Planet of the Dead trailerBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
According to BBC journalist Lizo Mzimba on Twitter, the first television trailer for the forthcoming Doctor Who special, "Planet of the Dead", will air on BBC One on Wednesday at 9 pm, just prior to "The Apprentice".

Trailers for the special have already appeared before live audiences at a Wales rugby match and at the "Story of Doctor Who" event at the Celtic Media Festival. However, Mzimba tweets, "You didn't hear this from me. But trailer is a brand new one. It's not the one shown at the Wales V Ireland Rugby or anywhere else."




The Story of Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
There is a chance to hear how Doctor Who is made, when BBC Radio 7 broadcasts a question and answer session with some of the production team this weekend.

The panel features current Executive Producer Julie Gardner, Director Euros Lyn, Production designer Edward Thomas, Brand manager Ian Grutchfield and Dalek operator Barnaby Edwards. They were recorded at the recent Celtic Media Festival held in Caernarfon in North Wales. Russell T Davies was due to attend but was forced to cancel because of his workload. Filming starts Monday for the next in the series of the four specials concluding the tenure of David Tennant as the tenth Doctor.

Questions ranged from why Doctor Who was not available in Lego to whether Matt Smith would cut his fringe before taking over from David Tennant as the Doctor and why the TARDIS is disguised as a police box.

The transmission is at 0000GMT on Sunday morning and is scheduled in a one hour slot. Radio 7 can be heard on digital platforms in the UK and around the world on the listen live facility. Following transmission the broadcast will be available as a podcast on the BBC Website.




Planet of the Dead airdateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The BBC Press Office has confirmed that the Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead will air during the week beginning 11th April. Although the series is listed as "unplaced" in the main press release, it also briefly appeared on the page for Saturday's programmes. Final airdate and time slot will be confirmed when the listings are sent to magazines at the end of next week.

Planet of the Dead features David Tennant as the Doctor, Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina and Lee Evans as Malcolm. It is written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts.

The BBC gives the following description for the special:
When a London bus takes a detour to an alien world, the Doctor must join forces with the extraordinary Lady Christina, in this one-off seasonal special. But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets, hidden in the sand. And time is running out, as the deadly Swarm gets closer.

Planet Of The Dead features David Tennant as the Doctor, Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina and Lee Evans as Malcolm and is written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts.




Restoration Team forum to closeBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor Who Restoration Team have announced the closure of their Technical Forum by 1st April 2009.

The forum has been running for ten years and provided a base for discussion of technical issues related to the restoration of classic Doctor Who episodes for video and DVD release.

In a statement Steve Roberts, who runs the site and is a leading member of the restoration team, cited a number of reasons for the closure. These include incompatibility between the site's original aim of openness and access to the production process and the requirements of operating in a commercial world as well as an increase in the amount of personal abuse in forum postings.

The main Restoration Team site, which features articles on the work undertaken on new DVD releases, will continue as normal.




Specials UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By Anna Roberts

The Sun has published new photos from the first special, Planet of the Dead. These include Malcolm, played byLee Evans, in an article which also reveals details about a character appearing in another special.

The first photo of the aliens featuring in Planet of the Dead, the Tritovore, also appeared in The Sun today, although the newspaper isn't quite sure yet how their name should be spelt.

The Sun believes Planet of the Dead is scheduled to be broadcast on Easter Sunday, 12th April, although there has be no official confirmation of the transmission date from the BBC as yet.

The Daily Express also speculates that Tom Baker is in discussions regarding a future cameo appearance in the series alongside Matt Smith.

Please note, links contain spoilers




News RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The Roundhouse in London is to present The Radiophonic Workshop Live a get together of Peter Howell, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Dick Mills and Mark Ayres to explore the work of the BBC's Radiophonic workshop. The event, which takes place on 17th May at 7pm, combines live performance and multimedia projections. Tickets are available from the Roundhouse Website.

Former companion Lalla Ward, who played Romana alongside the fourth Doctor, has an exhibition of art inspired by the wildlife of Galapagos, at Chris Beetles Gallery, London, running until 28th March. Pictures will be auctioned in aid of the Durrell Conservation Trust. Ward's husband, Richard Dawkins, has offered to place bids via a special email address listed on his website. The exhibition has been previewed in The Independent.

