Bookmark and Share Voyage - Ratings Update

12/31/2007 06:52:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

More Audience data is now available for the Doctor Who Christmas Special,Voyage of the Damned. The programme was enjoyed by both sexes with the 35-54 age group enjoying it the most. The programme scored above the drama average on questions such as whether it was a high quality programme and whether it was original and different. It scored below average on whether it was thought provoking or if the viewer learned something new. An above average sample said they would recommend the programme to a friend.

With overnights now available for the whole of Christmas week, the programme stands at number two in the list of the weeks top rated programmes. If, as expected, this is confirmed when the final figures are released by BARB next week, Voyage of the Damned will be the highest placed edition of the programme in its 44 year history. The previous highest weekly placing was fifth for episode two of Tom Baker's second story, The Ark in Space. The highest placing of the new series has been sixth for Rise of the Cybermen.

The programme finished top of the Children's Chart for the week being the most watched programme on British television by 4-15 year-olds.

Bookmark and Share Billie Piper Weds

12/31/2007 06:51:00 pm - Reported by DWNP Archive

Billie Piper married fellow actor Laurence Fox today.

The ceremony took place at 2pm at St Mary's Church in Easebourne, near Midhurst, West Sussex, where the couple live.

Among the guests were David Tennant and Piper's former husband Chris Evans, as well asKevin Whately, alongside whom Fox stars in the ITV seriesLewis.

Also reported by BBC NewsDigital SpyThe TimesThe Daily TelegraphThe Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Daily ExpressAFPRTÉThe SunThe Press AssociationITNSky News,The Belfast Telegraph and even the Toledo, Ohio FOX News affiliate.

BBC News and The Times also carry profiles of Piper on the occasion of her wedding.

UPDATE, 1 January: The TimesThe GuardianThe Daily MirrorThe ScotsmanMSN and Fametastic have further coverage of the wedding, and The Daily Telegraph has another Piper profile.

Bookmark and Share "Voyage" reviews and other news bits

12/29/2007 06:53:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

"Voyage of the Damned" has received both positive and negative reviews in the British press. The Daily Mirror (published before the special aired) calls it "a corker", with "plenty of the Doctor's joky humour, some nice Christmas gags and even a touching romance." However, the reviewer at The Herald (Glasgow) complains that Kylie Minogue looked "matronly". Sam Wollaston of The Guardian feels that Kylie "may be Kylie, but she's no Freema or Billie." The Daily Mirror gives a mixed review, praising the "brilliant psychedelic Pink Floyd-esque imagery" as well as "great baddies ... and neat jokes", but lamenting that "the plot was a mess, consisting mostly of one hi-tech chase scene after another, and it descended into noise and bluster." And theLiverpool Echocalls it "a load of old tongue-in-cheek nonsense".

Tim Teeman, writing in The Times, goes further, saying that "Doctor Who sucks" and calling the show and its protagonist "lazy, predictable and indulgent." But James Walton, writing in the Daily Telegraph "can’t imagine how this episode could have done its job any better", calling Voyage of the Damned "a winning mixture of wild imagination and careful writerly calculation." And 10-year-old George Baker, whose TARDIS bedroom has been previously mentioned on this page, tells Newsround that the Christmas special was "BRILLIANT": "I give it 10 out of 10 - and I cannot wait for the new series!"

UPDATE: A few more reviews have come to light. The Sunday Times describes "Voyage of the Damned" as having "big-screen aspiration with small-screen production values and half a radio script." However, The Stage says "Voyage of the Damned was well up to Doctor Who’s impeccably high standards, neatly combining comedy and thrills to stunning effect," and The Observer says "Doctor Who was an oasis of cheeky nonsense and careless invention."

Before "Voyage of the Damned" aired, Billie Piper was quoted in the Aberdeen Press and Journal saying that she was looking forward to watching the Christmas special, and was envious of her once and future costar David Tennant: "I'm just gutted that I missed [Kylie Minogue]. I speak to David and he's like, 'I've got Kylie's number on my phone.' I want to be Kylie's friend!" The Sun puts Minogue and Piper together in their list of 2007's "top TV babes". TheDaily Mirror has a profile of Piper's "great year", and the Western Mail has a Q&A with the actress.

Kylie Minogue's role in the Christmas special got a lot of coverage in her native Australia, including the Courier Mail(Brisbane, twice), the Herald Sun(Melbourne), Macquarie National News (Sydney) and Sky News. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) calls "Voyage of the Damned" "the greatest Dr Who episode of all time" but also frets that some of Kylie's younger fans may have been unable to tell fact from fiction, as did Sky News.

