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I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord)

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I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord) ...and the Doctor's sonic screwdriver was only a glorified house key

DOCTOR WHO fans have more to celebrate in the 50th anniversary year, with the unearthing of "precious" draft scripts from the dawn of the series in 1963.

Prop-maker Jason Onion made the discovery while researching the origins of the Time Lord's Tardis.

His trove included the blueprint for the character of the Doctor, his origins and even details of how the sonic screwdriver came to be invented.

They were in a box of paperwork by Australian writer Anthony Coburn who devised the concept of the Tardis after seeing a police box near BBC headquarters.

Life-long Doctor Who fan Mr Onion initially didn't realise their significance and believed they were from the first four episodes, screened in 1963 and written by Mr Coburn.

He said: "With the consent of Anthony's wife, Joan Coburn-Moon, and other family members, the family lent me a box of his work and I saw the scripts but put them to one side.

"When I scanned the cover later I realised it didn't have the right title for the first episode An Unearthly Child.

"As soon as I saw the first few pages I knew it was not the episode that had been televised. I wanted to cover them with glass. They are unbelievably precious and I had them in my hand."

The collection includes two versions of the first episode, an alternative episode two, three more scripts and an episode called Masters Of Luxor, which was replaced by the first Dalek serial.

Mr Coburn had rewritten them after he felt the background would not fit with the first four episodes. Mr Onion said: "You can see that the template for the Daleks came from Anthony. You can see in these episodes a device to unlock the Tardis, which became the sonic screwdriver and the science and regeneration and renewal of the body, which were all created by Anthony.

"The drafts explain the mystery of Doctor Who, his origins, his people and all the background. It explains the Tardis's original name, the planet Doctor Who came from and that his granddaughter was a princess saved from another world.

"He created the cornerstones of Doctor Who that have been expanded and built on ever since. He should never have been forgotten like he has."

Only the first of Mr Coburn's stories, starring William Hartnell as the Doctor, was filmed. He left the show after that and died in 1977, aged 49.

He lived in Herne Bay, Kent, where Mr Onion has a workshop producing Tardises under a BBC licence. Mr Onion hopes to set up a permanent exhibition to commemorate Mr Coburn, perhaps linked to his workshop. "It may be possible to arrange something for the 50th anniversary of the series in November," he said.

Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat is writing the golden anniversary show to be televised in October.

The next full series of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith and new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman, begins on Saturday, March 30.

GRAPHIC: GENESIS: Original Doctor William Hartnell and Jason Onion with the first scripts

NEW PARTNERS: The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) are back in action later this month

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  • APA 6th ed.: Stephenson, David (2013-03-17). I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord). Sunday Express p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Stephenson, David. "I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord)." Sunday Express [add city] 2013-03-17, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Stephenson, David. "I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord)." Sunday Express, edition, sec., 2013-03-17
  • Turabian: Stephenson, David. "I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord)." Sunday Express, 2013-03-17, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord) | url= | work=Sunday Express | pages=3 | date=2013-03-17 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=I've travelled back to the beginning of Time (Lord) | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>