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Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas

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1980-12-20 Reading Evening Post.jpg

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BUCK ROGERS and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas. But the Saturday evening science-fantasy battle for the attention of the viewers, between the All-American astronaut who jumped 500 years into the future and can't get back again, and the British-based Time Lord will be resumed in the New Year.

Though the present ITV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is a fairly recent acquisition from the United States, the character himself has been around first in cartoon and then in serial form - for about 50 years, pre-dating the Good Doctor by quite some time.

Dr Who may come from some planet with a funny same, but he's as British as the BBC - his creators.

Fierce arguments rage as to WHO was the best Dr Who.

There is a school or opinion which was that the character has never been the same since the departure of William Hartnell, the first Dr Who. Patrick Troughton has his supporters. A lot of folk reckon that Jon Pertwee let the side down when he left the series. Tom Baker is hailed in some quarters as the one and only Dr Who.

The one thing that all the Doctor had in common is that their departure has been met with much waiting and gnashing of teeth. True, I am being somewhat premature with regard to Mr Baker, who has not yet left us.

But his departure has been announced. The new Dr Who will be that high-spirited young-feller-me-lad. What's his fame, from the vet series All Creatures Great and Small Peter Davison.

Well, Peter's going to have to pull his socks up when he becomes Dr Who. Or is he! Thinking back over the years, there are reasonable grounds for regarding Dr Who is the oldest juvenile delinquent in the galaxy.

Anyway, it's better than making Dr Who a woman. What frightful suggestion that was! Surely the BBC could not have been serious! Dr Who goes out on BBC 1 at 5.40pm, and ITV's decision to launch Buck Rogers at 5.45pm on the same evening was of course a direct throwing down of the gauntlet.

True, Buck Rogers lasts twice as long as Dr Who, but surely only the most avid science-fantasy follower would switch over to him halfway through the programme?

Despite the increase in the sale and rental of videos, they are still a luxury to most of us.

No, it's a straightforward battle. Mind you, though the fight may be raging across the galaxy, it isn't causing too many tremors at the top of the rating at the top of the viewing table. I see from the latest JICTAR rating that Buck popped in a Number 19. Dr Who is nowhere in sight.

Both series have their staunch supporters. Which side am I on? I have to confess that after years faithfully following Dr Who, I did a sort of Benedict Arnold play in reverse and switched my allegiance to Buck Rogers.

There is little to choose between them in delightful daftness, but I loved the tongue-in-cheeck approach of the latter. Buck Rogers struck me as taking the mickey out of 20th century institutions - moved forward to the 25th century.

Ironically, last week when I availed myself of the magic video facilities to watch Buck Rogers and the final episode of a Dr Who serial, I gave the nod to Dr Who.

But last week's Buck Rogers story featured silly old Princess Ardala again. She's the wicked woman who keeps wanting Buck to marry her, when be really loves Colonel Wilma Deering.

Princess Ardala is becoming as boring as Dr Who's Daleks used to be.

Buck and the Doctor both have assorted sidekicks, the most endearing of whom (or should it be which?) are the robot Twiki, and the robot dog K9 respectively.

I am not at all sure that K9 isn't the best of the lot. If the BBC carry out their threat to ditch him then Buck Rogers really will streak ahead after the Christmas break.

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.: Mitchell, Linton (1980-12-20). Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas. Reading Evening Post p. 7.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Mitchell, Linton. "Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas." Reading Evening Post [add city] 1980-12-20, 7. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Mitchell, Linton. "Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas." Reading Evening Post, edition, sec., 1980-12-20
  • Turabian: Mitchell, Linton. "Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas." Reading Evening Post, 1980-12-20, section, 7 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Buck_Rogers_and_Dr_Who_have_declared_a_truce_for_Christmas | work=Reading Evening Post | pages=7 | date=1980-12-20 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 December 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Buck Rogers and Dr Who have declared a truce for Christmas | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Buck_Rogers_and_Dr_Who_have_declared_a_truce_for_Christmas | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 December 2022}}</ref>