Digital Spy provides "Ten Things You Never Knew About David Tennant" (although several items may be known to readers of this page).

The Halifax Courier concludes its three-part history of Doctor Who. Part one was linked in the last press round-up, and you can now read parts two andthree.

Catherine Tate's Christmas special has provoked some controversy. Ofcom, the UK's independent media reglatory agency, will investigate complaints that the special contained excessive foul language and stereotypical portrayals of Northern Irish characters. The story is covered by The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile, The New York Times has a largely positive review of Tate's comedy series, as its third season airs on BBC America.

The Manchester Evening News has a profile of Frazer Hines, who played the Second Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon from 1966 to 1969.

The Sun is claiming that Kylie Minogue's sister Dannii is "tipped" for a role in Torchwood, and has a quote from John Barrowman; this story is also covered by Digital SpyAll Headline News and as well as news sites based in India and Estonia, both of which refer to "Kylie Minogue's successful stint on US TV show 'Dr Who'"!

Thanks to Greg Chapman and "PolyG" of the Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share Runaway Bride Repeat - Ratings

12/28/2007 06:59:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Thursday repeat of last year's Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride was watched by 3.0 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures. With a 17.2% share of the audience the programme won its time slot, beating "ET the ExtraTerrestrial" on ITV1. The audience grew throughout the programme, peaking at 3.9 million for the last fifteen minutes, and was the 15th most watched programme of the day.

Bookmark and Share The Sun Slips a Spoiler

12/28/2007 06:54:00 pm - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

December 28, 2007 • Posted By Jarrod Cooper
The Sun has released a story which includes spoilers for the "Doctor-lite" episode of Series Four.

Please click on the Spoiler box for more info

The Sun is reporting that the "Doctor-lite" episode of Series Four is going to be "Doctor-less". According to the article, Rose, Martha and Donna take the TARDIS controls after an accident leaves the Doctor lost in space during an alien invasion.

The article's source adds: “It is a bit of a gamble having Doctor Who without the Doctor – it has never been done before. But everyone is so interested in the different assistants that it should be fantastic.

“Donna, Martha and Rose are all competing for his attention in different ways and all want to be the best.

“But the question will be, can they work together?”

Bookmark and Share Minogue honoured by Queen

12/28/2007 06:54:00 pm - Reported by Anthony Weight

December 28, 2007 • Posted By Paul Hayes
Just days after guest starring in the Doctor Who Christmas special Voyage of the Damned - in which she helped to prevent Buckingham Palace from being destroyed, earning the gratitude of the fictional Queen of England! - Kylie Minogue has beenannounced as receiving an OBE in the annual New Year's Honours list.

The OBE - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - is one of the highest civilian orders. It is awarded by Queen Elizabeth, on the advice of the British and Commonwealth Governments, and has been given to Minogue for her services to music. Although awards given to non-British nationals are usually purely honorary, as Minogue is an Australian national she is entitled to the full award, as Australia is one of the Commonwealth Realms of which the Queen is Head of State.

Minogue is quoted by BBC News as saying: "I am almost as surprised as I am honoured... I feel deeply touched to be acknowledged by the UK, my adopted home, in this way... This last year I have felt so much love and support from everyone as I took greater steps back into the public domain, and it is with absolute gratitude and joy that I say farewell to 2007 and look forward to what the New Year will bring."

Bookmark and Share Voyage - Appreciation Index

12/27/2007 06:59:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Voyage of the Damned scored an Appreciation Index figure of 86 making it one of the most enjoyed programmes on British Television this Christmas. A score above 85 is considered excellent. It was the highest score on either of the main two channels for the day.

For a drama series with such a massive audience to score so well in the Audience Appreciation figures is very unusual and a real measure of just how well the show is performing. The only other programmes to score higher on Christmas day were "Romeo and Juliet" on BBC2 and "The African Queen" on Channel 4.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience liked the programme. It is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel. The average score for drama on BBC1 and ITV1 is 77. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor.

Bookmark and Share Record-breaking ratings for "Voyage"

12/26/2007 07:00:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Unofficial figures show that the 2007 Christmas special Voyage of the Damned was watched by 12.2 million viewers, a 50% share of the total television audience. This is the highest rating the show has achieved since its return in 2005.

The programme was the second most watched of the day, being beaten by the edition of EastEnders immediately following Doctor Who.

The audience peaked in the last fifteen minutes of the show with a massive 13.8 million watching, nearly 55% of the audience. The five minute breakdown shows that over 15 million watched the last five minutes of the programme.

