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Well, if this doesn’t prove that Doctor Who has the most loyal, active and passionate fanbase in the business, what will? At Sunday’s BAFTA TV awards, the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” won the Radio Times Audience Award, the only trophy of the night that is voted by the public.
Doctor Who faced stiff opposition from enormously popular shows like Breaking Bad, Gogglebox, The Great British Bake-Off and Broadchurch (which won three awards, and is basically a sibling show anyway, given that four of its stars—David Tennant, Arthur Darvill, David Bradley and Olivia Colman—have all made high-profile appearances in the show and it was written by Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who and Torchwood script writer). But in the end, the combination of Matt Smith, David Tennant AND John Hurt, with that little extra kick from Tom Baker at the end, was enough to secure a comfortable win.
Doctor Who executive producer Faith Penhale, who accepted the award with director Nick Hurran and producer Marcus Wilson, told Radio Times that it was a “really, really special moment for the show.”
She continued: “it’s always wonderful to win an award that is voted for by the people who watch and love the show. Also it feels really fitting after 50 years of the show to win an award like this.”
In tribute, BBC One’s Twitter feed added this:
— BBC One (@BBCOne) May 18, 2014
During the runup to the awards, Steven Moffat had written a blog post for the Radio Times in which he describes how he came up with the idea of John Hurt’s War Doctor: “There was, I reasoned, only one story to tell if the Doctor was to meet himself – this had to be the day when he saved himself. And in the whole history of Doctor Who, there was only one day he needed saving from.”
Mark Gatiss was on the red carpet on the night, talking about An Adventure In Space And Time, which was nominated in the Best Single Drama category, and how the First Doctor William Hartnell would feel seeing the global phenomenon that Doctor Who has become:
He told Radio Times: “I’m sure the actual pace of the show would slightly baffle him now but when I interviewed William Russell [who played one of the Doctor's first human companions, Ian Chesterton] in preparation for writing this script he said to me ‘you know what Bill would like the most?’ he said, ‘I’m on a stamp!’ He would have been unbelievably overwhelmed… utterly delighted.”
All of which provides the perfect excuse to dig out this video from last year’s awards. Still amazing:
Here’s what else has been going on in space and time this week:
• A hugely pleasing side-effect of the BAFTAs is it has flushed out celebrity Whovians from unexpected places, like nature broadcaster and British National Treasure Sir David Attenborough. He said: “I’ve always enjoyed Doctor Who from a technical point of view. I sat in on a lot of the early discussions, during which we cooked up the program under the aegis of Sydney Newman, who was the BBC head of drama.
“I remember he specified he didn’t want monsters in it but the first producer, Verity Lambert, went against that and introduced the Daleks. Sydney was livid with her to start with but Verity, of course, was right.”
• The first teaser for Matt Smith in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River has hit the web ahead of the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Read more about the movie here.
• The trailer for Karen Gillan’s new ABC comedy Selfie arrived. And it’s messy:
• British comedian Frank Skinner has been welcomed aboard the TARDIS for Season Eight. And he’s definitely got the credentials, as he explains: “I love this show. I subscribe to Doctor Who magazine, I’ve got a TARDIS ringtone, a five-foot cardboard Dalek in my bedroom and when I got the call saying they wanted me to read for the part, I was in the back of my tour bus watching episode three of “The Sensorites.” I am beyond excited.”
• Rachel Talalay, director of Tank Girl and episodes of Haven and Supernatural, has been signed up to direct two of Season Eight’s episodes.
• The Doctor Who Titan comic-book series have been given trailers. Here’s one for the Eleventh Doctor and his companion Alice Obiefune:
And here’s Ten’s:
Both ranges will be available from July 23. Details here.
• Fancy adding your opinion to the Doctor Who panel and helping to shape future products and activities? Over 16? Step this way…
• In June, American Whovians can buy tickets for a two-day theatrical event in honor of David Tennant‘s stint as the Tenth Doctor, organized by BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events. On the first night (June 16), you can watch the epic two-parter “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel” on the big screen, and on night two (June 17), soar above Earth in the innovative natural-history documentary Wings 3D narrated by Tennant. Click here for the details, and watch a trailer below:
• An interview with Billie Piper around the launch of her new series Penny Dreadful, in which she has kind words for Peter Capaldi:
• An interview with Steven Moffat in which he says: “None of the Doctors are conventionally attractive, but they’re all arresting. Handsome men don’t quite suit. Matt Smith’s a young, good-looking bloke from one angle but is actually the strangest looking man from another. You need that oddity; you need somebody who is carved out of solid star, really.”
• And finally, let’s go out with a couple of musical items that make use of the humble ukulele. Here’s a familiar musical number, given a uke ‘n’ glockenspeil makeunder from We Tigers:
• And this is “Take Me With You Doctor Who” by Berni Armstrong:
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic