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)