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Disclaimer: All the pages on this site concerning the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, 'Torchwood' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' contain spoilers for established story information, as well as rumours and conjecture – which means what’s listed could well change as production continues, and as official press releases are announced. Some people have speculated that because I currently work for the BBC, that this information is official - no! I’m not an official spokesman, nor do I have any ties to the programme! I’m just reporting the news and the rumours that I have heard in the course of researching my website, ignoring any obviously silly ones, and posting what I think sounds real - or at the very least plausible - and have noted any info as rumour where appropriate.

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Click here for 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' episode guide

NEWS:

Watch the full trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who':




28th June 2014: the new teaser trailer for 'Deep Breath', the premiere episode of the new season of 'Doctor Who', which will be broadcast on 23rd August 2014:




28th October 2013: the BBC has unvelied the first promotional image of the costume worn by the Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi:

The Twelfth Doctor's costume

The Twefth Doctor is resplendant in a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, a white shirt, dark blue trousers and black boots. This look was created by 'Doctor Who' costume designer Howard Burden.

Remarking on his costume, Peter Capaldi said:

"He's woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 per cent Rebel Time Lord."

Executive producer Steven Moffat commented:

"New Doctor, new era, and of course new clothes. Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over - Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!"

The Controller of BBC 1, Charlotte Moore, said:

"Peter Capaldi's Doctor is officially recorded in history today with the unveiling of his new costume. It's sharp, smart and stylish - The Twelfth Time Lord means business."




9th October 2013: The BBC has released another new trailer for the 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary story, 'The Day of the Doctor':




20th October 2013: The BBC has released a new trailer for the 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary story, 'The Day of the Doctor':




4th August 2013: In a special live simulcast across the globe, the BBC have announced that the role of the Twelfth Doctor will be played by actor Peter Capaldi.

The Twelfth Doctor



In a special live programme entitled ‘Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor’, presenter Zoe Ball introduced Peter Capaldi to millions of viewers from the UK, US, Canada and Australia. After being greeted with rapturous applause from the assembled studio audience (many of whom were in costume!), Capaldi told Ball “Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started.”



When asked about how he heard he got the role, Capaldi replied “I was actually filming in Prague - I'm doing the BBC's adaptation of ‘The Three Musketeers’ over there, playing Cardinal Richelieu - and I had my phone on silent, so I missed the call! I looked at it and saw 'missed call' ten minutes ago and it was my dear agent, and I rang her up and said "It's me", and she said "Hello Doctor!" And I just started to laugh, and haven't stopped laughing since!” Speaking of the differences between the role of the Doctor and the role of Malcolm Tucker from ‘The Thick Of It’, Capaldi said “I think Malcolm's been banished from the mirror by this new Doctor, who certainly would not put up with any of Malcolm's language or attitudes to the world. I don't say I'm the Doctor, I'm surprised now to see Doctor Who looking back, that's what's really strange: you look in the mirror, and suddenly, strangely, he's looking back at me. And he's not me yet, but he's reaching out ... and hopefully we'll get it together.” Capaldi went on to say “…although I'm a life-long ‘Doctor Who’ fan, I haven't really played Doctor Who since I was nine in the playground; so as an adult actor, I've never worked on it, so I downloaded some old scripts from the Internet and practised those in front of a mirror. Steven had already written some scenes that referred to a Doctor of my ilk.”

Speaking about his choice of new leading man, a decision made under the guise of ‘Operation Houdini’, lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said “It's an incendiary combination: one of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television. Peter Capaldi is in the TARDIS!”

Jenna Coleman, who plays companion Clara said "I'm so excited Peter Capaldi is the man taking on the challenge of becoming the Twelfth Doctor. With Steven's writing and his talent I know we'll be making an amazing show with an incredible incarnation of number twelve. I can't wait to start this new adventure!"

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning said “We started thinking Peter Capaldi might be the right person to take on this iconic part a few months ago. But it was only when he did a secret audition at Steven's house under the cover of darkness that we knew we had our man. He's an extraordinarily talented actor who can seemingly turn his hand to anything. We can't wait to premiere his unique take on the Doctor on Christmas Day and we are sure he's going to become one of the all-time classic Doctors.”

The show also referenced a letter that a fifteen-year-old Capaldi once wrote to ‘The Radio Times’, congratulating the magazine on its 10th Anniversary Special publication!

Out-going Doctor Matt Smith also had a special message for his successor: “I just wanted to wish my successor all the best, and just say good luck and good on you for getting it, 'cos I know he is both a huge fan of the show and a really nice guy. And I think the casting of it made me really excited, genuinely, and as a fan I think it's a really canny choice. I think he'll be a hit so ... good luck, man, it's going to be a thrill!”

Peter Capaldi was born on 14th April 1958 in Glasgow; his mother's family hailed from Killeshandra, County Cavan in Ireland, and his father's family from Picinisco, Italy. Capaldi’s career spans over forty films and television programmes: his debut was as Danny Oldsen in 1983's ‘Local Hero’, and his first lead film roles were in 1988’s ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ and ‘Dangerous Liaisons’. In 1995 Capaldi won an Oscar for ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ for writing and directing ‘Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life’. Other appearances include ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, ‘Aftersun’, ‘Waking the Dead’, ‘Skins’, Neil Gaiman's gothic fantasy ‘Neverwhere’. Capaldi has already appeared in ‘Doctor Who’, as the Roman merchant Lucius Caecilius in ‘The Fires of Pompeii,’ and also in ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’, as the Home Office Permanent Secretary John Frobisher.

The actor is best known for his role as foul-mouthed political spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the political satire series ‘The Thick of It’ and the affiliated feature film ‘In the Loop’. He was nominated for the BAFTA and RTS ‘Best Comedy Actor’ Awards, and in 2010 he won the ‘BAFTA Television Award for Male Performance in a Comedy Role’ and the ‘British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor’. Capaldi’s most recent work includes ‘The Hour’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’, and the film ‘World War Z’, as a character ‘W.H.O. Doctor’!




1st June 2013: The BBC has announced that Matt Smith is to leave 'Doctor Who' after four incredible years on the hit BBC One show.

The Doctor



Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas Special.

During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role.

Matt quickly won over fans to be voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012.

Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with over 77 million fans in the UK, USA and Australia alone!

Matt Smith says: "'Doctor Who' has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver 'Doctor Who' to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.

"Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind-bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It's been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he's a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.

"The fans of 'Doctor Who' around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I've never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I'm back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!

"It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt."


Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says: "Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he'd turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next. The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently.

"And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him - sometimes literally - his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor.

"But great actors always know when it's time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt - bow ties were never cooler.

"Of course, this isn't the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and 'Doctor Who' will be born all over again! After 50 years, that's still so exciting!"


Having starred alongside three different companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Matt's Doctor has fought Daleks and Cybermen, as well as Weeping Angels in New York. Regularly heard shouting 'run' and 'Geronimo', through Matt's Doctor fans have been introduced to a new culinary combination - fish fingers and custard!

Matt's spectacular exit is yet to be revealed and will be kept tightly under wraps. He will return to BBC One screens in the unmissable 50th anniversary episode on Saturday 23rd November 2013 - TUNE IN!




17th March 2013: The BBC has released a new trailer for the second part of 'Doctor Who' Season 33 (or 7b!):




20th December 2012: The BBC have revealed the new TARDIS interior:

New TARDIS interior

This new set, seen here with Matt Smith in his new costume as the Doctor, will make its debut in the Christmas Special, 'The Snowmen'. Watch the official trailer now!



And here is the BBC America trailer:




22nd August 2012: BBC America has released another brand-new trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who':




2nd August 2012: The BBC have released a brand-new trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who':




26th March 2012: Preview trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who':




21st March 2012: Jenna-Louise Coleman is to play the Eleventh Doctor’s new companion

Jenna-Louise Coleman

The BBC have today announced that twenty-five-year-old actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has been cast as the Doctor’s new companion; she will join Matt Smith in the sixth episode of the new season of ‘Doctor Who’, which is due to be shown at Christmas.

Speaking on the BBC’s Twitter feed, Jenna-Louise said “I want to get started already. I'm a huge fan of the show…

“Matt Smith did my audition with me. It was fun and I felt like we were in it together.”

Jenna-Louise’s credits include four years in the role of Jasmine Thomas in the long-running soap ‘Emmerdale’, Lindsay Jones in the BBC's award-winning ‘Waterloo Road’, and Annie Desmond the forthcoming ITV mini-series ‘Titanic’.

Her film debut was in the role of Connie in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

The Blackpool-born actress has twice been nominated for the 'Sexiest Female' gong at the ‘British Soap Awards’.

Lead writer Steven Moffat said: “We saw a lot of brilliant actresses. But Jenna was the only person going faster than Matt – he had to keep up! …It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She's funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS. It's not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it's about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that's all you're getting for now. Who she's playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy meets girl.”

Danny Cohen, the Controller for BBC 1, said “As we approach ‘Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary it's great to welcome a new companion to the TARDIS. I feel confident the Doctor will look after her in his own very unique style.”

The BBC also confirmed this morning that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill will depart in episode five; according to Steven Moffat “Amy and Rory will leave in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels. Not everyone gets out alive and I mean it this time.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman
Rory, the Doctor and Amy

Speaking to the ‘Radio Times’ magazine at last night’s Royal Television Society Awards, Moffat gave away some more insights on the new season of ‘Doctor Who’: “This time we're moving closer to stand-alone stories. At this point, we’re not planning any two-parters. So, every week is going to be like a different mad movie… We went quite 'arc' last time and we’re going stand-alone this time around. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those things creeping in. You’ve got to find a way to make the last episode special, and by God that worked ratings-wise last year. We don’t want to abandon that idea… Watch out for the title of episode two. I think that’s a belter. It’s one of my favourite titles ever.”

As well as the Weeping Angels, the new season of ‘Doctor Who’ – the show’s thirty-third – will bring the welcome return of the Doctor’s oldest foes, the Daleks. The first six episodes will be transmitted across the Autumn / Christmas period, with the remaining eight episodes to be shown in 2013, the year of the show’s Fiftieth Anniversary.




Here is the trailer for the new 'Doctor Who' Playstation 3 game, 'The Eternity Clock':




Watch the trailer for the 'Doctor Who' Xmas special:
'The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe':





New trailer for 'Doctor Who' Season 32 (or 6!) Part 2




'Doctor Who' season 32 - brand new, full-length trailer

The BBC have now released a second, full-length trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who', due to commence transmission this Easter. Says the BBC's official website: "It's thrilling and chilling stuff. We're told that 'This is the Doctor's darkest hour... he'll rise higher than ever before and then fall so much further...' and we get tantalising glimpses of the Time Lord's new adventures. We also get our first look at Lily Cole as the mysterious character who haunts a ship and Hugh Bonneville as the pirate captain. Plus, ominous lines from the Doctor, a spooky clown, a scary-looking monster and River looking very cool!"



And here's a new, alternate trailer from BBC America:




'Doctor Who' season 32 - trailers

Here's the trailer for 'Doctor Who' season 32. The Doctor wears a stetson now. Stetsons are cool.



And here's the teaser trailer. They're in America - he got it wrong again...




30th August 2010: ‘Doctor Who’ Season 32 to be split in two!

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Steven Moffat has officially announced that the next season of ‘Doctor Who’ will be split into two parts, leaving viewers with a “gamechanging” cliffhanger in episode seven.

Said Moffat: “The split series is hugely exciting because viewers will be treated to two premieres, two finales and more event episodes. For the kids it will never be more than a few months to the next ‘Doctor Who’! Easter, Autumn, Christmas!”

The BBC Press Office describe the split transmission as the result of a request from Steven Moffat to write a new ‘Doctor Who’ story arc involving a big plot twist in the middle of the series. “By splitting the series Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhangers and plot twists ever, leaving them waiting, on the edge of their seats, until the autumn to find out what happens.”




9th August 2010: ‘Torchwood: The New World’

The 'Hollywood Reporter' and 'SA Today' have announced the title for ‘Torchwood’ season Four as ‘Torchwood: The New World’.

The new, ten-part story follows a CIA agent named Rex Matheson, CIA watch analyst Esther Katusi and Oswald Jones, a dangerous convicted murderer and pedophile, as together they tackle an alien-related global issue. Torchwood, having been destroyed and disbanded, is "like a legend now ... it's like something that's ceased to exist and is now spoken of only in whispers." Soon, Rex and Ester are on the run and are seeking out the help of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles). The two teams coming together is a big part of the story – but are they friends or enemies? There's a lot of sparks and excitement…

The story will be very fast-paced, telling a self-contained story, with the miniseries ‘Children of Earth’ being used as a template. Executive producer Julie Gardner said: "We definitely have a really big story to tell. It's absolutely rebooted to welcome in a new audience."

