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AICN Finally Covers The New DR. WHO!!

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 ( ) 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.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 7, 2004, 5 a.m. CST

    Weng Chiang

    by ljamo is 337

    The very best ever - bar none. "It is the opium Doctor - it eases my pain"

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 5:04 a.m. CST


    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    NNNNNEEEERRRRRRDDDDDDDSSSSSSS!...And thus, had to be said! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Billie Piper will be AMAZING!!!

    by Amy's Flat Rat

    With her being married to Chris Evans(the english ginger one not the human torch) she should be used to dealing with grotesque monsters, har de har har.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 5:22 a.m. CST

    At least they sorted out the gay Dalek controversy.

    by RobinP

    First off, I swear, I kid you not. This has been reliably reported, and judging by the state of the BBC these days, there's no reason to doubt it. The Terry Nation (creator of the Daleks) estate were reluctant to give the BBC rights to use the Daleks was that the last time the BBC were in talks with them, they wanted to use them for a sitcom about three gay Daleks. Again, I swear I've read this in SFX magazine (last month's issue I think) and alost choked on my breakfast bagel when I read it.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 6 a.m. CST

    Gay Daleks

    by Charlie & Tex

    RobinP, we think that the gay Daleks you read about were the ones that UK journalist/TV personality Victor Lewis-Smith used in sketches in his TV Offal show, back in the late 90's. They had the tagline "They're camp! They exterminate! Better watch your backs, it's the Gay Daleks!" These were fucking hilarious and Vic had little or no trouble getting the rights back then, because the Paul McGann TV movie had bombed and Dr Who was as dead as disco once more - now that Vic has apparently had calls to bring back his "Gay Daleks" sketches because of renewed interest in the show, the estate of Terry Nation (credited as the Daleks' creator) refuses to give their permission for Vic to use them again. This probably also applies to re-screening the original sketches - which doesn't bother us, as we have them all in our collection anyway...

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 6:22 a.m. CST

    J.K. Rowling was asked to write a story for the new Doctor Who

    by CKnightShift

    And she REALLY wanted to, thought it was a huge honor to get asked to to it, but had to turn it down 'cuz she's too busy working on the next Harry Potter novel. Wouldn't be surprising at all if she wound up doing a story once Potter is all finished after book 7.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Why not?

    by The Beast

    AICN has covered Doctor Who on random occasions, and I'm always thankful for that. I'm glad you guys are going to get a little more involved with this too, because Doctor Who was a great show. I've watched it since I was a kid, and it always peaked my interest. With that said, I think it's important for the AICN guys, and anyone reading who doesn't know too much about this, is that Doctor Who was originally, and I guess in many ways was for a long time, a kids show. Effects were cheesey, but that's mostly due to budget related problems. They never had the kind of money America did for shows. The storys were almost always fantastic, and that's what kept me in it for so long. These days, it's not too hard for anyone person to film thier own Doctor Who, and that's also cool for any kid growing up. Knowing that this world isn't too much of a stretch for the imagination if you want to go and visit!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:41 a.m. CST


    by ScaryJim

    FAP! fap! FAP! fap! FAP! fap! FAP! fap! FAP! fap!FAP! fap! FAP! fap! FAP! fap! FAP! fap!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:43 a.m. CST


    by Daveydje

    "Sounds like they're ditching the traditional structure and going for a Colin Baker-era extended two-parters, which spells trouble. I hope if this series takes off they'll give it a longer season next year."... Nope... there going for a 45min episodes, I suspect, to sell to the US (1hr with ads). Personally, I think it's a better structure.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:54 a.m. CST

    The new "costume"

    by Bart of Darkness

    The great thing about the fact that the Doctor now dresses like Big Chris from "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is that Who fans can now dress EXACTLY like the Doctor and no one will give them a second look on any British street. It might also be a big step up for most of them, sartorially speaking!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Sigh, I'll miss the bubble wrap ... :-)

    by Dalius

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 9:47 a.m. CST

    I tried to like Dr. Who, I really did.

    by rev_skarekroe

    But man, it just bores me to tears. Eccleston is a good choice, though. sk

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 9:54 a.m. CST

    cool, but next time do it without spoilers

    by mansep

    i had to skip most of that report from fear of reading too much info. i never understand why people do it - yes you are indeed "spoiling" it for everyone.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 11:42 a.m. CST

    DOCTOR WHO RULES!!!!!!! It's about time AICN...

    by Fugazi32


  • Sept. 7, 2004, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Charles Dickens

    by Urbankan

    Just confirmed on the official site... Simon Callow is playing Charles Dickens in Mark Gatiss' script

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I'm confused...

    by Mr. Smegma this the episode where the guy in the leather jacket drags the blonde chick into that blue thing, Tasers her, fucks her toes and splooges all over her face? Or am I thinking of a different one? Thanks.

