The time for a new Doctor Who series is fast approaching us again and fans will be watching in anticipation, hoping for appearances of favourite baddies; the Daleks, The Cyber men and the Weeping Angles and perhaps some new villains too.
Ever since Doctor Who first appeared on our TV screens way back in 1963, the time travelling Galefrean in a blue police box has scared, thrilled and enthralled viewers in the UK around the world.
The series has had its ups and downs though, from wobbly cardboard sets, some ludicrous villains to cringe worthy plot lines, but the legend of the Doctor lives on. So, in celebration of another mind-blowing journey through time and space with Doctor Who, here are some Doctor Who facts that you may not have known.
1. Doctor Who was intended to be an educational programme
When it was first conceived, Doctor Who was planned to be an educational programme for kids. Scheduled for early Saturday evening viewing, the show was to use trips to the future, to teach children about the science and trips to the past, to help with a history lesson. It turned out though that the historical episodes weren’t as popular as the science fiction episodes, so the monsters and robots prevailed.
Hiding behind the sofa, the phrase that has become a common cliché, first came from Doctor Who. I know this for a fact because I remember doing it! Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, nothing like Doctor Who had been seen on TV before and while you may laugh at some of the earlier episodes now, back then they were scary!
3. The Dalek’s were based on the Nazis
There are many references to the Nazis in the Daleks. In the early episodes of Doctor who there are even mentions of the final solution and the Dalek’s having been bred for the sake of racial purity. In “Genesis of the Daleks” you can also spot similarities in the uniforms of the Daleks ancestors, the Kaleds, and their heel clicking Nazi style salutes.
4. The BBC lost 103 episodes of Doctor Who
Despite the classic cult status of Doctor Who, the BBC actually managed to lose 103 episodes of the show. Mostly episodes shot in the 1960’s and 1970’s and starring the first and second doctors, these episodes were lost or wiped to save space at the BBC. Since then, thanks to the efforts of Doctor Who fans around the world, many have now been recovered.
The estate of the original co-creator of the Daleks, Terry nation, still owns the rights to the Doctors most famous adversary. When talks were taking place before the re-launch of the show in 2005, agreement regarding editorial control could not be reached between the BBC and the owners of the Daleks, so the Toclafane were going to be used instead. Thankfully, the Terry Nation estate relented and a whole new generation of fans has been able to discover the Daleks.
6. It wasn’t Michael Grade who cancelled Doctor Who
Michael Grade became the biggest villain in Doctor Who history when the show was cancelled in 1987. Although Grade didn’t like the show, it was his successor, Jonathan Powell, who actually cancelled it. But let’s be honest, even the most ardent of fans will admit that it had got a bit silly by then!
7. The twisted plot of the Doctor's daughter
In a plot that would be worthy of a Doctor Who episode, the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, is married to Georgia Moffett who played in the role of the Doctor’s daughter. To further twist the time lines, Georgia Moffett is the real-life daughter of the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison!
The extra-long scarf worn by the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, came about completely by accident. The costume designer of the time, James Acheson, sent too much wool to the knitter, Begonia Pope, who instead of reading the instructions used all the wool. Tom Baker liked the scarf so much; it became a permanent feature of his wardrobe.
9. One actor has appeared in Doctor Who, Star Wars and Star Trek
Deep Roy is the only actor to have appeared in all three of the most well-known science fiction franchises. He played Droopy McCool in Star Wars, Return of the Jedi in 1983, Keenser in Star Trek in 2009′s and in 1977 he appeared in Doctor Who as Mr. Sin in the episode “The Talons of Weng Chiang”.
10. Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who
The name of the spin off series ‘Torchwood’ is an anagram of Doctor Who. Apparently, when the first series of the latest run of the show was being filmed, the producers were so concerned about tapes of the show being pirated and released before the show was aired that they used the code name of Torchwood when shipping tapes. The name was later used for the spin off series.
11. The Doctor's regeneration was introduced when the first doctor, William Hartnell became ill
The brilliant idea of regeneration, which has enabled the show to go on for so long without any unexplained changes in the Doctors face, was first introduced in 1966. This allowed the smooth transition to the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton in 1966.
12. The Metropolitan Police tried to steal the Tardis
Well, it wasn’t quite stealing, but the police did object to the BBC filing for a patent on the police box design of the Tardis. You really would have thought that the Met would have better things to do. The court eventually ruled in favour of the BBC.
You may also like: