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Official Doctor Who New Series Discussion (spoilers)

The Shadow

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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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Here's an interview with one of the new series writers that just may give us a glmipse at what to expect.


The Scotsman newspaper caught up with new series writer Steven Moffat.


The former Paisley schoolteacher and Coupling writer told The Scotsman that he has one of the most sought after jobs in television. It's also one of the toughest:


"TV doesn't bother trying to target entire families any more," he said. "If 10-year-olds aren't talking about the show in the playground on Monday morning then we'll have failed."


Moffat also said there would be hint of sexiness, but that it was doubtful whether there would be any hanky-panky in the TARDIS:


"The show is still about saving the universe. You can't be thinking about lovey-dovey stuff when there's that level of jeopardy involved."


Moffat revealed he watched the show right until the end, with its humour cited as the reason he kept watching. "One of the reasons Doctor Who survived for so long, and a rival like Blake 7 was so risible, is that it was funny," says Moffat. "The Doctor was in on the joke, he knew the show was cheaply made and that some of the storylines were nonsensical."


But will it stand up in 2005? Moffat is not worried:


"I don't think the fact we're in the post-Star Wars era is an issue - matching Buffy is. Doctor Who was never a space opera anyway, it was about horror: dark shadows and creepy monsters lurking just around the corner."


The interview ends with Moffat offering a sneak preview of his script. It will contain the dialogue "Doctor, no!" - Gosh.

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Daleks defeated - Doctor to face new enemy in the new series.



Christopher Eccleston's Doctor will face a new, deadly foe in the new series, after talks between Terry Nation's estate and the BBC over the rights to the Daleks broke down earlier this week.


The BBC said, "After lengthy negotiations, the BBC and the Terry Nation Estate have been unable to reach agreement on terms for the use of the Daleks in the new series of Doctor Who. These rights are jointly held, and the terms need to be mutually agreed between us.


"The BBC offered the very best deal possible but ultimately we were not able to give the level of editorial influence that the Terry Nation Estate wished to have."


Speaking about the loss, executive producer and chief writer Russell T Davis said, "We're disappointed the Daleks won't be included but we have a number of new and exciting monsters.


"And I can confirm we have created a new enemy for the Doctor which will keep viewers on the edge of their seats."


The Daleks were not available for comment.



It's a pity Nation's estate and the BBC couldn't come to an agreement on using the Daleks in the new series. There sure to be missed, hopefully this first/27th season will do well and that'll change the minds of Terry's estate.

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  • 1 month later...

Hurrah! the Daleks are back for the new series. It's certainly good to hear the the Doctor's oldest recurring enemies shall be returning.




Resurrection of the Daleks


The Daleks will return in the new series.


It's official! The Daleks are coming back after all. We've received the following press release:


Mal Young, BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series and Tim Hancock, agent for the Terry Nation Estate announced today (Wednesday, August 4) that the Daleks will return in the new series of Doctor Who which is currently in production for transmission on BBC One in 2005.


Hancock says: "I am absolutely delighted that the Terry Nation Estate and the BBC have been able to reach agreement on terms for the use of the Daleks in the new Doctor Who series. We look forward to working closely with the production team in the forthcoming months."


Young added: "As well as coming face-to-face with a number of new and exciting monsters, its good news that the Doctor will also do battle with his arch enemy, the Daleks in a series which promises to surprise and entertain a new generation."


Starring Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, the Doctor's companion, the new 13-part series is currently filming in Cardiff and London for transmission in 2005. Casting also includes Penelope Wilton (Calendar Girls), Noel Clarke (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet), Annette Badland (Cutting It), Camille Coduri (England Expects) and John Barrowman (who is currently in the West End production of Anything Goes).


Doctor Who is produced by Phil Collinson. The writers are Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman. Executive producers are BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series, Mal Young; Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

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  • 1 month later...

Found a new article on Outpost Gallifrey , an interview with Doctor Who #4 Tom Baker.



