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Doctor Who to return in 12-part mega-series
Simon Holden (TV Plus)
The Daleks and Cybermen are on course for a galactic conflict with the new Doctor Who.
The BBC is poised to spend over £4m on a 12-part series and wants to stay true to the spirit of the classic science-fiction show.
Scripts are being written and BBC drama boss Mal Young has pledged there will be no room for giant rubber slugs and furry-suited yetis.  The last Doctor will be regenerated into the new one and have a glamorous female sidekick.
Young has promised to make the new series look just as good as Buffy and The X-Files.He exclusively told TV Plus: "Viewers are used to the production values of Buffy and sci-fi movies and if we do it in a studio with a cardboard cut-out and a rubber monster, viewers will shoot us down.  They are sophisticated enough to want quality.
"It is expensive but technology now allows you to do things with computers that weren't possible five years ago.
"Although BBC chiefs haven't cast the new Doctor Who or his assistant, they look certain to bring back his arch enemies.
Young said: "We're not ruling out any characters.  We have a great central character and we want to remain true to his spirit.
"He will regenerate but we will bring it up to date, modernise the storytelling.  People will expect great monsters, battles and saving the world.
"Young said: "It isn't as expensive as it could have been.  But we're not going to scrimp on this because the viewers won't like it.
"The last Doctor Who drama starred Paul McGann in an Anglo-American production screened in 1996.
He is almost certain to appear in the first episode of the new series to be regenerated into the new Doctor.
Scripts are being written by award winner Russell T Davies and the drama will be made by BBC Wales but, as Young pointed out, there is already strong interest worldwide.
"The speculation around this show has gobsmacked us.  The minute we announced this show we were getting hundreds of e-mails from Australia and New Zealand."
17/01/2004

Date Added: 1/17/2004

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