Now it's been announced that Sladen's autobiography will be published posthumously. Publisher Aurum Press told the BBC that the original April release date has been brought forward to November 7, "with the support and participation of Elisabeth's family".
Former 'Doctor Who' star David Tennant has written a foreword to the "warm and witty" memoir, which covers Sladen's almost 40 years with the show as well as her "humble" beginnings in post-war Liverpool and her early stage and screen appearances.
But back in his native England, Sir Patrick is just as well known for his Shakespearean work, both on-stage and on the screen. Some of that work will be on display on April 28, when he reprises the role of Claudius (he first played the role on TV 30 years ago) in PBS's production of 'Hamlet' on 'Great Performances.' As Nick mentioned yesterday, the production, with David Tennant in the title role, mixes the classic dialogue with modern dress and settings to give the play a more contemporary feel.
Stewart will also perform in the title role of 'Macbeth' for a similarly-staged production airing on PBS later this year. I sat down with Sir Patrick in January, when he presented at the TCAs; we spoke about the two productions, what his classic training brought to his 'Star Trek' role, his guest turn on 'Extras' and how his first ever IT guy was none other than Wil Wheaton.
That said, the version of 'Hamlet' airing April 28 on PBS's 'Great Performances' (and appearing on DVD May 4) is not the good Doctor as Danish prince. There are flashes of that, especially in Hamlet's early scenes with Polonius (a masterful Oliver Ford Davies) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That's where Tennant plays with a pitch-perfect blend of humor and cunning, spinning just short of out of control. And there is a beautiful sense of irony when Hamlet looks into the camera and says that time is out of join and it's his job to fix it.
The Doctor is back, and he's a lot younger than his predecessors.
26-year-old British actor Matt Smith is the eleventh person to take on the intergalactic Time Lord role on 'Doctor Who'; he joins a long line of acclaimed thespians, including David Tennant (who just hung up his Doctor trenchcoat last year), Chris Eccleston, and the legendary Tom Baker, who played Doctor from 1974 to 1981. While Smith looks strangely like a hybrid of Eccleston and Tennant, he brings a youthful energy all his own to the sci-fi show.
It's a boring one tonight, folks. If you have some stuff on the DVR, you may want to catch up this evening..
Starting at 7:00
- FOX: NASCAR's Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 600 starts at 7:00
- TCM: 'Judgment at Nuremberg' -- 1961 drama starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, and William Shatner
- BBC America: 'Doctor Who' -- Rebroadcast of 'End of Time,' David Tennant's final episodes
- TVOne: Three episodes of 'The Richard Pryor Show'
- G4: 'Ninja Warrior' -- Two 30-minute episodes
- HGTV: 'Sarah's House' -- Starts at 8:30
- The Weather Channel: 'Storm Stories' -- Two new half-hour shows
- DIY: 'Renovation Realities'
- Golf Channel: 'Donald J. Trump's Wonderful World of Golf'
- ION: 'The Guard'
- CBS: '48 Hours Mystery'
- DIY: 'Massive Moves'
- HBO: '24/7 Mayweather/Mosley'
- HGTV: 'Battle on the Block'
- ION: 'The Guard'
- Travel: 'America's Worst Driver' -- My guess? Tiger Woods.
- Style: 'The Dish'
- NBC: 'Saturday Night Live' -- Tina Fey hosts; performance by Justin Bieber. Starts at 11:29
- Cartoon Network (Adult Swim): 'Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood'
The clip takes us from "new teeth, that's weird" all the way up to the Master's death, with a good number of clips from the specials in between. And of course, Daleks and Cybermen. There are some nice reminders of how good Tennant was at playing both drama and comedy on the show, including his back and fourth with Sky Silvestry ("Shamble bobble dibble dooble") from 'Midnight' from series four and his exchange with a would-be companion from 'Planet of the Dead' ("People have traveled with me and I've lost them, lost them all").
According to a BBC America news release, the CG-animated adventure will arrive in U.S. stores on May 4 for $24.98. Voiced by Tennant, The Doctor visits Dry Springs, Nev. in 1958 in an environment deliberately reminiscent of Roswell and the would-be New Mexico UFO crash.
