Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans

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1993-12-02 Stage and Television Today p11.jpg


SIR - In his November 18 article, What a hullabaWho!, David Howe is certainly correct in saying that Dr Who needs to grow up with its audience in order to win a new generation, and that viewing figures aren't necessarily the best guide to a show's popularity. (It's ironic that after Johnathan Powell took off Dr Who in 1989, the BBC's viewing figures instantly slumped and haven't fully recovered to this day!) However, Dr Who is capable of developing more adult storylines and production values without the tampering that Mr Howe suggests with the show's two keystones - the Doctor and the Tardis.

If the Tardis' police box exterior vanished, what could replace it - a BT phone booth? Or maybe a Superloo, with a transdimensional 10p instead of a Tardis key to give the Doctor access to his timeship? The show's most recent producer, John Nathan-Turner, considered replacing the police box in 1984 and met with a barrage of complaints both from adult viewers and from children who'd never seen a genuine police box. Nor did the fact that police-boxes were totally unknown in America stop Dr Who from gaining a loyal US fan following. The only result of the police box's removal would be a growing demand among fans of all ages for the return of "the real Tardis."

If Mr Howe's other suggestion was complied with and the Doctor regenerated into a woman, this could raise all sorts of questions that wouldn't be deemed suitable for teatime viewing. The tabloid press would be delighted to make a smutty joke of the programme's new image, with such headlines as Transsexual Timelord in Tardis. Maybe this is one 'innovative' idea that's best forgotten?

Whatever changes need to be made to the show by any future producer, Dr Who won't be saved by the shattering of its two oldest-established icons, any more than Blake's Seven could continue with any success after the disintegration of the Liberator or Crossroads was able to long survive the destruction of its motel. One doesn't rebuild an institution by kicking away its foundations!

R Hardy

Geneva Close

Upper Halliford Road



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  • APA 6th ed.: Hardy, R (1993-12-02). Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans. The Stage and Television Today p. 11.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hardy, R. "Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans." The Stage and Television Today [add city] 1993-12-02, 11. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hardy, R. "Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans." The Stage and Television Today, edition, sec., 1993-12-02
  • Turabian: Hardy, R. "Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans." The Stage and Television Today, 1993-12-02, section, 11 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans | url= | work=The Stage and Television Today | pages=11 | date=1993-12-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=31 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Too much 'hullabaWho' for true fans | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=31 March 2023}}</ref>