Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Who, what, where, when

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Did you know that Cardiff writer Terry Nation is credited with creating the Daleks? Edward Russell, senior brand executve of Doctor Who, has come up with 101 other fascinating facts about the world's favourite Timelord

1. Doctor Who's first producer was Verity Lambert. It wouldn't be until 2005 that the show had another female one.

2. A pilot of the first episode was shot but never broadcast until the early 90s. The team re-recorded it a month later with significant changes.

3. The first episode of Doctor Who was repeated the following week after transmission problems caused a TV blackout in certain areas.

4. Hollywood director Ridley Scott was scheduled to work as a designer on early episodes of Doctor Who.

5. Ex-Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves played the Doctor's companion Steven Taylor.

6. William Hartnell wore a wig for his performance as The Doctor - so did Patrick Troughton for the first two years.

7. Mission to the Unknown in 1965 is the only story not to feature the Doctor or any of his companions.

8. The original title sequence was shot by pointing a TV camera at its own monitor, creating visual feedback.

9. The haunting theme music for the show was written by Ron Grainer, who also composed the theme for Steptoe and Son.

10. The original TARDIS console was painted pale green, which made it look a brilliant white on the black and white TV screens of the day.

11. The second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, and his son David appeared in an adventure together in the 1969 show called The War Games.

12. Pauline Collins played a character called Samantha Briggs who was considered for a companion. She turned down the opportunity but returned in 2006 to play Queen Victoria.

13. Welsh actress Margaret John has the record for the longest gap between two roles in Doctor Who. First seen in 1968's Fury From The Deep and again in 2006, The Idiot's Lantern.

14. Patrick Troughton passed away while attending a fan convention in the 1980s.

15. There are 108 missing episodes of Doctor Who, all from the 1960s.

16. Spearhead From Space in 1970 was the first story shot entirely on film. This wouldn't happen again until 1996.

17. The myth that third Doctor Jon Pertwee suffered back problems and wore a corset under his costume is untrue.

18. The first three Doctors reunited for a story to commemorate the tenth season of Doctor Who. Sadly, William Hartnell was too ill to join his successors in the studio.

19. Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant, was very short-sighted and tripped over a rock on her first day's filming.

20. The opening 'scream' of the Doctor Who theme tune made its debut on 1970 story The Ambassadors of Death.

21. Jon Pertwee dressed as a cleaning lady in an episode called The Green Death.

22. Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant, is best friends with Liza Minnelli.

23. The third Doctor's arch enemy was The Master, played by Roger Delgado. To date, five actors have played the part of the renegade Time Lord.

24. Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith, swallowed a fly on set while filming her last regular story, The Hand of Fear.

25. Louise Jameson, who played the Doctor's companion Leela, wore brown contact lenses for her first four stories. The writers created a plotto turn her eyes to the actor's natural blue.

26. The Deadly Assassin in 1976 is the only story to feature the Doctor without a companion.

27. The fourth Doctor's trade-mark long scarf was never designed to be so. The costume designer gave balls of wool to a knitter, who just kept going till she ran out of wool!

28. Tom Baker was bitten on the lip by a dog while recording the 1978 story The Pirate Planet.

29. The Doctor's robot dog, K-9, was originally called Fido.

30. During his final series, Tom Baker fell ill and his naturally curly hair turned straight, so he was given a perm.

31. City of Death in 1979 is the first story to be filmed outside of the UK.

32. Tom Baker broke his collar bone while shooting his location work as The Doctor.

33. The story Shada began filming in 1979 but was never completed or broadcast.

34. When Tom Baker was unavailable for the Five Doctors reunion story, scenes from the abandoned story Shada were used.

35. Fifth Doctor Peter Davison is the youngest actor to have been cast in the lead role.

36. The final part of Earthshock in 1982 was broadcast without end title music as a tribute to companion Adric who died in that story.

