Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
In the past few months, there’s been a fair amount of activity regarding DR. WHO returning to the airwaves, and it hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage here at AICN. Basically, we cover things we’re interested in, and I guess Herc is about as much a non-fan of WHO as I am. That’s not to say that I think someone else is wrong for enjoying it. It’s just one of those things I never really watched, and aside from knowing that if I’m ever chased by a Dalek, I should find some stairs, I’m pretty much ignorant on the subject.
So when someone recently complained in another TalkBack about the lack of coverage of the new WHO, I wrote to them and suggested that they start compiling all the information they could find and submit it to me. I basically gave them the chance to become the official voice of DR. WHO fandom for AICN. And they responded to the challenge. Today, I’ll run a sort of summary of what’s been going on so far, and in the future, we’ll try to keep WHO fans abreast of new rumors or photos or whatever else is going on, thanks to our newest contributor, TheTARDIS:
In July production began on a re-launch of the longest running science fiction series in the history of television. DOCTOR WHO will regenerate into a 13 episode series airing next year on BBC1. Hopefully this will be the first of many updates about the new production!
The first production block of the series (episodes 1,4,5) began filming in Cardiff, South Wales and London in mid-July. Tons of spy pics and set reports from both of these location shoots are available at Outpost Gallifrey if you click here, the definitive website for up to the minute reports, news and just about anything else WHO related! A comprehensive collection of photos from the new production can be found if you click here.
Shortly before the location filming began, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and companion Rose (Billie Piper) were on hand for the first official photo call and interview on the news program "BBC Wales Today." You can watch that first interview on the official BBC Doctor Who website (www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho ) or you can go directly to video if you click here.
(It's in Real Player, but whatcha gonna do?)
Since that first week of filming, reports and rumors have been flooding in on a daily basis. If you've been following the production closely, there may be nothing new in this report, but for anyone who hasn't had their ear to the ground for WHO news, here's a quick summary of the rumors so far, but be warned... SPOILERS AHOY!
UK genre magazines "Dreamwatch", "SFX" and "TV Zone" all have DOCTOR WHO features (with spoilers) in their newest issues. The following info is taken from those magazines, a multitude of great reports in "Doctor Who Magazine", various spy reports posted at Outpost Gallifrey, and general rumors swirling around WHO fandom. Some are a definite bet, some are fairly certain, and some are probably bogus... You be the judge.
Episode 1: "Rose" is written by producer Russell T. Davies (QUEER AS FOLK, THE SECOND COMING) The first episode sees the return of the Autons, an old enemy from the Jon Pertwee era. If you're not familiar with the Autons, they're an alien consciousness that inhabits inanimate objects like department store mannequins. They'll almost certainly terrorize the streets of London like an army of Abercrombie & Fitch zombies. (See the photo gallery linked above for some great spy pics of the Autons.)
Episode 2: "The End of the World" is also a Davies script, but no story details have leaked yet.
Episode 3: (Title still unknown) Written by Mark Gattis (LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN) This one is rumored to be a pseudo-historical story, possibly involving Charles Dickens. However, that's completely unconfirmed and should remain in the "probably bogus" category.
Episodes 4 & 5: "Aliens of London" (parts 1-2) written by Davies reportedly involves an alien spaceship crashing into the Thames. It's a fair guess, based on spy reports, that an alien from this river crash is brought to "Albion Hospital" after the body is fished from the water. Episodes 1,4,5 represent "Block 1" of production and completed filming at the end of August. (Again, see the photo gallery link above for a series of spy photos showing the exteriors of the hospital.)
Episode 6: (title unknown) This one, written by Rob Shearman, will see the return of the Daleks to the series. The plot involves a lone Dalek attack in an apparent ALIEN style base-under-siege plot. This will lead into a subsequent two-parter involving a Dalek fleet invasion! The follow-up would either be episodes 9 & 10 or 12 & 13. Smart money is on the latter... using the Dalek invasion story as a season cliffhanger!
Episode 7: "The Long Game" written by Davies. A new "semi-regular" character called Captain Jack (John Barrowman) is slated to make his first appearance. He's been described in some reports as an "intergalactic rogue." Rumors have been flying around about a story pulling together historic figures involved in a BIG BROTHER style reality game. If those rumors are true, this is the likely story. However, it hasn't been confirmed, and indeed seems questionable to me. Of course, maybe I'm just holding out hope there isn't really a DOCTOR WHO episode based on BIG BROTHER!
Episode 8: (title unknown) Written by Paul Cornell (CASUALTY, CORONATION STREET, HOLBY CITY.)
Episodes 9 & 10: (title unknown) Written by Steven Moffat (COUPLING, DOCTOR WHO AND THE CURSE OF FATAL DEATH.)
Episode 11: (title unknown) Written by Davies.
Episodes 12 & 13: "Parting of the Ways" (parts 1 & 2.) Also written by Davies.
Other information released in recent weeks include the announcement that special effects will be handled by the television section of The Mill. They've handled effects for a plethora of films and TV including Oscar winning work on Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR. So, don't expect bubble-wrap monsters and dodgy models this go around!
Of special interest to US fans is when and where the New Series will air in the States. The premiere date in the UK hasn't been decided yet, but insiders point to Spring 2005, but according to some sources there's a possibility for a special Christmas Day 2004 screening of the first episode on BBC1. No word yet on how long it will take to make it to the US, but rest assured it will be broadcast in the US eventually. Which brings me to the most current rumor...
Outpost Gallifrey reported on Friday that sources indicate The Sci-Fi Channel will be purchasing broadcasting rights for the new series, as well as rights for reruns of the old show. NBC/Universal denies a deal has been signed yet. News about when and where in North America the Doctor will arrive should be coming soon.
That's a basic overview of recent DOCTOR WHO news... I'll keep you posted with more reports in the future. Thanks for posting a WHO update!
I'll shut up now.
Thanks, man. Despite what some people think, I can respect the fact that a show like this has a rabid audience out there, and I hope we’re able to bring you more reports like this in the future to satisfy your geek curiosity. Nice report. Keep it up.