Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search

No image available. However there is a transcription available.

Do you have an image? Email us: whovian@cuttingsarchive.org


[edit]

AN American Dr Who fan last night told how he flew to North Wales to track down a 'lost' Tardis - only to discover a gardener had burned it.

Richard Briggs' fellow fans desperately raked through bonfire ashes in a bid to find a tiny fragment of the BBC prop, but failed to find any trace of the iconic 1950s blue police box.

Only days before, Ronald Roberts set alight the plywood mockup, left behind by a film crew, as part of a clear out at the historic Plas Brondanw at Llanfrothen near Penrhyndeudraeth, despite keeping it safe for years.

Gardens at the 17th century manor house, once home to Portmeirion creator Clough WilliamsEllis, were the location for several scenes in the Doctor Who 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors.

Richard, who flew across the Atlantic from his home in Washington DC in a bid to trace the missing collectors' item, said: 'It was worth a five-figure sum. If only I could travel back in time ...'

Memorabilia from the cult TV show, now back on prime-time BBC with a key Saturday night slot and starring Billie Piper and Christopher Ecclestone, is being snapped up, with many items selling for hundreds of pounds on internet auction sites.

Richard, 47, has set up a website about his experiences tracking down items from the shows.

He said two years ago the US fans met Mr Roberts, who was also Plas Brondanw caretaker, to talk about his memories of the filming - and hopefully show them what the crew left behind.

Richard said: 'What a sad story it was.

'When the location shooting was all done and the BBC packed and left, they apparently left behind many items. Most of it was trash that Ron disposed of but not all of it.

'Richard Hurndall forgot to take his hat with him, not part of his costume, just the one he wore between shots. He also left his black cape hanging on a bush, Ron wasn't sure if it was art of M the costume or not but thought it was.

'Peter Davison left a pair of sunglasses behind at a card game.

'Then there was the full Tardis that was left behind.

'Described by Ron as having a top two sides and a front door, held together with hinges, he went on to tell us that he didn't want to throw these in the rubbish in case the BBC came back looking for them.

'He stored them away in the garden's main garage to protect them until collected.

'Did the BBC ever come back for them?' we asked.

'Oh no, they just sat there collecting dust and taking up my storage space.' Ron replied.'

But when the group pressed him to say what happened to the treasures, Mr Roberts said: 'I burned them two weeks ago.' Richard said: 'All four of our chins hit the flagstone patio at the same time. ' The gardener said he was retiring the next month and wanted everything cleaned up and ready to pass on to the next caretaker.

Richard added: 'He needed to make room in the garage for a cherry picker' Ron asked the lady of the house what to do with all the junk in the garage and she instructed him to burn anything that wasn't used to maintain the grounds.

'Ron did as instructed and held a grand bonfire that included an OB (outside broadcast) Tardis.'

One of Richard's group asked: 'Is any of it left? to which Ron replied: 'No, it was a right good fire.'

In the show, broadcast in November 1983, The Doctor becomes ill as parts of his persona are time scooped, removed from time.

He returns to his home planet of Gallifrey, only to discover a deadly game, banned for centuries, has been reactivated.

The gardens were the setting for his capture by the time scoop, while the castle folly became the Eye of Orion Archway in Peter Davison's opening scenes in 1983.

A spokesman for the present BBC TV show yesterday had no comment to make about the lost Tardis of Plas Brondanw

GRAPHIC: Ron Roberts; Richard Briggs (above), the Dr Who fan, and (left) Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, and Richard Hurndall in The Five Doctors

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

  • APA 6th ed.: Trewyn, Hywel (2005-03-30). The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis. Daily Post p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Trewyn, Hywel. "The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis." Daily Post [add city] 2005-03-30, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Trewyn, Hywel. "The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis." Daily Post, edition, sec., 2005-03-30
  • Turabian: Trewyn, Hywel. "The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis." Daily Post, 2005-03-30, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Daleks_Tried,_The_Cybermen_Tried_..._But_It_Finally_Took_A_N.Wales_Gardener_To_Destroy_The_Tardis | work=Daily Post | pages=3 | date=2005-03-30 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Daleks Tried, The Cybermen Tried ... But It Finally Took A N.Wales Gardener To Destroy The Tardis | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Daleks_Tried,_The_Cybermen_Tried_..._But_It_Finally_Took_A_N.Wales_Gardener_To_Destroy_The_Tardis | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2020}}</ref>