16 items from 2015
The history of Doctor Who has been littered with a plethora of superbly written characters who were cast and performed beautifully by their actors.
David Tennant was majestic; Matt Smith danced his way between crazy, compassionate and genius; Clara was brought to life through the warmth and strength displayed by Jenna Coleman and John Simm gave The Master a whole new level of depth as a villain. Ecclestone tried desperately to conceal his pain and Tom Baker truly wrestled with his morality. Tony Curran’s Van Gogh was a masterpiece and Jessica Hynes complimented the Doctor perfectly as Joan Redfern.
In spite of these performance highs, the show has had some absolute clangers over the years too. Some performances were just a little average, and some took the show to whole new lows that relegated even the most positive of Whovians to huffing and grunting at the TV.
10. Richard Briers »
- David Fribbins
Doctor Who returns to our screens in a little over a month - and you can read our 100% accurate guide to the new series right here.
But while it's always useful to have the facts, it's also great fun to indulge in some wild speculation - and Doctor Who has generated plenty of that over the years.
These are 15 of the most ridiculous rumours about the BBC's sci-fi smash that never came true - from Hollywood stars taking over the Tardis to an untimely exit for Peter Capaldi.
Warning: Contains perilously high levels of nonsense.
"Doctor Who is still seen as a bit geeky but Jason will add »
We’ve just heard some exciting casting news about tomorrow’s durational reading of The Iliad at The Almeida Theatre. A company of more than 60 artists will bring The Iliad to life in a durational reading on Friday 14 August. The reading will begin at the British Museum and culminate on the Almeida stage. The marathon reading is the latest event in the theatre’s Almeida Greeks Festival.
Homer’s The Iliad is the source myth of Greek drama and the greatest story of heroism, betrayal and war in literature. Directed by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold and Associate Director Robert Icke, the marathon event’s 60 strong cast will include Nikki Amuka-Bird, Adjoa Andoh, Pippa Benett-Warner, Katie Brayben, Lorna Brown, Simon Callow, Bertie Carvel, Oliver Chris, Simon Coates, Brian Cox, Sinead Cusack, Joe Dixon, Monica Dolan, Amanda Drew, Noma Dumezweni, Tim Dutton, Lisa Dwan, Caroline Faber, Will Featherstone, Stephen Fewell, Susannah Fielding, »
- Paul Heath
Want to catch up with post-2005 Doctor Who but don’t have 85 spare hours to watch the whole thing? We’ve some tips for you…
Maps To TV Shows: Is there a popular show you’d really like to watch but you just don’t have time to wade through years of it all at once? Do you just want to know why that one character keeps turning up on Tumblr? Do the fans all tell you ‘season one is a bit iffy but stick with it, it gets great!’, leaving you with absolutely zero desire ever to watch the boring/silly/just plain weird season one? Then Maps To TV Shows is for you!
In these articles, we’ll outline routes through popular TV shows focusing on particular characters, story arcs or episode types. Are you really into the Klingon episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Do »
An exciting new chapter has been unveiled for Doctor Who: Legacy, the ever-popular game that launched just after Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary! Chapter 4 begins the final confrontation between the Master (plus his Toclafane), and the Doctor, a storyline that started in the Chapter 2 Epilogue, in March 2014, with the release of John Simm as the troublesome Time...
- Philip Bates
Code of a Killer topped the ratings outside of soaps on Monday (April 13), according to overnight figures.
The John Simm drama brought in 4.55m (21.0%) for ITV at 9pm, with a further 271,000 (2.0%) tuning in on ITV+1. Earlier, Wild Ireland brought in 2.83m (12.6%) at 8pm (166k/0.7%).
On BBC One, MasterChef continued with 4.29m (18.4%) at 9pm. It followed Suicide in the Family, which was seen by 2.39m (10.7%) at 8.30pm.
On BBC Two, Collectaholics continued with 1.28m (6.7%), before University Challenge interested 2.71m (12.1%), and Food and Drink gathered 1.62m (7.2%) at 8.30pm. Inside Harley Street followed with 1.34m (5.8%) at 9pm.
Channel 4's Food Unwrapped interested 980k (4.4%) at 8pm (143k/0.6%), while Travel Man: 48 Hours in Iceland transported 1.28m (5.7%) at 8.30pm (138k/0.6%). Skint was seen by 1.38m (5.9%) at 9pm »
As if it hadn’t already been a busy enough year for academic biopics and the city of Leicester, now the two come together in a two–part ITV drama exploring the birth of a scientific technique that would revolutionise police work the world over.
Code of a Killer (ITV) tells the story of the moment the inventor of DNA profiling meets a detective unable to solve a murder case in 1980s Leicestershire. Or at least it does when we finally get to that part, a few minutes before the end of episode one. John Simm is almost, but not quite, convincing as Dr Alec Jeffreys, a bearded academic with a slavish devotion to his work. It’s unusual to see Simm swap his contained, »
- Julia Raeside
Code of a Killer: ITV, 9pm
Part one in a new drama series based on the true story of a pioneering scientist (John Simm) and a detective (David Threlfall) who worked together on one of the biggest achievements in modern policing - the ability to read an individual's DNA fingerprint.
