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Dr. Who is a character based on the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Although based upon the character of the Doctor from the television series, the character is fundamentally different, most notably in being human.

The character, portrayed by the actor Peter Cushing, appeared in two films made in the 1960s by AARU Productions, Dr. Who and the Daleks, which was based upon the televised serial The Daleks, and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., based upon the serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Plans for a third film, based on The Chase, were abandoned after the poor box office performance of the second film.[1]

Cushing made no mention of the character or films in his autobiography.[2]

PersonalityEdit

Dr. Who is a gentle, grandfatherly figure, naturally curious and sometimes absent-minded, but at the same time is not afraid to fight for justice. He is shown to have a keen and somewhat juvenile sense of humour, and a strong sense of adventure with a will of iron and very strong morals.

Unlike the Doctor in the television series, he is a human being, not a Time Lord, whose surname actually and unambiguously is "Who". He is not called "the Doctor" by his companions in Dr. Who and the Daleks, though its sequel, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., only refers to his surname once and otherwise addresses him simply as "the Doctor." Cushing's character is an eccentric inventor who claims to have created TARDIS.

CompanionsEdit

In the first film, Dr. Who (Peter Cushing) travels with his two grand-daughters, Susan (Roberta Tovey), who is much younger than Susan of the TV series, and Barbara (Jennie Linden). They are joined in this first adventure by Ian Chesterton (Roy Castle), who is depicted as Barbara's "new boyfriend" and who is generally a rather inept, clumsy, comical figure as opposed to the more straightforwardly-heroic portrayal of Ian in the television series.

In the sequel, Susan is joined by Dr. Who's niece Louise (Jill Curzon) and the somewhat comical additional male companion, London police officer Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins).

TARDISEdit

Dr. Who's TARDIS resembles both that used in the television series and a real police box (although there is no explanation in this film for the machine having this appearance). As with the regular TARDIS, it is larger on the inside, although the interior is vastly different from the series' console room. As with the TARDIS from the 2005 series onwards, the interior and exterior of the Ship are directly connected by the external doors.

Other appearancesEdit

As well as the two films, Dr. Who appeared in the comic strip Daleks versus the Martians in the Doctor Who Magazine Spring Special 2006, and the short story The House on Oldark Moor by Justin Richards, published in the BBC Books' collection Short Trips and Sidesteps.

A 'doubly-fictional' duplicate of the Seventh Doctor who appeared in the Virgin New Adventures novel Head Games was also known as "Dr. Who".

Proposed radio seriesEdit

During the late sixties, a radio series starring Peter Cushing as Dr Who had been planned to be produced. A collaboration between Stanmark Productions and Watermill Productions, a pilot had been recorded and a further 52 episodes were to be produced. The pilot story titled Journey into Time featured Doctor Who and his granddaughter travelling to the time of the American Revolution. The script was written by future television series writer Malcolm Hulke and the recording remains lost.[3]

Attempts at reconciliation with canonEdit

A few attempts have been made throughout the years to reconcile the human Dr. Who with the television series canon, though all have been in an unofficial capacity:

  • Reference was made to this Doctor in the novel Salvation. The book mentions the film Prey for a Miracle, released in 1970. The Doctor's role in events was played by Peter Cushing as 'the bumbling scientific advisor, Dr. Who'. Critics noted that little was known about the 'true' Doctor, suggesting that his was a 'shadowy, manipulative presence'.
  • The unlicensed book I Am the Doctor: The Unauthorised Diaries of a Timelord suggests that the movie was based upon a memoir written by Barbara Wright of the TV series. As this book is not licenced, it cannot be considered canonical.
  • Nev Fountain's short story "The Five O'Clock Shadow," from the anthology Short Trips: A Day in the Life, reveals that Dr. Who and his eight-year-old granddaughter Suzy are fictitious creations made by the real Doctor to keep the nemesis named Shadow, the embodiment of grief and sorrow, distracted until the real Doctor could overcome his grief and escape from Shadow's prison. Shadow has no hold over the cheerful, angst-free Dr. Who, who departs with Suzy on further childlike and wondrous adventures.[4]
  • The Sixth Doctor and Frobisher attended the American premiere of Star Wars at Mann's Chinese Theatre in May 1977. While attending, the Doctor thought actor Peter Cushing (who played both the human Dr. Who and Grand Moff Tarkin) looked familiar, and seemed to remember meeting his granddaughter (PDA: Mission: Impractical). This exchange potentially supports any of the above theories.

References Edit

  1. Peel, John and Terry Nation: (1988). The Official Doctor Who & the Daleks Book. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02264-6, pp. 99-100.
  2. Peter Cushing. Peter Cushing: an autobiography. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  3. Foster, Chuck (2012-01-15). "Missing Radio Script Discovered". Doctor Who News Page. http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2012/01/dwn150112121012-missing-radio-script.html.
  4. http://www.drwhoguide.com/whotrip16.htm#4 Doctor Who Guide: Summary of Short Trips: A Day in the Life


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