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Calendar
Fri 14 July
Doomsday
10.30pm, BBC Three
Sun 16 July
The Empty Child
11.00pm, Sci Fi (US)
Sun 23 July
The Doctor Dances
11.00pm, Sci Fi (US)

Series TwoJust The Facts
Doctor Who
Produced by BBC Wales
Executive Producers: Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner
Producers: Phil Collinson, Susie Liggat
Starring
David Tennant
The Doctor
Catherine Tate
The Bride/Donna (The Runaway Bride)
Freema Agyeman
Martha Jones (as of Episode 301)
Series Three Details
Christmas Special, plus thirteen 45-minute episodes
Production began 5 July 2006
Christmas special debuts December 2006
Series Three debuts Spring 2007
Transmission Details
UK, US: Currently on broadcast hiatus
Canada: Series Two debuts in October
Australia: Airs Saturday evenings on ABC
New Zealand: Airs Thursday evenings on PrimeTV
For other countries see This Week in Doctor Who
Forthcoming Episodes
Writer: Russell T Davies
The 2006 Doctor Who Christmas special, featuring Catherine Tate as the Bride.

Torchwood
Starring
John Barrowman (Jack Harkness)
Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper)
Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato)
Burn Gorman (Owen Harper)
Produced by Richard Stokes
Executive Producers: Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner
Series Writers: Russell T Davies, Chris Chibnall, Toby Whithouse, Noel Clarke, Si Spencer, PJ Hammond, Helen Raynor
Series Directors: Brian Kelly


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National Television Awards
TV Series News
July 10, 2006
Early voting has been opened for the 2006 National Television Awards, sponsored by ITV. David Tennant and Billie Piper are among the long list of nominees for Best Actor and Actress, respectively, while "Doctor Who" is once again up for Best Drama. Former Doctor Who actress Bonnie Langford is also on the list for her participation in "Dancing on Ice". The NTA awards preliminary vote carries over to the final vote later in the year as the nominees' list is whittled down, with the presentation of the awards to take place in November. Doctor Who was the big winner at last year's NTA awards when the series took Best Drama and the leads, Piper and Christopher Eccleston, were given Best Actress and Actor awards.
Doomsday, Confidential Ratings
TV Series News
July 9, 2006
The final episode of the second season of Doctor Who, Doomsday, was watched by 7.72 million viewers, according to overnight ratings released by Viewingfigures, with a 43.2% share of the audience tuning in for the season's final broadcast. The viewers for the broadcast improved over the course of the 45-minute period, peaking at 8.58 million in the episode's final five minutes. Preliminary information suggests that "Doctor Who" was fourth for the week's broadcasts, after two World Cup matches (France v Portugal, 10.2 million viewers, and Germany v Italy, 9.3 million) and an episode of "EastEnders" (7.9 million), although final results for the World Cup finals later in the evening have not yet been announced.

Also of note is the season's final installment of that Doctor Who Confidential was watched by 970,100 viewers with a 6% audience share... but also that in the five-minute breakdowns, just before the top of the hour, "Confidential" broke its ratings record by achieving one million viewers for the first time in its two-year broadcast history. (Thanks to Andy Parish)
TARDIS Report: Sunday Recap
The TARDIS Report
July 9, 2006
Australia Ratings

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the kickoff broadcast of The Christmas Invasion rated 1.03 million viewers, one of ABC's top shows of the week.

Doomsday Press

BBC News reports on the appearance of Catherine Tate in the final moments of this season's finale, "The Runaway Bride." "Comedienne Catherine Tate will make an appearance in the Doctor Who Christmas special, it has been revealed. The actress, famous for her catchphrase 'Am I bothered?', will play Donna, a runaway bride, alongside lead actor David Tennant. Writer Russell T Davies said the Tardis would be in for a 'bumpy ride' with Tate on board. The special is still in production and will be broadcast on BBC One on an unspecified date. Ms Tate said she was 'honoured and delighted' to join David Tennant aboard the Tardis. 'I was holding out for summer season at Wigan rep but as a summer job this'll do,' she added. She made a preview debut in the last episode of the current series, broadcast on Saturday evening, appearing in the Tardis in full bridal wear. The same episode was also the final show for Billie Piper, who has played the doctor's assistant Rose. Mr Davies said: 'Doctor Who and Catherine Tate is just the most irresistible combination, a genuine treat for Christmas viewing. After two years of travelling with Rose, the Tardis is in for a bumpy ride with Donna on board.'" People.co.uk, Yahoo News UK, 24 Dash.

BBC News features a video report about the Doctor's farewell to Rose. "TV's most infamous time traveller has seen many assistants come and go and his latest companion is no exception. Rose, played by Billie Piper, is bidding an emotional farewell to the Doctor - but will it be the end? Mathew Charles reports."

Some interesting reports about the forthcoming Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride," which may or may not be true. Today's Daily Star says that The Timelord played by David Tennant will come face to face with metallic beauty in a three-part special shown over the Christmas period. The enemy is a Cyberwoman played 'Footballers Wives' actress Caroline Chikeze." Other rumors - very likely false - in the tabloid press have suggested that Elisabeth Sladen and Sylvester McCoy will appear in the special (again, very unlikely). And then there's a Radio 1 report which suggests that Billie Piper herself will be back once again in "one form or another" although this could simply be in flashback.

The Express and Echo says, "Fans of the sci-fi serial are no doubt about to go into severe mourning - and it'll probably last until Christmas Day. The latest run of the time-travelling series comes to an end this week, and the Time Lord won't be returning to our screens until the festive edition airs in December. As the current season draws to a close, the big question viewers are asking is: what will happen to our hero's best pal Rose Tyler? According to recent reports, we'll be saying goodbye to her during this episode. You'd have to be from Raxacoricofallapatorius not to have heard or read about actress Billie Piper's decision to leave the show, but the songbird-turned-leading lady is remaining remarkably tight-lipped. In a BBC statement, she made it clear it wasn't a choice she'd made easily. 'Rose and I have gone on the most incredible journey with Russell T Davies and the cast and crew of Doctor Who over the past two years,' she explained. 'It has been an amazing adventure. I am truly indebted to Russell for giving me the chance to play Rose Tyler, and to all the Doctor Who fans old and new who have been so supportive of me. Thank you so much.; Davies has been very quick to follow up Billie's thanks with his own words of gratitude and praise for her powerful, funny and emotional performances. 'It has been a wonderful experience working with Billie - we will miss her - and wish her all the success in the world for her future. However, the Doctor Who team have had a whole year to plan this final scene, and have created a stunning exit for Rose Tyler. The Doctor lives a dangerous life, and when Rose joined him on his adventures she was aware of this. As the series climax is called Doomsday, I can't guarantee who will survive and who won't, but I can assure you the Tardis is going on its scariest journey yet.'"

The Daily Record says, "This is the dramatic finale in which Billie Piper bows out as Doctor Who's sidekick Rose tonight. ... Series producer Russell Davies said: 'The team have had a whole year to plan this final scene and have created a stunning exit for Rose Tyler. The Doctor lives a dangerous life and, when Rose joined him on his adventures, she was aware of this. I can't guarantee who'll survive but the Tardis is going on its scariest journey yet.'"

The Daily Star noted, "A BBC insider said: 'Fans should get the hankies ready because it's going to be a real tear-jerker. No previous Doctor has ever faced such a difficult and painful dilemma as he tries to put his personal feelings aside. It's the choice no-one would enjoy having to make - sacrificing the life of a loved one for the good of mankind.' Tonight's epic episode, Doomsday, sees the mighty armies of Cybermen and Daleks waging war across Earth, with humans trapped in the middle. And Rose and boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke, 30) - who are both leaving the hit show - find themselves right in the firing line. But BBC insiders claim Rose's exit and apparent death may not be all they seem. A BBC source insisted: 'This is sci-fi remember. Nothing is as it seems.' Earlier in the week BBC chiefs unveiled stunning Freema Agyeman, 27, as the Doctor's new sidekick Martha Jones. She starts filming on the third series later this month - with sources claiming the pair's first storyline will see them up against monsters from Mars."

The Financial Times says, "So everything is in place for the global showdown of the weekend: the daleks versus the cybermen, using planet Earth as the ball and Doctor Who's assistant, Rose Tyler, as the trophy (BBC1 Saturday 7.00pm). 'Oh,' said the man at BBC publicity knowingly when I phoned to ask for an advance copy, 'they're not releasing previews of that.' Which tends to suggest that something big is about to happen. Or perhaps not - it wouldn't do to end the series without a cliffhanger."

The Daily Record asked, "Will saving the world mean the death of Rose Tyler? The rumour mill has been working overtime and internet conspiracies are getting increasingly wild - but now it's time to discover what fate holds for the Doctor's lovely assistant, played by Billie Piper ... Will he choose to sacrifice Rose to save the world? Will the metal monsters mash each other to pieces? Even we don't know as there's a news blackout on the episode, but word is this could be the greatest adventure ever."

BBC1 Breakfast on Saturday featured a five-minute report trailing Doctor Who, with Antony Wainer of the DWAS among guests who said complimentary things about Rose, and suggesting her character may not be killed off in the episode. Clips from Dr Who Confidential and a montage of what happened to a few previous companions were used.

Other Press Items

The Guardian writer Charlie Brooker says, "Goodbye, England's Rose. Yes, tonight's the night Billie Piper exits Doctor Who (7pm, BBC1) following her two-year tenure. When it was first announced that the revived Doctor's travelling companion was to be played by Piper, a former kiddywink popstar, I rolled my eyes so violently I found myself staring backward into my own skull. It's Bonnie Langford all over again, I figured. How pitifully wrong I was. Anyone who thinks she's been anything other than excellent is a brick-hearted stump of a being. Effortlessly balancing feistiness and charm, vulnerability and goofiness, Billie Piper out-acted almost everyone else on television. Out-sassed them too. She's extremely good-looking in a most peculiar way: her eyes, mouth and nostrils all seem to be competing to see which can look biggest on her face. At times she resembles a Spitting Image caricature of herself. It shouldn't work, but it does. You'll miss her when she's gone. As for how she's gone, I've no idea - at the time of writing, no preview tapes of tonight's finale were available. I like that. Makes for more of an event. Not enough of them these days. As for series two as a whole. . . well, it's been bumpy. My series three wishlist runs as follows: 1: Curb the zaniness. David Tennant's Doctor alternates between 'boggle-eyed schoolroom wacko' and 'concerned intergalactic statesman' almost without warning. There's too much of the former, not nearly enough of the latter, and precious little in-between. A bit of mucking about is fine; too much and it all starts to resemble The Adventures Of Timmy Mallett In Space. 2: Enough deja vu, already. Too often, the Doctor seemed scripted as a seen-it-all-before smartarse hell-bent on greeting every creature, artefact, space station and gizmo with a loudly over-familiar 'oh, it's YOU' bordering on camp. At its worst, this is a bit like going on holiday with someone who's visited your destination before, and behaves like a squawking tourist guide the whole time you're there, pointing out the best cafes and choosing from the menu on your behalf until you feel like ramming their digital camera up their arse, just so they'll be able to take home a picture of something they haven't seen before. I know the Doctor's been exploring the universe for eons, but a touch more humility would be nice. 3: More two-parters, please. Several three- and four-parters wouldn't go amiss either. Partly because it'd be nice to give some of the stories more space to breathe, and partly because I'm presuming the economies of scale involved might make it possible to do away with the occasional 'cost-cutting' talky episodes altogether. 4: More episodes directed by Euros Lyn. Not only were his episodes the most visually interesting, but his name sounds like a space station and therefore looks really cool in the credits. 5: My suggestions for next companion: Bez; Wayne Rooney; the entire cast of Channel 4's Coach Trip; a purple CGI blob with a retractable anteater's proboscis, voiced by Tim Westwood; Lisa Simpson; Chloe from 24; Charles Kennedy; Pink. 6: More scary monsters. OK, so tonight we're being treated to an all-out bundle between Daleks and Cybermen. That's great. But some new regular nasties would be nice. Not the Slitheen; they're just silly. I want to see an all-new race of humourless, fascistic bastards worthy of ranking alongside the old favourites. Oh, and they should be armed with drills. Not lasers. Drills. 7. Stop the continuity announcers talking over the end credits so we can hear the theme tune properly. Anyway, that's my two penneth. Said gripes and suggestions are, of course, borne out of love. Although I found myself in the uncomfortable position of utterly hating one episode this series (the Love and Monsters wack-a-thon starring Peter Kay), and although it's a series aimed primarily at an audience yet to experience puberty, it's still the most consistently inventive, lovingly-crafted British drama on TV. Fact!"

