Press ClipsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Thursday morning's The Sun reveals a big spoiler about one of the characters in "School Reunion". Click on the spoiler tag to read it... or, if you don't want to know, don't!

The BBC Press Office has issued a press release detailing the BBC Radio Wales competition reported on Outpost Gallifrey on 11 September. "As part of this year's Children in Need, BBC Radio Wales is offering two lucky people the chance to be wined and dined in the company of the time-travelling lord Doctor Who and his companion Rose û aka David Tennant and Billie Piper. On Monday 12 September, Radio Wales will be launching the competition of all competitions û the chance to win tickets to the Doctor Who Galactic Dinner that's being held at the Holland House Hotel in Cardiff on Friday 14 October. David Tennant and Billie Piper will be materializing fresh from their time travels, along with the Doctor's arch-enemy the Dalek and maybe one or two other familiar faces. This amazing prize will consist of a pair of tickets to the dinner, overnight accommodation at the Holland House Hotel and the chance to mix with the cast of the hit drama Doctor Who. For a chance to win the hottest tickets in town, listeners will have to think of the question that they would like to ask either the Doctor, Rose, writer Russell T Davies or executive producer Julie Gardner. The two finalists will be selected on Roy Noble's programme on Friday 16 September 16 at 9.00am. They will then go head to head on The Afternoon Show (2.00pm) where one will be whisked off in the TARDIS and head for the dinner, and the other will be 'exterminated'. To find out how to enter, tune in to Radio Wales from Monday from 9.00am. If you're not lucky enough to get through then tune in to Radio Wales because tickets will be available to buy and Roy Noble will be announcing the all important number to call on Friday 16 September."

The official Doctor Who website features a report that states that John Barrowman will not have time to do a cameo in the second Doctor Who series currently in production.

Tuesday's edition of The Guardian carried an obituary for Michael Sheard. This makes special note of his appearances on Doctor Who: "Then there was Dr Who. He was proud to be one of that series' most prolific visiting actors, appearing alongside five Doctors in six stories between 1966 and 1988. His final association with the series is a studied performance opposite Paul McGann in an audio adventure to be broadcast on BBC7 shortly."

An article in last weekend's Sunday Mirror implied that the BBC archives, which hold Doctor Who episodes, were in danger. "Historic BBC shows are being destroyed - by rain. Many of the first year's episodes of EastEnders have been lost for ever, and some early Top of the Pops shows, Doctor Who episodes and landmark news and documentaries have also gone," said the article. "The rain has seeped through holes in the roof of the BBC's archive centre in Brentford, West London. The damage was discovered when researchers organising a 20th anniversary tribute to EastEnders asked staff for episodes starring Dirty Den and Angie Watts (Leslie Grantham and Anita Dobson). An embarrassed BBC source admitted that part of its stock of screen treasures is 'rotting away'. He said 'We get calls for programmes and go for them - only to discover they are damaged beyond repair. It is a terrible shame that household favourites are being lost forever. The archive is a national treasure and should be treated as such.' Other valuable footage has simply been lost in the huge warehouse stacked floor to roof with recordings."

The Stage has posted both interviews that Outpost Gallifrey reported on last week: with Big Finish producers Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery here and with Rob Shearman here. The Big Finish feature is an extended version of the one that was published in last week's print edition, and includes extra commentary from the producers about their working relationship with BBC Cardiff, editing Paul McGann's stories to fit the BBC7 schedule and the casting of both Doctor Who Unbound (including one potential casting for the Doctor that didn't quite come off) and Sapphire and Steel.

This Is London is running an online competition (from This Is London) to win one of two new 12" (though the article has made a typo - "12 ft"!) remote-controlled Dalek (with sonic screwdriver). The competition question: "Who is Dr Who's arch enemy?" The deadline date: 26 September 2005.

Doctor Who was praised at the TUC Conference in Brighton according to an article at BBC News. Says the item, "Writers have praised BBC One hit sci-fi series Doctor Who at the TUC annual conference in Brighton, in a call for more funding for UK TV productions. It showed there was 'still an audience for quality family entertainment', the Writers' Guild of Great Britain said. The union said there was no substitute for 'well-resourced, home-grown drama and comedy material written, performed and produced in the UK'. But member Hugh Stoddart criticised the BBC for what he called 'damaging cuts'. The writers' union ... which represents UK writers in TV, film, radio, theatre, animation and books - called for further BBC investment in programme-making to build upon the show's success. 'The popularity of the series demonstrates that there is still an audience for quality family entertainment, and that distinctive UK television productions can still provide a talking point for the nation,' Mr Stoddart said. He believed that 'while some imports and so-called 'reality' shows have their place in the schedules, they cost jobs and reduce opportunities for workers in our television industry'." writes about the Box Set of Doctor Who DVDs being available "early next year" and that You can import all 24 episodes on a seven-disc set from Britain (where it aired months ago) for less than what earlier seasons cost here."

