Hot Spot

The BBC is already preparing for at least FIVE more series of Doctor Who

The future’s looking bright for Doctor Who, with the sci-fi drama apparently headed for at least five more series on the BBC.

The news comes in a press release about a new deal the corporation has made with Chinese company SMG (Shanghai Media Group) Pictures, intending to expand the Doctor Who brand and increase the fanbase in China by making the entire Doctor Who catalogue (including spin-offs Torchwood and Class) available on Chinese TV channels and On-Demand services.

Interestingly, the deal doesn’t just include the eras of former and outgoing showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.

The release states that the deal includes new Who boss Chris Chibnall’s series 11 (which has yet to be filmed) as well as "a first look for Series 12-15" (basically giving SMG Pictures first refusal before they try to sell them to other Chinese broadcasters).

This would suggest that the BBC are hoping to continue Doctor Who for  at least four more series after Chibnall’s debut run, even if such a plan isn’t exactly set in stone yet.

In other words, it’s a good day to be a Doctor Who fan – especially if you live in China.

Via Huw Fullerton for the Radio Times

BBC Store to shut its doors to Power of the Daleks in November

A BBC service that let people buy and "keep" BBC shows is to close less than two years on from its 2015 launch.

A spokesman for BBC Store said demand had not been as strong as had been hoped and that it did not "make sense" to invest in the service further.

BBC Store was intended as an extension of the BBC iPlayer, where content expires 30 days after broadcast.

A message on its website said the BBC would "continue to find new ways of making BBC archive content available".

"We do hope you enjoyed discovering some wonderful programmes, old and new," the message added.

More than 7,000 hours of TV was initially made available through the BBC Store, with shows typically costing £1.89 an episode.

Offerings included The Power of the Daleks, a "lost" Doctor Who adventure from 1966 that was reconstructed in animated form.

With hit programmes such as Sherlock and Doctor Who available on subscription sites Netflix and Amazon Prime, though, the BBC Store found there was less demand to download programmes to keep.

Viewers will be able to watch their purchases via the BBC Store website or through the BBC Store app until 1 November, after which they will no longer be available.

Customers will be refunded for the shows they have purchased, either in cash or with Amazon Video vouchers.

Those who opt for the latter will receive 10% more than they are owed, as a goodwill gesture.

A BBC representative would not reveal how many people would be affected but said the service had been part of the corporation's attempts to generate income outside the licence fee.

Via BBC News

Steven Moffat Promises ‘Some Real Belters’ For Whovians

Wibbly-wobbly writer and producer Steven Moffat gave fans a lot to chew on in Saturday’s episode, “Extremis.”

Now, with only seven chapters left in his Doctor Who story, the retiring showrunner talks childhood influences, future plans, and why the Doctor will never meet Sherlock Holmes.

A lifelong fan of the BBC program, Moffat took over for Russell T. Davies in 2009, introducing Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Six seasons of complex plot arcs and shock-and-awe reveals later; he is satisfied with his run.

“I’ve been in this job so long, I’ve done everything I can think of. Twice, probably,” Moffat told Paul Verhoeven in an episode of The Doctor Is In.

Growing up on Star Trek and Star Wars and other sci-fi classics, the Scotsman credits Doctor Who as one of his greatest creative influences.

“Even when I was too frightened to watch it, I was fascinated by it,” he said of the long-running drama.

The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and UK low fantasy novel Tom’s Midnight Garden—”I’ve been ripping [that] off consistently for decades now”—also helped shape a young Moffat, who claims it was magic, not science fiction, that especially entranced him as a kid.

Barely two when William Hartnell’s First Doctor debuted on BBC in 1963, Moffat’s first solo Doctor Who work—a short story called “Continuity Errors”—was published in 1996. Three years later, he scripted the parody Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day charity telethon.

In 2004, he was tapped to write for the revival of the classic program, penning award-winning scripts “The Empty Child,” “The Doctor Dances,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” and, of course, “Blink.”

So fully ensconced in the Whoniverse, Moffat must know how old the show’s titular character actually is (at last count, he’s in his 2,000s).

“I believe it is impossible for the Doctor who know what age he really is,” the exec producer told Verhoeven. “You and I, we can check the calendar. The Doctor can’t know that. He’s been living in a time machine; the calendar tells him nothing.”

That doesn’t stop the Time Lord for bragging about how good he looks for his age. But, as Moffat pointed out, is he talking about Gallifreyan years or Earth years? (A good point, though there is no clear indication of the conversion rate.)

“I think he makes up an age that sounds cool,” Moffat said, adding that “you can never really take entirely seriously anything the Doctor says; I don’t think he’s really in the business of telling the truth about anything.”

A trait many have noticed in Moffat’s other famous entity, Sherlock.

Just don’t expect the two personalities to meet any time soon: Beyond the complicated logistics of a crossover event, it’s just not plausible for the Doctor and Sherlock to cross paths.

“I think Doctor Who would roll all over the other shows and their sense of reality,” Moffat explained. “Beyond the great moment where they walk toward each other, what do you have?”

A lot of headstrong characters and confusing introductions, that’s what.

