‘Doctor Who’ news roundup

My regular weekend Doctor Who blogging is coming late tonight or tomorrow, but in the meantime, there’s lots of news about the show to share. (Thanks to all the many readers who have emailed me links, including: John, Martha, Alison, Gail, Steve, Matthew, and Jeff.)

• David Tennant’s Hamlet (which I reviewed here) will definitely be filmed:

He will be joined by all of the key members of its original cast, including Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, who plays Claudius.

After his debut appearance, the Guardian called Tennant the “best Hamlet in years”.

“Contrary to press reports at the time, the RSC always had plans to make a recording of this production,” said Gregory Doran, who directed the stage production.

• Tennant’s final episodes will air in the U.S. not on Sci Fi/SyFy but on BBC America:

At BBC America, the Doctor is finally in. The net has acquired the five “Doctor Who” specials that will finish showrunner Russell T. Davies’ run on the venerable Brit sci-fi franchise that starred David Tennant as the Doctor.

“The Next Doctor,” the series’ Christmas special, will air at 9 p.m. June 27, and the next spec (“Planet of the Dead”) is set for July. Dates and times for the final three shows are to be determined…

“Doctor Who” has aired on Sci Fi for four seasons, with BBC America preeming Davies’ spinoff series “Torchwood” (which will continue) and running the parent show a season late. “Torchwood” will air as a five-episode cycle this year, as well, starting in July.

I guess Sci Fi/SyFy really isn’t concerned about being the home of science fiction in the U.S. anymore. And now I’m gonna have to lobby my cable company to carry BBCA, which it currently does not.

• A Doctor Who movie is in the works:

BBC Films has confirmed that plans are afoot to bring Doctor Who to the big screen.

In a BBC News article about current Time Lord David Tennant’s appearance in spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spokeswoman for the corporation’s film division disclosed that “a script is in development” for a Who feature.

It is not yet known if executive producer Russell T. Davies or incoming showrunner Steven Moffat are writing the script, or whether Tennant or his replacement Matt Smith will play The Doctor.

• And oh yes, Tennant will be appearing as the Doctor in an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures:

Tennant, 38, will appear over two episodes of a new 12-part series of the CBBC show, which starts in September.

Davies said: “Viewers thought they may have to wait until November for the next full episode of Doctor Who, but this is an extra special treat.

“And it’s not just a cameo from David.

“This is a full-on appearance for the Doctor as he and Sarah Jane face their biggest threat ever.”

So, that whole thing with the Shadow Proclamation and Earth being moved through space and almost getting destroyed by Davros… that was not their biggest threat ever? *sigh*

• There’s a new animated story featuring Tennant’s Doctor on the way:

Debuting in “Autumn,” a new animated Doctor Who story, entitled Dreamland, will be hitting the small screen through the BBC’s red button service and Children’s BBC. There will be seven episodes comprising of approximately six minutes. Viewers may remember The Infinite Quest from 2007 which ran on the show Totally Doctor Who and was subsequently released on DVD.

Starring as The Doctor is David Tennant and he will be joined by: Georgia Moffett (The Doctor’s Daughter) though she is not playing Jenny, her character is called Cassie Rice; the voice of Bernice Summerfield, Lisa Bowerman (Survival); and the legendary David Warner (Tron, Time Bandits). Warner is also no stranger to Doctor Who having played the Time Lord himself in a 2003 audio play (reprising the role in 2008).

I wasn’t crazy about The Infinite Quest, and will not expect this to satisfy my Tennant jones, either.

• The new companion for Matt Smith’s Doctor has been announced:

This is sexy Karen Gillan, the red-head set to be Doctor Who’s latest companion.

The 21-year-old will take over after a finale farewell from Billie Piper – and previous strawberry-blonde assistant Catherine Tate – to join new Time Lord Matt Smith.

A sexy redhead? Why didn’t they even ask me? I know I’m a little older than 21, but come on…

• Some video from BBC News about Russell T. Davies being all sad to wrap up shooting in the TARDIS. (It’s not embeddable, or I’d have embedded it here. Sorry. Damn BBC.)

• John Barrowman will appearing at the convention Torchsong Chicago, June 5-7. Also appearing: Kai Owen (Rhys) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto), as well as other folks of SF interest.

• One-man show about being a Doctor Who fan is a hit in New Zealand:

British comedian Toby Hadoke’s Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf appears to be aimed at dedicated Doctor Who followers – from the days when it started to decline in the 1980s.

