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

School Reunion Time ChangeBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Radio Times has reported, and now the BBC One website has confirmed, that the start time for next weekend's episode of Doctor Who, "School Reunion", has been delayed by twenty minutes and will now begin at 7:20pm. The program runs to 8:05pm, and presumably the third episode of the companion documentary series Doctor Who Confidential will start at that time. As always, check Outpost Gallifrey's broadcast calendar (located in the left-hand column of the news page) for the latest updates on scheduling.




FILTER: - Series 2/28 - Radio Times - Broadcasting

Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The overnight result for BBC Three's repeat on Friday shows New Earththat evening with an average audience of 454,000, a share of 2.1%. From 9pm, 406,000 were watching and the audience had climbed to a peak of 510,000 by 9.40pm; the following programme (Three's Outtakes) was watched by 213,000. Doctor Who was BBC Three's second most-watched programme of the night, behind EastEnders, and was second in its multichannel timeslot, behind American Idol (ITV2). The total audience for 'New Earth' (combining its BBC One premiere and both BBC Three repeats) stands at 8.83m, pending any adjustment for 'timeshift' viewings, which should be available in a few days.

BARB's Top 75 Network Programmes chart for 10–16 April has 'New Earth' at Number 12 with 8.0m viewers, behind five episodes of Coronation Street (ranging from 8.6m to 11.0m viewers), four of EastEnders (8.3m to 10.3m) and two of Emmerdale (8.1m and 8.2m), making Doctor Who the fourth-highest-rated show of the week and the highest non-soap. The episode also heads the Top 10 Drama chart. In the Top 25 Multichannel chart, Number 6 is the first edition of Doctor Who Confidential, 'New New Doctor' (Saturday 15, BBC3), which was also the top-rated mutichannel programme on Saturday.

Ratings for episode two of CBBC's Totally Doctor Who, the children's variety tie-in show on Thursday, were up slightly this week, with 900,000 viewers and a share of 8.2%. This is roughly the same viewership numbers attracted to an episode of the long-running show "Blue Peter".




FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

TARDIS Report: End of Week PressBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Tooth and Claw Pre-Press Continues

Several stories in the past two days about this weekend's broadcast of the second episode of the season, Tooth and Claw:

The Daily Record says that "when Glasgow actor Derek Riddell dies in Doctor Who this weekend, it's at the hands of a man-sized Teletubby. The No Angels star, who last night brought the curtain down on the hit Channel 4 comedy-drama, switches to BBC1 on Saturday playing a Scottish nobleman who meets a grisly end fighting a giant werewolf. Despite his convincing portrayal of being eaten alive, Derek's adversary was nothing more than a student earning pocket money. He said: 'The werewolf was a guy in an all-in-one Lycra bodysuit with a pole attached to the top of his head. I just needed an eye-line, something the right height, so it looked like I was acting with a werewolf, which was all done with computer-generated imagery (CGI). That was a challenge - I had to look scared of a student in a body stocking.' ... New Doctor David Tennant, from Paisley, has already received flak for not playing the famous role in his native accent. Viewers will hear the Doctor and - less successfully - his assistant Rose (Billie Piper) pretend to be Scottish on Saturday, after the Tardis crash-lands in the countryside in Victorian 'Scotland'. But Derek doesn't see why that should be aproblem. He said: 'David doesn't do a lot of his stuff in a Scottish accent now. It's good to do somethingthat's not your native tongue, that's what you're trained to do. I remember wondering whether he'd play the Doctor Scottish or not, but that's a decision made between David and Russell T. Davies. It works really well, as it's allowed David to change his accent for this episode, which gives it an extra dimension. And Rose can't manage, so they make a gag out of it.'"

Newsquest Media Group notes that "This Saturday night the eagled-eyed residents of a Monmouth village will be glued to their television screens to try to catch a glimpse of their leafy home on Dr Who. BBC Wales film crews were in Dingestow last October filming scenes at Treowen House for the second episode of the new series - entitled Tooth and Claw - which is due to be screened this weekend on BBC One at 7.15pm. But residents may be disappointed to find that only footage filmed inside the historic building has been used. So local villagers will be unable to see any views of the outside of the Grade I Listed building, nor Dingestow itself, on the prime-time cult show. Saturday's 45-minute episode sees the Doctor and Rose Tyler, played by David Tennant and Billie Piper, travelling back to the year 1879 to Victorian Scotland. Programme makers had been struggling last year to find a suitable grand staircase for a chase scene in the episode, until one of the designers recalled attending a wedding at Treowen House and that it boasted a suitable flight of stairs. And after viewing the property, owned by Monmouth brothers John and Dick Wheelock, the crew not only agreed to shoot the chase scene; but filmed scenes in other interior rooms including the hallway and a reception room. John's wife Jane Harvey said last week: 'We will indeed be watching, and I know a lot of the people who come down and hire out Treowen House will be too.' The family staying this week at Treowen House are great Dr Who fans and are avidly awaiting Saturday's screening. In Tooth and Claw, the heroes are forced to battle with a terrifying werewolf and the epi-sode is one of the very few not to feature the infamous Daleks. The Dr and Rose come into contact with Queen Victoria herself, played by actress Pauline Collins who first starred alongside the second Dr Who, Patrick Troughton, in the 1960s. The werewolf, which was created with special effects, has been criticised in some circles as being too scary and over-produced, with director Russell T Davies taking the show away from its low-budget cult roots."

Manchester Online quotes Pauline Collins during coverage of the episode this week. "Bleak House star Pauline Collins teams up with the Time Lord this weekend to take on a werewolf. ... The Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper) travel back to 1879 where they have a royal appointment with the Queen on her way to Balmoral. 'The episode is very scary - particularly the werewolf,' says Pauline, who originally played Samantha Briggs, alongside the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. She found the 21st century version of the show completely different. 'Obviously, it's much more hi-tech now. Having seen David Tennant in action, I believe he is going to be the best Doctor ever. 'He seems to combine authority and humour and quirkiness, which, in a way, is an amalgam of all the very best Doctors. He's terrific in it and I think he'll be great.' ... 'One of the great things that Russell has really taken up in this reincarnation of Doctor Who is once you unleash the imagination of writers, it can go anywhere. He's kind of set us off on a rocket into the universe in a way. That's the appeal and that's why it's timeless. It can catch up with whatever is available to us scientifically, or in our imaginations, whatever the era is.' Older viewers will remember Pauline's role as young Sarah in Upstairs Downstairs. She says Queen Victoria's outfit was the heaviest costume she has ever worn. 'It was like carrying several small children around with me all the time.' What does she think Her Maj made of the Doctor and Rose? 'In the first encounter, she's immediately drawn to Rose. She likes Rose very much - although in the Queen's view, Rose looked rather inappropriately dressed in her modern clothes. She's a bit wary of the Doctor. I think that manifests itself all along. For some obscure reason, she challenges him constantly - she's not sure about him.'"

Miscellaneous Press Coverage

As widely reported in press, during an interview screened today on Sky News, the Duke of York also reflects upon growing up in the royal household and describes the informal side of life with the Queen, including settling down to watch television programmes such as Grandstand and Doctor Who with her. "The Queen has been praised on the eve of her 80th birthday as a 'consummate parent, outstanding monarch who has no equal', by her son the Duke of York. In a television interview screened on Friday Andrew described life growing up with a woman who is both his mother and the Monarch. The Duke revealed details of family life during his childhood when he would rollerblade in state apartments, race in miniature cars with his brother Prince Edward and watch the BBC show Doctor Who with the Queen." During the interview he said that he was 'a child of the original Doctor Who'. He pointed (off camera) and stated that down there there was a settee behind which he was able to hide from the Daleks. Reported in such places as the Daily Mail, theGuardian, the Express, the Scotsman, theMirroric NetworkIn The News.

The official Doctor Who website reports that "Doctor Who has been a hit TV show for more than 40 years. Unfortunately more than 100 of the early black and white episodes no longer exist in the BBC's film and videotape library. However, episodes that the BBC thought had been lost forever have turned up in car boot sales, in peoples' attics and in other weird locations. So the wonderful people at Blue Peter have launched a campaign to try and track down these lost episodes. The prize for anybody who finds a missing episode is a full-size replica Dalek... so it's definitely worth asking your family to check their lofts, garages, and spare bedrooms for any old film cannisters that might have the magic words 'Doctor Who' on the label." There are details of "how you can get in touch with the BBC if you do find one of these lost reels of film" on the website.

Sci Fi Wire, the news service of the US-based Sci Fi Channel, interviewsDave Houghton, visual effects supervisor, who says that "technicians broke ground to create a computer-generated werewolf for the upcoming second-season episode 'Tooth and Claw,' airing this week in the United Kingdom. 'Our modelers and animators have worked on films like Harry Potter,' Houghton said in an interview. 'So they were very well aware of what they could achieve in the time allowed, and we planned the episode accordingly. We were in talks with [executive producer] Russell T. Davies quite early on, even before the script was written, to determine how much could be done, and what we've done is very good in terms of TV or even for film. I think our werewolf is the best creature we've done for the show so far. It's fantastic. ... The great thing about doing a CG creature is you're obviously not mucking around with somebody on set in a costume, which takes ages, and time is something you just don't have on Doctor Who,' Houghton said. 'So there had to be a few ground rules. Once we got the script, our team basically animated to the script and what we thought would look good, and that really couldn't be changed. In film, a lot of noodling goes on after the fact. It gets animated, and then the producer or director comes in and changes it, so you have a lot of people giving their input, which we didn't have time to do. We had to take our cues as to what we thought was good and basically stuck to that, because we didn't have time to re-animate anything. ... Our werewolf was created with a new Maya [software] plug-in called Shave and a Haircut, which we used for the first time on this job, and it's worked very nicely. It all comes down to the guy who textures it, but our werewolf is very realistic. We've blown wind through it; we've thrown water on it, and it all looks rather splendid.'"

