New Doctor Who - 50 Years, Still going strong!

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New Doctor Who - 50 Years, Still going strong!

Postby DrStrangelove » Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:55 am

Doctor Who

The BBC has launched its web-page relating to the series - it can be found here Lots of stuff to download.

The fourth series is currently in production and due to be broadcast in the UK on Christmas Day 2006 (for the Christmas Special) and then from Spring 2007 at 7pm

The Doctor in the fourth series will be played by David Tennant. His companion for all thirteen episodes will be Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate) from The Runaway Bride.

The BBC has also confirmed that following the fourth series broadcast in Spring 2008, Doctor Who will not have a full series in 2009.

2008/2009 will see four hour long specials - filmed in late 2008/early 2009.

The show will return in 2010 to having 13 45-minute episodes. It is not known whether David Tennant will be the Doctor for this series. Its been suggested that one of the reasons for the reduced production in 2009 is to help switch the show to HD. Rumours are that the 2010 will be a big HD relaunch (possibly starting in Autumn 2010) with a new Doctor and production team.

Series Four episodes currently in production: (and beware - there are SPOILERS here)

4.X Voyage Of The Damned (the 2007 Christmas Special). The Doctor lands on the Titanic. Guest Starring Kylie Minogue

4.1 Partners In Crime The first episode of 2008 sees both the Doctor and Donna meet up again, as both are investigating "Adipose Industries" and their new fat-removing wonder drug.

4.2 The Fires Of Vesuvias The Doctor and Donna attempt to go to Rome, but end up in Pompeii - just before Volcano Day!

4.3 Planet Of The Ood A human corporation has discovered how to turn a whole race into willing slaves. But does the process have a problem.

4.4 & 4.5 The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky Martha rejoins for a two-parter, now a member of UNIT. Old enemies the Sontarans are back and their secret cloning operation on Earth might well provoke the forces of UNIT.

4.6 The Doctor's Daughter A young woman has tracked the Doctor down and claims to be his daughter. Can she be? And how will this change the Doctor?

4.7 The Unicorn And The Wasp The Doctor and Donna travel back in time and meet Agatha Christie in 20s England.

4.8 & 4.9 Silence In The Library / Land Of The Dead In a vast library that takes up an entire planet, something sinister is hiding amoung the many shelves.

4.10 Midnight A spa world seems like an ideal location for a break. Until it all goes horribly wrong...

4.11 Turn Left Something has gone wrong with Time and the Doctor seems to have gone. And Donna realises that the only person who seems to be able to help is a young woman from another dimension whose also met the Doctor...

4.12 & 4.13 War On Skaro/Journey's End The big season finale!
Last edited by DrStrangelove on Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:38 am, edited 61 times in total.
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Postby Paleblackness » Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:42 pm

Yeah, just saw this posted on the BBC website. Christopher Eccleston...great choice. I've been impressed with him in everything I've seen him in, from The Others to Shallow Grave to 28 Days Later to Our Friends in the North (TV). Let's hope they have the scripts (and budget!) to do him justice. <BR><BR>Now when is that Blake's 7 update they talked about last year going to get off the ground...
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:16 pm

I am strangely unexcited by the whole idea. Unfortunately I remember the disasterous Davison, Baker and McCoy all too well.
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Postby robo » Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:56 pm

Well, I liked some of the Davison episodes though the Baker ones were much better. I stopped watching towards the end of the Davison ones.
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Postby Luinnenion » Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:38 pm

I agree with Robo. Growing up the only Dr. Who we got were the late Jon Pertwee ones, the Tom Baker episodes, and the Peter Davison episodes. I enjoyed them all. We got a few of the Colin Baker ones, but I could never get into him. It seemed like too much of a reach back to the heyday of the Tom Baker years. Never saw McCoy, except for the TV Movie featuring Paul McGann. That, incidently, featured the absolute worst death for a Doctor. Shot in a random shooting when stepping out of the TARDIS? ...the hell?<BR><BR>Would it be too much to admit that as a young lad, I cried when Fourth Doctor died?
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:50 am

Completely.
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Postby DrStrangelove » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:52 am

TLE<BR><BR>The Davison episodes were alright, no worse than the Pertwee ones IMO. C Baker and McCoy were disastrous, I'll admit - but it strikes me that the makers of the new series are identifying and avoiding the terrible production and casting mistakes made in those years. Christopher Ecclestone seems to me to be leagues above MCoy in quality brought to the lead role<BR><BR>Luinnenion<BR><BR>The worst regeneration has to be C Bakers. Given that the man had been fired and didn't turn up to film it, so they used McCoy in his costume and a wig.
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Postby Rohini » Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:27 am

