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Dr Who finds time his ruler (1982)

1982-08-26 Age.jpg


PETER DAVISON, the mild-mannered star of Channel 7's comedy series 'Holding The Fort' and the ABC's 'Dr Who' and 'All Creatures Great And Small', is working hard to visit Australia "I'm hoping to get over in February when I finish this series of 'Dr Who'," he told me from London. "But we start up again in March, so it all depends on how well we go over the next few months."

Mr Davison has found himself increasingly busy in the television studios since a successful serialisation of H. E. Bates's novel 'Love For Lydia' four or five years ago.

"While making that I met some people at London Weekend who thought would be right for a pilot of a new comedy series", he explained. "That was 'Holding The Fort'.

"Unfortunately, by the time we got around to it there was the great ITV strike and we could not make it. But a year later, after the trouble was all over, they rang me again and said they wanted to go ahead with the show."

He completed the third seven-part series last March: 21 programmes in all about Russell and his adventures with the home brewers. Channel 7 shows episode four at 8 tonight.

"It is very popular here, and we have sold it to sane European countries who seem to appreciate English comedies," Mr Davison said. "It was great fun to make.

"I think it is fairly important that the cast gets on well when you're producing a comedy, and we all did. Somehow you get no aura of goodwill. I've been fortunate on all my programmes. 'All Creatures' was especially great to make."

It was 'All Creatures Great And Small' that really brought Peter Davison to the public eye. Next May the cast of that series will be reunited for a 90-minute "special" that will focus on James Her-riot's practice after the war years.

Then followed 'Dr Who'. Had the fans accepted into easily in the role?

"Really, remarkably well," he said. "I felt very sort of vulnerable, I guess, because Tom Baker had been doing it for seven years. I thought it would take at least a season for me to settle in, but it was accepted here very quickly.

"It is marvellous to make. You have to suspend your disbelief In enormous, portions ... quite often you're fighting monsters who aren't actually there: they're wandering about on videotape or in other parts of the studio.

"I've had no nasty letters shout the change although people do write saying they like what I'm doing but prefer so-and-so as the Doctor. That's all right. Everyone has a favorite Dr Who ...

"Mine? Patrick Troughton appealed to me most. But I enjoyed all of them."

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1982-08-26). Dr Who finds time his ruler. The Age p. 2.
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