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The Shadow

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  1. Well we're at around 6 months away [give or take] until the new Doctor Who series begins running. I figured now would be a good time to gather the solid info on the new series; right now all of this info comes [and will come as new info is out, more from fan sites as I see other news] direct from the official BBC site http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/ The BBC has packed lots of stuff onto their official site [unlike most US official TV show sites] to read/do I encourage everyone to stop by, the BBC even has video clips and interviews to watch. I've got some more additions/updates with info from Outpost Gallifrey; they've got a bang up FAQ on the new series. And they're definitely one of the best fan sites on the net. So on with the show! Info from the BBC with the lettters 'BBC' and the info from Outpost Gallifrey is marked with OG. Who's the new Doctor? BBC - Christopher Eccleston will be the 9th Doctor. Pics from various series he's been in. Eccleston and Piper in costume Eccleston [in costume] in front of TARDIS Eccleston [in costume] talking to crew Who will be the Doctor's companion BBC - For as long as there's been a Doctor he's had a companion. Billie Piper has garnered the honor of being the first companion of the new series. Piper and Eccleston in costume Are the Daleks/Cybermen/Autons in it? BBC - Yes to the Autons. Huzzah! The Nation Estate and the BBC have come to terms and Daleks shall rise to exterminate again! [check out lastest article below] No word yet if other classic Who villains will make an appearance. OG - As yet, there has been no confirmation as to whether any enemies from the classic series of Doctor Who and its various spin-offs will be appearing, or indeed confirmation of any elements at all apart from the Doctor and the TARDIS. If an old enemy is to return there will either be a huge amount of publicity surrounding them - or alternatively the production team could try and keep it secret as a surprise! However, it is known that the production team of the series has been in contact with the rights holders to both the Autons and the Daleks with a view to possibly including them in the new series, although neither's appearance is certain. If you do find out well in advance it will be from BBCi, Outpost Gallifrey, or Doctor Who Magazine, or it will be a wonderful surprise on the night of one of the episodes! Will the TARDIS still be a police box or are they changing it? OG - Executive Producer Russell T. Davies has stated that the TARDIS will remain in the form of a London Telephone Public Call Police Box and will not be able to change form. As in the original series it will not have a working chameleon circuit. Since the BBC own the actual Police Box designs it will be exactly as it was in the series. TARDIS pictures familiar sign assembled but with doors missing night shot with TARDIS lighted Is this a continuation of the original series, or a completely new series? OG - That depends on your definition of "a new series". Russell T Davies, the show's producer and head writer, has said that the new series will not be a "reboot" or "reimagining" of Doctor Who. The Doctor will still be a Time Lord from Gallifrey, and presumably all his history and continuity will be intact. However, from a production standpoint this will be a new series. No-one from the original series is involved in the new one. The show's format is very different: instead of a number of 25-minute episodes comprising a story, the episodes will be 45 minutes long, with 7 stand-alone stories and 3 2-part stories in the first (13-episode) season. And it's being made by a completely different part of the BBC. What budget will the new series have? OG - This is currently unknown, as the BBC does not disclose exact budgets of ongoing productions. However, newspaper reports of £1 million per episode can probably be discounted - both from experts on BBC television production such as members of the Doctor Who Restoration Team who have cast doubt on the likelihood of such a high budget, and from information freely available online on the BBC's website here. The link, although applying to independent production companies rather than BBC in-house productions such as Doctor Who will be, gives a good idea of the prices the BBC is prepared to pay for drama series. It seems likely that the new series of Doctor Who will fall in either the Drama 4 or Drama 5 budget bracket. Either way, this will be a lavish production, with much more money being spent on it than was ever spent on the original 1963-1989 series. The new series is reportedly being fully commissioned and produced by the BBC, so the series will be likely funded directly from the licence fee; however, there is also information that suggests that a co-production deal has been used to partly finance the series, and BBC Worldwide will be relying upon overseas sales (including North America and Australia/New Zealand) in order to underwrite the show's production. How many episodes? BBC - Thirteen 45 minute episodes are planned right now. In contrast, the shows of the initial series were composed of a