Series One DVDs in USBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

In a reversal from an earlier announcement that the Region 1 DVDs of series one of the new Doctor Who series would be available only in Canada, BBC Video announced today to the news service of the Sci-Fi Channel, Sci-Fi Wire, that on February 14, 2006, the series would also be made available in the US on DVD. This is in direct contrast to earlier reports that the series would only be available on DVD after a broadcaster had transmitted the series in America. Outpost Gallifrey has learned that, with the failure of the BBC to find a broadcaster in the US, this prior requirement was bypassed and the decision was made to release the series on DVD after all.
The North American release, in both Canada and the US, will be the exact same items as were on the UK discs, as BBC Video no longer allows the US/Canada releases to differ from their UK counterparts. As stated in the Sci-Fi Wire article, the DVD set will carry a suggested retail price of $99.98.
Also reported today at the official Doctor Who website as well as TV Shows on DVD as well as Now Playing,BroadcastNowSyfyPortal.




Shada TrailerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBC7 has now posted a trailer (note: MP3 format) for the forthcoming broadcast of Shada starring Paul McGann, Susannah Harker, James Fox, Sean Biggerstaff and Andrew Sachs. The story is broadcast on Saturday, December 10.




The Beginning Box CoverBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Tenth Planet has sent us the cover illustration for the exterior packaging of the forthcoming UK DVD release of The Beginning, due out in January. As previously reported, this boxed set will contain "An Unearthly Child," "The Daleks" and "The Edge of Destruction". Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to Paul at Tenth Planet)




Radio Times CoverBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Radio Times will feature the year's third Doctor Who cover this year with the issue that goes on sale on 3 December. This follows the earlier covers this year, both at the start of the series as well as the Dalek cover that was released with the airing of the episode "Dalek". Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. Meanwhile, the press release for the Radio Times cover is below. (Thanks to the BBC Press Office; special thanks to Martin Hoscik at UNIT News who helped out when the release went missing!)
Radio Times is running its boldest ever Christmas promotion this year with a free audio CD-ROM in each issue, a once in a lifetime opportunity to win a TV star, and a cross media nationwide above the line campaign.

The free Chronicles of Narnia CD, which is produced in association with AOL, Buena Vista International and BBC Audiobooks, includes the first part of the Prince Caspian audiobook and behind the scenes footage from the new film, plus a preview demo of the new Narnia game that can be played online by AOL members. Parts two and three of the book will be available with issues of Radio Times on sale on 23 December and 3 January. And as part of the AOL partnership, RT readers can take advantage of a special free one-month AOL Broadband trial.

The free CD is being supported by a nationwide TV campaign, which launches on 6 December - the same day as the worldwide premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia -The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Readers will also have the opportunity to win a real six foot Dalek from the 2005 series as part of a Doctor Who special feature which ties in with the Christmas Day programme.

In addition, there will be a nationwide branding campaign, where prominently positioned six-sheet posters will be displayed outside selected supermarkets in the run up to the big "Christmas shop".

Radio Times publisher Kathy Day said: "I am incredibly proud of Radio Times' biggest ever Christmas issue promotion and have every confidence the UK public will continue to buy the indispensable guide to Christmas TV, radio and film in their millions.

"We have, without doubt, the best Christmas magazine package available and the investment in above and below the line advertising is guaranteed to delight readers and advertisers alike. Gill Hudson and her team have produced an unbeatable editorial package and the free CD featuring audio and extras from the biggest film property of the year is the icing on the cake."

Radio Times editor Gill Hudson says: "Radio Times readers are in for an even bigger treat than ever this year. As well as pages of exclusive features and photographs, plus the best and most comprehensive coverage of all the programmes on this Christmas, we've got not just one but TWO fantastic exclusive offers. This will be the biggest-ever Christmas issue of Radio Times, and it's going to be a real cracker. Christmas simply won't be Christmas without it."




Christmas Invasion: UK, Canada BroadcastsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The official Doctor Who website has confirmed that The Christmas Invasion will be broadcast in the UK on BBC1 at 7pm on Sunday, December 25, as Outpost Gallifrey previously noted was the likely timeslot. (Other websites have suggested an earlier timeslot, which is incorrect.)
Additionally, the CBC network in Canada has confirmed they will air "The Christmas Invasion" on Monday, December 26 at 8pm, according to the network's program guide.




Tennant: TV's Top TalentBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The new Doctor Who, David Tennant, has topped a list of Britain's best TV talent. The actor, who takes over from Christopher Eccleston, beat the likes of Jamie Oliver and Ant and Dec. Tennant heads Broadcast magazine's Hot 100, chosen by a panel of industry experts, according to a variety of press reports today. Before he was unveiled as the new Doctor Who, the 34-year-old made his breakthrough in BBC drama Casanova. "Landing the role of one of TV's most iconic characters has propelled Tennant into the big time," Broadcast said. "As yet we've had only the briefest glimpse of him as the Doctor, but if you missed his exuberant, charismatic, detailed performance as the eponymous hero in Casanova - where were you?" Also reported at BBC NewsYahoo NewsBroadcast Now.




