Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Dr Who at bay

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1982-03-18 New Scientist.jpg


I am a freelance writer who has never written for Doctor Who or any of the computing magazines. Nevertheless, Christopher Bidmead's eager defence of his own scripting abilities (Letters, 18 February, p 462) prompts the comment that Malcolm Peltu was dead right about the deterioration in Doctor Who. What has been particularly noticeable about recent stories is the completely arbitrary way in which the plots develop, the Doctor pulling revelations and deductions out of his hat which even the most intelligent viewer, striving to make sense of the story, could not have anticipated because there is no underlying rationale to them beyond the demands of the next scene. "Logopolis" in particular exemplified this characteristic. When we add to this a degeneration in the standards of acting and direction, an almost total loss of wit and an increasing tendency to blind the viewer with pseudoscience, I think we are justified in claiming a decline in standards.

Of course, Malcolm Peltu might have had a vested interest in attacking particular scripts, as I do in writing this letter. Bidmead did not endear himself to me when, in his then-capacity as Script Editor of Doctor Who, he attended a meeting of the Science Fiction Lunch Club and made a great deal of the largesse he was prepared to bestow upon new writers for the series. My impression that he was suffering from an advanced case of self-importance has been confirmed by his petulant letter. Professional rivalry and resentment exist everywhere, but the injured party should always think twice before rushing to defend himself against hostile criticism. Like Lady Macbeth, he usually protests too much.

Christopher Evans

South Harrow

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1982-03-18). Dr Who at bay. New Scientist p. 741.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Dr Who at bay." New Scientist [add city] 1982-03-18, 741. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Dr Who at bay." New Scientist, edition, sec., 1982-03-18
  • Turabian: "Dr Who at bay." New Scientist, 1982-03-18, section, 741 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who at bay | url= | work=New Scientist | pages=741 | date=1982-03-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=28 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who at bay | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=28 March 2023}}</ref>