Gotham: Channel 5, 9pm
The story of Gotham before the Dark Knight continues.
Bullock and Gordon continue their investigation into Gerald Crane, Fish Mooney attempts to build a reputation in prison and Bruce tries to learn more about his father.
Moone Boy: Sky1, 9pm
It looks like Granddad has an imaginary friend of his own, who turns up to help him complete his bucket list, with the help of Martin, Sean and Crunchy Haystacks.
It’s well documented that in the Godfather movies, an orange is a symbolic portent of death. Don Corleone even makes some fake teeth out of orange peel to amuse his grandson, foreshadowing his heart attack. I suspect Michael Crompton had this in mind when scripting two-part police thriller Code Of A Killer, which opens with a close-up of a Feu Orange traffic-light air freshener dangling from a rear-view mirror. Its “delightful fragrance” was enough to turn your Ford Fiesta Mk II into a Terry’s Chocolate Orange on wheels. Dare we assume this one belongs to a harbinger of death?
A very specific caption tells us that we’re in Narborough, Leicestershire on 21 November 1983, 7.30pm. It’s the true story of the rape and murder of two teenage girls, »
- Andrew Collins
We’ve touched on why The Writer’s Tale, the 2008 (expanded in 2010) compendium of correspondence between Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, deserves a space on your bookshelf here.
In short, The Writer’s Tale is both a screenwriting masterclass and an unparalleled look behind the scenes of new Doctor Who. As well as following the production triumphs and emergencies as the show lurches “from one crisis to another”, it lets you witness story ideas being created in the wild. See pivotal Doctor Who moments tottering unsurely out of Davies’ mind like new-born giraffes and watch them transform into sleek, galloping beasts of majesty! Think of it like a classy David Attenborough doc on storytelling, with bonus David Tennant photos and chat about Tony from Skins. »
The world of Doctor Who has changed greatly in the space of just 10 years. The cast and crew have almost completely been replaced since 2005, including a number of new actors to play the errant Time Lord and his companions.
But what has happened to the class of '05? Where are Rose and Mickey now? What is the writer of 'Dalek' up to? And where can you see more work from the director of 'Rose'?
Here it is then, your guide to the main players of Doctor Who series one.
After his three-month on-screen stint as the Doctor, Christopher Eccleston's career continued in much the same vein, taking in theatre, interesting television roles and the odd blockbuster.
From Autons to tribophysics via Kronkburgers, here's a pick of the best nerdy in-jokes and references from the 2005 series of Doctor Who...
Ten years ago, the world was about to be re-introduced to one of the most enduring and exciting television characters of all time, Doctor Who. The programme's new 2005 sheen brought with it a cheeky self-referential side (though it did do a bit of that in the 80s) and a knowingly raised pop culture eyebrow. From films such as E.T. to Barbarella to Star Trek to modern literature (The Lovely Bones) and icons (Michael Jackson) - everything was in the Time Lord’s gaze.
Most obviously, this opener saw the return of the »
On Intruders, a former Lapd detective (John Simm) investigates strange occurences which lead him to a secret society whose members seek immortality by taking over the bodies of others. The rest of the cast includes Mira Sorvino, Tory Kittles, James Frain, and Millie Brown.
Executive producer Glen Morgan broke the news of the cancellation on Twitter and wrote, "Well, Reverti, this life is over. Intruders will live only in 8 episodes. We can't thank those that supported us enough... #Intruders such an intelligent audience willing to be challenged and face tough questions. Hope we will all be triggered in 9 years. What goes around, comes around. #Intruders. Thank you! 9!"
The show, which starred John Simm and Mira Sorvino, had completed its first season run of eight episodes. Based on the novel The Intruders by Michael Marshall Smith, there were plans for more episodes, but they've come to nought.
The news of the show's demise was Tweeted by its showrunner and lead writer, Glen Morgan....
Well, Reverti, this life is over. Intruders will live only in 8 episodes. We can't thank those that supported us enough... (more)
— Glen Morgan (@GlenMrgn) February 27, 2015
Season one of the show didn't set ratings alight in either the UK or the Us, and its dark subject matter always meant it was facing an uphill battle. It's available on DVD now. »
Intruders has been cancelled by the BBC.
Morgan tweeted: "Well, Reverti, this life is over. Intruders will live only in 8 episodes. We can't thank those that supported us enough..."
Meanwhile, author Michael Marshall Smith - who wrote the book the series was adapted from - praised Morgan and his team for the 'brilliant' job they did on the series.
He wrote: "It was never a given there would be more - though we did discuss ideas for future arcs - and for a variety of reasons the first season had to out-perform the norm in order to continue. Unfortunately it did not. »
We're giving away one pair of VIP tickets to the star-studded ceremony, which will take place at London's O2 on January 21.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
Step One: Follow our Twitter feed: @DigitalSpy
Step Two: Answer the following question, presented to you by Dermot, by clicking on the correct answer:
B) John Simm
This competition is open for one week and closes on January 13. Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult. »
16 items from 2015
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