The Evening Herald says, "Doctor Who fan Felix Soper had the time of his life when he met a Cyberman. The seven-year-old from Plymouth enjoyed the close encounter when he appeared on a TV programme for young devotees of the Time Lord this week in the run-up to tonight's final Doctor Who episode. Felix, who lives with his parents and sister Eadie in Stoke, was asked to appear on CBBC's Totally Doctor Who after sending in a picture of himself in a Cyberman outfit he made with his dad. Felix and his grandfather travelled to Cardiff for the filming of the programme, which was shown on Thursday. They met all sorts of weird and wonderful characters from the Doctor Who series. Felix said: 'It was a really amazing day because I met a real Cyberman. I also met the lady who plays Rose's mum and an actor called Raji who is appearing in the last two episodes. It was brilliant because everyone there liked talking about Doctor Who just as much as I do.'"

The Sunday Mirror asks, "Can Martha be Dalektable too? ... So farewell then Rose Tyler, the best Dr Who girl ever. Over two sensationally successful series Billie Piper - she of the huge teeth - turned the Time Lord's sidekick into the nation's sweetheart. Now we'll find out just how popular Mockney over-actor David 'Dick Van' Tennant is. For my money the freaky-looking Scotsman is not a patch on his reluctant predecessor Christopher Eccleston. And no amount of lanky Tennant's manic face pulling is going to make up for the absence of Rose - who checked out of the Tardis amid last night's climactic war between the sinister Cyber Men and the dreaded Daleks. I wish Billie's successor Freema Agyeman the best of luck playing the Doctor's first black companion, Martha Jones. Not that the colour of the 27-year-old actress's skin matters a jot. The question is: Does Freema have what it takes to fill brilliant Billie's shoes? Because you get the feeling that without the incredibly popular Ms Piper, Dr Who's comeback would never have been such a triumph. Now it's up to Martha to prove that a Rose by any other name can smell as sweet!"

The Sunday People says, "The real story about Dr Who's new assistant is not that she's black, but that she's won the role despite appearing on Crossroads - usually the kiss of death for any actress. Freema Agyeman has swopped the crummy motel for a cramped Tardis, going from TV you 'can't believe they ever made' to 'make believe' drama."

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Anghelides, Adam Kirk, Paul Blakemore)
Catherine Tate and the Runaway Bride
TV Series News
July 8, 2006
Series Two of Doctor Who has ended, but two new pieces of information were revealed in the final moments of the episode. Actress/comedian Catherine Tate has joined David Tennant in the TARDIS (very likely temporarily, at least) for the final moments of the season finale, "Doomsday," and will be seen in the forthcoming 2006 Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. Tate, who is best known for her comedy series "The Catherine Tate Show," was recently spotted at filming locations in London (see earlier set reports) with Tennant as production on the Christmas special got underway earlier this week. According to the commentary provided on the official Doctor Who website for "Doomsday," the actual character name of "The Bride" (as she is credited at the end of this episode) is Donna. "The Runaway Bride," the next episode of Doctor Who, will be seen on BBC1 in December.
Series Three Filming Begins in Secret?
TV Series News
July 7, 2006

Has production for Series Three begun without the public fanfare of previous years? The Outpost Gallifrey Forum is currently abuzz with reports from the past two days in which the BBC Wales Doctor Who production team (confirmed to be involved by a call sheet) engaged in select photography, possibly for the 2006 Christmas special, on 5-6 July in London. Says one of our fan correspondents, "You can see them filming on the top of 76 Shoe Lane fairly clearly from Ludgate Circus, looking up St. Bride St. ... I could make out DT from his silhouette - he wasn't wearing the coat, as you can see from the pictures someone has got online. And you could see a woman in a white dress - I'm pretty sure it was a wedding dress. She did indeed have straight shoulder length hair, as has also been said. ... There seemed to be a raised bit in the middle of the roof and she was sitting on the edge of this, facing roughly towards St Pauls (this would be about 4:15pm). The camera was to her right, and I got the impression that they were filming it to make it look like she was sitting on the 'real' edge of the building in a considering suicide sort of way, or just being sadly reflective and looking at the view. The building is about 20 stories high though, so it seems more of a suicide spot than a safe place to chill out. She wasn't sitting over the real edge, of course, but over the edge of the bit in the middle, if that makes sense. Anyway, the shot they were filming involved David Tennant standing behind her and to her right. He then took his jacket off, put it around her shoulders and sat down next to her, looking out at the view rather than talking to her, so I had the impression that this wasn't the first time they meet in the story."

Adds fan Alistair Moore, "I did have a nice chat with one of the production crew. Apparently they've been filming in London for three days, though today was the last. The TARDIS had been erected on the roof last night and left there over night covered by a sheet. The roof has a helipad and is where some of the BBC idents were filmed a few years ago. As the TARDIS exterior pieces were being loaded into the truck this evening, the cast were already in cars heading back to Cardiff for TARDIS interior set shooting tomorrow."

Meanwhile, a collection of photographs was taken by fan Alistair Moore, some of which are below; click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to 'plateoffood,' Mark Richardson, Alistair Moore)
TARDIS Report: The Week in Review
The TARDIS Report
July 7, 2006
TARDIS Report: The Week in Review

Doomsday Teasers

A daily run of six teaser trailers for Episode 13 began on BBC One on Sunday evening, with ten seconds of the Cybermen proposing an alliance with the Daleks. The teaser was quickly made available online at the official site, which will carry each new teaser from midday all this week ahead of their broadcast debuts in the early evening. The second teaser features soldiers firing at an advancing troop of Cybermen. The weekly update of the official site took place on Monday lunchtime, a little earlier than usual, with a noisy flash animation of Daleks and Cybermen (try clicking on each Dalek!) replacing last week's even noisier Torchwood theme. The photo gallery for the two-part story has been extended with lots of shots of both returning monsters.

Doomsday Coverage

The series finale has prompted Radio Times to give unprecedented promotion to the show; besides the two covers (see earlier news), the "Editor's letter" and "The week's best television" both mark the end of Series Two, with the magazine's editor, Gill Hudson, calling Doomsday "an epic battle on a truly intergalactic scale" and the week's recommendations describing "a nail-biting climax". "Doctor Who Watch" this week runs to three pages, "On set with David Tennant" featuring a selection of backstage photographs taken and captioned by the actor, as well as a large publicity shot of the new Black Dalek. Tennant reveals that "the 3-D glasses are very much part of the plot" this week and describing some of the discomforts involved in making the series. Doomsday is Pick of the Day in "Saturday's Choices" - sadly, the lack of preview tapes means that the magazine is this week unable to give away all the episode's story and is largely confined to a resume of "last week's episode, the first of a stupendous two-parter". The episode blurb for this week: "As an unstoppable terror emerges from beneath Torchwood, the Doctor faces an even greater dilemma - does saving the world mean the death of Rose Tyler? A new series is due to begin next spring, but a Christmas special is planned." There's also a half-page promotion for the third volume of the Series Two DVDs. Last week's cover featured Billie Piper, that issue's four-page "Doctor Who Watch" carrying an interview with the star. Much of the interview concentrates on Piper's career, fame and personal life and has been widely reproduced in the press and online, but it does reveal that she made the decision a year ago to leave the show at the end of this series. Army of Ghosts was Pick of the Day for Saturday ("a thrillingly exciting episode") and Drama of the Week in the RT selection of the week's highlights. Also announced this issue, another RT exclusive poster offer, this time featuring Daleks on one side and Cybermen on the other. Like last year, RT readers need to collect two tokens from the magazine and complete an order form in the 15-21 July issue.

The Observer says, "So those evil, evil people at the BBC didn't give us any preview tapes for this episode despite it being one of the most awaited finales in the show's history. For which they are to be both admired and cursed. Anyway, we left off as the giant sphere was opening in Torchwood to the horror of Rose, Mickey and the slightly sinister scientist who used to be in Eastenders. Meanwhile the Doctor is trapped in a different part of the Canary Wharf triangle with Jackie and the more sinister scientist who also used to be in Eastenders. Oh, and the Cybermen have taken control of some as yet unrevealed, more intelligent alien life form (who or what that alien life form is is anyone's guess. I'd say the King Dalek, the squidgy one that gave me childhood nightmares, but due to the gaps in my Who knowledge I'm not sure if he was wiped out sometime last season back when the Doctor came from outer space via Salford). Other than that we know that it probably won't end well for all our heroes becasue a) Rose kicked off the two-parter with a melancholy line about thinking she would be with the Doctor for ever; b) Russell T Davies has promised Billie Piper a fantastic sendoff; and c) Jackie Rose's mum, has been given a lot of lines about dying for her daughter. The only things that's clear then is that next season the Doctor (in his oddly sexy yet occasionally creepy David Tennant form) will continue to travel the world, battling monsters, flirting and making inappropriate quips."

The Sunday Times says, "You can blame Queen Victoria. If she hadn't had the brainy idea of founding the Torchwood Institute after her hairy encounter with the Doctor, none of this might have happened. Tracy-Ann Oberman might not have been sprung from nick for killing Den Watts (the criminal justice system gets worse) to head up said institute, ghosts might not be roaming the earth making more work for the Time Lord, and let's not even mention the Cybermen. Just give thanks that feisty Rose Tyler is by his side to save mankind once again. Hang on. What was that story about her in the tabloids?"

Heat magazine's Boyd Hilton asks: "So, will Rose die? We bloody hope not. Because, more than both the new Doctors, Billie Piper's performance has summed up the feisty, no-holds-barred, giddy joy for the whole Doctor Who revival. And whether she's killed off at the end of tonight's final episode of this current series or just slinks away mysteriously, we know for sure that we are bidding a reluctant farewell to her huge contribution to the Who phenomenon. The reason Rose is in mortal danger is because she and the Doctor are caught between two vast armies of marauding nasties (the Cybermen and, er, guess who?) waging war over planet Earth, while humankind faces extinction unless the Doctor can do something. Turns out the only way of saving humanity is to sacrifice Rose. That's just the kind of moral dilemma Doctor Who won't shirk. We get the feeling that even though we will be seeing a new companion for the Doctor by the time this year's Christmas special arrives, we haven't seen the end of Rose tyler quite yet..." (Doomsday is given the max five stars and is at number 5 in Heat's Top 10 Best TV shows for the week).

Closer comments: "So this is it - the end of an era, or at least the end of an excellent second series. And as rumours would have it, the end of Billie Piper's Rose Tyler. We'd love to confirm whether Rose will be killed off or not, but because the BBC insists on remaining tight-lipped on the subject, we're just as in the dark as you. All we know is that the march of the Cybermen continues and the Doctor faces the biggest decision of his long life - save the world or save Rose Tyler. No pressure then."

Sneak has Doomsday as their Pick of the Day: "The Doctor and Rose face their hardest task yet as war breaks out across earth in the spectacular series finale. As usual, the Doc comes running to the rescue. But will he have to sacrifice Rose to save the world? We hope not."

Rise of the Cybermen Auction

The Post Adoption Centre is currently auctionin a shooting script for "Rise of the Cybermen" signed by actor Roger Lloyd-Pack (John Lumic). It’s currently running on Ebay and finishes on Sunday July 16.

Broadcasting

The first season of the new series is now playing throughout Latin America on the cable channel People & Arts. The channel, available to all of Latin America via cable and satellite, shows the series on Fridays at 9.00pm Eastern. The episodes are subtitled in Spanish and shown full-screen (as opposed to widescreen).

According to the official site, "Doctor Who arrives on Japanese TV. Doctor Who's success around the world continues, with the news that the programme will soon be showing on Japanese television. The series has been sold to BS-2, one of three cable and satellite services run by NHK, Japan's public broadcaster. Series One will go out in Autumn 2006, with Series Two going out on the same channel next year. Even the famous Doctor Who logo has been given a bit of a makeover, with Japanese katakana characters replacing the familiar English words."

The ASTRO network in Malaysia will be showing Doctor Who Series 1 on their pay per view system from 3rd July and Series 2 will debut in August.

