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Published on April 1st, 2008 | by Simon Mills

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Kopics News Round

Series 4 news is still thin on the ground, but some lucky son-of-a-gun from TV Scoop has seen the first two episodes at a press screening recently and reckons that Catherine Tate as Donna “did a good job (or certainly a better job than I was expecting)”.

I’m not sure what to make of that, personally. Is “better than I was expecting” a glowing recommendation? Apart from the first episode, Partners in Crime, which seems to be another one of those lame-ass comedy efforts like New Earth (read the article if you dare), the second episode, Fires of Pompeii, seems to have impressed the author who says that it “was just dynamite” and goes on to say

Now this is what I’m talking about – dark, sometimes scary, emotional. Doctor Who at its best, and the episode guest-stars the wonderful Phil Davis and Peter Capaldi.

… The first episode is a bit throw-away, but there are some nice moments, some high comedy and a bit of adventure. The second ep blew me away.

Only a few more days to go and the media rounds have started with David Tennant and Freema Agyeman appearing on the Friday Night Project. I didn’t watch it myself but I hear that it was quite entertaining. Terry George from The Huddersfield Daily Examiner was there (as he’s friends with Alan Carr apparently) and reports that David Tennant was afraid to come out of the closet his trailer during the Blackpool lights switch on last year

David kept looking at me in the green room and I could see he was trying to work out where we had met before. I reminded him it was at last year’s switch-on of the Illuminations in Blackpool.

He confessed he was scared to come out of his trailer that night, as he attracts such a strange group of fans.

I witnessed this first hand, as we left the studios at the same time. Hundreds of the weirdest people were hanging around waiting for David outside.

Most of them could have passed for characters straight out of the show.

Elsewhere at The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, we have a review of the new exhibition at Earl’s Court. Sounds absolutely, dare I say it… “fantastic!” Here’s what they say about The Dalek Experience…

Cue spooky music (remember the operatic version of the Dr Who theme tune played as the earth was laid waste?) and some live action adventure high on flashing lights, smoke and that unmistakable utterance.

EX-TER-MIN-ATE!

Three Daleks engage in a seek and destroy exercise – and they know where you are. There are further static Dalek displays for those who dare not enter the Encounter, including one the kids can sit inside.

In all, there are more than 100 exhibits down here, more than enough to satisfy even the most ardent anorak. A similar exhibition in Manchester last year attracted a quarter of a million visitors.

And that was just a third the size of the Earls Court equivalent.

From the sound of those articles it seems as though The Huddersfield Examiner has some sort of institutionalized predisposition to consider us fans as “strange” (mind you, he was most likely quoting DT at that point, to be fair), “weirdest people” and “ardent anoraks”. I think I’m about to start feeling insulted.

The Radio Times (which doesn’t call us “strange”, “weird” or “anoraks”) has a blog posting from a confused lady named Laura Pledger who can’t get enough of Torchwood’s Owen Harper. Very odd.

Yes, I know Owen can be sarcastic, disdainful, aggressive and hurtful (especially where poor, besotted Toshiko’s concerned). And OK, maybe he did splinter time and try to kill his boss, but give the guy a break – we all have our off days. Don’t forget he also has an admirable ability to state the facts, however unpalatable they may be, displays a touching vulnerability on those rare occasions he’s preoccupied with love rather than sex, and the way his attitude changes when he snaps into doctor mode and treats the injured is enough to set a girl’s heart aflutter.

She gives a run down of each character, and this made me chuckle

Then there’s the equally beautiful and only slightly less dull Toshiko, who can spot and correct a technical glitch at 50 paces, but is unfortunately rather less insightful when it comes to choosing lovers. (If ever the team are in any doubt about where the next extraterrestrial threat is coming from, they need look no further than Tosh’s latest love interest.)

More Radio Times news… This week’s edition (published Tuesday 1st April) will preview the series with interviews, features and an episode guide and will have four different collectible covers. This is, of course, a purely magnanimous gesture to help us increase our stock of collectibles and nothing to do with selling four times as many copies as they would normally sell and making vast profits out of us.

The Radio Times also has a rather nice video archive of Billie Piper’s cover photo shoot for Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. In the words of that popular music combo, Scouting For Girls, “She’s So Lovely!” (This isn’t really Doctor Who news, but it gives our esteemed editor the thinnest excuse he needs to use a photo of Billie for the article)

And finally, in some shock revelations about the next series of Torchwood, our friends over at Torchwood.tv have some juicy gossip from an insider about Captain Jack and Sarah Jane Smith and how they hit it off when they met. Apparently, Elisabeth Sladen is “heading to adult television land for the first time, and from what I hear, it’s a very… erm… ‘juicy’ role, too! It’s a long story… basically she…” Go read the rest of the article and wonder why the BBC didn’t consider this before now.

‘Nuff said. Hopefully we’ll have some real Doctor Who news (with no artificial flavourings) in the next bulletin!

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