Ah, Dr. Who! Those were days when I would rush home from school to see the good doctor.<BR><BR>I am looking forward to this. I like Chris Eccleston; he is a fine talent. He was so creepy in The Others and 28 Days Later. I also liked him in Jude the Obscure, but his most exciting role is still to come, as the young Peter Cushing in Stars Wars Ep. 3 next year.<BR><BR>BTW, what ever happened to Paul Darrow from Blake 7? My sister used to swoon for him. i would love to see this updated as well.
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Postby DrStrangelove » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:36 am

bumped with info on writers on the new series...
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Postby portia » Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:29 pm

I finally read the thread all the way through. David Warner as the Doctor. I love that idea!<BR><BR>I read an article somewhere that said that people tend to like the Dr. they "grew up with." For me, that was Baker, and I think he was great. Davidson was ok, sometimes. I have never seen the man who has been cast. I will have to look for his movies.<BR><BR>I may have to make another trip to the UK, soon, just to see this.
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Postby DrStrangelove » Mon May 24, 2004 8:34 am

bumped ... as the docs companion has been cast.

"interesting" coice :?
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Postby Luinnenion » Mon May 24, 2004 7:38 pm

DrStrangelove wrote:bumped ... as the docs companion has been cast.

"interesting" coice :?


Of course, I don't have any idea of her acting chops or previous pop culture work over U.K.-way, but she seems cute enough. There's no rule about companions not being cute, is there?
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Postby TheWagner » Mon May 24, 2004 10:04 pm

There's no rule about companions not being cute, is there

It's usually the #1 consideration. And the #2, #4, #5, #7 and #9 considerations.


This should be fun. As for myself, some of my favorite episodes were from the McCoy era - the Curse of the Fenric in particular stands out and the final Dalek episode was good.

The real problem with that era was John Nathan-Turner, who wanted a more "American" TV show even though he had absolutely no idea what American TV actually was like......

Still, my favorite episodes were from the Troughton and Pertwee eras. Ah, what I would give to see "Evil of the Daleks"........
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Postby DrStrangelove » Tue May 25, 2004 2:53 am

There's no rule about companions not being cute, is there

It's usually the #1 consideration. And the #2, #4, #5, #7 and #9 considerations.


LOL.

Yes I think my original reaction was a little harsh. Certainly there is potential in this to be a lot of fun.

As a way of spoilers , several national newspapers in the UK are reporting that the new series will have a set-up whereby the British Cabinet are revealed to be Invasion Of The Body Snatcher style aliens pretending to be leaders - with the Autons (aliens who previously menaced England by controlling shop dummies into a murderous rampage) returning controlling an army of celebrity waxwork dummies!
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Tue May 25, 2004 4:48 am

DrStrangelove wrote:- with the Autons (aliens who previously menaced England by controlling shop dummies into a murderous rampage) returning controlling an army of celebrity waxwork dummies!

So no change in the standard acting that cursed the last few series then...
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Postby eborr » Tue May 25, 2004 9:00 am

DrStrangelove wrote:
There's no rule about companions not being cute, is there

It's usually the #1 consideration. And the #2, #4, #5, #7 and #9 considerations.


LOL.

Yes I think my original reaction was a little harsh. Certainly there is potential in this to be a lot of fun.

As a way of spoilers , several national newspapers in the UK are reporting that the new series will have a set-up whereby the British Cabinet are revealed to be Invasion Of The Body Snatcher style aliens pretending to be leaders - with the Autons (aliens who previously menaced England by controlling shop dummies into a murderous rampage) returning controlling an army of celebrity waxwork dummies!


Not only should they be cute, but preferably they should come from planets where the only close produced are short leather skirts, and where political correctness was banished as blasphemy long years before

Actually you were reading the news sections of these papers, which were the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, who not being able to pin anything substantive or Mr Bliar have had to come up with this accusation to discredit them.

edit for spellign
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Postby TheWagner » Tue May 25, 2004 10:18 am

eborr - you left a few words spelled correctly....

Actually, Dr. Who has been fairly politically correct over the years, especially in the '70's. Liz Shaw and Sarah Jane Smith were fairly strong feminist characters, and even Jo Grant had her moments. Romana certainly was the strong female character (probably too much so - it was like having two Drs.)