Army of Ghosts

The Stage says, "It was a tense contest, full of drama, tears, adversity and two powerful forces coming face to face in the ultimate battle. And that was just the Cybermen and the Daleks popping up in Doctor Who on Saturday. Combined with the footie (sorry, it wasn’t your year, and next time, leave Frank Lampard at home, there’s good lads). In the wake of some finger-pointing not so long back when Doctor Who’s ratings suposedly took a tumble from 10 million (it was a slow news week, clearly, and no, they hadn’t if you look at things properly), it was reassuring to see the first in the two part season finale, Army of Ghosts, pulling in a respectable 7.66 million in the overnight ratings with a hefty audience share of over 40%. This is according to the fabulously detailed Sunday morning ratings analysis from Outpost Gallifrey which keeps me entertained over a breakfast cuppa. The lead-in from the football no doubt helped, but with the weather being a greater threat than the tin nasties up against the Doctor, I still get a sense of satisfaction when good telly that deserves to be seen pulls in the viewers. It’s been noted that we mention Doctor Who a lot here at TV Today Towers, and for this, I apologise. After next week, it’s gone again until Christmas, so we’ll (probably) be a Who free zone for the duration. But I just wanted to share that the prospect of next week’s roister-doistering between two iconic television villains of enduring stature has got the four-year-old me jumping up and down in glee. I’m even considering phoning home and asking my mum to send down a plate of fish fingers and chips to complete the feeling. I’ve been waiting for that outrageous cliffhanger for 30 years, and it makes me love this big, silly, beautiful, scary, funny, ambitious series all the more. And the best thing is, my five year old nephew doesn’t have to wait that long… In the wake of Saturday’s national sporting tragedy (that might be overstating the case a touch, but tell that to Beckham), Doctor, please don’t go away. Your country still needs you!"

The Guardian said of "Army of Ghosts," "Oh hello, they're back. Once again, those pesky Cyberblokes are making merry metal hell on Earth and this time it's all the fault of Torchwood, who accidentally let them (and a sinister 'Void Ship' - a Kinder egg with a nasty surprise) in through the back door. If you're not yet familiar with the 'Wood, this lot, an alien-confronting force led by Tracy Ann Oberman, make UNIT look like Dad's Army. Who, back to its best. Touch wood."

The People says, "Last night's Dr Who had a lot in common with EastEnders. Set in East London, there was a whopping great hole in the fabric of reality, hostile aliens were everywhere and a huge spherical object hovered around uselessly. But enough about Charlie Slater... The crossover didn't end there. Terrifying ghosts haunted the earth - specifically Chrissie Watts and Ash Ferreira who turned out to be working for the secret government agency Torchwood. There were genuinely funny moments as the Doctor surfed the TV channels and saw how gullible earthlings had taken the 'ghosts' - actually Cybermen from a parallel universe - to their hearts. Trisha had a segment called I Married A Dead Man. Telly medium Derek Acorah moaned that he wasn't needed any more. And a familiar old rascal was haunting the Queen Vic. 'Listen to me Den Watts,' said Peggy Mitchell. 'I don't care if you have come back from the grave, get out of my pub! The only spirits I'm serving in this place are gin, whisky and vodka.' The Doc was aghast. 'When did it start?' he asked Rose's Mum. 'Well,' she said. 'First of all Peggy heard this noise in the cellar...' Lovely stuff. Of course, if Walford ever was invaded by Cybermen, you could count on Ian Beale to volunteer to do their catering. In a weird parallel development, on EastEnders itself, Ian is now sucking up to charity bigwig Victor Brown, who could have been separated at birth from murderous Dr Who villain Victor Kennedy (aka Abzorbaloff.)"

Torchwood Press

Eclipse Magazine has a preview of the forthcoming Torchwood series. "The Torchwood Institute is one of the most secretive organisations on Earth – or any other planet. Details of every aspect of the 'Doctor Who' spin-off series 'Torchwood' are probably marked Top Secret and locked away in a steel-lined vault somewhere in the bowels of BBC Wales, with the cast and crew sworn to silence on pain of death by Dalek. John Barrowman, the charismatic Captain Jack Harkness in 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood' was thus saying nothing about upcoming storylines during a recent appearance at the London Film and Comic Con. But he did reveal a few titbits about his character. According to Barrowman, Jack was, not surprisingly, 'a little angry' at having been abandoned by the Doctor and Rose in the episode 'The Parting of the Ways' at the end of Doctor Who season 1 (or season 27, if preferred). 'Wouldn't you be angry?' Barrowman commented. 'The two people you changed yourself for, became a better person for, and they turn around and ditch ya!' Barrowman also referred to an intriguing aspect of the Doctor’s character which will affect future interaction between him and Jack. 'The Doctor doesn't believe in bringing people back to life, so there's going to be a whole conflict thing when we meet again.' Viewers are now keenly waiting to find out what happened to Jack after being abandoned in the 51st century, how he made it back to contemporary Earth and joined the Torchwood organisation. Barrowman hinted that viewers may have to be patient a while longer - the story will only be revealed a little at a time, with the other characters also providing insights into Jack's character. And over on 'Doctor Who', fans will have the chance to see how Captain Jack reacts to the tenth Doctor in season 3, as Barrowman has confirmed he will definitely be returning when the show begins filming later this year. There will be a new companion on board as well, with the BBC having announced on 5 July that Freema Agyeman will join the cast to replace Billie Piper. Agyeman played Adeola in the season 2 penultimate episode 'Army of Ghosts', but will join the main cast of season 3 as the new character, Martha Jones. While 'Doctor Who' has always been focused on a general audience, 'Torchwood' will have a more adult flavour, and is expected to air in the post-watershed 9.00pm slot in the UK. This has given the producers a good deal more freedom to look at aspects that are out of bounds within the medium of 'Doctor Who'. For Captain Jack, this means that they can explore the darker side of his nature. 'He still has a good sense of humour,' Barrowman said. 'He's still very witty, very dry, very cutting, but he does become a bit darker, more mysterious, because he doesn't want to give himself away right off the bat.' That freedom also has other, more visual, benefits. Jack's naked butt was deemed too risqué to be shown on teatime television in the episode 'Bad Wolf'. At LFCC, responding to a comment about the cut scene, Barrowman assured fans with a nod and a grin that they would definitely be 'seeing more of Jack' in 'Torchwood'. Barrowman may simply have been trying to lay claim to Jack's title of 'Captain of the Innuendo Squad' – but the audience clearly appreciated being let into just a few of the new show's secrets!"

People

The Arts Diary of the New Statesman says, "Shocking news reaches me from BBC Wales. Can it be true that the great Russell T Davies may soon make his departure from 'Doctor Who'? The dynamic writer, whose previous credits include 'Queer as Folk', has been widely credited for the sci-fi show's remarkable resurrection. But I understand that he could be preparing to hand over the baton (or should that be the Sonic Screwdriver?) to someone else."

BBC Wiltshire spoke to Doctor Who voice artist Nick Briggs "on the eve of the final epic episode in the cult sci-fi series' second season. Voice artist and Doctor Who superfan Nicholas Briggs enjoyed a dream come true last year when he was given the job of providing the voices of the dreaded Daleks in the first series of Doctor Who. This year however he has not only returned to voice the Daleks but also second string Doctor Who big bads - The Cybermen. The two fearsome foes of the errant Time Lord face off against each other in the surely-to-be epic second series finale - the ominously-titled 'Doomsday' - which airs on BBC1 at 6.45pm on Saturday 8th July. On the eve of this much-anticipated clash of two titans of the galaxy, Nick found time to talk to BBC Radio Wiltshire's Mark Seaman about what fans can expect. He also demonstrated - with the help of his Ring Modulator device - how he comes up with the unique-sounding voices and tantalisingly revealed which other classic Doctor Who villain's voices he'd like to update for the next series."

The Guardian says that "The Doctor's new assistant has been announced. Martha Jones, as played by Freema Agyeman, will replace Billie Piper's Rose in the next series of Doctor Who. Sophie Aldred, who played Ace alongside Sylvester McCoy's seventh Doctor, offers some tips on how to get ahead in the Tardis: Most importantly, wear sensible shoes (I always wore Doc Martens) because you're bound to be going into a quarry at some stage. I always found myself in quarries and I've noticed Rose Tyler has too (I was pleased to see she was wearing sensible shoes). If you wear high heels, you'll inevitably become separated from the Doctor, end up twisting your ankle, then you'll scream and a monster will come and get you. Also, don't wear jewellery that rattles. One of these days, you'll be hiding somewhere, your bracelets will jangle and before you know it, a monster will be coming for you. As for clothes, don't worry too much. There must be a branch of Topshop in the Tardis because Rose always looks good (I think my grungey outfits came from Glastonbury). I used to deal with monsters very effectively with a baseball bat. I beat up a Dalek with one once, which was very satisfying (note: make sure nobody is in it at the time. I was a bit too keen and ended up smashing up a Dalek with a poor man inside, and I think he went a bit deaf). If you're a classic assistant, you probably won't go near many monsters and if you do, an ear-piercing scream should scare it off. Bonnie Langford was the expert at this. Any monster would run a mile after a scream from her. To get away from monsters, running usually does the trick - or often, just a brisk walk. In my day, the Daleks had three wheels so they could go over cobbled streets and it made them wobble. If one came at you, it looked as though it was drunk, which made it quite easy to get away from. Cybermen die if gold comes anywhere near them. I had a catapult and gold coins, so make sure you carry some cash in your handbag. Now, romance. You are likely to meet some very dashing men on your adventures, but beware - I always went for the wrong ones. I fell in love with a Russian soldier but something dreadful happened to him and his eyes turned red and he went mean and moody. There was never any mention of romance with the Doctor in my day, but now that's a distinct possibility. The Doctor, in his current incarnation, is extremely handsome, so don't snog anyone else - stick with him."

icWales asks "how Freema can fill Billie's boots. At the beginning of the week the name Freema Agyeman would have meant little to anyone who was not a dedicated Crossroads fan. But yesterday her face was splashed across newspapers as it was announced she would be replacing Billie Piper as Dr Who's next companion, Martha Jones. It's the kind of attention she should expect to get used to. If Billie's success is anything to go by, Freema will be a regular feature in the tabloid press, whether she is snogging a co-star, going through a personal crisis, or simply taking a day off at the beach. But in many ways the 27-year-old will have a very different start to that enjoyed by Billie when she took on the role of Rose Tyler opposite Christopher Eccleston last year. For one thing, she is not nearly as famous, having never reached number one in the music charts, married a DJ twice her age, or gone through a public divorce. Freema is also an actress by trade - albeit not yet enormously established in the TV world - having had numerous stage roles, a cast spot on Crossroads and small appearances in The Bill, Silent Witness and Casualty. Billie, on the other hand, was making the transformation from teen pop star and celebrity wife to serious actress. In fact Doctor Who has been the turning point in the former singer's career, helping the viewing public to forget the ponytailed Billie and grow to love and respect the more grown-up Billie Piper. PR guru Max Clifford, who looks after the likes of TV mogul Simon Cowell and England football manager Steve McLaren, says her choice of role - in an already popular TV show - was a huge contributor to her success. 'Nothing succeeds like success,' he said. 'Being part of a very successful programme, being young, being attractive, means the media are going to be promoting, promoting, promoting. The hardest thing often in the beginning is to attract the media. Someone like Billie Piper, who already has the platform, already attracts the media because they are going to be interested. Whereas when you're starting out you're trying to get the media interested.'"

The Sunday Times profiles Billie Piper. "She was a child bride of the time lord Chris Evans, accompanying him on a hair-raising journey into new dimensions of bad taste aboard his reality-defying vehicle, a supermarket trolley of booze, while nail-biting onlookers cowered behind their armchairs. Then Billie Piper woke up to find it was all a bad dream and she was still the nation’s sweetheart. This victimised stereotype of Piper, who ends her run as Doctor Who’s popular side-kick on Saturday, could not have been further from the truth, we learnt from her last week. Evans, the enfant terrible of British radio and television, was a sage who rescued her from alcohol and such is her gratitude to the millionaire broadcaster that she is bucking the trend of gold-digging wives by not asking for a penny at their no-fault divorce in September. When 17-year-old Piper met the 34-year-old Evans it was one of the best things that happened to her, she told the Radio Times. A fugitive from the pop industry that made her a star, she had turned to drink and drugs. 'Chris and I found each other when it could have gone badly wrong for both of us and we saved each other from our worlds of madness.'" The article continues at the website.

Tracy Ann Oberman will be Jonathan Ross's guest on his radio show, this Saturday at 10am on BBC Radio 2. The show can be listened to online or after transmission it can be listened to again on the listen again feature.

BBC News says, "As Eastender Chrissie Watts, she put an end to the seedy career of Dirty Den. Could it be possible that actress Tracy Ann Oberman is about to do the same for the rather more wholesome Rose Tyler? We talked to Tracy Ann Oberman who plays the head of the Torchwood Institute. In case you haven't been following the intricacies of the plot, that's the organisation set up by Queen Victoria in one of the first episodes of this series, to monitor alien activity on earth. Tracy revealed that Torchwood has been waiting 150 years for the Dr to return. The exact plot of the final two episodes is a closely-guarded secret. But we do know that Billie Piper, who's been playing The Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler, is due to be written out at the end of this series. And we know that the cybermen are involved - according to Tracy Ann, 'en-masse, they're really frightening'" There's a link to a live interview Oberman gave to BBC Breakfast on the site.

