The New Doctor Who (BBC and ABC TV) Review

On Sunday May 31st at 7.30pm ABC TV is showing the first of 4 special hour length Dr Who episodes “Planet of the Dead” where the Doctor joins forces with a new cute smart co-star Michelle Ryan (Eastenders, Bionic Women) when a London bus takes a detour to an alien world. But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets, hidden in the sand. And time is running out, as the deadly Swarm gets closer…

The 2nd Doctor Who special “The Waters of Mars” will be BBC TV later in 2009. It is uncertain when Australia’s ABC TV will broadcast these Doctor Who special episodes.

Matt Smith – the 11th Dr Who

Fans had been speculating about who would be the 11th Dr Who since since David Tennant (10th Dr Who) announced he would quit after a series of 4 Doctor Who specials in 2009.

BBC TV has announced the identity of the 11th Doctor Who – relative unknown Matt Smith – at 26 he is the youngest actor to be given the the honour of playing the sonic screwdriver wielding, Dalek battling Timelord.

You’ll have to hold your breath to see Matt Smith as the new Dr Who because the 5th series of the timelord’s adventures won’t hit TV screens in the UK until 2010, and Australia’s until at least 6 months afterwards.

Doctor Who series 4 2008 returned to ABC1 TV Sunday June 29th in the Christmas special episode “Voyage of the Damned” (on the ill fated ship the Titanic) with a guest appearance by Kylie Minogue. You can watch an 8 minute story linking season 3 & 4 in the video at right.

In series 4 the Doctor and his new companion Donna Noble (Donna in the 2006 Christmas special) visit Pompeii on the eve of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, meet the Ood on their home planet, solve the mystery of Agatha Christie in an episode set in the 1920s and visit a library that’s eerily silent. John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler in Dr Who series 1 & 2) will returned as guests for several episodes.

Freema Agyeman, who played the doctor’s assistant Martha Jones in series three, returned mid-way through series four after a multi-episode guest appearance in the Doctor Who spin-off series, Torchwood.

The final double episode of series 4 was spectacular and features many guest appearances by former acquaintances of the Doctor and Torchwood operatives

Fans can purchase new and classic old Doctor Who episodes on DVD from Chaos DVD’s for a competitive price …

Series 3 of Doctor Who ended with a thrilling 4 episodes. The 4th last episode “Blink” with the weeping angels was genuinely frightening and very well written and the last 3 episodes with a single continuous story were great as Captain Jack Harkness (Dr Who Series 2 + Torchwood) returned for a guest appearance.


According to rumours, Doctor Who Series 3 wasn’t shown until mid-2007 on ABC TV because that was the earliest the ABC could find the $$ to pay BBC for broadcast rights. This sounds true because I’m told by an insider that the only reason ABC didn’t buy Torchwood is because they don’t have enough money in their budget.

In series 3 The Doctor and his new assistant Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) visited Ellis Island in Manhattan (New York), were transported to the Moon, dealt with witches and William Shakespeare as well as a new kind of Dalek.

Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer known only as “The Doctor”. It is also the title of a 1996 television movie featuring the same character. It is common to see the show’s title abbreviated as Dr. Who, even by the BBC, although purists consider this form incorrect.

The programme is a significant part of British popular culture, widely recognised for its creative storytelling and use of innovative music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). It is also known for its innovative use of low-budget special effects for most of its history. Elements of the programme are extremely well known and identifiable even to non-fans. In Britain and elsewhere, the show has become a cult television favourite on a par with Star Trek and has influenced generations of British television writers, many of whom grew up watching the series. Doctor Who was ranked third in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century, produced by the British Film Institute in 2000 and voted on by industry professionals.

After a long period off screen, a new series of Doctor Who started on March 26, 2005, continuing the original 1963-1989 run and the 1996 television movie. Produced by BBC Wales in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the 2005 series has concluded in the United Kingdom, and the programme returned for a Christmas special later in the year where the new 9th Dr Who Christopher Eccleston was killed off and replaced by the 10th Doctor David Tennant (pictured at left).

