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

Doctor Who - less interesting than politics?Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2010 - Reported by Anthony Weight
A report released by the polling organisation YouGov on their website claims that their survey group has found the recent leaders' television debates in the UK general election campaign to have been the most interesting things broadcast on television over the past two weeks - and specifically highlights that they are regarded as having been "more interesting" than Doctor Who!

The debates, between the leaders of the UK's three main political parties, have been shown on ITV1 and Sky News, with a final debate to be shown on BBC One later this evening. They are the first of their kind ever to have been held during a UK general election campaign. 29% of those asked by YouGov declared that they found the confrontations between Nick Clegg, Gordon Brown and David Cameron (pictured left to right) to have been the most interesting programmes of the past fortnight. That compares to 17% saying Doctor Who was the most interesting, but this still places the Time Lord comfortably ahead of ITV1's ratings heavyweight Britain's Got Talent, which only 10% regarded as the most interesting programme.

FILTER: - Ratings

Green Party Uses Daleks in Election Ad (UPDATED)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2010 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
A few weeks ago, the Radio Times published a new version of its 2005 "Vote Dalek" cover, this time using the new coloured Daleks to riff on the three main parties in the upcoming UK general election (red for Labour, blue for the Conservatives, and yellow for the Liberal Democrats). Now the Green Party has presented their own Dalek-themed comment on their official YouTube page.

It is unknown whether the Greens have the permission of Terry Nation's estate for this use of the Daleks; however, given the estate's past objections to humorous uses of the Daleks, it is unlikely. The BBC, who share the copyright for the Dalek image, do not allow the use of their copyrights for party political purposes.

UPDATE: The video has been removed from YouTube. For the benefit of those who did not see it while it was up, it depicted a screen divided into four quadrants; three quadrants contained a coloured Dalek (red, blue, or yellow), and the fourth contained a green rabbit. The tune of the Sesame Street song "One of These Things Is Not Like The Others" played in the background. After the tune had finished, the rabbit shot and destroyed the Daleks with red laser beams from its eyes.

It is likely that the video was removed due to copyright complaints.


Amy's Choice - Press DetailsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Amy's ChoiceThe BBC Press Office has released details for the seventh episode of the new series, Amy's Choice.

The Simon Nye story is scheduled for Saturday 15th May. It stars Audrey Ardington as Mrs Poggit, Toby Jones as the Dream Lord and Joan Linder as Mrs Hammill.
It's been five years since Amy Pond last travelled with the Doctor, and when he lands in her garden again, on the eve of the birth of her first child, she finds herself facing a heartbreaking choice – one that will change her life for ever.

FILTER: - Series 5/31 - Broadcasting

Doctor Who Adventures - 164Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who AdventuresThis week's Doctor Who Adventures looks back at The Time of Angels and the chilling return of the Weeping Angels to Doctor Who.

There’s a chance to test your knowledge of the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest enemies in this week’s Dalek quiz and the magazine also goes behind the scenes to find out how the Who team made River Song fall through space.

All this, plus:
• Weeping Angel mask!
• Win the chance to be editor of Doctor Who Adventures for a day
• A sneak peak at episode five, Flesh and Stone
• Subscription offer

FILTER: - Magazines - DWA

Doctor Who Magazine - 421Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine 419There are Vampires, Silurians and life-changing choices to be made, in this month's Doctor Who Magazine.

Four forthcoming episodes are previewed, The Vampires of Venice, Amy’s Choice, The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood and there are interviews with writers Toby Whithouse, Simon Nye, Chris Chibnall and Steven Moffat, and never-before-seen photos!

Talking about the new-look reptile people of The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Chris Chibnall reveals,
These new creatures don’t negate the original Silurians, they’re a different exploration of the same idea. They’re close cousins. And once you see Neve McIntosh (who plays Silurians Alaya and Restac) and Matt Smith acting their socks off together, I’m hoping you’ll feel the idea paid off.

Also in the magazine
  • Head writer Steven Moffat gets his head flushed down the loo and tells what else happened when Matt Smith and Karen Gillan went back to school with the Doctor Who team, in Production Notes!
  • It’s the most incredible ship in the entire universe – the Doctor’s trusty TARDIS! Join the Watcher as he leads you through his indispensible in-depth guide to the Time Lord’s astonishing time and space machine.
  • They’re bigger than before. And they’ve had a paint job! Writer Mark Gatiss, actors Nick Briggs and Barnaby Edwards and designer Ed Thomas explain just how and why the brand new Daleks have come about.
  • The Eleventh Doctor and Amy visit a jungle planet that’s full of scary surprises, as they make their DWM comic strip debut in Supernature, written by Jonathan Morris with art by Mike Collins.
  • Just who is the smart, sexy and teasingly enigmatic River Song? DWM catches up with the actress who plays her, Alex Kingston, and finds out exactly what she knows about the secrets of her elusive character.
  • DWM meets the Terrence Hardiman, who chats candidly about his sinister role in The Beast Below – and what it’s like to be best known for terrifying children!
  • Just how is a Doctor Who script translated from script to screen? DWM finds out just how it done as it talks to Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Caitlin Blackwood and Steven Moffat about bringing The Eleventh Hour to life.
Out now.