Series creator Russell T. Davies says this story, which "had been ticking away in my mind for a long while," had originally not been planned as a ‘Torchwood’ story at all. "…suddenly I thought, there's a popular show, there's a great story, let's put them together… It felt like it definitely could move forward and become new again." Though it will be newer and bigger, the tone won't change, says Davies; John Barrowman's Captain Jack will still be TV's only bi-sexual hero, and humour will still play a large part in the show's make-up. "I sit there in the editing room saying 'Don't cut that joke! Cut the plot, cut the murder, cut the story, but don't cut the joke.'...It will always be a cheeky show."

‘Torchwood: The New World’ is expected to transmit in Summer 2011.

Torchwood Publicity Poster Torchwood Publicity Poster




7th June 2010: ‘Torchwood’ Season 4 announced: ten new episodes produced under an international partnership

BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network, Starz Entertainment, have announced a three-way co-production partnership that will develop a new series of the hit BBC sci-fi drama ‘Torchwood’. BBC Worldwide will also distribute the series to broadcasters globally.

The ten-episode instalment will be written by a team led by ‘Torchwood’ creator, Russell T Davies, and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Davies and BBC Worldwide Productions’ SVP Scripted, Julie Gardner, return as executive producers with BBC Worldwide Productions EVP Jane Tranter. The series has been commissioned by BBC1 Controller, Jay Hunt, BBC Drama Controller, Ben Stephenson, and Starz President and CEO, Chris Albrecht.

While previous series were based on location in Cardiff, Wales, this new instalment will see storylines widen to include locations in the U.S. and around the world. John Barrowman and Eve Myles will return in their roles as Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, along with new faces.

Announcing the commission, Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning said: "We have a long history of working with many U.S. networks but it is incredibly exciting to be working with Starz for the first time, as well as to be reunited with the best of British in Russell, Jane and Julie. ‘Torchwood’ will burst back onto the screen with a shocking and moving story with global stakes and locations that will make it feel bigger and bolder than ever"

Jane Tranter, EVP, BBC Worldwide Productions, added: "’Torchwood’ has attracted remarkable attention and loyalty in both the U.K. and U.S., and in this new partnership with Starz, the next chapter will not only reward our current fans, but also introduce new viewers to the most impressive instalment yet.”

Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht said “We're committed to programming exceptional television that is entertaining, imaginative and provides a premium T.V. experience, and by any measure the new concept for ‘Torchwood’ fits that mandate… I've been part of successful partnerships with Jane Tranter and the BBC previously, and I'm very much looking forward to working with them again."

In an interview with ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, Russell T Davies said “It's very much the next step. It's not a new version, it's not a reboot. We're simply moving countries. The show was previously a format show -- monster of the week. The breakthrough was ‘Children of Earth’ and that it became one long story. It's not going to be 'Lost' and take twenty years to find out what's going on. It's going to have a most remarkable conclusion after ten episodes… We're simply going to tell a good story. I wrote the pilot seven months ago irregardless of network. BBC1 is a prime-time channel, but a brave channel. I don't worry about content.”

Although dates for production and broadcast of the series have yet to be announced, some media sources have suggested it could premier Summer 2011.




22nd March 2010: two new trailers for 'Doctor Who' season 31

The BBC have released two more trailers for the new season of 'Doctor Who': a thirty-second promo featuring a montage of clips from the forthcoming series, including a fleeting glimpse of the new TARDIS console:



and a BBC America promo that includes new clips that are not in any of the UK trailers:




21st February 2010: another new trailer for 'Doctor Who' season 31

The BBC have released another new trailer for the new season of 'Doctor Who' adventures, starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Karen Gillan as companion Amy Pond:





2nd January 2010: trailer for 'Doctor Who' season 31

The BBC have released a trailer for the next season of 'Doctor Who' adventures, starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, and Karen Gillan as new companion Amy Pond:






21st January 2010: 'Doctor Who' wins again at the National Television Television Awards

NTA 2010

‘Doctor Who’ has proved successful once again at the ‘National Television Awards’, held at the O2 Arena in London last night, winning the gong for ‘Most Popular Drama’ for a fourth year ahead of ‘Casualty’, Channel 4's ‘Shameless’ and ITV1's ‘The Bill’.

‘Doctor Who’ has now won the Drama category at every NTA ceremony since 2005 (although the Awards were not held in 2009).

The award was presented by England football captain John Terry, and was collected by David Tennant, Bernard Cribbins, June Whitfield and Elisabeth Sladen; Cribbins delivered the acceptance speech, thanking Tennant and the production team, which he praised as the best he has ever worked with in British television – no mean feat for someone with his long career!

David Tennant also won the award for ‘Outstanding Drama Performance’, the second time he has been presented with such an accolade, which he initially won in 2008; this marks the fourth award Tennant has received at the NTAs, having also been named ‘Most Popular Actor’ in 2006 and 2007.

Having beaten competition from Philip Glenister (BBC 1's ‘Ashes to Ashes’), David Jason (ITV1's ‘A Touch of Frost’) and David Threlfall (Ch4’s ‘Shameless’), Tennant accepted the award from Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and thanked the audience for their vote; he also praised the incoming ‘Doctor Who’ team of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat, and voiced his love for the programme he has watched since childhood; Tennant is now looking forward to being a fan again, with no idea of what is going to happen next!




6th October 2009: a new logo for a new Doctor

The BBC have today unveiled the new 'Doctor Who' logo that will accompany the Eleventh Doctor's adventures:

New 'Doctor Who' Logo

The logo - the eleventh incarnation in the show's history - will form part of a revamped title sequence in the new run, which airs from next Spring and sees Matt Smith take over from David Tennant as the titular Time Lord.

It's a return to the 'two-storey' type of logo of seasons one to ten, with chrome letters reminiscent of the Sylvester McCoy era logo, only far sleeker and shinier. A second logo shows the show’s initials echoing the shape of the TARDIS, which looks similar to the logo BSkyB created for their celebratory weekend, ’31 Who’, fifteen years ago. Ideal for merchandising then!

Showrunner Steven Moffat said: "A new logo. The eleventh logo for the eleventh Doctor - those grand old words, ‘Doctor Who’, suddenly looking newer than ever. And look at that, something really new - an insignia! DW in TARDIS form! Simple and beautiful, and most important of all, a completely irresistible doodle. I apologise to school notebooks everywhere, because in 2010 that's what they're going to be wearing."




20th Juy 2009: a first glimpse at the Eleventh Doctor’s new costume

The Doctor's new costume is revealed in this behind-the-scenes photo, in which Matt Smith sits next to the Doctor's new companion Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan




29th May 2009: Karen Gillan to join Matt Smith in the TARDIS, as the Eleventh Doctor’s new companion

The BBC today announced that twenty-one-year-old actress Karen Gillan has been cast as the Eleventh Doctor’s companion in the forthcoming new season of ‘Doctor Who’.

Karen Gillan

“I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor's new companion,” said Gillan. “The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can't quite believe I am going to be a part of it…

“Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him – I just can't wait to get started!”

Gillan has already appeared in ‘Doctor Who’, playing the Soothsayer in the Tenth Doctor adventure, ‘The Fires of Pompeii’. Gillan grew up in Inverness, Scotland and developed a love for acting very early on, attending several youth theatre groups and taking part in a wide range of productions at her school, Charleston Academy. At the age of seventeen she secured a place at the prestigious Italia Conti academy in London, and during her first year landed a role in ‘Rebus’, before going on to appear in a variety of programmes including Channel 4's ‘Stacked’, ‘The Kevin Bishop Show’ and the forthcoming film ‘Outcast’, which stars James Nesbitt.

Lead writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, said: “We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. Funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too.”

Executive Producer and Head of Drama BBC Wales, Piers Wenger, said “We knew Karen was perfect for the role the moment we saw her. She brought an energy and excitement to the part that was just fantastic. And when she auditioned alongside Matt we knew we had something special. It is a partnership that is ready to take on the universe!”

Before the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ is broadcast on BBC One in Spring 2010, there will be three more specials: ‘The Waters of Mars’, due to be shown in November, with David Tennant playing the Tenth Doctor alongside new companion Adelaide, played by Lindsay Duncan; and a two-part story shown around Christmas and the New Year, which sees Tennant joined by Bernard Cribbins, reprising his role of Wilfred Mott, along with the return of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, Freema Agyeman as Doctor Martha Jones, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness.




19th February 2009: Lindsay Duncan cast as the Doctor's companion, Adelaide, in the second of the forthcoming special episodes of ‘Doctor Who’

Lindsay Duncan

The BBC has confirmed that actress Lindsay Duncan will guest star in the second ‘Doctor Who’ special of 2009 playing Adelaide, the Doctor's cleverest and most strong-minded companion yet.

"I'm thrilled to be involved in ‘Doctor Who’,” said Lindsay”. I've never done anything like this before and I'm really looking forward to working with David Tennant and the ‘Doctor Who’ team."

Executive Producer and writer Russell T Davies said: "Lindsay is an incredibly talented actress and I've been an admirer of her work for some time. We are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team.”

Lindsay is best known for her roles across stage and screen, including ‘Shooting the Past’, ‘A Year in Provence’, ‘GBH’ and ‘Dead Head’, and is soon to star as Margaret Thatcher in the new BBC drama, ‘Margaret’. She also co-starred alongside forthcoming Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, in the critically acclaimed theatrical production of ‘That Face‘.

Written by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, this ‘Doctor Who’ special is due to go into production in Spring 2009; it will be produced by Nikki Wilson, and screened on BBC 1 later this year.




22nd October 2009: Michelle Ryan to star as the Time Lord's latest companion

David Tennant and Michelle Ryan

After weeks of speculation in the tabloids, the BBC has announced that Michelle Ryan will play the Doctor's latest companion, the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza, in the forthcoming ‘Doctor Who’ special, ‘Planet of the Dead’.

Scheduled for an Easter transmission, the story sees Lady Christina de Souza join the Doctor on a bus trip which takes a very unexpected detour into danger.

Speaking about her new role, Michelle said “I’m a huge fan of ‘Doctor Who’ and very excited to be joining David Tennant and the ‘Doctor Who’ team. It is such a fantastic show and I can’t wait to get started!”

Executive Producer Russell T Davies said “Michelle is one of the most sought after young actors in the country and we are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team. As always the script is being kept strictly under wraps however we can reveal that Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who's going to have a huge impact on the Doctor!”

Michelle's television credits include the title role in the recent remake of ‘The Bionic Woman’, the evil witch Nimueh in ‘Merlin’, Zoe Slater in ‘Eastenders’, and appearances in ‘Miss Marple’, Mansfield Park’ and ‘Jekyll’; she has also starred in the films ‘Cashback’, ‘I Want Candy’ and ‘Flick’.
Michelle Ryan
Photo © News Group Newspapers Ltd
Born Michelle Claire Ryan, the twenty-four year old has been a regular on the ‘FHM’ Sexiest Women lists since 2002, reaching fourth place in 2005; and in a poll on RadioTimes.com, she was voted first place for the ‘Worst Attempt at American Accents’ for her performance in ‘The Bionic Woman’!

Other rumours suggest that Michelle Ryan's character of Lady Christina de Souza will return for the next full series of ‘Doctor Who’, as companion to the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith.



3rd January 2009: Matt Smith is the Eleventh Doctor!

Matt Smith is the Eleventh Doctor

The BBC announced on today's ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ special that twenty-six year old actor Matt Smith has been cast as the Eleventh Doctor, taking over the role from David Tennant.

The youngest actor ever to have been cast as the Doctor, Smith has appeared in television productions such as ‘Party Animals’ and ‘The Street’, alongside Billie Piper in adaptations of the Philip Pullman novels ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’ and ‘The Shadow in the North’, and in the forthcoming ‘Moses Jones’.

Speaking in ‘Doctor Who Confidential’, Smith said: "I'm just so excited about the journey that is in front of me. It's a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on… I feel proud and honoured to have been given this opportunity to join a team of people that has worked so tirelessly to make the show so thrilling… David Tennant has made the role his own, brilliantly, with grace, talent and persistent dedication. I hope to learn from the standards set by him… I've got this wonderful journey in front of me where I've got this six months to build this Time Lord – and that's such an exciting prospect… The challenge for me is to do justice to the show's illustrious past, my predecessors, and most importantly, to those who watch it. I really cannot wait."

Steven Moffat, who takes over from Russell T Davies as Lead Writer and Executive Producer, said: "The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe... As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man… 2010 is a long time away but rest assured the Eleventh Doctor is coming – and the universe has never been so safe."

Piers Wenger, Head Of Drama, BBC Wales, said: "With two hearts, a ferocious mind and over nine-hundred years of experience behind him, it's not every twenty-six year old actor who can take on a role like the Doctor, but within moments of meeting Matt he showed the skill and imagination needed to create a Doctor all of his own… It's just the beginning of the journey for Matt but with Steven Moffat's scripts and the expertise of the production team in Cardiff behind him, there is no one more perfect than him to be taking the TARDIS to exciting new futures when the series returns in 2010."

