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Doctor, who was that?

Pauline McLean | 18:05 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The phrase "whistlestop" could have been invented for the Dr Who tour.

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Barely had actor Matt Smith - aka the 11th doctor - and the rest of his entourage arrived in Inverness for a soggy photocall on a beach near Loch Ness, and a screening and Q&A at Eden Court Theatre with local schoolkids, than they were back on the bus and headed for a similar session in Sunderland.

Never would a TARDIS have been more handy. (although one installed with a DVD player for the box set of True Blood, which Mr Smith is working his way through as he travels.)

It is of course a promotional exercise for the new series, which begins on Saturday, but for the 180 children who got tickets for the screening (and many more who waited outside for autographs) there was another benefit.

Most of the children at the event attend regular drama sessions through Eden Court.

It was there that Karen Gillon - who plays Amy Pond, the doctor's flame-haired assistant got her first taste for drama.

The same's true for her little cousin Caitlin Blackwood - who appears in episode one as Amy as a child.

Yet, these drama classes - which reach thousands of children in the Highlands - may be under threat. Highland Council is currently reviewing a number of schemes as part of ongoing cost cutting - the drama courses among them.

Let's hope they think twice about that particular cut.

Not just for the handful of children who go onto professional careers - brandishing their own accents on mainstream television - but for the thousands more who simply learn a bit of extra confidence for whatever career path they choose.


  • Comment number 1.

    Nice to see such a big show reaching out to rural communities and nice to see an Inverness accent on TV! Shame on Highland Council for cutting drama classes - they were underfunded as it was. Good luck to Moffat, Smith, Gillan and co. on the new series.


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