Various “Doctor Who” Updates

BBC America has taken back The Doctor from the Sci-Fi Channel, today announcing the acquisition of the five “Doctor Who” television specials starring David Tennant in his last adventures as The Doctor.

The deal includes last year’s Christmas special “The Next Doctor” which will go to air States-side on June 27th at 9pm. That will be quickly followed by the first of the 2009 specials “Planet of the Dead” which aired this past Easter in the UK and will screen in the US in July. That same month the new five-episode season of spin-off “Torchwood” will also air on the network.

The remaining three specials air November and around Christmas in the UK. No word on the US airdates but they’re expected to be much closer to the British airings and will likely air in full – unlike the Sci-Fi Channel broadcasts which notably edited out several minutes of content from key episodes.

‘Planet of the Dead’, the first “Doctor Who” adventure to be shot in high-definition, will get a Blu-ray release shortly after the US airing.

In other ‘Who’ news, The BBC has confirmed that Tennant will play ‘The Doctor’ in a two-part episode of the third season of spin-off series “The Sarah Jane Adventures”.

Producer Russell T Davies says this isn’t just a cameo either – “this is a full-on appearance” with his episodes going to air sometime in September in the UK.

The press release also confirmed that a script is in development for a ‘Who’ movie, but it’s still early days and could well fall through as has happened before.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Onto the less substantiated, more rumor-oriented stuff. According to My Park Mag, Tennant has just finished shooting his final scenes as The Doctor last week and is “expected to die alone in the TARDIS” in the final special.

There’s been rumor of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) returning but many were wondering how in the world that will fit into continuity considering she’s off in a parallel world. The answer is simple: “she doesn’t recognise him as he lands in London in 2004 – months before they actually first met”. This could also explain the return appearance of The Master (John Simm).

The paper also reports that former James Bond star Timothy Dalton will be playing a villain in the final two-parter. What role specifically is unknown.