New Radio TimesBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 November 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight

The latest issue of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine goes on sale across the UK today, publishing on a Saturday rather than a Tuesday as the magazine's release schedule increases in the run-up to Christmas. The edition, covering December 6th to 12th, is currently previewed on the Radio Times website.

It features an extensive preview of the forthcoming Christmas special, "The Next Doctor", including a front cover picture of David Tennant and guest starDavid Morrissey, with a fold-out section including the adversaries they will face in the episode. Including multiple covers, this is the 23rd time the series has been granted the honour of the front page of the magazine since its return in 2005; the 8th in 2008 alone, and the 45th in the show's 45-year history.

As well as previewing "The Next Doctor", Radio Times also has a behind-the-scenes feature marking the return of the Brigadier to our TV screens in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

In addition, the issue looks back at 2008, with celebrities including Catherine Tate.

Davies Receives OBEBookmark and Share

Friday, 28 November 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
Russell T Davies, the man at the helm of Doctor Who's resurrection since its inception, has received the Order of the British Empire for his services in the field of Drama in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Davies, speaking with Prince Charles at the ceremony, said he was "proud to be recognized for his writing."

Read the article and watch the video of the award at the BBC News website.

Odds On Who (update)Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The last week or so has seen odds on Paterson Joseph fall dramatically, with many bookmakers no longer accepting bets on the actor! As of today, Betfair are only offering 7/17! Both Den of Geek and Comic Book Resources suspect that he will soon be named. As reported earlier, the actor won't be drawn on his prospects, telling BBC News: "I'm afraid I can't make any comment on it. I'm not a gambler. And I don't approve of gambling unless it's for the Grand National."

Earlier in the month Colin Salmon (seen as Dr Moon in The Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead) was also being considered by the media;Wiredsuggested that he would be announced on Children in Need, though in the end the only comment on potential casting was made by presenter Terry Wogan on David Morrissey's appearance in the Christmas Special preview. (Further Colin Salmon coverage from Now MagazineWhat's on TVFlick Filosopher and One India).

Michael Deacon from the Telegraph wasn't too keen on Paterson Joseph or David Morrissey as the Doctor, citing Rhys Ifans as his favourite for the role: "He can do funny. He can do charisma. He has a sense of danger about him. He looks good enough to appeal to kids and mums, and he's a serious enough actor to appeal to longstanding Whovians."

The Mirror reports on Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones, explaining why the role doesn't appeal: "I haven't been asked to take over in Doctor Who. I took over from someone in Spooks, and I was never quite comfortable with that... so I wouldn't like to take over something else. I'd like to stick with original things."

The Stage is running an occasional look at who could take on the role of the Doctor, and have so far covered Serenity and Inside Man actor Chiwetal Ejiofor,and Benedict Cumberbatch, seen recently playing Stephen Hawking in BBC's Hawking and Stephen Ezard in The Last Enemy. Writer Liz Thomas also considers women in the role.

The Coventry Telegraph has offered up two more choices for the Doctor, picked up from the Birmingham Memorabilia that took place last weekend.Warwick Davis (most recently seen as Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter films) mentioned that he was interested in the role: "I had a great idea: Doctor Who is going to change, regenerate, but something goes a bit wrong. For just a couple of episodes it would be me as the Doctor, they go in the Tardis and inside it's not vast, it's tiny and they all bang their heads!" Meanwhile, former Davros performer Terry Molloy has a different suggestion: "My idea of the new Doctor is Liz Smith, who plays the grandmother ('Nana') in the comedy The Royle Family. I think we ought to have a really old, crabby woman. She'd be great. Like William Hartnell but female. She'd soon send the Daleks packing."

Other names bandied about in the media include James Frain (Herts and Essex Observer), Robert Pattinson (Chicago Tribune), Dexter Fletcher(Times), and Big Brother winner Pete Bennett (Daily Star). Further articles on casting from Digital Spy, RTD comments from Evening Post, John Simm doesn't want to be the Doctor from The Times, and no decision to be made until next year from
7/17 Patterson Joseph
9/1 Robert Carlyle
19/2 David Morrisey
21/2 Rhys Ifans
11/1 Anthony Head
15/1 Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Nesbitt
24/1 Colin Salmon
29/1 Sean Pertwee, Russell Tovey
31/1 Richard Coyle, Richard E Grant
39/1 Jennifer Saunders, Catherine Tate, John Simm
49/1 Billie Piper
59/1 Alan Davies, Jack Davenport, Stephen Fry
64/1 James Mcavoy
99/1 Aidan Gillen, Paul McGann, Ben Wishaw, Bill Nighy, Harry Lloyd, Jason Statham, John Barrowman, Dexter Fletcher, Julian Walsh, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent, Tom Ellis, Nigel Harman, Daniel Radcliffe

