Thursday, 12 November 2015

Doctor Who and the Chumblies Remembered...

Let's face it, the Daleks were the most successful element of the first few series of Doctor Who. Kids imitated them in the playground. Merchandisers made toys and books available to the eager public. And the show's production team couldn't wait to bring them back in a new adventure despite the terminal nature of their previous appearance. 

It comes as no surprise then that there were concerted efforts by writers other than Dalek creator Terry Nation to introduce other robot races into the series. The Quarks, the War Machines and even Terry's own Mechonoids all failed to capture that elusive lightning-in-a-bottle that the Daleks themselves did. 

Except for the Chumblies... William Emms produced them in his season three adventure 'Galaxy Four' as the robot servants of the beautiful (sic) Drahvins - female alien space warriors trapped on a dying planet with the pig-like Rills. Unlike the Daleks, they were cute and resembled a child's toy - not that that was unintentional, I'm sure. 

In an alternate universe, this started an avalanche of merchandise which is now much sort-after by collectors of that sort of thing. 

This is some of it...

1. Dr Who in an exciting adventure with the Chumblies - novelisation by Williams Emms of his original scripts - published in paperback by Armada books.

2. The Chumblies - Century 21 mini-album featuring the soundtrack of episode three (!) of Galaxy Four with additional narration by Shane Rimmer and an instrumental version of Aqua Marina used instead of the Doctor Who theme music on side two.

3. The Chumbley Outer Space Book - Hardback annual-style book featuring text and picture strip stories. Introduced the space warrior agent - Maagal - a Drahvin superwoman agent who had a squad of telepathically controlled Chumblies. Also includes the infamous 'Anatomy of a Chumbley' which implied that the Chumblies were powered by 'anger' energy (!).

4. TV Century 21 magazine - Issue 18 - A Chumblies comic strip appeared in colour on the back page - paperwork suggests that it was written by William Emms himself and drawn by an artist. The comic strip ran without a break for a fortnight.

5. The Chumbley Pocketbook and Girl Space-Traveller & Beauty Guide - A paperback stuffed with a myriad of interesting facts about the Chumblies and their Drahvin mistresses. The other 80% of the book contains beauty tips for girls yearning for that "outer space" look...

You can find details about other Chumbley products by clicking here.

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