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December 2006

Who Was Who Where What When Why?
December 31, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
As 2006 draws to a close and in keeping with all those end-of-the-year-type reviews, here's something to boggle your minds. A roundup of who in the world of Who has been popping up where over the holiday period.

Derek Acorah (Army of Ghosts) - The Antiques Ghost Show, Most Haunted. Joe Ahearne (Series One director) directed This Life Plus 10 and Eccleston in Perfect Parents. Bob Baker, writer of Wallace and Gromit: a Close Shave. Tom Baker - the Voice of BT txt msgng, narrating On Show, Little Britain, Little Britain Abroad. Thelma Barlow (Series Three) in Mrs Henderson Presents. John Barrowman in Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified, The Royal Variety Performance, Jack and the Beanstalk, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, It Started With Swap Shop, The Heaven and Earth Show, The Big Finish. Big Brother (Bad Wolf) - Celebrity Big Brother. Christopher Biggins (The One Doctor) in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Samantha Bond in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Nicholas Briggs - Blood of the Daleks, interviewed on BBC Breakfast. Jim Broadbent (The Curse of Fatal Death) in Nicholas Nickleby.

Noel Clarke The Christmas Invasion, Combat. John Cleese (City of Death) in And Now For Something Completely Different, A Fish Called Wanda. Camille Coduri The Christmas Invasion. Pauline Collins (Tooth and Claw) in Shirley Valentine. Phil Collinson - The Runaway Bride, The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Susannah Constantine (Bad Wolf) presenting Trinny & Susannah Undress. Mark Cossey (Doctor Who Confidential) - That Life. Jon Culshaw (The Kingmaker) in the Dead Ringers Christmas Special, The Secret Policeman’s Ball. The Daleks in The Vicar of Dibley. Gareth David-Lloyd in Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified. Russell T Davies - The Runaway Bride, Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified, The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Peter Davison among TV's Naughtiest Blunders.

Christopher Eccleston in Perfect Parents. Huw Edwards (Fear Her) presenting BBC News. Stephen Fry (Death Comes to Time) The Story of Light Entertainment, Arena: The Archers. Julie Gardner - The Runaway Bride, This Life Plus 10, That Life, Torchwood Declassified. Mark Gatiss in Fear of Fanny, The League of Gentleman: Christmas Special, The Wind in the Willows. Don Gilet in The Runaway Bride, The Ruby in the Smoke. Burn Gorman in Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified. Richard E Grant narrated The Story of ... Fairytale of New York. Tamsin Greig (The Long Game) in The Archers, Green Wing, Arena: The Archers.

Susannah Harker (Big Finish) in Perfect Parents. Graeme Harper - Robin Hood. Konnie Huq presenting Blue Peter, playing herself in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Gethin Jones (Series Two Cyberman) presenting Blue Peter, playing himself in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Paul Kasey in The Runaway Bride, Torchwood and interviewed on BBC Breakfast. Peter Kay (Love and Monsters) in Little Britain Abroad. John Leeson/K9 in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Joanna Lumley (The Curse of Fatal Death) in Jam and Jerusalem. Paul McGann in Blood of the Daleks. Fulton Mackay (Doctor Who and the Silurians) in Porridge. Tom Macrae (Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel) in Parallel Worlds - a User's Guide. Anna Maxwell Martin (The Long Game) in The Wind in the Willows. Steve Meo (Random Shoes) in High Hopes. Jason Mohammad (Doomsday) presenting BBC Wales Today. Naoko Mori in Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified. Eve Myles in Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified. Sophia Myles (The Girl in the Fireplace) in Dracula.

Kim Newman (Time and Relative) in Parallel Worlds - a User's Guide. Bill Nighy in Love Actually, All Fingers and Thumbs. Roger Lloyd Pack (Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel) in The Vicar of Dibley. Billie Piper in The Ruby in the Smoke, The Christmas Invasion, The New Paul O'Grady Show, The Friday Night Christmas Project. Jonathan Pryce (The Curse of Fatal Death) with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl. Patricia Quinn (Dragonfire) in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Wendy Richard (Dimensions in Time) in EastEnders. Gareth Roberts - The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Anne Robinson (Bad Wolf) presenting The Weakest Link. Andrew Sachs (Shada webcast) in The Midnight Folk. Gillane Seaborne (Doctor Who Confidential) - That Life. Elisabeth Sladen in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Invasion of the Bane. Sheridan Smith in Blood of the Daleks, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. Richard Stokes - Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified. Catherine Tate in The Runaway Bride, The Catherine Tate Christmas Special, The New Paul O'Grady Show.

David Tennant in The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Music and Monsters, Jo Whiley Meets Dr Who, Hogmanay Live, The Friday Night Project. Patrick Troughton in Jason and the Argonauts. Zoe Wanamaker (The End of the World, New Earth) in My Family. Marc Warren (Love and Monsters) in Dracula. Arabella Weir (Exile) - one of the Grumpy Old Women at Christmas, Grumpy Old New Year. Sam West (Dimensions in Time) in Random Quest. Simon Williams (Remembrance of the Daleks) in Sherlock Holmes: the Eligible Bachelor. Penelope Wilton (Aliens of London/World War Three) in The Christmas Invasion, Calendar Girls. Barbara Windsor (Army of Ghosts) in EastEnders. Trinny Woodall (Bad Wolf) in Trinny & Susannah Undress.
Torchwood Ratings Roundup
December 31, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Episode 11 of Torchwood, Combat achived a slightly lower value in the overnight ratings for Christmas week.

The BBC2 showing on 27th December achieved a figure of 1.90m, which was a 9.4% share. The Appreciation index for this showing was 81

On BBC3 the Boxing Day showing at 2230 was watched by 369,000 which was a 2.6% share. Later that night 96,000 or 4.3% of the audience watched the 0150 showing.

On Friday 256,000 watched at 2100 which was a share of 1.5% and 75,000 or 3% watched at 0130.

The programme had an extra repeat at 2235 on Saturday when it was watched by 176,000 or 1.3% of the audience.

The final two episodes will be shown on BBC Three on New Years Day
"Runaway Bride" - Signed repeat
December 31, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
The third showing of "The Runaway Bride" was watched by 244,000 viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures. The share was 18.4%.

The programme, shown on BBC1 at 2.25am, was part of the BBC's sign zone, so was shown with in vision signing for the deaf. It easily won its time slot.

Part of the programme was covered by a caption pointing viewers to BBC2 where there was breaking news on the execution of Saddam Hussain.
The Week in the Press
December 30, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
With Christmas fast fading and the New Year upon us, here's a roundup of some of the massive press coverage over the past couple of weeks.

The Runaway Bride

The Daily Mail writes: "New water crisis as Doctor Who drains the Thames".

"He has already caused disruption to a number of London landmarks. Now Dr Who drains the Thames in a Christmas special, The Runaway Bride, to be broadcast on Christmas Day ...

"A horde of alien spiders make their base under the Thames and when the Doctor and Donna - the runaway bride in the title played by Catherine Tate - escape from the lair, water pours in, emptying the river. The scene sees the pair standing on top of the Thames Barrier, staring out across the city minus the Thames.

"Asked what other landmarks in the capital he wanted to target, Tennant suggested Buckingham Palace. He joked: 'Let's blow that up, come on!' He added Madame Tussauds was also in the Doctor's sights. Donna, from Chiswick, becomes the first woman to turn down Dr Who's advances at the end of the programme."

The Times has an interview with Catherine Tate. On her character in The Runaway Bride, Donna "doesn’t want to be with the Doctor. She just wants to get married." 'Tate wasn’t a huge fan of Doctor Who as a girl. "I was more into The Kids from Fame," she says laughing. "I think Rose (Billie Piper’s character, now departed) is the reason so many girls are into it now." Tate’s daughter Erin, 4, is a fan – "she loves the Cybermen".

The Guardian lists this year's Doctor Who Christmas special as "unmissable TV this Christmas" and one of the "best shows on the box".

"While it feels as if the Doctor Who Christmas special is a fixture of the festive season, this is only its second such outing. Here, the Doctor has Catherine Tate at his side to fight Sarah Parish's Big Bad - half-woman, half-spider, the Empress of [the] Racnoss."

The short article goes on to mention that "there's a Jo Whiley Meets Doctor Who special on Radio 1 on Christmas Day, The Sarah Jane Adventures are on BBC1 on New Year's Day, along with, on BBC3, the explosive conclusion of Torchwood. BBC7 also plays host to a new story, Blood of the Daleks, on Hogmanay."

Meanwhile, the Sun, under the headline "It's time to lord it up, Tate", had this to say:

"Killer festive decorations, slayer Santas and a flesh-eating spider - it can only be the Doctor Who Christmas special. David Tennant is his usual quirky self, but The Runaway Bride really belongs to Catherine Tate. Her character Donna is bristling with rage at being beamed into the Tardis while half-way up the aisle. Donna is more than a bit Lauren-esque [her schoolgirl character from The Catherine Tate Show] as she screeches at the Timelord: 'No stupid Martian is going to stop me getting married.' Even when she gets kidnapped by a Father Christmas in a taxi, the Cockney secretary deadpans, 'You ARE kidding me?'

And, in the Metro's "Tate takes a trip in the Tardis": "Catherine Tate takes a trip in the Tardis with Doctor Who - and turns down the chance to be his assistant. The comedienne appears in BBC One Christmas episode The Runaway Bride - where the Doctor, played by David Tennant, ends up falling for her. In their final scenes he asks her to join him on his time-travelling adventures but she leaves him heartbroken by saying no. Catherine admitted: 'I was devastated. They'd have made a great team. They're a slightly unconventional pairing. They don't really get on at first but by the end they have rather fallen for each other so it's a bit of a shame.'"

The Telegraph covered the story with "Evil monsters from Doctor Who? Am I bovvered, asks Tate". In the article, David Tennant talked about returning to the show without Billie Piper: "Tennant admitted he has found it hard to adjust to life without her. 'It was a little bit odd going back in July - it was like going back to school and all the old team was still there except Billie, so it was very different. But I loved working with Catherine and I suppose that's what acting is about, you develop these new relationships. The show is different and just as good."

Tate is quoted about her not being asked to stay on as a permanent companion and how much fun she had on the show. The Sun also had a piece on (as they put it) Tate's "Doctor Who snub".

There's also a story about Tate and the Christmas special - "Tate's Christmas Date with the Doctor" - on line at BBC News.

In the Glasgow Daily Record's "Am I Bovvered?": "Telly funny girl Catherine Tate is set to make history by becoming the first woman to turn down Doctor Who. Catherine - whose characters include rebellious schoolgirl Lauren and the outrageous swearing Nan - joins Scot David Tennant for the Christmas Day Doctor Who special The Runaway Bride. Catherine plays the bride who finds her wedding day interrupted by an alien plot to destroy the Earth. After losing his former companion Rose - actress Billie Piper - the Doctor invites bride Donna to live in the Tardis. But she declines in the final moments."

In another on-line BBC News story, entertainment reporter Kevin Young discussed "What TV critics watch at Christmas": "With hundreds of programmes on offer throughout Christmas, what do the people who spend their lives reviewing TV shows want to watch?". He talked about a handful of programmes, including The Ruby in the Smoke (Piper) and This Life Plus 10 (Joe Ahearne, Julie Gardner), but singled out Doctor Who.

"There is no doubt about it - Doctor Who is this year's overwhelming festive favourite among TV critics. 'I'm so desperate to watch this that if our TV broke down, I'd just go and knock on the neighbours' door, and invite myself on to their sofa,' says Caitlin Moran, a columnist at The Times. 'Then I'd ask them to go into the kitchen for a bit so they didn't ruin the atmosphere by talking.'"

In the Mirror's, "How very dare you": "[…] Tate has told how her hopes of becoming Dr Who's new sidekick were dashed when BBC bosses snubbed her, despite starring in the Christmas special. The award-winning comic appears in The Runaway Bride as the timelord's temporary assistant Donna who is mysteriously transported into the Tardis during her wedding. But yesterday Tate claimed she was not even considered for the permanent role left vacant by Billie Piper who played Rose Tyler for two series."

There was a long article in the Manchester Evening News under the headline "Doctor Who: Bovvered?", which also made mention of the Civil Partnership of Matt Lucas, who appeared opposite Tennant in Casanova: "Tennant gave nothing away about his future at today’s first screening of the Time Lord’s latest Christmas special. It was a relatively early start in London’s Soho, bearing in mind he’d been at yesterday’s wedding of Little Britain star Matt Lucas. For those anxious to know about Matt’s panto-themed reception, David went as Buttons and Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies was, of course, a Dame."

In its article, the Western Mail, concentrated on the Sarah Parish's role as the Empress of the Racnoss in "Move aside Daleks for the scariest monster ever": "Younger viewers may find the half-human, half-spider Empress of Rachnos too scary to watch. Cutting It star Sarah Parish is unrecognisable in the role.

"She admitted that even her own family might run for cover at the sight of her character when they sit down to watch the festive episode, called The Runaway Bride. 'I've got four very excited nieces and I don't want them to hate me,' she said. 'I think it's behind-the-sofa scary, not nightmare psychiatric ward scary.' David Tennant, who plays the Doctor, added, 'It's the right side of scary.'"

The Manchester Evening News also covered this story under the headline "Cutting it as a Doctor Who baddie". As did Sky News in its "(Dr) Who's The Monster?".

Though the press coverage for the Christmas special was overwhelmingly positive, not everyone was happy, however. In the process of being generally miserable about Christmas television, Nicholas Barber in the Independent, finds time for a pop at Doctor Who, too: "The second most popular programme of Christmas '05 was a Doctor Who 'special', so there's another one on this year - but how special can it possibly be? An hour in duration, it's only 15 minutes longer than the dozen other Doctor Who episodes that we've already seen this year."

John Barrowman

John Barrowman is interviewed on Rainbow Network. Barrowman remarks that: "Towards the end of Doctor Who, Jack was becoming more human - I mean human in the sense that he was starting to feel for other people rather than just thinking about himself. As Torchwood begins, he's lost some of that. He doesn't always consider other people's feelings - his priority is the good of the world.

"A life-long fan of Doctor Who, John admits that his home is stuffed with Captain Jack memorabilia, including his racy leather trousers, squareness gun and the bullets he aimed at the Daleks when we last saw him."

On the Weevils, Barrowman describes them as "one freaky bunch of aliens […] and every once in a while a Weevil goes rogue and attacks. That's when we have to step in because they can be mighty vicious."

David Tennant

Top of the Pops magazine (BBC, issue 153) has quotes from David Tennant. Asked how he feels to be the most popular actor on TV, Tennant replies: "It's nice to know that people are grateful for what I'm doing. It's a great honour." On whether he will be staying on as the Doctor: "As long as I don't get the sack, I'll do another series." And on whether Tennant is living life to the max: "I'm keenly aware, all the time, of failing in some way. That feeling never goes away. With hindsight, I'll probably wonder why I didn't make the most of it."

There is also a small interview with Yasmin Paige who plays Maria in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Paige comments that: "My character moves in next door to SJ and they end up fighting aliens together. She's very quirky, loves technology and aliens." Paige mentions that her favourite scene from the Christmas episode is "the factory explosion. I was so nervous because I haven't experienced anything like that before. It was just amazing."

Christopher Eccleston

From the Australian publication The Age comes the essay "Timeless - why I Love Doctor Who", an affectionate run-down of ten reasons that make the 2005 series of Doctor Who a hit with critics and audiences everywhere.

While, WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH has issued a press release regarding their acquisition of the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who episodes. The full release is available here, but this is the abbreviated version: "WCET has purchased the new Doctor Who series to air this Spring. It will air Thursday nights. WCET is currently one of 4 PBS broadcasters in the US airing the classic series. Grace Hill, CET's Programming Director, noted: 'We're pleased to be bringing more Doctor Who to CET. This series has been a success worldwide, and we can't wait for the new series to come on our air.'"


In "Who's The Top Toy?", the Daily Record ran a piece about the popularity of Doctor Who toys this Christmas. "Dr Who proved the biggest hit with the kids this Christmas as merchandise from the show continued to fly off the shelves. The popularity of the BBC1 show saw supplies of Daleks, Cyberman Voice Changers and Sonic Screwdrivers outstrip demand, according to the UK's biggest toy store chain. Toys R Us said stores were forced to source Doctor Who merchandise from across the world to keep up with demand. And in-store displays were being replenished up to five times a day in November and December."

Media Guardian is running a story about how the way the music charts are calculated in the UK is to be shaken up so that it will take account of track downloads from albums, even old albums, in future. Tests show that the ELO song "Mr Blue Sky" would have registered in the chart with this new system after its appearance in the Dr Who episode Love and Monsters. Full story in the Media Guardian.

Lalla Ward received a mention in an article - "Preaching to the converted", which was an interview with her husband Richard Dawkins - in the Telegraph. The relevant piece concerns whether it was Dawkins who once said that "a dog-collar was always a sign of a low IQ"?

"At this Dawkins, quite unexpectedly, starts to giggle. 'Actually, that was my wife [the former Dr Who actress, Lalla Ward]. What, in fact, she said was that whenever she sees a dog-collar, she imagines one of those electronic streamers going round and round saying, "Low IQ, Low IQ, Low IQ…" But she was only joking,' he adds, not altogether convincingly.

"'Besides,' he says, 'I think it's important to remember that you're dealing with a whole spectrum here. If you've got a Creationist who claims that the world is only 6,000 years old, I'd say that person was both pig-ignorant and thick _ thick, because if you're that ignorant you really ought to be doing something about it. But with someone like the Archbishop of Canterbury, it would be quite wrong to say that he's thick. I'd say mistaken, put it that way.'"

(With thanks to Kenny Davidson, Benjamin Elliott, Chuck Foster, Paul Hayes, Andrew John and Peter Weaver.)
The Sarah Jane Adventures Countdown Begins
December 30, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
This weekend's countdown begins toward the Monday debut of the hour-long special The Sarah Jane Adventures. The episode, broadcast Monday 1 January from 4.50 to 5.50pm on BBC1/CBBC, is the pilot episode for a limited-run series that will air later in the year and brings Elisabeth Sladen back to the screen in the title role of Sarah Jane Smith, the role she was last seen as in the last Doctor Who season's episode "School Reunion".

Joining Sladen in the episode is Samantha Bond, best known as Miss Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan "James Bond" films and for her role in the series "Distant Shores," as Mrs. Wormwood, and Jamie Davies as Wormwood's henchman, Davey. Sarah Jane's young sidekicks in the episode are Yasmin Page as Maria, Porsha Lawrence Mavour as Kelsey and Thomas Knight as Luke. K9 (possibly voiced by John Leeson) is to be seen briefly in the special but will not be in the series to follow.

The episode is entitled Invasion of the Bane, and is written by Gareth Roberts and Russell T Davies. Davies and Julie Gardner executive produce; Phil Collinson and Matthew Bouch are the producers.

Below is the episode's press release, as well as a collection of photos from the episode, presented here as a teaser for the Monday airing; click on each for a larger version. (As always, all photos are copyrighted to the BBC and used solely to promote the episode.)
"The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane" Photo Set #1
All photos copyrighted to the BBC
Elisabeth Sladen -- Doctor Who's former sidekick -- is back as Sarah Jane Smith in a brand-new, fast-paced children's drama, created by Russell T Davies and from the makers of Doctor Who. The Sarah Jane Adventures ensures that children never look at fizzy drinks in the same way again...

Sarah Jane is fascinated by Bubbleshock, a strangely addictive organic drink that is taking the world by storm. She is almost oblivious to the arrival of her new neighbour, Maria, a young girl starting a new life with her father. Maria becomes intrigued by the strange goings on at Sarah Jane's house but, before she can investigate, she's whisked away by her new friend, Kelsey, to the brightly coloured, but sinister, Bubbleshock factory.

As Sarah Jane tries to find out what the mysterious Mrs Wormwood is doing at the factory, Maria and Kelsey embark on a tour which leads them into the path of a monstrous creature and a strange young boy with no name or past. When Sarah Jane and Maria discover the secret ingredient of Bubbleshock, they realise they are the only ones who can stop Mrs Wormwood and her evil plans for the human race.
Series Three Update
General TV Series News
December 29, 2006  •  Posted By Jack Borrett
Early details have been revealed about series three news in the pages of the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, specifically the titles of four of the next season's episodes and some additional casting news.

The title for episode four is Daleks in Manhattan. The recent trailer for series three at the end of "The Runaway Bride" confirmed the Daleks would return in the new series; this episode is set in 1930's New York and is written by script editor Helen Raynor. There is currently no information on the title for episode five, the second half.

Episode six is The Lazarus Experiment. The episode features Mark Gatiss as Dr. Lazarus; in the series three trailer, Gatiss was seen both as his own age and in makeup depicting a much older person. "The Lazarus Experiment" is written by Stephen Greenhorn.

The title of the first episode (#8) of Paul Cornell's two-part story hasn't been revealed, but episode nine has: it's The Family of Blood. The two-parter features the previously mentioned Jessica Stevenson as Joan; new cast listings includes Harry Lloyd (as Jeremy Baines), Thomas Sangster (Tim Latimer), Tom Palmer (Hutchinson), Pip Torrens (Rocastle), Rebekah Staten (Jenny), Gerard Horan (Clark), Lauren Wilson (Lucy Cartwright) and Matthew White (Phillips). It has long been rumored that Cornell's two-parter is an adaptation of Human Nature, the novel he penned for Virgin Publishing as part of their "New Adventures" line; the casting information makes this seem almost certain as many of these characters (Joan, Tim, Hutchinson, Rocastle, Lucy) appear in that novel.

Episode ten, by Steven Moffat, is still untitled, but features in its cast Ian Boldsworth and Richard Cant.

Episode eleven, written by Russell T Davies, is entitled Utopia.
Doctor Who Magazine 378
December 29, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
Details for issue 378 of Doctor Who Magazine have been released, which features exclusive coverage of "The Runaway Bride", the season finale of Torchwood, and the premiere of The Sarah Jane Adventures. To see the full size cover, click on the preview below.
(Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)
This issue, the magazine celebrates the "Best Christmas Ever" for Doctor Who, with a massive 30-page feature on the making of "The Runaway Bride", the series finale of Torchwood, and the first feature-length episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Packed with new photographs, design drawings, and including exclusive interviews with David Tennant, John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Russell T Davies, and many more, this is one feature not to be missed!

Also this issue, a new comic strip adventure begins as the Doctor is reunited with a dear friend in the first part of "The Warkeeper's Crown"; Captain Jack, alias actor John Barrowman, faces the terror of the TARDIS tin; the Time Team watch "Time-Flight" and "Arc of Infinity" in their quest to see every Doctor Who story in order; and an exlcusive preview of the New Begnnings DVD box set, featuring "The Keeper of Traken", "Logopolis" and "Castrovalva".

Plus! Exclusive news about the adventures in store for the Doctor and Martha in the new series, including the return of the Daleks, new guest cast members, and four new episode titles revealed!