The Daily Record "pays tribute to an outstanding group of people, the finalists in the search for Our Heroes 2006. Once again we were inundated with thousands of nominations from readers. They ranged from brave members of the forces and emergency services to volunteers who give their time to help others. There were tales of youngsters brave beyond their years and pensioners who defied the age barrier to make a real difference. At the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow tonight, the winners of this year's awards will be announced during a star-studded event hosted by BBC newsreader Jackie Bird and comedian and Record columnist Tam Cowan. ... OUR ENTERTAINMENT HERO: David Tennant. The new Doctor Who has had an amazing rise to fame since his days at the RSAMD in Glasgow. The actor, from Bathgate, West Lothian, said at the age of 13 that his ideal role was the Time Lord. His determination, talent and hard work have achieved it. With no airs and graces and an understated charm, he is a true gentleman."

The Daily Express says that "Actress Sophia Myles looks as though she is auditioning for her own role as a Timelord by sporting a long brown trenchcoat. The blonde girlfriend of Dr Who star David Tennant, is currently filming feature film Hallam Foe in Edinburgh. The Scots actor is rumoured to have been having intimate dinner dates in the capital with Sophia who is said to keep an action figure of him in her bag. But yesterday the 26-year-old only had a giant blue parka style jacket to keep her warm between takes and there was no sign of a Dr Who doll in the black handbag she was carrying."

The Sun wonders if the premiere of "New Earth" really was the TV event of the year. "You don't think BBC1 over-sold it just the teeniest little bit, do you? A series of BBC3 repeats. Front cover of the Radio Times. Trailers every 30 minutes. Two spin-off shows. With another couple on the way. Then finally, FINALLY, it's the real thing. Yes, in case you missed the Beeb's low-key publicity campaign, Dr Hype is back, accompanied by the sort of fan-fare that would have made Rocky blush. A right royal pain in the jacksie it's been too, what with all the plugs it's been getting on other BBC shows. So, at the very least, you'd expect series two to open with a dynamite episode and maybe some Daleks or Cybermen, wouldn't you? But oh no. Instead? We have a huge letdown, from the moment David Tennant's pop-eyed, Mockney Doc took aim at the entire universe...and ended up back in a field full of cowpats in south Wales. ... o what we ended up with on Saturday was Carry On Doctor, rather than 'the TV event of the sodding year.' ... Because what's happened here is that, at best, someone (probably Russell T Davies) has chosen the wrong opening episode. Or, at worst, we're in for a lousy series. Hopefully it's the former. As we need something half decent to watch on Saturdays. And I'd like to stay tuned, if only to discover that David Tennant's four-word secret to the universe is -LOSE. THE. ENGLISH. ACCENT. "

The Daily Record yesterday said "All this Beeb-generated 'will they, won't they' hype about Jarvis Cocker being winched by an Ewok - er, sorry, I mean Billie Piper snogging David Tennant - was in danger of turning Doctor Who into Doctor When? And, I wondered, Doctor Why? Meeting the series' remastermaster Russell T. Davies in Glasgow recently, I agreed whole-heartedly (do I get a gold badge from the Doctor Who geek-club if I say two-heartedly?) with his suggestion that the fizz goes flat when chemistryblessed couples lock lips. Lois and Clark in the appalling New Adventures Of Superman, said R.T.D. by way of illustration. Cue over-enthusiastic nodding on my part - memories of Ross and Rachel (Friends), David and Maddy (Moonlighting), heck, even Miss Piggy and Kermit (The Great Muppet Caper) bringing me out all clammy. Then, barely five minutes into Saturday night's show, and the biggest threat to humanity appeared to be the inter-galactic cheeseballs being cooed between our happy couple. 'So, where are we going?' asked Rose, having ditched her boyfriend (again) for a man whose only possessions are a multi-purpose screwdriver, a moth-eaten wardrobe and a mobile home. 'Further than we've ever gone before,' purred the Doc. Jings. Cold shower for you-Who."

Other items: Both the Independent and Belfast Telegraph feature a story about Peter Kay (starring in the forthcoming "Love & Monsters");Manchester Online profiles Bruno Langley (Adam in last year's "Dalek" and "The Long Game"); the Welwyn and Hatfield Times profiles "a brave man who would steal a Dalek"; DVD Verdict reviews the "Doctor Who: The Beginning" DVD boxed set; Now Playing Mag reviews "New Earth".

Finally... We received a correction to the Derby Evening Telegraph story (see last TARDIS report), about the Doctor Who Make and Play Day at Pickford's House Museum last weekend, from the museum's assistant gallery supervisor: "For some reason known only to themselves, the Derby Evening Telegraph stated that 80 youngsters attended the event. The actual final visitor figure for the day was a staggering 805. Staff had expected around 400 max. The whole day was an overwhelming success and was one of the museum's biggest special events ever. There will be an extensive selection of pictures from the event published this Saturday in the Derby Evening Telegaph's Picture Edition."

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver, John Bowman, Graham Lowe, Luke McCullough, Ian Kildin, Andy Thompson)




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Series 2/28 - Press - Radio Times

Merchandise UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Some reports on new, recent and upcoming Doctor Who related merchandise:
The BBC Shop Doctor Who Store is now listing the Complete Series Two DVD Boxed Set for Region 2 (UK) release on Monday 20 November, with a recommended retail price of 69.99 (the shop itself is offering a pre-order price of 44.99). The blurb for the five-disc set (BBCDVD2122) reads: "Can Rose trust a man with a new face? David Tennant (Casanova, Blackpool, Quatermass Experiment, Harry Potter) steps into the role of the Doctor for the second series of Doctor Who. Following on from the phenomenal success of the first series, the second installment is full of more thrills, more laughs, more heartbreak and some terrifying new aliens. The Doctor and Rose meet Queen Victoria, an evil race of Cat Women and the dreaded Cybermen."
Doctor Who: Battles in Time is a new collectible card game and companion magazine licenced by BBC Worldwide. Roughly styled on collectable card sets like the hugely popular "Magic: The Gathering," the first set of cards "is the Exterminator series and it covers everything from Daleks to the Moxx of Balhoon". The magazine is intended to be published over 52 issues, with "a new issue every fortnight," and there will be different card sets released periodically in conjunction with new issues of the magazine. There is also a corresponding magazine holder, card album, electronic LED dice, a TARDIS combination lock and more released separately. The website has complete details.
Amazon.co.uk is now listing three new titles in the Tenth Doctor novel range from BBC Books for publication in hardback on 21 September. These are:The Art of Destruction by Stephen Cole; The Last Museum by Jacqueline Rayner; and The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker. These details are slightly different from those listed recently on Amazon.com (and reported by OG on 11 April). The details on each of the three books is in the outset box, below.
Amazon.co.uk is also listing more information about October's CD release from BBC Audio, Monsters on Earth: "This tin contains a bumper number of three brand new (to audio) "Doctor Who" soundtracks, each hailing from the Jon Pertwee era. Two of the stories also feature UNIT, the military organisation led by the Brigadier, whilst the third sees the Doctor working alongside the Royal Navy in combatting the latest menace."
Last week's release of Genesis of the Daleks on DVD helped by a significant advertising effort and some positive mainstream reviews, has charted at number 24 in the UK's DVD charts, with first-week sales - according to Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team - of 17,000. (Past 'Classic Series' releases have had first-week sales of about 5,000.)
Regarding the last batch of Doctor Who books just released, all three novels have entered this week's Top 20 Fiction Heatseekers chart (9-15 April), published in today's edition of trade magazine The Bookseller; Jacqueline Rayner'sThe Stone Rose is at number 6 (3,036), Stephen Cole's The Feast of the Drowned at number 10 (2,696), and Justin Richards' The Resurrection Casket at number 11 (2,634). These sales are substantially higher than the first-week sales of the first batch of Ninth Doctor novels eleven months ago (1,781 to 2,014 units) and the second batch last September (1,718 to 1,797). The Bookseller observes, "A new series of Doctor Who, with stellar viewing figures, propelled three tie-ins into the chart," commenting that "The new series of Dr Who got of to a flying start over the Easter weekend with widespread media attention attracting an audience of more than eight million viewers for the first episode. It was good news for Doctor Who in a month of hits and misses for shows with tie-in books."
(Thanks to Steve Tribe)
The Nightmare of Black Island, by Mike Tucker
On a lonely stretch of Welsh coastline, a fisherman is killed by a hideous creature from beneath the waves. When the Doctor and Rose arrive, they discover a village where the children are plagued by nightmares, and the nights are ruled by monsters. The villagers suspect that ancient industrialist Nathanial Morton is to blame, but the Doctor has suspicions of his own. Who are the ancient figures that sleep in the old priory? What are the monsters that prowl the woods after sunset? What is the light that glows in the disused lighthouse on Black Island? As the children's nightmares get worse, the Doctor and Rose discover an alien plot to resurrect an ancient evil...

The Art of Destruction, by Stephen Cole
The Tardis lands in 22nd century Africa in the shadow of a dormant volcano. Agri-teams are growing new foodstuffs in the baking soil to help feed the world's starving millions - but the Doctor and Rose have detected an alien signal somewhere close by. When a nightmare force starts surging along the dark volcanic tunnels, the Doctor realizes an ancient trap has been sprung. But who was it meant for? And what is the secret of the eerie statues that stand at the heart of the volcano? Dragged into a centuries-old conflict, Rose and the Doctor are soon elevating survival to an art form - as ancient, alien hands practice arts of destruction all around them...

