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Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real

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In the past 20 years, he's defeated the Daleks, stamped out the Cybermen, kept a fatherly eye on a dozen glamorous girl assistants, had seven different faces, and changed his height from 190cm to 167cm ... Now Dr Who, the benign space-traveller who whizzes around the universe in a police box, faces the ultimate battle for existence. This time, his enemies are not from outer space, but TV network executives who think it's time the doctor was grounded for good.

And if the international viewing figures for the latest series, which starts in Britain this month, aren't up by at least three million on the last one, the doctor's chances of survival are less than those of a shooting star in a Black Hole!

Stepping into the Tardis to do battle with a new host of inter-galactic baddies will be a brand new Doctor 43-year-old Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy and a host of new friends.

Every episode will be packed with stars of stage and screen who are rallying round to try to save the Time Lord from extinction.

The show has already had one stay of execution. A public outcry not least from the 3000 members of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society persuaded TV bosses to reprieve it after a decision had already been taken to shut the door on the battered police box for the last time.

But BBC boss Michael Grade is known to dislike the program, and has told the producers that if Dr Who is to survive, it must change an image that has become "violent and humorless".

Viewing figures have been on the way down as well. In its heyday, Dr Who could expect to have 12 million enthralled viewers, but the figures for the last series were only about half that number.

If figures drop any more, the Doctor will be banished to outer space for good ... There's been a quick response to the space rescue call a whole galaxy of stars will be involved in the new series.

Among them is comedian Ken Dodd, playing the part of a galactic gatekeeper in an episode to be screened in November. His appearance will not be a long one, however he will meet his doom at the hands of Don Henderson known to millions as the detective Bulman.

Among the other stars in the program will be Kate O'Mara from Dynasty, Richard Briers, Wanda Ventham and the American funnyman Stubby Kaye.

But the most important name on the cast list will be a relatively unfamiliar one to most viewers.

Sylvester McCoy is the seventh Doctor and, at 167cm, the smallest so far!

And if the program-makers really wanted to bring more humor into the show, they could hardly have chosen a better man.

His comedy career started in a less than auspicious way, 16 years ago, when he became known as the man who put ferrets down his trousers!

Today, he still holds the world record, and claims he actually started the craze.

As a pub performer, one of his stunts was to hammer a 15cm nail up his nose. And his colorful background also includes three years training to become a priest.

"People have been telling me for years I'd make a good Doctor Who," he says.

So how does he see himself as the celebrated space doctor? "It will be more humorous, I hope, but it's not going to be a comedy half-hour," he says.

"I don't want it to be slapstick, but I would like to continue the dotty, zany humor that Patrick Troughton brought to the role.

"But, most of all, I just want the Doctor to survive. After all, he's been a hero to generations of kids. Life in space just wouldn't be the same without him!"

Features International THE new Dr Who ... Sylvester McCoy with assistant Bonnie Langford.


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  • APA 6th ed.: Regan, Judith (1987-09-20). Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real. The Sunday Mail .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Regan, Judith. "Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real." The Sunday Mail [add city] 1987-09-20. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Regan, Judith. "Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real." The Sunday Mail, edition, sec., 1987-09-20
  • Turabian: Regan, Judith. "Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real." The Sunday Mail, 1987-09-20, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real | url= | work=The Sunday Mail | pages= | date=1987-09-20 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who: This Time The Fight Is Real | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2024}}</ref>