Oberman on This MorningBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Tracy-Ann Oberman will be a guest on Thursday's (29 June) edition of This Morning on ITV1 to promote her role as Yvonne Hartman in the forthcoming two-part season finale Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. This Morning airs between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

FILTER: - People - Series 2/28

Doctor Who Annual 2007Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The Official Doctor Who Annual 2007 is due out shortly from BBC Children's Books. Says the press release, "BBC Children's Books proudly introduce The Official Doctor Who Annual. Packed with character profiles, 2 original full colour comic strips (12pp), quizzes, activities, fun features and alien facts! This is exciting annual is perfect for Doctor Who fans young and old." The book will be released in August. Click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to Tenth Planet)

FILTER: - Books

TARDIS Report: Early Week Coverage and PressBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Doctor Who Worldwide

In Denmark, the national broadcast TV and radio station DR (Danmarks Radio) started today with Doctor Who at 11.00pm on their main tv station, DR1. There is nothing on DR's web page on the series, only a link to BBC's DW site and two DW books in Danish translation. There is a short description of the first episode and though no title is given, it is the first one, "Rose", that is being shown.

Finland now has a formal date and time for the start of Series 1 in the country on the YLE2 network: 10 September 2006 at 8.05pm.

According to This Week in Doctor Who, the first season of the new series (2005) Mexico and Latin America on the People + Arts channel. "People + Arts claims to be co-owned by the BBC and Discovery Channel. Episode 4 (Aliens Of London) is running this week. The schedule seems to be the same for Mexico and other countries, though they give the option to switch between versions. It is unclear how many countries this channel is available in, and whether it can be seen in South America. The website does not make it clear which time zone it is providing listings for. Based on the website, episodes premiere Fridays at 10PM, repeat Late Friday at 3AM, Saturday at 7AM, Wednesday at 10PM, and Late Wednesday at 3AM. Episodes should air weekly (with repeats) through Friday August 25 (or Wednesday August 23 if the source is right)."

UKTV Australia has added the following to their FAQ page: "Are there any plans to screen Doctor Who? Yes, UKTV will be screening the new series of Doctor Who in October this year." We're assuming for now that they mean the 13 Christopher Eccleston episodes from 2005. This would be the second showing of the episodes in Australia (well, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, maybe more - UKTV likes multiple airings). To date they have aired one time on ABC TV.


The tabloids' big story from today: "Billie Piper said today she will not take even 'a penny' from her multi-millionaire husband when they divorce. The Dr Who star said she is not interested in a slice of Chris Evans's 30 million fortune, insisting: 'I'm not taking a penny from him. I think that's disgusting.' Piper, 23, who has just been awarded a six-figure deal for her autobiography, said her greatest regret is not having invited her parents to her wedding to the Radio 2 presenter in Las Vegas in 2001. 'I regret it in retrospect and we didn't speak for a while, although they understand now that at the time I had to be selfish,' Piper tells Radio Times. 'I didn't want them to question it because in my head it was perfect, the first time in years I felt happy. Chris and I found each other when it could have gone badly for both of us and we saved each other from our worlds of madness.' ... Piper will quit Dr Who at the end of this series and said: 'The longer I stayed the more scared I'd be of leaving because it's so comfortable and nice.' Of her autobiography, she said: 'I hope it's an inspiration to young girls who constantly ask how I did it. It will be warts and all.'" Naturally, the papers have all followed this particular part of the story today with news reports at The SunEvening EchoDaily MailBBC NewsThe IndependentThe ScotsmanDaily RecordMirrorSkky ShowbizMetroAnanovaRTE,Entertainment WiseMegastarBelfast TelegraphThe TimesManchester Evening NewsYahoo News,UnisonContact MusicThis Is LondonIrish ExaminerBreaking NewsHello Magazine and other places.

The Mirror on 24 June said that "she's travelled the universe in the Tardis, but Billie Piper says she won't be jetting off to Hollywood any time soon. The Doctor Who actress insists she isn't tempted by the glamour of Tinseltown and would prefer to star in lowkey indie films. She said: 'There are lots of great movies coming out of the US but it's not something I'm ever really interested in.' What, even if a big role came up? She said: "Yes, I'm happy in the UK. I absolutely love it and I've finally got a great group of friends. I've got a lovely little flat and my work's here.'"

The latest BBC's It's Hot magazine (issue 53) mentions that: "Despite her saying otherwise, actress Billie Piper is rumoured to be swapping time travelling for a spot of chart topping. Billie, who plays Rose on Doctor Who, was famous yonks ago for shouty pop songs, but her new stuff is supposed to be a more grown up affair. Oh well, only time will tell." However, in the magazine's interview with her, in response to the queston 'Do you ever wish you were a pop star again?', she replies: "I've realised I shouldn't make music - I should be a fan. I'm the biggest music fan and I love all different types." On being asked if she could time travel in the TARDIS, where would she go and why, Billie comments: "I'd like to see what my 30s look like. Not too far ahead - we're talking about eight years down the line. I'd like to see what's going on in my life then. I think that would be really interesting."

