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Doctor Who, Series 4 Summaries, Credits, Air Dates, Viewing Figures
THE DOCTOR WHO FACTS & FIGURES PAGE
Compiled by Paul Rance
Doctor Who - Back To Form
By Paul Rance
The first few episodes of series 7 of 'Doctor Who' have been a return to form. Though Matt Smith has filled the prestigious Doctor role with distinction, the series had been missing a spark since David Tennant's departure.
The storylines are much improved, though when you begin a series with Daleks, dinosaurs, Queen Nefertiti and the Wild West, then there's a fair chance an audience will be engaged. On the downside, Karen Gillan's departure will be a loss, as the female heroine Amy Pond is in the feisty Emma Peel and Lara Croft mould - but without the propensity for violence! Another loss will be her gormless but likeable boyfriend Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill. Ah, hardly anything in life is all good...
David Tennant's Emotional Goodbye
The End Of Time - Part One & Part Two Review, BBC1, December 25th, 2009 & January 1st, 2010 - Spoiler
The end for David Tennant as Doctor Who came in this two parter, screened on Christmas Day, 2009, and New Year's Day, 2010 - with 'Doctor Who' writer and producer Russell T. Davies also departing the series at the same time.
These two episodes see the return of The Master (John Simm), who is more manic and more mad than ever. He's also very, very hungry - and has snazzy new hair. The Master has lined up a nice Christmas present for the human race - every human will become the Master. The new Master Race!
The story begins with the Doctor knowing that regeneration time is close at hand, and he will know his end is nigh when he hears four knocks. The Ood also tell him that his nemesis the Master will return. The Master returns to Earth through some misguided individuals, who succeed in bringing him back, but his estranged (!) wife Lucy (Alexandra Moen) tries her best to halt the process, which fails, but the Master's life will be shortened, as he, like the Doctor, is losing his powers, though he tries to prove to the Doctor that he can still do whatever he wants without retribution. Corrupt billionaire Joshua Naismith (David Harewood) has the Master captured, and thinks he can use the Master's powers for his own use... Big mistake.
Donna Noble's grandfather Wilfred (Bernard Cribbins) plays a key role in these two episodes, as he tells the Doctor of the Master's whereabouts, with the clue given in a Joshua Naismith book given to him by Donna on Christmas Day. A mysterious woman (Claire Bloom) has also sent Wilfred a message through the TV during the Queen's Christmas Day speech. The Master seems unstoppable though, despite the best efforts of the Doctor, Wilfred, and two Vinvocci - green, spikey headed aliens trying to help Earth - as every human on the planet (apart from Wilfred and Donna - enjoying the protection of the Doctor) becomes a clone of the Master in one of the most unique and powerful images in the history of 'Doctor Who' - including loads of Masters in some council flats taunting the Doctor. The Master in a dress is also not a pretty sight... More drama comes at the end of the first episode, as the Narrator (Timothy Dalton) of the first part of 'The End Of Time' is revealed as the President of the Time Lords. He had predicted that bad things would happen on Christmas Day, and he says that the Time Lords are returning...
The Doctor: "Hell is descending." The Master: "My kind of world."
The Master actively calls down the Time Lords through a Gallifreyan diamond, which the Master has used as a link to the Time Lords. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Wilfred have found sanctuary on the Vinvoccis ship, and, in an emotional scene, Wilfred urges the Doctor to take his gun, as they both realise the serious situation about to unfold. Initially refusing, the Doctor changes his mind. The Doctor dramatically then tries to stop events, jumping from the Vinvoccis ship and crashing through the glass roof of the house where the Master and Time Lords are, and he's torn between who to stop first - the Master or the Time Lords, who want to end time itself, and thus all creation.
In a whirl of events, the Doctor uses the gun given to him by Wilfred, and uses it to shatter the Gallifreyan diamond, a Whitepoint Star. Time Lords and the Master are seemingly killed, but the Doctor has survived, though considerably weakened - and he hears the dreaded four knocks. Wilfred, meanwhile, is in an isolation chamber and in grave danger of radiation poisoning.
The Doctor sacrifices himself, but he survives long enough to see all his old friends - and loves. He gets back into the TARDIS and flies from Earth, and his final words before regeneration are the poignant: "I don't want to go." The new Doctor (Matt Smith) appears, checking himself out, and cries, as he seizes the TARDIS controls: "Geronimo!" I hope that's not going to be the new Doctor's catchphrase, as it was already irritating after the second mention!
Our Doctor Who Series 3 Reviews
Yes, series 3 has some out of this world episodes! - Human Nature/The Family of Blood was wonderful; Blink was genuinely terrifying; The Shakespeare Code was incredibly clever; and the Sound of Drums - what can you say about that episode? It was astonishing from beginning to end - funny, scary, sad, manic, twisted, delicious!
