Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Staying power

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They come and go, as ephemeral as vapor, as forgettable as a fast-food lunch. As American television reaches middle age, the number of shows produced since, say, 1950 stretches into the thousands. As the medium explodes with cable and a variety of other off-network alternatives, more and more programming is being developed, aired and abandoned.

How fast does it come and go? For a moment, consider the new prime-time series offered by NBC in the fall of 1983, just three seasons past. Does anybody here remember "Boone"? "Bay City Blues"? "Mr. Smith"? "Jennifer Slept Here"? "Manimal"? "The Rousters"? "For Love and Honor"?

All gone, all fodder for trivia or syndication, if enough episodes exist. Almost three out of four nighttime shows developed by the major networks are doomed to failure and well-deserved obscurity. And if the original programming being offered by cable operations and independent stations these days is any indication of what's to come, that dismal situation seems unlikely to change.

Understood, you say. Television programming is a bland and derivative business, the "vast wasteland" that is now so much a part of our national landscape. Not many industries could survive with more than half the products offered being summarily rejected by consumers. But television keeps trying, usually with the same old formulas. And we keep watching.

There is a biblical rhythm to the medium's notion of entertainment. Ozzie and Harriet Nelson begat Cliff and Clair Huxtable, as Dr. Kildare begat St. Elsewhere, as Peter Gunn begat Magnum, P.I. Some good TV, some bad TV, but all throwaway TV, as impermanent as the summer wind.

If you look closely, however, and check your programming guide in the slots not designated for what passes as "new" in the medium, you will find a short list of programs that look to be as permanent as anything in television gets.

Those few programs, a very few when thought of in terms of the percentage of shows produced, have stayed on TV from the moment they were hatched. Some are comedies, some are adventure series and at least one is a cartoon.

These shows, like "Star Trek," "The Bullwinkle Show," "I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners" and "Dr. Who," have managed the trickiest of television feats. They have incubated new audiences over the years. They have never been off the air. Some element in their appeal has by this point spanned a generation, found a fresh audience and, at the same time, retained its appeal for the original audience.

There are but 79 original, one-hour episodes of "Star Trek." But after more than 20 years, on and on it goes, repeated in syndication, rerun at almost every hour of the day and night, playing in virtually every television market.

This hardy-perennial assessment is in some respects a subjective process, of course, and certain shows of more recent vintage, shows like "M+A+S+H" and "All in the Family" may be destined to linger long after "Jack and Mike" is a memory. But it remains to be seen if a future generation of college kids will make a habit of "M+A+S+H," or "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," as college kids have done with "Star Trek" since its inception in 1966.

Logic would dictate that a commercial medium, a vehicle dedicated to commerce and the abbreviation of society's attention span, could not give birth to mythic figures. But after 35 years, that would seem to sell Lucy Ricardo, Mr. Spock and Ralph Kramden short. Or perhaps our definition of mythic figures will have to be adjusted for the television age.

Bette Midler defined the parameters when she appraised the cable-TV boom as follows: "100 channels, still nothing to watch."

The great maw of television devours programming nowadays, so that the mere presence of "Laramie" or "Baa Baa Black Sheep" on someone's air does not translate into permanence. Earlier this year, the Christian Broadcasting Network swept up a handful of episodes of "Helltown," a now-defunct melodrama that aired, briefly, on NBC. And a nationwide cable system bought up 13 episodes of "Buffalo Bill," an acerbic sitcom of recent vintage whose passing was greatly lamented when it was canceled in 1984.

What follows is a shorthand look at five television programs that abide, five programs that, for sometimes disparate, sometimes similar and sometimes inexplicable reasons, have defied the medium's actuarial tables. The list is arbitrary, of course, and fans of "Perry Mason," "Leave It to Beaver" and, say, the short-lived "The Prisoner" are sure to contest it.

These five shows endure for reasons other than rapacious station managers with hours to fill. They touch a chord, however curious, and seem destined to be around as long as we remain enchanted by the blue light in our living rooms.

