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 5 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2012

Tennant and Tate Are BackBookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 May 2022 - Reported by Marcus
.David Tennant and Catherine Tate (Credit: BBC Studios)

 

The BBC has confirmed that both David Tennant and Catherine Tate will be returning to Doctor Who to help mark the show's 60th Anniversary. 

The Tenth Doctor, as played by Tennant, was paired with Donna Noble, played by Tate, in Series 4 of Doctor Who shown in 2008. 

Often described as one of the most loved pairings in Doctor Who’s history, the two have reunited and are filming scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show’s Dimond Jubilee celebrations.

The Doctor and Donna parted ways when the Doctor had to wipe Donna's memory, making her forget him, in order to save her life. He left her family with a warning: if ever she remembers, she will die. But with the two coming face to face once more, the big question is, just what brings the Doctor and Donna back together? 

Russell T Davies, Incoming Showrunner says:

They're back! And it looks impossible - first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening?  Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.

 

Tennant left the series in 2010 but returned for the 50th Anniversary story The Day of The Doctor.





FILTER: - David Tennant - Catherine Tate - 60th Anniversary - Leading News

Ncuti Gatwa is the Fourteenth DoctorBookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 May 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Ncuti Gatwa (Credit: BBC)

The BBC has named Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor, taking over from Jodie Whittaker at the end of the Autumn 2022 episode. 

The 29-year-old actor will be the first non-white performer to take the lead role in the series's 59-year history. 

Gatwa is best known for his award-winning performance as Eric Effiong on the Netflix comedy-drama series Sex Education

There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling.

A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.

This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care.

I will endeavour my utmost to do the same

Gatwa is the third actor to be cast as The Doctor by returning Showrunner Russell T Davies who said the actor dazzled the casting team.

The future is here and it’s Ncuti!

Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars.

Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started.

I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come.

But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!

Ncuti Gatwa was born in Nyarugenge, Kigali, Rwanda, the son of a journalist. He grew up in Scotland where he attended Boroughmuir High School and Dunfermline High School and graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow with a BA in Acting in 2013. The announcement of his new role comes just a few hours before this year's Bafta Television Awards, where Gatwa is nominated for best male performance in a comedy programme for the third year in a row. He has already won a Scottish Bafta and a Rose d'Or Award for his role in Sex Education.

Gatwa said how much he was looking forward to working with the showrunner

Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true.

His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family.

Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show

.BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said:

Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he's a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies' new era.

The last episode starring Jodie Whittaker will be broadcast this autumn as part of the BBC Centenary celebrations.  Gatwa will return as the fourteenth Doctor in 2023.





FILTER: - Leading News - Fourteenth Doctor

Doctor Who Back on Sunday 7 OctoberBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 5 September 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Series 11 - Promotional Image (19 Jul 2018) (Credit: BBC/Elliot Wilcox)
The BBC has confirmed that the new series of Doctor Who will debut in the UK and the US on Sunday 7th October.

The move to Sunday evenings is a radical change for the series, which has been seen in the UK on Saturday nights since its return in 2005. The only previous times the series has been shown on a Sunday was for three episodes shown on Christmas Day and the autumn special, The Waters of Mars.

The switch means that Doctor Who will avoid direct competition with the ITV talent show The X Factor. No timeslot has been confirmed but the series is likely to be shown early evening along with the Strictly Come Dancing Results show.

BBC America has confirmed the first episode will be screened in the United States at the same time it is shown in the UK, meaning the series will debut in the early afternoon. The rest of the series will be seen in the usual prime-time evening slot.

Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said
New Doctor, new home! Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is about to burst into Sunday nights — and make the end of the weekend so much more exciting. Get everybody’s homework done, sort out your Monday clothes, then grab some special Sunday night popcorn, and settle down with all of the family for Sunday night adventures across space and time. (Also, move the sofa away from the wall so parents can hide behind it during the scary bits). The Thirteenth Doctor is falling from the sky and it’s going to be a blast.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said:
With Chris Chibnall at the helm and Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the new Doctor we are heralding a brand new era for the show and so it feels only right to give it a new home on Sunday nights at the heart of BBC One’s Autumn schedule.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall has written the first episode of the brand new series which is titled “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”.




