Desert Island WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
First broadcast in 1942, the popular BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs has presented the favourite musical choices of hundreds of famous celebrities should they have ended up cast away. The BBC have recently made the series available in the form of a searchable archive, detailing the choices made by guests and also the actual programme to listen to in a number of cases.

In such a lengthy series it is inevitable that a many of Doctor Who's cast have featured; for example, the first Doctor himself William Hartnell was a guest on 23rd August 1965, choosing Charlie Chaplin's Spring Song as his favourite amongst other tracks like Lawd, You Made The Night Too Long by Louis Armstrong and Politsvian Dances by Alexander Borodin.

A year earlier, the third Doctor Jon Pertwee made his choices on 12th October 1964; these included two pieces by Mozart, Love is Strange by Lonnie Donegan, and his favourite being Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles.

More recently, the 27th December 2009 featured outgoing tenth Doctor David Tennant, who cited Tim Minchin's White Wine In The Sun as his favourite, amongst items like Deacon Blue's Dignity and his favourite band The Proclaimers performing Over And Done With; this episode of the series is one of those that is also available for download.

Other notable names include 'alternative' Doctors Peter Cushing (1959) and Rowan Atkinson (1988), short-lived Master Derek Jacobi (1978), and the tenth Doctor's last fellow TARDIS traveller Bernard Cribbins (1963); explore the index for the choices of many other Doctor Who guest stars!

(with thanks to Jamie Austin)





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant has beaten Matt Smith in a recent poll by the SyFy Channel to find the sexiest sci-fi hunk. The tenth Doctor came in at second place (16.9%), beating spin-off show Torchwood lead John Barrowman who came in third (14.2%), with Smith in tenth place (8.7%). X-Men star Hugh Jackman topped the poll (20.3%). In the sci-fi babes poll Karen Gillan beat predecessor Billie Piper, taking fourth (10.6%) and fifth (7.7%) places respectively; the top spot was taken by Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (12.7%).

Matt Smith talks about playing the role of the Doctor: "I can never relax because I'm always pushing myself to the highest level but it's nice to enjoy the fact people have accepted me as the Doctor and enjoy the things I do. I think he's grown. I hope people see growth.
I think he should always be evolving. I don't think good actors get typecast. In 10 years' time I'll be playing very different parts than I am playing now. So there is plenty of time for me to evolve as an actor."
Also: "It's so funny, I read other scripts and I just go, 'Not as good as Doctor Who!' For me, it's a privilege to play this man. These parts don't come along that often. There was never any hesitation on my part to stay for another year. Why would I quit? I've got Steven Moffat writing scripts, but not only that - Toby Whithouse, Richard Curtis... all these great writers. And then of course, the part. I just love playing the Doctor. I've grown terribly fond of him. It's something I really enjoy." [Daily Record, 27 Aug 2011; Press Association, 28 Aug 2011]

David Tennant talks about the various roles he's taken recently in film, television and theatre: "I'm quite greedy for the variety, I think. I love the fact that I'm doing Shakespeare in the West End at the moment and then talking about vampires at the day. That's sort of what I'd always hoped I'd manage to do, to mix things up like that, to have a wide variety of work. I think it just helps you to keep being hopefully creative and it keeps challenging you. It's ideal really, if I can do a film and then a play and then a bit of telly and then a radio play and then an audio book, I love the fact that I'm in a job where I get to do all those different types of things." [Huffington Post, 18 Aug 2011]

Both David Tennant and Billie Piper are to appear in a new BBC1 drama, Love Life, a series of plays that will be based on improvisation by writer/director Dominic Savage. BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, Ben Stephenson said: "This is a complete first in TV drama on BBC One: a serial made through improvisation. It features some of our very best acting talent working in a way we've never seen on screen from them before, using improvisation to push the boundaries of each story, to get right to the heart of the truth." The two actors will feature in different episodes of the drama. [BBC Press, 26 Aug 2011]