The starship USS Enterprise set sail on Sept. 8, 1966, Thursday nights on NBC. For three short seasons "Star Trek" chronicled the exploits of Capt. James Kirk, the Vulcanic Mr. Spock and the crew through an intergalactic adventure set 200 years in the future. There were Klingons and Romulans and questions about Mr. Spock's starry stoicism, but there were no ratings. Throughout 1966-67 "Star Trek" was a double-dyed Nielsen flop.

After its second season "Star Trek" was marked for network extinction. A letter-writing campaign was mounted in Los Angeles, a pen-and-pencil assault that deposited more than half a million pieces of mail on NBC desks. "Trekkies," as they were beginning to be called, organized marches and demonstrations, mailed more letters and celebrated when the network announced, on the air, that the Enterprise was being refitted for a third season, in a new time slot.

A year later NBC canceled the show. This time, there weren't enough letters. Public indignation and a clear passion for the show among True Believers weren't sufficient to save Dr. McCoy, Sulu and Uhura. The Enterprise was set adrift in television space, or so it seemed.

"Star Trek" did reappear for two years in the early 1970s, but in animated form on Saturday mornings on NBC. Original cast members supplied the voices and producer Gene Roddenberry, the chief Trekkie, signed on as a consultant. It seemed an ignominious end.

That was then. This is now, with the November release of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" in movie houses across the country. Since that dark day in 1969 when NBC brought the programming hammer down on "Star Trek," there probably hasn't been a 24-hour period when the original program, one of the original episodes, wasn't being aired somewhere.

A fifth "Star Trek" movie is now being planned, and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is set for television syndication for the fall of 1987. The plan is for a two-hour TV movie followed by 24 one-hour episodes. That launch date would be 21 years after "Star Trek's" debut, 18 years after its network cancellation. (While the new syndicated effort has obtained the services of Gene Roddenberry, "The Next Generation" will sail along with an all-new cast of characters.)

"Star Trek" has been called a cult, a phenomenon, an aberration, "the embodiment of TV nostalgia for the 1960s." Conventions of "Trekkies" have been mounted on at least two continents. When, in 1979, the argument was made that the box-office success of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Star Wars" led to the first motion-picture version of the Enterprise odyssey, a contrary argument posited that Capt. Kirk's pioneering TV exploits had as much to do with the boom in outer space as Hollywood's overpraised special-effects wizards.

Television is a lot like baseball in one respect, best articulated by --who else?--Yogi Berra: "Nobody knows nothin'." When the crew of the Enterprise sat down at the bridge in the Paramount television studios in Los Angeles more than 20 years ago, there was no way to tell that Capt. Kirk would become a television archetype, that "Beam me up, Scotty," would become part of the language, that a national obsession would keep the show in a kind of perpetual rerun, that, in short, "Star Trek" would defy the immutable laws of television--and survive.

No one knows why even now. The yen for "Star Trek" persists, but the first movie, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," cost about $40 million and was less than a stunning success. Clearly the show is not everybody's darling. For millions of viewers in 1966, "My Three Sons" was a more salutary means of whiling away the time.

But, as television, "Star Trek" created a kind of complete and mobile universe. William Shatner's Kirk could have been lifted from the macho world of the American cowboy, but he was played off Leonard Nimoy's Spock, alien to the tips of his ears, a television original. This celestial wagon train offered a stock company, however odd, and a curious sort of storytelling consistency.

Viewers knew what to expect, not from the plot line but from the little universe hatched by Gene Roddenberry. Trekkies are perhaps the most possessive of television fans. Each claims a piece of the Enterprise, an emotional bond with the characters and their milieu that borders on the obsessive. They wish not only to be entertained, but to keep faith with the crew and the mission.

The obsession was not lost on the show's creators. In a 20th-anniversary interview with Emmy magazine, Roddenberry said: "In addition to regular production meetings, we had a concept meeting for every show. We sat down and said, 'This is the kind of planet we're on; this is the history of the people; this is their level of technology ... How would the people act? With the temperature and weather conditions of the planet, what would they wear?'

"We would get deeply into these things, and outsiders would come in and say, 'What the hell are you people doing? You're supposed to be making a television show.' "

In its way, "Star Trek" challenged viewers and, at the same time, enveloped them. Spock's extraterrestrial view of Kirk's humanity provides a constant source of amusement for Trekkies, as does the Vulcan logic Spock offers in almost every episode.

