Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Dr Who too scary for young children

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The Times coverage of series 1date
Alehouse Rock2005-03-01
BBC canned HD deal for Doctor Who2005-03-01
Interview with Kate Orman: Dr Who Author2005-03-01
The Doctor will see you now ...2005-03-01
What's Up Doc? (The Observer)2005-03-06
The thrill of the chaise2005-03-06
For 25 years, Doctor Who's creaky charm captivated a nation2005-03-06
Elevate, exterminate: Daleks conquer stairs in new Doctor Who2005-03-06
Quick! Behind the sofa!2005-03-07
Let's hope Time Lord Christopher Eccleston is happy with his performance2005-03-07
Net pirates steal preview of Doctor Who comeback2005-03-08
The good doctor2005-03-09
Top of the docs2005-03-09
The Doctor faces his newest adversary ... the Canadians2005-03-09
Eccleston and Billie, just what the Doctor ordered2005-03-09
Billie plots return to pop2005-03-09
BBC hopes for a rescue by Doctor Who2005-03-09
Carry on Doctor (Time Out London)2005-03-09
Who's a bit camp2005-03-10
Doctor Who And A Scary £10m Gamble2005-03-10
Doctor Who puts accent on a new look to old show2005-03-10
See Who Jimmy2005-03-10
Doctor Who leak previews future of broadcast content2005-03-10
Doctor Who Whodunit2005-03-10
Dr Who save my life says Billie Piper2005-03-10
Why can't daleks go up stairs?2005-03-10
Who's who of monsters2005-03-10
Flying Daleks and Hollywood-style special effects as BBC aims to get families cowering behind sofas again with revival of TV series2005-03-10
Forgotten timelord2005-03-11
Who's who?2005-03-12
Everyone has a favourite Doctor Who as a matter of accident of birth, not of taste2005-03-12
Carry On Doctor2005-03-13
Billie Bardot2005-03-13
Media Tarts2005-03-14
Tom Baker voted top Doctor2005-03-14
Another dimension2005-03-14
Doctor Who's new assistant2005-03-14
Just what the Doctor ordered (2005)2005-03-17
The Doctor goes space age2005-03-17
The Return of the Time Lord2005-03-18
Billie's big comeback?2005-03-19
Who said what?2005-03-19
Billie the kid2005-03-19
I've Fallen for a Dalek2005-03-19
The A-Z of Doctor Who2005-03-19
It's properly scary and funny2005-03-19
A tale of British boffins2005-03-19
What Makes Who Special2005-03-19
A Time Lord Timeline2005-03-19
Radio choice2005-03-19
What's Up Doc?2005-03-20
Doctor New (Sunday Life)2005-03-20
Dr Who: talking about my generation2005-03-20
My sweet Time Lord: Are Sixties Daleks worth anything?2005-03-20
The Doctor's Darlings2005-03-20
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Rhodri Who? Minister mistaken for alien2005-03-21
I don't regret leaving The Street2005-03-21
Piper at the gates of dim2005-03-21
I chased an actor dressed up as an alien pig on my first day ... it was bonkers2005-03-21
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Who Dunnit Once ... but can cult sci-fi classic save BBC again?2005-03-21
Billie and I have on-screen chemistry2005-03-21
Doctor Who (2005)2005-03-22
Inside the Tardis2005-03-22
Ex-singer is taking on aliens2005-03-22
Who's the baddy!2005-03-22
In short, I have a vanishingly small part in the new run of Doctor Who2005-03-23
Dr Who's Who2005-03-23
Doctor Boo!2005-03-23
The Who-Sual Suspects2005-03-23
A new Who does it2005-03-24
Who's this in a dogs' home?2005-03-24
Who's That Girl (2005)2005-03-24
Doctor Who: funny he never married ...2005-03-24
Sexterminate! Sexterminate!2005-03-24
Timely return2005-03-24
Time Lord's floozy - there's no future in that, Billie2005-03-24
I fear future as the Timelord, admits Dr Who2005-03-25
The Great Doctor Who Quiz2005-03-25
Doc foe dies of old age2005-03-25
The Who Was Who in Dr Who2005-03-26
Best Regeneration2005-03-26
Doctor in the house!2005-03-26
The creatures2005-03-26
It's about Time (The Northern Echo)2005-03-26
That's the wonder of Who...2005-03-26
The Whys and Whats of Who2005-03-26
Piper calls the tune2005-03-26
Doctor Who returns2005-03-26
Corrie's Tricky Dicky is most chilling TV clip2005-03-26
One of the scariest programmes (if you're eight years old)2005-03-26
Bring on those nightmares!2005-03-26
Doctor in Love2005-03-26
Your handy cut-out guide to the greatest day on telly - ever2005-03-26
Blonde Bombshell2005-03-26
Mr TARDIS2005-03-26
Doctor Who arrives in modern times. And it works2005-03-26
Children can't say they've had a proper upbringing until they've spent a Saturday evening hiding behind the sofa with one eye on Doctor Who2005-03-26
Doctor faces a high-tech challenge2005-03-26
The sexiest Time Lord yet2005-03-26
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The BBC has no qualms about reviving old series2005-03-26
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Heroes & Villains2005-03-26
Older time-travellers left on different planet2005-03-26
Watch This2005-03-26
A timely return for the Doctor2005-03-26
The Doctor Will See You Now...2005-03-26
Return of the Daleks2005-03-26
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Who dares..2005-03-26
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Who's the greatest!2005-03-26
Now All-Out Dalek War2005-03-27
Oh Lord, he's still stuck in the past2005-03-27
Doc's grin and tonic2005-03-27
BBC cashes in as new Doctor hits the screens2005-03-27
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Can Doctor Who Dec Ant?2005-03-27
Doctor prescribes a cure for Beeb's terminal misery2005-03-27
Your worst nightmare .. new Daleks that can go UPSTAIRS!2005-03-27
This Doctor is the right prescription2005-03-28
Run for your life2005-03-28
Ten million welcome back the Doctor2005-03-28
Express Charts2005-03-28
Just what the Doctor ordered2005-03-28
Who's the daddy (The Sun)2005-03-28
Who's the daddy as 10m find time to see the Doctor2005-03-28
Dr Who wins Saturday night TV ratings war2005-03-28
Jason Flemyng2005-03-29
The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis2005-03-30
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Graham Norton on Dr Who? That is scary2005-03-30
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New Dr Who let down by same old cheesy effects2005-03-30
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Doctor Who Quits2005-03-31
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Dr Who too scary for young children2005-04-14
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Doctor Who is too scary for children2005-04-14
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Too frightening for parents?2005-04-15
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Doctor who? (Idea)2005-07-01

