Friday Series UpdatesBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Two items to watch for tonight, unfortunately both opposite each other: Billie Piper will be interviewed on the Friday, April 29 edition of Richard and Judyairing at 5.00pm on Channel 4, while over on BBC1, Blue Peter will have a behind the scenes feature on the new Doctor Who series. CBBC have been giving some promotion to the coverage of Doctor Who on Friday's installment; the Wednesday edition of Blue Peter (27th April) showed an extract from Saturday's episode (with Rose and companions running up a stairwell as the the Dalek pursues them) in their 'Coming Soon' promotion, while on Thursday's CBBC (28th April) the upcoming Blue Peter was described by the linking presenters as an edition where the team "Go behind the scenes on Doctor Who". Their comments were accompanied by the Ron Grainer theme - played so quietly that it was almost subliminal!

ITV Teletext ran an interview with new series writer Rob Shearman on April 29. Entitled "Dastardly Dalek Ready To Roll Again," it opened with: "It takes a skilful writer to make you afraid of a giant pepper pot with a sink plunger stuck to the front of it." The interview covered aspects such as the idea behind the story ("Russell wanted to make it an emotional episode, something that doesn't rely on people running down corridors") and reinventing the Daleks ("I decided to take all those things people find funny about the Daleks and turn them into something people would find memorable. This is also the first time we'll see inside the Dalek."). The script also apparently went through 14 revisions.

Nicholas Briggs was on BBC Radio Berkshire on April 28 talking about his work on "Dalek" and demonstrated how he does the voice. Also, Russell T Davies spoke briefly about the fact that Daleks will fly in this new episode, and playing down the event by saying they always have been able to fly - but adding the BBC just could never afford to show it until now. The five minute segment also included a couple of clips from this Saturday's episode including the moment the Doctor is reunited with his oldest enemy, and the moment where Adam and Rose witness the Dalek go up stairs shouting "EL-EV-ATE"!

Today's Guardian put Doctor Who at the top of its "MUST" list, saying that "It's the moment several generations have been waiting for: the return of Doctor Who's most terrifying enemies. An unsuspecting billionaire has bought one of the metal exterminators - and it has been upgraded. With a 360? swivel-head feature, a shiny gold finish and a stair-defying ability to levitate, this top-of-the-range Dalek is the most fearsome yet."

Canada's CBC Television documentary series Planet of the Doctor, long touted as "coming in April," will now be "starting in May" according to their official website.

One Scottish Doctor to another, Sylvester McCoy spoke to the Daily Record about David Tennant's upcoming shot at the role. "It'll be interesting to see if he does it in a stronger Scottish accent than I was allowed to use. Mine had to be a gentle lilt compared to my normal accent," said McCoy. "For the pilot I wore a tartan scarf as a homage to Tom Baker's scarf, but they wouldn't allow it and after the pilot they got rid of it. So I said I'll have a Paisley scarf then. They didn't realise Paisley was in Scotland." But McCoy, the article mentions, tempers any furore that there's a Scot in the Tardis. "I'm an internationalist. It's nice to see another person as The Doctor. If he was Chinese I'd be equally delighted. I'm not a Scottish nationalist." As noted in the report, McCoy and Tennant have already worked together for several Big Finish audios. McCoy also discusses Eccleston's departure. "It's a shame he's leaving. He must have thought of typecasting before he took the role. I think that's an excuse. I think there's something else underlining but I don't know what it is. You don't just take the role. You know it's going to be typecasting and he is typecast. He's done it. He won't be able to run away from it." He likes the new series, though: "I'm delighted it's back. I love it. I think Eccleston is terrific but it's Billie Piper as Rose who steals it." Would he want to be in it? "It would be great fun to be a villain. I wouldn't want to be a Dalek. I'd like to come back so you could see my face. Maybe I'd have a beard. It would be marvellous to see Peter, Colin,Tom and I back as baddies. When it's been back a few years and has established itself again I think they'd do things like that."

The Daily Record article above also notes an interesting fact aboutAustralia's launch of the series; it says that Sylvester, Tom Baker and Colin Baker are all in negotiations to travel there to promote the series. McCoy notes that "Australia hasn't see it yet so we are in negotiations to go out there and do promotion." There is no further word on what this might entail.

