BBC, Fremantle back fantasy skein
LONDON — U.K. screen writer Russell T. Davies, who rebooted “Doctor Who,” is returning to tyke TV with a new fantasy skein backed by the BBC and FremantleMedia Enterprises aimed at the international market.The 26-part “Aliens vs. Wizards” is created by Davies and Phil Ford, whose credits also include “Doctor Who.” It will be produced by BBC Wales in cahoots with FME’s Kids and Family Entertainment division. FME, which is beefing up its children’s activities, will distribute “Aliens vs. Wizards” in all territories apart from the U.K. Show depicts the clash between young wizard, Tom Clarke, and aggressive aliens, the Nekross. Davies said: “Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all, and I think CBBC (which will air the show in the U.K.) stands right at the heart of broadcasting. “We’re joining genres — the show’s a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction.” The scribe began his career in tyke TV working on shows including “Dark Season” (BBC) and “Children’s Ward” (ITV) before turning to adult TV with the ground-breaking “Queer as Folk.” But his most successful venture is “Doctor Who,” which the BBC resurrected in 2005 with Davies in charge. Additionally, he oversaw the production of spin-off series, “Torchwood” (including a recent collaboration with Starz) and “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” “Aliens vs. Wizards” is expected to air in the fall. FME is likely to present the show at this spring’s Mip TV mart in Cannes.