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July 2006

New UK DVD Covers
DVD and Video
July 28, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Outpost Gallifrey has received the full cover illustrations for two forthcoming UK DVD releases: Mark of the Rani starring Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Anthony Ainley and Kate O'Mara, and Series Two Volume 5, the episodic release of episodes from this year featuring David Tennant and Billie Piper. Click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to Tenth Planet for the "Rani" image)

More Set Reports, Photos from Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
July 26, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
We've received more set reports and photographs from the filming of the Christmas episode of Doctor Who, The Runaway Bride, over the past few days. Outdoor filming in downtown Cardiff has taken place over the past three days, with several sequences filmed on location at St Mary Street at night on 25 July (running into early 26 July, by some estimates until approximately 4.30am); there are also a few more photos from the 24 July outdoor filming with stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate on hand. Also seen are the two pieces of currency used on set (see TARDIS Report from earlier today; they've now appeared in the papers as well!) Our thanks to both submittors to the news page and members of our Forum for their reports and photos, including Emma Follett, Matt Hills, Jonathan Burnside, Ian and Gill Golden, "Johnnie G," "Gambrinus," "Kati," "MRiddle," "BrownCoatCat". As always, click on the thumbnails for a larger view of each image, and click on the spoiler tag for the set reports.
Photos by Emma Follett - 24 and 25 July
Photos by Gill Golden - 24 July
Photos by "Johnnie G" - 24 and 25 July
Photos by Emma Follett - 25 July
Photos by "Gambrinus" - 25 July
Photos by "MRiddle" - 25 July
Fake Doctor Who "Money" (courtesy "Kati")
Matt Hills, with Jonathan Burnside and Emma Follett

Set report from the night of 25th July into 26th July:

Having previously witnessed night shoots for ‘Rose’ and ‘The Christmas Invasion’, and knowing that the most complicated practical FX stuff is often kept back til last, I was determined to stay through to the bitter end.

And sure enough, the best was saved for early in the morning hours, as the crew carried on filming past 4am.

A good sized group of fans watched the first set-ups of the night on Wharton Street. These scenes involved extras gazing up into the sky with ecstatic and awe-filled looks on their faces at first, before then being directed to react to explosions and mill about in panic. London prop vehicles completed the backdrop; a taxi and bus.

A scene had been blocked out in which a family were split up amid all this confusion, with a little girl (called Lisa, I think) losing sight of her parents. After a few run-throughs and takes of this, Euros reset and took a shot of the little girl screaming, the camera appearing to track in on her distressed face. She and the surrounding actors were lit in an eerie green glow, which will no doubt look very spooky on-screen.

What looked like a similar scene was then restaged, only this time an army truck and jeep were filmed arriving at the incident, tearing round the corner from St Mary Street onto Wharton Street. Extras dressed as armed troops followed up on foot.

Later, all the filming moved on to St Mary Street. Thanks to fellow fan Jonathan Burnside, Emma and myself secured an excellent vantage point overlooking the first major practical effects shot as it was mounted. This sequence involved a string of red and white Christmas lights -- which had been specially hung high across St Mary Street -- sparking and falling to the ground, accompanied by wreaths of smoke. At the same time, crowds of Christmas shopping extras reacted to explosions denoted by powerful flash lights.

Next, the street was set-dressed with a number of taxis, a car, and a London bus. The car and taxis were positioned with their pavement-side doors flung wide open and lights on, indicating that their passengers had fled the scene moments before. Euros carefully adjusted these details, showing the care that was going into the set-up. And the street was liberally littered with prop debris meant to show hastily dropped Christmas shopping. There were Henrik’s bags and sale signs aplenty, along with Christmas club-night flyers and even a few wrapped Christmas presents and helium-filled Christmassy balloons. The attention to detail was stunning, and the production team even spent time artfully arranging various shopping bags. The small, everyday details of the scene were obviously just as crucial as the epic, gung-ho army stuff.

Eventually the street looked deserted, devastated. We could hear a low, bassy grinding sound, something nearly akin to a plane’s engine switching on, but with a rhythmic clatter overlaid. And then the tank rolled into view. The noise of the caterpillar tracks was immense; the high street looked more than a little worse for wear after the tank had stormed down it, and reversed back for re-takes. Some of the production team tried to scuff away tread-marks left after the first run, but with no success.

Sequences were filmed with army troops sweeping through the street, and the extras added details such as checking whether the taxi and bus had any occupants. I thought one trooper shouted a line of dialogue -- “no bugs!” -- but I honestly couldn’t swear to that detail, and neither Jonathan nor Emma heard it, so it was probably my overheating imagination.

Following on from the troops, the tank screeched all the way along past Howell’s/Henrik’s, moving in-between the two taxis, pausing, and then coming round the side of the bus. It quite literally crushed prop bags and presents into the tarmac. Douglas Camfield would’ve loved every moment. And with time ticking by, the tank’s journey was repeated: along past the specially-dressed ‘Sparkling’ and ‘Dazzling’ Christmas shop-windows before drawing to a halt next to some now forlorn-looking Christmas balloons.

What looked like a few close-up cutaway shots were staged: the gunner on the tank shouting ‘Fire!’ (guess what’ll be CGIed in there), and then came the ultimate party piece -- the tank thundering over and crushing a deflated giant snowman (it looked like one of the inflatable snowmen from the previous day’s cashpoint filming had been let-down). This will surely be one of the episode’s iconic shots, assuming it makes it to the final edit and doesn’t go the way of a certain burning sofa: the might of the military rumbling over a bedraggled plastic snowman. Euros adjusted the snowman prop a few times before he was finally happy with it.

Then there was a re-take of the practical FX with the dislodged line of Christmas lights, which sparked, fizzed and banged much more solidly second time around. The crew were still working with extras, positioning them along the street, when the three of us finally decided it was time to call it a night.

But it was the sight of that tank moving down St Mary Street, with surprising speed, that will really stay with me. Anyone fearing that ‘The Runaway Bride’ is going to be a soft, soapy story should try to relax. It looks as if this coming December, assorted icons of Christmas -- and the ordinariness of Christmas shopping -- will get a serious action-adventure makeover. The money’s going to be up there on-screen, that’s for sure… and I don’t mean those David Tennant tenners from yesterday’s daytime shoot.

Forum user "BrownCoatCat"

When I was passing through Cardiff's city centre this evening around about 8.50pm, there appeared to be some preparitory work for night shooting going on. A hired new style red London Bus was having what appeared to be adverts applied to the sides to make it look more realistic (the panel I saw looked like an advert for Hendrik's Sale). Stunt doubles for David Tennant and Catherine Tate arrived in a taxi, whilst another was having a camera set up in the passanger compartment to film over the shoulder of the driver. I could not stay longer, as I had to catch a train home.

Forum user "MRiddle" - part 1

Apparently the camera inside the taxi was for footage to be used while the Santa is driving the taxi. Exterior shots.

Me and my friends got pictures of the tank. They also shot scenes with military trucks and soldiers turning the corner as the "explosion" went off, and the armed men ran forward toward whatever it is that caused the panic.

Complete speculation, but maybe the explosion has something to do with Snowman/Santa Henrik's display that was at the end of that street on Monday. The extras all seemed to be looking in that direction, only upwards. At first it looks like it's something good...maybe fireworks and then it turns nasty and they all scream.

Didn't stay for the tanks scenes BUT heard that they were just going to have the gun moving sidewards, with anything being fired being added in post-production. They were bringing the tank down the same street the extras and the red bus was on...and apparently were going to change the track around the wheels from metal to rubber, because it was going to go on a paved area.

Forum user "MRiddle" - part 2

[This report is from filming that happened tonight, in Roath]

The TARDIS was parked at the end of Princes Avenue, with several surrounding houses covered in Christmas lights and other such decorations. The crew were really nice; they took off the cover and allowed people to stand next to the TARDIS and take pictures. So Elisa and I (as well as Anthony and his friends) all got to pose by it, though we were careful to let the children go first. Because that's only fair, given that they actually live in the estate.

Shortly after that, a snow machine was brought out and tested. It spurted foam that smelt like crap. But it was very pretty and there were lots of "oooohs" and "ahhhhs". Once it became dark, the crew started setting up at the end of the culdasac. We were all asked to stay on one side of the road and then were moved back, half-way up the street, so they could rehearse (at this point David Tennant and Catherine Tate had arrived via the other end of the street). I think the thinking behind this was that it would mean the noise level wouldn't affect whatever they were doing.

Well apparently it did, so someone from the crew came down and asked everyone to be quiet and not take any pictures. And, in return, David and Catherine would come down after doing the take and say "hi". However they weren't going to sign autographs. Which is more than fair because their priority is to get the show done and there were a lot of people there. I think they were hoping that if they gave a little back (although they had already accomodated people with the TARDIS pictures, so it was doubly nice that they did this as well) then some people would leave. Being a fair distance away, we couldn't really hear much. But it did seem like they were doing the closing scene where the Doctor drops off Donna and says goodbye.

It wasn't long before David and Catherine came down. David apologised (can't remember if it was about the no autographs thing or about using the street, or both) and also asked where everyone came from. To which some kid replied "around the corner". Bless. Lots of people stood taking pictures but Elisa and I held back because you know we've had our turn, we were just there to watch filming, nothing more. Someone else asked who Donna was marrying and David joked that the groom was a Dalek. They literally stayed for a few minutes, just long enough for people to take pictures of the actors with their cameras (though not posed with fans). However that didn't stop a few from trying for autographs when they started walking back to the set.

That was when we decided to leave because we couldn't see much, so it wasn't worth hanging about.
Torchwood Press and Photos
July 26, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

BBC Three has issued a press release about the forthcoming Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood, which is likely to premiere in October 2006 on the channel. Adding to the previously known information about the series, the release - which discussed BBC Three's entire lineup but addressed this show specifically - states, "Torchwood follows the adventures of a team of investigators as they use alien technology to solve crimes, both alien and human. This new British sci-fi crime thriller, from Russell T Davies, follows the team as they delve into the unknown. They are fighting the impossible while keeping their everyday lives going back at home. The cast includes John Barrowman (Doctor Who) as the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness, the ever-watchful heart of the team guarding against the fragility of humankind. Eve Myles (Doctor Who, Belonging) plays Gwen Cooper, initially an outsider whose first encounter with Torchwood sparks a burning curiosity to get to the truth and throws her into an unfamiliar but exciting world. Burn Gorman (Bleak House) plays the raw but charming medic, Owen Harper, and Naoko Mori (Absolutely Fabulous) is Toshiko Sato, the team member who specialises in all things technical. Torchwood is written by Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall, with contributing writers including PJ Hammond, Toby Whithouse and Helen Raynor. A BBC production."

The BBC has also released four photographs of the forthcoming series; click on each photo below for a larger version. In the information text of one of the photos, with the alien, it states that Owen (Burn Gorman) is speaking with a Weevil - an alien race not named in the press until now. (Photos copyrighted to the BBC.)

The press has picked up the story, reporting on a press event that occurred on Monday. Says the Telegraph, "While Torchwood - an anagram of its Dr Who - will not contain overt sex scenes, producers have promised a 'lot of blood and snogging'. The show, to be broadcast over 13 episodes on the digital BBC3 channel in the autumn, is not designed to supplant Doctor Who. Jane Tranter, the drama chief who commissioned the hit revival of the timelord's adventures, said that the series 'builds on some of the myths and legends that have been present in Doctor Who'. However, it was 'a completely different show in every way, in terms of the tone and audience it's going for.' She added: 'It's alien hunters in Cardiff, not travelling in time and space.' ... Scenes unveiled by the BBC yesterday showed an edgy drama with a team that feels it is 'separate from the government, beyond the police and outside of the United Nations'. Aliens - supposedly in the world today - are captured and taken to holding cells in Cardiff, where Torchwood is set. The BBC is relying on the track record of its creator, Russell T Davies, who has been dubbed 'the saviour of Saturday night drama' with his work in reviving Doctor Who. Torchwood was actually the name used as a security measure to disguise preview tapes of the first episodes of the new Doctor Who to stop them falling into the hands of DVD pirates when they were moved from Wales to BBC headquarters. Davies said: 'One of the people in the office had the idea of calling the tapes Torchwood as they went from Cardiff to London, instead of putting Doctor Who on them. I thought, 'That's clever!' I had that taped away in my head for a good six months, and now here it is as a show.' Torchwood was first mentioned in an episode of Doctor Who as an establishment founded by Queen Victoria. It became a prominent feature of episodes 12 and 13. Davies said: 'Doctor Who has a completely different feel to this kind of thing. This is set in the same place every week. It's a different sort of fun to Doctor Who. It's an urban series, very much set on earth. With Doctor Who we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were London, or Utah, or the planet Zog. This series is going to be honest-to-God Cardiff.'" Also reported at The Sun, Brand Republic, The Stage, UPI, The Guardian.