There were some exceptions. Peri was a complete ditz and bimbo, but that was because JNT was convinced that that was what American women were like. The actress (who had lived in the states half of her life) has often said that she fought endless losing battles trying to convince him that Americans did not act/talk like JNT thought!

And then there was Mel..... she was more a bad comment on humanity than a bad comment on women.
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Postby GlassHouse » Thu May 27, 2004 6:22 pm

Well, we'll have to wait and see. Probably we'll have to wait a very long time for it to get showned in the US. Anyone know if there is a US release date?

Got to put in a vote for Romana (the red haired one) as my favorite companion. Cool, competant and cute!
8)
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Postby DrStrangelove » Fri May 28, 2004 5:49 am

Well, we'll have to wait and see. Probably we'll have to wait a very long time for it to get showned in the US. Anyone know if there is a US release date?


Sadly no information yet - but when that sort of information becomes available, I'll certainly post it here!
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Postby GlassHouse » Fri May 28, 2004 6:36 am

showned?


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby TheWagner » Fri May 28, 2004 9:49 am

Selling Dr. Who to the States was one of the BBC's biggest money makers during the 1980's and early 1990's. They will be eager to do so again.

Also, PBS stations did well showing Dr. Who - they got lots of donations during Dr. Who marathons and things like that.

However, I suspect that the SciFi channel will produce a more competitive bid than will PBS stations.

Regardless, I expect that it will be like it was in the 1980's - we'll have them in the States by the middle of next year.
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Postby DrStrangelove » Sat May 29, 2004 4:23 am

Selling Dr. Who to the States was one of the BBC's biggest money makers during the 1980's and early 1990's. They will be eager to do so again.


There is no doubt that the current production will hope to make good money from overseas sales (as well as any DVD release).

It is interesting, though, that many dramas in the UK are co-productions with overseas broadcaster - which effectively amounts to overseas company putting up money up-front for the show and having some input in the executive producing stage.

This does not seem to be case with this production (despite high costs) - maybe it was not possible to get anyone interested on this as-yet unmade show?. My guess is that the production team hope to get footage together to then impress overseas buyers with, and therefore demand a higher price.
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Postby AaronsonofEomer » Sat May 29, 2004 5:32 am

The Star Wars site the force.net has also announced that the actor who played Biggs Darklighter(Luke Friend from Tatooine who gets killed at the Death Star battle) is involved in this series as well.
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Postby TheWagner » Sat May 29, 2004 6:44 am

This does not seem to be case with this production (despite high costs) - maybe it was not possible to get anyone interested on this as-yet unmade show?

For years, the BBC stated that they could not do Dr. Who "properly" (by which they meant with modern special effects) without foreign investment. This translated to "American" investment, because the American market is what generates the pertinent world TV revenue.

This also is why the 1996 attempt to restart the TV series failed - the single Paul McGann story had very high ratings throughout the BBC TV world, but was ignored in America. Now, there are lots of Dr. Who fans in the US (at one point comparable to the number of Tolkien fans prior to the LotR movies), but fans alone won't make a TV series any more than it will make a movie.

Fans tried to blame the low ratings on the mediocre quality of the single story, but that obviously was nonsense - a pilot's ratings are determined by initial interest as people have no idea how good something will be until they watch it. The real culprits were the competition - key episodes of very popular shows were on at the same time and the NBA playoffs had key games for several teams from major markets (including Chicago and New York) and the general lack of interest in this sort of thing in the US.

Dr. Who was poison to American networks thereafter, and the cable companies (e.g., SciFi channel) gave up trying to work with the Beeb (which basically had a "you pay for it, we'll controll it, and, having once watched an episode of 'Happy Days,' we know exactly what Americans want to see" attitude.....).


On one hand, it was a shame because this was when the X-Files was at its popularity peak and other SciFi/Fantasy shows (Babylon 5, Highlander) were at their peaks. On the other hand, this also shows how difficult it is for SciFi fantasy shows given that the mid-90's was the pinnacle of their popularity in the US. The X-Files would have been cancelled on any network other than Fox for its fairly low ratings, and Babylon 5's ratings were so low that it barely got picked up for its 3rd and 4th years as a syndication run, and it was effectively cancelled for its last year (which happened on cable supposedly - by then, it was a falling tree in an desserted forest!).
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Postby DrStrangelove » Sun May 30, 2004 5:19 am

Dr. Who was poison to American networks thereafter, and the cable companies (e.g., SciFi channel) gave up trying to work with the Beeb (which basically had a "you pay for it, we'll controll it, and, having once watched an episode of 'Happy Days,' we know exactly what Americans want to see" attitude.....).


