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....? 

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