Billie Piper is also to play the lead in a new BBC3 show written be Lee Hupfield, Tom and Jenny, described as "a high-octane comedy pilot about a feuding couple who, despite splitting up, refuse to leave the house they've bought together". [BBC Press, 26 Aug 2011]

Karen Gillan is supporting her hometown radio station, Monster FM, which will be returning to the Inverness airwaves for a limited period during September. Gillan and Inverness Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher will be presenting special programmes of their own favourite music on the station, which will be operated by trainee DJs from the European Social Fund-backed Radioskills project at The Moray Firth Media Trust. [Highland News, 30 Aug 2011]

John Barrowman commented on how his life style has changed over the years: "I can’t handle clubs and wild nights out like I did in my 20s. I’m lively when I perform and I always put everything into a show but when I get home I love lying down in front of the TV and relaxing. I’m not quite the party animal people imagine. I’m certainly not a big fan of nightclubs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a vodka and tonic after a tough day." [Wales on Sunday, 21 Aug 2011]

Sophie Aldred appears in the new comedy-drama film Thriller Theater! from the independent Untitled Creative Group based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The film is directed by Michael S. Olson, who for the past 11 years has been the technical director for the annual Chicago TARDIS convention. Aldred portrays television station manager Lynn Whitlam, who's not easily convinced to give up two hours of late night infomercial programming to take a chance on a new horror host show called 'Thriller Theater'. "The script was written with the Lynn Whitlam character never being seen - we only ever see the back of her head, or her hands; we only hear her voice. But when the opportunity arose to involve Sophie in the project, we jumped at it - who wouldn't - and we had the perfect role for her, all ready to go," says Olson. "We filmed her scenes in Madison, Wisconsin, during her appearance at the MadCon convention in September 2010. And of course, she was superb." Thriller Theater! (the movie) receives its premiere screening on 8 September 2011 at the Portage Theater in Chicago (funds for the screening are being raised via public contributions to Kickstarter.com). The movie is also being submitted to various film festivals throughout the country. For more information on the film, visit http://thriller-theater.com. [with thanks to Steven W. Hill]

Bernard Cribbins helped launch a new Wheelyboat that enables disabled visitors to access the waters of Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire for fishing. A patron of the Wheelyboat Trust, he said: "It is of huge importance to give disabled anglers the same opportunities as able-bodied anglers." [BBC News, 19 Aug 2011]

Matt Smith was nearly cast in series The Inbetweeners, according to its creators Iain Morris and Damon Beasley: Matt Smith, the best Doctor Who of all time, was up for the role of Will. He was really, really brilliant and so funny, just a brilliant actor. And clever. He had all the comic timing you wanted, all the dramatic sense you might need. We spent a long time in development; I think if we had to make a decision very quickly and we were going off to shoot, we would definitely have gone with Matt at that point. But it just became a very long, drawn-out thing, and he had other projects on the go. Quite big projects, as it turned out, but we loved him." [Heatworld, 24 Aug 2011]





New Zealand Return DateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who will return in New Zealand on Thursday September 15th at 8.30pm with Let's Kill Hitler.

The time was announced on Prime TV's Twitter feed.

The series returns to Australia this weekend.




Night Terrors: BBC PublicityBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have now released the trailer for Night Terrors online:

Doctor Who: Night Terrors trailer, BBC, via YouTube

A number of publicity photos to tie in with the episode have also been released:

**** THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS SHOW SCENES FROM NIGHT TERRORS
**** AND MAY BE CONSIDERED SPOILERS











Day of the Daleks preview: Alister Pearson printBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This Sunday (4th) sees a special preview taking place to celebrate the release of Day of the Daleks on DVD, presented by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society with permission from 2|Entertain.

Artist Alister Pearson has produced a new A4 print for the event based on the original artwork designs for the Target novelisation's three covers, by Chris Achilleos, Andrew Skilleter and himself. He'll be at the event to sign prints, proceeds of which are in aid of Help for Heroes; it can also be pre-ordered directly from the DWAS website via their Day of the Daleks event section, and these too will be signed by the artist.