2005-04-14 Times.jpg


BBC imposes age limit of eight after parents complain about ghoulish scenes in the new series, Adam Sherwin reports

YOU can come out from behind the sofa now, kids. The BBC has said that under-eights should not watch Doctor Who after a tale of zombies terrified a new generation of children.

For more than 40 years, children have faced down the Daleks, Cybermen and whatever evils have been thrown at the Doctor, to emerge as fearless adults.

Now the BBC has issued advice that young children should not watch the revived series after 50 parents complained that their offspring were still suffering sleepless nights following Saturday's episode.

In the very opening scene of The Unquiet Dead an apparently dead old woman sprang out of her coffin and strangled her grandson.

In the episode, written by Mark Gatiss, of The League of Gentlemen, ghoulish aliens spewed from corpses' mouths as the Doctor, Rose and their -new sidekick, Charles Dickens, fought the undead.

A BBC spokesman said: "Doctor Who - has never been intended for the youngest of children.

"We would suggest that only children aged 8 and above should watch with their parents."

Doctor Who fans said it was the BBC that needed to grow up. Tom Silsbury, deputy editor of Doctor Who magazine, said: "I have watched Doctor Who since I was 3 and it never did me any harm."

The ban would be counterproductive, Mr Silsbury said: "Children enjoy being scared. And nothing is more likely to make them want to watch a programme than being told that they can't"

However, parents argued that their children needed protection from a BBC which has gone too far to win its Saturday early-evening ratings battle with ITV.

Dave Edwards, 28, from Liverpool, who has two children, said: "The kids were really shaken up by the whole programme and they refused to go to bed. "It's not the type of thing that you expect to see on the TV at 7 o'clock in the evening. I've never seen anything like that and the BBC have stepped way over the mark"

Back in the old days of Doctor Who, the BBC was also accused of pushing it beyond acceptable limits. Mary White house complained vigorously about a 1976 episode, The Deadly Assassin, which ended with an assailant holding Tom Baker's head underwater. A freeze-frame shot suggested that the Doctor had drowned.

Mrs Whitehouse made the BBC wipe the scene from repeat showings. She said that the episode still disturbed her, more than 14 years later. Gatiss, who has written four Doctor Who books, had toned down his original story after being told that it was too dark for a family audience.

He described his zombie tale as "blackly comic I had to be true to what I think Doctor Who is, in that it's properly scary and properly funny."

Set in Victorian Cardiff, the episode introduced the Gelf — gaseous life forms which possess the bodies of the recently deceased. A servant girl sacrifices her life to save the Doctor and his companions from the deadly creatures. Future episodes promise to be no less chill-inducing with one featuring hospital wards of sinister patients in gas masks and the Daleks poised for a comeback Steven Moffat, the writer of the BBC sitcom Coupling who has written two forthcoming Doctor Who episodes, said: "Doctor Who's universe is surrounded by death. It's child-friendly horror but you have to make it enjoyable."

A BBC spokesman said that -Doctor Who had to maintain its power to shock "The number of complaints were very small compared to a viewing audience of nine million," he added. "Over 40 years Doctor Who has maintained a balance between entertaining a family audience and scaring 'some viewers. We will continue to be vigilant" Doctor Who has beaten its main ratings competitor Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on each of its three outings. The BBC has announced a further series but not with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor.

Screen, T2, pages 11,12

Caption: Scare tactics: a still from the zombie episode set in Victorian times last Saturday which caused 50 parents to complain

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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who too scary for young children | url= | work=The Times | pages=5 | date=2005-04-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 January 2023 }}</ref>
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