In 2005, Doctor Who returned to TV screens with a new cast and crew. After being off the air for over 15 years, a lot had changed in the TV landscape. With shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica having reboots of their own that paved the way for Who to return, it would not be the same show that earlier generations remembered.
One of the biggest differences was the ending of the serial format that had served the show well for twenty five years. Another was the upgrade to how the show looked.
Gone were the obviously rubber costumes and over the top masks that did little to suspend disbelief. The show would now have world class effects, make-up and costumes. But for many people who had hidden behind the couch as children, this was a sad state of affairs.
Here is a list of the best (worst) looking aliens from each of the original series’ Doctors.
November 23rd is… TOMORROW! These past 11 days leading to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, we here at Nerd Bastard’s have shared with you a few of our favorite Whovian things. And on this 50th anniversary eve there’s only one last thing to share, the episode that started it all, “An Unearthly Child.” (more…)
UPDATE! While the press conference in where the reveal of which episodes have been found, news of when they’ll release, and perhaps a screening has been postponed till Friday, the BBC has confirmed that is indeed what the mysterious Doctor Who press conference will be all about. With 106 episodes of Doctor Who currently missing you better believe the discovery of any of these lost episodes is wonderful news to Whovians’ ears.
It’sthe 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and it seems like everyone’s got something to say, and not all of it’s good.
But who would have a bad thing to say about Doctor Who? Well let’s talk to Waris Hussein, who directed the first ever episodes of Who back in 1963. When he made Who, The Doctor was an old man that traveled through time and space with his granddaughter, but now he’s a twentysomething looking guy who picks up a new sexy sidekick every couple of years, and that leaves a bad taste in Hussein’s mouth (so to speak).
“There is an element now, and I know we’re living in a different era, of sexuality that has crept in. The intriguing thing about the original person was that you never quite knew about him and there was a mystery and an unavailability about him. Now we’ve just had a recent rebirth and another girl has joined us, a companion, she actually snogged him. Why bring in this element when in fact you needn’t have it there?”
Well he sounds about as old as The Doctor used to look.
But speaking of young people, actress Carole Ann Ford used to be one. (Ba-doom-boom!) Anyway, Ford played Susan, The Doctor’s aforementioned granddaughter, in the first iteration of the show. While also being interviewed for The Telegraph (which again comes to us via Blastr), Ford talks about her experience being the first companion to go on a fantastic voyage with The Doctor (played at the time by William Hartnell).
For instance, did you know that no one involved with the show, least of all the BBC, knew that Doctor Who was going to become the phenomenon it became when the show debuted. “A lot of people did not want Doctor Who to go ahead,” said Ford. “The people high up were against putting money into children’s programmes, which is how they considered it at the time.
“At that moment, it was just another job,” she added. “You learn your lines, you turn up, you don’t bump into the furniture and you take your money, you know? It soon became fairly clear that it was more than that, though.”
According to Ford, there were even big plans for Susan. Big, awesome plans that sadly never materialized.
“I was a very good dancer and had been an acrobat. They told me Susan was going to be an Avengers-type girl—with all the kapow of that—plus she would have telepathetic [sp?] powers. She was going to be able to fly the Tardis as well as her grandfather and have the most extraordinary wardrobe. None of that happened.”
“All my differentness was cut out. They made me wear horrible little trousers, not even funky jeans. Horrible little flat shoes. I don’t know why they did this to me.”
“Bill [First Doctor William Hartnell] and I put together a back story because we had to. You can’t act something unless you know what is behind it. We created the fact that he had done something to annoy the other Time Lords and they decided he had to go.”
That might be part of the reason that Ford left the series, which, according to her, cursed her then young acting career to the depths of hell and typecasting.
“I must say that when I left Doctor Who, I was filled with… not loathing, but I was incredibly annoyed because I wanted to do more television and films and the only thing that people could ever see me in was a recreation of what I had done. A Susan clone. Some kind of weird teenager. I wanted to do work that would disconnect me from Doctor Who. That is a very difficult thing to accomplish, as many other actors who have played the companions have found out.”
“I had the most searing letters from parents of small children who had been allowed to stay up late to watch this, because I was in it and they thought it was going to be something akin to Doctor Who. They were saying, ‘How dare you do this? You are a role model.’”
I guess it’s all just more proof that every silver lining has a dark cloud. C’est la vie.
