Bookmark and Share What's this about an Atlanta company interested in making Doctor Who?

10/10/1997 10:32:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Compiled by:
Shannon Patrick Sullivan
In mid-August, several Doctor Who web sites were contacted by Karen McCoy, executive producer of Default Films, a company which since 1987 has been attempting to interest the BBC in an animated Who series. McCoy -- who suggested an animated or live-action series were possibilities, depending on the desires of the BBC -- claimed to have sixty-six prepared scripts and to have spoken to Paul McGann's representatives, who told her McGann was not interested in reprising his role as the Eighth Doctor (see "If Doctor Who returns, will Segal, McGann, Roberts and Ashbrook all be back?", above). McCoy said she would seek new talent to voice the Eighth Doctor in Paul's stead.

While the News Page can confirm that Default Films has indeed approached BBC Worldwide, a fan investigation has unveiled new information which casts doubt on some of McCoy's assertions. Jack Mayfield, operations manager of Area 9, the company of which McCoy claimed Default Films was a part, refuted his company had anything to do with Default, having merely employed McCoy on a freelance basis in the past. Jason Bell, whom McCoy had cited as a co-executive producer on the Doctor Who project, and who is an Area 9 employee, has disavowed any participation. (John Lotshaw, the third executive producer named by McCoy, is no longer participating in the project according to McCoy.) Whether any of the other information provided by McCoy is similarly erroneous is unknown at this time. Furthermore, Nelvana -- the Canadian animation house with whom McCoy claimed to have collaborated on an animated Who proposal in the late Eighties -- has also denied ever having anything to do with her, although McCoy claims that this is simply because the fan did not reach an employee who was with Nelvana back then.

Another fan who had been in contact with Jason Bell in a professional capacity was able to clarify matters further, suggesting that McCoy had used Area 9's name -- because her associates were employed by them -- in order to give her project more credibility with fans. Bell's role essentially constituted letting McCoy use the Area 9 facilities as a favor. Bell also said that, while McCoy may well have prepared sixty-six scripts, only three were included in the proposal to BBC Worldwide; certainly, absolutely no pre-production design or the like has been completed.

Finally, Gary Gillatt, editor of Doctor Who Magazine, has confirmed that BBC Worldwide is not interested in making an animated version of Doctor Who. If and when the programme returns, it will be as a live action show or nothing at all.