Doctor Who

Doctor Who: a Time Lord for the streaming era

Doctor Who is back, bigger and arguably better than before. RTS Cymru Wales was first off the mark, hosting a premiere in Cardiff two days before the show returned to BBC One. It was also 60 years to the day since the Time Lord first appeared on TV.

A roar rose from a sold-out audience at the conclusion of The Star Beast, which saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate return as the Doctor and his assistant after almost 15 years. Also back, as showrunner, was a visibly moved Russell T Davies.

Doctor Who companion Millie Gibson talks soaps, spoilers and Ruby Sunday

Millie Gibson sits down, stretching her arms out to the side

If the actor is sleep deprived, it doesn’t show. The topic quickly turns to Doctor Who, she’s ready for it.

Gibson is joining Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) in the TARDIS as companion Ruby Sunday. The Christmas special – quietly revealed by Disney+ to be titled ‘The Church on Ruby Road’ – will be her debut. Has a year of filming that and the new series been enough to take the pressure off joining a programme as big as Doctor Who?

Children’s TV – a box of digital delights?

Five members of the band Andy and the Odd Socks stand in a line, posing with their instruments, in front of a blue background

Hands up everyone who was told off for watching too much television. And hands up who watched Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Tele­vision Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?, the BBC One series that ran between 1973 and 1995. Irony, dead? It was slaughtered, stuffed and displayed behind glass half a century ago.

But what about today’s children? If the primary school pupils of St Peter’s in Newchurch, Lancashire, and Holly Mount in Bury are anything to go by, television viewing is still popular.

BBC announces ‘Puppet Masterchef’ for Children in Need

A two-by-two grid of different puppets posing in the Masterchef kitchen. From top left clockwise, they are Tinky Winky, Hacker and Dodge T Dog, Basil Brush and Zippy and George

Amongst the furry friends making an appearance are Tinky Winky, Hacker T Dog, Dodge, Basil Brush and favourites from 1970s-90s series Rainbow, Zippy and George. Like any flesh-and-blood contestant, the puppets will be expected to wow judges Greg Wallace and John Torode with their culinary flair.

Tinky Winky made a name for themselves on hit CBeebies series Teletubbies, whereas Hacker T Dog first appeared in CBBC’s Scoop. The canine personality was later introduced as a presenter in the CBBC office, with half-brother Dodge joining soon after.

A Beginner’s Guide to Doctor Who

In a stylised graphic, different versions of the Doctor, played by David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa, stand in front of a maze. The TARDIS is at the centre of the maze, with the Toymaker, the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler in the maze

Who is the Doctor?

You probably know the basics. The Doctor is an alien who appears human, but is in fact a Time Lord. This means they have two hearts and can cheat death by regenerating, a process which involves changing their body and personality.

The Doctor travels around in the TARDIS, a spaceship whose name stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. This enables the Doctor to travel anywhere in the universe, including – you guessed it – across time.

8 terrifying kids' TV characters that still haunt our nightmares

Gonzo, The Muppet Show

Gonzo isn’t the weirdest or wildest muppet, but the case could be made that he’s the edgiest.

He’ll do anything for a stunt. He’ll eat a tyre. He’ll wrestle a brick with the tenacity of Andy Kaufman. He shares a name with the style of journalism that favours substance abuse over objective fact.

In short, you never know what Gonzo’s going to do next. Add in his determination to meet the demands of the stunt, however colossal, and he becomes a wild, creative, dangerous blur. Fear him.

Doctor Who spin-off Tales of the TARDIS coming to iPlayer

In the TARDIS, the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, stands next to Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, who is sat down

Each episode features an existing duo from Doctor Who, who will reunite on the TARDIS to reflect on their time together. New scenes of the pairs will be woven together with episodes from the classic era of the show, creating a feature-length omnibus episode.

The classic era lasted from 1963 until the show was put on indefinite hiatus in 1989, before the show was famously revived in 2005.