If you have a Digital TV set top box you’ll enjoy it even more as it will be broadcast in full quality in the widescreen 16:9 format.

55 thoughts on “The New Doctor Who (BBC and ABC TV) Review”

  1. We love watching Dr Who and are watching the re-runs of the old series as well as the new one.
    However, the new series is shown on a Saturday night, the only night that we sometimes go out and consequently miss some episodes.
    Will the new series be repeated in the near future?

  2. I would imagine the new 2005 series of Dr Who won’t be repeated for quite a while. Probably not until just before the next series is broadcast

  3. Dr whO is the best TV show ever and it keeps getting better with every series. I would rate it 1111111676776/100

  4. after just watching the first of series 2 christmas invasion i am slightly let down by the new 10th doctor where i think the 9th doctor kickes ass and i think he should have carried on with series 10 (2 series)

    EDITOR: lucky you, at least you got to watch it already. here in australia they havent announced the broadcast date for the christmas invasion yet

  5. I think that it sucks that rose is leaving but hopefully the doctor who will be better and you have done a right thing leaving david tennant as the doctor. This 10th series should be better and greater than ever.

    EDITOR: Hopefully the new assistant is just as good or better than Billie Piper, like David Tennant is not the same as Christopher Eccleston, but is a great Doctor in his own right. However it is a risk and hope it doesn’t spoil the next series.

    Actress Billie Piper is to leave Doctor Who at the end of the current series, the BBC has confirmed.
    But the corporation refused to comment on reports that her character, Rose Tyler, would die in the final episode.

    Newcomer Freema Agyeman is confirmed to play Martha Jones, the new companion to Doctor Who, it was announced by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning.

    PS I haven’t mentioned it before but this autumn (in the UK) on BBC THREE (and later in 2007 on Channel 10 in Australia) will see the debut of Torchwood, the new drama from Dr Who writer Russell T Davies

    Starring John Barrowman (Captain Jack from the New Dr Who Series 1) and Eve Myles, Torchwood is a sci-fi crime thriller which tells the story of a crack squad of secret agents, setting their own rules and operating above the law to protect the public from both human and alien threats.

    “Torchwood will be a dark, clever, wild, sexy, British crime/sci-fi paranoid thriller cop show with a sense of humour – the X Files meets This Life,” says Russell T Davies.

    “It’s a renegade bunch of investigators charged by the British government to find alien technology that has fallen to Earth,” BBC Three controller Stuart Murphy told The Independent.

    The show will be set in Cardiff, and will be 13 45-minute episodes, transmitting between series of Doctor Who. Confirmed writers include Sapphire and Steel creator PJ Hammond.

  6. Will we be seeing “Torchwood” spin-off series in Australia in 2007 and what time-slot as it is starting in UK on BBC3 in Oct 2006…

    EDITOR: I hope that ABC TV gets rights to Torchwood, I’ll try and find out and report back here when ABC Corporate Affairs answers my question.

    Even if the ABC do buy broadcast rights to Torchwood I suspect it wouldn’t be broadcast in Australia until January 2007 at the earliest because the Australian summer is non-ratings season for TV.

    On 05/10/2006 ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs replied:

    Dear Neerav,

    Thank you for your email.

    The ABC has not acquired the rights to Torchwood. Nonetheless, I have passed on your comments to ABC television management so that they are aware of audience demand for this program.

    Thank you for your interest in the ABC.

    Kind regards
    ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

  7. Have just seen part one of the great invasion.
    Surprise to see both cybermen and daleks (still can’t climb stairs?) sharing the power. Which goes to show that in the doctors case…friends come and go but enemies accumulate.

  8. I was disappointed Christopher Eccleston left, but have really enjoyed the new season, mostly due to the stories, scripts and ties to the old Doctor Who series (which I still miss). And Tannant is just fine with me now. It was great and poignant to see Sarah again and wasn’t that the actress from “No, Honestly” playing Queen Victoria??? I don’t know any other Doctor Who fans in “real life”, so I appreciate the chance to comment to others who share. This is my first blog ever.