Last week, Bruno Langley was on an internet radio station called 'The Soap Show', and he talked not only about the play he is currently starring in (A Taste of Honey), but about his role on last year's Doctor Who as Adam. Langley said he was too young to remember the original series, and that he felt Doctor Who was an institution. He said he likes fans, some are weird but others are very intelligent, so you get such a mix of people. He also talked of the fathers and sons who he often sees together when they go to meet him at stage doors - which he thought was great. He talked a bit about the actual filming of the episodes, and said that he is still in contact with the producers/writers, and that they text each other occasionally, though he doesn't think Adam will be back. He says they haven't asked him back, and he hasn't asked to be brought back, either. He said if they want him back then they'll ask him....which they haven't! He said he is happy just to sit and watch it now. Langley added that he is about to watch the first boxset DVDs as he missed a couple of eps, and that he'll get the DVDs of series 2 when they come out. He says he has only caught bits of the new seris due to work, but he says that the new series looks really good... as does David Tennant.

Fear Her - Aftermath

The Guardian: "So I'm on a train from Luton to London the other day, and at St Albans a woman in her 30s gets on with her son, who must be about eight or nine. Nice-looking kid. She turns out to be the mother from hell, though. She's yabbering away on her phone to someone, so he goes to get his Game Boy out of her bag. But then she has a right old go at the poor lad for going in her bag without asking. He says he's sorry, she was on the phone and he thought it would be OK. But no, it isn't OK, and now he's being cheeky, so that means another bollocking. The whole thing snowballs out of control: she's hollering at him, telling him what a bad boy he is. Then it's time to pronounce sentence for all his heinous crimes, and guess what his punishment is? No Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday), that's what, which is about as bad a punishment you can give a child right now. And for a lot of adults, too. He's been dead strong up to this point. But as the full meaning of missing Doctor Who sinks in, his chin wobbles a bit, then his face does that terrible melting thing, and soon he's sobbing, silently and bravely. His mum, meanwhile, is back on the phone, nattering away to her mate. I know I should have told him he could come round mine to watch it, or at least secretly got his address so I could send him the DVD. And certainly I should have alerted social services, so that he could be removed from his evil devil-mother. But of course, pathetically, I did none of those things, onaire husband when they divorceper instead. It turned out to be a great episode, too. ... It's absolutely terrifying: kids must be a lot more robust these days than they were in my day. I'm watching it from behind the sofa and I'm 41. ... Maybe there was another more sinister reason than the Game Boy incident. Surely these events can't be unconnected. Maybe I wasn't on a train to Kings Cross Thameslink at all, but a train into the future (it did seem remarkably spacious). And why have I just picked up a pencil and now find myself involuntarily (but perfectly) drawing evil train woman ... ? [Cue Doctor Who music.]"

The Financial Times says that "Doctor Who continues to be a wondrous thing, Russell T. Davies and his collaborators having managed to retain the playful spirit of the original while creating storylines consistently smarter and even more inventive than previous incarnations of the show. Tonight's episode sees the Doctor and Rose visiting London before the 2012 Olympics. As well as paying homage to The Exorcist, Paperhouse, ET and The Shining, it proves that Huw Edwards's decision to make his living as a newsreader was no loss to acting."

Other Media Items

The official site discusses the BBC Three repeats starting next week, mentioned last week on Outpost Gallifrey (and seen in our calendar on the left side of this news page).

CBBC has Lizo's early review/preview of "Army of Ghosts". "Sadly, the end is in sight for this series of Dr Who. Like last year, it ends with a two part story of which Army of Ghosts is the first. The focus is on Rose from the very start, and there's no doubt that what she has to say will shock many of you. And then things come full circle. In this season's first episode, Rose said good bye with her ruck sack. Now she's back, with the bag full of washing for Jackie. But things are very different on Earth, with people across the planet welcoming back what they believe are the ghosts of their loved ones. Are they really ghosts, and how is the mysterious Torchwood involved? Not to mention a mysterious sphere that doesn't even seem exist. The Doctor and Rose want to get to the bottom of things. But they're facing old enemies who put the whole planet in danger. Phew, things really rattle along in this episode, with Rose's story especially appearing to head for its conclusion. Which, of course, ties in with the news that Billie Piper will be leaving the series after the last two episodes. But with Russell T Davies writing the script there's bucketfuls of humour. Chat show host Trisha and Peggy from EastEnders make hilarious appearances. But the story he's telling is a serious one. There are quite a few deaths before the final credits roll, as well as a beautifully played scene where Rose and Jackie talk about the future. And that's what at this heart of this episode. Will Rose choose to stay with the Doctor forever, and should she? And will that choice be taken away from her? Of course, there's a huge amount of action too as things ramp up for the end of the second series. But be prepared for a quite a few shocks as well! Mention should also be made of composer Murray Gold's musical score, which really excels here. And overall it's a splendid story which leaves us on a great cliff hanger for the last episode Doomsday. Four out of Five."

