Comic Con France to premiere Series SixBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The third annual French Comic Con takes place at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center between the 30th June and 3rd July, during which the two opening episodes of Series Six, The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon, will make their French debut.

The two episodes form part of a series of events taking place around special Guest of Honour, Doctor Who's head writer Steven Moffat; timings have yet to be confirmed, but include:
  • a public Masterclass on his work as a scriptwriter
  • a public meeting on Doctor Who
  • a signing session
  • the screening of the French premiere of the first two episodes of Series Six
  • a screening of A Study In Pink, the first episode of Moffat's other creation, Sherlock

Moffat appears courtesy of a partnership with BBC Worldwide, France 4 and France Television Distribution.

(with thanks to Aurélie Demonchaux/Beans on Toast)

A Good Man Goes To War - Introduction/PublicityBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released two introductions to this weekend's mid-series finale, A Good Man Goes To War, the first featuring director Peter Hoar and the second with Karen Gillan, Steven Moffat, Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill teasing over the identity of River Song. (warning, the videos contain some plot discussion):

Introduction by Peter Hoar, BBC, via BBC Website

Introduction by Steven Moffat, Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill, BBC, via BBC Website

The Rebel Flesh - Chart PositionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who RatingsBARB have now issued final ratings for the week ending 22nd May making Doctor Who: The Rebel Flesh the 13th most watched programme of the week.

The show was once again the highest non-soap drama of the week and held the 6th position in the BBC One chart.

The chart does not include iPlayer figures where over 1 million have already accessed this episode.

Radio Times: Moffat talks DaleksBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This week's Radio Times once again features Doctor Who on its front cover - though for once centre of attention falls to the Doctor's companion Amy Pond! (Please note the cover may be considered a spoiler for those who haven't seen the preceeding episode, The Almost People)

The magazine includes an interview with head writer Steven Moffat, who was asked about the future of the Doctor's most popular adversary, the Daleks:
Oh yes, the Daleks. Actually, they aren’t going to make an appearance for a while. What? Yes, we thought it was about time to give them a rest. There’s a problem with the Daleks. How come? I thought they were invincible. They are the most famous of the Doctor’s adversaries and the most frequent, which means they are the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe. They have been defeated by the Doctor about 400 times. Surely they should just see the Tardis approaching, say, ‘Oh. It’s him again’, and trudge away.

Unsurprisingly the media picked up on these comments, with some suggesting that the Daleks were to be rested indefinitely; Moffat clarified his statements this morning on Twitter:
Daleks: I was talking about THIS series. Stand down.

News links: Radio Times, BBC News, The Sun(1), The Sun(2), Metro, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Express, Anglotopia, Aberdeen Press and Journal, On The Box, The Register, NME

Other recent related Radio Times covers featuring Doctor Who/Matt Smith:

Doctor Pooh - Qwertee T-Shirt OfferBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster

"Once upon a time (and some dimension in space), in the Hundred Acre Wood.."

Europe's largest daily T-Shirt website Qwertee have launched their latest Doctor Who inspired design; it is created by artist/designer robpwood.

This is a limited edition print which will only be available to purchase for two days (i.e. until 11:00pm Wednesday 1st June).

Readers of Doctor Who News will be able to take advantage of a special 40p/50¢ discount off the usual £8/€10/$13.50 price of this t-shirt - simply enter this promotional code when ordering:

The t-shirt can be ordered from the Qwertee website.

Meanwhile, we are once again delighted to announce a competition in association with Qwertee - full details are on the Competitions page.

The Almost People - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 May 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: The Almost PeopleDoctor Who: The Almost People had an Appreciation Index or AI score of 86, once more putting into the excellent category. The score was one of the highest of the day.

The Sunday evening BBC Three repeat had 0.39 million watching, a 1.6% share of the audience.

Sunday night was a much stronger night than Saturday in terms of overnight figures, with 4 programmes rating higher than Doctor Who, pushing the programme down into 32nd place for the week.

Britain's Got Talent was the highest rated show of the week with 10.3 million watching.

The official figures will be published next Monday which should see Doctor Who rise considerably in the weekly chart.

BAFTA Cymru 2011 - The ResultsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Tonight saw the 2011 BAFTA Cymru Awards Ceremony take place at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures were nominated for a number of awards, and unlike last weekend's BAFTA Television Awards they did triumph in a number of categories.

The Children's Programme award went to The Sarah Jane Adventures and its producer Brian Minchin for last year's Death of the Doctor. Meanwhile, Doctor Who won two of its categories: Tim Rickett received the Sound award for his work on A Christmas Carol, whilst Mark Hutchingson won the Lighting award for The Eleventh Hour.