Others, of course, find "Star Trek" to be dithering nonsense. In one of his monologues, comedian Jay Leno has some fun at the expense of the show's sometimes tacky staging. "It's a little disturbing when the starship lands in an alien universe," Leno yelps, "and it looks just like Danny Partridge's bedroom," an allusion to "The Partridge Family," a less ambitious show of the same vintage.

If "Star Trek" looked at times like an off-the-peg amateur production, it developed a following that can only be characterized as unprecedented. Viewers found a home on the Enterprise, a home no Western like "Bonanza" or ditsy sitcom like "Gilligan's Island" has been able to provide.

In 1961 NBC gave us "The Bullwinkle Show," a nighttime spinoff of an ABC cartoon show called "Rocky and His Friends." ABC had run the program in its weekday afternoon line-up, but NBC trotted it out for one season at 7 p.m. on Sundays. Clearly, one of the definitive rules of prime-time programming--no cartoons after the dinner hour--was not yet in effect.

The show, in its various incarnations, has never disappeared from the tube. It wandered back and forth in the daytime between 1962 and 1982 on two networks. A sly cast of characters, including Bullwinkle J. Moose, Rocket J. Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, Boris Badenov, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, used the familiar voices of actors like Hans Conried, William Conrad and Edward Everett Horton. More important, the show's creators and writers were among the first to understand the appeal of multilevel humor on television.

"The Bullwinkle Show" kept several demographic groups in stitches. It would be intellectually dishonest for the average soon-to-be-middle-aged TV watcher to claim that he or she knew there was a Boris Godunov in the world of opera before there was a Boris Badenov on television.

What "Bullwinkle" succeeded in doing was the same thing "Sesame Street" accomplished years later in rather a more sophisticated style and for different reasons. The humor worked for children and adults.

Literary allusion and deft satire fell in with funny voices and disarming premises. Segments like "Fractured Fairy Tales" and "Peabody's Improbable History" spoke to the kids in front of the television set as well as to their elder brothers and sisters and, for at least that one season of prime time, the adult members of the household.

"Bullwinkle" stands as a kind of generational inside joke. Long before shows like "Moonlighting" were giving the viewers a sense that the writers were bent on amusing themselves as well as the audience, Rocky and his friends were spoofing the conventions of the medium--and in cartoon form, no less.

Dudley Doright, a happy idiot of a Mountie, was set against the aptly named Snidely Whiplash in a continuing law-and-order parody. With preposterous accents, Boris and Natasha sent up villains and international intrigue, while Mr. Peabody ran away with the shopworn notion of the absent-minded academician.

There is a danger in investing the likes of "Bullwinkle" with a significance beyond their ken, but in the mid-1960s the cartoon show was setting a course you couldn't find anywhere else on the dial. Watching "Bullwinkle" left the viewer with a sense of being in on the television game. The writers used it as mass-culture IQ test, and viewers have been responding to the test ever since.

In the same way, the architects of current network programming fare like NBC's "ALF" revel in the inside joke. In a recent episode, the comic alien is fixing a radio in the family garage. While he's working, he hums the theme from the cartoon show "The Jetsons," a "futuristic" cult cartoon first aired in 1962.

Last year NBC's "St. Elsewhere," which is produced by MTM Enterprises, offered a show in which earlier programs developed by the company, including "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The White Shadow," were folded into the script. And ABC's "Moonlighting," a show that draws a demographic bead on yuppies, has sent up everything from "The Honeymooners" to "The Taming of the Shrew" in its brief run.

Pirating the medium is now common practice in prime time, and is practiced by some of the most highly touted craftsmen in the business. "Playing with the medium is one of the things we like to do," "Moonlighting" executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron says. "We all grew up on TV, and we all share the television experience. And, yes, it's fun to play with the history."

"Bullwinkle" played with the medium and with the oddball corpus of knowledge acquired while growing up in America--watching TV, going to movies, dealing with the assembled facts of elementary and secondary education. It worked then and now because that experience isn't altogether altered by the passage of time and television.

The recent death of actor Desi Arnaz drew attention back to the early days of "I Love Lucy," and away from the depressing specter of Lucille Ball's recent foray into prime time for ABC. "Life With Lucy" is already a grim memory, while the program that first carried her name in 1951 plays on and on.

