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Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage

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  • Publication: The Age
  • Date: 2005-05-31
  • Author: Claire Halliday
  • Page: Metro, p. 5
  • Language: English

Now you can catch Doctor Who - or at least some of it - at the theatre.

AFTER a lifetime on the small screen, Doctor Who is about to tread the theatrical boards - and, it seems, the idea couldn't come at a better time.

It's challenged fashion conventions with the introduction of the striped scarf, even survived what few other shows have ever been able to pull off: the replacement actor. With 42 years under its time-travelling belt, Doctor Who is the world's longest-running science-fiction television show. Nine doctors later, its recent return to ABC TV on Saturday nights is proving our fascination with the Tardis hasn't waned.

At least that's what comedian (and self-confessed Doctor Who fanatic) Tim Ferguson is hoping when Doctor Who: Inside The Tardis hits the live stage circuit in July. Don't expect Shakespeare, but for both hardcore fans and those new to the adventures of the Time Lord, the show will be a celebration of all things Who, with classic BBC clips and insiders' stories from a select group of former cast members that includes Colin Baker (the fifth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Doctor) and Katy Manning (who played the third Doctor's companion).

"I'll be the master of ceremonies," says Sydney-based Ferguson, who hopes the live show audiences leave "with a chuckle in their belly".

"The audience can also ask questions they've always wanted to know the answers to," says Ferguson, "like what the Daleks were really like."

As president of the Victorian chapter of the Doctor Who Club, sales manager Peter Rosace, 34, is looking forward to the live show, but says "time will tell" if diehard fans stick with the new TV Doctor.

Among the 150 members of the club, which was founded in 1979, there is "a mixed bag of feelings" says Rosace.

"The music is still mostly the same and a lot of the original elements are still there - at least it's still British - but a few people think that the humour is a little irreverent," Rosace says.

"I first watched Doctor Who when I was nine years old," he adds. It's hardly the stuff of pre-pubescent rebellion, but in Rosace's household it wasn't something that was encouraged.

"Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) and I had a secret rendezvous," Rosace says. "The first episode I saw was called Planet of Evil."

After stumbling upon the club (Rosace doesn't want to use the term "fan club") while at university, he became a committee member in 1996 and has been president since 2000.

"A lot of what we do is online chat, but we do get together socially," Rosace says. "People show off their collectables, or we play games, like made-up Doctor Who celebrity head or Dr Who Monopoly. It's affected a lot of people."

There's a perception that most of those people are male, but Ferguson disagrees. "Doctor Who had great female role models," says Ferguson. "The character Jo, who played the sidekick to Jon Pertwee's Doctor in the early '70s had a real 'let's go get 'em' attitude, even though she was blonde and beautiful. I think a lot of girls loved that."

The actor who played the feisty Jo Grant from 1970-73, Katy Manning, agrees. Now a Sydney-based Australian citizen, Manning says she's looking forward to revisiting her former British life when the stage show tours Australia and New Zealand.

"My son - he's 26 - has always watched it, and so I've always been cool.

"Now that it's back and popular with a new version and a stage show, I'm cool again," Manning says.

Her brush with such coolness has been something she never expected when she agreed to take on the role all those years ago.

"The whole thing is so amazing, so I just walk around gobsmacked, still. People are always asking me about it," she says. "I'm usually asked, 'What was the most frightening monster on Doctor Who?', and I say, 'My friggin' wardrobe, darling'. What can I say? It was the '70s."


WHERE Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Clayton; the Palais Theatre, St Kilda

WHEN Friday, July 15 (Monash), and Saturday, July 16 (Palais) at 8pm

HOW MUCH $54.90-$79.70 (Monash); $64.90-$79.70 (Palais)

GRAPHIC: TWO PHOTOS: Comedian and Doctor Who fanatic Tim Ferguson, left; and 1970s favourites Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Halliday, Claire (2005-05-31). Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage. The Age p. Metro, p. 5.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Halliday, Claire. "Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage." The Age [add city] 2005-05-31, Metro, p. 5. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Halliday, Claire. "Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage." The Age, edition, sec., 2005-05-31
  • Turabian: Halliday, Claire. "Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage." The Age, 2005-05-31, section, Metro, p. 5 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage | url=,_this_time_to_the_stage | work=The Age | pages=Metro, p. 5 | date=2005-05-31 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Time Lord travelling again, this time to the stage | url=,_this_time_to_the_stage | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024}}</ref>