Tom Baker: Make Me The Master

September 11

In an interview with today's Daily Record, Tom Baker goes on record of wanting to go "over to the dark side on Dr Who. Says the Record, the 71-year-old actor says he'd love to get one over on the character, which made him a household name in the Seventies and Eighties, by returning to the show as the Doctor's arch-enemy The Master. "If the BBC were brave enough, which they're not, then what they really should do would be to make me The Master," Baker says. "That would be really witty. Heroes always need villains. Superman can't exist without evil and vice versa. So it would be very clever to have this person who was once the hero become the villain, because within life, as well as fiction, we are nowhere without villains. Without them there'd be no newspapers, no film industry, no literature. You absolutely need the dark side." Baker goes on to note that "Doctor Who was the best job I ever had, so there's no way I'd be satisfied with anything like a bit part in the new series. That would bore me to death because then it would be all about this walk-on appearance from the old Doctor Who." Tom also mentions that he's relieved the Daleks have been cleared to return to the show. "They'd have been mad not to bring them back, bloody crazy. 'They can do without his robotic dog K-9, I think. But the Daleks were so important to the story. How many millions of children have been influenced by the Daleks? They couldn't even begin to think about bringing it back without them." You can read the full interview
. (Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Graham Brown)

All I can say is, sure, I'd love to see Baker's take on the Master. Maybe a performance more in line with Roger Delgado's Master than Anthony Ainley's though.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally one of the pieces everyone has been waiting on has finally arrived the logo for the new series



The BBC has kindly offered a high-res version [1024*768] suitable for use as a wallpaper.




I'm going to keep my thoughts on the logo quite for a bit until other's have had a chance to get a look at it for themselves. And for comparison sake IGN did an article on the new logo with pictures of the older ones so I'll put those up too.


The first logo really wasn't one just 2 plain text words overlayed on the opening video sequence. It was used for the first 3 Doctors [William Hartnell, Peter Troughton, and Jon Pertwee]




During Jon's tenure, the 'first' logo and a new opening sequence were introduced. This familiar diamond logo was used for Doctors 3&4 [Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker] And branded much of the Who merchandise for a long time.




At the end of Tom's 7 years a new spacey opening and neon like logo were introduced to herald in the 80s. This logo was used for Doctor's 4,5, and 6

[Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, and Colin Baker]




Next we come to Doctor number 7's [sylvester McCoy] logo. This logo and an all new CGI opening sequence were devised in part to help attract some of the series viewership back after a forced hiatus [18 months I think] and the growing popularity of Star Trek: TNG.




Last but not least we have the logo that was first introduced with the 1996 TV movie with Doctors 7 & 8 [sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann]. Since it's introduction it has replaced the old diamond logo on Doctor Who merchandise [DVDs, Books, audio dramas]. As you can see it's a stylized version of the original plain text overlay used for the first 3 Doctors.




Well, the 2 Peter Cushing [ You smelled his stench when you came into the thread] don't really count since since they were really just made to cash in on the early 60s Dalek craze. [and as far as I know didn't really have a logo]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay thanks to Outpost Gallifrey there's some photo's of the New Series Dalek design. But first some other news.


The BBC is simultaneously creating a companion documentary on the new series called Doctor Who Confidential Here's the word straight from Outpost Gallifrey.



What is "Doctor Who Confidential"?

According to Broadcast Magazine, the BBC will produce a companion series for the new Doctor Who season, a documentary entitled Doctor Who Confidential. The thirteen-part, half-hour series will feature behind-the-scenes footage and interviews wtih cast members as well as "archive of previous Time Lords" (possibly interviews with prior actors). The broadcast will air on BBC3 immediately after the main series airs on BBC1; each episode will be "based around a particular theme such as the challenges of creating a new Dr Who or finding his assistant." Mark Cossey, who will executive produce the show, said it would be aimed at a mainstream audience and not just fans; he says, "It will have a very entertaining glow to it," he said. "It won't be discussions of technology. We are going for a bigger audience than that." The series will be produced by Gillane Seabourne and co-executive produced by Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

This would make a great set of extras for the DVD set but err on the side of caution and say that provided DWC makes it on DVD it'll likely be sold as a companion DVD set. But there's always hope...



Great news for our Canadian neighbors about the new series and some good news for US viewers[both from Outpost Gallifrey]




A press release confirmed that an agreement has been signed with the CBC network in Canada to broadcast the new series. "BBC Worldwide today concluded its first major pre-sale for the new Doctor Who series with Canadian public broadcaster, CBC Television," says the press release. Producer Russell T Davies notes that "Doctor Who has a remarkable 'fandom' but equally it’s the new audience that I care about. Someone who has never heard of a TARDIS or a Dalek, whether in Toronto or Swansea, will be able to start with this new series, climb on board with Christopher and Billie, and travel the whole of time and space." Slawko Klymkiw, executive programming director of CBC Television, is quoted as saying, "This was an exciting opportunity for CBC to bring the popular Doctor Who to fans - new and old alike - across the country. We are pleased to be working closely with BBC to bring Canadians this exceptional new series," and Hilary Read, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Worldwide Canada adds, "The CBC is the perfect partner for this fantastic new production. We're delighted to be bringing such a classic series to new audiences." There is no information about when the series will air on CBC, but it will likely be sometime relatively soon after the new series is broadcast in the UK.


