As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 31 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2013

Radio TimesBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2007 - Reported by Marcus
There is no Radio Times cover this week, but the magazine does promise full coverage of Saturday's episode The Lazarus Experiment.

There is an exclusive interview with guest star Mark Gatiss, who is only the third man ever to both write and appear inDoctor Who, as well as a preview of the episode from The Mill (details below).

There is also the last chance to get the exclusive Doctor Who stickers.

Radio Times is available throughout the United Kingdom from Tuesday 1st May 2007.

The monster is a CGI creation from The Mill, based on [Stephen]Greenhorn's notes, but what they dreamt up astonished the writer. "I'd written a bit about the scientific theory behind where this monster comes from, and a vague idea of how I thought it might look," says Greenhorn. "The guys at The Mill saw that and thought, 'We can do better than that!' They regard themselves as the torch-holders of 'behind-the-sofa' moments - and they reckon this is one of the scariest things they've done."

FILTER: - Series 3/29 - Magazines - Radio Times

Sunday Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who was once more top of the Multi Channel Charts, with the BBC3 repeat of Evolution of the Daleks being watched by1.03 million viewers, beating Lost on Sky One which got 0.82 million.

With the Sunday overnights now available, Doctor Who is the 19th most watched programme for the week. This position is likely to rise once the final figures, which include figures for those who record the programme, are released in 9 days time.

Back on BBC3 Doctor Who Confidential was 9th for the day with 0.44 million viewers.

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 3/29

Evolution - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Saturdays BBC1 showing of Evolution of the Daleks received an Appreciation index, or AI score of 85. This once more places the programme in the excellent category. It was the second highest rated programme on Saturday, being narrowly beaten by CSI:NY on Channel 5

On BBC3, where scores tend to be higher, the Sunday repeat ofDaleks in Manhattan scored 84 and the Friday repeat 88. This weeks Doctor Who Confidential scored 83 while last Sundays repeat scored 78.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience liked the programme. It is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel. The average score for drama on BBC1 and ITV1 is 77. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor.

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 3/29

Doctor Who On DemandBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive

Doctor Who will be among the programmes to be made available on demand via the BBC's iPlayer service, it was announced today.

A story on BBC News says the service will be launched later this year.

People will be able to watch selected shows online for seven days after their first broadcast. Episodes will also be able to be downloaded and stored for up to 30 days.

The iPlayer has been given the go-ahead by the BBC Trust after consultations with the public.

Initially, the iPlayer application will only be available to people with Windows PCs. But the trust wants the application to run on different systems within "a reasonable time frame".

It is unclear at present whether access will be limited to UK users.

FILTER: - Online

Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Vol 4Bookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson

Panini Books have released the cover and a press release for their final volume of comic strips featuring the eighth Doctor, as previously featured in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine.

The full-colour softcover book runs to 228 pages and is due in UK shops in early May 2007. It includes the following eight stories:
  • Where Nobody Knows Your Name
  • Doctor Who and The Nightmare Game
  • The Power of Thoueris!
  • The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack
  • The Land of Happy Endings
  • Bad Blood
  • Sins of the Fathers
  • The Flood!

The last two will feature newly-extended conclusions. The book will also feature a behind-the-scenes feature in which writers Scott Gray and Gareth Roberts reveal the background and origins to each story, alongside sketches from the artists. You can also learn about the regeneration that never was in an eye-opening feature by Clayton Hickman on the new TV series' effect on the comic strip, with comments from Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies. Plus, in full, the alternative, unused script for Part Eight of "The Flood"!

FILTER: - Books

The future of animated episodesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 April 2007 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Daniel Hall, commissioning editor for DVD publisher 2Entertain, has recently made an announcement concerning the future for animated episodes of Doctor Who. Speaking on the Restoration Team's Technical Forum, he stated: "After due consideration and for the foreseeable future, we are withdrawing from co-commissioning and co-producing any "classic" Doctor Who animations. I feel our energies will be better spent working on existing stories. With the New Series such a success, and the forthcoming animations for Totally Doctor Who, the BBC is in a far superior position to develop this idea. After all, the original commission of The Invasion came from them."

Having recently made a request for animators to get in touch with them, 2Entertain have now said that they will pass any details on to the BBC. Says Hall: "Please continue to express your support for this excellent and innovative idea. The quality of creative response from my earlier post was thrilling, and bodes well for the future possibilities of animated stories."

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Evolution - Overnight RatingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 April 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Unofficial overnight figures show that Evolution of the Dalekswas watched by 6.5 million viewers.

The programme was the second most watched for the day, being beaten byCasualty, which benefited from a later time slot. It was however the top rated show by share.

The programme also has the highest quarter-hour peak audience of the evening, with 7.3 million watching between 1915 and 1930. It comfortably beat its direct opposition on ITV1, Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon, which managed just over half of theDoctor Who audience.

Doctor Who dominated the children's chart with 1.4 million under 16s watching, a massive 64% share. This compares with BBC One's average children's share for the day of 18%.

On BBC Three Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 0.58 millionviewers and was the second most watched programme on multichannel television.