FILTER: - Broadcasting - Leading News - series 11/37

New Logo RevealedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have revealed the new logo to accompany Jodie Whittaker's incarnation of the Doctor.

Doctor Who 2018: Landscape (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide)

Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker today teased the new series of Doctor Who by unveiling a new logo and insignia for the brand to over 700 of the world’s top TV buyers and international press at BBC Worldwide’s annual showcase event in Liverpool. In an evening devoted to the new incarnation of Doctor Who, Whittaker built excitement in anticipation of the new era of The Doctor, leaving global broadcasters in no doubt as to the sense of wonder, joy and mystery the forthcoming series promises audiences.

The Doctor Who logo is an iconic and powerful trademark for the franchise that is recognised all around the world. The updated logo and insignia mark a new era of WHO. BBC Worldwide commissioned creative agency Little Hawk to create the brand new designs, working closely with Showrunner Chris Chibnall and Executive Producer Matt Strevens.

BBC Worldwide Executive Creative Director, Rafaela Perera says:
The Doctor Who logo and insignia are the quintessential signifier for the brand. Our aim was to create modern and elegant designs that were anchored in the things that we love most about Doctor Who.

Doctor Who 2018: Insignia (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide)
The sound for the animated logo is created by Matthew Herbert. It will launch with a 10 second animation which features the TARDIS blazing a trail through the logo. All official Doctor Who merchandise featuring the new logo will be available at selected retailers from 20th February 2018.





FILTER: - Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker - Leading News - Press

New TARDIS team announcedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Meet the new TARDIS crew - Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh, Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole (Credit: BBC) The BBC have revealed details of the regular cast who will feature in the next series of Doctor Who, due to be broadcast in the Autumn next year.

When Jodie Whittaker takes over as the Thirteenth Doctor she will be joined by three regular cast members, consisting of Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. Also joining the series in a returning role is Sharon D Clarke.

The new series will consist of a ten-week run of fifty-minute episodes, due for transmission in Autumn 2018, and kicking off with a feature-length hour for the opening launch.

New showrunner Chris Chibnall says:
The new Doctor is going to need new friends. We’re thrilled to welcome Mandip, Tosin and Bradley to the Doctor Who family. They’re three of Britain’s brightest talents and we can’t wait to see them dive into brand new adventures with Jodie’s Doctor. Alongside them, we’re delighted that Sharon D Clarke is also joining the show.
Jodie Whittaker added
I am so excited to share this huge adventure with Mandip, Tosin and Bradley. It's a dream team!
Bradley Walsh is best known in the UK for his appearances in the soap opera Coronation Street and for playing lead role of DS Ronnie Brooks in Law & Order: UK ; he also appeared in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures playing Odd Bob/Spellman in Day of the Clown. He currently hosts the ITV game shows The Chase and Cash Trapped. Walsh said:
I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself. I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full-length feature film made in glorious colour. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor?? Oh yes!
Mandip Gill is known for playing Phoebe Jackson in the soap opera Hollyoaks, as well as appearances in Cuckoo, Doctors, The Good Karma Hospital and Casualty. She said
I am over the moon to be joining the Doctor Who family. This is an iconic show with an amazing fanbase and I look forward to everything that brings. Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn't believe it to be true for the first few weeks. To be working alongside the likes of Jodie, Bradley and my old friend Tosin is thrilling. This show is worlds away from the work I've done previously and that's the part that excites me the most.
Also joining the team is Tosin Cole, known for his roles in The Cut, EastEnders: E20 and Hollyoaks. He said
I'm grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I'm looking forward to jumping in this Doctor Who universe.
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, BBC Studios says:
I am thrilled to welcome Bradley, Mandip and Tosin to the new Who family. Working with three such talented actors is going to be a lot of fun. The Doctor is in fine company.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama says
The casting of Mandip, Tosin and Bradley is a mark of the new creative ambition Chris is bringing to Doctor Who. He's already made history with the casting of Jodie. These three new characters complete a new and utterly unmissable team aboard the Tardis.
Sarah Barnet, President of BBC America, added:
Doctor Who fans in America are in for an exhilarating ride as the Thirteenth Doctor and her new friends begin a quite amazing new chapter.