Lucille Ball logged time in Hollywood and the movie business, but she came out of radio, out of a show called "My Favorite Husband." She and Arnaz, then her real-life husband, used their own money to produce a pilot of the situation comedy for the reluctant wizards at CBS.

Unlike "Star Trek," "I Love Lucy" was a ratings winner from the first episode. In a television instant, Lucille Ball redefined screwball comedy for the medium and blended into the national vocabulary. Milton Berle and Sid Caesar and Jack Benny and Red Skelton were offering their estimable handiwork in the same years, but none succeeded in being loved like Lucy. And none can be found, more than 30 years later, on someone's TV station most every night of the week.

The original weekly series ran just six years before stopping production at the end of the 1956-57 season, and "Lucy" was numbered among the top 10 network shows in every season. By way of technical innovation, Ball and Arnaz pioneered the use of three cameras in a sitcom, and the notion of filming the show before a live audience, then airing it.

"I didn't want to work unless there was an audience to give me feedback," Ball said in a press interview before her receipt of a "lifetime achievement award" at the Kennedy Center last month. "We decided to do the show like a play, and show it as a film."

According to the TV legend, Ball and Arnaz simply wished to lighten the work load when they abandoned their weekly format, though they continued with various specials built around the follies of the Ricardos and the Mertzes. Lucy burned a thousand pot roasts, told a million fibs, made countless comic forays into show business, courtesy of Ricky's conga-playing cachet at the Tropicana Club.

In a sense, Lucy Ricardo sprang from the comic pages of newspapers as well as from radio. Domestic humor has been the staple of mass entertainment since the invention of the printing press. But while there had been Blondies and Dagwoods in the funny papers and a host of radio couples like "The Bickersons," there had never been a Lucy.

It was the mid-1950s, television was defining itself and Lucille Ball was stretching the limits, reinventing domestic comedy for this new medium, with the able assistance of Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley.

Considering the reach of TV in 1951, a year when large segments of the citizenry were still standing in front of department store windows to monitor this new phenomenon, the element of sheer surprise and delight in watching "I Love Lucy" should not be underestimated. The pacing of the show, the slapdash, frenetic nature of Lucy's antics must have been a revelation, given the stagey, vaudevillian nature of contemporary offerings--"Your Show of Shows," "The Colgate Comedy Hour," "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" and the like.

"There's no show in the history of television like that one," says Robert Young, who fleshed out some archetypes of his own in "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."

"There's a sense of romantic recall with those shows. People associate them, perhaps, with the birth of a first child, with some period of their life they recall fondly. That's one reason it'll run forever, along with the fact that the shows were bright and funny."

Lucy came along with the advent of TV and the first explosion in the baby boom, the boom that continues to drive television programming. "I Love Lucy" captured the imagination of a generation and, it would seem from the number of markets where it plays on, continues to do so with the product of the post-war baby boom.

"People wanted to see the Lucy they knew," Young says of the recent ABC series. "Maybe they sensed a kind of betrayal in the new show. That's not the same Lucy, even though she's doing the same kinds of crazy things. Viewers can be very demanding, in their way far more so than critics. Audiences are usually one jump ahead of the critics.

"One of my producers on 'Father Knows Best' said that the audience can't tell you what's wrong with a show. They simply know when it's right."

They knew in 1951, and have known ever since. And they understood that no substitutes could be accepted, even when the grande dame of TV comedy stepped out of retirement this fall. America was not waiting for Lucy to return.

The Honeymooners," the Brooklyn (actually, Bushwick) saga of Ralph and Alice Kramden, is a vivid page in television history, and one that keeps on turning. Last year the so-called "lost episodes" turned up, courtesy of Jackie Gleason, and engendered a new cable series and renewed interest in the show. But for most of its run "The Honeymooners" was folded into other programs, initially the "Cavalcade of Stars" on the old DuMont network.

Audrey Meadows joined Jackie Gleason when the show moved to CBS in 1951, but it was 1955 before the show stood by itself. Cast and characters evolved in an imperfect process that, when the Kramdens and their upstairs neighbors Ed and Trixie Norton were in place, made for near-perfect TV comedy.

