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Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality

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Dr Who: The Seventies: David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker

In keeping with the nostalgia epidemic of the moment the authors have packed this anthology of Time-Lord trivia full of facts and anecdotes. All self-proclaimed Dr Who obsessives Howe, Stammers and Walker relate events behind the scenes as well as profiling cast members.

By the 70s, the faceless plastics dummies had become a joke according to one TV critic. For the millions of viewers who tuned in each week though, the silver paper, cardboard and sticky-back plastic only added to the show's mystique. Looking back, Dr Who would appear to have captured many of the 70s peculiar fashions and fads for posterity, indeed it probably contributed a few itself.

The spinoff merchandise alone was so diverse that Jon Pertwee found himself immortalised in chocolate, and Tardis toffee, Dalek icepops as well as the more usual comics and jigsaws all proved profitable. The face of the Doctor in its various incarnations appeared everywhere from breakfast cereals to tea packets. The series was fast achieving "cult" status, the cast being converted into plastic dolls, long before Aaron Spelling even thought of the concept.

In 1974, Tom Baker brought a very different style to the role. His physical appearance fitting perfectly the new more cranial Bohemian eccentric. This jelly bean sucking, yoyo playing version is the one most readily recalled by audiences. Baker did a great deal to encourage the spiralling popularity of the show, making regular appearances at Dr Who conventions both here and in the States. He even went so far as to pay for the printing of envelopes when the Edinburgh-based fan club could no longer afford to meet the costs.

Designed to coincide with the return of the Doctor's most determined adversaries, in 1972 the Radio Times offered devotees the opportunity to win their very own Dalek. Though the idea of how these mutated post boxes who couldn't even negotiate a staircase without assistance became an intergalactic byword for terror was always a perplexing one.

Attempting to reflect the decade's changing views on woman in drama a new tougher character was created. Within a few seasons however Elisabeth Sladen had been replaced by a skimpily-clad Louise Jameson as Leela. It would be on this more melodramatic style that Dr Who would see out the 70s, accompanied on his time travels by a metalic rectangular box on wheels. K-9 as this creation was more affectionately known was typical of the cute robots who now invaded sci-fi showsT. on both sides of the Atlantic. Only the vocal skills of John Lesson prevented K-9 plunging the series further into the panto type farce it was fast becoming.

What had begun the decade with Jon Pertwee the epitome of seveties elegance in his velvet smoking jackets and ruffled shirts ended somewhat comically with Tom Baker and his "Bondgirl" like assistant darting around the universe. Even if it no longer drove viewers behind their sofas the fans still loved it in all its silliness. Detailed enough for the most devoted obsessive "Dr Who The Seventies" would make an ideal stocking filling for any retro junkies out there.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Mcdonald, Lindsey (1994-12-15). Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality. The Scotsman p. 18.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Mcdonald, Lindsey. "Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality." The Scotsman [add city] 1994-12-15, 18. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Mcdonald, Lindsey. "Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality." The Scotsman, edition, sec., 1994-12-15
  • Turabian: Mcdonald, Lindsey. "Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality." The Scotsman, 1994-12-15, section, 18 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality | url= | work=The Scotsman | pages=18 | date=1994-12-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Back in the Tardis for doctor with timeless quality | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>