number of 25 minute 'episodes' [here in the US those were usually linked together to view the entire show] When will the new series debut on BBC1? OG - In televised interviews both actor Christopher Eccleston (the Doctor) and Executive Producer Julie Gardner have stated "early next year" for broadcast, and recent rumors indicated a possibility of the show debuting as early as Christmas Day 2004. However, as Outpost Gallifrey has learned, based on all available information from both our sources as well as verbal clues by series production staff on camera, "the spring" of 2005 is the general date and we've been told it's very likely that it will be March 2005 when the show makes its debut on air. At what time will the show be aired? OG - At present, it looks like the new series will be broadcast in the traditional Doctor Who timeslot of Saturday evenings, as the BBC appears to be keen to revitalise the schedule for the night. Exact times for the new series have yet to be set. Will it be on in America? BBC - No announcement has been made. OG - While only BBC1's broadcast in the United Kingdom has so far been announced, it is almost a guarantee that it will be shown in other countries, most specifically the "big four" that enjoy significant Doctor Who support abroad - the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We do know that BBC Worldwide is counting on overseas sales to bring in a significant amount of revenue for this expensive new series, and that they have been in negotiations with overseas broadcasters. In the US, for example, we know they have been talking to several cable networks (it will almost certainly not be shown on US public television). As soon as we know anything further, we will let you know when and where it will be shown.***Recently there have been rumors that the Sci-Fi Channel in the USA has been negotiating to buy both the new series and reruns of the original; a letter sent out of Maryland Public Television's programming department indicates that they are unable to acquire many early original episodes for precisely this reason. However, several correspondents have been in touch with people at NBC/Universal, owners of the Sci-Fi Channel, as well as the channel itself, and all of these reports have been denied; there is currently no plan to package the original and new series together. BBC America has indicated to fans that they would like to have the show, but nothing has been set.*** Will the new series be in widescreen? OG - It is a virtual certainty that the new series will be made in a widescreen format as all BBC Drama series have been for the last few years. This means that unless you have a widescreen TV you will see black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. The series will also be shot on single camera (whether on film or high-def video is to be determined) and will look like current series of today. The producers have stated that the old 3 video camera studio system that Doctor Who used in its original run is no longer a viable means to make a television series anymore What are the chances of a second series[season]? OG - A second series hasn't even been addressed on any level by any official branch of the BBC. Everyone involved just wants to concentrate on this first series and make that a success.The few indications are that Eccleston has signed at least a two-year deal and the BBC has by all accounts put everything they can into the series return and want it to have a long run at 13 episodes a year for at least five years. The series ratings will be the prime factor in the show continuing but not the only thing. The actual quality of the show, audience appreciation, press and critical reaction will be factors as well. International TV sales and DVD sales also are prime factors as is merchandise spin-offs. The BBC want Doctor Who to be their Star Trek, a franchise that can cross media. A new series could also add a lot of forward motion to the long-stalled movie which BBC films has had in development formany years. All indications are it is going to have every chance for success and have another long run on BBC1. Will the new series use the original theme music? If so, what form will it take? OG - Yes, the new series will use Ron Grainer's original theme music tune. It has not yet been announced whether an older version will be used or remixed, or if a completely new mix is to be made and if so who will make it. Some rumors indicate that they may attempt to replicate the sound of the original by remixing the sound elements used to make the Troughton/Pertwee/Tom Baker versions, but of course updating the mix for modern multi-channel sound formats. Filming has started! - Filming on for the new series began July 19. ============================================ As new info arises I'll continue to update this. I also plan to organize this a bit better in the near future. 12/9 update - Replaced most of the pictures with links to in costume images hosted by Outpost Gallifrey. Also added links to Outpost Gallifrey's hosted images of the new series TARDIS. Remaining Piper Moderators edit: This thread is now designated for any and all discussion of the Doctor Who series.
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