This screencap of David Tennant as DI Peter Carlisle, from episode three of Peter Bowker's dark six-part comedy thriller "Blackpool", brought a smile to my face when I saw it. Unfortunately, I didn't see this serial when broadcast, from 11 November last year, though I believe it's been available on DVD since the beginning of August, but the makers of this drama can't possibly have known about David's future casting as the tenth Doctor, as, like most programmes, "Blackpool" was probably "in the can" several months prior to transmission. And yet, unwittingly predicting his future, here is David crossing the road in front of the Blackpool "Doctor Who" Exhibition with the added bonus of a couple of Cybermen clearly visible behind him!
It seems like a good opportunity to mention a few updates regarding the production of the new series of "Doctor Who". As well as "The Christmas Invasion", six of the thirteen episode titles are now known of the series proper; the first four, although two of these are unconfirmed, and two more from later in the series. Episode one is NOT called "The Sunshine Camp" but seems to be going by the name of "New Earth", at present, and features the return of Zoe Wanamaker in some capacity although it isn't certain whether or not she is reprising the role of Cassandra, from the first season episode "The End of the World". Episode two, as stated in an earlier piece, is entitled "Tooth and Claw".
Contrary to rumours, Anthony Stewart Head is NOT playing The Master in the third episode, "School Reunion", but a headmaster called Mr. Finch, possibly in a similar vein to the late Michael Sheard's headmaster in "Remembrance of the Daleks". It is interesting to note that John Leeson WILL be reprising his role as the voice of K9 in this episode whereas none of the original series Dalek voice artistes were invited back for season one! The design of K9 is to remain much the same whereas the Cybermen, featuring in episodes five and six, are in for a refit. While some have said the Borg are how the Cybermen should have looked, I hope the production team resist copying "Star Trek"!
And the news just in is that episode four of the second series, written by Steven Moffat, and author of the first season's most interesting story, is tentatively titled "The Girl in the Fireplace". Rumours abound that Billie Piper's ex-husband, Chris Evans, has been approached to play Satan in the two-part story opening with eighth episode, "The Satan Pit"! Billie is said to be NOT averse to this piece of casting as they remain on good terms. To my mind, if true, his inclusion would smack more than a little of the stunt casting of which Eighties Producer John Nathan Turner stood accused!! Meanwhile, the return of the Daleks seems an unlikely possibility in twelfth episode "Army of Ghosts", the opening episode of the third two-parter that closes the season, given the cost of renegotiating terms of their use with Terry Nation's estate and that Russell T Davies is quoted as saying the Daleks have been taken as far as they can... ...for the time being...!!!