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Out of this world (Daily Record) (1983)

1983-11-23 Daily Record p21.jpg


JOHN MILLAR takes a trip through time and space to chart the astounding adventures of a TV superhero

STILL saving the Universe after 20 years, Dr Who and his gorgeous girls..

HE'S a colourful character who captivated the nation back in the days of black and white television. And even now, his popularity is as strong as ever.

Having become the longest-running science fiction hit on TV, Dr Who celebrates his 20th birthday today.

Landmarks, though, are nothing new for the controller of the Tardis.

  • SPREAD *

Ever since Dr Who first appeared on our screens from his flying police box, he has been creating records.

When the very first episode, 'An Unearthly Child." was shown on November 23, 1963, even the greatest optimist couldn't have anticipated the audience reaction.

Viewers were so enthusiastic about this little old man who could travel through space and time that the BBC took the historic step of repeating the opening episode the following week.

Since then, Dr Who has become an institution.

And his success has spread. Now the programme has a worldwide audience of almost 100 million.

  • HIT *

At the last count, 54 countries had bought the Time Lord's adventures.

One of the countries where Dr Who is most adored is the USA, where they regularly hold Dr Who conventions.

On Saturday, what's reckoned be the biggest convention of them all will be held in Chicago.

It will be attended by Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison — the four surviving stars who have played Dr Who.

William Hartnell, the original doctor, who played the role until 1966, died eight years ago.

The BBC pay tribute to him, though, in their 20th anniversary special, The Five Doctors, which will be seen on BBC-1 on Friday.

In creaky black and white, Hartnell is seen at the beginning of this 90-minute film. After that, his role in the TV special is taken by Richard Hurndall, an actor who is a lookalike for Hartnell.

The television programme isn't the only birthday celebration planned by the BBC.

They've also published a 20th anniversary magazine with everything you'd ever wanted to know about Dr Who.

So WHY has Dr Who despite all the different actors and changes in style —been a constant hit?

"It's because the idea of Dr Who is so basic," said the programme's producer, John Nathan-Turner.

"Mind you, if you tried to sell that idea to a TV company today you'd probably be committed.

"But all that remains from the original doctor of 20 years ago is the police box and the signature tune. Everything else has changed."

Certainly the stars who've mastered the Tardis couldn't have been a more varied bunch of actors.

William Hartnell starred until 1966. Then Patrick Troughton took over for three years.

Next was Jon Pertwee until 1974, then Tom Baker who stayed on for seven years to become the longest-serving Dr Who.

The current Dr Who is Peter Davison who appeared in 1981 and leaves the series next year when he'll be replaced by Colin Baker.

All the stars talk fondly of their days as a TV Time Lord.

"It's getting so that playing Dr Who is like being a member of a very exclusive club," smiled Patrick Troughton.

STILL foes, The Master and his alien friends..

RIGHT from the earliest days, Dr Who has had to use all his ingenuity to tackle a staggering array of aliens bent on world domination.

Most famous of all the villains, of course, are the Daleks.

Overnight, these aliens — who resembled deadly dustbins on wheels — gained a nationwide following.


Children everywhere imitated the Daleks' metallic shriek 'Exterminate!'

The Daleks were so popular that when a couple of Dr Who films were made for the cinema, these monsters were featured each time.

Naturally, a Dalek pops up in Friday's TV special feature, The Five Doctors.

Other favourite baddies who take their place in the anniversary programme are the Yeti and the Cybermen.

Imaginative monsters have always been part of the Dr Who mythology, however.

Over the years the doctor's opponents have included the Ice Warriors, the Draconians, the Zygons and creatures who resembled seaweed and spaghetti.

Another villain who, like the Daleks and the Cyberman, has faced Dr Who on several occasions is The Master.

He's a renegade Time Lord who has chosen to devote his super powers to evil.


The Master, when he first appeared in 1971 was played by Roger Delgado, who created a suitably chilling TV villain.

After Delgado's death in a car accident in Turkey two years later, The Master was portrayed by several actors.

The latest to take on the role is Anthony Ainley, who appears in The Five Doctors.

ROMANA I (Mary Tamm) ..1978-79

ROMANA II (Calla Ward) ..1979-81

LEELA (Louise Jameson) ..1976-78

DALEKS ... Doctor Who's arch enemies

ZYGONS... aliens stranded in Loch Ness.

CYBERMEN ... inhuman, except for the actors inside.

Caption: The five doctors as they appear in the BBC TV special The Five Doctors. From left, Patrick Troughton, Richard Hurndall (standing in for the late William Hartnell), Peter Davison, Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee —two decades of Dr Who.

Caption: WHO else but some more old pals... left, K9 the electronic dog and, right, the lovely Tegan (Janet Fielding) and man of mystery Turlough (Mark Strickson).

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  • APA 6th ed.: 21, 2 (1983-11-23). Out of this world (Daily Record). Daily Record p. John Millar.
  • MLA 7th ed.: 21, 2. "Out of this world (Daily Record)." Daily Record [add city] 1983-11-23, John Millar. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: 21, 2. "Out of this world (Daily Record)." Daily Record, edition, sec., 1983-11-23
  • Turabian: 21, 2. "Out of this world (Daily Record)." Daily Record, 1983-11-23, section, John Millar edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Out of this world (Daily Record) | url= | work=Daily Record | pages=John Millar | date=1983-11-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 May 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Out of this world (Daily Record) | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 May 2019}}</ref>