Thursday, 23 April 2015

Doctor Who Produced by the BBC Children's Department in 1970

Older Doctor Who fans were always quick to point out that their favourite television programme was not a childrens' series as it was not produced by the BBC Children's Department but by the Series & Serials department. 

This is true. I'm not disputing that particular claim.

Fact is, when Doctor Who first went into production in 1963 there was not a Childrens Department in existence at the BBC to make it. It had only recently been disbanded with the effect that all children's programming was to be made by the relevant 'adult' departments. 

For example, Crackerjack was made by the Light Entertainment department where it remained until it was axed by Michael Grade around the same time he put Doctor Who on hiatus in the mid-eighties. 

Around 1970, the Childrens Department was reformed. However, the likes of Sunday Afternoon Classics serials, Crackerjack and Doctor Who remained with their respective heads instead of being shifted to the new department. This is all chronicled in Biddy Baxter's seminal 'Blue Peter: The Inside Story'. 

It's interesting to think that there was a slim chance that Doctor Who COULD have ended up in the new children's department - home to such classics as Rentaghost, Jackanory, Blue Peter and The Magic Roundabout - for its first series in full colour!

What if....? 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Failed History of Doctor Who on VHS and DVD

There's a rather wonderful publication out now from those nice people at Panini's official Doctor Who magazine that celebrates 'The Art of Doctor Who'. In amongst sundry interviews and features is a piece or two chronicling the many cover designs of licenced merchandise over the years.

Sadly there are no illustrations featuring the rare unreleased items that I have uncovered* in the Doctor Who back catalogue over the past year.

Here, for your convenience and possible pleasure, is a complete (ish) list of the VHS and DVD releases that never were.

The BBC's Early Attempts at Doctor Who DVDs - a selection of complete covers including blurb for the earliest DVD range.

Doctor Who - The Original VHS Branding - Full covers from the mid-eighties of three specially edited titles from the fledgling BBC Video.

More Early Doctor Who VHS Branding - A selection of designs that blended in other successful best sellers for BBC Video.

Doctor Who Video Nasties - Three Tom Baker tales are released into the early eighties video-nasty market with serious consequences for the credibility of their content.

Great Unreleased Doctor Who Merchandise of the 20th Century - part six - The earliest attempts by by BBC Enterprises to release Doctor Who episodes to the (very rich) general public in the early seventies.

The Devolution of Doctor Who on VHS - How the design of Doctor Who video sleeves changed over the years making an example out of Peter Capaldi's first adventure 'Deep Breath' 

* By which I mean 'invented'.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Totally Definitive and Complete Doctor Who Partwork!

We can't get enough of partworks or indeed definitive accounts of the making of Doctor Who... so here's the answer. 

You will need to buy no other! 

Indeed, you will not be able to afford any others... ever again!

(with thanks to @TygerWhoCame2T )

Monday, 13 April 2015

Doctor Who Target books - now with full blurb!

I thought I'd finished with these but a casual challenge on Twitter sent me off creating full covers for some of my early Doctor Who Target books. 

Thank you for your continued patronage. I may do some later in the week.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Unpublished History of Doctor Who Magazine Publishing

In lieu of any new Doctor Who material this weekend, some more house-keeping for the many new readers I've gained over the past week. 

It's also a bit like that 'Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe' and any BBC comedy panel show where they can get away with a 'new' episode being a compilation of the 'best bits' from earlier in the series despite having screened only five or so episodes. I'm a bit luckier though. I've got over a 100 posts to pick from... 

These are some of my most popular posts - at least according to the dashboard stats. 

All of them are done in the best possible taste!

Pages from the 'new' partwork coming your way!

The Doctor Who comic spin-off from 'Countdown' and 'TVAction' from 1974-ish

The short-lived 1960s Doctor Who US reprint title featuring the Doctor, John and Gillian from 'TVComic'

The elusive fourth Dalek book that wasn't published in the 1960s - selected pages.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Complete New Doctor Who Target Books

This is purely a bit of housekeeping now that I've finally completed my Target book collection of covers for the modern series of Doctor Who

All of the past posts that have included Target Book covers are collected below and can be accessed by the links which will hopefully make them easier for new readers to find.

Thank you for all the kind comments that I've received via email, Facebook and Twitter - particularly those fans who 'get' what I've been doing with these covers and that it is purely a bit of fun on my part. 

I've also taken the liberty of picking out my personal favourite covers from each series.

Series One - Rose to The Parting of the Ways

Series Two - The Christmas Invasion to Doomsday

Series three - The Runaway Bride to Last of the Time Lords

Series four - Voyage of the Damned to Journey's End

Series four (specials) - The Next Doctor to The End of Time part two

Series five - The Eleventh Hour to A Christmas Carol

Series six - The Impossible Astronaut to The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

Series seven - Asylum of the Daleks to The Name of the Doctor

Series seven 50th Anniversary - Day of the Doctors and Time of the Doctor

Series eight - Deep Breath to Last Christmas

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Target: Capaldi - part one (supplemental)

Found this lining the bottom of my sock drawer. 

It appears to show the original designs for the early novelisation covers that featured Peter Capaldi's face... before the apparent licencing issues.

(see previous post)

UPDATE: I knew I had it. Here's that cover proof of the novelisation of 'Deep Breath' featuring Peter Capaldi. 

It was never published. 

At all. 

Target: Capaldi - part one

Yes, it's that time of the month where I post more Target book covers for the current series of Doctor Who

These are Peter Capaldi's first run as "Dr. Who" (his words!) and bring my little project up to date.

Sadly we are at that period where the bods at WHAllen are no longer able to use the likenesses of the current Doctor on the cover so have to make do with finding elements in the actual stories to sell their products. 

I've no idea why there's an issue with using the Doctor's face. Some suggest that the actor was unhappy with his artistic likeness being used whilst others suggest that the licencing fee for his image became too expensive. 

There are others that postulate the theory that the legal bods - having seen Peter Capaldi in 'The Thick of It' thought it was a real documentary and are too frightened to approach the actor for permission... 

Whatever the reason, a mock up of the twelfth Doctor's debut novel featuring his face was commissioned and proofed but, in the tradition of Target books, will not be revealed until a late date... possibly in some magazine article or lavish book about the history of these novelisations. 

UPDATE Target: Capaldi - part one (supplemental) - click here.

Doctor Who will return in "Doctor Who and the Magician's Familiar"

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The New Doctor Whos Revealed Today!

I did these at various points over the last few months for various reasons. They are all people I like and admire. 

I couldn't possibly be held responsible for anyone who foolishly sent copies of these covers to friends as an April Fools gag.....