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Dr. Who producer visits with fans

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John Nathan-Turner is the man responsible for part of the English way of life, something he called "as traditional as tea and crumpets."

Nathan-Turner is the producer of "Dr. Who," the science fantasy show that has been a BBC staple for almost 21 years and has developed a cult following in the United States. The show is seen in 54 countries by 110 million people. Locally, it is broadcast by KTEH, Ch 54, at 7:30 p.m. weeknights and 11:15 p.m. Saturdays, and irregularly on Saturday afternoons by KQED, Ch 9.

He is in San Francisco this weekend for the Creation Dr. Who, Star Trek and Comic Book Convention, held at the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, 1500 Van Ness, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Nathan-Turner got his start as an actor. "I spent three years in theater and realized one day I wasn't very good," he said. "So I applied to the BBC." He worked his way up to production unit manager on "All Creatures Great and Small," the series based on the James Herriot books. (His dog, Pepsi, appeared in 40 episodes.) He held the same position for three years on "Dr. Who," and was made producer late in 1979.

"I'd like to think the show looks glossier now," said Nathan-Turner. He had new titles designed, updated the look of the show and now has all the show's music produced electronically for a more "alien" sound.

"Dr. Who" follows the journeys through space and time of a whimsical Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor has the power of regeneration, a convenient power since six different actors have played the title character since the show began.

Nathan-Turner cast the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, on the basis of the work they had done together on "All Creatures." The new one, Colin Baker, probably won't be seen in this country until next year at the earliest. "You want to get as far away as possible from the previous Doctor," said Nathan-Turner. "The new Doctor's image is totally tasteless." His costume, in contrast with predecessor Davison's 19th century cricketer's outfit, garishly combines green shoes, orange spats, yellow and black striped trousers, a waistcoat of clashing checks and a multi-colored jacket. "He has a penchant for cats," continued Nathan-Turner. "He's a very spiky Doctor who doesn't suffer fools gladly ... Tom (Baker, the fourth Doctor) used to say the role is actor-proof. No one has ever failed. Whoever plays it is immediately popular."

Nathan-Turner also is very popular and travels all over the world to "Dr. Who" conventions. He was comfortably dressed in turquoise trousers and one of his trademark Hawaiian shirts. Many of the shirts are gifts from fans. "I should have chosen diamonds," he said with a laugh.


Caption: John Nathan-Turner, producer of the BBC television show "Dr. Who," is in San Francisco for the Creation Dr. Who, Star Trek and Comic Book Convention.

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.: Smith, Karen (1984-03-31). Dr. Who producer visits with fans. Peninsula Times Tribune p. B-9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Smith, Karen. "Dr. Who producer visits with fans." Peninsula Times Tribune [add city] 1984-03-31, B-9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Smith, Karen. "Dr. Who producer visits with fans." Peninsula Times Tribune, edition, sec., 1984-03-31
  • Turabian: Smith, Karen. "Dr. Who producer visits with fans." Peninsula Times Tribune, 1984-03-31, section, B-9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr. Who producer visits with fans | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr._Who_producer_visits_with_fans | work=Peninsula Times Tribune | pages=B-9 | date=1984-03-31 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 August 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr. Who producer visits with fans | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr._Who_producer_visits_with_fans | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 August 2022}}</ref>