Drum Media magazine says that "...before David Tennant was announced as the BBC's new Doctor Who, replacing the outgoing Christopher Eccleston, a number of actors were linked with the role in the media, all of them white. Sure, there has been the odd black name in the frame for these parts in the past, but it has always been reported in the media as a semi-novelty item." It also notes that "...former Red Dwarf star Craig Charles has spoken of his dream of becoming the first black Doctor." The writer of the article: "...visited four of the Internet's most popular Doctor Who and James Bond fan-sites and left near identical messages on each of their discussion forums. Posing as a 'lifelong fan, but first-time poster', I very gently suggested that maybe it would be 'cool' to have a black Bond or Doctor, and proposed Dirty Pretty Things actor Chitiwel Eijofor as a potential candidate. ... Doctor Who fans seem to fall into the same pattern of debate û a majority who simply state that 'The Doctor is white' and generate any number of convoluted and impossibly obscure plot-related reasons why this is an unalterable fact, and a minority who support the idea and are able to respond using their equally encyclopaedic knowledge of the Doctor Who universe in their defence."

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Peter Weaver, Martin Hearn, Paul Hayes, Paul Engelberg, Bill Albert, Richard Jordan)
From The Sun:

Doctor Who's robot pooch K9 will be KILLED in the new series of the BBC1 sci-fi hit. The timelord's dog is destroyed as he saves the Earth. The Sun revealed in June that the robot hound is to return after a 24-year absence. K9 and the Doctor's former sidekick Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) are reunited with the Doc, now played by David Tennant. They battle the evil Krillitanes in an episode next spring when the Doc investigates sinister events at a school.

K9 is killed and Sarah Jane is left weeping as the Doctor and his assistant Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) leave in the Tardis. But before her eyes a new K9 materialises and says "I am rebuilt - mistress" The episode also stars Anthony Head who played Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Prime Minister in Little Britain.

A show inside said "A new K9 appears. He has been assembled and sent by the Doctor. Everybody loves K9 - we couldn't really kill him off."

More Broadcasting NotesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Today's (Wednesday) edition of Blue Peter demonstrated how to make Doctor Who pen pots! The recent appearance by David Tennant and results of the monster design competition continue to lead the viewers' poll (details), currently having 58% support with 891 votes.

The BBC7 website now features three of the series trailers recorded for the Paul McGann series, including the 'What is the TARDIS?' one (not so far available on the offcial Doctor Who site). It also has all four episode trailers for Sword of Orion, with a spoiler warning attached to the trailers for parts three and four.

BBC Three continues to revise the running for its Who repeats. Sunday nights now start with a full-length Confidential, which is followed by a double bill (this week featuring the idiosyncratic pairing of episodes 11 and 12 with the 10th instalment of Confidential. The Wednesday Cut Downs seem to have been dropped entirely. The Friday evening repeats do not follow this double-bill format, and have therefore immediately fallen several weeks behind. The Saturday evening Confidential, meanwhile, returns in a slightly later timeslot, showing the full-length version of the previous night's Cut Down. The radio and television schedules are adjusted on our schedule here on the News Page. (Note that Friday night's DW Confidential is actually the first ever showing of a "Cut Down" version of that episode, "Special Effects".

Christmas Day Invasion?Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC News story about the TUC conference (see mention in Press Clips, below) made a surprising mention today in its last paragraph. The paragraph originally read "A Christmas special is due to be broadcast on Christmas Day, followed by a 13-part series next year" but has been altered later on Wednesday to state "A Christmas special is due to be broadcast at Christmas, followed by a 13-part series next year." Outpost Gallifrey believes that the item was merely an error and was later corrected, as we have reported that the current information we have suggests transmission the day after Christmas, on Boxing Day, December 26.

