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Doctor Who: Catherine Tate Signs on for Season Four, and US Season Three Premiere Tonight

July 6th, 2007 · No Comments · Culture, Doctor Who, Fantasy, LGBT, News, Science Fiction, TV

Doctor and DonnaIt was a big week for Doctor Who news in the wake of the Season Three finale on the BBC this past weekend. Some of the major revelations include the Doctor’s most recent companion Martha Jones taking a break from the TARDIS, and Catherine Tate (who appeared in the 2006 Christmas special) signing on as the Doctor’s new companion Donna Noble for all of Season Four.

Also, Kylie Minogue fans are all a-twitter about the news that she’ll be Minoguing her way onto the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special, entitled “Voyage of the Damned.”

Here in the US, Season Three starts airing on the Sci-Fi Channel tonight, Friday July 6, with back-to-back airings of the 2006 Christmas special “The Runaway Bride” (featuring Catherine Tate) and the first proper episode of Season Three, “Smith and Jones,” wherein Season Three companion Martha Jones is introduced. As well as a lot of rhino-headed aliens. Season Two episodes are being shown during the day as well, in case you need to do some catching up. (Check your local listings or the Sci-Fi channel site for the exact times in your area.)

From there the show will settle into a regular Friday-night slot on the Sci-Fi Channel, running through the end of September with a week off for Labor Day. They’ll be airing the final two episodes, “The Sound of Drums” and “Last of the Time Lords,” back to back, which is thoughtful of them.

Back on the subject of Season Four, here’s what’s going on with Martha Jones:

Freema Agyeman, 28, who was rumoured to be facing the axe from the BBC One revival, will in fact only be absent from the first half of the fourth series.

… Agyeman will guest star in three episodes of Torchwood, the sci-fi spin-off on BBC Two, before returning to Doctor Who as sidekick Martha Jones.

The BBC says that Martha’s stint on Torchwood will “expand” her character, and if nothing else it will establish her among the few characters who can cross back and forth between the different shows within the current Doctor Whoniverse, like Captain Jack and Sarah Jane.

And while Martha Jones is away, Catherine Tate’s character Donna Noble will be taking over as Season Four’s main companion. We last saw Donna at the end of “The Runaway Bride,” standing outside the TARDIS and declining the Doctor’s offer to climb aboard for some further adventures — but apparently Donna will be having a change of heart about that.

[Tate] will join David Tennant for the complete 13-week run of the new series of Doctor Who, which is due to begin filming in Cardiff later this month. Tate will be returning to her role as Donna, the runaway bride who found herself transported into the Tardis as she prepared for her wedding on Christmas Eve.

… Doctor Who’s executive producer and head writer, Russell T Davies described Tate as an “absolute star” in The Runaway Bride episode.

“We are delighted that one of Britain’s greatest talents has agreed to join us for the fourth series,” he said. “Viewers can expect more ambitious storylines and a whole host of guest stars in 2008.”

Catherine Tate said: “I am delighted to be returning to Doctor Who. I had a blast last Christmas and look forward to travelling again through time and space with that nice man from Gallifrey.”

Finally, according to Outpost Gallifrey, the attempt to show the season finale at London Pride (which I posted about previously) turned into a major disappointment for gay Whovians.

Who fans who endured very wet weather in London yesterday were disappointed when the organisers of London Pride 2007 had to pull the plug on the season finale … Hundreds of people gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate gay pride and were looking forward to seeing the show on the big screen when, at approximately 7.45pm, an apologetic host told the crowd that the programme had been cancelled.

It was initially blamed on a faulty DVD player, but later transpired there was an 8pm curfew imposed on the event by Westminster Council and the police which meant there was no time for the broadcast … Altogether, a wet and disappointing day out in London for Who fans.

Ah, well. At least they have Kylie to look forward to.


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