TARDIS Report: Mid-Week Press Update
July 26, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Runaway Bride Filming Continues

Says icWales, the Doctor Who production team recently prepared hundreds of fake bank notes with David Tennant's face on them for a scene in The Runaway Bride in which a cash machine (ATM) spews notes out into the street. As they couldn't use real money, for obvious reasons, and copying banknotes is illegal, they prepared their own mock notes, with Tennant's face accompanied by the words 'I promise to bay the bearer on demand the sum of 10 satsumas. No second chances - I'm that sort of a man.' Says the report, "A Doctor Who insider said the notes were an 'in-house' joke and the detail wasn't part of the script. 'Obviously we can't have real cash fluttering about - TV licence-payers wouldn't be too impressed,' he said. 'Nor could we scan or copy a real banknote to change it - that's highly illegal. So we started from scratch and made our own. We're all rather pleased with the 'ten satsumas'. It's given us a real Christmas stocking feel to the day's filming.' ... An onlooker said, 'From a distance they almost look like real notes but you'd never be able to use them in the pub.'" Fans watching the filming eagerly gathered them up when the scene was complete (photos of them aren't here on the news page, but they have been posted by eager fans in the 'photo reports' section of our Forum!) Also reported by the Daily Record.

icWales also reports that "Dr Who brought snowmen to a sun-drenched city shopping street - and made one photography student's dream come true. Matthew Horwood had just splashed out £1,000 on a telephoto lens when he spotted the sci-fi celebrity charging towards him. He caught Dr Who, David Tennant, running at full pelt against the blurred background of Wharton Street off The Hayes, in Cardiff, in these great photographs. Matthew, of Cardiff, who starts his photography course later this year, said: 'I must have looked a right idiot unwrapping this huge lens in the middle of the street.' But Tennant and co-star Catherine Tate won his sympathy as they were forced to wrap up warm to pretend the sweltering city centre street was in fact a chilly Christmas scene. Surrounded by shoppers in shorts and sunglasses, the pair were filming the series' Christmas special with giant snowmen and Christmas trees. And department store Howells had even put up signs reading 'Sale starts Boxing Day'. Santa Claus was even spotted in a London-style black cab. Fans asked how he was coping and Tennant shouted back: 'It's blinking boiling.' The Dr Who team converted Wharton Street into the festive scene for the Christmas special called The Runaway Bride. Temperatures were close to 30C as comedienne Tate ran around in her full white bridal gown - and Tennant in his trademark suit. An onlooker said: 'It's surreal seeing all the Christmas decorations - but it's quite nice to look at them on a hot day like this. 'It feels like the Timelord has put us in the Tardis and whisked it off to Christmas.'"

Special Events

An open-air free screening of Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD, the Doctor Who film produced in the 1960s starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who, is taking place in East London during the summer to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dalek movies. Says the release, "The McGuffins Open Air Cinema is an annual event which takes place in Walthamstow Town Square and Gardens allowing audiences to sit back and watch classic movies on a giant screen under the stars. The event is organized by the McGuffin Film Society as part of the annual Walthamstow Arts Festival. This year the main feature of the evening will be 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.', almost 40 years to the day of its original release in UK cinemas. The film, starring Peter Cushing as 'Dr. Who', tells the story of the dreaded Daleks who have invaded the Earth with a dastardly plan to remove the core of the planet and transform it into an enormous spaceship! The film is a fun-packed slice of colourful 1960s sci-fi kitsch for all the family to enjoy. The event will feature a chance to meet the Daleks themselves and competitions to win a variety of fantastic Doctor Who prizes along with a picnic area and licensed bar. Live music will be provided before and after the screening by Motherfunk, a sensational 10-piece 60s soul band. The McGuffins Open Air Cinema 2006 – 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.' will take place in Walthamstow Town Square and Gardens, London E17 on Friday 18 August from 8pm. Admission is free. The screening site is located opposite Walthamstow Central underground and railway station." The screening is done in cooperation with Filmbank Film Distribution. For full details visit the website.

Other Press Items

The Australia Daily Telegraph reports, "Phil Collinson takes it in his stride when told a few tears were shed while watching an episode of the second series of the new and much improved Doctor Who franchise. As producer of the show, he regards it as a compliment. 'It was supposed to be very poignant,' he says. The episode, School Reunion, concerns the reunion of the 10th incarnation of the Doctor (David Tennant), with Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and robotic dog K9 (voiced by John Leeson), which airs on Saturday night. Sarah Jane was last seen as the companion of the fourth incarnation of the Doctor (Tom Baker) way back in 1976. The immortally youthful Doctor is confronted by his now middle-aged former companion. Why did he leave her behind, she asks. The ensuing dialogue is sadly touching. ... 'It's one of those shows that can appeal to everyone,' Collinson says. 'School Reunion is a good expression of the duality of the show. The kids watch it as a simple drama, then there are whole other levels for older viewers who remember Sarah Jane. The show, as a whole, talks about everything that affects people: politics, relationships, the environment.'" The Advertiser also reports, noting that "Much of their success comes from the appeal of Rose, arguably the best companion the Doctor has had. Piper has now left the series - her final episode screened in Britain early this month - but Collinson sees the departure as an opportunity. 'Her role in the reintroduction of the Doctor was pivotal,' he says. 'Billie's been fantastic and has reinvented the role as a character in her own right; the companions are no longer just sidekicks. We're sad that she's leaving, but we've known for a long time, so the last episode of the current series is really all about her.' What is for certain is that her departure won't spell the end of the show, or even dent its popularity. 'It's another way of keeping the show fresh,' Collinson says. 'We've obviously cast someone else to take her place (as a new character).' Seasons one and two saw the return of the Daleks and Cybermen respectively but, Collinson says, 'none of the traditional enemies are coming back' for season three. 'There'll be lots of new monsters and lots of consolidation,' he says. 'And the Doctor gets to meet William Shakespeare.'"

SciFi Online says, "Warwick Davis, who found fame in the late '80s playing the title role in Willow, has revealed that he's very keen to appear as a villain in Doctor Who. In an interview with sci-fi-online.com Davis, whose first movie role was as Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, said: 'I'd love to get a part on Doctor Who. I've got dreams for that. I want to play a villain, desperately [laughs]. Annabelle [Davis's daughter] and I watch Doctor Who - in fact all the family do. It's a great show. There's not many shows that appeal to my wife, my three year old [son Harrison], Annabelle and me - we all watch it. So I've got to be in it now. I want to be a villain. So get it out there!'"

The Daily Express says, "Foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay may have been the prototype for the psychotic Ramzzi, who appears in the Dr Who Adventures magazine, but he has no desire to appear on the actual show. 'I used to like Dr Who when I was a kid but now it's not the same, ' he sniffs. 'It's like going on holiday with your parents – it was something quite fun when you were younger but not if you're an adult.'"

Direct magazine, a marketing magazine, says that "If you attended Direct Marketing Days New York in June, you may have noticed that the Javits Center seemed a bit more animated than usual. And no, I'm not talking about the exhibitors being extra peppy. I'm referring to what was happening in the hall next to DMDNY: Licensing International 2006. That show is where anyone with any kind of licensable property -- from Angelina Ballerina to Zippy the Pinhead and everything in between (including the New York City Department of Sanitation) -- goes to drum up interest from vendors in plastering those icons on toys, clothing and everything imaginable. The show was overwhelming to this first-time visitor, and I'm familiar with a lot of licensed characters on two fronts. One, I'm a huge pop culture geek and two, I have a 3-year-old son who's a prime target for a lot of this stuff. ... Then there were the medium-sized booths, with more wares on display to tantalize prospects. BBC Worldwide had a nifty booth with oodles of “Doctor Who” toys from the United Kingdom on display. The Dalek was the most popular toy in the U.K. last Christmas season, according to a BBC rep, who didn't know if the Sci-Fi Channel was picking up the second series of the latest “Who” revival. (Don't say I don't ask the important questions.)"

The Daily Mail profiles former companion Anneke Wills: "Despite the four decades that separate them, Anneke Wills and Billie Piper would have rather a lot to talk about if they ever met. For starters, they are both former child stars who have played Doctor Who's female sidekick. They both won over fans of the sci-fiseries with their blonde hair and thick dark lashes. And after closing the Tardis door for the last time, both turned their noses up at Hollywood. But while 23-year-old Billie bowed out with a new 250,000 BBC role and a six-figure deal to write her autobiography, life wasn't quite so kind to Anneke. Had anyone ever asked the Sixties star to pen her life story, they would have unveiled an astonishing tale of love and loss a thousand times more remarkable than that of former teen pop star Billie. While Billie recalls the details of her relatively brief life, Anneke is living like a hermit in a remote two-bedroom cottage on the edge of Dartmoor. She survives on a tiny pension and knows an awful lot about fame and its pitfalls. 'If I could meet Billie now,' she says, 'I'd tell her to take the money and run. Life never quite turns out as you expect it.'" The lengthy story can be read at the website.

TechDigest has a list of top gadgets for the year, listing the new "Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet": "Because nothing makes a sales meeting go with a swing more than some idiot in the corner constantly interrupting in the voice of a Cyberman out of Doctor Who. You may remember this voice changer helmet from our story last week - it converts your speech to Cybertalk, although there's also an option to spew out classic phrases like 'You will be deleted' (best used every time you get rid of an email). Be warned, if your boss is a Dr Who geek, this may earn promotion and son-I-never-had status. £30 from the usual toy outlets."

Also: TV Squad reviews "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday"; there are more reports on the start of filming including a lot of rehashing of Catherine Tate's comments at icWales, The Sun, CBBC News, The Evening Standard.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes)
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
July 26, 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 July 26, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
Doctor Who Adventures 9
July 25, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Below is the press release for issue 9 of Doctor Who Adventures, the children's magazine due out on 27 July. Click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to BBC Magazines)
Issue 9 of Doctor Who Adventures is an amazing monster special! It's full of them!

Find out what makes a monster scary with a look at some of the scariest in the universe! We start off our monster A to Z with the yucky Abzorbaloff. Cut out and keep the Doctor's notes about the last surviving human, the Lady Cassandra. Howl to your heart's content with this issue's werewolf mask. And there's a fantastic poster of Dalek Sec for the bedroom wall!

Also this issue, actress Elisabeth Sladen pops in to tell us about being Sarah Jane Smith and what she would do if she met a monster…

There's a chilling new comic strip set on Rose's old estate - why is everything suddenly so cold?

We look at The Idiot's Lantern and go behind the scenes with the Doctor Who Confidential team. We also tell the story of the day the Doctor changed…

All this plus wins and puzzles and the issue comes with a free travel game - Alien 4-in-a-Row with the Daleks and Cybermen!

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 9 is out on Thursday 27 July.
Runaway Bride Filming Reports and Photos
General TV Series News
July 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Filming continued today, July 24, on the 2006 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Runaway Bride, in Cardiff City Centre... and several Outpost Gallifrey correspondents were there. Below (in the spoiler tag as are all set reports) are reports from Darren Floyd, Simon Watkins, Paul Mount, Gill Howell, Damian Jeremiah, Rob Stickler, "SempronXP" and "hamish_mcduff" from the Outpost Gallifrey Forums. Click on the spoiler tag below the photographs to read the set reports.

Also below are photographs from Emma Follett, Darren Floyd, Paul Ivins, Simon Watkins, Ally Armitage, Gill Golden, and Forum members "brocker_UK" and "clementine" (the latter of whom took some aerial photos from indoor photography last week). (Thanks to all of these correspondents for their submissions!)
Photos by Emma Follett
Photos by Darren Floyd
Photos by Paul Ivins
Photos by Simon Watkins
Photos by Ally Armitage
Photos by "brocker_uk" and Gill Golden
Photos by "clementine" from Last Week's Filming
Darren Floyd

When I cycled into work at 9am the Doctor Who production team were well into setting up Christmas decorations around Waterstones (with a cash point machine now built into the side for filming) and David Morgan (made up as Henriks) in the Hayes. It's getting to be a bit of a tradition in Cardiff, not only did they film part of the last Christmas special in the exact same location, but as the production team always seem to pick the hottest days in Cardiff to film the Chrimbo episodes! David Tennant was stood about a foot away from me, I was in the doorway of Golley Slater, the place I work and had a good view of what was happening (although I did have to look under the arm pit of a huge inflatable snowman to see). Euros Lyn discussed with David the scene, which involved the Doctor running up to the mocked up cash machine. Catherine Tate was walking up and down Wharton Street in her Brides Dress, and at one point was filmed in a phone box which had been set up on the street for the day. Later on they repeatedly filmed a scene where the Doctor screams "Donna!" and she yells back something like "See you in court in space man!" and then she gets into a cab driven by someone in a Santa outfit. Not far from the mocked up cash machine seemed to be Robot Santas similar to last year playing tubas. By lunch time there was a huge crowd watching. I felt sorry for the extras and especially Catherine Tate in her brides outfit because it really was hot hot hot.

Simon Watkins

There were crowds of people. Totally amazing how many people were struggling to get a good look. They had set up a Christmas mural of inflatable Santa and smowmen at Hayes Island. In Wharton street they had erected a fake cashpoint machine in front of Waterstone's bookshop. Howells had its window decorated with Christmas posters advertising a Sale that started Boxing Day. Some of the other shops along Wharton Street also had Santas in their windows. When I arrived, Catherine Tate was preparing to shoot a scene where she drives off in a London taxi, this scene also involved David Tennant running up the length of Wharton Street. The scene seemed to go on for take after take, and I noticed that the production staff were beginning to shrug and look fed up. Not to mention the faces on the extras who were dressed up in scarves, ear muffs, gloves, etc. in the hot July sunshine. I guess it's not an easy process to organise filming in such a busy street, where one member of the public wearing shorts wandering in-shot would wreck the whole take.

Paul Mount

Large crowd gathered between Howells and Waterstones (the same side road where the Rose/Mickey shopping scene for TCI was recorded last year!) and the camera unit is set up near Bar Is It where, I late discover, the cast and crew are based. Huge inflatable snowmen and a santa standing nearby. Euros Lyn on directing duties. Catharine Tate emerges from Isit and films a scene where she emerges from Howells/Henriks, moves between shoppers/extras carrying Christmas presents, hails a taxi and climbs in. Moments later the crowd gives a collective "ooh" as David Tennant runs out of Bar Is It and joins Catharine. They walk down to the St Mary Street end of the road and are then filmed running back up. CT enters a phone box, they exchange a few words, then run off in different directions. CT gets into a taxi, shouts "Thanks for nothing, I'll see you in court!" The scene is filmed a couple of times. During breaks both actors are beseiged by fans and autograph hunters and both are more than pleased to oblige. CT signs "To Ben, Bovvered? Love Catharine Tate" on one lad's T-shirt and David Tennant chats enthusiastically to a fan in a wheelchair who has been standing near me and was earlier despairing at ever meeting her hero! Also nearby, dressed in white T-shirt and red Santa trousers, holding trombones, were Paul Kasey and another actor.

