'Dr Who' regenerates for new series
Respected British actor Christopher Ecclestone is to take on the title role of Dr Who when the cult science fiction television series returns to the screens next year, the BBC says.
Ecclestone will be the ninth incarnation of the time-travelling hero, who first appeared in 1963 in what became one of Britain's longest-running and most popular television shows.
A new series of the program, that was axed in 1989 amid anguished protests from science fiction fans, will be made by the BBC and screened in 2005, the corporation said in a statement.
The BBC said it was "delighted" to have cast Ecclestone, who first came to prominence in 1994 film Shallow Grave.
"It signals our intention to take Dr Who into the 21st century, as well as retaining its core traditional values, to be surprising, edgy and eccentric," BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning Jane Tranter said.Dr Who, chronicling the intergalactic adventures of its eponymous hero, is now seen as one of the most influential television shows of all time.
Fans loved the program both for its quirky plots and its famously cheap production values, a far cry from the modern era of computer-generated special effects.
The BBC's official website for the show notes how a monster created for one episode, The Mind of Evil, was created through the cunning ruse of covering noodles in washing-up liquid.