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article imageDoctor Who tops BBC iPlayer

By Mathew Wace Peck     Sep 3, 2011 in Entertainment
Doctor Who has once again become the most requested programme on BBC iPlayer, the UK's TV and radio Internet catch-up service.
Despite being available for only the last five days of the month, Steven Moffat's Let's Kill Hitler reached almost one million requests – making it the most requested programme for August.
Meanwhile, Moffat's The Impossible Astronaut is currently the most requested programme of the year, with almost 2 million requests to date. The show's Day of the Moon – also penned by Moffat – is currently in third place (with 1.72 million requests), after the second episode of Come Fly with Me (1.86 million), the mockumentary comedy series from David Walliams and Matt Lucas of Little Britain and Little Britain USA fame.
As well as Doctor Who's success, the current series of Torchwood continues to do well, too. According to the Doctor Who News Page, "episodes 4, 5 and 6 [of the Doctor Who spin-off were placed] 3rd, 4th and 5th for the month with around 0.7 million requests each [while] episode 7 was 16th for the month with around 0.5 million requests".
The Doctor's return
After its summer break, Doctor Who returned to TV screens last Saturday with the first of seven new episodes, and tonight sees the transmission of Night Terrors, by Mark Gatiss.
The synopsis for the episode, as reported by the BBC, states: "The Doctor receives a distress call from the scariest place in the Universe: a child's bedroom. Every night George lies awake, terrorised by every fear you can possibly imagine – fears that live in his bedroom cupboard. His parents are getting desperate – George needs a doctor. Fortunately for George, his desperate pleas for help break through the barriers of all time and space and the Doctor makes a house call. But allaying his fears won't be easy; because George's monsters are real."
George is played by eight-year-old newcomer Jamie Oram, who, according to the Radio Times, gives "an outstanding performance". Of his own performance, Oram told the Essex County Standard: "I am really looking forward to it. I’m very excited to see the Doctor and me on TV. It was really fun filming it." And his mother, Hilary, said: “We have been waiting a long time and we’re certainly looking forward to Saturday night."
Night Terrors will be Gatiss's fourth story for Doctor Who since the long-running science-fiction drama series returned to television in 2005. Previously, he wrote 2005's The Unquiet Dead (which starred Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor and Billie Piper), The Idiot's Lantern, in 2006 (which starred David Tennant as the tenth Doctor and Rory Jennings as Tommy Connolly), and last year's Victory of the Daleks (which starred Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond).
Gatiss also works with Moffat as co-creator and co-executive producer of Sherlock, their 21st-century TV re-imagining of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories – a second series of which is currently in production.
Doctor Who?
Production of the current series of Doctor Who concluded, with Smith currently filming on the 2011 Christmas special. He will follow this with a further fourteen episodes, which will make up his third series and the 2012 Christmas special. At present, the 28-year-old actor is also expected to stay on to record even more episodes for the fiftieth anniversary of the show in 2013.
Smith is the eleventh actor to have portrayed the Time Lord from Gallifrey on television since the drama series first aired in 1963. His predecessors were William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.
As reported by Digital Journal last week, plans for the show's golden jubilee in 2013 are being kept tightly under wraps, with Moffat promising a "huge" celebration: "It won’t be just one thing . . . We’ll be doing lots of stuff."
Doctor Who continues with Night Terrors tonight in the UK (on BBC 1 and BBC HD), US (on BBC America) and Canada (on SPACE). Meanwhile, the series begins in Australia (on ABC 1) tonight, with Let's Kill Hitler, which will be broadcast in New Zealand (on Prime) on 15 September.
The current series of Doctor Who stars Matt Smith as Doctor, and Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston as his companions Amy, Rory and River Song. The series is produced for the BBC by BBC Cymru Wales, and is a co-production with BBC America. Steven Moffat is the show's head writer and executive producer.
Torchwood: Miracle Day – which stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper – is a Starz Entertainment/BBC Cymru Wales/BBC Worldwide co-production. It's lead writer and executive producer is Russell T Davies, who, as well as being Moffat's predecessor on Doctor Who is the creator and executive producer of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which stars the late Elisabeth Sladen.
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