Breath: media reactionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 August 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of some of the reaction from mainstream media for the premiere of Deep Breath last night - links to full reviews can be found via the author's name.

Please note that as these are reviews, spoilers may be present within the text!

This was a wise and thoughtful opening gambit from Moffat, and from the wonderful Capaldi – if you can utterly disregard the demented plot. Granted, this might be like saying "apart from that, 6 August was a typically pleasant day in Hiroshima", but the underlying, and cleverer, theme was of age, and ageing, and looks, and perception, very nicely summed up when Clara (Jenna Colman, in a performance of great nuance if you can forget that last faux-Scots diphthong) asks the pretty lesbian lizard-lady, "When did you suddenly stop wearing that veil?" "When you stopped seeing it," comes the reply.

The whole thing is daft, some say. Certainly the plots, much of the bangy noise, and all of the hype. But some tremendous subtleties emerge. The restaurant scenes were genuinely scary. And Commander Strax, that cross between R2D2 and a pepperoni Wayne Rooney, for instance taught last night's teenagers a great difference by saying "it is to be hoped" (correct) rather than the over-misused "hopefully".

Euan Ferguson, The Observer
In the spirit of empathy, you might have wondered what younger viewers – if children still watch Doctor Who – were supposed to make of such existential hand-wringing while they were waiting for the fighting to start. To be fair, there was a smattering of comedy to enjoy as Clara exchanged amusing cultural misunderstandings with some of the Doctor's old plasticky alien acquaintances, but the jeopardy – clockwork zombie androids harvesting body parts – was a long time coming and lazily derivative in form (knowing acknowledgements to Burke and Hare and Sweeney Todd didn't make it less so). The excitement was over before Capaldi had the chance to stamp his personality on things.

Phil Hogan, The Observer
Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor has probably been the most fiercely anticipated new leading man in the show’s history. And in the end he was … probably exactly how you would imagine Peter Capaldi playing the Doctor to be. Not the Malcolm Tucker clone that Tumblr had so much fun anticipating, but far from an easy sell, either. We saw, at the end, the vulnerability underneath, but it took a bloody long time to get there. And when the 11th Doctor turned up at the end to reassure Clara that this was the same man (surprise! And well done if you managed to avoid that spoiler), he was pretty much doing the same for the audience.

Deep Breath was a gothic period drama, true to promises of a show with a grittier tone and longer, more grounded scenes. In many ways, it was surprisingly low-key for a series opener. In reality, it maybe could have done with being shaved down to an hour.

It’s a measure of Doctor Who’s madness that our familiar territory is the Victorian household of a lizard detective, her ninja housemaid wife and their Sontaran butler, but here we are, and it’s lovely and familiar to have them back. Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra is emerging as a true star of the show, and she gets fleshed out, with her blunt condemnation of Clara’s attitude and her lustful manipulation of Jenny. Here is an inter-species lesbian couple in the 19th century that you can actually believe in.

Dan Martin, The Guardian
Writer Steven Moffat’s smart dialogue got the jump on viewers by second-guessing how they would be commenting from the sofa: there were references to Capaldi being grey, wrinkly and Scottish (like Moffat himself). His first word was “Shush!”, as if silencing potential naysayers. Capaldi signals a conscious break from the Doctor’s boyish recent incarnations. A blend of Doctor Doolittle and Sherlock Holmes, he crackled with fierce intelligence and nervous energy. Whether riding a horse in his pyjamas or dismissing Earth as “planet of the pudding brains”, he was a class act. His unpredictable air added dramatic tension. Twice he abandoned Clara and it was uncertain whether he would come back for her.

Along with its new leading man, the show had taken the opportunity to spruce up in other aspects. There was a new credits sequence (with the usual time tunnel being replaced by rather literal clocks and cogs), a tweaked, squeaky theme tune and a redecorated Tardis (an industrial look which rather complemented Capaldi’s all-black outfit). The tone seemed different, too, quieter and more thoughtful – less about running down corridors holding hands, more about self-discovery and redemption.

Michael Hogan, Telegraph
Look, I know that I’m the voice of bitter old fans who think New Who was rubbish from conception, but I’ve stuck with the show and I want it to succeed. I also want it to be daring in more than just a visual or political way. I want it to be sophisticated, fun science fiction that opens kids’ minds to intellectual possibility. Maybe this new series will move in that direction, maybe not. But I will still be watching it. If only to find out what that crazy lady with the umbrella is up to.

Tim Stanley, Telegraph
‘Deep Breath’ is fun enough but is unlikely to become an instant classic in the same way as Smith’s introduction in ‘The Eleventh Hour’. Ben Wheatley’s superb direction keeps things creepy and adult. The special effects and cinematography are dazzling.

Meanwhile Moffat’s script is suitably darker and more mature to match the new Doctor, yet the Time Lord's dialogue is side-splittingly funny to balance the darkness. Within the story he even addresses everything from Scottish independence, the Doctor's age and Clara's relationship with the previous incarnation, which is an impressive feat in itself.

Neela Debnath, Independent
Capaldi plays the tartan time traveller as a serious thinker, an almost troubled being, with a burden. An independent soul, he is not ?nding his way in the world – he has already been there. In short, the new Doctor is one of us; older, kindly, grumpy at times, and with regrets. “I’ve made mistakes,” he says solemnly.

Once he gets over his post-traumatic regeneration disorder, this worldly Doctor could become a classic but do not expect the scarf to make a return. He may be an avuncular Doctor in a frock coat but he will not be reaching for the pipe and slippers.

