Doctor Who 4.18 - Matt Smith
Good-bye David Tennant, hello Matt Smith © BBC

BBC America is showing the new refreshed Doctor Who this Spring but what will the new Doctor be like? At the same time, BBC America has announced an expansion to its HD coverage.

Doctor Who 4.18 - Matt Smith
Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) © BBC
A new Doctor puts one in mind of previous regenerations. Tom Baker, perhaps the nation’s archetypal Time Lord, had it perfected from scene one appearing both endearingly eccentric and yet thoughtful and intelligent. David Tennant’s performance initially shared this innocence and wonder, but that would soon pass when his first series started.

With Steven Moffatt now scripting we may have ‘an old man in a young body’ similar to Peter Davison’s portrayal? Matt Smith in his first scene easily has as much energy and self-satisfaction to match Tennant’s egocentric joy rider. But perhaps this will mellow into a sensitive character, once more the quiet observer travelling aimlessly and only compelled to interfere when confronted with injustice and cruelty.

This Spring air-date is likely to be close to the UK transmission where it traditionally starts its run at Easter, which is April 2nd this year.

This fifth season of new Doctor Who will be the first to be made completely in HD. Below is the HD area extension announcement from BBC America. The UK gets its own HD coverage extension on Freeview, now starting to carrying BBC in HD. Let’s hope that Steven Moffatt’s writing will be as sharp as the pictures…

HD extension announcement from BBC America…


February 11, 2010 – New York, NY – BBC AMERICA HD is now available across 20 states as it continues to roll out rapidly across the country. Video service providers including Time Warner Cable, DISH Network, Cox Communications, Bright House, BendBroadband, Click! Network and GCI have come on board since the channel was launched in July 2009 providing availability in such key cities as New York and Los Angeles.

In Tacoma, WA, Click! Network is the first operator to offer BBC AMERICA HD on video-on-demand (VOD). This option allows viewers to watch the best BBC AMERICA programs in HD at their convenience. The first VOD asset is the International Emmy award-winning, Top Gear.

Kristina Song, Senior Vice President Network Sales & Distribution Strategy says, “We’ve had a great response from our viewers and distribution partners since BBC AMERICA HD launched last year. We’re delighted to serve the increasing demand in the marketplace by bringing the best of British programming to American audiences in HD.”

BBC AMERICA HD is a simulcast of BBC AMERICA. One of the top rated shows, Doctor Who, gave thechannel its highest ever primetime rating last month with over 1.335 million viewers and a ranking of #8 in coverage rating during the premiere among ad supported cable nets for A25-54. Other top performing shows include sci-fi series Torchwood, car entertainment show Top Gear and king of the kitchen Gordon Ramsay.

In addition to the channel’s expanding HD affiliates network and the ratings success, BBC AMERICA is now available in 66 million households nationwide and the channel’s news program, BBC World News America recently won an Emmy® Award for Business and Financial Reporting.