Archive of news items from Outpost Gallifrey:
Blue Peter Today
BroadcastingAugust 31, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
As previously reported, Doctor Who music was featured as part of the Blue Peter annual children's prom, focusing on the BBC's season of classical music concerts, at Royal Albert Hall in London, highlights of which comprised today's show. One of the pieces of music played by he orchestra was an arrangement of the "Doctor Who" theme, during which a Dalek appeared much to the delight of the children in the audience, wandering around the edge of the orchestra pit threatening to exterminate and so forth, before eagerly pursuing "Blue Peter" presenter Liz after she attempted to interview it. During the performance of the theme tune, there were also some clips shown from the recent David Tennant edition of the programme. (Thanks to Paul Hayes)
PeopleAugust 31, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Actor Michael Sheard, one of Doctor Who's most prolific guest actors, died today of cancer at his home on the Isle of Wight according to a BBC News report and a statement on the actor's website. He was 65. Sheard appeared six times during the course of the series, with appearances in "The Ark," "The Mind of Evil," "The Invisible Enemy" and "Castrovalva" as well as his most familiar roles as Laurence Scarman in "Pyramids of Mars" and the Headmaster in "Remembrance of the Daleks". Sheard later returned to Doctor Who for Big Finish in the audio "The Stones of Venice" as Count Orsino. He was best known on British television in the role of Mr. Bronson on BBC1's "Grange Hill," and made his mark on popular film as Admiral Ozzel (who met his fate at Darth Vader's hand) in "The Empire Strikes Back", as a U-boat captain in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and in a brief cameo as Adolf Hitler in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". He was also seen in roles in "Coronation Street," "Dixon of Dock Green," "Crossroads," "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet," "On The Buses," "The Tomorrow People" and countless guest starring roles. Sheard was also a very popular guest at Doctor Who and Star Wars conventions for the past twenty years -- his last appearance was just last month in St. Louis -- and was the author of four books about his memoirs, which included his recollections about years of conventions around the world.Additional reports about Mr. Sheard's passing are on the official Doctor Who website and at Manchester Online, ITN, Paramount Comedy, The Sun, Reuters, SFGate (which runs the AP press report, carried in many papers). Also, the BBC News site is carrying a tribute page for reader comments.
Doctor Who News Briefs
MiscellaneousAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Stuntman and stunt arranger Alf Joint died on July 25. He worked on two Doctor Who stories, "The Ambassadors of Death" and "Battlefield," the latter where he was a stunt arranger.
The official site is promoting the Blue Peter screening of parts of the Blue Peter Prom, including the Who theme and the Daleks. It will air on Wednesday, 31 August.
The BBC's CBeebies digital channel is re-running the 'Bedtime Hour' stories read by Christopher Eccleston this at about 6.30pm from Monday 29 August to Friday 2 September, according to their website.
The Blue Peter site's regular poll on viewers' favourite bits of the show currently stands as follows: What has been your favourite item on the show recently? VJ day special (26 votes) (12%), Doctor Who competition and David Tennant (116 votes) (52%), McFly (83 votes) (37%).
Doctor Who maintains its lead on the CBBC site in the favourite TV programme poll, which asks "What's your favourite TV programme?" Doctor Who has 16.43% of the vote, followed by 14.48% for The Simpsons, 12.40% for Charmed, 11.37% for Lost, 10.22% for Friends.
Finally... a curiosity. Many fans have noticed that, in this month's issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Russell T. Davies may have put a code in his Production Notes column. The information says, if you put together the first letter of every paragraph, it spells 'Tim is gay'. We have no idea what that refers to, if anything, though stranger things have happened...
(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Neil Marsh, Sam Watt)
Who on UK Gold
BroadcastingAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The new series will return to BBC television in October, as the digital channel UK Gold acquires rights to rebroadcast the first season. UK Gold will screen "Rose," "The End of the World" and "The Unquiet Dead" starting at 7pm on Sunday, 23 October; each subsequent day will feature two more episodes, with the final two on 28 October. Weekend repeats of each episode will begin immediately thereafter, broadcasting on Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 9pm. Meanwhile, UK Gold is now running an advert for the return, entitled "The Good, the Gay and the Ugly" (the middle section referring to the series 'Little Britain'); says our correspondent, "this is trailing the reruns of the 9th Doctor series on UK Gold (the Moxx of Balhoon is used to represent 'the Ugly'). No transmission times or dates are given in the advert, though." (Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Mark Francome)
Courtney Bio Special, Baker Signing
BooksAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The upcoming biography of Nicholas Courtney, "Still Getting Away With It" written by Courtney and Michael McManus, will have a special edition release at the upcoming Regenerations convention next month. A brand new cover, specially done for the convention, has been announced by Scificollector, who are publishing the special edition. "This is a limited edition that we have done in this special cover for the event," says Scificollector's Steven Scott. "However recognising that there will be some collectors who cant get to Swansea, we have reserved a quantity of 100 which can be ordered from our website (should be up by tomorrow). These will not be despatched until after the Swansea weekend, but we thought that Outpost Gallifrey's readers would want early notice of this new publication."Meanwhile, Tom Baker has been announced as making a rare UK signing appearance on October 20 to co-launch the regular edition of the biography. Baker will be joined by Courtney and actor Frazer Hines (Jamie) and other guests. Further details will be announced soon at the Scificollector website. (Thanks to Steven Scott)
Big Finish's Cyberman
Big FinishAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released details about the forthcoming Cyberman audio series, written and directed by Nicholas Briggs and script-edited by John Ainsworth. "The human race is about to become extinct," says the site. "Mankind is fighting a long and costly war with its android creations in the Orion System. The deadlock must be broken at all costs. The president of Earth must think the unthinkable... 'There is nothing to fear'." The cover for part one, Scorpius due in September, is at right; parts two through four are Fear, Conversion and Telos and will be released in October through December. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.
MerchandiseAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tenth Planet have sent us the artwork for the 2006 Doctor Who Calendar, both front and back (though noting that the images may be subject to change at a later time). Click on the thumbnail for a larger version (note, though, that this is a very large file!) The calendar is due in the middle of September 2005.
Time Space Visualiser 71
FandomAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue 71 of Time Space Visualiser (TSV), the fanzine of the New Zealand Doctor Who fanclub, is out now. Inside, David Bishop discusses the writing of his novel "Empire of Death"; Jon Preddle traces the purchasing history of Doctor Who by New Zealand broadcasters; Andrew Pixley discusses material cut from The Ambassadors of Death; the new series is reviewed the reactions of older fans are compared with those of unsuspecting school children to the first episode; plus news and reviews and more. TSV is available by mail order and PayPal is accepted. For more details visit www.doctorwho.org.nz. (Thanks to Adam McGechan)
Off The Telly
MiscellaneousAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The UK television website Off The Telly has published two new Doctor Who-themed interviews. Writer and broadcaster Andrew Collins, who was featured as a commentator on the "Doctor Who Confidential" documentary series, has written about his experience of working in a Big Finish play: "It was calming for my non-actorly nerves to get to Stockwell first, follow those instructions through the blue gate, get my bearings and chat to Toby (BBC experience has taught me always to make friends with studio engineers!) You are greeted with tea, coffee, water, wooden fruit bowls piled high with miniature chocolate bars and Wotsits, and a Travel Connect Four for longueurs. Although the green room itself - positioned in the bowels of the modest studio complex - has more air conditioning ducts than actual room, the oppressive piping gives it a Doctor Who space-station feel." Also, Gary Russell of Big Finish enjoys a very revealing interview with Graham Kibble-White in which he discusses Big Finish's current state of affairs, the effect of the new series and fandom as a whole: "It's good for them to have [Big Finish] on their merchandise list, every month there's a brand new Doctor Who CD audio drama with original cast. Every month there's a Doctor Who book. Every month there's something new from whoever the new toy licensees are. It shows their bosses upstairs that Doctor Who is a viable license." Read each interview at the website. (Thanks to Stuart Ian Burns, Graham Kibble-White)
MerchandiseAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant features on the cover on the latest issue of Dreamwatch magazine -- which is now on sale -- and is a featured interview inside the magazine. "It's not like any other acting job," Tennant tells Dreamwatch, "just with the amount of attention that it gets. I've done all sorts of different things. That's all been great fun, but suddenly I get cast as Doctor Who and it was on the news! [laughs] I was visiting my mum and dad, and we were sitting in the kitchen having breakfast, and it came on the news. That's just a whole other world of attention. It's great. It's fantastic to be involved with something that's loved and that people get excited about it. It's a privilege to be a part of that history, but it's kind of daunting as well." He says he was approached for the role because "I was working with Russell T. Davies, the main writer and creative head of it, on Casanova at the end of last year. I knew him through that. Unbeknownst to me, that was my audition. It came up after that, when they knew that Chris Eccleston was moving on. They just asked me to do it. I didn't have to [formally] audition because I had done Casanova. That became my audition because I'd been working so closely with Russell. I didn't know that Doctor Who was a possibility then, and it probably wasn't at that point." Was it true that he had to keep the news quiet? "I couldn't tell anyone. It was such a high voltage secret, I was just aware that there was really no choice. I wanted to tell everyone, of course, but it was pretty hard. My agent was the only person that I could talk to about it." How did it feel when Tom Baker endorsed you for the part? "I heard about this. I was completely thrilled. That's really lovely. I haven't actually confirmed it. I've only heard it third-hand, and of course I never believe anything I read in the papers. I hope it's true. I'm choosing to believe it's true. I'm a huge fan of his." The issue also features an interview with comic creator Bryan Hitch, who served as concept artist on the revival of Doctor Who, where he talks about revamping the TARDIS, the Daleks and offers tantalising clues about the new Cybermen. Visit the Dreamwatch website for more information.
Next DWM Special
MerchandiseAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to the Diamond Comics distributor site, there will be a new special coming soon from the creators of DWM, "The Story of Doctor Who". "Discover the complete history of Doctor Who in the words of those who made the program! This 100-page special gathers together, for the first time anywhere, a huge array of interviews with those in front of and behind the cameras - from the entire 42-year run of the series. Including many never-before-seen photos, this is a must-have for Doctor Who fans, and a great introduction to the series for newcomers." According to the site, this will be out in November. (Thanks to Robin Shannon)
The Week's Press Items
Press ClipsAugust 30, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Catching up on some recent Doctor Who press clips:
According to a report in The Scotsman, new BBC1 controller Peter Fincham spoke recently at the Edinburgh Television Festival to "set out his ambition for a popular network that would bring families around the set, through shows such as Doctor Who, despite predictions that the 'iPod generation' now only wanted media served on-demand. The new controller announced a focus on comedy drama and said the network would continue to produce the historic period-piece dramas for which it was well known." The article says that Fincham highlighted Doctor Who "as an example of a programme that drew new, younger audiences into the BBC in a family viewing experience. He also predicted that in an age of proliferating digital channels, BBC1 would be the trust-brand viewers would keep turning to for major live events. 'It is tempting to assume that the shared experience is in terminal decline, but the urge to be part of a bigger audience, and the satisfaction that we derive from it, is a strong one," he said. "In a time-shifted world, live events - Live 8 is a good example - assume a greater importance than ever.'"
The Telegraph reported that the stock of Character Group "jumped 7 1/2 to 57 1/2p after unveiling plans to launch a Dr Who range of toys in the next few weeks. The toy range, which is based on the BBC TV series, has been developed in partnership with the public service broadcaster." A press release by the company noted that the toy range "includes a Talking Tardis Money Box, the Sonic Screwdriver, an LCD game and 3D Walkie Talkies and The Dalek. Richard King, Chairman of The Character Group said: 'The first bulk shipment of the radio controlled Daleks will hit the stores within the next two weeks and, whilst the demand for all our Dr Who products is very encouraging, we would expect that the demand for the radio controlled Dalek, will far exceed our manufacturing capacity to Christmas of 150,000 units'." Also reported at This Is Money.
There's a new version of the classic police box in Glasgow, says the Evening Times. "It looks like it has landed from outer space, but this hi-tech box is the latest crime-busting device used by police in Glasgow. The city's new police box would not look out of place in an episode of Dr Who, but the 'tardis' will remain at St Enoch Square. Sitting prominently near the entrance to the subway station at the bottom of Buchanan Street, the box will be a vital tool in solving crime in the city centre and will be used by officers across the division. The chrome box stands at 10ft tall and is the first operational police box in the city since 1969, when radios made them redundant. It will be protected by CCTV and will allow instant reporting of incidents. If successful, more space age boxes could be materialising on a street near you. Police boxes were once a familiar site across the city, but very few remain. There is still a vintage box on Buchanan Street, which serves as a tourist information point and another on Great Western Road at Byres Road, which has been converted into a coffee shop. Earlier this year, a worker discovered an old police box embedded in a brick wall. It will go on display at the city's police museum next spring." Also reported by Strathclyde Police, BBC News, Glasgow Evening Times, Scotland Today.
