As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 3 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 14 May 2012

Martin JohnsonBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Tomb of the Cybermen production designer Martin Johnson died on October 9. A small obituary and picture can be found by clicking here.




FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Sylv and Bonnie Panto!Bookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford reunite again... this time on stage. Both will be featured players in "Dick Whittington"; Bonnie's featured as the title character, Sylv as King Rat. The play will be on for three weeks starting December 12 at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford.




FILTER: - People - Sylvester McCoy

The Daleks Are Our EnemiesBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
According to a report on BBC News, the Daleks, sworn enemies of eccentric timelord Doctor Who, have been voted the most evil villains on TV. Footballers' Wives' Jason Turner (Cristian Solimeno) came in second place, Soames Forsyte (Eric Porter) in the 1960s version of The Forsyte Saga took third place, and rounding out the top five were Jewel in the Crown's Ronald Merrick and House of Cards' Francis Urquhart. More than 3,000 GMTV voters took part in the poll, which also voted best TV Drama ("Cracker"), top TV detective (Inspector Morse) and many others.




FILTER: - Press

Coventry City SpeculationBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Who will play the new Doctor? Coventry City/GMK writer Neville Hadsley speculates the likes of Arsene Wenger, Peter Reid and Gordon Strachan in the role; click here to read the article. (Thanks to Chuck Foster)




FILTER: - Press

Izzard: It's Not Me!Bookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Eddie Izzard recently told BBC Radio 1 that while he appreciated being thought of, he wasn't going to be the next Doctor, despite Tom Baker's claims to the contrary. "Tom Baker threw my name up which was fantastic," he says, "it's a wonderful honour. I hadn't considered it, I didn't even know (the series) was happening, and I don't think the BBC would want me. They'd probably rather spit on me and slap me about with fish. ... I'm really into doing my films, and so 26 weeks is a big commitment. There are other people that are up for it that everyone else wants. I'm slightly more on the edge. I think the BBC would say 'Well we want someone simpler and safer.' ... I think my breasts are too dangerous."




FILTER: - People

Alan Davies Isn't WhoBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Alan Davies appeared on BBC1's "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" on October 17, coming onstage to an a capella version of the Doctor Who theme by the house band. Davies, who has been featured as a possible new Doctor in the media, made some comments rejecting the press stories: "Well, now you see, thatÆs just paper talk. ... No. Sadly, IÆm not the new Dr Who," he said. "I havenÆt been asked. Two years ago it was in the News of the World, GoÆ bless æem. They said I was signed up under a massive deal." Apparently a lot of his friends have already contacted him asking to play Daleks and/or Cybermen! They also showed an article from the Express newspaper that had a composite photograph of Alan in Tom Baker Who costume. Davies later talked about Mary Tamm and K-9, the Daleks, and even the new guy behind Doctor Who, his namesake, Russell T. Davies. "The thing is I would do Dr Who because Russell T Davies is writing it," he said. "HeÆs BritainÆs nicest man and best writer and he wrote Bob & Rose, so I sent him an email saying if youÆre really stuck and you canÆt get who you want, IÆll fill in but IÆm not wearing that hat." And who would make a good Doctor? "Annette Crosby," he answered, of BBC1's "One Foot in the Grave". "No, I mean it!" Davies cried. This all gives solace to -- or perhaps takes the wind out of the sails of -- a "prevent Alan Davies from being the next Doctor Who" campaign launched in the Diary column of Matthew Norman featured in the Guardian newspaper; the latest chapter was printed here (it's the fourth story down). (Thanks to everyone who wrote in, Craig Potter for the quotes and Steve Tribe for the "campaign" info)




FILTER: - People

Australia BBC Press ReleaseBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
A recent press release by BBC Worldwide entitled The TARDIS lands down under talks about tribute programming to honor the show's 40th anniversary. "ABC TV is currently screening the entire Doctor Who series every Monday to Thursday at 6pm," says the press release. "Mrena Manzoufas, Head of Programming, ABC TV says, 'Doctor Who made its debut in November 1963 and ABC TV last screened it in March 1994. Since then we have received an endless number of requests from Doctor Who fans who want to re-live the whole Doctor Who experience and have decided to re-screen the entire series from episode one.' In addition, UKTV in Australia will run an extensive schedule to celebrate the anniversary year. Hosted by Katy Manning (the voice of UKTV and former companion to Jon Pertwee), the channel will show selected episodes featuring the eight Doctors who have steered the TARDIS since 1963, on Saturday mornings from 11 October - 22 November. Tony Iffland, Chief Executive, UKTV says, Doctor Who is an iconic British programme - we could not let the 40th Anniversary pass without a special UKTV celebration.' Julie Dowding, Head of Sales Australasia, BBC Worldwide says, 'The Doctor Who franchise has always been incredibly popular in this territory and this is reflected by the strong support from our broadcast partners in this anniversary year." The press release also mentions that "BBC Worldwide is currently exploring the possibility of developing Doctor Who into a major US studio film, and last month BBC green-lit scripts for a brand new television series from writer Russell T Davies," possibly keeping alive the word that a film may indeed happen as well as a TV series!




