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LAST NIGHT'S VIEW : Time thriller's one to watch.

Byline: TONY PURNELL

ANY resemblance between American sci-fi series Seven Days (BBC2) and our own Dr Who was purely coincidental.

The opening feature-length pilot episode must have cost more than the entire British series, which ran from 1963 to 1989.

The import was packed with action scenes and special effects. The only thing the two programmes had in common was that the time machine in the new show was the same colour blue as the Tardis.

It looked nothing like it, though, and did not have a name. It was a giant, flashing sphere supposedly built using technology secrets from a flying saucer.

No chance of the Yanks using anything as humble as an old police phonebox to travel through time and space. Or anyone as eccentric as the good doctors who piloted the Tardis for that matter.

In the States they like their heroes to look hunky in helmets and space suits, not silly in anything from tartan trousers to frilly shirts and capes and long scarves.

Jonathan LaPaglia fitted the bill as former CIA agent Frank Parker, who had more muscles than the six Dr Whos put together.

He was languishing in a loony bin when Uncle Sam called upon his services. He had apparently cracked up under torture on a previous mission but was considered just the man for the ultra-risky Operation Back Stop programme.

It turned the clock back a week to prevent catastrophes - and boy there had just been a whopper.

A Russian military group had exterminated the US President and Vice President, not to mention a school full of kids next door to the White House - including, as it happens, our Frank's estranged young son.

It was marvellous piece of hokum and a lot more exciting than watching Dr Who's scarf blowing in the wind as he was being pursued at a snail's pace by The Daleks.

PEGGY (Barbara Windsor) sounded like The Terminator when she quit the Queen Vic in tears in EastEnders (BBC1): "I'll be back," she vowed. Fingers crossed she was only kidding.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2001
Words:342
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