New Who Companion To Be Selected “Idol”-Style
Riding the wave of major West End productions being cast by popular vote on television, the BBC announced today that the next co-star for the popular science-fiction program Doctor Who will be selected on a new reality show talent competition.
The show, “No Xenon Impact” (An anagram of “Next Companion”) will be executive produced by Caro Skinner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the format of his reality show “How do you solve a problem like Maria?“, which cast the lead of the Sound of Music revival. The show will be co-hosted by John “Captain Jack” Barrowman and long-time Doctor Who fan and guest-star David Walliams.
DW Showrunner Steven Moffat admitted he was first “hesitant” at the idea, but admitted “It gives the show a mad new challenge – The Doctor never knows who his new friends will be, and now neither will we.”
The show will premiere on May 25th, a week after the second half of the current series of Doctor Who ends, and will run for six weeks. Contestants (eight female, four male) will be drilled weekly on their acting and improv skill, their knowledge of the program, and what Walliams describes as “A whole lot of running.” Contestants will be voted on weekly by the viewing audience, and a different “guest alien” who “Exterminate” one or two hopefuls live on the program. Matt Smith and current companion (already confirmed to be returning for the eighth series) Jenna-Louise Coleman have agreed to appear for the series finale, where Matt will present a key to the TARDIS to the lucky winner.
Filming for the new eighth series of Doctor Who has yet to be scheduled; it is believed by many that this competition has been in the planning for some time, and the eighth series production has been scheduled to accommodate it.