The Case of Non-Disney Animated Classics

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Hey Cassettes! For a long time it seemed that Disney was the only studio with the ability to make a quality animated film. But, as time went on, more studios began stepping up with their own animated features with beautiful visuals and lovable, complex characters.

This week we took a look at our favorite examples of classically animated (hand-drawn/2D) non-Disney films by counting down our top 10 favorites. To make it easier on ourselves, we decided to exclude Studio Ghibli from the list. Don’t worry, we WILL do a Studio Ghibli episode in the future.

10. The Brave Little Toaster (1987)

  • We know what you’re thinking: The Brave Little Toaster? That’s Disney, right? Well, not really..
    • The Brave Little Toaster was distributed by Walt Disney pictures, but it was produced by a studio named Hyperion Pictures. Walt Disney Studios secured the rights to the story in the early 1980s.
    • John Lasseter and Glen Keane pitched the movie to Disney as a CGI project and Disney declined. They felt that the studio should only use computers if it was cheaper or faster. Lasseter was then fired and the project was sent to Hyperion Pictures.
    • It was financed as an independent production, with Disney only giving them enough money to get it off the ground. So, we do not consider this a Disney Animated film. Disney was not the production company but they did own the title later and wasn’t even the original distributor of the film. 
    • According to IMDB, the film had a tough time finding a distributor before Disney gave it a VHS release in 1991; Before that it went to independent distributors before airing on the Disney Channel. It’s time on the Disney channel is probably what gave it the exposure it needed to become a popular film. 
  • The Brave Little Toaster was based on a novel by Thomas M Disch and it was directed by Jerry Rees
    • The story follows a group of appliances left behind at a summer home that has just been sold. They then go on an adventure to find their “master,” the original 8-year-old owner 
    • Many of the animators that started PIXAR worked on this movie and some people consider it to be a prototype of a PIXAR movie, but without CGI. Even the famous A113 easter egg in many of Pixar’s films can be found in this movie! 
      • Donald Kushner thought that the nightmare scene and the scene in the junkyard should be cut from the movie because of scary images and the suggestion of suicide. The scenes stayed in the movie
    • David Newman wrote the score for the film with songs and lyrics by Van Dyke Parks
    • Actors: 
      • Jon Lovitz as the radio
      • Timothy Stack as Lampy 
      • Timothy E Day as Blanky 
      • Thurl Ravenscroft as Kirby 
      • Deanna Oliver as Toaster
      • Phil Hartman as Air Conditioner 

9. Balto (1995)

  • Balto was directed by Simon Wells, produced by Amblimation, and distributed by Universal Pictures. 
  • It is loosely based on the a true story.  In 1925 a serum needed to be taken to Nome, Alaska, due to many people becoming sick with Diphtheria. Balto led the final sled team to the village in order to save the people.
  • Amblimation made only three animated features and this was their final one. Although it wasovershadowed by Pixar’s Toy Story, its sales on home video led to two direct-to-video sequels: Balto II: Wolf Quest (2002) and Balto III: Wings of Change (2005).
  • It earned over $11 million at the domestic box office.
  • Starring:
    • Kevin Bacon as Balto 
    • Bob Hoskins as Boris
    • Bridget Fonda as Jenna
    • Jim Cummings as Steele
    • Phil Collins as Muk and Luk

Historical differences

  • The film portrays Balto as a mix between a wolf and a dog. In realty Balto was a purebred Siberian Husky.  So really, he looked much more like the film’s villain, Steele. 
  • The sled run to retrieve the medicine was a relay. Instead of being the leader of the first and only team as the movie suggests, Balto was the leader of the 20th and last team to carry the medicine to Nome.
  • In the film, the only residents who fall ill are 18 children. In reality, many more people (adults included) were infected. 
  • In the sequels, Balto became a father with Jenna and they had a litter of puppies who grew up and moved on with their lives. But, Balto was actually neutered at 3 months. A shame, considering he must’ve had good genes!
  • In the sequels, Balto built a life with his family and friends in Nome. In realty, Balto and his team were put in the Brookside Zoo (now the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) in 1927 where they stayed until their deaths. Balto died on March 14, 1933 at the age of 14.

8. An American Tail (1986)

  • An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Bluth Inc. and Amblin Entertainment. 
  • Originally, it was meant to be an exclusively all-animal world, but Bluth decided he wanted an animal world that was hidden within the human world, thus having the backdrop of a human world. After seeing The Rescuers, Spielberg agreed this would be a wise decision.
  • It tells the story of Fievel Mousekewitz and his family as they leave Ukraine in search of a cat free life in the United States of America.
  • Its release was on November 21, 1986, to reviews that varied from positive to mixed.
  • It was a hit, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film at the time. It grossed up to $47 million domestically, and $84 million worldwide. The success of American Tail and The Land Before Time prompted Steven Spielberg to establish his own studio, Amblimation.
  • “Somewhere Out There” won four awards; ASCAP Award, BMI Film & TV Award, and two Grammys for Best song written for a motion picture and Song of the Year.

