Casting: Hayden-SmithBookmark and Share

Friday, 28 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
CBBC presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith confirmed today that he has been cast as a guest star in the upcoming second series of Doctor Who, as announced on CBBC ONE at 5.35 this afternoon. Hayden-Smith, who played Ben in the CBBC drama "Byker Grove" and who has presented, among other items, the CBBC special Best Of Byker, CBBC's The Saturday Show and Live And Kicking, CITV's Diggit and Sky's Fish, will be playing the role of Jake Simmonds; he begins filming next week, when the two-part Cybermen story is set to be recorded.
Update 1700 GMTCBBC News confirms that Hayden-Smith's character will be in episodes 5 and 6 with the Cybermen. Says the actor, "I am so excited about joining one of the most famous programmes on TV. I am a real fan of David Tennant and can't quite believe I am going to be in the show. It's an absolute dream job for me. I can't wait to get started." The CBBC site says that he will be away for a week while he participates in filming. The official Doctor Who site now also mentions the casting news.




Doctor Who: RegenerationBookmark and Share

Friday, 28 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
BBC Radio 2 will be presenting a new documentary special, Doctor Who: Regeneration this December, Outpost Gallifrey has learned. The new documentary from the radio channel, which earlier this year presented the two-part documentary "Project: WHO", "examines how this year's adventures of the Time Lord became the most talked about television event of 2005. Just how significant was the departure of Christopher Eccleston to the programme and its production team? Has the success of 'Doctor Who' changed the battleground of Saturday night television? And is the TARDIS safe in David Tennant's hands?" The documentary features new interviews, exclusive music by "Doctor Who" composer Murray Gold, and excerpts from the new series, and "tells a fascinating story of why it took forty-two years to become the nation's most popular drama series." Key interviewees include David Tennant, Billie Piper, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Murray Gold, Alison Graham of Radio Times, BBC1 Controller Peter Fincham, Jane Tranter, Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), directors James Hawes and Euros Lyn, and others. Written by Brian Sibley and produced by Malcolm Prince, the documentary airs on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 20 December at 8:33pm.




The Week's Press ClipsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Today's issue of The Sun heavily features Doctor Who as it follows up the show's triumph at the National Television Awards. A TV biz double-page special on what it labels the "Telly Oscars Bash" has a single-column piece on Billie Piper(website), saying she hopes to star in a third series. Collecting her award, it says, Billie thanked her 'lovely boyfriend' Amadu Sowe and her ex-hubby, media mogul Chris Evans, at the National Television Awards, and later celebrated her win by going to dinner with Chris at a swanky London restaurant - the pair are pictured while out - and also has a shot of her as she went to buy newspapers near her north London home yesterday (Wed). According to the piece, Christopher Eccleston was booed for failing to be at the awards in person to pick up his gong. Sun cartoonist Bill Caldwell takes a humorous look at Doctor Who's success at the award here (click on "Today's cartoon" in the fourth column as of time of writing). Beneath that cartoon in the newsprint edition, there is a feature by Paul Sutherland - bylined as The Sun spaceman - which takes a look at "how Russell T Davies turned the Doctor from axed laughing stock to award-winning pride of the Beeb". Illustrated with pictures of the Tardis, a new-series Dalek, Billie Piper, Christopher Eccleston and Davies, it credits the revived show's success as being down to a bigger budget, great writing, top actors, restoring it to Saturday night transmissions, keeping it "oh so British" and including the Daleks. The piece finishes by praising David Tennant and saying "For this timeless hit programme, the future looks brighter than ever"; read the piece herefor that. Finally, TV columnist Ally Ross takes an alternative, swiping look at the awards in a piece illustrated with a photo-composite shot of the Tardis with two EastEnders actors stepping out.