All this, plus your regular favourites in DWM 378, on sale from Thursday 4 January 2007.
Canada: CBC to repeat Eccleston Series
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By Mike Doran
Starting on Friday January 19th, 2007 (Friday night/Saturday morning) the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will commence a repeat run of the 2005 Doctor Who series starring Christopher Eccleston. Starting with the premiere episode "Rose" episodes will be broadcast each Friday at 12:00 midnight (12:30am in Newfoundland and Labrador). This will be the fourth full CBC network run of Series One since April 2005.

Episodes of Series Two with David Tennant will continue on the CBC after their Christmas hiatus with "The Satan Pit" on Monday January 15th, 2007 at 8:00pm (8:30pm in Newfoundland and Labrador).
Lis on Wardrobe: "More Black Leather!"
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
An article on the January 1 debut of upcoming spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures in The Sun on Friday features comments by series star Elisabeth Sladen, reprising the title role of Sarah Jane Smith.

Amongst other things, Ms Sladen comments on her wardrobe hopes for the show: “The costume designer will be buying my outfits for the series very soon and I fancy a bit more black leather for Sarah Jane to wear.

"I think the outfits will be a combination of new and retro. But I definitely won’t be wearing heels like I did in the Seventies as I do a lot of running around in the series, so it’s flatties for me.”

Ms Sladen also shares her thoughts on such topics as remeeting old monsters, further appearances in Doctor Who, and the "amazing" positive reception of Sarah Jane's return.

You can read the full article here.

(NB: Although the story is available online, it has not been included in every print edition of the newspaper.)
Doctor Who feel to Dibley
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The final episode of The Vicar of Dibley, which airs on New Year's Day at 9.30pm on BBC1, will have a distinctly Doctor Who feel to it.

The character Alice Horton, who is played by Emma Chambers, dresses as the Doctor for the Time Lord-themed wedding in the storyline.

She is pictured here in costume with two "wedding guests".

Ironically, the Christmas Day episode of The Vicar of Dibley beat Doctor Who in the ratings - it was the most-watched programme on the day, while Doctor Who was fifth, based on peak five-minute figures.

(This picture is copyright Tiger Aspect and used solely to promote the programme.)
Praise from BBC One Controller
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
The BBC One controller, Peter Fincham, has praised the success of Doctor Who as part of the BBC One Christmas schedule. In an interview with the BBC Staff magazine Ariel, Mr Fincham said

'BBC One has been at the top of its game this Christmas. Overall viewing levels are up, our performance in peak is 11% higher than last year, but most of all we've had a wonderful schedule of programmes that audiences love - Doctor Who, EastEnders, The Vicar of Dibley, Strictly Come Dancing and Little Britain have proved an irresistible combination.

'What this shows is that family viewing is alive and well and in excellent health. There's lots more to come over the festive season, which is showing once again that when the family gets together, BBC One is the place to be.'

Ariel has also published a list of Top 10 Christmas Day programmes, based on peak five minute figures.
Vicar of Dibley - 12.3m
EastEnders part 2 - 11.7m
EastEnders part 1 - 10.4m
Coronation Street (ITV1) - 10.3m
Doctor Who 9.2m
Doc Martin (ITV1)- - 9m
Little Britain Abroad - 8.7m
Emmerdale (ITV1) - 7.9m
Strictly Come Dancing - 7.8m
6pm news - 6.4m
"Runaway Bride" AI Figure
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
As well as having one of the highest audiences on Christmas Day, Doctor Who was also one of the most enjoyed programmes with an AI of 84.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience liked the programme. It is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel. The average score for drama on BBC1 and ITV1 is 77. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor.

The average score for Season Two of Doctor Who was also 84.

Only two programmes on Christmas Day received a higher score than Doctor Who. The Vicar of Dibley and Porridge both scored 85.

Doctor Who Confidential at 1pm scored 81.

Meanwhile, the BBC3 repeat of The Runaway Bride got an overnight rating of 556,000, which was a 2.8% share. It was the third highest rated show on Multi Channel TV for the day.
BBC Denies Tennant Leaving
General TV Series News
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
The BBC have issued a statement reported by the Press Association to refute any decisions made by cast or crew over the fourth series of Doctor Who.

Reported by BBC News, CBBC, icWales, Press Association, 24dash, Manchester Evening News.
Dr Who bosses have denied claims that star David Tennant is to quit the show - but said a fourth series featuring the Scot as the Timelord has not yet been ordered.

Reports claimed Tennant, 35, would leave in the middle of the fourth series of the sci-fi drama, due to begin filming next year - sparking a hunt for the 11th Timelord after less than two years in the role.

But a BBC spokeswoman said that no fourth series had even been commissioned yet and negotiations with the star would not begin until it had been given the green light.

"David is absolutely committed to the show and is currently filming the third series," said a BBC spokeswoman today.

"There is no fourth series currently commissioned yet so we could not confirm his involvement in that yet.

"David Tennant is committed to the series. When a further series is commissioned, we will be able to confirm his involvement."
Doctor Who in The Archers
December 28, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
Doctor Who can do more than entertain, it seems. On Christmas Day, it managed to bring together two warring brothers whose enmity towards each other has been a part of the UK's long-running radio serial The Archers (BBC Radio 4) for several months now. The Grundys - Ed and Will - fell out when the younger brother, Ed, stole Will's wife, Emma. The whole nasty business led to some of the most dramatic episodes of the 15-minute drama that the series has seen in a long time.

However, on Christmas Day, the brothers appeared at their parents' house and, according to their mother, Clarrie, remained under the same roof together for longer than they had in ages. And what was it that kept them there? The Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", of course.

In the episode, their dad, Eddie, remarked that Doctor Who is "not too bad once you get used to Billie Piper not being in it". And Clarrie commented delightedly, "The boys didn't say much to each other but they both stayed for the whole of the programme."

The episode can be heard again as part of the omnibus edition of The Archers on New Year's Eve on BBC Radio 4 at 10-11.15am.

(With thanks to Andrew John for this story.)
Unconfirmed: Sun report Tennant to quit
General TV Series News
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The Thursday issue of the Sun is reporting that David Tennant is to quit the title role of Doctor Who midway through the fourth series. The story is headlined on the front page (see right) with the article on page five (see quote box below).

It is worth stressing that, so far, this story is unconfirmed, and Tennant and the production team are still working on the forthcoming third series. A fourth series is yet to be officially commissioned by the BBC, but assuming it goes ahead, it wouldn't be due to hit our screens until Spring 2008 and would mark Tennant's third season in the role. Tennant's first complete story was in the Christmas special 2005.

Update: In an unhelpful move, BBC Radio One have managed to mis-report the story in the Sun this morning, with news summaries during their breakfast programme quoting a newspaper as saying that Tennant will leave "during the next series". Naturally, many listeners may assume this is referring to the forthcoming third series yet to begin broadcasting. However, this is still quoting the tabloid, even if it is a mis-quote, and does not validate the story. The Metro is also quoting The Sun's report, offering no additional information.

(Humorous footnote: There may not be any official confirmation or denial about the story as yet, but there is a "News In Briefs" comment by Thursday's page three model - Katie, 22, from Liverpool - who is reported to be "gutted" that Tennant was supposed to be leaving. She is quoted as saying: "He was brilliant in the show and it won't be the same without him. Not only was he a great actor - but I could swoon over him as well!" Additional reporting by John Bowman)
DR Who star David Tennant is to quit the show - leaving BBC bosses looking for their 11th Timelord, The Sun can reveal.

David, 35, will leave in the middle of the fourth series.

The Scot is still filming the third series of the sci-fi favourite, which is set to be shown in the spring.

He has told the Beeb he will return the following year — but will not do the entire nine-month shoot. David has been bombarded with film offers after appearing in the last Harry Potter movie.

Producers are keen to get another Scot, Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle, 45, to step in.

They are also talking to David Morrisey, who was in BBC drama Blackpool with Tennant, as well as in Basic Instinct 2.

Tennant became Dr Who when Christopher Eccleston quit after one series. David stars with newcomer Freema Agyeman in the third series. She replaces Billie Piper, who left this year.

David refused to deny he was quitting when asked earlier this month, insisting he was "non-committal" about his plans.

He joked: "From the moment I accepted this job, everyone said, 'When are you leaving?' A boy could get a complex!" A Dr Who spokesman declined to comment.
Elisabeth Sladen talks about The Sarah Jane Adventures
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
BBC Norfolk have a new video interview with Elisabeth Sladen, talking about the forthcoming The Sarah Jane Adventures special ("The Invasion of the Bane") to be seen on New Year's Day.

The interview briefly discusses how the new series came about in early January this year (she initially thought she was being approached for Torchwood!), that the series is set in the present day, but a little after "School Reunion" (her most recent appearance in Doctor Who), how she has a house that isn't quite what it seems, and that K9 will be in this special but it isn't certain about other episodes as he has another very important job to do [previously reported from her appearance on Breakfast, 8th December]. She also commented on how protective of the character she is, and pleased that there were still some surprises in store for her.

On the show itself, she believes the format is very inventive, and she has no idea what will appear in the series now that the special is rounded off. However, she is most proud of the show having the biggest explosion to date in any of the three Doctor Who shows!

The full video interview and further details are on the website.

Meanwhile, the Metro has also run an article on the show, with some additional comments from Elisabeth Sladen on the return of her character: "I thought, what can I bring to the character if she came back again? But they started telling me about this spin-off and it was just impressive what they had in mind. I thought, why am I questioning what they're doing? It's a challenge and I've just got to reach for it. How amazing."

The article also discusses the use of K9 in the series, with creator Bob Baker still pursuing a separate series using the character (K9 Adventures). On this, she adds: "I don't pretend to know what's going on behind the scenes, but if he's allowed us to use K-9 for this special then never say never."
Barrowman's Partnership
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
BBC News Online is running a report on the civil partnership ceremony between Torchwood and Doctor Who star John Barrowman and his long-term boyfriend Scott Gill, which took place at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff this afternoon. Barrowman, who wore a kilt for the ceremony reflecting his Scottish roots, is quoted as saying: "It feels great and I think more gay men and gay women should go ahead and do it as long as they're serious about it. It's not really recognition but it's important for people to see the normality of the entire situation and it forces people who don't agree with gay men and women ... to have to accept us. We deserve the rights like everybody else. It's been a long wait but we legitimised our relationship to each other a long time ago when we signed our mortgages together and this is just something that forces people who don't want to recognise it that they have to."

The story was also reported on Wales Today.
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin Elliott
The latest installment of This Week in Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who on television in the UK, North America and elsewhere, for December 27, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
BBC confirms Dalek story setting
General TV Series News
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The BBC confirmed today that the Daleks will feature in the Series Three two-parter set in 1930s New York (episodes four and five, which are currently untitled). A Dalek was featured in the recent trailer for Series Three that concluded the broadcast of "The Runaway Bride".

The story, published on its Entertainment website this morning, follows the mention in the Sun today (see below) and quotes Russell T Davies as saying: "This time, their plan is the most audacious Dalek scheme yet! Even the Doctor finds himself out of his depth."

As previously reported, appearing alongside David Tennant and Freema Agyeman in the adventure will be Miranda Raison, Hugh Quarshie and Ryan Carnes.
New series preview in the Sun
December 27, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
Today's Sun has a colour picture special preview of Series Three. A main image of the Doctor thrown by an explosion is surrounded by shots of new companion Martha with an unidentified male, Ardal O'Hanlon as feline alien Brannigan, a Judoon, Dean Lennox Kelly as Shakespeare and the black Dalek.

The Sun today also has a report about Casualty extra Johnson Yakoob being axed from the BBC hospital-based series after 500 shows over nearly two decades for taking a picture of David Tennant. Yakoob is quoted as saying his agency has stopped his work because he broke a rule about photographing Tennant while working on Doctor Who, and says: "I can't believe it. He was happy to pose."
"The Runaway Bride" Overnight Ratings - 8.7 Million
December 26, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
The Runaway Bride achieved a Christmas day rating of 8.7 million viewers, a 37% share of the total TV audience. The programme won its time slot beating Emmerdale on ITV which achieved 7.2m. The audience grew throughout the programme with the last quarter hour being watched by 9m viewers.

The day was a triumph for BBC1 which had eight of the Top Ten places. The highest watched programme of the day was The Vicar of Dibley, with 11.4m. The two episodes of Eastenders and and the episode of Coronation Street all scored high making Doctor Who number 5 for the day.

The programme was a great success among the under 4-16s achieving an audience of 1.7m or 55% of all children watching. This made it the most watched programme of the day in the Children's chart.

Doctor Who Confidential shown on BBC1 at 1pm got a rating of 1.4m viewers, a 13.7% share and was the 31st most watched programme of the day.

Final Ratings will be issued by BARB in approximately two weeks time
Sun piece on Bride notes
December 25, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The Boxing Day edition of the Sun looks back at "The Runaway Bride" by reporting that fake cash used in the show is selling for five times its mock face value.

Illustrated with a close-up of one of the "London Credit Bank" tenners plus a Christmas publicity image of David Tennant as the Doctor with sonic screwdriver outside the Tardis, it describes the scene in which a cashpoint churns out a fortune in the notes and says fans scooped up handfuls of the funny money after the scene had been filmed in Cardiff.

According to the piece, a show insider says the picture of Tennant was an in-joke, adding: "We can’t have real cash fluttering about — the licence-payers wouldn’t be too impressed.” It also quotes a Doctor Who collector as saying: “Any items from the show are going for a premium. The going rate for these notes is £50."

As previously reported on Outpost Gallifrey, the notes have an illustration of Tennant instead of the Queen and, in a nod to "The Christmas Invasion", bear the legends "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of 10 satsumas" plus "No second chances. I'm that sort of man".

The notes also carry a small picture of the Tardis in place of the usual silver security seal, as well as the initials "DT" where the "EIIR" monogram normally goes, and have a "© BBC Cymru Wales" statement.

In addition, fake £20 notes featuring an illustration of show producer Phil Collinson were printed for the special. These had a "sterling value" as opposed to "satsuma value" and stated "There's no point being grown up if you can't be a little childish sometimes" — a misquote from "Robot" — in place of the "No second chances. I'm that sort of man" lines. Click on the image below for a larger version.
Times Praises Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
December 25, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The Boxing Day issue of The Times reviews "The Runaway Bride" as the runaway success of the Christmas Day schedules with a glowing review. As it is a review after broadcast it has spoilers for those still to see it; therefore, click on the spoiler link for the full review.
Well, the Beeb killed off Pauline Fowler in EastEnders' now-traditional reliance on a Christmas Day wedding, birth or death to rev things up a bit, but at the end of the day, it was all put to shame by Doctor Who (BBC One) flushing a spider down the plughole.

Of course, Doctor Who has the not inconsiderable advantage of being about both the whole universe and the entire span of time - rather than just the lives of down-trodden, thin-lipped peasants in Walford spiting each other.

Under Russell T. Davies's sure guidance, the Doctor happily spent Christmas Day battling the Queen of Rachnos (Sarah Parish as a colossal, mad spider), before draining the Thames into a gigantic hole - and incorporating Catherine Tate, Slade's Merry Christmas Everyone and giant, web-strewn stars hanging over London on the way. Given this kind of scope, is it any wonder that, over the last two years, the Doctor Who Christmas Special has, finally, supplanted the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders as the flagship of the Christmas schedules?

This is a show that, in all likelihood, hasn't even entered its Imperial Phase yet, but still has an awe-inspiring sureness to it. David Tennant as the Doctor is now so ensconced in the role that I dare say he could spend an episode, due to some vagary of the Tardis, speaking like Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes and wearing a dress, and still be absolutely centred. That he's looking pretty hot in those sneakers doesn't hurt.

Everyone involved in Doctor Who is very much into how hot the Doctor is. To this end, Tennant has perfected a neat, scene-ending expression that goes "What? Eh? How did I get so incredibly foxeh?" which, to my recall, was last seen on The Fonz.

The two big selling points of The Runaway Bride were, ostensibly, the guests: Parish, as the vile Empress of Rachnos, and Catherine Tate as Donna, the recaltricant, eponymous runaway bride. In reality, however, Parish seemed a little hamstrung by her prosthetics, while Tate simply reprised her "Am I bovvered?" turn, but in a wedding dress, while running down some corridors.

She certainly knew what to do with her good lines, though.

"Don't you remember?" the Doctor asked, at one point.

"The Battle of Canary Wharf? Cybermen everywhere? The sky full of Daleks?" "I was in Spain," Tate shrugs.

"They were IN THE SKY!" the Doctor boggles.

"Scuba-diving," Tate says, visibly uninterested.

The real highlights of the show, it turned out, were twists on old favourites. To be honest, the show peaked around 12 minutes in, when the Tardis had its coolest ever moment - bouncing along the Westway in a shower of sparks, in pursuit of Tate in a cab. It looked absolutely thrilling.

I hope the CGI department awarded themselves all a brand new USB splitter as a special treat.

The other big highlight came whenever the Doctor had to mention Rose. The last time we saw the Doctor, of course, he was transmitting one last message to Rose, who was trapped, forever, in a parallel universe. He, like us, is still mourning the best companion he ever had - even better than K9 - and every mention of her resulted in gratifying, palpable pain in Tennant's eyes. Not least because Tennant must miss Piper in Cardiff, during all those long months of shooting.

They used to look as if they terrorized the local Nando's together. I bet they got through a lot of chicken. Who knows how the new assistant, Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, will pan out, when the series returns in the spring? Maybe she won't like Nando's at all. But waiting to find out is, to be honest, the best way to keep going through the Boxing Day Depression.
Torchwood Overnight Ratings
December 25, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
The combination of an earlier start and it being Christmas Eve resulted in a drop in Torchwood's ratings for the first BBC3 showing of episode 11, "Combat". According to unofficial overnight figures the programme was watched by 710,700 viewers, a 3.9% share of the audience. The programme was still BBC3's highest rated of the day, and the fourth highest rated programme on Multi Channel TV, being beaten by three episodes of the Simpsons.
Christmas Morning Concert
December 25, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
The Children In Need Concert, which is available to digital viewers, has had an earlier start than previously advertised on site, with the first run commencing from 9:15am. The concert - filmed at Cardiff's Millennium Centre on 19th November - runs for approximately 90 minutes on a loop, and details of the schedule can be seen at any time by using the blue button during the concert.

The broadcast also includes a question-and-answer session with David Tennant, Russell T Davies and Murray Gold, plus a four-minute preview of "The Runaway Bride" (so you may not want to watch the concert until after 8:00pm!).

For those out and about and otherwise engaged in Christmas merriment, the concert will be broadcast digitally at other times throughout the Christmas season: Christmas Day (1:50-7:00pm, 8:50pm-4:00am - 1:45am for Freeview), 27th December (8:50pm-4:00am - 1:45am for Freeview), and then in the new year on 2nd/3rd January (7:50pm-4:00am - but not on Freeview). The audio-only version of the concert is also currently available from BBC Radio Wales on their "Listen Again" service.

For other coverage of the concert, don't forget this afternoon's behind-the-scenes look at the concert with Doctor Who Confidential on BBC1 at 1:00pm. Plus BBC Radio One delve into the concert in a three-hour programme with Jo Whiley from 4:00pm. This will be available on the "Listen Again" service for the next week, as is Doctor Who Back In Time, the behind-the-scenes from BBC Radio Wales broadcast yesterday.
Doctor Who - Christmas news headline
General TV Series News
December 25, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
Tonight's Doctor Who Christmas Special, "The Runaway Bride", is effectively being given a free trailer as part of the news headlines on BBC Radio 2 this Christmas Day morning. The hourly bulletin at 9am featured as its last article a report by entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson on the "news" that Catherine Tate will be joining the TARDIS crew for this evening's special.

Paterson reported how, although set at Christmas, the episode was actually shot on some of the hottest days of the summer in Cardiff. An interview clip with Tate was played, saying how she had felt sympathy for the extras who had had to dress in coats, hats and scarves to give the impression of it being winter.

Listeners were then reminded that "The Runaway Bride" can be seen tonight at 7pm on BBC One.
Weekend Countdown To "The Runaway Bride": Day Three
General TV Series News
December 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
It's December 24... one day to the UK premiere of The Runaway Bride on BBC1. As we've done the past few days, to excite fans and promote the debut of the Christmas special, here's a third small collection of photos for our readers, below; click on each for a larger version. (As before, all photographs are copyrighted to the BBC and used here solely for promotion of this event!)
"The Runaway Bride" Photo Set #3
All photos copyrighted to the BBC
Dr Who story in Sunday Times
December 24, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Paul Cornell's short Dr Who story for Christmas was published today in The Sunday Times. Entitled "Deep and Dreamless Sleep", the tale is also available to read online from their website, and features the tenth Doctor in a seasonal story suitable for all ages.

Cornell, who wrote the 2005 episode "Fathers Day", is also the writer of episodes 8 and 9 in the next series of Doctor Who.
Weekend Countdown To "The Runaway Bride": Day Two
General TV Series News
December 23, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Two days to the UK premiere of The Runaway Bride on BBC1. To excite fans and promote the debut of the Christmas special, here's another small collection of photos for our readers, below; click on each for a larger version. (As before, all photographs are copyrighted to the BBC and used here solely for promotion of this event!)
"The Runaway Bride" Photo Set #2
All photos copyrighted to the BBC
Torchwood Friday Ratings
December 23, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Episode 10 of Torchwood, Out of Time was watched by another 400,000 viewers on Friday according to unofficial overnight ratings.

The 2100 showing got 264,000 viewers, a 1.6% share, while the 0155 showing got 130,000 viewers, a 7.1% share.

The late night audience is large for the channel and they are the highest figures Torchwood has received in this slot. At 0200 BBC3 had more viewers than any other TV Network, apart from BBC1.

The BBC2 showing on Wednesday night received an Audience Index figure of 79.
New Eighth Doctor Series Begins
Big Finish
December 23, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
Today sees the CD release of Blood of the Daleks, Part 1, the first in a new series of adventures for the Eighth Doctor, produced by Big Finish. The series, to be broadcast starting on New Years Eve at 6pm and midnight on BBC7, features Paul McGann as the Doctor alongside Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller, and is written by Steve Lyons. Included in the release is a poster and an audio featurette. Full cast and plot information is available at the Big Finish website

Meanwhile, the CD cover for Blood of the Daleks, Part Two has been released; click on the thumbnail below for a larger version.
Series 3 in US: Summer 2007
General TV Series News
December 23, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin F Elliott
The American cable network Sci Fi Channel has announced that they have secured the rights to air Series Three starting in the summer of 2007, according to a note on their Doctor Who page. Sci Fi completed the airing of Series Two with the double-bill of "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" last night.