The Last Museum, by Jacqueline Rayner
Civilizations rise and fall, time moves on - and species die out. Extinction is a fact of life in the universe. But extinction doesn't have to be for ever. The Tardis arrives in the Museum of the Last Ones - a facility dedicated to preserving the final specimens of every species in the universe. But all is not well, and before long the Doctor and Rose are in deep trouble. How will Rose react to the stasis cabinets and preservation techniques? What will happen if - and when - the stasis fields break down and the specimens escape? And how will the Curator of the Museum react to the arrival of the last surviving Time Lord?




FILTER: - Merchandise

The Girl in the Fireplace Press ReleaseBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Programme Information for 6-13 May has today been released by the BBC Press Office about the season's fourth episode, Steven Moffat's The Girl in the Fireplace. The episode is currently scheduled for 7pm on Saturday 6 May, and this week's PI Features (note: PDF file) includes a two-page piece on the episode and its writer, Steven Moffat. Moffat reveals that he "could not believe his luck when lead writer Russell T Davies asked him to write an episode of the new series based on Madame Du Pompadour and the 18th-century court of Louis XV -- not least because it was his first time writing a period piece, and he knew nothing about the subject matter. 'Russell said he wanted a story that involved Madame Du Pompadour and possibly a clockwork man,' recalls Steven, writer of the acclaimed series Coupling. 'I had to read up about her – I didn't have the faintest notion of who she was! I had never done [a period piece] before ... I'd never had to do research in my life for any show that I've ever written -- they've always been a kind of mutation of my own love life! So to suddenly have to pick up a book and learn about the Blitz [for The Empty Child], or learn about Madame Du Pompadour in 18th-century France, almost seemed like being sent back to school!' After completing his research, Steven had a new-found respect for Madame Du Pompadour. 'She's tremendous!' exclaims Steven. 'She's someone who keeps her position at Court by being incredibly clever, incredibly smart… one of the sharpest, most educated women who ever lived and she was only the King's mistress – it's kind of a ludicrous position to be in! The story kind of writes itself. If you place the Doctor in a room with a woman like that, what is she going to make of him? What's she going do to him? They're obviously going to get it on! ... I can't see it any other way! I just thought it would be really interesting if he came face to face with someone like Madame Du Pompadour, someone who won't be so easily impressed and who can be a real ‘woman' with him.' Best known for his comedy work, Steven didn't find it difficult to take on the more dark and sinister storylines of Doctor Who. 'The point of Doctor Who in many respects, or the thing that people say about it, is that it's scary, so it's necessary for a Doctor Who story to have frights in it. It's just part of the job description – if I'm writing a comedy I have to write jokes, and if I'm writing for Doctor Who I obviously have to make it scary, but there are quite a few jokes in Doctor Who, too, it has to be said.' A self-confessed Doctor Who fan, Steven admits that at first he found the whole idea of writing for the series an intimidating experience. 'The first week when you're sitting down to write it, as I did a year or so ago, it just seems so weird writing the words ‘Doctor' and ‘Tardis' – all those words that are so iconic and huge. It was very, very odd and disorientating. 'It took me about a week to get over the stage fright!' he laughs. 'But after that, to be honest, it becomes an extremely exciting job, and you start enjoying it for reasons that have nothing to do with being a fan. It's a big action-based pictorial show, with fantastic production values. There's a kind of story-telling that you can do on Doctor Who that you simply can't do anywhere else. I mean, nowhere else on Earth are you going to get to write a scene where Madame Du Pompadour walks from a room in Versailles to a corridor of a space ship. You're not going to do that anywhere else and that's really exciting.'" The episode is also among Saturday's highlights.
Doctor Who: The Girl in the Fireplace
Madame Du Pompadour finds the court at Versailles under attack from sinister clockwork killers, as the award-winning Doctor Who continues. Her only hope of salvation lies with the man who has haunted her dreams since childhood – a mysterious stranger known only as the Doctor. Can a broken clock summon the Lord of Time? David Tennant plays the Doctor, Billie Piper plays Rose, Noel Clarke plays Mickey, Sophia Myles plays Reinette, Madame Du Pompadour, Ben Turner plays Louis and Jessica Atkins plays young Reinette.




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Series 2/28 - Broadcasting

Doctor Who MagazinesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Issue #369 of Doctor Who Magazine and issue #2 of Doctor Who Adventures are previewed with press releases and covers for both, below; click on the thumbnail on each for a larger version. (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM and Lynsey Brown/BBC Magazines)
DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #369
Rejoin some old friends in the new Doctor Who Magazine!
This issue, Elisabeth Sladen chats about Sarah Jane Smith's return to Doctor Who for the first time since 1983...
"I've been in a perpetual state of surprise," says Elisabeth, "at how amazingly welcoming everyone has been; how aware of easing me back into the hierarchy. I mean this show is running so well; I think it's a very brave, very bold decision, really, to bring back a character who left 30 years ago. But it's an amazing script. Actually, it's so good that I thought, 'Am I up to this? Should I do it? But I just knew that they wanted the best for my character, as I did, and that's all that mattered..."
Also in this issue, DWM goes to the year Five Billion and Twenty-Three to go behind-the-scenes on New Earth, and a chat with the last human, Cassandra - Zoe Wanamaker! Then it's back to nineteenth-century Scotland for a picture-packed look at Tooth and Claw, including a not unamusing chat with Queen Victoria herself, alias veteran Doctor Who actress Pauline Collins.
There are also exclusive sneak previews of new episodes School Reunion, The Girl in the Fireplace, Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel; a chat with the writers of the new Tenth Doctor novels from BBC Books; the Time Team discover the horror of Meglos and Full Circle; Russell T Davies takes us to the series wrap party in the latest Production Notes; the Second Doctor and Jamie find themselves trapped in the Matrix Data Bank; plus all the latest audio and DVD previews and reviews!
Plus! All the writers for Series Three are confirmed in another bursting-with-news Gallifrey Guardian; a competition to win fan-favourite Genesis of the Daleks on DVD; and the start of a brand new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Rose, in F.A.Q. by Tony Lee and Mike Collins.
It's all in DWM 369 published on Thursday 27 April, priced 3.99!

DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES #2
In this thrilling second issue we take a sneaky look at two new episodes, there's a fascinating fact file about the Doctor's best friend Rose, an exciting comic strip. the second part of our win a Dalek comp, and a look at New Earth. There are posters, puzzles and loads to win and you can find out about the Slitheen and make a Empty Child mask, too!
The issue comes with two fantastic free gifts - a Slitheen Gas Exhchange (an alien whoopee cushion!) and set of holographic stickers. And it's out now.




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Magazines - DWM - DWA

TARDIS Report: New Earth Press ReviewsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

A sampling of the reviews of "New Earth" from the British press:

The Daily Telegraph: "Back like lightning in a bottle, Doctor Who (BBC1) returned last night with David Tennant taking over from Christopher Eccleston as the quixotic spaceman in the plywood phone booth. It's often forgotten that, when it started in the Sixties, Doctor Who was an earnest, philosophical piece of sci-fi, before it slowly degenerated into an unwatchable pantomime featuring Bonnie Langford; and when jump leads were attached to the old warhorse last year, one worried that the burlesque might be too big a facet of the revival. In the event, the head writer, Russell T. Davies, embraced both sides of the tradition, cranked up the electrodes to 11, and somehow kept everything in balance with fearless, Frankensteinian brio. Davies's stories are equal parts waggish, decadent and penetrating, full of Broadway-style wordplay and moral outrage against the modern world, the whole mad carnival serenaded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The first of the new episodes targeted biotechnology, as a sisterhood of sinister cat-people (hospital nuns, actually) were caught running Porton Down-style experiments on hordes of pustular human lab-rats. As usual, the script stayed just this side of Douglas Adams and proceeded at warp speed, with explanations and plot fixes chucked in on the run. The Doctor managed to save the pustular human lab-rats by drenching them with disinfectant in a lift. OK, it wasn't a classic, but the main point of interest was Tennant, who has returned the Doctor more to the commedia dell'arte figure of his earlier lives. Where Eccleston was a northern mentalist in a leather jacket who menaced you with his teeth, the froggy-faced Tennant offers breezier possibilities. He wears a thrift-store pinstripe and is somewhere between a rumpled commodities trader, a Renaissance swain and Jarvis Cocker. Flirtation with his sidekick Rose (Billie Piper) is already higher up the agenda for the galaxy's most celebrated celibate, and the two even had a snog in last night's episode (though Rose was under alien control at the time). Less promising are Tennant's efforts to keep pace with Piper's street-girl backchat: his estuary English sounds decidedly off, halfway to slummed-down Ben Elton."

The Herald: "Bend space and time all you like, but Doctor Who is, and has always been, intended for children. Adults are allowed a small slice of nostalgia if they sit up straight and behave. They can have fun spotting the jokes put there - and how clever is this? - for them to find. But if you have a companion who is entitled to vote yet still regards the show as the week's high spot, find a real doctor. Tennant's qualifications were obvious, in any case, after his performance in the marvellous Casanova, though you probably shouldn't ask the kids to corroborate that claim. A talent for cheek is undervalued in acting, as is a sense of the absurd: Tennant has both. Equally, as in Casanova, he can do man-running-for-dear-life better than most. ... Nippy fiends remain a problem, nevertheless. During Saturday's contagious zombie jail-break five billion years 'and 23 days' in the future, I could have sworn the afflicted ones were slow on their feet, but not a bit of it. Down corridors, up ladders: wherever the Doctor and the Cassandra-possessed Rose scurried, zombies awaited. It was like being trapped in Ikea. ... Still, say this for the show: in the time-warp known as Easter weekend TV, it more than held its own. Russell T Davies knows his way around a script and the production values are, by the old standards, out of this world. Obsessives can, meanwhile, ponder another profound question. Forget Tennant: is Billie Piper the best assistant a doctor ever had?"