  • And a tip of Peter Davison's panama hat to TheTARDIS, for stepping up to the plate. Heck, guys, if I knew you were looking for a DOCTOR WHO columnist, I would've been more than happy to chip in my three cents worth (adjusted for inflation)...

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Cravattes by god!

    by Sid Delicious

    Just had a look at the pics. The Autons look well spooky. However I have a real problem with that outfit. This is NOT a Dr Who costume. Gallifreyans do not shop at H and freakin' M! I know the days of long scarves and celery in the breast pocket are long gone and the Doctor should embrace the new millenium but the costume should be that of a British eccentric. The Doctor should flounce around being weird and scary at people, all the while looking like a mad Oxford don who got dressed by smearing himself in glue and ran through the BBC costume dept. Timelords do not have a Topshop storecard. I really had my heart set on a trenchcoat/paisley cravatte combo. With a walking cane. Poo! Still The cast and writing talent are faultless. Really looking forward to it.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 4:14 p.m. CST

    For anyone looking to explore a bit of Doctor Who..

    by Avon

    The best place are the Jon Pertwee years - '1970-1974' and early Tom Baker era '1975-1978' Generally most US fans will know Doctor Who through Tom Baker as he played the role longest (until 1981) and is the Doctor with the long scarf, big mad grin, jelly babies (don't ask) and general eccentricity. The problem with Doctor Who is it airied for around 25 years hence there is a fair amount of garbage here and there, however when it worked-it worked (emphasise the periods mentioned above). I think that the news so far of the new series bodes well. The 'Autons' date from the Pertwee era and are a classic villain. In addition, one of the key things about Doctor Who are the endless possibilities as he can travel to any place (Earth or otherwise) during any time period hence TARDIS - 'Time And Relative Dimensions In Space'. So I think that the series should be something worthwhile, certainly insomuch as being the only serious British sci-fi series to be produced in 14 years since... um, the last series of Doctor Who? hmm.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Okay... this is what I wanted to avoid...

    by The Beast

    Let's not get too nerdy here guys. It's a GIVEN Tom Baker was the best, blah blah blah, just cool it. You guys get all Star Trekky-Warhammer Nerd Shit I'm gonna go crazy go nuts on you all. Wait... a Doctor Who roll playing game... I may be a nerd yet... Contact Wizards of the Coast!!!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 6:08 p.m. CST

    "and aside from knowing that if I’m ever chased by a Dalek

    by togmeister

    See REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS (1988) sometime. It's available on DVD and it destroyed the myths about Daleks ans stairs once and for all.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:06 p.m. CST

    hard for WHO to steal from Star Wars...

    by ZeroCorpse

    Seeing as Dr. Who predates Star Wars by about a decade, I'd say it's the other way around. I love Star Wars, but saying Who is a copy is sort of ignorant.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Simon Callow

    by TheTARDIS

    Well, that just goes to show you that even the most unsubstantiated rumor can turn out to be true. I saw Callow recently in a "Nova" episode on PBS where he played Gallileo... I think he'll be great!

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 9:04 p.m. CST

    When i was a little kid

    by proper

    I met Tom Baker at WH Smith signing in Brent Cross.He turned up in costume and was friendly and not condesending.He seemed chuffed I brought my TB action figure and didn't chief me up.We shook hands and he asked for my scarf.What i like in hindsight was the fact that yeah he was in a S/F series but still he understood his reponsibility to the fans(esp the little kids who see things in a different light).Genuine guy fair play.Respect the real and they will respect you back.........none for the grammer police. :)Then there was this time I met Darth Vader at Fenwicks(jobber in costume) he was a right c

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 9:39 p.m. CST

    If they're aping Big Brother...

    by hankamania

    That's OK by me because Big Brother UK is about 9,000 times better than the American version, what with the transexual who won, Crazy Ahmed and his legions of Ahmaniacs, and Kitten the Anarchist Lesbian. And that was just this year.

