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Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming

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2011-04-02 Times.jpg


For nearly 50 years Doctor Who has slipped through the boundaries of time and space, paying frequent visits to Earth while battling Daleks, Cybermen and other exotic adversaries.

This summer though, his world will overlap with ours more closely when a few thousand children are offered the chance to step into an interactive Doctor Who adventure of their own.

The show could even feature Matt Smith, the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, who confirms in an interview with The Times today that he will survive for at least another series because he is working on a Christmas Special.

The Crash of The Elysium is the latest project devised by the pioneering theatre company Punchdrunk, which this week received a 141 per cent increase in its Arts Council England grant while more than 500 other organisations were losing all or some of theirs. The company specialises in taking its audiences headlong into a parallel universe populated by huge numbers of actors roaming through immaculately detailed sets and inviting them to explore.

Previous Punchdrunk hits have included productions inspired by the work of William Shakespeare, Alfred Hitchcock and Edgar Allan Poe. Typically they provoke delight, astonishment and terror. The Times last year described their influence on British theatre as "immense".

Punchdrunk's Doctor Who project has been devised for the Manchester International Festival as an entertainment solely for children. The details are a closely guarded secret. However, The Times has established, with a source close to the production, that the mystery subject matter is the time-travelling Doctor. Matt Smith "may be involved" in some capacity, the source added, but he was unlikely to be present in person for the performances.

The main clue is in the festival programme, which says that the show is "based on an original idea by" Steven Moffat, the lead writer on Doctor Who. It is also co-produced by BBC Wales, which has made the science-fiction television series in-house since it was revived by Russell T. Davies in 2005. It is written by Tom MacRae, the Baftanominated writer who has scripted some of the highest-rating episodes of Doctor Who.

Alex Poots, the festival director, said that the production was about something that "99 per cent of all kids adore". He added: "There will be no unaccompanied adults and no official reviewers above the age of 12."

News organisations that want to review the work will have to use junior reporters.

Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963. The last series averaged six million viewers, although the BBC said that the true audience was higher because so many people watched the episodes online or through on-demand personal video recorders. The new series begins on BBC One at Easter.

Matt Smith 'I'm not handsome.

I'm on the cusp'

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  • APA 6th ed.: Hoyle, Ben (2011-04-02). Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming. The Times p. 35.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hoyle, Ben. "Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming." The Times [add city] 2011-04-02, 35. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hoyle, Ben. "Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming." The Times, edition, sec., 2011-04-02
  • Turabian: Hoyle, Ben. "Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming." The Times, 2011-04-02, section, 35 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming | url=,_Doctor_Who_is_coming | work=The Times | pages=35 | date=2011-04-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 December 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Bring your sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who is coming | url=,_Doctor_Who_is_coming | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 December 2021}}</ref>