Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Who Special

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search


Doctor Who Special


BATTLING Timelord Doctor Who has had plenty of intergalactic excitement since find appeared on our screens 39 years ago - but his original was to teach history.

The famous time-traveller was dreamed up to help educate young viewers by making fact-filled trips into the past.

Police box

Little did BBC bosses know of the Daleks, Cybermen, Yetis, Ice Warriors, Sea Devils and Silurians to come.

Not very educational, perhaps, but the constant supply of alien baddies made the show's name and kept it on our screens for three decades.

And who would have suspected that we'd follow the adventures of no less than SEVEN Doctors over the years?

The first episode, screened in black and white on November 23, 1963, featured a bad-tempered old man who lived in a Police Box in a scrapyard.

He called himself The Doctor, and was played by William Hartnell, a character actor best known for playing tough army sergeants.

The first story attracted reasonable ratings, but it was the second yarn, The Dead Planet, which really excited the viewers. It told of an evil race of creatures forced to hide inside heavily-armoured mobile casings — the Daleks.

Before long Dalekmania swept the country, toys of all shapes and sizes were sold, and huge audiences were guaranteed for the Saturday teatime show.

In 1966 Hartnell had to quit became of ill-health, but the show bad to go on. The Doctor was seen to collapse, his feature blurred, and a little mop-hatred man took his place.

It was Patrick Troughton, an eccentric in baggy trousers and an ill-fitting suit. His arrival heralded 'the monster era', and with screaming companions such as Victoria (Deborah Watling) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury), the Doctor took on the coldhearted Cybermen, the Yeti, the Krotons and many more.

When BBC1 switched to colour in 1970 Jon Pertwee took over. Frilly shirts, velvet smoking jackets and flash cars were his trademarks.


After four years Pertwee had had enough and was replaced by Tom Baker, a wide-eyed extrovert with a floppy hat over a mass of curls and a long multi-coloured scarf.

Soon came K9, the robot-dog and Time Lord's best friend.

When Baker left the show in 1981, Peter Davison who played awkward vet Tristran in All Creatures Great and Small took on the job.

Clad in cricket whites, Davison played the Doctor with a mixture of youthful abandon and stern authority. He lasted until 1984 when Colin Baker took over in a garish coat which many thought fit only for a pantomime hero.

The ratings fell, and BBC1 controller Michael Grade decided that the show needed a rest.

The Doctor was given a new leave of life in the shape of Time Lord number seven, Sylvester McCoy. But the BBC decided to pull the plug again. That was two years ago. The BBC Insists the programme hasn't been killed completely, so one day the Doctor may return ...

Spelling correction: Tristan


One man and his dog

Bristol-based Doctor Who scriptwriter BOB BAKER's pet project was K9 — the Time Lord's faithful mechanical mongrel

BOB Baker has no doubts about just who was the best Doc Doctor Who. It was his actor namesake, Tom.

"I thought he WAS Doctor Who," says Bob, who with Dave Martin spent 10 years as a Bristol-based scriptwriting partnership for the sci-fi series.

"Tom Baker really made people love Doctor Who. None of the ones who followed did the character justice.

"You had got to believe in the character. He was so much larger than life and had to be played like that."


Between them Bob and Dave helped dream up some of the Doctor's most memorable creations.

Their most famous was the robot dog K9, who became the Doctor's constant companion.

Yet the top writing team stumbled into Doctor Who by mistake.

"Dave and I were writing together. We had done a few films and things and had sent one to BBC London," Bob recalls. "The script we'd sent was about a young Army officer in Germany. They invited us to London, took us to the bar got us absolutely legless, and said 'We do Doctor Who. Do you want to do one for us?'"

That all happened back in 1969 and it took the two writers a year to produce their first four-episode story.

"It was a very low-budget show and you had to be extremely careful what you put in it in terms of expensive sets and so on. Lots of fans ask sometimes why we did this or that and I say 'Because we couldn't afford a real one'.

"We did Doctor Who for 10 years, about nine complete four or five-parters and one two-parter which has just come out on video - The Sontaran Experiment."

Their love of time-travelling fantasy led Bob and Dave into all kinds of new script creations.

"K9 is the famous one," says Bob. "He occurred in the second episode of The Invisible Enemy in 1974."

Writing so many episodes of such a famous series was good fun, says Bob, and the pair take credit for making the BBC use all sorts of new techniques for the stories, including colour separation.

But Bob wasn't surprised when it all finally came to an end: "I think it had run on too far."

Caption: MICROCHIP MUTT K9, the Doctor's robot dog companion, was a popular feature of the series.


The collectable adventures of Doctor Who for fans old and new

JUST what the Doctor ordered - that's our great video competition.