The end is almost upon us, the second half of this season’s Doctor Who is almost here! We’re four days out from the second half of Season 7, having last seen the Eleventh Doctor off to find the connection between the Clara Oswin Oswalds, traveling across time in search of another Clara. So until Saturday rolls around we thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite Doctor Who fan art from around the internet. You can thank us once Saturday finally gets here.
Above: Minimalist art is cool, but minimalist Doctor Who poster art by Michael Parsons is always cool. Carefully picking what to do Michael puts together sweet fan-made posters for everyone to enjoy. Check out his Society6 shop.
Of all the rumors surrounding Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary the most prevalent is a possible reunion of all past Doctors, but at this point, it’s a pipe dream. (Unless you pick up Big Finish’s celebratory audio drama reuniting Doctors 4-8 with digital wizardry cameos from 1, 2, & 3.) But one Doctor will for sure be back on TV in time for the 50th, the First Doctor, William Hartnell as portrayed by David Bradley in the docudrama, An Adventure in Time and Space. Exploring the turbulent beginnings of the long running sci-fi program, the drama is written by frequent Steven Moffat collaborator, Mark Gatiss, with Moffat and Caro Skinner exec producing.
The casting announcement was made along with the announcement BBC America will also be airing the docudrama when it premieres. Not unlike how Doctor Who airs on the same day, both sides of the pond. Filming for An Adventure in Time and Space begins next month. Joining Bradley are Jessica Raine as producer Verity Lambert and Brian Cox as Sydney Newman, BBC’s then-Head of Drama. Another case of Doctor Who looking within for casting as Bradley already appeared in the Series 7 Part 1 episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” and Raine is set to appear in the premiere of Series 7 Part 2. Playing Waris Hussein, the director of Who‘s first episode, “An Unearthly Child,” will be Sacha Dhawan.
I was always curious who’d they find to bring Hartnell back to life, and Argus Filch would not have been my first choice. Now looking at them side by side, and damn, what a likeness. Plus, when I really think about it, he has the perfect demeanor to play the crotchety yet kind Hartnell. Bradley has said he’s “absolutely thrilled” to play a part in the anniversary, adding,
I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.
With the official anniversary date being November 23rd, expect An Adventure in Time and Space to premiere near then, on both BBC and BBC America. Whovians, what do you think of the casting?
As the ramp up to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who continues to build, BBC America is giving us Yanks a treat. Beginning this Sunday, January 27th, BBC America is going to air the Doctor Who episodes in numerical order, airing one serial per month starting with the four part “The Aztecs” at 9PM EST starring the first Doctor, William Hartnell.
This is your chance to start at the beginning, watch how the show has grown over the years. Doctor Who first aired on November 23rd, 1963 and ran until 1989, then was revived on March 26th, 2005. It will be interesting to see how the show changed through time, practical effects, language (Slang), political views, and what social issues were tackled.
For those of you quick to say, “I’ll just check NetFlix.” you should know that you won’t be able to get all the episodes, it’s usually a mix at any one time. Are you going to tune in? Ratings for the shows will be interesting to see, how those stack up against other shows currently in production.
Fans of Doctor Who are entering a shiny new year. The show has reached a new apex of popularity, DVDs and Blurays of almost every episode are available worldwide and we’re weeks away from basking in the warm glow of a new Doctor Who Christmas special. For longtime fans of Classic Who we’ve got even greater news. Two episodes of the series which had been thought to have been lost forever were recently rediscovered and returned to the BBC.
Some of you might be thinking, “Lost? What do you mean, lost?” Well, in the 60s in their infinite wisdom the BBC would re-record over the tapes of television episodes. You can’t completely blame them, even though we do, because at that time episodes were never re-aired and they weren’t sold on any format to be viewed at home. After an episode aired there was no reason to hang on to it. Sadly, this means dozens upon dozens of Doctor Who episodes, mostly from the original Doctor, William Hartnell and his successor, Patrick Troughton‘s tenure in the TARDIS, disappeared never to be seen again. Occasionally an episode or two would be found at the studio of a BBC affiliate, but since the 1990’s most of those episodes had been recovered.
Amazingly, two new episodes have been found, the third episode of the Hartnell serial “Galaxy 4” and the second episode of Troughton’s “The Underwater Menace” (Doctor Who stories used to be told in four to six part serials as opposed to one contained episode). The were discovered by film aficionado Terry Burnett who purchased them in the 1980s. They had originally been owned by Australia’s ABC channel.
Watch the news report below and rejoice in knowing more of Doctor Who‘s amazing 48 year history has been found!