BBC News - Now With Doctor Who Spoiler Protection

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 16 June 2005

I was delighted to see BBC News covering the wonderful announcement that Doctor Who has already been recommisioned for a second Christmas Special and a third series. Not just because of the news, but because the article offered 'spoiler protection'

The BBC has commissioned a third series of Doctor Who in addition to the second series already planned.

The announcement comes days before the current series - a huge ratings success for BBC One - reaches its end.

With Christmas specials scheduled for 2005 and 2006, fans can look forward to 28 new episodes in total.

As Christopher Eccleston will not be returning for the next series, Casanova actor David Tennant has been cast as his replacement.

But Billie Piper, who plays the Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler, will return for the whole of the second series.

Writer Russell T Davies has confirmed he will write six episodes of series two, which will see the return of classic villains the Cybermen.

"It's a joy to write - you couldn't have more fun," he told the BBC Breakfast programme on Thursday.

He added that Eccleston's departure was "a great loss", but that a new lead actor would give the show "a new lease of life".

The new series will begin filming in Wales in five weeks.

Stop reading now if you do not want to know what happens in Saturday's episode.

I've never seen the like from a BBC News story covering TV development, not even for the big-hitting EastEnders storylines. Despite how well it has been written and the quality of the performances from Chris, Billie and the under-mentioned John Barrowman, I'm sure there is a PhD to be written in how the Doctor Who revival was succesful simply because everybody within the UK media in a position to influence the promotion and coverage of the series was of an age that had loved it themselves when they were children.

Myself, I've just about managed to avoid the explicit details of what happens on Saturday, but to be honest, given the nature of where I work, I have absorbed enough by osmosis that I don't think I'll be getting a shock at the weekend.

I've also not been following the advice of the official website for this week - avoid the internet.

This Saturday sees the biggest episode of Doctor Who ever, full of jaw-dropping surprises, amazing revelations and more Daleks than even you can imagine.

Up until now the episode's been kept an absolute secret - there were fake scripts, fake scenes were shot, and no preview tapes have been issued. It's such a secret that not even bbc.co.uk's Fear Forecasters have been allowed to see it.

But all that will change this week - publicity pictures will appear tomorrow, and there's a screening for the press on Wednesday, so stuff will leak out. Our best advice to you - STAY OFF THE INTERNET THIS WEEK!

Especially as bbc.co.uk is running a video teaser every day at noon. It's also shown on BBC One through the day, and at 8pm every night - so step firmly away from the television at those times.

You'll also be missing out on changes to our spin-off sites such as www.badwolf.org.uk, and one or two special treats on bbc.co.uk. Avoid them - they're only there to lead you into temptation.

So - we'll see you on Saturday evening after the last episode of Doctor Who Confidential (which contains a few surprises of its own).

We'll miss you, but it's for your own good.

Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor charts how the Guardian has covered Doctor Who since it was revived in 2005. If features interviews with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and the men in charge of the show's fortunes: Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. It also includes interviews with a host of other Doctor Who actors including Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman and writers including Neil Gaiman and Mark Gatiss. There are contributions from legendary author Michael Moorcock, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy, and specially commissioned illustrations from Jamie Lenman.
Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor” - £2.99 for Kindle & iBooks.

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