Starring:

  • Phillip Glasser as Fievel Mousekewitz
  • Erica Yohn as Mama Mousekewitz
  • Nehemiah Persoff as Papa Mousekewitz
  • Amy Green as Tanya Mousekewitz
  • Christopher Plummer asHenri
  • John Finnegan as Warren T. Rat
  • Will Ryan as Digit
  • Hal Smith as Moe
  • Pat Musick as Tony Toponi
  • Cathianne Blore as Bridget
  • Neil Ross as Honest John
  • Madeline Kahn as Gussie Mausheimer
  • Dom DeLuise as Tiger

7. The Secret of Kells (2009)

  • The plot centers on Brendan, a young boy living in the Abbey of Kells under the care of his stern uncle, Abbot Cellach. Determined to protect his people, Abbot Cellach believes all man-power should be focused on building a wall to keep out the Vikings. Brendan is an apprentice in the scriptorium of the monastery, and becomes friends with Brother Aidan, creator of the Book of Iona. Together they create “the book that turns darkness into light” (the unfinished Book of Kells).
  • The story is based on the origin of the Book of Kells, a beautiful and intricate manuscript, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. Today, it is located in Dublin, Ireland.
  • The movie draws from Celtic mythology and art styles, including its inclusion of Crom Cruach and fairies. 
  • The Secret of Kells began development in 1999, and was inspired by The Thief and the Cobbler, Mulan, Gustav Klimt’s paintings, and the works of Hayao Miyazaki, each based their visual style on the respective traditional art of the cultures of each film. They wanted to do this with Irish art styles and culture. 

Starring:  

  • Evan McGuire as Brendan
  • Brendan Gleeson as Abbot Cellach
  • Christen Mooney as Aisling
  • Mick Lally as Brother Aidan

6. The Iron Giant (1999)

  • Directed by Brad Bird, this film is about a Giant robot that lands from outer space and a young boy named Hogarth Hughes, who befriends him.  When the government finds out about the Robot, Agent Kent Mansley decides he must be destroyed at all costs.
  • Ted Hughes published a novel in 1968 called The Iron Man, of which the movie took inspiration, but is pretty different.  He had written the novel to console his children after the death of their mother Sylvia Plath.  
    • The movie was renamed to not be confused with the superhero Iron Man.
    • The book is about an Iron Man that is causing destruction on Earth and must be taken out but has not been able to be tied down or destroyed.  In a sweet twist it is the Iron Man who saves the planet from a terrible monster threat that has come from outer space.
    • Although he passed away before the movie was made he had this to say about the screenplay “I want to tell you how much I like what Brad Bird has done … He’s made a terrific dramatic situation out of the way he’s developed The Iron Giant. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
      • To honor Ted Hughes, the characters Annie and Hogarth have the last name of Hughes.
  • At a comic-con in 2016 the Director Brad Bird revealed he had brought in real life tragedy for the film inspiration.  His sister had been killed by her husband with needless gun violence. During the con he said “When you shoot somebody, you’re not just killing that person. You’re killing a part of all the people that love that person.”  Thus his stressed point against weapon violence.
    • When he pitched the idea he said “The idea I pitched to Warner Bros. after reading the book – when I said that I really liked it but I wanted to do something different with it – was I said ‘What if a gun had a soul?’
      • “That kind of stuck with them.”
  • Upon initial release, the movie was a box office flop. But, it later gained popularity on VHS and DVD and through viewings on TV.
  • The style of the art was inspired by Edward Hopper, N.C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell.  The town Hogarth is from is even named Rockwell to honor the artist.
  • The Iron Giant only says a total of 53 words
    • Bird was able to sneak in the voices of two of his animator mentors from Disney.  Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston as the train workers that are interviewed.
  • The score was done by Michael Kamen

Starring:

  •  Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney, Eli Marienthal, and M. Emmet Walsh

5. The Secret of Nimh (1982)

  • In 1979, Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and a group of animators left Disney to create an independent animation studio. The story for The Secret of Nimh had been pitched to Disney but they reportedly turned it down saying, “we already have a mouse”
    • Bluth has said that the environment at Disney was toxic, and he tried to bring the heart back into animation. He stated that the company only wanted to focus on making movies cheaply. WHAT A SURPRISE
  • Based on the book: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, the animators started working on the movie before they even had a script. They used the book to draw up the initial story–Don Bluth reportedly designed the characters and story-boarded the movie himself
  • Some of the animators would dress up as the characters and record themselves to help understand how to animate the characters. “Whatever it takes to put it on the screen, that’s our motto” 
    • They wanted the animators to think of themselves as actors, they even had them take an acting class to help with their animation. They were afraid that they would focus on the technical aspect of what they were doing first and feelings second
    • They animated Mrs. Brisby to look fragile, so the audience could see her courage as she faced down terrifying threats in the movie; The tractor, the cat, the owl, the rats 
  • The story follows Mrs. Brisby, a widowed mouse who must find a way to move her ill son from the field before the tractor comes through for the harvest. First she seeks the wisdom of the Great Owl, then she visits the rats of Nimh. She soon discovers that her husband had a connection to the rats that she never knew of
  • NIMH is an acronym for National Institute of Mental Health; the rats were research subjects that had escaped. They only reveal the meaning behind the name once in the movie
  • The movie had to make changes to the story, such as changing the main character’s name from Frisby to Brisby to avoid trademark issues with the toy company 
    • The movie also made Jeremy the crow a much bigger character in the movie than in the book, really emphasizing the comic relief 
    • In the film, Mrs. Brisby is the hero and saves her children herself, even though the rats are the ones that save them in the book 
  • The music was done by Jerry Goldsmith, and this was his first animated movie soundtrack! He introduced the movie to Stephen Spielberg who made An American Tail with Don Bluth later on. He loved the movie so much that he volunteered to work on it for three more weeks to refine the score. 
  • The creators WANTED a PG rating, hoping that older audiences would see the movie. They got a G rating, however, even though this is considered to be one of the most violent animated movies of the 20th century. 
  • “Bluth’s films place plucky, optimistic leads in darkly surreal landscapes where a bunch of trippy stuff happens before the movie reaches its inevitable happy ending.” The AV Club
    • Don Bluth feels it’s important to display uncomfortable emotions on screen for children. 