  9. The new Doctor Who is terrible and an embarrassment. I’m a big fan of the old Doctor Who, especially the Jon Pertwee & Tom Baker years. I could overlook the lousy special effects of the old show, because the acting and stories were almost always great. The new show is boring and silly. And what’s with every episode taking place on earth? What lazy writers!

    If they are to remake Doctor Who for the modern audience, then it is fair for me to compare it to other modern shows, like Stargate and Farscape. The current Doctor Who is not one millionth as good as those shows.

  10. Torchwood will be shown on ABC TV in 2007 according to a review by Michael Idato in the SMH TV Guide for this week (He was wrong: see my Torchwood review for details)

    John Barrowman’s Captain Jack [editor: he was last seen in the 2005 Christopher Eccleston series of Dr Who] plays the dashing leading man in this alien-technology-equipped spin-off to the BBC’s successful Dr Who franchise. It has sexy toys, CSI-style production values, an engaging cast and ripper stories. In short a winner.

  11. torchwood is coming to australia?! brilliant news 🙂

    EDITOR: Yes it is 🙂 At this stage all I know is that it wont start being broadcast here before the beginning of February.

    EDITOR: Yes from what I’ve seen I think its great. FYI I’ve written a full review of Torchwood

  12. does anyone know if the sarah jane adventures will be shown in australia???

    EDITOR: Since the program was made by BBC Wales for the Children’s BBC channel (CBBC) ABC TV is the most likely station to broadcast the show.

    I have asked ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs and will post their response here when they reply.

  13. Is the k-9 adventures going to be shown in Australia??

    EDITOR: Because the show hasn’t even been made yet it’s far to early to know whether it will get picked up by an Australian TV network.

    K-9 Adventures is a comedy/adventure series focusing on the adventures of the robot dog K-9 (seen before in Dr Who), done in a mixture of computer animation and live action.

    According to a report in Broadcast magazine, the BBC opted out of involvement in order to focus on their own Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, meaning that BBC-owned characters like the Doctor are unlikely to appear in the series. A broadcast date for the series has not been officially announced, but the creator of K-9 has said that an early 2008 debut is planned

  14. for one i am VERY happy to hear that torchwood is coming to australia! from what ive worked out the 3rd series of doctor who should come to the ABC around september.i also read in a magazine the other day that jack comes back in the 3rd series.

  15. beebee asked me “Is there a date for season three of Dr Who to air yet?”

    EDITOR: I just received this email from the ABC which answers your question:

    Dear Neerav
    Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in responding to your enquiry.

    You may be pleased to hear that a third series of Doctor Who is currently in production, however the ABC has yet to purchase the broadcasting rights. The Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride is technically the first episode of the third season, although it was screened in Britain some months before the rest of the series. I am sorry I cannot be more specific about the broadcast details at this stage.

    Thank you for taking the time to write to the ABC.

  16. Doctor who is my favourite show. As i live in Australia the new series is only seen on abc ( which is not showing it in the near future) I am very restless to find the actual date the series starts. please let me know when there is an actual date set for abc. Thanks ezza

  17. Yes I am also a keen Doctor Who viewer who lives in Australia. I emailed the BBC sometime ago asking when Series Three will be broadcast over here but, unlike the ABC they did not reply. As the technically second episode aired in Britain on the 31st March, I grow all the more impatient for it to come to Australia.

  18. wow i love doctor who i’m watching the first and second series on dvd for the 2nd time now and cant wait till the third one comes out hurry up ~! rrrr love it so much thow

  19. Hi This is a trivia question of sorts citing 2005 Dr. Who series – End of The Word segment – to a reference by Cassandra to a making a reference to on destroying the earth and said, ” like a classic song ” Burn Baby, Burn have the Earth do the same ” or something to that effect. I am interested in knowing if this refers to the particular 70s release refering to the earth burning by Hudson-Ford/and that made the UK charts also affiliated with The Strawbs.




  20. i loooooooooooove doctor who!!!!!! i’s the best show ever & i’m a huge fan!!!!! i think it’s really cool & that they should keep making it!!!!!!