Former Jon Pertwee companion, Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant, is appearing in a one woman show called Me & Jezebel. The play is based on the true story of when Bette Davis invited herself to stay for a night in the New England house of writer Elizabeth Fuller and didn't leave for a month. Manning plays all the parts including Davis herself as well as the reluctant hostess, naïve, star-struck Elizabeth; her frustrated, deep-voiced husband John; the thumb-sucking, impressionable four-year-old son Christopher; the grandmother Ol' Ma; the Dolly Parton like singing evangelist Grace and even the family dog. The play is currently on tour around the UK before playing at the New End Theatre in North London, from 14 April to May 2.

The address to BAFTA by show runner Russell T Davies is now available on the BAFTA Website. In the talk Davies discusses his origins in children's programmes, his thoughts about the audience and his hopes and fears for children's output in the future.

Thanks to Duncan Borrowman, Tom Boon and Trevor Smith




Doctor Who nominated for BAFTABookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 March 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
Series four of Doctor Who, transmitted last year on BBC One, has been shortlisted in the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs), the UK's most prestigious television accolades. This is the second time that the programme has been nominated for this award - series one was nominated and won the category at the 2006 ceremony.

The BAFTA website shows that Doctor Who has been nominated alongside Channel 4's Shameless and BBC One stablemates Spooks and Wallander. Spooks and Shameless were also nominated the last time that Doctor Who won the category.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony held in the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday the 26th of April.




Baker anecdote family soughtBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 March 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The Lancashire Evening Post reports that writer Simon Farquhar is looking for the family at the centre of one of Fourth Doctor Tom Baker's most famous tales about his time in Doctor Who.

In his 1997 autobiography and elsewhere, Baker has related how he was so concerned about the possible effect on children of the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin that while travelling home from a publicity event in the town of Blackpool, he stopped off in the town of Preston to find somewhere he could watch the episode. Seeing some children's bikes in the garden of a house, he knocked on their door, asked if they were Doctor Who viewers and was invited in to watch the programme with the children.

Now Farquhar is reportedly researching the incident for a BBC drama about it, provisionally titled Teatime with Tom Baker. If you are the family or know who they might be, contact details for how to get in touch with Farquhar are given in the article.




Davies defends children's TVBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By Brigadier Bill

Russell T Davies has taken the lead in a big push to save children's programmes on the BBC. In a speech to BAFTA members, Davies said: "They put money into rubbish films, why can't they put money into children's television?"

Davies created The Sarah Jane Adventures for CBBC, but he claims that because of a cutback in funding for children's programming, the show has nearly been cancelled on three occasions. BBC News reports that he has called for National Lottery funding to be made available to ensure the future of children's programmes. He has insisted that: "It needs to be a special case. They're our children, they're the most vital and precious resource you could ever find. It is more important than industry, it is more important than the economy, it is more important than food and education."

Series three of The Sarah Jane Adventures was affected by a reduction in its budget. Davies explained: "We had to look and say, do we want to make a version of Sarah Jane that's a travesty? It was truly shocking to have a successful show having to face cuts which are that severe."

In the end, the series found the required money due to different BBC departments pulling together to fund it. However, Davies still maintains that in general "children's (TV) is sinking lower and lower down the agenda".




Alien Talent SearchBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Since the return of Doctor Who to British television, there have been many opportunities for UK children to participate in the programme, from the Blue Peter contests that gave us the Abzorbaloff and young Creet in "Utopia", to the "Doctor Who Backstage" contest held for Children in Need last year. Now older Doctor Who fans will have an opportunity to appear as an alien in a special Doctor Who scene.

John Barrowman is hosting a new programme called "Tonight's the Night", in which members of the public will be able to reveal their hidden talents and perform in a professional venue. According to an earlier press release, "this could mean duetting with a favourite pop group, singing with a big band or tripping the light fantastic with the cast of a hit West End musical."

Now the BBC's Doctor Who website has revealed that "Tonight's the Night" is holding a contest for Doctor Who fans over the age of 18 to appear as an alien of their own creation in a specially written scene.

The contest will be held in several stages. For the first stage, contestants are asked to create a costume for a new Doctor Who alien and submit a photograph of themselves in the costume to the programme makers. They must also create a name, home planet, powers, weaknesses and other details about their alien and submit them with the photograph.