Gleason was the oversized centerpiece, of course, but the necessarily primitive look of "The Honeymooners" belies the care taken in casting and creating the program. Among the star's considerable conceits was the notion of the "Gleason Actor."

"In those days, the idea of an acting troupe in television comedy was fairly new," says Audrey Meadows, the series' acerbic Alice. "We developed the program as we went along, from skit to skit, really, but with a pretty strong notion of where we were going."

Meadows, now semiretired and living in California, came to "The Honeymooners" from the "Bob and Ray" TV show as well as Broadway and light opera.

The cult of Bill Cosby, who is, by sheer weight of audience numbers, the most popular performer in TV history, is built in part on the high degree of control he exercises over "The Cosby Show." But all the while playing the bus-driving buffoon, Gleason understood that principle in 1955. It was his show, his vision of "The Honeymooners."

Five years ago, irked that "The Honeymooners" was not on TV in New York City, a Long Island adman named Peter Crescenti helped form an organization called RALPH, for Royal Association for the Longevity and Preservation of the Honeymooners.

"We didn't start RALPH as a religious experience, like Trekkies," says Crescenti. "We wanted to get the show back on the air in New York, which we succeeded in doing, seven nights a week."

RALPH, which has 12,000 names on its mailing list, held a convention in New York last August and met in Chicago in January, 1985. In putting together a pair of books about "The Honeymooners," (the latest being "Lost Episodes"), Crescenti found himself trying explain the continuing popularity of the series.

"Part of it is the characters and the acting," he says. "I've seen these episodes over and over, and whenever I watch Kramden and Norton, I'm seeing the characters, not the actor playing the character. I've seen Carney in movies like 'Harry and Tonto' and 'The Late Show,' but in 'The Honeymooners,' he's always Norton."

Crescenti's fascination extends to the writing. In his book he unearths this opinion from novelist John O'Hara. "Ralph Kramden," O'Hara wrote, "was a character we might get from Mr. Dickens if he were writing for TV."

" 'The Honeymooners' does more than find a fresh audience," Crescenti says. "There are thousands of people who've seen every episode again and again, who know every line of dialogue. But they continue to watch and laugh at the show. Somehow, the familiarity makes it more appealing, not less."

No discussion of television longevity would be complete without a nod in the direction of "Dr. Who." The good doctor has been around, in one form or another, since November, 1963, when the first segment turned up in England on the BBC. Six actors have portrayed the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey and boon to scarf-makers in this galaxy and, perhaps, beyond.

In terms of ratings and pure audience numbers, "Dr. Who" is at a far remove from "I Love Lucy." It was and is a cult phenomenon. But it will not die, despite precipitous changes in casting, dark news from Britain that more or fewer shows are being filmed, and an almost incomprehensible plot line. Novices can wander into "Star Trek" and come away with a sense of what's going on; tuning in to "Dr. Who" without benefit of background is a dizzying and disconcerting experience.

The Doctor has been making calls from time period to time period and place to place, in a vehicle dubbed Tardis. Companions like K-9, a computerized mechanical dog, and Sarah Jane Smith, a noncomputerized British journalist, have moved in and out of the show's glacial narrative. Villains have come and gone, as have Cybermen, Zygons and the dreaded Peking Homunculus. Only the Daleks linger.

Following the grandiose notion of "Dr. Who" has kept it a staple of cult broadcasting in 40 countries. Following the story line, or even the identity of the series' star from century to century is, in playwright Tom Stoppard's deft phrase, like reading every other line of a sonnet.

No matter. Board games, trivia quizzes, novelizations, coffee mugs and the inevitable scarf (for which official BBC crocheting directions are available) are a part of the "Dr. Who" phenomenon, as are conventions. One such rendezvous was held this year in Chicago, and four of the actors who've cavorted as the Doctor were in attendance.

In Chicago devotees of the show work the phones during PBS' fundraising periods, but at least once went the picket-line route when it appeared WTTW- Ch. 11 might phase out the series.

"During pledge weeks they come in to answer the phones with those 15- foot scarfs and very strange expressions on their faces," says a producer at WTTW, which has aired "Dr. Who's" adventures since 1975.

