Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Spoiler summary

Heres a summary of what we know so far from the specials and series 5 warning look away now if you don't want to be spoiled: Thanks to the DWF:



Filming for the 2009 specials will commence on 19th January 2009 (DWM #403, post). 
Filming will continue to May, with editing etc. in June, July and August. RTD expects his last day to be in September (RTD in Out Northwest, thanks to this poster ). 
This tallies with previous information (which also said that S5 filming would resume August 2009) (post). 

Regarding DT, the original position was that DT would start filming after Hamlet (ending 10th January 2009; this post, update in this post).
RTD says he is "hopeful" that DT will be able to start filming on the 19th January (and they'll be careful with him!) (BBC News review). 
RTD's hope looks well-founded - as of 3rd January, DT was back rehearsing and performing in Hamlet (Novello Theatre). At present his return will be assessed on a day-to-day basis. (RSC Press Release 3 Jan'09)

It is reported (herehere and here) that work has begun (as of 2nd Aug'08) on the 2009 Christmas Special, with everything presumably in place already for the Easter Special. It is suggested that the 2009 Christmas special will be standalone, followed by a two-parter. 

DWM #400 has further information - RTD (production notes) says "we've already cast two huge parts, which had us all skipping with glee". RTD also says, "even though pre-production won't officially start for a while, the writing has started, and we're already having detailed conversations with the design department, so you could say that work has begun......" 

Elsewhere in DWM #400 it is said that pre-production starts in November with shooting starting mid-January. In DWM #402, RTD confirms preproduction for the specials starts on 24th November (courtesy this post

Note on the specials: these were NOT put in place to allow DT to play Hamlet. RTD, in "The Writer's Tale" (quoted in The Times) mentions promising to DT and the production team after Doomsday was filmed (i.e. late 2005) that they would have a big finish to series 4 followed by a break to allow a new production team to prepare for series 5. DT was only approached for the role of Hamlet after his appearance in the "Who Do You Think You Are" of 27th Sept 2006. (The Metro, 21 Jul 2008)


It is confirmed (RTD, DWM #378; Steven Moffat interview 24 Jul) that there are, in total, five specials to appear between the end of series 4 and the start of Steven Moffat's reign.
  • There is a Christmas Special for 2008 (already filmed).
  • There is an Easter 2009 Special (Julie Gardner in the Telegraph)
  • There is a Christmas 2009 Special (Julie Gardner in the Telegraph)
  • There is a special to be shown "in early 2010" (BBC Press Release 29 Oct 2008)
  • We have nothing from the production team indicating when the other special will be shown.
  • Possible plans - The original plan was Easter 2009, Christmas 2009, Easter 2010. After a Halloween special was briefly considered, this was changed (due to time constraints) to Christmas 2009, New Years Day 2010, Easter 2010 (leading directly into series 5) (RTD, p. 203 of "The Writers Tale"). 
    Later news (see post) was that the three last specials were to be scheduled over Christmas, with two close together (so either 25th, 26th, 1st Jan OR 25th, 31st, 1st Jan). 
    Previous posts on this schedule here and here
    Another poster suggested that the schedule will be Easter, then (possibly) Octoberish time with the denouement Christmas/New Year 2009/2010, and that he heard that the schedule for the specials transmission had been changed (perhaps due to a regeneration?)
    (This post) suggests that we are looking at a Christmas 2009 special and a New Years Day special.
    The last special will be on "New Year 2010" according to these two press releases of 02 Jan'09 and 03 Jan'09which both say, 
    "There will be four Doctor Who specials featuring David Tennant that will run in 2009 into New Year 2010 (dates to be confirmed)." 
    RTD says in the TND podcast (5:20 on) that the specials will be shown before Easter 2010 post)
  • The Advent Calendar contained a podcast for day 22 which confirms that the last two specials form a two-parter; also confirmed by RTD in the TND podcast (5:20 on) (post)
  • A poster reports that Nikki Smith's episode (4.16) is the Christmas special.

The four specials are all an hour in length (SFX #176, RTD interview, reported in this post)
No plans for HD at present (post see also post - going HD eventually is inevitable and the Mill are not a problem.

Locations and sets

RTD says each special is very different and the locations are very different (SFX #176, RTD interview)
A poster reported in July '08 that one of the Specials may be taking place partially or entirely in a location outside the UK. 
A poster reports a rumour that all the filming might be outside the UK with studio and pickups in Upper Boat. The first will definitely be shot abroad

RTD confirms in DWM #403 that passports will be needed for filming 4.15 (post

BBC News review
The first special will be filmed abroad. RTD says, "It's going to be quite exotic. I can't tell you where, but we've got four days filming abroad, to give it a bit of size and a new feel to it."

The News of the World (Aug '08) reports that two specials will be filmed in America, supposedly to raise DW's profile stateside. The specials will apparently also feature a "big-name" American female assistant. 

SyFy Portal Syfy Portal say they had already been following leads on DW filming in the US and suggest the main motivator is financial. 

A poster has since confirmed that his source also suggests filming abroad involving at least the Second Unit and going West rather than East (and possibly moves to show DW sooner after UK broadcast in the US). 

RTD describes rumours of filming stateside as "internet nonsense" (SFX #176, RTD interview) 
The potential SAG strike in the US suggests that any US filming would have to be limited to establishing shots and plates but nothing with actors (which means a major shoot is probably out) - see this post

However media reports of Dubai filming for the Easter special also suggest there will be some filming in the US (Gareth McLean on TV blog (the Guardian website 16 Jan 2009)The Sun (20 Jan'09))

Latest word on location shooting - it's happening (72lf) and it looks like Tunisia (post - the location previously mentionedin this post - see "4.15" section). The location is standing in for an alien planet (postpost). This poster confirms this, that the shooting will be in January - and that the location is standing in for Gallifrey. 