ITV Celebrates Its OwnBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
ITV showed a two and a half hour programme on Sunday, ITV's 50 Greatest Shows, celebrating their fiftieth anniversary by counting down their top fifty shows, as voted for by the public (albeit from a pre-prepared initial list of programmes). The final result, and the programme itself, contained several Doctor Who connections, in order they appeared on the list (with thanks to Paul Hayes for the commentary below):
No. 29 - The Naked Civil Servant
Executive produced by Verity Lambert, and Christopher Eccleston and Russell T Davies were two of those shown commenting on the programme, along with Lambert herself.
No. 25 - Kenny Everett
No direct Who connection, but again Davies was one of those shown talking about the show.
No. 24 - Hillsborough
Christopher Eccleston starred in this 1996 drama-documentary, and was also shown commenting on it in the show.
No. 23 - Upstairs, Downstairs
Created by and starring Jean Marsh, she was also shown commenting on it, as was co-star Simon Williams (Remembrance of the DaleksÆ Group Captain Gilmore).
No. 17 - The Avengers
It wasnÆt mentioned in the programme, but we of course know this was created by Sydney Newman.
No. 12 - Cracker
Co-starred Christopher Eccleston, and he was shown commenting on it - actually the only person who worked on it doing so. Much was made of his famous death scene from the series.
No. 8 - The Muppet Show
Christopher Eccleston was one of those praising this show - even doing a snatch of the theme tune! Bunsen was his favourite, apparently, which is probably a good choice for the Doctor!
No. 5 - Emmerdale
He was only seen briefly in a clip, but Frazer Hines starred in this for the best part of twenty years.
No. 2 - Ant and DecÆs Saturday Night Takeaway
No direct Who connection of course, but fans know well that this was the show that Doctor Who conquered this year!
No. 1 - Coronation Street
Obviously many many Who people have worked on this down the years, i.e. Alan Wareing direction, Paul Cornell and Gareth Roberts have written for it, Russell T Davies was in the story office briefly, etc. Davies was shown commenting on the programme.
Also reported in the Mirror.

Broadcasting UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
According to This Week in Doctor Who, Doctor Who premieres on Norwegian channel NRK2 on Wednesday 28 September at 8:05PM Central European Time (CET). It is titled Doktor Who, and is episode 1 of 13. It will air commercial free. No further information is on NRK's website. This marks the first mainland European country to air the series.
Meanwhile, Dutch TV sender NED 3 have confirmed they will be airing the first series in the Netherlands as of January 2006. This is the first time in many years that Dutch public television has shown any Doctor Who series. (Thanks to Benjamin Elliott, Dean Peirce)

Weekend News BriefsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
An article in the Sunday Times interviews Andrew Marr, former BBC political editor, and discusses his appearance in Doctor Who this past season. "The cameo role on Dr Who, however, shed shade on Marr's often stated, old-school concern for the corrosive modern interplay of celebrity personality and journalistic propriety. ... 'I loved doing Dr Who. I was presenting a news report about an alien invasion. They took hours and hours to light it, which was bizarre, because they were mimicking something I normally do in five minutes with one cameraman.'" Also in today's Sunday Times, in the Biteback column: "Dr Who fans, while generally enthusiastic about the latest series, felt it had too many episodes set in the UK. I gather Stephen Fry has written one of the 13 episodes of the next series, and it is likely to be set in the 1930's England. To retain viewers' interest, he has been promised some of the series' best special effects."

BBC News interviews John Barrowman about "why he swapped Doctor Who for a role in West End play A Few Good Men alongside Hollywood star Rob Lowe." The article talks to Barrowman about gay rights, confirms that "I won't be in Season 2 but I will be back for Season 3... There was talk of me coming back for the next series, but because of the commitments I have it just wasn't going to work out" and talks about the new show "Simply Musicals" that he will soon take part in. "It's important to bring theatrical stuff back to television," says Barrowman. The article asks, "So what will the Whovians say when they see Captain Jack sing? Barrowman is sure they'll approve. 'Science-fiction is not that far from musical theatre,' he says. 'In the end, it's all just heightened reality.'"

Colin Baker opines on the new series in the newest issue of "Dreamwatch" magazine, where he praises the series in a two-page article that mentions "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" as his favorite story and Annette Badland and Florence Hoath as the season's best guest actors. "It was great to sit down and watch the new Doctor Who from the very first moment, knowing I was not in it," Baker wrote.