My theory is that the Master actually swapped bodies with his wife, Lucy, before the Doctor arrived back to earth. So at the end, when the 'Master' died, it was in fact Lucy who died.....
Possibly. The Master is capable of even killing his own wife...Yeah, I know, it can get confusing! - P.R.
Doctor Who Series 2 Summary
David Tennant replaces Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor in the second series of 'Doctor Who'. Whereas Eccleston was more of a serious Doctor, Tennant is more chirpy and eccentric, and the second series was still at least as good as the first. The Cybermen made their appearance, and even fought with flying Daleks in a thrilling and moving finale, which sees the Doctor realise just how much assistant Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) means to him. - P.R.
Freema's Big Break
Freema Agyeman won the role as Martha Jones, after impressing as Torchwood operative Adeola in the second series of 'Doctor Who'. Still working as a theatre usher, Freema was sworn to secrecy about her upcoming role. Freema recalls: "I sold ice creams with a big smile on my face!" - P.R.
Some info relating to the Doctor's comeback in 2005. I guess maybe Christopher Eccleston will now be more well-known in the US for being in 'Heroes'! - P.R.
Christopher Eccleston Bio
Acclaimed as one of the most gifted British actors of his generation, Christopher has taken on some very powerful roles in his career, including playing unjustly hanged teenager Derek Bentley in 'Let Him Have It', in 'Hillsborough' as tragic father Trevor Hicks, and as a latter-day Messiah in 'Second Coming'. He has been in numerous well-known TV shows, such as 'Heroes', 'Boon', 'Casualty', 'Morse', 'Poirot', 'Linda Green', 'Our Friends In The North', and 'Clocking Off'. Christopher has starred in major films such as 'The Others', 'Elizabeth', '24 Hour Party People', and in the Hollywood movie which kicked off his big screen career, the 1994 film, 'Shallow Grave'.
Born in Salford, Lancashire, on the 16th of February, 1964, Christopher will be the 9th TV Doctor, and the 10th to be portrayed on screen (Peter Cushing seems to be mysteriously forgotten by many). He'll be the first actor to play the Doctor who is actually younger than the series!
Christopher is a Manchester United supporter, and fights for local issues, and is a patron of his local arts. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He's not a big Shakespeare fan, though he's played in 'Othello'.
The new 13 part series of Dr. Who was filmed in Cardiff, by the BBC, and will air in 2005. After a 16 year break from our screens (Paul McGann's 1996 movie apart) , Executive Producer, Russell T. Davies, says the new series will retain "its core traditional values" and that it will be "surprising, edgy and eccentric". Of the Doctor's relationship with his new assistant, Eccleston says: "She teaches him huge emotional lessons. They love each other, but it's not a conventional love affair. It's far more mysterious than that."
Billie Piper was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, on the 22nd of September, 1982. Initially gaining fame as Britain's youngest-ever solo chart-topper, for a first release, with her 'Because We Want To' in 1997 (I must confess it passed me by), Billie has latterly claimed acclaim as an actress in 'The Canterbury Tales (including the infamous butt kissing scene)' and 'Bella And The Boys'.
Her role in Doctor Who as Rose Tyler will no doubt put her even more in the public eye, which is something she is probably more used to than any other assistant who has ever been in the series. Especially after her marriage to that shrinking violet, Chris Evans!
Doctor Who Special: The Waters Of Mars, BBC1, November 15th, 2009
Set on November 21st, 2059 (five days after my 100th birthday!), 'The Waters Of Mars' was one of the scariest episodes in the history of 'Doctor Who'. The inhabitants of Bowie Base One (a nod to David Bowie and his classic 'Life On Mars' song) are going down with a horrific infection, which transforms them physically, and makes them spew out copious amounts of water! One drop of water is enough to prove fatal.
Second in command Ed Gold (Peter O'Brien) becomes infected and takes the heroic way out blowing up the escape shuttle, but the Doctor has the dilemma of telling base commander Adelaide Brooke (Lindsay Duncan) that she must die today, and she should have been caught up in that explosion, as it is written in history. Things then get very complicated for the Doctor, Adelaide, and two more of the base's inhabitants, Yuri Kerenski (Aleksander Mikic) and Mia Bennett (Gemma Chan). An unexpected ending too, which I won't spoil.
This episode was dedicated to legendary 'Doctor Who' producer Barry Letts, who died in October. A medal should also be given to the cast who had to put up with the cold water special effects in a British winter! Oh, and the robot GADGET was cute.
