"Mary Whitehouse will never accept this" : A Dr Who Production History (Inspired by Guajolote)

"British television was changing in the mid 1980's. You had the likes of cheap second hand programming from the US and Australia coming into the UK as well as the first stirrings of satellite television. Money was and still is a major issue. When it came to Doctor Who there was an issue. Michael Grade hated the series, he's said it often enough and he was under pressure to make the licence fee value for money. Philip Hinchliffe was to leave the series after Rik's first series and he spoke to me about taking over. I first declined saying that Dr Who wasn't a comedy.

He said he wanted me as producer because the plans that he was putting into effect for the show depended largely on Rik's ability to portray more of the mystery of the Doctor and that he and I had been a success in the Young Ones. I listed to what Philip had to say and to be honest I thought he was crazy but as I listened I began to understand his thinking and I realise how much the show meant to him plus I recall how the show nearly ended after the Chapman years.

I agreed to he request to take over but I had to insist that there would be no interference from the sixth floor. I suppose you could say that I was a prototype showrunner

(Paul Jackson, Executive Producer 1985-1988)
Oh, butterflies for Red Dwarf if Paul Jackson is off doing Who.
Well Red Dwarf started in 1988 so...

"Rik did a lot of research into Dr Who. He and I sat down and watched some of the older episodes. One story we watched as The WarGames, Patrick Troughton's last story. It revealed a lot of the secrets about the Doctor, why he left Gallifrey etc. What we wanted to do was to try and bring some of the mystery back and tie that in to the Doctor before he left Gallifrey"

"The Mayall-Jackson years. Always a controversial era of the show. Ground breaking in some ways but also heartbreaking in others but not something you could tear away from. From the format of the show to the doing away with everything that had gone before then returning to the status quo (or the new status quo) from the 25th anniversary year. The Mayall era was short but god it was good"

(Starburst magazine 2016)
Series 22
Destiny Of The Daleks
The Doctor and Leela land on a moon where he finds the Daleks are in a civil war with each other. It turns out that the rebel Daleks are are as a result of the actions of his second generation (The Power Of The Daleks)

Peladon Arise
In the far future Peladon is a prominent trading world and is under attack by a group of pirates. The Doctor and Leela discover that the pirates are being paid by the Cybermen so as to weaken the world for takeover.

The King's Demons
As OTL but without Kamelion and somehow stretched to 4 episodes.

Mawdryn Undead
As OTL. At the end of the story the TARDIS is pulled out of its time stream and ends up back on Gallifrey

"You stand there in all your pomposity and your finery and you claim to have my best interests at heart! You made me spy on my own people and betray my family and for what, because they dissented to what was going on? We lost our ability to reproduce because the Time Lords thought they could dictate the actions of the Pythia!

And when my usefulness was at an end you exiled me to ancient earth. You wiped my memories of my home, my family, everything! And yet you thought you could use me again? Well you've failed Rassilon. You failed because despite your sick and sinister technology you failed to destroy my soul...!
Its a horrible phrase to use but my rationale was to turn Dr Who into "event television". The financial concerns of the 1980's plus the changes to British Television necessitated a shift in the show's path. TV programming was increasingly expensive and Grade wanted to axe the show enitirely.

I thought the compromise was a good one. Making Dr Who a series of made for TV movies with its arc of the Doctor leading a rebellion against the time lords whilst overseeing effort to bypass the block on time-lord fertility gave Rik an heroic role which he certainly took to with gusto.

(Peter Jackson)
As long as those movies are not very expensive, have resell appeal aboard, and pull in UK viewers then Grade and other Execs cannot complain too much.

The die-hards might be upset by the change of format, but I suspect most folk would not care as long as it was decent TV.
Lungbarrow was effectively the pilot for the series of movies. An outraged Doctor discovers that he was brainwashed by the timecards through their CID (Celestial Intervention Agency) to inform on his family who were prominent voices against the Gallifreyan's war with the Pythia.

