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Tardis Party: Who’s birthday? #4 ~ rare but brilliant pics from Doctor Who (’00s/ ’10s)

March 19, 2013

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The changing man: Tenth Doctor David Tennant handed over the keys to the TARDIS – and eternal televisual fame – to the Eleventh, Matt Smith, at the end of The End Of Time Part Two (2010)

So, peeps, it feels no sooner did we begin than we’ve ended (that’s timey-wimey-ness for you), because, yup, we’ve reached the final regeneration of our pictorial tribute to Doctor Who – celebrating the sci-fi TV giant’s 50th anniversary this year and this very blog’s recent third birthday – with this fourth of four celebratory posts (check out the first three here, here and here).

And, yes, it is – and could only be – the Who of the ’00s and (so far) the ’10s. Affectionately, or not, referred to as ‘NuWho’ by fans, the revived series under the outstanding stewardship of show-runners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, while headlined  by the brilliant talents of leads Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and now Matt Smith, has been a huge favourite with the populace, a consistent hit with the critics and a conspicuous cash cow for the Beeb.

Yup, fezzes off to the modern Doctor Who then – bow-ties may not be cool, but its success most certainly has been marvellous. Geronimo…!

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Forty not out? Doctor Who had continued in novels and comics etc since its TV demise, but hopes were high for a TV series resurrection as (from l to r) Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Tom Baker and Peter Davision posed for collectable Radio Times covers to celebrate its 40th anniversary in November 2003

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Cartoon caper: that same month, future official villain Richard E Grant lent his voice to a then official (now unofficial) Ninth Doctor in the Internet-only animated adventure Scream Of The Shalka (2003) 

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Because we want to: Doctor Who finally returned to screens as a fully-fledged, Saturday evening series in March 2005; run by executive producer/ chief writer Russel T Davies, it starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and – in less a supporting, more a female lead, role – Billie Piper as companion Rose Tyler

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Rose-tinted TARDIS: Eccleston and Piper pose with the new show’s third lead – gloriously unchanged from the ‘Classic series’ (or actually looking better than before), the one, the only TARDIS 

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Are you sitting comfortably? Then he’ll begin: Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor was a post-Millennial, almost post-modern Time Lord hero; dressed down, no-nonsense but excitable and unashamedly Northern

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Card sharp? He may have been rubbish at card tricks, but Eccleston proved a dab-hand at bringing The Doctor back to the masses – energetic, accessible, ever-slightly-alien and always engaging

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Welcome aboard: Eccleston and Piper pose in the new TARDIS interior – a sort of steam punk/ organic hybrid; a design that would remain for the next five years of of the Davies-led era

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Two-man girl: after just one season Eccleston left the show (l), but the presence of the highly popular Piper’s space-and-time-travelling chav Rose eased the fast transition to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, whom debuted in the show’s first ever proper yuletide special The Christmas Invasion (2005) (r)

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Pajama-rama: Tennant and Piper bonded immediately and became firm friends on- and off-set – good news for the show, indeed, as from The Christmas Invasion onwards their partnership proved dynamite

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Let there be light: Tennant and Piper watch a firework display as they switch on 2005’s Christmas lights in Cardiff – the city of whose BBC’s studios are home of Doctor Who’s interior filming in its modern era

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What Sarah did next: at Christmas 1981, Lis Sladen enjoyed a one-off return as Sarah Jane Smith in the special K-9 And Company (l); 25 years later she was back – and back with K-9 – in Season 2’s story School Reunion (r), whose success led to a spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-11)

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Catherine the Great: the 2006 Christmas special The Runaway Bride gave The Doctor a new (at first, one-off) companion, the lippy, bolshy, loveable would-be-bride Donna Noble played by Catherine Tate

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Designer digs: Tennant gained his new full-time companion in Season 3’s opener Smith And Jones (2007) in the sexy shape of Freema Agyeman’s Martha Jones, here posing with Tennant in a GQ magazine shoot

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Hark! Is that a Harkness? Agyeman and Tennant goof about (perhaps ineviatbly) with John Barrowman as the ever-returning (often from death) breakout star that was time agent Captain Jack Harkness; so popular did he prove he headlined the adult-oriented spin-off series Torchwood (2006-11)

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Flash Harry: acclaimed Life On Mars (2006-07) actor John Simm camped it up as the Tennant-era resurrection of The Master, here posing as his alter-ego, irresistible British-PM-to-be Harold Saxon

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Blink and you’ll miss her: in her first notable screen role, Carey Mulligan was Sally Sparrow, lead in Season 3’s Doctor-light Blink (2007), which also saw the debut of monsters the Weeping Angels

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Flogging thesps: Tennant and Agyeman at the launch of Season 3’s DVD box-set at HMV’s Oxford Street store; much of the modern show’s success can be measured by its post-broadcast popularity 

