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Past Dr Who companion to return
David Tennant gains his new costume in a Christmas special

Ex-Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith will return in the new series of the sci-fi show, it was revealed as the Doctor's new costume was unveiled.

Popular 1970s character Sarah Jane, played by Elisabeth Sladen, will join new Doctor Who actor David Tennant.

However Rose, played by Billie Piper, will remain the Doctor's full-time companion throughout the new series.

The Doctor's "striking" new outfit consists of a striped suit, trenchcoat and trainers.

'Timeless and modern'

Tennant said: "I think we've come up with something distinctive that's both timeless and modern, with a bit of geek chic and of course, a dash of Time Lord!

"Most importantly Billie tells me she likes it - after all she's the one who has to see me in it for the next nine months."

Casanova star Tennant replaced Christopher Eccleston in the lead role, appearing briefly at the end of the last BBC series in June.

Piper said she was "thrilled" to be playing companion Rose again.

"We plan to make series two even bigger and better and challenge the viewers' imaginations like never before," she said. "Wait until you get a load of the new doctor!"

The character Sarah Jane previously appeared in the series from 1973 to 1976, alongside Doctors played by Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

Elisabeth Sladen
Sarah Jane originally appeared in Doctor Who from 1973 to 1976
A journalist with outspoken feminist views, she was given robot dog K-9 as a goodbye present from the Doctor and appeared in spin-off pilot show K-9 and Company.

The new 13-part series will also feature Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head and an episode will be written by comic Stephen Fry.

Penelope Wilton will return to play Harriet Jones in a Doctor Who Christmas special, as the alien Sycorax threatens the earth in an episode currently being filmed in Cardiff and London.

The Cybermen will return in the new series, and the Doctor and Rose will meet Queen Victoria and an evil race of Cat Women.

We can promise new thrills, new laughs, new heartbreak and some terrifying new aliens
Russell T Davies, executive producer
Coyote Ugly star Adam Garcia will make an appearance and further episodes will be written by Russell T Davies, Mark Gattis and Tom Macrae among others.

Davies, who remains the show's executive producer, said: "We were delighted and honoured by the first series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs, new heartbreak and some terrifying new aliens."

More news

Doctor Who spin-off made in Wales
Captain Jack and the tardis
John Barrowman says he "can't wait to explore Captain Jack more"
A "sexy, funny" spin-off from the Doctor Who television series, is to be made by BBC Wales and set in Cardiff.

The 13-part sci-fi drama will be called Torchwood - an anagram of Doctor Who. Russell T Davies will also write and co-produce the "paranoid thriller".

Torchwood, which is aimed at adults, stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack - one of the main characters from the recent Doctor Who series.

The drama features investigators solving human and alien crime.

Mr Davies, from Swansea, said the series would be sexy, funny and very different to Doctor Who.

"Doctor Who has a completely different feel to this kind of thing. This is set in the same place every week. It's a different sort of fun to Doctor Who," he said.

"It's an urban series, very much set on earth. It's a Welsh series that I'm very, very proud of."

Russell T Davies ([photo courtesy South Wales Evening Post)
Russell T Davies is writer and one of the new series' executive producers

He said Cardiff would be used more often as a location than in Doctor Who, and that he hoped the series would provide work for Welsh actors and directors.

"With Doctor Who we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were London, or Utah, or the planet Zog," he said,

"Whereas this series is going to be 'honest-to-god Cardiff'. We will happily walk past the Millennium Centre and say "Look, there's the Millennium Centre".

"It's nice to be able to say this is the city, and this is how good it looks."

Mr Davies said the name Torchwood was used as a security measure during the production of Doctor Who to disguise preview tapes of the first episodes.

"When we were making the first Doctor Who series, television pirates were desperate to get their hands on a tape," he said.

"One of the people in the office had the idea of calling the tapes of episodes, as they went form Cardiff to London, Torchwood, instead of putting Doctor Who on it.

"I thought: 'That's clever!' I've had that taped away at the back of my head for a good six months, and now here it is as a show."

Although Doctor Who inspired Torchwood, no stories will cross over between the two series.

Actor John Barrowman said he was thrilled: "It's going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride...I can't wait to explore Captain Jack even more".

Filming is due to start early in 2006, with transmission for a post-watershed BBC Three audience in the autumn.

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