37. Peter Davison's first adventure, Castrovalva, was actually the fourth story he recorded.

38. In 1986, a young fan called Gareth Jenkins starred in his own episode with Colin Baker for Jim'll Fix It.

39. Sixth Doctor Colin Baker appeared as a Time Lord commander in a Peter Davison story.

40. Colin Baker and Jon Pertwee also played the Doctor on stage in a live musical extravaganza, The Ultimate Adventure.

41. The series was rested for 18 months during the sixth Doctor's period.

42. Colin Baker was considered for a role in Tom Baker's debut story.

43. In 1999, a Comic Relief special featured Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley as the Doctor.

44. Colin Baker was so popular in Israel in the 1970s that he was mobbed at The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

45. As a stage act, seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy stuffed ferrets down his trousers!

46. Not a lot of people know that McCoy was once a bouncer for the Rolling Stones.

47. The last scene recorded in the original series was of two women turning to stone in the story Ghost Light.

48. A 1993 Children in Need special saw several previous Doctors and companions arrive in Albert Square.

49. The 1996 TV Movie starring Paul McGann was based in America, but actually shot in Canada.

50. The film was dedicated to the memory of Jon Pertwee, who had died a few days before its broadcast on BBC One.

51. Christopher Eccleston was the first actor to be cast for the role who was younger than the show itself.

52. Murray Gold's re-worked title music contains elements from the original 1963 recording by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The original tape loops had been found and preserved in the 1990s.

53. At the time of her hit Because We Want To, Billie Piper was the youngest solo female artist to have a number one song in the UK.

54. Following the episode Father's Day filmed in a church in Grangetown, Cardiff, several fans of the show chose to get married at the same location.

55. There are currently three TARDIS props. Two are made from wood, and one from lightweight fibreglass.

56. There are just four working Dalek props. Computer graphics and careful shooting are used to create an army of the Doctor's deadliest enemy.

57. Ten Cybermen suits were created for their return in 2006, plus two lightweight versions.

58. Victorian Cardiff for the story The Unquiet Dead was actually filmed in Swansea.

59. The sound of the Slitheen eyelids is created by rustling a piece of paper.

60. The first scene recorded of the new BBC Wales-produced draft was of Christopher Eccleston chasing a space pig through a hospital corridor.

61. Christopher Eccleston's battered leather jacket was bought in a second-hand store.

62. Writer Russell T Davies used to work on children's programme, Why Don't You?

63. Several Blue Peter presenters have appeared in Doctor Who, including Janet Ellis and Sarah Greene. Current presenter Gethin Jones played a Cyberman in 2006.

64. When filming at the Globe Theatre in London, the production crew brought inflammable Welsh straw with them to meet fire regulations.

65. Martha Jones is the Doctor's current companion. The production team consists of a further 10 people whose surname is Jones.

66. The landscape of new New York in the year 5 billion was actually filmed at the Gower Peninsula.

67. Christopher Eccleston's on-screen credit was 'Doctor Who'. David Tennant is credited as 'The Doctor'.

68. Welsh locations for series three include St Fagans, The Senedd and a return to Roald Dahl Plas in Cardiff.

69. Billie Piper wore hair extensions in The Christmas Invasion as she'd had her hair cut between series one and two.

70. Torchwood, the show's spin-off, is an anagram of the words Doctor Who.

71. David Tennant is 6ft 1 and 3/4 inches tall.

72. Freema Agyeman, who plays Martha Jones, was originally told she was auditioning for a part in Torchwood.

73. David Tennant and Freema Agyeman filmed the special trailers for series three on their day off. It took eight hours to record a 40-second promo.

74. Celebrity fans of the show include Adam Woodyatt, Dawn French, Jo Whiley, Jonathan Ross and Kylie Minogue.

75. Russell T Davies writes all his scripts from home and doesn't have an office at the BBC.

76. Russell submitted an early synopsis of what was to become 2005's The Long Game to the BBC in 1989. He was advised to write a show about mortgages instead.