The Daily Star claims that one of the specials will be set in Egypt (reported by this poster)

This poster reports a crew member saying filming would be in UAE. 
This poster says that filming is to be six days in Dubai and that James Strong was there scouting the location a couple of weeks back
See more in "Planet of the Dead" section. 

A poster reports that as far as he knows the console room is getting a bit of a makeover for the specials, and the console is being rebuilt. "Not changed, but just refreshed. I was also privvy to a conversation about the possibility of "green screening" sections of it to give the illusion of extra rooms and doors off it."

Rich Johnston, "Lying in the Gutters" suggests that the TARDIS console room will be getting a new desktop theme for 2010. 

Ed Thomas at the 'Wales and the Universe' presentation at Cardiff Millennium centre says that there are no plans to show new TARDIS rooms (though the design department are often to be found doodling little illustrations of what other rooms might look like) (post)

  • Ace (Sophie Aldred)? (see this thread)
  • Brian Blessed may make his return to the show
  • Agynes Deyn is reported as being in one of the specials. Also here and here. However this poster reports that Agynes herself "knows nothing about it and doesn't know what they're talking about".
  • Rumour (foaf) on IMDB that Bad Girls star Alicia Eyo has been offered a companion role for one of the specials; a role that may play into full-time companion for series 5 (IMDB linkpost)
  • John Simm as The Master - see "Return of the Master" section
  • Georgia Moffet (Jenny, aka the Doctor's Daughter) is reported to have confirmed her return in a special (post);The Sun). Note this post quoting a script for the 2009 specials: 
    Young Teen: Doctor! Where are you going? (Hears the cries of the Doctors Daughter). That said, Georgia was tight-lipped (but hesitant?) at "Bad Wolf"(postpost). Further confirmed by (this poster)
    Regarding Jenny returning in the specials, RTD says ""I've no plans. But who knows what Steven might do?" (DWM #400)
    On the series 4 Soundtrack, and for what its worth, Murray Gold mentions a possible return for Jenny in the liner notes (post)
  • Jennifer Saunders is reported to be cast in a special, playing the Tenth Doctor after a body-swap (see post, info from specials treatment document). Rumour also heard by another poster
    The original poster says that his source still stands by this but the source has heard nothing new on it, and believes it might happen for Easter.
    It is suggested that this rumour was started by Saunders herself for a laugh (post)
  • Albert Finney is reported to be one of the two big names (mentioned by RTD, DWM #400) cast for the 2009 specials (Blogtor Who confirmed by this poster) and this poster
  • Patrick Stewart as the "Meddling Monk" - see "Patrick Stewart" section
  • Hugh Laurie is considering an offer for a guest part in one of the later specials.(post)
  • Michael Jayston (known to the We as the Valeyard) is in talks to appear in one of the later specials, along with Patrick Stewart, Hugh Laurie and Andy Serkis (post)
  • The Guardian suggest Vanessa Redgrave is angling for a part.

Settings, Plots, Heroes and Villains

RTD on the Specials "They're all very different. They're all very colourful. They hit the ground running. [...] There are at least two alien planets, maybe more. 
[choosing words carefully] I would can I put this? Two new, three! Yes, three. 
The Doctor is travelling alone. Each story will have a different companion [...] some great guest casting...and it won't always be a young girl." (DWM #400) 

Characters and storylines from series 4 will not necessarily be picked up for the specials (Julie Gardner, Telegraph)

A poster reports that the specials for 2009 will feature an older 10th Doc towards the end of his life cycle, which will accommodate a time gap which could allow DT to return for a film or a special once-off 
  • Winston Churchill (for specials or series 5) - reputedly TV people asked for his removal from "Revenge of the Judoon" so he could be kept in reserve. (Times Online courtesy this post; and hence to the Sun
    Blogtor Who says that sources suggest Albert Finney (see CASTING section) will play Winston Churchill, a role he played on TV's The Gathering Storm. Confirmation of Winston - (post)
  • Sea Devils. "The return of The Sea Devils is definitely planned and all preliminary work has long since been concluded." postpost.
    Another poster confirms Sea Devils: "Top quality moving mouthed, blinky moving eyed, NETTING clad Sea Devils", backed up by "CGI Myrka". The poster cannot confirm if they are in the Churchill episode (we don't know if they will be "fighting on the beaches") (post)
    Another poster says that Sea Devil masks have been provisionally designed and sculpted, and a CGI Myrka is in the initial stages of development
    Another post says that the current whisper is they're still on and the Brig's scheduled to feature in the same episode
  • Checks are done to ensure that various story-lines on TV and the books do not overlap. So chances are none of the enemies from the books will feature in the specials.
    Doctor Who books to be published in 2009 include "Prisoner of the Daleks", "The Slitheen Excursion" and "Judgement of the Judoon" (thanks to this poster). 
    Further books to be released (Sept '09) "The Taking of Chelsea 426" (featuring The Sontarans), "The Krillitane Storm" and "Autonomy" (featuring Autons; post)
  • Donna (Catherine Tate) and Wilf (Bernard Cribbins) over the last three specials, together with the Master (post). Also heard (via DW Yahoo group) by another poster, and (via source) by yet another psoter. CT says in DWM #399 that she would have done another series if she had been asked and regarding a return "anything is possible". This rumour has also made The Sun (8 Sept'08)
    FWIW, CT in the Radio Times (6 Dec'08) said that she thought it would be very hard to bring Donna back (and she'd rather Donna was alive even if her only interest in life were new Pringle flavours) - see summary in this post
  • This poster reports that a friend (recently in a show at the Edinburgh festival) was auditioned for a special. The part was of a humanoid alien who can suck people's emotions/thoughts out of their heads.
  • In the series 4 boxset commentaries, DT requests that the written (but not filmed) 'Shadow Proclamation' scene in The Stolen Earth, featuring monsters from throughout the series, appear in one of the specials (DenOfGeek)
  • Rumour of the Brig appearing in a special? (post) Suggested here to be the same one as the Sea Devils
  • Return of Captain Jack? John Barrowman is reported to star in the last two specials and in the first two episodes of series 5. There is also a chance of the Torchwood team also appearing. (post). This post suggests that most of the familiar characters will be back for the finales, not just Jack and not in a companion type role (post). Note that this does not necessarily contradict RTD saying no companions accompany the Doctor (post) and that RTD said that Moffat requested the end of the specials to be written in such a way as to lead into series 5 (post)
  • RTD: "We’ve got a young female companion at Easter, and then a much older woman next Christmas – someone in her fifties or sixties." (Times)
  • The name of one new enemy from the Specials is "written on this page somewhere" (RTD, Production Notes, DWM #404) - the Forge? The Drought? The Wailing? The Hiatus?(!)
  • The 2009 Christmas special apparently require a lot of snow machines (RTD, TND podcast (3:30) - post) but they are "staying well away from bonnets [i.e. a Victorian/Edwardian setting]" (RTD, quoted in DWM #404)

