April 17, 2005

The Ten Doctors

It’s amazing to think that by 2006 our favourite television hero will have hit double figures in terms of the number actors to have played him on television.  In case you haven’t seen it on the www.dwin.org main page, David Tennant was announced as the 10th Doctor yesterday by the BBC.

I suppose that reaching 10 actors to play the role happened quicker than anyone thought it was going to happen when the series was announced to be coming back in September 2003 - but looking at it another way, if the series had never gone off the air to begin with we’d probably be on our 12th, 13th or even 14th Doctor by now, given that most actors only stay in the role for 3 years. It’s still an incredible achievement for a television series - just imagine asking the original production team back in 1963 if they thought this would be happening 42 years into the future.  William Hartnell was the most optimistic of the original cast, believing the show could be so unbelievably successful that it might run for as many as 5 years. And look at it now!

William, Patrick, Jon, Tom, Peter, Colin, Sylvester, Paul, Christopher and now David (with a very appropriate last name for Doctor number ten). Ten different actors, ten different first names, ten different incarnations, but one Doctor Who.

(5) Comments

April 14, 2005

Conversations with my mother

(Contains fairly mild spoilers for The Unquiet Dead and
The End of the World)

So I call my mum back in England and ask about my nephews
(ages 5 and 9)...

Me: So did the kids watch Doctor Who?
Mum: Yes.
Me: They liked it?
Mum: Um, yes. It was a bit scary for them I think.
Me: Scary in a good way?
Mum: Yes, they were scared of the ghosts but they didn’t have nightmares. Lots of questions about coffins and death though. Last week’s they handled much better. Future stories with aliens and spaceships they can’t get enough of, though after last week’s episode we had to sit Stephen down and convince him that the world isn’t about to blow up.
Me: Are all the kids talking about it at school?
Mum: Yes, they’re all watching it. The boys at least.
Me: Are you enjoying it?
Mum: Yes I am!
Me: Who are you and what have you done with my mother?
Mum: It’s so much better than the old one. It occurred to me though, if it really happened, we’d never know.
Me: Pardon?
Mum: If aliens really had invaded in the nineteenth century and someone stopped them, we’d have no idea it had happened.
Me: Riiiiiiight…

Welcome back Doctor Who!

(3) Comments

April 10, 2005

And the Hits Keep On Comin’

More things I thought I’d never see: Doctor Who not only continues to trounce Ant and Dec in their timeslot, but with 8.3 million people watching The Unquiet Dead, Doctor Who also managed to score higher ratings than a Royal Wedding (6.2 million), a Grand National (7.3 million) and even Casualty (8.0 million) too.

We’re still waiting for the fan prophesy of doom of viewers switching off en masse after the news of Eccleston’s departure to happen, but it doesn’t seem to be occuring. All we can say is, hooray for the British viewing public for having more faith in Doctor Who!

(12) Comments

April 09, 2005

Rose

Wasn’t it cool when the Doctor does that thing in the restaurant, and that guy screams, and the Doctor grins like he’s having the time of his life.

That was awesome.

(3) Comments

April 07, 2005

FIRST RATE!

The premiere of Doctor Who destroyed in the ratings on April the 5th.  Doctor Who did extremely well on the CBC with over 986 000 viewers.  Compared to the 9.9 million in UK this number might seem small…but for Canadian television numbers, and for the CBC this is HUGE, and exactly where we wanted the show to come in at. 

Doctor Who did not win the evenings rating’s war across the board…it did, however, win for the network.  Four shows on other major Canadian networks beat Doctor Who.  They were American Idol (2 508 000) which was in the same time slot, The Amazing Race (3 140 000), LAW AND ORDER:SVU (1 294 000) and CTV National News (1 428 000).  Three of those shows are big US productions, with an established following while the news is…THE NEWS!  smile

numbers1.jpg

Put it another way Doctor Who DESTROYED House, Judging Amy, CBC’s News, Jag, The Outer Limits, Blue Jays baseball, and a host of other programs in and around that time slot. 

