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Doctor Who 2007 Series Launch Articles

Doctor Who and His Side Kick Get Off To Steamy Start
It hasn't taken long for Doctor Who aka David Tennant to get to know his latest sidekick - medical student Martha Jones, played by newcomer Freema Agyeman. The pair enjoy a passionate clinch in the very first episode of the popular sci-fi show's third series. And lucky stars including Jonathon Ross and comedian Dawn French were treated to a special preview of the big moment when they attended a gala screening of the show at a London hotel on Wednesday.

"I always asked for a clause in my contract that ensured a screen kiss with David Tennant," joked Freema, 27, who has replaced Billie Piper as the Time Lord's new companion. Things between the two characters get off to a good start after they meet in a London hospital which is dramatically transported to the Moon.

"She's working flat out as a medical student, then in walks the most amazing man who saves the world in front of her, so you can't blame her if her heart goes pitter patter," explains executive producer Russell T Davies. Russell, who also writes the Cardiff-lensed show, has given fans of the hit programme a boost by promising a fourth series in 2008, although it is unknown yet whether David will return as the time-travelling hero.

Filling the former Time Lord assistant's shoes won't be an easy task for Freema, whose first episode is being screened on March 31, but the talented actress has already been overwhelmed with support. "I'm so grateful," she says. "Not a lot of people like change, but the fact they are embracing it is great for me." And producer Russell believes the new cast member will be just as popular as her predecessor. "I just think people will open their hearts and let her in - they'll love it," he says.
Source: Hello Magazine
Fourth Series For The Doctor As New Assistant Is Unveiled

DOCTOR WHO has shown off his new assistant, as it was revealed there will be a fourth series of the hit show.

Freema Agyeman will play Martha Jones in the third series, with David Tennant by her side as the Doctor.

But there is still a question mark over whether Tennant will continue his role into the fourth series. Neither David nor executive producer and writer Russell T Davies would answer who the fourth series Doctor would be.

When asked if he would return, David said: "Do you know how many times I have been asked that question? Do you know how many times I have answered it?" He then smiled.

Speaking about his new assistant, he said: "The big story is Freema Agyeman is Martha Jones which is the big event of series three."

Freema said: "The nature of the show is change and hopefully fans will be cool with that and give me a chance.

"It's been an amazing experience. I did not know what I was auditioning for until the last minute." Source: Glasgow Evening Times


The Doctor Returns With A Sassy Side Kick, Who?

She stacked Doctor Who DVDs on shelves at Blockbuster, but Freema Agyeman has since entered the Tardis, becoming the Timelord’s new assistant.

The 27-year-old replaces Billie Piper when the series returns this month. After years of audition disappointments, the little-known actress is playing the medical student Martha Jones. The Doctor and the medic are thrown together when the Royal New Hope Hospital in London is transported to the Moon, and the pair are soon battling a galactic clan.

Agyeman, who was brought up in North London by her Iranian mother and Ghanaian father, is about to become one of the most recognisable faces on British television. She has already been modelled in plastic for a Martha action figure.

Agyeman had a minor role in last year’s series and believed she was auditioning for a role in Torchwood when she was summoned to meet the writing team in Cardiff. “I was absolutely elated,” she said after the truth was revealed. “I hadn’t allowed myself to entertain the thought that I would get it.”

Martha is expected to be a “sassier” sidekick than her predecessor, Rose Tyler. Piper has since become an acclaimed West End actress.

David Tennant, who returns in the title role, said: “There is a different dynamic, because the Doctor is not looking for a new best friend. Or, at least, he thinks he isn’t.”

The Doctor and Martha are destined to meet Shakespeare, alien Plasmavores and a sinister intelligence at work in 1930s New York, where the Daleks are once again ready to wreak havoc. Tennant said: “The scale is bigger, the locations are more extraordinary.”

Phil Collinson, the producer, said: “The biggest pressure is coming up with new, different and scary monsters. This year there’s probably a bigger selection.”

Agyeman worked shifts at a video shop so that she could get time off for auditions. Her casting will help to stem criticism from those, Jonathan Ross among them, who questioned the BBC’s commitment to putting ethnic minorities in leading roles. Martha is the first black assistant in the show’s 43-year history.  Source: The Times

This Is Not A Kiss But A Genetic Transfer..Guess Who Said That?