Peter Davison appeared this week on Look North, a BBC regional news programme. He was shown visiting The World of James Herriot, an exhibition in Thirsk in Yorkshire, which is dedicated to the author on whose books All Creatures Great and Small was based. Davison is also in the news at Yorkshire Today when he recently visited a set from the other series he's well known for. "One of the stars of All Creatures Great And Small said things had not changed all that much when he visited the vets' surgery that inspired the famous tales. Yesterday Peter Davison, who played Tristan Farnon in the long-running BBC series, called in at the World of James Herriot in Thirsk. The award-winning attraction opened in 1999 at 23 Kirkgate û the 'Skeldale House' of the Herriot books û and original surgery of Herriot creator and real-life vet Alf Wight. 'Last time I came it was still a working practice, when Alf was still working here,' said Mr Davison. 'Even then the waiting room was full of American tourists with copies of books to sign.' A global TV audience of 460 million is estimated to have seen All Creatures since the first of 88 episodes was broadcast in 1978, but Mr Davison said at the beginning the producers had no inkling of how popular the show would be. 'They did not know it would be so successful and zipped through the first books too quickly,' he said. 'Some stories could have made an entire episode but there were four or five stories in each episode.'" Davison is currently on location in Northumberland, filming a second series of Distant Shores, which will be broadcast on ITV in the New Year.

Corey Johnson, who appeared as Van Statten in "Dalek," will be appearing in next week's season-opening two-parter of "Spooks", playing the part of 'Richard Boyd'. The episodes, which kick off the fourth series of the spy drama, are being shown on Monday 12 September and Tuesday 13 September at 9pm on BBC One.

An article at BBC News from Ssaturday notes that Russell T Davies will take part in this weekend's annual gay and lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday in Cardiff, alongside such notables as singer Charlotte Church. Also noted at .

The BBC Press Office has put online a small 
press pack for the new Verity Lambert-produced comedy/drama "Love Soup", due to start this autumn on BBC One. The series is also notable for starring Tamsin Greig, the Nurse from "The Long Game".

An article at IC Wales discusses the various lines of toys coming soon including the "12-inch radio-controlled Dalek, a sonic screwdriver with a built in UV light to reveal secret handwriting and walkie talkies in the shape of Doctor Who characters. And, according to retailers, demand for the toys is so high they're worried they won't be able to keep up. Alan Vaughan, assistant manager of Cardiff's Comic Guru Presents, a shop that specialises in Doctor Who merchandise, said, 'We have people coming in two to three times a day asking about when the new toys are going to come out, everyone's waiting for them. When they come in we expect them to start flying out the door. In between now and Christmas that's what everyone will be wanting. ... It's a nostalgia thing. Everyone remembers it and, even if you haven't watched it, you know what a Dalek looks like.' The toys, which will be the first official merchandise to accompany the new BBC series, were supposed to have arrived in the shops at the beginning of this month. But the toy's manufacturers, Character Options, said although they are now being distributed there were a lot of delays partly due to massive demand. They are now expected to arrive by the middle of September. Managing partner of Galaxy4, one of the UK's leading suppliers of Doctor Who merchandise, said demand for Doctor Who products has increased by 15% over the past year. But he said the brand is unique in being able to attract new fans without alienating older ones. He said, 'Doctor Who is unlike anything else. The new series has attracted a new fan base. But they've also managed to retain their older fan base, people who have been fans for over 20 years. That's a remarkable achievement. We've already had thousands of preorders for the new range. The most popular toy so far seems to be the sonic screwdriver, because it's something kids can keep in their pocket, and they can play the role of the Doctor, or Rose. But there's also lots of collectors, people in their 60s who will be buying them as well.' One such collector is John Campbell Rees, member of Timeless, a Doctor Who appreciation society based in Wales. The assistant librarian from Treherbert said his earliest memory is of watching Doctor Who and he has been collecting memorabilia for more than 30 years. His collection includes more than 300 books, DVDs and toys and he said he can't wait to see the new range."

In reaction to the new 'police boxes' used in Glasgow, BBC News says that the boxes aren't amenable to blind people. Says a correspondent, "The centre of Glasgow has seen the the arrival of the new Strathclyde Police information system in the style of an old police box. But instead of a policeman inside, it is just electronics. As a totally blind person, I went down to see what all the fuss was about following the press coverage the 'Tardis' received. Sorry, I am visually impaired, there is no emergency. As it was recently designed, I was hoping that it might talk, after all it was there to provide information to the public. I walked from St. Enoch underground station with my cane and finally bumped into the large steel structure. I felt my way around the object, touching the screens and buttons. They were sunk into the casing, so were quite difficult to feel."