The day was a triumph for the BBC, with BBC One taking nine of the top ten places. Against the Doctor, Emmerdale on ITV1 could only manage 5.8 million, with the Evening News only getting 3.8 million.

The previous highest rated episode of the new series was Rose, which got 10.8 million viewers. If confirmed these figures will make Voyage of the Damned the highest rated episode of Doctor Who in over 28 years. It has the largest audience since the 1979 Tom Baker story City of Death, which had the advantage of being broadcast when ITV was on strike and BBC1 was one of only two channels broadcasting.

In the Children's Charts, Doctor Who was top of the list with 2.2 million under 16's watching, an incredible 65.3% share of the audience.

Final figures, including data for those who recorded the programme and watched it later, will be released by BARB in two weeks time.

Several news sources are running stories on the BBC's Christmas Day dominance, including Doctor Who's large viewing figure. These include The Times,The Daily TelegraphThe SunBBC NewsThe Daily MailDigital SpyThe GuardianReutersThe HeraldThe Daily MirrorThe Daily ExpressThe Manchester Evening NewsThe South Wales EchoVariety and The Press Association.

Bookmark and Share Voyage of the Damned Premiere

12/25/2007 07:21:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

December 25, 2007 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who returns today on UK television for its third Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned starring David Tennant and special guest star Kylie Minogue, at 6.50pm on BBC1, followed at 8.30pm by Doctor Who Confidential at Christmas on BBC3. Today's Radio Times listings are below. (And don't forget to come over to The Doctor Who Forum, still the most popular Doctor Who discussion forum online, to discuss the episode and vote in our poll afterward!)
Voyage of the Damned
Tuesday 25 December, 6:50pm - 8:00pm, BBC1
You can tell that writer Russell T Davies was raised on glorious 1970s disaster movies such as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, because their influences are all over this spectacular, sometimes scary, journey into danger. (Worth bearing in mind if young children are watching.) Voyage of the Damned is packed with heart-thumping "survivors in peril" moments as the Doctor (David Tennant) leads a motley gang, including plucky waitress Astrid (Kylie Minogue) through the wrecked Titanic after the Tardis crash-lands on the doomed vessel. But their flight is thwarted by a phalanx of homicidal angels. It's Christmas, but they're not remotely interested in peace on Earth. As you'd expect from such a master storyteller, every necessary element is present - tension, heart-warming moments, cheeky bits, in-jokes and fun. This really is the most special Christmas special.
Episode written by Russell T Davies
* The Doctor - David Tennant
* Astrid Peth - Kylie Minogue
* Captain Hardaker - Geoffrey Palmer
* Midshipman Frame - Russell Tovey
* Max Capricorn - George Costigan
* Rickston Slade - Gray O'Brien
* Chief steward - Andrew Havill
* Engineer - Bruce Lawrence
* Foon Van Hoff - Debbie Chazen
* Morvin Van Hoff - Clive Rowe
* Mr Copper - Clive Swift
* Bannakaffalatta - Jimmy Vee
* Wilfred Mott - Bernard Cribbins
* Nicholas Witchell - Himself

Doctor Who Confidential at Christmas
Tuesday 25 December, 8:30pm - 9:30pm, BBC3
Behind-the-scenes look at Doctor Who, following the production team, writers and cast as they tackle the Titanic and invite Kylie Minogue aboard the TARDIS for the festive season as the Doctor's special companion, Astrid.

Bookmark and Share Outdoor Screenings Of Christmas Special

12/25/2007 07:20:00 pm - Reported by DWNP Archive

December 25, 2007 • Posted By John Bowman
Seven city squares across England will be hosting outdoor screenings of Voyage of the Damned later this week.

The Doctor Who Christmas special will be running continuously from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, December 27 in a move designed to promote the BBC's iPlayer download service.

The screenings will be at:
Bradford (Centenary Square)
Derby (Market Place)
Hull (Queen Victoria Square)
Leeds (Millennium Square)
Liverpool (Clayton Square)
Manchester (Exchange Square)
Rotherham (All Saints Square)

Viewers in the United Kingdom can download the episode, using the BBC iPlayer, for the next seven days to then watch for a limited time.

Bookmark and Share Media snippets

12/24/2007 07:23:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 24, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Some more Doctor Who items from the news, to help tide you over tillVoyage of the Damned:

Doctor Who is, of course, the highlight of most British television critics' Christmas recommendations. Caitlin Moran in The Times calls "Voyage of the Damned" "amazing" and "a doozy", says that Kylie Minogue is "merry and squeezable" and David Tennant "can give 110 per cent intergalactic sexbrain, even when hanging up-sidedown, wearing a space helmet, or standing on the other side of a wall." The television reviewers of the Western Mail,Scotland on Sundayand the Sunday Sun (Newcastle) also give Doctor Who top billing for Christmas.