Though the event itself is fully booked, there is an open autograph session at the end of the event at 5:00pm for those who wish to come along to pre-order the DVD on the day and have the cover signed by the guests, Katy Manning (Jo Grant) and Richard Franklin (Mike Yates) - it is also hoped that Scott Fredericks (Boaz) will be able to attend on the day as well. As with the print, a signed DVD can also be pre-ordered from DWAS online before the event takes place.


Full details on the event and associated merchandise/activities can be found via the DWAS website.




BBC ClassicDW have also released a clip from one of the special features on the discs.


Day of the Daleks preview clip, BBC Classic Doctor Who (via YouTube)




The Middle Men: Final RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Episode Six of Torchwood: Miracle Day, The Middle Men, had a final official rating of 4.60 million viewers according to figures released by BARB.

The programme was the 18th highest rated on BBC One for the week.

The final result includes those who recorded the programme and watched it within 7 days. It does not include those watching on iPlayer.

Episode Seven, Immortal Sins, had an AI score of 81.




Let's Kill Hitler: Canadian RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Saturday's showing of Let's Kill Hitler on SPACE was the most watched broadcast ever on the channel.

Around 834,000 people watched the transmission at 8ET on Canada’s national science fiction, horror and fantasy channel.

When the ratings for the repeat showings are added the episode attracted 1.2 million unique viewers. “Let’s Kill Hitler”, was the most-watched program overall on Canadian television for adult viewers (18-49 and 25-54).

Torchwood Miracle Day, ranked as the number 2 program among adults 18-49. The episode, End of the Road, drew 528,000 total viewers. Both episodes are available within Canada for viewing on spacecast.com.




Next Time: End Of The RoadBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Thursday (1st September) sees the eighth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day premiering in the UK, with End Of The Road being broadcast at 9:00pm on BBC1/BBC1HD. The episode will also be repeated on BBC2/BBCHD the following Tuesday at 12:20am, and available to watch online in the UK via the BBC iPlayer until 23rd September.


PLOT SYNOPSIS FOR END OF THE ROAD FOLLOWS - MAY BE CONSIDERED A SPOILER



Captain Jack faces a showdown with a man he thought long since dead. But while Rex takes extreme action, is it too late to prevent the collapse of society?



Torchwood: End Of The Road preview, BBC, via iPlayer - may not play outside of the United Kingdom
Alternatively there is a YouTube version.


**** PUBLICITY PHOTOS FOR END OF THE ROAD
**** MIGHT BE CONSIDERED SPOILERS












Writer Jane Espenson recently talked to the BBC Press Office about her work on Torchwood.






Sarah Jane ScreeningBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
The British Film Institute is to preview the final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures with an special family exclusive screening of the first story followed by a question and answer session.

The final six episodes of the series, made before the tragic death of series star Elisabeth Sladen, are due to be shown on CBBC this Autumn. In the first adventure, Sky, Sarah Jane discovers a mystery baby on her doorstep. But with explosions, power surges and reports of a Metal man falling from the sky, Sarah Jane is convinced that there's more to the baby than there first seemed.

The screening on 16th September at 6:30pm is a family event, so all adults must be accompanied by children (Max 2 adults per 1 child).

Tickets can only be booked from BFI IMAX Box Office by phone on 020 7199 6000 or in person at BFI IMAX.

Tickets are £9.50, £6.75 Concs (BFI Members pay £1.50 less)

Courtesy of CBBC and BBC Wales.


Just a reminder, brand manager Edward Russell will be walking for charity from next week in order to raise money for the Meadow House Hospice, who looked after actress Elisabeth Sladen.






Let's Kill Hitler: Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler had an Appreciation Index score of 85.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much an audience enjoyed a programme. Figures are based on ratings from a selected panel of 5000 people. The average score for BBC One is 80 with the average for the current Doctor Who timeslot being 82, and the average for Drama being 85.




Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular for MelbourneBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is to present the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular next February as part of the celebrations for the grand re-opening of the Hamer Hall venue at the Melbourne Arts Centre.

The concert, similar to the format seen at the two Proms concerts in London, will feature music from the television series, combined with classic clips and live monsters.