Bill Nighy, a familiar name to Doctor Who fans a year ago when he was reported to be the top choice to play the role of the Doctor (and was in fact named as such by a few papers who got the details wrong!) is mentioned in yesterday's Daily Express. "A brave-faced Bill Nighy is insisting he was not disappointed to be overlooked for the role as Doctor Who for a second time after Casanova star David Tennant landed the part," says the Daily Express's Hickey column. "Nighy first lost out to Christopher Eccleston, who has now quit the role of the Time Lord. 'It was never to be,' Bill tells Hickey."

heat Magazine this week features an interview with Bruno Langley (who plays Adam as of this weekend's "Dalek" episode) about filming the show and his role (and about Coronation Street). Bruno reveals that his character and Rose fancy each other but do not actually hook up as "certain things get in the way", and that his character hasn't seen a girl in ages, as he has been "locked away in a lab." In the TV Listings there is a major spoiler - apart from a glowing 5-star review of the show, and naming it as their pick of the week (coming above "Desperate Housewives" in heat's top ten TV of the week) - that has to do with the Doctor's current predicament about his own people...

Channel 4 in the UK featured a report on the 100 Greatest Kids' TV Programmes last Sunday night, and Doctor Who came in ninth place, according to the Channel 4 website.

Some brief press mentions: in today's Mirror reporter Brian Reade says he watched Doctor Who last weekend "and must admit the sight of slimy, long-necked, big-eared aliens waving their hands about, releasing hot gas and making weird noises had me squirming behind the couch. But I'm told Andrew Marr isn't in next week's episode so I might let the kids watch," referring to political commentator Andrew Marr, who appeared in the last two episodes as himself. Australia'sCourier Mail notes that "Britain jokesters Matt Lucas and David Walliams... both want cameos in the new Doctor Who. Lucas, best known for his role as Dafydd, 'the only gay in the village' in the sketch comedy, is good pals with Casanova star David Tennant, who will take over the role of the Time Lord from Christopher Eccleston in the second series. Tennant was reportedly mobbed by celebrities, all begging to appear on the cult show, at the recent British Academy Television Awards. Lucas and Walliams, who picked up two Baftas, believe their chances are better than most -- former Dr Who Tom Baker is the surreal narrator of Little Britain, which screens here on the ABC."

The Paisley Daily Express says that the next Doctor, David Tennant, will be invited to switch on the town's festive lights this Christmas; Tennant is from Paisley. "David Tennant is definitely going to be invited to do this," says the report, quoting an unnamed source. "We are just hoping he will be free and will be able to come up. HeÆs bound to attract huge crowds, not just from Paisley but from all over the country. It could be a huge event."

Some other press mentions: the Daily Record reviews last weekend's episode, "World War Three"; the Staffordshire Sentinel notes the Daleks' presence at the Churnet Valley Railway this weekend; icCoventry, theCommunity News Wire Manchester Online and the Edinburgh Evening News all discuss yesterday's report of Christopher Eccleston's role in the Mencap charity; and the Milford and West Wales Mercury has more on the "creator" of the Daleks.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Jamie Austin, Chuck Foster, Paul Hawkins, Peter Weaver, Chris Wood, Jonathan Grills, Nick Palmer, Andrew Norris)




Australia DVD UpdatesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Roadshow Video/BBC Video have confirmed two forthcoming DVD release dates in Australia: June 2 will see the release ofThe Claws of Axos, and June 16 will feature the release of the first of the four Doctor Who new series DVDs (the 'vanilla' ones without extras). (Thanks to "Cyberman Dan" and Michael Plowright)




Episode 12 Title AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

According to the new issue of "Doctor Who Magazine," out Thursday, the title of episode twelve is Bad Wolf, confirming rumors that the ongoing hints of this phrase in several previously aired episodes do indeed have something to do with the ongoing plotline. DWM also confirms that Anne Robinson, known on both sides of the Atlantic as the host of "The Weakest Link," will be making a cameo voiceover appearance in one of the last stories of the season, as "the Anne Droid," confirming rumors circulating the past week.




Wednesday Series UpdatesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Doctor Who has won the ratings war every week against ITV after all: according to the BARB final numbers on the ratings for Aliens of London, Doctor Who had 7.63 million viewers, compared to 7.37 million for the season finale of "Ant and Dec". Originally, Doctor Who had fewer reported viewers in the overnights, but the BARB figures - the final total ratings for each broadcast - add in timeshifted viewing. This means that Doctor Who has won its timeslot in every broadcast since the debut on March 26.

In Canada, yesterday's ratings for episode four, "Aliens of London," scored 849,000 viewers on the overnight reports, a small slip from the previous week's 878,000 but nothing major. "Doctor Who" is still #2 for the timeslot across Canada and #4 in all of primetime for Tuesday nights.