David Tennant continues in the title role for four more ‘Doctor Who’ specials, to be broadcast throughout 2009 and early 2010, before Matt Smith takes over when the show returns for a full series in 2010.




29th October 2008: 'Doctor Who' wins again at the National Television Television Awards - and David Tennant announces he is leaving the show!

David Tennant

‘Doctor Who’ has won the ‘National Television Award for Most Popular Drama’ for the third year running. Accepting the award with Russell T Davies and other members of the cast, Catherine Tate said "I know it's won before, but I was sweating that we wouldn't win when I joined!"

More success for the show followed, as David Tennant won the award for ‘Outstanding Drama Performance’; this is the third year in a row that Tennant has won an award at the NTAs, after been named ‘Most Popular Actor’ in 2006 and 2007.

Tennant accepted his award via a live link from Stratford, where he his currently performing with The Royal Shakespeare Company – and after giving his acceptance speech, he went on to announce that he will leave ‘Doctor Who’ after he has completed the filming of the four special episodes which will be screened throughout 2009 and early 2010!

In an interview with BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba, Tennant said: "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on ‘Doctor Who'. I have loved every day of it. It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. You would be prising the TARDIS key out of my cold dead hand. This show has been so special to me, I don't want to outstay my welcome.

"This is all a long way off, of course. I'm not quitting, I'm back in Cardiff in January to film four special episodes which will take ‘Doctor Who’ all the way through 2009. I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git - whoever that may be.

"I'd always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010.

"I feel very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I'm looking forward to new challenges I know I'll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor."

Departing Executive Producer Russell T Davies commented "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"





20th April 2008: Steven Moffat announced as 'Doctor Who's new Lead Writer and Executive Producer

BBC Wales and BBC Drama have announced that Russell T Davies is to leave ‘Doctor Who’, to be succeeded as Lead Writer and Executive Producer by BAFTA and Hugo Award-winning writer Steven Moffat, starting with the fifth series, which will broadcast on BBC One in 2010.

Moffat’s has previously worked on ‘Doctor Who’ as writer of the two-part story ‘The Empty Child’ and ‘The Doctor Dances’, ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ and ‘Blink’; he has also written ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ for the current series. Other work includes ITV children's drama ‘Press Gang’, BBC Two’s ‘Coupling’, and BBC One’s ‘Jekyll’; he has also just written the screenplay for ‘Tintin’ for Steven Spielberg, who will direct it for DreamWorks.

Says Moffat: "My entire career has been a Secret Plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light, and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."

Lead Writer and Executive Producer Russell T Davies says: "It's been a delight and an honour working with Steven, and I can't wait to see where his extraordinary imagination takes the Doctor. Best of all, I get to be a viewer again, watching on a Saturday night!"

The announcement follows the news that Piers Wenger will take over the role of Executive Producer from Julie Gardner on series five of ‘Doctor Who’.

‘Doctor Who’ will return in 2009 with four specials, and the full-length fifth series is currently scheduled to be broadcast on BBC One in Spring 2010.


28th April 2008: Big win for ‘Doctor Who’ at the Bafta Cymru Awards

Bafta Cymru

‘Doctor Who’ has won six categories at the seventeenth annual ‘BAFTA Cymru Awards’.

The awards are given to films and television programmes that were produced in Wales. Last night’s ceremony was held at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, and hosted by 'Blue Peter' presenter Gethin Jones.

‘Doctor Who’ won the awards for:

- Best Drama Series (Phil Collinson for ‘Voyage of the Damned’)
- Best Screenwriter (Steven Moffat for ‘Blink’)
- Best Sound (BBC Wales Sound team)
- Best Director, Drama (James Strong ‘Voyage of the Damned’)
- Best Director of Photography (Ernie Vincze for ‘Voyage of the Damned’)
- Best Make-Up (Barbara Southcott and Neill Gorton at Millennium FX for ‘The Shakespeare Code’)

‘Torchwood’ also won an award: Best Costume for ‘Captain Jack Harkness’




4th December 2007: 'Torchwood' Season 2

The BBC has issued a press release for the forthcoming new season of 'Torchwood':

'Torchwood', the award-winning drama created by 'Doctor Who' writer Russell T Davies, bursts back on our screens in mid-January 2008, this time premiering on BBC Two. And this time it's bigger and bolder with more fun, adventure and excitement for the alien-fighting team...
Torchwood Season 2 Cast

Captain Jack Harness (John Barrowman), Gwen (Eve Myles), Owen (Burn Gorman), Toshiko (Naoko Mori) and Ianto (Gareth Lloyd-Davies) return as the investigators delving into the alien underworld of modern day Cardiff.

In response to audience demand, younger fans will now have the opportunity of watching a specially edited pre-watershed repeat. Roly Keating, Controller BBC Two, says: "We're delighted that 'Torchwood' is joining BBC Two. We know from the success and popularity of 'Heroes' that there's a growing appetite for smart, high-quality, sci-fi drama on the channel so 'Torchwood' is a perfect fit. I'm also pleased to announce that, due to popular demand from families and younger viewers, we will be showing a special pre-watershed repeat so everyone can enjoy the new series."

Making a special guest appearance in the first episode is James Marsters as Captain John. He starred as Spike, the punk-goth vampire in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel'. Captain John and Captain Jack go way back and have "history". When he appears through the Rift under Cardiff looking for Captain Jack not only does he disrupt Captain Jack's homecoming but the whole team, city and world are suddenly placed in danger.

The new series promises an exhilarating mixture of adventure, heartbreak, humour and surprise and pushes the team's resolve and friendships as never before. Firmly rooted in urban life of 21st century Cardiff, Torchwood's investigations into alien activity give the team glimpses of the 51st Century and the First World War. They encounter alien sleeper cells; save a stranded creature from human exploitation; meet a tragic soldier from the First World War; and encounter a memory thief who exposes long-forgotten secrets among the entire team.

During the run Alan Dale ('Ugly Betty', 'The O.C', 'Lost' and 'The West Wing') makes a star appearance. Another familiar face among the special guest stars is 'Doctor Who's companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) who appears half way through the series. Richard Briers, Nerys Hughes and Ruth Jones ('Gavin and Stacey') also appear in various roles.

Russell T Davies says: "This series pushes the Torchwood team further than ever before. They are joined by some incredible guest stars who are really going to cause waves. It's adventurous, thrilling and packed full of surprises."

'Torchwood', which was shot in HD and will also be shown on the BBC HD channel, is filmed in and around Cardiff by BBC Wales. BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards says: "The first series of 'Torchwood' was a huge hit with audiences. We're extremely proud that it's produced in Wales. And its success is a reflection of the huge wealth of talent and creativity that exists here. We're delighted that it's returning to our screens for another series full of action, humour and excitement."

The 13-part series is written by Chris Chibnall, Phil Ford, Peter J Hammond, Matt Jones, Joseph Lidster, James Moran, Helen Raynor, Catherine Tregenna and JC Wilsher. Created by Davies, with Chris Chibnall as co-producer and lead writer, the first series which aired on BBC Three last year achieved the channel's highest ratings in 2006, with an audience of 2.5 million for the first episode, and peaking at 2.8 million. There will be a new exciting online reality game and exclusive behind the scenes footage on bbc.co.uk/torchwood

Torchwood is executive produced by Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, Head of Drama, BBC Wales. The producer is Richard Stokes.





27th November 2007: Billie Piper to return as Rose Tyler

After much fan and media speculation, the BBC has confirmed that Billie Piper will reprise her role as Rose Tyler in the new series of 'Doctor Who'. Billie will return for three episodes – rumoured to be the series finale – rejoining her former co-star, the award-winning David Tennant, as the Doctor, alongside two other companions, Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.

The new season sees the return of the Sontarans, a meeting with Agatha Christie, a voyage to the planet of the Ood and a trip to ancient Rome; rumours also abound that the season ending will herald a reappearance from Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, and the long-awaited return of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis and creator of the Daleks, Davros…



23rd November 2007: Verity Lambert, ‘Doctor Who's first producer, has died aged 71

As the BBC's first female television producer, Lambert produced ‘Doctor Who’ from its inception in 1963, overseeing two seasons of the time-traveller’s adventures before leaving in 1965. She later formed her own independent television company, Cinema Verity, and went on to produce such acclaimed dramas as ‘Minder’, ‘Quatermass’, ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ and ‘Jonathan Creek’. In January 2002 she was made an OBE in recognition of her services to film and television, and was due to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards in December.

Russell T Davies, the current writer and executive producer of ‘Doctor Who’, said: "There are a hundred people in Cardiff working on ‘Doctor Who’ and millions of viewers, in particular many children, who love the programme that Verity helped create… This is her legacy and we will never forget that.

Jane Tranter, controller of BBC Fiction said: "Verity was a total one-off. She was a magnificently, madly, inspirationally talented drama producer."

Sadly, Lambert’s death on Thursday came the day before the 44th anniversary of the transmission of ‘An Unearthly Child’, the very first episode of ‘Doctor Who’.


4th November: The Doctor, Donna and Martha meet the Sontarans as the new-look stormtrooper aliens are unveiled for the forthcoming season of 'Doctor Who'

The Doctor, Donna and Martha meet the Sontarans

The BBC has released a picture of the new Sontarans, returning to ‘Doctor Who’ thirty-five years after making their first appearance in the sci-fi drama.

Former ‘Young Ones’ star Christopher Ryan will appear as General Staal, the Head of the Sontarans; these deadly, pint-size warriors will feature in an episode which will also mark the return of Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, who rejoins the Doctor in the TARDIS along with his latest companion, Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate.

Says Freema, "I am delighted to be back filming on ‘Doctor Who’ with David and Catherine... Martha Jones returns in a fantastic storyline and the fans will get to see her in a whole new light!"

The Sontarans first appeared on ‘Doctor Who’ in the 1973 story ‘The Time Warrior’, when they faced Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. Since then they have battled Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor in ‘The Sontaran Experiment’ and ‘The Invasion of Time’, and both the Second and Sixth Doctors – played by Patrick Troughton and Colin Baker – in ‘The Two Doctors’. [They also appeared in the ‘Children in Need’ Special, ‘Dimensions in Time’, but the less said about that the better! - Clive]




31st October: 'Doctor Who' wins again at the National Television Awards!

For the second yeard running, 'Doctor Who' proved victorious at the National Television Awards.

The show claimed the award for 'Most Popular Drama', beating 'Life on Mars', while David Tennant won 'Most Popular Actor', his second consecutive trophy for this category, which he dedicated to his late mother, Helen.

Unfortunately, Freema Agyeman lost out to 'EastEnders' actress Lacey Turner in the 'Most Popular Actress' category, but there was some consolation for the 'Doctor Who' companion contingent when 'The Catherine Tate Show' won 'Most Popular Comedy Show'.

Who's a winner?!
Image copyright Getty Images


3rd September: 'Doctor Who' to return for three specials in 2009, with a fifth [or thirty-first if you're properly counting!] series in 2010

After months of media speculation, the BBC has confirmed that the BAFTA award-winning show 'Doctor Who' will return for a fifth series in Spring 2010.

Says the official 'Doctor Who' website: "Viewers are in for a treat this Christmas, as a special episode starring David Tennant and Kylie Minogue will be broadcast on BBC One in December 2007. Series Four, which went into production in July 2007, will hit UK screens in Spring 2008, followed by a special episode for Christmas 2008. In 2009 'Doctor' Who will return with three specials starring David Tennant, with Head Writer, Russell T Davies. The full-length fifth series will transmit in 2010."

Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, says: "'Doctor Who' is one of the BBC's best loved and most successful dramas. Its journey over the past three series has been one of the most ambitious and exciting that we have had, and I'm delighted to be able to confirm not only three exciting specials for 2009, but a fifth series in 2010."

Menna Richards, Controller, BBC Wales, says: "The success of 'Doctor Who' is a fantastic tribute to the dedication and expertise of the production team at BBC Wales who have worked on the project from the outset. This announcement is marvellous news for all involved, and more importantly for the programme's amazing fan base and audience. BBC Wales is looking forward to producing the fifth series."

Following the critically acclaimed season three finale, the BBC has announced that Catherine Tate is set to return to the TARDIS for the complete 13-week run of series four, reprising her role as Donna from the 2006 Christmas special. Freema Agyeman, who won praise for her portrayal of Martha Jones in series three, is also set to return mid series four.


20th July 2007: Casting update - former ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ star James Marsters and ex-‘Neighbours’ actor Alan Dale to star in the new series of ‘Torchwood’

Barrowman & Marsters

Joining John Barrowman and Eve Myles for the first episode of the new series of ‘Torchwood’ will be James Marsters, who played the undead Spike in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’. Marsters is "really excited" about his character: "I can't say too much about him, except he is naughty and a bit of a psychopath… I am a huge fan of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Torchwood’ so it was me who knocked on their door."

