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Doctor Who comes of age

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1984-09-21 Daily Telegraph.jpg


Doctor Who: the Key to Time, a year-by-year record. By Peter Haining. (W. H. Allen, £12.50.)

The Doctor Who television series--that cherished institution--celebrates its 21st anniversary on November 23. And great should be the rejoicing.

Peter Haining has added to his 1983 celebration of the Doctor's a lively exploration of the saga's history, working through key dates in the life-cycles and the changes undergone not always entirely peacefully since the first episode, broadcast the day after President Kennedy's assassination.

The unpleasantness of reality and the strengths of TV series can, in imagination, be interfused. The latter are all recounted. There are illustrations of the Doctors in their various regenerations, of Terry Nation's Daleks (program to AN-NI-HIL-ATE), the Silurians, Draconians (harsh and cool?) And of course the Time Lords of Gallifrey.

We are presented here with a diary album covering 21 years, beginning with the first story "An Unearthly Child," very demanding to produce, in which the doctor's traveling companion was cast, a little oddly, as his granddaughter.

Less familiar to watchers, perhaps, is the way the whole enterprise originally began. Sydney Newman, a man with a mission, joined the BBC (ex-ABC) in 1963 and resolve to bridge the gap on Saturday afternoons between a huge sports coverage and the Juke Box Jury with a very large teenage following. Doctor Who, in his judgment, was not so much a children's programme as simply something that would appeal to people who were in a rather childlike frame of mind. But as Mr. Haining says, it was Verity Lambert who brought Newman's bold concept to huge reality.

His original Doctor Who character, he has said, was to be "an irascible, unpredictable old man, running away from his own planet in a time machine, the TARDIS, which he didn't really know how to operate... We called him Doctor Who because no one knew who he was, where he came from." Do we know even now?

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  • APA 6th ed.: Scott, Michael Maxwell (1984-09-21). Doctor Who comes of age. The Daily Telegraph .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Scott, Michael Maxwell. "Doctor Who comes of age." The Daily Telegraph [add city] 1984-09-21. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Scott, Michael Maxwell. "Doctor Who comes of age." The Daily Telegraph, edition, sec., 1984-09-21
  • Turabian: Scott, Michael Maxwell. "Doctor Who comes of age." The Daily Telegraph, 1984-09-21, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who comes of age | url= | work=The Daily Telegraph | pages= | date=1984-09-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 March 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who comes of age | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 March 2024}}</ref>