The Guardian: "It's scary sci-fi, camp humour and warm family viewing all in one - Star Trek, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead and Carry On. And it's wonderful. Tennant turns out to be a splendid Doctor - likable, funny and sexy. Piper continues to be brilliant and gorgeous. And Russell T Davies' script has given Doctor Who a whole new injection of life. At last there's something to watch on a Saturday evening - apart from CSI and Match of the Day, obviously."

Lancashire Evening Telegraph: "I'm not sure you will agree, but I think the Doctor is in need of a bit of a tonic. Clearly all that rejuvenating has left the Time Lord feeling a little lacklustre or at least that was the indication after the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who. After all the hype, where was the substance? Sure we had some typically hiding-behind-the-sofa moments when some plague ridden, zombie-like humans wandered around looking to be loved, but this wasn't a classic by any manner of means. David Tennant was all wild-eyed stares and ill-fitting suit. Given time one thing which Doctor Who always has the lad shows promise, to slip into footballing parlance but he's not totally convincing. For the writers, they are under the same pressure as a band trying to follow up a hugely successful debut album. A few cats dressed as nurses and Billie Piper getting raunchy won't be sufficient although dads across the nation are no doubt hoping that she does indeed stay raunchy for the next few weeks. Don't get me wrong, Doctor Who is still several galaxies ahead of the majority of fare being served up and the effects are getting better and better. But without a decent plot it will all be in vain. So come on Doc, pull yourself together and get to work saving the planet."

The Independent: "Shock, horror, then that there was a full-blown snog between the Doctor and his young sidekick in Saturday's episode, albeit that Rose's body was being inhabited at the time by an old foe of the duo's, the vampish Lady Cassandra. David Tennant's Doctor looked surprised but not entirely displeased, although the fact that Rose is supposed to be 19, while the Doctor is about 900, is enough to make Peter Stringfellow seem like love's young dream. For someone with Russell T Davies's bold imagination, the possibilities of a man with two hearts is surely too tempting not to explore. Imagine the tragic potential if it were revealed that, as an amorous youth of, say, 240, the Doctor had lost one of his hearts to one of the Cybermen. I use the gender advisedly, and actually there is something very disco-era Castro Street about the Cybermen's dress sense. Tennant, by the way, is inspired casting for the Doctor - mildly dotty but with a hint of danger. Hopefully, he will take a leaf out the Queen's book and feel duty bound to stay in the role."

The Daily Express: "At the risk of receiving death-threats from Doctor Who extremists, I'd like to say that David Tennant is the best Tardis captain in the history of the universe. Or at least the last few decades. He's funny, quirky and mischievous -- and the atmosphere between him and sidekick Rose (Billie Piper) just fizzes with the clever chemistry of a 1930s screwball comedy. ... To be honest, I don't remember the Doctor Who of the Seventies having such a well-developed moral conscience. But ever since the 2005 re-launch, it seems like every episode comes complete with a gentle sermon about global pollution or the evils of capitalism. But maybe there was just as much preaching going on 30 years ago -- we were just too busy hiding behind the sofa to notice."

The Northern Echo: "Doctor Who would just have jumped in the Tardis and travelled back to watch the original game. Instead he - now looking like David Tennant rather than Christopher Ecclestone - and Rose (Billie Piper) journeyed five billion years into the future, only to encounter old adversary Cassandra, who consists of a face in a piece of stretched skin. Tennant has swiftly settled into the doctor's skin and will, I reckon, make as good a Who as his predecessor."

Times Online: "The traditional checklist of the journalist is the mantra 'What? Why? When? Where? Who?' On Saturday, pleasingly, the answer became 'Who Who Who Who and Who!' -- for Doctor Who (BBC One) returned for its second series under the fabulous Russell T. Davies, and the entire medium of television immediately looked 50 per cent brighter and more fun. The key question of every episode of Doctor Who is -- what is the scary bit? In this case, the scary bit was a disease made of Rice Krispies, in which the secondary symptoms appeared to be 'mass hammery in serried ranks of extras'. God bless drama, but it's never yet cracked a convincing zombie. The great actors will tackle the most challenging of roles but none, as yet, has had a pop at the automaton corpse. Pacino's zombie, Hoffman's zombie, the zombie of Dench -- you've got to figure, if these titans of thespiana blench from rocking from foot to foot, arms outstretched, drooling 'Ooone of uuus', what hope has some kid fresh out of stage school got? Poor zombies aside, however, this was a great bit of cheap, imaginative television with perfect casting. Billie Piper became possessed with the spirit of Cassandra, the atomically coquettish Last Human Being, and showed a real skill for comedy -- like Lucille Ball, but with the teeth of a wolf. David Tennant, meanwhile, wore an extremely fetching pair of spectacles, and continued to project the aura of a phenomenally great lay with access to a Tardis -- in other words, the first Timephwoard."

The Mirror: "The TV event of the week by a million miles - by a billion light years - was, of course, Dr Who. Rarely has a British programme had so much expectation, or even excitement, riding on it. Two big questions dominated. Could it be as good as the last series? And could David Tennant cut the mustard replacing Christopher Eccleston, who - along with writer Russell T Davies - was the show's saviour last year? The answers: a resounding Yes to the first, and a surprising Mostly to the second. Yet Tennant's first five minutes were thoroughly irritating. ... With his long brown mac, jutting chin and cloying Mockney accent, Tennant came over as a cross between David Bowie circa Dancing In The Streets and Bruce Forsyth. Daft bordering on (don't say it) zany. Mostly, Tennant just ran around and grinned a lot. Luckily, when it came to the futuristic story that followed, Davies's imagination was on fine form. ... Davies's other speciality is humour. Rose was set upon by a stingray-faced wall-hanging called Lady Cassandra. ... As he showed with the last series, writer Russell T Davies is also a master of the modern-day political parable. Here he turned in a story that had parallels with vivisection, battery farming, even Aids. ... It was imaginative, energetic, highimpact, completely bonkers good fun - amusing, original entertainment that, uniquely for television these days, could appeal equally to viewers from eight to 88, although the chase scenes drag a bit. Compared with Eccleston, Tennant is pretty but vacant - too vapid to affect it much. The real star, happily, is the character himself, and then the writer."

Sunday Mirror: "Yup, Doctor Who is back. And, after the tricky manoeuvre of turning Christopher Ecclestone into David Tennant, normal service has been resumed. Silly schoolboy sci-fi plots, unconvincing special effects and badly conceived space monsters that look as though they've just shuffled out of the BBC's make-up department. Which they have. But Who cares! Everyone loves the Doctor and they always will. .. The Beeb's computer graphic boys must have been working under-time when they created that rubbish fake silver hospital by the sea. A kid with a laptop could have done better! But that's the charm of Doctor Who. This venerable national TV institution has always been endearingly amateurish. And long may it continue to be so! ... The stupid story may have been characteristically crap, but that classic Doctor Who feelgood factor was bang on target. The latest - err - tenant of the Tardis acquitted himself well. Tall, skinny and angular, Dr Dave has wild lunatic eyes and looks just a little bit creepy. But he's clearly revelling in landing one of TV's most iconic roles. And for the sheer exuberance it was hard to fault his first full episode as the man in the long brown coat. You get the feeling that - unlike his predecessor Ecclestone - Tennant will not cut and run after just one series. It remains unclear why the Scottish star chose a Mockney accent that too often sounds like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. But after the Doc's unexpected passionate kiss with ravishing Rose there should be no problems with on-screen chemistry. Fasten your seatbelts. We're in for one hell of a ride!"

Daily Star: "The mutual lust between these two is hotting up with every episode. But the snag is, it can never be allowed to reach boiling point. The Doc blatantly fancies the kecks off his sidekick (and no doubt loves her with both his hearts) but he knows it would wreck things between them if he made a move on her. Besides which, he's probably also got two willies which, surprisingly, girls can find a bit off-putting. Rose did, of course, plant a huge, plungerlike snog on the Doc in Saturday's episode, but she'd temporarily had her body hijacked by Cassandra, that old trampoline-face we met in the last series, so this didn't really count. Even so, this has become a strangely sexy series for a Saturday teatime, hasn't it? Probably for that very reason you know the pair can only go so far."

SyFy Portal: "As I sat on my couch clutching my Sonic Screwdriver (Yes, I proudly own a Sonic Screwdriver!), I was unexpectedly overcome with excitement as David Tennant made his 'proper' debut as the centuries old Time Lord. ... The episode is literally filled with the same slapstick comedy element of the first season, poking fun at Tennant for becoming the New-New Doctor and also Billie Piper for her chavtastic Rose Tyler. ... I haven't seen much of David Tennant (although he was astounding in 'Secret Smile'), but if 'New Earth' is any indication, then he might actually be the best Doctor yet. What I love about this New-New Doctor is the way in which he instantly takes moral-high ground. Eccleson had the same energy about him, but the difference is that his views tended to come off as slightly sarcastic and on occasion arrogant, not unexpected for someone who knows everything. Tennant however sends the Doctor off on a different direction, bringing a fresh voice to a classic character. The sheer level of emotion in his acting sends ripples throughout the episode.In particular, his scenes with The Face of Bo carried a heartbreaking overtone. It was quite a surprise to be honest, considering Bo is just a big rubber head in a jar. But nonetheless, it had a significant impact. It was actually something we never got to see on the same level with any of the previous Doctors so I have to say Tennant is the perfect man for the job."

