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Last Updated: Wednesday March 09 2005 11:21 GMT

Scary new Dr Who series unveiled

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in Doctor Who
A brand new series of science fiction show Doctor Who has been launched at a glitzy party in Cardiff.

The time travel adventure series will be hitting TV screens on BBC One on 26 March, Easter Saturday.

The launch party was attended by actor Christopher Eccleston, who plays the 900-year-old Time Lord - and Billie Piper, who plays assistant Rose Tyler.

The makers of the new series are confident that children will love it - even the scary bits!

Attack of the wheelie bins

The first episode features an alien intelligence that can control plastic.

In scenes which are both funny and frightening, shop window dummies and a wheelie bin come to life and start attacking people.

Writer and executive producer Russell T Davies told Newsround that all 13 episodes will have lots of appeal for children.

Ghost stories

"Some are scary, some are funny, some are sad," he said. "Episode three is like a Harry Potter story, full of ghosts and dark corridors and mysterious goings-on."

Russell added that the Doctor's most famous enemies, the Daleks, are also back, and much scarier than before. One of the new-look Daleks was revealed at the launch party.

21st Century hero

But Russell did say there's plenty more for younger viewers than just Doctor Who monsters.

"There are great characters, lots of humour, a lot of comedy and a lot of spectacle - so it's going to do a lot more than scare.

"It'll give the audience a whole new hero for the 21st Century."

Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston, the ninth actor to play the Doctor on TV, said that his sidekick Rose (Billie Piper) is also a strong character.

"There has been no heroine for 12-year-old girls before and Billie pulled that off just like that. She saves the Doctor in the first episode, she is a heroine."

Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi series ever on British TV. The last series was cancelled in 1989 - before most of Newsround's audience were born. The show was first seen on TV way back in 1963.

Newsround will have more behind-the-scenes features and exclusive interviews when the new series starts on 26 March.

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