Monday, September 15, 2008

Television and Doctor Who

The article Doctor Who's secrets revealed, by Russell T. Davies in the Times today gives an interesting look into what was going on behind the scenes of the show. It is excerpted from the upcoming book Doctor Who: A Writer's Tale, by Russell T. Davies and Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook. The producers were considering a Doctor Who episode featuring J.K. Rowling as part of their series of the Doctor meeting famous writers. Already in the new series actors have played Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie, but Rowling could play herself as she did when The Simpsons went to London. I'll be interested in reading A Writer's Tale when it is released.
The Times also has a feature on the childrens' show Blue Peter, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The article, Here's One We Made Earlier, is about the crafts that the presenters show viewers how to make. I used to watch something similar on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood when I was younger, where Mr. Rogers would demonstrate projects and interview guests like cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, and football player Lynn Swann. I was intrigued by the connections between Blue Peter and Doctor Who when reading about it in Doctor Who Magazine and the About Time series of books. Peter Purves, who played companion Steven in 1960s Doctor Who, was also a presenter on Blue Peter. The show often hosts actors from Doctor Who. As a promotion for the episode "Journey's End," presenter Gethin Jones played a Dalek in one scene (escorting Sarah Jane and Jackie down a corridor on the Dalek ship) in addition to his appearance as a Cyberman in 2006. I watched the clip where Jones showed viewers of Blue Peter how the scene was made and interviewed cast and crew. While people of any age can watch Doctor Who, Blue Peter provides an introduction to the show for younger viewers.

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