The Mirror also reports: "She's the woman who bumped off Dirty Den for the second time. And after 18 months working punishing 14-hour days and six-day weeks on the EastEnders set, actress Tracy-Ann Oberman was exhausted. But, eight months on, it's a very different story. Not only is she pregnant with her first child, Tracy-Ann has recently fulfilled a childhood ambition - to star in Doctor Who. She appears in tonight's special two-parter which marks the finale of the current series. ... Tonight, she is back on our screens in Doctor Who as Yvonne Hartman, the head of the Torchwood Institute which investigates alien sightings. Yvonne ignores the good Doctor's advice - to her cost. It's the build-up to next week's exciting ending, when we finally find out what happens to the Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler, now that Billie Piper has quit the show. Does she live or die? Tracy-Ann, who grew up loving Doctor Who, is not giving anything away. 'For some actors walking into the Queen Vic is their dream job and the ultimate moment, but for me walking on to the Doctor Who set and seeing the Tardis was a childhood dream come true,' she says. 'Dr Who had a family feel, it's only 12 episodes as opposed to EastEnders which goes on year after year. So it was a luxury doing five scenes a day rather than 25. To go straight from Walford to Cardiff, where Doctor Who is filmed, made me realise that I'd forgotten what it was like not to work under such a frantic schedule.'"

Terry Molloy (Davros) was on BBC Radio talking about his career, Davros, his opinions on the new series and more; it can be listened to here. (The Doctor Who stuff starts after an hour.)

Newsarama features an interview with comics writer Tony Lee, who discusses how he came to write a Doctor Who comic (for Doctor Who Magazine).

Doctor Who Down Under

The Doctor Who promos running on Australia's ABC Television are now available on their website.

Australia's The Advertiser says, "Begin the dancing around the lounge room - Doctor Who is back! After 2005's botched premiere date which meant the rest of the world saw the sci-fi classic's revival before we did, ABC has its chronometers in tune. But only just - because of last year's delay, we're actually an episode behind. Thankfully, it's a lag well worth watching. The series returns on Saturday with 'The Christmas Invasion' which introduces not only a new race of alien nasties - and a killer Christmas tree - but also a new doctor. The doctor has been forced to regenerate his body and recover from wounds. As in previous incarnations, the change - this time from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant, pictured - is far from smooth. As the Time Lord tries to heal and find his identity, his companion Rose (Billie Piper) struggles. She thought she knew the doctor . . . she might even have grown to love him . . . but now he looks and acts in a totally different way. Who is the new master of the TARDIS? Tennant, in his first outing, is a revelation. Eccleston was, arguably, the most villainous of all doctors, ready and willing to cross ethical lines to achieve his goals. His successor is more in keeping with Sylvester McCoy or Tom Baker - a hint of Machiavellian menace behind the smile, but probably only to be used only as a last resort. The future of Doctor Who is well and truly in good hands, and the new series will only get even better from here."

The Sydney Morning Herald review of "The Christmas Invasion": "The doctor is IN. Returning from the dead in a new guise (the cocky and insouciant David Tennant), Dr Who is reunited with Rose (Billie Piper) and manages to save her from a dangerous Christmas tree and from a troop of malevolent Santas. Meanwhile, a British space probe has been diverted from its pangalactic course by a monstrous race known as Sycorax who, like so many alien entities, seek world domination. Will they never learn?" The Herald also says, "This series opener is something of a transitional episode, screening in Britain as a Christmas special, four months before the rest of the series went to air. Christmas specials are an odd tradition with no real equivalent in Australia (due to Christmas falling in the middle of our non-ratings period). They can be terribly gimmicky but there are honorable exceptions, including a Shameless telemovie in 2004 and the peerless conclusion to The Office. This is not as strong as either of them, but it works well as an introduction to the new doctor (David Tennant), as Rose (Billie Piper), viewers and the doctor himself all grapple with the same question: who is the new Doctor Who? 'I don't know who I am,' the doctor says at one point, pulling himself together after an exhausting reincarnation process. 'Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy?' It's a wonderful moment - self-referential rather than reverential - demonstrating how confident writer Russell T. Davies is with the show's legacy. Tennant looks like being a fabulous Doctor Who. He is funny and sarcastic. And sexy. He retains the cocky, slightly disconnected aura of Christopher Eccleston while bringing a spiky vulnerability to the character. The plot of this episode is fairly standard stuff - aliens invade Earth, the doctor saves the day - but Tennant's delivery and his chemistry with Piper augurs well for the rest of the series. "

The Sunday Age says of the debut, "It is all very well defeating half a million Daleks, saving the world, and asking us to accept yet another incarnation of Doctor Who. But is it fair for writer-producer Russell T. Davies to keep his Time Lord under wraps for so much of the first episode of his new series? In The Christmas Invasion, an hour-long special, he takes us back to London ostensibly to introduce David Tennant - the new Christopher Eccleston - but then restricts him to bed in a coma, with Billie Piper's Rose in tears, worrying about the state of his two hearts and her own. So, instead of letting Tennant quickly build the brand for his own Doctor and prove to us we will soon get over quirky Eccleston, we're back in Rose's old council flat with her noisy mother and passive, stay-at-home boyfriend Mickey. This show is a bit of a curate's egg: some tasty comic snippets, some sniffy anti-Blair references, and some distinctly old gags. As the Doctor falls in and out of consciousness, we do meet old friends. There is idealistic politician Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton), now Prime Minister and equipped with a right-hand man, Alex (played by Australian actor Adam Garcia). And, as the Brits launch a space probe at Mars, we also meet gun-wielding Santa Clauses, alien terrorists that are apparently known as 'pilot fish', signals of much bigger threats yet to come. And these, it seems, will be in the form of a monstrous sword-wielding race known as the Sycorax. So in this ep, there are references to Mrs Thatcher, the Falklands, al-Qaeda, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, and Tony Blair ... even, somewhat weirdly, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. But, like poor Rose, what we really want to do is to get used to the wit and wisdom of the new Doctor. Eccleston was always going to be a hard enough act to follow. "

The Sunday Herald Sun says, "At the age of three, David Tennant announced to his parents that he was going to become an actor and play Doctor Who. Now, at 35, he is doing just that, playing the 10th incarnation of the travelling Time Lord. For a young Tennant, Doctor Who meant Tom Baker's scarf-wearing bohemian of the 1970s. 'I grew up loving Doctor Who, and it has been a lifelong dream to get my very own Tardis,' Tennant says. 'I got a text message from Tom Baker the other day, which I got ridiculously over-excited at.' Like Baker, Tennant fills the doctor's shoes with a quirky sense of style and humour, perhaps even more so than his predecessor Christopher Eccleston. Eccleston's 12 months as Doctor Who helped spark a huge new interest in the legendary sci-fi show, which had languished in the realms of nostalgia for more than 15 years until the 2005 series was created. While excited to be playing the 10th Doctor, Tennant admits he also had reservations about succeeding Eccleston, who left after only one season to continue his film career. 'Taking over from Chris was a daunting process,' says Tennant, who will be familiar to viewers from his roles in Blackpool and Casanova. 'He is a tough act to follow.'"

Other Press

Brand Republic says that the Cybermen are "to invade central London for DVD campaign. The BBC is to promote the release of the forthcoming 'Doctor Who' Series Two: Volume Three DVD with a sequence of five-second animated LCD screen ads in central London. Two separate ads created by Grand Visual will appear inside Tottenham Court Road tube station. The first will feature an animated group of the programme's Cybermen moving closer to the audience, the second will show the DVD sleeve art in the foreground with a moving time-tunnel in the background. The ads will appear from July 3-16 to promote the new 'Doctor Who' DVD, which will feature three episodes from the second series 'Rise of the Cybermen,' 'The Age of Steel,' and 'The Idiot's Lantern'. Matthew Parkes, BBC DVD marketing manager, said: 'The return of the Cybermen to 'Doctor Who' has been such a great success, we were keen to give away the DVD volume featuring their two-part story as a special focus. These animated ads are a first for BBC DVD and we feel the dramatic creative from Grand Visual really locks into the sense of excitement and danger 'Doctor Who' brings.'"

The Independent asks, "Does colour matter? Would we be so interested in Doctor Who's new sidekick if she was white? The casting of Freema Agyeman as the replacement for Billie Piper received widespread press coverage. I am pleased that a talent-ed actress, who has already appeared regularly in popular series like Casualty, The Bill and Crossroads, will be making television history in a well-written and superbly crafted show watched byupto10million viewers. It shouldn't be necessary to dwell on the fact that Freema is black, but it is."

Yahoo News says that "The writers of Doctor Who are auctioning themselves off on website eBay in a bid to raise cash for sufferers of Crohn's disease. Steven Moffatt and Paul Cornell are offering a night out with dinner and drinks for the highest-bidding fan and one guest, as well as a signed script and filming schedule. The Chicago-based seller says on the advert, 'The Who writers won't reveal any secrets, but they will talk about Doctor Who as voraciously as you do.'"

Yahoo News says that "EastEnders veterans Raji James and Tracy-Ann Oberman made their Doctor Who debut on Saturday, and the good news is they're coming back for the final episode on Saturday, July 8. Their characters, Doctor Rajesh Singh and Yvonne Hartman, will be caught up in an all-out war between two alien armies. The Timelord (David Tennant) will realise he may have to sacrifice Rose (Billie Piper) to save the world. Raji popped up in an episode of Holby City back in 1999, before going on to play Ashwani 'Ash' Ferreira in 2003. He stayed in Walford for two years, and also featured in episodes of Casualty and Doctors. Raji can soon be seen in the new movie Nina's Heavenly Delights with fellow EastEnders and Doctor Who veteran Ronny Jhutti. Tracy-Ann, aka Chrissie Watts, is also no stranger to soapland, having appeared in three episodes of Casualty and a Doctors instalment."

BBC News says, "A brand new set of Doctor Who audiobooks has just been released. Time Lord David Tennant has read the stories and does all the different character voices including Rose and his deadly enemies! The CDs feature three of the recent Doctor Who novels and also include an interview with the author of the books. If you fancy listening to some more Tardis tales then we have five sets of these three CDs to giveaway! To have a chance of winning just answer the question below, and if you get stuck check our website for clues. The closing date is noon on Monday, 31 July. Which Doctor Who star recently gave a copy of his signed script away for charity?"'

The Independent on Sunday says, "It's a lovely sunny day in Holt, north Norfolk. The birds are singing and... hold on... there's a Dalek in the car park. A Dalek? It's just sitting there, silently, until a small child appears. 'Ex-ter-min-ate, ex-ter-min-ate!' And look, there's Colin Baker, chatting to a member of The Dalek Builders' Guild (DBG) - and there goes a man on his mobile, shouting, 'Where are you, mate? I've been attacked by two Daleks already.' I need a cup of tea. But the tea shop's no haven. '...as long as no Daleks try and get me...' 'We're expecting 10,000...' '10,000,? I heard 20,000.' Luckily, it's not the end of the world. It's a Dr Who convention. First up is a Dalek trolley dash in the local Budgens. The Daleks wheel themselves in, blaring out club versions of the famous theme tune. One quick-witted Dalekis approached by a forty some thing man in bermuda shorts: 'Ex-ter-min-ate your trousers!' A man in a reflective vest shouts out the names of household objects. Two Daleks in the aisle repeat the requests and two contestants (in plain clothes!) then tear off with their trolleys to find said objects. 'If they got hit in the back of the legs they've only got themselves to blame,' says a pensioner. It all gets a bit much, so I leave them on 'Silver Spoon sugar, two kilos', and escape to the market square, where there are bouncy castles, clowns and a bucking bronco. Bump! A Dalek shunts me from behind. I start chatting to David James, a member of the DBG (thedalekbuildersguild.co.uk). He's incredibly friendly, and introduces me to Barney, his purple Dalek, who took him four-and-a-half months to build. Apparently, the Radio Times printed plans of how to build a Dalek in 1972, but they got it wrong, says James: they included 48 of those ball things on the body, whereas there are actually 56. Rather cleverly, the DBG knew that the balls were each four inches in diameter, so used that to work out the other dimensions by watching DVDs. Now they have a thriving online community who build models. 'We've got guys in France,' says James, 'New Zealand... There's a chap in Saudi Arabia who has two. 'You have to get into the mindset of a Dalek. They were originally an allegory for facism. The new series sees them as big kids. I feel more like a big kid when I'm in the Dalek.' So what of Colin Baker? He thinks the new series is marvellous, but the scrum to get near his signing table is awesome, so, when the man next to me says to his son, 'Come on, let's find some Cybermen', I decide to follow them out."

