Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Cult classics

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Cultural milestones of the 20th century

Made: 1963-1989

Starred: William Hartnell as the 1st Doctor, Patrick Troughton as the 2nd Dr, Jon Pertwee as the 3rd Dr, Tom Baker as the 4th Dr, Peter Davidson as the 5th Dr, Colin Baker as the 6th and Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Dr.

Why it's a cult classic: Created by Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson, Dr Who was designed to be an educational adventure through time and space.

Chosen to fill the gap between sports programmes in the afternoon and the early evening family line up, this quirky sci-fi drama became a regular weekly event.

Popularity of the show increased owing to fresh ideas and innovative use of limited resources. One of the shows' most enduring creations were of course the Daleks, created by writer Terry Nation.

These creatures were a leap from the fleshy-headed mutant, man-in-a-binliner type aliens that appeared in most sci-fi movies of the day. Not only did they look different, but they also had harsh electronic voices and a smooth gliding motion that added to their sense of otherworldliness.

Another lasting innovation came when William Hartnell announced he was to retire from his role as time lord. Instead of following the 'James Bond' school of replacement, it was decided that Dr Who would be able to regenerate assuming a different physical appearance.

His memories and many of his peculiar personality traits would remain. But each new regeneration would have peculiar traits of their own, this clever twist allowing each new actor to make the role his own.

With every season came new and more terrifying enemies, among them creatures like The Cybermen, The Ice Warriors, The Yeti, Sea Devils, The Autons, Davros and of course The Master.

But as time went on Dr Who appeared to lose its way, and the inventiveness that was a hallmark of the series was lost (during one episode the bad guys turned up with 'Bostick Glue Guns' as weapons).

This lack of inventiveness was confirmed with the release of a third film starring Paul McGann (two previous efforts starring Peter Cushing had done well) which failed to rekindle interest, owing to the Americanisation of too many staple elements of the series. What were they thinking?

But regardless of the problems, Dr Who has built up a huge following of fans and devotees. It remains as popular today as it ever was. Recently, 'Comic Relief' did a spoof Dr Who episode which has renewed speculation that a new series or TV movie is on the horizon.

Did you know: The Tardis was going to have the ability to render itself invisible by blending into its surroundings. In much the same way as the 'Predator' does. However this idea was dropped owing to budget restrictions.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Gilvear, Simon (1999-05-29). Cult classics. Bristol Post p. sec. 7, p. 21.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Gilvear, Simon. "Cult classics." Bristol Post [add city] 1999-05-29, sec. 7, p. 21. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Gilvear, Simon. "Cult classics." Bristol Post, edition, sec., 1999-05-29
  • Turabian: Gilvear, Simon. "Cult classics." Bristol Post, 1999-05-29, section, sec. 7, p. 21 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Cult classics | url= | work=Bristol Post | pages=sec. 7, p. 21 | date=1999-05-29 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Cult classics | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024}}</ref>