According to Yahoo News (and also mentioned in the Independent),Christopher Eccleston is becoming an ambassador for the learning disability charity Mencap. "Learning disability used to be known as 'mental handicap' but times change and people with a learning disability now find the old term offensive," says Eccleston. "I am very proud and excited to become an ambassador for Mencap and will do my best to justify such an honour." Eccleston first became aware of the issue when he researched his role in the 1991 film, Let Him Have It.

Issue 14 of British Cinematographer, the April 2005 edition, features a two page piece: "On the job - behind the scenes of the new Dr Who series with Ernest Vincze BSC".

The Brighton Evening Argus yesterday noted that "Daleks will invade pier in summer" discussing a Doctor Who exhibition taking place at Brighton's Pleasure Dome from May until October. We hope to bring you further details on this exhibition shortly. The Daleks will also appear at an exhibition at the Churnet Valley Railway this bank holiday weekend; a full-size Dalek will be looking for humans to exterminate in the waiting rooms of the railway's Cheddleton, Kingsley and Froghall stations on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, and details on that are available at the railway website.

Newsquest Media Group today has a story about an extra in next week's "Dalek" episode. "Aspiring actor Oliver Hopkins gets exterminated on his first-ever television appearance - and he couldn't be more delighted. For 19-year-old Oliver's assassins are none other than the deadly Dr Who villains, the Daleks! Meeting his fate at close proximity to some of the small screen's most famous baddies has been a thrilling experience for the former Greenhill School and Pembrokeshire College student. 'I'm on the book of Phoenix Agency in Swansea and had a day's work as an extra for the filming of Dr Who, in Newport,' explained Oliver, of Cambrian Cottages, Stepaside. 'It was really good fun.' As well as meeting the show's stars, Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston, Oliver was able to see the workings of a Dalek and stood inside the famous Tardis. Now he is keeping his fingers crossed that his TV debut gets screened. 'I'm pretty realistic about the fact it could be edited out, or you might only get to see my arm,' he admitted. 'But even so, I've had a brilliant experience and it won't look bad on my CV.'"

David Tennant was interviewed briefly by phone on the XFM radio station this morning. Amongst other things, he suggested that Casanova was his audition for Doctor Who and he didn't actually need to audition for the Doctor. He's excited but daunted by being the Doctor, thinks Eccleston and the new series are fantastic, and managed to plug Big Finish in the same breath as knocking the 'rubbish' that's appeared in the press in the last few weeks. You can hear the full interview at the XFM website.

Other press mentions: a vicar is ready to swap the pulpit for the TARDIS according to the Northwest Evening Mail; more reports of Peter Davison's comments about Christopher Eccleston, which we reported yesterday, atDigitalSpyand WaveGuide; the Sun comments further on the ratings win over Celebrity Wrestling and the upcoming "Dalek" episode; "Let Doctor Who give us a fright" says the Bristol Evening Post; and more news about ABC's pickup of the new series in Australia at the Courier Mail.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Rod Mammitzsch, David Guest, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, John Bowman and Mike Noon)




Season Two Writers Announced in DWM - Updated!Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The new issue of "Doctor Who Magazine" confirms the writers list for the forthcoming second season of Doctor Who. Executive producer Russell T Davies will pen five scripts for the second season, sharing the writing duties with five other confirmed writers. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat will return from the first year's writing bloc, and they are joined by Matt Jones, former script editor on Davies' "Queer as Folk," "Linda Green" and "Clocking Off", writer of "Now you see her", "Serious and organised", and "P.O.W" as well as the Virgin Doctor Who novel "Bad Therapy" and the Bernice Summerfield novel "Beyond the Sun"; Tom MacRae, writer of the pilot episode of Sky One's "Mile High", the BAFTA-nominated drama "School's Out," "Money Can Buy You Love," "UGetMe," script-editing "Nine Lives" and "As If" as well as currently writing an original series for the BBC and writing "No Angels" for Channel 4; and Toby Whithouse, an actor/writer whose credits include creating and writing Channel 4's "No Angels," writing for "Attachments," "Outlaws," "Where The Heart Is," writing for the stage the play "Jump, Mr. Malinoff, Jump" which won the Verity Bargate Award, and currently penning episodes of "Other People," "Scarlet and Guy" and "Hotel Babylon". Jones and MacRae are each writing two episodes, with Moffat, Gatiss and Whithouse writing one. One additional script has yet to be assigned, but that story will be done in-house (meaning, don't expect to find a major announcement of another writer.) Jones noes that the working title for his story is "The Satan Pit", and Davies has apparently asked him to make it "as scary as possible."

