Over the past two evenings, BBC Four has been repeating the 1976 Fourth Doctor story, The Hand of Fear. This was arranged in tribute to the late Elisabeth Sladen, as it was her final regular appearance, and it's excellent to see 20th Century Doctor Who back on the BBC, even though it was to mark such a very sad passing.
However, what if BBC Four regularly repeated the older episodes? I'm sure I'm not the only fan of the show who would jump at the opportunity to see stories from as far back as the Hartnell and Troughton days on broadcast television once more! After all, Doctor Who has arguably the most incredible history of any television show.
When it began nearly forty eight years ago, in 1963, William Hartnell was the Doctor. But in 1966, he had to step down due to ill heath - but rather than end the show, the BBC came up with the ingenious notion of the Doctor changing his form (a process later known as 'regeneration') to allow the show to continue.
So Patrick Troughton became the leading man until he decided to move on in 1969, at which point it was all-change once more. Over the following twenty years, five more actors played the Doctor: Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. But in 1989, tragedy struck - the BBC cancelled the series from our screens after 26 seasons. But this wasn't the end...
Seven years later in 1996 - Doctor Who was back for a one-night-only television movie, with Paul McGann as the Doctor. This episode brought to an end Doctor Who in the 20th Century, although of course, it made a triumphant return in the 2!st Century in 2005! However my point is this: television showings of these wonderful stories are as rare as hen's teeth, but they needn't be. BBC Four is perfectly suited to showing these episodes, and if this happened on a regular basis then many fans, even the casual fans, would be very happy indeed!
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Article by @ianrdw