Russell T. Davies has denied reports that Jennifer Saunders was being sought to play the Doctor, report the Daily Mirror and the Richmond and Twickenham Times. The Mirror quotes Davies as saying: "That is b*****ks. They sit there and make things up. I can tell you it's pure invention. We have never approached her, never spoken to her, never met her."

Minogue's involvement in the Christmas Special gets Doctor Who more international coverage: RTÉ (Ireland) and The Times of India have stories about the pop star's return to acting (although the Indian paper oddly reports false rumors from months ago about her playing a "sexy Cyberwoman").

The Radio Times' website has some video shot by the Doctor Who Confidential team of Tennant and Minogue posing for the Radio Times cover shoot.

Digital Spy and Yahoo! News have picked up the Times' story, previously reported here, about Christian Voice representative Stephen Green's complaint about the Doctor being portrayed as a messianic figure. No source has yet identified any other member of the "Christian groups", plural, cited in the original Times report. But one site, theFreethinker, has taken Green to task in an irreverent and highly amusing piece written by Andy Armitagecalled"Boo Who! The tears of a clown", with a spoof master of ceremonies introducing the whole confrontation as a pantomime, with Green as the villain of the piece, of course, having first been cunningly disguised as the Dame. There's one potential spoiler paragraph, but you're given adequate warning. But it's a hoot - complete with a mockup of Green dressed in orange wig and big frock. The same story has been picked up by MediaWatchWatch, another British blog, whose brief is to log attempts (usually by religious bodies) to stifle freedom of speech.

The Halifax Courier has published the first part of a survey of Doctor Who history. The first installment focuses on previous Christmas specials and theWilliam Hartnell years, and also has a poll in which you can vote for your favorite Doctor.

In a Scotland on Sunday story about the continuing popularity of Charles Dickens, Simon Callow speaks fondly of his role as Dickens on Doctor Who. And Joan Collins, speaking to the Sunday Mirror, denies earlier rumors that she'd been sought for a role in Doctor Who, but says "I'd love to be on Doctor Who - I think it's a fabulous piece of TV."

The Daily Mail has lots of details about Billie Piper's upcoming wedding to Laurence Fox. The Daily Express, meanwhile, presents readers with a 10-question Doctor Who trivia quiz in its television section.

Thanks to Bill Rudloff, and to "Cheshire Pete" and "PolyG" of the Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share Backlash Over RTD Hitler Comment

12/24/2007 07:22:00 pm - Reported by R Alan Siler

December 24, 2007 • Posted By R. Alan Siler
The Daily Post is reporting that comments made by Executive Producer Russell T. Davies at the preview screening ofVoyage of the Damned have caused quite a stir.

When asked who from history he would like to see play the Doctor, Davies reportedly jokingly answered "Hitler. He was stern and strong. He would be great."

According to the story, some guests laughed, but others were shocked by the remark.

One fan later remarked: "Hitler carried out some of the world’s worst atrocities. He ordered the killing of millions of innocent people. I don’t want my kids thinking Hitler and Doctor Who are in any way the same."

When David Tennant was then asked the same question, he reportedly declined to answer.

Bookmark and Share Titanic survivor criticises special

12/23/2007 07:24:00 pm - Reported by Anthony Weight

December 23, 2007 • Posted By Paul Hayes
Various sources in the UK media, including The Sun and Digital Spy, are reporting that 95 year-old Millvina Dean, the last surviving passenger of the sole voyage of the ill-fated passenger liner the Titanic in 1912, has criticised the BBC for setting the festive episode of Doctor Who aboard a replica space ship of the same name.

Dean - whose father drowned in the disaster - is quoted in The Sun as saying: "It is disrespectful to the dead and bereaved to make entertainment of such a tragedy." However, a BBC spokeswoman told the Daily Record newspaper that: "No offence was intended. Voyage of the Damned is set on a spaceship called The Titanic and not a boat."

Bookmark and Share Tennant on Four

12/22/2007 07:26:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

This Saturday David Tennant stars in the BBC Radio Four Saturday Play ,The Wooden Overcoat.

The comic murder mystery, by Pamela Branch, is set in London in 1951, and is adapted byMark Gatiss. It also stars Graham Crowden.

The play can be heard on Radio Four at 1430GMT. After transmission it will be available via the BBC Listen Againfeature for the next seven days.