The new edition of "emagazine", a UK publication for teachers of English Literature and Language, has David Tennant as its cover star. He is pictured in a scene from the recent production of John Osbourne's 'Look Back In Anger'. An article inside the magazine contains two other pictures of Tennant in the role of Jimmy Porter.

Additional links: more coverage of Barrowman's appearance on "Simply Musicals" at The StageWhats On Stage,PlayBill; more on Barrowman in "A Few Good Men" at PlayBillThe Evening Standard; additional coverage of Eccleston's win of the TV Quick/TV Choice awards at DeHavillandIn The NewsHello MagazineMonsters and Critics.

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, John Bowman, Joe McKee)

Big Finish UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has informed listeners that both September audio plays, Thicker Than Water by Paul Sutton and Live 34by James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown have been delayed slightly "due to a slight delay at the pressing plant" and will both be out at the end of September. Also, the prologue to the novel The Coming of the Queen by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett is now available at the site for download; the novel is a biographical work about Erimem, the companion who joined the Fifth Doctor and Peri for recent adventures as played by Caroline Morris.

Series One DVD UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The British Board of Film Classification has released specs on the extras for the forthcoming Series One Boxed Set due out in November, which include the following:
The BBFC also notes an additional item, THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN JACK, run time 8m 29s, recently classified for the release but not listed in the main listing for the extras; it is likely a documentary feature/interview with John Barrowman. (Thanks to Ceri Laing)

Web Planet DVD DelayBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Web Planet, which was due out this month in the UK on DVD, has apparently been delayed for a month, and is now being listed on various retail sites like as being out in early October. The discs have already been pressed and packaged, according to a post on the Restoration Team forum, and there is currently no official word as to the delay. We'll keep you posted...

Brief Series UpdatesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Russell T Davies appeared at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff on September 6 as part of the Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit. While he didn't reveal much in the way of spoilers, he did note that "School Reunion" sees a sort of "ex-wife meets girlfriend" type of encounter between Sarah Jane Smith and Rose Tyler. Davies also mentioned (perhaps jokingly, perhaps not) that in an episode set a few decades back, "a nun falls down a lift shaft." Meanwhile, reports elsewhere on the Internet suggest that actress Annette Crosbie (best known as Margaret in "One Foot in the Grave") may be playing Queen Victoria in series two.
To sum up the filming we know to have taken place recently, it appears that the production team have filmed at Fitzallan High School, Cardiff; Duffryn High School, Newport (where filming occurred approximately August 22 to September 2); Belle Vue Park, Newport; and Da Vinci (a restaurant/cafe), Newport. There is no word as to whether there was studio filming involved in "School Reunion" but it appears to have been mostly shot on location. Filming apparently also occurred at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff last week. In contrast to the first series, the series production team has kept a very low profile this year.
Some websites are still insisting that Anthony Stewart Head will be playing the Master in "School Reunion". Really, he's not...!
As reported by the DWAS, Mike Tucker, formerly of the BBC Visual Effects department (now defunct), confirmed at the recent "Dimension Jump" Red Dwarf convention that his new company is working on the effects for the second series, including the Christmas special.
John Barrowman isn't in this season... officially? Barrowman hinted at the recent Invasion convention, and in his recent appearance on BBC Breakfast, that while the character isn't back, he might have something going on this season. A cameo appearance or flashback, perhaps....?
Also, there's a brief outdoor filming report from our correspondent "Myrrdinthemage" which, as usual for set reports, we've put in the spoiler tag, as well as a couple of brief spoilers about things we've heard about recent episodes; click on it to read.
They were filming DW in Belle View Park in Newport tonight (They were filming as I came back from physiotherapy in the Royal Gwent Hospital and I almost walked straight into shot.) They had a good deal of security blocking the nearest entry to the park, but not all of them! Which was a bit daft (So I may appear as an un-credited extra!) It seems that they had been turning away people from the entrance/exit to the park

As I walked past they were filming something just outside the TARDIS, which had landed on a sort of upraised bandstand/flowerbed effect. (It's the one nearest the tennis courts for those who know the park) Some girl (I would have said it was not Billie as she had long dark hair) was getting a hug from someone in the shot I saw.