Random amusing sights: a man in his thirties walking back and forth holding the Dr Who Quiz Book and muttering "Raxicoricofalapatorious" to himself over and over again, a middle-aged woman referring to "Chris Tennant" and one security guard who seemed to think they were filming Torchwood!!

Filming in St Mary Street tonight outside Howells/Henriks, mainly consisting of the Doctor and the bride hailing a taxi, getting in, getting out. The Doctor running VERY FAST up the road. One amusing scene....the Doctor hails a taxi with a very shrill whistling sound...a number of passers-by (extras) fall to the round clutching their ears!! What's most noticable about the filming today has been the sheer volume of people just standing around, good-naturedly watching....dozens, maybe hundreds. It's a sharp contrast to the indifferent numbers which were there 2 years ago to watch the first filming of 'Rose'. Traffic passing hooted and shouted at DT and CT but it was all well-meant and well-taken by the stars. There's a very definite feeling in the air that Dr Who - and David Tennant - is loved right now. Let's enjoy all this!!

Damian Jeremiah

Finally after 2 yrs of Doctor Who being filmed in Cardiff I finally see an episode being shot with actors and not just the TARDIS. Was in Cardiff with my son, so he could pick up one of his B'day pressies the TARDIS playset. Then saw the crowd over by Henriks(sorry Howells) and wandered over. Didn't manage to see David when I was there. Which disappointed him as a signed TARDIS playset would have made his day(and mine). Saw a brief scene being filmed where [Tate] ran out of the phonebox. I spotted Euros Lyn and pointed him out to my son, with a mention of he's the director of "Tooth and Claw" and "The Girl in the Fireplace". Then I had to pick my son up so he could see some filming and he saw the same scene with Catherine Tate running out of the phonebox. All in not to bad a sojourn to Cardiff today.

Gill Golden

David Tennant and Catherine Tate were filming The Runaway Bride in the centre of Cardiff today near Howells (Henriks?). It was strange to see inflatable snowmen and santas in the 30 degree heat in late-July. Catherine Tate in bridal costume was the star of the show. She went into the side entrance of Howells on Wharton Street – they weren't filming at that time. 'Action' was shouted, she ran out and then spoke to someone for a few seconds – looked like a passer by. She ran into a taxi and it sped off and the Doctor ran down the street when the taxi was out of sight – he couldn’t see where the taxi had gone so he ran back again.

Rob Stickler

I think they're still filming tonight; they seemed to be setting up for a different shot when I left a half hour ago. The money that was spewing forth from the cash machine was pretty cool. DT on the £10 notes and Phil Collinson on the £20's! Tennant seemed pretty impressed with those! He signed loads of autographs and was his usual super friendly self, I didn't see much of Catherine Tate but she was there.

Ross (SempronXP)

The Doctor and The Bride run down past Henriks to a phone booth, where The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to make it work very long distance, if you know what I mean. He runs off saying "I'll get some money!". The Bride is practically shouting down the phone, "I'm definately on Earth, there's a WHSmith here". Then she runs out of the booth and asks a passer by for money. She's given some notes and hails a taxi. Looking at the Doctor, who is waiting by a cashpoint, she shouts "Thanks for nothing, I'll see you in court!". The taxi drives off with the Doctor running after her.

Later: On the set (Outside Waterstones, The Hayes, Cardiff) right now and The Doctor is running with Catherine Tate down past Henriks (Howells) into a phone box (a normal glass BT one), The Doctor seems agitated and runs to a cash point for some reason. They're filming here all day (which is great as I can watch from the window by by desk). Neither the phone box or the cash point (labelled as London Credit Bank) are normally outside, neither are the Christmas trees and the giant inflatable Snowmen!

James (hamish_mcduff)

David Tennant using his Sonic Screwdriver on a cash machine. The same santa brass band as last year seemingly although they had different, quite alot scarier faces. Sort of big eyes and a plastic beard. Odd! I didn't really see a lot. And kept getting shooed. Damn those shooers. I saw the Santas marching slowly towards the Doctor and him shouting something I couldn't quite make out.
"Runaway Bride" Press Stories
July 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Lots of coverage of Catherine Tate and the Doctor Who Christmas special over the past week! BBC News says that "Shoppers in sunglasses were baffled to see Christmas trees and giant snowmen on sun-baked streets in Cardiff. The seasonal time-trick of a frosty festive scene was created by the Doctor Who team to film the BBC show's Christmas special. Guest star Catherine Tate braved 30C temperatures in full white bridal gown. When fans asked David Tennant, who plays the Doctor, how he was coping he shouted back: 'It's blinking boiling.' Scenes for the special, entitled The Runaway Bride, were shot in Cardiff city centre, which will be transformed into a shopping street in London's West End for the show. It's surreal seeing all the Christmas decorations - but it's quite nice to look at them on a hot day like this. Comedy star Tate, known for her catchphrase 'Am I bovvered?' in her hit sketch show, might have been a little perturbed as she coped with her role as bride Donna in soaring temperatures. She had to jump out of a black cab and run down the Cardiff street. A Doctor Who insider revealed that audiences will see her morph into a giant bride before exploding across the screen."

The official Doctor Who website says, "No sooner had the Doctor said a tear-stained farewell to Rose Tyler, then he found himself face-to-face with a woman dressed in a fluffy white Wedding frock. Who is she? Who is she supposed to be marrying? And how did she get on board the TARDIS? These questions will all be answered in this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride. The Bride herself - whose name is Donna, by the way - will be played by award-winning comedienne Catherine Tate, the star of her own BBC Two sketch show. 'I'm honoured and delighted to be joining David Tennant aboard the TARDIS,' Catherine said. 'I was holding out for summer season at Wigan rep but as a summer job this'll do.' Russell T Davies added: 'After two years of travelling with Rose, the TARDIS is in for a bumpy ride with Donna on board.' Filming on The Runaway Bride is already underway, with work on the third series beginning later this month."

Says the Manchester Evening News, "The comedy actress popped up as the final episode of the current series drew to a close, appearing in the Tardis dressed in full bridal wear. She will play Donna, a runaway bride, alongside the Timelord himself, played by David Tennant, in the special to be broadcast on BBC1 later this year. The episode is currently in production and the comic - catchphrase `Am I Bothered?' - said: 'I'm honoured and delighted to be joining David Tennant aboard the Tardis. I was holding out for summer season at Wigan rep but as a summer job this'll do.' ... Writer Russell T Davies said: 'Doctor Who and Catherine Tate is just the most irresistible combination, a genuine treat for Christmas viewing. We filmed Catherine's appearance in tonight's episode many months ago, and I'm delighted the secret is out at last! But after two years of travelling with Rose, the Tardis is in for a bumpy ride with Donna on board.'" Also reported in The Daily Record, The Mirror, This Is London, The Stage, Funny.co.uk.

Last Monday's installment of The Sun featured a short picture story on location filming of The Runaway Bride in Cardiff last week. Catherine Tate is seen wearing a full-length bridal gown plus sunglasses. "Funny girl Catherine Tate sports a specsy new look as she films her role as a runaway bride in Doctor Who's Xmas special. She donned a full-length wedding gown and shades to shoot scenes in Cardiff. Whatever would her teenage character 'Am I bovvered' Lauren say?"

Filming is known to have taken place on the episode at the Church of St John the Baptist in the city centre last Friday (14 July) and a notice was still up in the church on Saturday warning of closures because of filming taking place on Thursday 13 July. The notice did not say Thursday's filming was for Doctor Who, but it is highly likely it was since the DW crew were there the next day.
S1 Episode DVDs in N.America
DVD and Video
July 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Warner Video has announced that they will release all four individual volumes of the first series of Doctor Who on DVD on November 7, like the counterpart 'vanilla' DVD releases last year in the UK. All four discs will sell for $20 and will incorporate only the episodes themselves with no extras. The full first season boxed set is already available on DVD in both the US and Canada.
Torchwood Press Update
July 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The press release regarding BBC Three's Autumn 2006 season covers "Torchwood". "This autumn on BBC THREE sees a season of bold, contemporary programmes with Torchwood, the new drama from writer Russell T Davies, as its centrepiece. Starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles, Torchwood is a sci-fi crime thriller which tells the story of a crack squad of secret agents, setting their own rules and operating above the law to protect the public from both human and alien threats. Julian Bellamy, Controller, BBC THREE says: 'Torchwood is just the kind of cutting edge, ambitious drama of real scale that we're seeking on BBC THREE and I'm delighted to be unveiling it at my first BBC THREE launch as Controller.'" A separate drama-oriented press release says that "Torchwood follows the adventures of a team of investigators as they use alien technology to solve crimes, both alien and human. This new British sci-fi crime thriller, from Russell T Davies, follows the team as they delve into the unknown. They are fighting the impossible while keeping their everyday lives going back at home. The cast includes John Barrowman (Doctor Who) as the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness, the ever-watchful heart of the team guarding against the fragility of humankind. Eve Myles (Doctor Who, Belonging) plays Gwen Cooper, initially an outsider whose first encounter with Torchwood sparks a burning curiosity to get to the truth and throws her into an unfamiliar but exciting world. Burn Gorman (Bleak House) plays the raw but charming medic, Owen Harper, and Naoko Mori (Absolutely Fabulous) is Toshiko Sato, the team member who specialises in all things technical. Torchwood is written by Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall, with contributing writers including PJ Hammond, Toby Whithouse and Helen Raynor. A BBC production."

BBC News reports that "Captain Jack has been a character in Doctor Who since 2005 A sci-fi spin-off of Doctor Who will launch on BBC Three in late autumn, the BBC has confirmed. Torchwood focuses on a squad of secret agents facing human and alien enemies, with actor John Barrowman reprising his role as time traveller Captain Jack."

Last week we noted a fifth actor tied into the Torchwood series. The Outpost apparently missed an 8 May report in the South Wales Argus which states, "Newport actor Gareth David-Lloyd has a leading role in the new BBC series Torchwood, a spin-off of the popular Doctor Who series. He learned his acting craft in Gwent but now Gareth David-Lloyd's talents are going intergalactic. Gareth, 25, from Bettws, has landed the role of a lifetime a major part in the new Dr Who spin-off series Torchwood. He is to play Ianto, the receptionist at the Cardiff branch of Torchwood a government agency searching for alien technology which has fallen to Earth. He will be filming for six months on the show, which is set in modern-day Cardiff. This is the first major role for the Newport actor, who went to Bettws Comprehensive and Coleg Gwent, Cross Keys. 'I'm really excited,' he said. 'This is going to be different to anything else I've done before.' ... Gareth is pleased his new role will be based in Cardiff. 'I can't wait to move back to South Wales, people are just much friendlier,' he said. ... Filming started on Torchwood last month and Gareth will be on set from May 24. His character will be introduced with a small part in the first episode, before featuring in all 13-parts of the drama series. Torchwood will premiere on BBC3 in the autumn and it is then expected to be shown on BBC1. The series will star John Barrowman as Captain Jack, a character from the last series of Dr Who."

Finally... Outpost correspondent Colin Doney wrote to us to tell us, 'Filming took place on Monday 3 July in the Fat Cat bar on Greyfriars Road. The bat was hired for filming for the whole day starting at around 7am. My friend, the deputy manager was used as an extra, filming with Sato and a friend. The storyline apparently revolved around a necklace that made her read other people's thoughts. My friend had a line to say, which was recorded to be used as a 'voice over' thought. Filming finished at around teatime.'

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Matthew Godley, Mark Donovan, Paul Hayes)
TARDIS Report: Massive Two-Week Press Catch-Up
July 24, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Hello Outpost readers... the following is a catch-up of the media and press items over the past two weeks. (Your editor has neglected the press column while he's been hard at work writing the text for Second Flight: Back To The Vortex II, my second book about the new Doctor Who series, due out in November from Telos Publishing). On with the report...

Broadcasting and Ratings

Friday 21 July saw a double-bill repeat of Army of Ghosts and Doomsday on BBC3. At 9.05pm, the channel's third rerun of Doomsday took the number one spot in the Multichannel overnights, with 421,000 viewers. Army of Ghosts, from 8.20pm, had 232,100 viewers.

Series Two in the US in October? Cinescape reports that the series will make its second season debut alongside the new season of "Battlestar Galactica" when the latter returns to the Sci Fi Channel in October. These are currently just rumors, but Outpost Gallifrey is aware that the Sci Fi Channel is very interested in the second season (including the Christmas Special) and this is almost certainly the date it would appear, but no official word yet. Also, US fans take note: Much Ado About Nothing starring Billie Piper debuts on BBC America on Sunday August 6; it also stars Martin Jarvis ("Vengeance on Varos"). And the New York Times reports that Casanova starring David Tennant will appear on the PBS network in the US in the forthcoming season as part of the long-running "Masterpiece Theatre" anthology series, though it will be cut due to concerns about 'indecency' and PBS funding.

Forbidden Planet Storybook Signing

The Forbidden Planet story in London will feature a special signing of the Doctor Who Storybook 2007 signing with guests including series writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts, Rob Shearman and Tom MacRae, voice artist Nicholas Briggs, artists Alistair Pearson and Martin Geraghty and DWM editor Clay Hickman. The event takes place in the London store on Saturday 12th August from 1-2pm. For more details visit the store website.