Leicester Mercury: "Forgive me, dear reader, if today's review has the feel of a first draft. It's sunny outside, and I quite fancy nipping off to the pub, but the weather's not actually to blame. The real reason this column has the air of a work in progress is Doctor Who. More pointedly, it's down to Russell T Davies. After all, if submitting a script that seemed half-done is good enough for him and the BBC, well, then it's good enough for me. Like my kids, I was looking forward to this first episode of this new series. Like my kids, I was a bit underwhelmed."

TV Squad: "... At this point in the show, my four-year-old son decided he didn't like watching disease-infected zombies stalking the living, and the pause button on my Sky Plus box was promptly called into action while he was safely tucked into his bed. Executive Producer Russell T. Davies promised us an upping of the scare factor in this series, and judging by the opening episode, he's started with a horrifying bang -- although I've always felt that the episodes of Doctor Who that set themselves in an unimaginable (not to mention unbelievable) future, tend to be weaker than the others, often calling on overacting from the principles in order to carry off a typical run-and-scream plot. This one was no exception, and didn't quite manage to beat The Christmas Invasion on the enjoyment factor, but still succeeded in giving me the heebie-jeebies for 60 minutes."




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Series 2/28 - Press

Torchwood To Be Set in CardiffBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

According to the South Wales Echo, "It's always been an attractive but baffling city landmark - and now we know why. Cardiff Bay's oval basin with its peculiar concrete pillars is the headquarters of a secret group dedicated to saving the world from invading aliens. At least, it is in the unusual world of Welsh screenwriter Russel T Davies' new Doctor Who spin off Torchwood. Filming is set to begin soon on the BBC series - which insiders are likening in style to cult American sci-fi hits Buffy and Angel. And the Echo can today reveal that the headquarters of the alien-busting investigators will be hidden under the decked floor of the Oval Basin, also known as the Roald Dahl Plass. The justification for putting Torchwood, which was introduced to Doctor Who fans in David Tennant's first outing as the Doctor in last year's Christmas special, in Cardiff, is that it is hidden away. But city residents should forgive that minor slight for the pleasure of seeing the city as the set for one of the BBC's most innovative new projects. Writer and executive producer Russell T Davies said: 'With Doctor Who we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were London, or Utah, or the planet Zog. Whereas this series is going to be honest-to-God Cardiff. We will happily walk past the Millennium Centre and say, 'Look, there's the Millennium Centre.' 'It's nice to be able to say this is the city, and this is how good it looks.' It has already announced that Doctor Who character Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, will take the lead role. Torchwood, which is the anagram of Doctor Who used to disguise the first preview tapes of the show, is expected to be broadcast sometime later this year after the new series of Doctor Who starring David Tennant finishes."




FILTER: - Torchwood - Russell T Davies

TARDIS Report: Weekend/Early Week Press CoverageBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Trailers

The three-minute preview that was shown on BBCi (red button) at the end of last week has been shown in its (almost) entirety on BBC One twice over the Easter weekend. Sunday afternoon and Monday evening both saw screenings of a 2 minute 44 second version of the package. Additionally, a twenty-second trailer for 'Tooth and Claw' debuted on BBC One on Sunday afternoon and has been shown sporadically since. This episode trailer is composed of material already seen in the 'Next Time' preview at the end of 'New Earth' and/or in the Preview. Also, in addition to its main banner ('Doctor Who returns'), the BBC homepage on Saturday had a further link at the foot of the page, and was 'Pick of the Day' on the BBC One homepage along with a small banner at the head of the channel's main programmes list.

New Zealand Broadcasting

Prime TV has now confirmed it will be screening the new series. The New Zealand TV Guide dated 13 April 2006 says, "Prime says Doctor Who with David Tennant will return, but not until the middle of the year. 'As it is one of our biggest shows, we want to give it a really good launch'. Prime notes the next series has not started playing in Britain yet (sic) 'so we won't be too far behind'."

Ratings Coverage

There's been plenty of ratings coverage over the past few days, with theDaily Mail noting the "disappearing Doctor Who fans" saying that "the first episode of the second series of Dr Who drew around eight million viewers on Saturday night - nearly two million less than for last season's debut. Despite the promise of the Doctor and his sidekick Rose sharing a passionate kiss, numbers were also down on the show's Christmas special, which drew ten million. ... A spokesman for the BBC said the figures for the second series, starring David Tennant and Billie Piper, were 'still among our highest for drama this year'." Also covered at Times OnlineTV SquadYahoo NewsDaily RecordThe GuardianicWales.

Trade magazine Broadcast gives the industry perspective on Saturday's ratings success for 'New Earth', noting that the episode "managed to grow its audience over time and hit a high ... in the final 15 minutes. The show was a big hit with the ABC1 adult as 45% of that demographic, who were watching TV at that time, were tuned to the drama series. The show also proved to be a strong attraction amongst women with the programme drawing 38.3% of the female viewing population. ... The BBC1 show had no problem having the upper hand over ITV1's film premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ... The film, lasting nearly three hours, gained a reasonable 4.9 million (25.4%)."

The Western Mail also notes that "A BBC spokeswoman said, 'Saturday's Doctor Who peaked at 8.3 million, which we are really pleased with. Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3 got an audience of 729,500 - again, fantastic viewing figures. This is a brilliant start for the new doctor, and is the best drama audience figure so far this year.' The initial figures gained by the BBC revealed that Doctor Who: New Earth gained an average audience of eight million, peaking at 8.3m, with an average audience share of 38.6% of all TV watchers on Saturday evening. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets could only manage an average of five million viewers, peaking at six million, with an average audience share of 25.6%. ... The reaction from Doctor Who fans on website Outpost Gallifrey was similarly mixed although most predicted an enjoyable series. The following reaction was typical: 'What we've got here is a fast paced, enormously entertaining and surprising episode, leaving you feeling shortchanged only because as a two parter it could have been so much more. It is a confident and stylish opener, rich with performances and special FX [effects] and is more than enough to keep the kids happy.'"

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror took a look across the Atlantic noting that "A stunning blonde is scuppering Billie Piper's bid to conquer America. Millions tuned in to BBC1 last night to see Billie make her return as Rose Tyler in the second series of the new Doctor Who, with David Tennant in the lead role. But pretty Billie, 23, is being bashed in the US ratings by beautiful blonde former model Tricia Helfer. The first series of the revived Dr Who - starring Christopher Eccleston as the Time Lord - is currently being aired on America's Sci-Fi Channel. But since its Stateside debut last month, the time-travelling series has proved a ratings loser - Billie is struggling to compete against rival Tricia. The beauty, 32, stars in a remake of 70s classic Battlestar Galactica, which airs immediately before Dr Who. The space adventure series - shown on Sky One in the UK - attracts 2.2million viewers. But more than half a million American viewers are switching off when Dr Who comes on straight afterwards. A TV insider said: 'It's the battle of the sci-fi babes. And so far Tricia is winning. It seems she's every scifi fan's dream woman. Billie just can't compete.'" What the Mirror unfortunately has misreported - and therefore throws off its argument - is that Doctor Who does not, in fact, follow Battlestar Galactica, which is currently receiving tremendous critical acclaim from US media; Galactica ended its season before Doctor Who started. Also reported at In The NewsMonsters and Critics.

Merchandise

The second issue of Doctor Who Adventures, due out on Wednesday 19 April, actually started to reach the shops last Friday and continues to sell extremely quickly. There are also reports that Woolworth has started to sell new series socks, underpants and boxer shorts for children.

People

The News and Star says that actor Simon Greenall is in episode 10, "Love & Monsters". "Being eaten by an evil monster in Dr Who is the stuff of children's nightmares. But for Longtown actor Simon Greenall it's all in a day's work. The 48-year-old's latest role in the BBC show sees him 'absorbed' by a baddie played by Phoenix Nights comedian Peter Kay. Simon said: 'He's the lead monster and he absorbs me! I think Blue Peter had a competition to create a villain and came up with the Absorbalott.' The BBC is keeping tight-lipped but Simon revealed he plays a character called Mr Skinner. He said: 'He's a lonely little man who forms a group with other people who want to find the Doctor. Peter's character joins the group but we don't know he's a monster, who's also trying to find the Doctor, until he eats us all!' Unfortunately Simon didn't get to meet the stars of the show David Tennant or Billie Piper. He said: 'They are hardly in this episode -- it's quite daring -- the Doctor is only in it at the beginning and the end. ... It's funny because 20 to 30 years ago if you were in Dr Who it wasn't as prestigious as it is now. In fact you would probably have hid the fact you were in it at all.'"

Camille Coduri is to be one of the stars of a new six-part drama for BBC Three called "Sinchronicity", according to apress release from the BBC Press Office. "Sinchronicity revolves around Nathan and the sexual misadventures of a group of 20-somethings. Set and filmed in Manchester, the plots hinge on peripheral moments that could prove crucial for strangers looking for love." Coduri plays the role of Peggy. Also attached to the project are Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner, who is executive producer for BBC Three on the drama; Brian Grant, director of last year's episode "The Long Game" who will also direct the drama; andNavin Chowdhry, who starred in last season's "Aliens of London" as Indra Ganesh, who stars here as Mac. Filming begins next month for transmission later in 2006 on BBC Three. Also reported at C21 Media.

