BBC America Lands Doctor Who Specials

BBC America Lands Doctor Who Specials

The wait for American fans of The Doctor is nearly over.

According to Variety, BBC America has acquired the five Doctor Who specials that comprise the final season for showrunner Russell T. Davies and the David Tennant version of The Doctor.

“The Next Doctor” will air on the cable channel on June 27th at 9:00 p.m., with “Planet of the Dead” set to air in July. Dates and airings of the final three shows are yet to be determined.

Additionally, the five-episode Torchwood “season,” entitled “Children of Earth” will also air on BBC America, beginning in July.

BBC America will continue to air Primeval as well as the new series Being Human (beginning July 25th), and will also show Survivors, which chronicles the last members of the human race after 99% of the population has died from a virus later in the year.

And while airing BBC programs on BBC America seems like a done deal from the outset, it's not always the case. Accoding to the trade, due to how the channel is set up and its relationship with the BBC, BBC America had to outbid other cable channels in order to land the deals for the various series.

BBC America's Press Release for the announcement reads:

BBC AMERICA today announced the acquisition of five new specials from Doctor Who, television’s longest running science fiction series and a global phenomenon. The deal gives the cable channel the exclusive first window to the Doctor Who 2009 Specials (4 x 60), the final four adventures of the tenth Time Lord played by David Tennant. As part of the same deal, BBC AMERICA acquired the 2008 Christmas Special, The Next Doctor featuring David Morrissey and Dervla Kirwan. It will air Saturday, June 27, 2009.

The first of the 2009 specials, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, premieres in July. As a London red bus takes a detour to an alien world it forces the Doctor (Tennant) to work with the extraordinary Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan, Bionic Woman). But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets hidden in the sand and time is running out as the deadly Swarm gets closer.

“The outstanding quality of the Doctor Who scripts from Russell T Davies and the on-screen dynamic that David Tennant brings to the role are a magic combination for our viewers. Russell’s spin-off series Torchwood is already our highest rated show on the channel and I know the fans will follow these new specials with equal passion and support. We’re thrilled to bring this iconic show to BBC AMERICA, home of the best British sci-fi programming on television,” says President, BBC Worldwide America Garth Ancier.

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars is the second special and along with the two additional untitled specials will premiere later in 2009 and early 2010.

Building off the successful Supernatural Saturdays programming block, Doctor Who will be leveraged across multiple platforms including Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, the first Doctor Who DVD to be released on Blu-ray, shortly after the U.S. broadcast premiere.

The writers are Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts (The Sarah Jane Adventures) with Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner (Torchwood, Life on Mars). It is a BBC production and distributed by BBC Worldwide.

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