Other nominations included Music and Entertainment Programme, where Doctor Who at the Proms lost out to Young Musician 2010: The Final; Make Up and Hair saw Sherlock's Claire Pritchard Jones beat last year's winner in this category, Barbara Southcott (nominated for Vampires of Venice); and William Oswald was nominated for Editing: Fiction for The Time of Angels, but the award eventually went to John Gillanders for The Indian Doctor.

Steven Moffat's other show Sherlock did well at the Awards, winning five of the categories; as well as Make Up and Hair above, awards were given for Director of Photography: Fiction (Steve Lawes), Production Design (Arwel Wyn Jones), Director: Fiction (Euros Lyn), and the coveted Television Drama award.

A complete list of winners at the BAFTAs may be found on the BAFTA Cymru website.

The Rebel Flesh - Final RatingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Rebel Flesh achieved a final official rating of of 7.35 million viewers, representing a 34.1% share of the audience who watched the programme within seven days of broadcast.

This number sees an increase of some 1.65 million viewers since the unofficial overnight figures released the day after broadcast.

Full ratings, which will reveal the chart position of the episode, should be released in the next couple of days.

The Almost People - Overnight FiguresBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 May 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: The Almost People5.0 million viewers watched episode six of Doctor Who: The Almost People, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The second half of the two part story, written by Matthew Graham, attracted 24.4% of the overnight audience, with 0.57 million watching on BBC One HD.

Although this represents the lowest overnight figure of the series so far, in terms of placing the episode continues the trend of all previous weeks of being the second most-watched programme of the day, a million viewers ahead of third placed Casualty. The UEFA Champions League Final: Barcelona v Manchester United took the top spot for the day , with some 7.9 million watching the match on ITV1.

More people watched Doctor Who than the Football during the period they were on together, although the overnight share was lower than in previous weeks. Figures also indicated around two million viewers switched from BBC1 to ITV1 as Doctor Who ended, reflecting their preference to watch the Doctor first!

Television viewing across the day was down, with many families away from home at the start the half term holiday. The final official ratings, which includes those who record the programme and watch it later, will be available next Sunday.

Doctor Who currently stands as the 27th most watched programme of the week.

On BBC Three, Doctor Who Confidential had an overnight audience of 0.34 million.

The Rebel Flesh: Australian ratingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 May 2011 - Reported by Adam Kirk
The Rebel Flesh has debuted in Australia to excellent ratings. TV Tonight reports that the episode averaged 823,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. Again, it won its national timeslot, was the top-rating drama of the day and the fourth highest rating programme for the day overall (only beaten by news programs). The corresponding Confidential Cutdown also rated a respectable 598,000 viewers in the five major capitals. These overnight figures, however, do not include regional, rural and time-shifted viewers and hence significantly understate the actual national ratings.

Out Of This World ExhibitionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Out Of This World is a new exhibition that has opened at the British Library in London, and explores science fiction in its many forms.
The exhibition will trace the development of the genre from True History by Lucian of Samosata written in the 2nd century AD to the recent writings of Cory Doctorow and China Miéville, showing how science fiction has turnednfrom a niche into a global phenomenon.

Visitors to the exhibition will discover an interactive space based on ‘other worlds’ presented by science fiction. These will include: Alien Worlds; Future Worlds; Parallel Worlds; Virtual Worlds; the End of the World and the Perfect World. Each area will draw on a variety of exhibits, multi-media interactives, film and sound to experience new surroundings and ask questions such as: ‘who are we?’, ‘why are we here?’, ‘what is reality?’ and ‘what does the future hold?’
It features a selection of the Library's extensive collection in this genre, from some of the earliest science fiction manuscripts like Thomas More's Utopia from 1516 through to modern best-sellers like The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; these are supplemented with exhibits covering film, television and radio.

The guest curator of the exhibition, Andy Sawyer (Director of Science Fiction Studies, University of Liverpool), said:
There is no doubt that science fiction has split literary experts for decades and remains a source of debate and discussion across the world. What this exhibition shows is that science fiction is a way of asking questions about the world, its future, and our place in it that has roots in a number of literary traditions and cultures. What we call ‘science fiction’ has a long tradition and will continue to dominate popular culture for a long time to come.
Katya Rogatchevskaia, British Library co-curator, added:
This exhibition aims to show that science fiction provides a window on the world and society in which we live today. It pushes the boundaries of our imagination into uncomfortable and pleasant places and appeals to our desire to understand a deeper meaning of other worlds. We hope that visitors’ perceptions of science fiction will be challenged by this exhibition so that we can both celebrate the genre and use it as a warning for the future.