Billie Piper is interviewed by Radio Wales, reported at BBC News, in which she tells them, "'I was quite scared if the truth be told. ... I've been here for almost two years now, I'm native - I've learnt some Welsh words - none of which I can tell you because they're all rude.' She said Rose was more 'possessive and uptight' due to having once 'lost' the doctor his regeneration and the appearance of Elisabeth Sladen, the doctor's former companion. ... She is a bit feistier this time round and very jealous, which I love playing. She feels that at any given moment he can be taken away from her. And I don't think she ever considered that before. She could contemplate monsters and all of that, and dealing with alien life forms and parallel worlds, etc, but the idea of losing the man she loves is really shocking and sad. She doesn't want it to happen again. She reacts terribly to meeting Sarah-Jane. That's when the jealous streak starts to kick in, out of fear that she's not his greatest companion and that he's had millions of them before. It's like meeting the ex-girlfriend, and we have this wonderful bitch fight which is worth watching.' On a more personal note, Piper said she feels at home in Cardiff now, after being based in the city for two seasons of the sci-fi drama. She said: 'I've been here for almost two years now, I'm native. I'm Welsh and I've learnt some Welsh words this year - none of which I can tell you because they're all rude - but I love it here. I think I've met some friends for life.'" Piper is also currently #3 of the OK! MagazineCelebrity Chart: "Doctor Who girl Billie became Britain's first 100 million pound telly babe after the BBC sold the sci-fi hit around the globe." The Daily Star says of Piper's "100 million pound" status, "New figures reveal she will help the the BBC earn the incredible sum from sales of the sci-fi smash around the globe. It means Billie, 23 - who plays the Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler - is now the corporation's prize asset. And they are ready to offer her an out-of-this-world pay deal to keep her on board. A source said: 'Billie has the upper hand in this. If the BBC want her to stay then they will have to come up with a tempting offer. They certainly don't want to lose her. If she doesn't stay on Doctor Who then they will try to keep her with a golden handcuffs deal so she doesn't stray to ITV.'" Also, All Headline says that Piper has a crush on comedian Steve Coogan. "The 'Doctor Who' beauty, who is separated from husband Chris Evans, admits she has a crush on the comedian and has sexy thoughts about him. She said: 'Steve Coogan does something for me. He is so naughty, but I quite fancy him.' ... The actress has revealed she met Coogan once when she was 17 – but all he offered her was a sweet. She explained to Britain's GQ magazine: 'He just gave me a funny look and said, 'Would you like a jelly, baby?' He's really cool and amusing. And very dangerous, and so wrong for me.' Billie, who split from her media mogul husband Evans two years ago, now lives with her new boyfriend, law student Amadu Sowe."

Today's Daily Mirror has a brief piece on Elisabeth Sladen and her forthcoming return as Sarah Jane Smith. The actress is quoted as saying that "Sarah Jane used to be a bit of a cardboard cut-out. Each week it used to be, 'Yes Doctor, no Doctor', and you had to flesh your character out in your mind - because if you didn't, no one else would." Interpreting this as 'blasting' the BBC, the Mirror notes that "Sarah Jane plays a much more integral part in the story" in 'School Reunion'; according to Sladen, "The new show is much more realistic. I am thrilled that the BBC realises the companion has an effect on the ratings."

Media Guardian says that David Tennant "is to film a 90-minute BBC1 drama in which he plays the victim of a car crash who suffers a debilitating brain injury". The drama, called "Recovery," is written by Tony Marchant (award-winning creator of 'Holding On' and 'Kid in the Corner'), and begins filming in May by the independent producer Tiger Aspect. It will co-star Sarah Parish as Tennant's wife; the two have previously appeared together in Blackpool on BBC One. The article says it is "likely to be screened in the autumn."

The Sunday Mail says that "David Tennant's girlfriend is carrying a Dr Who doll in her bag - to comfort her when she misses him. Actress Sophia Myles, 26, says she can't bear to be away from David when their filming schedules clash. BBC bosses sent Sophia, who starred as Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds, two of the coveted Time Lord dolls, complete with sonic screwdrivers. The dolls, one wearing a long coat and one in a pinstripe suit, were launched this month by BBC Toys. Sophia was sent hers when she said in a magazine interview that she planned to buy one. Her 'toyboy' is now a fixture in her bag as she films her latest movie Hallam Foe in Scotland." Myles is also the cover star of May's British edition of Tatler which includes a photo of her at a party with David Tennant, and ends as follows: "Being invited to appear on Doctor Who was 'like being called to jury service. You can't say no to Doctor Who.' Nor, it seems, could she say no to its star, David Tennant - the two have been an item ever since. 'The Pink Paper recently voted David the sexiest man in the universe,' she says. 'I'd definitely agree. I will go and buy one of the Doctor Who action figures and carry it in my handbag. I'm very pissed off they are not making a Madame de Pompadour doll, though I have had words with the producers about it.'" Myles appears as Madame de Pompadour in the new season's fourth episode, "The Girl in the Fireplace".

The Daily Record says that actor Jimmy Vee, who played the Moxx of Balhoon in last year's "The End of the World" and the title villain in the digital offering "Attack of the Graske," "has his sights set on an even bigger role. Scotsman Jimmy, who plays an assortment of aliens in the new series with David Tennant, says he'd love to fill the shoes of the Doctor himself, eventually. He said: 'You never know what might happen in one episode. I'm slowly but surely moving up the ladder and getting more in to my characters. I'd love to play the Doctor at some point. Maybe I could take over from David Tennant one day.'"

Tooth and Claw Media Coverage

This week's Radio Times features The Simpsons with Ricky Gervais on its cover, but keeps up the high level of Doctor Who coverage for the second episode of the new series, Tooth and Claw with the cover warning "Doctor Who: Beware the werewolf!" Small photographs from the episode illustrate both the Contents (p.3) and "RT recommends... the week's best television" (p.4), with 'Tooth and Claw' selected as "Drama of the week": "The Tardis whooshes into 1870s Scotland, where Queen Victoria and a big, hungry werewolf await the Doctor. Preposterous but terrific fun." This week's "Doctor Who Watch" comprises a two-page photo feature in which The Mill's Will Cohen explains some of the process involved in bringing the werewolf onto the screen ("Bad Wolf?", pp.12-13); the feature continues on a third page ("Royal prey", p.15) with an interview with Pauline Collins, possibly drawn from the BBC Press Office's press release of a couple of weeks ago, and a brief piece about make-up designer Sheelagh Wells. Overall the feature includes ten new photographs from 'Tooth and Claw'. The episode is also one of "Today's Choices" for Saturday (p.60), with a large photo of Tom Smith as the Host (who "hides a hair-raising secret"). The write-up says that "After last week's comparatively thoughtful opener, here's a full-on action adventure, packed with chases, fights and a huge, hungry werewolf. The Doctor and Rose (Tennant and Piper, a perfect partnership) land in Scotland in 1879 ... directly crossing the path of ... Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins, obviously having a whale of a time) ... It's completely preposterous, but tremendous fun of the good old-fashioned, old-dark-house-on-a-lonely-night variety. The actual werewolf transformation is very effective indeed." Another photo heads Saturday evening's BBC One listings ("The Doctor and Rose journey back to 1879 and uncover a deadly trap dating back centuries."), while the listing for Doctor Who Confidential that evening runs: "The state-of-the-art effects that created one of the Time Lord's hairiest foes, plus behind the scenes on David Tennant's battle with the Sycorax." Sunday's episode repeat has another listing blurb: "The duo probe a terrifying local legend when they land in 1879." Thursday's Totally Doctor Who will feature "Noel Clarke [with] on-set gossip, plus a chance to meet the kung-fu monks". And on Monday, "Doctor Who's canine chum K-9 is in the studio with ex-Who actress Elisabeth Sladen" for Blue Peter at 5pm. This guest appearance is also hightighted on the "Kids' TV" pages (p.116), illustrated with a shot of K9. Elsewhere in the magazine, Alison Graham cites Doctor Who as part of a current "golden age" for television, alongside forthcoming new episodes of Cracker and Prime Suspect: "Doctor Who dominates Saturday tea times ... Surely no one would claim that the new Doctor Who bears any relation to the creaky epics of my childhood, where dear Jon Pertwee battled the Sea Devils, who wore string vests if memory serves. Bring on the computer-generated special effects!" This week's DVD review is of 'Genesis of the Daleks', with Stuart Maconie commenting that "Five years ago, Doctor Who was a joke, its fans derided as dweebs, its storylines and sets a soft target for unimaginative stand-ups. Now it's cooler and sexier than ever before ... ['Genesis'] is pretty good, though: prime interstellar hokum overlaid with some echoes of Nazism and the conflict between might and right. ... The commentary is a delight. Sladen and Baker ... poke gentle and affectionate fun at themselves while clearly proud of their efforts. They should be too." And the Letters pages (p.144) has a correspondent's view that it was "a treat to be able to read Russell T Davies's thoughts on how to (and how not to) write cracking TV drama" in last week's issue. Finally, next week's issue promises coverage of the return of Sarah Jane and K-9...

The Daily Express and Daily Star both mention that "Doctor Who will take on a werewolf at Balmoral in Saturday's show – in a script that could be based on real history. The Doctor – played by Scots star David Tennant – lands his Tardis at Balmoral Castle in Queen Victoria's time and tackles the terrifying creature. But historical accounts show a 'wolfman' did stay in a cave on the royal estate. Local author Sheila Sedgwick said a 'wild boy' was raised by wolves on the mountain Lochnagar in the 19th century. 'The half man half wolf was raised in the cave but later mixed with people in the town, ' she said. 'The boy was orphaned and the wolves looked after him. The idea of a werewolf at Balmoral will make great television.' Lochnagar is Prince Charles' favourite mountain and he enjoys picnics there with Camilla. The cave the 'wolf boy' slept in is located near the summit of the 3,800ft high peak. Dr Sedgwick said: 'The moon played a great part in life on the estate – when they saw a new moon women bowed three times to it.'"

