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Who was there when the daleks arrived

PUBLISHED: 07:15 26 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:05 22 October 2010

Daleks invade Holt as part of a Dr Who festival.

Daleks invade Holt as part of a Dr Who festival.

RICHARD BATSON

An army of daleks took over a Norfolk town centre yesterday - and came face-to-face with their arch-enemy Dr Who.

Former Doctor Who Colin Baker said the show still 'scared the living daylights out of children'.

An army of daleks took over a Norfolk town centre yesterday - and came face-to-face with their arch-enemy Dr Who.

But the metallic monsters were on a mission to entertain rather than exterminate.

Hundreds of fans swarmed to the streets of Holt, which are more used to well-heeled shoppers than raygun-wielding sci-fi space invaders.

The event was a fund-raising effort helping raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and helping to put Holt on the intergalactic map.

Scores of daleks turned up, roaming around the streets and courtyards, squawking at firing at wide-eyed children, launching attacks on targets including a tardis police box, and even taking part in a supermarket trolley dash.

Amid the mayhem, calmly signing autographs, were stars of the popular television series, currently enjoying a revival.

Colin Baker, the sixth doctor from 1983-86, said the success of the show was the way it had updated itself with special effects, and retained the ability to “scare the living daylights out of children.”

Scientific journalist Paul Parsons, included a “hiding behind the sofa” chapter in his book The Science of Dr Who, admitted he used to be petrified of the daleks and reckoned their “facelessness” continued to make them scary.

His book also looks at how daleks can fly when they have trouble getting up stairs, and the physics which mean time travel cannot be ruled out.

Mr Parsons said the broad family appeal of the television show was helped by the mix of science, horror, and comedy.

He also felt the new series had attracted mums and daughters to the usual audience of dads and sons by adding an element of soap opera, such as the tensions between current assistant Billy Piper and her mum.

Early assistant Deborah Watling, said the strength of the storylines were a key factor, while actor Terry Molloy, who played dalek creator Davros, said the success was also down to the doctor's heroic role as an “intergalactic Biggles.”

Visitors included two cybermen and an “alterntiave ninth doctor” Tristan Stopps from the Fourth Dimension Lords a Dr Who group based at Martham, whose members range from children to middle aged men, welcomed the Holt event which was “overdue in Norfolk.”

Organiser Nigel Pearce said the event, which filled a hole left by the carnival which was not being held this year due to lack of support, had gone well, and there were plans to hold it again next year.


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