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Tardis appears from Glasgow

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EXCLUSIVE A HOLLYWOOD special effects' company has formally approached Glasgow City Council for use of a blue police box - fuelling a worldwide fan frenzy that a new Dr Who movie is imminent.

The firm has asked the council to confirm rumours that boxes of the type used as the Tardis in the original BBC series can still be found in the city, and for direct access to them.

The council's film office has confirmed they exist - three still stand in the city centre alone - and has offered all assistance to the company.

Follow-up inquiries by The Herald suggest an American actor has already been offered the lead role, and that a digital recreation of a Glasgow box as the Tardis will be acknowledged in the film credits.

Since 1963, when William Hartnell played the first Time Lord in the cult BBC TV series, there have been seven further doctors in subsequent series and spin -off films.

Mr Mike Verta, president of special effects' post production firm Arc/Haven Studios, last night confirmed he has asked the council for permission to computer generate a police box to represent "one of the most distinguishable icons in science fiction history".

From his suite in Hollywood, he said: "It would be horrendously expensive to use the real thing in a film, especially if it had to appear from the ocean or drop into a volcano. A computer-generated box would offer more flexibility, choreography, control and be seamless.

"But we want it to be architecturally precise and to capture the authentic textures and various surface materials, which explains our interest in Glasgow."

The firm is considering using local talent to take the necessary photographs and exact measurements of the box to guarantee an on-screen replica down to the smallest detail.

A typical example of digital work in films is the blockbuster Jurassic Park, where the Jeeps subjected to attack by a tyrannosaurus rex were as computer generated as the dinosaur. Arc/Haven's effects can currently be seen in the likes of Lost in Space and The Truman Show.

The Internet has been awash with speculation for months that a £6m Dr Who movie is on the cards, including the BBC's own website suggesting a formal announcement soon.

Mr Verta, clearly aware of confidentiality surrounding major film projects, declined to comment on a Dr Who film other than to say it is "in development".

That usually means the script has been written, polished and the studio money and distributors are being sought. It does not necessarily mean a movie is a certainty.

However, the Arc/Haven president let slip that a winter 2000 date had already been set for mainstream cinema screening. As such, production time is now of the essence.

He also said: "I understand radical discussions are ongoing about what to do with Dr Who and the police box. It will be a challenging film. I do not think that Americans can make Dr Who the way the British did. There will be an American take on the scenario."

The suggestions are that a prominent black actor - notably Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, or Denzel Washington - has been approached to play Dr Who - with supporting British actors reputed to be Linus Roache and Robert Carlyle.

Director Paul Anderson, whose works include Soldier and Mortal Kombat, is said to be developing the film under the aegis of Impact Pictures, in conjunction with BBC Films and HAL Films.

In 1993, the then Strathclyde Regional Council decided to scrap Glasgow's 11 police boxes, deemed obsolete and the target of vandals and illegal bill posters.

Many were saved thanks to renovation work by members of the Dr Who Society and Glasgow Building Preservation Trust. Two now double as tourist information booths.

The Tardis (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) is represented as a police box because its cloaking device became stuck during a previous misadventure in London.

GRAPHIC: The Tardis, and deadly enemy; Who's there? A council worker inspects a police box in Buchanan Street Picture: COLIN MEARNS; Who is to be the latest Time Lord? and travel the time and relative dimensions like his predecessors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Cushing

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  • APA 6th ed.: Wilson, Iain (1999-09-01). Tardis appears from Glasgow. The Herald p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Wilson, Iain. "Tardis appears from Glasgow." The Herald [add city] 1999-09-01, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Wilson, Iain. "Tardis appears from Glasgow." The Herald, edition, sec., 1999-09-01
  • Turabian: Wilson, Iain. "Tardis appears from Glasgow." The Herald, 1999-09-01, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Tardis appears from Glasgow | url= | work=The Herald | pages=3 | date=1999-09-01 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Tardis appears from Glasgow | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>