Starring:

  • Derek Jacobi as Nicodemis
  • Elizabeth Hartman as Mrs. Brisby
  • Arthur Malet as Mr. Ames
  • Dom Deluise as Jeremy
  • Will Wheaton as Martin
  • Sharon Doherty as Teresa
  • Hermione Badeley as Auntie Shrew
  • John Carradine as The Great Owl

4. The Land Before Time (1988)

  • The Land Before Time is a 1988 animated adventure drama film directed and produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall. 
  • Spielberg wanted to do a film like Bambi, but with dinosaurs. An early working title for the film was The Land Before Time Began. The film was originally pitched to have no dialogue, but the idea was abandoned in order to make it appealing to children.
    • About 10 minutes of footage, comprising a total of 19 fully animated scenes, were cut from the final film, to attain a G rating instead of a PG rating.
  • The film follows Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, and Petrie as they face hardships on their journey to the great valley. The film covers the issues of prejudice between the different species, dealing with loss, and the physical dangers of their prehistoric world.
  • This is the only Don Bluth film of the 1980’s in which Dom DeLuise did not participate (instead, he starred in Disney’s Oliver & Company)It is also the only film in The Land Before Time 14 film series that is not a musical, as well as the only one to be released theatrically worldwide.
  • The Land Before Time grossed $48 million at the US box office and nearly $84 million worldwide.

Starring:

  • Gabriel Damon as Littlefoot
  • Candace Hutson as Cera
  • Judith Barsi as Ducky
  • Will Ryan as Petrie
  • Helen Shaver as Littlefoot’s mother
  • Burke Byrnes as Cera’s father
  • Bill Erwin as Littlefoot’s grandfather
  • Pat Hingle as Narrator and Rooter

3. Anastasia (1997)

  • The royal Romanovs are destroyed after their scorned adviser Rasputin puts a hex on the family. While trying to escape, young Anastasia disappears. 10 years later, the Dowager Empress offers a reward for Anastasia’s return. Two con men, planning to trick Anastasia’s grandmother, hold auditions and choose an orphan named Anya with a forgotten past and a resemblance to the missing princess. The trio sets off for Paris to collect the reward, not knowing that Anya is the true Grand Duchess Anastasia.
  • Background– Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne but he and his family were still put under house arrest and then later moved to another location to be killed because they feared the White Army would seize the Romanovs and use them for a force against Communism.
  • Actors- John Cusack, Meg Ryan, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, and Angela Lansbury just to name a few
    • Singers- In this movie the actors that play the voices do not do the singing, there are others that do that.  They did an amazing job of matching up the voices with the singers that if you don’t know this tidbit it is hard to even tell.  These singers included Liz Callaway (She is also known as the voice of The Swan Princess) as the singer for Anastasia, Jim Cummings as the singer for Rasputin, and Jonathan Dokuchitz as the singer for Dmitri.
  •  Origins of the Story
    • There was an actual person that claimed to be the Princess Anastasia.  Anna Anderson claimed to have survived the 1918 slaughter of the Romanov family.  Although there were many others that claimed to have been Anastasia she is the most well known and the best impostor.  After being pulled out of a lake she was put in an asylum where another patient suspected her to be the princess. DNA was found to disprove her being the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II but there are still those that believe in the conspiracy that she truly was the Princess and that the DNA was botched/ things were covered up.
    • Marcelle Maurette was a French Playwright and screenwriter.  She is known for her 1952 play called Anastasia.  
      • This was made into a movie by 20th century fox directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman  in 1956 starring Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, and Helen Hayes. Music was done by Alfred Newman.
      • And finally again by 20th Century Fox in 1997 with this animated version.  In 2017 there was a Broadway version but because of copyright issues they went through legal issues and ended early this year.
    • The original play
      • It took inspiration from historical events such as Anna Anderson’s story there were plot points that were specific to Marcelle’s story.
      • A suicidal amnesiac asylum patient is pulled into a scheme to inherit the Romanov dynasty and fortune.  She is taught all about the family and how to be a Dowager Princess. The final test and most important test  is to pass her off as the Princess to the Grand Empress. This scene is the most important in Marcelle’s Play and one of the major parts that is cited in the Plagiarism suit against the Broadway Play.

2. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is a 2002 American animated adventure film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film was directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook and was their directional debuts.
  •  The film follows Spirit, a stallion, who is captured by the United States Cavalry; he is freed by Little Creek who tries to lead him back into his Lakota village. Unlike other animated features, Spirit and the other horses communicate through sounds and body language like real horses.
  • Matt Damon as Spirit
  • James Cromwell as The Colonel
  • Daniel Studi as Little Creek

Spirit was made over four years using a blend of traditional hand-drawn animation and computer animation. The animation was the hardest part of production. James Baxter said, “I literally spent the first few weeks with my door shut, telling everyone, ‘Go away; I’ve got to concentrate.’”

The production team toured western United States to view scenic places they could use as inspiration for film locations. The film locations became based on Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks. 

The film was released in theaters on May 24, 2002, and earned $122.6 It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, losing to Spirited Away.