The Waters Of Mars Cast List
"I was desperate for it to work - and it has." - BARRY LETTS, former Doctor Who producer
The ratings figures for Doctor Who's successful comeback...The only depressing thing is the ratings went down after every episode, but we were heading into Summer.
Dalek oil painting by Paul Rance
THE MAGNIFICENT 7 - The First Seven TV Doctors
WILLIAM HARTNELL (1963-1966) - The avuncular Doctor. A character actor who appeared in such British films as 'Brighton Rock', playing a gangster, and in 'Carry on Sergeant' (the first 'Carry On' film), playing a domineering sergeant.
PATRICK TROUGHTON (1966-1969) The neurotic Doctor. Appeared in such films as 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger'. Also remembered for being an unlucky priest in 'The Omen'!
JON PERTWEE (1970-1974) The dandy Doctor. Immortalized for British children, growing up in the '70s, as Worzel Gummidge. He appeared in several 'Carry On' films, and in 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'.
TOM BAKER (1974-1981) The eccentric Doctor. Arguably the most successful actor of the seven, he has appeared in such diverse TV shows as 'Medics' and 'Blackadder' - the latter as the craziest pirate ever seen on television!
PETER DAVISON (1982-1984) The serious Doctor. The unlucky vet in the classic veterinary soap, 'All Creatures Great and Small', he turned to comedy in the surreal, 'A Very Peculiar Practice' - which starred Patrick Troughton's son, David.
COLIN BAKER (1984-1986) The flamboyant Doctor. First came to prominence in 'The Brothers'. As larger than life off screen, as he was as the Doctor on screen.
SYLVESTER McCOY (1987-1989?) The playful Doctor. Previous to his role as the Doctor, was a fine children's presenter on British telly.
HARTNELL (1908-1975); TROUGHTON (1920-1987); PERTWEE (1919-1996); TOM BAKER (1936- ); DAVISON (1951- ); COLIN BAKER (1943- ); McCOY (1943- ).
PETER CUSHING (1913-1994) starred in 'Dr. Who and the Daleks' (1965), and 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD' (1966).
PAUL McGANN (1959- ) starred in the TV movie, 'Doctor Who: The Movie' (1996). American title: 'Doctor Who: Enemy Within'.
RICHARD E. GRANT (1957- ) The voice behind the BBC's 2003 animated series.
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.
2 HEARTS INTO 12 DOCTORS
He may have two hearts, but the Doctor can 'only' regenerate twelve times.
Sea Devil pen and ink drawing by Paul Rance
30 SCARY MONSTERS, SUPER CREEPS
WHO'S COMPANY - 17 Famous Assistants
SUSAN (CAROLE ANN FORD)
Cyberman pen and ink drawing by Paul Rance
The late Roger Delgado made the role his own. Imperious, demonic. Who couldn't love him? According to Jon Pertwee, Roger was a very gentle man in real life. Surprisingly, he appeared in Dr. Who for only two years, 1971-1973.
ATLANTEAN PUBLISHING Publishers of Monomyth, The Monomyth Supplement, Awen, Garbaj and Bard. Send a Stamped Self-Addressed A4 or A5 Envelope (SAE + IRC, overseas) for our guidelines, lists and sample copy of Awen. Contact: 38 Pierrot Steps, 71 Kursaal Way, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2UY. Website: http://atlanteanpublishing.web.officelive.com/default.aspx
Nigel - a self-portrait
How RON GRAINER and his boys inspired me, by
the legendary NIGEL PRETENTIOUS of THE WARDEN HILLS WALKERS
Ron Grainer was a genius, like Robin Hood. The original Dr. Who signature tune still sounds fresh. If Fatboy Slim had put it together, it'd have been acclaimed as being ahead of its time! I loved all the incidental music, too. Remember, there were no computers to aid Ron and his pals in those early days.
The Dr. Who sounds influenced a lot of what I do, and my 'The Master was a Good Guy All Along' was an attempt to get that scary, sudden, dark synthy sound - whenever the cameras zoomed in on The M's maniacal visage. Only it wasn't a modern synth, of course. A moog, maybe. I don't know. Anyway, I loved that sound, so I just had fun trying to get a similar sound, only over-exaggerating it, as is my wont. I deliberately conjured the sound up from memory.
I was influenced by a lot of sci-fi stuff growing up in the '60s and '70s. Mostly TV, but films, too - 'Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Sexy Dinosaurs' was my little nod in that direction. There seemed greater invention then. There's still been a few, good, inventive sci-fi/fantasy shows in recent years like 'Buffy' and 'The X-Files', but much is regurgitated. I get a bit tired of humanoid lifeforms in every thing. It just wouldn't be like that...Y'know, not every really intelligent lifeform would either be naturally humanoid, or change into a form to appeal to us. Some wouldn't bother!