The Daleks invaded Norfolk as hundreds of fans turned out to see Colin Baker, Terry Molloy, Deborah Watling and to put the marker down in the Guinness Book for the largest gathering of fan built Daleks in the UK. BBC Norfolk was there and features interviews (audio) with Colin, Terry and Deborah as well as new video content. Meanwhile, the Eastern Daily Press covered the event: "Hundreds of fans swarmed to the streets of Holt, which are more used to well-heeled shoppers than raygun-wielding sci-fi space invaders. The event was a fund-raising effort helping raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and helping to put Holt on the intergalactic map. Scores of daleks turned up, roaming around the streets and courtyards, squawking at firing at wide-eyed children, launching attacks on targets including a tardis police box, and even taking part in a supermarket trolley dash. Amid the mayhem, calmly signing autographs, were stars of the popular television series, currently enjoying a revival. Colin Baker, the sixth doctor from 1983-86, said the success of the show was the way it had updated itself with special effects, and retained the ability to 'scare the living daylights out of children.' Scientific journalist Paul Parsons, included a 'hiding behind the sofa' chapter in his book The Science of Dr Who, admitted he used to be petrified of the daleks and reckoned their 'facelessness' continued to make them scary. .. Early assistant Deborah Watling, said the strength of the storylines were a key factor, while actor Terry Molloy, who played dalek creator Davros, said the success was also down to the doctor's heroic role as an 'intergalactic Biggles.' Visitors included two cybermen and an 'alterntiave ninth doctor' Tristan Stopps from the Fourth Dimension Lords a Dr Who group based at Martham, whose members range from children to middle aged men, welcomed the Holt event which was 'overdue in Norfolk.' Organiser Nigel Pearce said the event, which filled a hole left by the carnival which was not being held this year due to lack of support, had gone well, and there were plans to hold it again next year."

The Sydney Morning Herald from Australia yesterday featured a story about the show in anticipation of the series' return on Saturday, July 8. "Doctor Who, the mysterious stranger who travels through time and space in a battered London police phone box, is a difficult character to define. As one of the most enigmatic characters in popular culture - along with film spy James Bond, sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare's Hamlet - he has been played by many actors and interpreted in many ways. David Tennant is a British actor of rising acclaim, whose credits include Casanova and Blackpool. Wearing a dark brown pinstripe suit, brown overcoat and Converse sneakers, he is the 10th actor to portray the Time Lord and admits the Doctor is a hard man to master. 'He's not Hamlet or Benedick because they will always have the words they have,' Tennant says. 'It's not James Bond or Sherlock Holmes because each time somebody comes to one of those characters, the character is still who the character always is - James Bond will always be 'shaken not stirred', Sherlock Holmes will always be 'elementary', deerstalker and pipe.' So, who is Doctor Who? "Each actor gets to rewrite the rule book a little bit," Tennant says, and perhaps that's the beauty of it. ... Tennant says he agreed to take the role because of the pedigree of the creative team behind the revival of the series - notably, writer-producer Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk) and writers Steven Moffatt (Coupling), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Toby Whithouse (Hotel Babylon). 'They're the best writers you could possibly want and if the scripts are good, then the battle is half won already,' he says. ... Davies promised this season would be "more emotional" than the last, a departure from the classic structure of Doctor Who - simple morality plays wrapped in the distracting kitsch of period science fiction and peppered with MacGuffins and deus ex machina twists. 'I think one of the great things about the way the show has been reimagined is the relationship between the Doctor and Rose [his companion, played by Billie Piper], which is now a love story more than it was ever allowed to be before,' Tennant says. 'It's still not consummated - that's important because that's not the vibe - but the emotional back and forth is an important part of the show. I think we dip our toes into some new waters in this coming season.'" Doctor Who returns to the ABC on Saturday, July 8, at 7.30pm.

Other news: The Sun has a vaguely spoilerish preview of this weekend's episode; BlogCritics reviews "Fear Her";

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, Paul Hayes, Adam Kirk, Mark Dando, Klaus Gramstrup, George Forth, and Benjamin Elliott)

FILTER: - Press - Radio Times - Broadcasting

Love & Monsters Final RatingsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The final rating released this week by the BARB for Love & Monsters, episode ten of the new seasons, shows that 6.66 million viewers tuned into the episode, an increase of approximately 400,000 viewers as compared to the original overnight ratings reports. This places Doctor Who in fifteenth place for the week behind six World Cup events, five episodes of Coronation Street, EastEnders, Heartbeat and the Thursday night ITV Evening News. (Thanks to 'Shaun Lyon,' Andy Parish, Keith Armstrong)

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

Radio Times CoverBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

This week's edition of Radio Times features this season's unprecedented third Doctor Who-related cover, which features Billie Piper, in anticipation of her departure from the series at the end of this season. The magazine, now on stands, features an interview with Piper, including her thoughts on the past two years of the show as well as her upcoming projects. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.

