As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 20 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 19 Sep 2013

Being Human: The Greater GoodBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Next Sunday's episode of Being Human guest-stars Ricky Grover as Bobby and Caitlin Richards as Hazel.

The Greater Good, written by John Jackson and directed by Daniel O'Hara, also features Ruari Mears as werewolf Tom and Feth Greenwood as werewolf Bobby.

Crumb has found his bloody way in the world with a new pal in tow. When Rook approaches Hal to get them under control, Hal is unable to refuse: he owes Rook a favour after all.

But that's not the only favour Rook asks: he wants them to look after Bobby, a werewolf who has been under Rook's care for a very long time.

The task falls to Tom and he has his work cut out reintroducing Bobby to a world he's long forgotten.

Damien Molony plays Hal, Michael Socha Tom, Steven Robertson Rook, and Colin Hoult Crumb.

Pictures from the episode - the fourth in this final series - were released by the BBC today:

A preview clip has also been released:

The Greater Good airs on BBC Three on Sunday 24th February at 10pm. Meanwhile, an online-only scene, penned by Sarah Dollard and entitled Alex's Unfinished Business, was also released today, showing an attempt to rekindle the romance between Alex and Hal:

FILTER: - Being Human

In The Flesh Coming SoonBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
More details about the new BBC Three zombie drama In The Flesh have been released ahead of its impending broadcast.

The three-parter, written by Dominic Mitchell and directed by Jonny Campbell, is set after a zombie uprising, with treated zombies being allowed back into society. The drama centres on zombie teenager Kieren Walker, played by Luke Newberry, and his reintegration into the local community and the heart of his family.

After his death four years ago, his friends and family thought they'd never see Kieren again. But then, shortly after his funeral, thousands of the dead were reanimated, and now, after months of rehabilitation and medication, the zombies are gradually being returned to their homes.

Now known as PDS sufferers (Partially Deceased Syndrome) - and since the passing of the PDS Protection Act - the government has set an agenda of acceptance and tolerance, one that is at odds with the communities abandoned at the time of the rising, and the bloody battle between zombies and humans that ensued.

Kieren returns to his home in the rural village of Roarton - a cauldron of brutal anti-zombie sentiment and the source of the "rotter"-hating Human Volunteer Force (HVF) - where he is forced to confront his family, the community that rejected him, and the flashbacks that continue to haunt him over what he did in his untreated state.

Kieren's parents, Steve and Sue, are undoubtedly pleased to see him, but his sister, Jem, isn't so ready to pick up where they left off.

Meanwhile, the HVF, led by violent Bill Macy and backed by local churchman Vicar Oddie, are ready to take action against any PDS sufferer reintegrated on their patch.
The rest of the cast and main crew are as follows:
  • Steve Walker - Steve Cooper
  • Sue Walker - Marie Critchley
  • Jem Walker - Harriet Cains
  • Bill Macy - Steve Evets
  • Vicar Oddie - Kenneth Cranham
  • Rick Macy - David Walmsley
  • Amy Dyer - Emily Bevan
  • Janet Macy - Karen Henthorn
  • Ken Burton - Ricky Tomlinson
  • Shirley Wilson - Sandra Huggett
  • Philip Wilson - Stephen Thompson
  • Gary - Kevin Sutton
  • Dean - Gerard Thompson
  • Lisa Lancaster - Riann Steele
  • Dr Shepherd - Stewart Scudamore
  • Joanne - Rachel Toomes
  • Ben - Lee Toomes
  • Alex - Alex Arnold
  • Hannah - Danielle Vitalis
  • Keith - John Owen-Jones
  • Pearl Pinder - Gillian Waugh
  • Treatment Assistant - James Foster
  • Giles Weir - Oliver Birch
  • Duncan Lancaster - Steve Garti
  • The Prophet - James Nelson-Joyce
  • Maggie Burton - Sue Wallace
  • Executive producer - Hilary Martin
  • Producer - Ann Harrison-Baxter
  • Make-up design - Nadia Stacey
  • Script editor - Simon Judd
Made by BBC Drama Production North, its start date is yet to be announced, although BBC Three will be airing a trailer next Sunday - 24th February - immediately after Being Human.

FILTER: - In The Flesh

More Dates For Hitchhiker's TourBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
More dates have been added to this year's tour of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!

Sixteen performances at 12 venues across England and Scotland have been announced, taking place between September and November.

As reported earlier this month
, the production will be at The Hackney Empire in London on Saturday 14th September and Sunday 15th September.

The show has been adapted from the Douglas Adams novels by Dirk Maggs, who is also the director.

FILTER: - Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Theatre

Being Human: Pie And PrejudiceBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Next Sunday's episode of what will now be the final series of Being Human guest-stars Amanda Hale and Julian Barratt.