David Stephenson, Express
Deep Breath is simultaneously familiar and yet unfamiliar. It’s a familiar ‘new Doctor’ episode which touches on the after-effects of regeneration. Steven Moffat’s clockwork droids from The Girl in the Fireplace return. And we’re reunited with the Paternoster Gang of Vastra, Jenny and Strax, who help uncover the droids’ murderous attempts to repair their spacecraft and reach the promised land. At the same time, however, everything is different. The Doctor himself certainly is, with both he and Clara struggling to come to terms with his new appearance and personality.

This is unmistakably a new style of story for a new Doctor. While there’s plenty of Moffat’s rapid-fire wordplay and humour, we’re no longer constantly hurtling from one hyperactive setpiece to the next. Instead the characters are allowed to carry the story. Will this continue when we return to standard length episodes? We’ll have to see.

Tim Liew, Metro
Not much is natural in Doctor Who. But Peter Capaldi’s debut as The Doctor was so astute and assured it quickly confirmed that he has the type of wily charisma that makes it a role he was born to play. In fact Capaldi was so confident about his selection as only the twelfth actor to portray one of television’s great icons that he even let himself be upstaged on his big night – not once but twice.

Capaldi’s low-key start was a welcome change to the zany antics of both Matt Smith and David Tennant when they burst into the show and which set the tone for The Doctor’s previous two incarnations. It was always hard to shake the suspicion that the way Smith and Tennant played The Doctor with such ostentatious gusto was more about making themselves popular than just playing him. Their grinning idiocy didn’t leave much room for The Doctor’s fabled gravitas, borne of 2000 years time travel. In Capaldi’s capable hands this will return, while The Doctor’s problems adjusting to his regeneration were less madcap and had more pathos.

All in all, it was an impressive, entertaining start for the new era, which will surely see Capaldi coming more and more to the fore.

Jim Shelley, Daily Mail
It's almost impossible to wade into Doctor Who. You can't just settle on the sofa and switch it on carelessly. If you're a novice you need to prepare. You must study the history and the recurring characters. It's like trying to understand the Second World War: you need to go back and understand the First, and to understand the First you need to go back further still and try to understand Imperialism and the intricacies of the European balance of power…it's exhausting.

You can't just turn up, fresh-faced and keen, hoping to innocently enjoy some Saturday night TV. There is just too much history and backstory with Doctor Who and it feels like it's groaning under the weight of its own continuity as well as under the demands of its fans.
Julie McDowall, Herald Scotland
I never had any doubt that Peter Capaldi would be brilliant. He is. On the evidence of Deep Breath, he’s the Doctor I’ve longed for since the series came back in 2005 – quite frankly, since 1981 when Tom Baker’s Doctor plunged to his demise. For many I’ve spoken to, he’s the perfect choice. They’re already convinced. But, in Deep Breath, the programme itself seems overly anxious that its now global audience won’t take to an older, craggier Time Lord. It is willing those millions attuned to, nay moistened by, the geeky good looks of Messrs Tennant and Smith to have faith in Capaldi.

Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times
As a standalone episode of Doctor Who, it had almost everything a fan can hope for. But more importantly, and more interestingly, it set us up for a turbulent series, which we now know culminates in the departure of Clara Oswald... although we don’t yet know how.

One certainty remains. Whether you love or hate Steven Moffat-written episodes, and in spite of Moffat’s love for neatly packaged, filmic individual episodes, he remains the master of the story arc.

If you watched Deep Breath and you don’t want to watch the rest of series 8, then there truly is something wrong with you (indeed, you may need help from a Doctor).
Richard Beech, Mirror
Never was it clearer that this was a regeneration, not a rejuvenation, in Doctor Who’s most hallowed traditions, that much will be demanded of its youthful audience. But, if the challenges may be great, so too will be the rewards. Judging by Peter Capaldi’s debut episode, the Tardis is, once again, in very safe hands.

Caroline Frost, Huffington Post
Capaldi’s incarnation of the sci-fi icon is a more mature, no-nonsense expression of Who-ishness, lacking the rubbery physicality of Smith but remaining as quick-witted and free spirited as ever. He’s a throwback to darker tones of the first few Whos—intentionally, per the behind-the-scenes feature that accompanied the episode. That modality is captured by the look he’s chosen for himself, a fitted long black coat streaked with crimson on the inside, suggesting power, danger, and a little whimsy. He’s a top hat and longer tails away from resembling an old-school stage magician. This is not another romantic, “boyfriend” imagining of Doctor Who, and it isn’t another reckless, rogue/borderline anti-hero version of the franchise, either. At least, not yet. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes,” he tells companion Clara (Jenna Coleman). “It’s time I did something about that.” We’ll see how that goes.

As bold and refreshing as this out-with-the-old, in-with-the-older regeneration promises to be, I resented the manipulative ways in which the premiere demanded we roll with things. The new era of Doctor Who should do the hard work of earning our affection and loyalty—not vice versa.

Jeff Jenson, Entertainment Weekly

Read other reviews from: Den of Geek; Digital Spy; Indie Wire; MTV; IGN; The Arts Desk; Forbes; Wales Online; io9; The Wrap; TV Fanatic; Twitch; Courier; The Backlot; Irish Examiner; The Atlantic; Cheddar Valley Gazette; News.Com (Australia); Variety; AV Club Milwaukee; Los Angeles Times; New York Times; Toronto Sun; Sydney Morning Herald

FILTER: - Press - Series 8/34