Return of McGann 

See details in this spoiler summary - it is suggested that this was a "sting" (and is definitely not happening) herehereand here

Return of the Master 

The Master to return: (post). Instead of a cameo in series 4, plans were changed to bring the Master in a much bigger way in the specials (see posts here and here). 

Reports that the Master will return with an unexpected ally.
  • Harriet Jones is not dead (post)
  • Harriet Jones is in league with the Master (and was at the time of "The Stolen Earth") (post)
  • Someone else was in the room when Harriet spoke to the Children of Time and it was Harriet that picked up the Master's ring (post)
  • The above two facts play into the specials along with the Osterhagen key
  • Something in the specials fulfils what the Ninth Doctor said about HJ's terms as prime minister heralding a golden age (post)
Another poster says his source confirms TDT's spoiler. 

The Daily Star (30 Sept'08; reported here) says that the Master returns in the last 2009 special and battles the Doctor until one dies, resulting in a new Doctor. 

Another poster confirms - the Master for the specials. The story line for the special apparently involves the Master trying to be "the saviour" of the Time Lords. (post
Another poster suggests that the Master will appear in the Christmas '09 Special. 
This post says that Simm will appear as the Master, with the Monk, in the last Special.

A poster says he's heard that there is a scene in one of the Specials where the Master creates a new world which he shows to the Doctor, who responds in horror 'BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE???'

In the commentaries for the series 4 box-set, "RTD reveals that Harriet Jones died in The Stolen Earth despite Phil Collinson's protestations that she lived" (Den Of Geek

On the other hand, in this Telegraph article, Penelope Wilton doesn't necessarily agree Harriet is dead: 'However, in a recent episode, her character was "exterminated" by the Daleks. "It was fabulous fun," she says. "And I got to sacrifice myself to save the world. Though when you are exterminated on Doctor Who, chances are that you are not dead at all. I could simply have gone to another galaxy. You never know – I might make a return."'

John Simm in an interview with the Times says, “I'm the Master. Simple as that. I don't want to be Doctor Who. I might be the Master again... I'm not allowed to say.” 

This post gives information from another forum that there will be two regenerations in the 2009 Specials. Both The Doctor and The Master will regenerate.

This post elaborates further...The Doctor and the Master will regenerate at the same time - neither wins, neither loses, but the how and why are a closely guarded secret. John is reported as telling a source, "I'm David's Master... I think if he goes, I should too... the thought of us being inseparable even at the end, when we die, is a great idea. It's how it should be!" More on Outpost Skaro 

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart has reportedly been approached to appear in either the specials or Series 5. posts
Reportedly there will be no facial prosthetics or heavy make up;there's a "killer" costume; Patrick is keen to play someone who is "not the good guy for a change" (although the character is "not all bad"); it's a significant enough character to be either moved, removed or revived later, depending on his availability; and he's keen to work again with David Tennant and "have the relationship evolve" (post); PS has been officially approached to play a "significant role" in either one of the specials or Series 5. The part is that of a Time Lord (post) The rumour is that the role could be that of the Meddling Monk. 
This poster has since heard on good authority that Patrick Stewart has been asked to play the Monk.
Reports that Patrick Stewart is still very interested; nothing is certain yet and his schedule does not fit in with the filming right now, but he is willing to accommodate if possible (post). If he can't manage it, the character is likely to be dropped from the special and appear in series 5 instead (post) If PS does appear it will be one of the last specials, possibly the last (post)

Story picked up by The Daily Star and The Sun (who combined PS with the potential Dalek two-part opener to series 5). Also the 
The Sunday Express (reported here)
Clarification here: PS has been approached to play the Meddling Monk in the last of the specials, which will also involve John Simm.