FILTER: - Magazines - Radio Times

Fall Dr Who Tie-In BooksBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Amazon.co.uk is listing four more books in the Doctor Who Files series from Penguin Character Books, as follows; all four books are currently scheduled for release on October 5. (The previous four books in the Doctor Who Files series, focusing on The Doctor, Rose, The Slitheen and The Sycorax, are all due out on August 31.) They are:
Doctor Who Files: Mickey - Find out all about Mickey, his friends and enemies, home life and space travels, then join him in a brand new adventure in "Taking Mickey".
Doctor Who Files: K9 - Find out all about K-9, his creation and history, his friends and enemies, then join him in a brand new adventure in "A Dog's Life".
Doctor Who Files: The Daleks - Find out all about the Daleks, their allies and enemies, home planet and technology, then join them in a brand new adventure in "Mission to Galacton".
Doctor Who Files: The Cybermen - Find out all about the Cybermen, their creator and enemies, their history and home planet. Then join one in a brand new adventure in "Going off the Rails".
Meanwhile, also due out from Penguin Character Books on October 5 is Doctor Who Quiz Book #2; the blurb says, "Test your knowledge of the Tenth Doctor's adventures with this comprehensive quiz book!" And joining it is the Doctor Who 3-D Model Making Kit, the details for which say, "Build your own fantastic paper models of the TARDIS, K-9, a Dalek and a Cyberman head, with this instruction book and press-out cards."

FILTER: - Books

Big Finish BriefsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

A few catch-up items regarding the Big Finish audio series:
The cover illustration for Red, the August Docto Who audio drama starring Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford, also features author, actor and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig; the cover illustration is now up on our Releases page. So are the details for The Nowhere Place, July's audio adventure starring Colin Baker and Maggie Stables, which has two cover illustrations to pick from, and the book Short Trips: The Centenarian, a new Doctor Who short fiction anthology being published next month.
The Bernice Summerfield spinoff series will see quite a lot of activity for the rest of the year; just released are the audioThe Crystal of Cantus starring Lisa Bowerman and the novel Genius Loci by Ben Aaronovitch ("Remembrance of the Daleks"). The Release calendar also has a lot of details about the audio plays and books for the rest of the year in this series.

FILTER: - Audio

Fear Her Overnights, Army of Ghosts TrailersBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Despite another day of fine weather in the UK, last night's Fear Her saw an increase in audience figures to 6.64 million viewers, up from last week's 6.22 million for "Love & Monsters", according to the unofficial overnights. The episode peaked at 7.1 million in its last quarter of an hour and 7.58 million in its final five minutes, and attracted an average share of 39.7% to comfortably win its timeslot against ITV1's Who Wants to be a Millionaire (3.6m, 21.4%). The end of the episode and the start of the following sports coverage saw 3.37m switch off BBC One. The World Cup football match that followed had an average audience of 8.1m, but its much higher peak audience and extra time appears to have carried over a large audience of 6.9m for the late-running lottery results, leaving Doctor Who in third place for the day. (It's likely that the final BARB figures will discount the lottery show, as it runs for less than 15 minutes, so Doctor Who may achieve second place for the day.) On the currently available overnight figures, "Fear Her" was in 14th place for the week across television; when ratings are in for Sunday's World Cup matches, the show will certainly slip down this chart one or two places, but a top 20 position stil looks very likely. Among under-16s, 61% of children and teenagers watching television in that timeslot were watching Doctor Who, amounting to 1.3m, against 145,000 who were watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

On BBC Three, the eleventh episode of Doctor Who Confidential at 7.45pm was watched by 500,700 (3.8%), making it the top-rated multichannel programme on Saturday, while Totally Doctor Who 11 last Thursday benefitted from the preceding football match to get its highest rating so far of 1.5m.

Meanwhile, television promotion for Army of Ghosts began last night with a 50-second trailer on BBC One at 11.09pm, delayed from 10.45pm by the World Cup. The trailer is a slightly shorter edit of the 'Next time' preview shown at the climax of Fear Her. It can be seen online at the official site by following the 'Video' link at the foot of its homepage. (Thanks to 'Shaun Lyon,' Andy Parish)

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 2/28

TARDIS Report: The Week in the PressBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBC Books: The Future of Doctor Who?

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has a brief interview with Justin Richards about the potential for reviving the past Doctor novel range. Richards points out that the new range of Ninth and Tenth Doctor hardbacks is outselling the earlier paperbacks "by a factor of ten", but goes on to say that "the intention is not just to leave it there, it's a question of 'what' we do with them, not 'if' we're going to do something with them." Since DWM was published, however, BBC Worldwide has announced that BBC Books and the publisher Random House have agreed that Random House will acquire a majority shareholding in BBC Books, moving BBC Books to become part of the Random House operation. Whether this will have any impact on the Doctor Who range is unknown.

The continuing strong sales of the Tenth Doctor novels are confirmed by the most recent Top 20 Fiction charts in the Bookseller, with combined sales of the three titles to 10 June being 70,450 after nine weeks in the top 10. The tenth week, ending 17 June, saw the three novels add another 6,313 copies to that total sale.