Meanwhile, Alan Dale, who played Jim Robinson in the Australian soap ‘Neighbours’, and who recently appeared in America’s ‘The OC’, ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Lost’, said "I am thrilled to be working on ‘Torchwood’ - I am a huge fan of British television drama."

The cast will also be joined in Episodes Six, Seven and Eight by Freema Agyeman, who, as the Doctor’s companion Martha Jones, ‘temporarily’ left the TARDIS at the end of the last series of ‘Doctor Who’.

Created by Russell T Davies, ‘Torchwood’ also features Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, and is expected to return to our screens on BBC 2 in early 2008.




4th July 2007: Catherine Tate returns to ‘Doctor Who’ as the Time Lord's new / old companion

Actress and comedienne Catherine Tate is to reprise her role as Donna Noble, the bad-tempered ‘runaway bride’ from last year's Christmas special, rejoining the Doctor in the TARDIS for the complete thirteen-week run of the next season of ‘Doctor Who’.

New companion? What-ev-er...

Back in 2006, at the press screening of ‘The Runaway Bride’, Tate was asked if she would like to become the Doctor's new companion – her response was: "I would love to, but no one has asked!" It looks like they have now! In a new BBC press release, Tate has announced "I am delighted to be returning to ‘Doctor Who’. I had a blast last Christmas and look forward to travelling again through time and space with that nice man from Gallifrey."

Says executive producer and head writer, Russell T Davies: "Catherine was an absolute star in ‘The Runaway Bride’ and we are delighted that one of Britain's greatest talents has agreed to join us for the [next] series… Viewers can expect more ambitious storylines and a whole host of guest stars in 2008."

It has also been confirmed that Freema Agyeman, who played the Doctor's former companion Martha Jones, will return to the show to join David Tennant and Catherine Tate midway through the next season, after appearing in three new episodes of the spin-off series, ‘Torchwood’.

[Clive’s comment: personally, I’m rather disappointed that we aren’t getting a new new companion. I hope we aren’t in for thirteen episodes of Donna’s incessant moaning, because if that’s the case, I really will be bovvered…]




2nd July 2007: Kylie Minogue is to appear in the 2007 Christmas Special,
'Voyage of the Damned'!

David and Kylie

Image © Darenote Ltd.

"We are delighted and excited to announce that Kylie Minogue will be joining the Doctor," revealed Executive Producer and lead writer Russell T Davies. "Doctor Who Xmas specials are always a joy and we feel very confident that this will be the most ambitious and best Christmas episode yet."

Said Kylie: "It is an incredible thrill to be joining David and the entire ‘Doctor Who’ production for this year's Christmas special… ‘Doctor Who’ enjoys a unique history and it is going to be very exciting to be a part of that."

Written by Russell T Davies, ‘Voyage of the Damned’ is due to start filming in Cardiff in July. The story will follow on directly from the season finale, ‘Last of the Time Lords’, in which the ocean liner R.M.S. Titanic crashed through the TARDIS walls in front of a bewildered Doctor. Kylie will appear as a waitress aboard the ill-fated vessel.




2nd July 2007: The return of Martha Jones...

Following on from the events of ‘Last of the Time Lords’, the ‘Doctor Who’ season finale transmitted last Saturday 30th June, Martha Jones (played by Freema Agyeman) left the TARDIS to spend more time with her family, pursue her career in medicine – and to move on from her unrequited love for the Doctor…

Martha Jones - Freedom Fighter

However, this will not be the last we see of Martha, as the programme’s production team have just confirmed that not only will the character make “a triumphant return” midway in the next season of ‘Doctor Who’, but she will also join the cast of ‘Torchwood’ in three new episodes.

‘Doctor Who' Executive Producer and head writer, Russell T Davies said: "Series three [or Twenty-Nine for completests!] has gained outstanding reviews and Freema has been a huge part of that success, gaining rave notices for her portrayal of Martha. Now we are taking the character of Martha into brand new territory with a starring role in ‘Torchwood’.”

Freema herself said "I can't wait to start filming on ‘Torchwood’ and the new series of ‘Doctor Who’… It's a huge new challenge for me and I'm delighted Russell has decided to expand the character of Martha Jones.'"

In the meantime, a new companion will join the Doctor in the TARDIS for the next season's entire thirteen-week run, and the BBC will announce a name shortly.





23rd March 2007: David Tennant to star in 'Doctor Who' Season 30

After much speculation in the tabloid papers over the last few months, today's 'Daily Mirror' has confirmed that David Tennant will indeed play the Doctor for the whole of the next season, the thirtieth in the show's history, after signing a £1Million deal with the BBC. One source said: "To be honest, David was never going anywhere. He loves to create an air of mystery about his role in 'Doctor Who', and when he might leave, so he's happy for people to speculate about his departure... But the truth is he's finished filming [Season 29] and he's signed a contract to appear in the whole of the next series. That will see him filming throughout 2008. It's brilliant for the show and the fans."



22nd March 2007: 'Doctor Who' Season 30 (or 4 if you're counting just the new series!) has been confirmed, plus more Season 29 pictures released

Speaking at last night's press screening of Season 29's premiere episode, 'Smith and Jones', Russell T Davies confirmed what has been rumoured for quite some time: "Series four [he means 29!] is officially existing. I'm very excited, but we have known for ages." However, he refused to say whether David Tennant would return in his role as the Doctor. Said Tennant, "Do you know how many times I have been asked that question? Do you know how many times I have answered it?"

Season 29, which co-stars Freema Agyeman as new assistant Martha Jones, starts on BBC One on Saturday 31st March, at 7.00 pm. Speaking about former assistant Rose Tyler, who was written out at the end of the last season after Billie Piper decided to leave, Agyeman said, "Billie did a tremendous job… I know no-one likes change but the nature of the show is change and hopefully fans will be cool with that and give me a chance." Davies spoke in praise of his new star, "I just think people will open their hearts and let her in - they'll love it."

In the meantime, the BBC has released some more promotional pictures for Season 29:

The Doctor and Martha The Doctor and Martha



8th March 2007: 'Doctor Who' Season 29 promo picture

The BBC has released a spanking new promo picture for Season 29 of 'Doctor Who'.
A larger version can be found at the office 'Doctor Who' website

The Doctor and Martha



12th December 2006: The BBC has recommissioned 'Torchwood' for a second season - but this time it will premiere on BBC2

Says the press release: "BBC Three's Torchwood is back for a second series but this time it will premiere exclusively on BBC Two as confirmed by Jane Tranter, Controller of BBC Fiction, and BBC Two Controller Roly Keating. Starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, Torchwood has captivated audiences and smashed records. It attracted an audience of 2.4 million viewers for the broadcast of its first two episodes - securing the highest-ever audiences for a BBC Three programme and the highest-ever ratings for a non-sport programme to air across all channels in digital history.Created by award-winning writer Russell T Davies, with Chris Chibnall as co-producer and lead writer, the high-octane sci-fi thriller follows a team of modern day investigators as they use alien technology to solve crime, both alien and human. Set in Cardiff, Torchwood delves into the unknown - battling against the impossible in the highly volatile underworld of savage aliens and monsters whilst trying to maintain their every day lives. Roly Keating said: "Inventive, intelligent and unpredictable, Torchwood is a brilliant piece of 21st century fantasy drama. I'm delighted that its second series will be premiering on the channel." Julian Bellamy, Controller of BBC Three, said: "Breaking all records on BBC Three is no mean feat and we've been proud to help build Torchwood into one of the most talked-about and eagerly-anticipated series of recent years." Jane Tranter said: "Torchwood is a modern and innovative drama that has truly captured the imagination of its audience, and we are very excited that there will be more of the adrenaline-fuelled, action-packed adventures of our team of Torchwood heroes." Russell T Davies said: "The whole team is bristling with ideas and we are delighted that Cardiff is going to be home to more monsters and mayhem." Torchwood will be executive produced by Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies. Filming is due to start in Cardiff in Spring 2007 and the series will hit screens later next year. The remaining four episodes in the current series will continue to transmit on Sundays at 10pm on BBC Three and Wednesday nights at 9pm."


21st September 2006: 'K-9 Adventures' update

Park Entertainment have posted some info on their website, detailing the premise to the new spin-off series which features everyone's favourite robotic mutt:

Somewhere in the future…

An old Prairie class spacecraft is drifting towards distant stars. She is The “Platte” once used for the colonisation of Asteroids. On board are:-

SLOCUM - mid-thirties, rugged, taciturn who thinks of himself as a dealer in valuable commodities - others would say he just collects junk! He is a loner – a space gypsy! It's the only way he knows. He's in no hurry to get anywhere and he stays well off the beaten track.

DJINN - a V997 (F), an overactive computer module in the shape of an attractive young woman. She was programmed by the ship's previous owners to provide stimulating conversation. Something that SLOCUM would happily change if only he had knowledge of her operating codes!

K-9 Adventures

Image © Park Entertainment

Together they discover an apparently abandoned battle cruiser. Whereupon they meet K-9!

The adventures begin





16th September 2006: The BBC has released a press release about new spin-off series, 'The Sarah Jane Adventures':

Multi-award winning writer Russell T Davies has written a brand new series for CBBC called 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. It stars one of The Doctor's most famous companions, investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith. Russell T Davies says: "Children's TV has a fine history of fantasy thrillers - I loved them as a kid, and they were the very first things I ever wrote. So it's brilliant to return to such a vivid and imaginative area of television." The series begins with a 60-minute special which will be broadcast in early 2007 with the series due later in the year. Set in present-day West London, the programme stars original Sarah Jane actress Elisabeth Sladen and Yasmin Paige, who plays her 13-year-old neighbour Maria. The two form an unlikely alliance to fight evil alien forces at work in Britain. Elisabeth says: "I left Sarah Jane but she never left me. I can't wait to return to Cardiff to find out what's going to happen to her next." In the special, Maria and Sarah Jane are brought together in their battle against the scheming Ms Wormwood, played by Samantha Bond. Filming begins next month on location in Wales, with the series going into production in spring 2007. Creative Director of CBBC, Anne Gilchrist, says: "CBBC viewers have already proved themselves to be enormous fans of Dr Who. I am thrilled that they'll now have this new series as an extra-special treat." Sarah Jane Smith was a companion to the third and fourth Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and was a regular in the series from 1973 to 1976. She made a recent return in the 2006 episode 'School Reunion' opposite David Tennant, the tenth Doctor. Russell T Davies' hugely successful 'Doctor Who' has a Christmas Special due this year, with a third series broadcast in Spring 2007. The hotly-anticipated 'Torchwood', following the adventures of Captain Jack, begins this autumn on BBC THREE. 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' is written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts. It was commissioned by Jane Tranter for BBC Drama, and Anne Gilchrist and Jon East for CBBC. It is produced by BBC Wales and will transmit on the CBBC Channel and CBBC on BBC ONE. The Executive Producers are Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies. The Producer of the special is Susie Liggat and the Director is Colin Teague. The Producer of the series is Matthew Bouch and the Series Producer is Phil Collinson." It is worth noting that the press release also reports that K-9, the faithful robot dog and Sarah Jane's goodbye present from The Doctor, makes an appearance in the special but will not appear in the series.



27th August 2006: 'Doctor Who' wins prestigious Hugo Award

The two-part story ‘The Empty Child’ / ‘The Doctor Dances’, written by Steven Moffat, has won the prestigious ‘Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)’ at the annual World Science Fiction Convention, held on Saturday 26th August in Anaheim, California. The Hugo Awards are viewed as the science fiction community's most prestigious honours, and Moffat’s two episodes beat two other ‘Doctor Who’ episodes nominated for the same category, Paul Cornell's ‘Father's Day’ and Rob Shearman's ‘Dalek’, as well as an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’.



1st August 2006: Spin-off series for Sarah Jane Smith

According to the BBC’s staff magazine, ‘Ariel’, CBBC is developing a new spin-off series from ‘Doctor Who’ based on the adventured of investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith. Details are sparse, but it has been confirmed that Elisabeth Sladen will once again return to the role, and the series will be written by ‘Doctor Who’ writer / Executive Producer Russell T Davies. Rumour has it that the show may be called 'Sarah Jane Investigates'...



19th July 2006: John Barrowman has announced that he has signed a contract to appear as Captain Jack Harkness in the next series of 'Doctor Who'

Appearing at the London Film and Comic Con on 2nd July, Barrowman announced that after filming 'Torchwood' through to October, he will begin recording on 'Doctor Who' through to the end of its 2006 filming schedule. Speaking about 'Doctor Who, he explained that he was not in series two because "they didn't want to put me up against David. They wanted him to be able to establish his Doctor. They felt Captain Jack was too much of a powerfully strong character that it might take away from his glory. Shucks! So yeah, David has established himself now, but Jack will be back in series three and I promise you that... because I've already signed the contract!"

