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David Tennant returns to his role as the tenth Time Lord and meets his brand new companion, as filming commences on the highly anticipated third series of Doctor Who for BBC ONE.

Lots to take in, here.

First of all - new costume. Hmm, not so keen. I know the outfit wasn't really consistent throughout series two, but I liked the brown suit. The blue looks a bit too much like he's about to go and repair a boiler. Plus, I already bought cream Converse to match the ones from series two - now I need to get a new pair of red ones?

Martha's outfit is... well, unspectacular, really. Quite Rose-ish. Doesn't give us any clues as to where/when she's from, other than looking quite ordinarily contemporary.

"The Doctor and Martha are destined to meet William Shakespeare, blood sucking alien Plasmavores, The Judoon - a clan of galactic stormtroopers and a sinister intelligence at work in 1930's New York."

Ooh, let the speculation about Shakespeare casting begin, then! That could be fabulous. As could going to 1930's New York - gorgeous art deco sets ahoy!

Also - who fancies laying some money down now that the episode includes the line "What the Chaucer?" ;-)

The [Christmas special] features the return of the Robot Santas and also guest stars Sarah Parish as the evil, alien mastermind.

Hmm. Be interesting to see what they do with the Robot Santas this time out - presumably that's their way of making it "Christmassy"!

Writers include Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Gareth Roberts, Paul Cornell, Helen Raynor, Chris Chibnall and Stephen Greenhorn.

Good to see Cornell back, and Gareth Roberts get a "promotion" (let's face it, the track record for writers established in Who lore has been strong so far, when compared to the one for RTD just bringing in mates of his). No Gatiss, interestingly. I like how Moffat has second billing there - let's hope for more than one episode by him, this time... Of the new guys, I can't see anything particularly notable on Greenhorn's CV except for The Bill, but Chris Chibnall - glossing over the fact that he created Born and Bred - was a Life on Mars writer. He did episode seven, the one with the suspect dying in custody. Let's just hope his episode turns out better than Matthew Graham's Fear Her...

Guest stars include Anne Reid, Roy Marsden and Don Gilet.

Can't find much information on Gilet, while Marsden has cropped up in lots of random minor roles since the '60s. Reid, however, is a bit more notable - she was Ken Barlow's Electrocuted Wife in Corrie years ago, and more recently played Jean in the brilliant dinnerladies. Oh, and she's been in Who before, too - playing a nurse in The Curse of Fenric.

Slightly more disappointing news, though :

Returning cast members include John Barrowman who will be making an appearance in the series finale.

So, Jack won't be rejoining the TARDIS crew this series - we won't see him until the finale. Dang.

Still... excitementses time!

About this entry


"I am really looking forward to travelling through time and space with him over the next eight months."

Press release quotes - does ANYONE believe these are things people actually said? I hate this stuff - publicists writing promo-friendly comments to put in the mouths of people way too talented or interesting to say something so blatantly publicity-minded.

See alos "We were delighted and honoured by the second series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs and some terrifying new aliens." Generic much?

> a sinister intelligence at work in 1930's New York.

I love the sound of this. of all of it, in fact. Except the costume thing - assuming they HAVE changed it, as opposed to just taking publicity shots on a rare day when the Doctor is costumed differently for plot reasons.

Freema looks much better costumed and made-up, and the medical student angle might at least make her useful to have around.

> Writers include...Helen Raynor

How gutted am I that Helen WAS my script editor at Doctors before her workload got too big and I got shunted to...someone less compatible. We were getting on everso well - I could have been hitting her up for Who jobs! :-(

By Andrew
August 10, 2006 @ 11:39 am

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Greenhorn did create the rather ghastly Scottish soap River City. It's as depressing as Eastenders and nowhere near as horrifyingly addictive.

By Rad
August 10, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

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Fantastic! I already fancy Freema more than Billie, too. In fact, I think I fancy David Tennant more than Billie.

The BBC do need to start making proper 1280x1024 versions of their wallpapers, though. When I strech those 1024x768 versions they go all out of proportion. Bah.

By Cappsy
August 10, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

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I quite like the new suit.

Also: I found out recently that Freema Agyeman used to go to drama school at my uni!

By Ian Symes
August 10, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

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It's a useful suit for when he needs to blend in with the tardis doors. In the season finale. Against the creatures that (it turns out) can't see blue when it's against blue.

