Doctor Who

The reviews of the newest batch of Doctor Who shows have been, for the most part, pretty positive.

And so, like every year, Whovians are invariably rather excited at the big, end-of-year Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Auntie Beeb is teasing everyone with details about the Steven Moffat Doctor Who Chrimbo special.

Controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson revealed that the episode, which guest stars Michael Gambon and Katherine Jenkins, will be based on Charles Dickens’s 1843 novel A Christmas Carol.

Stephenson said: “Matt Smith and Karen Gillan captivated audiences in their debut series and Doctor Who’s clever twist on the much loved A Christmas Carol will thrill BBC One viewers this year with special guest stars Sir Michael Gambon and singing sensation Katherine Jenkins joining Amy and the Doctor for an unforgettable present!”

Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat also revealed that the episode will include a “honeymoon” and be like “all your favourite Christmas movies at once”.

Speaking on her first day on set, Jenkins said: “I’m over the moon to be involved in the Doctor Who Christmas special.

“I can’t quite believe it as it’s a part of the family tradition at the Jenkins household. I heard the news that I got the role on my 30th birthday and it was the best birthday present ever!”

Apparently, the working title for the show is ‘Father Who?’.

Production starts today (Monday 12 July) on the 2010 Doctor Who BBC One Christmas Special in which the thrilling adventures of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and newlyweds Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) will continue in a fun-filled and heartfelt festive story.

In the grand tradition of Doctor Who Christmas specials, this year the show has once again attracted stellar guest stars as veteran actor Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The Singing Detective) and opera diva Katherine Jenkins, in her first acting role, join the Time Lord for what might be his most Christmassy adventure yet!

Arriving on set for her first day of filming, Katherine Jenkins said: “I’m over the moon to be involved in the Doctor Who Christmas Special – I can’t quite believe it as it’s a part of the family tradition at the Jenkins household. I heard the news that I got the role on my 30th birthday and it was the best birthday present ever!”

About the series, lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, commented: “Oh, we’re going for broke with this one. It’s all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters and the Doctor and a honeymoon and – oh, you’ll see. I’ve honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbours loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I’m fairly sure they did it ironically.”

The Christmas special follows on from Matt Smith’s first series as The Doctor, which attracted huge critical acclaim for Smith, his companion, Gillan, and lead writer Moffat, from press and legions of fans alike.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “Matt Smith and Karen Gillan captivated audiences in their debut series and Doctor Who’s clever twist on the much loved A Christmas Carol will thrill BBC One viewers this year with special guest stars Sir Michael Gambon and singing sensation Katherine Jenkins joining Amy and the Doctor for an unforgettable present!”

The series was co-commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning for BBC One, and Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One. Steven Moffat is lead writer and executive producer with Piers Wenger and Beth Willis also executive producing.

Filming on the Christmas special will continue until August 2010.

 

The BBC has confirmed the launch date of the first graphic novel based on Doctor Who.

The Only Good Dalek, which was written by Justin Richards and Mike Collins, will hit shelves on September 16.

For those interested, here’s a rough synopsis: “Top-secret Station 7 is where the Earth Forces send all the equipment captured in their war against the Daleks to be analysed and examined. But somehow the Daleks have found out about Station 7 – and there’s something there that they want back.

“The Doctor and Amy arrive on the station, only to discover the terrible secret of Station 7. They don’t just store captured Dalek technology, it’s also a prison. And the only thing that might stop a Dalek is another Dalek!”

Source: Digital Spy

 

Footballer-turned-actor Eric Cantona is being lined up to feature in an episode of Doctor Who.

It has been reported by the Daily Star that the ex-Manchester United great, who turned to acting after finishing up on the pitch, is being chased by producers of the BBC One show.

They want Cantona to feature as a villain, in the form of an evil alien after Matt Smith suggested the actor for a role.

“Matt has made a huge impression. The writers and producers all value his input and give his ideas careful consideration,” a source said.

“They like the thought of a French baddie and Eric would be perfect. He’s got acting experience and has charisma.”

Source: Digital Spy

Doctor Who himself appeared at Glastonbury for a performance of the show’s theme.

Matt Smith introduced electronic duo Orbital on stage before the performance.

The Doctor Who Christmas special has suffered a set back with news the script for the series has gone missing.

Filming for the end of year special episode, described as a flashback Christmas special, has been delayed due to the unexplainable blunder.

The Daily Star is reporting that executive producers and writer Steven Moffat is “facing a race against time to create a new draft before filming commences next month.”

The Christmas special is set to mark the return of the series in early 2011.

Source: Digital Spy

Stephen Fry has voiced his concerns over British television being too childish.

The actor made his comments after delivering his BAFTA lecture recently, saying that although there are some good programmes on British television, they are more suitable for children.