  21. I love doctor who, and I am really looking forward to its return. I own the 2nd series box set and am watching it in between. Thanks for letting know the goss.


  22. I saw the adverts for the new Doctor Who series last night on ABC! Looks like we’re finally getting it!

    EDITOR: thanks for reminding me to update this article Chris, I’d forgotten to do so amongst all my holiday preparations

    Doctor Who is back on June 30th at 7:30pm replacing the Sideshow with Paul Mcdermott

  23. It’s great that Doctor Who is being shown in the US, as this is really a show not to be missed. The final episode of Series 3 is being shown in the UK on Saturday 30th June and I’m sure it will be as spectucular as ever.
    Freema Ageyman had a tough job to try and convince viewers that her character Martha is just as good as Rose. Even though Rose is sadly missed, Martha is just as good; with a fiery reputation and an obvious, yet subtle fancy for the Doctor.
    And David Tennant is as brilliant as always, with his loveable Doctor just as cheeky as ever. And there’s a surprise instore for fans of Captain Jack.

    For all you people in the US – enjoy!
    And one last note – the 10th episode of the series is the scariest episode I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying something because I’m not scared easily!

  24. doctor who is really kool just watching the last episode “blink” gave me goosebumps!!!!
    the best i like about the doctor is when he starts to talk real fast and complicated.
    i remember the first time i watched dw(doctor who)it was not to scary and it was cheerful now it is quite scary i hope you guys make it even more scarier GO DOCTOR WHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. As I am a teenager I dont genrally like most abc tv shows, but after watching just one episode of dr who starring david tennet I was hooked. I thought it was fantastic and every saturday I would race to the tv just to watch it. Im really sad the series ended and hope that it will be back soon

  26. im only 10 and i love doctor who its the best show ive ever watch i just found out at christmas 2007 the doctor comes back and in 2009 the doctor makes 3 movies and in 2010 he brings his family and his planet back

  27. David Plays a fantastic Doctor, With great attitude and a fantastic cast. Ths story lines just keep getting better and Better, Brillent job Writters and and the Doctors relation ship with both Rose and Martha. I was totally bawlling my eyes out when the Doctor left Rose, It was Soo Soo Sad. [Tear slided down cheak remembering]

    Thanks For a Fantastic Year Of Doctor Who. Now i Shall just have to watch past epps to get my daily dose of The Doctor

    And Finally when iS the Christmas special being on ABC TV cause we are really desperately waiting for it…

    EDITOR: You’ll have to wait a couple of months at least. ABC always shows the Xmas Dr Who episode as the beginning of the next series they start broadcasting.

  28. hi davies i am the biggest doctor who fan in austarlia hope we can meet some day but now i am typing about when we will get doctor who in australia i think it is very unfare that the americans will be able to watch it before us they have too much we australians have a universe less then they do.

    and i think u should put doctor who on australian tv the same time that the u do after all we are relitives {you founded us } oh and say hi to david for me he is my favourite doctor and i hope u see my drawing!

    BYE, BYE for now

  29. dave tennant is the best doctor (no affence chris) and the best epp is defenently doomsday because the daleks are awesome but i wish rose was still his companion and that episode made me cry. i hope the doctor who series doesnt end in the next series and i hope the daleks come back to (sorry if ive affended anyone with the word dalek) but although my favorite is doomsday the family favorite is blink cya

  30. After having seen the first 9 episodes of Series 4 (the first 3 are already available on DVD) I can easily say that this is the best series yet. And with Steven Moffat taking over as head writer and executive producer in 2010, things are only looking up for this gem of a show.

  31. Doctor Who is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for series four!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Well having seem the final episode of series 4 all I can say is that it was a belter. Tied up some loose ends.

    Well worth staying in for, Mind you you need to the penultimate episode (13) as well as it is a two parter.

    EDITOR: I thought Episode 12 “The Stolen Earth” was far better than the final Ep13 “Journeys End”

    Overall series 4 was great

  33. Dr Who series 4 deserves an applause. other’s may view it as over plotted or doesn’t even come close to previous series in the past years but i think the writers of this series/season deserves at least some credit for writing some fantastic twists and turns in these final episodes.

