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Peter Kay to be guest villain on Doctor Who

Peter Kay

Peter Kay (him off Phoenix Nights and who did that song, you know the one, with Tony Christie… No, not ‘Streets and Alleyways’ or whatever it was – that was the theme to The Protectors… It’s got armadillos in it or something. Oh I don’t know. Go and look it up) is to be a guest villain on the new series of Doctor Who. Well, if Simon Pegg can do it, so can Peter Kay.

Can’t help but think they could do with a few really evil psychopaths, though, rather than comic actors who can also do serious work.

And now, for no reason at all, apparently, a picture of David Tennant (sorry about the watermark):

9

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K9 and Sarah Jane Smith back for another series. Again.

K9 and Company

It’s not often failed pilots get a reprieve 25 years on, but K9 and Company might have a second chance as a series according to The Sun. This isn’t new news – I’d heard whispers about it a couple of months ago – and it’s still not exactly confirmed, but given that one paper’s picked this up means it’s more likely than I’d previously thought. However, The Sun does say the target audience is children. But will kids be interested in Sarah Jane? Dads, yes, but kids…?

K9 and Company failed to make it as a series back in 1981 for a number of reasons, incidentally: as well as a transmitter going down just before it aired, killing a good portion of the potential ratings, it was spoilt by a rubbish theme tune and a title sequence that tried to make a convertible Mini Metro look exotic. The script was pretty good though. Roll on a new series, I say.

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Maybe BBC1 is taking Doctor Who a little too seriously…

Nothing kills a popular show faster than over-hyping. In their mad rush to claw huge quantities of cash and ratings out of DT and co, it’s possible they’re starting to fall into this particular trap (assuming they haven’t already). Take a look at this concept for a new CBBC show: Totally Doctor Who.

Totally Doctor Who are recruiting cadets for a Companion Academy. Eight Cadets will be picked, but only the best will make it through the gruelling physical and mental challenges of the Academy. The prize? A day on the Doctor Who set.

Or if you think you’re the biggest Who brainbox around, take the Who-ru challenge. Stump the Totally Doctor Who studio guests with your Who knowledge and you’ll walk away with some serious prizes.

And Totally Doctor Who also want to hear how much you love Doctor Who. Have you built your own time machine or held a Doctor Who fancy dress party? Send in your photos, videos, stories, pictures, or anything else.

Plus, if you’ve got a burning question you want to put to Doctor Who cast or crew, send it in and the Totally team will do their best to get an answer.

It’s like a junior nerd recruitment drive. And what’s more likely to kill off Doctor Who in the public imagination again? If it becomes really nerdy and anal. Oh dear.Kelly Reilly, David Tennant 4

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David Tennant: good at British accents; nicht so gut with your German accents though

John Thaw in Redcap

Over the last few months, I’ve been forcing myself to get up to speed with the Big Finish audio stories. My excuse? I have to write about this stuff. Think that’s bad? I have to review 10 episodes of John Thaw’s 1964 military police series Redcap this week.

Anyway, in case you don’t know, the Big Finish plays are officially licensed stories based on Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People, Sapphire and Steel and a whole load of other British ‘telefantasy’ series and books.

What sets Big Finish apart from a couple of teenagers in a bedroom in Hull, enacting something they rattled off in their lunch breaks, is the presence of the original cast members – or a few of them, at least. So The Tomorrow People stories get Nicholas Young (John) et al while the Doctor Who stories have Peter Davison and co as well as some of the original companions. The producers have also managed to get some reasonably heavyweight actors to do guest roles, including David Warner, Susannah Harker, Don Warrington, Sir Derek Jacobi and, erm, Tony Blackburn. Basically, these are professional productions, endorsed by the BBC et al.

David Tennant in a bow tie
So yesterday I’m listening to one particular audio play, Colditz, and I notice a voice that’s very familiar, despite the extremely iffy German accent. Various poorly oiled cogs slip into place and I realise who it is. It’s David Tennant – Doctor number 10 to the uninitiated (although why the uninitiated would have made it this far into this particular blog entry, I don’t know).

Oh dear. I’d been impressed by DT’s acting. As one of my esteemed colleagues on Off The Telly points out, Tennant’s appearance in ‘The Christmas Invasion’ exposed just how naff Christopher Eccleston is as an actor. He’s also good at audio work, having appeared, it turns out, in a ridiculous number of Big Finish productions: he’s particularly good, in case you’re interested, in a couple of the Doctor Who Unbound plays, namely Sympathy for the Devil, in which he’s a swearing Glaswegian colonel who’s hunting The Master (Mark Gatiss); and Exile, in which he’s a posh English Time Lord who’s hunting The Doctor (Arabella Weir. Seriously) .

But German? Oh dear. I’m guessing that Big Finish can’t quite muster the budget for a dialogue coach, but Herr Tennant seems to have headed straight for a bucket of old Monty Python sketches for his research, rather than Berlin. How disappointing. Still, it’s easy-ish money I guess and I don’t suppose they have too many listeners, so he was probably hoping no one would notice.

In case you’re desperately interested in what I think about the Big Finish stories, I’ll natter on about them after the break (since I have no plans on writing about them again on this blog. Oh no).

Continue reading “David Tennant: good at British accents; nicht so gut with your German accents though”

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Sci-Fi Channel goes Doctor Who mad

The US Sci-Fi channel now how its own little Doctor Who site to publicise its premiere of the new series on March 17th. It’s all Christopher Eccleston at the moment, of course, but if you’re a latecomer to Doctor Who, there’s a handy guide at the bottom of the site that gives you useful facts to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Apparently, Tom Baker’s Doctor was the most popular and he wore a scarf.

Do not worry though: it is quite possible to get through life without filling in these gaps.