The Media Guardian List

On 17 July the Media Guardian published its annual list of the top 100 people in the British media. Russell T Davies came in at No. 28 in the list, down 14 places on last year, with his entry reading: "With the triumphant return of Doctor Who, Russell T Davies single-handedly revived family TV drama. Having just finished a second series since its return last year, Davies restored BBC1's Saturday night ratings and started a trend for retro drama that will continue with Robin Hood, also on BBC1, and Sky One's remake of The Prisoner. Davies was rewarded this year with three Bafta TV awards for Doctor Who, including best drama and the Dennis Potter award for outstanding writing. 'We were told that bringing it back would be impossible, that we would never capture this generation of children,' said Davies. 'But we did it.' Praised by critics as warm, witty and, of course, scary, Doctor Who has also become one of the most effective satires on television, passing comment on everything from hospital superbugs to the war on Iraq. Davies has signed up for at least two more seasons of Doctor Who, and will oversee spin-off series Torchwood, starring John Barrowman as fellow time traveller Captain Jack. More intriguingly, perhaps, he will also return to Queer as Folk territory with a project dubbed MGM (More Gay Men) with Nichola Schindler's Red Productions. Davies has said he would like to see it on BBC1. 'I'm quite aware that the BBC hasn't got a big gay series, and it should.'" Doctor Who also gets a mention in the entry for BBC Head of Drama Jane Tranter, at No. 88 in the list: "Jane Tranter is the most powerful commissioning editor in TV drama, responsible for output across all four of the BBC's TV channels, from BBC1 to BBC4. If the return of Doctor Who was her most conspicuous hit, it has been supplemented by the likes of Life on Mars and Bleak House on BBC1, Rome and the Virgin Queen on BBC2, and BBC3's Funland and Casanova... She will attempt to follow up the success of Doctor Who in the Saturday teatime slot with the resurrection of another drama family favourite, Robin Hood." As an additional point of interest, on the panel who came up with this year's list was erstwhile BBC One Controller Lorraine Heggessey. Also reported at The Stage.

Future Series Billie Piper Rumour

Yahoo News reported mid-month that "Billie Piper's character Rose Tyler is set to return to the BBC cult classic Doctor Who at Christmas, despite making a dramatic exit at the end of the show's second series on Saturday. A production insider tells the Sunday Express newspaper, 'Billie Piper's Rose had already been written in to the Christmas special before it was decided she should leave the show.' A BBC spokesperson refuses to deny the leak: 'I can't confirm or deny that story about Billie Piper. What I can say is there are lots of surprises in it. It is Doctor Who after all. There is already a lot of speculation about the Christmas episode, you can make your own conclusions.'"

Doomsday Press Wrap-Up

The 10 July edition of The Guardian newspaper in the UK devoted its regular page 2 'Today on the Web' feature to Doctor Who. 'Today on the Web' features snippets from various blogs on a topical issue of the moment, and this edition, compiled by the paper's Ben Rooney, carries various online thoughts on Saturday's episode, accompanied by a publicity photo of Piper and Tennant. Some of the comments recorded include, 'Hurrah, no more Rose! I'm sorry. It had to be said. She is sort of brilliant but she is also completely wrong and I don't buy the Doctor/Rose love for a second.' 'I'm sorry to see her go. I remember the days in which she just produced horrible, horrible pop records.' 'It's probably downhill from here (among the male audience in their 20s anyway)' 'I've said it before and I'll say it again: it would never work. She's 20 and he's 900.' In addition, the paper's TV reviewer, Sam Wollaston, mentions that: 'There wasn't really anything else on the main channels, apart from a few repeats. Oh, and the climax of Dr Who, but the BBC wouldn't send me a tape of that in case I leaked Billy Piper's (sic) demise to the news desk. Which is why I'm having to watch the Community Channel.' Also, on the Guardian's website, a blog entry from their journalist Stephen Brook analyzed the episode and series two in general, and even links to the Outpost Gallifrey review page for 'Army of Ghosts'.

Charlie Brooker wrote an article for the Guardian about the departure of Piper (his "Screen Burn" column), in which he said, "When it was first announced that the revived Doctor's travelling companion was to be played by Piper, a former kiddywink popstar, I rolled my eyes so violently I found myself staring backward into my own skull. It's Bonnie Langford all over again, I figured. How pitifully wrong I was. Anyone who thinks she's been anything other than excellent is a brick-hearted stump of a being. Effortlessly balancing feistiness and charm, vulnerability and goofiness, Billie Piper out-acted almost everyone else on television. Out-sassed them too. She's extremely good-looking in a most peculiar way: her eyes, mouth and nostrils all seem to be competing to see which can look biggest on her face. At times she resembles a Spitting Image caricature of herself. It shouldn't work, but it does. You'll miss her when she's gone. As for how she's gone, I've no idea - at the time of writing, no preview tapes of tonight's finale were available. I like that. Makes for more of an event. Not enough of them these days. As for series two as a whole... well, it's been bumpy." He also provided a "wish list" that included "Curb the zaniness," "Enough deja vu already," "More two-parters," "More episodes directed by Euros Lyn," and "More scary monsters". And "Stop the continuity announcers talking over the end credits so we can hear the theme tune properly!"

The Express on 9 July, on page 41, the paper's TV reviewer Matt Bayliss casts his eye over 'Doomsday' in a piece entitled 'Farewell to Doctor's girl.' Says Bayliss: 'We should probably salute Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) for deciding to save the world instead of sticking with her time-travelling sweetheart Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday). But in the midst of the public mourning over Rose's departure, spare a thought for her boyfriend, the ever-faithful Mickey (Noel Clarke). Not only did he put up with her being absent for several centuries, he also refrained from thumping the Doctor (David Tennant), even though the bloke had blatantly pinched his girl from under his nose. Still, he did have a lot on his plate, as the Cybermen faced off the Daleks to see who could destroy the world faster. There were shades of the chilly rivalry between Coronation Street's Annie Walker and Ena Sharples as the robo-villains traded catty insults. If only they'd tried a spot of co-operation, they could have succeeded in whatever they were after, this being, in the case of the Cybermen, turning the whole population into more Cybermen, and for the Daleks, the release of a million or so particularly nasty Daleks from prison. But then, for plot reasons best explained by someone under the age of 10, all the evil-doers were sucked up by some sort of cosmic vacuum cleaner and Rose ended up stuck in an alternative reality sobbing her heart out, because she'd never again ride pillion with her favourite Time Lord. In the meantime the world, of course, was saved from destruction and the Cybermen, thankfully, lost their chance to implement more of their policies. 'Cybermen will remove fear and sex and class and creed,' they droned to their human captives. 'You will become like us.' Sounds suspiciously like New Labour.'

The 9 July Independent On Sunday said, "It's the end of an era. Last night, Rose Tyler left Doctor Who. For weeks, since the confirmation that Billie Piper was leaving, the internet has buzzed with speculation about the manner of her departure. Granted, we'll speculate about pretty much anything on the internet, but the character of Rose has an appeal that stretches beyond fandom. In all that's been said about Who's triumphant revival, one thing's clear: Everybody Loves Rose. Well, almost everybody. I should point out that, at the time of writing this, Rose's fate was still shrouded in secrecy. The crew weren't giving anything away, each new rumour contradicted the last, and when you phoned the BBC preview-tapes department they just put on a bad accent and pretended they were a kebab shop. She could be alive, she could be dead, or she could have turned into a glowing, floaty Bad Wolf demigod thing and gone off to play with the Eternals (the immortal transdimen-sional superbeings, not the mid-Nineties girl group). But whatever her fate, fans across the country were praying she got a good send off. The role of the Doctor's companion has too often been an unrewarding one: frequently little more than Dad-attracting eye candy, who spent her time getting captured in daft ways before being jettisoned in strange and terrifying far-flung places (an intergalactic leper colony, E-space, Aberdeen). Not any more' Rose was every bit the Doctor's equal in the buffed-up - and Buffied-up - new Who."

The Times on July 10: "By the time you read this on Monday morning you will, in all likelihood, have seen the series finale of Doctor Who -- eight million people, after all, tuned into the penultimate episode. I, too, will have been one of those breathless viewers. I haven't missed an episode yet. I love Doctor Who. I couldn't love it any more if I had carried it for nine months inside my womb, and then taken care, over 18 years, to raise it as a clever, courteous and disturbingly hot child, with a penchant for tweed and time-travel. However, as I write this on Friday morning, I haven't actually seen the last episode of Doctor Who. The BBC, apparently wary of leaks, isn't giving out any preview tapes. It claims that no one at the BBC has seen it, as they want the contents to be a surprise for everyone. This leaves anyone on Friday morning -- ie, me --knowing very little about what will happen in the episode, save that the Daleks and the Cybermen will tinnily duke it out for Earth, and Billie Piper will die/be stranded somewhere, unrescueable by the Doctor. Nonetheless, merely from this micro-nugget of information, I feel secure in my duty to slag the show off. I do this, you understand, as a hyper-committed fan -- a fan who has cried during every episode, and watched the two-parter Impossible Plant/The Satan Pit five times. But this series has, despite the moving efforts of David Tennant and the quite glorious Billie Piper, been a disappointment. Indeed, it's been the worst kind of disappointment -- something that promises to be absolutely mind-blowing, and then fizzles out at the last minute, like a wet firework."

The Daily Mail on 10 July: "Along, I imagine, with most of the population, I was distraught on Saturday night to witness the final parting of ways between Billie Piper's Rose Tyler and David Tennant's Doctor Who. In fact, I don't think I've seen anything so affecting outside the movies of Joan Crawford or Ingrid Bergman. Rose and the Doctor met on a Norwegian beach to say goodbye but she was not allowed to touch him. Remember the lump in the throat when Bergman had to say farewell, for ever, to Gary Cooper in For Whom The Bell Tolls? Well, it was very much like that. The first half-hour or so of Doomsday, the last episode in the present series of Doctor Who, hardly lived up to the rest of the finale, smothering us with tedious technical questions of parallel universes... But it sprang into life with the war between these familiar aliens, while humans (except for a few soldiers, Rose, her parents and boyfriend Mickey) cowered in their homes. ... This has been a memorable series, with the feisty Rose and the charismatic Doctor winning our affections. But having lost Christopher Eccleston as one Doctor, and now Rose, can the next series possibly rise to similar heights?"

icWales featured a collection of children's comments on the finale, including Caitlin Ray, nine, from Cardiff: "I thought Saturday's episode was brilliant - the best episode yet." Euay Ray, seven: "It was amazing. It was even better than the episodes with my favourite monster, the Ood, in it." William Reynolds, twelve: "It was brilliant; I just liked it really loads. I've liked Doctor Who ever since it started up again last year, and I thought David Tennant was funnier and wittier as the Doctor than the last one. When the new series starts I'll be looking forward to seeing the new assistant and I would like K-9 to come back as well."

The Herald on 10 July: "Sob. Gasp. Doctor Who? Doctor Boo-hoo. Rose Tyler is no more. So. Farewell then, Billie Piper. With your curiously alien rhomboidal face. And those eyebrows of yours that – in an almost supernatural way – never matched the colour of your hair. You done been gone. Tardisappeared. Poor Billie. But didn't you sign off in style? ... During your stint on Doctor Who, I'm fairly sure we got to know the real you, Billie (or Leiane). It's almost certainly true that we will learn no more about you from reading the autobiography – for which you signed a six-figure contract – due for publication in autumn this year. But what is sure, Billie, is that you were a deucedly feisty sidekick for the Doctor. A can-do, gung-ho kinda gal. A jolly good sport. And never too thin, in the way – tragically – that all too many young women are on the telly these days."

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph: "Go on, admit it you did have a lump in your throat on Saturday night didn't you? We've been starved of classic TV moments recently but I have to say that the final episode of Doctor Who was up there with the best. However you look at it, the Time Lord saying goodbye forever to Rose Tyler was brilliantly done. As someone who wasn't convinced at first by the arrival of David Tennant as the Doctor I was completely won over by the end. And Billie Piper has been a revelation as his spiky sidekick. She's certainly come a long way since her teeny pop days. It's a shame she won't be around for the next series."

The South Wales Echo on 10 July reported that "Dr Who bosses thanked Cardiff for putting up with them filming in the city with a free cinema showing of the new series' final episode. And the Echo was at the special screening on Saturday to speak to fans who won free tickets - and to hear their thoughts on the end of Billie Piper's reign as sidekick Rose Tyler. It was well known that Billie was to leave the show, but BBC Wales refused to say if she had been scripted to be killed-off. But in a gripping episode, the second of a two-part epic... Billie did indeed say goodbye - but didn't quite die. The emotional farewell came as the pair were separated into parallel worlds, never to see each other again."

icWales said, "An alien invasion that threatened to destroy mankind was foiled from Canary Wharf last week. The scenes of mass destruction were watched by millions of Dr Who fans in the final scenes of the latest BBC series. ... The tower was chosen by producers of the cult show to be the base for the Torchwood Institute - set up to protect planet Earth against alien aggressors - although none of the scenes were actually shot on the estate."


The Daily Mail on 9 July said, "Doctor Who actor David Tennant looks to have been spending rather too much time in the Tardis. When he ventured onto the beach for the first time on a Mediterranean break with his girlfriend, the actress Sophia Myles, it looked like the first time his skin had seen the sun in years. Tennant, 35, who has won rave reviews at the 10th time lord in the popular BBC series, looked a ghostly white as he gingerly paddled in the sea alongside his equally pasty-looking lover. Curiously, these pictures were taken at the end of Tennant's week-long break. It turns out that every day, he would lie in the sun but wear extremely high factor sun cream. Producers of the show evidently do not want the actor to play havoc with the series' continuity by suddenly appearing on screen with a deep sun tan. The couple were staying at a four-star hotel on the north coast of Sardinia. Tennant spent the afternoon lazing on the beach reading a Doctor Who script and listening to his iPod before taking to the water."

