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The Daleks are coming back

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1971-11-28 Observer.jpg

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Jon Pertwee faces many new mysteries when 'Dr Who' comes back to television screens in January.


DON'T look now, but the Daleks are coming back. Dr Who zooms off on a new series of adventures soon, and though he doesn't quite know what he will meet (these time machines are a bit unreliable), there's not much doubt that those aggressive robots will turn up before long.

That will please the under-10s. It is some time now since they were able to judder down the passage croaking 'I-am-a-Dalek' and blast down the bathroom door with jets of invisible fire from mother's umbrella.

Dr Who, for a while, left behind its plastic planets and brought science fiction to the next street. It also gained Jon Pertwee and became one of the television shows no child's parents wanted to miss: the last series had an audience of nearly 10 million, more than half of them over 16. It sometimes left you with a bit of a cold patch where your stomach used to be, and the feeling as you went to bed that a quick check in the wardrobe would be a good idea, but you'd rather somebody else did it.

The famous doctor (played earlier by William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton) is less of a 'character' than he used to be, less eccentric. In the hands of Jon Pertwee he has become more a man of action, with a touch of the James Bonds behind that friendly face.

'With the serial so much less of a fantasy than it was, it seemed the right way to take the character,' he said. 'When the monsters are just round the corner of your own road, there isn't much time for footling around.'

The team are not going to be tied one way or the other in the new series. They will be off into space — where the last series left them — prepared to face such fiends of the future as the scriptwriters can devise. And they will be back to earth, with Jon swimming underwater and piloting a speedboat, at which he is an expert.

It was a considerable shock to show business people when the part was given to Jon Pertwee. For though he had been a West End actor since before the war, he had become better known as a comedian. In fact the public at large probably knew his voice better than his face: for more than 12 years that master fixer, Chief Petty Officer Pertwee, has twisted his way through 'The Navy Lark' on radio, gathering something like 100 million listeners across the world.

Brother of a scriptwriter and son of a playwright, Jon still reckons to earn what he calls 'the real bread' as a comedian in cabaret. With that under his belt, he takes off for distant and enchanting holidays, always on the look-out for treasures to bring home to Barnes, in South-West London.

It was in an old chest that he found some clothes that belonged to his grandfather. He now wears them, or copies of them, as Dr Who.

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.: Hunn, David (1971-11-28). The Daleks are coming back. The Observer .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hunn, David. "The Daleks are coming back." The Observer [add city] 1971-11-28. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hunn, David. "The Daleks are coming back." The Observer, edition, sec., 1971-11-28
  • Turabian: Hunn, David. "The Daleks are coming back." The Observer, 1971-11-28, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Daleks are coming back | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Daleks_are_coming_back | work=The Observer | pages= | date=1971-11-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=5 February 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Daleks are coming back | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Daleks_are_coming_back | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=5 February 2023}}</ref>