In all there were 26 seasons of Dr. Who. The first-ever episode was screened on British TV, by the BBC, on 23rd November 1963, and had the unwieldy title of 'An Unearthly Child/The Tribe of Gum'. The first episode was shown the day after President Kennedy had been assassinated, and it was shown on a Saturday, after the football results.
The memorably weird and wonderful theme tune was by Ron Grainer (who also composed themes for 'The Prisoner', and 'Steptoe and Son'). Verity Lambert (early 'Eastenders', 'Eldorado', etc.) was the producer of the early series.
William Hartnell was the very first Doctor, and his first assistants were his granddaughter, Susan Foreman (played by Carole Anne Ford), Ian Chesterton (William Russell), and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill).
The final show was shown on December 6th, 1989 - a story inappropriately named, 'Survival', starring comedians Hale & Pale. Some 695 episodes had been shown, and Dr. Who had been seen in over a hundred countries.
The most-watched episode in the U.K. was Episode 4 of 'City of Death' in 1979, which featured John Cleese. 16.1 million tuned in. The lowest U.K. viewing figures were for an episode of the 1989 story, 'Battlefield', when only 3.1 million watched.
Arguably the most intriguing story came in 1983, with 'The Five Doctors'. All five Doctors, to date, were mixed into one story. Richard Hurndall (1910-1984) did a fine job as William Hartnell's Doctor.
There were two feature films of Dr. Who; 'Dr. Who and the Daleks', starring Peter Cushing as the Doctor, plus Roy Castle as his assistant, Ian. Jennie Linden played Barbara, and Roberta Tovey played Susan (which she reprised in the second film). This film was made in 1965, and was the first time Dr. Who had been seen in colour. The Daleks looking even more menacingly metallic. The film's story was about a gentle race finally standing up for themselves against the Daleks, thanks to the human time travellers. This race were strikingly similar to the Eloi in the classic Wells' novel/film, 'The Time Machine'.
The second film, made in 1966, was entitled 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD'. Peter Cushing again played the title role, and his assistants were Bernard Cribbins as Tom Campbell, Ray Brooks as David, Jill Curzon as Louise, and Andrew Keir as Wyler. This time the action centred around the Daleks attempting to take over the Earth, and much of the activity is set in Bedfordshire.
In summing up, who can forget the first time they heard the Daleks utter the dreaded "Exterminate!"? Or the awesomely-ugly half-Dalek, Davros, or the piercing eyes of the Master, chillingly and brilliantly played by the late, great Roger Delgado? Or the bacofoil Cybermen?
Created by Sydney Newman, Dr. Who may return, via Steven Spielberg. If it does, let's hope he sticks to the parameters of what made the programme so successful in the first place - good characters, good stories, and simple but effective special effects.
This Paul Rance article is amended from an article which originally appeared in issue 4 of EASTERN RAINBOW, in 1994. For more news of this publication, and other PEACE & FREEDOM PRESS publications, click on the banner at the bottom of this page.
For details of Dr. Who, story by story, the DR. WHO EPISODE LIST is an excellent site.
Some cracking Doctor sites
DOCTOR WHO - Videos, Real Player clips (audio and video) and lots more.
Doctor Who Online - Links frenzy.
BBC - Cult Television - Doctor Who Homepage - From the horse's mouth.
THE DALEK-TABLE DALEKS!
The Daleks were invented by comedy scriptwriter, Terry Nation (later to create 'Blake's 7'). When pestered by journalists as to how the name 'Dalek' came about, he said he was "inspired" by the letter coding on an encyclopedia, DAL - LEK, but this was just a fib, and he couldn't really remember how the name came about.
There was a Dalek stage show, 'Seven Keys to Doomsday'.
Dalek merchandise ranged from Dalek sweet cigarettes to Dalek soap! The author still has his evil black Dalek model, and models ranged from one shilling cheapies (about 5p/7c) to 4 foot monsters.
The Daleks made their first appearance in a seven-part story called either 'The Dead Planet' or 'The Daleks' - depending on who you believe - which was only the second story of the first series. This story first appeared on December 21st, 1963.
The Daleks came from the planet Skaro.
Dr. Who has been covered in comics by the likes of Marvel, and in novels by the likes of Paul Cornell.
There have been radio series, and now audio plays are available.
Dr. Who first appeared in colour, on TV, in 1970.
The first TV show of Dr. Who, to be broadcast in stereo, appeared in 1988.
Dr. Who now has many fans - who were too young to see ANY of the episodes when they were originally screened - thanks to BBC videos and repeats.
A good resource, for info on actors who have appeared in Dr. Who, is THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE.
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