New ‘Who’ sets U.S. airdate

The 'Doctor' is in starting April 17, 2010

BBC America has announced that it will preem the latest incarnation of venerable sci-fi franchise “Doctor Who” on April 17, 2010.

New version of the net’s highest-rated show will star Matt Smith as the Doctor (taking over from thesp David Tennant) and will be headed by lead writer Steven Moffat, who wrote for the the show under Russell T. Davies when Davies revived it in 2005. Moffat, whose writing credits include Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “Tintin” film, has enlisted multihyphenate Neil Gaiman, “Pirate Radio” helmer Richard Curtis, and “Torchwood” writers Chris Chibnall and Toby Whitehouse to pen eps of the upcoming series, though Gaiman’s contribution is not scheduled to air until the 2011 season.

“Doctor Who” follows an alien called the Doctor and his companion (played this season by Karen Gillan), who travel across time and space searching for adventure. Current season will be set in 16th-century Venice, 1890’s France, and a far-future version of the UK, among other times and locales.

Series is exec produced by Piers Wenger and Beth Willis and distribbed by BBC Worldwide.

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