1. The Prince of Egypt (1998)

  • In 1994, Walt Disney Studio Chief Jeffrey Katzenberg left the studio. Now, that’s a story for another time in another episode, but let’s just say he didn’t leave on good terms. 
    • Katzenberg, along with Stephen Spielburg and David Geffen formed Dreamworks, a studio intended to create both live-action and animated films
    • The Prince of Egypt was only its second animated release in December 1998, and the studio’s first classically animated film. 
  • Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells; Brenda Chapman was also the first woman to co-direct an animated movie from a major studio! Yay Brenda!
    • The Prince of Egypt took four years to make
    • The creators intended to make an animated version of the epic 1956 Ten Commandments, and the movie is based on the book of Exodus in the Bible. Although Katzenberg had pitched the idea to Disney several times, they never went with it. It was Stephen Spielberg who brought it up again and encouraged the project just after the founding of Dreamworks
    • The movie starred Val Kilmer as Moses, and Ralph Fiennes as Ramses 
    • It also featured Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfiefer, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Helen Mirren, and Patrick Stewart
      • Steve Martin and Martin Short recorded their lines together and sang their own parts in the song, “Playing With the Big Boys Now” as Huy and Hotep. Egyptian high priests 
  • The Prince of Egypt follows the story of Moses, the adopted son of the Pharaoh. After discovering his true identity as a Hebrew, the oppressed people enslaved by the Egyptians, Moses attempts to convince his brother Ramses to set the Hebrew slaves free. When Ramses, his once beloved brother, says no, Moses leads his people out of Egypt. 
  • The Story is based on the book of Exodus, with a few key differences that were made for story purposes; ie Moses murders the slave master in the Bible, he does not kill him by accident 
    • The film-makers consulted almost 600 outside sources in an attempt to make the film as accurate as possible to the source material. All religious scholars that were associated with the film reported that the studio appeared to listen to their ideas
    • To avoid controversy, the voice of God was meant to be done by every person in the cast simultaneously. The creators decided that one voice would need to be more prominent than the others. So, they let Val Kilmer’s voice be the most prominent, but you can still hear the voices of the other actors underneath it
  • The parting of the Red Sea sequence, considered by many to be the most beautiful scene in the film, was four minutes long but it took 10 animators TWO YEARS to complete
  • The soundtrack was done by Hans Zimmer with songs by the one and only Stephen Schwartz! He wrote songs for many Disney productions as well as broadway plays 
  • “Songs in animated features have become very important in terms of both telling the story and giving a style and tone to the movie,” – Stephen Schwartz, the making of The Prince of Egypt

