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 22 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 30 Sep 2013

Torchwood: Children of Earth teaser and preview screeningBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 April 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
A new teaser for Torchwood: Children of Earth was broadcast on Australia's UKTV today, in conjunction with the final episode of Torchwood Series Two. UK readers can see the teaser on the BBC's Torchwood site.

"Torchwood: Children of Earth" is a five-part miniseries, which will air this summer on BBC One and BBC America. An official air date has not yet been announced, but the British Film Institute will host a preview of the first episode in London on Friday, 12 June, at BFI Southbank(formerly known as the National Film Theatre). This preview will be followed by a question and answer session with members of the cast and crew.

The BFI has released a summary of the preview, which can be seen in the spoiler box below.

(Thanks to "xanderl" of the Doctor Who Forum.)
1965: Twelve children are gathered on a deserted moor, before being surrounded by a harsh, bright light .... and then they are gone!

Today: all over Earth, children stop moving. Stop playing, stop laughing. Then, as one, they begin to speak with the same voice, announcing the imminent arrival of a new alien threat. "We are coming...".

As the British government closes ranks, it issues a death warrant against Captain Jack and Torchwood...

FILTER: - Torchwood - Children of Earth (Series 3)

Planet of the Dead - Final RatingBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Reported by Marcus
Final figures released by BARB give Planet of the Dead an official rating of 9.54 million viewers, making it the 5th most watched programme of the week.

The rating is over a million higher than the initial overnight estimate. Final figures are more accurate than the overnight number and include people who record the programme and watch it within seven days.

Planet of the Dead is one of only eight episodes in the programme's long history to make the top five.

An additional 200,000 viewers watched the programme in High Definition on BBC HD as a simulcast with BBC1. This is the highest figure ever achieved by BBC HD.

The Sunday repeat on BBC3 was watched by 0.91 million viewers.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

Planet of the Dead on iTunesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
UK residents can now buy the latest Doctor Who special, "Planet of the Dead", at Apple's iTunes store. The programme can be purchased in either high definition or standard definition here.

All other new series episodes and many classic series serials are also available at the UK iTunes store. The US iTunes store has several classic stories and new series episodes through "Journey's End".

"Planet of the Dead" is scheduled to be released on Region 2 DVD on June 29, 2009.

FILTER: - Specials - Online - Series 4/30 Specials

More "Guardian Trilogy" DVD extrasBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
In addition to the previously reported DVD extras for Enlightenment, the BBFC has classified DVD extras forMawdryn Undead and Terminus. The three stories, starring Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, are listed as part of The Guardian Trilogy box set. The extras indicate that there will be an option to view these stories with new CGI effects.
Mawdryn Undead:

00:00:55:03 (CONTINUITY)
00:03:25:14 (FILM TRIMS)
00:00:47:23 (EASTER EGG 1)
00:00:32:10 (EASTER EGG 2)
00:07:18:24 (LIBERTY HALL)

00:01:50:07 DR WHO - TERMINUS
00:00:30:04 (EASTER EGG 1)
00:00:51:16 (EASTER EGG 2)
00:22:49:17 BREAKING POINT

Additional Disk:

No release date has been announced for this set.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD - Peter Davison

Planet of the Dead in AustraliaBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 - Reported by Marcus
ABC Television have scheduled Planet of the Dead for transmission on Sunday 31st May at 7.30pm.

The timeslot was confirmed by Audience and Consumer Affairs in an email to a member of the Doctor Who Forum.

FILTER: - Specials - Series 4/30 Specials - Broadcasting - Australia

Doctor Who Theme Voted 'Best Ever'Bookmark and Share

Monday, 20 April 2009 - Reported by R Alan Siler
In a poll conducted by the Total Sci-Fi Website to find the best sci-fi television theme tune of all time, the Doctor Who theme, originally composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop in 1963, came top.

The groundbreaking theme was realized by combining a tape loop of a struck piano string with the sound of test oscillators and filters among a whole host of techniques.

Total Sci-Fi editor Matt McAllister comments: "The poll result proves that in addition to being one of the most popular science fiction shows ever created, Doctor Who also boasts the most iconic sci-fi theme tune. Grainer and Derbyshire’s theme manages to convey the outlandish quality of the show and is instantly recognisable to fans throughout the world just by its opening bars."

Other themes in the top 10 include Star Trek, Red Dwarf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Thunderbirds. See Total Sci-Fi for the complete list.

