Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

The Doctor is out, but not forgotten

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1997-04-03 Times Recorder.jpg

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Robots that walk like they were pieced together with tape. Wigs spray painted silver. Invisible monsters. Weapons that make incredibly irritating noises. And the sonic screwdriver, of course.

All these wonderfully-inexpensive effects are part of a series that aired on public television for years with permission from its creator, British Broadcasting Corporation. The show was called "Doctor Who," appropriately named after the eccentric, main character who liked to be called "The Doctor"

The Doctor is a timelord who travels through the universe in what resembles an old, British police box. In the time machine he call the "Tardis," the Doctor stumbles around on worlds trying to resolve conflict, using only his wits and his bizarre sense of humor. Occasionally, he travels with a companion, who is usually every bit as unusual as the Doctor himself.

What started as a black and white science fiction serial in 1963 that aired the day after President John F. Kennedy was shot, ended up as a science fiction oddity with a cult following in many countries that continues today.

The Doctor has many lives at his disposal, which he used through the 1990s. Each time the doctor regenerated, a new actor took over, adding a new style of dress and another quirk to the already overly-divided personality.

Most people who hate the show hate the character and those wonderfully-inexpensive effects. But that's what makes the show for me.

The Doctor's total grasp of reality combatted by his total in-acceptance of what appears to be real makes for a wild ride during every episode.

There's always a confusing plot, crammed with way too many ideas.

Take the Swampies, for example. Those were the guys in green paint wearing green loin cloths and acting as if they'd been out in the swamps too long. Pair them with an overzealous crew of idiots running a mining operation too committed to greed to fight what looked like a huge, cardboard squid. Then add the Doctor in the middle and require him to convert the giant squid to a key using a little metal object that might have been a flashlight in one of its lives.

I'm sorry, but no other show in this universe or any other could get away with that. That's why I love it.

I've been watching Doctor Who since I was a child, following the Doctor as he fought the Cybormen and his evil nemesis, the Master.

And I find I'm not alone in my continued pursuit of the Doctor, despite public television's decision to remove him from the airwaves several years ago.

When you run into a person who loves Doctor Who, it's like finding a long, lost friend. You can both cover your ears while reciting the Daleks' over-modulated threat "Exterminate, exterminate" You can laugh about Lela, one of the Doctor's most famous companions, who always tried to stab everyone. And you can argue over which of the seven doctors is your favorite. I did that last night with Bill, a good friend whom I love to disagree with.

Just last year, FOX television tried to recreate the show that spanned 30 years by making a two-hour movie that opened with the eighth regeneration of the Doctor.

I loved it, even though the effects were a major step up from the original series. Somehow, even with the newly-decorated Tardis (that still didn't work at times), the show kept that low-budget feel that first captured my imagination so long ago. I applauded FOX's efforts, even though that movie didn't inspire another FOX series.

Let me just close in saying that if you have never heard of Doctor Who, you need to find an episode on tape. You can rent a few here and there. Watch the first five minutes and, even if you hate it, even if you think the effects are worse than watching World Wrestling Federation fights, even if you think the Doctor is a moronic babbler, give it a chance. You may find yourself wishing you could join the Doctor on one of his travels in the Tardis. I've never stopped wishing for that.

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.: Wince, Lori (1997-04-03). The Doctor is out, but not forgotten. Zanesville Times Recorder p. 12A.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Wince, Lori. "The Doctor is out, but not forgotten." Zanesville Times Recorder [add city] 1997-04-03, 12A. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Wince, Lori. "The Doctor is out, but not forgotten." Zanesville Times Recorder, edition, sec., 1997-04-03
  • Turabian: Wince, Lori. "The Doctor is out, but not forgotten." Zanesville Times Recorder, 1997-04-03, section, 12A edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Doctor is out, but not forgotten | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Doctor_is_out,_but_not_forgotten | work=Zanesville Times Recorder | pages=12A | date=1997-04-03 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Doctor is out, but not forgotten | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Doctor_is_out,_but_not_forgotten | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>