BBC One puts £178m into winter shows as Who returns

LONDON – BBC One is investing £178m into its winter schedule led by factual dramas such as 'Supervolcano' and marking the return of 'Dr Who' to UK television, with Christopher Eccleston as the doctor and Billie Piper as his assistant.

'Supervolcano' charts the possible consequences of a volcanic eruption a thousand times greater than an ordinary volcano.

The drama is set in the future and uses scientific research and digital technology to predict what would happen if the US supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park erupted, inevitably causing one of nature's most cataclysmic events.

'Supervolcano' will be supported by a two-part documentary on BBC Two exploring the scientific research behind the drama. 'The Science behind Supervolcano' will also feature insights from experts around the world who monitor supervolcanoes.

Lorraine Heggessey, controller of BBC One, said: "BBC One continues to blaze a trail using innovative production techniques to bring specialist documentary subjects alive for a wide mainstream audience."

Headlining the drama line-up in is the long-awaited return of classic TV series 'Dr Who' starring Eccleston as the doctor and former pop singer, and soon to be ex-wife of Chris Evans, Piper as his sidekick Rose Tyler.

The controversial BBC drama 'Cherished' reveals the true story of Angela Cannings, who was wrongly convicted of killing her two babies. Former 'Coronation Street' actress Sarah Lancashire takes the lead and 'Secrets and Lies' actor Timothy Spall co-stars.

'Faith' follows the story of two sisters struggle for survival during the years of the Thatcher government and the miners' strike in 1984.

Historical drama 'Archangel' stars 'Layer Cake' actor Daniel Craig as an Oxford historian on a race to discover the mystery behind the secret diaries of Josef Stalin.

'The Adventures of Robert Louis Stephenson' explores the life and work of the famous author and factual documentary 'Journey of Life' brings the story of evolution to life.

On a lighter note, comedy from 'The Two Ronnies Sketchbook' reunites the two legends to celebrate their classic work, including The Phantom Raspberry Blower and Mastermind, in a career spanning more than 30 years.

The winter schedule starts from January 2005 and runs through until the beginning of April 2005.

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