The Scotsman says that "There is a moment near the beginning of the second episode of the new series of Dr Who when Rose, the Doctor's pretty sidekick, attempts a Scottish accent. Held at gunpoint by a procession of 19th-century Scottish soldiers, she tries out a pitiful 'hoots mon' and is quickly shushed by the Doctor, who then proceeds to converse with the soldiers as if he were one of their own. Which in real life, of course, he is. Indeed it is perhaps one of the only times in the new series that viewers will get a hint that the latest Dr Who hails from Paisley, rather than the distant planet of Gallifrey. On this sunny Thursday afternoon in Glasgow, however, David Tennant - television's newest Doctor Who and quite possibly the only one to also have played the role of Casanova - is wearing his Scottishness on his sleeve, excitably leaping up to thank everyone for coming and telling them how much it means to be able to bring the Dr Who team (Billie Piper - with boyfriend Amadu Sowe in tow - Russell T Davies and an assortment of writers and CGI folk are here too) to Scotland. Tennant even utters the word 'jings'. ... Tennant adopts a mockney twang for the role, a move that has led to accusations that it was deliberately changed for a world that wasn't ready for a heavily Scottish-accented Dr Who. It's a charge both Tennant and Davies deny. 'It didn't bother me one way or another,' says Tennant. 'It doesn't make me any less Scottish not doing a Scottish accent. But it was nice to have one episode where Russell came up with the idea of the Doctor having a Scottish accent - which remarkably the doctor could do...' Davies, for his part, strenuously denies that it was a result of any sort of BBC dictat. 'I absolutely swear to you on my life!' he protests. In fact the writer is obviously a Tennant fan. He gave, Davies says, 'one of the best auditions I'd ever seen' for Casanova - another Davies vehicle - and, since then, the writer had kept him at the back of his mind for the Dr Who role. He seems thrilled with his choice. 'He's fantastic,' says Davies. 'The thing with great actors is that you don't know quite what you're going to get. They always take you by surprise.' ... 'Nine months of the year you're filming, so it's difficult to do anything else,' Tennant admits. 'But I fully intend to go back to the theatre at some point and, if it was something for the National Theatre of Scotland, all the better.' As for a third series, both Piper and Tennant have signed up, although there is speculation over whether Piper will appear in every episode. But that's all still some time away in the future."

Heat magazine reviewer Boyd Hilton gives Tooth and Claw 5 stars (it's also at number 2 in their Week's Best TV Shows). He writes: "The second episode of the new series is cunningly described by writer Russell T Davies as a "celebrity historical" story, featuring an encounter with a famous person from history, namely Queen Victoria (played with supreme regal confidence by Pauline Collins, outdoing even Judi Dench's portrayal in Mrs Brown). But the Queen alone isn't enough to fill out a top-quality Russell T Davies script. Oh no. He chucks in a band of mysterious warrior monks who do that flying-fighting thing from The Matrix, the world's biggest diamond, and a truly scary (at least for any kids watching) werewolf. Quite how this ends up being coherent, fun and finally rather moving, we can't fully explain, but we do know that Rose's running-joke attempt to get Queen Victoria to say "We are not amused" is the finest slice of comedy in recent Who history. There's surely no other show on TV right now that manages to be as funny, scary and giddily entertaining all at the same time. Except for maybe Deal Or No Deal."

Closer picks this week's episode as one of it's (4) choices for Saturday: "The Doctor tries to transport Rose back to the flower power era of the '70s, but he accidentally hits the wrong digit and they end up in the Scottish highlands in 1879 - whoops! It's not quite the nostalgic trip down memory lane he had in mind - especially when a local legend about a werewolf turns out to be true. Pauline (Shirley Valentine) Collins guest stars as Queen Victoria."

New magazine lists Doctor Who as number 6 in their Top 10 Picks: "Doctor Who must be a dream for its special effects team, and they sure had fun creating tonight's creepy creature - a terrifyingly realistic werewolf that Rose and The Doctor encounter when they are dropped in the Highlands of Scotland in 1879. How things have changed since Tom Baker's day!"

Reveal has this week's episode as this as one their Must Sees for Saturday and give it 4 stars: "The Time Lord and Rose find themselves in 19th century Scotland. There they meet Queen Victoria and encounter a sinister order of warrior monks." Sneak's Pick of the Day: "Prepare for an extra spooky episode as Rose and the Doctor travel back to 1879 and meet Queen Victoria. Plus, the pair confront a terrifying werewolf who stalks the Scottish Highlands looking for prey. Scarier than Pete Burns without any slap on!".

Star magazine gives Tooth and Claw 4 out of 5 stars: Tonight the Doctor and his fragrant Rose travel back in time for a chilling encounter with Queen "Gappy" Victoria and a band of Warrior Monks in the Scottish Highlands. Things become even hairier when an ancient and deadly trap is revealed.

US Broadcasts

TV Guide said of last week's US transmission of "Dalek," "The Daleks---or rather, the Dalek (singular)---is back, and it is peeved. It has not one but three issues: 1) Henry Von Stanton (spelling?), 2) the 'extermination' of its race and 3) the man behind that 'extermination,' the Doctor. As one reader pointed out, the Time Lords weren't wiped out by a civil war, as I'd thought, but by a protracted conflict with the Daleks. The Doctor succeeded in destroying the screchy pepper shakers, but only at the expense of his own people, which is a lot of guilt to carry around even in something as big as the TARDIS. Age and grief catch up to our hero when he spots the Cyberman head in a museum. Its owner is von Stanton, an A++++ type billionaire from the year 2012. 'Blimey, you can smell the testosterone,' muses Rose. Von Stanton has to rank among the most obnoxious people the Doctor has ever dealt with. He is, of course, American---a control freak who can hire and fire Presidents on a whim because he owns the internet. (Al Gore apparently didn't patent his invention.) Von Stanton at least has the acumen to promote the seductive Diana Goddard to chief assistant. (Anna-Louise Plowman resembles Nicole Kidman during her younger, curlier days.) Among von Stanton's objets d'art are items from Roswell, alien weapons, a hair drier, and the aforementioned Cyberman head. In the basement of his Utah bunker, the last surviving Dalek is being tortured to get it to communicate. It parts with no words until it sees its old enemy, the Doctor, after which comes the familiar, metallic refrain of 'Exterminate!.' Marooned and moribund, the Dalek can't cause any trouble---yet---but it does give as good as it gets in a verbal duel with our tart-tongued Time Lord. 'If you can't kill, what is the point of you?' he snarles. The Dalek points out that the Doctor too is alone because of the Time War. That the writers could inject pathos into a Dalek is a wonder in and of itself, particularly considering how many people it exterminated during the course of this phenomenal episode. But it was alone, it had no orders, and it had no purpose. Alas, Rose soon gave the Dalek a new lease on life by touching it, somehow passing the Doctor's regenerative DNA into its genes. The Dalek then went on a killing spree that made the bunker look like the Alamo (like bullets were going hurt this thing). Still, it was about time that someone explained how the Daleks could overcome the stairs obstacle. It flies, you see. Wonder why the Daleks didn't use that on the Doctor before. (Budget constraints, perhaps?) After telling Jackie that he'd protect Rose, the Doctor's agony at her supposed death really hit home, all the more so because we could see it coming. Of course she didn't perish (she was one of the few who didn't), but with her as a hostage the Dalek barged into von Stanton's office. 'What use are emotions if you can't save the woman you love?' it barked at the Doctor. The Dalek's reaction to von Stanton's hemming and hawing about trying to get it talk was CLASSIC---'You want me to talk? EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' No, it didn't kill him (Goddard staged a hilarious coup, instead), but the Dalek did undergo a subtle emotional shift as the episode went on, experiencing fear, a craving for freedom, and a desire to see the sun. Armed with a honkin' alien bazooka, the Doctor wanted to do some exterminating of his own. Seems he'd undergone a shift too, as Rose noted. 'What are you changing into?' she demands. This gives our emotional hero pause. Christopher Eccleston was awesome throughout the entire episode. He is by turns cheeky, angry, wistful, guilt-ridden, passionate and compassionate, like a bi-polar person who has harnessed their behavior. An amazing performance. Billie Piper again shows why she is such apt foil---Rose is tough, stable and warm but never wooden. The Dalek gives perhaps the most remarkable performance of all, though you'd have to be a fan of the old Who to really appreciate why. Rose's humanity caused the Dalek too much emotional distress for its one-dimensional genetic make up. It had to die. 'Are you frightened Rose Tyler?' 'Yes,' she replies. 'So am I.' It was like the tin man getting a heart---if the tin man was Saddam Hussein. And with that, the Dalek implodes. Before departing, the Doctor gets a new comrade. Adam (Bruno Langley) is a brilliant young British minion of von Stanton's who has more than a passing interest in Rose. Wonder what Mickey will say? And von Stanton...he's brainwashed and dumped in a skid row of a city beginning with `S.' Sorry to go on and on, but this jewel had a million great moments---I had to mention at least a thousand of them."