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Pop goes the Dalek: the modern Who’s guest star coups reached their zenith with the casting of Kylie Minogue as companion Astrid Peth in 2007’s Christmas special Voyage Of The Damned; here the Pop Pixie homages Katy Manning’s unforgettable naughty Dalek photo pose in publicity for her appearance 

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Ensemble assembles: the Tennant era gang of companions all came together in the Season 4 two-part-climax Stolen Earth/ Journey’s End (2008); from left to right – Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Barrowman, Agyeman, Piper, Tennant, Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith) and Sladen

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Fur and antlers: Tate – Season 4’s regular companion – in The Planet Of The Ood (2008) and the legendary Bernard Cribbins as her grandfather Wilfred Mott, companion (and a critical regeneration component) in Tennant’s final adventures The End Of Time Part One (2009) and Part Two (2010)

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Desert dessert: after his third season, Tennant only played The Doctor in five further 2008- and ’09-broadcast, feature-length specials, the second of which was Planet Of The Dead (2009) and featured Michelle Ryan as one-off companion Lady Christina De Souza

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Time for Elevenses: the youngest actor ever to be cast in the role, 27-year-old Matt Smith made his full debut as The Eleventh Doctor in the cracking Season 5 opener The Eleventh Hour (2010) 

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Moff the boss: with the arrival of Smith, Who also gained new show-runner (executive producer/ chief writer) Steven Moffat, whom had written several previous ‘NuWho’ stories including Blink

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Trio hello: joining Smith’s Doctor as a genuine duo of companions (and thus turning the show into a three-lead-driven series) were Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams)

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Three’s a crowd? Darvill, Smith and Gillan were a tight gang on-set, lending chemistry to every scene – and the trio’s dynamic was inevitably challenged by Amy and Rory’s nuptials at the end of Season 5 

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Taking the plunge(r): surely no actor can claim to have properly played The Doctor until he’s played opposite the Daleks; Smith underwent this baptism of fire in Season 5’s Victory Of The Daleks (2010)

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Little and large: more important to the show than even it had been before, merchandise has been critical to the modern Who’s (wider) success – here Gillan gets to grips with her (and Smith’s) action figure

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Snow moment: Smith and crew filming a scene from the 2010 seasonal special A Christmas Carol

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Abigail’s (Christmas) party: much loved opera-crossover guest star Katherine Jenkins lent A Christmas Carol beauty and class – as well as a truly exquisite tune in the shape of Abigail’s Song

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Flying the flag: a sign of the modern show’s success at making Doctor Who an ever bigger institution was the (surely costly) decision to up-sticks from Wales and film Season 6’s two-part opener The Impossible Astronaut/ Day Of The Moon (2011) in the United States’ Utah desert, much to Gillan’s delight, it seems  

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A River runs through it: an icon of ‘NuWho’, Alex Kingston’s River Song was introduced by Moffat in his Tennant-era two-parter Silence In The Library/ Forest Of The Dead (2008) and has featured prominently – often to delightedly head-scratching effect – in the Smith-era Moffat-penned episodes

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Lizzard lovin’: an instant hit with fans in Season 6’s A Good Man Goes To War (2011), Silurian/ human Victorian-era detective duo Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) next appeared in 2012’s Christmas special The Snowmen and will be seen again in Season 7’s second half

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'Dr Who' cast Matt Smith and Karen Gillan film in Central Park, NYC

Central perk: Smith and Gillan in Central Park filming Season 7’s The Angels Take Manhattan (2012)

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Trio cheerio: The Angels Of Manhattan marked the tear-inducing departure from the show of Gillan and Darvill’s ‘The Ponds’, leaving the TARDIS door open for a new companion to walk through…

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New girl: Jenna-Louise Coleman made her earlier-than-expected debut as Smith’s new, enigmatic to say the least companion Clara (Oswin) Oswald in Season 7 opener Asylum Of The Daleks (2012)

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New look: The Doctor shows off the new, pleasingly retro interior of the TARDIS to new companion Clara in 2012’s Christmas special The Snowmen – expect to see more of it and her very soon…

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Doctor Who returns in The Bells Of Saint John on Saturday March 30 at 6.15pm on BBC1 (in the UK and Northern Ireland), later that day on BBC America in the US and on Space in Canada and at 7.30pm on Sunday March 31 on ABC1 in Australia

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2013 1:49 am

    It’s nice to see the picture of the wonderful Bernard Cribbins.
    I remember him from his several films with Peter Sellers before he appeared in “Daleks Invasion Earth -2150 A.D.”
    It was so nice to see him return to David Tennant’s side in 2007.
    I hope he lives as long as the Doctor…!

    • March 20, 2013 1:56 am

      Hear, hear, Peter!

      He’ll always be a hero of mine for his work on The Wombles – the title theme singer, the narrator and the voice artist for every one of the Wombles, of course.

      Thanks for your comment… 🙂

      • March 20, 2013 2:51 am

        I have always been one of Bernard Cribbins best fans!
        Thank you, George.

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