The Tenth Doctor Revisited On BBC AmericaBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
BBC America is to mark the era of the Tenth Doctor by showing the episodes The Stolen Earth and Journey's End on Sunday 27th October as part of its celebratory season Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited.

They will be preceded at 8pm ET/PT by the special documentary Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited - The Tenth Doctor, which will feature David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, and current lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat among those discussing how and why the Tenth Doctor became one of the most popular Doctors of all time.

Written by Russell T Davies and directed by Graeme Harper, the episodes - which were originally broadcast in June and July 2008 - comprised the epic finale of Series 4 and saw the Doctor, companions, and friends unite to take on the might of a new Dalek empire and Davros.

UPDATE: The associated DVD, which will be released on Tuesday 3rd December and is available to pre-order, will comprise three discs and will have the Revisited stories shown for the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors, as well as the accompanying documentaries plus special introductions by Steven Moffat to each two-parter. The product description states that the episodes for the Eleventh Doctor's era will be The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. Their broadcast date is still to be announced.

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Freema Agyeman - USA - BBC America - David Tennant - Tenth Doctor

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 February 2013 - (compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)
Matt Smith is to star in a new film, How To Catch A Monster, written and directed by Ryan Gosling. The film has been described as "set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city and centred on a single mother of two being swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld, while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town." Smith is to play the, as yet unnamed lead, alongside Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks and Saoirse Ronan. Filming begins in May. [Variety, 6 Feb 2013]

David Tennant is currently filming a new three-part thriller for BBC One, The Escape Artist, in which he plays Will Burton, a barrister who specialises in spiriting people out of tight legal corners. The show is written by Spooks creator David Wolstencroft, who said of the casting: "David Tennant is one of the most accomplished and iconic actors of his generation. I cannot wait to see him in Will's shoes.". The show also features Sophie Okonedo, Toby Kebbell and Ashley Jensen (with whom the actor appeared in his very first professional role, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui). [BBC Media Centre, 31 Jan 2013]

The actor has also been reunited with Emilia Fox for the drama Every Seventh Wave, a sequel to last year's Love, Virtually. It can be heard this Thursday on BBC Radio 4.

Christopher Eccleston took on the role of Winston Smith in the first BBC Radio 4 adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 broadcast at the weekend; on the enduring appeal of the book and his character, the actor said: "it's the human story that means that we keep coming back to it and keeps it relevant.". The adaptation forms part of a season of programmes entitled The Real George Orwell celebrating the writer, who used to work at Broadcasting House. (Eccleston isn't the only Doctor to have played the role - Patrick Troughton starred as Smith in a 1965 broadcast by the BBC Home Service.)

We reported back in September that Eccleston was amongst a number of celebrities who were making claims against News International over phone-hacking allegations - a settlement was reached last Friday, with the lawyer representing claimants reported that the actor has been "shocked and distressed" over the sixteen occasions his messages had been compromised, and that "owing to the deliberate destruction of documents by the News of the World, he will never find out the true extent to which his privacy and that of those close to him, was invaded". [BBC News/Express, 8 Feb 2013]

Peter Davison was recently subject to an internet death hoax, as a joke blog post escalated out of control across social media - the actor is of course very much alive! A number of celebrities have suffered similar reports in recent months as unfounded rumours spread through social media. However, this is not a new phenomenon as obituaries have been published in the past in print for people still very much alive! [Travelers Today, 2 Feb 2013]

Joy Whitby, former children's TV producer at the BBC, has revealed how producer Verity Lambert contacted her about a job on the recently launched Play School after she finished on Doctor Who. Surprised, she turned her down, considering her to be an over-qualified and high-powered producer! [BBC News, 31 Jan 2013]

Talking about how she became an actress, Freema Agyeman said: "No one in my family or my friend circle anywhere was in the acting business or anything to do with the industry whatsoever. I went to a very strict academic convent girls' school, and I was very into science and things like that when I was younger. And then I suddenly just went off on this tangent when I was 17 and I suddenly decided that I liked acting. But I also liked fine arts and English literature, so I would have gone and done any of them at a higher education level. I remember asking a career advisor, "What should I do?" and her advice was to apply to universities and see what happens. So I applied to either of the three at university, and I decided that fate would guide me. And it so happens that the theatre studies or the acting degree application was responded to first, so I thought it was a sign. And I learned everything as I went. I got into it quite late. I'm enjoying it, but I'm very much learning as I go - and enjoying that, actually!" [Hollywood, 5 Feb 2013]

The actress has also joined Twitter, and can be followed via @FreemaOfficial.