Rumors that the Sci-Fi Channel in the USA has been negotiating to buy both the new series and reruns of the original are false; 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. TBI Buyers' Briefing, a weekly information service sent to over 6,000 worldwide TV executives, this morning features a news item: "BBC scout gets feet under US table: Dr Who US sale being finalised". Among the various items mentioned in the report, which is mostly about the move of BBC Worldwide executive Paul Telegdy from London to the US, is an impending sale of the new series to this, the largest television market for the new show. "One really exciting franchise on both sides of the Atlantic that audiences know and love is Dr Who," Telegdy is quoted as saying in the report. It mentions that he is talking to an "interested party" and is confident it will be sold to a US network in the near future. "We're discussing the ratings potential of the show," he explains. He is likely referring to a cable network, not to one of the over-air broadcast networks. As soon as we know anything further, we will let you know when and where it will be shown.

I'm sure BBC America and Sci-Fi are still the 2 big contenders - with an edge to Sci-Fi since they're on most folks standard cable/satellite packages.



And finally pics of the Daleks - I'll only be providing direct links to Outpost Gallifrey for these. -Remember since these didn't come direct from the BBC to OG they're yet to be OFFICIAL-


Now a couple notes on Dalek rumors for the new series. It's rumored that there will be various designs of Daleks. Pictured is "classic" Dalek which may lead the way to a very different/radical "new" design. The Beeb's been keeping tight-lipped about specifics so I'll be sure to post here when something substantial comes out.


Dalek Image 1


Dalek Image 2

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I'm afraid I haven't come across any info yet for who's carrying it in Austraila - but I wouldn't be surprised if it was indeed ABC. The good thing is that the BBC has paid notice to just how the internet connects the world and fully realizes that they can't wait very long to get the new series into the biggest foreign markets for Doctor Who [Austraila & New Zealand, Canada, and the US]. So with any luck we'll get to see the new series just after our British neighbours or just maybe [and this is me hoping] the BBC will be able to get simultaneous worldwide distribution in place.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just caught the little teaser for the show, and the dialogue made me laugh (in a good way, thankfully):


Doctor: I'm The Doctor, by the way. What's your name?

Rose: Rose.

Doctor: Fascinating, Rose. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!


I think it's safe to say that they are at least going to pay lip service to the silly horror of the original version. Can't wait! Hopefully we won't have to wait for this like we do for Battlestar Galactica...

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Meant to get this notice up earlier, not to late with the news this time though.


Thanks to Outpost Gallifrey for the article





The New Zealand television station
Prime TV
have announced that they've picked up the new Doctor Who series, according to a
on their website. "BBC Worldwide announces today the licence of the new series of the cult classic Doctor Who to Prime Television New Zealand," says the release. "Only the second international deal to be finalised, the new series will deliver to Prime Television in the first quarter of 2005. Starring Christopher Eccleston (The Second Coming, Cracker, Elizabeth) and Billie Piper (Canterbury Tales) and written by a team led by Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk) the series sees Doctor Who, the alien loner and his companion Rose forge a friendship across time and space. Fans out there should brace themselves for some exhilarating experiences and deadly confrontations. This ninth Doctor will take viewers from the natural end of the world far in the future to Victorian times for an encounter with Charles Dickens, from gaseous monsters with deadly plans for humanity to alien crash-landings and conspiracies that lead to the very heart of the government. The show delivers all the excitement of good drama, with a hero who never carries a gun. The human race will survive, but only with the Doctor’s help! It has been over 40 years since Doctor Who hit our screens and sparked a fan base that spans the world. International conventions, fan clubs with members numbering in the thousands and books, videos, DVDs and merchandise are just part of the on-going phenomenon that is Doctor Who. David Vine, BBC Worldwide Managing Director Asia Pacific, says, 'This series has been long anticipated. We are very excited that Prime will bring the new Doctor to New Zealand audiences. If you are a long-time Doctor Who fan you won’t be disappointed but equally if you are someone who has never heard of a Tardis or a Time Lord you will be able to climb on board and travel through time and space for the first time. Prepare for brand-new, spell-binding adventures.' Prime’s Programming Manager Andrew Shaw says, 'I am delighted to have acquired this fantastic new drama from the BBC. Doctor Who promises to be an outstanding series. We very much look forward to placing it in our primetime schedule. This series will captivate a whole new generation of fans who have never experienced the legend that is Doctor Who.'" (Thanks to Paul Scoones, Jon Preddle, Alden Bates, Dean Brown, Christopher Feyrer, Paul Engelberg)

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