Series Three will air on the BBC in the UK this coming Spring; if this plan by Sci Fi in the US holds, it will be the earliest turnaround of episode broadcasts since the start of the new series (Series One having taken a full year; Series Two, six months).
Television roundup
December 23, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
Yesterday's "GMTV" saw television critic Richard Arnold recommend "The Runaway Bride" as the one not to miss: "The money shot on Christmas Day belongs to Doctor Who - I know as much as it is the battle of the soaps this time of year, but I think this could be one of the highest rated shows of the season."

Also, the Christmas Special also made an appearance on BBC's "Breakfast", used as an illustration to the item on the increase of the BBC's licence fee, and how it's lower than expected rise could cause the BBC to reconsider it's current output in light of plans to invest in new services and technology.

Last night's "Screen Wipe" on BBC4 saw Charlie Brooker briefly mention Doctor Who as one of the popular programmes to be used on the Christmas evening, and featured a clip from "The Christmas Invasion" and also one of the notorious outtakes of Tom Baker swearing at K9. (thanks to pixel42 on the forum)

Finally, this morning's "Breakfast" featured an article, not on the Bride but instead on the "Doctor Who Confidential" that will be broadcast at 1:00pm on Christmas Day. Cyberman operator Paul Kasey and Dalek vocalist Nick Briggs were on the programme, and answered questions that had been sent in by children. The item also included clips from the Children in Need concert and a montage of monsters from the series.
Weekend Countdown To "The Runaway Bride" Begins
General TV Series News
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
It's just three days to the UK premiere of The Runaway Bride on BBC1, and in anticipation of this year's Christmas special, we have a small collection of photos for you, below; click on each for a larger version. (All photographs are copyrighted to the BBC and used here solely for promotion of this event!)
"The Runaway Bride" Photo Set #1
All photos copyrighted to the BBC
Dr Who Annual makes history
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The Doctor Who Annual has topped the Christmas chart for children's books, toppling the traditional number one The Beano into second place.

The Doctor Who Annual, which has held the top spot for a total of eight weeks now, has broken the million-pound barrier by so far selling 271,000 copies.

According to Saturday's Guardian, "This is the first time the Beano annual has been beaten since accurate electronic sales figures began to be collected in 1998, and indeed, the book trade believes, the first time since soon after it was initially published in the 1940s."

The article goes on to say that "the boost from Doctor Who's two prime time Christmas Day specials in a row is envied by all other publishers of annuals".
Tennant's New Year Project
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
David Tennant's appearance as guest presenter on Channel 4 entertainment show The Friday Night Project, reported at the beginning of this month on Outpost Gallifrey, is scheduled to be broadcast on January 5 at 11.05pm.

As the celebrity guest in the first edition of the fourth series, alongside comedians Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr, he will be providing an opening monologue, as well as performing comedy sketches and participating in games.

It is not known if there will be a question-and-answer session with the audience, as there was last January when Billie Piper was a guest host.
Series Two US Finale Tonight, Plus Harper Interview
General TV Series News
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
Ain't it Cool News is featuring an interview with Graeme Harper, director of several classic Who episodes including The Caves of Androzani and Revelation of the Daleks. He has also had his hand in the new series directing Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel. Read the interview here.

Meanwhile, the two-hour season finale of series 2 airs tonight with Harper's Army of Ghosts and Doomsday on the Sci Fi Channel in the US. "Army of Ghosts" airs in the normal 8:00pm timeslot, while "Doomsday" airs at 9:00pm (previously Battlestar Galactica's timeslot). The Sci Fi Channel is also airing a marathon of Series Two episodes all day today.
Sarah Jane Adventures Trails
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has learned that the new trailer for The Sarah Jane Adventures will air on BBC1 on the following days and times:

  • Monday 25 December - 8.00pm
  • Tuesday 26 December - 11.53am
  • Thursday 28 December - 5.05pm
  • Friday 29 December - 11.42am
Radio Wales interview online
General TV Series News
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Julie Gardner, executive producer of Doctor Who, has given a wide ranging interview to BBC Radio Wales. Julie told presenter Richard Evans how much she loved working on the series. She confirmed the series has not yet been commissioned to continue beyond season three, but said she hopes to be working on it for many years to come.

As well as taking calls from fans and answering questions about the series future, the programme also featured a surprise appearance from David Tennant who rang the programme pretending to be a mad fan from Bristol.

The programme will be available for the next couple of days, via the listen again feature on the BBC Wales Website.
Go to the Richard Evans link and cursor one hour into the programme.
Guardian Interview with Davies
General TV Series News
December 22, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
"One thing that people have been saying is that it's like a Comic Relief sketch, but it's not," says producer Russell T Davies of the casting in The Runaway Bride. "It's a proper hour-long drama and Catherine Tate has a proper part. She's amazing in it, her and David Tennant together are a joy."

Interviewed by Jonathan Wright for the Media Guardian, the interview does include spoilers, but also features the following questions on novelty casting and other series that Davies might like to revive...
But is there anyone he wouldn't cast? Ken Dodd - "he doesn't need it, frankly", Davies jokes - would convey the "wrong image", too redolent, perhaps, of the show's 1980s nadirs, when Dodd had a cameo.

With the third series of Doctor Who currently in production and the Who universe expanded to include the spin-offs Torchwood (expect a big, fan-pleasing cliffhanger when season one ends soon) and the child-friendly The Sarah Jane Adventures, Davies is deeply ensconced in a role the Americans call show-runner.

Davies says he loves every minute of it all. A few weeks back, he visited the company that does Who's visual effects, and found a room full of people busy creating monsters and alien cities. "I've never been so happy in my life," he says.

So what if he could spruce up another vintage series? If he really had to, he'd go for Daleks creator Terry Nation's Survivors, the 1970s tale of a mysterious pandemic that wipes out swathes of the population. "You could make it with bird flu ..."
The Christmas special, The Runaway Bride, sees the Doctor trying to get Tate's feisty Donna back to her wedding, only to face such distractions as murderous Santas and a humungous spider, the Empress of the Racnoss.

Sarah Parish (Tennant's co-star in Blackpool) plays the Empress with imperious ferocity, no mean feat considering that each day she had to spend four hours in makeup before being lowered into an arachnid body.

"We haven't done a huge, prosthetic creature before, so we really went for it. Ooh, it's gorgeous," Davies says. "And on top of that you get a great actor."

A highlight of The Runaway Bride is an expensive chase scene in which the Tardis pursues a cab down a crowded motorway. Parts of the chase were filmed on location. Cardiff's authorities shut down the road for two days, so that a crane, crew and cameras could hare down the tarmac unhindered.

"It's so fluid it's breathtaking," says Davies. "I remember writing the scene, thinking, 'We'll be lucky if we manage it,' but, you know, they closed off the road for us. At one point David Tennant is strapped to the low-loader lorry that has the crane on it, so that he can be in the foreground of the shot visible as the motorway is whipping past."
More on Piper plus Tate
December 21, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The Sun today continued its in-depth interview with Billie Piper, as featured yesterday.

Piper said that leaving Doctor Who still made her cry but added that she felt it was time to leave lest she got "complacent".

She was quoted as saying: "It was such a hard decision. I still cry about it, I'm such a cry baby.

"I don't know if I'll be able to watch the next series. I'll probably have to sit behind the couch with a cushion over my eyes.

"I just thought it was time to do something new - not because I felt tired, the material was crap or the people were nasty - but just because I felt like doing something else.

"I'd spent nine months filming in Cardiff and that's a long time to be away from your family and friends. I'm a real London girl, I absolutely love it. I found it increasingly hard to be away. I felt like if I'd stayed there any longer I would have become a bit complacent. And, suddenly, you've been doing it for five years and you're too scared to leave."

She said how hard it had been to tell Russell T Davies of her decision, but added that although they were both upset he had supported her completely.

"But life has to move on and there are great things happening in British TV. I just hope I don't regret leaving!"

Discussing David Tennant, Piper calls him "a lovely guy, super-duper down to earth, super-duper smart", and adds: "I think David will be the Doctor for a while, he really loves the show."

Also in The Sun Catherine Tate said she was disappointed she wasn't asked to continue as the Doctor's companion after appearing in the Christmas special.

She was quoted as saying: "They didn't ask me and I tend not to dwell on my failures.

"It was just such a fantastic job to get. It was like making an action movie. It was great but they didn't ask me."

David Tennant is quoted as saying: "An unconventional pairing but we'd have made a great team. I'm very disappointed."
Gardner on Radio Wales
General TV Series News
December 21, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Julie Gardner, executive producer of Doctor Who, will be on the Richard Evans show on BBC Radio Wales on Friday 22 December from 1-2pm. Gardner will take phone calls on a variety of topics concerning the programme, including commissioning Russell T Davies to bring back the Doctor, the success of the show's spin-off Torchwood and the series Life on Mars. Fans can call in on +44 8100 100 110, text message +44 7786 20 10 40, or send email with questions.

Radio Wales can be listened to online by following the link on the BBC Wales Website
Torchwood BBC2 Overnights
December 21, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Unofficial overnight figures show that Torchwood Episode Ten, Out of Time was watched by 2.3m viewers a 10.1% share of the audience. This is an increase of 100,000 over last week. The show was the 4th most watched programme on BBC2 on Wednesday and the 31st on all British Television.
BBC Sarah Jane site launched
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The BBC's official tie-in website for The Sarah Jane Adventures has gone live. The site reveals the series logo and includes videos of Sarah Jane's collection of alien objects, access to her desktop computer, and information on a Mr Smith.

The site's content is, however, limited to UK IPs only; readers from outside the UK are redirected to an FAQ explaining that the content is restricted to the UK "for rights reasons".

The Sarah Jane Adventures, staring Elisabeth Sladen, begins on New Year's Day at 4.50pm on BBC One.
Sun shines on Eccleston, Piper
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The Sun has revived the story doing the rounds a while ago that Christopher Eccleston is tipped for the lead role in a remake of 1960s cult TV show The Prisoner.

The article says filming on the joint Sky One/Granada TV/AMC production will begin in the spring, with the programme showing worldwide in January 2008.

There is no comment from Eccleston or his agent, Lorraine Hamilton, in the piece to either confirm or deny his involvement.

To the side of the online article are links to "related stories", including a slideshow from The Runaway Bride.

Also in The Sun is a lengthy interview with Billie Piper in which the actress talks about anorexia, therapy, life as a pop princess and the impact of Doctor Who on her marriage to Chris Evans.

In addition, it refers to her split this week from boyfriend and law student Amadu Sowe, repeating her statement: "I've always tried to shield Amadu from the showbusiness world and public glare that I've learnt to live with over the years.

"I'm afraid that means I'm just not comfortable talking about our relationship or the finer points of it."

The feature finishes by referring to her forthcoming roles in The Ruby In The Smoke and Mansfield Park, with a closing quote from Piper: "I feel a bit more in control of my life than I ever have done - that's a great feeling, I’m really happy about it."
SFX reviews The Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
SFX have added a spoiler-free review of The Runaway Bride to their website. "There's a bit of The 39 Steps in there and a heavy dumping of screwball comedy too," writes reviewer Steve O'Brien. "Never in two years of peacock Doctor Who and in 26 years of pawn shop Who have we seen anything as jaw-slackening as this sequence. Russell T Davies knows that for Doctor Who to compete on Christmas Day it has to run with its balls out to compete for people's attention in a pissed-up living room, in a way Saturday Who doesn;'t have to." The reviewer comments that Catherine Tate "really makes The Runaway Bride" and that Tennant is "as good as ever, and has even toned down some of the face-gurning and Over Emphasis Of Certain Words." The full review can be found here. (Thanks to Ian Berriman at SFX)
Torchwood Ratings Roundup
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Final figures released by BARB for the week ending 10th December 2006, show that the BBC3 showing of episode 9, Random Shoes was watched by 1.08 million viewers. The programme was the highest rated on BBC3 for the week and had the fourth highest audience on all Multi Channel TV.

The same figures show that the previous week's episode, They Keep Killing Suzie was watched by 1.86m viewers on BBC2 and was the 30th highest rated programme on the channel for the week.

Meanwhile overnight figures show that the Tuesday evening showing of episode 10 Out of Time, was watched by 458,000 viewers, a 3.8% share of the audience. This is the highest rating Torchwood has achieved in this slot since the double episode launch. 46,000 stayed up to watch the programme at 0150 Wednesday morning.

More Appreciation figures are also available. The BBC3 Sunday showing of Episode 8, They Keep Killing Suzie scored 85 and the BBC2 showing 82. Episode 9, Random Shoes got an AI of 83 on BBC3 and 78 on BBC2.
BBC Torchwood Previews
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The final three episodes of Torchwood, the spinoff series starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack, will be shown over the next two weeks. Episode 11, Combat, written by Doctor Who series one and two star Noel Clarke, will be broadcast on Sunday 24 December at 9:30pm on BBC Three. However, the final two episodes will be featured not on their usual Sunday, but instead on New Years Day, Monday 1 January, with episode 12, Captain Jack Harkness, shown at 9:30pm and episode 13, End of Days airing immediately thereafter at 10:20pm. (The BBC says the finale is called "End of Days" but previous reports suggest "Apocalypse"; we're waiting for verification.) The "Declassified" documentaries will be shown early Tuesday morning on BBC Three, repeated later in the week. Below are the BBC press releases for all three episodes; also, check out our handy Broadcast Calendar on the left side of the Outpost's news page (click on the country flag to bring up the broadcast list.) As we previously reported, the second series of Torchwood will start shooting in the spring.
Episode 11: Combat
Savage aliens are being kidnapped from the streets of Cardiff and the Torchwood team is determined to find out why, as Russell T Davies's thrilling sci-fi drama continues. Owen is sent undercover to find out who's behind the kidnappings and soon befriends the charismatic Mark Lynch. Beneath the veneer of normal city life, Owen discovers a shocking subculture, but can he avoid being sucked into it? Owen is played by Burn Gorman and Mark Lynch by Alex Hassell. The cast also includes John Barrowman as Captain Jack, Eve Myles as Gwen, Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto and Naoko Mori as Toshiko.

Episode 12: Captain Jack Harkness
Investigating reports of ghostly music, Jack and Toshiko find themselves stranded in a packed dance hall -- in 1941. In another high-octane episode this Christmas, Gwen, Owen and Ianto work to rescue their colleagues – but not before Jack and Toshiko meet a handsome young American squadron leader by the name of ... Captain Jack Harkness. Captain Jack is played by John Barrowman, Toshiko by Naoko Mori, Gwen by Eve Myles, Owen by Burn Gorman and Ianto by Gareth David-Lloyd.

Episode 13: End of Days
The rift has been opened and time is splintering all over the world in the action-packed climax of Russell T Davies's dark and sexy sci-fi series. As events spiral out of control, the Torchwood team members are faced with fragments of their pasts -- and terrifying visions of their futures. Can Captain Jack save the world? Captain Jack is played by John Barrowman. The cast also includes Eve Myles as Gwen, Burn Gorman as Owen, Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto and Naoko Mori as Toshiko.
Doctor Who Adventures 20
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue #20 of Doctor Who Adventures will be out on January 3, 2007; a preview from BBC Magazines is below. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to Victoria Goddard/BBC Magazines)
Doctor Who Adventures - Issue 20

Get the lowdown on The Runaway Bride and the latest Who goss in the new year with Doctor Who Adventures issue 20! You can read about Donna the bride in the fact file, find out our favourite moments from the exciting Christmas episode and take a fun quiz - so make sure you watch The Runaway Bride closely!

Also in this issue:
* We've got an exciting adventure guide to the 2005 episode Dalek.
* Get all the doggy data you need about robot dog K-9.
* Help protect Donna in our picture search.
* Your questions answered in Who Knows?
* The Doctor, now travelling alone, lands on a dangerous new planet in a thrilling new comic strip.
* There are four fantastic new posters of a Dalek, a Cyberman, the Doctor and the Racnoss and the Runaway Bride.
* Win loads of goodies!
* All this, plus loads of fun and puzzles and monsters!

The issue comes with an amazing Dalek stationery set! Don't miss it!
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin Elliott
The latest installment of This Week in Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who on television in the UK, North America and elsewhere, for December 20, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
US/Canada New Releases
December 20, 2006  •  Posted By Jeremy Bement
For Doctor Who fans in the US and Canada, head to your local comic shop this week. Doctor Who Magazine #377, should be available as you read this. Also of interest is Second Flight, Shaun Lyon's reference book covering the second series of Doctor Who, published by Telos (item number SEP063812) as well as Doctor Who: The Inside Story by Gary Russell (item number JUL063679). If you can't find these books, ask your comic book retailer to order them for you.
More Runaway Bride television coverage
General TV Series News
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
A new 30 second long trailer for The Runaway Bride has now broadcast on BBC channels, showing many more clips from the episode.

Meanwhile, the BBC's childrens news programme Newsround featured more interviews with the cast, and also broadcast its own exclusive new clips from the episode in their BBC1 edition this afternoon.

David Tennant: "The Doctor losing Rose was a really big moment for him, and it would be a bit wrong if we just came back and said he's fine now, he's forgotten all about that."

Russell T Davies: "He's heartbroken, absolutely devastated because the love of his life has disappeared. But at the same time I don't want to give viewers on Christmas Day at 7 o'clock an hour's worth of weeping."

Catherine Tate: "They're such different characters, this is in no way a replacement for Rose or anything like that, it's just the next chapter in the Doctor's journey, because he needed a mission, and this was a mission, and it snaps him out of it a little bit."

The crew then when on to say what we can expect from series three (see spoiler section below).

The Doctor Who special can be found online at the CBBC website.

Other coverage of Doctor Who today included a mention of the press screening on the morning's edition of Newsround, which also briefly showed the talking cyberhelmet in an item about buying presents. And ITV1's GMTV also covered the press screening, with television critic Richard Arnold waxing lyrical on how good the Christmas special will be (and bemoaning the fact he missed the press screening himself!)

Six days and counting ...
Newsround had a quick run through of things to expect from series three:

Tennant: we go to Elizabethan England
RTD: a new companion for the Doctor called Martha Jones
Tennant: we go to a hospital on the moon
RTD: rollicking adventures
Tennant: we go to the year 5 billion and 43
RTD: distant planets, a distant spaceship

And finally from Tennant: "There is a monster from Doctor Who's past that nobody will be expecting to see again - there's a little Newsround exclusive!"
Front Row - "Christmas TV fixture"
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row previewed the forthcoming Christmas season's television highlights on its Tuesday 19th edition, with Time Out magazine's television editor Alkarim Jivani listing his recommended programmes for the festive period. He began with The Runaway Bride, and praised Doctor Who for creating a new tradition of Christmas Day viewing.

"If you talk about Christmas television these days, you have to begin with Doctor Who," Jivani enthused. "It's curious that it's rapidly establishing itself as a Christmas TV fixture for the new century in the same way that Morecambe and Wise was a Christmas TV fixture for the last century."

Jivani also included the Billie Piper-starring The Ruby in the Smoke among his highlights, along with Dracula, which stars former Doctor Who guest actors Sophia Myles and Marc Warren. In a separate item earlier in the programme, Joe Ahearne was interviewed about his new ITV1 drama Perfect Parents, starring Christopher Eccleston.

Full details and the chance to hear the programme via the "Listen Again" feature can be found on the Front Row website.
BBC and Azureus announce legal downloads of Dr Who
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
BBC Worldwide has struck a licensing deal with popular bit-torrent provider Azureus to distribute legal episodes of Doctor Who to United States users early next year. The programme will be one of a number of high profile BBC titles available via Azureus' new Zudeo client software. The deal marks a significant first step for the broadcaster in Peer-to-Peer distribution.

Which episodes will be carried, and what costs will be involved, has yet to be announced. The current series is airing in the US on the Sci-Fi Channel, BBC America and soon in select markets on PBS. The classic series is airing only in a few US markets.

This story is being reported by Wired.com. Thanks to Panodk from our forum for the initial link to Business Wire's report.

Update, Dec 20th: Further news links on this story: BBC News and The Guardian.
The Gunfighters
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
As previously reported, BBC Audio is releasing The Gunfighters on CD on February 5, 2007. The full soundtrack is narrated by Peter Purves (Steven). The official cover blurb and illustration are below; click on the thumbnail for a larger version. (Thanks to Paul Taylor/Tenth Planet)
Doctor Who: The Gunfighters

The TARDIS lands in the Wild West in this classic BBC TV soundtrack starring William Hartnell, with linking narration by Peter Purves.

'So come, you coyotes, and howl at the moon'til there's blood upon the sawdust in The Last Chance Saloon…' It's 1881 and, in the Wild West settlement of Tombstone, there are three strangers in town: 'Doctor Caligari', 'Steven Regret', and 'Miss Dodo Dupont'. They've arrived in a 20th Century blue police box, and they're about to wander into a whole heap of trouble...

The Doctor is in need of a dentist, but the sort of anaesthetic Doc Holliday uses comes out of a liquor bottle. He's in the middle of a feud with the Clanton family, whilst Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson try to keep the peace. This isn't the place for a relaxing holiday, as the TARDIS crew soon discover...

Tombstone's not the most happily named of towns, and it seems it may live up to that name any day now. There's a gunfight at the OK Corral brewing and, if the Doctor and his friends aren't careful, they're going to be caught in the crossfire...

In a bonus interview, Peter Purves, who also narrates this remastered soundtrack, recalls the making of The Gunfighters for television. A special 10-minute bonus music segment is also included.
US PBS Station Gets New Who
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin F Elliott
The people at KTEH 54, San Jose, CA http://www.kteh.org have sent out a press release heralding their acquisition of the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who episodes, making them the first public TV station to publicize that they purchased this package. It is expected that public TV stations will get Doctor Who in a one-hour block - the unedited episodes followed by a cut-down version of the relevant Doctor Who Confidential episode. Says the article, "Doctor Who returns to KTEH after an absence of over four years. When the series last ran, KTEH had aired the equivalent of 7703 episodes (Over 10 times more than the BBC actually produced!!) as well as producing around a dozen Doctor Who related interviews. Beginning on April 13, 1981, Doctor Who captured the attention of the viewers of the San Francisco Bay Area, with the series being shown every weeknight, and full stories every Saturday night. Doctor Who last aired in January of 2003, and was a victim of budget problems and declining funding from the viewing public." A Teaser is available at http://www.dvillage.org/KTEH/DW-Teaser.mov.
More about The Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
December 19, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
BBC1's Breakfast also covered yesterday's press screening of The Runaway Bride this morning. As with Wales Today last night, the recorded item featured interviews with David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Sarah Parish talking about making the Christmas special.

On the Doctor's surprise at the Bride's appearance in the TARDIS, Tennant said: "I think he's used to his companion being rather grateful for being shown around the universe and shown the sights, but Donna couldn't be less interested. It's an interesting new dynamic for the show."

Catherine Tate commented on several ideas she'd put forward for her characterisation which had been turned down, though she jokinging said that the "comedy teeth" were given to Sarah Parish instead! She also re-iterated that she would have loved to have been an assistant but wasn't asked!

Sarah Parish commented on her role as the villainess: "I think it's the biggest real monster that Doctor Who has ever done. They've done big CGI monsters but this was actually made ... It was a good four hours costume call in the morning for the prosthetics, then an hour and a half to get it off."

