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Appointment with the Doctor

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From the comfort of his desk, sci-fi boffin Chris Gardner travels through time and space and dodges the Daleks to assess the incredible endurance of Dr Who.

It's time to hide behind the sofa again.

Rose Tyler must die. She will meet her demise on Doctor Who tonightwhen all-out galactic war breaks out between the Daleks and the Cybermen.

With storylines like that, it's little wonder the second series of the revived show -- which concludes tonight on Prime at 7.30pm -- has won a place in the hearts of fans and in the record books as the longest-running television show of its type. A cult classic, New Zealand was the first country outside the UK to screen the show.

The record run is a fitting accolade for the time-travelling adventurer currently played by David Tennant.

Guinness World Records says more than 700 episodes of the programme -- which first aired on the BBC in 1963 -- had been broadcast, covering 173 time-travelling story lines.

Since then ten different actors have played the mysterious Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who spins through time and space aboard his ship the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space). Designed to blend in with its surroundings, the Tardis' Chameleon circuit is broken, forcing it to appear as a blue police box whenever it materialises.

Between 1963 and 1989 the Doctor was played by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

Hammer House of Horror actor Peter Cushing played the role in two 1960s movies -- Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 -- and, in 1988, The Timelords released a No 1 single called Doctorin' The Tardis, which featured samples of the famous Dalek screech "exterminate".

Dr Who returned in a dire American TV movie in 1996, proving the franchise was best in the hands of the Brits.

After a nine-year hiatus Christopher Eccleston stepped into the Tardis dragging one-time teenage British pop tartlet Billie Piper (as Rose Tyler) with him.

Interestingly, Tennant decided to become an actor after watching Tom Baker during the 1970s.

"I took one look at his Dr Who and decided it was the job for me. I was convinced that when I was old enough I was going to play the part of the doctor on TV," he recently told Guinness.

While fans of the different series have their favourite Doctors, the concept has endured and the programme attracts more than seven million viewers in Britain and many more abroad.

That the series has lasted so long is partly thanks to iconic villains such as the Daleks and the Cybermen -- who will go head to head tonight in what's expected to be a galaxy-shaking finale of universal proportions -- and also because the main character can regenerate, allowing the series to keep fresh and prevent viewer boredom by bringing a new lead actor.

While many fans have a favourite doctor many regard Tom Baker -- who travelled with a fellow Time Lord called Roamana and a plucky yet lovable robot dog known as K-9 -- as the best.

I'm only sorry that the relationship developing between the Dr and Rose will die tonight when Miss Tyler is exterminated.

  • Dr Who, Prime TV, tonight at 7.30.


THE TEN DOCTORS: Clockwise from top left, William Hartnall, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. PICTURES: Times file

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2006-10-05). Appointment with the Doctor. Waikato Times p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Appointment with the Doctor." Waikato Times [add city] 2006-10-05, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Appointment with the Doctor." Waikato Times, edition, sec., 2006-10-05
  • Turabian: "Appointment with the Doctor." Waikato Times, 2006-10-05, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Appointment with the Doctor | url= | work=Waikato Times | pages=14 | date=2006-10-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 May 2024 }}</ref>
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