During the National Television Awards, which we've covered over the past several days, the clips shown include the 'sorry I was a bit slow' sequence from Dalek, up to the extermination and Eccleston whipping off his earpiece (for the Most Popular Drama segment); Rose telling Jackie she was there when Pete died, from Parting of the Ways (for Most Popular Actress), and 'everybody lives, Rose!', complete with conversation with Dr Constantine, from The Doctor Dances (for Most Popular Actor). In addition Anthony Cotton (who won Most Popular Newcomer for his role as Sean Tully in "Coronation Street") took time in his speech to thank Russell T Davies for Queer as Folk, a series without which, he said, a gay character such as Sean 'would never be on primetime television'. Anthony played Alexander Perry in the original Channel 4 version of the series. Additionally, for the first time in three years, Dr Who arch-rival "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" failed to win Most Popular Entertainment Show (although hosts Ant and Dec did nab Most Popular Entertainment Presenters), being beaten by Sharon Osbourne-hosted talent show "The X Factor". MediaGuardiannoted that the National Television Awards show on ITV last night gained an average 7.1 million viewers, a 31% audience share, winning its slot between 8pm and 10.30pm last night... that's probably all you Doctor Who fans tuning in!

BBC Wales Today on Tuesday night featured a brief chat with Julie Gardner on the TARDIS set about the awards and what we can look forward to next year; while there was very little in the way of new information, Gardner did mention they had been filming at a riding school earlier in the day, and that the ‘Christmas Invasion’ is in post production.

On Wake up to Wogan on Radio 2 on 26 October, after the news report on Doctor Who's win at the NTA awards, Terry Wogan announced that the forthcoming Who segment during "Children in Need" would be 15 minutes long.

The official Doctor Who website has changed again, now back to a more familiar design that was with us throughout the lead-up to the first series, including the now-familiar visage of the Moxx of Balhoon...

UK Gold have a series of local radio ads for their Doctor Who week taking place this week, about favourite characters and monsters; at least one of them has a viewer talking about how the Face of Boe is his favourite, and how he should have his own series.

Today's Daily Mail asks, "Is that a trout pout, Billie, or just lashings of lipstick?" "She has been travelling in time and space with Doctor Who. But now some are asking if the Time Lord has turned his hand to cosmetic surgery. For as Billie Piper collected an acting award, onlookers couldn't help commenting on her apparently fuller lips. 'I could hardly concentrate on what she was saying,' said a member of the audience at Tuesday's National Television Awards in London. 'Even Angelina Jolie's lips aren't that luscious.They were just enormous, and when she smiled they became all tight and unnatural looking. Her top lip moved up, exposing all her teeth and her gums. It just looked odd and a lot of people noticed it.' Others put the look down to carefully applied lipstick, and a spokesman for the 23-year old said: 'I can categorically say that she has never had any surgery to enhance her lips.' But leading plastic surgeon Jonathan Baker commented: 'Her lips are startlingly full and plump. Personally, I have never seen anyone whose lips naturally look like that. 'Lips are not normally that full unless they have been exposed to some sort of toxin, such as collagen for example.'"

Yahoo Business notes that the SF TV series, "Firefly," was voted the world's best space science fiction work ever in an international poll conducted by NewScientist Magazine; among the items noted in the poll, "The survey also suggests that, unlike many genres, great works of science fiction transcend gender, with male and female fans voting incredibly closely. The only difference in their top ten was Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation Series,' an epic work of science fiction written over 49 years ago. 'Foundation Series' was voted into tenth place by male sci-fi fans, but did not appear in the women's top ten, its place being taken by 'Doctor Who.'"

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, John Bowman, Phil Newman, Matt Kimpton, Mark Clapham, Rob Stickler)




DVD, UMD UpdatesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC Shop is now listing volumes one, three and four of the Series One releases in UMD (for Playstation) format on Monday 12 December. Volume 1 and Volume 4 both have a recommended retail price of £17.99, while Volume 3, which features four episodes, retails at £19.99.
Correcting a previous DVD news item, Nicholas Courtney did notrecently record a commentary for "Inferno" (despite a misstatement by the actor) but has participated in interviews for a potential DVD release.