Tennant: "It's only the second Christmas that Doctor Who's ever done, but people already seem to be expecting it as part of their Christmas Day lineup, so that's quite nice and I hope that everyone will tune in!"

The item was accompanied by a number of clips from the episode, plus some still photographs of the principal villainess, The Empress of the Racnoss played by Parish in full glory. Some of these photos have now been featured on the BBC News website and the official Doctor Who website. The BBC Breakfast segment is also available to watch online from the BBC News website (real player) - this includes the clips if you want to avoid seeing them!
Television coverage of The Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
This evening's Wales Today (BBC Wales) had a brief article on The Runaway Bride, reporting that the Doctor "gets thrown back into a bizarre set of circumstances ... it's so strange, even the cast weren't sure how the final cut would look".

David Tennant commented: "It's one of those shows where so much happens in post-production. All sorts of things happen to the TARDIS that have never happened before. The three of us [Tennant, Sarah Parish and Catherine Tate] did a scene together when we were in a completely different room on a completely different day."

Parish added: "To see the final [result] it's unbelievable - it's so exciting!"

Meanwhile, Tate appeared on the New Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4, and inevitably the first topic of discussion was the forthcoming episode. Tate reported that she really enjoyed her time making the show, and suggested she really would have wanted to have become a proper companion rather than just the one-off appearance she had for the special. She also mentioned she'd attended the screening that had taken place today (which is presumably where the Wales Today item originated).

Paul O'Grady commented that he wants a small part in the series!
The Runaway Bride Preview
General TV Series News
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The entertainment section of the BBC News Online website has today published a preview of the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special The Runaway Bride. The feature contains quotes from David Tennant, as well as the episode's main guest stars Catherine Tate and Sarah Parish.

Responding to a question on how long he will stay in the role, Tennant is quoted as saying that: "From the moment I accepted this job, people have asked me when I'm leaving... I have tried to be as noncommittal as possible and shall maintain that stance today."

On her role as the bride Donna in the special, Tate said the part was "one of the best things I've done... It was such a fantastic job, and so exciting. It was like making an action movie. I agreed to do it without even knowing what it was - I just said yes."

Parish, playing the villainous Empress of the Racnoss in the episode, is quoted about the heavy costume and make-up she had to wear for the part. "It was a heavy, cumbersome costume but I loved it. It was a really interesting exercise... You really have to over-accentuate everything in order to make the prosthetics work."

The full article contains some very minor spoilers for the special, so do not click the link if you want to remain completely surprised next Monday.
Colin Baker to Guest Star in Sapphire and Steel
Big Finish
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
Big Finish has announced plans for the remainder of Season Two of their adaptation of Sapphire and Steel, which includes stories by Nigel Fairs ("Cruel Immortality") and Steve Lyons ("Perfect Day", featuring a return of a Season One character, Gold, played by Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss).

The season finale, penned by Joseph Lidster, is "The Mystery of the Missing Hour", which guest stars Sixth Doctor Colin Baker as the Narrator and Sarah Douglas (known for her roles in Superman II and the television mini-series V) as Lady Marjorie.

The Sapphire and Steel series stars David Warner as Steel and Susannah Harker as Sapphire. Visit the Sapphire and Steel page on the Big Finish website for more details about these releases.
Christmas Invasion overnight ratings
General TV Series News
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
The Sunday afternoon repeat of last years Christmas special achieved an overnight rating of 2.1 million viewers, a 13.6% share of the audience. The programme was the 20th most watched of the day.

The audience to BBC1 doubled while the programme was transmitting. The first quarter hour was watched by just 1.2m and the final quarter hour got 2.6m viewers.

Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3 was watched by 125,600 viewers a 0.7% share.
Out of Time overnight ratings
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Unofficial overnights show that Out of Time was watched by 900,200 viewers a share of 5.4%. This was a drop of 70,000 on the previous week.

The programme was beaten by its main rival, Sky One's "Lost" which got 1,160,400 viewers and which inherited a vast audience from "Terry Pratchett's Hogfather".

Hogfather with 2.48m viewers, is now Sky One's highest rating programme, and threatens to displace Torchwood from its place as the second most watched multichannel programme in history.

Final data will be published in about 10 days time

The missing Torchwood viewers turned up for the repeat at 0115 which achieved a rating of 107,100, a share of 6%, a higher rating than normal for this showing.
Breakfast coverage of Doctor Who
December 18, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
BBC1's Breakfast programme tomorrow morning (19th Dec) will be looking at the forthcoming Christmas Day special, and will feature David Tennant as a guest.

Don't forget, Catherine Tate will be appearing on this afternoon's New Paul O'Grady Show at 5:00pm, Channel 4.
Press Clippings
December 17, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe

The Guardian (free registration required) has a very thorough profile of Billie Piper: "Pop star at 15, anorexic at 16, has-been at 17, teen bride at 18, Hollywood wife at 19, drama student at 20, single woman at 21, born-again star at 22 ... it's hard to believe that Billie Piper is still only 24."

Following up on the reports from the Sun posted yesterday, Mizz magazine (issue 562) writes that Piper "is a big fan of the spin-off series, Torchwood. 'Watching it makes me scream, "I wanna do that!"' she tells us. Could this mean a Rose comeback's on the cards?"

And the People pries into Piper's personal life, as the tabloids are wont to do.

SyFy Portal names Russell T. Davies as one of its Top Newsmakers of 2006.

Dalek operator and Big Finish stalwart Barnaby Edwards is profiled at icHounslow. Edwards, who is directing a pantomime Cinderella at Dorking Halls in Surrey this Christmas, says that the biggest barrier for Daleks isn't stairs, but narrow doorways. The article also mentions the upcoming Paul McGann audios on BBC7, which Edwards is producing and co-directing.

The Runaway Bride Coverage

The Herald of Glasgow put David Tennant and Catherine Tate on the cover of their weekly magazine section this Saturday. There's an interview with Tate inside; the cover can be seen here.


John Barrowman is listed to appear at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 18 December (7.30pm) to sing 'some of his favourite Christmas songs and hits from the musicals'. (source here)

Barrowman is also a "special guest" on BBC Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night on Friday 22 December (7.30-9.15pm). He will sing "some of his favourite Christmas songs and hits from the musicals. His credits include Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, Company, Evita, Hair and Phantom of the Opera.'" (source: DigiGuide)

Christopher Eccleston stars in Perfect Parents (written and directed by Joe Ahearne) on Thursday 28 December on ITV1 (9-11pm).

Adam Sherwin looks at the spin-off phenomenon within the BBC in The Times, considering the role Sarah Jane Adventures will play for Doctor Who, as well as other series off-shoots for shows like Spooks and Life on Mars. Says Julian Bellamy, BBC Three controller, “To launch a series with the scale and ambition of Torchwood or Rogue Spooks, it makes sense to draw on a known brand with a loyal audience. But it doesn’t mean that we aren’t seeking entirely new titles.” The story is also covered at the Western Mail.

There's an article about The Sarah Jane Adventures from the Western Mail at icWales.


Writing in the Guardian (free registration required), Sam Wollaston begins his 2006 television year in review by lamenting, "Oh Rose, thou art gone. And that's a serious shame. We got a splendid new Dr Who in David Tennant, but lost the main reason to tune in - the wonderful Billie Piper. She's been an absolute joy in the role of Rose Tyler, one of the reasons Dr Who has become that rare event these days - a show for all the family." The column also includes comments from Russell T. Davies, who says, "I wish I'd had time to write more Torchwoods, because I only wrote the first one. We're hitting a great stretch now with four scripts in a row by women, which in science fiction is practically unheard of. It's been less than a year since David Tennant became the Doctor. It was scary this time last year: Chris Eccleston was brilliant, then he left and there was this big hole. But have you seen the BBC schedules? It's like a Doctor Who Christmas. I'm very pleased, obviously, but it's a bit barmy." Tamsin Grieg (The Long Game) is also quoted, as is BBC Head of Vision Jana Bennett, who cites Doctor Who among the year's successes.

Also in the Guardian, Charlie Brooker calls Torchwood "the Year's Most Jarring Show". Brooker makes an amusing but disturbing analogy about Torchwood's sometimes inconsistent tone, and concludes that the program is "interesting, but possibly aimed at madmen."

Metro mentions Tripping Over, starring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, as one of the television "lows" of 2006, due to low ratings. The article is culled from Broadcast magazine's 2006 ratings review.

Miscellaneous Mentions

The MediaGuardian's "Media Monkey" diary column (requires free registration to view) contained a passing reference to yet another instalment in the long-running Michael Grade / Doctor Who saga on December 13th. Says the column: "New ITV chairman Michael Grade could be having a few interesting conversations around the dinner table with his niece, Lesley Land... Lesley, the daughter of Michael's sister and agent Anita, was handed the Doctor Who brief when it was outsourced to PR company Taylor Herring earlier this year. Grade famously axed Doctor Who when he was in charge of BBC1 in the 80s. Monkey doesn't doubt that Land will have more commitment to the show than her uncle did."

Playwright Mark Ravenhill, profiled in the Independent, is asked, "What do you cling on to from childhood?" He replies, "My loyalty to Doctor Who has remained undimmed through the years. I watch all the DVDs of the old Doctor Whos and keep up to date with all the new ones, which are fantastic. And I buy Doctor Who Magazine, which I did then and I still do now. Tom Baker was my favourite Doctor Who, this weird, flamboyant guy, with Elisabeth Sladen playing Sarah Jane - a classic combination."

The Lancashire Evening Post reports on items for sale at the annual Harris Exhibition, which includes a "giant Dr Who Tardis". The exhibition runs until next Friday.

A "Tardis House of Fun" was one of the suggestions made by young people for the regeneration of Lowestoft and surrounding area, the Lowestoft Journal reports. "Building on the success of the Doctor Who television programme, imaginative youngsters at Meadow Primary School encouraged people to come through the door to 'experience the wonders of Tardis land.' Jacob from the school said: 'Dr Who is my most favourite thing I watch on TV and so I had the idea for little children, not big ones, so that they could play safely.' "

"Aiden added: 'We thought of the Tardis Fun House because loads of people like Dr Who and we thought it would be good to make a play area for kids who can't travel, because they have no transport and they can be left there on their own because the Cybermen would look after them.' "

(Additional material by Paul Hayes, Chuck Foster and Peter Weaver; thanks to "PolyG" of the Outpost Gallifrey Forum.)
Return of The Christmas Invasion in UK, US and Canada
General TV Series News
December 17, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
United Kingdom

A timely reminder to viewers in the UK that 2005's Doctor Who Christmas special The Christmas Invasion (starring David Tennant and Billie Piper and directed by James Hawes) is being repeated on BBC1 today at 4.25-5.25pm. This is the first time in many years that BBC1 has broadcast a Doctor Who repeat.

A repeat of episode 11 of Robin Hood, directed by Graeme Harper, follows straight after. Interestingly, this episode is called Dead Man Walking, the working title for episode 9 (Random Shoes) of Torchwood and the actual title of episode 9 of Torchwood: Declassified.

In a late change of schedule (according to Sky's EPG), the BBC3 repeat of Robin Hood at 7.00pm and the following Torchwood Declassified at 7.45pm have now been replaced with a showing of last year's one-hour special Doctor Who Confidential, One Year On, which was first broadcast on BBC3's Doctor Who Night on 9th April.

The current issue of the Radio Times (16-22 December, the one with Tennant as the Doctor on the cover) has a two-page article about this year’s Christmas special The Runaway Bride (starring Tennant and Catherine Tate and directed by Euros Lyn), which starts thus:

"The traditional family Christmas. It used to go roughly like this: presents, relatives, turkey/trimmings, snooze, argue over what to watch on telly. Now it’s easier: presents, relatives, turkey/trimmings, snooze, Doctor Who Christmas special. How great is that?" How great indeed!

United States

The Sci-Fi Channel's Christmas Movie Marathon includes a broadcast of The Christmas Invasion on Christmas Day at 3:00 p.m. ET. They have slotted 90 minutes for the movie so it will remain as close to the original broadcast as is possible.


French language cable and satellite channel Ztele from Quebec, Canada, will be repeating L'invasion de Noel (The Christmas Invasion) at 11:00pm EST on Friday December 22nd, 2006. A repeat showing of Le Seigneur du temps (the 1996 TV Movie) will follow at 12:00am EST. There are no plans for an English-language repeat of The Christmas Invasion on the CBC.

(Additional reporting from Chuck Foster, Bill Albert, Mike Doran.)
"Celebration" Concert on BBCi
Special Events
December 16, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Last month, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales held a special concert of Murray Gold's Doctor Who music. Tickets to the concert sold out within hours. This Christmas, UK fans with digital, cable, satellite or Freeview will be able to watch Doctor Who: A Celebration on BBCi via the "red button". The programme will be available:
  • Christmas Day: after the Doctor Who Confidential broadcast, between 1.50-7pm
  • Christmas Day: after the Doctor Who Christmas Special The Runaway Bride, BBCi on BBC One between 8.50pm and 4am (ends 1.45am on Freeview)
    Wednesday 27 December: BBCi on BBC Three, 8.50pm-4am (ends 1.45am on Freeview)
  • Tuesday 2 January: BBCi on BBC Three, 7.50pm-4am (not Freeview)
  • Wednesday 3 January: BBCi on BBC Three, 7.50pm-4am (not Freeview)

More details are available at the website of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
First Runaway Bride trailer airs on BBC1
General TV Series News
December 16, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
BBC1 have broadcast the first trailer dedicated to the forthcoming Christmas Day episode The Runaway Bride, just before this week's Robin Hood. The 20-second trailer showed a montage of clips from the episode, leading up to a triumphant voiceover declaring, "I shall descend upon this earth and shine."

This is the same trailer that has been available on day twelve on the advent calendar from the Official Doctor Who website.
Reports suggest Piper "regrets" Dr Who decision
December 16, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
The Sun had a small article about Billie Piper on Friday, the wording and quotes of which have been widely reported on various news sites over the past 24 hours, including Yahoo! News. The piece claims she regrets leaving Doctor Who, and that she is also slightly jealous of the show's continued success. However, the actual quotes are not attributed and appear to be largely recycled from interviews she gave over the past month when she was publicising her book. The quotes include:
"I still desperately miss Rose and everyone at Doctor Who.

"I'm jealous that I'm no longer part of it and I'm trying to keep the green-eyed monster at bay, but on the whole it felt like the right thing to do.

"I'd done two series, and each one takes nine months to shoot. I got so close to everybody that I thought if I didn't ever leave I'd be too scared to ever go, and I'd get complacent."
Canada: Schedule Change at BBC Kids
December 16, 2006  •  Posted By Mike Doran
A schedule change/addition is soon to come into effect at Canadian cable and satellite channel BBC Kids. Effective January 1st, 2007, Doctor Who will run Monday - Friday at 10:00pm ET, 2:00am ET and 5:00am ET (two episodes per night). The Saturday and Sunday complete stories will continue at 2:00am ET. BBC Kids is currently airing Peter Davison episodes Monday to Friday and Sylvester McCoy episodes on the weekends.
David Tennant in Radio Pantomime
December 15, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Oh, yes he is! David Tennant will be playing Buttons in a radio pantomime of Cinderella. Thandie Newton takes the title role, and Brian Blessed (Yrcanos in the 1986 Doctor Who story The Trial of a Time Lord) will be the town crier/narrator. The pantomime will air on Virgin Radio on Thursday, December 21 starting at 7:30 AM (GMT); morning DJ Christian O'Connell will play Prince Charming. You can listen to the pantomime live via Virgin Radio's website.

There are more details at the Independent and BBC News. You can discuss this story in our forum here.
Peter Fincham on Radio 5 Live
General TV Series News
December 15, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The Controller of BBC One, Peter Fincham, was interviewed on Simon Mayo's programme on the BBC's national news and sport talk station, Radio 5 Live, this afternoon.

Outpost Gallifrey forum member Ian Robinson e-mailed a question into the programme, asking whether there was any truth to the rumour that Doctor Who's current run would come to an end after the fourth or fifth series. "No truth to that rumour," was Fincham's reply after Mayo had read him the question. "We don't necessarily plan years in advance, but Doctor Who is so popular I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon."

Fincham also singled out The Runaway Bride as one of the highlights of BBC One's Christmas Day schedule, saying that there was "a particular excitement and anticipation" about the special, and specifically mentioning Catherine Tate's involvement, calling her casting "a real coup". There is apparently "no way on Earth" his children will be watching anything else at 7pm on Christmas Day.

The interview can be heard in full via the 'Listen Again' feature on the Simon Mayo page of the BBC Radio 5 Live website. The Fincham interview starts approximately one hour and ten minutes into Friday's edition.

(Thanks to Ian Robinson)
Director Euros Lyn Interview
December 15, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
Ain't it Cool News is featuring an interview with Euros Lyn, director of The End of the World and The Unquiet Dead from Series 1, the 2005 Children in Need Special and, from Series 2, Tooth and Claw, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Idiot's Lantern and Fear Her, the latter of which airs on the Sci-Fi Channel in the US later tonight; read the interview here.

Lyn is also the director of the 2006 Christmas episode The Runaway Bride.
Tom Baker records track for Shelter Charity
December 15, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Shelter, the charity for the homeless, is calling on people to download a new version of The Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me" as "sung" by the BT Text voice of former Doctor Who, Tom Baker. The Shelter website also details how funds raised from this appeal will be spent.

Samples and download links for the track can be found here.
SFX Magazine 152
December 14, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The next issue of SFX Magazine features a new publicity photo for The Runaway Bride on its cover. Click on the preview below to see the larger version.

The magazine, available in shops from Wednesday 20th December, will feature an interview with producer Phil Collinson as part of a seven page feature on forthcoming Doctor Who, which also includes interviews with Lis Sladen and Samantha Bond from the forthcoming Sarah Jane Adventures.

And in addition to that, there is also a two-page Tom Baker interview focussing on some of his loves and hates!

(Thanks to Ian Berriman of SFX, and TaraLivesOn from our forum)
Here's a quote from Phil Collinson about the Shakespeare episode, reproduced from the new SFX with the kind permission of Ian Berriman, Reviews Editor for the magazine:

"The main thing we wanted to put across is that he was a star of his time. He was the Robbie Williams of his day. People travelled miles to see him. He was massively famous. The first minute he steps on stage and the crowds go wild... You've never seen a piece of Elizabethan period drama in that way before. You really feel it and you can touch it. That's really important, particularly with Doctor Who - kids can take something away from that."
Dr Who Short Story to appear in The Sunday Times
December 14, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell has announced in our forum that "thanks to the kindness of the production office in asking me to write it, I have a Christmas Doctor Who short story, 'Deep and Dreamless Sleep' in The Sunday Times Culture section on Christmas Eve."
Torchwood Overnight Ratings
December 14, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Unofficial overnight figures for BBC2 show that episode 9 of Torchwood, Random Shoes, was watched by 2.2 million viewers, a 10.1% share of the audience.

This is a slight increase over the past two weeks and bring the figures back over the 2 million mark.
More ratings data can be found in the Torchwood thread in the forum.
Press Clippings
December 13, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
David Tennant interview

There is a short interview with David Tennant in It's Hot magzine (BBC, issue 59). On being asked what the strangest thing about 'being Doctor Who', he replies: "Action figures. They're really, really weird. They're good likenesses, but just so unlike anything to do with real life. I collected Star Wars figures as a child, then suddenly someone's presenting you with one that's... you!" He also mentions that at school his worst subject was maths "and related things like physics," and that he was "never into sport - I was more interested in telly. I managed to just about avoid being 'the weird geek boy' by being willing to loon around a bit."

On working with Freema Agyeman, David remarks: "Freema was a joy to work with in episode 12 of the last series. She is not only very talented and beautiful, she's great fun and I'm delighted she's coming on board the TARDIS full time. I can't wait to welcome her into the Who family!"

Billie Piper on "size zero" models

Billie Piper has criticized the presentation of super-skinny "size zero" models and stars as female role models. Speaking to Glamour magazine, Piper said, "I think the whole size zero debate is disgusting.

"My sister, who is 13, looks amazing but she's already worried about her figure," she continued. "She loves Posh [Victoria Beckham] and I say 'Come on Ellie, she's tiny. What's wrong with Shakira? She's sexy, curvy'. But she has no interest."

The story, sometimes combined with similar comments by Kate Winslet, has been widely covered in the British press and elsewhere. You can read more or less the same story at (deep breath): BBC News, the Independent, the Sun, the Daily Mail, the Mirror, the Daily Record, the Manchester Evening News, Reuters, ITV, Ireland Online, the Evening Standard, Digital Spy, Sky News, FemaleFirst.co.uk, inthenews.co.uk, Fametastic, andPOP and Entertainmentwise.com. The Daily Star put the story (under the heading "Billie Sniper") on its front page on Monday, and news sources as far afield as Australia (the Herald-Sun), Romania, India and the United Arab Emirates have picked up the story from wire services.

Is it a coincidence that Winslet's first major TV role was in Russell T. Davies's groundbreaking children's fantasy Dark Season?

More Billie

Easier.com has a story about the upcoming adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman, which will star Billie Piper as Victorian heroine Sally Lockhart. The programme will air on BBC One on 27 December at 8.30pm.

Fans in Piper's hometown of Swindon can meet her at a signing at Borders Bookshop this Saturday between 1 and 3pm. This is a change from the previously announced time; you can read the full story at the Swindon Advertiser.

Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate is interviewed in this week's Heat magazine. Asked if she has always been a Doctor Who fan Tate replies:

"Well, I'm not an obsessive fan, but I used to watch it. For me, the big thing was to work with Russell T Davies and David Tennant. The fact that it's Doctor Who, which is such an iconic thing, is brilliant."

On being asked if it was amazing to be on set, Tate comments: "Yeah, of course, It was really exciting. I mean, it depends on whether you're a massive Doctor Who fan or not. I'm certainly a massive Russell and David fan, and to be inside the Tardis was incredible - it was such a fun thing to do." Working with David Tennant was "Brilliant. He's fantastic. I love his work. I've watched him do so much stuff on stage, and I've probably followed his career more closely than he realises! It was an absolute blast working with him."

Discussing The Runaway Bride being filmed in July and pretending it was Christmas: "I was hot in the wedding dress I had to wear, but [the supporting artists] had to wear hats and scarves and gloves! It was so hot, it was almost illegal. I worried for their human rights."

When asked if she will be watching her Doctor Who debut on Christmas Day, Tate replies: "Oh God, yeah. I mean, I don't usually like watching myself on screen, but this isn't about me. Whereas with my show I'm really critical of stuff, this is just something I was a part of and had a blast on. It's not a comfortable experience watching myself, but because it's Doctor Who I'll do it."