77. David Tennant's favourite Doctor is Tom Baker.

78. Current script editor Gary Russell appeared as Dick in the 1970s version of The Famous Five.

79. Current producer Phil Collinson appeared on Coronation Street as the man who sold a house to Deidre.

80. Russell appeared as a Cyberman on Why Don't You? in the 1980s.

81. The 2006 adventure The Satan Pit was completed just 48 hours before it was broadcast.

82. Actor Nicholas Briggs provides the voices for the Daleks, Cybermen, Jagrafess, Nestene Consciousness and the Judoon.

83. In South Korea, Doctor Who is more popular than the American series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

84. Doctor Who Adventures is the UK's top-selling boys' magazine.

85. Everything ever filmed for the new series, including unused takes and deleted scenes, is retained in the archives of BBC Wales.

86. The BBC Doctor Who website is more popular than the site for EastEnders.

87. An episode of Doctor Who takes two weeks to film, and several months in post production.

88. Barry Newbury, who was the designer on the first episode, recently visited the current Doctor Who studios and met Russell T Davies.

89. For the forthcoming episode set in New York, none of the cast travelled further than Penarth.

90. Series three of Doctor Who took 187 days to shoot.

91. The TARDIS travelling through a blue vortex means it's going back in time. A red vortex means it's going forward.

92. As well as Doctor Who, Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures, the shows Totally Doctor Who and Doctor Who Confidential are recorded at the studios in Cardiff.

93. Series three writer Chris Chibnall appeared on BBC's Open Air in 1986 to criticise the writers of an episode that year.

94. There are six versions of David Tennant's outfit.

95. There are two versions of Martha Jones' red leather jacket.

96. In 2006, Radio Times dedicated its front cover to Doctor Who more times than any other programme.

97. DVD-style commentaries are broadcast via the interactive option on BBC Three's repeat showing.

98. A set visit auctioned for Children in Need raised over pounds 20,000 for the charity.

99. Action figures of the Doctor and Martha are approved by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman before they are manufactured.

100. David Tennant will turn on the Blackpool illuminations this year, which will have a Doctor Who theme.

101 The creator of Doctor Who was Sydney Newman, a Canadian TV mogul who moved from ITV to the BBC in the early 60s. THE WELSH BRAINS BEHIND THE DALEKS: 'Never underestimate the daleks,' says Doctor Who's main man-behind-the-scenes Russell T Davies.

Doctor Who's executive producer is talking about the Doctor's evergreen enemy before they make a return to our screens tonight.

In a two-parter which starts with Daleks in Manhattan and concludes next week with Evolution of the Daleks, the machines are back.

Only four Daleks remain alive, and they are up to no good as usual. But what, exactly?

As with all Doctor Who storylines, it's a closely-guarded secret. But there could be a clue in the title Evolution of the Daleks - there's also an appearance of a half-man/half-monster called Sec.

Although the Daleks have come a long way since their first appearance with the Doctor in December 1963, their evil essence remains the same.

The man responsible for creating them was Cardiff-born writer Terry Nation, who liked to refer to his infamous wheelie-bin-shaped baddies as his 'pension fund'.

Terry was born into a well-to-do family in Cardiff on August 8, 1930. After attending King's College, he worked in the family's furniture sales company.

At 25, he set out on a career in comedy and, after bombing on stage as a stand-up, gravitated towards writing gags for other performers.

'I had always wanted to go on the stage,' he later recalled. 'I'd been a member of an amateur club that rehearsed in Canton High School, and I used to be a member of the Overseas Club in Park Place, right next to the BBC in those days: I actually sold my very first scripts to an up-and-coming young comic I met there - Stan Stennett.'

During the 1950s he worked on about 200 radio scripts and had his first taste of television in 1956 when he penned two sketches for early attempts to transfer The Goons to the screen.

In 1963 he wrote three episodes of Tony Hancock's very first TV series and it was while working with him that he got the chance to move from comedy to drama.

'I was getting into a very depressed state with the feeling that comedy wasn't going the right way - not progressing,' Nation was quoted as saying.

'I felt I'd like to go into drama, and, after a heart-searching evening with my wife, I decided to write a television play.

