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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Doctor Who returns to TV
Tom Baker
Tom Baker was the fourth Doctor
Cult science fiction series Doctor Who is returning to TV, 14 years after it was axed.

The much-awaited comeback will be written by acclaimed TV dramatist Russell T Davies - a self-confessed fan.

Davies' credits include hit dramas like Bob and Rose, Queer as Folk, The Second Coming, Touching Evil, and The Grand.

William Hartnell 1963-66
Patrick Troughton 1966-69
Jon Pertwee 1970-74
Tom Baker 1974-81
Peter Davison 1981-84
Colin Baker 1984-86
Sylvester McCoy 1987-89
Paul McGann 1996

He said: "I grew up watching Doctor Who, hiding behind the sofa like so many others.

"Doctor Who is one of the BBC's most exciting and original characters. He's had a good rest and now it's time to bring him back!"

The revival will be produced by BBC Wales, whose head of drama Julie Gardner said: "It will be a thrill to work with him on such a landmark TV series.

"This is very early days and it is unlikely anything will be on screen for at least two years but it is very exciting and I can't wait to get started."


She praised Davies - who was brought up in Swansea but is now based in Manchester - as one of the "leading writers" to come out of Wales.

Jon Pertwee and Tardis
The Tardis was the Doctor's flying machine
The first Doctor Who - played by William Hartnell - was first seen on 23 November, 1963. He was followed by seven more, before the series was axed in 1989.

Although little has so far been revealed about how the new Doctor Who series will look - or who will be given the starring role - Davies has clear ideas of the way he wants it to feel.

"The new series will be fun, exciting, contemporary and scary," he said.

"Although I'm only in the early stages of development, I'm aiming to write a full-blooded drama which embraces the Doctor Who heritage, at the same time as introducing the character to a modern audience."

Although Sylvester McCoy was the last actor to play the Doctor in the TV series, Paul McGann recreated the role in a TV movie version in 1996.

I can't wait to see the Daleks back in action
Russ, UK


BBC head of continuing series Mal Young, who is overseeing the project, said launching a new era of Doctor Who to a 21st century audience would be a challenge, but one to which the team were looking forward.

"Doctor Who is a much-loved, truly iconic piece of television history," he explained.

"It's time to crank up the Tardis and find out what lies in store for the Doctor, and we're thrilled to have a writer of Russell's calibre to take us on this journey.

Jon Pertwee and Dalek
Jon Pertwee became the Doctor in 1970
"However, we're at the very early stages of development and further details, including casting, will not be available for some time."

The BBC has said it is far too early to discuss possible storylines, characters, villains or who might play Doctor Who - and no budget has yet been set.

Like previous series, the new one will be aimed at a family audience, but no details are available on when it will be scheduled or the number and length of episodes.


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