Who people in the newsBookmark and Share

Friday, 30 November 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Bits and bobs from the media about Doctor Who actors:

Scottish television station STV has a video item about the Spirit of Scotland Awards, including a clip of David Tennant speaking from the TARDIS set. Also on STV, John Barrowman was recently interviewed for the program Scotland Today, and an extended version of the interview is available on the STV website. Barrowman discusses his Glasgow roots, his new album Another Side, as well as the return of Captain Jack in Torchwood Series 2 andDoctor WhoSeries 4. Captain Jack was recently voted one of the "Top 25 Gay TV Characters" by AfterElton.com.

The Sun reports that Sean Pertwee, son of Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, would like a role in Doctor Who, and once put a bet on himself becoming the next Doctor. The Sun also reports that ITV2 has picked up Billie Piper's sexually charged series The Secret Diary of a Call Girl for a second series.The Times has an interview with Pauline Collins (Queen Victoria in 2006's "Tooth and Claw" and Samantha Briggs in 1967's "The Faceless Ones"); Collins is appearing as the Fairy Godmother in the Royal Vic's production of Cinderella. Finally, Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) turned on the Christmas lights in Beccles, Suffolk.

News roundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
As part of the celebrations of 10 years since the launch of BBC.co.uk, Martin Belam, a former Senior Development Producer at the BBC has written a BBC blog looking back at 10 years of the BBC promoting Doctor Who on the web.

Meanwhile the magazine SFX is asking for fans help in spotting all references to Doctor Who on Television over the next few weeks. In particular they want details of Trailers, interviews and features and mentions of Doctor Who in other dramas, comedies and light entertainment shows. The magazine promises a name check for all who participate. For details follow the link.

Tennant is Top Screen ScotBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 November 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
David Tennant has been awarded the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland award in the "Screen" category. He beat film actors James McAvoy andTilda Swinton, who were also nominated in the category. The Scotsman has further details of the awards.

Thanks to PolyG of the Doctor Who Forum.

X-Amining KylieBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
BBC Radio 2 have broadcast the documentary, X-Amining Kylie, in which David Tennant interviews Kylie Minogue.

Coinciding with the release of Minogue's tenth studio album X, Tennant talks to the pop princess about her life and work. The programme features a sneak preview of Voyage of the Damned, the BBC1 Doctor WhoChristmas special, which finds the Doctor aboard The Titanic.

The programme features a track-by-track taste of the new album, plus an exclusive song never before broadcast on the BBC.

The programme can be heard over the next seven days, via the BBC Radio Player.

Sarah Jane Adventures coming to CanadaBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2007 - Reported by Mike Doran
Canadian digital cable channel BBC Kids has announced that The Sarah Jane Adventureswill be coming to the channel in January 2008. The run starts with the premiere of the hour-long pilot "Invasion Of The Bane" on Sunday, January 13th at 9:00pm EST (repeated at 4:00am EST). Thereafter BBC Kids will run two episodes back-to-back every Sunday at 9:00pm EST with repeats at 4:00am EST.

Gallifrey 2008 Guest UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2007 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Gallifrey One -- North America's annual Doctor Who celebration in Los Angeles -- is announcing several new guests for the February 15-17, 2008 event,Gallifrey One's Nineteenth Symphony.

In conjunction with the Seventh Doctor theme of the weekend, Gallifrey One is delighted to welcome three guests who played an active part in the era:Andrew Cartmel, the script editor for the entire Sylvester McCoy years, who charted the course of the stories and character development from 1987 to 1989; Mark Ayres, the composer who contributed the incidental music for "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy," "Ghost Light" and "The Curse of Fenric"; and actress Lisa Bowerman, who guest starred in "Survival" before becoming the voice of spinoff companion Bernice "Benny" Summerfield for Big Finish productions. Meanwhile, Bowerman will be accompanied by the return of Jason Haigh-Elleryfrom Big Finish Productions, who will preview the company's 2008 Doctor Who releases. Also joining the convention for the weekend are writer/editor Simon Guerrier, whose work includes novels and short fiction for the Doctor Who lines as well as editing the "Short Trips" anthologies, and Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, the group that for over a decade has remastered classic Doctor Who serials for the video and DVD era and produced many terrific extra features for the DVD sets. Gallifrey 2008 is also pleased to welcome back science fiction writer David Gerrold and actor/speaker/dealer Bob May from "Lost in Space"... with many other guests to be announced soon!

They join a lineup which already includes the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy and his companion Ace, Sophie Aldred; the 1996 TV movie companion Grace Holloway, Daphne Ashbrook; Doctor Who series writers Steven Moffat ("Blink") and Paul Cornell ("Human Nature"); writers Caroline Symcox, Keith Topping, Scott Alan Woodard, Dr. Arnold T Blumberg and many more. For more details on the convention, visit the convention website at gallifreyone.com/gallifrey.php.

Verity Lambert: ObituariesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
In a mark of her importance in the British broadcasting industry, most of the UK broadsheets have published full length obituaries looking back at the life of Verity Lambert who died last week.