FILTER: - Press - Australia

BBC Kids Back-to-BackBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Canada's BBC Kids network is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who with 40 back-to-back episodes starting on November 23 at 10am. The marathon runs through Monday, November 24 at 6am. "Forty years after it's debut, Doctor Who û airing exclusively in Canada on BBC Kids û consistently attracts loyal viewers and has spawned legions of followers and exhaustive fan sites," says John Gill, Senior V.P. Programming, BBC Kids. "BBC Kids is celebrating this milestone in style, offering viewers the opportunity to relive The Doctor's many adventures while introducing a whole new generation of fans to the classic villains and monsters of intergalactic travel." BBC KidsÆ time travel marathon will feature nine favourite storylines featuring Tom Baker as The Doctor, including two stories written by the late Douglas Adams (HitchhikerÆs Guide to the Galaxy). The marathon includes "The Ark in Space," "Genesis of the Daleks," "Pyramids of Mars," "The Deadly Assassin," "The Robots of Death," "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," "The Pirate Planet," "City of Death," and "Logopolis". (Thanks to Graeme Burk)




FILTER: - Canada

DWM 336 / Special PreviewsBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Issue #336 of Doctor Who Magazine is now in bookshops; the cover is below. Included in the issue are an article by Benjamin Cook focusing on the new BBCi webcast "The Scream of the Shalka," Daniel O'Mahony's "The Accidental Tourist," interviews with BBC Radio Collection Michael Stevens and audio guru Mark Ayres, an interview with Paul McGann, the final chapter of the comic "The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack", plus all the usual reviews and features. Also due out soon is "We Love Doctor Who," the 40th anniversary DWM volume, which is due November 6. "Based upon the results of the DWM Anniversary Poll, this special 84-page commemorative edition examines the very best that Doctor Who has to offer - as voted by you! As well as counting down the Top 50 TV stories of all time, DWM examines books fictional and factual, novelisations, audio dramas and comic strips. Moreover, it is revealed who you consider to be Doctor Who's best-ever writers and which individuals you feel have made the greatest contribution to our favourite series! The best writers in Doctor Who fandom are gathered to take an in-depth look at what makes the series so special in all its varied forms. Beautifully illustrated throughout with a wealth of photographs, this issue is destined to become the ultimate souvenir of Doctor Who's 40th anniversary."




FILTER: - Magazines - DWM

Tom Baker's TalkingBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
You can't keep Tom Baker down... he just keeps doing outrageous and extremely funny interviews. In a new chat withMetro Cafe Tom talks Doctor Who and more. Some of the highlights: Have you kept any memorabilia from the show? "I did have quite a lot but it was all begged off me. You know, smart begging. It is very highly organised now, isn't it? If I had held on to some of it, it would have been terribly valuable. I just gave it away." Tom on sexuality and the ladies: "Well, I tell you this: I am sexually - even as Tom Baker - irresistible to ladies over 80. They often say: 'It's Tom Baker, isn't it? The old Dr Who?' And I say: 'Yes.' And they say: 'I thought it was. As soon as I saw you, my bosoms began to tingle.' In Waitrose, there are lots of old ladies trying to pull me. They smash their trolleys into mine, saying: 'I live quite close by, dear.'" On his ex-wife: "I married one. I married Lalla Ward, who played Romana - she is terrifically articulate and witty. She was in New York at some science fiction bash. Somebody from the floor said: 'Ms Ward, what was your favourite monster?' and she said: 'Tom Baker.'" More on the new series: "Eddie Izzard would be excellent. Because he is so mysterious and strange, yet benevolent. He would be very good indeed. And Judith Chalmers perhaps as the assistant? Or am I getting her mixed up with Melinda Messenger? Oh yes, that's right, Melinda Messenger then." Would he reprise the role? "I might jib at that but I want to suggest the BBC makes me The Master. The new viewers wouldn't be bothered as they wouldn't recognise me - but for older people, there would be a certain frisson. The BBC wouldn't like it because it is a bit witty. But I am used to rejection." And on death: "What do you mean? I have a bloody coffin ready and waiting full of cat litter in the garage. You have got to be prepared these days. I am a professional. That's why I go to bed early. I am rehearsing for death." Click on the link above for the whole very entertaining article.




FILTER: - Tom Baker - Press