On his role in 'Torchwood', Barrowman promised that the mystery surrounding Captain Jack's missing two years of memory will be addressed, and that his character "becomes a lot darker. He still has a good sense of humour, and he's still very witty, very dry, very cutting with his dialogue, but he does become 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." Barrowman also gave an interesting quote from an upcoming episode of 'Torchwood': "The future is not for us to see. If we see the future, we try to change it and make it different. So we should leave it alone."

'Torchwood' is scheduled to begin transmission in October 2006.


5th July 2006: The BBC has announced that twenty-seven year old newcomer Freema Agyeman is to join ‘Doctor Who’ as the Doctor’s new companion, Martha Jones.

Says the BBC Press release: “’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. [See below, dated 15th June 2006 – Clive] Freema will be playing a brand new character in series three.

David Tennant and Freema Agyeman

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."




15th June 2006: After months of rumours and speculation, the BBC has finally confirmed that Billie Piper is to leave ‘Doctor Who’.

References to Rose “dying in battle”, as foretold by The Beast in last week’s episode, ‘The Satan Pit’, would indicate that the Doctor’s feisty companion is due to meet an untimely, but heroic, end in the aptly-named series two finale, ‘Doomsday’…

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler

The BBC’s press release says: “Billie Piper who has played Rose Tyler, the feisty young companion of both the ninth and tenth doctors, will leave ‘Doctor Who’ in a nail-biting series two finale. Over the past two years Rose has been on an adventure of a lifetime, travelling across the galaxy with the Doctor. She's visited far-off futuristic cities in the year five billion and beyond; landed on space stations where she's been a contestant in a deadly version of The Weakest Link; travelled back in time and met Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and her dead father; she has battled against the Doctor's deadliest foes the Daleks and Cybermen; taken on Slitheen, Sycorax and Krillitanes and survived the end of the world and the blitz.

Now, in what is set to be the TARDIS's most terrifying adventure, The Doctor and Rose will face their biggest challenge to date. Back on Earth the human race rejoices as the ghosts of loved ones return home. But as the Doctor (David Tennant), Rose and her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri) investigate Torchwood Tower, a trap is being sprung - an almighty invasion is being put into motion which is set to destroy the whole of modern-day Earth.

“Billie Piper says: "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. It has been an amazing adventure, and I can confirm it comes to an end, for now at least, as series two climaxes. 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 in this amazing role. Thank you so much."

“Russell T Davies, writer and Executive Producer adds: "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. With a series climax called ‘Doomsday’ on its way, 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!"

“Since taking on the role of Rose Tyler, Billie has received both critical and popular acclaim. She was awarded The National Television Award for Most Popular Actress 2005 and The South Bank Show's Breakthrough Award for Rising British Talent. Billie is currently filming the BBC's adaptation of multi award-winning writer Philip Pullman's ‘The Ruby In The Smoke’ in which she plays the title role, Sally Lockhart. Filming on the second novel ‘The Shadow In The North’ will commence later this summer. ‘Doctor Who’ series three also starts filming again later this summer and will return to our screens with a Christmas special in 2006 and another series of 13 episodes for 2007.”

Current rumours suggest that Freema Agyeman, who plays Adeola in 'Army of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday' will be the new companion. [1st July 2006 - Clive's note: well, following the events of 'Army of Ghosts, that particular character won't be returning will she?]




7th May 2006: 'Doctor Who' wins two BAFTA awards

At this evening's BAFTA ceremony in London, 'Doctor Who' won two awards! The show was named Best Drama Series, and the award was collected by Billie Piper and a Dalek; the series also won the Pioneer Audience Award for Best Programme of 2005. Not only that, but writer and executive producer Russell T Davies was presented with the Dennis Potter Award for Outstanding Writing For Television, which was presented by the Tenth Doctor himself, David Tennant. Speaking afterwards, Russell T Davis said: "It's lovely, it's gobsmacking, it's a programme that children watch and the family watch."



27th April 2006: An update on the titles for 'Doctor Who Confidential:

#1 - 'New New Doctor' follows David Tennant behind the scenes on 'New Earth' and "New New York"
#2 - 'Fear Factor' looks back at forty years of 'Doctor Who's creatures
#3 - 'Friend Reunited' concentrates on Sarah Jane Smith and K9
#4 - 'From Script to Screen' follows every stage of the making of 'The Girl in the Fireplace'
#5 - 'Cybermen' sees the return of the Cybermen after almost twenty years
#6 - 'Mickey Smith: From Zero to Hero' a look at the journey Mickey has taken over the last two years
#7 - 'The Writer's Tale' Mark Gatiss, writer of 'The Idiot's Lantern', takes us through the writing process
#8 - 'The Look of Who' gives a look at how each episode varies in visual style
#9 - 'Religion and Myth' shows how the Doctor's travels have brought him into contact with mythical and religious figures
#10 - 'New World of Who' looks at how Doctor Who's popularity has led to the casting of the biggest names in TV
#11 - 'The Fright Stuff' looks back at how Doctor Who has frightened viewers for the past 40 years
#12 - 'Welcome to Torchwood' gives a guide to the mysterious institute
#13 - 'Finale' - the explosive end to Season 2...


24th April 2006: 'K-9 Adventures'

The BBC has announced that the new spin-off series, 'K-9 Adventures', will comprise of twenty-six, thirty-minute computer-generated episodes. Described as “a comedy-fantasy series set in outer space”, the show will be produced and co-written by the robot hound's co-creator, Bob Baker, for Jetix Europe (formerly known as Fox Kids, of which Disney is the majority shareholder) alongside London-based distribution outfit Park Entertainment. Baker says: “It's thrilling to be able to offer younger Doctor Who fans the chance to get to know K-9. I believe they will love the 21st century K-9 as much as past generations.”

K-9 MkV

The new version of K-9 seen in 'K-9 Adventures' is “a galactic crime-fighter”, and has been redesigned as “a sleeker, curvier hero complete with white bodywork and a liquid crystal display. Its red visor-style eyes remain along with the nose laser.” This computer-generated K-9 – technically K-9 MkV – is said to offer fewer technical challenges than its predecessor, which went through three versions in both ‘Doctor Who’ and a one-off special, ‘K9 and Company’; after twenty-five years, the MkIII version of K-9 returns to our screens in the new episode, ‘School Reunion’.

19th July 2006 - Update: Bob Baker has since revealed that the new series will be a blend of live-action and CGI, with K9 himself appearing as an animated creation. Baker also stated that scripts have been written, or were being written, for twenty-six thirty-minute episodes, and that a test reel has been completed with specially-filmed footage to show how the new series will look. Transmission for 'K-9 Adventures' is planned for early 2008.




30th March 2006:
'Doctor Who' documentaries, specials and stuff:

Sunday 9 April sees BBC3 showing a three-hour long 'Doctor Who Night', for which the 'Doctor Who Confidential' team have been commissioned to make a sixty-minute special 'Doctor Who Confidential: One Year On'; also included on the schedule is a repeat of 'The Christmas Invasion', and a repeat showing of the 2003 documentary 'The Story of Doctor Who'. Talking of 'Doctor Who Confidential', the first four editions have now been completed:

#1 - 'New New Doctor' follows David Tennant behind the scenes on 'New Earth' and "New New York"
#2 - 'Fear Factor' looks back at forty years of 'Doctor Who's creatures
#3 - 'Friend Reunited' concentrates on Sarah Jane Smith and K9
#4 - 'From Script to Screen' follows every stage of the making of 'The Girl in the Fireplace'

After the transmission of each new episode of season two on BBC One, the official Doctor Who website will post two hours of extra material, including a full episode commentary for download, a 'TARDISODE' (see below), trailers and some video diaries by 'Doctor Who Confidential'. More games similar to the last season’s Dalek one will be unveiled, the first featuring K9 against a whole host of the new series' most popular creations.


'TARDISODES':
This series of thirteen, one-minute "mini-dramas" will be available for download to mobile phones a few days ahead of each new episode of 'Doctor Who', and will compliment each televised episode's main storyline by featuring back-stories about the characters and adventures featured. Written by Gareth Roberts, the TARDISODES are produced by the team responsible for the interactive adventure 'Attack of the Graske', directed by Ashley Way, produced by Sophie Fante, script edited by Simon Winsone, designed by Edward Thomas and with effects by The Mill. The stories will not feature David Tennant or Billie Piper; writer Gareth Roberts has commented that they “almost work as pre-credits sequences.” Examples of what the content will include are: "meeting the Cat Women who can cure all illnesses, joining Mickey as he discovers some alien activity in a local school... witnessing the Cybermen upgrade process". Users can subscribe to the TARDISODES from 1st April by texting "TARDIS" to 81010 (there is no charge for BBC content for mobile phones, although regular service provider call charges will obviously still apply). As mentioned above, the TARDISODES will then be made available on the BBC's 'Doctor Who' website, and will probably be included on a future DVD release.


Update on 'Torchwood', the new 'Doctor Who' spin-off series starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack:

Episode one is called 'Flotsam and Jetsam', and is written by Russell T Davies; episode two (and at least three other stories) are by Chris Chibnall. Other writers include Toby Whithouse, writer of 'Doctor Who' episode 'School Reunion'; 'Sapphire and Steel' creator PJ Hammond; Si Spencer; and Noel Clarke, who plays Mickey Smith in 'Doctor Who', and who also penned the recent film 'Kidulthood'. The first block of episodes, which starts filming in May, will be directed by Brian Kelly, and the series will be produced by Richard Stokes.


4th March 2006: 'The Sun' reports that K9 and Sarah Jane Smith will appear in their own spin-off series, following their appearance in Series Two next month.

According to the article "Doctor Who's robot dog K9 and ex-sidekick Sarah Jane Smith are to get their own spin-off show, TV Biz can reveal. We told how BBC bosses are bringing back K9 for an episode in the Timelord's new series. Now it has emerged that the pooch and Sarah Jane, played by Elizabeth Sladen, will also star together in their own children's series.

K-9 MkIII

An insider said: 'It would have been a shame to put K9 back in his kennel, so we've come up with an idea for another drama. It's early days but K9 and Elizabeth Sladen are inseparable characters. There are loads of things we can do with Doctor Who. It's one of the most popular shows on TV and viewers can't seem to get enough of it.' It will be the second spin-off from the sci-fi hit. BBC bosses are also making ‘Torchwood’, a racy drama for BBC3. That show stars former ‘Doctor Who’ actor John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness... A BBC spokeswoman said last night: 'We are not confirming any developments at this moment.'" If this is true, it will be the second K9 and Sarah Jane spin-off, following on twenty-five years later from ‘K9 and Company’, shown at Christmas, 1981. Could other characters appear in the show, such as Mickey or Captain Jack? We’ll have to wait and see…




24th February 2006: According to the latest issue of 'Doctor Who Monthly', mobile phone users will be able to download exclusive additional content before each episode of Series Two airs on BBC One.

With scripts by Gareth Roberts, the thirteen instalments of 'Vortext' (the working title) will contain "exclusive footage, state-of-the-art special effects and new material directly linked to the following episode". Russell T Davies reveals that "new material is being shot alongside the regular crew" for each episode, while Gareth Roberts says, "These are proper, full-on productions", which are being made by the team responsible for 'Attack of the Graske' at Christmas.


24th February 2006: Welsh actress Eve Myles has been confirmed to play Gwen Cooper, the lead female role in 'Torchwood'.

Says the BBC press release: "Eve will star alongside John Barrowman in the forthcoming 13-part drama that will be broadcast later this year. The British sci-fi crime thriller for adult audiences will follow the adventures of a team of renegade investigators, led by the enigmatic Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman. It will see the investigators scavenge alien technology in a very real world to solve crime; both alien and human.



Torchwood Cast

Says Eve: "I'm thrilled to be playing the part of Gwen. To get the chance to do a 13-part series under the watchful pen of Russell is amazing," says Eve. "It's such a compliment to have been chosen for the part - I can't wait. I'm also looking forward to working with John. It'll be the perfect opportunity for the both of us to show everyone what we've got." Eve Myles guest-starred in the first series of Doctor Who and has recently finished filming Soundproof for BBC TWO. Her credits also include a highly successful run at the National Theatre when she appeared alongside Michael Gambon in Henry IV Parts I & II. Russell T Davies says: "I've admired Eve's work for years, and when she was able to guest-star in Doctor Who last year, it just confirmed to me that she was one of Wales's best-kept secrets. "The part of Gwen in Torchwood was written specially for her - so it's a good thing she said yes! Eve and John Barrowman have already met up, and the combination is going to be electrifying." John Barrowman adds: "I'm really looking forward to working with Eve. We've had a good laugh on the occasions we've met and the fact that she's already been in Doctor Who means she knows what she's getting into. Head of BBC Wales Drama, Julie Gardner, says: "We are delighted to announce the casting of Eve Myles in the central role of Gwen, alongside John Barrowman's Captain Jack in Torchwood. Eve is an intelligent and versatile actress, who has done exceptional work in a number of BBC dramas, including our local series Belonging." The 13-part drama series starts filming in the Summer and will transmit on BBC Three and BBC One. A BBC Wales production for BBC Three, Torchwood is written by Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall, with contributing writers including P J Hammond and Toby Whithouse. The producer is Richard Stokes and executive producers are Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies."