Some of the most detailed include The TelegraphThe TimesThe Guardian and The Independent which, as well as the article, contains a tribute from one of Lambert's closest friends, Janet Street Porter.

In addition, as a tribute, SFX have placed online the interview they conducted last year with Lambert and Russell T Davies.

Sarah Jane RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Unofficial overnight figures for the final week of The Sarah Jane Adventures show that part two of The Lost Boy was watched by 1.2 millionviewers, a nine percent share of the total TV audience.

Final figures are now available for the first part of the series and show the programme has achieved ratings far in excess of the average for its time slot.

The highest rated episode so far is the season premier Revenge of the Slitheen Part 1which got a final rating of 1.4 million viewers. This is the highest audience this year for BBC1 in this time slot. The average audience for the time slot is 0.92 million viewers and the average audience for the first four episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures is 1.2 million.

Final figures are accepted as the industry standard, being much more accurate than the initial overnights. They include viewers who record the programme and watch it within seven days.

Billie Piper returns to Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC News have reported that Billie Piper will be returning to Doctor Who, portraying her original role of Rose Tyler.

The news was originally reported in today's Daily Mirror, which went on to say: The Time Lord, played by David Tennant, starts with Donna (Catherine Tate) as his helper, is then joined by Martha (Freema Agyeman) and then reunites with Billie's character Rose for the finale. A source said: "With Donna, Martha and Rose competing to assist him, Dr Who is going to be spoilt for choice." The paper also reported that the actress will be in at least three episodes of the new series. (also reported by The Hollywood NewsDaily RecordAnanova, and Marie Claire)

The breaking news was actually reported on our very own Doctor Who Forum last night by fans present at filming in Cardiff, including photos of Billie Piper at the location. These can be found in the forum here if you really want to see them! Thanks to Brian_Damage and PMount for the reports.

Update: The official Doctor Who website has now confirmed that Piper is returning as Rose in Series 4, but adds, "Anything you may read elsewhere about when, how or for how long Rose returns to Doctor Who should be treated as pure speculation at this point."

Meanwhile, the BBC have also issued a general press release on the Christmas line-up, with the principal item being Doctor Who: "BBC One reaffirms its position as the one to watch with a formidable line-up of television's biggest and brightest award-winning stars. David Tennant stars as The Doctor in a very special edition of Doctor Who, alongside the one and only Kylie Minogue, who plays a waitress on the Titanic."
Billie Piper to return to Dr Who

Actress Billie Piper is to return to Doctor Who, the BBC has confirmed. She will star in three episodes of the sci-fi drama, reprising her role as the Doctor's companion, Rose Tyler.

Rose's return will mean the Doctor has three assistants in next year's series - Donna, played by Catherine Tate, and Freema Agyeman as Martha.

The new series begins in March and will run for 13 episodes. There will be three special editions in 2009 before the show takes a break until 2010.

Voyage Of the DamnedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC Press Office has released information about the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2007.

Kylie Minogue steps back in time this festive season, as she joins Time Lord David Tennant for a spectacular Doctor Who Christmas Special set on board The Titanic.

At the end of the last series, viewers witnessed the [sic] The Titanic crash through the Tardis walls in spectacular style, and the action continues from that moment.

Kylie, who plays Astrid, a waitress on The Titanic, says: "It is an incredible thrill to be joining David and the entire Dr Who production for this year's Christmas special. Dr Who enjoys a unique history and it is going to be very exciting to be a part of that."

Two of Britain's best-loved sitcom actors, Geoffrey Palmer and Clive Swift, also feature in this Christmas episode.

Palmer, perhaps most famous for his roles in the long-running BBC series Butterflies and As Time Goes By, plays the role of Captain of The Titanic.

Kylie Minogue stars as Astrid, alongside David Tennant as The Doctor.

Voyage Of The Damned also features Gray O'Brien, who recently appeared in the Oscar-winning film The Queen; Debbie Chazen, star of the BBC comedy series The Smoking Room; Olivier Award-winner Clive Rowe; Russell Tovey, from the smash-hit film The History Boys; Jimmy Vee, who previously appeared in Doctor Who as the Moxx of Balhoon; and George Costigan, who starred in The Long Firm and the acclaimed film Rita, Sue And Bob Too.

Voyage of the Damned can be seen on BBC1 this Christmas.

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 43Bookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Issue 43 of Doctor Who Adventures celebrates Doctor Who's 44th birthday with a look back across the centuries with a guide to every Doctor. There's also news of the Sontarans, returning to the series next year. The magazine asks what will Donna make of them?

In Tales from the TARDIS find out David Tennant's favourite scene so far and the Comic strip is part two of Waste Not. Can the Doctor and Martha escape the Optimi and get back to the TARDIS?

Doctor’s Data loks at the Weeping Angels and the adventure guide looks at The Last of the Time Lords.

The magazine has four posters of Gallifrey, Last of the Time Lords, all the Doctors and the silent Scarecrows.

Doctor Who Adventures issue 43, is out now.