Casting: Lloyd-Pack, ObermanBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Mirror last night announced the casting of Roger Lloyd-Pack in Series Two as a new villain, John Lumic, a human who becomes the Doctor's opponent in several episodes with the Cybermen (likely episodes 5 and 6). The 61 year old actor plays Trigger in the classic BBC comedy "Only Fools and Horses" and Owen Newit in "The Vicar of Dibley" and can also be seen as Barty Crouch in the forthcoming "The Goblet of Fire"; ironically, David Tennant plays his son in the film, Barty Crouch Jr. "We're really thrilled to have signed Roger," a BBC insider told the Mirror. "It's a great coup for the show and the viewers will love him. The character is a million miles from Trigger."
The Mirror also noted the casting of Tracy Ann Oberman from "EastEnders," who plays a villain named Yvonne Hartman. "It's a great role," added the Mirror's 'insider'. "Yvonne is a sophisticated sort of baddie. In fact, I don't think she's really that bad - but then I didn't think Chrissie was either." Oberman goes before the cameras next week, as filming continues on the Cybermen two-parter. BBC News,CBBC and the official Doctor Who website also confirmed the information this morning. (Thanks to Steve Tribe, John Bowman, Lloyd Ellis)




Brighton Exhibition Moves to LeicesterBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
According to a report this week on the website of the Leicester Mercury newspaper, the Doctor Who Exhibitioncurrently located in Brighton will be moving in November to this town in central England. "The time-travelling hero and the fearsome Daleks will be at the National Space Centre next month for a Doctor Who exhibition. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the creatures that have sent generations of youngsters diving for cover behind the sofa. As well as the Daleks, a host of famous characters, costumes and props from the latest BBC series will be on show at the exhibition. Fans will be able to meet the Slitheen, Autons, Jabe and the Moxx of Balhoon after catching a glimpse of legendary time-travelling machine the Tardis." Says Malika Andress, communications manager at the space centre, said: "This is a huge event in our calendar and we're so excited to be hosting this exhibition. The characters and costumes are all actual props from the BBC series and people will be able to get close to some of them."
The exhibition, which has been at the Brighton Pier for months and closes on November 6, will open on November 22 at the Space Centre, and will run until January 8. The article also notes that "experts from the series will show visitors how Daleks are made and will bring in some of the original models from the earlier TV series" on December 10-11, and that characters from "The Christmas Invasion," likely the Sycorax, will be put into the Exhibition on December 27. (Thanks to Del Shorley)




Events This WeekendBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Several Doctor Who-related events take place this weekend:
CultTV 2005 takes place on October 28-31 at the Renaissance Solihull Hotel in Birmingham. Among the event's guests this year are Carole Ann Ford (Susan), William Russell (Ian), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine), Brian Grant(Series One director) and frequent guest stars Philip Madoc, Prentis Hancock and Michael Keating.
Russell T Davies will be signing copies of "Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts" this Saturday October 29 at 12.00pm at Waterstone's, The Hayes, Cardiff; the telephone number of the store is 029 2066 5606 for customer details or further information.
Alan David (Sneed in "The Unquiet Dead") and Arthur Bostrom (in the new Big Finish audio "Scaredy Cat") will be signing on Saturday October 29 at Tenth Planet.




More on Christmas LightsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC has posted a press release about David Tennant and Billie Piper lighting the Cardiff Christmas lights this year. "The switching-on of Cardiff's Christmas lights at the Civic Centre promises to be an event to remember this year, with a special appearance by two extraordinary intergalactic time-travellers. On Thursday 17 November, the capital is going to have its very own Christmas Invasion as David Tennant and award-winning actress Billie Piper – stars of BBC Wales' hit drama Doctor Who - materialize from their busy filming schedule in Wales to inject a huge dose of Christmas spirit into Cardiff. The free event is staged and managed by Cardiff Council in partnership with BBC Wales, City Centre Management and Red Dragon FM. The entertainment starts at 5.45pm when the Red Hot Santas take to the stage to play some Christmas favourites; and the big switch-on will take place at 6.45pm. Visitors can then move into the city centre for late night shopping until 8.00pm or get their skates on and take to the ice when the open-air ice rink at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland opens its doors to the public at 7.45pm. Billie Piper says: "I'm really looking forward to kick-starting the Christmas spirit in Cardiff. We filmed a lot of scenes for the Christmas episode, The Christmas Invasion, in the city centre and I can't wait to see it lit up for real. I hope everyone has a fantastic time.' Cllr Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, says: "We are delighted to work with BBC Wales and I know that Cardiff will welcome Billie and David to the Christmas Lights Switch On. It should be a great night for the family and a wonderful start to Cardiff's Christmas festivities.'"




