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Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8

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1984-06-25 Houston Post.jpg

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NBC's new V series isn't the only show in store for science-fiction fans this fall. By popular demand, Channel 8 has decided to pick up Dr. Who starting in October.

Although Dr. Who is unknown to many American viewers, the series is one of the longest-running in British television history. The doctor from Planet Gallifrey, able to travel through time and space, made his debut on Earth in 1963 and is still a mainstay on the British Broadcasting Corp.

Several different actors have held the title role, but the character has stayed the same over 21 years. Channel 8 will air Dr. Who weekly, starring Tom Baker in the title role, at 9 p.m. Saturdays starting Oct. 13.

Baker is the most popular actor to play Dr. Who, and he held the role for the longest time, says Steven Gray, KUHT's director of programming.

Dr. Who chapters vary from 70 to 90 minutes, almost as long as the average feature film.

Channel 2 aired Eh. Who fora few years, off and on, In the late '70s and early '80s. But KPRC edited the show in half-hour segments, meaning each Dr. Who film was more or less cut up and serialized over a few evenings. Since Channel 8 is not a commercial station, it does not have to edit the shows to insert ads. The shows will appear in their entirety on KUHT, much as they have in Great Britain.

Despite the series not having aired recently on local television, at least two Dr. Who fan clubs still exist in Houston.

Gray says there have been a steady number of requests to carry the show since Channel 8 aired its BBC documentary about Dr. Who in March. Members of the fan clubs manned the phones during pledge breaks on the evening KURT aired the BBC special, which told of the five actors who have played Dr. Who over 20 years. Channel 8 surpassed its Festival '84 fund-raising goal the evening the Dr. Who documentary aired.

Gray said he hasn't kept a tally of the number of pleas to carry Dr. Who, "but it's well over 100" letters or phone calls. Many of the requests came with pled, and donations for the public-TV station.

KUHT has purchased 42 episodes and can repeat 11 of those. At a total of $60,000, the series "is more expensive than anything we buy," he said.

Gray added the station's development department has assured him that financial contributions from Dr. Who fans should pay for the series. The program director also thinks the series might build a substantial new audience base for the station.

KUHT plans to precede its first Dr. Who film with an hour-long special, Dr. Who in America, which documents the series' popularity in the United States.

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.: Watson, Keith (1984-06-25). Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8. The Houston Post p. 4B.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Watson, Keith. "Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8." The Houston Post [add city] 1984-06-25, 4B. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Watson, Keith. "Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8." The Houston Post, edition, sec., 1984-06-25
  • Turabian: Watson, Keith. "Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8." The Houston Post, 1984-06-25, section, 4B edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8 | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Local_fan_devotion_helps_in_bringing_%27Dr._Who%27_to_Ch._8 | work=The Houston Post | pages=4B | date=1984-06-25 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Local fan devotion helps in bringing 'Dr. Who' to Ch. 8 | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Local_fan_devotion_helps_in_bringing_%27Dr._Who%27_to_Ch._8 | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023}}</ref>