Tom Baker is interviewed in a BBC press release about the seventh and final season of "Monarch of the Glen" in which he plays Donald MacDonald. Says Baker in the interview, "I enjoy overacting and I'm very good at it - I suppose you could say I've made a career out of it. Donald MacDonald is a part I can have fun with, which is marvellous because I have a horror of self pity and I try to see the funny side of everything. As you get near death, as I am, you have to laugh at everything - otherwise the alternative is to be utterly depressed." He notes that he enjoyed filming a scene with a real-life panther for a very dramatic Monarch storyline later in the run. "Oh, the panther was wonderful!' exclaims Tom. "One of my best co-stars ever, because let's face it, cats are so much more interesting to look at in close-up than actors." Read more of the interview in the press release; it's on the fifth page.
The Daily Star says that Billie Piper "blooms in sexy black" in some new photos in today's issue. "The 22-year-old, who plays the Time Lord's sidekick in the smash BBC series Dr Who, looks sexier than ever in this sensational new photoshoot. And it seems the show's famous Tardis is now about to transport our Billie to global superstardom. ... Her gorgeous curves and sexy pout have helped win the cult sci-fi show a whole new generation of fans - and earned her plenty of hot offers from telly and film bosses." Last weekend's Sunday Mirror discussed recent sightings of Piper, which noted that "She's apparently been filming from 11pm to 5am every night in Cardiff, which means her days are often spent in bed catching up on sleep so it's no wonder she hit the pub at the first opportunity."
BBC News reported last week that "three workers on Brighton Pier hid in the Doctor Who exhibition today (Tues) during a police and immigration department raid. Forty police officers and immigration workers entered the pier at 0850 BST on Tuesday and rounded up about 60 staff. The Home Office has said it was an intelligence-led operation. The pier re-opened at 1220 BST. The 60 staff were questioned in a fish and chip shop on the pier, which was shut to the public. The immigration service said most of the people involved co-operated but three people had hidden in the pier's Dr Who exhibition."
An article at the VH1 website discusses Eric Roberts (the Master in the 1996 TV movie) in two music videos, two by Mariah Carey and one by the group The Killers.
Several papers have run a brief article about gay actors/characters on television including noting John Barrowman's recent portrayal of Captain Jack, including the Washington Blade, the Houston Voice (Texas), and the Southern Voice (Georgia).
In The Observer last week (21 August 2005), there was a section in which critics were invited to pick out the most overrated moments in art and the media. Kathryn Flett picked out four moments in TV, including: "Dr Who: Russell T Davies has done wonders, admittedly, but the original was cheap, dull, creaky and parochial." Ugh.
More coverage of Elisabeth Sladen and John Leeson on the new series at Yahoo, Manchester Online, The Scotsman, SciFi.com; more on BBC1 winning Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International TV Festival at The Guardian.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, Peter Weaver, Mark Irwin, Andrew Tibbs, John Kilbride, James Wilkinson, James Pearson, Darren Pickles)
Doctor Who on the Net?
TV Series NewsAugust 28, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a BBC News story, BBC Director General Mark Thompson has confirmed that the BBC's TV channels will eventually be made available on the internet. Thompson announced plans for the MyBBCPlayer - which will allow viewers to legally download seven days of programmes - at the Edinburgh Television Festival, and said he hoped the service would launch next year. "We won't deserve or get licence-fee funding beyond 2016... that is very definitely not our plan," said Thompson. Says the report, a simulcast of BBC One or BBC Two, letting UK viewers see programmes on the web at the same time as they go out on TV, is also planned as part of MyBBCPlayer. Said Thompson, "We believe that on-demand changes the terms of the debate, indeed that it will change what we mean by the word 'broadcasting'. Every creative leader in the BBC is wrestling with the question of what the new technologies and audience behaviours mean for them and their service." Audio and video archive material will be made available, as will other items such as BBC material for sale. The story metnions the leak of the first episode of the new Doctor Who series in March, and also notes that "a BBC spokesman said the corporation was aiming to simulcast a channel permanently but would restrict it to UK viewers only. These plans are subject to the approval of the board of governors and the resolution of rights clearance issues on content like music and imported shows." Also reported at Yahoo News. (Thanks to Thomas Jennings, Paul Engelberg)
Mad Norwegian Update
BooksAugust 28, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Mad Norwegian Press have told Outpost Gallifrey that their books About Time 1 by Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood and the new version of A History of the Universe by Lance Parkin should see publication before end of year; however, they are currently without specific release dates. "We certainly apologize for the delay and the continual uncertainty about the release date of these books," Pearson told us. "I can only assure our readers that the sort of ambitious reference guides we're trying to produce aren't easy, and most of our current projects have become more complicated than expected, which requires extra time to get everything right. A book like, say, 'About Time 1' looked comparatively easy compared to the other 'About Time' volumes, but it's running about 50,000 words longer than projected." The remaining volumes of the "About Time" series will receive definitive release dates as they are near completion. (Thanks to Lars Pearson)
Short News Updates
MiscellaneousAugust 28, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Rumors that Anthony Stewart Head will play the Master in the second Doctor Who series now filming are false, despite Internet reports to the contrary.
The Blue Peter Prom, which features a new arrangement of the Doctor Who theme and a guest appearance by a Dalek, will be shown on Wednesday's edition of Blue Peter at 5.00 pm on BBC One.
BBC7 has debuted another new trailer for its series of Paul McGann Doctor Who audio stories. Running for 1 minute and forty seconds, the trailer again features new material recorded by Paul McGann giving a brief history of his TARDIS ("Time and Relative Dimensions in Space" in this version), and it was broadcast after the final part of "Storm Warning" at just before 7.00pm on Saturday and again at midnight.
Big Finish has discreetly added some material to the Cyberman section of its website, including a video trailer for the new miniseries, which plays with Windows Media Player.
Channels of the Year
BroadcastingAugust 28, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC News reports that BBC One and BBC Three have taken both channel of the year prizes at the Edinburgh TV Festival. "BBC One was named terrestrial channel of the year, having had ratings success with shows such as Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing. BBC Three beat Sky One, BBC Four, Living TV and UKTV History to the title of non-terrestrial channel of the year." The report notes that BBC One's victory in the terrestrial category ended BBC Two's winning streak, the channel having taken the top prize for the past two years. BBC Three, which ran the Doctor Who Confidential series as well as repeats of Doctor Who, and, indeed, is doing so at the moment, was named non-terrestrial channel of the year, beating Sky One, BBC Four, Living TV and UKTV History. Russell T Davies's Casanova, which starred David Tennant in the title role, was one of the nominees in the programme of the year category, but the award went to Channel 4's Jamie's School Dinners. (Thanks to Steve Tribe, John Bowman, Paul Hayes)
BBC Books Cover Update
BooksAugust 25, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Amazon.co.uk has revealed two new cover images for the Doctor Who novels being released at the end of this year: Simon Guerrier's The Time Travellers starring the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara, and Andrew Cartmel's Atom Bomb Blues starring the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Also, there is now a new, revised cover image for Terrance Dicks' Second Doctor novel World Game; Outpost Gallifrey was informed that the cover illustration previously seen would change slightly at some point, the new cover possessing a different image of Troughton and revised background features. Click on each thumbnail for a larger image.
North American DVD Update
DVD and VideoAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Warner Home Video has released the cover illustrations for the forthcoming North American DVD releases of The Claws of Axos starring Jon Pertwee and City of Death starring Tom Baker; click on each thumbnail for a larger version. Interestingly, it seems that the release of "City of Death" will be a few days prior to the UK release; a UK cover has not yet been issued.
K9 Returns to Doctor Who
TV Series NewsAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a press release from the BBC Press Office, John Leeson will reprise the role of the robotic sidekick K9, last seen during the original series in the twentieth anniversary story "The Five Doctors" in 1983, in the new series. The appearance of the robot dog was rumored on Outpost Gallifrey as far back as early July, but this is the first official confirmation of the appearance. "Today David Tennant, the Tenth Time Lord, will be reunited with two of his favourite and most iconic companions - Sarah Jane Smith and the faithful robot dog, K9," says the press release. "K9, who was the loyal friend to Tom Baker's Doctor between 1977 and 1981, joins Sarah Jane Smith, the Doctor, Rose and Mickey in a fight against the evil Krillitanes. John Leeson, the voice of K9, says: 'I am delighted to have been invited back on board the series - and a little gathered rust is no object to a fully functional K9!' Producer Phil Collinson adds: 'It is great to be welcoming K9 back to Doctor Who. A whole generation fondly remember him as an ever-faithful companion and best friend to Tom Baker's Doctor. I hope the new generation of viewers will fall in love with him in the same way. I'm sure he's going to prove an invaluable help to the Doctor in the fight against intergalactic evil.'" Leeson joins Elisabeth Sladen, previously confirmed returning to the role of Sarah Jane Smith from the original series. Says Sladen, "I am so thrilled to be back and I feel so empowered by the affection that [the whole team] have for Sarah Jane Smith and for the programme. Toby Whithouse's script is wonderful - it's an absolutely truthful progression of Sarah. I just hope I can live up to their expectation, and I hope I can still run as fast after 30 years!" The episode, "School Reunion," "sees the team investigate sinister events at a modern-day comprehensive school, and also stars Anthony Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Little Britain)." Also reported at the official BBC Doctor Who website and at CBBC, BBC News, The Mirror.
BBC Three Ratings
TV Series NewsAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Overnight ratings figures are in for the current run of repeat showings of the new series on BBC Three:
Rose (17 July) 165,300 1.5% share
Rose (22 July) 139,900 1% share
The End of the World (24 July) 162,000 1.2% share
The End of the World (29 July) 151,500 1.0% share
The Unquiet Dead (31 July) 227,000 1.8% share
The Unquiet Dead (5 August) 89,500 0.6% share
Aliens of London (7 August) 215,200 1.8% share
Aliens of London (12 August) 101,300 0.7% share
World War Three (14 August) 226,300 1.7% share
World War Three (19 August) 200,200 1.4% share
While these figures don't put the repeats in BBC Three's Top Ten (currently reaching 250,000-400,000 viewers), they are comparable to what the channel has achieved with other programmes in the Friday 9pm timeslot (about 140,000), and a marked improvement on the 78,000 achieved by T in the Park on 10 July, the Sunday before the repeats started. The Doctor Who repeats are also achieving a similar or slightly improved audience share to other BBC Three output in those slots. (Thanks to Nick Salmond, Steve Tribe)
Doctor Who At The BBC Volume 3
AudioAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC has issued at press release about the forthcoming third volume of Doctor Who At The BBC from BBC Audio. "Elisabeth Sladen presents another instalment of these hugely successful audio spin-offs featuring an eclectic mix of interviews, features, clips and behind-the-scenes extracts from the past and present worlds of Doctor Who. Researchers have combed the avenues of Time and Space, and the basements of Broadcasting House for this compilation of spin-off moments from the much-loved TV and radio series. In an exclusive coup, this third volume features a rarely heard, ten minute mini-drama starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen. Specially recorded for Glorious Goodwood in 1974, it has never been broadcast and features a host of familiar enemies � including the Daleks! Elsewhere on this two-disc volume, the radio programme Wavelength meets the cast and production team of The Two Doctors; Nationwide investigates the work of the Radiophonic Workshop in 1983; and a group of schoolchildren give their views on the series in Take Two from 1984. The Grumbleweeds enjoy their own exciting adventure in Dr Nobbut-Just; 'Ann Robinson' menaces the Doctor in Dead Ringers; and Jane Asher plays the Doctor's granddaughter in Whatever Happened to...Susan Foreman? Rare interview material includes Frank Bough's Nationwide encounter with fourth Doctor Tom Baker (plus Mary Tamm and Carole Ann Ford), Lalla Ward's appearance on Multi-coloured Swap Shop, and a mid-Eighties radio interview with Sarah Sutton. There are also features on the brand new Doctor Who, including comments from Russell T Davies and Christopher Eccleston, and even the seal of approval from Michael Grade..." The audio is released on September 5.