No cliche in network television palaver is more fraught with peril than the notion of a "Golden Age." There were dreadful prime-time shows in 1950s, despite the constant fealty paid to "Your Show of Shows" and "Lucy." And defenders of the TV faith could argue with some resolve that "Cosby," "Cheers," "Hill Street Blues," "St. Elsewhere" and a few others constitute a Golden Age in this decade. In fact, NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff, the force behind his network's current ratings dominance, makes the point at every opportunity.

"What is a 'Golden Age' of television?" Tartikoff wonders aloud. "Five good shows? Six good shows? How many does it take? Nostalgia for the good old days of TV tends to focus on a couple of great, wonderful, memorable shows and forget all the rest."

The question here is permanence, or the television equivalent. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was among the most popular and most estimable of prime-time shows during a seven-year run. "All in the Family" rattled television conventions from the night it made its network debut in 1971. But neither has aged well in syndication and reruns. Despite the high quality of the writing and the performances, both appear dated in ways "Lucy" and "The Honeymooners" do not.

A common thread in "Lucy" and "Bullwinkle" and "Dr. Who" is a kind of entertaining timelessness. There is little in these programs that is topical, or pegged to the morning headlines, or relevant. They are selfcontained in that they are not about anything in particular.

Ralph and Alice Kramden's noisy domesticity parallels the goings-on in the Ricardo household, both present at television's creation. Is it possible that no domestic sitcom developed since the Eisenhower administration has struck a truer chord? Will Bill Cosby be making us laugh 30 years down the road?

One school of television history dictates that "Star Trek" borrowed freely from "Dr. Who." From "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" to "Battlestar Galactica" to the umpteenth rendition of Buck Rodgers, the science-fiction mine has been worked and reworked on the tube. Yet these two strange efforts, neither the slickest nor the most accessible of the genre, survive and prosper.

In television, True Believers vote with their devotion to a particular show, and the devotees of these five shows have endured and prospered in an environment where five or six seasons is an eternity.

Certainly Peter Crescenti's notion of familiarity offers a clue. At this point to love Lucy and have missed any original episodes would be unforgivable. With the exception of "Dr. Who," none of these shows offers the viewer anything new. And the syndicated fate of the revamped "Star Trek" is soon to be determined. It seems safe to assume that a large percentage of the show's following will it find wanting.

T.S. Eliot said the legacy of 20th Century man would be the highways, "and a thousand lost golf balls." For television, almost 40 years on, it may be a legacy of artful escapism; Lucy torching the Thanksgiving turkey, Spock picking a pseudo-philosophical point with his Captain, Ralph Kramden losing the cash box at the Raccoon Lodge. We've seen the history of television, and it's lighter than air. Four thousand television programs in 40 years, and we're left with an odd handful that have stayed the course. As Ralph Kramden might have put it, "Homina, homina, homina."


PHOTO: (color) Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Engineer Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) brandish their phasers for a publicity photo taken in 1966, "Star Trek's" first season. Copyright 1978, Paramount Pictures Corp.

PHOTO: (color) Joan Collins provided Kirk's love interest in the series' popular 28th episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever" (April 6, 1967). Collins credited the role with giving her career a needed boost. (copyright) 1967, Paramount Pictures Corp.

DRAWING: (color) Bullwinkle J. Moose, Rocket J. Squirrel, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale defied convention on their way to 19-inch immortality. DFS Dorland.

PHOTO: "I Love Lucy" stars Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz), Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), William Frawley (Fred Mertz) and Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo) in 1957.

PHOTO: Ethel and Lucy leave no doubt as to their opinion of washing dishes.

PHOTO: (color) "Honeymooners" Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), Ed Norton (Art Carney), Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) and Trixie Norton (Joyce Randolph). WGN Television.

PHOTO: (color) Tom Baker, the fourth of six actors to portray Dr. Who, popularized the Whovian scarf. Lionheart Television International.

PHOTO: Capt. Kirk and Communications Officer Uhura moments before the first televised interracial kiss, on Nov. 22, 1968, during the "Star Trek" episode "Plato's Stepchildren." (Contents, page 2). Copyright 1968 Paramount Pictures Corp.

DRAWING: (color) On the cover: Some old TV shows never die ... Illustration by Jeff MacNelly.

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