In the one-off episode, The Doctor befriends a young waitress, Cassie, and her friend, Jimmy. When the Doctor examines an extraterrestrial artifact, he draws the attention of a mysterious man in black, an alien warrior and Colonel Stark, commander of "Dreamland" (the military base also known as Area 51).
It is with a heavy heart that I must report that NBC has passed on the pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer starring David Tennant. Technically they haven't cancelled. The show has simply been put "on hold". Doctor Who was once put on hiatus too and that lasted 16 or so years (except for some charity specials and a television movie), so Rex is in good company.
Rex was originally going to fill one of the 10 P.M. slots vacated by Jay Leno. It had a strong supporting cast with Jerry O'Connell, Jane Curtin and Jeffrey Tambor. It sounded like a winner, so naturally NBC didn't want it. Still, this isn't the only bad decision NBC has made recently and it probably won't be the last.
This is especially heartbreaking news as people (like myself) will not have the opportunity to introduce David Tennant to their friends that aren't Doctor Who fans. The show might be picked up for the fall, so don't give up hope yet. Feel free to post vitriolic tirades against NBC in the comments.
After announcing the controversial (but unsurprising) decision to pull Jay Leno from its primetime line-up at the TCAs this weekend, the network will look to scripted dramas to fill at least some of the void.
According to Variety, NBC has already greenlit half-a-dozen drama pilots in hopes of quickly filling the 10 PM slot.
But will it be enough to save the network in the ratings race? Business Week reports that NBC has seen a 4.6 percent drop in primetime viewers since Leno began airing at 10, causing a domino effect that resulted in a dip in audience numbers for NBC's affiliate news stations and late night programming.
The two-part story, "The End of Time," was watched by 10 million in the UK -- flirting with a 50 ratings share. So, it's an undeniable success. It was also an undeniable mess of a story that proved unworthy of Tennant's swan song.
Davies forever deserves credit for taking the street credit his successful work on series like Queer as Folk gave him and investing it in one shot from the BBC to bring back the network's crown jewel, Doctor Who. And he deserves credit for increasing the nerdy guy-friendly show's popularity with women by introducing "Buffy-ized" romance and humor.
But, the hard truth is Davies isn't a gifted sci-fi genre writer. And it showed in "The End of Time."
On a personal note, this was the end of an era for me, because it was Tennant who pulled me back into Doctor Who a couple of seasons ago. I had heard the new series was great, but didn't manage to catch Christopher Eccleston's incarnation. I have since gone back and watched his series, but I may not have had Tennant not been such a fantastic fit for the role (Brad also explained this in out Best TV of the '00s feature).
It's very difficult to write about this episode without using any kind of spoiler. Excellent performances all around with a little more credit going to David Tennant for his final bow. They also broke out the remainder of the special effects budget for this one, probably spending more on this episode alone that an entire season of William Hartnell's era. There were also surprises galore along with some familiar faces at the end. Anybody that accuses me of spoiling the fact that this is Tennant's final episode has not been reading this site for the past six months.
Real spoilers follow ...
Regeneration is a brilliant idea, enabling the program to continue while changing the lead actor. This in turn allowed the program to continue on the air for 26 years before being put on hiatus, then restart a couple of times in the same universe without much fuss. The beautiful thing is that it's built into the character that every actor who plays him can be completely different. It doesn't suffer the limitations of, say, the different actors playing James Bond.
My first Doctor was Colin Baker and I started right after his regeneration from Peter Davison. Contrary to most fans, I enjoyed him in the role. For all you fans reading, which regeneration sticks in your mind?
From a meth-making chemistry teacher to a damaged 1960s ad exec, the guys populating the dramatic actor category in our best of the decade are nothing short of brilliant.
It's hard to choose favorites when you're dealing with the likes of Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Mark Harmon, James Gandolfini, and many others, but the TV Squad team has spoken.
Did your favorites make our list? If not, feel free to add them in the comments below.
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