The Independent (in Matthew Norman's Media Diary) says, "HATS OFF to Huw Edwards, one of the BBC's top ranked performers in the discipline of reading out loud, on branching out. Huw cropped up in Doctor Who, cast wilfully against type as a newscaster. I won't dwell on his performance when required to sound astonished at the sudden disappearance of the entire crowd at the 2012 Olympics, let alone suggest that he doesn't give up the night job. But I trust it's clear to all Huw fans that apart from reading the script, he also wrote it, produced and directed the entire episode, designed the set, coached David Tennant and Billie Piper, and took K-9 for a long walk on Clapham Common. That's the thing about Huw, as he is always too bashful to point out. There's so much more to the man than reading an autocue."

Also in The Independent, "Confession: I am more gloomy about the disappearance of Billie Piper, left, from Doctor Who than England's defeat in Germany. On Saturday, she will be gone from the series, and her fans will miss her golden, vivacious presence. What a fine Englishwoman is this gifted singer, actor and daughter of Swindon. She is attractive, without being preened and polished. She flew close to the sun on wings of fame much too young, fell into self abuse, married Chris Evans, an infantile delinquent. Piper says she doesn't want any of his millions. She is a feminist blonde, though she would not recognise the label. She is determined to make it on her terms' she warmly indulges the rich man who was her husband. Raise a glass to this sassy lass, who really is worth it."

icWales reports that "The final episode of the new Dr Who series will be shown on the big screen at Cardiff's Odeon - and you can see it for FREE. The fate of the Doctor's companion Rose Tyler will finally be revealed in Doomsday - the climax to the second series penned by Welsh writer Russell T Davies. BBC insiders say the final two linked episodes are among the best of the series and bosses are so confident they are inviting 100 people to see them for free at the Odeon multiplex, Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay." This was for an event last weekend.

Reviews of the Complete First Series on DVD, which was just released in the US, Now Playing Mag, Post-Gazette, KVUE, Yahoo Canada, Monsters and Critics, Zap2IT, Daily News, Newsday, Detroit Free Press, Orange County Register, LA Times, Seattle Press-Intelligencer, Wichita Eagle, DVD Talk, Arizona Republic, TV Shows on DVD. Interestingly, the DVD set for season one has climbed to #2 on the Amazon DVD sales charts.

More coverage of Freema Agyeman joining the cast of Doctor Who at Times Online, Reuters, About.com, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Scifi.Com, New Zealand Herald, Australia Herald Sun, Detroit News, The Stage, Now Playing Mag, In the News, UPI, IC Liverpool, Dark Horizons, Metro, SyFyPortal, Yahoo News, WaveGuide, Daily Record, Contact Music, Sky Showbiz, Entertainmentwise, Ananova, Manchester Evening News, UTV, This Is London, Short News, IrishDev, MegaStar, RTE, Belfast Telegraph, Hello Magazine. The story was also the most read story on BBC News the day after it was announced.

Other items: NowPlayingMag has a review of "Army of Ghosts"; the Bromley Times talks about the struglge to protect the Chislehurst Caves, where some of Doctor Who had been filmed; the Independent featured an obit for producer Peter Bryant.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, Douglas B Killings, Stephen Glancy, Daren Thomas, 'BobbyFischface', 'TaraLivesOn', Adam Kirk, Robert Stuart)
Ratings Update
TV Series News
July 6, 2006
The BARB has reported on the final ratings for Fear Her, the eleventh episode of the new season, aired on Saturday 24 June. The episode was watched by 7.14 million viewers, up approximately half a million viewers from the initial reported overnight, to come in sixth place all series and twentieth for the week (behind World Cup broadcasts, Children's Party at the Palace, and multiple episodes of EastEnders and Coronation Street). Of note, the episode's final rating is higher than any of those reported for the final four episodes of Series One. Also reported by the BARB: the final ratings for the Sunday rebroadcast of the episode (25 June) on BBC3, 539,000 viewers, and for the Saturday night (24 June) BBC3 airing of Doctor Who Confidential, 537,000 viewers.

In addition, overnight ratings have been made available for the following programmes: last Sunday night's repeat of Army of Ghosts on BBC3 (2 July) scored 741,000 viewers with a 5.2% audience share, while last Saturday night's Doctor Who Confidential broadcast on BBC3 following the first run of the episode (1 July) had 476,000 viewers, with a share of 3.1%. Both were the highest-rated broadcasts of each day on the non-terrestrial BBC3 channel. Also reported are this past week's BBC3 repeat broadcasts of "New Earth" (3 July, 220,000 viewers, 1.8% share) and "Tooth and Claw" (3 July, 261,000 viewers, 1.9% share); "School Reunion" (4 July, 324,000 viewers, 2.4% share) and "The Girl in the Fireplace" (4 July, 390,000 viewers, 2.6% share); and "Rise of the Cybermen" (5 July, 324,000 viewers, 2.4% share) and "The Age of Steel" (5 July, 390,000 viewers, 2.6% share). (Thanks to Andy Parish)
Australia, New Zealand Series Two Debuts This Week
TV Series News
July 5, 2006

Just a reminder to our friends down under that Series Two debuts this week in Australia and New Zealand! Below is some general information about each premiere.

In New Zealand, Doctor Who returns to Prime TV on Thursday 6 July at 7.30pm with "The Christmas Invasion". Regular episodes then continue every Thursday with "New Earth" airing on Thursday 13 July at 7.30pm.

Two days later, Series Two makes its debut in Australia, on Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm on ABC Television, with "The Christmas Invasion"; each episode then airs on subsequent Saturdays with "New Earth" scheduled for 15 July.

For further details visit New Zealand's Prime TV website or Australia's ABC Television website.
Series Three Villain Rumors
TV Series News
July 5, 2006
In a story in today's edition of The Mirror focusing on the Freema Agyeman casting news, the newspaper makes a cryptic comment regarding a possible return of another of the classic Doctor Who monster races in Series Three. In order to keep the potential spoiler a surprise for some of our readers, it's located in the spoiler tag (click on it to reveal).

It should be noted that this is only a rumor currently, and has not been confirmed by the production team... though it should also be said that the tabloids have gotten many of the details right in previous stories (such as the Sun's casting announcement two weeks ago about Agyeman). More details soon.
The potential villains appear to be the Ice Warriors, according to today's Mirror.

"Filming starts later this month," says the article, "and insiders have said the pair's first storyline will pitch them against the green monsters from Mars who first troubled the Doctor in 1967."
Freema Agyeman is New Companion Martha Jones
TV Series News
July 4, 2006
After several weeks of speculation and early reports on the Internet today, later confirmed in a BBC press release leaked nearly a day before it was due to be officially presented, Freema Agyeman will join the cast of Doctor Who in its third season as new companion Martha Jones, sidekick to the current Doctor, David Tennant. Agyeman recently guest starred as Adeola, one of the Torchwood desk jockeys in "Army of Ghosts," but will return to the series for the completely different role (much in the same way first season guest star Eve Myles will be doing so in the spinoff series "Torchwood").

Agyeman's involvement in Doctor Who as a new companion was first reported by The Sun in a June 16 news report, obviously now a leak of the information during what was likely a very quiet audition process. Said the report two weeks ago in the Sun, "The highlight of Freema's career so far has been playing seductress Lola Wise in doomed ITV soap Crossroads in 2001. She said: 'I loved playing Lola. She was an 18-year-old girl with a lot of angst. She wanted to sleep with all the boys and have fun.' The Londoner, who left Middlesex University with a BA Honours degree in Performing Arts and Design, also appeared in Casualty, The Bill and Silent Witness. Last night a BBC source said: 'Freema is a fantastic actress. She is great in the final episode. And she is more than capable of stepping into Billie's shoes to play the Doctor's new cohort. No one knew Billie could act before we gave her the job — and she has proved to be a sensation.' Freema, who also studied at Radford University in Virginia in America, could join the Timelord in new adventures..."

Agyeman will be seen in the first regular episode of the new season and not the Christmas special, as confirmed in the press release which quotes executive producer Russell T Davies as saying, "We've got another surprise in store for that." There are currently rumors of special guest actors in that episode, possibly debuting as early as the end of this year's season finale (but not yet confirmed).

The press release is below, which confirms Agyeman's status as a companion in the third series. The official Doctor Who website also has a news piece on this, and features a small gallery of images with Agyeman and Tennant.

Also reported, so far, at BBC News, the Daily Mail (which says that this is the Doctor's "first black assistant," forgetting about Mickey last year), the Independent, icWales, CBBC News, The Times, The Scotsman, The Guardian, ITV, Reuters. More news media reports soon.
Newcomer Freema Agyeman is confirmed to play Martha Jones, the new companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning.

Doctor Who fans have already met Agyeman as Adeola in episode 12 of the current series of Doctor Who but, as viewers will have seen last Saturday evening, this character suffered a terrible fate at the hands of the Cybermen.

Freema will be playing a brand new character in series three.

Executive producer/writer Russell T Davies says: "The search for a new companion had been underway for some time when I first saw Freema Agyeman, she had come in to audition for the part of Adeola in series two.

"Watching her during filming confirmed what an exciting new talent she was, so under cover of darkness we called her back in to audition with David for the role of the new companion.

"It was an immediate and sensational combination, and her range, presence and charm blew us all away.

"David and Freema are terrific together, and we're delighted to have chosen her to join the Doctor for more adventures in time and space.

"The first scripts have been written, and Martha's a brilliant addition to the Tardis crew, the perfect foil for the Doctor.

"Martha won't be featured in this year's Christmas special; we've got another surprise in store for that."

Freema Agyeman says: "I've been keeping this secret from my friends for months - it's been driving me mad!

"Auditioning with David in secret down in Cardiff was unbelievable, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd actually become the new companion.

"Billie rightfully built up an amazing fan base and she will be missed, but I hope the fans are willing to go on new adventures with me.

"It still hasn't quite sunk in, I'm sure it will slam home first day on set when I'm stood gazing at David Tennant!"

David Tennant adds: "Freema was a joy to work with in episode 12 of the current series. She is not only very talented and very beautiful, she's great fun and I'm delighted she's coming on board the TARDIS full time.

"I can't wait to welcome her into the Who family."

Freema Agyeman is 27 years old and was born and brought up in London.

A new 13-part adventure and Christmas special begins filming in Cardiff in the summer for transmission on BBC ONE.

Doctor Who is a BBC Wales production for BBC ONE.
Series Two Volume Four DVD
TV Series News
July 4, 2006
Outpost Gallifrey has received the cover illustration for the DVD release of Series Two Volume Four, which includes the episodes "The Impossible Planet," "The Satan Pit" and "Love & Monsters". The episode-only DVD release (with no extras) is due out on 7 August from BBC Video; click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.
Army of Ghosts Overnights
TV Series News
July 2, 2006
The overnight ratings for Army of Ghosts are in... the episode scored a preliminary figure of 7.66 million viewers according to ViewingFigures, a climb from the past several weeks, with an audience share of 43.2%.

Also in are the overnight ratings for Doctor Who Confidential episode 12; the episode scored 521,000 viewers with a 4% audience share. (Thanks to 'Marcus' and Andy Parish)
Oberman on This Morning
TV Series News
June 29, 2006
Tracy-Ann Oberman will be a guest on Thursday's (29 June) edition of This Morning on ITV1 to promote her role as Yvonne Hartman in the forthcoming two-part season finale Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. This Morning airs between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
Love & Monsters Final Ratings
TV Series News
June 28, 2006
The final rating released this week by the BARB for Love & Monsters, episode ten of the new seasons, shows that 6.66 million viewers tuned into the episode, an increase of approximately 400,000 viewers as compared to the original overnight ratings reports. This places Doctor Who in fifteenth place for the week behind six World Cup events, five episodes of Coronation Street, EastEnders, Heartbeat and the Thursday night ITV Evening News. (Thanks to 'Marcus,' Andy Parish, Keith Armstrong)
TARDIS Report: Early Week Coverage and Press
The TARDIS Report
June 28, 2006
Doctor Who Worldwide

In Denmark, the national broadcast TV and radio station DR (Danmarks Radio) started today with Doctor Who at 11.00pm on their main tv station, DR1. There is nothing on DR's web page on the series, only a link to BBC's DW site and two DW books in Danish translation. There is a short description of the first episode and though no title is given, it is the first one, "Rose", that is being shown.

Finland now has a formal date and time for the start of Series 1 in the country on the YLE2 network: 10 September 2006 at 8.05pm.

According to This Week in Doctor Who, the first season of the new series (2005) Mexico and Latin America on the People + Arts channel. "People + Arts claims to be co-owned by the BBC and Discovery Channel. Episode 4 (Aliens Of London) is running this week. The schedule seems to be the same for Mexico and other countries, though they give the option to switch between versions. It is unclear how many countries this channel is available in, and whether it can be seen in South America. The website does not make it clear which time zone it is providing listings for. Based on the website, episodes premiere Fridays at 10PM, repeat Late Friday at 3AM, Saturday at 7AM, Wednesday at 10PM, and Late Wednesday at 3AM. Episodes should air weekly (with repeats) through Friday August 25 (or Wednesday August 23 if the source is right)."