BBC in talks about 2entertainBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 - Reported by Marcus
BBC Worldwide are currently in negotiation with the troubled company Woolworths PLC to buy out their 40% share of subsiduary 2 entertain, the company responsible for many BBC DVD releases including, of course, Doctor Who. However, progression on the deal is dependent upon agreement from the BBC Trust; the Times reports: "BBC yesterday indicated that it would be willing to act quickly to take full control of 2Entertain, its DVD distribution business, for around 100 million pounds, because it wants to ensure there is no disruption to the delivery of its Doctor Who and more catalogue to the high street. A purchase by BBC Worldwide, the Corporation's commercial arm, is likely to be agreed quickly by the BBC Trust, because of the perceived importance of the venture. According to the BBC Worldwide accounts, the BBC made 41.2 million pounds of operating profit on its 60 per cent share of 2 Entertain."

BBC News reports: "Woolworths' publishing joint venture with BBC Worldwide, 2 Entertain, and its book wholesale arm Bertram have not been put into administration. The firm said it remained in talks to sell its 40% stake in 2 Entertain to BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm."

Woolworths PLC have themselves issued a press release relating to their operations, and re-iterates: "Woolworths Group plc is not in administration and remains in discussions with BBC Worldwide relating to the possible sale of its 40% interest in 2 Entertain Ltd."

However, their subsidiary, Entertainment UK, which supplies books and DVDs to supermarket groups, is being put into administration, and it is unsure how this will impact deliveries of DVDs to outlets such as Zavvi, Sainsbury's and Asda.

Tennant's RSC Skull - UPDATEDBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By Brigadier Bill

The Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed that the skull used by David Tennant for the "Alas, poor Yorick," scene in 22 performances of Hamlet at Stratford-upon-Avon had been donated to the RSC after the 1982 death of pianist Andrew Tchaikowsky.

In his will, Tchaikowsky wrote that his skull "shall be offered by the institution receiving my body to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in theatrical performance".

Since then, it has only been used in rehearsals because no actor felt comfortable enough using it on stage in front of an audience.

In 1989, actor Mark Rylance rehearsed with it for a while, but in the end it was decided using the skull for performances would not be appropriate and the real thing was returned to the props department, where it resided in a tissue-lined box for almost 20 years.

It remained there until Greg Doran, who directed Tennant in Hamlet, retrieved it for his production. "It was sort of a little shock tactic. Though, of course, to some extent that wears off and it's just André, in his box," Doran told the Daily Telegraph. He added that he did not want the story to get out before Hamlet opened. He said: "I thought it would topple the play and it would be all about David acting with a real skull."

UPDATE - DECEMBER 3: The skull is not being used during Hamlet's run in London for fear it will distract the audience, according to a BBC News report today. The production previews at the Novello Theatre from today and has a limited engagement until January 10. Earlier this week, it was reportedthat fake tickets for the London performances had begun circulating.

Sarah Jane Adventures - series threeBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 25 November 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The BBC Press Office has released details on forthcoming children's programming from the BBC for 2009. This includes the announcement thatDoctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, the second series of which is currently being shown on BBC One and the CBBC Channel, will return for a third series in the autumn of 2009. The release states that the show will continue to be overseen by Russell T Davies, and that "together with her companions Rani and Clyde and her adopted son Luke, Sarah Jane once again comes face to face with a whole host of weird and wonderful alien beings."

The Guardian are among other news sources covering the story. They quote Russell T Davies as saying that it is "an honour and a delight to get a third commission".

Doctor Who Magazine - 402Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 November 2008 - Reported by Marcus

Press Release

The Brig is back! Actor Nicholas Courtney, who first appeared in Doctor Who in 1968, is returning as Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in The Sarah Jane Adventures. DWM caught up with Nick and asked him about his latest call to action.