Much to his surprise, Benji Cann has got away with murder. He gravitates to the Asterisk Club, a place of refuge for those who have strayed beyond the pale and not paid the ultimate price. But then Benji turns up dead. Who killed him and how will they be able to get rid of the body without the neighbours noticing?

Bookmark and Share Voyage Items To Go On Show

12/22/2007 07:25:00 pm - Reported by DWNP Archive

December 22, 2007 • Posted By John Bowman
Items from this year's Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned, are due to go on display in London from next Easter, according to the Doctor Who Exhibitions and Museum website.

They will be among other costumes, props and monsters from the series on show at the Museum Hall, beneath Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

This is not the first Doctor Who connection for Earls Court. In 1997, the Metropolitan Police put up a Tardis-style police box just outside the Underground station, with a closed-circuit TV camera in place of the rooflight.

Bookmark and Share Tennant, Simm and Minogue's Hootenanny

12/22/2007 07:24:00 pm - Reported by DWNP Archive

December 22, 2007 • Posted By John Bowman
David TennantJohn Simm and Kylie Minogue will help welcome in 2008 on Jools's Annual Hootenanny.

The pre-recorded BBC2 programme includes Minogue singing, with Tennant and Simm among the audience - and Tennant reportedly dancing and singing by the stage of rising star Kate Nash during her performance.

Several news sources cover the Hootenanny: Hello! magazineThe Daily Mirror and the Belfast Telegraph all mention Tennant, while the Sun,Sunday Express and Liverpool Echo all focus on Minogue's duet with Sir Paul McCartney.

The show airs from 11.05pm on New Year's Eve until 1.15am on New Year's Day.

Bookmark and Share The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

12/21/2007 07:28:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 21, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Paul Cornell's new Doctor Who Christmas story, The Hopes and Fears of All the Years, is now available on the Daily Telegraph's website. Only one of the three illustrations by Mike Collins accompanies the web version; to see the other two, you'll have to buy the newspaper.

As previously reported, Cornell is running a competition to win the original art of Collins' illustrations on Facebook.

Bookmark and Share Tennant on Top Gear

12/21/2007 07:28:00 pm - Reported by Anthony Weight

December 21, 2007 • Posted By Paul Hayes
David Tennant will this weekend appear on BBC Two's highest rated programme, the motoring show Top Gear, as the guest on the regular "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" feature. The feature involves Tennant being tutored in driving a Chevrolet Lacetti around the programme's test track by their resident expert driver, the mysterious, always-helmeted "Stig". Tennant will then complete a timed lap of the circuit, which he will then analyse and discuss in studio with presenter Jeremy Clarkson, and his time will be ranked against those of other celebrities to have taken part in the feature.

Both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper have previously taken part in the same item on the programme, although Tennant's time will not be directly compared with Eccleston's as his lap took place when a different model of car was being used for the feature.

Top Gear is on BBC Two this Sunday at 8pm. It is repeated at 12 midnight on Wednesday 26 December, and then again on BBC Three on Saturday 29 December at 7.20pm. It will also be available, to UK viewers, on the BBC's broadband iPlayer "watch again" service.

Tennant's participation is reported in several sources, including an article in the Daily Mail.

Bookmark and Share The Master reborn... in polystone

12/21/2007 07:27:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 21, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Weta Collectibles has revealed the latest in their line of Doctor Who statuettes. The statue depicts the Master, as played by Roger Delgado in the character's first appearance, Terror of the Autons. The one-sixth scale miniature shows the Master in his black suit, holding his Tissue Compression Eliminator and standing over the body of an inanimate Auton.

Weta has previously released a Dalek and Cybercontroller from the new series; the Master statuette is the first Weta release to depict an element from classic Doctor Who.

To see larger photographs of the statue, please click on the thumbnails below.

Thanks to Paul McDermott.

Bookmark and Share Who's in the Hot 100?

12/21/2007 07:26:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 21, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Broadcast magazine, the weekly magazine of the UK's television and radio industry, has released its "Hot 100 of 2007" list, and several Doctor Who people are on the list.

In the Talent category, Billie Piper comes in at #6 (the highest-ranking woman on the list). The magazine mentions her forthcoming return to Doctor Who, as well as her roles in "The Diary of a Call Girl", "Mansfield Park" and "The Shadow of the North".

In the Writers" category, Steven Moffat gets a nod at #11. Broadcast praises his "ingeniously playful" series "Jekyll" and his Doctor Who scripts, and notes his upcoming work on the Stephen Spielberg/Peter Jackson film adaptation of "Tintin". Moffat is also quoted about his first series, "Press Gang": "I'd love to do a return visit to the characters," he says. "They'll all be sad and fat, decaying in middle age."