Euros Lyn in TV Zone

Director Euros Lyn is interviewed in January's (issue 210) TV Zone (part of which is online) where he discusses The Runaway Bride. “I think one of the things about this series of Doctor Who is that the Doctor is taking his experiences with him... There’s always either inferred references, or specific references to his experiences as he’s lived them. So the robot Santas do come back and the Doctor obviously recognizes them because he’s met them before". On Rose’s absence, the Doctor "can’t not experience pain and loss for Rose, so that hang-over’s is very real and very present to him. Instead of Rose, there’s now Donna for the Doctor to deal with, at least for now. It’s incredibly different, for the main reason that the central relationship in this film is a new one and it’s profoundly different to the Doctor and Rose... when the audience watch it they will see something, a new Doctor Who that they’ve not experienced." On Catherine Tate's character, Euros comments: "She’s a handful, that’s for sure. A feisty, red-headed handful.”

Louise Jameson on Stage

Louise Jameson, who played the savage Leela opposite the Fourth Doctor in the 1970s, will be appearing opposite playwright/actor Steven Berkoff in his play Sit and Shiver, which opens at the Hackney Empire on January 25. More details at the London Theatre Guide.

Torchwood Renewal

The story of Torchwood being renewed for a second season, and moving to BBC Two, is covered at BBC News, The Sun, the Western Mail, The Stage, Sci Fi Wire and Sy Fy Portal.

John Barrowman

The Pink Paper mentions John Barrowman's wedding in Cardiff later this month. It also mentions that whilst 'the cast of Torchwood is waiting to hear whether a second series has been commissioned', 'Barrowman said he should also be soon reading scripts for the next Doctor Who series'. The story is also carried at gay.com.

Barrowman's civil partnership isn't the only change in his domestic life: he's also adopted a 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Teagan. The story (with photo) can be found at K9 Magazine (which still isn't about the tin dog).

The Sunday Times newspaper in the UK ran an article by Stephen Armstrong on peer-to-peer filesharing on December the 10th, which highlighted Doctor Who as one of the programmes that may suffer a fragmentation in its audience from internet downloading. "One of the great triumphs of Saturday-evening television recently has been that shows such as The X Factor and Doctor Who have proved genuine family viewing. In many households, 5-7pm on Saturday is the only point in the week when everyone spends time in the same room. Downloading is likely to cut that last bond. The Heroes may save the planet, but they are helping to make the world a lonelier place."

What PC? has a story about the business challenges and opportunities presented by the migration of viewers from traditional broadcasting to online video content, suggesting that the trend "must be slightly worrying for the big terrestrial broadcasters, who throw hundreds of pounds at cutting-edge programming like Torchwood."

And some Christian clergy have criticized the BBC's choice of music for a Christmas programming trailer which included clips of The Runaway Bride. The trailer was set to the satirical strains of "Christmas with the Devil" by mock rock band Spinal Tap, but one retired reverend called the juxtaposition of Christmas and pseudo-satanic lyrics "disgusting, diabolical". The canon of Birmingham Cathedral said, "I’ve enough to do without having to defend God from things like this." (This editor believes that the Almighty can hold his own against the threat of Spinal Tap.)

The story is in The Sun.

Reviews and Previews

Heat reviews this week's Torchwood episode, awarding it 4 (out of 5) stars. "Earlier in the series we suggested that some Torchwood storylines were a bit similar to movies like Men In Black and Species. Subsequent episodes, however, showed Russell T Davies had plenty of ideas, and we ate our words. Tonight, though, a plane that disappeared in 1953 re-emerges in Cardiff, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (except the Cardiff bit). Which means we regurgitate our words a little." (previewer: Chris Longridge)

At The Scotsman, reviewer Andrea Mullaney was critical of the Torchwood team, saying that their "seeming inability to learn from their mistakes is becoming annoying."

Heat gives The Runaway Bride their maximum 5 stars and comments: "Last year, Russell T Davies came up with a brilliantly dramatic, yet Christmassy Doctor Who special. This year, he goes one better by securing the talents of TV's woman-of-the-moment Catherine tate, playing a bride-to-be who ends up in the Tardis rather than at the altar. Turns out she's the key to an alien plan to take over the universe, masterminded by Sarah Parish!" (previewer: Boyd Hilton)

Closer magazine has Harry Hill comment on what TV to watch over Christmas, and regarding the Doctor Who Christmas Special he remarks: "Who'd have thought Doctor Who would be cool again? Continuing the comic cameo trend set by Peter Kay, Catherine Tate plays a bride whose wedding is unterrupted by nasty aliens. The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss plays a mad scientist - is there a BBC show he hasn't been in? Personally, I'd like to see former Docs Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy pop up."

All About Soap magazine rates The Runaway Bride at number 2 in their Christmas Top 5 TV shows. "What a liberty! The TARDIS is Rose-less for this festive episode, but David Tennant is back as the tasty time-travelling Doctor. And as a special Christmas treat, he's got a guest companion - Catherine Tate as runaway bride, Donna! While the Doctor tries his best to get Donna to her wedding before it's too late, they battle robot Father Christmases and the sinister Empress of Racnoss, played by former Cutting It star Sarah Parish."

Inside Soap previews The Sarah Jane Adventures on New Year's Day. 'Millions of dads turned dewy-eyed in April when Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) made a brief return to Doctor Who after 30 years. And in autumn 2007, she'll be staring in a show of her own. As a curtain-raiser to that comes this one-off drama... Now living in London, journalist Sarah is researching an addictive fizzy drink that's taking the world by storm. Someone else who's also intrigued is Sarah's next-door neighbour Maria - a young girl who's whisked away to the manufacturer's factory for an encounter of the monstrous kind!' "When the programme makers first contacted me, I thought they were calling about Torchwood," laughs Elisabeth. "Ooh,' I said, 'I'm going to be in the 9pm slot for once!" However, unlike that show, this one is aimed at younger viewers - although nostalgic dads will also be welcome on the sofa!'

Miscellaneous Mentions

Doctor Who and Torchwood get namechecks in a couple of media sources this week:

Television reviewer Caitlin Moran, who has expressed her love for Doctor Who, refers to Torchwood and the Doctor Who episode "New Earth" in her review of Stephen Spielberg's Into the West in The Times.

An automobile reviewer at Luton Today, apparently desperate for a simile, said that the wheel arches of the new Dodge Caliber are "as fully blown as Billie Piper's lips."

And finally, from New Zealand, we have the story of "Manawatu's Doctor Who", who is making his own TARDIS out of recycled material. The story is at stuff.co.nz -- your guess is as good as ours.

(Additional material by Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver and Kenny Davidson.)
Catherine Tate wins Actress Award for Christmas Special
December 13, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Catherine Tate, who co-stars this Christmas in The Runaway Bride, has won Best TV Comedy Actress at the British Comedy Awards tonight. The ceremony, which celebrates notable comedians and entertainment performances of the previous year, was broadcast live on ITV. Tate's award was specifically for last year's Catherine Tate Christmas Special, which was repeated this evening on BBC2. The story is reported on both Digital Spy and BBC News, with reaction in our forums.
Canada: CBC Ratings Round-Up
December 13, 2006  •  Posted By Mike Doran
Doctor Who is off of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the Christmas holidays but ratings are now in for the first eight episodes of Series Two. This year the CBC is broadcasting Doctor Who on Monday nights at 8:00pm (8:30pm in Newfoundland and Labrador). Doctor Who is scheduled against different competition in different time zones. Some of the shows Doctor Who has been up against are: Prison Break (Global/FOX), Corner Gas (CTV), regional hockey (SNET) and in many larger markets Battlestar Galactica (CHUM/CITY). The ratings for each episode are as follows:

October 9th - New Earth - 530 000
October 16th - Tooth and Claw - 371 000
October 23th - School Reunion - 493 000
November 6th - The Girl in the Fireplace - 535 000
November 13th - Rise of the Cybermen - 520 000
November 20th - The Age of Steel - 466 000
November 27th - The Idiot's Lantern - 442 000
December 4th - The Impossible Planet - 536 000

Doctor Who was pre-empted on October 30th for part two of the mini-series Above and Beyond. Doctor Who will return to the CBC on January 15th, 2007 with "The Satan Pit".

For discussion of the Canadian broadcasting of Doctor Who, please visit this thread in our forum.

(With thanks to Rod Mammitzsch and DWIN)
Torchwood Ratings
December 13, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
Figures released by BARB show that episode eight, They Keep Killing Suzie, achieved a final rating of 1.12m. It was the most watched programme on BBC Three for the week ending 3rd December and the second most watched programme on all multi-channel TV for the week, being beaten by Sky One's Lost, which scored 1.25m.

The previous Tuesday's repeat of Greeks Bearing Gifts was watched by 0.42m and was BBC3's 9th most watched programme for the week.
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
December 13, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin Elliott
The latest installment of This Week in Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who on television in the UK, North America and elsewhere, for December 13, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
John Barrowman down under
Special Events
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Adam Kirk
The Australian Friends of Science Fiction in association with the Doctor Who Club of Australia are hosting "A Day with John Barrowman", Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood, on Saturday March 24 2007.

The venue is the Bankstown Sports Club, Sydney, NSW.

More information (including how to book a ticket and accommodation) is available from the Friends of Science Fiction website.

Update: December 20 2006 Sadly this event has been postponed as John can no longer make it to Australia in March 2007 because of the commissioning of a second series of Torchwood. For more details see the Friends of Science Fiction website above.
Tennant wins Heat Award
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Peter Weaver
David Tennant has won Heat magazine's Best TV Acting Performance for his role in Doctor Who, voted for by the readers. The magazine comments: "Christopher Eccleston left big shoes to fill in the revived Doctor Who, but the effortlessly charming David Tennant did it with ease, playing especially well on the flirty, repressed love affair between the Doctor and Rose. But where was co-star Billie Piper on the list, eh?" (Helen Mirren - Prime Suspect - was voted in second place, and Lesley Sharp - Afterlife - in third.)
Tennant contracted for series four?
General TV Series News
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The Christmas double issue of the independent listings magazine TV and Satellite Week, currently available in UK shops, not only features Doctor Who on the cover (see December 7th news story) but also contains an interview with David Tennant as part of its preview feature for The Runaway Bride.

The final question Tennant is asked in the interview concerns how long he plans to remain in the role of the Doctor, with the magazine stating that: "You're only contracted to the end of the fourth series, but a lot of people would like you to stay in the role."

Tennant's reply is: "That's very nice, and it's a great job, too. It's certainly not something I would walk away from lightly. But at the moment I don't know, I'll wait till I'm asked, I think."
Torchwood AI Figures
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Marcus
AI figures for the first half of Torchwood season one show the series is performing very well. The Appreciation index is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor. The average score for drama on BBC1 and ITV1 is 77. Programmes on BBC2 and BBC3 score slightly higher because the smaller audience is more likely to be made up of fans of the programme.

  • 22 Oct 2006 - 101: Everything Changes - 82
  • 22 Oct 2006 - 102: Day One - 83
  • 29 Oct 2006 - 103: Ghost Machine - 84
  • 05 Nov 2006 - 104: Cyberwoman - 84
  • 12 Nov 2006 - 105: Small Worlds - 85
  • 19 Nov 2006 - 106: Countrycide - 83
  • 26 Nov 2006 - 107: Greeks Bearing Gifts - 83
  • 03 Dec 2006 - 108: They Keep Killing Suzie - 85

  • 25 Oct 2006 - 101/102: Everything Changes/Day One - 80
  • 01 Nov 2006 - 103: Ghost Machine - 78
  • 08 Nov 2006 - 104: Cyberwoman - 80
  • 15 Nov 2006 - 105: Small Worlds - 81
  • 22 Nov 2006 - 106: Countrycide - 80
  • 29 Nov 2006 - 107: Greeks Bearing Gifts - 81
  • 06 Dec 2006 - 108: They Keep Killing Suzie - 82
Runaway Bride - first trailer online
General TV Series News
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The BBC's Official Site is running an advent calendar on the run up to The Runaway Bride, and today's date (12th) reveals the first trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas special.
David talks to DWA
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Nathan Baron
In the latest issue of of Doctor Who Adventures, David Tennant talks about what it is like to be TV's top time traveler.

In the article, Tennant reveals: "Getting to read the scripts before anyone else. It's when you find out where you are going next - and that's great!"

Tennant goes on to talk about life without Rose. "I am missing Rose, of course! I miss Billie because she's such a great friend and such a great actress. But Freema, who you'll see next year, is filling that gap beautifully and brilliantly!"

Doctor Who Adventures also speaks to the cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures, including Elisabeth Sladen.

Doctor Who Adventures is on sale Wednesday 13th December.
Torchwood season two confirmed - on BBC2
December 12, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The BBC have confirmed that Torchwood is to return for a second series but this time it will premiere exclusively on BBC Two. Filming will start in Spring 2007.

BBC2 Controller, Roly Keating said the show had been: "Inventive, intelligent and unpredictable. Torchwood is a brilliant piece of 21st century fantasy drama. I'm delighted that its second series will be premiering on the channel."

Julian Bellamy, Controller of BBC Three, said: "Breaking all records on BBC Three is no mean feat and we've been proud to help build Torchwood into one of the most talked-about and eagerly-anticipated series of recent years."

Jane Tranter, the Controller of BBC Fiction, said: "Torchwood is a modern and innovative drama that has truly captured the imagination of its audience, and we are very excited that there will be more of the adrenaline-fuelled, action-packed adventures of our team of Torchwood heroes."

Russell T Davies said: "The whole team is bristling with ideas and we are delighted that Cardiff is going to be home to more monsters and mayhem."

For reaction to this news, and to add your own, please visit this thread in our forum.
CBC Canada: Doctor Who on hiatus for Christmas holidays
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Mike Doran
For the next five Mondays the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has placed Doctor Who and most of their regular primetime schedule on a holiday hiatus. During the period holiday programming, movies and other specials will be airing in Doctor Who's Monday night timeslot.

Doctor Who will return to the CBC on Monday January 15th, 2007 at 8:00pm (8:30pm in Newfoundland and Labrador) with the episode "The Satan Pit". This episode concludes the adventure started in "The Impossible Planet" which was broadcast on December 4th, 2006.
TV Guide: 'Goodbye, English Rose'
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Arnold T. Blumberg
In the issue of TV Guide (the weekly US television listings magazine) mailing this week, a substantial Friday highlight is given over to the departure of Billie Piper as Rose ('Army of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday' airs on the Sci-Fi Channel in the US back-to-back on Friday 22 December starting at 8PM; a marathon of other Series 2 episodes airs earlier that day). The piece looks back at other significant departures in the series, touching on Christopher Eccleston's regeneration at the end of Series 1 and then recounting the death of Adric from 'Earthshock' and Second Doctor Patrick Troughton's epic end in 'The War Games'.
Sarah Jane Adventures coverage on Blue Peter
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
This afternoon's Blue Peter delved into the making of the Sarah Jane Adventures pilot. As well as looking behind-the-scenes at the making of the show, presenter Konnie Huq interviewed Elisabeth Sladen, Yasmin Paige (who plays Sarah's next door neighbour Maria), and Samantha Bond (Mrs Wormwood).

Sladen discussed Sarah's character and how her behaviour has to change now she has children around on her adventures, while Paige talked about the private tutors the young cast are required to have on-set to make sure they keep up with their schoolwork. Bond spoke to Huq only in-character as Mrs Wormwood, persuading the presenter to try some of her Bubbleshock drink.

A number of clips from the show accompanied the article, providing a number of spoilers for what we can expect on New Year's Day. It was also revealed that there will be a cameo from Huq and one of her fellow Blue Peter presenters in an excerpt from the show shot specially for the Sarah Jane Adventures pilot.

(Additional reporting by Paul Hayes)
The first clip shows Maria overlooking Sarah with a device that shows an alien that looks like Mary's alter-ego
from Greeks Bearing Gifts; another clip shows Sarah using her own sonic screwdriver to enter a building. A final clip shows Mrs Wormwood's plan to take over the world with her drink, Bubbleshock.
Soundtrack comes in at #1
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Brigadier Bill
The first official release of Murray Gold's soundtrack to Doctor Who has gone to the top of the download chart from itunes according to a report from the BBC. Going against strong competition such as the soundtrack to the new James Bond film the release made it into the top 30 picks on the first day.
BBC channels fight to show Torchwood season 2
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Rival BBC channels are fighting for screening rights to a second series of Cardiff-based sci-fi hit Torchwood, according to a report from the South Wales Echo.

The report points out that a second series has not been officially commissioned for the Doctor Who spin-off, but claims that scripts are already being prepared and that "both BBC Two and BBC Three are fighting for the right to screen it first - with writer Russell T Davies pushing for a slot on BBC One."
Torchwood beats Lost in Sunday night ratings battle
December 11, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
BBC3's Torchwood pulled ahead of Sky One's Lost in the big digital multichannel ratings battle last night, according to Media Guardian.

The 10pm slot saw Torchwood being watched by 971,000 viewers, while big US import Lost attracted only 863,000 viewers. This was the first showing in the UK for both episodes.
TV appearances
December 10, 2006  •  Posted By Peter Weaver
Billie Piper is listed to be interviewed on Richard and Judy's Christmas Book Special on Monday 11 December, S4C (1.15pm-2.30pm). Piper is also on The Paul O'Grady Show on Wednesday 13 December, Channel 4 (5-6pm). (source: DigiGuide)

John Barrowman is appearing in The Royal Variety Performance 2006 on Tuesday 12 December, BBC1 (8pm-10pm) (thanks to Chuck Foster for this information)

Catherine Tate is listed as appearing on The Paul O'Grady Show on Monday 18 December, Channel 4 (5-6pm).
New Zealand: Prime To Repeat Eccleston Episodes
December 10, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin F Elliott
New Zealand broadcaster Prime TV will begin a repeat run of the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who episodes (Series 1) on Monday 18 December at 7:30PM. Episode 2 will air on Christmas Day at 7:30PM. Series 1 originally aired in New Zealand from July to September 2005. It is unknown if they will repeat just the 2005 series or include the 2006 episodes with David Tennant as well. Thanks to Alden for spotting this.
Press Clippings (updated with more odd blogs)
December 10, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Doctor Who Coverage in Local News

It seems like every local newspaper in Britain has a Doctor Who-related story this week.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald announces Billie Piper's return to her hometown of Swindon for a signing of her autobiography. (Incidentally, there's another passing mention of the book's slow sales at The Guardian.)

Sylvester McCoy will be appearing in the panto Aladdin in Reading this Christmas, reveals the Reading Evening Post.

The Exmouth Herald reveals that a Cyberman showed up at the Exmouth Indoor Market last week -- advertising a local science fiction club, the Devon Seaside Devils. It's just as well that the Cyberman stayed in the south-west; if he had travelled to the North, he might have run into a 10-foot Dalek at an art gallery in Preston, Lancashire. The Lancashire Evening Post covers the art exhibit, which also features a giant TARDIS.

And finally, Luton Today has a story about a supposed Billie Piper look-alike. Slow news day?

Miscellaneous Stories

Digital Spy has culled some Catherine Tate quotes about The Runaway Bride from the Radio Times articles. Tate says that keeping the secret of her surprise appearance at the end of Series 2 was "like being a spy."

The Western Mail expects Doctor Who to be at the top of the Christmas television ratings again this year. The same paper also has a story about the eBay auction of a Torchwood script signed by writer Helen Raynor and the Torchwood cast, previously mentioned on this page; the auction is raising money for Cardiff and District Samaritans.

Metro has a short blurb about former EastEnders star Joseph Millson's appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures: he is playing the single father of one of the young characters.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Fiona McCabe questions David Tennant's "Favourite Doctor" victory over Tom Baker in Doctor Who Magazine, guessing that it was because most of the voters "are 12 years old and think Christopher Eccleston was the original doctor." (The actual magazine points out that Tennant came second to Baker among voters over 30.)

Unusual Blog Mentions

There are plenty of Doctor Who blogs out there, but it's interesting when blogs whose subject matter is farther afield make a Who reference. For example, the graphic design blog Noisy Decent Graphics discusses a recent trip to the Cardiff School of Art and Design, which included a presentation by Edward Thomas and the Torchwood design team.

A slightly more bizarre Torchwood reference shows up at eggbaconchipsandbeans, a blog about cafes and the food they serve, written by Russell Davies -- not Doctor Who's own Russell T. Davies, this Russell Davies. He's clearly aware of his namesake's work, though, and describes one plate which includes "an extra dark brown dollop of sauce which looks slightly like a proto alien from Torchwood, something that's just an interstellar blob at the moment but which the special effects folk will soon transform into something sinister."

Across the pond, the American environmental blog Seeing the Forest writes: "Your GOVERNMENT spending tax dollars to "debunk" global warming "alarmism." ... The press release reads like a parallel universe of a weird cult. My wife says it's like Dr. Who, and you travel in the Tardis and arrive in America in 2006 in December, but everything is strange. Some alien force is in control of things. ... We need the Doctor."

From environmentalist voices for the wilderness to the original voice in the wilderness: Solomon, I Have Surpassed Thee, a blog written by the administrator of Westminster Cathedral, makes a somewhat odd transition from watching Doctor Who from behind the sofa to John the Baptist.

Finally, this is partly a Doctor Who blog, but it's made a noteworthy observation: Exigency in Specie notes that Murray Gold's Doctor Who soundtrack album has been at the top of the UK iTunes Music Store's charts this week.

(Additional material by Kenny Davidson; thanks to "Superted" of the Outpost Gallifrey forum.)
New books out in North America this week
December 10, 2006  •  Posted By Jeremy Bement
For our readers in the US and Canada, a new Doctor Who book and new magazine will be available this week at comic book stores. Doctor Who: In Their Own Words Volume 2 (Item number SEP063746), a collection of interviews from the 1970s compiled from various issues of Doctor Who Magazine and published by Panini Press should hit the shelves Wednesday. Likewise, Talkback: The Unofficial Interview Book (Item number MAY063632), edited by Stephen James Walker and published by Telos, will also be available. If your local shop doesn't have these, ask them to order these books from Diamond Comic Distributors.
Sarah Jane Adventures Clip
December 9, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
As part of the advent calendar counting down to The Runaway Bride, the BBC have released a short clip from the upcoming Sarah Jane Adventures special featuring Elisabeth Sladen. The clip can be found on the BBC's Doctor Who webpage in the 9 spot on the calendar. The special is set to air on New Years Day, with the proper series following later in 2007.

(This clip was the one featured in the BBC Breakfast article reported earlier.)
Christmas Radio Times
December 9, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The traditional Christmas double issue of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine has begun to become available in the UK, with full availability across all regions due by Tuesday the 12th. As expected, the magazine devotes extensive coverage to the Doctor Who-related programming available across the BBC over the Christmas period, as well as containing the first part of their free Doctor Who audiobook CD giveaway.

The Runaway Bride special itself, scheduled for Christmas Day at 7pm on BBC One, is previewed in a two-and-a-half page feature, which includes an image of the 3D effects model of the Empress of Racnoss, viewed in profile. Interviewed for the feature, David Tennant names a new villain for the forthcoming third series of the show - the Carrionites.