So, how does Lethbridge-Stewart pop up in Sarah Jane's world again?
"Well, Sarah Jane needs some help, yes. She comes to see me, and when she tells me where she wants to go, my face falls. But we manage!" Nick laughs heartily. "We have a lovely moment. According to the producer, it works very well when Sarah comes into the room, and we're meeting again. Lis has a line, 'I'm going to see an old friend about this,' and the next shot is her coming into my house"

Also in DWM 402
  • Major Revelations!
    Phil Collinson, the man who oversaw the return of Doctor Who as its producer from 2004-2008, talks frankly to DWM in his first major interview since leaving the series.
  • Commander Kaagh!
    Kaagh the Sontaran, aka actor Anthony O'Donnell and Mrs Wormwood, aka Samantha Bond, talk exclusively to DWM about the finale of The Sarah Jane Adventures Series Two!
  • Chief Caretaker!
    Killer robots, girl gangs, murderous caretakers and cannibalistic old ladies – it’s all in a day’s work for the Time Team! Join them as they “build high for happiness” while watching the 1987 adventure, Paradise Towers.
  • Corporal Punishment!
    It’s a jailhouse shock as all hell breaks loose in the space gulag! DWM’s latest comic strip, Thinktwice, reaches its surprising conclusion.
  • Private Thoughts!
    Doctor Who’s Commander-in-Chief, Russell T Davies, confides in DWM readers about Red Bull, Primeval fans and competing against Julie Walters in Production Notes.
  • General Musings!
    Neil Harris suggests the real reason behind the popularity of Lethbridge-Stewart in You are Not Alone.
  • Brigadier Bambera!
    The Fact of Fiction examines 1989’s Battlefield and finds out just what happened when Lethbridge-Stewart met his successor, Brigadier Winifred Bambera.

Plus! All the very latest news, reviews, previews and competitions… and a FREE 16-page bonus magazine!

DWM 402, out now,across the UK

Doctor Who Magazine Special: In Their Own Words – Volume 5

For almost 30 years, Doctor Who Magazine has documented the making of this unique television series, interviewing every major player, be they actors, directors, producers, designers, writers... even monsters! This Special Edition gathers together the best of these interviews, as the cast and crew themselves recall their part in the history of Doctor Who, making for a frank, forthright, and insightful memoir – in turns funny, poignant, and surprising. To illustrate their story, DWM has selected hundreds of amazing pictures – iconic images from the BBC archives, alongside less familiar shots from private collections.

In Their Own Words – Volume 5 covers one of the most creative and innovative periods in the history of the series, beginning with the first appearance of the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. It follows the events of the late 1980s, when the Doctor was redefined as being ‘more than just a Time Lord’ and a Machiavellian figure who was prepared to use his companion, Ace, as a pawn in his fight against evil. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, find out why powers at the BBC decided to end the run of the UK’s longest running science-fiction show – and how a new series of novels, a Children in Need Special, radio adventures and made-for-video productions filled the gap left behind by the TV series. And discover how the series made its comeback with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 TV Movie – as Doctor Who simply refused to die.

Paul Cornell, author of the highly acclaimed Doctor Who stories Father’s Day (2005) and Human Nature/Family of Blood (2007), writes exclusively for the special on how the Sylvester McCoy era inspired him:

"I have a romantic attachment to the experimental nature of this era, to how much Andrew Cartmel [script editor] and his team were trying new ideas. To how young everyone was. I was captivated at the time by the 'dark Doctor' stuff, as in love with it as I was with the work of Alan Moore and Frank Miller, the zeitgeist beside which this direction made such sense. I waited urgently to see how the legend developed. I hung on the asides and hints, and filled in the gaps with my imagination. It was only the second time a production team had looked at Doctor Who since it began, and said 'let’s try it in an entirely different way'."

This special also features contributions from Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, John Nathan-Turner, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred, Philip Segal, Daphne Ashbrook, Andrew Cartmel and many more – plus an Afterword by Human Nature writer Paul Cornell!

Doctor Who Special Edition 21 – In Their Own Words Volume 5 is on sale now.

Freema Agyeman InterviewBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 November 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
The Telegraph is running a new interview with Martha Jones actress Freema Agyeman about her three new shows: Little DorritLaw and Order: UK and the remake of Terry Nation's Survivors.

She also talks about her appreciation for the role Doctor Who played in the furthering of her career.

Read the interview here.

Joseph "would love the challenge"Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 November 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
Actor Paterson Joseph, the man held by many media reports to be one of the favourites to land the role of the Eleventh Doctor, has spoken to the BBC News website about the speculation surrounding his possible casting.

"His [the Doctor's] parameters are so vast. I don't see why he can't have more regenerations than the 13 that those who know think a Time Lord can have," he told the website. Joseph previously appeared in "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways" as Rodrick, and the BBC reports that bookmakers are offering 3-1 odds on him becoming the first black actor to play the Doctor.

Joseph also claims to be a fan of the sci-fi genre, claiming that: "In no other genre can you be believable as an immortal character. I love sci-fi for that, so yeah - I'm a big fan."

