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Spotlight on this top TV series (1965)

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Our reporter MOIRA sets out on another exciting interview.

EVERY time I see Dr. Who on television, the characters in the series seem to be confronted with some new and terrifying monster!

That's why when our Editor said to me" Let's do a feature on Dr. Who!" I tried to change the subject. But she wasn't going to be put off! "I've had lots of letters asking about the people and the programme, so go and find out about it, Moira!" she ordered.

Quaking from the tip of my pencil to the toes of my Cathy Gale boots, I set off for the BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, London.

There they were! The Menopteras and Zarbises! The latest monsters Dr. Who and his fellow travellers in time and space have to face in their latest exploit on The Web Planet, Vortis.

As I cowered in the corner of the studio, Dr. Who—played by William Hartnell—explained to me that the Menopteras were good monsters anyway, and inside both the Menopteras and Zarbises are the men who played the parts of the Daleks! Well! Of course I didn't really think they were monsters!

I found that William Hartnell was rather like Dr. Who in real life. He is a kindly sort of grandfather figure, and one of the cast told me in confidence that, like Dr. Who, he hasn't a very good memory!

If you don't watch the programme I must tell you that Dr. Who is the forgetful, muddled, professor who invented a Time machine which looks a bit like a police box from the outside. When you get inside, it is huge, with lots of control panels and switches.

Being muddled and forgetful, Dr. Who one day pressed the wrong set of controls and transported himself and his companions out of the present age, and since then he has been trying to get back again. Every time he tries, he either goes too far into the past (Roman times) or too far into the future (that was when the Daleks came in). This time, by another mistake, he has taken his friends Barbara, Ian, and Vicki—an English girl they found on another planet they visited—to The Web Planet.

I got the opportunity to talk to the girl who plays the part of Vicki. Twenty-one-year-old Maureen O'Brien is the newest member of the Dr. Who cast, and she told how she got the part.

"I was working in a theatre when I heard that the job was available," she told me. "So I decided to come to the BBC to try for it. There were quite a few girls at the audition and we all read for the producer. She told me if I was wanted they would send for me to do a camera test. Quite a few weeks later they did send for me. That was when I had the camera test, and they told me I'd got the part!"

So that's how a thrilled Maureen joined William Hartnell, William Russell and Jacqueline Hill, who have all been with the series from the beginning.

William Russell has appeared in lots of TV plays, including one you may remember called Jane Eyre.

After chatting to the cast, I left the monsters behind me and made for home. But when I excitedly told my mother I'd seen Dr. Who, all she said was "who?"


Above: Maureen O'Brien who part of Vicki, a young girl who when he and his friends set adventures.

Together with Vicki and Dr. Who, Ian (right) and Barbara (left) return to the time and spaceship, the Tardis, at the end of each adventure. They set out into the unknown in an attempt to return to the present age. Ian is played by William Russell; and Barbara by Jacqueline Hill.

Above: Dr. Who, the kindly professor, played by William Hartnell.

Above and below: Some of the monsters that Vicki meets!

Above: The most successful monster—The Dalek. Created by Terry Nation (left) and Raymond Cusick.

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.: Moira, Moir (1965-02-27). Spotlight on this top TV series. June and School Friend p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Moira, Moir. "Spotlight on this top TV series." June and School Friend [add city] 1965-02-27, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Moira, Moir. "Spotlight on this top TV series." June and School Friend, edition, sec., 1965-02-27
  • Turabian: Moira, Moir. "Spotlight on this top TV series." June and School Friend, 1965-02-27, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Spotlight on this top TV series | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Spotlight_on_this_top_TV_series | work=June and School Friend | pages=14 | date=1965-02-27 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Spotlight on this top TV series | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Spotlight_on_this_top_TV_series | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 November 2017}}</ref>