Doctor Who on Your Mobile
MiscellaneousAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a BBC press release, "ROK Player has signed an innovative licensing deal with BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, to release a selection of its major properties for full-length full-screen play on mobile phones," the first time BBC Worldwide has licensed full-length video content for use on mobile phones. Doctor Who and Red Dwarf are among the initial offerings, with "The Five Doctors" (the 20th anniversary story that aired in 1983) and three episodes of Red Dwarf ("Marooned," "Quarantine" and "Cassandra") as part of the initial package. These will work on phones equipped with DVC (digital video chips) from Nokia. Says the release, "ROK Player is working with BBC Worldwide to extend its portfolio of classic BBC TV episodes over the coming months. 'BBC Worldwide is always looking for new opportunities, both in the UK and abroad, that allow consumers to enjoy their favourite TV content again and again, while delivering additional revenues to the BBC and to the talent behind the classic programming. The ROK Player meets these demands, delivering high quality full-length episodes to mobile phones on a commercial basis,' said Marc Humphrey, Business Development Manager, BBC Worldwide." Also widely reported in the media including at BBC News, Cellular News, Broadcast Now, Computing, WhatPC, VNUNet, NetImperative, PhoneContent, Yahoo News, Waveguide, WebProNews, TelephonyWorld, Reuters, The Times, icWales, The Inquirer, The Register, Silicon, VOX Marketing, Digital Lifestyles, Stuff (NZ), news.com.au, Electric News, Symbian, DM Europe, Virgin.net, Softpedia, Manchester Online, PC Pro.
MiscellaneousAugust 24, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The intergalactic bounty hunter Death's Head, who has encountered the Doctor on a number of occasions in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine and in his own comic, has won a Marvel comics readers poll and will be revamped in the pages of Amazing Fantasy, according to Marvel Comics. He will appear in issue 16, due in December. Death's Head was created by Simon Furman, Geoff Senior and Bryan Hitch, who later went on to help with the design of the new series of Doctor Who.
Brief Filming Updates
TV Series NewsAugust 19, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
There's a reason why there haven't been any new set photos the past week... the production spent a week filming at Clearwell Caves, finishing on Monday this past week, and have now gone back to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where they filmed last year's episode "Dalek". "The set is dressed up like a 'James Bond style' office with posh chairs and tables," says our correspondent Ian Golden. "A video screen is showing a loop of a satellite broadcast of the Earth and there is a big Union Jack in one corner... There's loads of extras, all dressed in black riot gear. No David or Billie today but maybe tomorrow - they are there until the end of Thursday. Doctor Who: Confidential was filming there today as well." The production is now said to be returning to the studios in Newport for indoor filming, as they are filming three episodes simultaneously: the Christmas special, episode 1 and episode 3.
And speaking of "The Christmas Invasion," Outpost Gallifrey has learned that 26 December may indeed be the current date being mulled for transmission of the special (that would be Boxing Day in the UK) but that nothing has been completely finalised yet.
Late Week Press Clips
Press ClipsAugust 19, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Independent has run an article entitled "Billie Piper: The kid stays in the picture" interviewing her and discussing her first few weeks on the job filming series two. "It's shortly after 11am when Billie Piper arrives at her local north London pub, arms laden with cigarettes, a mobile phone and a restorative orange juice. She yawns, apologises and, arms still full, offers the first two fingers of her right hand as a greeting in lieu of a proper handshake. Minutes later, now free of clutter and seated at a garden table, another yawn occurs, revealing a gaping maw of perfectly chiselled teeth ... For the past couple of weeks, Piper has been going to work when most other people are going to bed. She is resuming her role as Rose Tyler, the effervescent sidekick of Doctor Who, a character now being played by David Tennant following Christopher Eccleston's rather abrupt departure at the end of the first series. Despite much tabloid speculation that Piper herself was also quitting the show - for movies, for Hollywood, for wraparound superstardom - the truth is that she is staying precisely where she is. For now, at least. 'Well, I've not heard any rumours of me being killed off,' she says. 'So as far as I'm aware, I'm around for the entire second series.' ... The night-shoots, she admits, are taking their toll, not just on her body but, it seems, her public profile as well. Eighteen months ago, Piper filmed a British horror flick called Spirit Trap. It has been collecting dust on the shelves ever since - and, many suggest, rightly so - but in the light of its leading actress's blossoming profile, it has suddenly secured a release date. What's more, the producers wanted to arrange a red carpet premiere, with Piper's presence sure to secure significant media interest. But rumours abounded that Piper had seen the finished product and was appalled at its awfulness, so appalled that she wanted nothing more to do with it. All such accusations were summarily denied, with Piper's lack of support blamed on pressure from the Doctor Who schedule. There were apologies all round." The article goes on to discuss her role in the film and why she did it, as well as why she didn't support the film's release ("because, genuinely, she was too busy"). Read more at the website. Also reported at the Belfast Telegraph, MegaStar and in The Mirror.
Russell T Davies will attend the Cardiff Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit evening on September 6 according to an article on uk.gay.com. "The man behind Dr Who and Queer as Folk will be revealing secrets of the new series of the cult sci-fi show at a special Pride event next month. Russell T Davies, will be attending the Cardiff Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit evening on September 6 to meet fans and answer questions on Dr Who, as well as his other critical and commercial successes. The event is part of Cardiff�s Mardi Gras celebrations, which take place throughout early September and culminate in a concert on the 10th September. The musical event will take place in the Millennium Stadium and is expected to see the massive football and rugby ground turned pink for the evening. Opera turned pop star Charlotte Church is also set to appear at the musical events held in the Welsh capital. Davies� appearance will coincide with other appearances at the city�s Sherman theatre in an evening intended to appeal to fans of comedy, theatre and music alike. He will be joined by top comedienne Clare Summerskill, West End actor Dave Benson, who received plaudits for his one may Kenneth Williams show, Think No Evil, and live music from Swansea-based singer Scotty." More details at the website. Meanwhile, details about his appearance at the Sherman Theatre can be found here.
Broadway World and Playbill both discuss John Barrowman appearing with Rob Lowe in "A Few Good Men" which opened to previews today (the main opening is September 6).
A press release from the BBC Press Office says that BBC Worldwide will be announcing a new licensing deal at this year's Brand Licensing Show on October 25; there is currently no word on what this will entail. Also noted in the press release is the following detail about new licensed material: "The master toy licensee for Doctor Who, Character Group, have just launched their eagerly anticipated first toy range which includes a radio-controlled Dalek, walkie talkies of the new Slitheen Monster and the Doctor and battling daleks. Character Groups range will be joined by further products including board games from Toybrokers, jigsaws from Ravensburger and stationery and tableware from DNC."
The Mirror and BBC News have carried stories about the Abzorbaloff creature and its creator, nine year old William Grantham, announced this past Wednesday on "Blue Peter" (see separate story).
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver, Tonia Cook)
Nathan-Turner: Donor in Focus
PeopleAugust 19, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The 'considerable archive' of items belonging to John Nathan-Turner, the final producer of the 'classic' Doctor Who series who oversaw seasons 18 through 26, and who passed away in 2002, has been acquired by the British Film Institute's National Library, who has named him a "Donor in Focus". The archive is part of the BFI National Library's special collections; access is restricted to those who already have BFI Library annual library membership, for which there is a fee, and have to be consulted in the BFI study room. We're not sure exactly what this archive entails, but we imagine Doctor Who scholars are currently looking into it. (Thanks to Neil Marsh, Matthew Kilburn)
Today on Blue Peter
TV Series NewsAugust 17, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant appeared today on Blue Peter to promote Doctor Who, and here's what transpired:
The "design a monster" competition received 43,920 entries, apparently the best response to a Blue Peter competition since 1993. The top five hundred were shown on boards in the studio, with the presenters pointing out some of them to a visiting Dalek which cast its opinion on them, and footage was also shown of the team with Russell T Davies at his home judging the entries. Following this some close-ups of runner-up entries were shown accompanied by the series theme tune. Then following a clip from "The Parting of the Ways," David Tennant was introduced in the studio, interviewed by the three presenters. He said that he didn't want to give too much away, but promised some 'Christmassy elements' in the Christmas episode.
Questions from viewers were given to him from viewers. The first question was, did he watch as a youngster? Tennant replied that he did, and one of the presenters asked if he watched from behind the sofa. Tennant questioned whether anybody could do this as sofa are surely against walls. The next question was, did he watch the last series, and if so did he have a favourite part? He said that he had watched, and would have done so even had he not been taking on the part � although he did say his favourite moment was the regeneration when he took over! The third question was where would he go in time and space if he could choose... he said he'd like to go back and see the first performance of Hamlet and meet Shakespeare. He was then asked how his Doctor would be different from Christopher Eccleston's, to which Tennant replied that the clothes would obviously be different, but that they would have to watch and judge for themselves otherwise. He did use the phrase 'A bit down with the kids', however.
The live webchat after the show was then advertised. The Dalek then introduced the winners, clips from Davies' house shown again, and then the winning entries were announced for third, second and first places in the three different age groups. Tennant introduced first prize winners. Overall winner spoke on the phone about how he was inspired, asked Tennant who his favourite Doctor was. Tennant said Tom Baker, as he was the one he grew up with. Neill Gorton was then interviewed about how he was going to realise the design. The female presenter mentioned that it had been hinted there would be "evil teachers" in an upcoming episode, in reference to an evil school dinnerlady drawing! Some other monsters mentioned included a big green egg with a slurpy tongue protruding; the Indian god Shiva, except with more arms; a "broccoli" monster (which seemed to amuse Davies in the film clips); and Sad Tony, a pink and tearful version of the Ogron Monster from "Frontier in Space".
The winning monster from the competition, which will be used in the series, was called an Abzorbaloff and is described as a "hairy Sumo"... green, snarly, wild-eyed, with the faces of previous victims showing through its skin. William Grantham from Colchester was the winner of the competition.
Executive producer Russell T Davies was not present, despite pre-airing reports that he would join Tennant on stage; instead, he was shown judging the competition from his home, looking delighted with the entries.
Tennant then went to the CBBC Studios for a web chat which lasted approximately 15 minutes; many of the questions were in much the same vein as the ones asked of him on Blue Peter, with no additional information learned.
UPDATE: The Blue Peter BBC website now has a page of all winning entries; click here to see all of the finalists in all three age categories.
UPDATE: The BBC Press Office has issued a press release with full details about the contest, noting that the judges included Blue Peter editor Richard Marson, Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones, Russell T Davies and David Tennant. There were also also a few brief answers from an interview conducted with David Tennant "during rehearsals" this afternoon posted here, and a transcript of this evening's webchat should be up soon at this site.(Thanks to Paul Hayes, Andrew Duncan, Jon Melville, Steve Tribe, and to "WilX" for the image)
Tennant Webchat Wednesday
TV Series NewsAugust 16, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant will participate in a web chat on the CBBC website from 5.30 to 6.30pm on Wednesday 17 August; the site is currently taking questions from readers of the BBC sites for him to answer. Tennant is expected to appear soon after he visits the "Blue Peter" set on Wednesday.
Box Set Commentaries
TV Series NewsAugust 16, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Commentaries have been recorded for the forthcoming Doctor Who Series One Box Set due out in November. DWM notes the following commentaries have been recorded for each of the 13 episodes (noting that one, "The Long Game" had not yet been recorded at press time):
The Reign of Terror
AudioAugust 16, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to Amazon, BBC Audio will release the complete soundtrack of the classic story The Reign of Terror on February 6, 2006. "The Reign of Terror" is the final story of the first season, and will join the other serials already released on CD, with linking narration (likely provided by William Russell, who has voiced others in the series). (Thanks to Gareth Jelley)
Cast and Crew Updates
TV Series NewsAugust 16, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has some new casting information about the forthcoming season. Previously confirmed actor Adam Garcia will appear in "The Christmas Invasion" as Alex Klein, along with Daniel Evans (Danny Llewellyn), Sean Gilder, Anita Breim (Sally) and Chu Ornambala as Major Blake. In "School Reunion," additional cast members include Eugene Washington (Mr Wagner), Caroline Berry and Rod Arthur. Newly confirmed crewmembers on block one of series two include Llinos Wyn Jones (script supervisor), Jon Older (first assistant director), Julian Barber (camera operator) and Simon Fraser (sound recordist). The issue says that work began on 18 July with rehearsals, which included David Tennant, Billie Piper, Anthony Stewart Head and Elisabeth Sladen, with filming starting on 22 July as we previously reported here.