He also (with due warnings) also presents a snippet, which depicts the Doctor arriving in a mysterious, ominous, fan-wanky (!) environment, where he encounters a Patrick Stewart-like figure who announces "THIS IS THE GAME OF RASSILON...Welcome home, Doctor..." Another poster adds that the piece ends with the Doctor asking "What are you playing at, Mortimus!?" the original poster himself doesn't know exactly what this is about...

But to curb some speculation another poster reports that she has been lead to believe that right now there are NO plans for the return of Gallifrey or the Time Lords. (Though Gallifrey is reported as returning in January filming elsewhere -post)

Poster reports that Patrick Steward as the Monk is "a load of tosh Im afraid to say...Patrick is considered for a role should an appropriate come up but so is an awful lot of other actors"

Stewart availability: he is appearing with Ian McKellan in "Waiting for Godot", touring from (approx) March 6th until April 26th 2009; then from 30th April to the end of June (reported by the-writer88, here and here, see also London Theatre News)
Suggestion again that Patrick Stewart is in negotiations to appear in one of the later specials (post

The Doctor to regenerate

The Daily Star (30 Sept'08; reported by chrisakadonkey) said that the Doctor would battle the Master in the last 2009 special until one dies, resulting in a new Doctor. 

David Tennant has confirmed that he is stepping down as the Doctor after the specials. RTD comments "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years – and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!" (BBC Press Report, 10 Oct'08

RTD also suggested he knew the Tenth Doctor's second last line (The Writers Tale). 

In a talk (7 Nov'08) at the National theatre, RTD was asked about DT's regeneration. RTD said that he couldn't really talk about the regeneration without...talking about the regeneration (and hence the end of his final show), but that would be different but similar to previous regenerations (post)
As to specifically how... RTD said that the 8 year-old viewer is now used to regenerations standing up (with the implication being that that would be how DT would go) (post)
Also RTD has Ten's last words tentatively worked out (post) but he hasn't started writing the final special as yet (post). 

Radio Times, 6th December 2008 (see extracts on TheDoctorWhoSite) Regarding the title of the Christmas Special, in the light of DT's departure: “Hopefully, that creates a bit more intrigue,” says Davies, “and hints at interesting developments in the show’s future. Let’s just say that regeneration is a complicated process, and never as simple as it seems.”

This poster suggests that the aborted regeneration may have consequences in the specials. For example, it may emerge that each incarnation can only regenerate once (and the Tenth Doctor has used his...) "It wont be the cause of what may occur at the end of the last special but what happened at the end of the Stolen Earth WILL play a big part after his battle with the Master....with regard to what happens next and the difference in this change" 

Children In Need

Appeal night: 14th November 2008. 

Broadcast: first two minutes of "The Next Doctor". 

4:14 The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas special) 
Written by Russell T. Davies Directed by Andy Goddard
Producer: Suzie Liggat
Broadcast on BBC1, 25th December 2008, 6pm. See last spoiler summary for this episode here
4:15 Planet of the Dead (First 2009 Special - Easter) 
Written by Russell T. Davies and Gareth Roberts Directed by James Strong
Producer: Tracie Simpson
CastMichelle Ryan (Lady Christine de Sousa); Lee Evans (Malcolm); Noma Dumezweni (Captain Erisa Magambo)Adam James, Glenn Doherty); Paul Kasey 

(Title shown at the end of "The Next Doctor", as promised in DWM #403) 
Director was named as James Strong in DWM #401 via this post) and also in DWM #404
Since spotted on set (post; picture here).

Broadcast date and Format
Episode will be broadcast "Easter 2009" (DWM #400). See also the official BBC Doctor Who website (bottom of page- "Next episode: Planet Of The Dead - Easter, BBC One" post) and this post - where the "Doctor Who (Easter Special) is to be broadcast on BBC Three on Monday 13th April (the repeat one assumes). The slot requested is for 70 minutes rather than the expected 60.

RTD points out that (naturally) there is no guarantee that the episode WILL be shown at Easter - no actual transmission date has been fixed but it's safe to say it will be shown in the next few months (DWM #404; see also this post)

Development, Preproduction and Production 

Filming started 19th January 2009 as expected (RTD, DWM #404; post) and is ongoing. Information on development and preproduction milestones in previous spoiler summary

In "The Writers Tale" (p. 203), RTD suggests that to have an episode (with filming starting in Jan) shot, CGI and score done and mastering completed for April is nigh on impossible - post-production would normally take 6 weeks (suggesting a low-FX episode or more work done in preproduction - see comment here)

BBC News review: This special will be filmed abroad. RTD says, "It's going to be quite exotic. I can't tell you where, but we've got four days filming abroad, to give it a bit of size and a new feel to it." 

This poster says that filming is to be six days in Dubai and that James Strong was there scouting the location a couple of weeks back

Both the Gareth McLean on TV blog (the Guardian) and Time Out Dubai (see this post) also say that filming for this episode will be in Dubai. 
More media mentions of Dubai: The Sun (20 Jan'09) 'An insider said: “The BBC is going all-out for the final four specials so Dubai and the US are being lined up for location shooting. "' 

7Days, a Dubai newspaper, also reports that one of the specials will film in Dubai and that another will film in America (thanks to this poster, see also OG news page).

