DOCTOR WHO News: Old Friends, New Companions

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For a show that’s taking a year’s hiatus (sort of), Doctor Who is making a lot of news this week:

  • BBC America announced it will be showing the specials that comprise that last stories involving David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. The 2008 Christmas special and 2009 Easter special–which have obviously already shown in the UK–will be on BBC America on June 27 and sometime in July, respectively, with the final three episodes to appear later.
  • Auntie Beeb announced the new companion who will be accompanying Matt Smith‘s Eleventh Doctor: little-known Scottish actress Karen Gillan. Gillan’s already appeared in the Whoniverse (as a soothsayer in last year’s “The Fires of Pompeii”) and…not much else. We like and want to trust new showrunner Steven Moffat, but it’s interesting to think that if you combine Smith’s and Gillan’s ages, they’re a whole year older than Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.
  • BBC2 announced they’ll be filming a version of the Hamlet that Tennant appeared in last year alongside Patrick Stewart. The Baconeers can attest that the play was sixteen kinds of awesome (and also that both Tennant and Stewart might have been upstaged by Oliver Ford Davies’ terrific Polonius). This is exactly the kind of thing that shows up on US shores on Masterpiece Theater (e.g. Ian McKellan’s triumphant King Lear), so we won’t be surprised to see Hamlet wash up on American shores, too. Too bad Tennant’s hosting Masterpiece Contemporary instead of Masterpiece Classic.
  • Finally, outgoing showrunner Russell T Davies announced that Tennant’s Tenth Doctor will be popping up in one of the Sarah Jane Adventures stories this fall (a two-parter, no less!). Given how much Tennant seems to adore Elisabeth Sladen and Sarah Jane Smith, maybe this is the sendoff he should really get.
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