TV Schedules: Series Two Updates

The second season of Doctor Who has finally been given a timeslot in New Zealand. It will begin on Thursday 6th July at 7:30 on Prime. The first transmission is the Christmas episode, and the timeslot is for 75 minutes, reflecting that it will likely be shown as originally transmitted in the UK without being pruned to fit a commercial hour. It appears the next episode will be shown with repeats of 'Creature Comforts', the Aardman Animation, from 15 July; 'New Earth' is scheduled for that time according to the ABC program guide).

The Radio Times website is listing more BBC Three repeats of Series Two on weekday evenings, this time as double bills in the run-up to the premiere of episode 13. Listings are currently available only as far as Thursday 6 July (The Idiot's Lantern and The Impossible Planet), so it is not yet known how or if the channel intends to fit in the remaining four episodes before Doomsday is broadcast on Saturday 8 July on BBC One.

Availability of the episode commentaries as red-button extras on Freeview now seems to have been entirely obliterated by saturation of the World Cup - the commentaries have not been run with the past fortnight's BBC Three repeats on Fridays or Sundays, even when Freeview's BBCi channels have been empty. In the commentary for Love & Monsters last weekend ('podcast' as always via the official site), Russell T Davies again mentioned that all the commentary recordings have been filmed and are potential DVD boxset extras.

For those of you who keep writing in to tell us that Canada has confirmed a date... it's Monday October 9 at 8.00pm (and we did report this on June 16 on this very site...) However, there's also other unreported Canada viewer news today: CBC are rebroadcasting Season One at Wednesdays at midnight, beginning this week (Wednesday, June 21st); they're also showing the same episode one hour earlier (Tuesdays at 11:00 PM) on CBC's HD channel.


Tracy-Ann Oberman is interviewed in this week's edition of The Stage. The interview, which covers her whole career, naturally touches on her role in the season finale. "I've always been one of this rare breed of women who is a massive sci-fi fan," she says. "David Tennant and I sat around on set talking about sonic screwdrivers and there was a very special moment when I saw the Tardis for the first time." The Telegraph also interviews Oberman; it says, "Starring in a soap proves a curse for most actors, who can soon find themselves unemployed after being on television three or four nights a week, but not for Oberman. 'As soon as I left, I was sent some Doctor Who scripts. I've been a lifelong fan, a proper 'Whovian' as we call ourselves. They told me to be really hush-hush about the scripts - even more so than with EastEnders - but I can say that my character, Yvonne Hartman, is a very strong human villain. She's almost a match, intellectually, for the Doctor. She collects alien artefacts and sees the Doctor as being the prize alien in her collection.' Oberman smiles. 'Russell T Davies [writer and executive producer of Doctor Who] told me to think of Yvonne as the type of woman who joins the BBC as a tea girl and in 10 years manages to rise to director general. So she's strong but also vulnerable.' Is it true that she brings about the end of the world in the last two episodes? 'I don't know if I'm allowed so say that,' she says. 'Do you think I can mention the Cybermen?' She adds, whispering. 'Perhaps I shouldn't say anything else or I'll get into trouble… but I feel like I'm now part of Doctor Who history, which is amazing.' "

Louise Jameson will be in Alan Ayckbourn's play "Confusions" along with Robert Duncan, Tony Caunter and Andrew Paul at the Theatre Royal Windsor between Tuesday 11th and Saturday 22nd July. For further information, the theatre's website can be reached by clicking here, and their box office is on 01753 853888.

Nicholas Courtney will be doing the readings at a special gala concert in Westminster on Tuesday 11 July, celebrating the life of former British Prime Minister Sir Edward (Ted) Heath, who died last year at the age of 89. Further details are available on the website of the Southbank Sinfonia, the orchestra that will be playing on the night.

Rudolph Walker (Harper in "The War Games") was recently awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list for services to drama.

Tim Pigott-Smith ("The Claws Of Axos" and "The Masque Of Mandogora"), Jo Stone Fewings ("Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways") and Chris MacDonnell ("Dragonfire") will be starring in a revival of "See How They Run" which starts previewing from 20 June at The Duchess Theatre.

The Norfolk Eastern Daily Press interviews Deborah Watling. "Most Doctor Who fans know where to draw the line. They understand that it's a great bit of TV, get slightly spooked by some of the monsters - but know that it is NOT REAL. But for every thousand of them there is one fan who takes it a step (or hundreds of steps) too far. They live for the conventions, dress to kill (hopefully not literally) in their cybermen suits, and display a disturbing knowledge of the planets and monsters that have featured on the show since it began in the 1960s. Deborah Watling knows the type. As former Doctor Who assistant Victoria Waterfield from 1967-8, she gets invited to the conventions and reunions - and has her own exclusive group of followers. She said: 'If your name is on the poster, you have your ardent fans who always turn up to everything and just stand and stare at you. That is rather unnerving.' ... That brief spell on the world's longest-running TV sci-fi show has had a lasting impact. 'I look back on Dr Who as a great part of my life. I didn't know that 39 years later I would still be remembered for it - but people still stop me in the street and call me Victoria. 'People want me to make appearances here and there at Dr Who reunions and conventions. It's very flattering.' She is up to speed with the latest series, which she thinks is 'brilliant', and particularly likes the current Doctor, David Tennant. She said: 'He is wonderful. He reminds me of Patrick Troughton because he has got that twinkle in his eye. Billie Piper is smashing. The show had to be updated and everyone's talking about it. It is terrific to see.' Next weekend, she will travel to Holt as one of the special guests at the inaugural Dr Who Festival, where as many as 100 Daleks could be roaming the streets."