There are reports that a red double-decker bus was shipped over to Dubai; but apparently was damaged en route/on arrival (posts hereherehere and here).
There is some confirmation of this from Cardiff set reports - there is a picture of a crushed red double decker bus in the costume and make up van visible from the window (post)

Characters, Villains and Casting information 

Features "a new monster" (DWM #399) 
"[W]ith not one but two alien races you've never seen before." (RTD, quoted in DWM #404)
Neil Gorton has done a clay sculpture for (one) new alien, whose name is nine letters long and starts with a 'T' (RTD, Production Notes, DWM #404; quote in this post)

Paul Kasey is filming in the first block (The Stage)

RTD: "We’ve got a young female companion at Easter" (Times

In "The Next Doctor" commentary (post, also post; after 60:00), it was revealed that this episode will feature UNIT and two characters: Christina and Malcolm. Malcolm will (said RTD jokingly) "have a spinoff series." 

RTD, when talking about companions for the specials mentioned Christina and said "watch the sparks fly" (DWM #402 "behind the scenes" mag, via this post

Christina, played by Michelle Ryan is "Lady Christina de Souza", who "joins the Doctor on a bus trip which takes an unexpected detour into danger." RTD is quoted as saying, "Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who's going to have a huge impact on the Doctor!" (BBC Doctor Who Press Release 23 Jan'09).

Malcolm, played by Lee Evans, finds his "life becomes connected to the Doctor's under extraordinary circumstances." (BBC Doctor Who Press Release 23 Jan'09). In the BBC Jonathan Ross Press Release 22 Jan'09, Evans says, "I'm a professor... they asked me the other day, and I said I'd love to do it." 

The return of Noma Dumezweni (Captain Erisa Magambo, previously seen in "Turn Left"), already mentioned (postand (post) is now confirmed in the BBC Doctor Who Press Release 23 Jan'09

Regarding other UNIT returns the following information and rumours were heard...
  • There is a rumour of the Brig appearing in a special? (post)
  • This poster points out that in the commentary for "The Poison Sky", while discussing the Colonel Mace/Captain Price kiss: "To be continued. We'll see more of them."

Note: both the below could refer to casting we already know about...
BBC News review: There is a "great" guest star. 
Christian O'Connell from absolute radio was at the Radio Times cover's party talking to David Tennant when a REALLY famous actor bounded up to DT and said he'd been cast in DW at three days notice (thanks to this poster) 

Plot Information
The treatment contains the words 'jewel', 'fly', and 'chamber' (DWM #400)

The script contains the words 'Athelstan', 'posh' and 'chirrup' and the line 'wonder what she gets up to of an evening' (DWM #401 via this post). It also contains the immortal words, "Hello, I'm the Doctor" (DWM #403, post)

RTD mentions a weird alien pictogram for this episode in Production Notes. (DWM #402, via this post) - sadly this has been dropped from the final draft (DWM #404)

"The next special should be a nice antidote to Christmas, with a bit of sunshine, if we're lucky. And with not one but two alien races you've never seen before. [...] I think it's time to get away from the past, and have an adventure with lots of new elements. And lots of fun too!" (RTD, quoted in DWM #404)

The Christmas Radio Times says that the Easter special will be the Doctor's wildest, maddest adventure yet, with the Doctor travelling without a companion, and without the TARDIS. 

Another poster says that this special is set on a desert world to which present-day humans are transported by aliens (i.e. based on an element of Gareth Roberts' The Highest Science - post). This seems likely due to the presence of a RouteMaster in set reports (reminiscent of the novel). 

Apparently RTD gave an outline involving Sea Devils to Roberts to flesh out, but Roberts may have gone with a new monster or the Hath instead (post)

Set Reports

19 Jan'09: National Museum Cardiff

Pictures: Flickr, and herehere,
  • Confirmed as Easter Special filming - Tracie Simpson (pictured on Flickr) and James Strong directing (post; picture here).
  • The Museum, lit up in pink, is standing in for the "International Gallery" ; a poster outside advertises "Secrets of the Incas, Treasures of Egypt, Artefacts of Pompei". Inside ropes and pulleys have been set up, with which a blonde actress in a black catsuit is being pulled around (picturepostpost with pictures). There is also a small centrepiece with ancient looking stones. A scene was spotted involving a guard saluting someone (post). Later on, a dark brown, almost burnt looking skeleton prop was brought out of the Museum.
  • A red London Double Decker bus was filmed driving past the Museum - signs on its side read: "Neon - unbeatable call tariffs". It was a number 200 and heading to "Braintree" (picturepicture) The writing below the logo says "Neon by Naismith" (spotted two days later - post).
  • Sightings of Michelle Ryan on set (postpostpost) - her casting is since confirmed.
  • The episode also stars Adam James, Glenn Doherty, something else James and Kevin or Keith something. (post)

20 Jan'09: filming in the Coal Exchange in Mount Stuart Square (post) - nothing visible

20 Jan'09 filming inside the Butetown tunnel
Pictures: hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere (photobucket)here
  • Filming was just outside the tunnel entrance with police cars and an armed response team taking up positions aiming guns at something inside the tunnel (post)
  • A flash of light ("a ripple" and some strobe lights) in the tunnel introducing a burning skeleton (postpost with skellie pic)
  • The watching armed police look extremely nervous and agitated, and the two senior officers back away very nervously from the area of the dead smouldering corpse post)
  • The chief policeman gets onto his radio: "Call in UNIT, emergency code one" as he sees the burning skeleton (postpost (NB posters (here and here) suggest he is Adam James whose name was also spotted previously - andthis man on the spot agrees Looks like Glenn Docherty (name spotted previously) is also playing a policeman (beside the chief, wearing a hat).
  • UNIT turns up en mass (mobile UNIT HQ arrives, 20 or so troops surround the tunnel), along with a UNIT officer, tentatively identified as Turn Left's Capt. Magambo (Noma Dumezweni) ([post=7640134post[/post], postpost,post)
  • UNIT advance on the tunnel with the leader ignoring the lead policeman, saying she's "read the file", then he says something like 'you don't understand, there are still people on that bus, she's fine', etc. (post
  • Also unloaded for filming - a big satellite dish and a pair of trough-like objects

