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BBC cans Rose Tyler Doctor Who spin-off

'A spin-off too far'

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The Beeb has canned the planned Rose Tyler Doctor Who spin-off after series producer Russell T Davies "got cold feet" over the project.

Ms Tyler, played by Billie Piper, exited the Tardis earlier this year and has been replaced by Freema Agyeman for the next series.

The show - called Rose Tyler: Earth Defence - "was actually commissioned by the controller of BBC One and budgeted", Davies told Doctor Who Magazine. However, he eventually decided it was "a spin-off too far" and consigned it to the bin. Davies admitted the BBC "hadn't formally approached Billie, although we'd mentioned it to her".

Davies explained: "It was going to be fantastic. We'd have had a lovely budget and done brilliant things with it, maybe one Bank Holiday special a year." He also lamented that the decision to pull the plug had cost him "a fortune".

Meanwhile, the other Who spin-off, Torchwood, will indeed hit the small screen in the autumn. The 13-part series features John Barrowman as Captain Jack and "focuses on a squad of secret agents facing human and alien enemies".

And that's not all. The doctor's former robotic companion K9 has been resurrected for the kids' market and will appear in a 26-part series for children's TV channel Jetix Europe. K9 Adventures, a mix of live action and animation, is described by the channel's Michael Lekes as "an excellent space fantasy-adventure series that we are sure will be immensely popular".

Maybe so, but not as popular as a rumoured Sarah Jane Smith come-back. Smith - played by Elisabeth Sladen who was recently reunited with the Doctor in School Reunion - may yet delight adolescent males in a possible "Sarah Jane Investigates" pilot. We shall see. ®

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