By Geoff
August 10, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

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I like the look of them together. Like Tennant's suit (the darker one is a little boring IMO). Freema is wearing clothes that Rose would wear though, including the hoop earrings. I suppose they can't make her too different because they have to make that connection with the audience.

No Gatiss is interesting. It was always assumed that he would be returning. Perhaps the suckage of The Idiot's Lantern is the reason? It probably isn't though, he probably just wants to concentrate on his novel and maybe the League of Gentlemen are gonna get a fourth series together.

Other than that I'm chuffed to bits that Cornell is returning (for a 2-parter) and the new writers for series 2 aren't (shite scripts by all of them that RTD had to save, by all accounts). Steven Moffat's episode is going to be the idea he originally had for season 1 but Russell told him to hold it back 'till later because it was huge.

By performingmonkey
August 10, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

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I like the new suit as well. However, I'm still not over the fact that Stephen Fry's script was completely cancelled. I was really looking forward to that, as Fry is one of my heroes.

By Austin Ross
August 10, 2006 @ 9:06 pm

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Stephen Fry, writing a Doctor Who script about the Knights of the Round Table. It always sounded too good to be true... and, alas, so it turned out to be :-(

"The Story That Was Too Ideal To Be Allowed".

God, I hope it's Moffat writing the Shakespeare one, though.

By Seb
August 10, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

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No Gatiss is interesting. It was always assumed that he would be returning. Perhaps the suckage of The Idiot's Lantern is the reason? It probably isn't though, he probably just wants to concentrate on his novel and maybe the League of Gentlemen are gonna get a fourth series together.

Yeah, I wouldn't read too much into Gatiss not returning. Father's Day was brilliant, but Cornell didn't contribute to Series 2. It'll either be scheduling, or simply giving other writers a chance.

Anyway, The Idiot's Lantern was brilliant. So poo off.

Other than that I'm chuffed to bits that Cornell is returning (for a 2-parter) and the new writers for series 2 aren't (shite scripts by all of them that RTD had to save, by all accounts).

Whose accounts? I'd not heard this at all.

By John Hoare
August 10, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

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I am intrigued as to what they'll do with Martha, actually.

As I said recently, I wasn't at all sure about the whole Doctor/Rose thing when the series first launched, but it grew into one of my favourite elements of the series. How are they going to play it? A reversal of new Doctor/Rose relationship from The Christmas Invasion, spread over a whole series?

I think the one thing we can safely say is that The Doctor won't be moping over Rose *all* series. It wouldn't be fun to watch, and RTD knows that.

By John Hoare
August 10, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

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With any luck, David Tennant will get his moping over and done with in the Christmas special.

I don't really know why they felt the need to change the suit, to be honest. Although if he doesn't need the old one, I'd quite like the jacket. I'll write to the BBC. The new series sounds ace, the balance of writers can only get better each year, I reckon.

By Michael Lacey
August 10, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

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I didn't like The Idiot's Lantern. Some bad acting by the guests. The story felt too confined. The Coronation setting was just to have a couple of cheesy BBC moments like the street party. People's faces in the screens wasn't good. The Wire was a fairly interesting concept ruined by the 'feeeeeeeeeed meeeeeeee' stupidness. It didn't suit Mark Gatiss's writing, he should have been doing another ep.

As for the scripts of Toby Whithouse, Tom MacRae, Matt Jones and Matthew Graham, I know some of it's speculation but Russell certainly had to do a lot of work to pull the episodes together, most notably Matt Jones's TIP/TSP which probably only still has his name on it for contractual reasons. Toby Whithouse's wrote several drafts that were thrown out and they had to quickly come up with a new story set in a school. Russell wrote several scenes for the Cyber 2-parter, and personally I think those episodes weren't up to scratch. The less said about Matthew Graham's Fear Her the better. That's what I think anyway.

By performingmonkey
August 10, 2006 @ 10:06 pm

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What makes you so sure about TIP/TSP being all Davies' work?

By Michael Lacey
August 10, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

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Yeah, I'd be interested to know where all this comes from. Especially the stuff about "drafts that were thrown out and they had to quickly come up with a new story set in a school", although School Reunion did, granted, feel quite like an RTD episode. But TIP/TSP really didn't seem Davies-ish in the slightest.