The judges will select 50 "aliens" to participate in the second stage, an "Alien Activity Day". There, the contestants will compete in several group and character tasks and be judged by the programme's panel. Ten semi-finalists will be selected and will meet the judges individually and be assessed on their "vocal, movement and scene stealing abilities", and three finalists will be chosen. The finalists will complete a series of "alien oriented challenges", and a winner will be chosen. The winner will appear in a Doctor Who scene exclusively written for him or her, which will air on "Tonight's the Night" in April or May.

Full details and the application form are available at the BBC's Be on a show website. The photograph and application must be submitted by 28 March 2009, so get to work!




Two more Hugo nominationsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The nominations for the 2009 Hugo Awards have been announced, and once again Doctor Who has been nominated for the "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" category. Two Doctor Who stories received nominations: "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" by Steven Moffat, directed by Euros Lyn; and "Turn Left" by Russell T Davies, directed by Graeme Harper. They will compete against episodes of Lost andBattlestar Galactica, and Joss Whedon's Internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog".

The Hugo Awards are given each year for the best works of science fiction or fantasy, as determined by the members of the World Science Fiction Society. Doctor Who has won every year since its return to television in 2005: the last three winners have been "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" (2006), "The Girl in the Fireplace" (2007) and "Blink" (2008), all written by Steven Moffat. Five other Doctor Who stories and one episode of Torchwood have been nominated in the past.

This year's winner will be announced at Anticipation, the 67th Annual Worldcon, in Montreal, Canada in August.

Thanks to Steve Manfred.




Sun reports on companions for Tennant's finale: possible spoilersBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The Sun has a story about the companions who will accompany the Tenth Doctor in his last story, and the story's antagonist. The information, if true, may be considered a spoiler; click the box below for details if you wish.

Please note that this has not been confirmed by any official source.

David Tennant will appear in four more special episodes of Doctor Who. One will air around Easter, and the other three will air around Christmas 2009 and New Year's 2010. The last two specials form a two-part story; this is the story which the Sun's news concerns.

Thanks to James Robertson.


Spoiler: 
The Sun is reporting that in David Tennant's final story as the Doctor, he will be accompanied by Billie Piper as Rose, Freema Agyeman as Martha and Catherine Tate as Donna. According to the tabloid, the three companions will face off against John Simm, returning as the Master




News snippetsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
The Daily Mirror has reported that one of the Doctor Who specials which will air later this year will be set on Mars. In classic Doctor Who, the recurring monsters known as the Ice Warriors were native to Mars; the planet was also the prison of Sutekh in 1975's "Pyramids of Mars", and in a 1970 serial, human astronauts met "The Ambassadors of Death" on their way to Mars.

The Mirror also reports that the special will star Australian actor Peter O'Brien and actress Gemma Chan as "evil characters" in one of David Tennant's final Doctor Who stories.

The Doctor Who News Page previously reported that The Sarah Jane Adventures had been nominated for a Royal Television Society Programme Award, in the Children's Drama category; the awards were announced on March 17, and SJA lost to junior spy adventure M.I. High.

Finally, the Edinburgh Evening News reports that the Edinburgh police force are planning to bring "Tardis-style" police boxes back into use in the city's downtown. Many Edinburgh police boxes have been converted into coffee shops, but if this initiative goes through others would be used by police, as they were in the 1950s and 1960s.


Thanks to Chuck Foster and "nabusan" of the Doctor Who Forum.




Davies defends children's TVBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By Brigadier Bill

Russell T Davies has taken the lead in a big push to save children's programmes on the BBC. In a speech to BAFTA members, Davies said: "They put money into rubbish films, why can't they put money into children's television?"

Davies created The Sarah Jane Adventures for CBBC, but he claims that because of a cutback in funding for children's programming, the show has nearly been cancelled on three occasions. BBC News reports that he has called for National Lottery funding to be made available to ensure the future of children's programmes. He has insisted that: "It needs to be a special case. They're our children, they're the most vital and precious resource you could ever find. It is more important than industry, it is more important than the economy, it is more important than food and education."

Series three of The Sarah Jane Adventures was affected by a reduction in its budget. Davies explained: "We had to look and say, do we want to make a version of Sarah Jane that's a travesty? It was truly shocking to have a successful show having to face cuts which are that severe."

In the end, the series found the required money due to different BBC departments pulling together to fund it. However, Davies still maintains that in general "children's (TV) is sinking lower and lower down the agenda".