The print edition of the Daily Express took its weekly look at the OK Magazine Celebrity Chart on 12 July - compiled from showbusiness coverage in the Express itself, sister paper the Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday and OK!. The chart found Billie Piper in No. 1 position, with the description: 'A nation mourns England's Rose as the Doctor's ultimate companion checks out of the Tardis in the Dr Who series two finale.' Beside the chart is a small article: Doctor Who bids farewell to Billie. Says the article, 'Doctor Who's glamorous sidekick Billie Piper has left the Tardis for good. In the final episode of the BBC1 series, the Doctor and Rose fought Cybermen and Daleks. BBC chiefs have already unveiled Freema Agyeman, 27, as the Doctor's assistant Martha Jones. She starts filming later this month, with sources claiming the pair's first storyline will see them fight monsters from Mars.'

The 19 July edition of the Daily Star says that "She might not be returning to Doctor Who in any hurry but Billie Piper has admitted she's desperate to work with both Chris Eccleston and David Tennant again soon. . . The 23-year-old said: 'I've been trying to persuade them both to do a cameo appearance in one of my new projects so fingers crossed.' A veritable galactic menage-atrois. . . "

Maureen Lipman (The Wire in "The Idiot's Lantern") featurs in an Internet interview with BBC Norfolk in which she discusses her experiences working on the series.

The South Wales Evening Post reported that Russell T Davies "has been handed a honorary fellowship from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The Swansea-born man behind the smash hit series was joined by Neath opera star Katherine Jenkins in picking-up the award at the Cardiff college. They, along with former royal harpist Catrin Finch, were all honoured for their outstanding contribution to the arts and entertainment. RWCMD principal Edmond Fivet said: 'We are delighted to have such high-calibre people accepting fellowships from the college.'"

The BBC press office discusses the production of "The Sound of Music" produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian -- and the show that is currently "giving one plucky wannabe the chance of a lifetime -- to win a professional lead role in a West End musical." One of the judges is John Barrowman, who it says "has become a household name in recent months following his role as Captain Jack in BBC ONE's Doctor Who and his skating routines on ITV's Dancing On Ice and is set to star in BBC Three's new British sci-fi crime thriller from Russell T Davies - Torchwood - later this year. However TV is just one side to John's acting talent as he has been a stalwart leading actor in musical theatre throughout his long and busy career. ... His experience as a leading man on the stage gives him perfect insight into what someone will need to bring to the role of Maria."

CBBC Newsround has been running a children's "Who is your fave Doctor Who?" poll. As of 24 July, David Tennant (81.5%) leads Christopher Eccleston (18.5%).

Colin Baker is likely to appear on the Little Britain Series 3 DVD set in a deleted scene. The season can now be pre-ordered through Amazon UK and is set to be released on Monday, September 4th.

Katy Manning has won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Miss Harrington in the independent short When Darkness Falls at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

Writer Paul Cornell ("Father's Day" and an upcoming series three episode) is writing "Wisdom," a new six-issue limited comic series from MAX, according to Newsarama. "Mark Millar tripped and fell in front of a television on the night my episode of Doctor Who ['Father's Day'] was broadcast last year. At his age, falls are becoming, you know, an issue. Thanks to the angle his head was jammed at against the sofa, he was unable to get away, and watched the whole thing, and, still in a befuddled state, told everyone he liked it. The guys at SFX Magazine were amongst his victims, put us in touch, and I then viciously exploited his generosity to pitch a few things to Marvel. There's nobody as good at networking as Millar. You could parachute him into conflict zones and... well, okay, the actual conflict would get worse... but you'd find him having drinks on the embassy balcony with all the major players," Cornell explained to Newsarama, when asked how he got across the Atlantic Ocean to work with the House of Ideas on Wisdom. "Wisdom was [editor] Nick Lowe's idea. He's splendidly filthy, by the way. Almost British. He sent me a huge wadge of photocopies of Pete's backstory, but what he didn't know was that I was already a Pete fan. My wife's very into Kitty Pryde, and got me back into comics while we were courting, years ago, and the Pryde and Wisdom mini-series was one of the first things I bought. That bit in Excalibur where Pete freaks out the psychic interrogator with how nasty his past is: one of my favorite moments in comics." The full story about the comic can be found at Newsarama's site.

The Ameerican Theater Wing Downstage Center podcast has recently posted an archived interview with John Barrowman, recorded in 2004, in which he mostly discusses his broadway and movie career, but at the end he does mention Doctor Who briefly, saying he'll be 'one of the main characters'. He also speaks in his native Scottish accent.

The Loughborough Echo on 14 July reports, "Doctor Who fans were left delighted last weekend when the seventh doctor, Sylvester McCoy, stopped by in Loughborough to launch De Lisle Catholic Science College's science day. The event, which was attended by nearly 2,000 people, was officially opened by Mr McCoy and Charnwood Mayor and Mayoress Coun Ken and Maureen Pacey. Mr McCoy also stayed on hand to help out at a question and answer presentation and sign autographs. Claire MacRory, organiser of the event, said: 'He was great and spent lots of time with everyone. We were really pleased to have him join in our day.' Joining 'The Doctor' at the event was a replica Dalek and a model TARDIS. A member of staff also got into the swing of things by dressing as a Cyberman."

The Telegraph on 15 July interviewed Camille Coduri: "Which was your best holiday? It was three joyous weeks on the Greek island of Sifnos, in the Cyclades. I went with my husband in 1990, before we were married. We were young and free, as we hadn't yet had our children, and it was just so relaxing. After two weeks you feel relaxed but after three you are almost Zen-like. I love lazy holidays. And the best hotel you've stayed in? Seventeen years ago, when I was filming King Ralph with John Goodman, I stayed at the Wood Hall Hotel in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. It was stunning, luxurious and utterly beautiful. It also has idyllic grounds with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Which was your worst holiday? I was 10, nearly 11, and my parents decided to take me to Italy. We caught a train to Venice through the French Alps and the idea was to stay for six or seven weeks. But from the minute I arrived I kept saying I wanted to go home. I was a real telly addict back then and I missed it. Even though we were in gorgeous surroundings I was a miserable little brat - I also think I was a bit spoilt. Anyway, after eight days they gave in and we came home. My poor parents!"

The Hornsey and Crouch End Journal says that "Television's Dr Who - alias actor David Tennant - landed in the playground of Ashmount Primary School, Hornsey Lane, Archway, to open the school's summer fair on Saturday. Pupils, parents and Dr Who fans who had been tipped off about the visit had queued outside the school from early morning. Once the door opened, the two parents manning the official merchandise stall were besieged by a queue eager to buy autographed memorabilia being sold to raise cash for school funds. Lisa Peck, who was running the stall, said: 'The queue has been astronomical, we have been selling out of everything.' By 12.40pm, it was advised over the tannoy that people should not spend any more time queuing in the sunshine waiting for a piece of the Who. There was nothing left, and a few grumbles could be heard. David Tennant looked slightly bewildered by the sheer scale of the fuss he had whipped up, said: 'I hope you all have a great day. The school deserves all our support, so please buy lots of raffle tickets and let's raise lots of money.'" Also reported in the Islington Gazette.

The BBC press office says of the David Tennant drama "Recovery," "Alan and Tricia Hamilton (David Tennant and Sarah Parish) are very happy. He's the head of a building firm and on top of his game. She's a part-time beautician and mother to their two sons. One day their perfect, if unremarkable, life is torn apart when a last-minute decision to pop out for a quick drink with a colleague sees Alan step out in front of a passing car. The resulting accident leaves him in a deep coma but with remarkably few physical injuries. Desperately worried about him, Tricia is delighted when he comes round -- only to discover that the man she loved has disappeared. His behaviour's changed, he's lost all of his inhibitions and he veers from angry and frustrated to vulnerable and childlike. Simple tasks like making toast and getting dressed are beyond him, he's unable to hold down the job he loves and he plays and laughs with his sons as if he's a child. Alan's behaviour puts his relationship with Tricia under intolerable pressure. She longs to find the husband she loves in there somewhere -- but fears she may have lost him forever. Recovery is written by Tony Marchant (Kid In The Corner, Holding On) and partly inspired by research he undertook with the charity Headway, Essex." BBC News meanwhile reports that "David Tennant, the latest Dr Who took time out to talk to Breakfast this morning about his new role in a drama this autumn and his plans for future travel in the Tardis. David is currently filming for 'Recovery', a two-part drama about a couple who have to learn to cope after an accident in which he suffers a debilitating brain injury. Our presenter Susanna Reid went to meet him on the set to find out about the new part he was playing and get his thoughts on the future for Dr Who. David said his role in 'Recovery' had meant quite a bit of research. He had read about and met people who had suffered from brain injury. 'Each instance of brain injury is very unique, but you can get a general sense of what it might be through talking to people. You can't really imagine what it must be like to be married to somebody who becomes a different human being,' said David. Our brain is our personality, is our thoughts, is our world and if that gets knocked, even a couple of degrees sideways, you become something fundamentally different.' David confirmed he would be doing a second series of Dr Who next year. He said: 'We had some great people in this last series. It seems to attract people from all spectrums of the acting world. We've got Peter Kay and we've got Pauline Collins and everything in between. 'I had a very good time last year and hope I have a very good time next year and after that, we'll see what happens.'"

Stuntman Tim Condren died on the 19th of July in a London hospital. He was in the Doctdor Who serials "The Time Meddler" as a Saxon, "The Web of Fear" as a soldier and "Day of the Daleks" as a guerilla soldier.

Australia Series Coverage

Series Two continues to air in Australia and New Zealand, and has received quite a lot of press from the papers there.

On Australian ratings: "The Christmas Invasion" came 48th in the Australian weekly ratings with 1.033m viewers in the five capital cities and was third for the week on ABC according to press reports. "New Earth" also rated well for the ABC; it got 911,000 viewers in the five main capitals according to the Sydney Morning Herald News Blog. The blog also confirmed that Doctor Who again won the national timeslot on Saturday 15 July.

The ABC Hobart website says, "It's not often you get to celebrate Christmas in July, but last night 60 lucky ABC listeners got to enjoy the festive season with a sneak preview of the new Doctor Who series starring David Tennant as the trusty Time Lord. With three remotely-controlled Daleks patrolling the perimeter, special guests for the evening included Adrian Franklin from ABC TV's The Collectors, the former President of the Doctor Who Club of Australia, Dwayne Bunney, and Doctor Who Producer, Phil Collinson who spoke with Paul McIntyre and Craig Wellington. Phil told Paul that as Producer, he is the first and last person on the job, coming in at the start to help work out how best to realise the concepts of Executive Producer Russell T. Davies. Being a fan of the show, Phil said he felt very privileged at being involved in the revival: 'We wanted to make it because we enjoyed it ourselves as children which meant we went the extra mile, we looked after the legacy.'"

The Friday 28th July edition of the ABC programme Collectors is a Doctor Who special. It screens at 8pm and features a Doctor Who Collector - Edwin Patterson from Melbourne, on the obsessive collector segment, a look into collecting TV themed merchandise, a auction segment where a Dalek is Auctioned, and a look at a meeting at the Doctor Who club. The mystery object is also Doctor Who related. The ABC website has details.

The Sydney Morning Herald said of "The Christmas Invasion," "This series opener is something of a transitional episode, screening in Britain as a Christmas special, four months before the rest of the series went to air. Christmas specials are an odd tradition with no real equivalent in Australia (due to Christmas falling in the middle of our non-ratings period). They can be terribly gimmicky but there are honorable exceptions, including a Shameless telemovie in 2004 and the peerless conclusion to The Office. This is not as strong as either of them, but it works well as an introduction to the new doctor (David Tennant), as Rose (Billie Piper), viewers and the doctor himself all grapple with the same question: who is the new Doctor Who? 'I don't know who I am,' the doctor says at one point, pulling himself together after an exhausting reincarnation process. 'Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy?' It's a wonderful moment - self-referential rather than reverential - demonstrating how confident writer Russell T. Davies is with the show's legacy. Tennant looks like being a fabulous Doctor Who. He is funny and sarcastic. And sexy. He retains the cocky, slightly disconnected aura of Christopher Eccleston while bringing a spiky vulnerability to the character." Of "New Earth": "Chavs: a British slang term referring to those who wear bling and brand-name clothing such as Burberry and Adidas, come from an uneducated and uncultured background and tend to congregate around fast-food outlets, bus stops, car parks or other shopping areas. Think Little Britain's Vicky Pollard. This definition will be useful to fully appreciate this occasionally hilarious episode which sees the return of the vain and villainous Lady Cassandra (Zoe Wanamaker), still no more than a mini-trampoline of human skin in need of constant moisturising. The Doctor has been summoned to New Earth in the year 5 23, where he and Rose find a hospital run by feline nurses who seem to have conquered every disease known to man. But there's a dark secret down below and we end up with more zombies than a Shaun of the Dead convention. The script by Russell T. Davies is full of camp humour and the chemistry between the Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper) fairly crackles. 'Where are we going?' she asks as the Tardis wheezes off on another adventure. 'Further than we've ever gone before,' he says with a twinkle in his eye. Ooooh." On "Tooth and Claw": "Was Queen Victoria a werewolf? Anything is possible in the topsy-turvy world of the Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper). Tonight, in their efforts to send the Tardis to a 1979 concert by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, they end up in 1879 Scotland, travelling to Balmoral castle with Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins). The pair spends the night with the queen at Torchwood Estate where, as legend has it, a werewolf hunts by the light of the full moon. However, the monarch has been led into a trap. Tonight, there's a full moon and the estate has been taken over by a group of kung-fu monks who plan to use the wolf to attack the monarch. Can the Doctor and Rose protect the British throne from a hairy future? As they run through darkened corridors only one thing is certain. We are amused."