The Case of Time and Space Part 3

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Important Episodes

    • Rose Season 1, Episode 1
      • In order to bring callbacks from the original show this debut episode of the new series featured the Nestene Consciousness and the Autons.
    • Aliens of London S1 E4
      • Rose has been gone 12 months, instead of hours, and her mom and Mickey are worried.
      • The monster prevalent in this episode are the Slitheen.  These creatures want to take over the Earth and in order to do this they steal the skin of people (mostly powerful government people).
      • To create a distraction the Slitheen have a spaceship crash into the Thames after hitting Big Ben.
      • We meet for the first time, “Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North”
        • MP is a member of Parliament.
    • Dalek S1 E6
      • The Doctor and Rose go to a Museum and proceed to the 53rd level down. There they find that the collector for the museum, Henry van Statten has a Dalek chained up
      • The discovery of the Dalek angers the Doctor because he thought he had destroyed the entire Dalek fleet.
    • The Empty Child S1 E9
      • When a strange cylinder crashes in 1941 during the London Blitz a plague of sorts begins where people begin becoming mummy-like and “grow” a gas mask on their face.
        • They do this after coming in contact with a Little Boy in a gas mask who continues to ask “Are you my mummy?”
      •  We are introduced for the first time to Captain Jack Harkness.
    • The Parting of the Ways S1 E13
      • In order to save Earth from Daleks, the Doctor is willing to sacrifice himself.  He attempts to save Rose by sending her back to Earth in the TARDIS and then locking the TARDIS doors so she cannot return to him.  Seeing all of the Bad Wolf signs she decides she must go back to save him.
        • In order to get back in Rose, her boyfriend Mickey, and her mother Jackie take the TARDIS door off.  They do this by using a truck to pry it off.
        • When they do this they release the heart of the TARDIS and Rose is able to save the day.
        • Since Rose has absorbed so  much energy she is in danger of dying and so in order to save Rose the Doctor absorbs the Time Vortex energy into himself.
          • This is what causes him to regenerate into David Tennant as the Doctor.
      • “You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.”-Rose
    • The Christmas Invasion S2 E0
      • Doctor regenerates
      • Trees that spin
      • Sycorax want his regeneration energy and to enslave mankind
      • Santas with trombone and trumpet weapons
      • Doctor essentially in a coma state
      • Hand
      • Lion King Quote
    • School Reunion S2 E3
      • Set in a school the Krillitanes are using children to try to gain ultimate power.
      • This episode is significant because it brings back Sarah Jane Smith and  K-9 from Classic Who.
      • “No. The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s a world or a relationship, everything has its time. And everything ends.”- Sarah Jane Smith
    • The Girl in the Fireplace S2 E4
      • Repair androids from the 51st century have ripped holes in time to stalk Madame De Pompador and harvest her brain.
    • The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit S2 E8 & E9
      • “The Beast” which is likened to the physical embodiment of Satan.
      • This is the first introduction of the Ood.
        • When they are being controlled by the Beast they have glowing red eyes.
      • It brings along the interesting concept that although the body may be scary, the scariest thing is the Beasts mind.
    • Love and Monsters S2 E10
      • This episode has the Doctor adjacent to the story and not center stage.
      • “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”- Elton Pope
    • Doomsday S2 E13
      • This is where we say goodbye to Rose after the Cyberman travel from the another universe and clash with the Daleks.
    • Runaway Bride Season 3 E0
      • Where we first meet Donna, she appears wearing a wedding dress in his TARDIS right after an emotional goodbye with Rose.
    • Smith & Jones Season 3 E1
      • The Judoon have abducted a human hospital in order to find a fugitive.
      • This is where we meet the young doctor-in-training Martha Jones, his next companion.
    • Blink S3 E10
      • One of the most referred to episodes with the weeping angels as the monster.
      • Remember “Blink and you’re dead. They are fast, faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back, don’t look away, and don’t blink. Good luck.”
    • The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Timelords S3 E12 & E13
      • The return of The Master as he becomes the new prime minister and uses cyborgs to take over the world.
    • Fires of Pompeii S4 E2
      • Both Peter Capaldi and Karen Gillan make appearances in this episode and later become Doctor and companion respectively.
      • The episode centers around the natural disaster of Pompeii.
      • It stresses the explanation that the doctor cannot prevent all historic events.
    • The Doctor’s Daughter S4 E6
      • Through DNA extraction, the Doctor now has a daughter.
      • Jenny is played by David Tennant’s now wife, Georgia Moffat.
    • Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead S4 E8 & E9
      • We meet River Song for the first time, and face the Vashta Narada.
      • Beware of the shadows and make sure that those close to you do not have two shadows.
    • Midnight S4 E10
      • An old-style sci-fi episode that takes place in a single location without sets and special effects, a psychological thriller of an episode. 
      • Though the Doctor has Donna as a companion they split for this episode. It is up to just the Doctor to save those around him.
    • The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End S4 E12 &E13
      • All of the doctor’s companions band together to save the earth from the Daleks.
      • This is the end of Donna, arguably one of the best companions.
      • Davros: “This is my final victory Doctor, I have shown you yourself.” 
      • The Doctor just before wiping Donna’s mind: “I just want you know there are worlds out there safe in the sky because of her. And there are people living in the light and singing songs of Donna Noble a thousand million light years away. They will never forget her. While she can never remember. But for one moment, one shining moment, she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.”
    • The End of Time Part 1 & 2
      • David Tennant’s last episodes.
      • Where he famously said “I don’t want to go” 
      • The Master returns, and Donna’s grandfather contacts The Doctor.
        • The Master turns everyone on earth into a likeness of himself.
        • This episode also shows the Time Lords of Gallifrey as a main antagonist.
        • The Ood are a primary creature in this episode.
    • The Eleventh Hour S5 E1
      • The beginning of Matt Smith and his companion Amy.
      • We also first see the crack in Amy’s wall which has ties to later episodes.
    • The Hungry Earth S5 E8 
      • This episode brought back the Silurians, a race from the old show. 
    • Vincent and The Doctor S5 E10
      • Amy tries to save Vincent Van Gogh by showing him how much he means to the present world.
    • The Impossible Astronaut S6 E1
      • The Doctor’s death.
    • The Doctor’s Wife S6 E4
      • Tardis comes to life and takes a human woman form.
      • Doctor: “You never took me where I wanted to go.”
        • Sexy: “No…. But I always took you where you needed to go.”
    • Let’s Kill Hitler S6 E8
      • This episode reveals that Amy and Rory were childhood friends of River Song without knowing it; they travel to the 1940s to assassinate Hitler. 
    • Closing Time S6 E12 
      • One of two episodes that featured Craig played by James Corden. 
    • The Time of the Doctor
      • We say Goodbye to Matt Smith.
      • “We all change when you think about it. We’re all different all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good. You’ve got to keep moving. As long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”
    • The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived S9 E5 & E6
      • Maisie Williams guest appearance as a young Viking girl who becomes immortal.
    • The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion S9 E7 & 8
      • Peace between the Zygons and humans is at stake after the Zygons had been permitted to live on the Earth
        • The Doctor brings them together and has them choose between two boxes
          • One box kills the Zygons OR kills the humans.
          • The other box either normalizes the Zygons or makes it so they can never change form again.
          • The Doctor will not tell them which box does what.
      • Extremis S10 E6
        • Veritas-the deadly truth.
        • Everyone is a simulation of themselves and therefore when they find this out they commit suicide.
        • The Doctor realizes that he is a simulation but knows that the sunglasses can still record and sends himself an email with the recording to know what is coming.

The Case of Time and Space Part 2

Hello Cassettes and Whovians alike, and welcome to the second installment of our Doctor Who series! This week we went further into space and talked about the reboot, the newer doctors, and of course the show’s most notorious villains.

Doctor Who 2

The history of the reboot

  • As we said last week, the show was officially cancelled in 1989. But, Doctor Who never truly disappeared. According to a Digital Spy article by Morgan Jeffery, there were 7 different attempts to bring Doctor Who back! This included a possible American version with Stephen Spielburg in 1994.
    • When the show was cancelled, a producer named Phillip Segal tried to relaunch the show with the BBC. Although he was initially unsuccessful, he was the executive producer that brought Doctor Who back in 1996 with a movie starring Paul McGann
    • The film was originally going to be a remake done by Universal, until a writer named Matthew Jacobs suggested continuing the show instead of re-making it.
    • Although the US release of the movie had low ratings, the UK release a few days later had 9 million viewers. Critics seemed to enjoy the darker tone of the movie, with a more “grown up” feel, drifting from the somewhat silly serial format of the old show
    • When the movie did not lead to a show, the rights returned to the BBC. The man in charge of continuing drama there, Mal Young, decided to try to reboot the show. When he was looking for a writer, the name Russell T Davies was suggested. Although it took a few more years, Davies became an integral part in reviving the show.
  • Novels
    • Various novels in the Whoniverse have been published, though they are widely considered as non-canon
    • “Damaged Goods” (1996) A Doctor Who novel written by Russel T Davies by Virgin Books
  • Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death
    • For their 1999 broadcast of Red Nose Day (an event meant to raise money to help people in underserved communities) The BBC aired a Doctor Who parody special written by Stephen Moffat (the future showrunner of the series)
    • This program starred Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley; all as incarnations of The Doctor
    • This first introduced the idea of regeneration across gender lines

