From Mail Online
Bosses are furious the rival broadcaster has included references to the hit sci-fi show in its new commercial for its TiVo on-demand TV service.
They say they have not given clearance for the references and have written to Virgin insisting that the campaign be suspended.
The BBC has strict rules to prohibit the exploitation of its programmes, brands and characters by third parties.
In the advert, launched last week, Tennant – who played Doctor Who between 2005 and 2010 – appears as himself. He explains the TiVo service now features a function allowing viewers to search for programmes by an actor’s name. He then calls up a list of his old shows and selects the Doctor Who section.
Viewers get a lingering shot of the hit show’s logo and are urged to ‘Follow the Doctor and his sidekick as they go on more time-travelling adventures’.
While Tennant is talking, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson is shown carrying out repairs to the ‘Virgin Time Machine’. In a comic twist, the tycoon becomes trapped in the machine and then reappears as his younger self.
Some fans and blogs have highlighted the advert’s references to Doctor Who and compared the Time Machine to the Time Lord’s Tardis.
The BBC is fiercely protective of Doctor Who, which returned to screens in 2005 and remains one of its biggest money-spinners.
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