Cardiff Set Report, Photos
TV Series NewsAugust 16, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Below are a collection of photos taken one week ago in Cardiff by correspondent John Williams as preparation began for the filming of "The Christmas Invasion" there, including shots of the department store being converted to Henrik's (complete with holiday angels); there are no actors present (although Billie Piper is seen from behind in one), as they are mostly shots of the production crew, but also an interesting look at the setup (with director James Hawes checking a shot angle on a tri-ladder, and the Confidential crew seen doing interviewing.) Also included below are Williams' reports from that location from last week; click on the spoiler tag for further details.
City of Death DVD
DVD and VideoAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
At long last, the UK's City of Death DVD release has some official information attached to it. The release will be two discs, as mentioned in an article at the Restoration Team website which discusses the restoration of the footage, including audio repairs, and notes the large number of extras being included on it (hence the double disc set). Unfortunately neither Tom Baker or Lalla Ward were able to take part in the commentary or featurettes, it says, but the commentary is done by two of the story's main guest stars, Julian Glover (Count Scarlioni/Scaroth) and Tom Chadbon (Duggan), along with the story's director, Michael Hayes. The 45-minute featurette "Paris in the Springtime", written by Jonathan Morris and produced by Ed Stradling, and narrated by Toby Longworth, "goes behind the scenes on the production of the story, with a particular emphasis on the contribution of Douglas Adams" and features interview clips with Adams, Glover, Chadbon, Hayes, Catherine Schell, script editor Anthony Read, writer David Fisher, director Pennant Roberts, and writers Steven Moffat and Rob Shearman. The documentary also includes illustration by Jason Lythgoe-Hay to reproduce the original storyline, "A Gamble With Time." A 20-minute featurette, "Paris, W12" is also included, with extracts from the recording sessions; "Prehistoric Landscapes," a montage of landscape and effects for the story; "Eye on... Blatchford," a regional-interest program; plus the 1980 Doctor Who Annual in PDF format, photo gallery, floorplans, easter eggs and production notes. The story is due out on DVD in November in the UK.
Casting Plus Other News and Rumors
TV Series NewsAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
A few items of note making the rounds today: according to the latest issue of Doctor Who magazine, "The Sunshine Camp" is not the title for the first episode (though of course, it doesn't say what that title actually is...) The rest of it what's transpired is mostly casting and other rumors making the rounds, so we've protected them in the spoiler tags below; click on it to read.
Doctor Who Magazine 360
MerchandiseAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue 360 of Doctor Who Magazine is not only due... in fact, it's out (at least to subscribers). Here's the release info about this edition (with thanks to Clay Hickman and Tom Spilsbury).
Find out more about the new-look Tenth Doctor - including some exclusive images not seen anywhere else - in the latest issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine!
In this month's edition, executive producer Russell T Davies chats about new Doctor Who, David Tennant, in the second part of our exclusive interview: "David worked very closely with our new costume designer, Louise Page, on the Tenth Doctor's look. We've been talking loose ties, scruffy jackets and sneakers for months now. It's good to see them at last! It's a little bit punk, a bit scruffy, a bit student-y, even a bit schoolboy-ish, and yet with the smartness of a suit thrown in. Oh, and I can't tell you the days and days and days of work that went into getting the right pinstripe!"
Meanwhile, Rose's mum - alias Camille Coduri - chats about Jackie's close encounters; production designer Ed Thomas talks about his designs for the Doctor's universe; and there's a quick chat with Elisabeth Sladen about her imminent return as Sarah Jane Smith!
On top of this, Gallifrey Guardian reports all the latest news from the Doctor Who set - including exclusive casting news, and more info on November's DVD box set - and an old favourite returns to DWM's pages after many years away!
Plus there's the second part of the new comic strip adventure The Cruel Sea written by Dalek author Robert Shearman; the results of the 2004 DWM survey; reviews of Boom Town, Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways - and all the usual features.
DWM 360 goes on sale on Thursday 18 August, priced �3.99.
Doctor Who Board Game
MerchandiseAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Due out September 29, Doctor Who: The Interactive Electronic Board Game has been announced at the BBC Shop. "You are the Doctor, travelling through space collecting vital repair components to fix the Tardis, but beware your archenemy the Daleks are out to exterminate you!" says the limited information. The game requires 2 to 6 players (3 x AAA batteries required not included) and is designed for ages 7 and up. Click on the thumbnail for a larger graphic.
Press ClipsAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Saturday's edition of The Herald featured a profile of John Barrowman (Captain Jack), including an interview and his comments about his life and career, his partner and ideas on marriage and adoption. "Growing up in Illinois, I used to get bullied a lot for being Scottish. Other kids would shout things like, 'You wear a dress,' and they thought we lived in mud huts. Most of all, though, they made fun of the accent. And no-one likes to get picked on or bullied for being different, especially not at eight years old. So I thought, 'Screw you. I'm going to beat you at your own game.' I just wanted to blend in, and that's why I taught myself how to speak with an American accent." He says "I will be coming back... But no date has been set. That's the official answer." You can read the full article at the website.
Newsquest Media reports that Christopher Eccleston "has found something to keep him busy after leaving Dr Who - trying to save Manchester's historic Victoria Baths. The television star from Little Hulton visited the baths to pledge his support for the campaign to restore them. The Edwardian building was voted as the country's favourite on BBC2's Restoration programme in 2003, and was awarded �3.5 million to do the necessary repair work. But campaigners Friends of Victoria Baths say an extra �16.5 million is needed." The Manchester Evening News quotes him as saying, "I've dealt with bouts of unemployment for 20 years. My ambition now is simply to swim in Victoria Baths. Coming in here today, I can smell the chlorine and hear the voices. The worst thing that could happen would be for the baths to be converted for private use. I learned to swim at Walkden Baths, where my mum was the aerotone and sauna attendant for around 20 years. This reminds me, to some extent, of those years. My hope is that working class kids from the area will soon be able to swim here again." He added: "All my success has been down to my upbringing in Salford and Manchester. My background, the values I was taught and the formative experiences I had at places like this."
Reviews of Billie Piper's film Spirit Trap (mostly negative, unfortunately), appear at The Telegraph, The Mirror, Sky Movies, Barking and Dagenham Recorder, and in print in the Sun, Leicester Mercury, and the Express ("Amateurish and slow-moving, this is highly unlikely to give anyone sleepless nights") among other papers.
The official Doctor Who website appeals to school children: "Can your reading group review the new books? Does your school have a reading group? If so, we're looking for three groups across the country to give us their comments on the new Doctor Who books that are coming out early next month. Each group chosen will receive five advance copies of one of the three new adventures of the Doctor and Rose. The books are released on September 8, so we'd need comments from each school in by September 10 - we appreciate this is fairly near the start of term, so bear this in mind before applying. Please bear in mind that the stories are suitable for readers over eight."
Other press items: A review of the final episode, "The Parting of the Ways, in the Sydney Morning Herald; and an article about an Aussie radio parody of Doctor Who which was popular in the late 70s-early 80s.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Paul Hayes, Elaine Shanks, Peter Weaver)
BBC Kids Canada
BroadcastingAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC Kids advance online schedule shows a promotion for Doctor Who in the lineup effective Monday 29 August. On weeknights, Doctor Who will now air twice - Midnight and 5AM EDT, replacing the previous 2AM EDT only broadcast. 2 episodes per day as before. First story in the new time periods - Snakedance. On weekends, Doctor Who will continue being shown in complete stories one time at 2AM EDT. With this change, the weeknight showings will be easier for Canadian viewers to tune in and watch. Not easy, but the best it has been since at least 2003. For the various Canadian time zones: Newfoundland: Weeknights 1:30AM and 6:30AM (2 episodes), Weekends 3:30AM (complete stories). Atlantic (ADT or AST): Weeknights 1AM and 6AM (2 episodes), Weekends 3AM (complete stories). Eastern (EDT or EST): Weeknights Midnight and 5AM (2 episodes), Weekends 2AM (complete stories). Central (CDT or CST): Weeknights 11PM and 4AM (2 episodes), Weekends 1AM (complete stories). Mountain (MDT or MST): Weeknights 10PM and 3AM (2 episodes), Weekends Midnight (complete stories). Pacific (PDT or PST): Weeknights 9PM and 2AM (2 episodes), Weekends 11PM (complete stories). (Thanks to Benjamin Elliott / This Week in Doctor Who)
Davison in Nebulous 2
PeopleAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Nebulous, the sci-fi comedy series written by Graham Duff (who wrote the Big Finish audio "Faith Stealer") and produced by Baby Cow for BBC Radio 4 returns for a brand new series in Spring 2006... and special guest star Peter Davison plays Dr Diplodicus in the episode "The Deptford Wives". Says the press information from Radio 4 sent to Outpost Gallifrey: "The year is 2099 and eco scientist Professor Nebulous (Mark Gatiss) discovers that the recent spate of male deaths are all down to one thing�.Deptford Wives. Nebulous sets off to save the world's husbands by tracking down Dr Diplodicus at his bride-breeding sanctuary 'Wife-assic Park'�and comes face to face with a herd of wild Stephanies, and a two hundred and fifty foot Vanessa." More details on the exact broadcast date when we get them.
MerchandiseAugust 15, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Scificollector has sent us this image of a new Doctor Who "Dalek watch" due out later in the year; the site also contains details about some of the other products coming out soon, as well as a page for the Character Options range. "As an extra incentive for Outpost Gallifrey readers," says Scificollector, "we will add a free signed Doctor Who print of either Tom Baker, Peter Davison or Sylvester McCoy worth £15 on request only for all orders over £50 placed on these Autmun/Fall launches. Stock is expected after 12 September. The request must be stated at the time of purchase, and if ordering by internet this must be stated in the Additional Comments section." You can click on the image at right to see the artwork for the new Dalek watch.
New Photos and Set Report
TV Series NewsAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has two collections of photographs today from filming: one batch of six photos from this week's production in Cardiff (Monday and Tuesday nights) courtesy Mark Davies, the other a collection of shots from the filming at the Brandon Estate in London early this month from our "Cosmic Correspondent". Click on each image below for a larger version. Also included, in the spoiler tag, is a very brief set report by Matthew Spencer from the filming in Cardiff on Monday night.
Radio 2's Regenerations
TV Series NewsAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Set to coincide with the broadcast of the special "The Christmas Invasion" during the holidays, BBC Radio 2 will once again produce a new Doctor Who radio documentary, Outpost Gallifrey has learned. Entitled Doctor Who: Regenerations, the one-hour programme will assess the impact the new series made when it returned to BBC 1 this year. Featuring interviews with the cast and crew, the documentary will also consider how the production team dealt with the need to regenerate the character of the Doctor after just thirteen episodes. Key interviews will take place in September in Cardiff and London. The presenter is still to be announced; the documentary is produced by Malcolm Prince, who also produced Radio 2's "Project: WHO" documentary earlier in the year.
Tennant on Blue Peter
TV Series NewsAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant will be on the 17 August edition of Blue Peter, the daily BBC television series. From the website: "David Tennant from 'Doctor Who' will be on the show. Are you a 'Doctor Who' fan? Did you enter the 'Doctor Who' Monster competition? The new Doctor, David Tennant, will be in the studio on August 17th to announce the winner! If you'd like to ask David a question or send him a message, get in touch and your question or message could be read out on the show! If you'd prefer to text in your question or message from your mobile phone, text 'BP' and then start your message with 'Doctor'. Send to 62222. Operators' standard text rates apply. Ask permission before sending us a text message." Radio Times also confirmed that the results would be revealed by Tennant along with Russell T Davies. The show is on at 5pm on Wednesday 17 August on BBC One, with another showing on the digital CBBC channel at 6pm. (Thanks to John Leivers, Steve Tribe)
North America DVD Update
DVD and VideoAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC America's webshop have announced the final two Doctor Who DVD releases this year: City of Death starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, and The Claws of Axos starring Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning. Both discs will be out on November 1. More details and cover illustrations when available.
Back To The Vortex Hardcover
BooksAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Telos Publishing has issued the cover illustration for the limited hardcover edition of Back to the Vortex, the unofficial and unauthorized guide to Doctor Who 2005 by Outpost Gallifrey editor Shaun Lyon. The cover illustration is by Lee Binding, among whose other illustrations are various covers for Big Finish. "The edition will have coloured endpapers and a silk ribbon, and is a signed and numbered limited edition of 500 copies," says Telos editor David Howe. The paperback edition's cover has been widely seen in print magazines (and is on our releases page).