"We've been planning this since the beginning of the year, hoping and praying that the second series actually gets commissioned," said producer Phil Collinson, "so that these great ideas could make the screen. Work has started, and at least seven of the scripts are currently underway." Julie, Russell, and I have chosen a mixture of old and new, all with bold, wild imaginations, to launch Series Two with wit, flair, energy, and, no doubt, plenty of scares along the way." He notes that, like last year, "Russell has drawn up an overall plan for the whole series, with synopses of the tone and setting for each episode, although the writers have then have the absolute freedom to create what they want." Collinson also mentions the Christmas special: it will be shot as part of the second series block, meaning there will be fourteen episodes in production next year instead of thirteen, and there is no actual confirmed date it will air (it may not be on Christmas): it is "too early to guess whether the episode will be broadcast on Christmas Day. Christmas schedules are the most volatile, changeable and secret schedules of the lot," Collinson notes, with the recording schedule "more or less" following last year's. He says that the writers are "planning the same mix as this year: seven one one-off adventures, and three two-part stories. The adventures cover the full range -- trips to the future, the past, and yes, we'll be setting foot on alien worlds! We're planning lots of weird and wonderful new creations, as well as the return of familiar face or two."




Design a Monster! ContestBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBC Gloucestershire features an article about Doctor Who including a "Design a Monster" contest. "Did you know that the Time Lord has visited Gloucestershire? And can you make a scarier monster than us?" (Thanks to David Bailey)




Colin Baker InterviewBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBC Wiltshire has an interview up with Colin Baker about his role as Van Helsing in "Dracula" coming to the Bath Theatre Royal next week, including an audio clip; check out the website for full details. (Thanks to Dan Garrett)




Enlightenment 126Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The latest issue of Enlightenment, the fanzine of the Doctor Who Information Network, North America's largest and longest running Doctor Who fan club, is in release. In the latest issue: Ready, Set...: Our contributors gets ready for the new series with a slew of fantastic articles including: Our "what kind of Doctor Who producer are you" Quiz, an interview with 1960s companion Peter Purves, reviews of all the latest books, audios and DVDs including: The Next Life The Juggernauts, The Indestructible Man, the latest Short Trips anthologies and more! More information about "Enlightenment" can be found at DWIN's website at www.dwin.org. (Thanks to Mike Doran)




Doctor Who Magazine 326Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Details of issue 326 of Doctor Who Magazine have been revealed; the following is the press release from the publishers, including a high-quality scan over the cover (click on the thumbnail for a larger version). (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury)
Doctor Who Magazine celebrates the return of the Daleks! In this issue, there's a MASSIVE free A1 poster featuring the the Doctor and Rose! Plus an exclusive report on the resurrection of television's best-loved alien baddies - straight from the mutants' own mouthpiece,
Nicholas Briggs...

"...My first bit is a Dalek giving a horrible scream. Everyone jumps out of their skins. There?s a flutter of recovery laughter. Chris carries on, then stops. 'I?m sorry,' he laughs. 'I wasn?t expecting that!' Everyone laughs. I do my first scene with him, which involves me screaming, 'Exterminate! Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!' Chris immediately cheers and everyone joins in with a massive cheer and round of applause. I?m a bit flushed with success..."

Also this issue, Bruno Langley chats about playing the Doctor and Rose's latest travelling companion, Adam Mitchell; meet Jabe, the Moxx of Balhoon and a host of other alien weirdos on the set of The End of the World; and the Slitheen are un-zipped, as we have a gas with the actors who have brought the Doctor's latest enemies to life!

Plus, there's the second part of the Doctor and Rose's latest comic strip adventure, as The Love Invasion continues. The time-travelling pair have uncovered something sinister in 1960s London - will anyone they meet be able to lend a hand?

Meanwhile, there are tantalising previews for the Doctor's upcoming adventures, Dalek, The Long Game, Father's Day, The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances; and all the latest news on the series in Gallifrey Guardian, including the details of the writers for the next series of Doctor Who! Executive producer Russell T Davies explains the problems of time travel in his Production Notes, plus there's all the latest news, views and reviews.

DWM 356 is published on Thursday 28 April, priced ú3.99.




North America DVD UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The Mind Robber starring Patrick Troughton and Horror of Fang Rockstarring Tom Baker are the next two DVD releases to be confirmed for North American release, as first reported on the TV Shows on DVD website. The cover illustrations as displayed on that site are seen below. The two DVDs will likely be released in early September 2005 on the usual three-month release schedule; "The Leisure Hive" and "Ghost Light" are due out in June. Once details are released by Warner Home Video we'll have more details, including confirmed release dates, and high-quality cover scans. (Thanks to David Lambert at TV Shows on DVD and everyone who let us know!)