Fear Her Pre-publicity

The Press Office info for Fear Her lists the transmission time as 6.45pm, but Radio Times has since changed this to a 7pm start. That magazine's Doctor Who Watch feature this week interviews writer Matthew Graham, who says the episode is "really quite a creepy story, which hopefully will taph into psychological fears a bit like The Empty Child did". The episode again tops the week's best television selection for Saturday: "Favourite Doctor Who themes of love and loss are explored when the Doc and Rose meet a sinister little girl on the eve of the 2012 London Olympics." It is also the magazine's pick of the day in Saturday's Choices - TV editor Alison Graham provides her usual selection of story spoilers before commenting that "It's a curious episode that's a bit too touchy-feely in parts. Still, it's notable for a remarkable piece of information that the Doc lets slip..." Radio Times also notes that Abisola Agbaje and Edward Thomas will be guests on the 12th Totally Doctor Who, which is on BBC Two next Thursday, displaced by live coverage of the tennis at Wimbledon.

The BBC's official Doctor Who website was revamped with a Fear Her theme on Tuesday afternoon, with its homepage decorated with children's paintings of the Doctor, Rose and the TARDIS. These were selected from hundreds of entries to a recent competition run by the website. The flash animated homepage rotates the four winning entries, along with a painting by "Chloe Webber", the child at the centre of this week's episode... As always, there are also the pre-transmission photo gallery, Fear Factor and TARDISODE. The official site also has the 20-second trailer for the episode, a shortened version of the 'Next Time' trail from the end of Love & Monsters. This trailer debuted on BBC One last Saturday within a couple of hours of episode 10's conclusion and was made available online the same evening. It has since run several times throughout each day this week on BBC One and BBC Two.

On Thursday, CBBC Newsround's Doctor Who mini-site added an interview with Abisola Agbaje (Chloe Webber), alongside Lizo's regular episode preview, which awards the episode only 2 out 5, saying that Fear Her is "not scary enough", has "over-complicated explanations" and "never manages to reach the high standard of what has gone before".

Heat has Fear Her as their Pick of the Day, and Boyd Hilton, awaring this episode 5 stars, writes: "We'd love to be a fly on the wall at the Doctor Who production meetings as Russell T Davies punts ideas around, and says stuff like, "Wouldn't it be good if the Doctor and Rose ended up in London in 2012 to see the Olympics?" That's the best thing about the whole wonderful revival of Doctor Who. Sure, some moments are silly or cheesy or plain ridiculous, but no other show on TV has this level of commitment to letting the imagination run gloriously, giddily free. No other show takes these risks. So here are the Doctor and Rose, landing in east London just in time for the Olympics opening ceremony. But they're soon sidetracked by the disappearance of a number of children all living in the same street where the Tardis lands. There's some lovely spoof TV detective interplay between Billie Piper and David Tennant, some thrillingly clever scenes depicting the opening ceremony, and a delicious joke featuring a poster for Shayne Ward's Greatest Hits." (the magazine has this eppy at number 2 in their Top 10 Best TV Shows of the week.)

Closer's preview reads: "The Doctor and Rose visit London in the year 2012 to check out the Olympics but, as ever, things don't quite go to plan. In a street where the Olympic flame is set to pass through, strange things are happening - a little girl possessed by an alien is kidnapping all the local kids. From there on, the episode turns into a teatime version of The Exorcist, minus the spinning head scene, the green vomit and the expletives. Then the Doctor senses a storm coming, which sets us up nicely for next week's instalment. We can't wait!"

Sneak has this week's episode as one of it's Must-See TV: "The Doc's plans to take Rose to the Olympics in 2012 are scuppered when they discover a girl with scary paranormal powers."

Star magazine gives this episode 4 (out of 5) stars: "It's 2012, the year of the Olympics, and the Tardis lands in London. The Doctor plans to show Rose the Games but, as always, something gets in the way. On a nearby housing estate a terrified mother is hiding her daughter's unearthly and evil powers."

The Sunday Times says, "Londoners planning to abandon their city for a few weeks during the summer of 2012 as the capital's infrastructure is strained to breaking point should enjoy this edition of the revamped sci-fi hit. Thanks to the Tardis, the Doctor plans to take Rose to the much lauded Olympic Games. Unfortunately, any ideas they have of catching a spot of pole vaulting are scuppered by a girl with mysterious powers living on a nearby housing estate (you mean they won't all have been demolished to make way for a velodrome or something?) and it is up to the Doctor to defuse the danger. It's not the most Ken Livingstone-friendly show. Even more rings."

Army of Ghosts Pre-publicity

Outpost Gallifrey has learned that the television trailer campaign will be stepped up again for this episode. A 50-second trailer is currently expected to debut on Saturday evening, although continuing live World Cup coverage means that this remains uncertain. Plans for TV promotion apparently include a 20-second version of the same trailer, with the two versions running throughout the week.

