Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Today, Doctor Who is wholesome

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1989-09-21 Stage and Television Today.jpg

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A COUPLE of years ago, The Stage and Television Today covered the story of the attempt by certain Corporation bigwigs to axe Doctor Who. The outrage provoked by this was considerable; "Save The Doctor" pressure groups sprang up in the most unlikely of places. The Doctor was, they said, a living institution, cherished by successive generations of youngsters. The howls of protest paid off, for here is a new series of Doctor Who adventures.

The Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, follows the pattern of the last three, ie he is a charming, slightly eccentric old buffer who doesn't seem capable of fusing a dalek. And, this, I think, is the problem with the eighties version of the Time Lord's wandering. It's too soft.

In the early seventies, when Jon Pertwee played the Doctor, he was a cool customer, a sort of Dark Angel in frills and you could always guarantee an imaginative script and a hideous villain. Does anyone remember the Doctor tangling with a demon, conjured up by black magic devotees? Then, there was the mysterious life-force which brought plastic objects to life (pretty terrifying to a six year old) and then, of course, there were those four foot long slugs whose slime left victims screaming in agony.

Today, Doctor Who is wholesome. His enemies seem to be largely humanoid — that way you don't have a splash out on special effects, but instead merely rustle up something in wardrobe.

The new series kicked off with a sort of King Arthur story. In this, the knights of the round table materialise in more-or-less modern Britain, possibly to heed the call of a nation in need, although this is not clear, nor is the reason why the knights are armed with broad sword and laser-gun. Although the Doctor did mutter something about wars being waged in parallel dimensions of time.

The Doctor is ably aided by his assistant "Ace" — played by Sophie Aldred, who is a lot trendier than the assistants of old, and she loves explosives, which can't be bad. But on the whole I find Doctor Who a bit much these days. It's been given a 7.30pm slot but will have most appeal to the very young. What it needs is to grow up a bit. Forget spending on sets and costumes. All the Doctor needs is a good script and more blood and gore.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Davies, Nicolas (1989-09-21). Today, Doctor Who is wholesome. The Stage and Television Today p. 21.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Davies, Nicolas. "Today, Doctor Who is wholesome." The Stage and Television Today [add city] 1989-09-21, 21. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Davies, Nicolas. "Today, Doctor Who is wholesome." The Stage and Television Today, edition, sec., 1989-09-21
  • Turabian: Davies, Nicolas. "Today, Doctor Who is wholesome." The Stage and Television Today, 1989-09-21, section, 21 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Today, Doctor Who is wholesome | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Today,_Doctor_Who_is_wholesome | work=The Stage and Television Today | pages=21 | date=1989-09-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 February 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Today, Doctor Who is wholesome | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Today,_Doctor_Who_is_wholesome | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 February 2020}}</ref>