Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Master of TV Time and Space

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A British sensation makes its way to the United States ... only 15 years after its debut.


Fifteen years ago, a British television legend was born. It all started, quite innocently enough when, in the series' first episode two schoolteachers followed a mysterious young girl back to her home. Instead of a house, though, they discovered that the girl appeared to live in a small, antique London police box with a crotchety old man she referred to as "Grandfather." Her abode was no ordinary London police box nor were the girl and her grandfather ordinary humans. In fact, they weren't humans at all.

The schoolteachers had stumbled upon a traveler of time and space, Dr. Who. his companion Susan and their time-and-space machine — the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space). Before long, the schoolteachers were befriended by the strange pair and whisked away to strange and alien worlds where they found themselves battling Daleks, Sesorites, Zarbi and, at one point, Marco Polo.

Since that initial episode, the good doctor has encountered hordes of deadly enemies, other new acquaintances and some recurring foes. He has changed companions and even altered his appearance! Today's Dr. Who is no longer a grandfatherly oldster but, rather, a curly-haired vagabond. This fourth incarnation, as played by Tom Baker, is the most popular Who ever. (The preceding Whos were William Hartnell (1963-66), Patrick Troughton (1966-70). Jon Pertwee (1970-74).)

As a result, the-Dr. Who series is currently enjoying a renewed popularity in Great Britain; a ratings renaissance that has finally led the good doctor and his armada of friends and foes to stateside TV.

As the longest-running science-fiction/fantasy series ever to hit television, the BBC-TV production has managed to survive while other programs with more money for special effects and big name stars have failed. In a large sense, Dr. Who owes its success to a talented cast and crew who use creativity instead of overripe budgets to create phantasmagoric space-scapes. Tom Baker and his cohorts have managed to carry off scenes that may have otherwise suffered from lack of money.

While many people see Dr. Who as a children's program (as it was originally intended), much of the show's English audience is made up of adults, and many of those adults who watched the series as children are now watching it with their children.

Owing to Who's phenomenal success, Time-Life has taken the first 98 half-hour segments of Baker's Doctor Who and syndicated them across the U.S. In some sections of the country it's being presented in a once-a-week, half-hour format, while in other areas it can be seen five days a week, sometimes twice a day.

Meanwhile, back in the U.K., BBC is currently running the newest series of adventures starring Baker and his latest companion, Lady Romana (Mary Tamm), a young woman who also happens to be a member of the doctor's race, The Time Lords.

At present, U.S. audience reaction to the series is overwhelming, thus assuring the doctor a stateside niche for years to come. And if U.S. Doctor Who fans feel cheated because they're missing the current U.K. series, not to worry; eventually the new Who will make his way over. After all, he does have all the time in the universe to make the voyage.


Caption: Above: the Doctor and Leela are shocked by the not-so-warm reception they get upon the Doctor's return to his home planet Gallifrey in the episode "Invasion of Time. Left: struggling with the Zygons, the Doctor tries to stop them from unleashing their weapon, the Skorasen — the Loch Ness Monster in "Terror of the Zygons." Below left the first three Doctors. Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and William Hartnell.

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.: Hirsch, David (1979-06-01). Master of TV Time and Space. Fangoria p. 8.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hirsch, David. "Master of TV Time and Space." Fangoria [add city] 1979-06-01, 8. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hirsch, David. "Master of TV Time and Space." Fangoria, edition, sec., 1979-06-01
  • Turabian: Hirsch, David. "Master of TV Time and Space." Fangoria, 1979-06-01, section, 8 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Master of TV Time and Space | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Master_of_TV_Time_and_Space | work=Fangoria | pages=8 | date=1979-06-01 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Master of TV Time and Space | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Master_of_TV_Time_and_Space | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 December 2019}}</ref>