March 25, 2005

Doubts dispelled

On the eve of the big UK debut, I spoke to my two nephews (ages 8 and 5) this morning and to my delight they are really looking forward to the new Doctor Who. According to my exhausted sister, it’s pretty much all they’re talking about right now. And no they weren’t really very aware of the show before this.

Unfortunately for Russell Davies, kids won’t be talking about Doctor Who in the playground on Monday because they’re off on Easter holidays, but I’m still sure it’s going to be huge.

(4) Comments

March 24, 2005

Sweet Lorraine Let the Party Carry On!

BBC1 Controller Lorraine Heggessey, the individual who commissioned the new series of Doctor Who, is leaving the BBC at the end of May. It’s very likely that she will commission (or not) a second season of Doctor Who before she leaves (if she hasn’t done so already, as is rumoured) as by that time the ratings for most of the series will be in. Who fans worldwide are celebrating right now with the new series about to begin, so I certainly hope (and have every confidence) that Lorraine will let the party carry on into 2006 and beyond.

But what of the future and her successor? Is Doctor Who about to come face to face with another Michael Grade-type?

Fear not, as the new controller was announced yesterday as Peter Fincham, and earlier today he made a point of mentioning to the British press that he grew up watching Doctor Who behind the sofa.  If the new series does get cancelled in the near future, it seems doubtful after hearing such a statement that it will be because the BBC1 Controller doesn’t like Doctor Who, the way many will argue it was the case 20 years ago.

(4) Comments

March 22, 2005

Doctor Who’s last chance?

I’ve been getting nervous, these past few days, about the future of Doctor Who. It’s not because of anything I’ve read or heard about the new series. All signs point to this being possibly the best version of Who ever made - certainly the most expensive and high-profile.

What makes me nervous is that the BBC are pinning huge hopes on this show. Not only has it cost so much money that the Beeb are cutting over 3000 jobs (there’s no evidence that the two events are directly connected, but half a mill or so per episode can’t have helped!), but it’s also the biggest attempt yet to unsettle the mighty ITV Saturday night lineup. If it’s not a huge success, not only will the BBC have a very large amount of dairy product on their collective visages, but it’ll be the end of Doctor Who as a TV show for pretty much, well, ever. Can you ever see them bringing it back again in ten years time, knowing that in 2005 it was such a huge failure despite having a huge promotional push, a dream writer, an excellent cast and a budget the size of the US trade deficit?


But it’s not going to be a failure. I think it’s going to be a monster hit. I think Doctor Who will be more popular then it’s ever been, and certainly more cool. It’s time to put “our” show to the test and see what the World’s Best TV Concept can really do when given everything it needs to succeed.

(10) Comments

March 21, 2005

Mastermind Woman

The special Doctor Who edition of Mastermind which The Doctor Who Blog told you all about a while back was broadcast on BBC2 over the weekend. And the winner was a female fan, who apparently trounced several males on her way to victory (although ironically she apparently had the lowest score amongst the contestants for the Doctor Who question, claiming the victory on the basis on the non-Who related question which followed). The 9th Doctor himself, Christopher Eccleston, was even on hand to present the winner with her award.

I am pleased a woman won, as it’s about time that the general public realized that you don’t have to be male to have an encylopaedic knowledge of Doctor Who - women can be just as geeky!

I just hope the BBC see fit to put this edition of the game show on the new series DVD release, as it would make for a cool extra.

(12) Comments

March 18, 2005


Keeping on the City of Death theme, I can’t help but wonder if the world of Doctor Who Fandom will, starting a week tomorrow, split off into a further number of different splinters from the explosion of new Doctor Who, similar to what happened to our good friend Scaroth.

Doctor Who fandom is already a diverse entity, from the different groups of people who have different Doctor’s & different eras of the show as their favourite, combined with the fact that once the show went off the air some fans only paid attention to the videos, others only read the new books while others only listened to the audios.  Now we have a new series which, while it should increase the number of fans, is also bound to create new divisions within fandom.  After the first season of the new series airs I suspect we will see:

1.Fans who only like the new series
2.Fans who only like the original series
3.Fans who like the original series and the new series
4.Fans who like the original series, the new series and the audios
5.Fans who like the original series, the new series and the books
6.Fans who like the new series and the audios but not the books or the original series
7.Fans who like the original series and the audios but not the books or the new series
8.Fans who like the original series and the books but not the new series and the audios
9.Fans who like the new series and the books, but not the original series or audios
10. All of the above possibilities with the TV Movie thrown in for further variation
11. Tom Baker-only fans
12. Billie Piper-only fans
13. Fans that like it all (and you can include the Peter Cushing movies here too if you like).

I have left out a category for the DWM comic strip, since nobody has admitted to liking that since 1987.

Which category will you fit into?

(5) Comments

March 16, 2005

Belle Epoque

The Official BBC Site have the news that City of Death is coming to DVD in November!