“If I wanted to be angry… I would say infantilism’s the problem,” he said. “The number of times I turn on the television and I think, ‘Gosh, children’s television’s gone on, that’s a really good art documentary… Oh my God, it’s nine o’clock in the evening. This is for grown ups?’ It’s just shocking.”

“The only drama the BBC will boast about are Merlin and Doctor Who, which are fine but they’re children’s programmes,” he said. “They’re not for adults. And they’re very good children’s programmes, don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderfully written… but they’re not for adults.

“They are like a chicken nugget. Every now and again we all like it. Every now and again. But if you are an adult you want something surprising, savoury, sharp, unusual, cosmopolitan, alien, challenging, complex, ambiguous, possibly even slightly disturbing and wrong.”

Source: Digital Spy

 

Doctor Who is set to be shifted to a later timeslot for the tenth episodes of the series.

With a 6.15pm screening, the eighth episode The Hungry Earth pulled its lowest ever overnight ratings of just 4.5 million viewers.

So Vincent and the Doctor, episode number ten, will air at the new time of 6.40pm on June 5.

Cold Blood screened this week at 7pm.

The season finale is set for June 26.

Source: Digital Spy

A live version of Doctor Who has been announced with the show set to tour theatres and arenas around the UK.

The live performance will feature large replicas of Daleks and Cybermen duelling on stage as well as The Weeping Angels, Judoon and Ood making appearances as well.

The new Doctor Matt Smith and his assistant Karen Gillan will not tour with the show however, but the pair have shot scenes which will be integrated into the performance on big screens.

“This is everything I ever wanted since I was 11,” showrunner Steven Moffat explains. “A live show, with all the coolest Doctor Who monsters, a proper story, and brand new material for Matt Smith’s Doctor. I’ll be writing scenes for it – and probably attending every single night.”

Doctor Who’s composer Murray Gold is also on board the tour which kicks-off at Wembley on October 8.

Tickets are on sale on Friday.

Source: Digital Spy

Doctor Who returns to the BBC Proms in 2010 with brand-new Time Lord Matt Smith and his assistant, Karen Gillan, both joining the family spectacular in person.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who record the sound-tracks for the series, provide intergalactic music such as Murray Gold’s music from the TV show, plus a selection of classical favourites, including Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries, Holst’s Mars, from The Planets, and Orff’s Carmina Burnana.

Doctor Who first came to the Proms in 2008 and proved to be one of the hottest tickets that season – this year one of the performances will be broadcast by BBC Three.

The August Bank Holiday also boasts two more big family concerts – a morning Children’s Prom offers a dazzling journey through the life and times of the orchestra, including plenty of surprises and opportunities to take part along the way, while the National Children’s Chamber Orchestra and the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, join the young professionals of the Aurora Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon in this kid’s extravaganza.

In the evening, the BBC Concert Orchestra teams up with Keith Lockhart, long-time conductor of the Boston Pops, for English classics and US pizzazz. He leads a giant audience-participation moment, in You Must Remember This – A Cinematic Singalong, and a Proms Family Orchestra and Chorus made up of families from Cornwall and London join the full forces of the BBC Concert Orchestra to perform the world premiere of PK, a BBC commission from Graham Fitkin.

Families in Cornwall are invited to join London families to perform a new BBC commission from Graham Fitkin, as part of an ambitious Family Orchestra and Chorus event with the BBC Concert Orchestra on Bank Holiday Monday (30 August).

This builds on the success of last year’s project, which put a Proms Family Orchestra at the heart of a Royal Albert Hall Proms concert for the first time when families from Salford and London joined the BBC Philharmonic in the Free Prom.

The Proms Plus series at the Royal College of Music presents lots of ways for kids and families to get involved. Seven Family Music Intros offer dynamic, participatory workshops. Led by a team of presenters and musicians from the performing orchestras, these events reveal the stories and highlights of the concerts that they precede.

There are a further six Proms Family Orchestra events, inviting family members of all ages and abilities to sit alongside professional musicians and singers to make music.

For the first time, the BBC Proms is teaming up with the Royal College of Music Learning programme, RCM SPARKS, to offer a whole programme of different musical activities for six- to 18-year-olds throughout the season.

The BBC Proms is the world’s biggest classical music festival, featuring concerts by world-renowned artists, taking place daily over two months every summer at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

For 116 years, the festival has been introducing audiences to the imaginative world of classical music in a relaxed and informal way and, in recent years, putting on more and more concerts and free events for families.

There are more ways than ever for children to learn, participate and be inspired throughout the season and seats for all 89 BBC Proms concerts (excluding the Last Night of the Proms) are half price for under-16s.

Tickets are now available online at bbc.co.uk/proms, by telephone: 0845 401 5040 and in person at the Royal Albert Hall.

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