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Jubilee spree for Doctor Who

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1988-11-16 Guardian.jpg

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EX-TER-MIN-ATE! Ex-ter-min-ate!" cackled the media, when they weren't protesting that they knew nothing about him, never watched him, and had anyone noticed that they've changed all the switches and dials and flashing thingies in the Tardis?

Doctor Who was born 750 years ago next Wednesday, but he had to wait 725 years for feeble earthling technology to catch up.

Did you know that so far there have been 279 hours, 8 minutes and 49 seconds of the world's longest running television science-fiction series? A lot of people know that. All over the world crazed men in stripey scarves could probably recite all 279 hours, 8 minutes and 49 seconds.

The Silver Jubilee episode will not disappoint them, as the terrifying flying chocolate chip cookie crash lands at Windsor. "It means that some planet somewhere faces imminent destruction," says the Doctor. "Crikey" says Ace, his latest lovely young assistant.

Doctor Who, not looking a day over the "40 and ahem ...ahem" he admits to, arrived by Tube for the flight to Mars yesterday, listening to Enya on his personal stereo.

He keeps the earphones on permanently, even when the batteries run out, as they did over the Atlantic on Monday. If he takes them off people rush up and say "Remember that time when the Cybermen had you backed into a corner and the Tardis was immobilised by a multigloop meltdown? Well why didn't you just reverse the negative gravity fields and activate the blenkinyop?"

Sylvester McCoy can't always answer these questions. Patrick Troughton was the Doctor when he got hooked (in his 20s, which casts some light on the ahem ...ahem) but he missed quite a few episodes while earning a living putting ferrets down his trousers on the Ken Campbell Roadshow.

At the Space Centre, after the cookie crumbled, everyone flew to Mars ("Fasten your seat belts," ordered the staff. "Where's the duty free," cried the ungrateful reptiles). Then the Doctor and his LLYA ("How do you like playing the part?" "Wicked," said Sophie Aldred) and hundreds of photographers, and two men carrying a marzipan Tardis cake, and a deeply unhappy Cyberman who couldn't see an inch in front of his chrome nose, stumbled out into the daylight and across two lanes of traffic for the birthday photographs.

The Cyberman fell down some steps and hurt himself, and his birthday balloons sailed off into the galaxy.

Once there was the elderly black-and-white Doctor, William Hartnell, then Troughton, then the severe Jon Pertwee, then Tom Baker.

Then there were the Doctors Who Peter Davison and Colin Baker. star of the near-final Doctor Who Meets the Red Braces (but it was Michael Grade who left the BBC.)

Sylvester McCoy, 5ft 6in but he does all his own stunts, freely admits he wasn't the Time Lords' first choice for the next Doctor. "Six thousand people applied for the part — including my milkman."

He is booked for the next season ("Really? I didn't know that"), but it is clear that the Time Lords have already re-embodied the Doctor. Philosophical chap, anxious intellectual manner, endearing physical quirks, talks to plants, constantly battling the hulking monsters destroying our city streets? And just 40: perfect age. His brother, Edward, is reported to have turned down a £50 walk-on part, but in the programme on November 23 you will see a lady remarkably resembling his mother, festooned with corgis. How broad a hint can the BBC give?


Caption: Sylvester McCoy ... not the Time Lords' first choice

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  • APA 6th ed.: Kennedy, Maev (1988-11-16). Jubilee spree for Doctor Who. The Guardian .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Kennedy, Maev. "Jubilee spree for Doctor Who." The Guardian [add city] 1988-11-16. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Kennedy, Maev. "Jubilee spree for Doctor Who." The Guardian, edition, sec., 1988-11-16
  • Turabian: Kennedy, Maev. "Jubilee spree for Doctor Who." The Guardian, 1988-11-16, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Jubilee spree for Doctor Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Jubilee_spree_for_Doctor_Who | work=The Guardian | pages= | date=1988-11-16 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 November 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Jubilee spree for Doctor Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Jubilee_spree_for_Doctor_Who | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 November 2019}}</ref>