21 Jan'09 filming inside and around the Butetown tunnel
Pictures: herehere and here (with photobucket link)
  • The number 200 bus was seen entering the tunnel, full of what looks like extras. (post)
  • There was filming with DT and Michelle Ryan (post), involving the bus and three police cars. On the bus DT and Michelle Ryan are sitting next to each other on the lower deck, DT is holding something in his hand with a blue light. (There are others on the bus). The bus drives into the tunnel followed by the police cars. There was also filming inside the tunnel (post) The bus is still number 200, but with a destination of "Victoria" (post)

22 Jan '09

Quick shoot (90 mins) in alley between Slug & Lettuce and Principality on The Friary (postflickr pic)
Pictures: hereSFXSpoiler TV
  • This featured Michelle Ryan, dressed in tight leather, bursting forth from a door and running into a packed city street. Also armed police were seen to arrest a businessman with a pink shirt. (post)

Big action shoot in Greyfriar's Road/Lloyd-George Avenue with Police, soldiers, the Routemaster bus, and a bit of a car chase
Pictures: herehere
  • James Strong spotted directing, Michelle Ryan also spotted (postpost. DT also on the bus (post
  • Bus had the "Victoria" destination sign, drove up and down the road about 5 or 6 times (post), being followed by half-a-dozen police cars, one of which contained Adam James. DT was using some new gizmo in the bus post)

STATUS: All are apparently heading back to the studio now, though Danny Hargreaves said that we will definitely "hear" the crew on location next week (explosions?) (post

4:16 TITLE TBA (Second 2009 Special) 
Written by Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford Directed by Graeme Harper
Producer: Nikki Smith
(Writer and producer information - DWM #400 via this post

This poster says that this episode will be directed by Graeme Harper
This is confirmed in DWM #404 (post).

Broadcast date and format

This post (and see also here) suggests that this special will be broadcast at Halloween (note: Halloween is on a Saturday in 2009)

On the other hand, this poster reports that Nikki Smith's episode (4.16) is the Christmas special. In addition this postreports Graeme Harper to be directing the next Christmas special.

Development, Preproduction and Production
Nikki Smith reports that she will start work on this special "around December/January" - dates are still being finalised. She has read the story line for this episode and it had her on the edge of her seat(DWM #400)

It seems that Graeme Harper will be directing in January based on this this post
It is confirmed that Harper has had to pull out of appearing at the Los Angeles Gallifrey convention in mid-February due to his filming commitments (post

Characters, Villians and Casting Information
Diana Chire has been cast as "Allegra" in a 2009 production of DW, directed by Graeme Harper.

Treatment for the second special contains the words 'oxygen', 'probe' and 'tree' (DWM #400) 
The script contains the words 'Emily', 'pipes', 'carrots', 'legend', 'carrot' and 'concerto' and the phrase 'the map of the Water Snake Wormholes' (DWM #403, post)

This post (and see also here) suggests that this special will be Halloween themed. The episode apparently will appear "live" (same style as "Blair Witch" or "Ghostwatch") and will be similar to Most Haunted, with the Doctor getting involved in a broadcast-live ghost hunt that ends up uncovering something nasty, but not at all ghostly. (This is a similar scenario as was suggested for series 4's "Century House"). 

4:17TITLE TBA / 4:18 TITLE TBA (Third and Fourth Special - two-parter) 
Written by Russell T. Davies Directed by TBA
Producer: Tracie Simpson
(Writer and producer information from DWM #400 via this post)

This poster says that these two episodes will be directed by Euros Lynn.

"A friend of [Graeme Harper]" is directing the New Year episode, which follows Graeme's, and that's when the Doctor regenerates (post)

Broadcast date and format
The Advent Calendar contained a podcast for day 22 which confirms that the last two specials form a two-parter. 

RTD says in the TND podcast (5:20 on) that the specials will be shown before Easter 2010 (post), and that the final special is a two-parter (post

The last special will be on "New Year 2010" according to this press release.

Characters, Villains and Casting
RTD: ""The final special won't be shown for another YEAR, and I know exactly what happens. In fact, I had a phone call this morning about casting it, and we're after a couple of fantastic names for it, and one of those names is booked actually, but you'll discover who that is when we are filming it in May, because it will get out..." (interview in Out Northwest, thanks to this poster

For the two-part finale, RTD mentions they're doing something fandom-y that they're nervous about including because of the whole in-joke thing, but Julie (the casual-viewer-ometer!) thinks its fine (post

The Christmas Radio Times states that Tennant's reign is heading towards its end (thanks to this poster), "dark forces are gathering. The Gate is waiting, and life will never be the same again."

This has been repeated in Doctor Who Adventures #98, and apparently relates specifically to the final specials 

DWM #404 Production Notes says that there will be one very public scene shot in April or so which will provoke gossip (based on timing will probably be for these two episodes)


RTD leaving and Moffat taking over for series 5, news broken by the Guardian, also see BBC Press Release

This poster reports that the series is "tied up till series 9", with SM having a 5 year contract. 