David Myerscough-Jones 1934-2010Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
David Myerscough-JonesSet designer David Myerscough-Jones has died at the age of 75.

David Myerscough-Jones was Designer for three stories in the classic series. He first worked on the 1968 second Doctor story The Web of Fear. Set in a London tube station, the BBC refused to pay the high fee demanded to film in the actual location so Myerscough-Jones was given the task of replicating the London Underground system in a television studio. He achieved this so admirably, with a replica so lifelike, that the BBC recieved a letter of complaint from London Underground alleging that filming had taken place on their property without permission.

In 1970 he returned to the series working on the third Doctor story The Ambassadors of Death and two years later he worked on Day of the Daleks were he was responsible for designing rooms in a stately home as wall a a futuristic control centre.

Outside of Doctor Who, Myerscough-Jones has a long successful career. His most notable achievement was designing the sets for a television version of Britten’s opera Peter Grimes.

He died of cancer on April 21, 2010, and is survived by his wife, Pelo, to whom he was married in 1963, and their four children.

Times Obituary

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Week 6 Schedule UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Vampires of VeniceDoctor Who moves to its earliest slot since the series returned, for The Vampires Of Venice with the programme, on 8th May, now confirmed for a start time of 6pm.

The earlier spot appears to be to accommodate a longer edition of Over The Rainbow. It is understood that the production team of the talent show were reluctant to be scheduled against Britain's Got Talent and wanted Doctor Who to be moved to an earlier slot.

Doctor Who will be up against You've Been Framed on ITV1, Dad's Army on BBC Two and Come Dine with Me on Channel 4.

FILTER: - UK - Series 5/31 - Broadcasting

Matt Smith to play Christopher IsherwoodBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Matt Smith is to play the novelist Christopher Isherwood in a new drama for BBC Two.

Titled Christopher and his Kind, the drama is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Isherwood in 1976. It covers the ten years in the writer's life-from 1929 to 1939, when he left England for Berlin, the capital of the young Weimar Republic, drawn by its reputation for sexual freedom. It talks about the gay Berlin of the 1930s and Isherwood's struggles to save his companion, a German man named Heinz, from the Nazis. Isherwood's experiences in the city later inspired him to write his 1939 novella Goodbye to Berlin on which the Broadway musical Cabaret was based.

The drama will also star Lindsay Duncan, who played Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars, as Isherwood's mother. It will be directed by Geoffrey Sax, who directed the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie.

The drama is written by acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot (My Night With Reg) and produced by Celia Duval for Mammoth Screen.

Filming on Christopher and his Kind starts in May. The 90-minute drama is likely to screen on BBC Two in the autumn.

FILTER: - Matt Smith

Doctor Who Adventures Magazine website launchedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have issued a press release reporting the launch of a new website for the weekly magazine Doctor Who Adventures.

The website has been designed by Monoroot and built by BBC Worldwide's web team, and is aimed at the magazines target readership (6-12 year olds). It is expected to be updated every day whilst the series is still broadcasting, covering features like wallpapers, competitions, updated on the current magazine, and also a blog from the magazine team.

Moray Laing, editor of the magazine:
The launch of is fantastic for the magazine. Readers can now have constant interaction with us and keep up to date with all the latest monster news!

FILTER: - Magazines - Press - DWA

Hamlet on PBSBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 - Reported by Marcus
David Tennant's acclaimed performance as Hamlet Prince of Denmark comes to PBS Wednesday evening as part of the Great Performances series. Immediately following the broadcast, the film will be available online in its entirety on the Great Performances Web site.

Hamlet aired in the UK on Boxing Day 2009 to an audience of more than 900,000. In an article in The Observer, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote: “Like many people, I had my love of Shakespeare reawakened by David Tennant’s TV portrayal of Hamlet over Christmas.”

Tennant made his debut in October as the host of MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY on PBS. His many other credits include his recent portrayal of Barty Crouch Junior in the big-screen blockbuster Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Tennant has also received numerous awards from the theatre community for his lead roles in several Shakespearean productions and other classic plays.

Veteran stage and screen actor Sir Patrick Stewart reprises his 2009 Laurence Olivier Award-winning role of Claudius in the screen version, which is directed by Gregory Doran, who also returns to reprise his stage direction of the production. Co-produced by Illuminations Television and the RSC for the BBC, in association with Thirteen for WNET.ORG and NHK, the adaptation recreates the tone and atmosphere of the stage production in a film-style interpretation shot in HD on location at St. Joseph’s College in Mill Hill, London. The production is produced for television by John Wyver and Sebastian Gran.

Check local listings here.

FILTER: - David Tennant