Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!

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The 'Doctor Who" faithful know what the rest of us only suspect: Time flies. Just consider that "Doctor Who," about a goodhearted if somewhat quirky alien time-traveler, premiered on British television all of 33 years ago.

How big was it — is it — in its homeland? Big. Think "Star Trek," then square it. Think "Doctor Who" paperback books, wall paper, Frisbees, records and board games. The Beatles even performed 'Ticket to (tide" on a 1965 episode. The Doctor is as popular as fish-and-chips.

But the "Who"-ha spread beyond the British Isles, to some 80 countries, including the United States, where the program arrived in the early 1970s on public television and cable channels.

So U.S. fans are primed to watch Fox tonight, from 7 to 9 p.m., for the latest installment in what is the longest-running science-fiction series in the world.

If all goes right, this first new "Doctor Who" segment In almost seven years (and a movie-length pilot fora possible new series) will satisfy Whovians with its good fun and high-stakes suspense, while winning new converts — like us.

Fellow newbies, listen up: The Doctor is an expatriate time lord from the planet Gallifrey, who, growing bored with things, nicked off in a time machine to roam the universe.

He looks like a proper English chap. But befitting his status as an alien being, he has a body temperature of 60 degrees and is nearly 1,000 years old.

And like his fellow time lords, our Doctor has 13 lives to play with. He begins his eighth life tonight after a process of regeneration that, as it did each time before, leaves him in a somewhat altered state.

What that means on a practical level is this: 'The Doctor at first resembles actor Sylvester McCoy, who briefly reprises his role as Doctor No. 7 (from the 1987-89 seasons) in order to transmute into the spitting image of actor Paul McGann ("Withnall & I"), who stars as Doctor No. 8.

As it happens, McGann, now 36, had watched "Doctor Who" since he was a nipper, and received the bid to be eighth mortal to play the title character with some trepidation: "When they rang me up, I had to go, 'What? You sure?' "

Tonight's film tells the tale of the Doctor after he crash lands in San Francisco on Dec. 30, 1999. lie had been carrying the oozy remains of his arch-rival time lord, the Master — soon to be a dead ringer for actor Eric Roberts once he regains life, estates, and takes over a paramedic's body, placing not only the Doctor but the entire universe in jeopardy while the moments tick down to a new millennium.

There's also romantic interest in the lovely form of Daphne Ashbrook as Dr. Grace Holloway, who inadvertently kills the injured Doctor during surgery, then helps him vanquish the Master.

McGann thinks the film will appeal to "Who" veterans and newcomers alike.

With an estimated 110-plus million fans out there already, the producers "didn't want to put 110 million noses out of joint by talking down to them," McGann explains. "But they needed to woo a new audience as well."

Caption: Paul McGann becomes the eighth actor to portray Dr. Who when the made-for-television movie "Doctor Who" premieres tonight at 7 on Fox.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Moore, Frazier (1996-05-13). Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!. Associated Press p. 1C.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Moore, Frazier. "Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!." Associated Press [add city] 1996-05-13, 1C. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Moore, Frazier. "Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!." Associated Press, edition, sec., 1996-05-13
  • Turabian: Moore, Frazier. "Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!." Associated Press, 1996-05-13, section, 1C edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray! | url=! | work=Associated Press | pages=1C | date=1996-05-13 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray! | url=! | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024}}</ref>
  • Title: Creating Doctor returns to TV tonight with a big 'Who'-ray!
  • Publication: Times Daily
  • Date: 1996-05-13

  • Title: Time Flies for 'Doctor Who' Fans
  • Publication: Bangor Daily News
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: Welome back the doctor with a big 'Who-ray'
  • Publication: Great Falls Tribune
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: Hip, hip, Who-ray! The Doctor returns to TV
  • Publication: The Greenville News
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: Welcome back doc with a big 'Who'-ray!
  • Publication: Journal Gazette
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: Who-ray for McGann: Doc returns
  • Publication: Northwest Herald
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: 'Doctor Who' after 33 years and a break starts new shows
  • Publication: Daily World
  • Date: 1996-05-30

  • Title: Appeal Of 'Doctor Who' Based On Sheer Fantasy
  • Publication: Latrobe Bulletin
  • Date: 1996-05-15

  • Title: Welcome back the doctor with a 'Who'-ray!
  • Publication: Chillicothe Gazette
  • Date: 1996-06-01

  • Title: The Doctor Calls
  • Publication: Kenosha News
  • Date: 1996-05-14

  • Title: Knock, knock. Who's here?
  • Publication: Hanford Sentinel
  • Date: 1996-05-14