There is talk that Murray Gold may be leaving the series after the specials too - see discussion thread. The story seems to have originated with Eye of Horus who report, "According to a BBC WALES Source, Murray Gold could be discontinuing his (superb) association with DOCTOR WHO after the 2009 SPECIALS, leaving incoming Producers with the task (if not already completed) of allocating another Composer." This poster adds that a mate suggested a few months back there would be a new composer. Another poster reports that he has heard it is official that there will be a new composer for series 5. 

The job of producer for series 5 is being advertised by the BBC: contract to run from April 2009 until June 2010. (BBC jobs; thanks to this poster

Rough ideas were being put together for series 5 "as we speak" (May 2008, post)

SM was writing the first script in July '08 (Comic Con 24 Jul, on withaterrace livejournal). Apparently he started in January! (email from RTD to Benjamin Cook, printed in The Times

Ed Thomas has read this first script and describes it as "very special" (see this post)

According to an interview in Death Ray (Aug '08) with Steven Moffat (summarised here), SM expects to write 5 or 6 episodes.
However, given RTD never managed to predict how many he would write, that could easily change (he refused to be drawn in a previous interview (SM interview, 24 Jul)

A poster reports from the Moffat session at the Edinburgh TV Festival (23rd Aug '08)
  • SM has completed the first episode of the season, it was "the easy part, as I'd written it in my head many times before."
  • SM has a broad overarching plan for the season that he's currently refining.
  • He has had emails from would-be DW writers, including some from "a few quite surprising names".

As of the end of 2008 scripts for episodes 1 and 4 have been written - Matt Smith has read them (Matt Smith's extended interview around 4:00; see also post). They are presumably Moffats - Matt in commenting on them talks about how SM is "a brilliant writer" and adds "a funny writer"

Mark Gatiss gave a talk on TV and film horror that had influenced him at Nottingham's Broadway Cinema. He confirmed that he has been approached to write for Series 5 (though nothing else - he said in so many words "I know nothing") (post
The Scotsman report Mark Gatiss as "busy writing episodes of the next full season of Doctor Who, for an as yet un-cast (or so he says) Doctor" (post)

Skins writer Jack Thorne is apparently down to write for Series 5 (post)

Gaiman is still on the cards and has been asked to prepare two different ideas. Paul Cornell is likely too...(post) "And I'll confirm the Gaiman and Cornell thing" (post)
One of the ideas Gaiman is provisionally working on is the Ice Warrior story (post)
The poster now reports the Gaiman/Ice Warriors/"Faces in the Dust" is not happening. 
This is confirmed by Neil Gaiman in his blog (quoted in this post) which states that he is not writing a Doctor Who episode called "Faces in the Dust". However he is NOT denying anything else about Doctor Who (or confirming anything, other than dinners with Moffat) 

When asked if he'd be writing for Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell said "Way too soon to say" (NewCON convention, Oct'08, reported in this post


"THEY'RE BACK"... apparently. We don't yet know what "They" are (assuming SM wasn't just looking for a strong opening line!) (Steven Moffat, DWM 397) 

SM confirms that there will not be a series of "Blink"-type stories, "[Y]ou couldn't have a whole series like that [...] You can't have that as the first episode. It's just too grim. So it's different contemplating it from this position, very, very different." The series will also continue to embrace a wide range of tones and genres, Moffat said. Rather than adapting the show to his particular writing style, he looks forward to experimenting with different voices to maintain the show's variety. SM also looks forward to "get[ting] to write episodes that I wouldn't normally write, that wouldn't be expected of me." (Moffat interview, ScifiWire)

SM has said (Death Ray #15, Aug '08, summarised here) he thinks the Doctor works best when solving problems rather than fighting armies, that the Doctor has always been a sexy, flirty character, albeit one who doesn't pursue love interests. Also...
It makes no sense, especially when you look at what I was praised for...They'd say "It will be great when Moffat takes over, because there won't be so much romance, there won't be all that soapy stuff, there won't be all this comedy..." But I do all those things, even more than Russell does! And I've got the record for gay jokes. (quoted in this post
Don't despair of returning monsters in the Moff's reign; "Steven talked about the future in terms of... well, to the extent that I said 'Don't tell me any more!' I want to find out as a viewer. I was even surprised, because I was half-expecting there to be a No Old Monsters rule under The Moff. But no. So that felt good." (RTD, A Writers Tale

"Zygons. Series 5. Apparently." (post);
This poster adds that there will be a zygon companion hiding in human form (with another poster confirming though his cough...) 

It is reported on this blog that Mark Gattis has been asked to adapt his novel "Nightshade" for series 5 (via this post).
Another poster reports having heard this, a few weeks back, but as far as he knows Gattis hasn't said yes yet. 
Another poster reports that Gatiss "has no idea about the current idea about 'Nightshade' being adapted for series 5". 
Mark Gatiss has been approached to write for Series 5 (see writers section)

Information (from the series 5 bible):
  • Zygons This post and this post). According to this post Tennant demands Zygons...he gets Zygons. This postsuggests that there may be "Zygon infiltration horror for the Doctor". Plus, apparently "the guys who did Walking With Dinosaurs have been asked to help design and create a CGI Skarasen for Season 5" (post)
    This post says the Skarasen is being worked on
  • Ice All checks out with post. He couldn't possibly deny any of that. Ice Warrior provisional title: The Faces In The Dust (post)
    This post suggests that Ice Warrior, Ice Lord and "something else from Mars" has been sculpted. 
    An Ice Warrior has been modelled in CGI - but for what purpose is unknown. (post)
  • Daleks (post). Two-parter Dalek episode to open Series 5 post
    The plan at the moment is that the series is coming back with a two part Dalek story. As far as I know they won't appear in the series again that year. (post) 
    This post clarifies the situation - IF the Daleks make an appearance in series 5, they will do so in an opening two-parter, probably set in Edwardian Britain. However SM doesn't really want to use the Daleks, and may persuade the BBC to replace them with something new for that adventure.
    A two-parter intro to the series looks unlikely given that Matt Smith has read scripts for episode 1 and 4 (as opposed to 1 and 2 - Matt Smith's extended interview around 4:00; see also post)
  • The enemy who will reveal themselves in the series denouement will have been in every episode of series 5.(post)

Story picked up by The Sun (with some confusion over the specials and series 5) mentioning Daleks, Zygons and Ice Warriors. 