Doctor Who and his new assistant enjoy a lingering onscreen kiss in the new series of the hit BBC show.

The Doctor, played by David Tennant, kisses Martha Jones, newcomer Freema Agyeman, on the lips but then says: "It means nothing, it was just a genetic transfer."

The Doctor shares a kiss with Martha in episode one of the new series

The kiss is in the first episode of the third series, which had a special screening at the Mayfair hotel. In later episodes, the Doctor gets married - while a jealous Martha looks on. He is believed to wed a character played by comedy actress Jessica Stevenson in a "flashback".

In a comment that will get fans guessing, Tennant said: "Yes. He gets married. Well, he doesn't not. Actually, it's quite difficult to answer that question truthfully."

Londoner and former Crossroads actress Agyeman, 27, is making her debut as the Time Lord's latest assistant, replacing Rose Tyler who was played by Billie Piper.

The action begins with Martha, a trainee doctor, finding herself - and her hospital - transported to the moon. Agyeman said of her role: "Hands on heart, I didn't have Billie's character in mind when I took this on but looking at it now I can see there are similarities. But the Doctor is always going to look for the same sort of thing in an assistant. There's got to be a feistiness, you're going to get a happy-go-lucky, bolshy kind of person."

BBC head of fiction Jane Tranter said of Agyeman: "She comes bursting on to our screens with intelligence, fearlessness, charisma and beauty. She tackles the Doctor like no other companion has done before."

Writer and executive producer Russell T Davies confirmed that there would be a fourth series, but refused to answer speculation that Tennant will bow out.

Jonathan Ross, Dawn French and Catherine Tatewere at the screening. Source: The Evening Standard


Doctor Who Set For Fourth Series

Doctor Who will return for a fourth series in 2008, executive producer and writer Russell T Davies has confirmed.

Speaking at the premiere of the third series in London, Davies said: "Series four is officially existing. I'm very excited, but we have known for ages."

But he refused to say whether the star of the hit sci-fi show, David Tennant, would return in the lead role.

The third series, which co-stars Freema Agyeman as new assistant Martha Jones, starts on BBC One on 31 March.

Her character replaces former assistant Rose Tyler, who was written out at the end of the second series after Billie Piper decided to leave the show.

"Billie did a tremendous job," said Agyeman. "I know no-one likes change but the nature of the show is change and hopefully fans will be cool with that and give me a chance."

Davies spoke glowingly of his new star. "I just think people will open their hearts and let her in - they'll love it."

Stars including Jonathan Ross, Jo Whiley and Fame Academy coaches David and Carrie Grant attended the premiere in central London.

They saw the first episode of the latest series, which sees Doctor Who share a kiss with his new assistant.

But Tennant, who plays the time-travelling hero, would not talk to reporters about his role in future series.

"Do you know how many times I have been asked that question? Do you know how many times I have answered it?" said the actor.

He was more willing to speak of his affection for Cardiff, where the hit series is filmed.

"Cardiff is a great city and has been very good to us," he said. "It's lovely to film there because everyone is so enthusiastic.

"You try filming in London and everyone's so mean about it and complains that there is a huge camera truck parking in their street.

"Everyone in Cardiff seems to welcome us with open arms. God bless you all, frankly."  Source: BBC News

Newsround Review

I won't put up my full review until early next week, but for those of you who can't wait I thought I'd share my first thoughts on the first episode of the new series.

This, of course, is the first episode (apart from the Christmas Special) without Billie Piper playing Rose. So how does the new girl Martha (played by Freema Agyeman compare)? The answer is very well.

She quickly shows the Doctor how well she can think on her feet, and they instantly click as a pairing.

Good team

The story kicks off in a London hospital where Martha is a medical student, but soon she finds herself unexpectedly thousands of miles from home.

Teaming up with The Doctor, they both have to discover what's going on, as well as how to get back home.

Writer Russell T. Davies's great script instantly make us care about what happens to Martha. We meet her family, and see the everyday issues and problems she has to face with them. And as soon as she pairs up with The Doctor, we see they make a good team.

There are plenty of jokes, especially for people who've followed the last two series closely. And special mention should be made of Murray Gold's music. He's written a beautiful theme for Martha which we'll, no doubt, hear again in later episodes.

Strong start

As an episode it's not really up there with highlights like The Girl In The Fireplace or Love & Monsters (yes, I know lots of you didn't like that one, but you're wrong). And that's mainly due to so much of the emphasis being on establishing a strong bond between the Doctor and Martha.

