The Last Sontaran Part One - Overnight RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The Sarah Jane Adventures returned to BBC1 on Monday with unofficial figures showing that Part One of The Last Sontaranachieved a rating of 0.7 million. The programme got a 6.3 per cent share of the audience.

The average for the time slot is around 0.4 million viewers.

The Appreciation Index for the episode was 84, the joint highest figure on BBC1 for the day.

FILTER: - Ratings - Sarah Jane

Australian ratings and news - UpdatedBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2008 - Reported by Adam Kirk
Series four of Doctor Who has finished its Australian run with impressive ratings. The Stolen Earth averaged 1,156,000 viewers in the five major capital cities, while Journey's End rated even more with 1,207,000. This episode was the Time Lord's best Aussie ratings since the record 1.248 million for 'Voyage of the Damned', even beating Channel Ten's high-rating 'Australian Idol'. The series finale was also the top-rating program of the day on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the top rating drama of the day on all channels and fourth overall for the day. TheConfidential Cutdown version of 'Friends and Foe' also had the programme's best Australian ratings ever with 1,015,000 viewers. 'End of an Era' at the later time of 10.45pm also scored a respectable 223,000 viewers. Sunday night has proved a ratings triumph for Doctor Who and the ABC, series four averaging 1.1 million as compared to an average of 850,000 on Saturday nights for series three. Media commentator Glenn Dyer of Crikey predicts that the ABC will lose 'half a million viewers' on Sunday nights with the end of 'Doctor Who.'

Meanwhile, in the local media, Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald praises 'Journey's End' writing it 'has the rare power to move you to tears, especially as the sinister Dalek Caan's prophecy - that the "most faithful" of the Doctor's companions will die - comes true in an unexpected and heartbreaking fashion'. CitySearch in its preview of the same episode also writes 'it's Catherine Tate as Donna who really shines. Like the show itself, she has moments of humour, depth, brilliance, drama and heartbreak.' Meanwhile The Canberra Times in its preview of the same episode writes that 'an astounding 45 years after its debut, this classic series is still a force to be reckoned with.' Ian Cuthbertson of The Weekend Australia writes that 'the faithful will be rewarded handsomely in this spectacular finale...Led by Davros and a mad Dalek who looks like a plate of calamai with a dog's eye in the middle, the old villains allow writer Russell T. Davies to delight in references to 'Doctor Who' and other sci-fi shows. "Resistance is useless," a Dalek shrieks. The Earth moves, literally; the universe is on the brink of extinction; and the Daleks soar through the skies of Germany, sounding very much at home in that language, "Exterminieren! Exterminieren!" OK, they made that up, but "Ausrotten, ausrotten!" wouldn't have been funny.' Catherine Deveny of The Age, also gives 'Journey's End' her 'pick of the day.'

Meanwhile, TV blog TV Tonight reports that The Sarah Jane Adventures will make its Australian debut onNickelodeon Australia on Friday October 31 2008 at 7pm.

Thanks to the contributors to the Australian forums.

FILTER: - Australia

Dalek cover wins awardBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2008 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The front cover of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine from the week of April 30th-May 6th 2005 has been voted the greatest British magazine cover of all time, in a poll organised by the Periodical Publishers Association.The cover featured a new series Dalek crossing Westminster Bridge in front of the Houses of Parliament, accompanied by the strapline "Vote Dalek!" This combined coverage of the transmission of the first new Dalek television story in over 16 years with the British General Election, which took place in the same week.According to The Guardian, the cover received over a quarter of the 10,000 votes cast in the public vote, beating off competition from issues of Vogue, The Face and OK!

Radio Times editor Gill Hudson is quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying: "It was a very complex cover to put together; simply getting Daleks onto Westminster Bridge at night was very challenging."

Editors were asked to submit UK-only covers but not their own. Submissions were accepted from any era or decade, including titles that were no longer being published.

Adam Pasco, editor of Gardener's World, who nominated the Dalek cover, stated in his original citation: "This Radio Times cover captures the essence of the mood of the nation in a brilliant and original way, and delivers on every level.

"The cover is totally unexpected and brings a contemporary twist to the iconic image of a Dalek to grab readers of all ages at the newsstand."

More than 40 front cover nominations, spanning more than 100 years, were initially put forward by magazine editors. These were whittled down to a shortlist of 16 by a panel of judges. Members of the public were then invited to vote on their favourite.

Nicola Rowe, the circulation director of the Periodical Publishers Association, said: "We had many outstanding entries but Vote Dalek! captured the popular vote. It is sharply observed, funny, and to the point. It is, in its own way, a truly inspired reflection of the British sense of humour."

UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 30: A Radio Times photo gallery showing how the cover was created is now online here.

(Additional reporting by John Bowman.)

FILTER: - Magazines - Awards/Nominations - Radio Times

New DVD Titles in the PipelineBookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 September 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Infomation from the BBFC website indicates the titles of four more stories due to be released on DVD in 2009.

From the First Doctor's era The Rescue and The Romans will be released as a double set. The Rescue is a two parter featuring the arrival of Maureen O'Brien as Vicki, while The Romans is a four part romp set around the court of the Emperor Nero. Both stories were first shown in 1965.

From the Sixth Doctor's era we have The Twin Dilemma which was Colin Baker's debut story, shown in 1984 and Attack of the Cybermen, first shown in 1985.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Coventry To Get DW ExhibitionBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 September 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

Coventry Transport Museum is to host the official touring Doctor Who exhibition next year.

According to the Coventry Evening Telegraph, it will open on March 13 and is expected to be at the Millennium Place venue for several months.

In the report, the museum's head of collections, Steve Bagley, said: "This is really fantastic news for the Coventry Transport Museum and the city.