Note : And in light of all this information, Moffat has delivered his Series 5 plans to people for considerations, feedback, planning etc.... (post, Sept '08) The Moff has presented his preliminary "bible", series 5 stuff is "subject to change but it is the initial outline for the next full series, with a two part opener and a very insidious and, in my opinion, excellent, arc culminating in the finale" (post

Note: This poster has been doing some digging and has discovered that Moffat has apparently seen the relevant posts. His source states that rtd has really done all you can with the daleks and has no plans to bring them back for a while.
As for zygons, he got a hmmmm and a nod.
As for moffs submitted bible, as it were, only a few have seen it.
Basically, what was reported sounds great but it didn't ring any bells with the powers that be.
Also this post mentions rumblings heard previously about the Ice Warriors.
Latest from this post is that SM take on these rumours was "B*ll*x "to most of it.

This poster has heard (from Piers Wenger) that filming will follow its usual pattern (so probably July 2009). 
Filming will commence in "Autumn 2009" (The Sun [18 Jul 08]); August according to this post 

A BBC job ad for Doctor Who producer says series 5 is "shooting from July 2009." (BBC jobs; thanks to this poster)

There is a distinct possibility they'll film the 2010 Christmas special in April 2010 i.e. immediately after series 5 (post)

Format and scheduling

Moffat says he has fourteen episodes of Who to do. Since the special at Christmas 2009 will be an RTD special and Julie mentions a series return with thirteen episodes (Julie Gardner, Telegraph), the fourteenth episode is perhaps for Christmas 2010? 

Series 5 will be shown in "Spring 2010" (DWC, "The Eleventh Doctor", BBC1, 3rd Jan '09) 
- this ties in with dates given by BBC Entertainment News here ((6 Jul 08)) and here (23 Aug 08)

Though there is a rumour that series 5 could be moved back to a January 2010 start (post)

In the series 4 boxset commentaries, SM says that he prefers two-parters but that this will not affect how he approaches the series (Den Of Geek). See full quote in this post: although they are easier to write, there will not be more two-parters in the series.
SM has also said that the current pattern of three two-parters was a good balance and it was hard to imagine straying too much from that (post regarding BAFTA Writers: Time Travel in TV Drama and Comedy Cardiff 6th Oct 2008


The Doctor

For all pre-10th October discussion on DT's participation in series 5 - see here
For background on DT stepping down, links about his departure and links to casting discussion see previous spoiler summary here.

Matt Smith is the Eleventh Doctor (DWC - "The Eleventh Doctor", 3 Jan'09), see here for the BBC answer to "Who on earth is Matt Smith?"

The Companion
Female companion(post) A Celtic companion. Non Confirmed with the addition that there will be no romantic interest with the Doctor (post - see also here

Oh and Celtic means Scottish, Irish or Welsh (post)

This post reports that the companion will not have a one-series arc; they are keen for her to remain for series 6. This hinges on the Doctor-lite apparently. 

This poster confirms that the companion is not for one series (he suggests she will be there to ease the transition to a new Doctor). 

The character name is Lucy (provisional name and subject to change) (post)
It looks like she will be an Edwardian maid (post), from Scotland (post).

On a blog, it is suggested that Annabel Reid is in the running for this part (reported in this post).

It is suggested (in this post) that SM is considering moving away from a Scots/Irish companion; also that he is considering casting Sheridan Smith as the 11th Doctor's first companion, though not as Lucie and probably not as a contemporary character (though at the same time there is a whisper that she may be introduced to the Doctor through Jack. More on Outpost Skaro

Michelle Ryan rumoured to be the new companion in series 5 ([url=]The Mirror (18 Jan'09) and Telegraph. Might have be sparked by her (at that time secret) casting in PotD, might not. 

Supporting Cast
It has been suggested that casting has started already for series 5 - see this post - unnamed reoccuring actor and this post for reoccurring actor

  • Kylie to return? Old rumours from early 2008 : (post 1,post 2Yahoo Australia Lifestyle Newspost)
  • Negotiations in train to get back Alex Kingston (River Song) and Georgina Moffett (Jenny) for series 5? (post). See rumours upthread re specials.
    When asked (Oct'08) when she would be coming back, Alex Kingston said there were no plans (post)
  • Tom Baker (unknown role) - originally reported in Comic Book Resources, and then in the Daily Star (reported in this post)
    This has since made the Sky TV website - Den of Geek point out that it references a Sun story which appears to have been pulled from their website.
    (Many suggestions that Tom would be perfect for Professor Nightshade/Edmund Trevithick - see section above) -this poster reports that Tom himself is unaware of any casting in the offing, but he is very keen and thinks it would be a great idea.

Film rumours
Nothing new in a long time - see this spoiler summary to see what was said...

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