This is all old news, but just in case you missed it, here’s a rundown on the top Who stories of last week:
Sarah Jane’s back… again, in another Doctor Who spin-off… again
The Beeb has finally confirmed that The Sarah Jane Adventures will be happening. Lis Sladen’s back as (almost) everybody’s favourite old-school Who assistant, complete with helpful investigative teenage neighbour. K9 will appear in the first episode, a 60-minute special, but won’t be in the rest of the series. Has a hint of Dark Season to it, don’t you think?
It’s worth pointing out that that’s yet another series Russell T Davies is spreading himself thinly over. When’s he going to find time to sleep?
McGann’s the other official BBC Doctor
The Eighth Doctor aka Paul McGann is to get his own original BBC7 series in the New Year. McGann’s Doctor is already a reasonably familiar presence on BBC7, thanks to airings of various of his Big Finish stories. This season of stories, however, will be originals and will feature Sheridan Smith from Two Pints of Lager… as his companion, rather than the delightful India Fisher as Edwardian adventuress Charley Pollard. They’ll still be produced by Big Finish, however, and enhanced versions will appear on CD later next year.
I’ll withhold judgement on the stories till I hear them (ooh, goodie, new things to review!) rather than “go knee jerk”, but having seen her filming Two Pints, I would say that Sheridan Smith is actually a pretty good actress (who doesn’t fluff her lines constantly like certain cast members) so could do well here. Why they’ve switched from India Fisher, though, I don’t know: pick your own conspiracy about Charley being too posh, etc for younger audiences to identify with or how it might annoy Conrad Westmaas if India Fisher got a solo companion role.
Most unlikeliest event in human history occurs
Janet Fielding has agreed to narrate an audio book version of rubbish Peter Davison story Warriors of the Deep. Caroline John (Liz Shaw) and Katy Manning (Jo Grant) will be narrating Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Sea Devils as well, as part of the ‘Monsters on Earth’ limited edition CD.
I’ll tell you something: if you’ve never seen Janet Fielding go on at length about how Doctor Who is rubbish, anti-feminist, etc, in front of a mass of seething Whovians, you haven’t seen courage yet. Now she’s narrating one of the most awful stories she ever appeared in? Bizarre. Still, at least you won’t have to see the polystyrene sets and the Myrka in this version…