FILTER: - Jodie Whittaker - Leading News - Press - series 11/37

Thirteenth Doctor announced!Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 July 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Introducing Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor (Credit: BBC/Colin Hutton)The BBC have announced the thirteenth official Doctor is to be played by:


Born in 1982, Jodie Auckland Whittaker is an English actress from Yorkshire who has worked in theatre and televison since the mid-2000s. Notable on-screen roles have included Izzy Huett in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Louise Evans in Wired, Peggy Bell in Cranford, Ruth Bowen in Marchlands, Trish Tooley in The Smoke, and Sandy Grimes in The Assets

She is perhaps best known, however, for her portrayal of Beth Latimer alongside former Doctor David Tennant's Alec Hardy in the ITV drama Broadchurch, a series also penned by incoming lead writer and executive producer for Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall.

The actress said:
I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.
Chibnall added:
I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.

Outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi observed:
Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of BBC Content:
Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker - and have lots of fun too!
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama, said:
Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, said:
I'm so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I've been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It's going to be a lot of fun.





FILTER: - BBC - Leading News - series 11/37

New Doctor to be Announced SundayBookmark and Share

Friday, 14 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has announced that the thirteenth Doctor will be announced on Sunday, directly after the end of the Wimbledon Men's Final.

The Wimbledon final begins at 2pm UK time (9am ET) and could last between 2 and over 5 hours.





FILTER: - Leading News - Thirteenth Doctor

Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 January 2017 - Reported by Anthony Weight
Peter Capaldi (Credit: BBC)
Peter Capaldi has announced that he is to leave Doctor Who at the end of the current production run, with his final appearance coming in this year's Christmas special episode. A new actor will then take on the role for Chris Chibnall's first season as showrunner in 2018.

The news came during this evening's special edition of the Jo Whiley show on BBC Radio 2, "An Evening With Peter Capaldi." Capaldi said
One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.
Under Capaldi's reign as The Doctor, the show has expanded globally; he took the series on a world tour and has drawn record ratings in BBC America, Canada, and Latin America.

Peter Capaldi's final series also marks writer and executive producer Steven Moffat's last. He said
For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the TARDIS together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter. But hey, it’s a long way from over. Peters’ amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard - Capaldi’s not done with you yet!
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said
Peter Capaldi will always be a very special Doctor to me; his adventures through time and space started just as I arrived on BBC One. He has been a tremendous Doctor who has brought his own unique wisdom and charisma to the role. But, it's not over yet - I know the next series is going to be spectacular. He's a fine actor who I hope we work with again when he leaves the TARDIS
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer said:
Peter Capaldi is an extraordinary Doctor and has taken the show to amazing places. Although I'm sad he has decided to move on in 2018 I'm delighted that we have one final series with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. I know what they're planning and it's going to be incredible.
There is no news yet on when or how the next actor to play the role will be announced, nor of course any indication of who the 13th Doctor might be.

Capaldi's final series as the Doctor, the tenth since the return of Doctor Who in 2005, will begin transmission on BBC One on Saturday 15th April.

Capaldi will be joined in Series 10 by new companion Pearl Mackie (Bill), and Matt Lucas (Nardole) with guest appearances to come from David Suchet and Michelle Gomez. He has starred alongside Jenna Coleman as his companion Clara Oswald, Alex Kingston as River Song, Ingrid Oliver as Osgood, as well as Keeley Hawes, Tom Riley, Frank Skinner, Maisie Williams, Joivan Wade and many more. Capaldi's Doctor has fought Daleks and Davros, Cybermen, Zygons, new monsters like the Veil and old foes the Time Lords.




