Well, a quick rundown. My mum's changed her work pattern so instead of doing mon-thurs 9-5 and fri 1-9, she now has fridays off and works monday nights. I finally got that missing ish of DWM with Kylie trying to outdo Katy Manning and keep her clothes ON with a gold Dalek. And by my calculations I'm fifteen mainstream BF releases till the APG is complete, and thirty to get all the stragglers.
And it shows how important Doctor Who is when a bunch of old articles from DWM become if not front page news then the subject of a whole Telegraph article...
Can you name this television hero? A paranoid fugitive who travelled the galaxy in an invisible flying saucer, suffering from LSD-style depressions and trying to halt scientific progress.
Uh... Kerr Avon?
Even the most ardent science fiction fan would struggle to recognise this tormented character as Doctor Who, the Time Lord who fought to save mankind from Daleks and Cybermen.
They missed that bit with Chris Eccleston in it, did they?
Hell, I'm FAR from hardcore and I know this already...
But when BBC producers originally sat down to create the Doctor, they had a very different vision of him to the one that finally appeared on television, according to documents in the corporation's archive seen by The Sunday Telegraph.
Fast, aren't you? I read this crap back in 1993.
And I call it crap because CE Bunny Webber gave his 'throw ideas against the wall and see what sticks' spiel which the others went ABSOLUTELY in the opposite direction. The suspicion he was some kind of crapometer that you could use to work out the exact OPPOSITE of what would be brilliant has foundation.
Far from jumping at the idea of a time machine - eventually the police telephone box Tardis - they deemed such a contraption too "old-fashioned".
Because they didn't want something that could be dismissed as "Aslan's Wardrobe", which was, at the time, old-fashioned. And it wasn't a police box, it was a SENTRY BOX. And not called Tardis either.
Even when they finally agreed that a time machine was a good idea, they wanted it to be invisible.
So it could be hidden in things they could afford. Like a chameleon circuit. And "they" means "Bunny".
In a discussion dated March 26 1963, some of the production team advocated a flying saucer because it was a "more modern idea" than a time machine and would have the advantage of "conveying a group of characters".
No, a flying saucer was one of the ideas they wanted to avoid because it was cliche. In fact, Doctor Who didn't exist at that point in any form. It was just "sci fi show idea". There was the flying saucer, the time machine and telepathy.
A file headed "Doctor Who General Notes", issued to writers before the series was screened in November 1963, discusses whether the time machine should be invisible. It states: "When we consider what this looks like, we are in danger of either science fiction or fairytale labelling. "If it is a transparent plastic bubble, we are with all the low-grade specification of cartoon strip and soap opera. If we scotch this by positing something humdrum, say, passing through some common object in the street such as nightwatchman's shelter to arrive inside a marvellous contrivance of quivering electronics, then we simply have a version of the dear old Magic Door.
"Therefore, we do not see the machine at all, or rather it is visible only as an absence of visibility, a shape of nothingness." The documents don't disclose how, or why, the programme makers decided on the Tardis.
Because that document had the word "NUTS" written on it by Sydney Newman and sent back.
On the Doctor's personality, one internal guide drawn up before the first series says the character, who was played by William Hartnell, should be like the Wizard of Oz, "only a little more authentic... we can strike more of the charm and humour as well as the mystery, the suspicion and the cunning".
The note adds: "A feature of the new Doctor will be the humour along the lines of the sardonic humour of Sherlock Holmes. The metaphysical change which takes place over 500 years or so is a horrifying experience... in which he relives some of the unendurable moments of his long life.
What is this bollocks? That was written in 1966 for Patrick Troughton by David Whittiker! This is completely different!
"It's as if he has had the LSD drug and instead of experiencing the kicks, he has the hell and dank horror which can be its effect."
This is presumably for the title "A reactionary on a bad LSD trip - Doctor Who?" ignoring the fact, this was ONLY to describe his post regeneration confusion. Hell, Tennant acted like he was on cheap ecstasy...
The reason why the Doctor needs to travel the universe seems to have been a bone of contention. One note states: "He is an extension of the scientist who has opted out, but he has opted out farther than ours can do at the moment. One symptom of this is the hatred of scientists, inventors, improvers. He can get into a rare paddy when faced with a caveman trying to invent a wheel. He malignantly tries to stop progress (the future) wherever he finds it, while searching for his ideal (the past)." His ultimate aim, says the memo is to "destroy or nullify the future".
Sydney Newman threw this in the face, along with the idea that the Doctor was on the run from his own people determined to stop the Doctor meddling in history.
One member of the production team, probably Verity Lambert, who, at 27, was the series producer, seems to disagree. A scribbled note by the side reads: "Don't like this at all. Doctor Who will behave like a kind of father figure - I don't want him to be a reactionary."
No, it was Newman.
The first series was aimed at teenagers and designed to bridge the gap between Grandstand and Juke Box Jury. The Doctor's companions were cast to ensure maximum appeal. A handsome young male hero was believed to be a must to pull in children, while it was thought that a well-dressed heroine, aged about 30, would appeal to women viewers. The show was an instant hit and 45 years later it is still one of the BBC's most popular series.
What?! Those were for a completely different show, The Troubleshooters - imagine a 1960s version of Torchwood with three main cast members (a well adjusted Gwen, Owen and Jack) - and discarded immediately!
What hack wrote this!?
Chris Hastings, Arts and Media Editor?
More than 13 million viewers tuned in on Christmas Day last year to watch David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. Tennant will also star in the new series, which begins next month. Doctor Who aficionados last night expressed surprise that the makers had ever considered going ahead without the Tardis.
They were probably even more surprised that they were being pestered on an exclusive that anyone can read checking out a few 'history of Doctor Who websites'.
Tom Spilsbury, editor of Doctor Who Magazine, said: "A flying saucer would be a bit too ordinary for a hero like the Doctor."
"Now go away..."
Antony Wainer said: "The notion of a spaceship sounds great but the Tardis is much better. Police boxes were still on the street in the Sixties and so the possibility that the Tardis could be on their street was very exciting to children."
You don't say! So, what you're saying is that it was good thing that idea was scrapped for the exact same reasons it was scrapped in the first place?!
God damn it, some people are idiots.
Yes, I include myself in that, so don't get above your station!