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It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history (1985)

1985-03-22 Wisconsin State Journal.jpg

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It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history. It has gone through five stars and almost three dozen co-stars in its 22-year run. It is shown regularly in 54 countries and watched by 110 million fans.

What, you ask? No, who, specifically, "Dr. Who," a delightfully wacky television show produced by the British Broadcasting Company, and the focus of a weekend's worth of events in Madison.

If you know who the Doctor is, you probably are ready to pop into your TARDIS (that's Whovian for Time and Relative Distance in Space and is the name of the doctor's space-and time-travel device, which looks like a police call-box) for a trip to the Dane County Coliseum today.

If you don't know who the Doctor is, you don't watch WHA-TV very often. The public television station has been broadcasting the program for the past three years, most recently on Sunday afternoons.

The program focuses on the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. Time Lords are spiritually, but not 'physically, immortal; thus, whenever an actor who played Dr. Who would leave the series, the character would simply be transformed into another actor.

Large turnout expected

Dr. Who fans are expected in Madison today for the festival, from 2 to 10 p.m. at the coliseum, sponsored by WHA-TV and the Dr. Who Fan Club of America.

A similar convention in Chicago last year drew more than 4,000 people, but since this is the first Dr. Who festival in Wisconsin, organizers don't know how many fans to expect. Judging from early phone calls, which WHA staff member Lari Fanlund said "started coming in even before we announced the festival," turnout should be good.

WHA-TV has been promised 15 percent of the gate receipts; tickets are $9 a person at the door.

Top billing at the convention goes to actress Katy Manning and writer Terrance Dicks.

Miss Manning, a British actress, portrayed Jo Grant, the doctor's companion from 1971-73, when the doctor was played by Jon Pertwee. This is the first time Miss Manning, who lives in Australia, has participated in a Dr. Who festival.

Two from show to attend

Dicks heads the BBC's drama serials department, and was script editor for the Dr. Who series for many years. He has also more than 60 Dr. Who novels. He may be able to shed some light on the BBC's recent decision (which sent shock waves rumbling through the universe) to suspend production of the show temporarily.

The two will talk about their experiences, sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans who come in costume, as many are expected to do. Prizes will be awarded to the people whose costumes represent the best doctor, best companion and best foe, and anyone who comes in any kind of Dr. Who-related costume will receive some prize.

Other attractions at the festival will be an exhibit of some of the show's best monsters, a merchandise room where Dr. Who memorabilia will be for sale, and continuous showing of Dr. Who videos.

The rest of the weekend's activities are more suited to Dr. Who fans of the couch-potato variety. From 9:05 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, WHA-TV will broadcast a 10-hour Dr. Who marathon, featuring the entire final season featuring Peter Davison in the title role.

Sunday, the station will show "Once Upon a Time Lord," a behind-the-scenes look at the series, at 3:35 p.m., followed by the episode "Face of Evil."

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

  • APA 6th ed.: Schubert, Sunny (1985-03-22). It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history. Wisconsin State Journal p. sec. 4, p. 1.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Schubert, Sunny. "It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history." Wisconsin State Journal [add city] 1985-03-22, sec. 4, p. 1. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Schubert, Sunny. "It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history." Wisconsin State Journal, edition, sec., 1985-03-22
  • Turabian: Schubert, Sunny. "It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history." Wisconsin State Journal, 1985-03-22, section, sec. 4, p. 1 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/It_is_the_longest-running_science_fiction_television_show_in_history | work=Wisconsin State Journal | pages=sec. 4, p. 1 | date=1985-03-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=It is the longest-running science fiction television show in history | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/It_is_the_longest-running_science_fiction_television_show_in_history | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017}}</ref>