  • Audio dramas
    • Before the official return of the show, there were audio dramas produced by the company “Big Finish.” These dramas featured past doctors Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvestor McCoy from the original series and were a more serious continuation of the show
  • Scream of the Shalka
    • Before the announcement of the new show, BBC Online created a new animated version of the show, starring Richard E Grant (who played an incarnation of the doctor on red nose day)
    • Scream of Shalka was accepted as an official continuation of the series and Grant was known as the 9th Doctor UNTIL the announcement of the new series with Christopher Eccleston

The New Show

  • It happened again just as it had before, BBC was in need of a new drama for Saturdays. So, BBC controller Lorraine Heggessey and the head of drama commissioning Jane Trantor ordered a new season of the show with Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, and Mal Young at the helm
    • Now, Davies was a well-known script writer from shows like Queer As Folk (1999) and he had already participated in the Whoniverse. Heggessey and Trantor trusted him so much, they didn’t even ask for a formal proposal before green-lighting the first season
    • The BBC and Doctor Who showrunners used the data from the previous seasons to determine that the new show had to be different, as the show in the 80s didn’t have a large enough audience to keep it on the air. They needed to attract new viewers, rebrand the show, but not betray its origins.
    • In a pitch document, Davies described the new Doctor as, “Your best friend. Someone you want to be with all the time. He’s wise and funny, fast and sarky, cheeky and brave. And considering he’s an alien, he’s more human than the best human you could imagine. So full of compassion, his heart could burst and his head’s jam-packed with science and art and history.”
    • Davies made the decision to ignore a lot of continuity from the old series, which in turn helps solve the issue of the lack of mystery
      • The series doesn’t start with a regeneration, establishing Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor immediately. This helped the new audience unfamiliar with the show get introduced to its universe, there wasn’t a lot of reference that a new fan wouldn’t understand. It was easy to digest.
      • Davies changed the format of the show. It was no longer the serial show from the past, but more like a full 45-minute program with its own new story each week. He also added a hook at the end of each episode to bring the audience back, but did away with the weekly cliffhanger.
    • Mal Young, one of the producers, suggested actor Christopher Eccleston to play the ninth doctor, and Davies felt that he fit the role perfectly.
      • The idea was that they wanted to leave behind the “Neutered, posh” doctor for someone “immediate and tactile”
    • One of the biggest changes that Davies made, was destroying The Time Lords
      • What was once a large part of the show’s plot, Davies wrote in that The Doctor’s planet of Gallifrey had been destroyed and with it, all other time lords. Why? Well, being the only Time Lord emphasizes The Doctor’s loneliness. It makes him seem unique and impossible, and most importantly it would ensure that no other time lords would pop up in the show (until later of course)
      • Davies also decided that the show would mostly involve human stories, or story-lines that involved humans in some way. He thought this would help capture a wider audience
      • The show was a success! ITV even attempted to topple series 1 by running blockbuster films simultaneously to Doctor Who. One of which was Star Wars Episode 1. Doctor Who’s ratings beat a film from the very franchise that had created unrealistic expectations of Science Fiction TV. Remember Michael Grade and his comparison of Doctor Who to Star Wars?
  • On March 26th, 2005, the world was introduced to the new Doctor Who and his young companion Rose Tyler. The episode included call-backs to the old show, including it’s villain being the Nestene Consciousness and its plastic Autons; it even re-created a famous scene when shop dummies come to life