Of course a project like this wouldn't be complete without reference to Doctor Who, and amongst the displays visitors can encounter exhibits such as the TARDIS, steampunk K-1889, and composer Francis Chagrin's original score for The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

The show is also represented amongst the series of events running alongside the exhibit:
The Art and Science of Time Travel
10th June, 6:30-8:00pm

From A Wrinkle In Time to Doctor Who and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 the concept, appeal and paradoxes of time travel have inspired many mind-boggling flights of the imagination. Join the creators of two superb recent experiments with the idea: Stephen Baxter, whose The Time Ships is a sequel to HG Wells, and Audrey Niffenegger, the author of the best selling The Time Traveler’s Wife. Plus acclaimed science writer John Gribbin as the evening’s authority on the theory and logic of time travel, and Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell. Chaired by legendary SF publisher Jo Fletcher.

The Discovery Channel are broadcasting a number of associated programmes to accompany the exhibition, and there is also a tie-in book by Mike Ashley. BBC News reported on the exhibition's opening on the 19th May (video).

Out Of This World runs until 25th September, admission free.

Next Time: A Good Man Goes To WarBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 May 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who takes a mid-summer break after next week - but not before A Good Man Goes To War! The mid-series finale is due to be broadcast at 6:40pm in a 50 minute time slot, and the BBC have now released the third in their online "prequel" episodes to set the scene for the episode, alongside its trailer:

Prequel: A Good Man Goes To War, BBC, via BBC Website

Trailer: A Good Man Goes To War, BBC, via BBC Website, also via YouTube

A Good Man Goes To War will premiere on BBC1/BBC1HD at 6:40pm, 4th June in the United Kingdom; it then follows a week later (11th June) on SPACE in Canada at 8:00pm ET, BBC America in the United States at 9:00pm ET, and on ABC1 in Australia at 7:30pm.

Amy Pond has been kidnapped and the Doctor is raising an army to rescue her as the drama continues. But as he and Rory race across galaxies, calling in long-held debts and solemnly given promises, his enemies are laying a carefully concealed trap.

In her cell in Stormcage, River Song sadly acknowledges that the time has come at last – today will mark the Battle of Demons Run and the Doctor's darkest hour. Both sides will make their sacrifices and River Song must finally reveal her most closely guarded secret to the Doctor.

Day of the Moon - Overnight New Zealand ratingsBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 May 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
101,760 viewers tuned in to watch the debut of Day of the Moon on Prime in New Zealand last night, according to overnight figures. This is a drop of 44,760 from last week.

Against Doctor Who, Lorraine Kelly's Big Fat Challenge on TV One had 375,450 viewers, No Ordinary Family on TV2 with 298,840 and Bones on TV3 got 297,100 viewers.

Prime is the seventh national free-to-air television station in New Zealand and is owned by Sky Network Television. TV One and TV2 are operated by the state-owned Television New Zealand and TV3 is owned by MediaWorks New Zealand.

Piers Wenger to leave the BBCBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 May 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
The BBC Doctor Who website has confirmed that Piers Wenger, currently one of three executive producers on Doctor Who, is leaving the BBC.

Wenger commented:
It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to Doctor Who and BBC Wales, and all of the extraordinary people who work on its shows. But Film4's output, with its ethos of encouraging film-makers to produce their most authored and original work, could not be closer to my heart.
He replaced Julie Gardner as Head of Drama for BBC Wales in January 2009 and in July of that year became executive producer of Doctor Who and took a central role in the casting of Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor. His other executive producer credits on Doctor Who include The Adventure Games and Doctor Who Confidential. Away from Doctor Who, he worked on Ashes to Ashes, Christopher and His Kind and Upstairs Downstairs.

In March 2011 Wenger stepped down as Head of Drama but remained at BBC Wales to continue as a creative developer. His position will be filled by Faith Penhale from Kudos in June.

Wenger is leaving the BBC to join Film4 in September, where he will become the senior commissioning executive under Tessa Ross, Channel 4 controller of film and drama, who commented:
(he is) a hugely talented executive who will bring to Film4 real vision at a time when we are embarking on an exciting new phase in our development.

His successor as executive producer of Doctor Who will be filled in the coming months by head writer Steven Moffat and the BBC's controller of Drama Commissioning, Ben Stephenson, who said:
I will be very sad to see him go. He's been a fantastic colleague and friend - but I know that film is a huge passion of his and this is a great new role for him."