Russell T. Davies has previously appeared in the Writers section of the Hot 100, but this year Broadcast recognizes his contributions as a producer, listing him at #1 in that category. The magazine notes Davies' hands-on involvement in every stage of Doctor Who and its spin-offs, and credits him with turning Doctor Who into one of the BBC's biggest brands. Jane Tranter says that Davies is "brilliant, totally rooted, extremely wise, irreverent and great fun to be with. And he's incredibly kind. His non-judgmental understanding of the nature of the human condition is written large in every piece of work he's ever done." (Tranter, who as Head of Drama at the BBC in 2003 was responsible for commissioning the return of Doctor Who to BBC television, is also in Broadcast's Hot 100. Now the BBC's Head of Fiction, she's the #1 entry in the Commissioners category.)

Finally, leading the field in Craft and Post-Production is Will Cohen of The Mill. The Mill contributed 2,897 effects shots to Doctor Who in 2007, and Cohen ensured that each of them was "better than good". Cohen says, "You've got to compete with computer games, the internet and DVDs. Viewers don't care whether effects are made for the cinema or TV - the work either stands up and holds its own or it doesn't."

Broadcast also listed Doctor Who as one of the top-rated dramas of 2007, excluding soaps. Based on overnight figures, the 31 March broadcast of "Smith and Jones", with 8.2 million viewers and a 39.5% share of the audience, was the eighth most viewed television drama of 2007, and the third highest ranking for a BBC program (surpassed by "Waking the Dead" and "New Tricks").

Broadcast requires detailed but free registration to read articles.

Bookmark and Share Classic Cybermen On Demand

12/20/2007 07:30:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 20, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
US digital on-demand network Illusion on Demand has announced that they will be adding classic Doctor Who stories to their offerings, beginning with the 1967 Patrick Troughton story Tomb of the Cybermen. Their press release is below.
Illusion on Demand is bringing classic Doctor Who back to American television in January '08 with the series "Tomb of the Cybermen". This marks the first national return of classic Doctor adventures since the popular new series has been airing.

In honor of the event Illusion is premiering their Doctor Who micro-site this morning. Features include video clips, a brand new parody by The Action Room, quizzes, a buying guide and an image gallery of Doctor companions.

Illusion will continue in to the year with "Genesis of the Daleks" with more series to be announced.

Bookmark and Share Early "Voyage" reviews and more from the press

12/20/2007 07:30:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 20, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Today's news round-up begins and ends with CBBC's Newsround. Newsround's Lizo Mzimba was the first journalist to review "Voyage of the Damned". Mzimba says that David Tennant and Kylie Minogue "have great chemistry" and that the story as a whole, though "not a perfect episode", "beautifully juggles different elements ranging from tragedy to comedy."

Gareth McLean of The Guardian says that this year's offering is "the best of the three Christmas specials", but sniffs that Kylie is "blank and insipid". However, Nick Sketchfield of SFX calls Kylie's performance "unshowy but winning", and says that "Voyage of the Damned" is "the sixpence in the pudding, a perfect Christmas Day adventure that blends the disaster movie trappings of The Poseidon Adventure with the kind of madcap, quasi-2000 AD flavourings of those old Doctor Who Weekly comic strips."

There's one more video of David Tennant speaking at Tuesday night's premiere, this one from The Press and Journal. Speaking to Swansea's Evening PostRussell T. Davies was full of praise for Tennant, saying, "He's literally Britain's finest actor. I honest to God think that, so when you're writing for him you want him to do anything and go anywhere, and he's capable of anything."

In a survey of young men sponsored by Zoo magazine, Tennant came third in a list of the 100 Coolest Men in Britain. He was behind musician Noel Gallagher and football (soccer) player Steven Gerrard, but ahead of James Bond actor Daniel Craig. John Simm came 51st. Simon Pegg and Peter Kaywere first and fourth respectively in Zoo's top five of funny blokes, while Ricky Gervais, who plays a Doctor Who extra/slug monster in the ExtrasChristmas special, was second in that particular poll. Pegg, Gervais and Kay came seventh, eight and 17th respectively in the Zoo poll to find the coolest bloke of 2007.

Kylie Minogue's involvement gets "Voyage of the Damned" column-inches from Australia's Nine News (which quotes one "Robert T. Davies") and The Sunalso has a story claiming that Madonna turned down an invitation to appear in Doctor Who as "The Last Cassandra". The item appears, appropriately enough, in the newspaper's "Bizarre" section, accompanied by a mock-up of Madonna as Cassandra. (Presumably the photo editors were bored with sticking celebrities' heads onto Davros' body.)