Thursday Press UpdateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Today's Mirror has another 'exclusive', "Dr Ho-Ho...Oh!" which notes that "Earth is invaded by a gang of evil Santas in a Dr Who Christmas special - but the hero can't help as he is in the middle of regeneration into the new doctor. Actor David Tennant is flat on his back and barely conscious as he makes his debut at the 10th Timelord. It is left to his assistant Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, to save the world from the menacing Santas. Viewers will see Earth threatened by a monstrous race called the Sycorax, who have stolen a British space probe, in a story called The Christmas Invasion. ... On the DVD, show producer Phil Collinson reveals: 'The Santas form a four-piece band and each instrument becomes a lethal weapon. There is a tuba with a flame thrower in it, two trumpets that fire bullets and a trombone that fires mortars.' ... Director James Hawes said: 'The Christmas Invasion is about mankind's first experience of a threat of an alien landing on the planet. The real twist is that the doctor is in the middle of regeneration - and he ain't there to save us.' The Sycorax leader is played by Sean Gilder, who appeared as Styles in ITV drama Hornblower and Jols in movie King Arthur. ... Tennant joked: 'I'm getting there and I'm coping with it. So far I'm doing a damn fine job of being unconscious - I'd say it's my finest work. I have had a great time so far - it's been great, very friendly with a very welcoming atmosphere.' The Christmas Invasion will be shown as BBC1's flagship drama on Christmas Day. Collinson added: 'We've also been commissioned to make a Christmas special for 2006. So we would hope this is going to become the norm for the next couple of years.'"

The Daily Record features an interview with Tennant. Highlights: "My life hasn't changed. But I get invites to premieres, which I never used to. I've never done the career plan. My ambition goes from one project to the next. I look to the next thing to be exciting, inspiring, different. I get ambitious for a script. If something comes in I really want to do, I get very hungry and excited about that - and crushed if I don't get it. ... It's watched by everyone, aged seven to 70, including groups you wouldn't particularly expect to be huge fans. I'm continually surprised by the number of trendy teenage girls and middle-aged mums who come up to talk to me and who genuinely love the show. That's what's extraordinary and unique about it. ... So far, I've had to answer a lot of mail because Doctor Who has a lot of committed fans. It was funny when I first got the part. I just laughed, thinking it was both hilarious and impossible because I'd wanted it so much. It's such a great job. I mean, I get to play a Timelord and have a Tardis. You can't knock that. I've always wanted my own Tardis and now I've got it! ... Viewers are going to see a slightly more no-nonsense Doctor and that is influenced by what Chris did with him. We are more aware that he's someone who fought a war, lost all his people and because he's the last Timelord, the last authority in the universe, he's more ruthless."

The BBC Press Office has a press release which includes weeks 51 and 52 on BBC1, including the full summary of "The Christmas Invasion".

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver)




North America DVD UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Warner Home Video has announced The Beginning Boxed Set for North America for release on March 28, according to TV Shows on DVD. The DVD set contains the first three stories of the classic series -- "An Unearthly Child," "The Daleks" and "The Edge of Destruction" -- in two separate DVD cases (as opposed to the three in the UK set) along with an outer box packaging, containing the same extras as in the original release. The first will contain "An Unearthly Child", while the second is a double-disc set with "The Daleks" and "The Edge of Destruction". At the moment there are no plans to issue these DVDs separately; they'll only be available in the one box. At right is a thumbnail image of the cover from the website; we'll have a larger version of the cover soon.
In other news, the Restoration Team has posted an article about the release of "The Beginning" on their website, including details of the extras and the cleanup process.




Christmas Invasion Press PackBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