The Brisbane Courier Mail said, "Phil Collinson takes it in his stride when told that I shed a tear while watching an episode of the second series of the new and much improved Doctor Who. In fact, as producer of the show, he seems to take it as a huge compliment, which it is. 'It was supposed to be very poignant,' he says. We're discussing a forthcoming episode, School Reunion, in which the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, played by David Tennant, is reunited with Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen). She was last seen as the companion of the fourth incarnation of the Doctor (Tom Baker) way back in 1976. In School Reunion, the immortally youthful Doctor is confronted by his now middle-aged former companion. ... If you're unfamiliar with the nerdish peculiarities of the Doctor Who saga you've probably stopped reading by now, but the legion of long-term fans will recognise this episode as a special chapter in one of television's most enduring shows. It's also an excellent example of the emotional depth to be found in the revived series, which combined with smart scripts, snappy dialogue and vastly improved production values makes the new Doctor Who accessible to newcomers and diehard fans. Don't just take my word for it. This was officially recognised in May this year, when the show took the Best Drama Series at the British Academy Television Awards. 'It's one of those shows that can appeal to everyone,' Collinson says. 'School Reunion is a good expression of the duality of the show. The kids watch it as a simple drama, then there are whole other levels for older viewers who remember Sarah Jane. The show as a whole talks about everything that affects people, politics, relationships, the environment . . .'"

Hawke's Bay Today in New Zealand spoke briefly to director James Hawes ("New Earth"). "Q: Was there a brief to make this series better? A: No, I think what comes off last year is it has been a bigger success than anyone dared hope, and the first note from Russell as the major creative force on it was that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But we also know that more of the same isn't quite enough. It's got to be at least as good and better because people will be coming back expecting it to start at the pitch that episode 13 left it at. Q: Does it help having done series one? A: We've all learnt a massive amount from the first series. There are established relationships, we've learnt from our mistakes. Q: How do you feel about working with a brand new Doctor? A: I am tremendously excited about David Tennant. Chris has been a fabulous doctor but you also knew that David was absolutely poised to inhabit his skin."

The Sunday Age said of "Tooth and Claw," "After getting off to a slowish start, the new series of Dr Who really hits its straps this week with a lovely blend of the old and the new. In the grounds of an isolated manor house (an old Dr Who favourite) a group of local monks strip off to reveal themselves as Ninja-style fighting dudes, executing some high-octane Matrix moves. Toss in Pauline Collins as a dimply Queen Victoria (right) a full moon rising over the moors, a most unusual assassination attempt, and something very nasty in a cage in the basement, and all the silliness, laughs, thrills, spills and unlikely mumbo-jumbo we've come to expect from this classic series are on full display. The jury is still out, though, on some key issues. David Tennant is good as the tenth Doctor - but is he as cool as Christopher Ecclestone? Will Rose change into a slightly less appalling outfit by the next episode? "


The Swindon Advertiser says, "Yet another book about Swindon starlet Billie has been published. Billie Piper, by Chris Stevens, has just come out in paperback and promises to unlock 'the rollercoaster life of Britain's hottest star'. It is the third book about Billie to have been announced in recent months. An autobiography was announced in May, for which Billie received a six-figure advance. There is also a forthcoming tome by author Sean Smith, who has been to Swindon recently to research Billie's past. Having broken through as a 15-year-old popstar in 1998, Billie's stock is high again after her successful appearances as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who." The Independent, meanwhile, on 21 July revealed, "Two months ago, Billie Piper surprised everyone when she announced, at the tender age of 23, it was time to write her autobiography. After signing the reported six-figure deal with publishers Hodder & Stoughton, a source close to the Doctor Who actress, left, was quoted as saying: 'Billie wants to start work immediately. She's been offered a ghostwriter but she wants to have a crack at writing it herself.' But in between her busy filming schedule, Piper has clearly found things tougher than first thought. In an apparent volte-face, she's decided to take her publishers up on their original offer and has enrolled the services of respected crime writer Gay Longworth. 'The book is due out in October, in time for the Christmas market. With the deadline ever-looming, Billie felt she was going to need a little help,' I'm told."

Amazon UK says that the first individual disc of the first series of Torchwood is due out on 26 November in UK PAL format. The DVD will be released by BBC Video in conjunction with 2 Entertain. Further volumes will include the other episodes of the first series.

The next special edition from Doctor Who Magazine is The Series Two Companion, which is released on 10 August. Like last year's special, this will include Russell T Davies's outline for the second series, as well as script extracts and deleted scenes. The Doctor Who Storybook 2007 is also starting to appear in the shops.

Justin Richards, range consultant for the BBC Books Doctor Who line, recently spoke about the range - and the purchase of BBC Books by Random House - in Birmingham. He said that authors on the current new series range of books have to be people the production team is comfortable with; that Random House are intent on continuing to publish the books (though he isn't certain if he'll be the one commissioning and editing them); that BBC Books know what they want to do with the "past Doctor" novels but no decisions have been reached; and there will "almost certainly" be adult-focused Torchwood books, not edited by Richards.

The official Doctor Who website reports that "On Monday 24 July, BBC DVD will be releasing two classic six-part CBBC serials written by Russell T Davies - his first TV drama work. 1991's Dark Season focuses on strange happenings in a comprehensive school. Why is the mysterious Mr Eldritch's company suddenly giving a free computer to every pupil? Who is the sinister Miss Pendragon? And how can three ordinary schoolkids stop them? 1993's Century Falls tells the story of a lonely young girl called Tess Hunter, who moves with her mother to a strange isolated village. There she discovers a boy with weird powers and a horrifying secret that's haunted the village for forty years."

Sneak magazine recently had the Series 2 Volume 3 DVD as its "DVD Of The Week", giving it 4 stars and writing: "What's It About?: The sexy Doctor (David) and his sidekick Rose (Billie) are off saving the world again, and this time they're forced to fight off the evil Cybermen, who are stealing everyone's bodies, and tackle an alien who's stalking the streets during the Queen's coronation in 1953. As you do. Any good?: Three episodes of our favourite Saturday night show and David too? Bring it on."

TechDigest TV says, "If you want to cash in with TV-related merchandising, timing is everything. Unfortunately the Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet is about two weeks too late to coincide with the last Doctor Who episode (which featured these long-time Who villains). Still - if you're a fan of the good Doctor, you are sure to get hours of fun out of this. Stick the Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet on your head and amaze your friends with the voice changing sound and strange light effects. There's essentially three modes for use - the Phrase button throws out 'classic' Cyber-lines (like 'you will be deleted'), the Stun button lets loose the crackle of the deadly electrical stun grip, while the most fun will undoubtedly be the Voice button - where your own phrases are converted into that of the Cybermen, with accompanying flashing blue mouth. Ideal for taking along to a fancy dress party, paired with a grey boiler suit, you can pick the helmet up for around 30 pounds from the usual toy outlets."

The Independent features one of the new Who releases in a review of new children's audio books: "Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket and other titles will delight the many children who can't get enough of the Doctor. Read by David Tennant, they romp along splendidly, generously laced with special effects. Whovians will also enjoy the interview with the episode's writer attached to each story."

Other Press Items

Media Guardian reported on 10 July that "the BBC is considering reviving another cult science fiction show from the man who invented the Daleks: Terry Nation's Survivors. The BBC has confirmed it is in talks with the estate of Mr Nation, a co-creator of Doctor Who, about buying the rights to his 1975 series centred on a post-apocalyptic world peopled by survivors from a devastating plague. The BBC is understood to be hoping to make a new series of six 60-minute episodes. The project is being overseen by inhouse BBC executive producer Sue Hogg and is one of a handful of Doctor Who-related dramas being planned by the corporation."

The South Wales Evening Post on 14 July noted that "Daleks and Cybermen are heading to Swansea - but don't be afraid, they are taking part in BBC Wales' annual festival, The Big Buzz, on Sunday, July 23. The scary Doctor Who monsters will be appearing at the free outdoor concert at the city's National Waterfront Museum, alongside the Doctor's time machine, the Tardis. On stage, singer Shakin' Stevens will be rocking the crowds, alongside Swansea's own The Storys, The Dualers, Gregory Darling, and The Puppini Sisters. The action kicks off at 3pm and will be broadcast live on radio. The event is part of the Swansea Council-led Swansea Bay Summer Festival."

BlogCritics said, "For months, I've been reviewing episodes of a series with which few in the States are familiar. That being said, BBC's Doctor Who is a show everyone should get to know. Some shows become so common that they become less interesting. Thankfully, in Doctor Who, that never happens. But what is this mysterious show that I speak of? What about it is interesting? And why should anyone see it in the first place? The best reason I can give you is that it is a show surrounded in change, both literally and figuratively." The episode suggests DVDs of the classic series for viewing.

The BBC press office says that "A year of 'evolution', 'commitment', 'new collaborations' and 'engagement with audiences' has put BBC Wales in the strongest position ever in its 83-year history according to figures released today. The BBC Wales Annual Review 2005-06 -- which presents a summary of the Broadcasting Council for Wales's assessment of BBC Wales's performance for the year -- shows that spending on BBC Wales programmes has increased to record levels. Money invested in programmes made by BBC Wales for the BBC's UK networks leapt to more than 50m in 2005-06, having tripled in just two years."

The Western Mail on 12 July said, "News that daughter had been invited to a Doctor Who party for an impressively substantial part of Saturday evening was marred only by the announcement that she was expected to go dressed in character. Not expected to by the parents of her party host, clearly. Indeed, they had gone out of their way to explain that they had only put that on the invitation because they were being held at sonic screwdriver point by their son at the time. 'Ignore it, it's only there as a formality,' explained the mum, sensibly aware that the pressure to find a Slithereen costume for an eight- year-old in time for the weekend would doubtless put many parents off. It's one thing throwing together an elf costume for the Christmas show, but pitting your dressing-up skills against the BBC costume department's finest can only lead to disappointment. The whole point, after all, about Daleks, Cybermen and the like is that they are not something you can just throw together at home at the last minute - they are out of this world."

The 14 July installment of the VH1 series I Love the 70's on US cable networks included a reference to Doctor Who. Says our correspondent, "It was only focusing on the 4th Doctor since he was introduced to America via PBS... Mentioned the TARDIS, Cybermen, Daleks and the special effects. No mention of the new series but hey a step in the right direction. Even the wrestler Jericho talked about Doctor Who."

Portsmouth Today says, "The magic of Doctor Who may be over for millions of TV viewers this summer but it will live on for hundreds of local children. The latest series of the cult BBC1 show ended on Saturday but it has inspired a vicar to use the exploits of the time-travelling Doctor to bring the Bible to life. A variety of children's summer holiday clubs are being run by churches at the end of this month and throughout August, giving youngsters fun places to spend their long school break. To help inspire the youngsters at the holiday club run by St James's Church in Emsworth, the Rev Tom Kennar will dress up as the Doctor. Taking his cue from the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, incarnations of the famous Gallifreyan, the curate will spend the week-long event travelling in time to meet Biblical characters, including Moses, David, Jonah and John the Baptist."

The South Wales Echo says that "A south Wales youngster who has his sights set on designing Daleks has been testing out his latest invention at a junior robot wars. Gavin James took his mighty fighting machine, Rage Killer, to battle it out with mini-robots designed and built by pupils from local schools at the annual Micromouse competition hosted by the University of Wales, Newport. 'I love making robots and I'm a big fan of Dr Who,' said 16-year-old Gavin, from Llantarnam. 'At home, I'm building a Dalek with my Dad's help and it would be great to get a job in television, designing robots.' John Sansom, who is a senior lecturer at the university, said: 'We hope this event will help promote engineering technology and inspire youngsters to consider engineering as a possible career path. '"

The Glandwr Area Squawk blog (which describes itself as, 'An online news-and-events resource for Glandwr and the surrounding area') has posted an item concerning the Welsh hip-hop and rap band Goldie Lookin Chain and their support for August's Blue Rock Festival's charity fundraising. Of special interest to Doctor Who fans is this little reference at the end of the story: 'Goldie Lookin Who? Goldie Lookin Chain appeared on BBC3 television on 17 June in Doctor Who Confidential, the weekly documentary that follows Doctor Who on Saturday evenings. The band are noted Who fans.' Glandwr is a little village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and the item can be found at here.

Web column reviews: NowPlayingMag and SyFyPortal review the entire second series; NowPlayingMag reviews "Doomsday"; BlogCritics reviews "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday"; Blogcritics and Eclipse Magazine review the Series One DVD set;

Finally... a brief note about a past series location from our correspondent John Bowman: "Save your soles! Outpost Gallifrey readers wanting to see or dine at Bistro 10 - the restaurant where the Doctor and Margaret 'Slitheen' had their meal in Boom Town - can save themselves a lot of needless traipsing round Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay trying to find it, because it's changed! The venue is now called Bellini's and has gone over to serving purely Italian cuisine rather than the 'universal food' of Bistro 10. It is still owned by the same people who owned Bistro 10."

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver, John Bowman, Adam Kirk, David Traynier, Faiz Rehman, Matt Savelkoul, Brian Spradlin, Tony Mason, Rohan Spong, James Szabo, Margaret Deutsch, Dean Braithwaite, Craig Payst, Chuck Dietz, Mark Donovan, Edwin Patterson, Paul McIntyre, Ben Jolly, and Paul Cornell)
David Maloney
July 22, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Maloney, former Doctor Who director who originally joined the series as a production assistant on "The Rescue" in 1965, died on 18 July in Hampstead. After working on several of the William Hartnell serials for a time, Maloney became the director for the Patrick Troughton serial "The Mind Robber" and directed many classic Doctor Who stories including "The Krotons," the ten-part "The War Games," "Frontier in Space," "Planet of the Daleks," the landmark "Genesis of the Daleks," "The Deadly Assassin" which would cause considerable trouble with the National Viewers and Listeners Association, and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," widely considered as Tom Baker's best serial. He also worked as a director on "Juliet Bravo," "Ivanhoe," "Strike It Rich!" and "Play for Today," as well as producing "The Day of the Triffids" and "Blake's 7".
Audio CD Press Releases
July 21, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Due out from BBC Audiobooks soon, as previously reported, are two audio CD's: the adaptation of The Ark, the William Hartnell serial narrated by Peter Purves, and Doctor Who at the BBC: The Plays, a presentation of three audio plays featuring Doctor Who themes from BBC Radio. The full-sized cover illustration and press release for both are below. (Thanks to BBC Audiobooks)

Doctor Who: The Ark
Released 7 August

William Hartnell’s Doctor faces the Monoids in this original television adventure, being brought to life by stunning sound with narration by Peter Purves.

