Saturday, 17 January 2015

When Doctor Who hit US news stands in the 1960s

It seems - from recently undiscovered paperwork at the BBC - that Doctor Who WAS nearly sold to US television in the mid sixties. 

A deal was struck with a New York television station to run most of the first season around 1966. 

At the same time, arrangements were made with a local comic book company to reprint some of the better comic strips from TV Comic that had been (loosely) based on the series. 

As all most imported entertainment - it was duly "adapted" for US readers. 

This was mostly done by altering Dr. Who's grandchildren John and Gillian into hipper street kids and also by re-spelling John's name as "Johnnie".

Sadly the TV station had purchased the episodes unseen and was a little put out by their quality. 

It's unclear whether this was to do with the abysmal telerecordings they had been sent or the overall quality of the productions. 

Nevertheless, they cancelled their order within the traditional 28 days grace period and nothing more was said.

This left piles of old comics to gather dust in a warehouse in downtown Manhattan that was eventually blown up in an episode of Kojak in 1974. 

Some of the original issues from this tragic tale survive but there are none known to be in the possession of private collectors. 

You'll never find any of them anywhere... 


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