But just as Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch was about so much more than the author’s love of Arsenal Football Club, Hadoke’s one-man play uses the cult TV programme as a vehicle to explore deeper, more personal issues.

“You could swap that with stamp collecting or a love or music,” he says.

“We all have something that gets us through the day and with me it’s Doctor Who. It informs my perspective on all the other things that I talk about, but if you like Doctor Who that’s an added bonus since you will know that I’m not making up all the references.”

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Sat, May 30, 2009 3:47pm

I love what Grand Moff said about her.


He described her as “funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it”.

“A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too,”

Sat, May 30, 2009 4:20pm

So, that whole thing with the Shadow Proclamation and Earth being moved through space and almost getting destroyed by Davros… that was not their biggest threat ever? *sigh*

Maybe this is the biggest threat the Doc and Sarah Jane have ever faced together–not that the whole universe has faced? OK, splitting hairs, I know. I’m just happy happy at the thought of the Doctor on Bannerman Road. The only thing that worries me is that mention has been made of a wedding taking place in that episode–unless the bride and groom are Sarah and the Doctor (yeah, yeah, I know, being facetious here!) it will be an absolute betrayal of her character and I’ll be throwing things at the TV. Especially if it’s some baddie taking advantage of the poor lonely older woman who is desperately grasping at making her existence meaningful by finally getting a man, and the Doctor has to rescue her from this. *shudder* OK, sometimes having a writer’s imagination isn’t helpful. I truly hope RTD doesn’t go there or even in that neighborhood.

Anyway…re: new companion. Rumors say that the Moff starts series 5 hundreds of years further along in the Doctor’s personal timeline, and that he’s been alone all that while. So, here’s my theory–with that hair–she’s obviously Donna Noble’s descendant. That’s why the Doctor finally breaks down and decides to have a companion again.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :-P At least until the new series comes out. And maybe even then, if they don’t say anything to rule out my theory!

PS–MaryAnn–check out my Twitter home page photo. :) Thanks again! (I’m Weimlady there, too.)

Sat, May 30, 2009 7:20pm

Rumors say that the Moff starts series 5 hundreds of years further along in the Doctor’s personal timeline

Well, at least that leaves room for the whole romance with River Song…

check out my Twitter home page photo

Tee hee! Red nose!

Sun, May 31, 2009 4:05am

Hmm. If Donna is actually, biologically part Time Lady now, her kids will be too, assuming becoming a Metacrisis didn’t make her sterile. (Wouldn’t you love to be the fertility specialist who worked on that case?) Can they handle being, what, 1/4 Time Lord (not sure the metacrisis is exactly 50/50 of course) without burning up? If you’re born a metacrisis and grow up not knowing anything else, can you cope?


Sun, May 31, 2009 7:16pm

Ugh, 21 y.o. companion and under-30 Doctor.

So glad I’m a relatively no0B fan, because I have no desire to watch Doctor Who 90210. As much as the Donna companionship was a welcome respite from the older man/younger woman dynamic (yes, I know the Doctor’s ooooollddd, but I’m talking in casting terms) I’m quite disappointed that they seem to have moved toward the New Adventures of Robin Hood (or whatever they’ve called it) with the new cast. It’s a shame, because Moffat was probably my favorite writer.

I’m really looking forward to the Hamlet – which will not be just a camera-in-front-of-a stage, and will have some location filming and whatnot. The film sounds intriguing… just hope I’ll get the opportunity to see it.

Mon, Jun 01, 2009 3:20am

SO pleased about the filming of Hamlet. The performance I saw was one of those Tennant missed due to back trouble, so I’m doubly enthused – not only do I get to see an excellent production again, I get to see another interpretation of the lead!

Mon, Jun 01, 2009 5:02pm

All I can say I’m happy about all the stuff DT is doing (DW and otherwise especially Hamlet). I will continue to follow is career post-DW.

As for the new companion she is cute but once again she’s only a few years under than Doc 11. I really don’t like this 90210 feel that is coming to the show and all the propping I’m seeing from those associated with the show seem to me to be trying to reassure the audience the show will go on and that MS will be wonderful. I don’t recall this kind of propping when DT started. All I can say is that I will continue to watch DW but it won’t be the obsession that it has been these last five years to both CE and DT.