TV Series | TV-PG | | Adventure, Drama, Family
The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.
Michael Grade, Controller of BBC One (1984-1987), put the series on an 18 month hiatus in early 1985 and explained his decision at the time by claiming the series was producing disappointing ratings (averaging about seven million during this period) and he accused the series of becoming too violent, losing its imagination and wit and the people making it of becoming complacent. He has admitted in a number of interviews since that he wanted to cancel the series outright in 1985 because he thought the cheap production values were pathetic compared with films like Star Wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). After pressure from fans and a campaign by the British press, Grade brought the series back after the hiatus the following year, although he insisted that star Colin Baker was replaced at the end of that season. Grade, along with BBC Drama Head Jonathan Powell, approved the casting of Sylvester McCoy as the new Doctor and oversaw his first season in the role before leaving for Channel Four in 1987. Powell replaced Grade as BBC One Controller and oversaw two more seasons with McCoy before it was permanently cancelled in 1989 by the BBC's new Head of Series, Peter Cregeen, following four seasons of very poor ratings since Grade's hiatus (only two episodes from these four seasons had won more than six million viewers, proving that the hiatus and the subsequent firing of Colin Baker had completely failed to improve the series' appeal). The last three seasons had been scheduled against Coronation Street (1960), the most popular series on the BBC's rival channel, ITV.
I am Commander Stor of the Sontaran Special Space Service.
The Doctor: The SSSS. Eh, isn't that carrying alliteration a little far?
For most of the Hartnell era, the episode title appeared superimposed over the first scene (after the title sequence had completed). Later, and continuing on occasion during the Troughton era, the episode title and writer credit would be presented in a unique format (i.e. in the form of a computer print-out for "The War Machine", for example). When the opening credits were redesigned during the Troughton era (and now incorporated an image of the Doctor's face), the episode title and writer credit were usually included during this sequence.
In the original version of the concluding episode of the story, "Earthshock," where the Doctor and his companions see their companion, Adric, apparently dying when the ship he was on explodes, the end credits roll silently without the theme music and features the character's ruined math achievement award pin on the TARDIS floor instead of the normal starfield sequence. In the later syndication version, the regular score begins as normal as the end credits roll and the picture of the pin soon cuts to the normal starfield sequence.
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