UKTV Australia has added the following to their FAQ page: "Are there any plans to screen Doctor Who? Yes, UKTV will be screening the new series of Doctor Who in October this year." We're assuming for now that they mean the 13 Christopher Eccleston episodes from 2005. This would be the second showing of the episodes in Australia (well, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, maybe more - UKTV likes multiple airings). To date they have aired one time on ABC TV.

People

The tabloids' big story from today: "Billie Piper said today she will not take even 'a penny' from her multi-millionaire husband when they divorce. The Dr Who star said she is not interested in a slice of Chris Evans's 30 million fortune, insisting: 'I'm not taking a penny from him. I think that's disgusting.' Piper, 23, who has just been awarded a six-figure deal for her autobiography, said her greatest regret is not having invited her parents to her wedding to the Radio 2 presenter in Las Vegas in 2001. 'I regret it in retrospect and we didn't speak for a while, although they understand now that at the time I had to be selfish,' Piper tells Radio Times. 'I didn't want them to question it because in my head it was perfect, the first time in years I felt happy. Chris and I found each other when it could have gone badly for both of us and we saved each other from our worlds of madness.' ... Piper will quit Dr Who at the end of this series and said: 'The longer I stayed the more scared I'd be of leaving because it's so comfortable and nice.' Of her autobiography, she said: 'I hope it's an inspiration to young girls who constantly ask how I did it. It will be warts and all.'" Naturally, the papers have all followed this particular part of the story today with news reports at The Sun, Evening Echo, Daily Mail, BBC News, The Independent, The Scotsman, Daily Record, Mirror, Skky Showbiz, Metro, Ananova, RTE, Entertainment Wise, Megastar, Belfast Telegraph, The Times, Manchester Evening News, Yahoo News, Unison, Contact Music, This Is London, Irish Examiner, Breaking News, Hello Magazine and other places.

The Mirror on 24 June said that "she's travelled the universe in the Tardis, but Billie Piper says she won't be jetting off to Hollywood any time soon. The Doctor Who actress insists she isn't tempted by the glamour of Tinseltown and would prefer to star in lowkey indie films. She said: 'There are lots of great movies coming out of the US but it's not something I'm ever really interested in.' What, even if a big role came up? She said: "Yes, I'm happy in the UK. I absolutely love it and I've finally got a great group of friends. I've got a lovely little flat and my work's here.'"

The latest BBC's It's Hot magazine (issue 53) mentions that: "Despite her saying otherwise, actress Billie Piper is rumoured to be swapping time travelling for a spot of chart topping. Billie, who plays Rose on Doctor Who, was famous yonks ago for shouty pop songs, but her new stuff is supposed to be a more grown up affair. Oh well, only time will tell." However, in the magazine's interview with her, in response to the queston 'Do you ever wish you were a pop star again?', she replies: "I've realised I shouldn't make music - I should be a fan. I'm the biggest music fan and I love all different types." On being asked if she could time travel in the TARDIS, where would she go and why, Billie comments: "I'd like to see what my 30s look like. Not too far ahead - we're talking about eight years down the line. I'd like to see what's going on in my life then. I think that would be really interesting."

Last week, Bruno Langley was on an internet radio station called 'The Soap Show', and he talked not only about the play he is currently starring in (A Taste of Honey), but about his role on last year's Doctor Who as Adam. Langley said he was too young to remember the original series, and that he felt Doctor Who was an institution. He said he likes fans, some are weird but others are very intelligent, so you get such a mix of people. He also talked of the fathers and sons who he often sees together when they go to meet him at stage doors - which he thought was great. He talked a bit about the actual filming of the episodes, and said that he is still in contact with the producers/writers, and that they text each other occasionally, though he doesn't think Adam will be back. He says they haven't asked him back, and he hasn't asked to be brought back, either. He said if they want him back then they'll ask him....which they haven't! He said he is happy just to sit and watch it now. Langley added that he is about to watch the first boxset DVDs as he missed a couple of eps, and that he'll get the DVDs of series 2 when they come out. He says he has only caught bits of the new seris due to work, but he says that the new series looks really good... as does David Tennant.

Fear Her - Aftermath

The Guardian: "So I'm on a train from Luton to London the other day, and at St Albans a woman in her 30s gets on with her son, who must be about eight or nine. Nice-looking kid. She turns out to be the mother from hell, though. She's yabbering away on her phone to someone, so he goes to get his Game Boy out of her bag. But then she has a right old go at the poor lad for going in her bag without asking. He says he's sorry, she was on the phone and he thought it would be OK. But no, it isn't OK, and now he's being cheeky, so that means another bollocking. The whole thing snowballs out of control: she's hollering at him, telling him what a bad boy he is. Then it's time to pronounce sentence for all his heinous crimes, and guess what his punishment is? No Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday), that's what, which is about as bad a punishment you can give a child right now. And for a lot of adults, too. He's been dead strong up to this point. But as the full meaning of missing Doctor Who sinks in, his chin wobbles a bit, then his face does that terrible melting thing, and soon he's sobbing, silently and bravely. His mum, meanwhile, is back on the phone, nattering away to her mate. I know I should have told him he could come round mine to watch it, or at least secretly got his address so I could send him the DVD. And certainly I should have alerted social services, so that he could be removed from his evil devil-mother. But of course, pathetically, I did none of those things, and pretended to read the newspaper instead. It turned out to be a great episode, too. ... It's absolutely terrifying: kids must be a lot more robust these days than they were in my day. I'm watching it from behind the sofa and I'm 41. ... Maybe there was another more sinister reason than the Game Boy incident. Surely these events can't be unconnected. Maybe I wasn't on a train to Kings Cross Thameslink at all, but a train into the future (it did seem remarkably spacious). And why have I just picked up a pencil and now find myself involuntarily (but perfectly) drawing evil train woman ... ? [Cue Doctor Who music.]"

The Financial Times says that "Doctor Who continues to be a wondrous thing, Russell T. Davies and his collaborators having managed to retain the playful spirit of the original while creating storylines consistently smarter and even more inventive than previous incarnations of the show. Tonight's episode sees the Doctor and Rose visiting London before the 2012 Olympics. As well as paying homage to The Exorcist, Paperhouse, ET and The Shining, it proves that Huw Edwards's decision to make his living as a newsreader was no loss to acting."

Other Media Items

The official site discusses the BBC Three repeats starting next week, mentioned last week on Outpost Gallifrey (and seen in our calendar on the left side of this news page).

CBBC has Lizo's early review/preview of "Army of Ghosts". "Sadly, the end is in sight for this series of Dr Who. Like last year, it ends with a two part story of which Army of Ghosts is the first. The focus is on Rose from the very start, and there's no doubt that what she has to say will shock many of you. And then things come full circle. In this season's first episode, Rose said good bye with her ruck sack. Now she's back, with the bag full of washing for Jackie. But things are very different on Earth, with people across the planet welcoming back what they believe are the ghosts of their loved ones. Are they really ghosts, and how is the mysterious Torchwood involved? Not to mention a mysterious sphere that doesn't even seem exist. The Doctor and Rose want to get to the bottom of things. But they're facing old enemies who put the whole planet in danger. Phew, things really rattle along in this episode, with Rose's story especially appearing to head for its conclusion. Which, of course, ties in with the news that Billie Piper will be leaving the series after the last two episodes. But with Russell T Davies writing the script there's bucketfuls of humour. Chat show host Trisha and Peggy from EastEnders make hilarious appearances. But the story he's telling is a serious one. There are quite a few deaths before the final credits roll, as well as a beautifully played scene where Rose and Jackie talk about the future. And that's what at this heart of this episode. Will Rose choose to stay with the Doctor forever, and should she? And will that choice be taken away from her? Of course, there's a huge amount of action too as things ramp up for the end of the second series. But be prepared for a quite a few shocks as well! Mention should also be made of composer Murray Gold's musical score, which really excels here. And overall it's a splendid story which leaves us on a great cliff hanger for the last episode Doomsday. Four out of Five."

The Daleks invaded Norfolk as hundreds of fans turned out to see Colin Baker, Terry Molloy, Deborah Watling and to put the marker down in the Guinness Book for the largest gathering of fan built Daleks in the UK. BBC Norfolk was there and features interviews (audio) with Colin, Terry and Deborah as well as new video content. Meanwhile, the Eastern Daily Press covered the event: "Hundreds of fans swarmed to the streets of Holt, which are more used to well-heeled shoppers than raygun-wielding sci-fi space invaders. The event was a fund-raising effort helping raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and helping to put Holt on the intergalactic map. Scores of daleks turned up, roaming around the streets and courtyards, squawking at firing at wide-eyed children, launching attacks on targets including a tardis police box, and even taking part in a supermarket trolley dash. Amid the mayhem, calmly signing autographs, were stars of the popular television series, currently enjoying a revival. Colin Baker, the sixth doctor from 1983-86, said the success of the show was the way it had updated itself with special effects, and retained the ability to 'scare the living daylights out of children.' Scientific journalist Paul Parsons, included a 'hiding behind the sofa' chapter in his book The Science of Dr Who, admitted he used to be petrified of the daleks and reckoned their 'facelessness' continued to make them scary. .. Early assistant Deborah Watling, said the strength of the storylines were a key factor, while actor Terry Molloy, who played dalek creator Davros, said the success was also down to the doctor's heroic role as an 'intergalactic Biggles.' Visitors included two cybermen and an 'alterntiave ninth doctor' Tristan Stopps from the Fourth Dimension Lords a Dr Who group based at Martham, whose members range from children to middle aged men, welcomed the Holt event which was 'overdue in Norfolk.' Organiser Nigel Pearce said the event, which filled a hole left by the carnival which was not being held this year due to lack of support, had gone well, and there were plans to hold it again next year."

The Sydney Morning Herald from Australia yesterday featured a story about the show in anticipation of the series' return on Saturday, July 8. "Doctor Who, the mysterious stranger who travels through time and space in a battered London police phone box, is a difficult character to define. As one of the most enigmatic characters in popular culture - along with film spy James Bond, sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare's Hamlet - he has been played by many actors and interpreted in many ways. David Tennant is a British actor of rising acclaim, whose credits include Casanova and Blackpool. Wearing a dark brown pinstripe suit, brown overcoat and Converse sneakers, he is the 10th actor to portray the Time Lord and admits the Doctor is a hard man to master. 'He's not Hamlet or Benedick because they will always have the words they have,' Tennant says. 'It's not James Bond or Sherlock Holmes because each time somebody comes to one of those characters, the character is still who the character always is - James Bond will always be 'shaken not stirred', Sherlock Holmes will always be 'elementary', deerstalker and pipe.' So, who is Doctor Who? "Each actor gets to rewrite the rule book a little bit," Tennant says, and perhaps that's the beauty of it. ... Tennant says he agreed to take the role because of the pedigree of the creative team behind the revival of the series - notably, writer-producer Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk) and writers Steven Moffatt (Coupling), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Toby Whithouse (Hotel Babylon). 'They're the best writers you could possibly want and if the scripts are good, then the battle is half won already,' he says. ... Davies promised this season would be "more emotional" than the last, a departure from the classic structure of Doctor Who - simple morality plays wrapped in the distracting kitsch of period science fiction and peppered with MacGuffins and deus ex machina twists. 'I think one of the great things about the way the show has been reimagined is the relationship between the Doctor and Rose [his companion, played by Billie Piper], which is now a love story more than it was ever allowed to be before,' Tennant says. 'It's still not consummated - that's important because that's not the vibe - but the emotional back and forth is an important part of the show. I think we dip our toes into some new waters in this coming season.'" Doctor Who returns to the ABC on Saturday, July 8, at 7.30pm.