The result is that you don't find out quite as much as you'd like to about the aliens involved with the story. And the ending doesn't feel quite as satisfying as those in other episodes.

But it's a good strong start to the series. And leaves us hoping and expecting great things from The Doctor and Martha Jones.

Seven out of 10

New Series Launch

JUST back from the world premiere of the third series of Doctor Who.

A few dozen fans, many with cameras, were gathered outside the Mayfair Hotel in central London to see the cast arrive, along with some other famous faces.

Tenth Time Lord David Tennant was there to introduce the Doctor’s new companion Freema Agyeman, 27, who plays Martha Jones.

Also arriving as I made my way in through the doors was Sophia Myles – David’s real life girlfriend, who played Madame de Pompadour in the second BBC1 series.

Having travelled to Cardiff for the last two series launches, this was the first one to be held in London.

Spotted under the grand chandelier was Manchester-based writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, sharing a joke with Jonathan Ross, who had brought along his three children.

Posing for photographers by the Tardis was Dawn French, just a few feet away from a pair of gold Daleks.

Other famous names included Catherine Tate – the Runaway Bride from last Christmas – and fellow previous Doctor Who guest stars Tracy-Ann Oberman and Annette Badland.

Michelle Collins, who appears in episode seven of the new series, was also at the launch, along with her former EastEnders screen husband Adam Woodyatt.

We then moved on to the hotel’s cinema – posh, eh? – to watch the very first screening of episodes one and two, plus glimpses of the rest of the series.

They included a short sighting of Life On Mars star John Simm, playing The Master – the Doctor’s nemesis – towards the end of the new series. He was duly booed by the audience.

Russell – displaying his usual razor sharp humour – later chaired a Q&A with Tennant and Agyeman, having confirmed that series four is going ahead.

There’s a news story in Thursday's MEN and a feature in Friday's editions. I'll post links to both here when they go online.

A few highlights from the post-screening exchanges:

Russell: “We’re not going to answer any questions about series four. So get that out of your heads immediately. If you do, I’ll come down and slap you.”

Does the Doctor get married in this series?

David “He doesn’t not – it’s actually quite a difficult question to give you a truthful answer to.”

Jonathan Ross: “You know, I watched it on the big screen with the sound and I thought, ‘This is great. We’re having such a great time this evening. It’s got to be a movie. You’ve got to do a Doctor Who film.’ Have you got any plans?”

Russell: “I don’t have time for breakfast, let alone make a film. But one day it would be brilliant. I think it would be absolutely brilliant. But there aren’t any plans.”

Jonathan: “It would be great.”

Russell: “Give us the money, then. You’ve got it.”

Jonathan: “I’m funding the Primeval movie.”

Russell: “ITV’s answer to Doctor Who.”

A child asked: “Are you ever going to go back in time and meet Jesus?”

Russell: “Every year I hand that script in. Let me do it! The last Christmas special, they were worried.”

Finally, some initial notes on the first two episodes screened tonight

Episode One: Smith and Jones

We first meet medical student Martha as she walks to work at the Royal Hope Hospital. On the way she bumps into the Doctor, who then appears in bed as patient John Smith. The episode stars former Corrie actress Anne Reid as an alien killer in human form and sees the hospital transported to the moon, along with 1,000 staff and patients. It’s all the work of the Judoon – intergalactic cops or “rhinos from space”. The Doctor and Martha kiss, but it’s simply the Time Lord performing a genetic transfer. She later saves his life by giving him the kiss of life. The Doctor mentions Rose to Martha, one of several references throughout the third series. A spectacular start to the new era, with lots of running and a burned out sonic screwdriver.

Episode two: The Shakespeare Code

All the world’s a stage. Set in the London of 1599 and guest starring ex-Shameless actor Dean Lennox Kelly as William Shakespeare. The Doctor tells Martha: “When you get home, you can tell everyone you’ve seen Shakespeare.” She replies: “Then I’ll get sectioned.” We meet the three witches, find out what happened to the Bard’s lost play and see where Will got some of his best lines from. The Doctor also mentions Back To The Future and Harry Potter. Just magic.

The new series of Doctor Who starts on BBC1 at 7pm on Saturday March 31. Source: Manchester Evening News