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'Radio Times' Letters Page, 30 January 1982

A new timeslot for 'Doctor Who' isn't popular.


Radio Times Letters Page
30 January - 5 February 1982
[Page 75]

The how and why of Doctor Who

What on earth, I ask, is happening to Doctor Who (BBC1)? I thought it a little strange at the time when a relatively well-known face was chosen to play the Doctor in the person of Peter Davison; and now the actual programme itself has been moved from the traditional Saturday teatime to a twice-weekly slot on Mondays and Tuesdays!

The success of Doctor Who in my opinion stemmed not only from the time at which it used to be shown, which had a certain appeal about it (as borne out by the ratings) but also from the character of the Doctor himself. Messrs Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Baker were excellent choices at the time because they had not already been well exposed to television in other roles.

Peter Davison is already a very well known face. The result is that we think of Peter Davison as another character in another programme before we regard him as Doctor Who. This somehow detracts from the very character and feel of this once unique science fiction programme...
J. L. Adcock
Tolworth, Surrey

A basic equation
... Surely it is the first, most basic and overriding principle of broadcasting that Doctor Who = Saturday and Saturday = Doctor Who.
Michael R. G. Trueman
Neward, Nottinghamshire

'Guardian', too
If the powers that be can ignore my protest at the rescheduling of Doctor Who, they surely cannot disregard the leader in the 4 January Guardian ('Tardis lands on the wrong day'). Do they realise it also clashes with The Archers (Radio 4)?
Mary Swingler
Sutton Coldfield, W Midlands

As a 28-year-old mother who grew up with the good Doctor Who, I feel I am more than a bit qualified to pass judgment on Peter Davison's suitability ... and all I can say is: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
(Mrs) Cynthia Segrave-Bingham
Orpington, Kent

[Cartoon: One man says to another in the Programme Planning Office, 'We're using the Tardis to put the repeats on first."

Alan Hart, Controller, BBC1, replies:

The decision to move the Doctor from his Saturday slot was not taken lightly. We thought carefully about it and decided that he needed new times; and the hope is that more people will be able to follow his adventures.

In addition, we all felt the need to give him a new lease of life. A new Doctor, a new placing, a new challenge. Time will tell whether the Tardis has landed on the right day. Certainly Mrs Segrave-Bingham thinks it has, and I'd like to bet there are many millions who agree with her. The first episode on 4 January had 10.1 million viewers.

The Doctor will be calling twice a week until the end of March; then we shall discuss carefully on which day the Tardis will land next time around.

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Document Type | Magazine

30 January 1982

Document version




As the 19th series of 'Doctor Who' continues on BBC1, viewers write to 'Radio Times' to express their dismay. It isn't the new leading man, Peter Davison, who has upset them, but the new timeslot for the series, which has moved from Saturday to weekdays.

Letters courtesy of 'The Radio Times' Magazine.

Did you know?

'Doctor Who' continued to appear in a weekday slot throughout Peter Davison's three-year stint as the Doctor. Along with other dramas such as 'District Nurse' and 'Angels', 'Doctor Who' was being used to test out various evening broadcast times in preparation for a new BBC soap opera. 'EastEnders' appeared in 1985, the same year that 'Doctor Who' returned to Saturdays with Colin Baker in the lead role.



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