Final figures will be published by BARB in around 10 days time.

FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Series 3/29

Why isn't Doctor Who broadcast in High Definition?Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 April 2007 - Reported by Chuck Foster

In response to a viewer question on why the BBC chose to broadcastTorchwood in high definition but not Doctor Who on the BBC opinion programme Points of View, producer Phil Collinson explained:

"Torchwood is shot in HD, and Doctor Who isn't. Quite simply, Torchwood has about a third the number of special effects shots that Doctor Who has. In that way its a much simpler series and so because they have less special effects its going to take less time to make those special effects.

"So the simple answer is we wouldn't be able to deliver a series of Doctor Who in high definition every year. It would probably take us twice as long to make so therefore viewers wouldn't get a series every year, they'd get a new series every 18 months."

Later in the programme, Mary Fitzpatrick, Editorial Executive for Diversity, responded to another viewer's question on the lack of prominent black people in BBC programmes, citing the Doctor's new assistant as played by Freema Agyeman as an example of how such actors are appearing in popular shows.

Presenter Terry Wogan also commented that Doctor Who is the most discussed series on the Points of View messageboard on the BBC website!

FILTER: - Broadcasting

Confidential UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 April 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

Doctor Who Confidential has released more information about the upcoming episodes for series 3.
6. Monsters Inc. - An episode of Doctor Who just wouldn't be the same without a monster to scare the living daylights out of you!

The creation of such a beast is never easy - especially when it's purely computer generated!

Confidential is on set throughout this chilling episode, spends some quality time with guest star Mark Gatiss and takes a look at some of the fantastic prosthetic and computer generated monsters created since the series made its welcomed come-back in 2005.

7. Space Craft - It's back into outer space for Doctor Who and this time it's an adventure set entirely on a spaceship.

Join Confidential as we gain exclusive access to Doctor Who's art department and take you on a tour of the spaceship's sets and locations. Confidential also journeys back in time to show you some of the best off the wall spaceship designs seen in five decades.

Guest star Michelle Collins discusses her role as the ship's captain, and how she felt performing stunts on her very first day on set.

From models on wires to cutting edge CGI, this is a space craft extravaganza.

8.Alter Ego - With aliens in hot pursuit, the Doctor and Martha find themselves in 1913 England.

Confidential is right beside them to delve deeper into the alter ego of the nation's favourite Time Lord.

Amidst all the stiff upper lips, we follow the advancing 'aliens' and their army, with exclusive backstage footage of the mayhem caused as the outer-space enemies close in on their prey.

Filmed almost entirely on location, Confidential was on-set with cast and crew in the winter wind, rain and mud for the nail-biting first episode of this two-part story.

Features interviews with writer Paul Cornell, whose original novel forms the basis of Human Nature, David Tennant and Freema Agyeman.

9. Family Ties - With The Family of Blood breathing down the neck of the Doctor, time is running out.

Confidential follows the action backstage as we glimpse a life more ordinary (for the Doctor) as well as a vision of the dark future ahead.

The complexities of filming this powerful episode are revealed, as well as the logistics behind the explosive ending.

Features interviews with head writer, Russell T Davies and Freema Aygeman on one of her toughest TARDIS assignments yet.

10. Do you remember the first time? - This week, David Tennant directs his very own Doctor Who Confidential. TV's top Time Lord has been given complete control to film his own very personal account of the making of Doctor Who and to take a nostalgic voyage of discovery to find out the secret behind the success of Doctor Who.

In this unique piece of television, David roams around the BBC, talking to cast and crew and fans of the show, uncovering the secret behind the success of Doctor Who.

From BBC bosses through to the Dead Ringers team, David is hunting for what makes Doctor Who so magical. He chats to the Daleks in the Blue Peter Garden, and discusses with Mark Gatiss the joy of playing a Doctor Who monster in the Lazarus Experiment.

Head writer, Russell T Davies and producer, Phil Collinson chat with David about how they've always had such fondness for the show and how it inspired their creative drive. Executive producer Julie Gardner and drama commissioner Jane Tranter reveal how and why the series was brought back and the unprecedented response it's had.

Stephen Moffat joins David on a hunt around Television Centre, looking for the studios where the classic series was filmed. They end up on the set of Newsnight.

Confidential also features exclusive backstage footage of Blink; one of the scariest episodes to date and candid chats with two of the week's most prominent stars, Carey Mulligan and Finlay Robertson who talk to David about their experience working on the show and on becoming part of the Doctor Who legacy.

FILTER: - Series 3/29 - Broadcasting

Week Six ScheduleBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 April 2007 - Reported by Marcus
For the transmission of episode six, The Lazarus ExperimentDoctor Who moves back to a 7pm start. It is once more placed between The People's Quiz and Any Dream Will Do.

ITV1 counters with Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon, this week recreating Name that Tune.

Over on BBC2 there is more Snooker with the second semi-final of the World Championships while on Channel 4 there is a documentary series,Unreported World, a look at land reform to help Bolivia's indigenous peoples.

Five has the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

FILTER: - Series 3/29 - Broadcasting