TV Series NewsAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Broadcast Magazine reports this month that Doctor Who will be one of the first shows to be filmed in high definition television, says the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. Simon Walker, BBC Controller of Corporate Strategy, said that HD "is a priority at the BBC, where commissioners are urging program suppliers to shoot future productions in HD, especially for flagship programs such as Dr Who." The BBC is aiming to be completely HD by 2010, though Walker has warned that this may be limited only to commercially funded platforms (such as Sky or NTL) as current Freeview bandwidth is too limited.
Series Press Updates
Press ClipsAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Various papers over the past two days have been reporting several spoiler items and a few pictures of the aliens appearing in this year's Christmas special. To keep the surprise, we've put them in the spoiler tag at the end of this report.
Doctor Who has received another mention in Matthew Norman's 'Media Diary' column in The Independent, having regularly cropped up in the column's 'Guardian' days - Norman has a young child who is a passionate fan, and was the columnist who famously suggested in September 2003 that there were "rumours Christopher Eccleston" was interested in the role, purely in an attempt to wind up the actor whose perceived seriousness he often pokes fun at. This time his reference to the show comes in a story about Welsh BBC newsreader Huw Edwards. "It seems my friend Huw Edwards, the bashful BBC newsreader, may be less thick-skinned than we imagined. A colleague of his reports once sending Huw a very courteous e-mail correcting his mispronunciation of a leading dictator's name. Huw responded that this was 'the rudest e-mail' he's ever received, and that he'd take lessons from 'Bush House types' only when they stopped mangling Welsh names. (Doctor Who fans will be reminded of Russell T Davies' typically brilliant self-parody of Welsh hypersensitivity at being ignored by London types in 'Boom Town', the episode involving Margaret Blaine, the Slitheen Mayor of Cardiff.) Anyway, Huw then misdirected to the same person an e-mail intended for someone else, describing his correspondent as 'effing rude', and in need of being told where to get off. Doubtless this was ironic in intent, and we won't countenance another word on the matter for at least seven days."
The Western Mail reports that "Santa Claus is coming to town for Doctor Who". "It may be the middle of summer, but Cardiff has been decked out in its Christmas finery as Doctor Who returns. Billie Piper ditched her summer gear for winter warmers yesterday to film the Doctor Who Christmas Special in the middle of a summer sunshine. Shop windows were given a Christmas makeover and a giant Christmas Tree was installed near the Central Library. The Doctor's pin-up sidekick pulled on a fur-lined jacket despite the balmy August weather. She was filmed in the city centre which was turned into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees and fairy lights. Billie and Noel Clarke, who plays her on-screen boyfriend Mickey, recorded several scenes in Cardiff's shopping centres. ... An onlooker said, 'It was a warm night but Billie was wrapped up for winter. They filmed right through the night and Billie seemed to be really enjoying herself. She looked stunning even if she was just in jacket and jeans'." There are also brief mentions in the Daily Record and News24.com amongst others.
BBC News discusses the work of Mike Collins, the artist drawing the strip in Doctor Who Magazine. "Christopher Eccleston's decision to leave Doctor Who may have shocked most of the show's fans, but it also meant a pile more work for artist Mike Collins. As the man who draws the show's official comic strip, the switch to David Tennant sent Collins back to the drawing board. The Cardiff-based artist is currently preparing images of the new Timelord. It is the latest challenge for the man who has drawn everything from Superman and Star Trek to Harry Potter. As you might have guessed, Collins is a massive sci-fi fan, and he admitted he was shocked at Eccleston's decision to leave the Tardis after just one series. He has nearly finished his last story involving Christopher Eccleston. 'I had just got to the stage when I can draw Christopher Eccleston quite comfortably,' he said. 'But I have no problems, he has made a decision that was interesting for the show. It is a fresh new broom - David Tennant has a great face, and I have to get it right as he is a big fan and is going to read it.' Collins is currently waiting on his Tennant drawings to be approved, but said it helped that he has already started working on assistant Billie Piper, who plays the Doctor's assistant Rose. 'Billie Piper is fine - it took me a little while until I was happy, but one day you just understand how their face comes together. ... You are working with likenesses, and you have to be fairly accurate - it has to be [enough like the characters] to be recognisable, but different so they can work in a comic. "If you do a comic strip, you are the director, the lighting man and all the actors - you have to make it work.' The monthly comic strips are mostly written by the same team who write the TV show, overseen by Russell T Davies, who Collins says is 'very hands-on'."
In yesterday's The Age (Australia), a review of the season one finale, "The Parting of the Ways": "The episode, titled The Parting of the Ways, features the best devices of the series in spades. It's overflowing with deadpan one-liners - among the best, Rose's exclamation 'He's fighting for us, for the whole planet, and I'm just sitting here eating chips'... And let's not forget the salty elan Ecclestone brings to the title role. This isn't his finest work since Michael Winterbottom's Jude, but it's a pity he's pissing off now that episodes one to 13 have taken care of the mortgage. The unresolved sexual tension between Ecclestone and Billie Piper as sidekick Rose - who manages this week to do a very good job of being kidnapped by Daleks while wearing a tight red sweater - might not be so easily replicated by Tennant's indie-geek, pasty charms. There's a lot about this series of Doctor Who that amuses, whether intentionally or not. The sets appear to have been constructed by first-year University of Cardiff science students for an O-week project, the terrifyingly homicidal Daleks are reliant on vast amounts of Mr Sheen to keep their bonded polycarbide armour shiny, and some of the storylines have been quirky at best. Trainspotters - and boy, this show does attract them - will have a ball analysing subtle contradictions and inconsistencies in this episode and the fact that the denouement comes via a near-perfect example of the deus ex machina. But who cares? It's Doctor Who, not Chekhov. "
The Daily Star today claims Billie Piper "Billie Piper looked close to a breakdown as she felt the pressure of her punishing work schedule for the hit show. [Billie] is filming from 11pm to 5am every night as sexy sidekick Rose Tyler while the streets of Cardiff are deserted. But the strain showed on Billie's face yesterday as she took a rest. She suffered a mini breakdown on set last year during a split from husband Chris Evans, 39. And she seemed close to tears again as the Who team, said to be 'rallying round' to keep Billie's spirits up, worked through the night. An insider said: 'Billie is sleeping all day and working all night. She was fine for a couple of nights but it gets to you.'" There has also been plenty of comment online the past few days from various papers about Spirit Trap, her new movie, meeting mostly lackluster reviews.
Radio Times reports that "Following the success of his weekday afternoon chat show, Paul O'Grady is being groomed to star in a new Saturday-night variety show. Paul O'Grady's Got Talent is still being planned but will feature ordinary members of the public, ventriloquists and apparently dancing dogs. A pilot is being filmed and the series is hoped to revitalise ITV's Saturday nights, which took a beating in the ratings from Doctor Who."
A BBC Worldwide press release notes that, "In an unprecedented deal, BBC Worldwide has appointed Buzzworthy Licensing + Entertainment as the merchandising agent for the Doctor Who brand in Canada. This is the first time an agent has been appointed solely for the territory. As part of the three-year agreement, secured by Anna Hewitt, BBC Worldwide's Head of International Licensing, Buzzworthy will actively seek partner companies to produce and distribute new and existing Doctor Who products. These will include toys, clothing and gift items from both the first and second series. In addition, Buzzworthy will also work closely with BBC Worldwide Canada to secure ongoing promotional opportunities for the series. Hilary Read, COO, BBC Worldwide Canada Ltd, said: 'I'm very excited about this opportunity to lead North America with this unique property. I look forward to working with Buzzworthy who were appointed due to their knowledge and enthusiasm for the Doctor Who brand.' Kevin Durkee, Managing Director, Buzzworthy Licensing + Entertainment, said: 'We've seen Doctor Who enjoy decades of awareness in Canada and are therefore thrilled to be part of the ongoing development of such a terrific brand. The quality and success of the new series is also being reflected in the level of interest from local partners. We're excited to be working with BBC Worldwide, who recognize the importance of managing this business locally.'"
According to a story at Piranet, "British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Worldwide will apply security labels to its Doctor Who merchandise to deter counterfeiting. No details were provided at this time on the launch date of the merchandise, which is based on the latest series of Doctor Who. The security labels will most likely, be holographic and will be applied to packaging and hang tags. The supplier of the tags and labels cannot be named. ... BBC brand protection manager Rick McEwen says the corporation believes security labels will help protect the Doctor Who brand. He says a security label is useful because it helps consumers by confirming they are buying a legitimate item, rather than a copy or rip-off, and it protects the market for retailers and their suppliers, as well as confirming the brand owner�s desire to protect the property. McEwen also believes the tags will help Trading Standards, or other enforcement bodies, to make instant identification of genuine items in the field. ... The BBC anticipates that counterfeiters will try to take advantage of the show�s popularity. 'Obviously counterfeit Doctor Who merchandise would damage legitimate sales and tarnish the brand�s image,' McEwen says."
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Paul Hayes, Graeme Burk, Peter Weaver)
Brief News Notes
MiscellaneousAugust 11, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC has registered torchwood.org.uk, leading to speculation that the term Torchwood -- metnioned in "Bad Wolf" during the "Weakest Link" game segments -- will feature in the next season of the series.
Transmission of the new series has now concluded in South Korea. There is currently no word on any repeat broadcasts.
Regarding this week's story about the Radio Times advert, our correspondents have let us know that you can download the ad, containing Doctor Who references, from the Radio Times website.
A "Doctor Who" reference appeared in the syndicated comic strip "Sheldon" this week, seen at the website of the strip's syndicators, United Media.
Doctor Who was mentioned on the US chat show "Conan O'Brien" on Wednesday, as the show did a piece on a recent Stargate SG-1 convention -- but a Doctor Who fan made an appearance dressed in a Tom Baker outfit, explaining the regeneration process.
The Toys R Us chain of stores has confirmed that they will be introducing the Doctor Who range of toys in early September, including the radio controlled Daleks, sonic screwdrivers, TARDIS money banks and walkie-talkies.
(Thanks to Darren Pickles, Baysan Tulu, Ian O'Brien, Cameron Dixon, Paul Hardwick, Jon Sheehan, Ben Jordan)
TV Series NewsAugust 9, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
DVD Giveaway! Outpost Gallifrey has received five copies of the Doctor Who Series 1 Volume Three UK DVD, just released by BBC DVD... autographed by JOHN BARROWMAN (Captain Jack) and BRUNO LANGLEY (Adam Mitchell)... and we're making them available to our readers!
Visit the Competition page at Outpost Gallifrey (click here) for a chance to win one of these five DVD releases free of charge, provided to Outpost Gallifrey by BBC DVD to promote their newest release, through a contest that closes on 17 August! These DVDs are UK/PAL format, but the competition is open worldwide. For a complete list of rules, entry-eligible countries and other information, see the Competitions page. Good luck!
Monday Filming News
TV Series NewsAugust 9, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
We have some photographs and a brief set report from the filming at The Hayes in Cardiff on the Christmas special on Monday night, 8 August. The photos, from Rob Stickler, were shot with a phone camera so they're not the best quality: "All I really saw happening was extras getting off a red London bus and Mickey and Rose walking down the street, looking quite chilled. Lots of market stalls and a big Christmas tree. There were some Santas hanging about but I didn't see them do anything. Did see Noel and Billie rehearsing a scene where they darted off like they were being chased. No sign of Tennant." Interestingly, he notes, "Someone at Waterstones must have deliberately on purpose forgotten to take the 'Doctor Who' novels out of the window. I happen to know that they were specifically asked to make sure they weren't visible." The pictures note that the Henrik's Department Store, used in the opening moments of "Rose," will be back in this episode.
Meanwhile, the set report below is by Paul Mount, and because it's a bit extensive (though really giving nothing away), it's featured in the spoiler tags (click on the spoiler link to view). (Thanks to Rob Stickler, Paul Mount)
Brief News Notes
MiscellaneousAugust 9, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Radio Times has been running a new advertising campaign on UK television. "Basically it has loads of fed-up people stuck in their cars at roadworks. They start honking their horns, a dog starts barking and a baby starts crying - all of which adds up to a recognisable rendition of the 'Doctor Who' theme tune!" says our report. "Near the end, the passenger in one of the cars turns to the driver and says (approximately) 'Did you know that there have been ten Doctor Who's, The Daleks was originally called The Mutants and that TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space?'"