29th November 2005: For the first time ever, the Christmas edition of ‘The Radio Times’ has a ‘Doctor Who’-themed front cover!

Sporting a festive painting of a snow-globe containing a miniature TARDIS surrounded by a scarf-wearing snowman and a menacing snowdalek (?!), the listings magazine features an in-depth look at the making of the monsters from the special episode ‘The Christmas Invasion’, which stars David Tennant and Billie Piper.

Readers will also have the opportunity to enter a competition to win a six-foot high Dalek from the show.

The Christmas edition of ‘The Radio Times’ goes on sale from 3rd December.



The Crimbo Radio Times



12th November 2005: According to the Daily Mirror, Billie Piper is quitting 'Doctor Who', apparently telling producers she did not want to become typecast as they begged her to stay for a third run of the hit show... An unnamed 'source' said: "She wants to strike while the iron's hot and make a big name for herself while she's so popular. She feels her profile will go down if the series isn't as big the third time around. The BBC are auditioning other girls to take over. They want to have the next actress all lined up when they announce Billie's departure... They are quite miffed about her decision... The casting people have been conducting secret auditions with a small number of actresses and keeping it very, very quiet... They are after a relative newcomer so this is the role which puts her in the public eye." Update: Not surprisingly, this is Whether or not all this is true remains to be seen. Stay tuned...


10th November 2005: The new-look Cybermen have now been unveiled - and they're terrific!

The new design will debut on-screen in the second series of ‘Doctor Who’, in a two-part adventure written by Tom McRae and directed by Graeme Harper.

In the story the Doctor, Rose and Mickey arrive on an alternate Earth and face a new, more deadly breed of Cybermen who are out to convert humanity into their own kind.

Producer, Phil Collinson says: "The villainous Cybermen are as much a part of Doctor Who heritage as the Daleks and so it's a huge personal thrill to see them back. I hope that the evil silver giants will terrify a whole new generation of viewers as they confront the tenth Time Lord."



Cyberman

Also, issue #363 of 'Doctor Who Magazine' reports that immediately after the transmission of 'The Christmas Invasion', digital viewers (via digital, cable or Freeview) can then press their Red Buttons and join the Doctor on a new adventure in a special interactive episode. David Tennant has already filmed scenes for the story, which is written by Gareth Roberts, directed by Ashley Way and produced by Sophie Fante in conjunction with the Doctor Who production team. Executive producer Julie Gardner says: "This is being treated as a full-blooded, sophisticated production, with... a brand new alien villain... and brand new sets... Viewers will even be able to use their remotes to fly the TARDIS!" The special interactive episode will be available between the broadcast of 'The Christmas Invasion' and the start of series two.




26th October 2005:

‘Doctor Who’ won three prizes at the National TV Awards, held at the Royal Albert Hall last night.

Revived after a sixteen-year absence, ‘Doctor Who’ has proved to be a success with viewers since it returned to BBC One in March; it beat US hit series ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘The Bill’ and ‘Bad Girls’ to win the ‘Most Popular Drama’ prize.



National Television Awards

Christopher Eccleston won the award for ‘Most Popular Actor’, ahead of ‘Doc Martin’ star Martin Clunes, Bradley Walsh from ‘Coronation Street' and ‘EastEnders’ regulars Nigel Harman and Shane Richie. Eccleston was unable to attend the ceremony, so writer / executive producer Russell T Davies collected the award on his behalf and read out the actor's note of apology and thanks: "Thank you to everybody who voted for me, and to the British public for their encouragement over the last seventeen years… They have always been honest with me and I'm very grateful."

Billie Piper scooped ‘Most Popular Actress’, beating Caroline Quentin, ‘EastEnders’ stars Jessie Wallace and June Brown, and Sally Lindsay from ‘Coronation Street'. When collecting her prize, Piper thanked the series; bosses for taking a "huge gamble".

‘EastEnders’ won ‘Most Popular Serial Drama’, while Antony Cotton from ‘Coronation Street' won ‘Most Popular Newcomer’; Ant and Dec won ‘Top Entertainment Hosts’ for the fifth year running, and ‘Little Britain’ claimed the ‘Most Popular Comedy’ prize.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on ITV1 at 20:00 BST on Wednesday.



17th October 2005: The BBC has announced a new spin-off series from ‘Doctor Who’: ‘Torchwood’. Created by Russell T Davis, ‘Torchwood’ stars John Barrowman as everyone’s favourite time agent, Captain Jack, who now heads a crack team charged with investigating alien activities and crime in modern-day Britain. There will be thirteen forty-five-minute episodes, which will be transmitted on BBC3 in 2006. Davies describes the show as “aimed at adult audiences”, noting that it would "have its own, unique identity… Each episode of ‘Torchwood’ will be a one-off story and will be funny in a way that ‘Casanova’ brought humour to period drama… ‘Torchwood’ will be a dark, clever, wild, sexy, British crime / sci-fi paranoid thriller cop show with a sense of humour – ‘The X Files’ meets ‘This Life’. Stuart Murphy, controller of BBC3, said the new series would have a distinctly Welsh feel, reflecting Davies's Swansea roots. "It's set in modern-day Cardiff. Unlike ‘Doctor Who’, which made Cardiff look like Dickensian London, this will look like Cardiff… It's a renegade bunch of investigators who investigate real-life, normal crimes. They also look into alien happenings. They have been charged by the British government to find alien technology that has fallen to Earth and they need to do it without the FBI and UN knowing." John Barrowman says "I'm absolutely thrilled about Torchwood... It's going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride.... "Working again with Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and the BBC is like hooking up with family again. I can't wait to explore Captain Jack even more." Originally referred to in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Bad Wolf’, Torchwood is an “Old Earth Institute”, and “the Great Cobalt Pyramid” was later built on its remains. It's also worth noting that “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”! (an in-joke as Russell T Davies used the name 'Torchwood' as a security measure during the production of 'Doctor Who', to disguise preview tapes of the first episodes). Filming on the series will begin in Cardiff early next year; as well as Russell T Davies, other writers include Chris Chibnall and P.J. Hammond. The executive producers are Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, Head of Drama in BBC Wales.

25th July 2005:

The Tenth Doctor's new costume has been unveiled, which comprises of a brown pinstriped suit, ankle-length brown coat and cream plimpsoles.

Talking about his new look, David Tennant said: "I think we've come up with something distinctive that's both timeless and modern, with a bit of geek chic and of course, a dash of Time Lord! Most importantly Billie tells me she likes it – after all she's the one who has to see me in it for the next nine months!"



The Doctor and Rose

Russell T Davies has also given some info on the new series: "We were delighted and honoured by the first series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs, new heartbreak, and some terrifying new aliens. The Doctor and Rose are destined to meet Queen Victoria, an evil race of Cat Women, and the dreaded Cybermen. 2006 is going to be scarier than ever!"



15th June 2005: At this evening's BAFTA screening of 'The Parting of the Ways', producer Russell T Davies and Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, announced that a third series of ‘Doctor Who’ has now been commissioned, and also a second Christmas special for transmission in 2006. They also confirmed that Billie Piper will play Rose in all episodes of the second series (although a decision regarding the third is still being discussed), and that John Barrowman will return as Captain Jack, but only in the second block of episodes. The new Doctor will have a new costume, Mickey and Rose's mum, Jackie, will also return. The title for this year's Christmas special was also confirmed as ’The Christmas Invasion. Russell T Davies said 'What was most pleasing is that people have been watching this series as a family. I think a children's show should have a full range of emotions including grief and comedy.'

8th June 2005: The BBC's official website reports that the 'Doctor Who Confidential' production team have made a bonus documentary called 'Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide', which will be transmitted on BBC1 on Saturday 18th June at 6.15pm, just before the final episode of the season, 'The Parting of the Ways', is shown. The press release states: "From a council estate to a battle in space, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, will take us behind the scenes of the new series, to talk to cast and crew and celebrate all the triumphs and tears, smiles and trials shared between the Doctor, Rose and millions of fans, who have turned on to see a new Who at his alien best. The Ultimate Guide is just what the Doctor ordered."

28th April 2005: The latest issue of ‘Doctor Who Magazine’ lists the writers for the second season of ‘Doctor Who’. Executive producer Russell T Davies will script five stories, along with returning writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who will pen one episode each; they will be joined by Matt Jones (script editor on Davies' ‘Queer as Folk’ and ‘Clocking Off’, and writer of ‘Now you see her’, ‘Serious and Organised’, ‘P.O.W’, the Virgin ‘Doctor Who’ novel ‘Bad Therapy’ and the Bernice Summerfield novel ‘Beyond the Sun’) who will script two episodes, one of which has the working title of ‘The Satan Pit’; Tom MacRae (‘Nine Lives’ and ‘School's Out’) is also writing two episodes; Toby Whithouse (‘Money Can Buy You Love’, ‘No Angels’ and ‘Attachments’) is writing one episode – this leaves one additional script which has yet to be assigned.

16th April 2005: What the rumours have been saying for the last few weeks (and which I reported back on 31st March) has finally been confirmed by the BBC - David Tennant is to play the Tenth Doctor! The BBC Press Release states: "David Tennant is confirmed as the tenth Doctor Who, it was announced today by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, following the recommissioning of the second series. Rumour also has it that Tennant will be playing the role with an English accent, rather than his natural Scottish brogue...

David Tennant

Tennant, whose recent credits include BBC THREE's critically-acclaimed drama series Casanova, BBC ONE's Blackpool and He Knew He Was Right, will star alongside Billie Piper who returns as Rose Tyler. Julie Gardner, BBC Head of Drama, Wales says: "Christopher Eccleston has given an exceptional performance as the ninth Doctor... David Tennant is a great actor who will build on the excellent work already done by Christopher in establishing Doctor Who for a new generation." David Tennant says: "I am delighted, excited and honoured to be the tenth Doctor! I grew up loving Doctor Who and it has been a lifelong dream to get my very own TARDIS. Russell T Davies is one of the best writers television has ever had, and I'm chuffed to bits to get the opportunity to work with him again. I'm also really looking forward to working with Billie Piper who is so great as Rose. Taking over from Chris is a daunting prospect; he has done a fantastic job of reinventing the Doctor for a new generation and is a very tough act to follow." Executive producer/writer Russell T Davies adds: "Christopher Eccelston's wonderful Doctor has reinvented the role, so that it now appeals to the best actors in the land. I'm already writing David's first new adventure on board the TARDIS! Regeneration is a huge part of the programme's mythology, and I'm delighted that new, young viewers can now have the complete Doctor Who experience, as they witness their hero change his face!" A new 13-part adventure and Christmas special begins filming in Cardiff in the summer for transmission on BBC ONE.



Click here to go on to the New Series EpisodesClick here to go on to the New Series Episodes

"D'ya wanna come with me? Because if you do - then I should warn you... You're gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past. Aliens from the future. The day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won't be quiet. It won't be safe. And it won't be calm. But I'll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime!" - The Ninth Doctor

11th April 2005: The BBC received 91 complaints about the content of 'The Unquiet Dead', saying it was too scary to broadcast at 7pm. The BBC responded in a press release: "Doctor Who is famously remembered by adults as being the family teatime programme which they watched from behind the sofa as children. The series has always been shown in the early evening and, while the monsters may be scary, the content is carefully considered for a pre-watershed audience. The programme sets out to balance the right amount of humour, drama and suspense in each episode. In The Unquiet Dead broadcast April 9th, the comic character of the Welsh undertaker and a larger than life Charles Dickens together with the laughter and bravery shown by the Doctor and Rose in the face of danger were, we believe, vital elements in putting this "ghost story" into the right context for a family audience. This is a balance we will strive week by week to maintain and remain vigilant about.Doctor Who has never been intended for the youngest of children and in line with the BBC's scheduling policy, the later a programme appears in the schedules, the less suitable it is for very young children to watch unsupervised. Programmes for very young viewers are clearly indicated in the listings. However, we leave it to the discretion of parents to ultimately decide what is suitable for their children. The programme is well trailed giving a clear indication of its content."

5th April 2005: In a news release the has admitted that it failed to speak to Christopher Eccleston before revealing he was going to quit 'Doctor Who' after the first season. It was originally claimed the actor feared being typecast if he stayed on, and quoted Eccleston as saying "he hoped viewers continued to enjoy the series". However, it now appears that the BBC did not consult him about that statement and also broke its agreement not to reveal he planned to film just one series. BBC Head of Drama and Commissioning Jane Tranter said: "The BBC regrets not speaking to Christopher before it responded to the press questions on Wednesday 30 March... The BBC further regrets that it falsely attributed a statement to Christopher and apologises to him." A BBC spokesman said a mutual agreement was made between the Corporation and Eccleston in January that the fact he was not making a second series would not be made public.