Other news: The Sun has a vaguely spoilerish preview of this weekend's episode; BlogCritics reviews "Fear Her";

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, Paul Hayes, Adam Kirk, Mark Dando, Klaus Gramstrup, George Forth, and Benjamin Elliott)
Fear Her Overnights, Army of Ghosts Trailers
TV Series News
June 25, 2006
Despite another day of fine weather in the UK, last night's Fear Her saw an increase in audience figures to 6.64 million viewers, up from last week's 6.22 million for "Love & Monsters", according to the unofficial overnights. The episode peaked at 7.1 million in its last quarter of an hour and 7.58 million in its final five minutes, and attracted an average share of 39.7% to comfortably win its timeslot against ITV1's Who Wants to be a Millionaire (3.6m, 21.4%). The end of the episode and the start of the following sports coverage saw 3.37m switch off BBC One. The World Cup football match that followed had an average audience of 8.1m, but its much higher peak audience and extra time appears to have carried over a large audience of 6.9m for the late-running lottery results, leaving Doctor Who in third place for the day. (It's likely that the final BARB figures will discount the lottery show, as it runs for less than 15 minutes, so Doctor Who may achieve second place for the day.) On the currently available overnight figures, "Fear Her" was in 14th place for the week across television; when ratings are in for Sunday's World Cup matches, the show will certainly slip down this chart one or two places, but a top 20 position stil looks very likely. Among under-16s, 61% of children and teenagers watching television in that timeslot were watching Doctor Who, amounting to 1.3m, against 145,000 who were watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

On BBC Three, the eleventh episode of Doctor Who Confidential at 7.45pm was watched by 500,700 (3.8%), making it the top-rated multichannel programme on Saturday, while Totally Doctor Who 11 last Thursday benefitted from the preceding football match to get its highest rating so far of 1.5m.

Meanwhile, television promotion for Army of Ghosts began last night with a 50-second trailer on BBC One at 11.09pm, delayed from 10.45pm by the World Cup. The trailer is a slightly shorter edit of the 'Next time' preview shown at the climax of Fear Her. It can be seen online at the official site by following the 'Video' link at the foot of its homepage. (Thanks to 'Marcus,' Andy Parish)
Final Three Official BBC Episode Blurbs
TV Series News
June 23, 2006
Official promotion for the end of Series Two has begun, though on a small scale, with the BBC Press Office issuing Programme Information for Week 28 today and the previous two weeks over the past few days. Curiously, there have been no feature articles for the last three episodes, though they have been "highlights for the week" from BBC Television. The following are the three short blurbs for the final three episodes of Series Two.
Doctor Who: Fear Her
When the Tardis lands in 2012, the Doctor plans to show Rose the London Olympics. But on a nearby housing estate, a desperate mother is hiding her daughter's unearthly powers. Can the Doctor defeat the danger nestling at the heart of an ordinary British household? David Tennant plays the Doctor, Billie Piper plays Rose, Edna Doré plays Maeve and Nina Sosanya plays Trish.

Doctor Who: Army of Ghosts
The human race rejoices as the ghosts of loved ones return home in the latest adventure from the nation's favourite time traveller. But as the Doctor, Rose and Jackie investigate the Torchwood Tower, the whole of modern-day Earth threatens to fall to an almighty invasion force. David Tennant plays the Doctor, Billie Piper plays Rose, Camille Coduri plays Jackie Tyler and Tracy Ann Oberman plays Yvonne Hartman.

Doctor Who: Doomsday
It's the end of an epic journey as two mighty armies wage war across the Earth, with the human race caught in the middle. But as an unstoppable terror emerges from beneath Torchwood, the Doctor faces an even greater dilemma – does saving the world mean the death of Rose Tyler? David Tennant plays the Doctor and Billie Piper plays Rose.
UK Ratings Update
TV Series News
June 23, 2006
The final rating released this week by the BARB for The Satan Pit, episode nine of the new seasons, stands at 6.08m. This is Doctor Who's lowest consolidated rating since its return last year, although the episode remains in the top 20 for the week at number 19 and was also the week's ninth placed individual programme.

Meanwhile, last Saturday's 6.23 million viewer overnight ratings/38.33% share for Love & Monsters (the detail on the numbers coming from Broadcast magazine) places the episode in 15th place in the week's chart. (This is likely to drop when the BARB figures are released next week, since live football coverage counted as one programme in the overnights will be divided into separate match/pre-match/post-match "programmes" in the final chart.) The BBC3 Sunday repeat of the episode is at No. 4 in the multichannel chart for the week, just behind Saturday's Doctor Who Confidential at No. 3, with the Cut Down Confidential from Sunday appearing at No. 22.

This week's early evening reruns on BBC Three of episodes 6, 7 and 8 were watched by 168,800 (1.2%), 149,500 (1.0%) and 158,500 (1.2%), according to the overnight results. (Thanks to 'Marcus,' Andy Parish, Keith Armstrong)
TARDIS Report: The Week in the Press
The TARDIS Report
June 23, 2006
BBC Books: The Future of Doctor Who?

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has a brief interview with Justin Richards about the potential for reviving the past Doctor novel range. Richards points out that the new range of Ninth and Tenth Doctor hardbacks is outselling the earlier paperbacks "by a factor of ten", but goes on to say that "the intention is not just to leave it there, it's a question of 'what' we do with them, not 'if' we're going to do something with them." Since DWM was published, however, BBC Worldwide has announced that BBC Books and the publisher Random House have agreed that Random House will acquire a majority shareholding in BBC Books, moving BBC Books to become part of the Random House operation. Whether this will have any impact on the Doctor Who range is unknown.

The continuing strong sales of the Tenth Doctor novels are confirmed by the most recent Top 20 Fiction charts in the Bookseller, with combined sales of the three titles to 10 June being 70,450 after nine weeks in the top 10. The tenth week, ending 17 June, saw the three novels add another 6,313 copies to that total sale.

TV Schedules: Series Two Updates

The second season of Doctor Who has finally been given a timeslot in New Zealand. It will begin on Thursday 6th July at 7:30 on Prime. The first transmission is the Christmas episode, and the timeslot is for 75 minutes, reflecting that it will likely be shown as originally transmitted in the UK without being pruned to fit a commercial hour. It appears the next episode will be shown with repeats of 'Creature Comforts', the Aardman Animation, from 15 July; 'New Earth' is scheduled for that time according to the ABC program guide).

The Radio Times website is listing more BBC Three repeats of Series Two on weekday evenings, this time as double bills in the run-up to the premiere of episode 13. Listings are currently available only as far as Thursday 6 July (The Idiot's Lantern and The Impossible Planet), so it is not yet known how or if the channel intends to fit in the remaining four episodes before Doomsday is broadcast on Saturday 8 July on BBC One.

Availability of the episode commentaries as red-button extras on Freeview now seems to have been entirely obliterated by saturation of the World Cup - the commentaries have not been run with the past fortnight's BBC Three repeats on Fridays or Sundays, even when Freeview's BBCi channels have been empty. In the commentary for Love & Monsters last weekend ('podcast' as always via the official site), Russell T Davies again mentioned that all the commentary recordings have been filmed and are potential DVD boxset extras.

For those of you who keep writing in to tell us that Canada has confirmed a date... it's Monday October 9 at 8.00pm (and we did report this on June 16 on this very site...) However, there's also other unreported Canada viewer news today: CBC are rebroadcasting Season One at Wednesdays at midnight, beginning this week (Wednesday, June 21st); they're also showing the same episode one hour earlier (Tuesdays at 11:00 PM) on CBC's HD channel.

People

Tracy-Ann Oberman is interviewed in this week's edition of The Stage. The interview, which covers her whole career, naturally touches on her role in the season finale. "I've always been one of this rare breed of women who is a massive sci-fi fan," she says. "David Tennant and I sat around on set talking about sonic screwdrivers and there was a very special moment when I saw the Tardis for the first time." The Telegraph also interviews Oberman; it says, "Starring in a soap proves a curse for most actors, who can soon find themselves unemployed after being on television three or four nights a week, but not for Oberman. 'As soon as I left, I was sent some Doctor Who scripts. I've been a lifelong fan, a proper 'Whovian' as we call ourselves. They told me to be really hush-hush about the scripts - even more so than with EastEnders - but I can say that my character, Yvonne Hartman, is a very strong human villain. She's almost a match, intellectually, for the Doctor. She collects alien artefacts and sees the Doctor as being the prize alien in her collection.' Oberman smiles. 'Russell T Davies [writer and executive producer of Doctor Who] told me to think of Yvonne as the type of woman who joins the BBC as a tea girl and in 10 years manages to rise to director general. So she's strong but also vulnerable.' Is it true that she brings about the end of the world in the last two episodes? 'I don't know if I'm allowed so say that,' she says. 'Do you think I can mention the Cybermen?' She adds, whispering. 'Perhaps I shouldn't say anything else or I'll get into trouble… but I feel like I'm now part of Doctor Who history, which is amazing.' "

Louise Jameson will be in Alan Ayckbourn's play "Confusions" along with Robert Duncan, Tony Caunter and Andrew Paul at the Theatre Royal Windsor between Tuesday 11th and Saturday 22nd July. For further information, the theatre's website can be reached by clicking here, and their box office is on 01753 853888.

Nicholas Courtney will be doing the readings at a special gala concert in Westminster on Tuesday 11 July, celebrating the life of former British Prime Minister Sir Edward (Ted) Heath, who died last year at the age of 89. Further details are available on the website of the Southbank Sinfonia, the orchestra that will be playing on the night.

Rudolph Walker (Harper in "The War Games") was recently awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list for services to drama.

Tim Pigott-Smith ("The Claws Of Axos" and "The Masque Of Mandogora"), Jo Stone Fewings ("Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways") and Chris MacDonnell ("Dragonfire") will be starring in a revival of "See How They Run" which starts previewing from 20 June at The Duchess Theatre.

The Norfolk Eastern Daily Press interviews Deborah Watling. "Most Doctor Who fans know where to draw the line. They understand that it's a great bit of TV, get slightly spooked by some of the monsters - but know that it is NOT REAL. But for every thousand of them there is one fan who takes it a step (or hundreds of steps) too far. They live for the conventions, dress to kill (hopefully not literally) in their cybermen suits, and display a disturbing knowledge of the planets and monsters that have featured on the show since it began in the 1960s. Deborah Watling knows the type. As former Doctor Who assistant Victoria Waterfield from 1967-8, she gets invited to the conventions and reunions - and has her own exclusive group of followers. She said: 'If your name is on the poster, you have your ardent fans who always turn up to everything and just stand and stare at you. That is rather unnerving.' ... That brief spell on the world's longest-running TV sci-fi show has had a lasting impact. 'I look back on Dr Who as a great part of my life. I didn't know that 39 years later I would still be remembered for it - but people still stop me in the street and call me Victoria. 'People want me to make appearances here and there at Dr Who reunions and conventions. It's very flattering.' She is up to speed with the latest series, which she thinks is 'brilliant', and particularly likes the current Doctor, David Tennant. She said: 'He is wonderful. He reminds me of Patrick Troughton because he has got that twinkle in his eye. Billie Piper is smashing. The show had to be updated and everyone's talking about it. It is terrific to see.' Next weekend, she will travel to Holt as one of the special guests at the inaugural Dr Who Festival, where as many as 100 Daleks could be roaming the streets."

Fear Her Pre-publicity

The Press Office info for Fear Her lists the transmission time as 6.45pm, but Radio Times has since changed this to a 7pm start. That magazine's Doctor Who Watch feature this week interviews writer Matthew Graham, who says the episode is "really quite a creepy story, which hopefully will taph into psychological fears a bit like The Empty Child did". The episode again tops the week's best television selection for Saturday: "Favourite Doctor Who themes of love and loss are explored when the Doc and Rose meet a sinister little girl on the eve of the 2012 London Olympics." It is also the magazine's pick of the day in Saturday's Choices - TV editor Alison Graham provides her usual selection of story spoilers before commenting that "It's a curious episode that's a bit too touchy-feely in parts. Still, it's notable for a remarkable piece of information that the Doc lets slip..." Radio Times also notes that Abisola Agbaje and Edward Thomas will be guests on the 12th Totally Doctor Who, which is on BBC Two next Thursday, displaced by live coverage of the tennis at Wimbledon.

The BBC's official Doctor Who website was revamped with a Fear Her theme on Tuesday afternoon, with its homepage decorated with children's paintings of the Doctor, Rose and the TARDIS. These were selected from hundreds of entries to a recent competition run by the website. The flash animated homepage rotates the four winning entries, along with a painting by "Chloe Webber", the child at the centre of this week's episode... As always, there are also the pre-transmission photo gallery, Fear Factor and TARDISODE. The official site also has the 20-second trailer for the episode, a shortened version of the 'Next Time' trail from the end of Love & Monsters. This trailer debuted on BBC One last Saturday within a couple of hours of episode 10's conclusion and was made available online the same evening. It has since run several times throughout each day this week on BBC One and BBC Two.

On Thursday, CBBC Newsround's Doctor Who mini-site added an interview with Abisola Agbaje (Chloe Webber), alongside Lizo's regular episode preview, which awards the episode only 2 out 5, saying that Fear Her is "not scary enough", has "over-complicated explanations" and "never manages to reach the high standard of what has gone before".