Paul Cornell ("Father's Day") will be writing another audio play for Big Finish for 2006, due out next September, according to an announcement by Big Finish at the recent 2005 World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow. "Circular Time" will likely feature the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.
There's a rebuttal in today's Scotsman by David Bickerstaff, reacting to the earlier comments about David Tennant's forthcoming tenure in the TARDIS. "I should ask him, politely, to reserve any form of judgment until David Tennant makes his debut as Doctor Who at Christmas in The Christmas Invasion," he writes. "Having been a lifelong devotee of Doctor Who, I am absolutely thrilled that an actor of his standing has accepted the role. He has a real passion for the character and will, I am sure, give it 101 per cent commitment. As for the costume, perhaps George Kerevan should look around at the dress sense of today and see that the Doctor mirrors the fashion sense of society. Patrick Troughton mirrored the style of the Beatles, Jon Pertwee had the smoking jacket of Bob Dylan in the Seventies and Tom Baker reflected the Bohemian style of students in the mid-Seventies. Mr Tennant's costume is a mish-mash of all that is smart in our fashion-conscious male."
(Thanks to Kieran Seymour, Peter Sneddon, Jonathan Melville, David Bickerstaff)
Web Planet DVD Cover
DVD and VideoAugust 9, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has received the cover illustration for the forthcoming UK DVD release next month of The Web Planet starring William Hartnell, once again designed by DWM editor Clayton Hickman. Click on the thumbnail image for a larger version of the cover.
BBC7 Broadcast Notes
AudioAugust 7, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has heard from BBC7 producer Martin Montague with some information about the current run of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio series starring Paul McGann. Says Montague, the trailer running for it "is what we call a 'generic' trailer, to promote the series as a whole. That's the one that's a selection of clips from the four serials (well, three serials, actually, because when I was making them, the rights availability for INVADERS FROM MARS was still up in the air). It's lasts 51", but there are other cuts of it that last 40" and 30". The music on it - for those who are interested - is a remix of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the Silence' that was out late last year. I've also made episode-specific trails for every individual episode (40" and 30" cuts) using Orbital's version of the theme as a bed because it really does kick arse. These are running in tandem with the "generic" in the lead up to the start of each serial...and then on their own for the rest of the run of that particular serial. Then there are the longer trailers that range from 1'30" to 2'00". The idea behind these is just to put the McGann "series" into context because people will be joining BBC7 for the first time as a result of seeing the BBC7 trailer on TV - and I want them to be absolutely certain what it is they're getting. Just like the Eccleston TV series had new viewers, we'll have new listeners...some of those being people who got into Doctor Who through the Eccleston TV series, so I just want to avoid any confusion for the casual viewer / listener. Paul McGann came in last Wednesday and recorded 4 (or was it 5 - sorry, I can't remember off hand) of these trailers for me. One is on air at the moment, where he introduces himself to the audience - it was a pretty quick turn around to get that one on air. It's running alongside one about the Time Lords, voiced by Andrew Crawford, who works one floor up from me: he used to be a Radio 4 announcer and news reader and likes to keep his hand in with the voiceover stuff. ... There are more of those to come, looking at things like the TARDIS, the Cybermen, the Cybermats, magic and so on. Michaela Hallam, who made the trails for the TV series to run on the BBC networks will be voicing one or two of those." (Thanks to Martin Montague at BBC7 for keeping us updated!)
TV Series NewsAugust 7, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The official Doctor Who website has brought back WhoSpy, their continuing series of 'preview' photos that show bits of the action from the set. Last year, the WhoSpy feature ran a series of photographs that started rather obtusely (props and such) but later developed into behind-the-scenes production and shots of the cast.
Also, the DWAS has put up a small selection of photos from last Monday's filming at their website. (Thanks to Chuck Foster)
Doctor Who Books Updates
BooksAugust 7, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Last week's edition of "The Bookseller" focuses on Film and TV Ties-ins, previewing several previously announced forthcoming titles. A Teaspoon and an Open Mind: The Science of Doctor Who by Michael White is published in hardback by Penguin on 3 November, about which the trade magazine says that "This entertaining guide to the real science behind the fictional world of the cult series delves into some of the most fascinating areas of contemporary scientific enquiry in an accessible way. Topics include time travel, alien life forms, telepathy, teleportation, cybernetics, crystals, regeneration, and (naturally) eternal life." Listing it in its "Ones to Watch" section for November, The Bookseller notes that the author will be promoting the book. One of four titles selected for the Film and TV Tie-in "Big Sellers" this Christmas, Panini's Doctor Who Annual 2006 is listed alongside books by Sir David Attenborough and Alan Titchmarsh and another new edition of The Da Vinci Code. Says The Bookseller: "Doctor Who has undoubtedly been the TV success story of the year. Through the simple strategy of making the new series really good Russell T Davies and friends have turned the good Doctor from a low-budget laughing stock into essential Saturday evening family viewing. The spin-off novels have already been a huge success and there is a further slew of titles out in time for Christmas. This is the pick of them, featuring all-new stories from the show's writers, comic strip adventures and behind-the-scenes information. It's guaranteed to be the essential annual for tiny timelords throughout the galaxy." The "Top Title" in the "Children's TV" section is Justin Richards' Doctor Who: The Legend Continues � "Yet more Whoviana, this is a richly illustrated history of the series over five decades. It has features on every one of the TV stories and includes previously unseen photographs. Should appeal both to hardcore fans and more casual purchasers looking for a Who-related gift." And of Doctor Who: Only Human, the magazine says, "One of three new �Doctor Who' novels featuring all-new adventures available in time for Christmas. The first trance sold very strongly and there is no reason to suppose that these won't do just as well. The other titles are The Deviant Strain and The Stealers of Dreams." (It's worth noting that this level of coverage of and interest in Doctor Who books is unprecedented in the trade press, and it is very likely that it will be reflected in the presence and visibility of all these titles in bookshops over the next few months.) Finally, Mark Gatiss's novel, The Vesuvius Club, gets another lease of life in November, this time as a graphic novel.
The analysis of the Tie-ins market makes special mention of the sales success of the first three Ninth Doctor novels: "Undoubtedly the best new story for the BBC so far in 2005 has been �Doctor Who'. Figures published last month showed that the regenerated Time Lord series was the fourth most popular drama in the first half of the year. Only the soap operas �Emmerdale', the troubled �EastEnders' and � top of the pile as usual � �Coronation Street' attracted a greater percentage of viewers. The three tie-in novelisations of �Doctor Who', published as hardbacks and profiting from the attractions of Christopher Ecclestone [sic] and Billie Piper on their jackets, occupy numbers for to six on the fiction tie-in chart for the period with combined sales of nearly 50,000 copies." The three Doctor Who hardcover novels rank #4 (Clockwise Man), 5 (The Monsters Inside) and 6 (Winner Takes All). (Thanks to Steve Tribe)
BBC Audio Release News
AudioAugust 7, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to Amazon, both The Tenth Planet and The Invasion will get individual CD release on 9 January next year. Both titles were previously available in the limited edition Cybermen tin released in November 2004; the same was also done previously with "The Power of the Daleks" and "The Evil of the Daleks" originally released in the Dalek tin in 2003.
Weekend Press Clips
Press ClipsAugust 7, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who is a huge success in New Zealand according to a report on The Scoop: "Cult classic Doctor Who is proving to be a ratings success for Prime Television. In only its fifth week on screen, the programme's ratings have placed the network in third place amongst the four commercial channels for the 7:30pm time slot. Last night's figures reveal that Doctor Who achieved an all time high, boasting a channel share of 15% for AP 18-49. The programme also performed strongly against the network's core demographic 25-54 achieving a 14% share. Doctor Who is particularly strong with male audiences 18-49, achieving a channel share of 20% last night." Also important is the comment that "Prime Television has scheduled series two of Doctor Who to screen in Winter 2006."
The Mirror has taken the words of the new series production team asking fans to keep from disrupting photography... and as usual, turned it into a story. "Doctor Who fans are wrecking the new series by turning up on set with their own special effects," says the article. "The BBC has pleaded with 'Whovians' not to take pictures as the flashes and even the sound can ruin recording. TV bosses do not announce where the hit series will be filmed - but hordes of devoted fans have descended on Cardiff to watch David Tennant and Billie Piper in action." Interestingly, the Mirror has also reported in the same story that Zoe Wanamaker is returning, "but it isn't known if she'll play Cassandra" (once again, your editor wonders where the Mirror is getting their news from!)
In the Scotsman, a comment about David Tennant: "It is transfer season once again, that dangerous time when fans have to put up with the misguided decisions of their team's management. In a trice, hopes can be dashed beyond recall and dreams destroyed totally. So it is with the cruel announcement that Scottish actor David Tennant - misguidedly referred to as a "heart throb" - is replacing that genuine alien, Christopher Eccleston, as the Doctor. When Doctor Who was revived after a 16-year absence, I was both excited and dismayed. The return of a cherished British sci-fi hero after decades of American Star Fleet political correctness was welcome. But would the BBC bureaucrats ruin it? Would the new Doctor be so updated that he ceased to be the delicious combination of alien maniac and sexy subversive that made the character plausibly different from real human beings. And God knows whether Billie Piper could even act. But the return of the Doctor proved a super nova (including Piper's acting). The plots were up to their historic best, the Daleks more frightening than ever. And Eccleston emerged as a candidate for the best-ever Doctor if only he could hang on a couple of seasons to own the part. Then disaster struck just as if the Master had interfered yet again with time itself. Eccleston had quit because he did not want to be typecast - too late, Christopher - and BBC Cardiff had found a replacement. And who did we get to play the greatest alien in the universe? The being we need to save Earth? The son of a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland better know for playing Andy Crawford, the wimpish sidekick of Dixon of Dock Green in the radio revival of the cosy 1950s police series. Yawn. OK, I know lots of interesting folk come from Paisley and I did see bits of Tennant when he starred in the television version of Casanova. He's a passable actor and clearly more in love with playing the Doctor than was Eccleston. But as another disgruntled fan put it: 'Somebody who looks like a weasel could never play the Doctor. It's over!' Just to prove the nightmare is official, the BBC has announced what it calls a "striking" new outfit for Tennant's Doctor. This turns out to be a striped suit and trainers. Golly gosh! How spiffingly trendy. The Daleks will be impressed."
Says the Sydney Morning Herald of "Bad Wolf" this weekend: "With just two episodes to go, a series worth of loose ends are about to be tied up - but before that, writer Russell T. Davies is going to have some fun. ... Australian viewers might not appreciate how spot-on these send-ups are, as our versions of the shows are subtly different. The Big Brother spoof uses the real music and logo and the android hosts of The Weakest Link and What Not to Wear are voiced by the actual people - Anne Robinson, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine. There are plenty of sly digs at reality TV here, but Davies is not about to bite the medium that feeds him."
The Dominion Post of New Zealand reviews the final performances of the "Inside the TARDIS" stage show that toured Australia before coming to this country. "In an attempt to cash in on the recent resurrection of Doctor Who, an arm of the BBC convinced doctors six and seven -- Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy -- along with Katy Manning, who played third doctor Jon Pertwee's assistant, to undertake the stage equivalent of a talk show. ... The host was Australian radio and television presenter Tim Ferguson, who, while occasionally funny, was a bit like getting a $ 2 Shop version of Rove McManus. While Manning's excitement sometimes came across like a child in need of Ritalin, the anecdotes, clips with her as assistant Jo Grant in 1970s clothes and her enthusiasm were funny and entertaining. It also nicely set the show's tone, which was largely irreverent. But why no one bothered to give her a glass of water as she struggled with laryngitis was a mystery. Did this show have a stage crew? At one point, with coughs almost exploding the microphone strapped to her head, she even had to flee the stage to find water. No one bothered to turn off her mike, so she could still be heard hacking away off stage. ... Despite this, it was obvious from the number in the mostly male, middle-aged audience photographing and videotaping the show to the large number lining up for autographs afterwards that most were hardcore fans who would settle for anything just to glimpse their heroes. There's nothing wrong with that, and as Wellington's Writers and Readers Week shows, some of the best stage entertainment can just be people talking about their work. The show's lapses could also be forgiven at a sci-fi convention, where a level of relaxed amateurishness is expected and can actually improve an event. But when people are asked to hand over as much as $ 65, there is only one way to respond to whoever came up with this idea: 'Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!'" The article also appeared at The Stuff.
