Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

May the Force be with you!

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1980-12-18 Aberdeen Press and Journal.jpg


Donny B. MacLeod, in his People I Meet series, passes on a message from his youngest son to the BBC's new Dr Who ...

He arrived from the planet Gallifrey 17 years ago. He was silver-haired, looking like amiably eccentric Victorian gentleman of indeterminate years.

He could be waspish, sometimes querulous, often puckishly exasperated by the inexplicable frailties of the earthlings in whose company he found himself.

He arrived in a police telephone kiosk which was much bigger inside than out and, because of a communications mlx-up, he was dubbed Dr Who. He looked good deal like William Hartnell.

Time Lords are not bound by the tedious limitations which make us slaves to our physiques. The good doctor changed his bodily form, assuming an excellent resemblance to Patrick Troughton, except for the Beetle haircut, and later the outward form of the best-known tattlebogle in the business, Worzel Gummidge ... or do I mean Jon Pertwee?

For the last seven years he has affected a golliwog haircut, a 17ft long scarf, floppy hats, and a nice line in wisecracks, employing the alias of Tom Baker.

Another metamorphosis is imminent, The doctor, who at least 750 earth years old, is getting younger and younger. With breathtaking cunning, he is about to assume the appearance of a 29-year-old Londoner famous throughout the English-speaking world for impersonating a Yorkshire trainee veterinary, much given to chasing pretty girls, supping best bitter in the Drover's Arms pub and puffing on Woodbines at every opportunity.

Peter Davison talked about his reaction to the Invitation to become the fifth Dr Who.

"First of all, I was very surprised I took a long time considering decision. It not the sort of part to take on lightly. I listened to the advice of friends. I knew all about the dangers of being typecast after all the time as Tristan in All Creatures Great and Small and young enough to have watched the series from the beginning, when my sister and I used to hide behind the sofa and peep out from under cushions as the Daleks menaced the doctor. Obviously, I never imagined that one day would be the Doctor!

"My first TV part was a sort of space cowboy in a series called 'The Tomorrow People' and, strangely enough, my wife is now working on her part in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide the Galaxy', so sci-fi seems to be a part of our lives."

Peter is a very successful actor with all the work he can handle, but it was not always so.

"Every actor can tell you the same story. Finding work was very hard indeed. With no acting parts coming along, I did the usual sort of things. I worked as hospital porter, even worked in the Income tax office, filing claims.

"I filled in the time playing my guitar and writing songs I got the part of Tom Holland in 'Love for Lydia' and that led to the part of Tristan in 'All Creatures'. The real Tristan is small and dark and I am tall and fair and we are very different sort of characters but the whole thing was a success right from the start.

"Playing Tristan was good for me I am rather a shy and introverted person. He was jovial, irresponsible. uncomplicated Apart from the fact that I cannot stand beer and he always seemed to have a pint in his hand, the part gave me self-confidence.

"Now, of course, everybody asks how I am going to play Dr Who Will I be a bit more athletic? Will I be less Jokey? What hairstyle will I have? How will I dress? Will the Daleks come back? And what about K 9 and my companions? Will we go back to being a bit more scary? More mysterious?

"There not much can tell you. I have quite a lot of Ideas and obviously the character will be shaped by the producer and the scripts and the designer, but I suppose something Tristan Farnon will come through a bit of humour, a bit of fun, but a bit braver than Tris!

"I hope we will go back to a bit more of the mystery and the wonder and the scariness. I can tell you that I will have three companions but K9 is due for recycling. One thing is sure: I will not be wearing a floppy hat and a long, long scarf!"

Peter is beginning to discover that, while Dr Who may have been devised as a children's serial, it has become a cult. There are societies who meet to discuss the social, sociological, political and cultural implications of the Time Lord. They take it all very seriously Indeed. Peter will be expected to tour the universities and various societies to give lectures and answer the earnest questions of these seekers after inter-galactic truth.

He is also beginning to discover the intensity of feeling for the charismatic traveller through time and space. Tristan Farnon may have been the darling of the ladles, who wanted mother him and knit Fair Isle cardigans for him, but Dr Who a national institution.

He seems determined not to become trapped the role. He has already starred in a comedy series, "Holding the Fort" and is now appearing in a situation comedy, "Sink or Swim". He is a bit more of a worrier than his sunny, public persona would suggest, but had good comfort for him.

My youngest son Kevin an aficionado of the time-travelling business. He even has his own spaceship down in our basement and regularly boldly goes where nobody has ever gone before.

Kevin was deeply concerned that the succession should be orderly and suitable. He refused to believe the scurrilous rumour that Dr Who might even be female in the new incarnation. dismissed the possibility that the Doctor might be transmogrified into two or more separate individuals.

When he heard that the part had been accepted by Peter Davison, he pondered the implications for a brief moment and then nodded sagely: "He will be very good."

He went on to say that, I had a close encounter with Peter, I should pass on a message to him, which duly did. It was simple and to the point and obviously meant a great deal to the apprentice Time Lord.

Kevin's message was: "May the Force be with you!"

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  • APA 6th ed.: MacLeod, Donny B. (1980-12-18). May the Force be with you!. Aberdeen Press and Journal p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: MacLeod, Donny B.. "May the Force be with you!." Aberdeen Press and Journal [add city] 1980-12-18, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: MacLeod, Donny B.. "May the Force be with you!." Aberdeen Press and Journal, edition, sec., 1980-12-18
  • Turabian: MacLeod, Donny B.. "May the Force be with you!." Aberdeen Press and Journal, 1980-12-18, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=May the Force be with you! | url=! | work=Aberdeen Press and Journal | pages=9 | date=1980-12-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 August 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=May the Force be with you! | url=! | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 August 2020}}</ref>