Toby Jones was named Best Actor at the London Evening Standard 2012 British Film Awards for his role as Gilderoy in the psychological thriller Berberian Sound Studio. [BBC News, 4 Feb 2013]

Daniel Blythe gave a reading of his Doctor Who book Autonomy to pupils at the Hepworth J&I School in Huddersfield. He visited the school to give a presentation on how he became an author and his Doctor Who connections. [Huddersfield Examiner, 1 Feb 2013]

(compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)

In Memoriam

The actor Peter Gilmore, who guest-starred as Brazen in the 1984 story Frontios, died aged 81 on 3rd February - 29 years to the day since the adventure's fourth and concluding episode was transmitted. He was best-known to TV viewers as shipping magnate James Onedin in the BBC period drama The Onedin Line and also made 11 appearances in Carry On films. [The Guardian, 6 Feb 2013]

Robin Sachs, who played a professor in Torchwood: Miracle Day, has died at the age of 61. He was the son of Leonard Sachs and was also known to sci-fi/fantasy fans for his roles in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, and Galaxy Quest. [BBC News, 5 Feb 2013]

Two people from the Hartnell era have been reported as passing away in January: Reg Pritchard, who played Ben Daheer in The Crusade, and Keith Marsh, who played Conway in the Peter Cushing movie Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150AD. [The Stage, 7 Feb 2013]

FILTER: - People - Freema Agyeman - Obituary - Matt Smith - David Tennant - Awards/Nominations -

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 18 January 2013 - Written by Chuck Foster and John Bowman
Matt Smith is to make his directorial debut on an episode of Playhouse Presents... on Sky Arts. The episode is entitled Cargese and is described as "a unique piece of poetic realism which mines the tragic seam of adolescent love and loss.". Talking about his new challenge, Smith said: "Sky Arts offers creative opportunities that many other channels don't. To collaborate with (writer) Simon Stephens in this capacity was a thrilling and rare opportunity and one we both were keen to embrace." The episode airs on Thursday 25th April. [Sky Arts]

Marc Warren has also written and directed for the series with Hey Diddly Dee, which will feature Kylie Minogue in a starring role. Warren said: "Writing and directing for Playhouse Presents... has been one of the most magical experiences of my career. To give myself the best chance I called in every favour to surround myself with a dream cast and an incredible crew. And then by some miracle, Kylie appeared, and the fate of our film was sealed." As for Minogue, she said: "When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. In Hey Diddly Dee, Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story." The episode launches the season on Thursday 14th March.

Other names to feature in Playhouse Presents... this year include Frances Barber, David Harewood, Suranne Jones and Reggie Yates.

As reported last year, a new series starring Bernard Cribbins with Freema Agyeman is to feature on CBeebies. Old Jack's Boat starts its 25-episode daily weekday run on Monday 21st January at 5.40pm, and sees Cribbins as the retired, story-telling fisherman of the title, with Agyeman featuring as café-owning character Shelly Periwinkle. The story to be broadcast on Friday 25th January is written by Russell T Davies and involves the Moon. "Sitting watching Bernard Cribbins reading out some lines that you've written, I can't tell you how good it was, it was a joy," said Davies. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Agyeman also made her US debut in The Carrie Diaries this week. The Sex And The City prequel series is airing on Mondays on The CW Channel and she plays Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine who also acts as a mentor to the eponymous young Carrie Bradshaw.

David Morrissey isn't averse to a return to Doctor Who, should he be asked. "I would absolutely love to do it again. I had such a ball doing it," he said. "Mark Gatiss says, you know, there's nothing more blissful for him to write than 'Interior TARDIS: Day' or whatever on the top of one of his scripts, it's living the dream. And for me, when I went down and worked on it, I thought 'This is great', it's a really well-run show, people take it very seriously but you have fun on it. And l loved that character, I really loved Jackson Lake, I thought he was a really interesting man, he was in some sort of trauma himself and the Doctor liberates him from that..." [Den of Geek, 17 Jan 2013]