Monday morning's The People says of Billie Piper, "Her turn in Doctor Who as Rose got better and better as the series went on. She's really become a good actress. And with time, she'll probably get better at rejecting utterly rubbish movie scripts, too." The article refers to her appearance in "Spirit Trap," the debut of her film this week. "With this (and a tiny role in last year's weak The Calcium Kid - well, it was never going to be great, Orlando Bloom had the lead role), Billie has proved you can be in the hottest TV show of the day, and can still find the time to make movies that everyone will hate. This one's a teen-horror movie that'll have you cowering in terror afterwards in fear you might accidentally end up watching it again. ... It's all a bit of a misfire, but I do like Billie. So she gets a couple of rashers by herself. It's the ratings-system gift that every girl wants."
WorldScreen has a report on a BBC Worldwide sales showcase in Rio this coming September, with "Doctor Who" apparently due to be one of the featured programmes being promoted to potential buyers: "BBC Worldwide Targets Latin American Buyers. This September in Rio de Janeiro, BBC Worldwide will host its second annual BBC Showcase Latin America. The event will be held September 11 to September 13 at the JW Marriot Hotel Rio de Janeiro. The first BBC Showcase Latin America took place in Buenos Aires. The event will allow Latin American broadcasters to screen programs, attend producer presentations and meet with production teams. Featured programming will include Top of the Pops, Dancing with the Stars, Charlie and Lola, Little Robots, Doctor Who and Bodies. Those slated to attend include representatives from HBO Ole, Discovery, Canal 22, Televisa Networks, Canal 4, TV Azteca, Canal 11, Globo TV, Teleamzonas, and Bandeirantes TV. 'BBC Worldwide Americas is committed to bringing the very best of British programming to Latin America," said Jose Sanchez, the regional director of Latin America television sales, at BBC Worldwide. 'BBC Showcase Latin America is an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to Latin American broadcasters and to build on existing relationships and establish valuable business partnerships within this market.'"
Also: DigitalSpy reiterates the filming disruption story; an article in The Age (Australia) discusses television becoming a "woman's world", referring to Billie Piper and her relationship with the Doctor in the first series.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Adam Kirk, Peter Weaver, Paul Hayes, Jon Preddle)
BBC7 Radio Update
AudioAugust 4, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Promotion for the Eighth Doctor radio series on BBC7 is now under way. A short trailer has been running on BBC television, featuring an "ear farmer" whose business has been revived by Doctor Who and other programmes on BBC7. BBC7 itself is running three trailers: the first is a selection of clips from the four serials and lasts almost a minute; the others are specially recorded two-minute pieces, one voiced by Paul McGann, designed to emphasise that this the same show as the Christopher Eccleston version. The BBC7 website has revised its own Doctor Who page, discarding its own history section in favour of mentions of the Ninth Doctor and details of "Storm Warning", the first play in the series. Also, the 'Classic Series' section of the official Doctor Who website has now been revised with a Paul McGann homepage, giving links to Real Player files of the three audio trailers and bbc.co.uk's own webcast of "Shada". BBC7's broadcast of the four Big Finish audios starts this weekend; we've added it to the broadcast schedule here on the News Page at left. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)
Big Finish Update
Big FinishAugust 4, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
A brief update from Big Finish today: The Kingmaker by Nev Fountain has been delayed to April 2006, and in its place will be Singularity by James Swallow, starring Peter Davison. No word as yet on story or other details.
Thursday Press Clips
Press ClipsAugust 4, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to "This Week in Doctor Who", Norwegian Public Broadcaster NRK is confirming in email responses that they have bought the rights to air the new Doctor Who series. It will probably air on NRK2 starting in September. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines will be broadcasting the first episode, "Rose" throughout August on their 747 planes (on channel 28 of their TV video-on-demand service).
Tom Baker's appearance as Anatole Blaylock in Remington Steele ("Hounded Steele") will be released in the U.S. as part of the Region 1 release of Season 2 on November 8th, according to the TV Shows on DVD website.
The Cinemas Online site has several stills of Billie Piper's appearance in the forthcoming film "Spirit Trap". There's also more coverage of Billie's refusal to attend the film's premiere, which we reported a few days ago, at IC South London, Ananova, Sky News.
In today's BBC News article "Why the future could be British": "Science-fiction and fantasy are hard to escape at the moment and it's the British writers winning the plaudits. Why? The films are tops at the box office, the books dominate the best-seller lists and on the TV the revived Doctor Who has pleased old fans and won a generation of new ones. Science fiction is booming and the British writers are leading the pack. For the first time in its 63-year history, all the writers nominated for the prestigious Hugo award for the best novel are British."
Stuff.co.nz has a profile of Mary MacLachlan, WETA Workshop model maker and fan of the series (which mentions the traveling Inside the TARDIS tour).
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Ian Golden, Benjamin Elliott, Vaughan Bilcock, Richard Kirkpatrick)
Notice From the Production
TV Series NewsAugust 3, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The official Doctor Who website has posted a note from the production about filming and off-set photography relating to fans (and to press photographers). This is an important request for those planning to be anywhere near the events:
No noise or flash photography if you're watching filming.
Doctor Who is now filming - it may even be in your area, as we speak. If you find out that Doctor Who is filming near you, and plan on turning up to watch, then can we ask that you respect the wishes of the cast and crew and follow any instructions that are given to you by security and staff on set?
The most important request is please don't take photographs during an actual take. Filming last week was disrupted both by cameras with flash, and those that made a "beep" every time they took a picture. Both are enough to stop a take, and it takes a long time for the entire cast and crew to reset for another go.
If in doubt, please don't take any pictures at all, but, if you must, please ensure that your flash and any sounds are turned off.
Everyone is working very hard to make the best possible programme. We don't advertise where we're filming as large crowds cause added disruption, both to a tight schedule and to people who live and work in the surrounding area. Sadly, this also means that we can't confirm rumours of upcoming locations.
Zoe Wanamaker Returns
TV Series NewsAugust 3, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to the fan club list for her official website, actress Zoe Wanamaker, who voiced Cassandra in last year's "The End of the World," is set to make a repeat appearance during the second series. It is unclear at this point as to whether or not she will reprise the role, do voiceover or be seen in the flesh, or perhaps something else entirely. Wanamaker is apparently taking part in the series early in the season, possibly in the first episode. More details soon.Note: Apparently, our link to the Wanamaker official site has overloaded their bandwidth allowance, so we've temporarily removed the link. You can still find her official site through a Google search, however.
Wales Today Pics
TV Series NewsAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Now online at Outpost Gallifrey are selections from yesterday's edition of BBC Wales Today, the news programme that featured clips from the first day of filming in Cardiff, including shots of David Tennant (who does a pre-interview teaser plus speaks to a reporter), Billie Piper, and Antony Wainer of the DWAS. Click on each for a larger version... and remember, you can see the entire footage in RealMedia format on the official BBC Doctor Who website.
BooksAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Amazon.co.uk have released the cover illustration for World Game, October's BBC Books Second Doctor novel, due out on October 30. Says Amazon, "The Doctor has been captured and put on trial by his own people - accused of their greatest crime: interfering with the affairs of other peoples and planets. He is sentenced to exile on Earth. That much is history. But now the truth can be told - the Doctor did not go straight into exile. First the Time Lords have a task for him. From the trenches of the Great War to the terrors of the French Revolution, the Doctor finds himself on a mission he does not want with a companion he does not like, his life threatened at every turn. Will the Doctor survive to serve his sentence? Or will this adventure prove to be his Waterloo?"
Nicholas Courtney Is Still Getting Away With It
BooksAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Still Getting Away With It, the official autobiography of Nicholas Courtney, is due out on 20 October. Co-written with Michael McManus ("Towards the Sound of Gunfire"), the book is published under the new Greyhound Leader imprint, in conjunction with Steven Scott (SciFiCollector). "I think the time has now come for me to write a full and frank account of my life, not least with regard to my unbroken, forty-year association with Doctor Who," says Courtney, beloved by fans worldwide for his longtime portrayal of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. "Some people may be surprised by how candid and forthright I am going to be about certain people and events, but I think I owe it to myself and also to others to be reasonably bold as well as old! This will be very much a new book. The more familiar stories have been completely re-edited or rewritten and there is a mass of entirely new material. I am delighted Michael is co-writing this new book with me. He is both a good friend and a very experienced and talented writer." Says McManus, "As Nick�s friend and as someone who has always enjoyed Doctor Who, I regard the opportunity to participate in this project as a huge privilege. I can only hope we manage to do justice to the depths of the man - as actor on stage and screen, long-time Equity activist and all-round good guy. My ambition is simple. Anyone reading this book must feel they have really got to know Nick intimately." The book's introduction was written by Tom Baker. More details available soon at the Greyhound Leader website. Click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version of the working cover (final cover to be determined). (Thanks to Michael McManus)
Brief UK Press Update
Press ClipsAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
In addition to the Newsround and Wales Today programmes yesterday, there was additional Doctor Who coverage on the BBC's news channel, News 24 on Monday 1 August. Featured as the 'and finally' item at the end of the hourly news roundups, the report included the brief interview with David Tennant (as on Wales Today - but minus Billie) and a fan perspective from Anthony Wainer of DWAS, who noted Doctor Who "was all about change" when asked if the series would remain as popular with Tennant. At approximately 8.50pm, actor Nick Courtney from the classic series was live in studio talking about the success of the series against a new series logo backdrop.
More mentions of filming starting on the second series at BBC Radio 1, The Scotsman, IC Wales, The Daily Mail; more on the show being voted Best Fantasy TV Series by SFX at The Mirror.
Hollywood News previews Billie Piper's new movie "Spirit Trap": "Four young students move into an old unoccupied mansion. Tom is a smart and cocky drug dealer, and Adele is his feisty and sexual girlfriend. Jenny is a good-natured girl with clairvoyant powers, and Nick is a kind and sensitive art student. Inside, the four students meet their fifth housemate, Tina, a beautiful, exotic and mysterious girl. Strange things start to happen when Nick gets an old Russian Spirit Clock working again. Mobile phones stop working. They hear mysterious noises and Jenny begins to see things in the house --shadows of torches on the walls and an angry mob in Edwardian clothes that nails a man to the floor. The living nightmare deepens as Jenny, Nick and Tina try to escape the house but are transported back inside the moment they step out. The spirits pit the students against each other as we discover the dark secrets of their pasts. The boundary between the real world and the afterlife are no longer clear and as time runs out, they must find a way to escape and avoid being trapped with the spirits forever. ... I haven't got any stills from the film yet, but we're promised some by the end of the week, along with the poster, but here, we have a look at the first trailer for the film, which is going up against Michael Bay's THE ISLAND when it's released in the UK on August 12th. Beware, this baby contains acts of horror, a litte gore and nudity (wahey!)."
However, according to Wednesday morning's The Mirror, the producers of "Spirit Trap" "cannot get Dr Who star Billie Piper to attend the premiere of her debut movie -forcing them to scrap the glittering opening night. Billie, 22, takes the lead as a psychic student in Brit horror flick Spirit Trap and is its only big name. Director David Smith and the cast are said to be angry and upset after Billie would not be pinned to a date in London. A film source said: 'Billie has lots of commitments but that's cold comfort to her co-stars, crew and director. If she can't make the premiere, there's no point.' Some insiders fear Billie, right, wants to distance herself from the film because of weak reviews. Her spokeswoman declined to comment."
(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Richard Allison)
Australian Press Recap
Press ClipsAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Recapping some of the recent developments in the press in Australia:
The Age calls John Barrowman "a man's man ... a new kind of hero with a flexible sexuality" according to writer Tim Hunter. "The new series of Doctor Who has grown up. ... It is also a lot more sophisticated than the classic series and not just in terms of effects and technology. There's a great deal of cleverness in the scripts, in the humour, the characters and their relationships. You need not look any further than the Doctor's new companion, Captain Jack Harkness, for evidence of that." The story interviews Barrowman about his experiences on the show. "Women like to look at good-looking men and men like to look at good-looking men. The amount of letters I've received via my website and agent from men watching the show with their wives, and making the joke at the end of the letter - I kid you not - 'If anyone could turn me, my wife and I decided, Captain Jack could!'" ABC.net.au also featured a story about Barrowman, noting that "John Barrowman was better known as a Broadway and West End darling when he was given the role of 51st Century time agent Captain Jack Harkness in the new series of Doctor Who. As an American actor based in London, John never expected this chance to feature in one of his favourite childhood shows, but as a long-time fan of the Doctor, he was overjoyed at the news."
