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Monday, 21 July 2008

Media Round-Up

from july 7th

In the wake of the transmission of the final episode of Series Four on Saturday, interest in Doctor Who across the British media continues to be at a high.

On Saturday evening, after the episode was broadcast, Doctor Who Confidential producer Gillane Seabourne was interviewed live in studio on the BBC News channel, explaining - and, to an extent, having to defend from an irritated-seeming presenter! - the content of the episode.

One of the presenters commented to Seabourne how he had been unable to log on to a certain fan website that evening because it had shut down due to the number of users attempting to log on.

Seabourne's interview can be seen online on the BBC News website here, as part of a report on the high overnight viewing figure for the episode.

The impressive ratings performance is also the subject of pieces from The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Scotsman, Digital Spy, MediaGuardian, The Guardian and The Daily Record.

Reaction to the finale was by no means limited to coverage of the ratings, however. As soon as they were able to, the websites of several sources had published reports summarising what had happened in the episode, such was the interest generated: The Telegraph ran such a piece, as did BBC News, The Independent, Metro, The Observer and the Sunday Express. The website of The Guardian also published a blog inviting comments on how well Russell T Davies had succeeded with the finale.

Reviews of the episode have come in from all quarters, as might be expected. While an article on the BBC News website suggests that amongst fandom there has been a "mixed reaction" to the finale, reviews amongst the majority of the mainstream media have been very positive. John Preston of The Telegraph felt that "As usual, Doctor Who served up a lot more than mere excitement. There was also plenty of heartbreak and heroism – clearly discernible emotions, even to the inhabitants of Planet Adolescence." In The Guardian, Lucy Mangan comments that " I think we can safely say there was something for everyone in that, can't we?" Andrew Billen of The Times had one or two reservations, but on the whole felt that "Davies did not sell us short in a spectacular finale." The finale is also reviewed by - among many, many others - Now Magazine, SFX, The Herald (an Irish paper), TV Scoop and the Radio Times website.

Elsewhere in the media, The Guardian has an interview with Russell T Davies, looking back at his time on the programme over the past few years, the inner workings of the BBC drama department and his own future career. He says of Doctor Who: "I am more in love with it than ever, but that's probably the best time to get out - not when you're bored." The Telegraph has a piece wherein Davies adds that: ""We don't want the audience to get bored of Doctor Who. When we come back in 2010, the amount of publicity we get will make what is happening now look like small fry." The Daily Mail, meanwhile, has an article alleging that 2,500 fans attempted to call the Doctor's mobile phone number, shown on screen in "The Stolen Earth". Sky News has picked up on the same story.

The Sun looks ahead to this year's Christmas special, based mostly on the few details seen in the teaser trailer at the end of Saturday's episode. The Liverpool Echo wonders what to do on Saturday nights now that Doctor Who has finished its current run, while the Boston Herald generally sings the praises of the programme.