The New Doctors & Their Companions

  • Christopher Eccelston (2005)
    • What he did for the show and why he left
    • The Ninth incarnation of The Doctor was crucial in the reinvention of the series.  It was a chance to begin fresh. His portrayal was different than all the other Doctors before, and arguably all since.  Far from the Dandy look of all his past selves, he takes on a rougher look with a leather jacket, boots, and black trousers.  He ditched all the accessories and went simple.
    • Davies’ decision to make the Doctor the last of the Timelords brought another side to the NInth Doctor’s performance.  An anger and guilt at being the sole survivor.
      • Protective of Rose
    • When asked about why he left he said “My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them … Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody who was not a natural light comedian. Billie, who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.”
    • Fantastic!
  • Billie Piper
    • The New Doctor was obviously an important part of the puzzle when creating a successful show. However, almost as important is the companion!
    • Billie Piper was 23 when she was cast as Rose, a young shoppe clerk who gets whisked away and eventually falls in love with The Doctor. Rose was the perfect vehicle for the new audience to discover The Doctor. She maintained the curiosity and wit of past companions with an edge of sass and bravery.
    • BBC America ran a poll in honor of the show’s 50th anniversary. Their list held Rose as the 5th best companion
  • David Tennant (2006-2010)
    • David Tennant was working on the TV serial Casanova when Russell T Davies asked him to come around to his place and see some rough cuts of the new series before its premiere. After they watched the cuts, Davies revealed to him that he wanted him to take over the role. So, they had Tennant film the regeneration scene at the end of season 1. Tennant revealed later that he was afraid the show wouldn’t get renewed and that he would only get to play the doctor for a few seconds
    • Companions: Rose, Martha, Donna
      • Martha
        • The second companion of the new series, the show chose an older character, one with slightly more maturity than Rose. Martha is a medical doctor, incredibly intelligent and resourceful
        • Frema Agyeman was cast in the role after auditioning three different times as other parts in the show. If you pay attention, you can see her in an earlier episode before she was cast as Martha. It was the versatility she showed in these auditions that impressed the showrunners
      • Donna
        • When Catherine Tate was cast in the role of Donna Noble, it was a big secret. She was already well-known as a prominent comedian and actress, so her appearance was a great surprise. She wasn’t meant to be a recurring character on the show, just meant to be a character in a special.
        • But, Davies considered bringing her back for a season, toning down her abrasive and outspoken nature as a character
        • Donna was the oldest companion in the new show to date, in her mid-30s and a temp in Chiswick
        • Her character arch is considered to be one of the most moving, with a devastating ending
    • Things they brought to the role (catchphrase, clothing)
      • “Allons-Y!”  “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” “Welllll……”
  • Matt Smith (2010-2013)
    • Youngest to play the doctor- Only 26
    • Matt Smith’s doctor ushered in a new era for the show, the beginning of Stephen Moffat’s turn as showrunner
      • The introduction of Smith felt like a new show; it had a different look and feel, with a new Tardis after the old one crash-landed
      • An entire edition of Doctor Who: Confidential, the documentary show about the making of Doctor Who, was dedicated to revealing Matt Smith as The Doctor
    • Companions: Amy Pond and Rory Williams
      • Karen Gillan had played a character in a season 4 episode, and was brought back as Amy Pond
      • Amy is strong, curious, fiery, and a device for the audience to get to know this new version of The Doctor.
      • Rory is a foil to Amy, a more grounded and cautious companion, and the two together make up the first married couple as companions in the new series
    • Clara Oswald
      • Jenna Coleman, despite admitting to never watching the show before playing Clara, was cast as Matt Smith’s companion after the exit of Amy and Rory
        • When she was cast she only watched the few episodes that aired before hers in order to get an idea of the show; she didn’t want Amy and Rory’s interactions with the Doctor influence how she played the character
      • Clara is known as The Impossible Girl, a face that appears throughout The Doctor’s timeline in mysterious ways
      • She’s also a school teacher, bringing the show back to its origins with the first companions
      • Clara is meant to be different from Amy so that the audience can see a new side of the doctor. Stephen Moffat stated that Clara had, “a speed and wit and an unimpressed quality that makes the Doctor dance a bit harder”
    • Catchphrase: “Geronimo!” “Bow Ties are cool”
  • Peter Capaldi (2014-2017)
    • In 2013, BBC revealed that they had cast Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation of The Doctor
    • A total shift after Matt Smith who was the youngest to play the role, Capaldi would be the oldest to play the character, tied with William Hartnell at age 55; Until John Hurt would play a version of the character in the 50th anniversary special
    • Capaldi found out he got the part while filming another movie. He missed a call from his agent and when he returned it, they answered with “Hello, Doctor!”
    • Capaldi brought some rock-star energy to the part, playing his guitar and wearing sonic sun-glasses for a time
    • He played the doctor as a grumpy man, wise and interesting.
    • Companions: Clara Oswald
    • Bill Potts
      • A young, charismatic character that challenges The Doctor in his old ways and forces him to think differently in situations
      • Bill is the first openly gay companion on the show, she’s very young and has a curious mind. She’s cool and a great pairing with the older, rock and roll style of Peter Capaldi
      • Played by Pearl Mackie
  • Jodie Whittaker (2018-present)
    • First female Doctor! The idea of cross-gender transformation is not new to the show. The first time it happened on screen was in an episode in 2015 called “Hell Bent” and later it happened with the notorious villain “The Master” turning into “Missy”
    • With Chris Chibnall taking over the show from Stephen Moffat, came the idea of a new doctor. Jodie Whittaker played a prominent role in Chibnall’s show “Broadchurch” and was his first choice as the 13th Doctor
    • Companions: Ryan, Yasmin, and Graham

