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Published on July 7th, 2006 | by Christian Cawley

Doomsday Buildup

As much as it pains me to say, tomorrow sees the end of Doctor Who’s current run – and his travels with Rose.

It’s also the conclusion to Army of Ghosts, but curiously this year Press coverage doesn’t seem to have been as interested as it was last year in the days leading upto the broadcast.

While on one hand we might have Radio Times covers coming in pairs, there’s also the BBC’s 5 different daily trailers that have been setting pulses racing in anticipation of Saturday night (which can be seen on the Official site). However much of the Press focus on Doctor Who this week has of course been focussed on the new companion to be played by Freema Agyeman.

The Radio Times gives Doctor Who a suitably big fanfare this week, covers aside, with a special feature of David Tennant’s on set photography (watch out Lichfield…) while the episode is listed in Saturday 8th july’s “Today’s Choices”:

When Rose Tyler said she’d stay with the Doctor forever, of course she meant it. But as we all know, nothing lasts for ever. Not even when you’re an accomplished time traveller.

So last week’s episode, the first of a stupendous two-parter, heralded the start of a cataclysmic change for Doctor Who and his companion, Earth has been invaded, first by a phalanx of ghostly visitors who then transformed into one of the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest foes, the Cybermen. Then the Daleks emerged from the mysterious glowing sphere that had been hovering malevolently in the basement of the Torchwood Institute.

In the final episode, the two mighty armies are waging war against each other with the human race caught in the middle, while the Doctor is faced with a dreadful dilemma. Does he save the world even though, by doing so, he risks losing Rose? For ever.

And really, it is only the BBC and Doctor Who-related press that seem to appreciate the true impact of this current story. It is a bit of a crime that it hasn’t received the same level of build up, but then there is a new companion to announce, so perhaps the powers that be decided that information needed the press focus in order to clear the ranks following Billie’s departure.

The manner of outgoing companion Rose Tyler’s departure is of course a strict secret. Billie Piper’s decision to quit the show has lead to press coverage of a massive proportion, rivalling that which surrounded news of the departure of Christopher Eccleston last March. Even the broadsheets are in on the act, with The Telegraph declaring the episode one of the highlights of the week:

Rose’s final time trip

Saturday’s edition of Doctor Who is “Doom-sday” in more than name for fans of Billie Piper, who is making what the series producer, Russell T Davies, promises will be “a stunning exit” as the Time Lord’s feisty assistant Rose Tyler. Prepare to make room behind the sofa…

Times Online meanwhile profiles Billie Piper and her illustrious career to date. There’s commentary on the revision of several well-documented episodes in her career so far, but on the whole it’s pretty affectionate.

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.



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