Long running rumour confirmedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 January 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson
Julie Gardner, the executive producer of Doctor Who, has confirmed a long running rumour concerning the nature of Paul Cornell's story, which will form episodes eight and nine of series three. The confirmation comes as part of an interview to be published in the final issue of Dreamwatch magazine.
According to the new Dreamwatch website, Gardner confirms that Paul Cornell's story has links to his novelHuman Nature, published as part of Virgin's New Adventures series in 1995. This confirms a long running debate in our spoilers forum.

In the novel, the Doctor gives up his Time Lord persona to experience life as a human teacher.




The Master comes to HeroesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 January 2007 - Reported by Jeremy Bement
According to various websites, it has been confirmed that Eric Roberts, who portrayed the Master in the ill-fated Doctor Who Fox TV movie, has joined the cast of NBC's hit show Heroes. He will be playing an associate of Claire's father, the mysterious H.R.G. (Horn Rimmed Glasses.) This marks the second former-Doctor Who alumnus to join the series as Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston appeared in this week's episode.




Doctor Who CartoonBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 January 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The BBC's Doctor Who website has announced that an animated Doctor Who cartoon is being produced, to air as part of Totally Doctor Who next year. David Tennant andFreema Agyeman will voice the Doctor and Martha in the animated story, and Anthony Head will play Baltazar, Scourge of the Galaxy (not Mr. Finch from "School Reunion"). Toby Longworth (who has played many roles for Big Finish Productions' line of audio dramas) will also appear.

The cartoon will have 13 parts, comprising a single story titled "Infinite Quest". Russell T Davies describes the story: "The Doctor and Martha follow a trail of clues across wild and wonderful alien worlds, to find the location of the legendary lost spaceship, the Infinite." The story is written by Alan Barnes and directed by Gary Russell.

Full details are available on the BBC site here; the story was broken by the Daily Mirror here.

27th Jan: the image of the Doctor and Martha is shown on the BBC News Entertainment pages as The Big Picture.




Derek Jacobi in Series ThreeBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 24 January 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson
One of Britain's best known actors, Sir Derek Jacobi, is to guest star in the forthcoming third series of Doctor Who, according to Thursday's Daily Mirror.

The tabloid paper also reveals the name of his character. Click on the spoiler box below to see the details. While the BBC have confirmed Jacobi's involvement, they have neither confirmed nor denied the spoiler which has resulted in much speculation in our forum.

While this is Jacobi's first appearance in televised Doctor Who, he has previously voiced the Master in the six-part animated BBCi webcast Scream of the Shalka, as well as taking a starring role in one of the Dr Who Unbound audio dramas for Big Finish in 2003.
According to the Daily Mirror, Jacobi will appear as a "good guy" called The Professor who helps the Doctor and Martha to save Earth and the human race.




Tennant praises AgyemanBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 24 January 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive
David Tennant praises newcomer Freema Agyeman in an interview today on Sci Fi Wire.

In the interview, conducted by e-mail, he tells the Sci Fi Channel's news service that the actress "hit the ground running" when she took on the role of Martha Jones, and said he let her deal with the pressure of replacing such a popular and high-profile cast member as Billie Piper in her own way.

Tennant says Agyeman "inhabited Martha Jones from day one without a hint of trepidation or nervousness. I found myself quite envious of her confidence. She is going to be brilliant."

He also tells of how difficult it was to shoot the final scenes with Piper, saying they started sniffling during a run-through of the lines on the make-up bus.

Tennant says Martha and the Doctor have an entirely different relationship to Rose and the Doctor, adding: "As with any big relationship, it takes time for the scars to heal. Perhaps the Doctor feels like he's dealt with it, but Martha might disagree." He also says she "makes herself indispensable".




ITV prepares to take on Dr WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 January 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson

The UK's largest commercial broadcaster, ITV, have revealed a major marketing campaign for their six million pound science-fiction dinosaur drama Primeval which they hope will be their answer to BBC One's Doctor Who in the Saturday tea-time slot.

David Pemsel, ITV's new group marketing director, said: "Primeval is a bold scheduling step into Saturday night family drama. We believe the series will have both a wide ranging family appeal as well as becoming cult viewing for aspirational adults."