It’s the distant future, the TARDIS has materialised in a tropical forest. The Doctor, Steven and Dodo are surprised to find that it’s situated inside a vast spaceship where the last survivors form earth are on a 700 year voyage to the planet Refusis II. Accompanying them are their mute, one-eyed servants: the Monoids.

Trouble erupts when Dodo unwittingly spreads her cold amongst the Monoids, proving to be deadly to them; the travellers are accused of sabotage. Suddenly the TARDIS jumps forward in time to the Ark’s future, where the Doctor and his friends make a horrifying discovery. The balance of power has shifted, and humanity is now enslaved by the vengeful Monoid race, who plan to make Refusis their own…

This original television soundtrack adventure contains linking narration by Peter Purves, as well as an additional bonus interview where Purves recalls the making of the original 1966 television serial.

Doctor Who at the BBC: The Plays
Released 4 September

Over the years, Doctor Who has provided the inspiration for a number of original radio plays. Three of them are presented here in their entirety, and each focuses on the effect which Doctor Who has had on the lives of ordinary - and some extraordinary - people.

'Regenerations' by Daragh Carville is a powerful and moving play about a group of six friends who reunite for their annual Doctor Who convention. Set against a backdrop of the Belfast troubles, the play deals with themes of sexuality and love, and features appearances by Tom Baker and Sophie Aldred. ('Regenerations' features some adult themes and language.)

'Blue Veils and Golden Sands' by Martyn Wade tells the story of Delia Derbyshire, the delightful and unusual woman who created the unique sound of the original Doctor Who theme tune.

Finally 'Dalek, I Love You' by Colin Sharpe is a recent BBC7 production. It tells how one young lad's obsession with Doctor Who causes him to meet the girl of his dreams - named Romana...
Doomsday Final Ratings, and Series Two Recap
General TV Series News
July 20, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BARB this week released the official audience data for the week ending 9 July, with the climax of Series Two, Doomsday, outperforming just about everything on UK television that wasn't the World Cup. With the football in a category of its own (average audiences up to 14 million viewers, though that doesn't do justice to some of the peak figures and audience shares achieved), only a single episode of "Coronation Street" managed to outrate Doomsday's 8.22 million. That figure, which includes timeshifted viewings, puts "Doctor Who" in fifth place for the week on BBC One (after four World Cup broadcasts), and eighth for the week across UK television, beating all the remaining episodes of "Coronation Street" and every single edition of "EastEnders". Television audiences were down across the board, apart from the football, with nothing but sport, the two soaps and the Dalek-Cybermen war managing more than 5 million viewers, and the ratings have continued to collapse during the warm weather in the couple of weeks since then (notably for "EastEnders" which last week hit a record low below fourmillion viewers). "Doctor Who" is one of a tiny number of programmes to have its audience hold up in the face of soaring temperatures.

Doctor Who finishes its second series with an average audience of 7.71 million viewers, and an average for the Tenth Doctor (including "The Christmas Invasion") of 7.87 million viewers. The average for Series One was 7.95 million, although that started earlier in the year and so suffered less from the large dips in audiences that occur each summer. A direct comparison between the ten episodes in 2005 and the ten episodes in 2006 that were broadcast at the same time of year gives averages of 7.56 million viewers for Series One and 7.68 million viewers for Series Two. "Doomsday," therefore, ended the series with just 400,000 fewer viewers than had watched "New Earth" back in April, contrasting with a drop for "EastEnders" over the thirteen weeks of 2.44 million -- and the final episode "Doomsday" also saw a significant rise in viewers compared to the departure of the Ninth Doctor in June 2005, which was seen by 6.91 million.

The BARB chart for BBC Three has "Doctor Who" or "Doctor Who Confidential" taking four places in the week's top ten. In ninth position is the Wednesday evening repeat of "The Impossible Planet" (385,000), part of that week's complete rerun of Series Two. In third place is the Friday evening repeat of "Army of Ghosts" (574,000) that brought those repeats to a close. At number two is the Sunday evening showing of "Doomsday" (703,000). In first position is that Saturday's "Doctor Who Confidential" - as Outpost Gallifrey previously reported, the unofficial overnights showed audiences peaking at over a million, one of a tiny number of programmes to achieve that for BBC Three. The final BARB figures show an average audience 1,012,000, that figure making "Doctor Who Confidential" number two in the whole Multichannel chart (behind E4's Lost on 1,039,000), a higher rating than the terrestrial channels could achieve for seven of BBC Two's Top 30 and ten of Five's Top 30.
Series Three Update
General TV Series News
July 20, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue #372 of Doctor Who Magazine, just out on newsstands, has a few updates about Series Three of Doctor Who:

Sheelagh Wells, make-up designer on Series Two, will be replaced by Barbara Southcott, whose previous television credits include this year's "The Chatterley Affair" (directed by James Hawes, director of "School Reunion," "Tooth and Claw" and "The Christmas Invasion"), the recent third series of "Sea of Souls", and the Phil-Collinson-produced "Born and Bred" in 2002.

The director for Block One will be Charles Palmer, who directed episodes of Channel 4's "Ghost Squad" earlier this year and also worked with Phil Collinson on "Linda Green" in 2001. Block One comprises the first two episodes of the series, the first written by Russell T Davies and the second by Gareth Roberts. Other writing credits for the third series have changed, with both Stephen Fry and Matthew Graham now confirmed as dropping out because of other commitments. According to Russell T Davies, "everything's in place" for replacement scripts.

In her exclusive interview with DWM, new companion Freema Agyeman says that she's expecting to see her first script "any day now" (as of the time the magazine went to press), and hints that there may be an explanation of how she appeared in "Army of Ghosts" as a different character.

For more details, pick up issue 372 of Doctor Who Magazine, now on sale.
Torchwood Filming Update
July 20, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#372) carries a brief update of the production of the Torchwood spinoff series. Filming has finished on Block One (episodes 1 and 2), and the second block (episodes 3 and 8) has almost finished. The two episodes in Block Three that will soon be filmed (at press time for DWM) are by Dan McCulloch and Paul Tomalin (writing an episode together) and Chris Chibnall; both will be directed by James Strong, who directed "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" for Doctor Who Series Two. PJ Hammond and Catherine Treganna are the writers for Block Four, which will be directed by Alice Troughton, who has previously directed shows like EastEnders and Holby City and is not related to second Doctor Patrick Troughton. Catherine Treganna has written for EastEnders and Casualty.
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
July 19, 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 July 19, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
Barrowman Returns for Series Three
General TV Series News
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
John Barrowman, who appeared at the London Film and Comic Con on 2 July, announced that he has signed a contract to appear in Series Three of Doctor Who as Captain Jack Harkness, the role he originated in the final five episodes of Series One and will reprise in the forthcoming spinoff series "Torchwood". Barrowman indicated that he would be filming "Torchwood" through October; he noted that after he finishes work on that series in October, which he noted is "just as it's going on air," he will return to Doctor Who through the end of 2006's filming schedule. (No indication if he returns after the holiday recording break, however.) Barrowman also addressed some questions about "Torchwood," saying that the "two years missing" from Jack's memory would be addressed in that series, that he's enjoying filming with his current fellow castmates (including an actor named Gareth, last name unknown, who plays the recurring role of "Lanto") and that the character becomes "a bit darker, a bit more mysterious because he doesn't want to give himself away right off the bat. That's all I'll say. But you'll still like him." A transcript of Barrowman's appearance at the event has been posted by the actor's official website.
More on K9 Series
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
At an appearance this past weekend, K9 creator Bob Baker revealed that the new planned K9 spinoff series would not be animated, but in fact would feature a blend of live-action and CGI: K9 himself would be a CGI creation, but the show would otherwise be recorded in front of cameras. Baker noted that the idea of the series being animated was merely a press rumor but was never intended. Baker stated that scripts had been written (or were being written) for 26 thirty-minute episodes, and a test reel had been completed with footage specially filmed to show the look of the new series. The series is being planned to air in early 2008 and is an independent production with no further ties to the BBC or the Doctor Who property. (Thanks to Nicholas Markwell)
Peter Hawkins
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Actor Peter Hawkins, a long-time voice of the Daleks and Cybermen in the early years of Doctor Who, died on 8 July. Hawkins was one of the original Dalek voices in the serial "The Daleks" that introduced them, and gave his voice to the role in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," "The Space Museum," "The Chase," "Mission to the Unknown," "The Daleks' Master Plan," "The Power of the Daleks" and "The Evil of the Daleks"; he also voiced one of the original Cybermen in "The Tenth Planet" and reprised the vocal role in "The Moonbase," "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and "The Wheel in Space". Hawkins was also well known as the voice of Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men and Captain Pugwash, as well as appearances in many children's programmes including Rainbow and SuperTed, and was one of the voices heard during the first radio series of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". He was 82. An obituary can be found in The Independent with reports in The Stage, UPI. (Image from Reeltime Pictures' "I Was a Doctor Who Monster," courtesy Wikipedia. Thanks to Nick Mellish, Peter Weaver, Paul Hayes, Paul Engelberg, Fred Scoggins)
New Book Covers
General TV Series News
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Amazon UK has released the cover illustrations for the three forthcoming Doctor Who novels due out on 21 September: The Art of Destruction by Stephen Cole, The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker and The Price of Paradise by Colin Brake. Click on each thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.

Army of Ghosts Final Ratings
General TV Series News
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Final ratings for episode twelve of this year's season, Army of Ghosts, which was broadcast on 1 July, have been issued by the BARB: adjusted for time-shifted recording, the episode was watched by 8.19 million people. The episode ranked third for the week in all programs and seventh in individual airings, behind four installments of World Cup coverage and two episodes of "Coronation Street".

Additionally, the episode of Doctor Who Confidential that followed the same night scored 570,000 viewers (fourth overall for the week on BBC and 19th on all non-terrestrial channels), while the Sunday night (2 July) repeat of "Army of Ghosts" was viewed by 756,000 viewers, first for the week on the BBC3 lineup and fifth overall for all non-terrestrial channels. The subsequent Friday night (7 July) reshowing of "Army of Ghosts" also scored 560,000 viewers in the initial overnight ratings reports (with a 4% audience share); this was the highest-ranked Friday night repeat figure for the series to date. (Thanks to Andy Parish and 'Marcus')
Gold Soundtrack Coming
General TV Series News
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a report on the official Doctor Who website, "We're pleased to tell you that Murray Gold's wonderful soundtrack to Doctor Who will be making its way to CD in the near future. BBC Worldwide are working with the composer to release the highlights from his Doctor Who scores on CD." There is no reported release date, but it is likely that the release will contain all of Gold's work on the series to date, including the theme remix, selections from series one and two and "The Christmas Invasion".
Eighth Doctor on the Radio
July 18, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC7 is currently rebroadcasting the adventures of the Eighth Doctor produced by Big Finish and starring Paul McGann. The broadcasts began on Sunday with episode one of "Shada," and will continue with "Storm Warning," "Sword of Orion," "The Stones of Venice," "Invaders from Mars" and "The Chimes of Midnight".
National Television Awards
General TV Series News
July 10, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Early voting has been opened for the 2006 National Television Awards, sponsored by ITV. David Tennant and Billie Piper are among the long list of nominees for Best Actor and Actress, respectively, while "Doctor Who" is once again up for Best Drama. Former Doctor Who actress Bonnie Langford is also on the list for her participation in "Dancing on Ice". The NTA awards preliminary vote carries over to the final vote later in the year as the nominees' list is whittled down, with the presentation of the awards to take place in November. Doctor Who was the big winner at last year's NTA awards when the series took Best Drama and the leads, Piper and Christopher Eccleston, were given Best Actress and Actor awards.
The Inside Story
July 9, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Amazon.co.uk has posted the cover illustration and blurb for the forthcoming BBC Books release Doctor Who: The Inside Story. Written by Gary Russell, the hardcover book features introductions written by Russell T Davies and David Tennant. "Doctor Who viewers might believe they've seen every photograph, read every interview, know every fact about the latest incarnation of BBC TV's science fantasy series Doctor Who, but this book will set out to show them just how much they've missed. With pre-production drawings and paintings, countless behind-the-scenes candid shots, comments and opinions from everyone involved in the making of this exciting, award-winning programme, The Inside Story is exactly that - an insider's scoop on the how, why, who and where of all things Doctor Who." The book is due out on 25 October in both the UK and North America. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.
Doomsday, Confidential Ratings
General TV Series News
July 9, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The final episode of the second season of Doctor Who, Doomsday, was watched by 7.72 million viewers, according to overnight ratings released by Viewingfigures, with a 43.2% share of the audience tuning in for the season's final broadcast. The viewers for the broadcast improved over the course of the 45-minute period, peaking at 8.58 million in the episode's final five minutes. Preliminary information suggests that "Doctor Who" was fourth for the week's broadcasts, after two World Cup matches (France v Portugal, 10.2 million viewers, and Germany v Italy, 9.3 million) and an episode of "EastEnders" (7.9 million), although final results for the World Cup finals later in the evening have not yet been announced.