The Sydney Morning Herald last week praised "Boom Town": "Was Doctor Who, before this revival, ever quite so humorous? Tonight, the Time Lord, Rose and Jack land the Tardis in Cardiff, a city that has a scar in the rift (a closed time rift apparently useful for powering up the batteries of the Tardis) that runs through the heart of the city. Mickey Smith travels to Cardiff at Rose's request with her passport - a redundant document really, given her habit of intergalactic travel. The down time promises to give Rose and Mickey a chance to work through some relationship issues, until the true identity of the city mayor - who has approved plans to build a nuclear reactor in the middle of Cardiff - is uncovered. Annette Badland is brilliant as the conniving and vicious Slitheen, occupying the body of Margaret Blaine." Last week's The Age (28 July) also reviewed the episode: "Make the most of Doctor Who, because he's not long for this world. Christopher Eccleston, that is, the man who has breathed new life into the first genuinely intergalactic TV brand. Soon we'll have David Tennant, and, like me, if you've been grateful to old jug-ears - as he almost gets called in tonight's episode - then wallow in his over-acting for a few more weeks. Tonight brings back an old friend who almost manages to plunge the doctor into a vat of moral ambi-guity. In the end it's not that complicated. When he gets the better of the Mayor of Cardiff - really - she asks him: "What did I do to you?" To which he replies: "Try to kill me and destroy this planet." So it seems quite reasonable that she should get a taste of her own medicine. Russell Davies, the man behind this new incarnation of Doctor Who, has a lot of fun with this episode. There's a rift in time and space - of course, what else could there be? It is Doctor Who, after all - and all sorts of weird and very wonderful devices, including a pan-dimensional surfboard. Every surfer should have one. See you at Bells Beach in the year 3000?" The Sunday Herald Sun said of the episode, "This engaging and witty series seems to reach new heights each week. This week, the Tardis is parked on a time rift in the center of Cardiff to refuel, and the Doctor is horrified to discover the mayor of the city is none other than porky Margaret Blaine (the excellent Annette Badland), the matriarch and last surviving member of the murderous alien Slitheen family."
Last week's "The Doctor Dances" also rated a comment from The Herald: "It's wartime London and the Blitz is growing in intensity. As last week's episode ended, the Empty Child was walking menacingly towards Nancy the street urchin while the zombie army of dead gas mask children was coming to life and advancing on the Doctor. Now the child plague is spreading alarmingly. That's one corner of this story, while Richard Wilson (One Foot in the Grave) takes another and Rose Tyler, the doctor's companion, is falling for the handsome intergalactic conman, Group Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). Strains of Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade prompt Rose to taunt the Doctor about his lack of dancing ability. Stand by for a delightful finish as the Doctor gets In the Mood."
On 29 July the Sydney Morning Herald ran a feature on the now-ended "Inside the TARDIS" tour. "There's a huge difference between what we're doing on this show and a convention, where you have hundreds and hundreds of fans from all sorts of walks of life," says Katy Manning. "There's hardly anybody, whether it be in the '60s, '70s, '80s or '90s, who hasn't experienced the Tardis or doesn't know about Doctor Who. A lot of blokes have said to me, 'Do you realise you were my first fantasy?'" Manning also appeared on the Australian version of This Is Your Life which was dedicated to her partner Barry Crocker. The Courier Mail interviewed Sylvester McCoy on location during the tour, on 23 July. "Crossing time zones should be a breeze for actor Sylvester McCoy, who traversed the universe for three years as Dr Who. Apparently not. Having just arrived in Melbourne from London, he is disoriented and confesses to having no idea what day it is. The confusion continues when he can't remember the last time he was in Australia for a Dr Who convention. ... 'Could it have been five years ago? Um, I can't really remember'." McCoy says that "I have been all over the world with Dr Who. I've done conventions, I've done cruises, I've done everything. It has changed my life. I love travelling and it has enabled me to do so."
The Age on 21 July reviewed "Dalek": "I never thought I'd see the day when a Dalek - one of the Doctor's most bloodthirsty adversaries - would turn into a kind of namby-pamby existentialist. In episode six of the new series, the evil genetic freak learns that it is the last of its kind - the sole survivor of a devastating time war. In a low voice it laments, 'I am alone in the universe'. Now, this isn't meant to be comedy, but it's a laugh-out-loud moment. It belongs in bad alternative theatre, not the more mature entertainment that the revamped series of Doctor Who is striving to be. It is an uneven production that wears its heart on its sleeve. This is probably most apparent in the characterisation of the Doctor. Previous Doctors tended to be foppish, aloof and imperious. Christopher Eccelston's Doctor wears black and looks like a heavy in a Guy Ritchie film. He is volatile, manic, insecure and proudly working class. With his Mancunian accent and cropped hair, he could be a truck driver in The Bill. Eccleston makes for a solid contemporary Doctor. When he first encounters the dreaded Dalek of episode six, his fear is palpable. Eccleston makes you feel that the years of time travelling have messed with his head and that deep down this Doctor is sad, lonely and jaded. Saving the universe from alien tyrants has come at a substantial personal cost. It all gives this series an emotional clout the old program never had. ... The problem lies with the scripts. The plotting of the episodes is wildly uneven. ... The real marvel of this venerable program is not that the Doctor is able to regenerate; the real miracle is that the program itself has regenerated and found a fresh audience more than 40 years after it all began."
(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Adam Kirk, Michael Davoren)
FandomAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of Enlightenment, the fanzine of the Doctor Who Information Network, features some of North American fandom's best writers reviewing episodes 2-13 of season one of the new series! Plus, an interview with new series writer Rob Shearman, on the journey of creating Dalek; and Lance Parkin on the most incredible week in Doctor Who's history. For more details, visit the DWIN site. (Thanks to Mike Doran)
The Tenth Planet?
MiscellaneousAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
With the second series of Doctor Who about to bring back the Cybermen, this is far too coincidental: scientists have announced they've discovered a body beyond the orbit of Pluto that could in fact be the solar system's 10th planet; Space.com has a detailed article about the possibility of planethood for the object, temporarily named 2003 UB313. If they name it Mondas, be very afraid... (Thanks to Mark Askren, Jeremy Bead)
MiscellaneousAugust 2, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Jackson, who starred as Olag Gan in the Terry Nation serial "Blake's 7" and in such series as "Z Cars," "The Music Shoppe" and "The Avengers", as well as an appearance as The Squire in "Sarah Jane Smith: Comeback" for Big Finish, died on Monday 25 July of a heart attack. He was 71. The official Blake's 7 Fan Club has posted a tribute page, including comments from his many co-stars including Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Gareth Thomas and Brian Croucher.
Friday and Monday Photos, Set Report
TV Series NewsAugust 1, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
Below are six new photographs Outpost Gallifrey has obtained of on-set photography over the past few days. The first, by Dave Greenham, was taken today (Monday) in Cardiff, while the other five are more of Stephen Watts' photos from last Friday's shoot. As always, click on the thumbnails for larger versions.Meanwhile, also included below is our first set report of the year, from today's location shoot in Cardiff by John Williams, and as such is included in our spoiler tag... click on the spoiler tag image to read it. Outpost Gallifrey has also learned that previously-reported filming on the Hayes in Cardiff will take place next week, on Monday and Tuesday, instead of this week, as local retailers have noted. (Both The Hayes and Working Street, also seen in the first series, will be closed to the public both nights.) (Thanks to Stephen Watts, Dave Greenham, Rob Stickler, John Williams)
Tennant and Piper on Newsround
TV Series NewsAugust 1, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant and Billie Piper spoke to BBC One's Newsround at 5.25pm on Monday (1 August), at slightly greater length than the interviews that appeared on the main BBC News programmes. It's about five minutes into the eight-minute programme, which is available on the CBBC website to view in Real Player for twenty-four hours until about 5.25pm BST Tuesday. The following is a brief transcript (with thanks to Steve Tribe).
Presenter: And finally to our first glimpse behind the scenes of the new series of Doctor Who. Filming has started in Wales with the new Doctor, who's played by actor David Tennant. We visited Cardiff to meet him.
Reporter (over clip from Parting of the Ways): Our first glimpse of the new Doctor at the end of the last series - goodbye Christopher Eccleston, hello David Tennant.
Tennant: Morphing out of Christopher Eccleston, I don't think it's possible to get a stranger entrance than that. It's a very unusual way to begin a job, but fantastic! I mean, you know, you couldn't ask for a finer entrance really.
Interviewer: How daunting is it, playing a character like this?
Tennant: It's pretty daunting because it's kind of everywhere, you know, Doctor Who as a concept and also just the show itself is... so big!
Reporter: The programme's very important to the BBC, the last series sometimes got figures of around ten million viewers, so this time around they've kept the formula exactly the same, except of course for one thing - the Doctor himself. And the new man in the role says that, if things don't go successfully this time around, only one person will get the blame.
Tennant: It's my fault! I'm the only new guy! Everything else is the same as it was last year, so if it goes wrong it's my fault. Which, er, you know, just adds to the scary factor from my point of view.
Reporter (over recording footage): Billie Piper is back playing Rose, and is still getting to know her new onscreen partner.
Piper: I've only been working with him for about a few weeks now, but he's absolutely adorable and just perfect as the Doctor.
Tennant: It's been great so far, yes. I mean, it's kind of surreal finding myself on set with a TARDIS and with Rose Tyler and all these things that, you know, I was watching on the TV just a few months ago, and suddenly I'm in it. It's kind of odd, but it's great fun.
Reporter (over opening titles): You'll get your chance to make up your own mind about the new Doctor this Christmas.
Monday Press Items
Press ClipsAugust 1, 2005 Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC official Doctor Who website has a short piece from Wales Today on the start of production of the second series; the video is playable with Windows Media or Real Player.
A new BBC News report today confirms the start of production last week. "New Doctor Who star David Tennant said it was 'pretty daunting' to play the sci-fi character, as filming of new episodes began in Cardiff. Ex-Casanova star Tennant, 34, said it was an intimidating role because 'the series is so huge. I'm aware of all that but I try to keep it in my back pocket and just get on with the job,' he added. A 13-part series of the BBC TV show will follow a Christmas special, with scenes shot in London on Friday. Tennant, a long-term Doctor Who fan, also said he was excited about beginning work on the show. 'It's great - you get to play a Time Lord and have a Tardis. You can't knock that,' he said. ... The 60-minute Christmas special tells of the earth being under threat from alien Sycorax and features actress Penelope Wilton. The Cybermen will return in the new series, and the Doctor and Rose will meet Queen Victoria and an evil race of Cat Women. One episode will be written by comedian Stephen Fry while The League of Gentleman star Mark Gatiss will once again contribute to the writing." Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner and Manchester Online ran much the same story, but noted that "the makers of the hit TV series took over a restaurant in the Mermaid Quay area of Cardiff Bay for a morning shoot."
In addition to the Newsround video interview above, the CBBC Newsround website features an interview with Tennant. "It's great to get to play a TimeLord and have a Tardis," he told CBBC, adding that he was also a bit scared.
BBC Radio 4's PM had David Tennant on radio today, along with Billie Piper praising him and a short statement that filming in a Chinese restaurant in Cardiff today is standing in for a nightclub in the year five billion! It's on the Radio 4 website (under Listen Again for PM; it's at 53:48 to 56:36 approximately.)
There was also a short two minute feature on the filming in Cardiff today on BBC Five Live's midday news; it didn't reavel much, but does have a short chat with David Tennant. Listen to it on the Five Live website (under Listen Again for Midday News MON, the Doctor Who piece is at the end at 00.56.31.)
There were several more mentions today of the SFX reader poll voting "Doctor Who" the best UK fantasy series of all time, including in The Sun, Female First,
In today's Daily Star: "Billie's A Real Doll. Doctor Who babe Billie Piper left toy bosses panting when they were ordered to make a doll of her. They spent hours working out the shapely star's measurements so the toy version of Rose Tyler looks just like the real thing. Show bosses have lined up a series of special moveable models of Rose and the Doc in time for the Christmas rush. And their greatest enemies The Daleks and the Slitheens will also be flying off the shelves. Workers at Character Options, who had the task of making a model of 22-year-old Billie, had the best job of all. One joked: 'Let's just say the sculptors particularly enjoyed creating Rose. I can't think why!' However, fans will spot one glaring error. The Doctor doll is of Christopher Eccleston, 41, who quit as the Timelord to be replaced by David Tennant, 34. Toy manufacturers have to work months in advance and made their figure before they heard he had left. A doll of Tennant will be released next year."
(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Jamie Austin, Ian Potter, Mike Humphreys, David Traynier)