Manchester-based animation house Cosgrove Hall has been commissioned by BBCi to animate the ninth incarnation of British sci-fi cult favorite Doctor Who. The all-new 85-minute animated series titled The Scream of the Shalka will premiere on BBCis website (www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho) on Thursday, November 13.
Shalka will follow in the vein of previous BBCi web dramas such as Ghosts of Albion, which Cosgrove Hall also produced. The new series was produced to coincide with Doctor Whos 40th Anniversary celebrations. Following the premiere, the drama will then be released in 6 weekly episodes, available for download every Thursday.
Producer Steve Maher comments, "Doctor Who is a huge phenomenon and the idea of bringing an animated version to life was a big responsibility. There are literally thousands of fans out there waiting to see if we get it right. Thankfully the first episodes have had a sneak preview, and it went down a storm!" He continues, "The whole idea of webisodes is a relatively new way for our animation to be shown, and the thought that people all over the planet can log in and watch when they like and as many times as they like is amazing!"
This time around Doctor Who is protrayed by Richard E. Grant (Withnail and I, Jack and Sarah, Bram Stokers Dracula). The voice cast also includes Derek Jakobi (I Claudius, Fadfael) and Diana Quick (Nostradamus, Brideshead Revisted).
While most of the script has been kept tightly under wraps, it is known that in the first episode the good Doctor gains a new assistant when the Tardis lands in Lancashire.