Verity Lambert: 1935-2007Bookmark and Share

Friday, 23 November 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson

Verity Lambert, O.B.E., the pioneering television producer who was instrumental in the foundation of Doctor Who as its first producer from 1963 to 1965, died yesterday, November 22, just a day before the series' 44th anniversary.

One of the UK's foremost television producers, Lambert's role as producer of Doctor Who was pivotal at the time, as, at the age of 27, she was the youngest and only female drama producer working at the BBC. As the first producer she was instrumental in creating the universe of Doctor Who and was responsible for some of the most important principles of the series, ensuring the programme's success over the years.

After she left the programme her credits and reputation continued to rise and she became one of the best known players in the industry. She oversaw such iconic productions as Adam Adamant Lives, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Rock Follies, Rumpole of the Bailey, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Reilly: Ace of Spies, Minder, GBH and Jonathan Creek.

In 1985 Verity Lambert established her own independent production company, Cinema Verity. The company's first production was the 1988 feature film A Cry in the Dark, starring Sam Neill and Meryl Streep. Cinema Verity's first television series, the BBC1 sitcom May to December, ran from 1989 until 1994.

In 2000 two of her productions, Doctor Who and The Naked Civil Servant, finished third and fourth respectively in a British Film Institute poll of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century.

In the 2002 New Year's Honours list Lambert was awarded the O.B.E. for services to film and television production. In the same year she received BAFTA's Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television.

She was due to receive the Working Title Films lifetime achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards on 7th December.

Russell T Davies, the current Executive Producer of Doctor Who, said: "There are a hundred people in Cardiff working on Doctor Who and millions of viewers, in particular many children, who love the programme that Verity helped create. This is her legacy and we will never forget that."

It is noteworthy that a tribute from the current production team was made in the 2007 story Human Nature, when the Doctor, as the character John Smith, mentions his mother's name was Verity.

Jane Tranter, Controller of BBC Fiction, said: "Verity was a total one-off. She was a magnificently, madly, inspirationally talented drama producer. During her long and brilliant career there was no form of drama that was beyond her reach and that she didn't excel at. From the early episodes of Doctor Who to the still to be transmitted comedy drama Love Soup, via Widows, Minder, GBH, Eldorado and Jonathan Creek (to name but the tiniest handful of credits) – Verity was a phenomenon. She made the television drama genre utterly her own. She was deaf to the notion of compromise and there wasn't an actor, writer, director or television executive she worked with who didn't regard her with admiration, respect and awe. She will be hugely missed but her legacy lives on in the dramas she made, and in the generations of eager young programme-makers she has inspired."

She added: "Today (Friday) is the 44th anniversary of her first ever episode of Doctor Who."

Menna Richards, Controller, BBC Wales, said: "In Doctor Who, Verity Lambert has left a legacy that lives on in the new productions BBC Wales has been making since 2004. We in Wales owe her a debt of gratitude for handing on such a treasure which continues to be enjoyed the world over."

Waris Hussein, who directed the first episode of Doctor Who, said "Verity was not only my producer but a lifelong friend from the earliest days when we were assigned a programme called "Dr.Who" by the then Head of BBC Drama Sydney Newman. We were both at the beginning of our careers and anxious to do the best we could. Neither Verity or I could have realized the impact of "Dr. Who" and it is with wonder and happiness that I see what we created. Directors have come and gone but I am proud to say I was the person chosen to work with Verity and we were the ones, with Sydney's inspiration, to bring the series to life. Verity's subsequent success was inevitable and I was glad to be a part of it. I directed the first episodes of " The Newcomers" and later the suffragette series " Shoulder To Shoulder" and " Edward and Mrs. Simpson" which won us an Emmy and Bafta. Verity was unique. She will leave a large vacuum in the world of Film and Television."

BBC Radio 4 have paid tribute to Lambert in the weekly obituary programme Last Word. The programme contains an interview with Jane Tranter and Joanna Lumley. It is avalable online for the next seven days on the BBC Radio player

Further reading can be found at: The Stagescreenonlinethe GuardianVarietyThe TimesThe Telegraph,The Herald and BBC News.

Davison's Celery Aids Children in NeedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 22 November 2007 - Reported by R Alan Siler

21-year-old Australian fan Dimitry Telfer won a piece of plastic celery worn in the series by Peter Davison - and autographed by the actor - in an eBay auction raising funds for Children in Need.

Telfer's winning bid was 5,500 pounds. The BBC put the signed celery stick up for auction in aid of the children's charity last week, with bidding starting at just 99p.

Dimity told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "I couldn't let an opportunity like that get away from me and it's for a great cause. I got into 'Doctor Who' in 2005 and I've been hooked. Peter Davison is my favourite."

Sarah Jane breaks recordsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 22 November 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Official figures released by BARB show that the Monday 1730 CBBC showing of The Sarah Jane Adventures has broken records for the digital channel.

The second part of Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? is the highest rated programme to have been shown on CBBC since its launch, with an official audience of633,000 viewers.

In the list of top rated programmes on cbbc this year, The Sarah Jane Adventures holds the first six positions, with the 7th position being taken by MI High, with 388,000 viewers.

Figures for the final two episodes of this series will be available over the next two weeks.