Pie And Prejudice, written by Jamie Mathieson and directed by Philip John, sees Hale playing Regency ghost Lady Mary and Barratt portraying a TV personality called Larry Chrysler. Also appearing in it is Ruari Mears as a werewolf.

When Tom meets minor TV personality Larry Chrysler he's inspired by Larry's lifestyle and goes about learning how to be successful from his new mentor - but is Larry everything that he claims to be?

Meanwhile, Hal is dressed to impress and secretly off to meet an old friend called Lady Mary. Alex's curiosity gets the better of her and she sneaks off to follow Hal, but soon discovers some worrying similarities between herself and Lady Mary.

Pictures from the episode - the third in the series - were released by the BBC today:

Pie And Prejudice airs on BBC Three on Sunday 17th February at 10pm. Last week, the BBC announced that the supernatural comedy-drama series would finish at the end of the current six-part run.

FILTER: - Being Human

New Drama Atlantis Announced And Death In Paradise RecommissionedBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC announced a host of new drama commissions tonight - including a series set during ancient times: Atlantis.

Created and written by Howard Overman, the show will occupy the autumn Saturday teatime slot on BBC One left vacant by Merlin when it ended its five-series run last December. However, two names familiar to Merlin viewers will be involved in the 13-parter about the mythical city: Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, who were part of the quartet of Merlin's creators, will executive-produce the show with Overman for the trio's new production company.

The city of Atlantis is a mysterious, ancient place; a world of bull-leaping, of snake-haired goddesses, and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants.

It's into this strange, compelling realm that the young Jason arrives and an amazing adventure begins, bringing to life the vast store of Greek myths and legends, re-imagined for a new generation.

Shooting begins in Wales and Morocco next month. The 45-minute episodes will be executive-produced for BBC Cymru Wales by Bethan Jones.

In addition, during the event this evening at which BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson set out his vision for BBC Drama, it was revealed that the BBC One crime-drama Death In Paradise - currently averaging almost 8 million consolidated viewers per episode in its second run on Tuesday nights - would be recommissioned for a third series of eight 60-minute episodes, to be shown next year.

Stephenson said:
Drama and the BBC are inseparable – it is written through the BBC like a stick of rock. No other broadcaster in the world has drama so firmly in its DNA. I want to make BBC drama a cultural institution – a touchstone for quality and modernity with all the excitement and glamour of a curtain going up.

My aim is to build a BBC drama department that has an enormous international reputation. That means making us more British than ever - it is about applying the Danny Boyle vision to our work - a bold, adventurous, authorial approach that exports because of its Britishness not despite it. A BBC that feels inspiringly creative - where there is a buzz and creativity and anything goes optimism.

Ultimately, I can boil this down to one thing – I want to make the BBC the hallmark of quality drama and the automatic home for the best talent in the world.

The full list and details of commissions and recommissions is given here.

FILTER: - Atlantis - Drama - Death In Paradise

Paradise Reunites Primeval StarsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 10 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The upcoming episode of Death In Paradise sees a mini-Primeval reunion when Hannah Spearritt and James Murray appear in the BBC One crime drama series starring Ben Miller.

When an English tourist is found dead in her luxury villa, strangled by her own scarf, the crime scene initially indicates a robbery gone wrong.

However, Det Insp Richard Poole - shrewd as ever - notes that the situation is eerily similar to a case he heard about back in London.

He becomes even more suspicious when former corrupt colleague Doug Anderson turns out to be the victim's husband. Riled by his presence and convinced he murdered his wife, Poole is frustrated further when Anderson's alibi is watertight.

With Anderson ruled out as a suspect, the team's attention turns to the villa's owners Will Teague and Ronnie Stuart, who are acting suspiciously, and the victim's sister Janice Palmer who, it turns out, could also have a motive.

However, Poole still can't get past the idea that Doug is somehow involved. Are his personal feelings clouding his usually impeccable judgement?
Poole is played by Miller, Anderson by Neil Pearson, Teague by Ralf Little, Stuart by James Murray, and Palmer by Matilda Ziegler, while Spearritt plays Lily Shaw and Kim Thomson is June Anderson.

The episode - the sixth of the current eight-part series - airs on Tuesday 12th February at 9pm. Written by Colin Bytheway, it is directed by Alrick Riley.

Murray played the ultimately-doomed Stephen Hart in the first two series of Primeval, while Spearritt and Miller were, respectively, Abby Maitland and James Lester throughout all five series.

Meanwhile, Sean Pertwee will be one of the guest stars in the concluding episode of the current series of Death In Paradise. He will play charity fund-raiser - and murder victim - Malcolm Powell in the story, which is scheduled to go out on Tuesday 26th February at 9pm.

FILTER: - BBC One - Death In Paradise