Now Playing Mag says that "At the risk of blowing my cover as a hip TV guru so early in the game, I have to confess that one of my favorite shows at the moment is the new version of Doctor Who. Being both American and a girl I realize that I have no business being a fan of Doctor Who, but I can’t deny that I’m hooked on the cheeky time-traveling alien and his spunky sidekick, Rose Tyler. And on the occasion of the show’s triumphant return to the British airwaves this weekend for a second go-round, not to mention the American airing of “Dalek” — one of the best episodes from last season, I figured it was a time to come clean. It all started last January, when I received a call from an editor to do a last-minute interview with David Tennant, who took over the role from Christopher Eccleston at the end of the first season (or series, as the British call their seasons — just to confuse us yanks, and then laugh at our ignorance). Having never seen a single episode of the new series, or the old, I felt woefully unprepared and dove into researching the history of Doctor Who. And then I gave up. I mean, who can process 40 years of history in a single afternoon? So I interviewed David not fully comprehending what an opportunity it was (or the fact that a lot of fanboys out there would give up their action-figure collections for the same chance). Maybe it’s just my personal weakness for accents (and he has a lovely Scottish brogue that you unfortunately won’t get to hear in the Doctor’s voice), but he couldn’t have been more charming or personable in the interview. If he was tired of talking about inheriting the Doctor’s legacy by the time I got to him, he certainly didn’t show it. And he’s now signed up through the third series, so it seems he’s in it for the long haul. It may be hard for some fans to accept David as the new Doctor, but he was my first, so there will always be a spot in my heart for number 10. And that’s how “The Christmas Invasion” came to be the first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw. That pretty much clinched it for me. I proceeded to track down every episode of the new series (let’s just say I found them through a friend — we’ll call him Kit Borrent) and was rarely disappointed by the sharp, witty writing that also managed to be culturally relevant. Above all, it was just plain fun to watch. And right at height of my fascination came the SCI FI Channel announcement that it was bringing the series to the States. I tried wishing for a million dollars too, but I’m still waiting on that one. I’ll keep you posted. I know that if I had that million dollars right now, I’d buy myself a plane and a handsome pilot to fly me over to the U.K. for the weekend so I could be there for the return of Doctor Who. But since I can’t, I guess it’s up to old Kit to hook me up again."

TV Squad says, "I am really enjoying these new Dr. Who adventures that are appearing on the Sci-Fi Channel while their normal Friday night schedule is taking a hiatus. To paraphrase... it's not your father's (or grandfather's) Dr. Who. While there are some occasional cheesy aliens and special effects, this version of the show is definitely the one of the most slickly produced in the series' 43-year history. ... I actually felt sympathy for the Dalek in this episode as it made the decision to kill itself; whoever wrote the sequence between him, the Doctor and Rose did a very good job at showing the Dalek's pain. In general this episode was very emotional, as the Doctor showed his anger and fear when meeting the Dalek and his sadness when he thought he had lost Rose. This version of the Doctor is, well, cool. He's not like some of the other Doctors (like, for example, sixth Doctor Colin Baker). He dresses well, he's glib, and he has the right amount of cheekiness and logic in him. I also like Rose. There have been plenty of companions that have done nothing but whine every time the Doctor began another adventure. Rose is different; she comes from South London (I guess that's a rough and tumble part of the city), she's young, and she is ready to go on the adventures (as she had nothing really keeping her at home before that). I look forward to future episodes."

Miscellaneous

Says Media Monkey in The Guardian, "Five years after Greg Dyke called the BBC 'hideously white', it appears that the corporation still has some way to go. A double page picture of most of the 200 production staff behind Doctor Who in the Radio Times reveals just two black faces, one of them Noel Clarke, who plays Mickey Smith. Defeating the Daleks is one thing, employing more members of an ethnic minority is quite another."

The Telegraph says that "he has defeated Daleks and Cybermen but Doctor Who has now achieved possibly his greatest victory yet - attracting tourists to South Wales. The BBC's decision to film the series around Cardiff and Swansea has been credited with breathing new life into the region's tourist trade. Thousands of fans have flocked to the area to visit locations and tourism chiefs believe that the new series, which began last night, will provide a further boost in time for summer. They are even considering setting up tourist trails and are encouraging operators to develop Doctor Who holidays. Geoff Haden, the chairman of Tourism Swansea, said: 'Tourism is only ticking over so it really needs the boost it is getting from Doctor Who. There are lots of Doctor Who nuts out there whom we're targeting.' While some locations, such as the Gower Peninsula, Cardiff Bay and the city's Millennium Centre, are well-established as tourist attractions, the show features a host of less salubrious backdrops, including Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Howell's department store, the former offices of Glamorgan county council and a housing estate on the outskirts of the Welsh capital. Despite the lack of glamour, tourism bosses say Doctor Who fans are just as keen to tour a shopping centre as they are to stroll on a coastal path. John Wake, a Cardiff tour guide, said: 'Some of the locations are not terribly interesting places, like tower blocks and council estates, but the fans still want to go there. These enthusiasts just want to see exactly where everything happened and can spend a couple of hours at these places.' An exhibition dedicated to the Time Lord at Cardiff's Red Dragon Centre has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since Christmas, and hundreds are expected to attend a Doctor Who convention in Swansea later this year. Following the first series, a poll found that 18 per cent of visitors to Cardiff had decided to come after seeing the city on television. ... Although the locations are usually adapted to represent London as well as more remote outposts of the universe, the BBC says the show is intended as a showcase for Wales. The corporation has been working with the Wales Tourist Board on using the show to promote the principlality and its website offers a guide to film locations."

The Sun also says that "a recent poll found one in five visitors to Cardiff had decided to go after seeing the Welsh capital on TV. Thousands of fans have flocked to South Wales since the first series was aired last year - the new series kicked off on Saturday - to eight million avid viewers. But it is tricky for viewers to spot the sites as the Beeb uses props and special effects to transform locations, making them appear as if they are in London. Here, we invite you to step into The Sun's Tardis for a whirlwind tour of Wales - Doctor Who-style. When we met Billie Piper's character Rose for the first time, she was working in fictitious central London department store Henrik's. But to browse the shelves for real, shoppers would have to go to Howells in Cardiff, where the external shots were filmed. In this episode, The Doctor and Rose find the Nestene Consciousness lurking underground beneath the London Eye. However, the nailbiting scenes were filmed in a disused paper mill in Grangetown, a Cardiff suburb. The mill was used again in the first episode of the new series last Saturday as the location for the sinister 'testing labs' at an alien hospital. When Rose's mum is chased by shop dummies through London, also in the first series, she is really in and around the Queen's Arcade shopping centre in Cardiff. The crew simply added a few lampposts and a London Underground sign. And when an alien crash-lands in the fourth episode of series one it is taken to the Albion Hospital. In reality, this was Cardiff Royal Infirmary. The corridors and empty rooms were also given a futuristic make-over and used for interior shots featuring aliens. So now you should know where you are when it comes to Doctor Who."

The Western Daily Press features an article by "Science of Doctor Who" author Paul Parsons who asks "Have you wondered how Daleks climb stairs, how those Cybermen are able to make little Cybermen, or where the toilets are on the Tardis? I have been a fan of Doctor Who as long as I can remember, although I wasn't around when he first arrived on TV in 1963, the day after President John F Kennedy was shot. Since then, the journeys of the Time Lord have shown us alien worlds, strange life-forms, futuristic technology and mind-bending cosmic phenomena. Viewers have hidden behind their sofas, terrified of Daleks, been amazed by the wonders of time travel, and travelled through black holes into other universes and new dimensions. The sheer imagination of the Doctor's adventures have made the show one of science fiction's truly monumental success stories - but you might be surprised quite how much scientific reality lies behind the fiction." The article goes into discussing some of these scientific issues, with a pitch for the book (now on the stands) at the end.

The Daily Express says that "the new series of Doctor Who has only just warped into action but this has not stopped Time Lord David Tennant from nominating his replacement when he parks his Tardis for good. He would like League Of Gentlemen comedian Mark Gatiss to take over the Dalek-fighting duties. Gatiss, who can currently be seen starring as a psychiatric inmate in BBC comedy Nighty Night and is known for playing eccentric characters, has already penned an episode of the current Doctor Who series. 'Mark would be great and would be keen to do it, too, I think, ' proffers Tennant." Actor/writer Gatiss wrote last year's "The Unquiet Dead" and this season's "The Idiot's Lantern".

The Derby Evening Telegraph says that "Brave Doctor Who fan James Shelton came face to face with two Daleks when he visited Pickford's House. The eight-year-old was one of about 80 youngsters who attended a Doctor Who day on Saturday at the museum in Friar Gate, Derby. James is pictured with a Tardis, made by Steve Warby, who brought it to the museum to show the children. The day marked the launch of a new series of the popular BBC1 show (see Page 10). Mr Warby, of Chaddesden, spent five months creating the Tardis. He said: 'The children were making their own K9 dogs from the series and masks of the new-look Cybermen, too. They were very good. The children loved the Tardis and were very surprised when a Dalek came out of it.'"

Also BBC NewsicNewcastleicWales and The Guardian covered the launch of series two with brief recap articles;Female First says that "David Tennant loves being a gay sex symbol".

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Peter Weaver, Chuck Foster, Paul Hayes, David Traynier, James van-der Heiden, Michael Blumenthal, David Ryan, Jon Preddle and Peter Anghelides)




FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Series 2/28 - Press - Radio Times

US Ratings Report: "Dalek"Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Ratings for Dalek, the sixth episode of the new series broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel in the US, have come in, and are sadly not welcome news. The telecast averaged a 1.17 household rating with an average viewing audience of 1.3 million viewers, making it the lowest rated original Doctor Who broadcast of the season to date. However, it is important to note that this was a holiday weekend, which could explain the sudden drop in viewers from the previous week.




FILTER: - USA - Ratings - Series 1/27