That attitude, though, is the standard BBC one when making documentaries, period dramas etc. You pay for it - we'll make it (although you can have an exec. producer to have some input) and then you can show it.

What is interesting, though, is that in the nineties, following the shows cancellation, the BBC did not know how to make the show. No-one in senior positions understood it (which is why they tolerated the serious decline in the shows quality in the late eighties - they just didn't think it could ever be good drama, just this oddity made for kids and a dwindling army of fans.)

I think for that generation of BBC execs - the US was preferred because if THEY didn't know how DrWho could work - maybe the Americans could. The BBC's input into the McGann movie was minimal.

The UK TV industry magazine Broadcast wrote recently that the reason the show is coming back is because, in many senior posts at the BBC and many writers of some standing - there are people who do remeber the show being successful mainstream drama and who grew up accepting "genre" dramas. I think this does mark a sea-change at the BBC from even the time of the McGann movie.

(whether they can bring it back as a mainstream success will be interesting to see)
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Postby TheWagner » Sun May 30, 2004 7:52 pm

The BBC's input into the McGann movie was minimal.

Actually, the producer (Segal?) and others associated with the McGann movie said the opposite. BBC people were actually on the sets in Vancouver, re-writing scenes as they were filming them. The complaint was that that Beeb people kept insisting that certain changes would appeal to Americans, despite the Americans saying "no they wouldn't!"

On the plus side, it was the Beeb who backed Segal up for casting McGann. Fox TV evidently wanted Sting!

As for the quality decline, the BBC never took Dr. Who seriously. Afterall, they erased almost half of the episodes filmed in the 1960's. They always considered it children's television and never understood why anyone over the age of 14 would watch this sort of show.

Also, the last two McCoy years are (or were) highly regarded in Dr. Who fan circles, as the show very much recaptured the air of the Troughton and Hartnell eras (McCoy's Dr. was very much a hybrid of those two). They flopped in Britain, but Dr. Who was decidedly "out of style" at that time.
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Postby TheDean » Mon May 31, 2004 2:32 am

I think that Billy Piper might actually make a good companion. She is a good actress - as was seen in the remake of "The Canterbury Tales" - and has matured well.

As for the BBC, I gather some people are worried that the Michael Grade the new BBC Chairman was vehemently against Dr Who. Hmm...politics. I do hope that some mention is made of Gallifrey and the Time Lords though..


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Postby Parkingtigers » Mon May 31, 2004 8:57 pm

The reassuring thing is that they have some great writers working on this series. My optimism is high. Steven Moffat is a genius, and everything he has written has been pure class, from Press Gang, to Joking Apart, right up to Coupling.
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Postby DrStrangelove » Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:59 pm

As for the quality decline, the BBC never took Dr. Who seriously. Afterall, they erased almost half of the episodes filmed in the 1960's. They always considered it children's television and never understood why anyone over the age of 14 would watch this sort of show.


The BBC did respect the audience the show received, and took appointing producers to the show very seriously. What happened in the 80s was that, rather than appointing new producers that could have made a show that found a mainstream audience again, the BBC simply thought that the show could never be a hit again (or even good) - so were not able to spot when sub-par season after sub-par season lost most viewers.


Also, the last two McCoy years are (or were) highly regarded in Dr. Who fan circles, as the show very much recaptured the air of the Troughton and Hartnell eras (McCoy's Dr. was very much a hybrid of those two). They flopped in Britain, but Dr. Who was decidedly "out of style" at that time.


The McCoy years are like marmite to Doctor Who fans - you either love it of loathe it. Personally, I can't stand it :P The reasons the show was flopping in the UK was that IMO it wasn't very good!



As an interesting aside - the five stories that exec. producer Russell T Davies advised the other producers (and those working on the show who had not much Doctor Who knowledge) to watch were Spearhead From Space (Pertwee's debut), Ark In Space, Genesis Of The Daleks, City Of Death (all Tom Baker stories, the last written by Douglas Adams) and Peter Davison's swansong - The Caves Of Androzani. I think these give an interesting notion of what the new series may well be hoping to achieve.
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Postby dudalb » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:52 pm

I am betting the the BBC decides to show the New Doctor Who episodes in the US on it's BBC America Cable channel. It will get BBC America a lot of publicity, a new audience, and good ratings.
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