According to Media Bulletin, ITV is backing their series with a heavyweight marketing campaign. Transmission dates are not yet confirmed, but the series is believed to start in mid February.
M and C Saatchi has created an off-air campaign, encompassing outdoor and press ads, while ITV's in-house promotions agency, ITV Creative, has produced the on-air activity.

The creative introduces members of the cast and attempt to recreate the high-tempo pace of the series with action scenes and the strapline, "Time for adventure".





Series Three launch night partyBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 January 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive
A Series Three launch night party is to take place in central London, giving fans the chance to see the premier episode live on a big-screen plasma projection system with full surround sound - and possibly in the company of a famous name or two.

This is a free event and 100 entrance tickets have been set aside for a prize draw, due to take place three weeks before the confirmed series launch date.

Organiser Jeremy Bentham, who staged similar capacity celebrations in 2005 and 2006, said: "If you are aged 18 or over and your name comes out of the hat, you could be among the party-goers cheering on 'Smith and Jones' plus any other supporting Doctor Who programming broadcast that day. And you never know who else might just pop by . . . "

Pictured above with two party-goers at last year's event is Nicholas Courtney, who played the Brigadier during the show's classic era. Below is a model of K9, which was on display at last year's party - click on the image of K9 for a larger version.

The party starts at 4pm and a cash bar and full food menu will be available throughout the afternoon and evening. In addition, from 10pm there will be free admission to the venue’s nightclub event.

To enter the draw, send a postcard stating your full name, address, daytime contact number and the number of tickets you would like (maximum two) to: DW Launch Party 2007, 13 Northfield Road, Boreham Wood, Herts, WD6 5AE.

Winners only will be notified by post the week following the draw.

Those who subsequently find that they are unable to attend the party are asked to return their ticket(s) to the draw address as soon as possible so that they can be reallocated via a waiting list of names that will be drawn out of the hat following the initial allocation.

Details of accommodation near the party venue can be provided for people travelling long distances - simply ask for this on the postcard.

NB: Licensing laws mean that all winners and guests must be at least 18 years old. No admission without a valid ticket.

(Photos courtesy of Dave Parsons.)




Billie storms the ChartsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson

Following from the promotional campaign we have been reporting on this week,Billie Piper has returned to the Top 40 charts with a re-entry for her 1999 hit "Honey to the Bee", which has entered the charts this week at number 17.

Radio 1 breakfast presenter Chris Moyles announced to his listeners on Monday 15th that he was planning to conduct a test to see if he could exploit a change in the way the charts are counted, where downloads are included alongside singles.

He played Billie's 1999 hit Honey to the Bee, which charted as high as number 3 first time round, to see if hearing the old hit would encourage people to download it and get it into the charts. Expect a very happy Mr Moyles on Radio 1 tomorrow morning; Billie is also likely to be pleasantly surprised; the hit has returned without her singing a note!

Billie's success is also reported by BBC News.

The other track with a Doctor Who association which received a promotional campaign this week, the song "Love Don't Roam" from the Doctor Who Soundtrack album, has failed to chart. However, it did receive its first radio play on Saturday's Jonathan Ross show on Radio 2. Will it receive further coverage and chart in weeks to come? Time will tell.





Big Finish New ReleasesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper
Big Finish has released the cover images and plot information for their January and February Doctor Who releases.

January sees the release of Circular Time. Written by new series writer Paul Cornell, it features Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in four one-episode stories.

February has Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Philip Olivier being joined by Are You Being Served? alumnus Trevor Bannister for Nocturne
Circular Time

Summer to winter, the seasons turn.
In the springtime of a distant future, the Doctor and Nyssa become embroiled in Time Lord politics on an alien world. During the stifling heat of a summer past they suffer the vengeful wrath of Isaac Newton. In the recent past, Nyssa spends a romantic golden autumn in an English village while the Doctor plays cricket. And finally, many years after their travels together have ended, the two friends meet again in the strangest of circumstances.
Four seasons. Four stories. Now close the door behind you, you're letting the cold in...

Nocturne -

On the human colony planet Nocturne, there is suffering and blight, tragic symptoms of an ages-old war. Never the less, Nocturne is also one of the Doctor's favourite places in all of time and space, because it is here that a late, great flowering of human art - the High Renaissance - is taking place.
He has been back here, many times. It is a place of music and art which he finds inspirational and uplifting. It is a place he wants to share with Ace and Hex. It's always been a safe haven for him, a world of friends and laughter. But with strict Martial Law imposed on the front-line city, and the brutal scourge of interstellar warfare vicing the system, how safe can anyone really be?
There is a note of death in the wild, midnight wind...