'I'd finished it in two weeks - a comedy set in Wales called Uncle Selwyn. It proved very successful everywhere in Britain except Wales: I remember one critic said it had obviously been written by someone who had never been to Wales in his life.'

The story has it that Nation was offered a children's sci-fi series and he and Hancock laughed it off, thinking he was too good for that. But that night he and Hancock reportedly argued and parted company, so Nation called his agent and accepted the children's programme - Doctor Who.

'I didn't think it would last more than seven episodes,' said Nation. 'And I needed the money. Amazed, I've watched it grow into a success - and it certainly grew, out of control!'

Originally, and in typically Reithian BBC fashion, the show was intended to have a purely educational flavour, but Nation soon put a stop to that by introducing the Timelord's bitter enemies, the Daleks, in the early story, The Mutants.

The story of the Daleks' creation is clouded in urban myth, with the situation often confused by Nation's own playful approach to interviews.

Their singular appearance is said to have been inspired by a performance of the Georgian State Dance Company, with the Daleks imitating how the female dancers in long skirts seemed to glide across the floor.

Wanting a two-syllable flat, mechanical name for his creations, Nation settled for what he saw on the spine of an encyclopedia on his shelf, dal-ek.

'They were an answer to a practical problem,' Nation told The Guardian in 1966. 'Doctor Who was landing on this planet, who could the heavy be? It had to be non-human. How could it work? It had to be a mechanical creature, no hands or feet.

'Ray Cusick, the designer, took rough notes of my ideas for the Dalek's behaviour, the electronic eye, mechanical hands, and so on, and although I didn't have a clear visual image in my mind, when I saw his finished Dalek design it seemed very familiar.

'In fact the visible part of the Dalek is only a travelling case inside which there is the Dalek itself, a shapeless brain intercommunicating and interacting with all the other Dalek brains - although later there came a need for these to be organised through a Dalek supreme.

'The Daleks don't have any personal character, any conscience, or morality. They are totally bad.

'They had to have a purpose, and I knew what: they were concerned with total domination.

'Aren't we all interested in dominating other people? Total control, a machine-like desire, and the Daleks. It had a neatness that fitted.'

The Daleks' impact was so great that, despite the fact that they were killed off in the series, they were brought back with a little help from the Tardis.

Their appearance sent generations of children all across Britain scurrying behind the sofa. Even Nation's own daughter, Rebecca, would come to him for a cuddle during the scary parts.

'I always keep an eye on her while we are watching Doctor Who, and if she jumps at a scene which I meant to be frightening, then I know the scene has worked,' he told the press.

Aside from Dr Who, Nation worked on many of the classic TV series of the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Avengers, The Saint, The Champions, Department S, The Persuaders and The Protectors.

He was apparently always slightly aggrieved that he didn't get recognition for the many other TV scripts he wrote.

In one year alone he had at least one show a week on TV for 48 consecutive weeks, and in one week he had five shows.

While writing for The Survivors, he imagined how he'd cope without light bulbs, clean water and pencils etc, and so made his family go self-sufficient for nine months.

They bought a goat and some chickens and his wife Kate, formerly a pianist, grew all the family's food.

Nation's success brought its financial rewards and in 1980 they moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a script consultant and contributed briefly to the TV series MacGyver.

But after suffering ill-health in his later years he died from emphysema in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997, by which time Doctor Who was no longer on air.

Nation was fated never to know of the resurgence of interest in the show, which was re-commissioned in his homeland.

'It's true I suppose, that all writers want a bit of immortality,' Nation himself said before his death.

'I would be very happy to settle for one day seeing the word Dalek in the dictionary.

'It's grown to have many connotations now - it's been used in parliamentary debates, it's been used once in a Russian newspaper to describe a new British weapon.

'So as a writer's memorial I'd like that.'

His wish came true. 'Dalek n. A mobile mechanical creature with a high staccato voice (Created for the BBC television series Doctor Who).' Chambers Dictionary New Ninth Edition.

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