More details will be available nearer the event.

(newslink: Herald Sun, Sydney Morning Herald)




Let's Kill Hitler: Press ReactionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of some of the comments in the press for the premiere of Let's Kill Hitler - the full articles can be read via the links. Please note that as these are reviews, spoilers may be present.


United Kingdom

Writing for the Telegraph, Michael Hogan commented:
The show is fond of dropping in historical figures these days. Shakespeare, Dickens, Van Gogh, Queen Victoria, Louis XV, Nixon and Churchill have all popped up since the series was rebooted six years ago. It’s a device which allows the writers to give viewers a playful history lesson, while offering extraterrestrial explanations for past events. Inform, educate and entertain… Lord Reith would approve, although he’d probably be baffled by this plot.
...
The script contained nods to several films: Nazi motorbikes were stolen like The Great Escape, Kingston purred a Mrs Robinson-ish “Hello, Benjamin”, some of the CGI sci-fi tricks recalled Men in Black and The Terminator. “Whopremo” Steven Moffat has compared his complex plotting to Inception, and he does tend towards the tricksy. This was jam-packed full of ideas, twists, turns and wibbly-wobbly time-bending stuff. Giddily thrilling entertainment, albeit rather exhausting. I don’t know how the Doctor does it at his age (a sprightly 909 at last count) but I wouldn’t mind being him when I grow up, either.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph's Doctor Who expert Gavin Fuller wonders if it was a wasted opportunity:
Packing plenty into an episode is all very well, but there is a fine line to be walked between over-egging the style and allowing plots to breathe, and this episode wasn’t totally successful in that count. Although it was enjoyable enough, and we certainly learnt a lot of the back story of Amy, Rory and River, I was left feeling that much more could have been done with the setting. Indeed, much of the story could have been set anywhere and any time, which is a waste of using such a resonant historical period as the backdrop.

Dan Martin of the Guardian said:
For all that, to me Let's Kill Hitler was far more successful as a season opener than A Good Man Goes To War was as a finale. Here was an energetic, timey-wimey tour de force with with gags and flourishes like the car and the crop circles that still maintained a strong sense of what it was about. Most fabulously of all, it was all about Doctor Song. ... If you could keep up, we were given a lot more answers than we might have dared to expect. Yes she did have regenerative powers, but in saving the Doctor she also sealed her fate to that ultimate 'death' in the Library. We learn where she got the Tardis diary. But we still have to deal with the mystery of who she is to the Doctor. Perhaps most brilliantly of all, we solve the continuity niggle of Alex Kingston's reverse ageing: "I might take the age down a little, just gradually, just to freak people out."

Shape-shifting robots and miniaturisation rays in Doctor Who are to be encouraged. But is there an argument, somewhere, that having River/Melody perceived by the people in the Tessalator as a worse war criminal than Hitler maybe, possibly, a little bit dodgy?

Kevin O'Sullivan of the Mirror:
Doctor Who... the usual ball of nerdy confusion as the Doctor and his time-travelling chums hurtled into 1939 Berlin and locked Hitler in the cupboard. Hee hee. A few amusing one-liners, superior special effects... and guest star Alex Kingston’s spirited portrayal of Amy Pond’s demonic daughter Melody. But what was it all about? Don’t ask me. Roll on The Silence.

Neela Debnath wrote in the Independent on Sunday:
Given the dark and depressing tone of A Good Man Goes To War, this episode lifted the mood and made things feel a lot lighter, possibly to create a balance. There were some great slapstick moments when River and the Doctor are trying to second-guess one another. River ends up pointing a banana in the Doctor’s face rather than a gun. Also, the Rory death count has begun and it is only a matter of time before it happens.