Eccleston on Heroes MondayBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Just a reminder readers in the US and Canada that Christopher Eccleston will be appearing on the television seriesHeroes tomorrow, Monday January 22.

In the US Heroes is broadcast on NBC at 9:00pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00pm Central and Mountain. In Canada Heroesruns on the Global Television Network. Eccleston plays a man named Claude who can become invisible.

The character, who is named after Claude Rains, star of the 1933 film The Invisible Man, will appear in several episodes in the remainder of this season.

UPDATE: The Sun had a picture story about Eccleston's Heroes role in its edition dated January 24, saying the show will be on the Sci Fi Channel next month.




The Runaway Bride - Audience BreakdownBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2007 - Reported by Marcus
Final data has now been received for the Christmas day showing of "The Runaway Bride". The programme achieved a final rating of 9.35 millionviewers, which was a 38% share of the total television audience.

Of that audience 50% were male and 50% female.

20% of the audience was aged of 4 to 15
9% was aged 16 to 24
13% was aged 25 to 34
19% was aged 35 to 44
17% was aged 45 to 54
11% was aged 55 to 64
12% was aged over 65

The total Children's audience was 1.83m and it was by far the highest rated programme, with those aged 4 to 15, for Christmas week. The children's share was 57%

The Children's audience was more skewed towards the males with boys making up 55% of the audience, while girls made up 45%.

18% were between 4 and 6
30% between 7 and 9
30% between 10 and 12
21% between 13 and 15




New venues for exhibitionsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 January 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Manchester and Land's End have been announced as new locations for Doctor Who Up Close exhibitions this year.

The official exhibitions site says the Manchester display, running from March 31 to November 5 at the Museum of Science and Industry, will be the "largest ever Doctor Who exhibition". People will reportedly have the first chance to see some of the creations from Series Three there.

The museum's website says there will be props, costumes and monsters on display, while 24hourmuseum reports that among them will be items from "The Runaway Bride".

The Manchester attraction's site also has details of a Foto Fun event taking place between February 12 and 18 in which people can have their picture taken fighting a Dalek.

The museum is in Liverpool Road in the Castlefield district of Manchester.

Meanwhile, Land's End will have its own Up Close exhibition from Easter 2007, according to the official exhibitions site, although no more details are available as yet.

(With thanks to Steve Layton.)




The Doctor and Ardal in CanadaBookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 January 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive
The Ottawa Citizen takes an extensive look at the release of Series Two on DVD in Canada.

In his piece, Chris Knight explains why exactly the show has appealed to the Canadian frame of mind.

The article concludes by looking at the DVD release in Canada of the first season of BBC sitcom My Hero, starring Ardal O'Hanlon, who plays the character Brannigan in episode three of Series Three.




Netflix needs the DoctorBookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 January 2007 - Reported by Jeremy Bement
According to tvshowsondvd.com, several Netflix customers noted that their rented copies of Doctor Who: The Complete Second Series disc one had a problem.

Apparently at the 32-minute mark of New Earth the episode switches to a rather gruesome scene from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning". Along the same lines, the special features section of the disc does not work.

Once the BBC were contacted and made aware of the issue they quickly responded with a statement that yes, there was a problem with the discs in question.

Only Netflix copies of disc one were affected and not those for purchase in stores. While the BBC works on replacing the faulty DVDs, Nexflix has pulled disc one as being available for rent until the situation is resolved.

UPDATE: The Sun picked up on this story in its January 26 edition, claiming it was an exclusive.

Headlined "The Tardis Chainsaw Massacre", it has a mocked-up picture of a Dalek armed with a chainsaw and quotes a BBC insider as saying: "It's very, very embarrassing. Doctor Who's a family show and the most scary thing is probably a Dalek, yet the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films are among the most frightening ever made."

A BBC spokeswoman is quoted as blaming a "manufacturing problem" and says: "We apologise for any distress we may have caused. We are doing our best to rectify this problem."

(Additional reporting by John Bowman.)