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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Fans applaud Doctor's return
Sylvester McCoy
Sylvester McCoy returned as the Time Lord
Fans of the famous Time Lord Doctor Who have greeted his return in a new drama broadcast on BBC Online with enthusiasm and praise.

About 50,000 people were expected to listen to the half-hour broadcast, which featured the voices of Sylvester McCoy, as the Doctor, and Stephen Fry and John Sessions.

John Sessions
John Sessions played a villainous warlord
The new audio story, Death Comes to Time, included specially commissioned drawings and was available in five real audio files to download.

Antony Wainer, spokesman for the official Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said he was impressed with the quality of the broadcast.

"It had an epic feel to it and it was obvious it had been made originally for the radio.

Alien warlord

"Doctor Who fans have a thirst for new material and they will have liked what they heard."

The audio files form a 30-minute play which see the Doctor enlist the help of a mysterious Time Lord (Fry) to battle an alien warlord (Sessions) who is fighting for control of time itself.

While new Doctor Who stories have been produced in books and as audio dramas on CD, Death Comes to Time was the first new adventure broadcast by the BBC since a 1996 TV movie.

Mr Wainer said his only misgiving was that Doctor Who fans without computers would not be able to hear the new story.

"It has had a huge build up and a huge amount of publicity and has been worth the hype," he said.

'Original drama'

McCoy is partnered by Sophie Aldred as his companion, Ace, in the story, a continuation of the roles last played on TV in 1989.

McCoy told BBC News Online: "These are good original drama stories which is rare these days.

"I think the fans will be delighted with this project but they will never be fully satisfied until the Doctor is back on TV."

Fans of the Time Lord emailed their responses to the broadcast to BBC News Online and most were impressed with what they had heard.

"Hooray! The Doctor returns! A good episode, an intriguing storyline with the introduction of enough new ideas and characters to keep things interesting," wrote Elizabeth Ewing.

'Gift horse'

Dr Who fan Keith wrote: "Fantastic. Well worth the wait. If only there was more."

Many of the comments questioned why the episode was not broadcast on radio as originally planned.

Mr Wainer also expressed his hope that any future episodes would be on radio or TV.

"I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but while it is good to have the Doctor back I would love to see him return on TV and radio," he said.

Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy
"If it gets a lot of hits they may make more"
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
28 May 98 | UK
Who's Who?: What you think
14 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Missing Dr Who found
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