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This report is taken from PN Review 174, Volume 33 Number 4, March - April 2007.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

The revived Doctor Who has survived two series with no diminution of critical and popular acclaim. It continues to attract large, 'family' audiences, win media awards and make household names of individual actors. To the surprise, possibly chagrin, of other BBC regions, it is produced in Wales, which hitherto has enjoyed little success as a maker of networked products. As we are tuned to BBC Wales and S4C (the Welsh language channel), from time to time we wonder about this. A fair amount of dross is broadcast from Cardiff, as elsewhere, but there are good things too, superior in our estimation to certain programmes from London and the other regions. Anyway, Doctor Who has overturned the barriers, and has been followed by Torchwood (for the uninitiated, an anagram of 'Doctor Who'), another sci-fi adventure series, but aimed at a post-watershed adult audience - and well aimed at that.

The lead writer and executive producer of both series is Russell T. Davies, who now lives in Manchester but was born in Swansea in 1963 and educated at a large comprehensive school there and at Oxford, where he studied English. An apprenticeship in theatre, a director's course at BBC TV and early employment as a producer, mostly of children's programmes, preceded discovery of his true metier, writing television drama. Since the late 1990s, Queer as Folk, The Second Coming and Casanova have in turn ...


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