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Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter

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1986-12-03 Sumter Daily Item.jpg

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A small band of loyal Doctor Who fans braved overcast skies and a slow but steady drizzle to visit the "Whomobile" stationed at Jessamine Mall yesterday.

By 2 p.m., about 25 people had toured the Doctor Who trailer, which is home to a variety of monsters and aliens on its two-year tour across the country. Each of the figures — from a Dalek to the Doctor's mechanical pet K-9 — are actual set pieces originally created for the British television series Doctor Who.

Dave Newell, a Who host who volunteered to help run exhibit during its stay in Sumter said he became hooked on Doctor Who about four or five years ago as a college student in Chicago.

"I like the show because it has a very imaginative plot," he said. "The exhibit contains a hallway of mirrors and features enemies the Doctor has faced in the past. They date from recent episodes to ones which ran 20, 23 years ago."

The show, which revolves around a Time Lord and his attempts to protect the Earth and other peace-loving planets from evil, is the longest running science fiction series in history. Newell said a total of nine actors have played the Doctor in movies, on stage and on television.

Another fan, Chris Letempt, strolled through the exhibit and then purchased 350 in Doctor Who merchandise — shirts, hats, buttons, posters. "I've got all the episodes on tape," Letempt said. "I like it because it's different, more exciting than other shows on television. Definitely better than Cosby."

The traveling exhibit is being managed by a 22-year-old man from Connecticut who had never seen an episode of the show before getting this job. After finishing college, Dan Sheehy spied this job and applied because he "thought it would be a neat way to see places and meet people."

One of the first people he met was Englishman Brian Sloman, the creator of the traveling road show. Sheehey flew to England with Sloman and spent two weeks helping the crews at the British Broadcasting Company build the exhibit.

"It was built and planned as a public relations exercise to give something back to the fans who are so dedicated in the United States," Sheehey said. Although Sloman was traveling with his "brainchild" up to a few weeks ago, he has taken a break and will be joining up with Sheehey again later in the tour.

Sheehey said the exhibit has attracted a wide range of viewers, from an Alaskan federal judge to a physics professor from New York University. "Little kids, too. It's got quite a following," he said.

The success of the exhibit has depended upon the location. Although Sumter fans are slow in turning out, 8,000 people in New York City and 3,500 in Minneapolis viewed the exhibit, he said.

As for himself, Sheehey admits it's just a job. "I watch it (Doctor Who) when I can. It's kind of ironic — I'm around it all day long but I'm not a fan."

The exhibit will be open today until 9 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children. It is being sponsored by SC-ETV, and half of the proceeds will go to the public television station to purchase more episodes of the popular series.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: White, Karen (1986-12-03). Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter. The Sumter Daily Item p. 3B.
  • MLA 7th ed.: White, Karen. "Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter." The Sumter Daily Item [add city] 1986-12-03, 3B. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: White, Karen. "Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter." The Sumter Daily Item, edition, sec., 1986-12-03
  • Turabian: White, Karen. "Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter." The Sumter Daily Item, 1986-12-03, section, 3B edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_fans_visit_trailer_exhibit_in_Sumter | work=The Sumter Daily Item | pages=3B | date=1986-12-03 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=13 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who fans visit trailer exhibit in Sumter | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_fans_visit_trailer_exhibit_in_Sumter | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=13 June 2024}}</ref>