The Times reports that some Christian groups are upset at the use of religious iconography in "Voyage of the Damned". Only one such group is named: the evangelical organization Christian Voice, which previously objected to the BBC's broadcast of "Jerry Springer: The Opera". However, a Church of England spokesman dismissed the concern, saying, "Science fiction at its best helps to illuminate eternal themes, and that’s something the Church can happily work with."

One Doctor Who star who will be found in a church soon is Billie Piper. Piper, who has recently been in Wales filming for the return of Rose Tyler to Doctor Who, will marry actor Laurence Fox on New Year's Eve. The Midhurst and Petworth Observer reports that the two will wed at the parish church in the West Sussex village of Easebourne, where Piper owns a home. The Daily Mail notes that the reception will be held at a pub owned by Piper's ex-husband, Chris Evans.

And finally, we circle back to Newsround. The parents of George Baker, 10, have decorated his bedroom as the TARDIS console room -- complete with a rather impressive console. Fans of all ages can surely envy young Mr. Baker.

Thanks to "PMount" of the Doctor Who Forum and Paul McDermott.

Bookmark and Share Freema rings in the new year on Radio 1

12/20/2007 07:29:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 20, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
Freema Agyeman will appear on BBC Radio 1 on New Year's Day as one of the presenters of "New for 2008", a Radio 1 special featuring "top tips for forthcoming new music, films, fashion, TV and technology." The program will air on January 1 from 7pm to midnight (GMT); Agyeman will be the host from 10pm to 11pm. The show also contains an interview with producer Phil Collinson.

Worldwide fans can hear the program via the BBC's live Radio 1 stream or, for one week after broadcast, via the Listen Again service on the BBC's iPlayer.

Bookmark and Share Voyage Premiere

12/19/2007 07:33:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

This year's Doctor Who Christmas special, "Voyage of the Damned", had a star-studded premiere at London's Science Museum Tuesday night. David Tennant was in attendance, and as previously reported laughed off rumors that he was quitting the series. Kylie Minogue was reportedly in Japan, but Geoffrey PalmerClive SwiftClive Rowe and Bernard Cribbins, all of whom appear in "Voyage", were present at the gala event.

Other Doctor Who actors attending the premiere included John SimmCamille CoduriNoel Clarke and Elisabeth Sladen, as well as past guest stars such as Michelle Collins and Tony Head. Celebrity guests included musician Nick Cave, broadcasterJo Whiley, comedy writer Richard Curtis, impressionist Jon Culshaw, journalist Andrew Marr, Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe and Labour Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain. Photos of the attendees can be seen at Getty Images,CBBC Newsround and Sky Showbiz.

The event was covered by a wide range of media. BBC News,CBBC NewsroundITN NewsThe Blackpool Gazette andThe Bolton News all have video of the event. The premiere is also covered by (in no particular order) The Western NewsThe Daily Press AssociationSky Showbiz (twice),,Total Sci FiOff the TellyRTÉicWales and The Guardian. Many of these reports focus on Tennant's denial of the departure rumors; others highlight a kiss between the Doctor and Kylie Minogue's character, Astrid.

Finally, CBBC Newsround has a largely spoiler-free review of the Christmas special itself.

UPDATE: The Press Association UK has published more video from the launch and previously unseen clips from "Voyage of the Damned"; it can be seen onClipSyndicate.

Thanks to "PolyG" of the Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share The Producers

12/19/2007 07:33:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 19, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
The official Doctor Who website has posted an interview with the series' producers: Russell T. DaviesJulie Gardner and Phil Collinson. The Three Who Rule discuss "Voyage of the Damned", the return of Donna, filming in Rome, autographing babies and Steven Moffat's brain.

SFX also has the second half of their interview with Phil Collinson, in which he talks about bringing back the Sontarans and Catherine Tate.

Thanks to Ian Berriman of SFX.

Bookmark and Share Tennant dismisses departure rumors (UPDATED)

12/18/2007 07:37:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 18, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
At the premiere of "Voyage of the Damned" Tuesday evening, David Tennant dismissed speculation about how long he plans to stay on Doctor Who. Speaking about the Christmas 2008 special and three specials in 2009, he said, "I'm doing four more specials and beyond that no one's asked me to make any decisions and I'm quite happy to be enigmatic for as long as possible." Talk of Tennant's departure plans began Saturday whenCatherine Tate, speaking on Jonathan Ross's radio show, said that she thought that 2008 might be Tennant's last full series in the role of the Doctor.