"We knew that the exhibition was touring around the country and had been in some museums, so I contacted them to ask if Coventry would be a suitable location.

"They came to the city and had a look and have only recently confirmed that they will set up the exhibition at the museum next year."

A Doctor Who exhibition is also due to open in Glasgow next March, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

FILTER: - Special Events

Doctor Who Adventures 83Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 September 2008 - Reported by Marcus

Sarah Jane returns

The Doctor's former companion returns to CBBC on Monday for the next action packed series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. To celebrate, this week's Doctor Who Adventures has a sneak preview of the first episode - The Last Sontaran. There's also a fact file on schoolgirl turned alien investigator Maria Jackson and a Sontaran mask for readers to wear.

We also look ahead to Christmas when an old enemy will stomp back on to our screens. What do the Cybermen want this time? And how will the Doctor cope on his own without Donna by his side?

This week's issue has got two brand-new features. In Blast from the Past we journey back in time to the former Doctors' adventures. This week it's City of Death and the moment the Count turns into the yucky Scaroth. Also, Action Replay puts some of the scariest moments from Doctor Who under the microscope.

The issue comes with a free sonic pen and TARDIS sticky notes.

  • Three posters! The Weeping Angels, Luke and Commander Kaagh, and Jenny and the Doctor.
  • Fact file: The Hooverville heroes.
  • Ultimate Companions: Part three of K-9’s guide to team TARDIS.
  • Activity: Cut out and wear the Sontaran helmet.
  • Comic strip: The Alice in Wonderland Circuit.
  • Rel Race: Complete all the puzzles in 300 Dalek Rels to avoid extermination!
  • Woven wordsearch: Solve the puzzle and you could win a copy of Doctor Who – Shining Darkness.
  • Win: Doctor Who DVDs and a Wii up for grabs!
  • Subscription offer: Subscribe and you’ll get FREE Doctor Who files on the Doctor and the TARDIS.

FILTER: - Magazines - DWA

Studios Competition And Christmas Special TitleBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

A behind-the-scenes tour of the studios where Doctor WhoThe Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood are filmed is being offered as a prize in this year's BBC Children In Need appeal.

The BBC Press Office announced the competition today - and at the same time confirmed that the title of the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special is The Next Doctor.

The BBC will be opening the studio doors just outside Cardiff to 100 competition winners and their friends and families onNovember 8 and 9, during a brief gap in the production schedule.

Russell T Davies said: "This is so exciting. Giving fans the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at where we film Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures is just brilliant.

"It'll be the perfect opportunity for the whole family to experience something unique and truly extraordinary. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and the best thing is that all the money raised will go towards BBC Children in Need."

To be in with a chance of winning a place on the tour, people will have to correctly answer a multiple-choice question. This will be announced on Friday, September 26 on The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 and on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

It will also be available on the official Doctor Who website, along with the full terms and conditions.

The competition phone lines will be open from 8am on September 26. Callers must be over 16 years old and have the bill-payers' permission. Each winner will be able to bring up to three guests, who must all be aged five or over.

The 2008 BBC Children in Need television show is on Friday, November 14.

Although not stated in the press release, the official website says that entrants must be UK residents.

FILTER: - Competitions

Tranter leaves for the USBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 - Reported by Marcus
The current BBC Controller of Fiction, Jane Tranter, is to leave her current post for a new job based in the United States. She will join BBC Worldwide as executive vice-president of programming and production, looking after its US scripted and reality business in Los Angeles.

Tranter was in charge of all BBC Drama output and was responsible for commissioning the return of Doctor Who in 2005. The current BBC Director of Vision,Jana Bennett described Tranter as an "unequalled force in British drama." She has reinvented family drama in Doctor Who, Robin Hood and Merlin and launched acclaimed contemporary series such as Spooks and Life on Mars as well as Cranford."

Tranter will be succeeded as the Controller of drama commissioning by Ben Stephenson, who has worked closely with Tranter in his current role of Head of Drama commissioning. A new Controller of Fiction will be appointed in the new year.

FILTER: - Production

Dalek Stage Play Nominated For AwardsBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 September 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

It was a huge hit at the box office - and now the Interalia Theatre production of The Dalek Masterplan is up for two awards.

The play, which was staged at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth last October, was the fourth and final "lost" Doctor Who adventure performed by the non-professional company, which reworked and condensed the 1965-66 12-part William Hartnell epic.

It proved to be a sell-out, and the daily paper for the Portsmouth area, The News, has included the play and two of its actors among the nominations this year for its prestigious awards that recognise and celebrate the local arts scene.

Nick Scovell, who played the Doctor, and James George, who portrayed Mavic Chen, are each nominated in the Best Actor category, while the play itself is among those in the Best Amateur Drama Production section.

Those who saw the play can vote for it online by clicking on this link and filling in the form. There are other categories but people do not have to vote in all of them.

The closing date for votes is Friday, October 10 and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the Kings Theatre in Southsea on Monday, November 10.

The official blog about the production, with exclusive photos and videos, can be found here.

FILTER: - Special Events

McCoy on BBC1Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 September 2008 - Reported by Marcus
Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy returns to BBC1 in October, guest-starring in an episode of the daytime drama series Doctors.

McCoy portrays an actor who once played a time traveller on children's television in a show called The Amazing Lollipop Man. He now finds his life consists of giving DVD commentaries and posing for photos in his old costume, though nowadays he can't do the buttons up.

The episode is written by David Semple, who told "Sylvester gives an extraordinary performance: funny, touching and incredibly inventive. He also manages to appear 40 years old in one scene and 60-something in the next, despite the fact that Doctors is shot in a day and he filmed the young scenes in the morning and the aged ones in the afternoon."

Doctors: The Lollipop Man is on BBC1 on Monday 13th October at 1.45pm.

FILTER: - People