The Changing Face of Doctor Who | How to regenerate a Time Lord

Radio Times, 5 September 1987

'Doctor Who' takes over the back page of 'Radio Times'.


[Page 1 of 2]

[The page is illustrated with a photo of Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel, fighting off a robotic crab emerging from a swimming pool. Another photo depicts a robot cleaner, one metallic claw outstretched, while the bottom of the page features a monstrous clawed hand.]

Radio Times

Who's taken to the cleaners!

Just when Melanie (Bonnie Langford) thought it was safe to dip her toes into the swimming pool, she got a nasty shock... from a robot crab! It's just one of the many monsters - mechanical, humanoid and just indescribable - that rear their unpleasant heads in the new series of Doctor Who (Monday BBC1).

The creepy crabs are supposed to keep the pool clean, but they suddenly become human seeking - and Melanie is the nearest human!

But you'll have to wait a few weeks before they and other metal menaces like, of all things, robot cleaners, threaten the Doctor (now played by Sylvester McCoy - see Upfront, page 3) and Melanie when they arrive at Paradise Towers.

All the baddies are new for this series - not a Dalek in sight! - and the only returning arch-enemy is the Rani (Kate O'Mara), the renegade Time Lady who is as evil as the Doctor is good.

New monsters to watch out for in the weeks ahead include the fearful Bannermen, alien humanoids with red eyes and mouths, led by actor Don Henderson, and the Bio-mechanoid, an enormous, very bony, flat-headed thing that inhabits the Iceworld.

Other features of the series include new versions of the theme tune and opening titles, and appearances by stars like Ken Dodd and Richard Briers, who plays his first TV baddy.

In this week's opening episode, there's the first glimpse of the latest generation of monsters - the Tetraps, bat-like people from the planet Lakertya, who team up with the Rani.

All you will see of them is a strange-looking hand - very similar to the one that's creeping into the bottom of this page. Aaagh!!!

Caption reads: Dirty deeds! The Doctor helps Melanie fight off a crabby cleaner, but there are more monsters to face

[Page 2 of 2]

Radio Times
Monday TV 7 September
Page 40

New Series
7.35 Doctor Who
starring Sylvester McCoy
with Bonnie Langford
in Time and the Rani
The first of a four-part adventure by Pip and Jane Baker

Excerpts from the TARDIS dictionary disc:
Regenerate (verb): to assume a new physical form (of Time Lords, etc.)
Rani (noun): a deadly adversary of the Doctor.
Lakertya (noun): a planet inhabited by serpentine humanoids, until recently utterly peaceful...

Melanie Bonnie Langford
The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Ikona Mark Greenstreet
Rani Kate O'Mara
Urak Richard Gauntlett
Sarn Karen Clegg
Beyus Donaly Pickering

Theme music composed by Ron Grainer.
Theme arrangement and incidental music Keff McCulloch
Costume designer Ken Trew
Script editor Andrew Cartmel
Designer Geoff Powell
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Director Andrew Morgan
Back pages: 87 and Info: page 76
Ceefax Subtitles

[Image with caption: The TARDIS materialises with a new Doctor at the helm! Sylvester McCoy is the seventh in line of intrepid Time Lords, who tonight comes face to face with the Rani (Kate O'Mara) BBC1, 7.35pm Doctor Who.]

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Document Type | Magazine

05 September 1987

Document version




Sylvester McCoy is introduced to readers in this energetic 'Radio Times' article to promote the 24th series of 'Doctor Who'. He is joined by Bonnie Langford as his companion, Melanie, along with one of the robotic pool cleaners from a forthcoming adventure. Also included here is a clipping from the listings page, in which the Seventh Doctor is confronted by his archest of villains, the Rani (Kate O'Mara).

Article courtesy of 'The Radio Times' Magazine.

Did you know?

The gruesome claw at the bottom of the page belongs to a bat-like alien with four eyes called a Tetrap. This is significant as, in the first scene of the new series, it's a Tetrap that rolls an unconscious Doctor over onto his back just as he begins to regenerate - into his seventh persona.



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