Weekend News Update & Ratings

Good news to start with – Doctor Who Online have informed us that last night’s episode of Doctor Who had 7.5 million viewers, peaking at 8.3 million. These are overnight figures by the way, full confirmed figures will be released at a later date. However such figures for The Long Game – an episode that was barely trailed in the last 7 days – hopefully indicate the return of Doctor Who into the nations permanent viewing habits as it becomes less of a nostalgic treat and more of a real, modern show. Incidentally, weather across the UK was varied, changable at best, and not a good day to get caught outside for too long…

BBC Programme Information for Saturday 21st May has provided information on Episode 9, The Empty Child:

The Doctor and Rose travel back in time to Forties London in the first part of an action adventure, written by Steven Moffat (Coupling). It is 1941 and the Blitz is raging.A mysterious cylinder is being guarded by the Army, while homeless children, living on the

bombsites, are being terrorised by an unearthly child.And when Rose meets the dashing Captain Jack Harkness, it seems she may have found a hero better than the Doctor himself…

Christopher Eccleston is the Doctor, Billie Piper is Rose, John Barrowman is Captain Jack Harkness and Richard Wilson is Doctor Constantine.

Elsewhere, The Guardian reports that ITV are planning a series of nostalgic broadcasts to honour it’s 50 year anniversary. The article by Owen Gibson mentions that in face of falling viewing figures for the first 4 months of 2005, the channel is planning a cynical revival of its fortunes…

Classic shows and big names will be wheeled out in an effort to remind viewers of their emotional attachment to the “people’s channel”. And offscreen, it will create an “Avenue of the Stars” on London’s South Bank designed to rival Hollywood’s walk of fame.

But the celebrations risk highlighting how much the world has changed since 1955, when eight in 10 viewers tuned in to watch Sunday Night at the Palladium, through ITV’s 1970s and 1980s heyday when its franchises were considered a “licence to print money”.

This may affect Doctor Who, but in truth it is a sorry state of affairs – ITV should be attempting to compete on a level playing field with Doctor Who and supply its own fantasy/sci-fi broadcast…

Finally, this one got left over from yesterday – an amusing mention in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times in its television section about last night’s epsiode, The Long Game


BBC One, 7pm

Simon Pegg and Tamsin Greig make guest appearances in this delicious flight of fancy from the warped mind of Russell T. Davies. He imagines a world in which the great and bountiful human race has been stunted by a pink salivating blancmange with vicious teeth that controls all the media coverage to the Earth Empire via 600 television channels. “But is a slave a slave if he doesn’t know he is enslaved?” asks the editor-in-chief. The idea of a media baron dominating the world is, of course, preposterous.

Ooooh my aching sides….


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