09/11/2013

50 Doctor Who Things!



John Woodnutt used to describe his Zygon costume as being like “a suit of fairy lights”. Quite apart from the fact that this does not really describe it at all, nobody in the world has ever seen a suit made of fairy lights. 

Oh by the way Woody (as nobody ever called him) used to tap dance while wearing this costume. 
"Well I'm not going to sing so you can take this microphone right out."



There are Dalek Rolykins. What the jiggins is a rolykin? It’s a thing with a wheel on the bottom of it. What do you do with it? What? WHAT?!!


TARDIS is the word from Doctor Who that is most used by people who have never seen the show: “It’s like a TARDIS” they say if referring to a place that’s bigger on the inside than the outside. Or even a large room whose exterior dimensions they haven’t seen. Nobody ever says “It’s like a Dalek rolykin” about ANYTHING!!(snip- enough rolykin rage, ed)


There’s an intergalactic designer somewhere (possibly called Sirius P Newberry) who is a cad because he sold the Vogans a really great design for their use in all the best Vogan homes and then went and gave exactly the same design to the Time Lords for their seal. What a commotion it caused and inadvertently is probably what kicked off the Time War. Or, in real life, the design was so good they used it twice.


Once upon a time only Doctor Who fans talked about “seasons” and “story arcs”; now everyone does when referring to TV drama.


If the TARDIS telepathic circuits allows companions to hear everything in English, what would a Time Lord sound like in their native language, mmm?


The McCoy logo is alleged to have been copied from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society’s news-zines’ logo.


A generation of kids thought the Ice Lord was named Saarl because of the Weetabix cards which mis-spelt his name which, as everyone knows now, was Slaar. The other big inaccuracy of the cards was calling the Gellguards Cell Guards.
Gellguards were misunderstood and just liked to go for walks in the park.

When self styled uberfan Ian Levine smashed his tv set in protest at the series being postponed for 18 months in 2005, it was not apparently his own TV but one found in a junkyard, probably in Totters Lane and probably dumped there by someone who had to sit through `Attack of the Cybermen` in which he had- allegedly- a major hand. 


Ian Chesterton becomes less enamoured with time travelling as he goes on. His withering deadpan response when asked if he will come back to Vortis is “I don’t think so.”


William Hartnell used to bring a pie for lunch according to William Russell.


Dudley Moore, Tom Sellick, Harry Lloyd have all been named in the media as being chosen to play the Doctor but never actually did.


An actor called David Burton claims he was cast as the Doctor and actually made some episodes which nobody has ever seen.  


Terry Nation once likened knowing everything there is to know about Doctor Who to making a model of the Taj Mahal out of butter. Which of course many of us have attempted.


Did a young Mike Myers watch `The Dalek Masterplan`? On several occasions Mavic Chen can be seen to put his little finger between his lips, a behavioural tic he shares with Dr Evil. 


Is the real reason why Patrick Troughton left was because his formally baggy trousers were being taken in each week and it had reached the point where they no longer fitted?


Richard Franklin once ran a club called Franklin’s Bow Wows. Its purpose is not known.


If you listen to outdoor filming during the Pertwee era you will often hear a crow. We like to think it is always the same one and it is a particular fan of Mr P.


When Tom Baker was cast he was pictured in the local paper with what looked suspiciously like a cigarette in his mouth yet he has always maintained it was a bus ticket.


Wigs have turned up at significant times in the show’s history. William Hartnell wore one throughout his time as the Doctor and 50 years later Matt Smith’s last story sees him wear one too. Paul McGann also sported one in his sole outing in the part. When Colin Baker declined to film his regeneration into Sylvester McCoy, the latter donned a curly Col headpiece to pretend to be him and special effects tried to cover up the fact that it would be difficult to find two people less physically similar than Col and Sylv


When people hear any kind of electronic voice they always say “It’s like a Dalek” even it doesn’t actually sound like a Dalek.


The biggest technical trick the show pulled was during `Revelation of the Daleks` when the screen scrolled over to depict moving from one floor to another. This was also however one of the problems old fashioned TV sets suffered during interference. Cue hundreds of thousands of people hitting the top of their sets which was the standard way of sorting out TV problems in the 70s and 80s.


The Moxx of Balhoon was heavily shown in  the run up to the return of the show in 2005, however this blue skinned alien featured for only a few minutes in `End of the World` and was never seen again. Which is a travesty! Why not just bring him back and call him the Voxx of Balhoon or something? Or the Loxx of Ballhoon or the (snip- that’s enough Ballhoonery – ed)
...and he's quite angry about it too.

Both long woollen scarves and Tweed became fashionable thanks to the Doctor. Sales of celery did not noticeably rise during Peter Davison’s tenure though.


Colin Baker and Paul McGann are the only two Doctors whose best known role is not that of the Doctor


Jon Pertwee was once chased by an escaped lion on Hampstead Heath or so he claimed.


