Doctor Who

So here it is. The first look at the new animated Doctor Who as he will appear in the new animation, Dreamland, which is due for broadcast later this year. The six-part series will be premiered on the BBC Red Button and the Doctor Who website (click here).

The 45-minute long animation will be broadcast in its entirety on CBBC on BBC Two this Autumn and also on the BBC HD channel. Written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures) Dreamland will see the Doctor – played by David Tennant – arrive at the infamous alien hot spot, Roswell.

During a visit to a local diner he stumbles upon a mysterious alien artefact that leads him on a mission to rescue Rivesh Mantilax from the threat of the Viperox and the clutches of the American military.

Joining David Tennant will be Georgia Moffett (Doctor Who, Spooks) in the role of Cassie Rice – the Doctor’s new animated companion. David Warner (Wallander, Hogfather) also stars as the leader of the ruthless Viperox.

In the run up to the animation, fans will be able to visit the Doctor Who website to follow a behind-the-scenes production blog on the making of Dreamland, giving the opportunity to follow the progress of the animation as it develops.

This new show is being executive produced by Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger, with Gary Russell as director. Russell T Davies said: “Dreamland is a remarkable project and I’m thrilled with it. Phil Ford is a wonderful writer and promises to send the Doctor into a whole new visual dimension.”

This may be aimed at the kids, but this will please Whovians of all ages, I’m pretty sure of that.

The BBC today releases the first image of the animated Doctor as he will appear in the new animation, Dreamland, which is due for broadcast later this year.

The six-part series will be premièred via the BBC Red Button on BBC One and the Doctor Who website (bbc.co.uk/doctorwho).

The 45-minute long animation will be broadcast in its entirety on CBBC on BBC Two this autumn and also on the BBC HD channel.

Written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures) Dreamland will see the Doctor – played by David Tennant – arrive at the infamous alien hot spot, Roswell.

During a visit to a local diner he stumbles upon a mysterious alien artefact that leads him on a mission to rescue Rivesh Mantilax from the threat of the Viperox and the clutches of the American military.

Joining David Tennant will be Georgia Moffett (Doctor Who, Spooks) in the role of Cassie Rice – the Doctor’s new animated companion.

David Warner (Wallander, Hogfather) also stars as the leader of the ruthless Viperox.

In the run-up to the animation, fans will be able to visit the Doctor Who website (bbc.co.uk/doctorwho) to follow a behind-the-scenes production blog on the making of Dreamland, giving the opportunity to follow the progress of the animation as it develops.

Dreamland was commissioned by BBC Drama Multiplatform and will be produced for the BBC by Brighton-based animation company Littleloud.

It is being executive produced by Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger, with Gary Russell as director.

Russell T Davies said: “Dreamland is a remarkable project and I’m thrilled with it. Phil Ford is a wonderful writer and promises to send the Doctor into a whole new visual dimension.”

Rosie Allimonos, BBC Drama Multiplatform Commissioner, said: “I‘m extremely excited about Dreamland. It presents an amazing opportunity to expand the multiplatform storytelling potential of Doctor Who.

“To offer the ability to watch this brand new Doctor Who animation on so many different BBC platforms is a real treat for our audience.”

Richard Deverell, Controller, BBC Children’s, said: “This is a wonderful addition to the already fantastic portfolio of CBBC programming. Having talent like Russell T Davies and Phil Ford at the helm of this project will no doubt ensure it captures the imagination of CBBC viewers.”

Award-winning channel CBBC also further reinforced its commitment to British animation as it announced that online portal Cartoon Works is expanding to become a new destination to première short-form content from the UK animation industry.

CBBC has also commissioned brand new animation Muddle Earth, based on the much-loved children’s books by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, and Shaun The Sheep returns to screens this autumn in a series of new exploits.

BBC Red Button has provided interactive services on digital TV for the past 10 years and is now reaching an average audience of 11 million viewers a week accessing a whole range of BBC content.

It provides audiences with access to the latest news, weather and other general information, while also enabling the delivery of an enhanced experience across major sporting and entertainment events.

 

The new actor to take over the role of The Doctor, Matt Smith, starts filming today. Smith is taking over from David Tennant, who has been a very popular Doctor since 2005. He will make his appearance as the 11th Doctor of the show in 2010 in the start of the 5th series.

Smith was a surprise choice for the role, as he had been a relative unknown before being announced as the new Doctor, and he had mostly starred in television dramas. He also starred along Christian Slater in the West End show, Swimming with Sharks, which received much critical acclaim.

Speaking about how he feels taking over the coveted role, he said: “I feel very privileged and proud to be part of this iconic show. I’m excited about the future and all the brilliant adventures I get to go on as the Doctor.”

There is also a new companion joining him, Scottish actress Karen Gillan. Steven Moffat, the show’s lead writer and executive producer, said: “Matt and Karen are going to be incredible, and Doctor Who is going to come alive on Saturday nights in a whole new way.”

Photos have emerged of Smith in his Doctor outfit, which is similar to those of the other time lords, with a tweet jacket. He has swapped Tennant’s Converse trainers for boots and opted for a bow tie, rather than a scarf.