The TARDIS was set up with a silver backdrop on the far side, so the interior will be composited in by the looks of it.) I didn't hang around for long, as I was in shorts and t-shirt (and looked tatty)

Other Potential Spoilers:

Rumor has it that at the start of "School Reunion," the Doctor and Rose are already undercover at the school, the Doctor posing as a teacher and Rose as the "dinner lady". Lucinda Dryzek, who played the younger version of the character Keira Knightley played in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," Elizabeth, is said to be in this episode as a schoolgirl.

"The Girl in the Fireplace," set in 18th century France, is said to possibly feature the mistress to the French king (the legendary Madame de Pompadour?). Writer Steven Moffat says it features "a side to the Doctor you haven't seen, or not seen a lot", and is "quite a personal story, about someone he meets and his effect on her life."

Dalek Clips FoundBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
According to the Doctor Who Restoration Team (website), two clips from "Doctor Who" previously thought missing have turned up in a BBC program! A production line sequence and two clips of the Daleks outside their capsule, none of which were film recordings, were both screened on BBC2 this morning on a series called "Sunday Past Times," appearing as clips from the 1996 program "Tomorrow's World"... and were rediscovered purely by chance as Doctor Who fans noticed they were items that currently were unavailable in the archives! "All I can say is that these two new clips from 'Power' are very short, less than 10 seconds each," says RT member Paul Vanezis. "Also, they have a voice over from 'Tomorrows World' over the top. Details of where they are from tomorrow, as soon as I'm sure the film is safely locked up at Windmill Road."

Monday News ClipsBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
A brief update for the second series of Doctor Who: various of our sources have been reporting the past few days (and we think, quite believably) that the title of the fourth episode of the new series, written by Steven Moffat, is The Girl in the Fireplace. While it's not official (like "New Earth," the rumored title of the first episode), we think that it's likely the current working title for the episode.

Memorial services for Michael Sheard have been announced; a public memorial/funeral will be held at the Isle of Wight Crematorium this Wednesday 7 September at 3pm, and all are welcome. (There is a private wake afterwards for family and close friends only.) The family has requested that any donations in place of floral tributes be sent to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Halberry Lane, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2ER. Sheard passed away last week as we previously reported.

John Barrowman can be seen on the ITV chat show "Loose Women" hosted by Kaye Adams on Tuesday 13 September at 1.30pm.

Doctor Who is now available on the NTL On Demand Service. Says our correspondent, this means "you can catch the week's BBC3 episode whenever you want to, the week after transmission. If you have digital NTL, select channel 106 and press the red button. You should (eventually) get a menu bar down the side of the page. If you select 'TV Pick of the Week', Doctor Who should be listed alongside episodes of Eastenders, Casualty and the like. Select it and you can watch the week's episode, as well as being able to fast forward, rewind and pause."

An article in The Independent says "Stand up for the man who made the BBC's golden age possible"... "As the television industry celebrates the 50th anniversary of the arrival of multi-channel television - Britain went from one channel to two with the arrival of ITV in 1955 - there has been a lot of speculation about who has had the most influence over British television in the years since the BBC launched the world's first television service in 1936. ... My vote for top slot wouldn't have gone to Murdoch, but instead to Hugh Carleton Greene, who was director general of the BBC from 1960 until 1969. He was also the man responsible for the creation of British television, as we know it today." The article notes that Greene was the man who set about "home-grown programmes that were both challenging and accessible; programmes like Play for Today, Z Cars, The Forsyte Saga, That Was the Week That Was, Dr Who and dozens of others." The full article is available at the link.

This week's print issue of The Stage will feature an interview with Rob Shearman, who talks about his new play "Toward the End of the Morning" (see update September 2) as well as his other radio, TV and theatre projects -- and there's a little mention of his time writing "Dalek"; plus a feature on Big Finish audios and their transition to broadcast on BBC7; and an obituary for Michael Sheard. The articles will only be available in the print edition for a short time, but will soon follow up on the web, with the Big Finish article much expanded (probably); we'll let you know the links when we get them.

According to Yahoo News, stars from Emmerdale - including Frazer Hines - will be appearing in a variety of pantomimes this year, as usual. Hines will appear in "Peter Pan" at the Palace Theatre in Newark.