The "Today's Choices" page for December the 25th features the familiar publicity image of Tennant holding out the sonic screwdriver as Catherine Tate as Donna displays her wedding ring, accompanied by some Robot Santas. The listings page for the evening's viewing on BBC One is topped by a picture of Tate from the special.

The magazine's listings also confirm the main opposition that The Runaway Bride will face in its 7pm timeslot - a repeat of the Queen's Christmas message followed by a repeat of the sitcom Porridge on BBC Two; a special edition of the soap opera Emmerdale on ITV1; the game show Deal or No Deal on Channel 4 and a Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on Five.

The free Feast of the Drowned audiobook CD is affixed to a double-page advertising feature for the release, as well as being trailed with a strapline across the bottom of the magazine's front cover. The Radio Times will be giving away the second part of the story, followed by another Doctor Who audio, in the three issues following the Christmas special.

The Sarah Jane Adventures is highlighted by a brief interview with Elisabeth Sladen, promoting the production. There are also small preview paragraphs for the concluding three episodes of Torchwood on BBC Three.

In radio, the Radio 1 three-hour special presented by Jo Whiley receives only a simple listing on the December 25th radio page. However, the BBC7 audio adventure Blood of the Daleks is promoted with a special illustration in the digital radio listings. The preview for Blood of the Daleks also makes a surprising revelation about the new Eighth Doctor radio series, detailed in the spoiler section at the bottom of this report. [UPDATE: John Ainsworth from Big Finish, who are producing the audio serial, has denied the spoiler from the Radio Times, suggesting that the guiding description of 'set prior to his regeneration' has been taken too literally by someone at the magazine.]

The magazine also highlights the contributions of various Doctor Who alumni to the Christmas schedule. Following the Runaway Bride preview feature is a one-and-a-half page preview of the Billie Piper-starring Philip Pullman adaptation The Ruby in the Smoke, and a picture of Piper in Victorian dress appears on the "Today's Choices" page for Wednesday the 27th of December. Also on that page, a small picture of Piper and Christopher Eccleston accompanies a box-out mentioning the number of Doctor Who actors featuring across the schedules this Christmas.

Eccleston himself stars in Joe Ahearne's Perfect Parents on ITV1, alongside former Big Finish "Unbound" Doctor David Warner and Warner's Big Finish Sapphire and Steel co-star (and Paul McGann's partner) Susannah Harker.

The Girl in the Fireplace actress Sophia Myles is pictured to promote Dracula, in which she co-stars with Love and Monsters guest star Marc Warren, in the listings for December the 28th.

(Many thanks to David Ryan and Eddie Robson).
The preview for Blood of the Daleks runs:

"In the first of eight new dramas, taking Paul McGann's one-time TV-movie Doctor up to the point where he regenerates into Christopher Eccleston, McGann is struggling not only to reawaken human memories of why Daleks should never be trusted but also has to deal with a mouthy new assistant (played by Sheridan Smith) mysteriously imposed on him by his fellow Time Lords."

Please note that this spoiler has been denied subsequently by Big Finish, who are producing the serial for the BBC.
'Breathless' Bride
December 9, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
Today's edition of the Sun says that Catherine Tate was left breathless as Runaway Bride Donna in action scenes for the forthcoming Christmas Day special, The Runaway Bride.

"There was lots of running for the runaway bride. David Tennant ran like a whippet and I was lagging behind," says the actress and comedienne in a short piece in the newspaper's TV biz section.
Press Clippings
December 9, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures spoilers
The latest edition of Digital Spy's "Tube Talk" column by Neil Wilkes contains small previews of both the last few episodes of Torchwood and the forthcoming Sarah Jane Adventures special. Of the latter, Wilkes says that "Although this series has been billed as appealing to a kiddie audience, it will almost definitely please classic Who fans as it could just as easily play out as an episode from the regular series." Scroll down to the bottom of the page and highlight the hidden text for the full previews.

The Runaway Bride photos
The CBBC Newsround website, always a strong supporter of Doctor Who, has put up a page of preview images from the forthcoming Christmas special. No plot spoilers are revealed in the ten images, although the settings of some scenes are shown.

General press clippings
The Mirror featured the return of Doctor Who in a list of the "Top 10 Comebacks" in its December 6th edition, and on Friday gave coverage to the story about the Doctor and Martha's alleged activities in the new series reported elsewhere earlier in the week. Some very minor spoilers.

The Sun reports on the story also covered elsewhere earlier in the week of the home-made Dalek built to deter rowdy students, and also reports on Jessica Stevenson's casting in the new series. Of Stevenson they say that: "She will soon start filming two episodes of the third series of the BBC1 drama. An insider said: 'The role will play to her comedy strengths.'"

Ananova also covers the home-made Dalek story.

icWales is carrying a Q and A with John Barrowman, promoting his forthcoming pantomime run in Cardiff. Asked what character he would ideally like to play, he replies that: "I don't know. I don't think people are ready for me to play the bad guy what with Torchwood and Dr Who, so I'd like to still play the good guys. I don't really like playing the same characters though, so we will see."

The Yorkshire Post has a story about people in their 30s who are turning their back on the conventional "grown-up" behaviour in favour of playing games, collecting toys, and, yes, watching Doctor Who. The article terms this group "New Regressives". Ian Wheeler of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society is interviewed.

Unusually far-flung coverage for Doctor Who this week, as The Times of India mentions the programme in an article by Mukul Sharma about nanotechnology with the comment: "In the British science fiction TV series Dr Who, the protagonist known as the Seventh Doctor invokes Arthur C Clarke's famous law in reverse by saying that any sufficiently arcane magic is indistinguishable from technology. Then he justifies the possibility of how a spaceship can also be grown, as opposed to being built."

(Additional reporting by Kenny Davidson and Josiah Rowe).
Why which Who matters
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
On Wednesday, Radio 4's PM programme asked why which Who matters, mentioning that David Tennant had won "favourite Doctor" in DWM's 2006 Doctor Who survey.

The piece included the Who theme tune and sound clips from the series of Tennant, William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Eddie Mair then talked to fellow Radio 4 news presenter Shaun Ley (The World at One) about the show's enduring appeal.

Ley, describing himself as a fan, said Doctor Who had been a part of his childhood and that it was the most flexible format in broadcasting. Asked about whether Tennant deserved the accolade, Ley said that people are likely to vote for the incumbent but agreed that he'd given an amazing performance. He went on to praise Russell T Davies, saying it was quite an achievement getting two of the best actors of their generation - Tennant and Christopher Eccleston - for the part. Ley also said he had a real soft spot for Troughton: "He was a proper character actor, gave it real range, an actors' actor."

Mair ended the piece by reminding listeners that Ley was the presenter of The Worlds at One!
Director Dan Zeff Interview
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
Ain't it Cool News is featuring an interview with Dan Zeff, director of the series two episode Love and Monsters. The episode is slated to air on the Sci-Fi Channel in the US later tonight; read the interview here.
21% of boys want the Cyberman mask for Christmas
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
New research carried out by the financial services company Liverpool Victoria reveals that UK parents will spend £262 on average on each of their children, a grand total of £1.8bn for all the children across the UK.

Easier Finanace detail some of the other statistical findings, including the gifts that children are hoping to receive most of all this yuletide. Top of the list for boys is the Dr Who Cyberman Mask - 21% of all UK boys want this for Christmas.

And it is not just in children's toys that Doctor Who is dominating. The Doctor Who Annual is still topping the Children's Bestselling Books Chart for the fifth week running.
The Big Issue with Tennant
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
If you live in Scotland, be sure to pick up a copy of this week's The Big Issue. As the cover opposite suggests, it has an interview with David Tennant.

The Big Issue is a magazine sold by homeless and vulnerably housed individuals on the streets of the UK, and gives them the means to earn a legitimate income through sales of the magazine.

There are five editions across the country, though the Tennant interview appears to only be available in the Scottish edition.

(Thanks to lauraaura from our forum)
Elisabeth Sladen on BBC Breakfast
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
Elisabeth Sladen appeared on BBC's Breakfast this morning, discussing Sarah Jane Adventures. She mentioned how she became involved with the production, the differences between her original time on Doctor Who and the modern shows, and on how the series will still retain the 'good vs evil' aspects of Doctor Who but will be aimed for children, with a younger cast that she's found to be very good and a delight to work with.

She described the premise of the series from the point of view of events after School Reunion, with the Doctor telling Sarah: "I took you round in time and space all these years, don't waste it girl - there's K9, go on, do what we always did". There was also a small spoiler as to why K9 won't be appearing in every episode of the series.

The article was illustrated with a clip shown from the forthcoming New Year's Day special which featured Samantha Bond as Mrs Wormwood, and also of a younger Sarah from The Hand of Fear.
On the fleeting appearances of K9 within the series, Lis enigmatically commented that this is because he still serves a function for the Doctor, but Sarah is allowed to use him occasionally!
Ex-EastEnders actor in Sarah Jane Adventures
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By Peter Weaver
Yahoo News reports that former EastEnders actor Joseph Millson "will have a major role [in The Sarah Jane Adventures] as the single father of one of the lead characters. Soap fans will remember him as EastEnders' Jason, who once broke Lyn Slater's heart, then returned to her life and attempted to win her back, despite his ex's marriage to Garry Hobbs. Millson also recently appeared in new Bond movie Casino Royale."
Hot Spoilers in the Sun
December 8, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
Today's edition of The Sun follows up yesterday's revelation elsewhere that the Doctor and Martha end up in bed together in the next series.

The article has minor plot and characterisation details, so click below - or on the link above - if you want to find out more.
According to TV biz, Martha has a big crush on the Doctor. The Sun piece says: "The pair are forced to bunk up together in one scene and Martha moves in for the kill. But her love intentions are ruined - by a monster."
More Press Clippings
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Christmas News

The official Doctor Who site has some excerpts from a Radio Times story about Catherine Tate and her upcoming Doctor Who appearance in The Runaway Bride.

Coverage of the BBC's Christmas schedule at icWales includes mentions of The Runaway Bride and the adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke starring Billie Piper. These programmes and the debut of The Sarah Jane Adventures are also mentioned in another icWales story focusing on critic Garry Bushell's dissatisfaction with the Christmas schedule. (Apparently family science fiction isn't enough for Bushell -- he wants a family comedy.)

And, still at icWales, there's another story about the strong sales of the Doctor Who Annual and the Doctor Who 3D Model Making Kit.

POST SCRIPT: Yet another icWales story mentions the surprise visit by a Dalek to the Cardiff Lord Mayor's Children's Christmas Party. Of course, the Dalek wasn't the first alien in the Cardiff Lord Mayor's office...

Series Three News

One scene in the 2007 series of Doctor Who will show the Doctor and his new assistant Martha Jones in bed together -- flirtatious but fully clothed. The scene appears in a preview seen by members of the press and covered by The Daily Mail, Monsters and Critics and UPI.

The Sun and Digital Spy cover the news that Jessica Stevenson will appear in Series Three.


The official Doctor Who website, CBBC Newsround, The Daily Mirror and Digital Spy discuss David Tennant winning Doctor Who Magazine's "favourite Doctor" poll.

Tennant also made New Musical Express's 2006 "If Only They Rocked" list of the "most rock 'n' roll" people not currently performing in rock bands. Tennant was #3 on the list, after Andy Nicholson (former guitarist for the Arctic Monkeys) and Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány -- which explains why the story is covered by Hungarian underground newspaper Pestiside.hu.

Billie Piper will appear in the Christopher Hampton play Treats, touring in Windsor, Malvern, Bath and Richmond before a planned March transfer to the West End; it's mentioned at Whatsonstage.com and the Evening Standard.

On December 18, John Barrowman will be singing Christmas songs and musical theatre hits at Queen Elizabeth Hall, alongside the Crouch End Festival Chorus and the BBC Concert Orchestra; so reveals the Hornsey and Crouch End Journal and the Crouch End Festival Chorus's website.

The Daily Record, apparently confusing actor with character, upbraids Barrowman for Captain Jack's joke about British teeth in a recent episode of Torchwood.

The BBC is developing a new Merlin series, which will air in the same 7:00 Saturday slot as Doctor Who and Robin Hood; BBC One chief Peter Fincham confirmed to The Stage that Merlin will not replace Doctor Who or Robin Hood, but join them in seasonal rotation. The story is also covered at Variety.

Digital Spy has a few small spoilers for upcoming episodes of Torchwood and a quote from the debut of The Sarah Jane Adventures.


The Daily Mirror includes Doctor Who in a list of great comebacks.

The Sun has picked up the story of fan Andrew Simpson's homemade Dalek threatening noisy students, previously mentioned in other sources.

The Hampstead and Highgate Express mentions The Very Best of The Navy Lark, starring Jon Pertwee, as one of its top audio picks this Christmas.

And finally, Metro's "Cool Video of the Day" is a demonstration of the scientific phenomenon of standing waves, which produces images similar to the old-school Doctor Who titles. (Metro's reporter says, "I keep expecting Jon Pertwee's head to come flying out at me from the centre of it," but hard-core geeks like this reporter will note that it's closer to the William Hartnell titles.)

(Additional material by Kenny Davidson; thanks to "Superted" of the Outpost Gallifrey forums.)
Survival released on DVD in April
DVD and Video
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
The official Doctor Who site has announced that the 1989 adventure Survival, starring Sylvester McCoy, will be released on DVD in April 2007. Survival was the last Doctor Who serial of the original series to be broadcast; it was also the final Doctor Who appearance of Anthony Ainley as the Master. Ainley's first appearances in the series will be released on DVD in January, in the "New Beginnings" collection.
Sarah Jane updates
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, released in the UK today, has additional information on the forthcoming spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, the one-hour debut special of which is broadcast on BBC One on January 1st at 4.50pm.

The 10-part half-hour series to follow later in 2007 will consist of five two-part stories, with several episodes to be written by Gareth Roberts, who has co-written the special with Russell T Davies. Davies also confirms that K9's limited appearance in the special only is due to the K9 spin-off being developed by the dog's co-creator Bob Baker, but reveals there is "a fiendish explanation" for his disappearance.

Davies also mentions in his "Production Notes" column that the title of the programme may possibly change for the series proper. This is because The Sarah Jane Adventures is too long a name to fit in a half-hour slot on the Electronic Programme Guide listings feature used by many television systems.
Who's on the Christmas cover of TV and Satellite Week
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
UK television listing magazine TV and Satellite Week has Doctor Who and the Runaway Bride on the cover of its Christmas Double Issue. It also has a photo of Billie Piper in her new role. Click on the thumbnail below to see a larger version.
Dr Who stuntmen provide very different Christmas Office Party
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The stuntmen who synchronised the action sequences in the revived Doctor Who series have found another outlet for their training. And a rather surprising one.

According to the public sector newswire 24dash.com, you can "forget the office party - this year's corporate Christmas craze is having a punch up.

"White collar workers, bored with bland traditional December office gatherings, are queuing up to battle with their colleagues in a mock bar room brawl."

The article goes on to say that "Brawlers take tips from real industry pros - stuntmen running the event synchronised the action sequences in hit movie Harry Potter and award winning TV series Dr Who."
Press Launch for BBC One's 2007 Highlights
General TV Series News
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The BBC have released a press release for their BBC One new season programming which promises a "fresh, varied and modern BBC One" for the new year. Of the forthcoming series of Doctor Who, the PDF file says:
David Tennant returns to his role as The Doctor and meets his brand-new companion in the highly anticipated third series of Russell T Davies's Doctor Who.

The new series sees newcomer Freema Agyeman's first appearance as the Doctor's new companion, medical student Martha Jones.

Russell T Davies, writer and executive producer, comments: "We were delighted and honoured by the second series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs and some terrifying new aliens. The Doctor and Martha are destined to meet William Shakespeare, blood-sucking alien Plasmavores, The Judoon - a clan of galactic stormtroopers - and a sinister intelligence at work in Thirties New York."

Returning cast members include John Barrowman and guest stars include Anne Reid, Roy Marsden and Don Gilet.
Daleks in Dark Alleys
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Brigadier Bill
ANANOVA NEWS reports that Andrew Simpson, a Doctor Who fan in York, has created a new way to scare off drunk university students where he lives. Over eight months he created a life sized Dalek which he sits inside and waits for drunken students to approach before screaming "I don't like students. You will be EXTERMINATED!"
Radio Times - two free audio Dr Who books on the way
December 7, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
According to the editorial in the new Radio Times, two audio Dr Who books will be given away free, across the next four issues, starting with the next Christmas Double Issue. The double CD 's, given away a single one at a time, feature stories read by David Tennant and start with part one of The Feast of the Drowned, written by Stephen Cole.
Runaway Bride Signed for Deaf
General TV Series News
December 6, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who's Christmas special, The Runaway Bride, is scheduled to feature on BBC One's The Sign Zone in the early hours of 30 December. Running from 1.50am (yes, 1.50 in the MORNING!), the episode will be repeated with in-vision British Sign Language translations for the Deaf appearing in one corner. It's believed this is the first time Doctor Who has been broadcast in this way, following in the footsteps of other dramas such as Life on Mars and documentaries like The Blue Planet. No news as to whether this is something that will be carried over to the third series when it begins transmission in the spring.

The Sign Zone appears on BBC One weekdays in a post-midnight slot.
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
December 6, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin Elliott
The latest installment of This Week in Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who on television in the UK, North America and elsewhere, for December 6, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
Series Three Updates
General TV Series News
December 6, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
In the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#377) some new details about the upcoming series of Doctor Who have been revealed:

Episode Two Title
The episode, which features Dean Lennox Kelly in the lead guest role of William Shakespeare, will be titled "The Shakespeare Code".

Four new castings have been revealed: Jessica Stevenson will feature in Episodes Eight and Nine of Series Three. Carey Mulligan (Bleak House, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard), Lucy Gaskell (Cutting It, Vincent), Michael Obiora (The Bill, Hotel Babylon) and Finlay Robertson (NY-LON, Life Begins) will appear in Episode Ten of Series Three.

Episode Ten will be directed by Hettie MacDonald, the first time a Doctor Who story will have been directed by a woman since 1985's "The Mark of the Rani".
Torchwood Script Auctioned for Charity
December 6, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Helen Raynor has donated an autographed copy of her script for Torchwood episode three, Ghost Machine, to the Cardiff and District Samaritans. The script is signed by Raynor, John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd. It is being auctioned on eBay, and all proceeds will go towards running costs at the Cardiff Samaritans.
Press Clippings
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Tom Baker is Everywhere

There's more coverage of Tom Baker's return as the voice of British Telecom's text-to-voice service, and the novelty single in which Baker "sings" "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, at The Mirror, The Scotsman and Metro.

Baker is also providing his voice to Little Britain the Video Game, which is covered at PSP World, Pro-G, WorthPlaying.com and Games Asylum.


Catherine Tate is profiled in The Sunday Times, in advance of her appearance in The Runaway Bride on Christmas Day.

An interview with Sophia Myles in The Independent mentions her relationship with David Tennant, and the Tenth Doctor action figure she keeps in her purse when the two are separated: "I'm pretty excited about the fact that my boyfriend has an action doll. How cool is that? Now, all I'm waiting for is for the Doctor Who people to make a Madame de Pompadour doll so I can do a bit of Barbie and Ken action with them ... You know what I'm talking about." Myles is appearing in Dracula on BBC One opposite Love and Monsters' Marc Warren.

Paul Cornell mentions on his blog that he'll be watching his next Doctor Who story being filmed this Thursday.

The Observer asks Torchwood's Naoko Mori what she would save if her house was burning down. (The answer: Kermit the Frog and family photos.)

John Barrowman is supporting the canine charity Dogs Trust in their campaign against giving dogs or puppies as presents. Barrowman made an appearance at Dogs Trust West London Rehoming Centre as part of the campaign, titled "A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas." Covered at the Dogs Trust website and (appropriately enough) at K9 Magazine. (Who knew the tin dog had his own magazine?)

And it seems that Victoria Beckham (who famously bought her husband Doctor Who: The Complete Shooting Scripts for Christmas last year) may be buying Billie Piper's old house in Los Angeles. The story, with mention of Piper, is popping up everywhere from Canada to India to New Zealand.

Miscellaneous mentions

The UK Sunday Express newspaper has printed praise for both Doctor Who and Torchwood as part of a front-page article claiming that "Ten million families have switched off their TVs because of the diet of sex and violence." The piece, by journalist David Stephenson, carries a quote from a spokeswoman for Tessa Jowell, the UK government's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, which praises Torchwood as being at the head of digital television programming, along with the sketch show Little Britain and US import Curb Your Enthusiasm. "Increasingly programmes on digital channels are giving those on their terrestrial neighbours a run for their money," the spokeswoman said. Praise for Doctor Who itself comes in a quote from BBC Director of Vision Jana Bennett, responding to comments from the actor David Jason that it was one of the few programmes he was happy for his daughter to watch. "We’re delighted that David Jason appreciates Doctor Who and Robin Hood," the American executive said, "because we created them as programmes we hoped the whole family would enjoy, along with others like Planet Earth, Strictly Come Dancing and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?"

Scotland on Sunday has a review of the bestselling Doctor Who Annual 2007.

Jed Mercurio, writer of the medical drama Bodies, complained to The Times about the current vogue for family drama, or, as he described it, "juvenilia, things that are really children’s drama dressed up a bit for an adult audience." Bodies lost to Doctor Who at the BAFTAs this year, and Mercurio seems to be referring to Doctor Who in his commentary. He concludes, "If I give it a year people will have seen how boring it is to have endless Doctor Who spin-offs. Then, hopefully, people will go ‘we’ve made idiots of ourselves, let’s make something good again'." The Stage responds to Mercurio, calling him "bitter" and mentions in passing, "While I have my own feelings about Torchwood (i.e., it isn't very good), from the clips disc that just landed on my desk of the forthcoming Sarah Jane Adventures, I'm personally glad that somebody's making a bit of exciting drama for a bona fide children’s audience."

Also at The Stage, ITV's Controller of Drama mentions David Tennant and Billie Piper as examples of the type of "new talent" ITV hopes to show more of in the future: "Look at Billie Piper and David Tennant - even though they have worked before - the viewers feel like they have been in on their transition to mainstream television. They feel like they have been involved in the process and that’s what we are trying to do with more of our drama and new talent."

(Additional material by Kenny Davidson and Paul Hayes; thanks to "Russwhover" of the YaWho discussion group.)
North America DVD Update
DVD and Video
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Warner Home Video has announced the release of The Sontaran Experiment starring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter, and The Invasion starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, on DVD in North America, due out on March 6, 2007. The cover illustrations for both are below; click on each for a larger version.

