Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan

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1981-08-15 Tulsa World.jpg


When British actor Peter Davison appears Sunday at "Panopticon West," a convention of science fiction fans at the Camelot Hotel, he will be introduced by David Valla, artistic director of Theater Tulsa.

Everyone in the audience will know who Davison is — the new star of "Dr. Who," a popular British Broadcasting System sci-fi fantasy that has a loyal, and growing cult following in the U.S. via the Public Broadcasting Service.

Panopticon West is a the first meeting every held by a group of "Dr. Who" aficiandos called the North American Dr. Who Appreciation Society. About 2,000 of them from across the country were expected to attend the three-day meeting, which began Friday.

Probably only a handful in the crowd will be aware of Valla's connection with the "Dr. Who" show. Valla himself was a veteran British actor at the time he moved to Tulsa and took over the Theater Tulsa reins.

He played on more than one BBS series, including several episodes of "Dr. Who," back in 1967. His character was a Lt. Carstairs, who Valla described as one of the show's good guys.

"Those shows were destroyed," Valla said, adding the only remaining record of his "Dr. Who" role is a brief mention in a fan magazine dedicated to the series. That was enough for some "Dr. Who" freaks to recognize him and invite him to introduce Davison in Tulsa.

Davison, who played Tristan in another BBS and PBS series, "All Creatures Great and Small," was a friend of Valla's in London.

Appearing here with Davison will be John Nathan-Turner, the show's: producer and Sandra Dickinson, who is Davison's wife and the star of another BBS series, "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Several science fiction writers, including George Clayton-Johnson, Bjo Trimble, David Bischoff, Wilson: Tucker and Oklahoman C.J. Cherryh, will conduct panel discussions.

Other activities include films, in eluding "Dr. Who" episodes rarely: seen here; a masquerade contest, and sales of sci-fi items.

Caption: Sally Frye of Davenport, Iowa, checks out some "Dr. Who Merchandise.

World Staff Photo

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1981-08-15). What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan. Tulsa World p. A12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan." Tulsa World [add city] 1981-08-15, A12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan." Tulsa World, edition, sec., 1981-08-15
  • Turabian: "What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan." Tulsa World, 1981-08-15, section, A12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan | url= | work=Tulsa World | pages=A12 | date=1981-08-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 November 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=What's a Panopticon? Ask a 'Who' Fan | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 November 2022}}</ref>