 

A new Doctor, a new companion, a new era

Production started today on the new series of Doctor Who, in which BBC One viewers will meet the 11th Doctor and his companion for the very first time.

The latest incarnation of the iconic character is played by Matt Smith (Party Animals).

Upon arriving on set in Cardiff, for his first day of filming, Smith commented: “I feel very privileged and proud to be part of this iconic show.

“The scripts are brilliant and working alongside Karen, Steven and the rest of the crew is an inspiration because their work ethic and passion for the show is so admirable.

“I’m excited about the future and all the brilliant adventures I get to go on as the Doctor.”

Accompanying The Doctor on his further adventures in time is a new companion Amy Pond, played by Scottish actress Karen Gillan (The Kevin Bishop Show), who will first meet The Doctor in episode one of the new series.

New show-runner and long-running Doctor Who fan Steven Moffat has developed this series and, as Lead Writer and Executive Producer, will be responsible for the overall creative direction of the show, as well as plot and character arcs.

Moffat’s previous episodes of Doctor Who, including the Bafta-winning episode Blink, have garnered widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike.

He commented: “And here it is, the big moment – the new Doctor, and his new best friend.

“And here’s me, with the job I wanted since I was seven – 40 years to here! If I could go back in time and tell that little boy that one day all this would happen, he’d scream, call for his mum and I’d be talking to you now from a prison cell in 1969. So probably best not then.

“Matt and Karen are going to be incredible, and Doctor Who is going to come alive on Saturday nights in a whole new way – and, best of all, somewhere out there a seven-year-old is going to see them, fall in love and start making a 40-year plan…”

Piers Wenger, Executive Producer and Head of Drama, BBC Wales, added: “The scripts for the new series are every bit as funny, thrilling, scary and imaginative as you’d expect from the man who brought us The Empty Child and Blink.

“There’s a strange and perfect alchemy between Steven and Matt Smith and the next few months are going to be riveting as that relationship starts to emerge on screen.

“Steven always says he’s been waiting to do this job since he was seven. But it’s actually the Doctor who has been waiting for him.”

The new series follows three Doctor Who specials starring David Tennant which will transmit later this year.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “I am thrilled that a whole new generation of children will forever say that their Doctor was the wonderful Matt Smith.”

The series was co-commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, and will be produced by Tracie Simpson (Doctor Who) and Peter Bennett (Torchwood).

Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer (Jekyll) with Piers Wenger and Beth Willis (Ashes To Ashes) also Executive Producing.

Filming is taking place in Cardiff until March 2010. Thirteen x 45-minute drama produced by BBC Wales for BBC One.

The BBC today revealed that the companion for the forthcoming series of Doctor Who will be Karen Gillan.

Twenty-one-year-old Gillan will star alongside new Time Lord, Matt Smith, when the smash hit drama returns to BBC One in spring 2010.

With filming due to begin this summer, Gillan beat off dozens of hopefuls to land one of television’s most coveted roles.

Gillan said: “I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor’s new companion. The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can’t quite believe I am going to be a part of it.

“Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him – I just can’t wait to get started!”

Lead writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, added: “We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. 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.”

Executive Producer and Head of Drama BBC Wales, Piers Wenger, said: “We knew Karen was perfect for the role the moment we saw her. She brought an energy and excitement to the part that was just fantastic. And when she auditioned alongside Matt we knew we had something special. It is a partnership that is ready to take on the universe!”

The new series of Doctor Who comes to BBC One, Spring 2010.

New Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan

Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith – who will take over from David Tennant in the New Year – has finally been presented with his own co-star, Scots actress Karen Gillan.

The relatively unknown actress has appeared in several small but notable roles on TV over the past couple of years, most notably detective drama Rebus and a 2008 episode of Doctor Who, The Fires of Pompeii.

Speaking about her casting, Gillan said:

“I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor’s new companion. The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can’t quite believe I am going to be a part of it.
“Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him – I just can’t wait to get started!”

 

Gillan will become the Doctor’s fourth main companion since the show returned in 2005, and officially the 44th companion since the original series began in 1963.

It’s a brave new dawn under the watchful eye of incoming showrunner Steven Moffat and fellow Executive Producer Piers Wenger that has already surprised fans with the left-field but mostly applauded casting of the youngest actor to play the Doctor yet, Matt Smith.

Little is known about the 2010 series of Doctor Who as yet other than at this stage the casting of two leads and some rumours that former League of Gentlemen star Mark Gatiss will provide at least one script (adding to his contributions of 2005’s The Unquiet Dead and 2006’s The Idiot’s Lantern).

At this stage the name of Karen Gillan’s character is still unknown – but expect that to change over the coming months…

Future Doctor Who star Matt Smith was interviewed at the Cannes Film Festival recently as short film Together was nominated for a Critics Choice Award at the film festival on the French Riviera.

It is literally just a matter of weeks before Smith takes to the TARDIS set at Upper Boat in South Wales and steps into some pretty fearsome shoes. His recent predecessors David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston have made the role of the Doctor their own, breathing new life into the concept thanks to the guiding hand of Executive Producer Russell T Davies and unprecedented backing from the BBC.