We've of TWO of the very latest BBC video releases containing THREE of Doctor Who's fantastic adventures for FIVE lucky winners.

They are THE DEADLY ASSASIN, THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT AND THE GENESIS OF THE DLAKES, making up a package that's guaranteed to please Doctor Whit fans old and new.


The Deadly Assassin sees the good Doctor facing his oldest adversary - The Master - when he's forced to land on the home planet of the Time Lord. It's been re-edited to include previously unseen footage that will fascinate enthusiasts of this classic sci-fi series.

Then there's a bumper special video edition including two-episode tale The Sontaran Experiment, which is set thousands of years in the future and involves a planned invasion of Earth by aliens.

And on the same tape are six episodes of Genesis of the Daleks where the Doctor is called on to use all his powers to halt the infamous robots in their quest for power before they become an all-conquering race.

Together these tapes will give sci-fi fans hours of enjoyment as they relive the highlights of Doctor Who.

We have five sets to be won. All you have to do is tell us the names of all seven actors, pictured on the front of this supplement, who played Doctor Who.

Ten things you didn't know about Dr Who

1 Actor Patrick Troughton believed there was life in space

2 Doctor Who writer Terry Nation wrote for comic Tony Hancock

3 Frazer Hines, later of Emmerdale Farm, was Jamie McCrimmon, Troughton's assistant.

4 The word TARDIS means Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

5 Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee) joined UNIT (the United Nations Intelligent Taskforce) as their scientific advisor because he wanted to use their facilities to repair the Tardis.

6 Tom Baker played the Doctor for seven years — as long as Pertwee and Troughton together.

7 At just 29, cricket-whites-clad Peter Davison was the youngest Doctor Who of than all.

8 Colin Baker played a security guard in the show a year before he became Doctor Who.

9 Sylvester McCoy used to stuff live ferrets down his trousers In children's show Tiswas.

10 In 1989 Nicholas Parsons was in the show, playing a curate.

Weekend with the doctor

DOCTOR Who fans hive a special weekend et the Bristol Watershed this Saturday and Sunday (December 21 and 22).

A Christmas episode is being shown along with Thunderbirds, The Avengers, Stingray and Blake's Seven.

There are still places available for Sunday.

The show begins at 10.30am on both days and runs until 5.30pm. A full day costs £10, children and other concessions £6. Enquiries to the Watershed on 253845.

The Monsters of Doctor Who

NOT really monsters as such, the DRACONIANS (left) are a proud and intelligent space-faring race who came into conflict with Man in the 25th century. The Doctor faced the SONTARANS (right) at least twice — once In Earth's mediaeval past, and again In the far future.

LEFT- THE GIANT ROBOT was misused by a group of scienlists In their quest for world domination. Below, THE CYBERMEN were n race of humanoids who had gradually replaced their bodies with artificial organs and limbs, losing all sense of compassion in the process.

LEFT- DAVROS the evil scientist who created the Daleks during the atomic wars on planet Skaro.

RIGHT The SEA DEVILS. These are the marine cousins of the Silurians. Their base was hidden from Man's sight beneath the oceans until the creatures were awakened from hibernation by drilling operations performed from off-shore oil rigs. These rigs were then destroyed as the first step in a plan to conquer and rule the whole of Earth's land mass

ICE WARRIORS (left), are members of a militaristic race from Mars. Right The second Incarnation of rogue Time Lord THE MASTER, played by Anthony Ainley. The character was originally played by the late Roger Delgado. Above right A MECHANOID. a robot from the mysterious jungle planet of Mechanus.

BELOW BOK, a church gargoyle, is brought to life by the DEAMONS, a race that once helped Mankind to evolve.

THE OGRONS area strange race of ape-like creatures. space travelling mercenaries whose main employers are the Daleks

THE ZYGONS — an alien race living in Loch Ness. Skarasen, a beast Item their home planet, was the Loch Ness Monster.

THE SILURIANS: Survivors of a reptilian civilization that flourished before Man. Like the Sea Devils, they set about conquering the Earth.

THE most famous foes the Doctor has faced are the DALEKS. After atomic wars left their home planet Skaro contaminated with radiation, the Daleks built themselves metal casings as protection. Genetic engineering and mutation transformed them over the years into hideous creatures living within their armoured shells.


Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Davey, Tim (1991-12-17). Doctor Who Special. Bristol Post .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Davey, Tim. "Doctor Who Special." Bristol Post [add city] 1991-12-17. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Davey, Tim. "Doctor Who Special." Bristol Post, edition, sec., 1991-12-17
  • Turabian: Davey, Tim. "Doctor Who Special." Bristol Post, 1991-12-17, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who Special | url= | work=Bristol Post | pages= | date=1991-12-17 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 October 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who Special | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 October 2021}}</ref>