“I stepped from the TARDIS onto a bleak planet; all around the ground was ravaged, no vegetation, banks of chilling fog swirling through the air – why had I been brought here?” Anyone of a certain age will certainly recognise … Continue reading Genesis of the Daleks (Also Available on Cassette)
Patrick Troughton’s first year as the star of Doctor Who is a season of extremes; on the one hand you’ve solid gold classics like Power of the Daleks, The Highlanders and The Moonbase and on the other, you’ve got The … Continue reading Something Fishy This Way Comes: The Underwater Menace Revisited
If you’re reading this on the day it was posted (and why should you?) it has been exactly 57 years since Doctor Who was first broadcast. 57 years! That’s two generations! So, in celebration of this milestone, I’ll be taking … Continue reading An Unearthly Child: Unaired Pilot vs. Broadcast Version
When it was first announced by the BBC that Doctor Who had cast the first woman in the title role, a great many ridiculous assertions were made on the internet. One of the silliest among them was that the casting … Continue reading The Infinite Compassion of the Doctor
This is not a critique of the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie. In fact, as a one-off adventure, I rather like it; Paul McGann is an excellent Doctor and his sole full-length TV appearance is fun, fast-paced and remarkably cinematic. … Continue reading ‘6 Reasons Why Doctor Who Dodged a Bullet in the 90s’ by Bob Sheppard
A personal tribute to the author Terrance Dicks, who died recently. When I was a boy growing up in Sunderland, I used to walk with my Mother to the public library, which was roughly half way between our house and … Continue reading Growing Up and Growing Old with Terrance Dicks
Originally published in Strange Skins 2013 #3 Who-oo-oo-oo is Dr Who? Where is he from? What does he do? These are the questions posed by Frazer Hines on his 1968 ‘hit’ record Who’s Doctor Who. A question to which the … Continue reading The Other Dr. Who
Donald Cotton, an acclaimed TV and radio writer and co-creator of Adam Adamant Lives, only ever wrote two stories for Doctor Who… and neither of them is particularly acclaimed. His first, The Myth Makers, is often overlooked because it is one of those sad cases where 100% of the footage is missing from the BBC archive. Not even so much as a tiny clip exists! His second (and, as it turned out, final) script, The Gunfighters, exists in its entirety, but for a long time was unfairly (and rather inaccurately) derided as the worst and lowest-rated serial in the early years of Doctor Who. This … Continue reading 100% Cotton*: The Target Novelisations of Donald Cotton
It’s often stated that one of the areas in which the modern version of Doctor Who succeeds over the classic series is that it is more grown up. But is it really? Could it be that two eras of Doctor Who simply wear their maturity in different ways and approach the issue of what it means to be an adult from completely different angles, informed by the society in which they were shaped? The aspects of the modern series that people label as more sophisticated are mostly emotional. The classic series rarely dwelt on open displays of emotion – unless, of course, that … Continue reading Adult Situations: Is New Who More Grown-Up than the Classic Series?
I’ve always wanted to be the Doctor, ever since I was a small child and Tom Baker’s fascinating Fourth Doctor dominated my Saturday teatimes. I mean, who wouldn’t? The Doctor is the ultimate hero – brave, caring, resourceful and although there are sometimes difficult decisions to be made, the end result is always to make the universe a better place to live. When I was 11 years old, I dressed as the Doctor for a school costume party in a Fourth Doctor outfit that my mother made for me. She made the coat from scratch and knitted the scarf. Sure, … Continue reading The Doctor: He’s Always Been My Hero and She Always Will Be!