BBC Doctor Who Archive OnlineBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

As the 45th anniversary of the start of Doctor Who approaches, the BBC has put online an archive collection of documents and images detailing the programme's genesis.

It includes a 1962 report into whether the BBC should make a sci-fi drama, concept notes written in 1963 forming a summary of ideas for just such a programme, and background notes by C E Webber and Sydney Newman in which they outline the format for the new series that had been christenedDr. Who.

Click here to access the archive.

News Round-Up - UPDATEDBookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 November 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

Dalek writer Robert Shearman has won a World Fantasy Award for his short story collection Tiny Deaths.

A Doctor Who-related play is coming to Hobart, Tasmania, in February 2009. Who Knows, which is written and directed by Paul McIntyre and centres on a character called Russell Lambert, is billed as "a tribute to the sci-fi classic, bringing TV nostalgia, heartwarming comedy and megalomaniacal machinations from time and space to the Tasmanian stage". It is being staged by The Old Nick Company at an as-yet-undisclosed venue from February 18 to 28. The cast will be at The ABC Shop Centrepoint in Hobart on November 23 from 12.30pm to mark Doctor Who's 45th anniversary and to publicise the play.

Actor John Ringham, who played Tlotoxl in The Aztecs, Blake in The Smugglers and Ashe in Colony In Space, has died aged 80. The Daily Telegraph ran an obituary.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has produced a webcast featuring Jane Tranter who, while Controller, Drama Commissioning, gave the green light to the return of Doctor Who as well as the go-ahead for Torchwood. In the webcast, she talks about her career and the future of TV drama. She also explains how the advancement in TV special effects and the support of Russell T Davies led her to commission a new series of Doctor Who. "Once Russell said he wanted to do it, there was never a moment of looking back," she says. She also presents clips from her most successful programmes. You can view the webcast here.

The Knightsbridge saleroom of Bonhams is holding an entertainment memorabilia auction on November 25, which will see the following up for sale: Jon Pertwee's jacket from Planet of the Daleks, a 1960s Cyberman glove, props from The Moonbase and Arc of Infinity, a rehearsal script from The War Games, a prop that is listed as "The Doctor's Stellar Signal Receiver" from an unidentified story, a quantity of Doctor Who merchandising, annuals and printed ephemera, autographed scripts from The Claws of Axos and The Trial of a Time Lord (it is not stated who signed them), Magnus Greel's robe from The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and a blue-face Terileptil head from The Visitation.

TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have selected The Writer's Tale, by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook, for their Christmas presents book strand, and Stephen Fry will be appearing on Madeley and Finnigan's UKTV Watch show, Richard and Judy's New Position, on November 26 to review it.

Hyde Fundraisers, who appear around Britain in Doctor Who costumes to drum up financial aid for charities and are supported by the likes of Neill Gorton and MFX Replicas, will be appearing at Ashton's Central Library on November 22 to round off their efforts for 2008 and hand over a cheque for 15,000 pounds for BBC Children In Need.

The Series Four episode Midnight has been nominated for a Royal Television Society award for Best Sound - Drama at this year's RTS Craft and Design AwardsJulian HowarthTim RickettsPaul McFadden and Paul Jefferiesreceive the citation. The ceremony takes place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane, London, on November 24. It is the only category that Doctor Who has been nominated in this year.

Last Broadcast has done an interview with Elisabeth Sladen in which she tells why she won't be doing any more DVD commentaries for 2entertain. Among other topics, Sladen also talks about hating her new action figure, the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures and the possibility of a Christmas special, plus future SJA cast changes. You can read it here.

Glasgow's Doctor Who exhibition will open on March 27, 2009 and run until January 4, 2010, says the official exhibitions website. It is being held at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and tickets go on sale fromNovember 17. The site also states that the exhibition begins on March 28, so the March 27 date may be a preview.

(With thanks to Viv Dunstan, Dwayne Bunney, Chris Winwood, David French and Kevin Taylor.)

UPDATE (November 17): The Doctor Who News Page has been advised that the Claws of Axos script being auctioned at Bonhams on November 25 is signed by Katy Manning, Nicholas Courtney, Bob Baker, Terrance Dicks, John Levene, Barry Letts and Tim Pigott-Smith, while the Trial of a Time Lord script, which is also being auctioned there that day, has been signed by Colin Baker, Bonnie Langford, Nicola Bryant, Michael Jayston, Lynda Bellingham, Tony Selby, Malcolm Tierney, Anthony Ainley and John Nathan-Turner.