Richard Edwards of the Sci-Fi magazine SFX said:
Moffat’s script takes pleasure in wrongfooting you from the start, packing the episode with never-saw-that-coming moments and ingenious reveals. When that red sports car skids up to the TARDIS before the credits, it seems logical that River Song should step out, but no, it’s Mel… Who later turns out to be River Song anyway. Then there’s the Nazi officer-impersonating robot that turns out to be a vessel packed with hundreds of tiny people – very Men In Black – who travel around time and space dishing out justice to war criminals. An ingenious idea, brilliantly delivered – the morphing effects are Hollywood good.
...
Indeed, this has to rank among the cleverest Who episodes Moffat has ever written. After the intensity of “A Good Man Goes To War”, we needed something lighter – which “Let’s Kill Hitler” is – yet Moffat manages to mix the gags and silliness with genuine emotion, and some important additions to the season’s arc plot. Like the “birth” of River Song.

Simon Brew of Den of Geek:
The omission of sorts from the episode was actually Adolf Hitler. He was basically the MacGuffin here, in much the same way that the cybermen were teased in A Good Man Goes To War, and then blown up inside five minutes. In the case of Hitler, he had a few (good) jokes made at his expense, and then got locked in the cupboard. And left there. Let’s Kill Hitler, instead, was far more interested in complicating the relationship between its central characters, which it did terrifically well. Coupled with some of the snappiest dialogue of the show this series, it packed plenty into its near-fifty minute running time. It offered a stark reminder, too, that “the Doctor lies”. As if we didn’t know.


United States

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly:
Doctor Who got off to a marvelously energetic, funny, clever, noble mid-season start on Saturday night with the episode titled “Let’s Kill Hitler.” Resolving the cliffhanger of the seventh episode by, with devilish perversity, raising more questions and introducing more plot lines — shaggy-dog story-telling being part of the series’ enduring charm — Doctor Who jumped across time and space in Steven Moffat’s witty script. ... As usual, Smith, Gillan, and Darvill played their roles with dash, while the show grounds them in some authentic emotion. As much fun as it was to see the morphing of River Song, it does leave Amy and Rory childless, doesn’t it? While the Teselecta got under the skin of various people, the series itself gets under the skin of its main characters, and its audience, in a unique manner that continues to play out.




Next Time: Night TerrorsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released an introduction to next week's Night Terrors, featuring guest star Danny Mays discussing his character and his thoughts on the script by writer Mark Gatiss:


Night Terrors: Danny Mays introduction, BBC, via the BBC Doctor Who site - may not play outside of the United Kingdom

In addition, the Next Time trailer for the episode is also available to watch online:

Night Terrors: Next Time Trailer, BBC, via the BBC Doctor Who site - may not play outside of the United Kingdom


Night Terrors will premiere on BBC1/BBC1HD at 7:00pm, 3rd September in the United Kingdom; it then follows on SPACE in Canada at 8:00pm ET, on BBC America in the United States at 9:00pm ET, and on ABC1 in Australia at 7:30pm on the 10th September.

The BBC synopsis for the episode follows, which might be considered a spoiler:



The Doctor receives a distress call from the scariest place in the Universe: a child's bedroom.

Every night George lies awake, terrorised by every fear you can possibly imagine – fears that live in his bedroom cupboard. His parents are getting desperate – George needs a doctor.

Fortunately for George, his desperate pleas for help break through the barriers of all time and space and the Doctor makes a house call. But allaying his fears won't be easy; because George's monsters are real.




Let's Kill Hitler: UK overnight viewing figuresBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 August 2011 - Reported by Marcus
6.2 million viewers tuned in to watch Let's Kill Hitler, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The programme had a share of 28.7% of the total TV audience and was the most watched programme of the day on BBC One. The total included 1.02 million viewers who were watching on BBC One HD.


The X Factor on ITV 1 won the day with 10.6 million watching. Against Doctor Who ITV1 scored 5.4 million for All Star Family Fortunes.

Doctor Who's audience was steady throughout the episode, with an initial figure of 6.2 million rising to a peak of 6.3 million. With one day to come, Doctor Who currently stands at 17th for the week.

Final figures, which will be released in 8 days time, should see the final total rise considerably, when those who record the episode and watch it later are factored in.

On BBC Three 0.51 million watched Doctor Who Confidential.