A third Radio Times cover for the series in 2006 may also be a possibility - the current issue's "Next week in RT" blurb leads with "What does the future hold for Billie Piper?" and is illustrated with a small photograph of her, which tends to be a good indication of what will be on the upcoming cover. The issue will be on sale from Tuesday 27 June. And the next issue of Doctor Who Adventures, on sale from Wednesday 28, will preview the last two episodes of the series, as well as featuring a free gift of "a squirty sonic screwdriver".

The Daily Star says of the episode, "Eastenders landlady Peggy Mitchell is horrified to discover Dirty Den's ghost haunting The Queen Vic. The bar boss, played by Barbara Windsor, 69, is seen here trying to get rid of the spirit. A furious Peggy shouts: 'Get out of my pub Den. The only spirits I want to serve around here are whisky, gin and brandy.' The spooky clip will be seen in a forthcoming episode of BBC sci-fi smash Doctor Who. ... The Doc is horrified to see the apparitions popping up everywhere - including on the telly. Even chat show host Trisha Goddard, 48, is in on the act. She will be seen hosting a show called I Married A Dead Man. Viewers will discover however that the Doctor's hunch about the ghosts being 'a front' is right. ... And the time traveller will pay a terrible price."

Love & Monsters Recap

The Times says, "'Do you still have anything left to say about Doctor Who?' my editor asked, with mild disbelief. 'You have now written about this series four times in the past six weeks.' Do I still have anything left to say about Doctor Who (Sat, BBC One)? He might just as well have asked if I have anything left to say about the changing seasons, or the night sky, or my children or, frankly, myself. When something is as good as Doctor Who -- and, currently, it's one of the best things about Britain in the 21st century -- there's always something to say about it. It's like having a conversation about the Beatles. Theoretically, a conversation about the Beatles could span every aspect of humanity, theology, morality, art, sociology, fashion, and continue on up to the point where we die. ... This week's episode was essentially ephemeral. It was a bit of slapstick with Peter Kaye as a vile Absorbaluff -- a lascivious green blob of what appeared to be the expanding foam that you inject into cavity walls, which was sporadically sprinkled with tufts of disturbing black hair, much in the manner of greasy spoon macaroni. Kaye, fairly understandably, appeared to be having a ball -- licking his lips, rolling his eyes and brandishing his hoofy fingers with a well-observed delicacy. ... In the event, the Doctor and Rose appeared merely as guest-stars in their own show -- a small, humorous scrap with a cameo alien, and then materialising in the Tardis for a one-liner. The whole thing was clearly a mid-season intermission. A bit of light relief from the gathering clouds of the story-arc of the series -- which, we gather from hints dropped in previous episodes, will centre on how and why the Doctor ended up killing all the other Time Lords. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this prospect. I was less thrilled and terrified about the impending birth of my first child. However, as the episode was written by Davies, it was an exercise in the scale of the confidence and whimsy an artist can have in his or her Imperial Phase. An entirely digressionary treatise on the joys of ELO, a one-second clip of Elton John, the careless joy of the Doctor and Rose trying to kill a non-essential alien in the style of the Two Stooges -- and then cutting it all dead with an unexpected, chilling line of dialogue, 'Anyone getting close to the Doctor is eventually destroyed.' Even when playing with the loveliest toy a scriptwriter ever had, Davies is hard as nails."

The People said, "Here's Peter Kay as the Dr Who alien Abzorbaloff. Not to be confused with Hayley Cropper's surgeon in Amsterdam. That was Azyorballsoff. Kay's blubbery critter absorbed people into his body. I understand the idea came from watching Bobby Davro absorb other people's jokes into his act. Oddly Peter seemed even stranger as Abby's alter-ego, sinister Victor Kennedy, who could have passed for Burl Ives. Burl sang about the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Victor looked like he'd eaten it."

The Scotsman said, "Now here was an episode of Dr Who with a difference - one where the man who drives the tardis was effectively a guest star. But who could complain when the actors edging him out included Peter Kay, Marc Warren and Shirley Henderson. My sources on the ground tell me that this particular episode has been the subject of much consternation among core Dr Who fans. The handbags at dawn have been caused by the fact that Dr Who has deviated into comedy. There have always been laughs in the series, but for the true believers, this is deadly serious science fiction. In which case, they must have hated this episode. Hustle's Marc Warren took centre stage as Elton, a geeky chap who danced in his bedroom to ELO and dreamt of meeting the Doctor. His internet blogs quickly led to meetings with like-minded folk, including Henderson as equally nerdy Vanessa. Peter Kay pressed the panto button the moment he appeared as the mysterious Victor Kennedy, a dapper chap who wanted to track down the Doctor even more than the Scooby gang did. 'He's an alien,' I shouted at the screen, but no-one threw any sweets back at me. When the moment of revelation came, we discovered that Kay wasn't just an alien, he was an alien with a broad Lancashire accent. All wasn't exactly well that ends well, with the whole gang except Elton having been assimilated by Kay's Abzorbaloff. When poor Ursula was absorbed, he had the cheek to declare 'tastes like chicken'. This was Phoenix Nights meets Dr Who and by the time the Tardis arrived to half-save the day I could almost hear the dismayed chatter of shellshocked former fans. It's true, this episode came close to being a spoof, but it was actually quite nice to have a rest from the Doctor. Even saving the world gets boring sometimes."