31st March 2005: Bad news! Following rumours of panic in the Wales production office, the BBC has now confirmed that Christopher Eccleston has quit 'Doctor Who' - despite just one episode of the new series having been transmitted so far. It seems that Eccleston feared being typecast, which is odd, considering that he asked Russell T Davies if he could take on the role in the first place. Talks have taken place to replace him with 'Casanova' star David Tennant, who, ironically, has also starred in several Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventures, including ‘Colditz’, ‘Medicinal Purposes’, ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and ‘Dalek Empire’, as well BBC Online's 'Doctor Who' webcast 'The Scream of the Shalka'; he has also had roles in 'Blackpool', 'Bright Young Things', 'Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)', 'Posh Nosh', 'The Deputy' and the live broadcast of 'The Quatermass Experiment', as is currently filming 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. It seems that the production team will re-shoot the ending of episode thirteen of the current season in order to allow for a cliffhanger 'is he dead?'-type scene. Eccleston has agreed to appear in the Christmas special, so it looks like a regeneration scene will occur during that story, and then Doctor number 10 will make his debut. Billie Piper, who plays assistant Rose, is expected to reprise her role in both the special and the second season. I wonder what they’ll do about the Eccleston dolls planned for a release this Christmas..?

30th March 2005: Great news! The BBC has commissioned a second season of 'Doctor Who', and also a Christmas special! According to 'The Guardian', Jane Tranter, Head of Drama Commissioning, was shocked by the first episode's popularity, saying "I told myself I'd be completely and utterly thrilled if it got 6.5 million, but there was a little voice inside whispering '4.5 million'…" She also revealed that the show had scored a good 81 out of 100 in audience appreciation research. Writers for the news series have yet to be announced, but it was confirmed that Russell T Davies will be writing the 60 minute Christmas special. He said "It's fantastic news…It's been a tense and jittery time because the production team has been working on plans for Series Two - scripts are being written already! - without ever knowing if it would ever get made. We could all have ended up unemployed. But now we can put all those plans into action and get going. It's particularly good for BBC Wales. This is a major flagship show for the region, and their staff and crews are the best you could find. It's a tribute to them that ‘Doctor Who’ is returning. Cymru am byth!"

26th March 2005: The television premiere of 'Rose' was spoilt somewhat by the BBC's Presentation department, who faded up the microphones from the previous live programme, 'Strictly Dance Fever', during the first few minutes of the episode. However, this didn't stop the programme achieving an average audience of 9.9 million, which peaked at a whopping 10.6 million viewers! With an average audience share of 43.2%, the show beat off competition from ITV’s 'Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway', which only achieved an average of 7.2 million viewers, and a 31.4% share.


8th March 2005: The story regarding the leaked copy of ‘Rose’ has hit all the tabloid papers and news sites – ironically on the BBC’s press launch day for the new series. Expect features and interviews with the cast on the BBC’s various news programmes, on both television and radio. Meanwhile, the BBC is investigating how episode 1 of the new series ended up on the internet three weeks before the show is due to begin on BBC One; in a statement a show spokesperson said that the leak was a "significant breach of copyright… We would urge viewers not to spoil their enjoyment and to wait for the finished version, which airs at the end of the month… The source of it appears to be connected to our co-production partner...", referring to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). A CBC spokesperson said: "We are looking into it. That's all I can say at this point because we don't know exactly what happened. It certainly wasn't done intentionally." (Update: the employee responsible for the leak was eventually tracked down and sacked) Elsewhere on the Web, the BBC's Official Doctor Who website has had a facelift, and very nice it looks too. It also features a particularly interesting byline for the new series:

Saving the Earth, every week on BBC One

If you think TV is missing a hero, then you haven't met the Doctor. He saves planets for a living - more of a hobby actually, as he's very, very good at it.

He's saved us from alien menaces and evil from before time began - but just who is he?

Well, Rose Tyler is about to find out. She's 19 and she's not travelled much. But all that's going to change...

Doctor Who is a 13-part drama series coming soon to Saturday evenings on BBC One, starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.


6th March 2005: A rough cut of ‘Rose’, episode 1 of the new series, has been leaked onto the internet three weeks before it was due to be transmitted on BBC 1. It seems that an undisclosed employee of a Canadian broadcaster somehow got hold of a DVD of the episode, and decided to release it on the Web via several Bit-Torrent sites. The BBC was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, the Web has gone a bit mad…


25th February 2005: Here's some info on the accompanying documentary series, 'Doctor Who Confidential':



EPISODE 1: 'Back From the Future'
To link with the first sighting of the Doctor and first sighting of the TARDIS and, of course, the Doctor saving the world again. This episode reminds us of all the elements of Who that make his return so mouth-watering…

EPISODE 2: 'Aliens – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly'
Making convincing aliens - behind the scenes of the space station, "Platform One" - behind the scenes making the prosthetics - showing how they work - we visit The Mill to show the CGI for the new series and take a look back at aliens from the past.

EPISODE 3: 'TARDIS Tales'
From behind the scenes of the Dickens set in Swansea we take a good long look at the TARDIS and its vital role in the Doctor’s adventures. We look at all the different worlds that the present and past doctors visit and visited.

EPISODE 4: 'I Get A Side-kick Out of You'
Rose and her predecessors. What does it take to make the grade as the Doctor's companion? We look back at companions from the past: Why does the Doctor need Rose? What does she add to the mix?

EPISODE 5 : 'Why on Earth' (Working title: 'Life On Earth')
The Doctor's links to Earth/relationships with humans/his humanity/ what makes him alien and why he appeals to us all.

EPISODE 6 : 'The Daleks'
Following the return of the Doctor's most feared foe. We watch the tests, see how they work, and meet the men behind the metal.

EPISODE 7: 'The Dark Side'
Evil genii and sudden death - the vital ingredients of Doctor Who.

EPISODE 8 : 'Time Trouble' (Working title: 'A Time and a Place')
Looking at each Doctor as a product of his time, and looking at how the Doctor has evolved over the last forty years.

EPISODE 9: 'FX'
Following the director in a meeting with The Mill (CGI), model makers and prosthetics people and looking at the first stages of talking through the FX through til they're finally finished. We follow the start to the finish of the making of episode nine - creating the look and sound of aliens and alien worlds. How do you light a spaceship? How do you make space?

EPISODE 10: 'The Weird Science of Doctor Who'
Starting with the sonic screwdriver's appearance, we look into the weird science that is Doctor Who. From "a hole in the time vortex" to "I'll tell you later"; from flying a helicopter to arguing with a small metal dog.

EPISODE 11: 'Unsung Heroes and Violent Death'
Coming off the back of an episode that deals mainly with death and justice, we look at the importance of death to Doctor Who and look at his moral code.

EPISODE 12: 'The World of Who' (Working title: 'The Cult Of Who')
The conventions, the reactions, the anticipation of the fans who have had a feast of sci-fi treats over the past 12 weeks. We will look at the fans on-set, the clamour for sci-fi facts, the problems with confidentiality, through to the success of merchandising.

EPISODE 13: 'The Last Battle' (Working title: 'Finale')
Review of the past 13 weeks - the highs and lows of life with the Doctor and Rose.


10th January 2005: Another official photo for the new series has been released! (click image for a bigger version):

New Doctor Who


1st December 2004: The new series of 'Doctor Who' has been included in the BBC's press pack announcing the new Winter season. The booklet notes: "Acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston plays Doctor Who in a new series for BBC One next year. Billie Piper, who made her acting debut in the critically acclaimed Canterbury Tales - The Miller's Tale, stars alongside Eccleston as the Doctor's companion, Rose Tyler. Travelling through time and space, the Doctor and Rose come face to face with a number of new and exciting monsters - as well as battling with the Doctor's arch-enemy, the Daleks. The series, which promises to surprise and entertain a new generation, also features Penelope Wilton, Noel Clarke, Annette Badland, Camille Coduri and John Barrowman, Bruno Langley and celebrated theatre, film and television actor Simon Callow. Filming in Cardiff until 2005 for transmission on BBC One, Doctor Who is written by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman."

Accompanying the booklet is a clips tape of highlights - including 'Doctor Who'! Yep - the first sighting of new television 'Who' in eight years: it's a very short teaser, but in widescreen no less:


ES: Space. The Moon. Slow Pan R to L to see the Earth

Caption appears, letter by letter:

“IT'S ALMOST TIME…”



Camera suddenly crash zooms through the clouds, plunging towards London

THE DOCTOR (V.O.):
“I’m the Doctor by the way. What’s your name?”

ROSE (V.O.):
“Rose.”

THE DOCTOR (V.O.):
“Nice to meet you Rose. Run for your life!”

Theme tune (Pertwee) crashes in

Cut to:

ECU of new ‘Doctor Who’ logo - fast track L to R across letters



Cut to:

WS of darkly-lit street. The TARDIS stands under a street light, wreathed in fog. As we watch, the TARDIS dematerialises

Caption appears, letter by letter:

“…BUT NOT YET.”




2nd November 2004: The Sun newspaper has released pictures of the Dalek from Episode 6. Apparently, this is the last time we'll see this version, before the revamped Daleks are unveiled in Episodes 12 and 13. Looks like Nicholas Briggs will do the voices! (click images for bigger versions):

New DalekNew Dalek


30th October 2004: Various newspapers are reporting that the Daleks in the new series will be able to fly. Obviously ignoring the fact that viewers already found this out in ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, a BBC insider revealed: "The Daleks were always the Doctor's scariest enemy - but now they can rise up from the ground and cause all sorts of havoc. The Doctor will have his work cut out… We're using more special effects and have given the Daleks three jet-powered thrusters to take off, although otherwise they still look the same."


29th October 2004: I have been asked to remove some of the spoilers and rumours that I recently posted for the new series. The pages will continue to be updated, as and when new information is released via official sources, or reported in the popular press. Oh well - as someone once said: stay tuned..!


27th October 2004: How cool is this! The first official photo for the new series (click image for a bigger version):

New Doctor Who

The back of the postcard reads: "The Doctor looks and seems human. He's handsome, sexy and witty, and could be mistaken for just another man in the street. But the Doctor is a Time Lord: a 900 year old alien with 2 hearts, part of a gifted civilisation who mastered time travel. Christopher Ecleston plays the Doctor, and Billie Piper is Rose in the thrilling new series of Doctor Who, on BBC TV in Spring 2005. Brace yourself for some exhilarating expriences and deadly confronations across time and space. The human race will survive - but only with the Doctor's help."

26th October 2004: I've heard some interesting rumours: the regeneration from the Eighth Doctor to the Ninth may well take place in a forthcoming comic strip in Doctor Who Magazine, to be penned by Russell T. Davies. Also, the first episode, 'Rose', could be shown at Christmas, with the rest of the series debuting in March 2005. Hmm...

18th October 2004: The new series logo debuts! It was created by Louise Hillam, Alison Jenkins and Hywel Roberts at the Graphic Design team at BBC Wales, with Luke Davies and Paul Humphrey at Insect Design working on the background.

New Doctor Who Logo

14th October 2004: This week's 'Broadcast Magazine' carries the news that the BBC will produce a companion documentary series for the new season, entitled 'Doctor Who Confidential'. The thirteen-part, half-hour series will be aimed at a mainstream audience, not just fans, and will feature behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with cast members and archive material. It will be transmitted weekly on BBC3, immediately after each episode of 'Doctor Who' has been shown on BBC1. Apparently, each episode will be "based around a particular theme such as the challenges of creating a new Dr Who or finding his assistant." The show will be produced by Gillane Seabourne, with executive producer Mark Cossey, and co-executive producers Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

10th September 2004: various internet sites are listing details from another Worldwide Television press release on the new series, the most interesting info being list of the starring names (Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler, Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith and Mark Benton as Clive), and a short description of what's to come:

"Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. An alien and a loner (it's difficult keeping up with friends when your day job involves roaming through time and space), his detached logic gives him a vital edge when the world's in danger. But when it comes to relationships, he can be found wanting. That's why he needs Rose.

Rose is a shop girl from the present day. From the moment they meet, the Doctor and Rose are soulmates. They understand and complement each other. As they travel together through history and across the universe, the Doctor shows Rose things beyond her imagination. She starts out as an innocent, fettered by earthly concerns. But she ends up an adventurer who, by the end of the series, can never go home again...

As the two forge a friendship across time and space, brace yourself for some exhilarating experiences and deadly confrontations. Far, far in the future, Rose witnesses the natural end of the world, as the sun expands and the solar system dies. Journey back to Victorian times for an encounter with Charles Dickens and the mysterious Geith -- gaseous monsters with deadly plans for humanity. While back in 2005, an alien crash-landing diverts attention from a conspiracy that leads to the very heart of the government.