FILTER: - Awards/Nominations - Classic Series

Welsh Bafta nominationsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 April 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Bafta Cymru, the Welsh division of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, has announced the nominees for the 18th Annual BAFTA Cymru Film, Television and Interactive Media Awards. Doctor Who has been nominated in nine categories, Torchwood in two, and The Sarah Jane Adventures in one.

The nominations include:
  • Best Drama Series/Serial for Television: Doctor Who
  • Best Interactive:
  • Best Director Of Photography: Drama: Rory Taylor, "Silence in the Library"
  • Best Sound: Doctor Who sound team, "Midnight"
  • Best Editor: Phillip Kloss, "Midnight"
  • Best Make-up: Barbara Southcott, "The Next Doctor"
  • Best Screenwriter: Russell T Davies, "Midnight"
  • Best Original Music Soundtrack: Murray Gold, "Midnight"
  • Best Director: Film/Drama: Euros Lyn, "Silence in the Library"
  • Best Design: Edward Thomas, "Adrift" (Torchwood)
  • Best Costume: Ray Holman, "From Out of the Rain" (Torchwood)
  • Best Children's Programme: The Sarah Jane Adventures

In addition, Torchwood actress Eve Myles was nominated in the Best Actress category for her work on the BBC Wales drama Belonging.

A full list of nominees (PDF) can be found on the Bafta Cymru website. The winners of the Bafta Cymru Awards will be announced on Sunday, 17 May in a ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre.

FILTER: - Russell T Davies - Awards/Nominations - Series 4/30 - Sarah Jane

New producers announcedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The BBC Press Office has announced the successful applicants to succeed Phil Collinson as the producer of Doctor Who. Collinson left the series at the conclusion of the fourth production block, to take up a new post as Head of Drama for BBC Manchester.

Collinson is to be succeeded by two people: Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett. Simpson was the producer of the Easter Special, Planet of the Dead, and was a production manager on the programme for several years. Bennett is the producer of the forthcoming five-part third series of the Torchwoodspin-off, entitled "Children of Earth".

Also joining the production team as a third executive producer alongside Piers Wenger and Steven Moffat will beBeth Willis. Willis was formerly the producer of successful BBC One drama Ashes to Ashes, and will join the production team as part of a new remit to work alongside Wenger on a range of BBC Wales dramas.

Lead writer and executive producer Moffat is quoted as saying of the appointments:

"Beth and Tracie and Pete aren't the A Team, they're the people the A Team call. Tracie and Pete are the backstage stars of Doctor Who and having them on board as producers isn't just the best possible news for Matt Smith's first series, it's a massive relief. And Beth Willis, fresh from the brilliant Ashes To Ashes, is joining Piers and I as an executive so finally there'll be someone to wear the trousers."

FILTER: - Production - Press - Series 5/31

Press reports on filmingBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The press has been following filming for David Tennant's final Doctor Who story. Reports have focused on new filming by Catherine Tate, who confirmed on Radio 2 last Saturday that she and Bernard Cribbins will be appearing in the two-part Christmas story. Also spotted during filming are actress June Whitfield ("Terry and June", "Absolutely Fabulous") and actors Barry Howard ("Hi-de-Hi!") and Karl Collins ("The Bill").

Recent filming in Swansea has been covered by The Western MailThe South Wales EchoThe South Wales Evening Post (with stories Mondayand Tuesday), The Daily Mail, and The Sun.

The Sun also claims that Russell T Davies is considering a spin-off series built around the characters of Malcolm Taylor (Lee Evans) and Capt. Erisa Magumbo (Noma Dumezweni), who appeared in "Planet of the Dead". The newspaper also managed to make a story out of the trailer for The Waters of Mars.

Finally, the Liverpool Echo has an interview with Elisabeth Sladen about her life and career. Sladen will be co-presenting a concert titled "Music from Outer Space" at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall this Saturday.

Thanks to the posters on the "Media Watch" thread on the Doctor Who Forum.

FILTER: - Specials - Russell T Davies - Series 4/30 Specials - Press

Planet of the Dead - AI and repeat ratingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 April 2009 - Reported by Marcus
With overnight figures now available for the whole of last week, Planet of the Dead rated as the 8th most watched programme on British television. When final figures are released the programme stands a good chance of obtaining a place in the top five.

As well as being one of the most watched programmes of the week, it was also one of the most appreciated, gaining an Appreciation Index score of 88. 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.

The Sunday repeat on BBC3 was watched by 0.76 million viewers and was the most watched programme on BBC3 on Sunday night. It was the fifth most watched digital programme of the day.

Monday's BBC One showing was watched by 1.8 million, winning the timeslot, with another 30,000 watching on BBC HD. The AI for the repeat was 89.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials