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How to make the most of Easter's big TV event (2009)

2009-04-11 Times Playlist.jpg


  • Publication: The Times
  • Date: 2009-04-11
  • Author: Nigel Kendall
  • Page: Playlist, p. 4
  • Language: English


Return of the Timelord


David Tennant; Michelle Ryan

When Sat, BBC One, 6.45pm

Parents, prepare your children for a traumatic year. We don't know much about the storylines of this year's four Doctor Who specials, the first of which airs today. But we do know this: by 2010, David Tennant's Doctor will have perished and regenerated into the body of Matt Smith.

Older readers may snort We know that the Doctor regenerates - that's part of the deal, along with the constantly shifting partners. Today, for instance, Tennant is joined by the formerly Bionic Michelle Ryan on a double-decker bus.

But Tennant's impending end is big news for children.

By the time Tennant goes, he will have been the Doctor for four years. That's a huge chunk of a young viewer's life. And the regeneration is a televisual event that stays with you into adulthood..

I remember how slack my jaw was when Jon Pertwee changed into Tom Baker, and when Baker in turn was replaced by Peter Davison.

And I'm not the only one.

The film and TV industry is full of people whose lives were transformed by the Timelord, from Steven Spielberg to Tennant himself, who only became an actor because of his love of Doctor Who.

Sometimes, film-makers try to repay the debt. Tom Baker's Doctor Who has appeared on episodes of The Simpsons. In the finale of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a character called Claire traces her ancestors, and what are the names that flash up on the computer screen? William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker. Whatever happens to Tennant, his place in TV folklore is assured.

Nigel Kendall

The interplanetary Opera The Excursions of Mr. Broucek to the Moon and to the 15th Century It's fair to say that the Czech composer Leo[#x161] Janácek's operatic excursion into time and space does not occupy the same place in the public affections as Madame Butterfly, perhaps because its twin trips - which are presented as dreams inside the head of an alcoholic Prague landlord - are both so re-lentlessly gloomy. It was performed in concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2007 (available to buy on CD), but we cannot find any trace of a full stage production. A revival is surely long overdue..

The archive

Internet Oh boy, where do you start? Well, perhaps with the official BBC site.

Here you can make your own trailer, or watch the whole of last year's Doctor Who prom. Older fans, click on "classic" for hours of fun.

The sounds

Music Orbital, KLF The brilliant Doctor Who theme tune was created by Ron Grainer in 1963. Orbital (right) chose to cover the theme tune in a plaintive way in 2001; the KLF's 1988 version, Doctorin' the Tardis is a little perkier. Orbital reform this summer (

The look


Dr Who exhibitions Shows featuring props, photos and costumes from the series have been springing up around the country in much the same way as waxwork museums did 100 years ago. At present, there are exhibitions in Glasgow, Coventry, Lands End and Blackpool. See www.

The science fiction

Book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells The 1895 book that started it all is as bleak and grim as Orwell's later 1984. In Wells's vision of the future, humans have devolved into unthinking beasts, one set a privileged class of leisure, the other a cannibalistic bunch of workers.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Kendall, Nigel (2009-04-11). How to make the most of Easter's big TV event. The Times p. Playlist, p. 4.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Kendall, Nigel. "How to make the most of Easter's big TV event." The Times [add city] 2009-04-11, Playlist, p. 4. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Kendall, Nigel. "How to make the most of Easter's big TV event." The Times, edition, sec., 2009-04-11
  • Turabian: Kendall, Nigel. "How to make the most of Easter's big TV event." The Times, 2009-04-11, section, Playlist, p. 4 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=How to make the most of Easter's big TV event | url= | work=The Times | pages=Playlist, p. 4 | date=2009-04-11 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 November 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=How to make the most of Easter's big TV event | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 November 2018}}</ref>