By Seb
August 10, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

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All this is from the commentaries, magazine interviews, Confidential, information garnered from more trustworthy members of OG. I think it was Phil Collinson and Helen Raynor on the School Reunion commentary that say what problems they had with the episode. Matt Jones has never talked about his Who writing experience. That coupled with Russell's comments on Confidential and in the Satan Pit commentary (he says stuff like 'I enjoyed writing that') suggests that he came up with most of it himself. The monster itself and the fact that it wasn't there when the Doctor arrived in the pit was all Russell (it was originally going to be something that's rumoured to appear in series 3). He created the Ood, which obviously became a majot element. Perhaps Matt was pissed off that RTD wanted to mess with it so much.

By performingmonkey
August 11, 2006 @ 1:18 am

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I don't know about the rest, monkey, but the bit about Russell changing Whithouse's script to a school at the last minute is utter shit. In DWM's Series 2 companion you see his pitch document, and he mentions it as a possibility back then, along with an army base.

As for Stephen Fry's episode, apparently a first draft was written but Stephen is too busy to commit himself to re-writing it up to series spec. It's "on hold" at the moment, which sounds promising enough for me. Apparently the working title for this script was 'The 1920s' which raises some interesting questions, considering that we were led to believe that he was writing a Knights of the Round Table story...

By Cappsy
August 11, 2006 @ 10:13 am

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Performingmonkey drawing spurious conclusions from nebulous 'facts'? Surely not! :-)

By Andrew
August 11, 2006 @ 11:14 am

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Stephen Fry's story was supposed to be knights ? That may well have been the best thing ever, I wish I hadn't heard that now !

Seb, I'm pretty sure RTD is writing the Shakespeare episode. I can't remember where I heard that though, so add it to the pile labelled "facts".

By Andy M
August 11, 2006 @ 11:24 am

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Stephen Fry's story was supposed to be knights ? That may well have been the best thing ever, I wish I hadn't heard that now !

Well, I don't know how definite that is - but I definitely heard it as a rumour in more than one place. It could have been no more than that, though. I think that when I heard it, I just wanted it to be true so badly (this was before Fry said he was no longer doing it), since - like you say - it probably would have been The Best Thing Ever.

By Seb
August 11, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

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> But TIP/TSP really didn't seem Davies-ish in the slightest.

What? With all that wittering on about "The Human Race"? Tsh-pshaw-nonsense.

By Somebody
August 11, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

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I wish we were getting Stephen Fry's episode. At one point he seemed well up for doing it. Maybe it'll happen when RTD leaves. By the way, fuck you all, I'm right, end of. No, seriously, I know Russell didn't come up with the school idea at the last minute but it WAS his idea and he DID tell Whithouse to do it after many drafts of the other idea (whatever that was) weren't working. Regardless of the details, it's pretty obvious they had problems at the writing stage last year.

There's just one thing I would like to know for definite - whether RTD wrote the Cyber bride scene in 'Age Of Steel', because to me it felt like pure Russell.

By performingmonkey
August 12, 2006 @ 1:06 am

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I don't think you should read too much into the fact that lots of scripts are rewritten. Davies is the showrunner, so it's basically his job to make sure all the scripts are up to scratch. He'll quite happily do extensive rewrites if necessary, especially with regard to the less experienced writers. It's not that much different to what Douglas Adams or Robert Holmes used to do when they were script editing. The "name" writers like Moffat and Graham(and presumably Fry if his script ever gets made) usually get left alone, though.

One thing that did bother me was that Davies has admitted to deliberately "toning down" some of his more outrageous ideas to avoid alienating the audience, and I think it's a shame he feels he has to do that - it doesn't seem to put much trust in the viewer's intelligence. For instance, the original draft of "Tooth and Claw" was going to end with the unexpected demise of Queen Victoria, creating a whole alternate timeline and leading eventually to the creation of the parallel earth from the Cybermen two-parter.

By Phil_A
September 04, 2006 @ 10:55 pm

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Undecided on the new suit, but am absolutely loving Martha!

Admitedly, I'm a bit biased, since not only did she go to my University to study her Drama Degree, but I'm doing a Drama degree too!

I do like the dark red cons on the new Suit tho -- one of my favorite colours for em, that dark red. And I'd know, I have most colours!

Shakespeare episode was amazing -- Absolutely love the Bard, and I was loving the references to his works!

By David Mansell
April 17, 2007 @ 1:43 am

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