  34. I really enjoyed last year’s Dr Who with Billie Piper. The acting and storylines were fresh, crisp and sharp as a tack. It was superb.
    So what has gone wrong with the 2008 series??? The script writing is now lazy, childish and silly, resulting in mundane and exaggerated, often boring plots, and the Doctor seems to spend all his time ranting emotive drivel, pulling silly faces, and mispronouncing and tripping over his own words. Where has the scare factor gone from the scripts? Now it would appear that the script writers have turned Dr Who into a parody of itself. The episode with Kylie Minogue had to be the worst episode in the whole history of Dr Who, ever. Going down with the ship may be just where this series is heading if it does not get its act together.

  35. Oh and Catherine Tate is just plain awful as the Doctor’s companion… just awful. Bring back Billie Piper or Freema Agyeman, please!!!

  36. Psst, Neerav! It’s on 7.30pm on a Sunday, not Saturday!!

    And goodness episode 12 was thrilling last night. =)

    EDITOR: thanks Claire, I fixed the glitch and updated the article with Dr Who info for 2009

  37. I cannot understand the comments of some in saying that Dr Who is going down with the ship. If one was to open their mind and embrace the story lines for what they are, they would understand why this cult show for all ages is simply brilliant. It was gripping and scary when I was 7 and still is at 32. The writing is fantastic and it beats all programs hands down not only on a Sunday night but pretty much the whole week! Keep up the good work ABC your the only free to air channel our household watches.

  38. I missed the last 10 minutes of the last show so sad! where can I download the last episode? Can anyone help me?

  39. No doubt Dr Who is one of the best shows out of Britain. I’ve really been impressed with how the show has evolved. Pity Tarrant didn’t stay and we wonder how well the replacement will go – but I’m hopeful the Dr will do well as all his predecessors have, and we warm to them all.
    Good Luck BBC and Auntie! Role on DR Who!
    Can you keep Piper on screen?

  40. One question that I would like to ask, which actually goes as far back to the original 1963-1989 Dr Who series and first mentioned in the episode “The Five Doctors” It seems now to be accepted that K-9 lives with Sarah Jane Smith but how did she get him? The first K-9 stayed with the Doctor’s companion Leila, when she left the series. The second K-9, stayed with Romana, when she left the series. There has never been a mention of the Doctor making a third K-9. Also, Sarah Jane Smith had left the original series long before the first K-9 was introduced. So, how on earth did Sarah end up with K-9? I can only presume that the Doctor may have made a third K-9 and then left him with Sarah, but this has not been mentioned in any of the series. There was reference in one recent episode of the Doctor seeing Sarah just before the Time Wars with the Daleks and maybe the third K-9 was left with her then. I suppose “only time will tell” how the writers will handle that one!!! I await with interest.

  41. Robert, there was actually an attempt made of a k9 spin off in the 80s which shock horror was called ‘k9’. It involved Sarah Jane being left k9 in a box by the 4th dr – and thats how she ended up with a model of k9 in the 1st place. I am pretty sure this k9 episode is out on dvd.

  42. Loved watching Dr Who on the ABC as a kid and am loving it all over again now in my mid 30’s. Even the children aged 6 and 8 are hooked. Our favourite episode is “Blink”. While waiting for the ABC to air the episodes we read the novels before bed time. We have around ten books already and we have read most of them. Would love to see “Forever Autumn” made into an episode, it gave us goosebumps while reading it.

  43. I think the new doctor looks like a dork, to some extern, I agree with zania,#48.

  44. I was able to watch doctor who planet of the dead on TV and I must say, I loved it! It just unfortunate because it is hard to find dvd copies of the Doctor who here at our place (philippines). I just watched it aired once in one of the cable channels and from then on I got hooked. If you can give me links or websites where I can watch the show then I’d gladly appreciate it. 🙂

  45. our family loves watching Dr Who and are watching the re-runs of the old series as well as the new one.
    However, the new series is shown on a Saturday night, the only night that we sometimes go out and consequently miss some episodes.
    Will the new series be repeated in the near future?

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