Wherever they go, whoever they meet, every story will come back to Earth. For all the danger and tension, this is a fundamentally optimistic series. The human race will survive - but only with the Doctor's help. Prepare for brand-new, spellbinding adventures in the human race..."

4th July 2004: Hurrah! The Daleks are back after all! A BBC press release states: Mal Young, BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series and Tim Hancock, agent for the Terry Nation Estate announced today (Wednesday, August 4) that the Daleks will return in the new series of Doctor Who which is currently in production for transmission on BBC One in 2005. Hancock says: "I am absolutely delighted that the Terry Nation Estate and the BBC have been able to reach agreement on terms for the use of the Daleks in the new Doctor Who series. We look forward to working closely with the production team in the forthcoming months." Young added: "As well as coming face-to-face with a number of new and exciting monsters, its good news that the Doctor will also do battle with his arch enemy, the Daleks in a series which promises to surprise and entertain a new generation." Starring Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, the Doctor's companion, the new 13-part series is currently filming in Cardiff and London for transmission in 2005. Casting also includes Penelope Wilton (Calendar Girls), Noel Clarke (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet), Annette Badland (Cutting It), Camille Coduri (England Expects) and John Barrowman (who is currently in the West End production of Anything Goes). Doctor Who is produced by Phil Collinson. The writers are Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman. Executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

20th July 2004: And so it begins… 'BBC Wales Today' featured a report on the first day's filming of the new series in Cardiff's main shopping centre, outside Howell’s department store, for the very first scene of the very first episode. The Doctor's costume is revealed to be the simple combination of black T-shirt, black leather jacket and black trousers (jeans?), while Rose's costume appears to be a pink top and flared blue jeans. Not over-the-top costume branding as per the previous Doctors then, but at least this means none of those damn question marks appear! (and I'm especially pleased as the Ninth Doctor's outfit matches what I usually wear!) When asked how he manages everyone’s expectations on what the new series should look like, Russell T Davies replied “To be honest, I just sort of ignore them. I make the Doctor Who that I wanted to make… it's going to be new and exciting, it's also going to be very, very traditional. people are going to have the same old thrill that they always had watching it… it's going to look more ‘year 2005’, that more of a sort of upbeat kick to it, and it's very much the same old show… it's the best idea ever invented in the history of the world! I really think so. I love it. But, it's great adventure, it, it tells great stories about the human race, I think, about optimism, and those are good stories to tell in this age.”

The new Doctor The Doctor, Rose and RTD The Doctor, Rose and RTD

2nd July 2004: It has been confirmed that the Daleks will not appear in the new series after talks between the BBC and the estate of late sci-fi writer Terry Nation, who created the Daleks, broke down over issues of editorial control. A BBC spokeswoman said: "After lengthy negotiations, the BBC and Terry Nation have been unable to reach an agreement on the terms of the use of the Daleks... The BBC offered the very best deal possible but ultimately we were not able to give the level of editorial influence that the Terry Nation estate wished to have." The Terry Nation estate said it was "bitterly disappointed"; agent Tim Hancock, who represents the Nation estate, said that the BBC was trying to "ruin the brand of the Daleks… We wanted the same level of control over the Daleks that we have enjoyed for the last forty years. If the BBC wanted to re-make any of George Lucas' films, you can bet George Lucas would have something to say about it." He then accused the BBC of lying about the reasons a deal had not been made, noting that the Corporation had tried to commission a cartoon series about gay Daleks for BBC Three, and had allowed Warner Bros. to use the Daleks in the recent Loony Tunes movie without consulting the Terry Nation estate. "We want to protect the integrity of the brand," he continued, stating that the estate would be willing to make a new deal if the BBC accepted the arrangement that had been in place for the last forty years. Meanwhile Russell T Davies commented "…we are disappointed that the Daleks will not be included but we have a number of new and exciting monsters. And I can confirm we have created a new enemy for the Doctor which will keep viewers on the edge of their seats."

24th May 2004: An official BBC Press Release states that Billie Piper is confirmed to play Rose Tyler, companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Julie Gardner, Head of Drama, BBC Wales. 'The former singer who made her acting debut last year in the critically-acclaimed BBC ONE drama serial Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale, will star alongside Christopher Eccleston in the forthcoming 13-part drama series which returns to BBC ONE early next year. Julie Gardner says: "Billie is beautiful, funny and intelligent. We needed to find a unique, dynamic partner for Christopher Eccleston, and Billie fits the bill perfectly. She will make an extraordinary Rose Tyler. Doctor Who has his new assistant!" Piper, who also received critical-acclaim for her role in Bella and the Boys, a one-off drama for BBC TWO, is currently starring opposite Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom in The Calcium Kid. "Doctor Who is an iconic show and I am absolutely thrilled to be playing the part of Rose Tyler," says Billie Piper. "I am also looking forward to working with Christopher Eccleston and writer Russell T Davies." Executive producer/writer, Russell T Davies, adds: "The Doctor's companion is one of the most important and cherished roles in the history of TV drama. "I'm delighted that someone of Billie's talent is coming on board the Tardis, to travel through time and space." Filming in Cardiff later this year for transmission on BBC ONE, Doctor Who is written by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman. The producer is Phil Collinson and executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.'

5th May 2004: the 'Daily Express' has leaked the fact that the first episode of the new series will be show on Christmas Day 2004!

20th March 2004, and the newspapers have finally confirmed what rumours have been saying for the last couple of days:
Christopher Eccleston is the new Doctor!

Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, said: "We are delighted to have cast an actor of such calibre in one of British television's most iconic roles… It signals our intention to take Doctor Who into the 21st century, as well as retaining its core traditional values - to be surprising, edgy and eccentric... We have chosen one of Britain’s finest actors to play what, in effect, will be an overtly modern hero.” Executive producer and writer Russell T Davies said: "Christopher was our first choice… His casting raises the bar for all of us. It's going to be a magnificent, epic, entertaining journey, and I can't wait to start." Eccleston first came to public attention with his portrayal of Derek Bentley in the film ‘Let Him Have It’ before notching up a wealth of movie credits, including David Cronenberg's ‘eXistenZ’ with Jude Law, ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’ with Nicholas Cage, and ‘The Others’ with Nichole Kidman’; the Salford-born actor’s television credits include ‘Flesh and Blood’, ‘The Second Coming’ by Russel T Davies, and ‘Our Friends in the North’. Says Eccleston: "I am absolutely delighted to be playing Doctor Who...I am looking forward to joining forces again with the incredible writer Russell T Davies and taking both loyal viewers and a new generation on a journey through time and space – which way is the Tardis? I can't wait to get started!"

*In the BBC staff newspaper 'Ariel' dated 2.3.2004, the writers for the new series were announced as Steven Moffatt, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Russell T Davies. "The writers behind The League of Gentlemen and Coupling are joining the team working on the new series of Doctor Who. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt will join a select group of writers, led by Russell T Davies, producing scripts for the 13-part series for BBC One. Filming starts in Cardiff this spring, for transmission in 2005. Mal Young, the controller of continuing drama series, said: 'I've never received so many requests from writers and actors to be involved in a drama series, as I have had for Doctor Who.' Julie Gardner, head of drama for BBC Wales, adds: 'Finding writers for the new series of Doctor Who has been one of the best jobs I've ever had. The talent available was exceptional.' Mark Gatiss is the writer, performer and creator of The League of Gentlemen. Steven Moffatt's credits include BBC Two's Coupling, winner of the sitcom of the year at the British Comedy Awards. Other writers involved in the project include Rob Shearman, author of three Big Finish Doctor Who stories, and Paul Cornell, who wrote several original Doctor Who novels and two Doctor Who series. Russell T Davies commented: 'I really believe we've got the best people in the business now working on the best show. They'll be writing stories ranging across the whole of time and space. 'The Doctor and Rose already have the best allies on their journey - brilliant writers with brilliant scripts. It's an honour to work with these people who are so talented; they shouldn't be allowed to travel together!'

*The March 2004 edition of 'Doctor Who Magazine' announces that Phil Collinson is the new producer, who has worked as producer on series such as 'Born and Bred', Linda Green and the paranormal drama 'Sea of Souls'. Also reported is that Russell T Davies is writing seven of the thirteen episodes, and that the other writers will be contracted soon; Russell also states that "...Rose is only the first of the companions we've got planned."

*Interviewed in the January 2004 edition of 'Doctor Who Magazine', Russell T Davies comments "At the moment, we're planning thirteen episodes, 45 minutes long. The 13 would be a mixture of one-off episodes, and two-parters, complete with cliffhangers." He goes on to say "I can certainly tell you that the BBC talks about this show as a potential long-runner. We aren't looking at a special one-off series for nostalgists only - we all want this show to succeed, to gather viewers, to exhilarate and stimulate and create new memories, and return every year." Talking of the new series, he remarks "I did an interview with DWM a few years ago, where we speculated how Doctor Who could return. In that, I said that budgetary restrictions would make the show Earth-bound. Well now we're here, and it's real, and I'm looking at the budget and thinking to hell with it. Let's voyage... In time and space. As a programme, it's always going to use present-day Earth as a touchstone.... but it would be a shame to ignore the endless vistas offered by a fully-functioning TARDIS. The Doctor and his friend Rose will be able to travel anywhere, any time, every Saturday night."

*In an interview with TV Times in December 2, Russell T Davies reveals some more about the companion for the new series: "His new sidekick will be a modern action heroine, and... shows like Buffy, featuring a butt-kicking Sarah Michelle Gellar, have raised viewers' expectations of female characters... A screaming girly companion is unacceptable now. I don't mean in terms of women's rights - dramatically, we've got Buffy the Vampire Slayer now, so a screaming girly companion would be laughed out of the room." Confirming that the TARDIS will remain in the show, Davies says "I love the Daleks, but I wouldn't load the series with lots of old monsters. We want to make brand new ones."

*The Radio Times' pull-out 40th Anniversay Special features another interview with Russell T Davies, in which he reveals some info on the new Doctor and his companion: "...you will love him. That's all I'm saying for now, because it's the only things that matters. You will absolutely love being with him.... None of us is talking about a reboot, it's the same old Doctor Who. I want the Doctor, at least one companion, whose name is probably Rose Tyler. I want the TARDIS, I want it to look like a Police Box, and I want them to fly through the universe and all its history, facing death and danger and braving it out with a fast and funny fighting spirit. That's Doctor Who, isn't it?"

*In the November 16th edition of The Independent newspaper, Journalist Matthew Sweet reports: "There'll be at least one important difference, though, between the programme's 20th and 21st-century incarnations. The new Doctor Who will be one of the BBC's flagship programmes. [Producer Russell T.] Davies and his co-conspirator, Mal Young, Controller of Continuing Drama Series, have secured a commitment to five series of 13, 45-minute episodes. They'll be able to afford an expensive actor for the lead role. They'll get billboard ads, Radio Times covers and publicity spots across the media. The original programme rarely enjoyed such security." The article also mentions that "Russell T Davies has his first production meeting on 8 December.

*In an official statement issued by BBC Drama Publicity on 26th September, 2003, it has been announced that Doctor Who is coming back to BBC One in the form of a new live-action series.

Doctor Who returns to BBC ONE

Doctor Who, one of the BBC's best-loved and most enduring characters, is set to return to BBC ONE, it was confirmed last night by Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC ONE. Heggessey said that all rights issues regarding Doctor Who have been resolved and that she has green-lit scripts from award-winning writer Russell T Davies. It is far too early in the day to discuss possible storylines, characters, villains or who might play the Time Lord - it is unlikely anything will be on screen for at least two years. Doctor Who will be produced by BBC Wales in conjunction with Mal Young, Controller of BBC Continuing Series. The executive producers will be Mal Young, Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, Head of Drama BBC Wales. Russell T Davies's writing credits include Bob and Rose, Queer as Folk, The Second Coming, Touching Evil (with Paul Abbott) and The Grand. Mal Young says: "Doctor Who is a much-loved, truly iconic piece of television history. It's time to crank up the Tardis and find out what lies in store for The Doctor. "We're thrilled to have a writer of Russell's calibre to take us on this journey. However, we're at the very first stages of development and further details, including casting, will not be available for some time." Writer Russell T Davies, who grew up in Swansea and lives in Manchester, says: "I grew up watching Doctor Who, hiding behind the sofa like so many others. Doctor Who is one of the BBC's most exciting and original characters. He's had a good rest and now it's time to bring him back! "The new series will be fun, exciting, contemporary and scary. Although I'm only in the early stages of development, I'm aiming to write a full-blooded drama which embraces the Doctor Who heritage, at the same time as introducing the character to a modern audience." No budget has been set for the new series; the number of episodes and their duration is under discussion. It will be a family show, but no details are available as to when it will be scheduled.

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