FILTER: - Leading News - Peter Capaldi

The Power of the Daleks: 50th Anniversary animationBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide and BBC America have officially announced the first full story featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, The Power of the Daleks is to be released as a new animated version on the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast.

The Power of the Daleks (animated) - The Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
The Power of the Daleks (animated) - The Doctor (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
It's one of the Doctor’s most celebrated adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.

BBC Worldwide and BBC America have announced that a brand new black and white animation based on audio recordings of the programme using the original cast, surviving photographs and film clips will be released via the BBC Store 50 years to the minute after its only UK broadcast on BBC One, with its television premiere on BBC America taking place a week later.

The six half hour episodes feature the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of First Doctor William Hartnell into Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks was a joint commission by both BBC Worldwide and BBC America, and is produced by the team behind the highly successful animation of lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer - first released on the UK's BBC Store in February this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.

Charles Norton says:
The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honoured to be a part of such a an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says:
Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.

Doctor Who: The Power Of The Daleks will initially be exclusively released on BBC Store, with episode one available from Saturday 5th November at 5:50pm, and the others released on consecutive days thereafter. It will then be shown on BBC America on the 12th November.

The story will become available to stream from BBC America's website and via their app from the 13rth November, and more widely in the United Kingdom from the 14th November, plus the story will be released on DVD in the United Kingdom on the 21st November (no other regions have been announced at present). UK readers can register their interest in the digital download at the BBC Store.



In addition to the story's release on the 5th November, there will be a special screening of the first three episodes at the BFI in London, which will include a Q&A with Anneke Wills, Charles Norton and Frazer Hines. Further information will be available from the BFI website from Monday 19th September.




FILTER: - DVD - Leading News - Online - Second Doctor - Special Events

Pearl Mackie Named as New CompanionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 April 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Pearl MacKie (Credit: BBC / Ray Burmiston)
Pearl Mackie has been named as the new Doctor Who Companion, Bill.

The BBC released the details in a specially shot trailer shown on BBC One this evening, and released on the official Facebook and Twitter pages.

The actress is currently starring in London's West End, at the Gielgud Theatre, in a production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Mackie comes from Brixton in South London. She trained as an actor at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 2010.

Since drama school she has worked across Theatre, Film, Television and Radio appearing at the RSC, The Park Theatre, The Finborough, for the BBC and on London’s West End.

On joining the cast in her first major television role, Pearl Mackie said:
I'm incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. It's such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn't be prouder to call the TARDIS my home!

Peter Capaldi is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill throughout time and space. Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in - I can't wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.

I always loved stage combat at drama school so I can't wait to get on set and kick some evil monsters into the next dimension!

Shooting the trailer was absolutely mental, there were pyro technics and smoke and I met my first Dalek! I'm not sure it will ever become ‘the norm’ seeing crazy monsters on set, but I cannot wait to meet some more! The weirder the better, bring it on!
Peter Capaldi said:
It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl Mackie to Doctor Who. A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she’s a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to The Doctor’s adventures.
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer adds:
A new face in the TARDIS, a new voyage about to begin: welcome aboard the amazing Pearl Mackie! This is where the story really starts.
Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of Television said:
It's so exciting to be revealing the much anticipated new companion to the nation in such spectacular style. Pearl brings a wonderful energy and lights up the screen. She will captivate Doctor Who fans old and new across the globe.
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer adds:
We’re utterly thrilled to have the hugely talented Pearl join Doctor Who and I can't wait to begin her new adventures in time and space!
Filming for the next series of the show, the 36th in its long history, begins soon, with the next episode due to be screened at Christmas, followed by a full twelve-part series in 2017.





FILTER: - Doctor Who - Leading News - Pearl Mackie