Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Time Machines, Always Cool

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2012-06-22 New York Times.jpg


Fans of the modern "Doctor Who" — the fast-paced, high-tech, hyper-verbal science-fiction series that will begin its seventh season later this year — most likely know that the show has a long, storied and intensely codified history, stretching back 49 years and nearly 800 episodes. But if they're American, the odds are good that they've never seen the show's earlier incarnation, which ran on the BBC from 1963 to-1989.

This summer the Paley Center in Manhattan will offer latter-day Whovians an opportunity to explore the roots of their obsession, with screenings of remastered episodes from the "Doctor Who" vault — first broadcast in 1980, 1974 and 1970 — On the last Saturdays of June, July and August. Each feature-length screening will include a complete story arc originally consisting of several episodes.

The time-traveling Doctor's vehicle, a blue police box called the Tardis, will be instantly recognizable, as will the alien villains: the inexorable, ubiquitous Daleks in "Resurrection of the Daleks," on June 30, and "Death to the Daleks," on July 28; and the Autons, plastic automatons making their first appearance in "Spearhead From Space," on Aug. 25. (The series is co-sponsored by BBC Home Entertainment, which is releasing the remastered episodes on DVD this summer.) Also present from the start are the show's dark humor and the Doctor's insouciance.

What will take some getting used to, for those who haven't experienced it, is the slow pace of the stories — compared with the current series, they seem to be standing still — as well as the prehistoric special effects and production design.

And the Doctor himself Will be different, of course. "Resurrection of the Daleks" features Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, while "Death to the Daleks" and "Spearhead From Space" star Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor. In "Spearhead" the Doctor has just regenerated into the white-maned form of Mr. Pertwee; frequently consulting a mirror, he fairly quickly decides that he likes his new, craggy visage. If only he could have known that four decades hence, the show would be on its 11th Doctor and counting.

Caption: From left, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson and Peter Davison, the fifth "Doctor Who."

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  • APA 6th ed.: Hale, Mike (2012-06-22). Time Machines, Always Cool. The New York Times p. C28.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hale, Mike. "Time Machines, Always Cool." The New York Times [add city] 2012-06-22, C28. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hale, Mike. "Time Machines, Always Cool." The New York Times, edition, sec., 2012-06-22
  • Turabian: Hale, Mike. "Time Machines, Always Cool." The New York Times, 2012-06-22, section, C28 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Time Machines, Always Cool | url=,_Always_Cool | work=The New York Times | pages=C28 | date=2012-06-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 September 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Time Machines, Always Cool | url=,_Always_Cool | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 September 2021}}</ref>