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BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation (1985)

1985-02-28 Scotsman.jpg


Angry Dr Who fans began bombarding the BBC with complaints last night after it was disclosed that their hero is to be suspended in time for 18 months.

The present series ends next month and the much-travelled Doctor and his faithful Tardis will not rematerialise until late next year.

Mr Michael Grade, the new controller of BBC-1, ordered the move to save cash while other drama programmes are made.

It will be the longest break in the 22-year history of the series, which is seen by 110 million viewers in 54 countries. British fans are already threatening to "do a Dallas" and start a big campaign to force Mr Grade to back down for a second time.

Earlier this month he gave in to strong viewer pressure and dropped plans to postpone the BBC's remaining episodes of the American soap opera until the autumn, when ITV will screen the next series.

Members of the Dr Who Appreciation Society have begun firing off protest letters to the BBC. "The public won't let it die," said Mr Jeremy Bentham, one of the society's co-founders. "Certainly the programme has had its peaks and troughs but with a new Doctor and the BBC returning it to its Saturday slot it had only recently hit one of its best moments."

Mr Peter Haining, author of a book on the series, said: "To think that anyone could contemplate taking it off the screen is disgraceful. It must be stopped."

Colin Baker, the sixth and latest actor to play the Doctor, said he was disappointed. He thought the decision to shelve the next series, which was due to start production in the spring, could cost the BBC a lot of money.

"I am contracted to the series but the BBC will probably have to pay off a lot of other people. It doesn't seem good financial sense to take it off."

The second Dr Who, the actor Patrick Troughton, claimed the BBC decision was part of a propaganda drive to convince the public it needed a much higher licence fee.

"It is possible the BBC is hoping there will be a public outcry about the series being too expensive for their resources. I would have thought most people will put two and two together and realise what is in the minds of the BBC executives."

The official BBC explanation was given by a spokesman who said: "We want to make a lot of new drama programmes and we cannot do that and produce Dr Who as well. So the Doctor is being rested." The current 50-minute episodes of Dr Who are said to cost about £100,000 each to produce.

Last year the BBC agreed to switch the programme back to Saturday evenings after protests about the double midweek slot — but a campaign to save the Doctor's dog, K9 failed.

Colin Baker, the current Dr Who

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1985-02-28). BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation. The Scotsman .
  • MLA 7th ed.: "BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation." The Scotsman [add city] 1985-02-28. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation." The Scotsman, edition, sec., 1985-02-28
  • Turabian: "BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation." The Scotsman, 1985-02-28, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=BBC Daleks threaten the Doctor with hibernation | url= | work=The Scotsman | pages= | date=1985-02-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 October 2018 }}</ref>
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