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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 16:45 GMT
Doctor Who writer's monster task
By Nick Dermody
BBC News Online

Russell T Davies ([photo courtesy South Wales Evening Post)
Doctor's orders: Davies is not allowed to talk about the new series
The man charged with scripting the next set of adventures for Doctor Who already has the first series planned.

But Swansea-born writer Russell T Davies admits that his way of working means he will "leave the typing to the last minute - and panic".

The new series, to be broadcast in 2005, is being made by BBC Wales and is likely to be filmed in and around Cardiff.

Davies is under strict instructions not to talk about his ideas for the sci-fi character but says he finds the universe's favourite Time Lord "marvellously human".

As an alien, he is the most human you could wish to meet
Russell T Davies on Doctor Who

When filming begins next year, it may well give Davies, 40, the chance to return to his home town on the south Wales coast, where he has just spent a week while his latest television drama was being filmed.

His new work, a six-part series for ITV called Mine All Mine and starring Griff Rhys Jones, will put Swansea on the small screen when it is broadcast in next spring.

It is the story of the Vivaldis, a family from the large Welsh-Italian community in south Wales, who "inherit" the city.

The script has given him the chance to draw on the wit and humour of the city he grew up in and where many of his pals at Olchfa school were Welsh Italians.

"Most of the Welsh drama you see is very grim and very depressing.

"I go to Swansea and I have such a laugh. My family are very loud.

Tom Baker was the fourth Dr Who
Favourite Doctor: Davies liked Tom Baker as the Time Lord

"That's that sort of Swansea I want to show because it's not seen often enough. I think people there are a laugh."

"It was weird filming back there. It's a lovely accent, the Swansea accent. It's so nice to listen to on screen."

Despite his week in the city, Davies, who lives in Manchester, did not spot the life-size model of a Dalek in the window of a store in the city centre, hand-crafted by a Doctor Who devotee.

The creation gives a hint of the obsession people have for "the Doctor" and why Davies - whose own favourite in the role was Tom Baker - has been bombarded with calls to bring back classic interstellar villains like the Daleks and the Cybermen.

Around 1,000 more dedicated fans have managed to find Davies' e-mail address and inundated him with their own ideas for the new series.

'Emotional alien'

Davies will not be drawn on whether the enemies lined up for Doctor Who are familiar adversaries or a new generations of monsters fit for the 21st Century.

But perhaps his week of family and laughter in Swansea has helped him flesh out what he wants from Doctor Who as a character.

"As an alien, he is the most human you could wish to meet.

"He is so marvellously human, a scientist, an artist, passionate, funny, emotional," says Davies.




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