A play starring Billie Piper and Tom Goodman-Hill has won a gong in the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, was named Best Play. Billed as a clinical romance, it is at the National Theatre until Saturday 23rd February, although all performances are sold out except for day tickets and possible returns. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Mark Williams - currently starring as the eponymous crime-solving priest Father Brown in the BBC One daytime drama - has spoken of his fondness for GK Chesterton's clerical detective. "He has a huge appetite for the detail of life and for humanity, and he cares very much about people's souls. That's the most interesting thing about him as a sleuth: it's not him solving a conundrum or a crossword, he's dealing with what he sees as people's eternal damnation. And when he works it out, the sky turns black and is full of harpies; he's desperately committed to his morality." [Radio Times, 13 Jan 2013]

Olivia Colman joins Tim Pigott-Smith and Shaun Dingwall in the cast of the ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II: The Murder In Angel Lane. She will play Susan Spencer, who employs Whicher as a private inquiry agent to investigate the murder of her niece. Pigott-Smith reprises his role as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne, while Dingwall will play Inspector George Lock. The two-hour story is being filmed in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, and central London over the next four weeks. [ITV Press Centre, 11 Jan 2013]

James Moran talks about the temptations of writing darker stories: "It's when people decide to make something dark for the sake of it, and then work out the story and force it, that never ends well. Children of Earth was just a story idea that gradually turned dark all by itself, so I think it worked. But I've certainly seen it hurt other shows and movies, where they decide to make it grim just to be edgy, without it flowing naturally from the story. And sometimes, blimey, you just want to have a laugh when you sit down for a bit of telly in the evening" [Den of Geek, 10 Jan 2013]

Amy Manson has been short-listed for the title role in the new series of Wonder Woman that goes into production this year for the CW Network. [STV, 16 Jan 2013]

Mark Benton is to star in an advertising campaign for electronic cigarettes that could prove to be a landmark case, as there is currently a ban in the UK on promoting tobacco-related products. [Radio Times, 15 Jan 2013]

After the campaign last year, David Tennant, Sir Richard Branson and Usain Bolt are back to promote Virgin Media in a second series of adverts for the cable broadcaster's TiVo service.

Karen Gillan was a victim of hacking earlier in the week on Twitter when she apparently became a heavy promoter of weight-loss pills! The actress has since regained control of her account.

BBC Books authors Gary Russell, Jacqueline Rayner and Steve Cole are to be guests for Dr Who: Past, Present and Future, an event in Chelmsford on Sunday 24th March that forms part of the Essex Book Festival. [Essex Book Festival]

Eoin Colfer was revealed last week as the author of the first Puffin book for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. The author said: "When I was asked to write one of the 11 e-shorts for the Doctor's 50th anniversary it was like being whisked away by my own Tardis back to the 1970s when Kevin, my brother Paul and I were three science-fictioneers immersing ourselves in the lore of Doctor Who in the sunny south-east of Ireland. I chose the First Doctor because I always imagined him to be a crank who was jaded by the Universe's cruelty rather than amazed by its wonders. There was no naivety about him whatsoever. He had seen far more in his life than he ever wanted to, and his fight against evil‑doers was dogged and not punctuated by repartee. The First Doctor's companion was his granddaughter Susan and her love for her granddad was perhaps the purest thing in his world, and something he was prepared to protect fiercely." [Guardian, 12 Jan 2013]

Colfer also discusses the e-book in a video released by BBC Worldwide as part of the promotion for A Big Hand For The Doctor.

Written by Chuck Foster and John Bowman

FILTER: - People - Freema Agyeman - Bernard Cribbins - Russell T Davies - Theatre - Karen Gillan

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 August 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant is to host a new panel show for Channel 4. Comedy World Cup will be a seven-part series in which comedians will use their stand-up to compete against one another in a knockout competition. Justin Gorman, the channel's Head of Entertainment, said: "Needless to say when we thought who could match, handle and wrangle some of the funniest and most talented comedians on TV, we decided it had to be David Tennant, so are thrilled he agreed". [Metro, 24 Aug 2012]

The actor recently appeared on G4's Attack of the Show!, chatting about the Olympics opening ceremony, The Spies of Warsaw, and his feelings on the 50th Anniversary.

Matt Smith can be briefly spotted in the "Don't Think" video from sports company Adidas, during which he was painted as a clown. Several photos of the actor in make-up can also be found via the Daily Mail, taken at a party in Shoreditch to celebrate the Olympics earlier this month.