With Steven Moffat (Coupling, Jekyll) taking over from Davies the series is set to embark on a new era, and if the attitude shown in this clip is anything to go by, Matt Smith is a perfect choice for the Doctor. Of course, he isn’t letting anything on…

“I will embrace it because what else is there to do? Life is there to be embraced and enjoyed,” he says, before adding, with a cheeky grin: “That is all I will say on the matter.”
“Of course I beat myself up. But you have to roll with the punches and enjoy it all. Criticism is criticism and everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

Being at Cannes seems to have got Matt Smith in the mood for a go at directing a movie himself meanwhile, and with such an open attitude to life, who could bet against it?

 

Timothy Dalton - Doctor Who's Enemy?

Former James Bond star Timothy Dalton has been cast as a villain in the final Doctor Who adventures to star David Tennant, according to reports.

The star of 1987s The Living Daylights and 1989s License to Kill is – so the rumour goes – playing a memorably villainous role in the episodes set for broadcast over Christmas and possibly New Years Day, and is in the UK right now to film his scenes.

“Timothy Dalton is a big coup for Doctor Who because he’s pretty iconic. He’s in the UK right now and is shooting scenes over the next few weeks.
“It’s a good gig for him as it will be one of the most memorable episodes yet.”

If this transpires to be true, it is pretty remarkable casting for the series that will see the episodes also potentially star Hollywood icon Claire Bloom as well as the Doctor’s usual band of followers over the last few years.

Sightings of John Barrowman, Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins are extensive, while appearnces by Billie Piper and Freema Agyeman are rumoured. Scenes featuring Elisabeth Sladen have already been completed meanwhile, and actress Jessica Hynes has also returned to Doctor Who for the David Tennant era finale following her original role in the story “Human Nature” in 2007.

The casting of Dalton is interesting – his replacement in the James Bond franchise was Pierce Brosnan who himself was attached to a Doctor Who movie project in the late 1980s/early 1990s before he was cast as Bond.

Denying claims that he has been snapped in costume and on location shooting Doctor Who recently, ubiquitous actor, singer and John Barrowman has claimed this week that he was simply out shopping in his own Captain Jack outfit.

It’s a claim Barrowman has repeated in the past – yet a quick visit to Google Images show that few photos of him wearing the Captain Jack overcoat exist that aren’t stills from Doctor Who or Torchwood; those that do are from other fan snaps.

Speaking to Digital Spy at the press launch of Torchwood Children of Earth, Barrowman even claimed to have not seen a script for the final Doctor Who episodes to star David Tennant.

Repeating the same claims to free newspaper Metro, Barrowman even went so far as to suggest that images of David Tennant has been photoshopped onto the same shots – unlikely as the images came via the various intrepid Doctor Who fans that spend hours watching the show being filmed on location and take photos whenever they can. There’s very little to suggest that these individuals would want to hoodwink any of their fellow fans – and many reasons as to why Barrowman would play down such snaps.

Barrowman is expected to appear alongside David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins in the final two David Tennant-starring Tenth Doctor adventures over the Christmas period in a pair of episodes also set to feature Elisabeth Sladen (The Sarah Jane Adventures), Russell Tovey (Being Human) and perhaps even Freema Agyeman and Billie Piper…

Torchwood Children of Earth meanwhile is set to air in mid-June, and sees John Barrowman return with Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd to face off against government conspiracy and alien invasion.

Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins in Doctor Who

There are 3 more episodes of Doctor Who to come under the stewardship of Russell T Davies and starring David Tennant – and following Planet of the Dead fans have to wait until as early as October to see the next instalment.

Known as The Waters of Mars and trailed at the end of Planet of the Dead, the next adventure for the Tenth Doctor sees aggressive water, an Ood and the Doctor befriending a character played by veteran actress Lindsay Duncan, not to mention a bad guy in the shape of former Neighbours and Flying Doctors actor Peter O’Brien.

Everyone knows that the end is coming for this incarnation of the Doctor but what threat is in store in The Waters of Mars? Little is known so far – for the real rumours and possible spoilers we have to move on a little, to the as yet Christmas specials.

Two more episodes remain after The Waters of Mars, which will see the Doctor pitched into considerable confusion and anguish.

Already fans have photographed David Tennant opposite actress Jessica Hynes at an apparent book signing – and the book was none other than the humanised Doctor John Smith’s diaries from the 2007 story Human Nature.

With the Tenth Doctor teaming up with Wilf Mott – actor Bernard Cribbins returning to play Donna Noble’s granddad – as well as encountering the Master (John Simm) and the returning Donna (Catherine Tate) not to mention appearances by Midshipman Frame (Russell Tovey who appeared in Christmas 2007’s Voyage of the Damned) and even Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, of course) and Sarah Jane Smith (Lis Sladen) it certainly looks as though the passing of the Tenth Doctor will be must-see event television of the highest order.

With rumours of Slitheen and other recognisable aliens on set, the alleged casting of movie legend Claire Bloom and the heavily rumoured return of the Time Lords, David Tennant’s final Doctor Who adventures simply cannot be missed – mark it in your diary now!

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