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By Murray Jackson


Well, well, well - one minute it's back in production, the next moment it's all off.

I am of course talking about the return (NOT!!!) of Doctor Who to our screens.

Seems the BBC Controller, Alan Yentob has as much trouble as a certain predecessor of his in deciding whether Doctor Who is part of his programme schedule or not.

Y'see, in the mid-eighties (it seems so long ago now), Michael Grade, the then current BBC Controller decided Doctor Who wasn't part of his programme schedule anymore and so he decided to give it a 'rest'. What followed was the infamous 18-month hiatus before the programme resurfaced in a new format with the even more infamous The Trial of a Time Lord season which was merely a trial for the viewer to watch with a straight face. The whole situation then is shades of the situation today - i.e. the BBC seems unable to decide if the programme is part of its schedule or not.

Now, before too many of you spring to ol' Al's defence saying it wasn't his fault things didn't go according to plan, keep this in mind - he's the gaffer in charge of the BBC which, in its wisdom, released the happy news of Doctor Who's return before they bothered to check whether or not they had a workable proposition on their hands.

Conclusion: is the BBC staffed by a bunch or twits or what?

I guess my greatest fear here is not that Doctor Who will not return, but that Sly McCoy, Soph' and friends will band together to record something as equally barbaric as Doctor in Distress, the record that numerous off-key warblers churned out following the last 'hiatus' announcement. Hmmm, food for thought, n'est pas?

Anyway folks, the articles seen here are on this subject, from those crazy days in the 1980's. Presented for your interest are 'Dr Who Marking Time' (NZ Herald, 02/03/85), and 'Fans campaign to save series' (publication & date unknown).

[Dr Who Marking Time] [Fans campaign to save series]

This item appeared in TSV 35 (September 1993).

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