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

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

Doomsday Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Press Items

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

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

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

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

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Anghelides, Adam Kirk, Paul Blakemore)
Big Finish Update
Big Finish
July 9, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Gary Russell, producer of the Doctor Who audio range at Big Finish Productions since the company received the licence to make them from the BBC, is leaving the company, according to a news report on the Big Finish website. "'Gary's hard work and tireless dedication to Big Finish has enabled the company to develop and grow over the last eight years to the point where we are now releasing over forty productions a year," says Big Finish's Jason Haigh-Ellery. "Obviously we are sorry to see Gary go. But we're very pleased that he will still be able to work with us as a Director." Nicholas Briggs, who has produced the "Dalek Empire" serials for Big Finish and has appeared in both seasons of the new Doctor Who series as the voices of the Daleks and Cybermen, will become Executive Producer for the range, with Sharon Gosling producing and Alan Barnes script-editing.

Meanwhile, Big Finish has released the cover illustrations and story blurbs for the back-to-back serials The Reaping and The Gathering, both by Joseph Lidster, which feature special appearances by former Doctor Who companion Janet Fielding (who returns to the role of Tegan for the first, and reportedly only, time) and "Babylon 5" actress Claudia Christian. The details are below.

Doctor Who: The Reaping

On the morning of 9 May 1984, Peri woke up. She was expecting to spend the day relaxing in Lanzarote and, that evening, leave her mother and stepfather to go travelling with some guys she'd only just met. But things don't always go as expected ­ as her friends and family discover when, four months later, she returns home having travelled further than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile her friend, Katherine Chambers, mourns her father and Peri finds herself meeting some other familiar faces.

Starring Colin Baker (the Doctor) and Nicola Bryant (Peri), with Claudia Christian (Janine Foster), Stuart Milligan (Anthony Chambers), Jane Perry (Kathy Chambers), Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor (Nate Chambers), Vincent Pirillo (Daniel Woods), John Schwab (Lt. Doyle), Denise Bryer (Mrs Van Gysegham, Allison Karaynes (Natalie Hamilton) and Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen). Directed by Gary Russell.

Doctor Who: The Gathering

On the morning of 22 September 2006, Tegan woke up. She was expecting to spend the day relaxing at home and, that evening, tolerate a party thrown to celebrate her 46th birthday. But things don't always go as expected ­ it's been over twenty years since she chose to leave the Doctor. She's got a job, mates... a life. Meanwhile her friend, Katherine Chambers, makes a decision that could change all their lives, and Tegan discovers that you can never really escape the past.

Starring Peter Davison (the Doctor) and Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), with Jane Perry (Katherine Chambers), Richard Grieve (James Clarke), Dait Abuchi (Michael Tanaka), Janie Booth (Eve Morris), Zehra Naqvi (Jodi Boyd), Jeff Higgins (Waiter), Belinda Hoare (Rosemary Stark) and Nicholas Briggs (Alan Fitzgerald). Directed by Gary Russell.
Catherine Tate and the Runaway Bride
General TV Series News
July 8, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Series Two of Doctor Who has ended, but two new pieces of information were revealed in the final moments of the episode. Actress/comedian Catherine Tate has joined David Tennant in the TARDIS (very likely temporarily, at least) for the final moments of the season finale, "Doomsday," and will be seen in the forthcoming 2006 Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. Tate, who is best known for her comedy series "The Catherine Tate Show," was recently spotted at filming locations in London (see earlier set reports) with Tennant as production on the Christmas special got underway earlier this week. According to the commentary provided on the official Doctor Who website for "Doomsday," the actual character name of "The Bride" (as she is credited at the end of this episode) is Donna. "The Runaway Bride," the next episode of Doctor Who, will be seen on BBC1 in December.
North America DVD Covers
DVD and Video
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Warner Home Video has released the cover illustrations of the forthcoming North American DVD releases of The Hand of Fear starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen and Mark of the Rani starring Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Anthony Ainley and Kate O'Mara. Both DVDs are due for release in the US and Canada on November 7. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions of each cover.

Series Three Filming Begins in Secret?
General TV Series News
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

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

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

Meanwhile, a collection of photographs was taken by fan Alistair Moore, some of which are below; click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to 'plateoffood,' Mark Richardson, Alistair Moore)
Mad Norwegian Books
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

Mad Norwegian Press has released cover illustrations for three forthcoming Doctor Who-related books: Volume Two of About Time, the ongoing series of Doctor Who critical essays and analyses by Tat Wood and Lawrence Miles (some later books in the series have been published); Erasing Sherlock by Kelly Hale, the latest novel set in the universe of Faction Paradox, the time cult first established in Miles' Doctor Who novels published by BBC Books; and The Completely Unofficial Encyclopedia by Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons, a sequel to their book "The Completely Useless Encyclopedia" originally published by Virgin Books. All three publications are currently due in November. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions of the covers.

The latter is a new announcement; says the press info, "The successor to one of the most beloved Doctor Who books of all time, 'The Completely Unofficial Encyclopedia' is a wholeheartedly original volume that continues the work started by 'Doctor Who: The Completely Useless Encyclopedia.' Once again written by Chris Howarth and 'Doctor Who' / Marvel Comics novelist Steve Lyons, 'The Completely Unofficial Encyclopedia' focuses its jokes, sarcasm and wry comments on the new 'Doctor Who' series and the nature of its fandom, but isn’t afraid to delve back and take loving pot-shots at the classic show."

Meanwhile, the company announced that its book "I, Who" would soon go out of print but the second and third volumes would remain available, and plans are afoot for further volumes. (Thanks to Lars Pearson)

Brief Torchwood Filming Update
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Production of the first series of Torchwood, the Doctor Who spinoff series, has continued over the past several months, mostly without fanfare. However, on certain occasions fans have gotten glimpses into the production. "I was chatting with a chap who was an extra last weekend on Torchwood filming in Cardiff. ... The daytime filming was from 8.00am until 2.00pm in Queen Street area of Cardiff. Mostly involved Capt Jack, Gwen and Sato. Sato appeared to have recently developed a telepathic skill and was walking down the street flinching and reeling as the minds of the public walking past strayed into hers. There is some comment about her realising that a suited chap who walks by is wearing ladies underwear... The evening shot was then on a building site near the Village Hotel up by the M4. This involved forensic teams investigating an artefact and alien body along side it. The 'Torchwood Mobile' pulls up and Jack gets out, effectively tapping the police on the shoulder and booting them off site as its now under Torchwood jurisdiction. Jack still seems to be wearing his military uniform from The Empty Child in this scene." (Thanks to Paul Robinson)
TARDIS Report: The Week in Review
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
TARDIS Report: The Week in Review

Doomsday Teasers

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

Doomsday Coverage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rise of the Cybermen Auction

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


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

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

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

Army of Ghosts

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

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

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

Torchwood Press

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctor Who Down Under

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

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

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

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

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

Other Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Peter Weaver, Douglas B Killings, Stephen Glancy, Daren Thomas, 'BobbyFischface', 'TaraLivesOn', Adam Kirk, Robert Stuart)
Fielding at Big Finish
Big Finish
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish recently announced that the long-awaited return of Janet Fielding to the role of Tegan Jovanka will take place in this September's audio The Gathering written by Joseph Lidster. Earlier this year, the company announced that Fielding's participation would be in an installment called "Summer in the City" by the same author. Fielding is reunited in the audio with co-star Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor; this is the first and only (to date) appearance of Fielding in the role of Tegan in an audio adventure.
Invasion DVD Cover
DVD and Video
July 7, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Video has released, via the official Doctor Who website, the cover illustration for the forthcoming UK DVD release The Invasion starring Patrick Troughton. The release, due out later this year (see the Releases guide), will also include the animated reconstruction of the missing two episodes of the show. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.
This Week in Doctor Who
New Column Posted
July 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 July 6, 2006 has now been posted. Click here to read it.
Ratings Update
General TV Series News
July 6, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BARB has reported on the final ratings for Fear Her, the eleventh episode of the new season, aired on Saturday 24 June. The episode was watched by 7.14 million viewers, up approximately half a million viewers from the initial reported overnight, to come in sixth place all series and twentieth for the week (behind World Cup broadcasts, Children's Party at the Palace, and multiple episodes of EastEnders and Coronation Street). Of note, the episode's final rating is higher than any of those reported for the final four episodes of Series One. Also reported by the BARB: the final ratings for the Sunday rebroadcast of the episode (25 June) on BBC3, 539,000 viewers, and for the Saturday night (24 June) BBC3 airing of Doctor Who Confidential, 537,000 viewers.

In addition, overnight ratings have been made available for the following programmes: last Sunday night's repeat of Army of Ghosts on BBC3 (2 July) scored 741,000 viewers with a 5.2% audience share, while last Saturday night's Doctor Who Confidential broadcast on BBC3 following the first run of the episode (1 July) had 476,000 viewers, with a share of 3.1%. Both were the highest-rated broadcasts of each day on the non-terrestrial BBC3 channel. Also reported are this past week's BBC3 repeat broadcasts of "New Earth" (3 July, 220,000 viewers, 1.8% share) and "Tooth and Claw" (3 July, 261,000 viewers, 1.9% share); "School Reunion" (4 July, 324,000 viewers, 2.4% share) and "The Girl in the Fireplace" (4 July, 390,000 viewers, 2.6% share); and "Rise of the Cybermen" (5 July, 324,000 viewers, 2.4% share) and "The Age of Steel" (5 July, 390,000 viewers, 2.6% share). (Thanks to Andy Parish)
Doctor Who Adventures 8
July 6, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue 8 of Doctor Who Adventures is out next week and a preview is below; the BBC magazine has two collectors' covers this time (click on each for a larger version).

Daleks or Cybermen - who's YOUR favourite?

Issue 8 of Doctor Who Adventures is a special collectors' edition and has two special covers. Readers can choose between amazing Dalek or Cybermen covers, and find out fantastic facts about the two evil monsters inside...

There's an all-new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Rose set in a dangerous late-night cafe. When the time travellers meet an alien celebrity chef called Rammzi things start going horribly wrong.

There's a look at all the tenth Doctor's adventures in a pull-out guide, which includes a look at all the important facts we've learned about the Doctor and his friends this year - and readers can vote for their favourite story, too.

This issue's mask is a yucky Ood... and there's a brilliant board game, which is a race against time...

There are all the usual posters, puzzles and prizes - and the issue comes with a free Doctor Who quiz book.

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 8 is out on Thursday 13 July.

Doctor Who Magazine 372
July 5, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue 372 of Doctor Who Magazine is due out on 20 July; the following is a preview including the cover (click on the thumbnail for a larger version). (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)
The Doctor's new companion Freema Agyeman gives her first interview to Doctor Who Magazine:

"My agent got a call saying that they wanted me to audition for a regular in Torchwood, and I was so up for it. So I went for an audition in London. But I had to miss the second audition, cos I got sick for a week in January. It was really awful. I was so upset. But then they said that they'd reschedule it. And then, just before the third audition, I got a call from my agent. She said, 'All this time, they've been seeing you for the part of the new companion in Doctor Who, not for a regular in Torchwood!' I couldn't believe it!

"David Tennant was just a dream. He was so supportive. He was like, 'We can do the scene as many times as you want.' And the night before that audition, he'd left a little note under my door at the hotel. I went out to dinner with the casting director, and I came back and there was a little note ­ just, you know, so encouraging. These people aren't here to put barriers in my way, so I was able to walk in there like I'd walk into a room of friends..."

Also this issue, DWM takes a ringside seat for the battle of the century - it's Daleks versus Cybermen! ­ including an interview with Torchwood boss Tracy-Ann Oberman, and all the on-set gossip. James Strong presents the second half of his thrilling production diary on filming The Impossible Planet; an A-Z of Fear, chronicling the making of recent episode Fear Her; and the start of an exciting brand new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Rose - The Futurists.

Plus, if that wasn't enough! Your chance to vote for your favourites of the latest series; DWM pays tribute to 1960s Doctor Who producer Peter Bryant who passed away recently; the Matrix Data Bank is put on trial by the Time Lords; and the Time Team reach the end of Tom Baker's tenure as the Doctor. Not forgetting all the latest news, reviews and previews... with a few other surprises along the way!

DWM 372 is on sale from Thursday 20 July.
Australia, New Zealand Series Two Debuts This Week
General TV Series News
July 5, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctor Who is a BBC Wales production for BBC ONE.
Series Two Volume Four DVD
General TV Series News
July 4, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has received the cover illustration for the DVD release of Series Two Volume Four, which includes the episodes "The Impossible Planet," "The Satan Pit" and "Love & Monsters". The episode-only DVD release (with no extras) is due out on 7 August from BBC Video; click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover.
Radio Times Covers
July 4, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon

The series finale coming this Saturday has prompted Radio Times to give unprecedented promotion to the show, with Doctor Who covers both this week and last. Today's new edition gives readers a choice of two covers - the Cybermen or the Daleks, standing on a football pitch clutching a football in a comparatively small nod to the World Cup Final this Saturday. You can see the images from both below; click on each for a larger version.

North America DVD Update
DVD and Video
July 2, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
TV Shows on DVD is reporting that November 7 will see the DVD release of The Hand of Fear starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen and Mark of the Rani starring Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Anthony Ainley and Kate O'Mara. Both DVD sets will be released in the UK slightly earlier in the year, with the North American releases duplicating their features (which are available on the site's Release Guide).
Army of Ghosts Overnights
General TV Series News
July 2, 2006  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The overnight ratings for Army of Ghosts are in... the episode scored a preliminary figure of 7.66 million viewers according to ViewingFigures, a climb from the past several weeks, with an audience share of 43.2%.

Also in are the overnight ratings for Doctor Who Confidential episode 12; the episode scored 521,000 viewers with a 4% audience share. (Thanks to 'Marcus' and Andy Parish)