NEW ADVENTURES for 'Dr Who.' On Saturday he starts a four-episode battle on the moon to save a weather control station from the Cybermen (those silver-clad off spring of cybernetic surgery, who return by popular request). With the Doctor in an up-to-date space-
suit. it will all be grippingly authentic.
Especially so as the author, surprisingly for Children‘s TV, is Dr Kit Pedler, Head of Anatomy at London University's Institute of Ophthalmology. He promises ‘some splendid chases in low gravity. For most of the time Dr Pedler probes the mysteries of the retina.
He was a medical doctor, ‘but I decided helping humanity wasn't my métier. 'There was no scope to be original.' While researching for his PhD on the diseases of the retina he decided that the retina itself would be ‘a marvellous fundamental study.‘ and for six years has been trying to assemble the main pattern of its biological circuit. 'Within something little bigger than a 10,000th of a millimetre it has its own computing systems.' he explains.
'The retina is a piece of the brain in the eye. It does the brain's activity and processing on the spot, saving time and space.'In his office minute fragments of retina lie set in plastic at the bottom of Lyons cup-cake tins, waiting to go into the £15,000 electron microscope next door.
Altogether Dr Pedler is a very modern-minded man. He thinks science is often taught abominably (‘What children want is bloody great bangs') and that scientists forget they are essentially communicators. ‘They shouldn‘t be inside any ivory tower. So often when they come into the hot-wash of life they are mute.’
He wanted to know how to write for television (he doesn't like 'not understanding'), and he and the BBC met when the Outside Broadoast team came to his department for a 'Horizon' programme. In his first 'Dr Who' story he created the Cybermen and blew up the Post Office Tower (he can see it from his lab window). His four children act as watchful critics.
In spare time, Dr Pedler builds racing cars, and sculpts and paints. ‘No, I couldnt bear to sell my paintings. They're all about cells—images stored up from the microscope. Even if they are scientiﬁcally valueless, they're aesthetically satisfying.