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New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors

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2003-10-05 Sunday Times.jpg

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The BBC is to approach Bill Nighy, one of Britain's most sought after character actors, to become the new Dr Who. Nighy, who played the crusading newspaper editor in the BBC's hit political thriller State of Play, is said by friend to be very interested in the role.

Last week the BBC announced that the classic low-tech sci-fi series is to return after a gap of 15 years. Nighy is wanted by both Russell T Davies and the BBC to take the iconic roles.

In the past week speculation has been rife over who will assume the part made famous by actors such as William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker. The bookies' favourite has been Alan Davies, followed by Richard E Grant and Sean Pertwee, whose father Jon was Dr Who in the 1970s.

Other names mentioned include Alan Cumming, Jonathan Pryce, Paul McGann, the black actor Chiwetel Eijofor, Eddie Izzard and Mark Gatiss, from BBC2's The League of Gentlemen. Gatiss has played the timelord in a Comic Relief sketch and has also written a Dr Who book.

All the gossip has shown just how much interest there is in the timelord and his enemies, the Daleks. Yet the speculation has been wide of the mark.

Both Russell T Davies and the BBC believe that Nighy would be perfect for the role. Nighy is in his mid-fifties and comes across as a rather eccentric, gangling and diffident figure. Younger actors who have played the doctor have never been as appreciated by viewers.

Davies believes Dr Who should again be shown in the early evening on Saturdays. He will ensue that the doctor has a female sidekick and would like the Daleks to return, too, but there is a snag as their copyright is owned by Terry Nation, who did the second series.

Dr Who burst onto BBC1's screens at 5.15pm on Saturday, November 23, 1963, the evening after the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

From the first programme it broke new ground with its idea of an elderly man, exiled from his own world, travelling with his granddaughter through time and space in a Tardis (time and relevant dimension in space) machine that had the external form of a police phone box. At its peak it attracted more than 16m viewers.

The last episode was broadcast inn 1989 with Sylvester McCoy as the doctor, although in 1996 there was a TV movie starring Paul McGann.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Brooks, Richard (2003-10-05). New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors. The Sunday Times .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Brooks, Richard. "New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors." The Sunday Times [add city] 2003-10-05. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Brooks, Richard. "New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors." The Sunday Times, edition, sec., 2003-10-05
  • Turabian: Brooks, Richard. "New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors." The Sunday Times, 2003-10-05, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/New_Dr_Who_located_on_planet_of_the_character_actors | work=The Sunday Times | pages= | date=2003-10-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 January 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=New Dr Who located on planet of the character actors | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/New_Dr_Who_located_on_planet_of_the_character_actors | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 January 2021}}</ref>