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Smallscreen

Doctor Who was the product of a time when Britain was casting around for a new role, a new identity. British television still is, which is why the show is back

By David Herman   May 2005

The more Dawn Airey and Mark Lawson sneer at the idea of a golden age of British television, the more desperately today’s television executives raid the past to stop their ratings from going into freefall. First came University Challenge and the return of Parkinson. Now we have got the return of Doctor Who, Come Dancing, Ask the Family, The Two Ronnies and Quatermass—all retro-television. There is no doubt which has had the most impact. Over the past weeks you could not escape the Dalek jokes, Ron Grainer’s haunting music, the forty-something nostalgia. Part of its secret was the format which…

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