FURTHER UPDATE (November 17): In addition, it is now understood that the "Stellar Signal Receiver" being auctioned is from Pyramids of Mars and is the gadget used by the Doctor to decode the message from Mars.

(With thanks to Simon Nuckley and Richard Bignell for the supplementary information.)

Next Doctor preview online nowBookmark and Share

Friday, 14 November 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The pre-titles sequence of the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Next Doctor", which was premiered this evening during the BBC's Children in Need charity telethon, is now available to view here on the Children in Need website.

If you watch the special preview, please do consider donating to Children in Need, which helps disadvantaged youngsters across the UK. You can do so via the website, here.

K9 Series Production Website Launched - UPDATEDBookmark and Share

Thursday, 13 November 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

A website dedicated to the production of spin-off series K9 has been launched. There is, however, no indication when the show will start airing.

The website has sections for the series' main credits, a photo gallery, guestbook, casting and crew documents (both of which are currently not allowing access), plus locations and key design (which is not displaying anything at the moment).

(With thanks to Tony Clark.)

UPDATE (November 16): Originally, the site invited people to register for e-mail updates, but a statement on the home page now says that access to the pages is only available to those involved with the show's production, and there is no longer any registration facility.

All but one of the pages on the site are now password-protected. The locations section is currently viewable, although this may, of course, stop being the case at some point.

However, the statement adds that a special fan site will be set up in the near future. In addition, Grant Bradley, of project developer Limelight International Media Entertainment, confirmed to The Doctor Who News Page that the show is in pre-production.

The New Doctor updateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Presenter Terry Wogan has reported on his radio show that the next Doctor might be announced in this year'sChildren In Need show. Although nothing has appeared officially to confirm this, Wired suggests that such an announcement would be a good fund-raiser for the event.

David Tennant appeared on BBC's Breakfast on Monday, and during the interview indicated that he wouldn't rule out returning to the show at some point in the future. He also mentioned that Steven Moffat's appointment had almost swayed his decision to leave (something that he and Russell T Davies had agreed upon some months previously). On the inevitable subject of a good female contender for the role, he lightly suggested his former co-star Billie Piper.

Based on the interview, Den of Geek speculated on how he might return to the role, whilst the South Wales Echoconcentrated on the Piper connection - also noting that the odds from William Hill on a female Doctor had now been lowered from 20/1 to 12/1 after the interview. Meanwhile, Lucy Mangan of theGuardian commented on her husband's view of a female in the part and why she thinks it would be a good move for the show. (Other stories related to the Breakfast interview from BBC NewsReutersPress AssociationWales OnlineTelegraphDaily MailNow,Melbourne Herald)

Meanwhile, speculation on who would take up the mantle continues apace in the media!

Back in 1999, DWM ran an article in which well-known fans at the time commented on how they'd like to see the Doctor return. One of those was new head writer Steven Moffat, in which he suggested an older actor for the role, a "grandfather" figure. In spite of a decade between this and the production of Moffat's series next year, this hasn't stopped The Sun from revitalising these anecdotes! (Story also taken up by MyPark Magazine and BBC America'sAnglophenia)

The Mirror reports that ex-EastEnders actor Tom Ellis is under consideration - Ellis was previously seen in the series as Tom Milligan in Last Of The Time Lords. (Story also taken up by RTE and Now)

Additional news on Tennant leaving and speculation on casting can be found in: Evening PostWales on Sunday,io9GuardianUpdate: Raising KidsDen of Geek.

More articles/references to Tennant leaving and other Who news in the media can be found in the dedicated Media Watch thread in the Doctor Who Forum.
2/1 David Morrissey
6/1 Paterson Joseph
8/1 James Nesbitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor
10/1 Russell Tovey, John Simm
12/1 Anthony Head
14/1 Robert Carlyle, David Walliams
16/1 Richard E Grant
18/1 Richard Coyle, Aidan Gillen, Alan Davies, Sean Pertwee
20/1 Jason Statham, Harry Lloyd, Nigel Harman, Marc Warren, Jack Davenport
25/1 Julian Walsh, Adrian Lester, Alexander Armstrong
33/1 Julian Rhind-Tutt, Rupert Penry-Jones, James McAvoy
40/1 Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry, Ben Wishaw
50/1 John Barrowman, Ben Miles, David Suchet, Hugh Laurie
66/1 Gary Oldman, Matt Smith, Paul Bettany, Joel Beckett, Christopher Eccleston
80/1 Alex Kingston, Dean Lennox Kelly, Christopher Villiers
100/1 Ricky Gervais
150/1 Hugh Grant, Russell Brand, Vinnie Jones
200/1 Robbie Williams