As in the UK release, The Invasion will feature both episodes 1 and 4 - missing from the BBC archives - in a special fully-animated reconstruction by Cosgrove Hall, using the program's original soundtrack. Full details on each release, including lists of extras, are available at the website of the Doctor Who Restoration Team (articles for The Invasion and The Sontaran Experiment accessible).
New Beginnings DVD Boxed Set
DVD and Video
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Video and 2Entertain have released full details about the forthcoming New Beginnings DVD boxed set due out in January in the UK, featuring the classic Doctor Who serials The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis and Castrovalva starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Anthony Ainley as the Master.

Below are the full list of extras as posted on the official Doctor Who website recently about the three DVDs included.

Additionally, clickable below are each of the cover illustrations for the three discs.
The Keeper of Traken
  • Commentary from actors Anthony Ainley, Matthew Waterhouse and Sarah Sutton, plus writer Johnny Byrne.
  • Being Nice to Each Other (dur. 30' 04") - a new documentary looking at the making of this story through the eyes of the cast and crew. Featuring actors Sarah Sutton, Sheila Ruskin, Geoffrey Beevers, director John Black, writer Johnny Byrne and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead. Narrated by George Williams.
  • The Return of the Master (dur. 08' 40") - Geoffrey Beevers, Christopher H. Bidmead and John Black talk about how they realised the return of the Doctor's arch-adversary.
  • Sarah Sutton on Swap Shop (dur. 11' 14") - Noel Edmonds interviews Sarah Sutton, with questions phoned in from young viewers.

  • Commentary from actors Tom Baker and Janet Fielding, plus writer Christopher H. Bidmead.
  • A New Body at Last (dur. 50' 20") - a new documentary covering the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison. Featuring actors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton and Adrian Gibbs, script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, directors Peter Moffatt and John Black. Narrated by Denis Lawson.
  • Nationwide - Tom Baker (dur. 4' 30") - an interview with Tom Baker from the BBC news magazine show.
  • Nationwide - Peter Davison (dur. 3' 40") - an interview with Peter Davison on his forthcoming role as the Doctor.
  • Pebble Mill at One - Peter Davison (dur. 12' 00") - Peter Davison interviewed on the long-running BBC lunchtime show.
  • News Items (dur. 1' 55") - a selection of BBC News items, including reports on Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's wedding, the announcement of Tom Baker's departure and Peter Davison's arrival.

  • Commentary from actors Peter Davison and Janet Fielding, plus director Fiona Cumming and writer Christopher H. Bidmead.
  • Being Doctor Who (dur. 13' 29") - Peter Davison discusses his casting and time as the Fifth Doctor.
  • Directing Castrovalva (dur. 11' 19") - Fiona Cumming talks about directing Peter Davison's debut story.
  • The Crowded TARDIS (dur. 11' 25") - by the end of Tom Baker's tenure, the TARDIS crew had grown from the usual one companion to three. This featurette examines the reasons behind this change of direction. Featuring actors Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton, director John Black and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead. Narrated by George Williams.
  • Blue Peter - Peter Davison (dur. 9' 15") - Peter Davison interviewed on the popular children's magazine show.
  • Swap Shop - Peter Davison (dur. 20' 40" ) - Noel Edmonds interviews Peter Davison, with questions phoned in from young viewers.
  • Deleted Scenes (dur. 1' 34") - two deleted scenes from the story.
  • Theme Music Video (dur. 3' 34") - a brand new remix of Peter Howell's version of the theme music for the series, exclusively remixed from the original multitrack master. Option to listen to the music in either stereo (default) or Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions.

    Also, each story will also feature Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes, TV trails and continuity announcements, Photo Galleries, isolated synchronous music, PDF Material - the 1982 Doctor Who Annual, Radio Times listings and the BBC Enterprises Season 18/19 sales literature as Adobe pdf files for viewing on PC or Mac.
David Tennant named "Best Doctor Who"
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
This evening BBC News are reporting how David Tennant has been voted best ever Doctor Who in a survey carried out amongst 4,000 readers of Doctor Who Magazine.

The report quotes editor Clayton Hickman as saying: "This is an incredible result for David, and shows how quickly viewers have taken to him. The iconic image of Doctor Who has always been of Tom Baker in his floppy hat and long, multi-coloured scarf, but it looks like that's been replaced."

The poll results are quoted in the report as follows:

1. David Tennant - 28.2%
2. Tom Baker - 26.5%
3. Christopher Eccleston - 11.4%
4. Jon Pertwee - 9.6%
5. Patrick Troughton - 8.8%
Pre-Christmas Radio Times Cover
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Doctor Who appears on the cover of the pre-Christmas edition of Radio Times, on sale in the UK tomorrow (click on the preview below to see a larger version). Their website also reveals something nice coming in the Christmas Double Issue.

The Christmas bumper edition will feature a free CD inside; part one of "The Feast of the Drowned", read by David Tennant. If this freebie is in the same style as last year's Christmas present from Radio Times, then the second part will be available free in the following issue of the magazine in the new year. This however is yet to be confirmed.

A pop-up preview of a partially wrapped Christmas cover suggests it will be a traditional seasonal painting with a Dr Who splash along the bottom promoting the free CD.

(Thanks to TaraLivesOn from our forum)
BBC Christmas Schedule confirmed
General TV Series News
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The BBC1 Christmas and New Year schedule has been confirmed by the BBC Press Office.

Christmas Day sees the Doctor Who special The Runaway Bride starting at the traditional time of 7pm on BBC1.

There is also a special Doctor Who Confidential on BBC1 earlier at 1pm, entitled Music And Monsters.

On New Year's Day The Sarah Jane Adventures begin with Invasion Of The Bane at 4.50pm.
Doctor Who Adventures 19
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Below are the press release and cover illustration for issue 19 of Doctor Who Adventures, the magazine for kids. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. (Thanks to Victoria Goddard/BBC Magazines)
Doctor Who Adventures
Issue 19

The Christmas issue of Doctor Who Adventures is a bumper issue - full of facts, monsters, a runaway bride and an exclusive interview with David Tennant!

David gives us all the goss on the Christmas episode and tells us the best thing about being the Doctor. "Getting to read the scripts before anyone else," he says. "It's when you find out where you are going next - and that's great!"

Also in this issue:

* Find out everything you need to know about the Doctor in our fact file!
* Get a sneaky look at the Christmas special.
* More danger and trouble for the Doctor and Rose in the final part of the thrilling comic strip.
* Help the Doctor track down some missing Christmas presents in our fun picture quiz.
* K is for Krillitane in the Monster A to Z.
* We chat to the cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures, including actress Elisabeth Sladen, and discover more about the special New Year episode.
* Read about Robot Santas and cut out a Robot Santa mask to wear on Christmas Day!
* Make monster decorations for your Christmas tree!

The issue comes with a free Dalek trainer bag and set of four cool Doctor Who badges. There's also a bonus pull-out poster section featuring all your favourite monsters!

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 19 is out on Wednesday 13 December.
In the Pink
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
The Pink Paper continues its love affair with Doctor Who. Issue 913 included the Captain Jack Harkness action figure and the radio-controlled K-9 among its selection of "Serious toys for big girls and boys" in its "Christmas starts here" feature, which also offered readers a chance to win the aforementioned K-9, courtesy of Forbidden Planet.

Meanwhile, issue 914 has launched the paper's Readers' Awards 2007. Last year, David Tennant won in the "World's sexiest man" category, but has failed to be nominated this time round. However, Doctor Who has been nominated for Best TV show. You can vote here. It's category 44, in the Arts, media and culture section.
Doctor Who Magazine 377
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Issue 377 of Doctor Who Magazine is due out on 7th December; the following is a preview including the cover. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.
(Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)
Get set for Christmas with the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine!

This issue, Russell T Davies previews The Runaway Bride:

"The Christmas Doctor can't be bogged down in angst," says Russell, "cos that'd hardly make for an interesting adventure on Christmas Day. That's why Donna arrived as she did, at the end of Doomsday, suddenly, so the Doctor doesn't even have time to mourn. Gosh, you'd think I'd planned it!"

Also this issue, there's an in-depth interview with writer Gareth Roberts about his new episode featuring Shakespeare; a preview of The Sarah Jane Adventures Christmas Special; Jonathan Morris explains why Doctor Who is the funniest programme in the history of the universe; the results of the 2006 Season Survey; a review of the past year in the Doctor Who universe; a preview of the new Doctor Who radio series for BBC7; a rifle through the JNT archive; the Watcher's Christmas Quiz; Sorvad presents a festive edition of Space-Time Telegraph; a round-up of stocking fillers in Under The Tree; and the Time Team are shocked by Earthshock! Phew!

Not forgetting, of course, Rose Tyler's comic strip swansong in The Green-Eyed Monster, and all your favourite regular features. Christmas has just come early!

DWM 377 is on sale from Thursday 7 December 2006.
That's the Wonder of Who
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
Woolworths recently launched its new home-shopping catalogue The Big Red Book in time for the Christmas market (available instore now) and Doctor Who merchandise features prominently within its pages.

As well as radio-controlled Daleks and K-9, the sought-after Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet and popular TARDIS playset, the catalogue offers other Who goodies, including a Dalek Bottle Opener (with sound effects) and, exclusive to Woolworths, a 5-inch Doctor Who Figure Pack, which is featured as one of its "Top 10 Toys".
Daleks to return on stage
Special Events
December 5, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The Daleks will be returning to the stage with the re-creation of their 12-part "lost" TV epic.

After October's successful production of "lost story" The Evil of the Daleks in Portsmouth, Interalia Theatre have been given the licence to produce the 1965/66 adventure The Daleks' Masterplan, of which only three episodes still exist.

As with Evil, it will be on at the New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth. It is scheduled for sometime in October 2007 and will run for five performances - but it will be the company's last Doctor Who revival.

Spokesman Rob Thrush said: "Most of the team from Evil will be involved.

"Nick Scovell is again adapting the scripts and will play the Doctor. Obviously, there is a lot of cutting to do, so it'll be very different fom the runaround on TV, although the 'core' of the story - sorry! - will remain intact."

A draft still has to be submitted for approval by the estates of Dennis Spooner and Terry Nation.

Thrush added: "According to the terms of the licence, this, our fourth Doctor Who production, will be the very last one, so we intend to go out with a biggie!"

The company also previously staged The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep in Portsmouth.

(With thanks to Rob Thrush)
Cover Art for upcoming Big Finish Releases
Big Finish
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
Big Finish has released the final cover design for the upcoming Seventh Doctor release, Noctorne, starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex.

Also available is the cover art for the upcoming Fifth Doctor adventure Circular Time, starring Peter Davison as the Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.

Circular Time is scheduled for release in January 2007, Nocturne in February.
Circular Time

Summer to winter, the seasons turn.

In the springtime of a distant future, the Doctor and Nyssa become embroiled in Time Lord politics on an alien world. During the stifling heat of a summer past they suffer the vengeful wrath of Isaac Newton. In the recent past, Nyssa spends a romantic golden autumn in an English village while the Doctor plays cricket. And finally, many years after their travels together have ended, the two friends meet again in the strangest of circumstances.

Four seasons. Four stories.

Now close the door behind you, you're letting the cold in...


On the human colony planet Nocturne, there is suffering and blight, tragic symptoms of an ages-old war. Never the less, Nocturne is also one of the Doctor's favourite places in all of time and space, because it is here that a late, great flowering of human art - the High Renaissance - is taking place.

He has been back here, many times. It is a place of music and art which he finds inspirational and uplifting. It is a place he wants to share with Ace and Hex. It's always been a safe haven for him, a world of friends and laughter.

But with strict Martial Law imposed on the front-line city, and the brutal scourge of interstellar warfare vicing the system, how safe can anyone really be?

There is a note of death in the wild, midnight wind...
First Sarah Jane Adventures Publicity Photo
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
The BBC has just released the first publicity photo for the upcoming Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Pictured left to right are Porchsha Lawrence Mavour (Kelsey), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Yasmin Paige (Maria Jackson) and Thomas Knight as The Archetype/Luke. The first installment is rumoured to be airing on January 1st.

In an earlier press release, the BBC released a synopsis of the first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures and was previously posted here on the OG News Page (protected in a Spoiler Tag for those who don't want to know in advance).
Piper's Autobiography: A 'flop in bookshops'
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
The Daily Mail has run an article about star autobiographies that do not sell well. Billie Piper's book 'Growing Pains' is mentioned. The article does not go into details on her book sales, but a quick look at amazon.co.uk list it as 283 in Books. Amazon's synopsis of the book includes the following passage: 'Billie Piper has won over the critics and the British public for a second time by re-inventing herself as an actress in BBC productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Canterbury Tales and, of course, Doctor Who . So how did she get from there to here? This is the funny, honest and insightful story of an extraordinary young life.'.
Short Trips Contest
Big Finish
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
Big Finish has announced a writing contest in which the winner would see their story published in an upcoming volume of Short Trips. The contest is open to anyone, of any age, who has never had a work of fiction published that they have been paid for. In the past Big Finish has held similar competitions for their Bernice Summerfield range, but this is the first time that the door has been opened to the Doctor Who range.

Submissions should be less than 2,500 words. Participants are free to use any of the Classic Series Doctors and their companions. The Theme for entries will be: "How the Doctor changed my life."

A full list of rules and restrictions is available at the Big Finish website. Deadline for entries is January 31, 2007.
Bernice: 15 Years and Beyond!!
Big Finish
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
2007 marks the 15th Anniversary of Bernice Summerfield. To celebrate this landmark achievement, Big Finish Productions has announced their releases for the year.

February sees the release of the long-awaited Bernice Summerfield - The Inside Story by Ian Farrington and Simon Guerrier. This book with track Benny from her first appearance in Doctor Who Magazine #192 to the explosive events of her eighth audio season.

February also sees the publication of Missing Adventures, an anthology edited by Rebecca Levene which will be focused on Bernice's early adventures.

Season Eight releases start in February with The Tub Full of Cats by Daniel O'Mahony. April sees The Judas Gift by Nick Wallace, with Freedom of Information by Eddie Robson following in June. Dave Stone takes us to The End of the World in August, while Joseph Lidster's The Final Amendment comes out in October. The Audio Season ends with The Wake by Simon Guerrier in December.

Also seeing publication in 2007 are two more books: The Two Jasons by Dave Stone, War Stories by Jonathan Blum, Kate Orman and Philip Purser-Hallard.

More Details are available at Big Finish's Bernice Summerfield homepage.

CBC Canada: Impossible Planet Screening December 4th
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
Canada's CBC Television online shows Eps 8 - The Impossible Planet (Part 1) scheduled to air on CBC at 8PM EST tonight (December 4th) across Canada. The CBC is airing all of Series 2 every Monday. cbc.ca/doctorwho
TV Times Readers' Awards
General TV Series News
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The latest edition of the UK listings magazine TV Times - the longtime rival of the BBC's Radio Times - has the results of its reader-voted television awards for 2006. Doctor Who was voted Best TV Show, with David Tennant taking the award for Best Actor.

(Thanks to 'PolyG' from the Outpost Gallifrey forum).
Journalists aim strike for Christmas Radio Times
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
The Christmas double issue of the Radio Times is under threat of disruption and delays due to a planned strike by journalists from midnight tonight.

According to Media Guardian, "NUJ members at BBC Worldwide's magazines division met today and agreed to go ahead with the 48 hour strike from midnight, threatening to halt publication of the Radio Times' bumper, two-week Christmas and New Year edition for the first time in its 83-year history."

However, a BBC spokesman told the MediaGuardian — which illustrated the story on its index page with an image of the 2006 Doctor Who series launch week cover — that: "We'd like to reassure our readers that Radio Times' Christmas and New Year double issue will be appearing on UK shelves on December 9 as planned and will not be affected by December 5 and 6's 48-hour strike action."

This issue of the Radio Times would clearly be a major part of the pre-publicity for The Runaway Bride.

(Additional reporting by Paul Hayes)
BBC One: Christmas Invasion Repeat 17 December 4:25PM
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin F Elliott
The Radio Times online shows The Christmas Invasion scheduled to air on BBC One (all regions) at 4:25PM GMT on Sunday 17 December. This marks the first time that a Doctor Who episode has been repeated on BBC One since Planet of the Daleks was shown in 1993, and the first ever repeat of a new series episode on the programme's home channel.
BBC website gears up for Christmas
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
In anticipation of the Christmas Day debut of The Runaway Bride on BBC One, the official Doctor Who homepage has gotten into the holiday spirit. Going along with the holiday theme, there is an Advent calendar on the homepage which will provide a different treat every day between now and Christmas. The daily surprises have already included desktop wallpaper, a "Who's Santa?" game and images of prop money used in filming of The Runaway Bride, with many more to come throughout the month.
Torchwood Novels set for January
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
The BBC is set to release a series of three Tie-In Novels based on its hit series Torchwood. Due out on January 11th, 2007, the novels will be published in the same format as the Doctor Who book series and will carry a similar price tag. The first three releases are:

Slow Decay by Andrew Lane
A friend of Gwen's has recently done an impressive bit of slimming, thanks to a new Cardiff weight-loss clinic with a incredibly simple system, and now Rhys wants to give it a try. Elsewhere in the city, an ordinary woman with superhuman strength and a rapacious appetite attacks a group of teenagers. Eight women have disappeared over the past few days, and the police fear they may have a serial killer on their hands, but as the body count rises and the hungers grow, the Torchwood team realise there may be something much more dangerous than a serial killer at work.

Border Princes by Dan Abnett
Something is here that shouldn't be here. Something is watching. In Cardiff's secret heart, the members of the Torchwood team struggle to define and locate the intruder, and contain it before anyone gets hurt. But this time, they are out of their depth. How do you unlock a secret that can't be broken? How do you assess the facts when the facts change to cover all traces? How do you cope if people are already hurt and no one realises it? What do you do if you're one of them? The Border Princes are watching, and they play for keeps ...

Another Life by Peter Anghelides
A storm is brewing - the water levels of the Bristol Channel are inexplicably rising, and Cardiff Bay is under threat from the worst flooding in years. In the midst of the climate chaos, Torchwood is called to investigate a series of gruesome murders - vagrants found dead around Cardiff with their heads partially eaten. When Owen goes missing following a session on a virtual reality game, Jack, Gwen and the team must discover what's really going on before the water claims them all. And they must face the terror that lies at the bottom of the bay - waiting, feeding, controlling ...This work features characters from BBC's "Torchwood", as played by John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Naoko Mori, Burn Gorman and Gareth David-Lloyd.
American Big Finish Delays
Big Finish
December 4, 2006  •  Posted By Jarrod Cooper
Many of the major American retailers for Big Finish products have noticed a recent delay in getting titles. This is due to negotiations that are going on between Big Finish and The Ministry of Sound and Vision, their North American distributor. Many retailers are affected by this delay, and subscribers should be aware that they are working on the problem. Some websites, such as Who North America and DoctorWhoStore.com, have recieved copies of the missing stories directly from Big Finish. This follows on the decision made earlier this year to make special releases and subscriber extras available exclusively to those who subscribe directly from Big Finish.
Author Craig Hinton Dies
December 3, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Doctor Who author Craig Hinton, a longtime contributor to the Virgin and BBC Books novel lines and Big Finish's audio ranges, has died. He was 42.

Hinton first became known for his articles about various sci-fi television programmes, including Doctor Who and Star Trek. He was also for a time editor of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society's journal Celestial Toyroom. This work brought him to the attention of the editor of Doctor Who Magazine, who offered him the role of reviewing merchandise for the magazine's Shelf Life section. It was whilst writing for the magazine that Hinton had his first novel, The Crystal Bucephalus, published as part of Virgin Publishing's Missing Adventures range. The book - which Hinton often referred to as "The Crystal Bucket" - was originally submitted for Virgin's New Adventures, and 50,000 words of this version were written before the change was made.

This novel was followed by a further Missing Adventure, Millennial Rites in 1995, and then by Hinton's only New Adventure in 1996, GodEngine, which featured the Ice Warriors as well as oblique appearances by the Daleks.

Following Virgin's loss of their licence to produce Doctor Who novels, Hinton began submitting proposals to BBC Books and in 2001 they published his novel The Quantum Archangel as part of their Past Doctor Adventures range. This was followed in 2004 by the novel Synthespians, which again had started life as a proposal for the current incumbent Doctor before being altered to feature a previous Doctor. Synthespians also came into difficulties when an image of the television show Dynasty was used on the cover: the cover's creators had arranged for permission to use the copyrighted image, but had neglected to arrange permission to alter it, and so at the last minute a replacement cover had to be produced. It is this that appeared on the cover of the novel.

Hinton also wrote for Big Finish, with the Doctor Who audio play Excelis Decays being produced in 2002 and the Tomorrow People play The Lords of Forever in 2005. He also contributed short stories to a variety of Big Finish's short fiction collections.

Hinton spoke often of having coined the term "fanwank" in some of his past reviews to refer to novels or stories that relied heavily on past continuity. Ironically, the term would often be applied to Hinton's own work, which frequently incorporated a great deal of Doctor Who history; Hinton himself embraced the label.

His most recent published work consisted of reviews of the 2006 Doctor Who episodes, published in Second Flight: Back to the Vortex II by Outpost Gallifrey's editor Shaun Lyon. Hinton formed part of the international panel of reviewers giving their thoughts on each episode for the book, which was released less than a fortnight before his death. At the time of his death, Hinton was working with co-writer Chris McKeon on a project called Time's Champion, a novel based on a former BBC Books submission of his which would have explained the circumstances surrounding the Sixth Doctor's regeneration. Hinton intended to publish the completed project online, and McKeon intends to complete the work in memory of Hinton and make it available to fans.

Hinton, an active and popular member of the Doctor Who fan community since the 1980s, was a regular poster on the Outpost Gallifrey forum since its inception in 2001. A memorial thread has been opened on the forum to leave tributes and share memories.

Outpost Gallifrey would like to offer its sincere condolences to all of Hinton's family and friends.

(Some details sourced from Wikipedia; additional reporting by Paul Hayes & Arnold T. Blumberg. Photograph is of Craig from the Gallifrey 2005 convention.)
John Barrowman appearances
December 3, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
John Barrowman has had a busy November promoting Torchwood (and himself!) on various shows. 10th November saw him as first guest on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, during which he mentioned that the Torchwood wrap party had been the evening before. He then appeared on morning magazine Something for the Weekend the following Sunday, and BBC's Breakfast interviewed him on Wednesday 22nd. Most recently he made his fourth appearance as "friend of the show" on ITV1's Loose Women last Wednesday (29th Nov) - where he ended up presiding over a 'canine wedding'!

Meanwhile, he has also guested on panel shows, with Doctor Who's anniversary seeing him on Bill Bailey's team for satirical panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and on Sean Lock's team during last Friday's (2nd Dec) Channel 4 tongue-in-cheek news panel show 8 out of 10 Cats.
This year's Blue Peter Doctor Who Competition
December 3, 2006  •  Posted By Chuck Foster
After the success of their Doctor Who Monster competition last year, Blue Peter and the Doctor Who production team decided to go one better this year with a new competition for a Blue Peter viewer to actually have a speaking role in the new series!