"Catherine Tate stitched me up good and proper," said Tennant. "She goes on Jonathan Ross and makes up a load of old nonsense. Unbeknownst to me, she thinks I've made a decision - she'd clearly had too much coffee that morning. She said I was leaving, which was a decision I haven't made yet, maybe she's made it for me, but I'm going to keep people guessing for as long as possible."

Tennant continued, "I started getting all these phone calls on Saturday lunchtime saying apparently you're leaving Doctor Who. Catherine Tate's just announced it on Radio 2 - thanks Catherine! I said to her on Monday morning did you know you've caused a minor diplomatic incident? She was completely oblivious that the phone had been ringing off the hook."

Tennant's comments, as well as some spoilerish details about "Voyage of the Damned", can be found at BBC News andThe Blackpool Gazette. More details from the "Voyage of the Damned" press launch can be found at The Daily TelegraphThe SunThe Sunderland Echo and The Daily Star.

Meanwhile, the Daily MailNow Magazine and The West Australian are running with the Sun's story about Jennifer Saunders appearing as the Doctor in one episode.

UPDATED Wednesday 19 Dec: The late night Richard Bacon talk show on BBC Radio 5 Live has a report from the "Voyage of the Damned" preview. It includes an interview with Tennant in which he light-heartedly discusses Tate's comments about his future on Doctor Who: "It's a decision I've not been forced to make, so I'm just going to play my cards close to my chest as long as I can. Despite what Catherine might have you believe, I haven't made any decision about the next series yet."

To listen to the interview, go to this page and click on "Tuesday". The Doctor Who discussion begins approximately 1 hour 38 minutes into the program, and contains some spoilers for "Voyage of the Damned".

There is also a video piece on the premiere from BBC News available here, which includes clips from "Voyage of the Damned" and interview segments with Tennant. Speaking of his future on the programme, he says "It's a decision I haven't made yet... it's not a decision I've been asked to make yet, so I'm going to keep 'em guessing for as long as possible."

Thanks to "scheherezade" and "PolyG" of the Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share A Cornell Christmas Carol

12/18/2007 07:36:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 18, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
The official Doctor Who site has confirmed that "The Hopes and Fears of All the Years", a new Doctor Who short story by Paul Cornell, will be published in the Daily Telegraph on December 22. Cornell, author of several Doctor Who novels and audios, and most recently the television episodes "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood", had previously announced the story on his blog. The short story will be illustrated by Doctor Who Magazineartist Mike Collins. Cornell is running a competition to win one of Collins' illustrations on Facebook.

Last Christmas, The Times ran a Doctor Who story by Cornell; it can be found in their archives.

Bookmark and Share Comic book previews

12/17/2007 07:39:00 pm - Reported by Anthony Weight

December 17, 2007 • Posted By Paul Hayes
US comics publisher IDW has released a series of preview pages of both their forthcoming Doctor Who and Classic Doctor Who titles.

The new Doctor Who comic, written especially for the publisher by television series script editor Gary Russell, is previewed with the first five pages of the opening issue. The classic Doctor Who series, beginning with reprints of stories featuring the Fourth Doctor, is previewed with the first five pages from the third issue.

Thanks to "GracieLizzy" from The Doctor Who Forum.

Bookmark and Share More press clippings

12/17/2007 07:38:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

December 17, 2007 • Posted By Josiah Rowe
And the Doctor Who-related news keeps coming. CBBC Newsround has an interview with Russell T. Davies, in which the writer and producer talks about "Voyage of the Damned", "The Sarah Jane Adventures", the pre-watershed version of "Torchwood" and Series 4 of "Doctor Who". The Newsround site also has a gallery of photos from "Voyage of the Damned". Davies is also quoted in the Swansea Evening Post as calling the Christmas special "a great big disaster movie", speaking favorably of Kylie Minogue's guest-starring turn and saying that he'd love to have Judi Dench in Doctor Who.

Catherine Tate's comments about David Tennant's Doctor Who plans continue to be discussed; the story has been picked up by the Western Mail(Wales), RTÉ (Ireland) and the international news service UPI.

Apparently contradicting an earlier story in the Western Mail, the Daily Telegraph reports that the Character Group, parent company of Character Options, who make Doctor Who toys, has had slow sales this holiday season. Billie Piper's risqué ITV series "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" will air in the US on the Showtime cable network, reports Varietyand Entertainment Weekly.

And finally, an item about which readers can use their own judgment: The Sun claims that Jennifer Saunders of "Absolutely Fabulous" is in talks to play the Doctor for one episode after David Tennant leaves the part. Saunders' AbFab co-star Joanna Lumley played the Doctor briefly in the 1999 Comic Relief sketch "The Curse of Fatal Death".