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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
The future of Doctor Who
Tom Baker as Doctor Who
Tom Baker as Doctor Who confronts Davros
Doctor Who may not have been on our television screens for almost five years but the many fans of the time-travelling adventurer remain hopeful he will one day return.

Paul McGann was the last actor to set foot in the Tardis and an internet only broadcast of a new audio adventure for the Doctor - voiced by Sylvester McCoy - has once again engendered real excitement that the Time Lord could one day return.


Doctor Who is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Merlin

Clayton Hickman, Doctor Who magazine
Clayton Hickman, assistant editor of the official Doctor Who magazine, is positive that Doctor Who will resume his time travels.

"Eventually someone somewhere will bring it back - it is only a matter of time," he says with an unintentional pun.

Myriad

"Doctor Who is such a good idea that eventually someone will want to resurrect the series.

"TV writers such as Russell Davies, writer of Queer as Folk and Mark Gatiss, from the League of Gentlemen, are huge Doctor Who fans and it would be great if they could write some episodes."

Jon Pertwee
Each Doctor Who has a distinct personality
Until then, fans will have to make do with the myriad of videos, novels and audio adventures that continue to generate millions of pounds for the BBC.

The world of Doctor Who remains as active as ever and the official magazine is enjoying its 22 year of publication.

The Doctor Who rumour mill is still grinding and earlier this year Hugh Grant was tipped to play the lead in a film version - although this was quickly denied by the BBC.

Mr Hickman says the originality and innovation of the series keeps interest in the character high.

Masterstroke

"When it first appeared there was nothing like it. It was the sort of programme where anything could happen and was not constrained by space and time."

Sylvester McCoy returns as the Doctor
Sylvester McCoy returns as the Doctor
The constant change of cast and of the lead was a masterstroke in maintaining interest, he says.

"It was an amazing idea but also a big risk. It made the programme more flexible and as the doctors changed it became more and more successful."

Unlike James Bond, where each actor inhabited the same personality with minor differences, each Doctor was unique and separate.

Crossover

Where William Hartnell was professorial and academic, Jon Pertwee was mirthful and light, and where Tom Baker was brooding, Sylvester McCoy was frivolous.

"Doctor Who is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Merlin and is the kind of uncle we always wanted when kids," says Mr Hickman, explaining the Doctor's appeal.

Mr Hickman believes that the popularity of the Harry Potter series has shown that crossover, family appeal still exists.

"It is the kind of series that can appeal to children and to adults and as long as they go back to basics and have a funny man who travels through time and has adventures then they can't fail," he says.

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See also:

17 Apr 01 | Film
No Doctor Who for Hugh
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Dalek for sale in car showroom
24 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Dr Who back on the BBC
14 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Missing Dr Who found
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