Monday, 30 November 2009

TV Update: Dr Who and Torchwood news...

As we anxiously twiddle our thumbs and glance at our watches, mumbling irritably "Isn't it Christmas Day yet?" and wondering why we can't see that long-awaited/dreaded (delete as applicable) David Tennant Dr Who finale "The End of Time" (parts one and two) now, the series rolls on regardless. If you think guff like The X Factor and I'm a No-Mark, Get Me Back On The telly are dominating the press just now, just wait till a few days before Christmas when everyone in the UK will be aware of Dr Who as it approaches the end of its most successful period ever and moves cautiously towards a new era in 2010. Some Dr Who news coming up...but even more exciting, it seems that something many of us have quietly hoped for since July is now more or less official!!

Jack's Back!!! It was pretty much a no-brainer after the awesome creative and ratings sucesss of this summer's mini-series 'Children of Earth' but it look like those rumours are now pretty much confirmed - not least by the man himself, John Barrowman. The actor appeared on the Steve Wright Radio 2 show this afternoon (30th November) and when pressed on the future of Captain Jack Harkness, Barrowman revealed that although he doubts that the character will appear alongisde 11th Doctor Matt Smith (to the extent that Barrowman's not been asked or approached yet), it looks like Torchwood itself will be returning for a full 13-part series to enter production early next year. There're been some pretty big hints these last few weeks with series creator Russell T Davies talking of 'top secret meetings' with the BBC re the series and whilst Barrowman's comments aren't exactly official confirmation, as the star of the show he's probably more in the know than most about what's going on and as I'm aware he's keeping his schedule free for the larger part of next year, a long production run of Torchwood seems more than on the cards. Yhis is great news, of course; even after its much-improved second series most would have been a bit indifferent about the show carrying on but the mini-series absolutely nailed what the show can be and should always have been and it'll be interesting to see what a new longer run - and what a vote of confidence a 13-episode series is in these cash-strapped TV production days - can do for the show in a doubtless hugely-rebooted format. Colour me excited.

*************************DOCTOR WHO GETS MINTED*********************

As fans it's easy to get blase about the success of Dr Who; we always knew how good it was, we just had to patiently wait for the right people to come along to make it the right way and for the public to embrace it the way the rest of us always have. And now, after all the BAFTAs and the NTAs and the Hugos and the huge ratings and the general wide-acclaim the series is still getting, five years after its rebirth, one of the most unexpected and heart-warming honours...a series of commemorative medals from the Royal Mail! Here's the deal...

The Royal Mint has unveiled a new series of medals inspired by Doctor Who and featuring David Tennant's likeness.

The limited edition medals, which have just gone on sale, also feature the Doctor's robot dog K-9, the Tardis and his infamous enemies - the Daleks.

They mark the first time that television characters have featured on a Royal Mint medal.

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin, praised the show's "enduring appeal", calling the Doctor "timeless".

Head of UK Licensing at BBC Worldwide Richard Hollis said: "David Tennant's performance as the Doctor has been applauded and celebrated across the country and these medals are a fantastic way for fans to collect a lasting memento."



Scotland's Daily Record newspaper has been running a poll amongst its readers to find the greatest Scotsman ever. In what Tennant himself would probably describe as the most surreal of all the surreal moments he's experienced in the last few years, David Tennant's name has been on the shortlist alongside such figures as Robert Burns and William Wallace! Madness! My spies tell me that Tennant has just come fifth in this oddest of polls.

**********DOCTOR WHO ON BLU RAY AND DVD*****************************
You (and I) won't have too long to wait to get hold of Tennant's finale (and, indeed, the just-screened and rather wonderful 'Waters of Mars') after their Christmas transmission as the BBC are rush-releasing the stories on DVD and Blu Ray early in January. No word yet on any extras but expect the BBC3 'Confidentials' to be included at least. Online retailers have released what's likely to be a 'placeholder' image, reproduced here because I just like Tennant's hero pose. I'll miss him. Sob.

***********DOCTOR WHO FILMING CONTINUES*****************************
But brave heart, fans! As one Time Lord snuffs it, another (well, the same one) is reborn. Filming is now about halfway done on Matt Smith's first season of 14 episodes (13 regular series episodes and next year's Christmas special) and the team are currently spending two weeks - two weeks!! - in Crotia filming what look to be a set of very lavish episodes clearly set in the past. Photos are out there on the web and they look pretty impressive, with the TARDIS parked up on the quayside and a coterie of Venitian-type extras (rumour has it the story is about vampires in Venice) milling around,as well as Smith in his usual costume and his companions Amy (Kaen Gillen) and Rory. Who? Ahhh.... Filming is also underway on Richard Curtis' episode which stars actor Tony Curran (Google him!) as Vincent Van Gogh. Season 5/1 is shaping up very nicely indeed...

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