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New Doctor pleases fan

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 05/09/2014
Paul Scoones
Simon Maude

LIFETIME PRESCRIPTION: ‘‘Doctor Who is my life,’’ Paul Scoones says.

Peter Capaldi with Jenna Coleman
LORDY ME: New Timelord Peter Capaldi with Jenna Coleman as Clara.

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New Zealand's "number one Doctor Who fan" concedes the Daleks wouldn't achieve world domination but the new Doctor conquers all.

Takapuna resident Paul Scoones says this as the Dalek he's wheeling across a smooth backstage floor gets caught up on a puny, pencil-thin power cord.

But in the new Doctor Who series the intergalactic killbots are getting an upgrade.

"The Daleks hover," Scoones whispers.

Peter Capaldi, who plays the 12th Doctor, could be the "best ever", he said.

"I love him, he's great. Capaldi's a lifelong Doctor Who fan himself. He understands how Doctor Who should be played," Scoones said.

And Scoones, who's seen the special feature-length episode premiere at the movies, said his New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club compatriots have been "pretty positive" about 55-year-old Capaldi.

Scoones, who is president of the club, says choosing older actor Capaldi was "quite a reversal" for the BBC series now in its 51st year.

The preceding Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was 27, Scoones said.

The sci-fi merchandise retailer says the move is more about plot than pandering to an ageing and relatively affluent age group that grew up with the series.

"The Doctor's 2000 years old, you can't find an actor old enough to play him anyway. The actors playing him aren't a true reflection of his age."

Interestingly, the latest Doctor is the same age as the very first actor who played the Timelord, William Hartnell, Scoones said.

"Fifty-five isn't that old for this day and age. Ratings were going down for Doctor Who, as of Capaldi they've shot up, but it's still a risk," Scoones believed.

And that Dalek he's been wheeling around?

Students from Takapuna Grammar School have press-ganged a couple of them into their fashion show at the Bruce Mason Centre - Doctor Who is still in vogue.

But Massey University social sciences professor Chris Stephens said although ageing actors are becoming more acceptable for viewers, older actresses are still being sidelined.

Since Doctor Who began its decades-long run, the Timelord has usually had at least one attractive, 20-something female companion.

The interpersonal ambiguity between Doctor and his ever-youthful hangers-on is all about adding another layer of mystery to the show, Scoone said.

"There's always something to be decoded, there's already a mystery set-up for this new series."

The new Doctor Who series runs 7.30pm Sundays, on Prime TV.

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