Series Three Brief

According to the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, the 2006 Christmas special is now in pre-production, as a one-episode production block (in other words, it won't be filmed in conjunction with any other episodes).

Miscellaneous Press Items

icWales reports that "A building which defined the riches of Cardiff's past and symbolised the decline of traditional industries has been reborn as an icon of innovation and ambition. The former headquarters of the National Provincial Bank in Cardiff Bay is the focus of a multi-million-pound restoration project led by developer Saeed Shad. It will be the new home of Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and an entire floor has been transformed into a film set by BBC Wales for Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood."

Lancaster Today says that "Young Dr Who fan Olly Kay will be making his television debut next week when he's quizzed on his favourite show. Nine-year-old Olly and his family made the trip to Cardiff on Friday for the filming of children's TV show Totally Dr Who. Westgate School pupil Olly pitted his wits against a fellow Dr Who nut in the 'Who Ru' quiz for the chance to win a signed photo and goodie bag. He and his sister Emelia, six, also met several Dr Who actors, including Camille Coduri, who plays Rose Tyler's mum in the series, and Elizabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane). According to his mum Jenny, Olly's obsession with the programme started before he was even born. 'He's been a massive fan all his life – his dad used to play the Dr Who theme tune to my tummy when I was expecting him,' she said. 'He knows everything about it, and thanks to my husband he knows all about the old Dr Who stuff too. They were very impressed with his knowledge.' Olly and his dad Simon have taken their worship of the show to another level – their home in Low Lane, Torrisholme, houses a life-size Dalek and a K9, and they plan to build a tardis next. Even Jenny has finally succumbed to the lure of the show. 'I used to watch it under sufferance but I have been hooked on the new series,' she said. Tune in to Totally Dr Who on BBC1 at 5pm on Thursday to find out how Olly got on in the quiz."

The Register says, "Don't even talk to me. First off, they kill TotP, citing competition from downloads, ringtones and happy slapping. The death of the show that gave us Billie Piper is inevitable TV euthanasia, but it still makes you feel old and bald. Noel Edmonds is so traumatised that he's developed RSI in his elbow (don't start.) Then we heard...oh, you know. The news. The Doctor Who news. The Big Bad Doctor Who News. Who fans will come round and remove my eyeballs with spoons if I give the plot away, so click here for the full spoiler-protected horror. Best make yourself a nice cup of tea first, lads. But it's not all bad news. Cosgrove Hall Films yesterday announced that it's recreating missing eps from the unfinished 1968 Cyberman story, The Invasion. The black and white animation will be unleashed on DVD in November, which, in a shock turn of events, is just before Christmas."

The Mirror picked up the press item about Stephen Fry (gee, I wonder where they got it?)

There was plenty of news coverage of Billie Piper's departure from the series; among the many sources that covered it were Sky NewsAnanova,ReutersThe GuardianThe TimesThe Daily RecordThe GuardianScifi.com,This is SwindonMetroThis is WiltshireMegaStarIn The NewsKansascity.comXtra MSNIF MagazineNow PlayingDark HorizonsShortNewsMovieHoleTV Squad. Also, the rumors about the various companions being touted by the press can be found at Scifi.comTMCnetITNChannel 4Yahoo! News UKITV,icWalesBelfast Telegraph.

Another big story this week was the "Invasion" DVD news with the episodes being animated (which we reported a few days ago)... coverage of that has taken place at The MirrorYahoo! NewsManchester Evening NewsDaily RecordContact MusicUPINetributionWorldscreen,Animation Magazine.

Other items: Now Playing Mag reviews "Love & Monsters" (and last week's "The Satan Pit" here); TV Squad reviews "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit"; Horsham Online notes that "A visiting Dalek caused quite a stir at Littlehaven Infant School on Saturday (June 17)".

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, John Bowman, Paul Greaves, Scott Matthewman, Michael Hartland, Adam Kirk, Neil Marsh, Paul Hayes, Paul Chudobiak, and Michael McManus)

FILTER: - DWM - Press - Radio Times

Brief Torchwood UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 June 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Doctor Who Magazine reports that there are still regular cast members for Torchwood that have not been announced yet, beyond the four credited cast members (John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Naoko Mori and Burn Gorman). Filming progresses, and at DWM's press time was soon to begin for the second production block, which indludes the third episode, The Ghost Machine by Helen Raynor, and the eighth episode, Greeks Bearing Gifts by Toby Whithouse; both are to be directed by Colin Teague. Block Three is beginning pre-production, with James Strong (The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit) directing.

Also, the BBC currently owns the site at torchwood.org.uk, which simply shows a flashing "Access Denied" message!

FILTER: - Torchwood - Production - DWM