Heat has Fear Her as their Pick of the Day, and Boyd Hilton, awaring this episode 5 stars, writes: "We'd love to be a fly on the wall at the Doctor Who production meetings as Russell T Davies punts ideas around, and says stuff like, "Wouldn't it be good if the Doctor and Rose ended up in London in 2012 to see the Olympics?" That's the best thing about the whole wonderful revival of Doctor Who. Sure, some moments are silly or cheesy or plain ridiculous, but no other show on TV has this level of commitment to letting the imagination run gloriously, giddily free. No other show takes these risks. So here are the Doctor and Rose, landing in east London just in time for the Olympics opening ceremony. But they're soon sidetracked by the disappearance of a number of children all living in the same street where the Tardis lands. There's some lovely spoof TV detective interplay between Billie Piper and David Tennant, some thrillingly clever scenes depicting the opening ceremony, and a delicious joke featuring a poster for Shayne Ward's Greatest Hits." (the magazine has this eppy at number 2 in their Top 10 Best TV Shows of the week.)

Closer's preview reads: "The Doctor and Rose visit London in the year 2012 to check out the Olympics but, as ever, things don't quite go to plan. In a street where the Olympic flame is set to pass through, strange things are happening - a little girl possessed by an alien is kidnapping all the local kids. From there on, the episode turns into a teatime version of The Exorcist, minus the spinning head scene, the green vomit and the expletives. Then the Doctor senses a storm coming, which sets us up nicely for next week's instalment. We can't wait!"

Sneak has this week's episode as one of it's Must-See TV: "The Doc's plans to take Rose to the Olympics in 2012 are scuppered when they discover a girl with scary paranormal powers."

Star magazine gives this episode 4 (out of 5) stars: "It's 2012, the year of the Olympics, and the Tardis lands in London. The Doctor plans to show Rose the Games but, as always, something gets in the way. On a nearby housing estate a terrified mother is hiding her daughter's unearthly and evil powers."

The Sunday Times says, "Londoners planning to abandon their city for a few weeks during the summer of 2012 as the capital's infrastructure is strained to breaking point should enjoy this edition of the revamped sci-fi hit. Thanks to the Tardis, the Doctor plans to take Rose to the much lauded Olympic Games. Unfortunately, any ideas they have of catching a spot of pole vaulting are scuppered by a girl with mysterious powers living on a nearby housing estate (you mean they won't all have been demolished to make way for a velodrome or something?) and it is up to the Doctor to defuse the danger. It's not the most Ken Livingstone-friendly show. Even more rings."

Army of Ghosts Pre-publicity

Outpost Gallifrey has learned that the television trailer campaign will be stepped up again for this episode. A 50-second trailer is currently expected to debut on Saturday evening, although continuing live World Cup coverage means that this remains uncertain. Plans for TV promotion apparently include a 20-second version of the same trailer, with the two versions running throughout the week.

A third Radio Times cover for the series in 2006 may also be a possibility - the current issue's "Next week in RT" blurb leads with "What does the future hold for Billie Piper?" and is illustrated with a small photograph of her, which tends to be a good indication of what will be on the upcoming cover. The issue will be on sale from Tuesday 27 June. And the next issue of Doctor Who Adventures, on sale from Wednesday 28, will preview the last two episodes of the series, as well as featuring a free gift of "a squirty sonic screwdriver".

The Daily Star says of the episode, "Eastenders landlady Peggy Mitchell is horrified to discover Dirty Den's ghost haunting The Queen Vic. The bar boss, played by Barbara Windsor, 69, is seen here trying to get rid of the spirit. A furious Peggy shouts: 'Get out of my pub Den. The only spirits I want to serve around here are whisky, gin and brandy.' The spooky clip will be seen in a forthcoming episode of BBC sci-fi smash Doctor Who. ... The Doc is horrified to see the apparitions popping up everywhere - including on the telly. Even chat show host Trisha Goddard, 48, is in on the act. She will be seen hosting a show called I Married A Dead Man. Viewers will discover however that the Doctor's hunch about the ghosts being 'a front' is right. ... And the time traveller will pay a terrible price."

Love & Monsters Recap

The Times says, "'Do you still have anything left to say about Doctor Who?' my editor asked, with mild disbelief. 'You have now written about this series four times in the past six weeks.' Do I still have anything left to say about Doctor Who (Sat, BBC One)? He might just as well have asked if I have anything left to say about the changing seasons, or the night sky, or my children or, frankly, myself. When something is as good as Doctor Who -- and, currently, it's one of the best things about Britain in the 21st century -- there's always something to say about it. It's like having a conversation about the Beatles. Theoretically, a conversation about the Beatles could span every aspect of humanity, theology, morality, art, sociology, fashion, and continue on up to the point where we die. ... This week's episode was essentially ephemeral. It was a bit of slapstick with Peter Kaye as a vile Absorbaluff -- a lascivious green blob of what appeared to be the expanding foam that you inject into cavity walls, which was sporadically sprinkled with tufts of disturbing black hair, much in the manner of greasy spoon macaroni. Kaye, fairly understandably, appeared to be having a ball -- licking his lips, rolling his eyes and brandishing his hoofy fingers with a well-observed delicacy. ... In the event, the Doctor and Rose appeared merely as guest-stars in their own show -- a small, humorous scrap with a cameo alien, and then materialising in the Tardis for a one-liner. The whole thing was clearly a mid-season intermission. A bit of light relief from the gathering clouds of the story-arc of the series -- which, we gather from hints dropped in previous episodes, will centre on how and why the Doctor ended up killing all the other Time Lords. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this prospect. I was less thrilled and terrified about the impending birth of my first child. However, as the episode was written by Davies, it was an exercise in the scale of the confidence and whimsy an artist can have in his or her Imperial Phase. An entirely digressionary treatise on the joys of ELO, a one-second clip of Elton John, the careless joy of the Doctor and Rose trying to kill a non-essential alien in the style of the Two Stooges -- and then cutting it all dead with an unexpected, chilling line of dialogue, 'Anyone getting close to the Doctor is eventually destroyed.' Even when playing with the loveliest toy a scriptwriter ever had, Davies is hard as nails."

The People said, "Here's Peter Kay as the Dr Who alien Abzorbaloff. Not to be confused with Hayley Cropper's surgeon in Amsterdam. That was Azyorballsoff. Kay's blubbery critter absorbed people into his body. I understand the idea came from watching Bobby Davro absorb other people's jokes into his act. Oddly Peter seemed even stranger as Abby's alter-ego, sinister Victor Kennedy, who could have passed for Burl Ives. Burl sang about the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Victor looked like he'd eaten it."

The Scotsman said, "Now here was an episode of Dr Who with a difference - one where the man who drives the tardis was effectively a guest star. But who could complain when the actors edging him out included Peter Kay, Marc Warren and Shirley Henderson. My sources on the ground tell me that this particular episode has been the subject of much consternation among core Dr Who fans. The handbags at dawn have been caused by the fact that Dr Who has deviated into comedy. There have always been laughs in the series, but for the true believers, this is deadly serious science fiction. In which case, they must have hated this episode. Hustle's Marc Warren took centre stage as Elton, a geeky chap who danced in his bedroom to ELO and dreamt of meeting the Doctor. His internet blogs quickly led to meetings with like-minded folk, including Henderson as equally nerdy Vanessa. Peter Kay pressed the panto button the moment he appeared as the mysterious Victor Kennedy, a dapper chap who wanted to track down the Doctor even more than the Scooby gang did. 'He's an alien,' I shouted at the screen, but no-one threw any sweets back at me. When the moment of revelation came, we discovered that Kay wasn't just an alien, he was an alien with a broad Lancashire accent. All wasn't exactly well that ends well, with the whole gang except Elton having been assimilated by Kay's Abzorbaloff. When poor Ursula was absorbed, he had the cheek to declare 'tastes like chicken'. This was Phoenix Nights meets Dr Who and by the time the Tardis arrived to half-save the day I could almost hear the dismayed chatter of shellshocked former fans. It's true, this episode came close to being a spoof, but it was actually quite nice to have a rest from the Doctor. Even saving the world gets boring sometimes."

Series Three Brief

According to the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, the 2006 Christmas special is now in pre-production, as a one-episode production block (in other words, it won't be filmed in conjunction with any other episodes).

Miscellaneous Press Items

icWales reports that "A building which defined the riches of Cardiff's past and symbolised the decline of traditional industries has been reborn as an icon of innovation and ambition. The former headquarters of the National Provincial Bank in Cardiff Bay is the focus of a multi-million-pound restoration project led by developer Saeed Shad. It will be the new home of Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and an entire floor has been transformed into a film set by BBC Wales for Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood."

Lancaster Today says that "Young Dr Who fan Olly Kay will be making his television debut next week when he's quizzed on his favourite show. Nine-year-old Olly and his family made the trip to Cardiff on Friday for the filming of children's TV show Totally Dr Who. Westgate School pupil Olly pitted his wits against a fellow Dr Who nut in the 'Who Ru' quiz for the chance to win a signed photo and goodie bag. He and his sister Emelia, six, also met several Dr Who actors, including Camille Coduri, who plays Rose Tyler's mum in the series, and Elizabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane). According to his mum Jenny, Olly's obsession with the programme started before he was even born. 'He's been a massive fan all his life – his dad used to play the Dr Who theme tune to my tummy when I was expecting him,' she said. 'He knows everything about it, and thanks to my husband he knows all about the old Dr Who stuff too. They were very impressed with his knowledge.' Olly and his dad Simon have taken their worship of the show to another level – their home in Low Lane, Torrisholme, houses a life-size Dalek and a K9, and they plan to build a tardis next. Even Jenny has finally succumbed to the lure of the show. 'I used to watch it under sufferance but I have been hooked on the new series,' she said. Tune in to Totally Dr Who on BBC1 at 5pm on Thursday to find out how Olly got on in the quiz."

The Register says, "Don't even talk to me. First off, they kill TotP, citing competition from downloads, ringtones and happy slapping. The death of the show that gave us Billie Piper is inevitable TV euthanasia, but it still makes you feel old and bald. Noel Edmonds is so traumatised that he's developed RSI in his elbow (don't start.) Then we heard...oh, you know. The news. The Doctor Who news. The Big Bad Doctor Who News. Who fans will come round and remove my eyeballs with spoons if I give the plot away, so click here for the full spoiler-protected horror. Best make yourself a nice cup of tea first, lads. But it's not all bad news. Cosgrove Hall Films yesterday announced that it's recreating missing eps from the unfinished 1968 Cyberman story, The Invasion. The black and white animation will be unleashed on DVD in November, which, in a shock turn of events, is just before Christmas."

The Mirror picked up the press item about Stephen Fry (gee, I wonder where they got it?)

There was plenty of news coverage of Billie Piper's departure from the series; among the many sources that covered it were Sky News, Ananova, Reuters, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Record, The Guardian, Scifi.com, This is Swindon, Metro, This is Wiltshire, MegaStar, In The News, Kansascity.com, Xtra MSN, IF Magazine, Now Playing, Dark Horizons, ShortNews, MovieHole, TV Squad. Also, the rumors about the various companions being touted by the press can be found at Scifi.com, TMCnet, ITN, Channel 4, Yahoo! News UK, ITV, icWales, Belfast Telegraph.

Another big story this week was the "Invasion" DVD news with the episodes being animated (which we reported a few days ago)... coverage of that has taken place at The Mirror, Yahoo! News, Manchester Evening News, Daily Record, Contact Music, UPI, Netribution, Worldscreen, Animation Magazine.

Other items: Now Playing Mag reviews "Love & Monsters" (and last week's "The Satan Pit" here); TV Squad reviews "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit"; Horsham Online notes that "A visiting Dalek caused quite a stir at Littlehaven Infant School on Saturday (June 17)".

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, John Bowman, Paul Greaves, Scott Matthewman, Michael Hartland, Adam Kirk, Neil Marsh, Paul Hayes, Paul Chudobiak, and Michael McManus)
More Weekend Ratings
TV Series News
June 20, 2006
A brief update on ratings for various Doctor Who related programmes this weekend. Saturday night's installment of Doctor Who Confidential at 7.45pm on BBC3 was watched by 747,400 viewers, with a 5.9% audience share; it was followed at 8.15pm by a repeat installment of "Confidential" (episode three from this season) which was viewed by 402,200 viewers with a 3.0% audience share.

On Sunday night, the BBC3 repeat of Love & Monsters was seen by 700,000 viewers, with a 5.2% share, followed immediately by the repeat of Saturday night's "Confidential" in "Cut Down" edition, viewed by 519,000 viewers (3% share). The Sunday episode repeat was the day's most watched programme on non-terrestrial/satellite channels.

The audience appreciation index (AI) figure for "Love & Monsters" was reported at 76... a low for the season by tied with the first season's "Rose" and "The End of the World".

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