So this fan is very happy indeed, and I’m sure the CBC is as well.  Doctor Who won CBC’s night, and reportedly did more than double what programming that slot normally gets on a Tuesday evening.  On any day 986 000+ viewing the CBC is amazing… I can only think of Hockey getting better numbers than Doctor Who.  And this number only reflects what the industry can measure…so I’m sure the numbers are even higher here in Canada, as well as in the UK.

It’s this fan’s opinion that Doctor Who will have a nice run on the Mother Corp, and that we’ll be seeing Series two on the Ceeb before too long.

Woo-Who!

(5) Comments

April 06, 2005

“It’s Gold Jerry.  GOLD!”

New Series.
New Banner.

(8) Comments

April 05, 2005

The Fifth of April, Two Thousand and Five

Sweet Mother, I thought this day would never come.

Doctor Who airs…heck it PREMIERE’s TODAY on our national broadcaster at 8pm

North America has long been awaiting the return of Doctor Who…and it’s finally here.  Canadians from coast to coast , and those lucky American’s in nearby boarder towns will finally get to see what 9.9 million confirmed (and joyful) U.K. viewers saw 2 Saturday evenings ago. 

cbctv-logo-2002.jpg

Also don’t forget to check out the CBC’s special six part documentary serial on the subject called: The Planet of the Doctor

Information about that and Doctor Who on the Ceeb can be found at:

www.cbc.ca/doctorwho

Enjoy.

(15) Comments

April 04, 2005

Misspeaking

When I am not busy being a Doctor Who fan and a Doctor Who Blogger, I work as a Communications Manager for a grad school in Toronto. One of the things I do in that capacity is prepare press releases from time to time.

When I produce a press release on anything, it is standard operating procedure that I need to have the permission of anyone I am quoting—regardless of whether the quote is something they’ve said or something I’ve ghostwritten for them. If I did not do that, there would be grounds for a serious reprimand, and depending on the seriousness of the matter, outright dismissal.

Which makes the BBC’s admission that they had not consulted Christopher Eccleston in writing a press release on his departure from the series all the more mystifying to me. This was a major press release. Whatever the situation, whatever the ticking clock, if you don’t have the signoff of the major parties in the release, it borders on either incompetence or negligence or both to put something out in their name.

This is made even worse by the admission that “the BBC ... did not consult [Eccleston] about that statement and also broke its agreement not to reveal he planned to film just one series” This means that even more sign-offs weren’t done: with the drama department, with the series producers, even their legal department.

A gaffe like this is incredibly serious. Because it will come to bite you on the ass. And this time it did.

That press release provoked a shitstorm in the press and online like nothing else. Eccleston was horsewhipped from pillar to post in the media for leaving because of typecasting, even though a number of people over the past week have tried to point out that the “typecasting” reason for leaving was an unattributed remark—it wasn’t even provided as a quote—and that Christopher Eccleston has made no comment whatsoever on leaving the role.

They had good reason to point this out. Because Eccleston didn’t say it. Nor has he given any reason for leaving even still, though we now know it was on the cards since at least January.

In the days that follow, there’s going to be a great deal of sober reflection, but none more sober than the person in the BBC Press Office who started this in the first place.

(10) Comments

April 02, 2005

Alien Slayer, time traveller, lady killer

Open the Toronto Star’s Starweek magazine today and this is the first thing you’ll see.

“Alien Slayer. Time traveller. Lady killer. He’s unlike any doctor you’ve ever seen before.”

Awesome.

(3) Comments

April 01, 2005

The Long View

Something to consider here in the midst of all the craziness in the past week…

If you include Rose (which if you’re Canadian is easy to do since it doesn’t start til Tuesday) then between now and 2006 we will be getting 27 new episodes of Doctor Who. 27 new episodes made for TV. 27 forty-five minute episodes.

27 episodes is the the same length (more or less) as 54 ‘classic’ series episodes.

The loss of the lead actor has I think made many more obsessed with the trees than the forest, and it’s a very impressive forest indeed.

Think about it. 27 new episodes by the same production team over the next two years. That, as the Ninth Doctor might say, is “fantastic”.

(3) Comments

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