TV Fodder covers 'The Regeneration of "Doctor Who"' today. "The key to the success of 'Who' lay in the clever invention of the main character's ability to regenerate. William Hartnell was the first actor to play the Doctor, and when he left the program it easily could have been curtains for the whole shebang. But it wasn't, of course. Three years after his initial appearance, the Doctor regenerated into a new body and was suddenly portrayed by a different actor: the inimitable Patrick Troughton. Five more thespians would step into the enviable role for the original series. There would be a couple of highly regarded films starring Peter Cushing (hunting daleks rather than vampires for a change) and an American television movie starring Paul McGann and Eric Roberts. Outside of novelizations and radio broadcasts, that was about it. Until 2005, that is. Enter Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as his assistant, Rose: the two main ingredients in the resurrected 'Doctor Who' series that recently finished airing its first season. The special effects are a lot better than in the classic program, and the episodes tend to move along at a more accelerated clip (there was actually a six-hour story back in the '80s!), but Doctor Who fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief, as the new series is every inch a chip off the old block. Season one is over now, and so is Eccleston's stint as the renegade Time Lord. But there's no sign that the program is in any danger of fading out. Great writing and a sky-high production value have formed a solid foundation for the new incarnation of 'Who.' If producer and writer Russell T. Davies is smart--and he seems to be--he'll build on that foundation to take the program into even more daring waters for its second season." Read more of the article at the website.

The Telegraph discusses the plummet of BBC1 ratings this summer toward an all time low. "Figures produced by Barb, the Broadcast Audience Research Bureau, for the week ending August 14 show that the channel had only six programmes in the national top 20 - four of which were editions of its ailing soap, EastEnders. Even this flagship programme is struggling to maintain its position. The highest rating edition of the show, which was actually the channel's most popular programme, peaked at number six in the national chart. [BBC Controller] Peter Fincham said that although ratings were important they were not the sole measure of a channel's success - and insisted that a total eradication of repeats from the channel could be counter-productive. 'The use of ratings as the only way of measuring programmes is old-fashioned,' he said. 'We have so many different ways of measuring the impact of programmes. Let's take a programme like A Picture of Britain, which was accompanied by A Digital Picture of Britain on BBC4. More than 85,000 people sent in pictures to that programme. Hits on websites, which we can now measure, have also produced some extraordinary figures. Dr Who, for instance, gets millions of hits.'"

Billie Piper was mentioned in the "Evening Gazette" in which she discusses her health regimen. "It's hard to believe that she was called Billie Bunter at school. 'I was always struggling with my weight,' says the 5ft 5in singer-turned-actress. You won"t find her in the gym working out, but she does visit a health farm occasionally and goes for long walks. She is also keen on yoga exercise and swimming. 'I was brought up on bread and butter as a kid and have at least two slices every meal - no wonder I had weight trouble at school,' she says. She made an effort to keep trim in her pop star days, but after marriage to Chris Evans in 2001, she piled on the pounds because she says she ate and drank the wrong things. When she was offered the role as Doctor Who"s assistant Rose in the TV remake, she went on a strict diet. 'The pounds rolled off and I actually dropped a dress size.' Now she is very careful what she eats. 'And if ever I relent and succumb to something I shouldn't have, then I make up for it by watching my intake afterwards.'"

Other notes: coverage of Russell T Davies' appearance at the Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit in Cardiff next week aticWales; the DeHavilland site and Digital Spy talk about Barrowman in the "Simply Musicals" series on BBC1.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, David McIntee, Paul Hayes, Joey Reynolds, Paul Phipps, Scott Matthewman, Peter Weaver)

New Remote Control DaleksBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Below are pictures of the new "Genesis of the Daleks" Remote Control Dalek and Imperial Remote Control Dalek from Product Enterprises, sent to us from SciFiCollector and the Galaxy4 retail store, respectively. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of each. (Thanks to Andy at Galaxy4 and Steven Scott at Scificollector)

Eccleston: Best ActorBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Christopher Eccleston was named Best Actor at today's TV Quick/TV Choice Awards, according to reports at Yahoo News and The Mirror. Eccleston won the award despite having quit the show after only one series. The awards, held at the Dorchester Hotel on London's Park Lane, were voted by readers of TV Quick and TV Choice magazines. Other awardees included "Coronation Street" as best soap, plus two awards for rivals "EastEnders" and "Emmerdale". "Doctor Who" lost out to "Desperate Housewives" as best series. (Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Patrick Furlong)