Brief Series Two NotesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Billie Piper, at the National Television Awards, made a few comments about the Christmas special coming up in December, as reported in today's Media Guardian. While a bit innocuous, they're nevertheless enclosed in the spoiler tag below.
Also, several media outlets, including ITV's This Morning and Radio Forth, have reported another casting for this season:Tracey Ann Oberman, who plays Chrissie in EastEnders. According to Radio Forth, "She won't reveal whether she's a goodie or a baddie, but says she can't wait to work with David Tennant. Chrissie's just filmed her last scenes in Albert Square and will leave our screens next month." (Thanks to Paul Hayes, Luke McCullough, Peter McCleary, Neil Marsh)
From Media Guardian:
Piper, who won the best actress prize, one of three gongs for Doctor Who, was rather more forthcoming on other topics, not least the eagerly anticipated Doctor Who Christmas special. Fans who really don't want to know anything about the festive episode at all, should probably look away now. I said look away now. "It's got scary Christmas trees, Santa attacks, there's an invasion, and the Doctor stays in bed for a long, long time. I am carrying most of the show." Monkey's set the Sky+ already. As for her new co-star, Piper said the new Doctor Who, David Tennant, was a "lot lighter on his feet" than Eccleston. "He is a bit more child like and dances around a lot. I'm sure you will like him." You never know, if the second series gets nominated for an award, Tennant might even turn up.




More on NTA Award WinBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
More coverage of yesterday's big win for Doctor Who at the National Television Awards:
Billie Piper featured on the cover of "Daily Mirror" (with the caption "Brillie!" and which was shown on the 25th October edition of BBC2's "Newsnight"), as well as the "Daily Star" and "The Sun" (with the title "Who Dunnit!"). "Doctor Who" was the main feature of the accompanying articles with "Daily Star" focussing on how Billie seemed to have 'dressed down' for the awards (in an item titled "Doctor Timelords It: Billie the scruff's night of triumph") while the item in "The Sun" was headlined "Hip Hip Who-Ray: TV gongs for Dr and Daleks".
Manchester Online reported that the reason Christopher Ecclestondid not attend was because he was suffering from the flu. The exact words of his note, read by Russell T Davies, were, "I am very sorry I can't be there tonight – a heartfelt thank you to the British public for their encouragement over the past 17 years. I’d like to dedicate this award to the memory of a little boy who loved Doctor Who and loved life, Kieran Wynne." As the Manchester Online reported, Eccleston's agent later explained that the star had met the boy before he died but could give no other details; it says that the actor had planned to attend the awards but was struck down with flu and also felt ill after having injections in advance of a forthcoming trip abroad.
Clips from the ceremony have been shown today on ITV news, including a very emotional Piper accepting her award, while clips from "Aliens of London" and "World War Three" were briefly played on the screens. Meanwhile, the websiteof ITV -- which lost its timeslot to Doctor Who earlier this year when the show beat their variety series "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" -- acknowledges its own winners, but doesn't note any of the BBC's! Says today's MediaGuardian Monkey column: "You can understand why ITV might be a bit miffed, after the BBC gate-crashed its National TV Awards last night and made off with the best actor, actress and drama awards for Doctor Who and the best soap gong for EastEnders. But still, it seems a tad churlish for ITV.com's report on the bash today not even to mention the BBC winners. Instead, ITV.com leads on 'X Factor cleans up at TV Awards' - although to be fair, the talent did win two gongs - and goes on to list all the other ITV winners. ITV.com - first with the news. As long as it's about ITV. "
BBC Wales Radio had quite a bit on the awards this morning, including an interview over the phone with producer Phil Collinson. He said how pleased he was and so on, and revealed that the prize will be kept in the BBC’s Drama Dept offices in Llandaff. He also mentioned that they were half way through filming the new series, and were looking for it to return to the screen at Easter time.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, John Bowman, Jamie Austin, Paul Hayes, Simon Mapp and Chuck Foster. Photo of Billie Piper is copyright to Ian West/Press Association)





Christmas Invasion TrailerBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
As reported by several viewers on our Forum, BBC1 tonight aired a promotional trailer for "The Christmas Invasion" with an overview of Series One after the BBC News at 10pm. The trailer is very much akin to the one shown in June, but with additional footage (from last year's episodes) on it, and the note about the "countdown" being on at the end.




