21 February 2016

Revelation of the Daleks Set Visit

Genesis of Revelation
Over thirty years ago now in 1985 I was lucky enough to go on a set visit at Television Centre to see `Revelation of the Daleks` being filmed in what turned out to be the last two days of production before the infamous eighteen month hiatus. This account was originally published in the fanzine Zygon...

It’s 1985 on a warm and windy Thursday and we are about to enter a building that is familiar yet also unknown. That is to say its exterior is something everyone in the country knows but it’s interior is altogether more shrouded in secrecy. On Blue Peter when it looks like they’re going to show you what TV Centre is like it turns out that the big studio doors open onto the outside. In fact it is even more circular than it looks from the outside to the extent that if you start off anywhere and keep walking you will eventually return to your demarcation point after passing hundreds and hundreds of rooms. There are so many rooms that you wonder whether every single employee of the BBC is entitled to one!

6 February 2016

The Time the TV Movie was announced

Over the course of the first half of the Nineties, whatever rumours appeared, Doctor Who fans had accepted the apparent fact that no new television version of the series was forthcoming following a series of increasingly empty BBC statements. Though the programme’s cancellation had never been formally announced it had remained in official limbo since the autumn of 1989 while the apparatus of production had been quietly dismantled. Every so often some optimistic rumour would break surface only to be smothered by something bland. Many were disgruntled that while the Corporation seemed uninterested in making any new Doctor Who they were happy to reap the rewards of selling the series’ past. Some fans had started making their own version of the show in both written and audio form. Then on 10 January 1996, it was suddenly announced that there would be new Doctor Who after all in the form of a new 90 minute tv pilot to be made in Canada and intended as the precursor to a new series. 
 Here in Liverpool the announcement had an extra special significance as for the second time in the show’s history the Doctor was to be played by a Liverpool born actor in this case Paul McGann. At the time this was seen as a leftfield choice as McGann was known mostly for being in the cool film Withnail and I and it was that movie’s co -star Richard E Grant who had often been touted as a future Doctor.