As it did with last year's episodes, the BBC Press Office today has issued a new press pack with details of the forthcoming Doctor Who special "The Christmas Invasion". In addition to carrying the full synopsis of the episode on its first page (you can skip it if you don't want to know by starting on page two), the release profiles David Tennant andBillie Piper.
Some quotes from David Tennant: "It was funny, when I first got asked I just laughed! I found it hilarious and impossible! And I remember Russell, very perceptively, saying: 'Don't say anything now, because I know the experience is quite a weird one. But it's such a great job! I [mean], I get to play a Time Lord and have a TARDIS: you can't knock that! ... The fantastic thing about the regeneration process is that every time the Doctor goes through it, he changes to an extent. So as an actor, you get to work on a blank canvas where you don't have to worry too much about what has gone before. It's interesting, because he's always going to be the moral egalitarian, humanitarian, slightly wild, slightly anarchic bloke that he's always been. But because he's getting older he's moving on. He's seen it all before, every alien creature with a superiority complex. Viewers are going to see a slightly more no-nonsense Doctor and that is influenced by what Chris did with him. We are more aware that he's someone who fought a war, lost all his people and because he's the last Time Lord, the last authority in the universe, he's less indulgent, more ruthless. ... I wanted something that I'd enjoy wearing, an outfit that would look good and feel right. We also wanted something that was modern, without being specifically en vogue. I wasn't trying to create a Times Style article about it, but I'm glad people like it so much. I also wanted an outfit that wasn't too authoritarian. So that's why I opted for a scruffier-styled suit. It's more what you'd expect to see a student sporting than a college professor. And inevitably the look is influenced by the sort of things I like wearing. ... The regeneration process is a severe biological process which takes a fair bit of time. This is not good news for Rose and the rest of the world, because whilst he's going through this, the earth is being invaded by the Sycorax. It's a very difficult time for Rose. He hadn't prepared her for the changes he'd undergo. So whilst the Doctor is recuperating, Rose is trying to fathom out how she can save the world. She's also trying to understand how she feels about him now. ... The Christmas episode is a new start for the Doctor and Rose. They've got to rediscover each other and decipher whether they still feel the same about one another. Despite the new face, he is fundamentally the same bloke, he's still the Doctor and still has a huge amount of affection for her. However, it's not just the way he looks or the way he talks that is different. The Doctor's outlook on life has changed, as has the way he tackles situations. I think he's just hoping Rose can accept the changes and they can pick up where they left off."
From Billie Piper: "[Winning at the NTA awards] was the most amazing feeling.; I was so terrified and really thought one of the soap actresses would win. But when they said it was me, I was just amazed. It was such a strange, wonderful evening. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. .... Rose feels so unloved and isolated at the start of [The Christmas Invasion]. She's returned home to her mother and Mickey and as ever they are there for her. But she feels like she's lost her best friend. The earth is being invaded and Rose has no control over the situation. The Doctor, who is still going through the regeneration process, isn't there to give her the answers and she's scared. ... Kids love being scared. It's something I've learned since starting on Doctor Who. As adults we worry that kids can't cope with anything scary and that everything should be censored. But that is nonsense. Children are so inquisitive, and I'm sure will be asking themselves questions such as 'What if the tree came to life?' etc. It excites them. Part of the series' success is it challenges the viewers' imaginations, including the kids. ... Rose is very smart. She's very instinctive and has great strength of character. She's travelled all over the galaxy with the Doctor, and taken note of how he handles situations, so tries to mimic his actions. It's very amusing to see Rose trying to copy the Doctor, but she looks up to him. He's her best friend, her personal hero and she believes in him, so tries to act like him. Rose is so scared he won't want her to travel with him anymore. She has spent so much time with him, experiencing new and exciting worlds. She can't bear the thought that this could be the end and the thought of going back to reality, working in a shop, fills her with dread. ... I'm an absolute Christmas freak! I love the fact it starts in October now! However, this year for me it started in July as we were filming the Christmas special. It was slightly bizarre filming snow scenes in the middle of summer, but I was thrilled. It was great to start filming series two with this amazing, emotional and scary episode. I'm a huge fan of Christmas specials. It means so much to me that our show is going to go out on Christmas Day when all the families will be sitting down together, eating copious amounts of chocolate and drinking sherry. I have to be honest - I think I'm going to need a few sherries before I sit down to watch it, though!"




Children in Need RatingsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 November 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Several reports have come in about the ratings for the Children in Need broadcast, and specifically about the Doctor Who portion of the evening.
ViewingFigures, traditionally first with the overnight ratings, show anywhere from 8.6 to 9.6 million viewers in the time slot of 9:00pm to 9:20pm, broken down every five minutes: 9.6m, 9.34m, 9.07m, 8.66m for each five-minute period starting with 9:00-9:05pm; as well as audience shares of 45.1%, 44.0%, 42.8% and 41.0% respectively. It is important to note that the transmission of the special during that time was staggered, i.e. it did not take place simultaneously everywhere in the UK, insofar as that in several locations (including at least Scotland and Wales) local programming delayed its start by several minutes. However, the 9:15-9:20pm drop of nearly half a million viewers is very likely indicative that many people were tuned into the broadcast specifically for the Doctor Who content and left as soon as it was over.
The Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), which usually publishes final ratings several weeks after the fact, apparently now has its own version of overnight ratings, shared with broadcasters. According to BARB, the overnights suggest that 10.7 million viewers were tuned into BBC1 for the broadcast from 9:00-9:15pm (with a 45.1% audience share). BARB has traditionally included time-shifted and/or video-taped viewers in their final ratings data; it could very well be similar now for its overnight broadcasts.
According to Media Guardian, the telethon "attracted a big audience on Friday night, with a peak of more than 11 million viewers. The 26th annual Children in Need was watched by 9 million viewers and attracted a 39% audience share between 7pm and 10pm, according to unofficial overnights. Peak ratings for the show came between 9.45pm and 10pm, with 11.1 million viewers and a 48% audience share, when Rod Stewart was performing. The ratings were slightly higher than for last year's Children in Need, which attracted 8.4 million viewers and a 37% audience share. However, in 2003, the charity evening drew 10.3 million viewers and a 42% audience share to BBC1 in late November. BBC1's 10 O'Clock News also got its annual boost from Children in Need, watched by 9.5 million viewers and attracting a 44% audience share. After the news, the charity marathon continued, with 5.6 million viewers and a 48% audience share between 10.35pm and 1am."
We should have final ratings for the quarter hour when they are released later by BARB.