“You don’t need two intolerant geniuses running around a place,” he said, adding the disappointing truth that “the idea of those crossovers would always be much more exciting than the reality.”

Soon free of both massive franchises, Moffat plans to attend the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, then “bugger off on holiday for a while,” said the man who hasn’t had a weekend off since 2009.

In January 2016, Moffat announced his retirement from the BBC series; in February he confirmed plans to also give up his writing gig, allowing incoming chief Chris Chibnall space to breathe.

“What I’ll take away,” he told Verhoeven, “are a lot of very good friends and some absolutely amazing memories. And the shows we made.

“I’ll be happy about that for the rest of my life.”

Via Geek.Com

Doctor Who episode edited for Saturday airing following Manchester bombing

This week’s episode of BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who will have a section of dialogue removed as a mark of respect to victims of Monday night's terrorist attack in Manchester, understands.

The excerpt in question from upcoming story The Pyramid at the End of the World made passing references to terrorism as part of a more general discussion of threats to Earth, but the BBC has decided that as a matter of sensitivity it should be removed.

The rest of the episode will remain unchanged and will air in its scheduled BBC1 slot of 7:45pm on Saturday 25th May.

"Following the tragic events in Manchester, we have made a small edit to this week's episode of Doctor Who," a BBC spokesperson told

This is not the first time the BBC has been moved to alter an episode of Doctor Who due to real-life tragedy, with the Corporation previously re-editing 2014 story Robot of Sherwood when elements of the story echoed real-life atrocities committed by Islamic State.

The Manchester attack has resulted in numerous changes to the TV schedules this week. On Tuesday, Jimmy McGovern's new northern drama Broken was replaced on BBC1 by an episode of Blue Planet, while Channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge has been edited to remove a hoax bomb plot storyline. And due to the suspension of general election campaigning, Andrew Neil's interviews with party leaders Theresa May, Paul Nuttall and Tim Farron have also been postponed.

Via Radio Times

Introductions to The Pyramid At The End Of The World

The Beebs latest intro's to The Pyramid At The End Of The World

Doctor Who gets brand boost in China

BBC Worldwide today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with leading Chinese media company, Shanghai Media Group Pictures (SMG Pictures) that will see expansion of the Doctor Who brand in China.

The MOU was inked yesterday evening at a signing ceremony at BBC Worldwide’s Television Centre in London, with Mr Chen Sijie, GM of SMG Pictures and Jaclyn-Lee Joe, Chief Marketing Officer, BBC Worldwide. Madam Wang Jianjun, Director General President of Shanghai Media Group, Tim Davie, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide and Kelvin Yau, GM, Greater China, BBC Worldwide witnessed the event. 

The agreement will see BBC Worldwide working with SMG Pictures to increase the Doctor Who fan base in China, exploring future opportunities as well as exchanging expertise between the two teams.
The MOU comes on the back of a content deal that BBC Worldwide also signed with SMG Pictures yesterday evening.  The deal will see the entire catalogue of Doctor Who including spin-offs, Torchwood and Class available on popular TV channels and on-demand platforms all over China.
The deal not only covers Showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat’s Series 1- 10, but also incoming Showrunner Chris Chibnall’s yet-to-film Series 11, as well as a first look for Series 12-15. 

“This marks the start of a longer and even more fruitful partnership with SMGP,” said Jaclyn-Lee Joe, Chief Marketing Officer, BBC Worldwide. “Doctor Who already has a substantial fan base in China.  Now, Chinese fans will be able to access the entire catalogue of Doctor Who and its spin-offs thanks to this agreement. The MOU is an affirmation of both parties’ commitment to build the Doctor Who brand and grow its fan base in China.” 

“China is going through a time of tremendous growth and rapid market development. Everyone here is curious about popular cultures around the world. At the same time, they want to share their Chinese culture and values,” said Chen Sijie, General Manager, SMG Pictures.  “Doctor Who, with its long television history and iconic place in popular culture, is a great representative of British pop culture. We hope that this partnership with BBC Worldwide will enable both parties, as well as Chinese and British fans to share and exchange ideas and learnings to grow the universe of Doctor Who in China.” 

BBC Worldwide and Oriental Pearl Group previously worked together on the theatrical release of Sherlock – The Abominable Bride as well as the upcoming launch of One Amazing Day a co-production with SMG Pictures. The entire catalogue of Top Gear, Top Gear UK and all the UK specials, as well as five series of Top Gear USA, six series of Top Gear Korea and both series of Top Gear China  has also recently launched on BesTV, SMG’s linear television service. There has also been a CBeebies programming block on BesTV since 2014. 

Shanghai Media Group Pictures is the film business unit of Oriental Pearl Group, held by Shanghai Media Group. 

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC AMERICA co-production.

Via BBC Media

Images for Episode 7: The Pyramid at the End of the World

The BBC have released the following images...

The Pyramid at the End of the World - Trailers

A 5,000-year-old pyramid stands at the centre of a war zone, where the Chinese, Russian and American armies are about to clash. 
There are many problems with that, but the one that intrigues the Doctor is this: there wasn’t a pyramid there yesterday. 
The Doctor, Bill and Nardole face an alien invasion unlike any other – before conquest can begin, these aliens need the consent of the human race.