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Published on August 12th, 2007 | by Christian Cawley

Doctor Who in Rome!

As if Agatha Christie wasn’t enough, Doctor Who Series 4 will show us the delights of Rome, thanks to the BBC/HBO owned set from the popular series in the age of Mark Antony, Julius Caesar and that whole Roman Empire thing.

Of course, not letting the set burn down would be useful. Variety.com (followed by countless others) have reported on a fire on set prior to Doctor Who shooting in Italy later in the year.

An electrical short circuit is being blamed for a fire at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios backlot that claimed part of the set of HBO’s “Rome” but caused little other damage, leaving the sprawling facility’s soundstages, film archives and other sets intact.

“The studios are safe, sound and in good shape except for a corner of the backlot where the fire broke out,” Cinecitta Studios deputy director Maurizio Sperandini told Daily Variety.

Sperandini said the BBC is on site preparing to shoot its revived sci-fier “Doctor Who” at Cinecitta in September.

Further confirmation comes courtesy of the Newspaper We Do Not Link To, thanks to WhatsOnTv.co.uk for repeating it:

“Some of the production team have been looking at locations in Italy for the new series,” confirmed executive producer Julie Gardner.

“The Doctor will have a Roman adventure.”

And according to DigitalSpy.co.uk:

“It was a huge blaze. At one point, it looked like the whole studio was a goner. It threw a real spanner in the works for the Doctor Who team. They’re planning an episode where the Doctor goes back in time to Ancient Rome and thought it would be perfect to use the set. Filming on Rome has finished so it wasn’t being used.”

It isn’t bad news, though, in fact it’s extremely exciting news, and it seems as though the damage can be restored or worked around. The Doctor in Rome – something we haven’t seen in almost 44 years since The Romans.

Elsewhere, I’m tempted not to repeat the fact that the Daleks are appearing in panto in Newcastle from Saturday 15 December to Monday 24 December, but as the SFX guys have only just found out about it, I will. Note to SFX – there are other Doctor Who websites.

Madame de Pompadour actress and David Tennant’s love interest Sophia Myles’ interview in last week’s Observer is reprinted in the Irish Independent – see our previous news item for more on that.

The BBC’s Official Doctor Who site has a brand new feature – concept artwork from Series 3! There are some excellent designs from Ian Bunting and Peter McKinstry, well worth anyone’s time and a good source of avatar material for your forum accounts…

Finally, as we forgot on Friday, the Doctor and Donna picture is available in full at the Official site.

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About the Author

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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