We here at the Doctor Who Blog have this to say to BBC Video:


lalla1.jpgLeaving that aside, we’re thrilled that this well-loved adventure—which has dominated top ten polls for decades and is the favourite of the current producers—is finally getting the shiny disk treatment. (Many of us expect to wear out the lasers on our DVD players from constantly repeating the scene where the Doctor is interrogated by the Count and Countess for the first time). And we’re thrilled at the idea of a featurette with Tom Baker in Paris. Might we suggest, though, a Russell T Davies commentary as a means of tying the “classic” series together with the “new”?

(6) Comments

March 14, 2005

Open Leter to BBC from a consnerned DOCTOR HOW fan (MAY CONTANE SPOYLAS)

Dear Mr Gary Rusell T Davis of BBC Whales,

I am a consnerned long times fan of DOCTRO WHO and I feel I must protest rite now about what you have done to my favorit programm. Sum people have engajed in crimnial activites like danloding the first epissode from the Inter-net. They have also watched the first epissode and are now puttting revews on many web sights of the first epissode. I myself me have not danloded the first epissode as I thinkthis is illeagle and the people that are danloding should be put in prison or be made to watch Ant and Dec for a month. Sumtimes i wish I live in America so we could put danloders in the eclectic chair and pull the swidch.

What really consnerns me is that the revews of the first epissode of DOTCOR WHO are talking aobut how much aimed at childern the new first epissode of ODCTOR WHO is and how there is lots of stuff for kids like burping bins and farting parlymentry people. i find this deaply shoking and unequibakokably evil and bad. DOCTOR HOW is a fantasy sirees of unparleld depf and inteligents for truly disserning vewersand peeple who like scarfs and jelly babees. Making DOCOTR% WHO for childern is like making sesamy street for adolts: JUST NOT RITE.

Four exampul, when John Pertwee, Peter Davidson or Colon Baker were DOCTOW RHO there was no childish stuff in at all. Everything was very sereos and it shoold be kept that way. No jokes or lauffing bits please. The new DCOTOR WHO is Chrstpher Ecclestone and he is funny and I laughed at him even tho I have not wached the first epissode becos danloding is bad. Pleese stop him being funny.

Yours sinsseerlee,
(Captain) Mark (Jean-Luc) Pilchard

PS Billy is hot, pleese send me picturs.

(11) Comments

March 13, 2005

Here’s to JNT

I’ve been reading a number of articles about the return of the series which not only mention the dreaded word “Whovian”, but also unfairly blame JNT for the demise of the original series in the 1980’s. I say unfairly because I firmly believe the blame rests with BBC (mis)management of the series, chiefly by the deadly combination of Michael Grade and Jonathan Powell.

It’s got me thinking. I didn’t like everything JNT did as Producer - I think Season 24 in particular is the nadir of the original series - but I can’t help but wish that he, perhaps more than any other key figure from the original series that is no longer with us, was still with us to watch the new series. Perhaps he will be able to in that better place that I’m sure he’s in.  I say this because he was always concerned, after 1989, that he wasn’t seen as the man that killed Doctor Who.  He got his wish in 1996, but I think he would have been happier to see it coming back as a full series again in 2005, proving that Doctor Who wasn’t killed in 1989, despite the best efforts of Grade & Powell to destroy it.

Additionally, we should remember that JNT wanted to leave the show a lot earlier than he did. When Powell became controller in 1988 he told JNT that if he left the show (and his employers, the BBC), the show would stop.  JNT stayed for two more years and gave us Season 25 and 26, and with it such great stories as Remembrance, Greatest Show, Curse of Fenric & Survival - almost despite the BBC and their mis-management. 

As such, I think JNT deserves a bit more respect than some fans (particularly the ones that continue to hurl abuse and personal insults about him on the internet, even on the eve of a new series where we should all be rejoicing instead) give him.  I intend to give him the respect he deserves, and will be thinking about him, along with other key figures from the show’s past who have passed away, such as Graham Williams, Terry Nation, Jacqueline Hill and of course William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, when the new series begins.

(7) Comments

March 12, 2005

the molecular adjuster

I hope you’ve all seen the neat Japanese Target novel illustrations, set in an alternate universe where Doctor Who looks cool. My favourites are the armless auton girl, the Earth Reptiles, and this wicked three-wheeler.

I’ve been reading the annuals recently, and they have a similar groovy sensibility, especially illustrations like this one.

There’s a larger version so you can see what they saying. This is the Doctor and Jo I remember!

(1) Comments

March 11, 2005

Memo To News Editors EVERYWHERE…

...Doctor Who fans do NOT prefer to call ourselves “Whovians”. The only name we’ve had for ourselves has always been, and remains to be, “Doctor Who Fans”.

Now kindly stop saying this in EVERY. BLOODY. NEWS REPORT! Argh!

(10) Comments

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