Even though the Pythia lost they enacted a form of revenge by detonating a bomb in orbit of the planet which rendered every Gallifreyan impotent. This led to the creation of the "genetic looms"

The Doctor as we know him wasn't the Doctor that was an agent of the CID. What we discover is that the "CID Doctor" was effectively forced to be "re-loomed" into what we call the first doctor.

And it was the residual elements of the "cid Doctor" that propelled the first doctor and Susan to flee Gallifrey.

The Sixth Doctor is able to transmit the information regarding the CID, the war and his own story across Gallifrey causing rebellion. The Sixth doctor along with assistant Chief Engineer Spandrell 'merges" the Doctor's Tardis with a new experimental Type X1X model creating a unique model.

Spandrell is killed by the Time-Lords but the Sixth Doctor and Leela escape...
The TARDIS lands on Earth in the 9th century. The Doctor is confused as he had set the co-ordinates for modern day Earth to drop Leela off. He tries to dematerialise again but the console shuts down and the doors open.

The Doctor and Leela step out and find themselves in what looks like the
inside of a castle. As they try to find out what is going on they are suddenly surrounded by a retinue of guards. They escort the Doctor and Leela into a large room. To his shock the Doctor finds himself looking at King Arthur at the head of the Round Table.

Arthur stands, walks towards the Doctor, offers his hand and says

"Welcome back Doctor...or should that be Merlin..."

rm merlin.jpeg
The Doctor and Leela are escorted to bed chambers to rest. Normally the Doctor doesn't sleep but he is so exhausted and confused that he collapses. He has strange dreams or are they memories?...

The following morning Arthur enters the chamber.

"I said we would meet again"
"I don't understand. I've only met you twice"
"I understand your confusion my old friend but we have known each other for millennia"
"From the time before"
The Doctor and Arthur return to the Round table where Leela is eating a heavy meal alongside Queen Guinevere who also knows the Doctor.

The Doctor explains what has happened and that
he needs help. Arthur understands and says that Camelot is at his disposal including his chambers. The Doctor is even more confused.

The group walk across the courtyard past the TARDIS which is being guarded and into a small structure. Inside the structure are stone shelves full of manuscripts. In the middle of the room is a circular wooden table full of papers. The Doctor swears he has never been here before and yet it all seems familiar..

NB. Arthur is played by Martin Jarvis and Guinevere is played by Glynis Barber
Interesting mystery…
It always surprised me that the Doctor did not run into more people that he had never met before but they had met him before.
I do not think the Show did that till River.

One of the Books had the Brigadier start talking to the doctor about how Unit finished clearing up a Alien Invasion and the Doctor realize that it has not happen for him yet.
It always surprised me that the Doctor did not run into more people that he had never met before but they had met him before.
I do not think the Show did that till River.

One of the Books had the Brigadier start talking to the doctor about how Unit finished clearing up a Alien Invasion and the Doctor realize that it has not happen for him yet.
Battlefield did show hitherto unseen aspects of the Doctor's character and Lungbarrow finished with the Doctor saying he hadn't been Merlin yet. This chapter of the timeline will take those elements and will link in with OTL The Brain Of Morbius as well as the first doctor's esacpe to earth.

Glynis Barber on Location at Barnburgh Castle 1986
As The Doctor walks around the room he suddenly is felled by some invisible object. He kneels on the floor shouting and groaning before passing out. Arthur calls for assistance. 4 Guards led by Sir Lancelot enter the chamber and carry the doctor out.

Later on the Doctor awakes back in his bedchamber. There is a note on the table next to him from Arthur. He reads it and leaves the chamber.

In the Round Table Room Arthur is sitting alone when the Doctor enters

"Who are you, what are you?" Demands the doctor?

Arthur smiles, stands up and places both hands on the Round stable. There is a tremendous roar as the the table splits in two and a TARDIS console rises from the floor...
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