  • Sept. 7, 2004, 10:43 p.m. CST

    There was a Dr. Who Role-playing game

    by GypsyTRobot

    I remember because I used to thumb through the 2 or 3 booklets looking for pictures of Turlough. Funny, most of them seemed to feature Leela ...

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Hmmm.....Doctor Who....

    by Jimmy Jazz

    I watched a couple episodes a few years back on PBS. The special effects made the original Star Trek seem like the Matrix and I had no idea what the hell was going on. It seems a bit TOO geeky, even for me.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Lucas at the Beeb?

    by hankamania

    If GL DID pitch ideas to the BBC "~1-2 years before" Doctor Who went on the air, he'd have been 16 or 17 at the time. Which raises 2 questions: 1) why would he bother pitching ideas to the BBC, when there were US networks who would ignore him just as much; and 2) why would they pay any attention to an unsolicited idea from an American teenager? Besides, when he was that age, he wanted to be a race car driver, not a filmmaker (Hence, American Graffiti), and he was well into college before he began pursuing film. If he did pitch to the Beeb, it would have been probably a decade or more into the show's run, well after it had established its own style and tone. And if you're going to say that Doctor Who became more space-based and aspired to better production values post-1977, well, that's about the dumbest, most obvious thing I've ever heard. ALL Sci-fi was forever changed by Star Wars, and blaming one show for following what everything in the genre was doing is absolutely meaningless. If you DO have documentation that Lucas pitched a who-like idea to the Beeb between, say, '59-'62, by all means, provide some links. Otherwise, STFU.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Charlie & Tex - Gay Daleks

    by Diablo77

    Oooh OOhh.. White wee wee!! classic! :o)

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Pass the Jelly-Babies!

    by Evil Chicken

    Will PBS get first crack at airing the new episodes or will it go to cable here in the States? I can't wait to see the updated Dr. Who.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Fuck Doctor Hu...we want to hear about animated talking lions.

    by minderbinder

    Sorry, needed to be said.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Awhile back Sly Stallone was rumored to be playing the Doctor in

    by CKnightShift

    For real! Tom Selleck was also being looked at to play him in a movie. Glad those didn't pan out but can ya just imagine Stallone's Doctor pronouncing "Gallifrey"?

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Paul Anderson

    by Roj Blake

    Speaking of old DW projects that never got off the ground - Paul "AVP" Anderson was actually fairly deep into development on a big-screen DW film when the BBC pulled the plug. I still wonder why they did that.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Ummm, Nails?

    by Mockingbird Girl

    <<GL's ideas for Star Wars were seminal in the creation of Dr Who, and if you're one of the few who can't seem to bring themselves to admit that, it's fine.>> Dude, do some research: "Doctor Who" premiered in 1963 and "Star Wars" in 1977. How, exactly, can you argue that the latter influenced the former? I'm sure we'd all be interested in your EVIDENCE of this...

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Attn: divers and sundry

    by Almost Sexy

    Nailsmcginty is taking the piss (which is fine by the way). I can only hope that those of you "indignantly" responding to his posts are doing the same. I'll give all y'all the benefit of the doubt.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Oh, suuuuuuuure

    by Mockingbird Girl

    George Lucas pitched the BBC a story idea while he was in high school? Sorry, my mistake -- I thought you were being serious. Good one, doofus.

  • Sept. 8, 2004, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Nails, you're an idiot.

    by hankamania

    You're making stuff up and don't expect people to call you on it? Whatever, dude. Go away, you troll.

  • Sept. 9, 2004, 12:19 a.m. CST


    by BAMF

    Talkbacks full of bullshi**ers are a plague here. Keep doing what you do and call them on it! :)

  • Sept. 9, 2004, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Dude, if you're gonna hoax.....

    by hankamania

    then 1) make it believable; and 2) at least TRY to make your "documentation" believable. As it stands, you're not being funny, nor are you clever. You're just annoying. You're a dork, Nails. Screw you.