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Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite

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1996-11-22 Chicago Tribune.jpg

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Will the real Dr. Who step forward? Not likely. The fact is, the time-traveling doctor of British sci-fi fame has been played by so many actors — eight so far —that all but the most fervent fan have trouble keeping track of who's Who.

Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, the sixth Dr. Who — English actor Colin Baker - will be shaking hands with local fans at "Visions '96," a convention devoted to Dr. Who and other English TV shows.

The event, now in its sixth year, is staged by Robert McLaughlin of Hoffman Estates and a crew of some two dozen volunteers. McLaughlin, a 55-year-old retired fireman, says the show hooked him from the first time he saw the BBC import on Channel 11 in 1983. "First of all, I'm a nut for that science fiction, and they weave stuff together in an entertaining way," he says.

The premise: Each episode, Dr. Who steps inside a green telephone booth and travels backward in time or sideways into a parallel universe where adventure awaits. One of McClaughlin's favorite shows: Dr. Who time travels to a cult of people with shaved heads who worship spiders.

Adding to the show's mystique has been the sheer variety of Dr. Who personalities as portrayed by the different actors. "Each doctor had a different way to go with the predicaments he'd find himself in, and that's one of the things the fans like to talk about," McLaughlin says. Who incarnations included, he says, a space hobo, a mister fix-it, a long-scarfed raffish charmer, a "scaredy cat" and a big, boisterous type.

The "Dr. Who" TV show ceased production in 1989, but conventions, movies, books and Internet activity have kept the character alive.

"Visions '96" guest roster includes three actresses who have played the doctor's companion: Lalla Ward, Sarah Sutton and Deborah Watling. Also on hand will be actors from "Babylon 5," "Forever Knight," "Blakes 7" and "Robin of Sherwood." Other attractions include memorabilia exhibits, dealer booths, art shows, a costume contest and prop displays: Proceeds go to Lambs Farm and' the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The convention takes place Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Hyatt Mawr Ave., Rosemont. Tickets Regency O'Hare, 9300 W. Bryn are $75 for a three-day pass, $65 for any two days' admission and $55 for single-day admission. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday; 847-405-9461.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Hart, Hugh (1996-11-22). Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite. Chicago Tribune p. 62.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hart, Hugh. "Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite." Chicago Tribune [add city] 1996-11-22, 62. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hart, Hugh. "Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite." Chicago Tribune, edition, sec., 1996-11-22
  • Turabian: Hart, Hugh. "Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite." Chicago Tribune, 1996-11-22, section, 62 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Convention%27s_a_who%27s_Who_of_that_British_TV_sci-fi_favorite | work=Chicago Tribune | pages=62 | date=1996-11-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=6 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Convention's a who's Who of that British TV sci-fi favorite | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Convention%27s_a_who%27s_Who_of_that_British_TV_sci-fi_favorite | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=6 December 2019}}</ref>