BBC America has announced the dates for the new series of the long-running sci-fi show Doctor Who, which begins a new season in the UK in a few weeks’ time.
The first episode, “The Eleventh Hour”, is expected to air Easter weekend in Britain and two weeks later, on April 17, in the USA. It’s been written by the new Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat, who took over from Russell T. Davies as joint executive producer and chief writer.
Who episodes to follow include another Moffat-penned adventure, “The Beast Below”, and “Victory of the Daleks” by actor, writer and devoted Who fan Mark Gatiss (of League of Gentlemen fame).
Eagerly-awaited 3-D trailers have been seen on British TV screens and movie theatres since last weekend.
BBC America reports thatWho is now the cable network’s highest-rated programme ever.
Season 5 of what is generally called New Who – as distinct from the classic series that ended in the 1980s – introduces the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, the youngest actor so far to have been cast in the role of the Gallifreyan time traveller.
Davies bowed out at the same time as tenth Doctor David Tennant, who was hugely popular in the role.
Moffat is writing seven episodes of the new series; other writers will share six among them.
Other named writers for the series include Richard Curtis (best known for creating Comic Relief as well as comedies such as Love Actually, the Mr Bean series and film, and the Bridget Jones films); Chris Chibnall (who wrote the tenth-Doctor story “42”; Law & Order: UK and Torchwood; and will provide two Who episodes); Toby Whithouse (who penned the tenth-Doctor story “School Reunion”, created the popular comedy drama Being Human and has written for Torchwood); Mark Gatiss (“The Idiot’s Lantern”; “The Unquiet Dead”; plus ghost story Crooked House); and Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly).
Bringing things full circle, Horne’s Gavin & Stacey co-star – and co-writer of the successful comedy series – James Corden is set to make a guest appearance in Doctor Who. This came to light after the actor was reported to have been learning lines on a train to Cardiff.
A BBC spokesperson refused to confirm whether Corden will appear in the forthcoming series, saying: “We don’t comment on casting or storyline speculation.”