Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Who's That?

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The first time I stumbled upon Dr. Who, the British time traveler/adventurer/television star, I nearly changed channels.

The sets were pretty tacky and the special effects were frankly laughable. The show wasn't up to the high-tech levels attained by "Lost in Space" or "Star Trek," let alone the George Lucas or Steven Spielberg spectaculars. I thought I could see the baling wire and tin foil from which they were made.

That's how we have been conditioned to think about science fiction -- as a simple heroic story that becomes submerged beneath the weight of incredible effects. Dr. Who is a happy aberration from this standard.

The good doctor doesn't triumph by brute force, though he will mix it up as a last resort. Instead, he is in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, a man who applies superior analytical ability, encyclopedic knowledge and exceptional pluck to overcome the impossible situations in which he finds himself transported.

Dr. Who is a smart guy. He knows about metallurgy, nuclear physics, astronomy, hydraulics, explosives. What he doesn't know, he can figure out.

He's also funny, warm and humane, though very self-confident. He approaches problems the way a chess master might, relying on intuition when analysis leads to ambiguous conclusions. He doesn't shoot first and ask questions later.

He doesn't approach his goals the way a defensive end, eager for mayhem, closes in on a quarterback. He doesn't succumb to blind rage when the going gets tough, slaughtering all those about him. Dr. Who isn't Arnold Schwarzenegger or Clint Eastwood or Chuck Norris or Sly Stallone.

In order to find out about Dr. Who in Portland, it is necessary to watch KOAP (10). These days the station is showing "Dr. Who" in big chunks that tell an entire story instead of in half-hour episodes. The next two weeks the show will start at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. That's the good news.

The bad news is that the Sept. 26 show, "The Time Monster," in which Dr. Who goes back in time to Atlantis to obtain the Crystal that controls Kronos, a monster outside of time, will be the last one.

After a one-year hiatus, the station is planning to bring back Dr. Who. By then a batch of brand new episodes, screened first in the United Kingdom, will be available in the United States.

That's going to cause troubles for the station. Sheila Engles, who answers the phone in the public relations office, reports that Dr. Who fans are very touchy about their show.

"It's a big audience, and believe me when something goes wrong we hear about it -- non-stop calls and I mean one right after another," she said. Engles pleaded with Dr. Who fans to have patience and to refrain from stoning the cars of employees. "It will be worth the wait," she promised.

The last hurrah for Dr. Who fans takes place at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Saturday and Sunday , Sept. 19 and 20, from noon to 6 p.m.

A traveling exhibit of Dr. Who memorabilia in the form of a 40-foot trailer packed with models of the famous characters who have populated the show over the last 23 years and videos of Dr. Who episodes. Jon Pertwee, one of the several actors who have played Dr. Who, will be on hand to greet the curious. Admission is $7.

Caption: Photo of Jon Pertwee

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  • APA 6th ed.: Johnson, Barry (1987-09-18). Who's That?. The Oregonian .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Johnson, Barry. "Who's That?." The Oregonian [add city] 1987-09-18. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Johnson, Barry. "Who's That?." The Oregonian, edition, sec., 1987-09-18
  • Turabian: Johnson, Barry. "Who's That?." The Oregonian, 1987-09-18, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Who's That? | url= | work=The Oregonian | pages= | date=1987-09-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Who's That? | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>