Each Doctor has had an expression with which they are associated even if they only said it once. Except for Paul McGann who wasn’t there for long enough. Altogether now: “Yes my boy, oh my word, good grief, Aaaah well, I’m a bit out of practice, bad, bad, bad, evil since the dawn of time, fantastic, I’m so sorry, blimey!”


Reason stated as to why each Doctor actor left: Hartnell: ill and difficult to work with, Troughton: wanted to avoid typecasting, Pertwee: the BBC wouldn’t give him more money to stay on, Baker T: fed up with the new production style and had enough (“I just had to get out,” he later said), Davison: because Troughton had told him to only do 3 years and he disliked the scripts in his second year, Baker C; sacked by Michael Grade, McCoy: the series was cancelled, McGann: the US based series was never commissioned after the pilot, Eccleston: because he didn’t agree with the behaviour of some of the production team and found the whole thing too tiring, Tennant: because if he didn’t leave now he thought he might never leave and realised career wise it was time to go, Smith: he has become weary of behind the scenes bickering and also wants to pursue a US career.


The actor most predicted to be the Doctor who turned down the role is Bill Nighy.


The actor most predicted to be the Doctor who was never approached to play it is Alan Davies.


Olaf Pooley is the oldest living actor to have been in Doctor Who. TV’s Professor Stahlman is 99.


Now that the Zygons are coming back, the Zarbi remain the best known monster who only appeared once. They were clearly intended to return featuring in Annual stories for years but never really caught on with the public. Though some claim the Venom Grubs had a following bigger than The Beatles.


Nobody has ever eaten a sandwich in quite the same way as Richard Hurndall does in the The Five Doctors.


Doctor Who has inspired a sub- genre of music called Time Lord Rock, the best known exponent of which are Chameleon Circuit. If only George Pravda and Erik Chitty were still around, then Spandrell and Engin could guest on a song.


Musical highlights on the programme include show stopper `We Sing in Praise of Total War` and the crowd favourite `Kroll, Kroll, Kroll.” The biggest hit however was the Sisterhood of the Flame’s top 5 smash `Sacred Flame, Sacred Fire` which inspired a young Kate Bush.


Kate Bush was once rumoured to be the writer of `Kinda` and `Snakedance`, a myth perpetuated by the fact that she is known to be a fan of the show and Christopher Bailey remained unseen for decades. When he finally emerged it turned out he was a big, blokey bloke as unlike Kate Bush as it is possible to be.


David Bowie was rumoured to be playing the villain Hawkspur in the scuppered ` Dark Dimension`. There may be no truth in the other rumour that the song `Changes` was inspired when he watched the first regeneration.


For years, Terry Nation had people believing he named the Daleks by looking at an encyclopedia that spanned entries from Dal to Lek. 
Terry Nation also invented the Icecano!!

The Ice Warriors are the only monster to have had a series named after them. Sadly Sskel and co are not actually in the 1990s series; perhaps they were still at the Refinery?


When Peter Capaldi was a teenager he wrote regular letters to the Doctor Who Fan Club which its organiser Keith Miller remembered when he came to publish his account of the club recently. Capaldi is referred to in the second volume as “bloody Peter Capaldi” in a reference to how much of a nuisance he is remembered as. Just months later he became the new Doctor!


Part of the incidental music Dudley Simpson wrote for `Frontier in Space` became part of the Tomorrow People theme.


Vega Nexos is the best known alien who only appeared in the show briefly. The orange alien featured heavily in publicity photos at the time yet is there and gone in the first few minutes of `Monster of Peladon`.


Anagrams have often been used to name people or monsters in the series. Drashig comes from dishrag, Foamasi from Mafiosa and Adric from Dirac (a mathematician).


No Doctor Who story contains two characters with the same first name unlike real life where you might know three people called Nyssa.


Dodo suffers the most ignominious writing out of any regular character in the show. She is hypnotised by WOTAN and sent off into the country to recover. Later the Doctor mentions she has decided to stay there but the Doctor does not seem bothered at all.


Actors have developed an artillery of anecdotes they trot out during interviews amongst the best known of which is Debbie Watling being thrown in the sea, Michael Craze and Anneke Wills donning `Come back Bill Hartnell` t shirts as a joke and the best known of all Nick Courtney’s eye patch story relating to his dual role in `Inferno` as a one eyed despot. One day he swung around on cue in his chair and all of the cast and crew were wearing eyepatches.


Tom Baker’s favourite anecdote about being mistaken for an elderly actress in Waitrose is actually nicked from Jon Pertwee who used to tell the same story.


`Look Who’s Back` is the headline most favoured by the media in relation to the series.


`Snakedance` and `The Empty Child` /`The Doctor Dances` are believed to be the only two pre- Steven Moffatt era stories where no featured character or viewed extra dies during the course of the story. And both have the word `dance` in them. Since Moffatt took over most of the episodes feature everyone surviving till the end. On the flip side every featured character in `Horror of Fang Rock` is dead by the end of the story.


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