Torchwood Press ItemsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 25 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
More on the possibility of singer Charlotte Church being in the new "Torchwood" series: late last week, the Mirrornoted that she "has been brought in to play a raunchy, Satan-worshipping teenager" and that a show insider had told them, "Charlotte is a big Dr Who fan and she was thrilled when we approached her. The role is ideally suited to her - she is beautiful but can be very vampish when she wants." There is, however, nothing definite and this could merely be publicity for the singer/actress. Additional locations reporting on the story since last update include Dark Horizons,Daily Record,Contact MusicMonsters and CriticsFemale First.

John Barrowman appeared last week on "Loose Women," the TV chat show. In his second appearance on the series within a month, Barrowman spoke about "Torchwood," including noting that the show might have a BBC1 repeat showing following the original BBC3 transmission, and that he was very excited to start working on it, but no further details were mentioned.

Additional news stories about "Torchwood" not included in last week's update -- basically reprinting the same information we've already reported -- can be found at About.comIn The NewsBrand RepublicDark HorizonsEvening TimesMonsters and Critics,The AdvocateThe TimesTV FodderEntertainmentwiseSydney Morning HeraldGayNZHecklersprayWFAA, as well as various print newspapers around the US which used the same press release.




Series InterviewsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 25 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Dark Horizons has an interview posted with Adam Garcia, who stars in the Christmas special. "Chatting with some grunt from Showtime Australia during the announcements of the iF award nominations, the actor confirmed his taking part and speaks highly of the new Doctor David Tennant - 'He is amazing and his dream as an actor was to play Dr Who and then when it was not happening, he was really disappointed but he was like "I'm still gonna become an actor". Now he actually gets to live his dream and he is marvelous, he really is exceptional'. He continued about his love for the new show: 'I have been a fan of Dr Who since I was (obviously) little and at the read throughs -you know just getting to read the scripts is amazing because they keep them all secret - you get told you're doing it and then you go "Oh! This is what I am doing!" And then you spend a lot of time looking at walls going "They're coming straight for me!" pretending things.'" Dark Horizons also mentions our coverage of the Charlotte Church rumors and other casting information.

Anthony Stewart Head appeared on the Jonathan Ross show on BBC Radio over the weekend. Head was full of praise for David Tennant, who he said was naturally "quirky" and a really nice person to work with. He implied he's playing a school teacher who is not nice, but not necessarily the villain. There was talk about how the old K9 prop still had problems, which Jonathan later compared to Fiona Philips' dancing. Also later in the show, they talked about the toy Daleks.

BBC Radio Cornwall recently reported an actor named Spencer Hawken would be appearing in the second series, possibly as "an evil Time Lord" in two episodes. The rumor mill notes that "by the end of the second story the character, named John, is not as he should be..." There's no word about whether this is credible or simply a publicity item.




Character Options ToysBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 25 October 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
According to the Serendipity website, toy manufacturer Character Options has announced a new set of Doctor Who figures and toys for release next year. The announcement, made at this week's Brand Licensing Expo, noted that the sets will include the Tenth Doctor in long overcoat (plus sonic screwdriver); Rose and K9; "Intergalactic Warlord", the Sycorax (complete with two weapons); the Lady Cassandra and Moxx of Balhoon; Slitheen action figure, with extendable claws; and the Tenth Doctor and radio-controlled K9 double pack. There will also be a TARDIS console room playset, including "six buttons control ten sound effects, plus chair, hat stand and lift-out access panels in the floor to reveal the TARDIS mechanisms and circuitry." The figures are said to be in the 5" size to tie in with the already released Dalek figure from this year.