Launched on the 16th October with an video introduction by David Tennant and other recent series actors, the following weeks saw thousands of videos submitted, choosing from three different scripts to act out.

As well as the top prize of appearing in Doctor Who, the next three runners up have an expenses-paid trip to the exhibition in Cardiff, all ten receive a signed boxed set for Season Two, and the 250 runners up receive a Doctor Who book and action figure.

Future editions of Blue Peter saw encouragement from Doctor Who's Casting Director Andy Pryor, and Stormbreaker film star Alex Pettyfer.

The competition closed on the 10th November, and the following Wednesday's show covered some of the 8057 entries that had been received! The top nine video finalists were then announced, plus an online poll run to enable viewers to select an additional finalist from ten other entrants by the end of the week.

The ten finalists will now be attending an acting workshop, and the eventual winners will be announced on a future programme.

Competition details online can still be seen on the CBBC website, with the original competition announcement and scripts, plus the voting results.
John Barrowman Talks Series Three
General TV Series News
December 3, 2006  •  Posted By Peter Weaver
In an interview with John Barrowman on SyFyPortal site (posted 26/11/06), he comments: "I will be in [season] three of Doctor Who," he said excitedly. "I will be in the last three episodes of four episodes, and the scripts are being written as we speak because I just got a text from Russell [T. Davies] telling me that he's finishing the script that Jack returns to Doctor Who."

"You will never see, you will never have Who crossing over into Torchwood," Barrowman exclaimed. "Doctor Who is for children, is a base for family viewing and children. Torchwood is not. The only person that will cross at this point will be Jack going back and forth, because Jack has a different persona in Doctor Who as he does in Torchwood, if that makes any sense. He's darker because of his circumstances and he'll change again when [he] comes in, or he might be darker when he comes back in Doctor Who. I dunno yet but, the Doctor will never come into Torchwood."

Although he said that he cannot comment on his upcoming Doctor Who episodes because they are still a work in progress, he did drop a couple of hints surrounding the rest of Torchwood.

"I'm sure at some point whether it be in Doctor Who or Torchwood you'll learn all of his back history," Barrowman said of Capt. Jack. "What I can tell you is that you will learn a lot about Jack in the next few episodes and towards the end of the [season]. And also that as you've noticed in the series thus far, everybody has a secret and you're going to find out more about their secret and how things start to unravel. And that was a hint."
No Conventions for Billie
December 3, 2006  •  Posted By Peter Weaver
According to Sky Showbiz (Anne Montini's Gossip 29/11/06): 'Don't expect to see former Doctor Who actress Billie Piper at any sci-fi conventions. She told me: "I loved playing Rose Tyler but I won't be going to any Doctor Who-style conventions. They're just not for me."'
10th Doctor reaches North American shore
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Jeremy Bement
For those of you in the US and Canada, the Tenth Doctor novel The Price of Paradise by Colin Brake will be available at your local comic book retailer this Wednesday December 6th. If they don't have a copy, ask them to order you one from Diamond Distributing (item #SEP063808).
Christopher Eccleston on Heroes
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Jeremy Bement
According to Michael Ausiello, in his November 15th column at tvguide.com, Ninth Doctor actor Christopher Eccleston has joined the cast of NBC's breakout show Heroes. Eccleston is set to play Claude, a man who can become invisible. Says Ausiello, "Fanboys, prepare to piddle yourself. Christopher Eccleston -- the original Dr. Who from the current Sci Fi/BBC series -- is joining the cast in January in a really super (tee-hee) role." Although this hasn't been confirmed yet, it fits in with recent news in DWM that Eccleston has been over in the US seeking work.
BBC One Christmas trails begin
General TV Series News
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
BBC One has broadcast its first generic trailer for its forthcoming Christmas season drama programming, debuting the promotion before Saturday 2nd December's episode of current Doctor Who slot-filler Robin Hood. (Coincidentally, an episode written by Paul Cornell and directed by Graeme Harper).

The trail, which highlights many BBC One drama programmes to be shown over the festive season, includes clips of David Tennant and Catherine Tate from the forthcoming Christmas special The Runaway Bride. Also seen from the episode are several Robot Santas, similar to those featured in last year's The Christmas Invasion, and a brief clip of the TARDIS hovering at speed along a motorway.

The trailer also features some clips of Billie Piper in the forthcoming Philip Pullman adaptation The Ruby in the Smoke.

Update (Chuck Foster):
A second, longer trailer has also been broadcast at various times during the following week;
this extended version also includes a fleeting glimpse of the unmasked Santas in black, plus more of the Bride and the TARDIS-chase along the motorway.
Survival DVD in the works
DVD and Video
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Brigadier Bill
At a recent fan event, Sophie Aldred revealed that she and Sylvester McCoy were scheduled to do the audio commentary for the as yet unannounced DVD of 1989 classic series adventure Survival. They had originally planned to make the the recording early in November, but had to postpone due to McCoy's busy schedule.
Runaway Bride spotted on YouTube
General TV Series News
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
A clip of the The Runaway Bride, this year's Christmas special, has been leaked onto the internet. Four minutes of the show have appeared on the video sharing site YouTube, which lets people put video online for others to watch. BBC Newsround suggests that the clip might come from "a special concert for Children in Need in Cardiff, where parts of the show were screened." Be aware that the Newsround link provided here also reveals spoilers about what the clip contains.
Spain: TVE Clan Airing Series 1
December 2, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin F Elliott
Spanish public broadcaster TVE Clan began airing Series 1 of Doctor Who on its kids oriented digital terrestrial channel TVE Clan on 24 November. Episodes are airing weeknights at 8:15PM Central European Time, with repeats on the weekend.
Press mentions including casting
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
According to The Sun, Holby City actor Hugh Quarshie is to play a character named Solomon in a two-part story in Series Three, alongside Spooks actress Miranda Raison.

Reporting a week earlier on Raison's signing, the BBC site says she is to play a showgirl in one episode set in 1930s New York. The Raison story on the BBC site also says that Ryan Carnes (Justin in Desperate Housewives) has a role in the next series.

The same edition of The Sun reported that post-punk/art-rock band Kaiser Chiefs were avowed Doctor Who fans. It quoted leader Ricky Wilson as saying: "We were on tour all last year but I haven't done anything this year except watch telly. I loved Doctor Who, it's ace."

The brief piece said the group joined David Tennant for an interview in the NME Rock 'n' Roll Yearbook.
Dr Who named as an Icon of England
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Doctor Who has made it onto the Icons list according to BBC News. The programme is one of twenty-one new Icons of England, an online list selected by a panel of experts and voted for by the public. Other new additions include Winnie-the-Pooh, the Stiff Upper Lip, and Westminster Abbey.

The Icons project was commissioned by Culture Online, a part of the UK Government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
National TV Awards: Another Huge Win for Doctor Who
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Doctor Who confirmed its continuing massive popularity with the British public by dominating the National Television Awards for a second year running. The show, where the awards are voted for by the public, won the coveted Most Popular Drama category and David Tennant and Billie Piper took the Most Popular Actor and Actress prizes.

This was a repeat performance of last year's success, the only change being that it was Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor taking the Most Popular Actor award in 2005.

This year's ceremony took place at the Royal Albert Hall where Tennant was presented with his award by Dame Julie Andrews.

Accepting the award he said: "I think if my eight-year-old self could see me at the Royal Albert Hall winning a prize for playing the Doctor on telly, he would need a stiff shot of Irn-Bru."

He added: "I love my job. I'm so chuffed that others seem to love it too.

"Thank you for tuning in, that's why we make it."

Backstage, Tennant said on a television interview: "Thank goodness I didn't let the side down, eh? That would have been a tragedy.

"It's difficult to come into something that's been such a great success. It's a bit daunting, whether you're going to do as good a job as Chris. It means a lot."

Representing the show at the ceremony were Tennant, Piper, Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri.

Online press coverage includes BBC News (with a second article here), The Guardian, ITV News, and the Reuters press agency.
Weakest Link Special
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Anna Roberts
A special Doctor Who themed edition of the Weakest Link was recorded on the 21st November, featuring David Tennant, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, and John Barrowman. Other contestants facing down Anne Robinson included Andrew Hayden-Smith, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Claire Rushbrook, Nick Briggs and K9.

Tracy-Ann Oberman described the experience in her column in The Guardian saying, "I realised things might be going pear-shaped in the brain department. By eight o'clock I was breaking into a cold sweat, unable to remember my own name, let alone those of my fellow contestants."

(Thanks to Tony Jordan.)
Cybermen take over toyshops
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Anna Roberts
The Cyberman Voice Changer helmet is tipped to be one of the best selling toys this Christmas, according to the Sunday Times. Only a Bratz doll is more popular, and other Doctor Who toys in the retailer Christmas Top 20 include the radio-controlled K9 and Dalek.

It has been good news for the manufacturers Character Options, whose shares jumped more than 12p, after it said annual profits would be “significantly” above market forecasts.

The Doctor Who Annual is also predicted to be the best seller this year, beating The Beano Annual for the first time in its history.

Additional coverage about the toy sales can be found at icWales, Blackpool Today and the Yorkshire Post,; the Annual's success is also covered by The Herald.

(Additional material by Josiah Rowe.)
Runaway Bride and Sarah Jane Adventures press release
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Anna Roberts
The BBC Press Office has released programme information for the Christmas period, including a synopsis of The Runaway Bride, The Sarah Jane Adventures and the final three episodes of Torchwood.

The transmission date and time for The Runaway Bride is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be Christmas Day (as noted by Russell T Davies at the Children in Need Concert). The episode features Catherine Tate as Donna and Sarah Parish playing The Empress of Racnoss. The synopsis can be found below.

The Sarah Jane Adventures will be a 60 minute special, featuring Samantha Bond as Mrs Wormwood, Porsha Lawrence Mavour as Kelsey, Yasmin Page playing Maria, and an appearance by K9. It will be broadcast over the Christmas period as part of CBBC on BBC One, as well as on the CBBC Channel, followed by a series later in the year.

The official Doctor Who website has also updated to feature an online advent calendar in the run up to Christmas.
The Runaway Bride

Bride-to-be Donna mysteriously vanishes as she prepares to marry her boyfriend Lance in a glittering ceremony on Christmas Eve. She suddenly appears, to her complete astonishment, in the Tardis with the Doctor.

As the Tardis races to get to the church on time, the Doctor and Donna are closely watched by the sinister figure of The Empress of Racnoss from her throne in her spaceship. It soon becomes clear that Donna is the key to an ancient alien plan to destroy the Earth.

The Sarah Jane adventures

Elisabeth Sladen – Doctor Who's former sidekick – is back as Sarah Jane Smith in a brand-new, fast-paced children's drama, created by Russell T Davies and from the makers of Doctor Who. The Sarah Jane Adventures ensures that children never look at fizzy drinks in the same way again...

Sarah Jane is fascinated by Bubbleshock, a strangely addictive organic drink that is taking the world by storm. She is almost oblivious to the arrival of her new neighbour, Maria, a young girl starting a new life with her father.

Maria becomes intrigued by the strange goings on at Sarah Jane's house but, before she can investigate, she's whisked away by her new friend, Kelsey, to the brightly coloured, but sinister, Bubbleshock factory.

As Sarah Jane tries to find out what the mysterious Mrs Wormwood is doing at the factory, Maria and Kelsey embark on a tour which leads them into the path of a monstrous creature and a strange young boy with no name or past.

When Sarah Jane and Maria discover the secret ingredient of Bubbleshock, they realise they are the only ones who can stop Mrs Wormwood and her evil plans for the human race.
Starter for Eleven
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
Mark Gatiss appeared on Midweek (BBC Radio Four, 22 November) to publicise his new Lucifer Box novel The Devil in Amber. During the interview, he also spoke about the League of Gentlemen, his role in the film Starter for Ten (as Bamber Gascoigne), which is currently on cinema release, playing Johnnie Craddock in BBC Four’s recent Fear of Fanny, his forthcoming part in the new BBC adaptation of The Wind in the Willows (he plays Ratty) and how he’ll be appearing in the Series 3 of Doctor Who, commenting that they’d finally given in to his badgering! During the programme, the presenter, Libby Purves, said to Gatiss that she understood his ambition was to play the Doctor, to which Gatiss replied, “I can’t possibly comment.”
Tennant to present Friday Night Project
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Anna Roberts
David Tennant will guest present the first episode of the new series of The Friday Night Project, according to The Sun. He follows in the footsteps of Billie Piper, who was the guest host of the Channel 4 show in January this year.
Soundtrack CD
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
The new series soundtrack CD is officially released by Silva Screen Records on Monday, December 4, although pre-ordered copies have already started arriving.

It comprises 31 tracks by composer Murray Gold, taken from Series 1 and 2. The first and last tracks are the title music (listed as TV Version at 41" and Album Version at 2' 36").

Neil Hannon, from The Divine Comedy, sings Song For Ten, which featured in The Christmas Invasion but was sung then by Tim Phillips, and Love Don't Roam from the forthcoming Christmas special The Runaway Bride.

It comes with a 16-page illustrated booklet that has an introduction by series executive producer Julie Gardner and track notes by Gold.

The initial pressing comes in a slipcase bearing the legend "Collector's Limited Edition" and has an exclusive badge (inside the CD case) with the cover image of Billie Piper and David Tennant and the series logo.

Downloadable samples from three of the tracks are available from the website.

Minor press mentions
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
BBC News has a story about efforts to retrieve classic television episodes that are "missing, believed wiped". Doctor Who gets a mention.

Peterborough Today tells us that the children of Peterborough will enjoy a Doctor Who-themed Christmas play, "A Christmas Past and Present".

The York Press has a story about a fan-made Dalek wandering the streets of York.

Robert Webb from The Peep Show, Smoking Room and That Mitchell and Webb Look is the latest celebrity to reveal his ambition to guest in Doctor Who. In an interview he gave to BBC News online, he said, "I would love to be a Bond villain. But even more I would like to be a Dr Who villain. Even if it was just a short cyberman, I would jump at the chance."

And the Guardian Media Diary notes that the Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips would like Doctor Who star David Tennant to be on the next series so she could "moon over him".

(Thanks to "Russwhover" of the YaWho discussion group.)
Peter Barkworth
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
Peter Barkworth, who played Clent in The Ice Warriors (1967), has died at the age of 77. Barkworth also played Stephen in the Get Off My Cloud episode of the BBC sci-fi anthology series Out Of The Unknown, which featured the Tardis and a Dalek and aired in 1969.

He was probably most famous for the role of banker Mark Telford in the 1979 BBC serial Telford's Change, which co-starred Hannah Gordon, who played Kirsty in The Highlanders in 1966/67. Barkworth left RADA the same year as his Ice Warriors co-star Peter Sallis, who played Penley.

The cause of death was given as bronchopneumonia following a stroke. He died on 21 October in London. The story is reported at BBC News; The Times and The Guardian have obituaries.
Doctor Who: A Celebration
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Anna Roberts
There was a special concert held at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff on Sunday 19th November to raise funds for the BBC's annual Children in Need appeal. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC National Chorus of Wales played a selection of the incidental music from the last two series composed by Murray Gold and orchestrated by Ben Foster, as well as previewing Love don't Roam and a four minute clip from The Runaway Bride. Tickets had sold out in hours, but the concert was also broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales.

Numerous Doctor Who stars were also in attendance, including Freema Agyeman, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Phil Collinson, Julie Gardener and Steven Moffatt. Cybermen, Sycorax and Daleks were amongst the assorted monsters who appeared amongst the audience and on stage. Russell T Davies, David Tennant and Murray Gold took part in a question and answer session, revealing that they expectd a Christmas Day broadcast for The Runaway Bride.

The concert has raised over £52,000 for Children in Need so far. Various props were auctioned at the event , while an online auction of the Genesis Ark, a Sycorax helmet, the Doctor's trainers and Rose's New Earth top raised nearly £10,000. Terry Wogan carried out an auction of "money can't buy" prizes on his Radio 2 breakfast show, and the opportunity of a special set tour guided by Russell T Davies raised £25,000.

For those who missed out, the concert will be available via the red button interactive service to digital viewers at some point over Christmas.
Director James Strong Interview
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Michael Regina
Perennial movie and TV website 'Ain't it cool news' has posted an interview with James Strong, Series 2 director of 'The Impossible Planet’ and ‘The Satan Pit.’ In it Strong discusses the issues with working on a SFX heavy set of episodes, and working on 'Who' altogether. Take a look at the interview here.
Director General offers praise to BBC Wales
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By R. Alan Siler
BBC Director General Mark Thompson offered praise to BBC Wales for setting the example of the type of "sexy and modern" programmes that the various branches should be producing for the network.

Thompson mentions Doctor Who and Torchwood as prime examples of BBC Wales' success. "There's a lot of admiration and a bit of jealousy elsewhere in the BBC because of the success here."

Torchwood in particular, being set fully in modern day Cardiff, was singled out by Thompson for being of particular note. "We wondered whether Wales could be portrayed as modern and forward-looking and Torchwood is the answer. It's obviously Welsh and it's sexy, modern and fantastic."

Thompson also said, "I'm sure we will be seeing more series of both Doctor Who and Torchwood."

Read the full article in ICWales.
Radio Times coverage
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The latest edition of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine (dated 2-8 December 2006) features Doctor Who both in its review of the year's television and in a preview feature for Christmas programming.

The "Review of the Year 2006" feature gives the "Moment of the Year" crown to the final scene between the Doctor and Rose at the end of Doomsday, while also suggesting some humorous possibilities of what the Doctor was cut off from saying to Rose. "We'll always have Cardiff" and "You're such a chav," are two of the magazine's suggestions. The return of the Cybermen in Rise of the Cybermen also makes their top ten moments, at number six.

David Tennant is dubbed the "Hero of the Year", and there is a brief interview in which the actor is asked for his personal highlight of 2006. "It's difficult to say at the moment," is his verdict. "I'm just too close to it. I think I'll be able to tell you in five years' time." Finally, the review of the year feature has a photo of marching Cybermen with the faces of various "evil" television personalities such as Jeremy Paxman, Simon Cowell and Anne Robinson pasted over their heads.

The magazine also begins its build-up to Christmas, with a one-page feature briefly highlighting the top twenty Christmas television programmes. The Runaway Bride is number one in the list, and there are also Doctor Who connections elsewhere - The Wind in the Willows with Mark Gatiss as Rat is number two, with The Ruby in the Smoke, starring Billie Piper, at number twelve.

It is expected that the Radio Times's full Christmas preview issue (covering the week of December 16-22 and on sale Wednesday 6th) will contain major Doctor Who coverage.
Radio 1 special for Christmas Day
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The BBC Press Office information for radio programming on Christmas Day reveals that BBC Radio 1, the corporation's modern music-orientated station, will host a three-hour Doctor Who special on Christmas Day.

According to the release, presenter Jo Whiley "presents a festive Doctor Who special from the programme's set in Cardiff. She chats to cast and crew and explores the Tardis, battles with Daleks and tries her hand at time travel in this special programme for Christmas Day." The special is scheduled to run from 4-7pm on Monday 25th December. Much of BBC Radio 1's programming is available to listen to live via the station's website, and for the following week as part of the Listen Again feature.

Whiley previously conducted a live interview with Christopher Eccleston on her regular programme as part of the build-up to the new series launch in March 2005. David Tennant was also a guest on her programme in December 2005.
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
Celebrity Doctor Who fans are popping up everywhere. In today’s edition of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, presenter Kirsty Young interviewed Matt Lucas of Little Britain fame, the BBC comedy sketch show narrated by Tom Baker. Lucas, who starred opposite David Tennant in Russell T Davies’s 2005 version of Casanova, described how he’d recently bought his partner a TARDIS, which they’d erected in the middle of the living room of their new home!
Michael "upgraded"
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
Two years after returning to the BBC as its chairman, Michael Grade has quit the corporation to become executive chairman of rival ITV. The move apparently came as a complete shock to everyone in the TV industry. Despite claims that the BBC are incandescent with his move, the corporation issued a statement wishing him well and describing him as having been "a great chairman".

Grade has often criticised Doctor Who and became infamous in the mid-1980s when the BBC decided to axe the show. His return to the corporation in 2004 coincided with the revival of Doctor Who and, at the time, many feared he’d continue bashing the show. However, apparently, he watches it with his young son and at the end of Series 1 congratulated everyone involved, adding, "I never dreamed I would write this. Must be going soft!"
Captain Jack and the Beanstalk
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Stephen Blake
John Barrowman, a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness (Torchwood, Doctor Who), will be spending much of the festive period starring as another Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Theatre, Cardiff, from Saturday 16 December to Saturday 17 January. Full details and booking information, can be obtained by calling the theatre’s box office on 029 2087 8889 or visiting its website (www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk).
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Benjamin Elliott
The latest installment of This Week in Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who on television in the UK, North America and elsewhere, for December 1, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
Jessica Stevenson to guest star in series three
General TV Series News
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Kenny Davidson
Award-winning actress Jessica Stevenson is to star in the new series of Doctor Who, according to her online CV hosted by her agents.

Stevenson's previous credits include the film Shaun of the Dead, the Channel 4 cult series Spaced and the BBC comedy The Royle Family. She is also due to star in the forthcoming Harry Potter film. Her CV lists her Doctor Who character as "Joan" in a story directed by Charles Palmer. (Thanks to Steve Tallach).
Tate credits Piper for Who's girl appeal
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Josiah Rowe
Catherine Tate, speaking to The Daily Record, says that Billie Piper deserves the credit for Doctor Who's success with girls: "I think Billie is a big part of getting young girls on board as well, because they all kind of idolise the Rose character.

"When I was little I liked Doctor Who but I think boys liked it more. But now it's across the board."

Tate will be playing the Doctor's "rebound companion" Donna in The Runaway Bride this Christmas. The article contains some story information about the Christmas special (taken from the BBC Programme Information press release), so don't click if you want to remain completely unspoiled!
Tom Baker back as BT voice
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By Paul Hayes
The BBC News website reports that Tom Baker is to return as the voice of British Telecom's text-to-voice service over the forthcoming Christmas season. The service, which uses an automated system to convert SMS text messages sent from mobile phones to landlines into audio, launched earlier this year with Baker providing the voice for the initial weeks. Baker is quoted as saying: "It's rather like being Santa Claus, delivering all your festive greetings. I only wish I could hear what I'm saying."

Baker's return is part of a BT charity initiative called TextAid. For each 10p text read by the service, BT will donate 2p to the charities Shelter and Focus Ireland. BT has also put together a single of Baker's sampled voice "singing" a cover of the Kinks song "You Really Got Me". You can listen to a preview of the song now, and beginning December 18 it will be available for download for 79p, with the profits going to the same charities.

(Additional material by Josiah Rowe)
Invasion Restoration
December 1, 2006  •  Posted By John Bowman
To coincide with the DVD release of The Invasion, The Guardian has a lengthy piece focusing on the VidFire process used on the story (whose year of transmission is erroneously given as 1969 instead of 1968).