Speaking at the BFI, Steven Moffat commented on the way in which children should be taught to read: "What makes people read a lot is books they like. I used to think when I was a school teacher that we shouldn’t give them the books they [education authorities] thought they ought to read – we should give them really cool books that they think are exciting. It doesn’t matter if they are good books as long as they read. Reading makes you better at English, reading a lot makes you want to read better books." [Standard, 15 Aug 2012]

Also at the BFI, Karen Gillan announced that she will feature in the third of Charlie Brooker's spoof series A Touch of Cloth, due to be shown in 2013. No character details have been revealed as yet. [Radio Times, 15 Aug 2012]

Freema Agyeman's commitments to the Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries has led to the actress being unavailable to film Law and Order: UK for its 2013 series. Agyeman has been with the show since its creation in 2009. [TVWise, 24 Aug 2012]

Burn Gorman has been reported as joining the cast of HBO's Game of Thrones as a member of the Night Watch. The actor has most recently been seen in The Dark Knight Rises. [WinterIsComing, 8 Aug 2012]

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - People - Freema Agyeman - Karen Gillan - David Tennant

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 4 August 2012 - Compiled by Chuck Foster, John Bowman and Harry Ward
Billie Piper is to make her National Theatre debut this autumn, starring in The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, at The Cottesloe. The play, described as "a clinical romance", deals with sanity, neurology, and medicine's limits. Tom Goodman-Hill will be among the co-stars. It runs from 6th November to 2nd March, and tickets go on sale to the public on 24th September. [BBC News, 3 Aug 2012]

Christopher Eccleston recently undertook a Q&A session at the National Theatre, where he is appearing as Creon in Antigone, during which he was asked about playing the Doctor: In response to a question about whether he felt he'd taken the character as far as he could he (very tellingly) said he felt that one series isn't enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he'd had two or three series he'd have developed the role considerably. He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it's such a complex and challenging role. He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character... [BadGirlSeeksGoodMan@GallifreyBase, 19 Jul 2012]

Matt Smith commented on having Eccleston make a guest appearance: "Chris will be alright. Well, I mean, who knows? I'd love it. I'd love him to come back. I love his Doctor. I really do. He was from Manchester. Proper hard. Leather jacket. He'd give my Doctor a bit of a whopping, wouldn't he?" [Esquire via FemaleFirst, 3 Aug 2012]

Eccleston's name has also been associated with the film sequel Thor: The Dark World. If cast he would be playing the principal villain Malekith The Accursed. [Cinema Blend, 1 Aug 2012]

Bernard Cribbins is to return to television next year in his own series, Old Jack's Boat, playing a retired fisherman named Jack who tells stories to children. The actor said: "I am delighted to be back on CBeebies telling stories as I am storyteller. There are some marvellous writers, such as Russell T Davies, who I have been in touch with for a long time and who, of course, I worked with on Doctor Who. I am looking forward to sitting back and being able to tell some wonderful stories." As well as Doctor Who's former lead writer Davies, another familiar name in the show will be Freema Agyeman, who will play Shelley. [Mirror, 4 Aug 2012]

Karen Gillan met the actress to play her double in Not Another Happy Ending, the movie she is currently filming. Rebecca Davidson will double for Gillan in shots where her character Jane Lockhart meets her perfect double in a pub. [Huffington Post, 1 Aug 2012]

Neve McIntosh talks about meeting the new co-star, Jenna-Louise Coleman: "She's absolutely gorgeous as well, she's lovely. I've not had much work with her. I think she's got a lovely quality to her so I think is going to be really exciting. And obviously I don't know the rest of whatever's been going on, so it'll be interesting to start watching the new series and see how she's introduced." [Cultbox, 2 Aug 2012]

Alex Kingston is to feature in the next series of Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC genealogy series that looks into the ancestry of celebrities. Now into its ninth series, it will also include celebrities like singer Annie Lennox and actor Patrick Stewart. Former Doctor David Tennant explored his family history in Series Four (2006).

Tennant came top in a poll of favourite Doctors recently undertaken by Entertainment Weekly.

Former costumer designer Leslie Rowland-Warne has been talking about his experience of working on Death To The Daleks, following his appearance in the extra features on the DVD, which was released in June. He said: "On the disc is a documentary asking all the stars and crew about their experiences working on it and I'm on it. I was the costume designer and mostly I talk about how I came up with the idea for the costume of the character Bellal. The script said he lived underground so I thought he should be small, and I told the director to hire a small actor to fit into it. Then I added some reflective strips to liven the suit up." [Leatherhead Advertiser, 4 Aug 2012]

FILTER: - People - Freema Agyeman - Bernard Cribbins - Russell T Davies - Theatre - Karen Gillan