Memorable Monsters/Antagonists

    • In the old and new series
      • Dalek
        • Daleks were created by Terry Nation when he wrote the second Doctor Who serial. In “Static Shock,” the doctor and his companions first meet the Daleks on Skaro. They were radiation victims that were encased in metal machinery, equipped with weapons used for wiping out any race besides their own, and ran on static electricity.
        • Sydney Newman wanted to avoid what he called “Bug-eyed monsters” in the show; monsters that fit the low budget sci-fi B-movie stereotype. When he first saw the Daleks, he felt that’s exactly what they were, and he was upset. He was more committed to education, and didn’t see the value in the Daleks
        • But, they were deeper than they seemed, inspired by the Nazis, the Daleks were a pitiful and tortured race, small-minded and deadly. Their appearance in the show helped it get renewed for more episodes; the Daleks were a hit.
        • The Daleks returned several times throughout the series, including an episode with Tom Baker and Sarah Jane Smith. They meet Davros, the creator of the Dalek race.
          • There was a nuclear war happening between the Thals and the Kaleds. Davros decided he wanted to quicken the mutation of his race and place them inside a machine of his own creation.
      • Cybermen
        • Created by Dr. Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis
        • First appearing at the end of William Hartnell’s timeline, showrunners were hoping to find similar success to the Daleks
        • Cybermen are humans from Earth’s twin planet Mondas. As the planet began to drift into space, the race began to experiment with cybernetics in order to survive. The Cybermen were born from the fear that humans were becoming too reliant on machines
        • Cybermen are updated every time they appear in the show with the latest technology
      • Nestene Consciousness
        • Created by Robert Holmes, the Nestenes is a disembodied life form able to take control of specially manufactured plastics (it’s a hive species)
          • This plastic includes the Autons–Humanoid creatures with deadly weapons in their hands that can masquerade as mannequins
        • The Nestene originally took the form similar to an Octopus before transferring themselves into pure energy
        • Autons have the ability to look human, as later in the series with the 11th Doctor, they were able to disguise themselves as Roman soldiers without the doctor recognizing them
        • Their first appearance was in the first serial of the 7th season of Doctor Who called Spearhead From Space. This episode was the first to be in color, filmed on location, introduces Jon Pertwee as The Doctor, is the first appearance of The Master and also includes Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from UNIT (who is often referred to in the reboot)
      • Sontarans
        • Also created by Robert Holmes, Sontarans are a warrior race characterized by their fearlessness
        • The Man who played the first Sontaran named Lynx, pronounced the name “SonTARan” even though it was supposed to be SONtaran. He reportedly declared that since he was from the place, he knew the right way to pronounce it
        • They play prominent roles in both series, they have an egg-shaped head covered by a helmet
      • Zygons
        • Metamorphic Humanoid characters that were from Zygor but seem to not want to stay there.  When in their true form they are an orangey brown color, are covered in suckers, and have a cone shaped head.
      • The Great Intelligence
        • With no physical form it is seen as a parasite.  Its main goal is to obtain a tangible body. Throughout the episodes it has inhabited the form of snow, a buddhist monk, robot yetis, and London Fog.
      • The Master
        • A recurring character known as The Doctor’s archenemy and revealed to be the only other survivor from The Last Great Time War .  He is ok with watching the world burn for fun.
        • His first team up was with the Autons.
        • Regenerates into Missy, which paves the way for the ability to regenerate Peter Capaldi into Jodie Whittaker.
    • In the new series only
      • The Weeping Angels
        • Created by Stephen Moffat for the season three episode “Blink”
        • The Angels are quantum-locked, meaning they only exist when they aren’t being observed
        • They feed on time energy, so they send you back in time and eat up your potential life in the present
      •  Adipose
        • Creatures consisting completely of fat with “children” that appear as almost cute marshmallow characters.
        • They are created by using a weight loss pill that converts a human into the children of Adipose.

 

 

      • Vashta Nerada
        • No bigger than a spec of dust, this creature is harmless in small numbers; But, in The Library, they attack the humans in large swarms and eat the flesh off their bones
        • The Doctor says that the books in the library were made from the trees in the Vashta Narada forest and they therefore see the library as their own home (Silence in the Library, Forest of the Dead)
      • The Silence
        • A creature that no one can remember seeing, The Silence can pass through the world completely undetected. Anyone who sees this creature will forget them the moment they look away
        • These were meant to be the scariest villains yet, and their appearance was slightly based on “The Scream”
        • The Silence are a religious order and they attempt to make the doctor’s death in season 6 a fixed point in history, meaning it cannot be altered
  • Sources:

The Case of Time and Space

Dr Who

Hey Cassettes! This week we’re taking you on an adventure in time and space. First, we’ll take you to London in the 1960s, when the BBC started production of an all-new adventure series about a doctor from another world! Then, we’ll travel through the decades and stop at 1996, when the network released Doctor Who the movie.

But stay tuned! Next week we will dive even deeper into the lives of the show’s “monsters,” the making of the reboot, and the messages behind the show. We also intend to take a longer look at the original show as we compare it to the new one!

So step into The Tardis with us and away we go!

Doctor Who is the longest running Sci-fi television series in history. It originally ran from 1963-1989; had a movie in 1996 and the show was rebooted in 2005

The Creation of Doctor Who

  • Doctor Who did not have one creator, which made it a show that could shift in format as-needed. Three very important names in its creation were: Sydney Newman, Donald Wilson, and CE Webber. 
    • After realizing that there was a gap in programming in early 1963, the chief of programs for BBC1 asked Sydney Newman, head of drama, to oversee a new adventure show.
      • Newman is also known for creating the much loved classic series “The Avengers”. 
    • Newman then asked Donald Wilson, who started calling meetings and focus groups with script writers. A lot of the show’s key concepts came from these meetings. For example: the idea of a time machine that also moved through space, the suggestion of the western-like format with one-off villains but a constant hero, and the center character being a scientist of some kind.
    • CE Webber, who wrote the original script for the first episode (before it was replaced) fleshed out the main characters with the leading character as, “a frail old man, lost in space and time,” known as The Doctor. 
  • Donald Wilson and CE Webber described the Doctor’s ship as a “magic door” where the outside is an ordinary object you might find on the street, but the inside would be a marvelous collection of machinery; They wanted the ship to perform similar actions as time machines from science fiction, but they didn’t want it to look like something from science fiction.
    • When writer Anthony Coburn incorporated Webber’s ideas into the first episode, he named the ship TARDIS – Time and Relative Dimension in Space 
  • The producer of Doctor Who, appointed by Sydney Newman, was Verity Lambert. She had worked with him as a production assistant in the past 
      • She was not his first choice, but he later recounted that hiring her was the best decision he made.
      • She was only 27 and the only female producer in the department
    • Next they appointed Waris (ware-iss)  Hussein, a young man only 25 years old, as the director of 11 episodes.
      • He also felt like an outsider as the only Asian man on set; Hussein was born in India and moved to the UK at age 9. 
    • After that, a veteran actor named William Hartnell was chosen to play the first doctor! At first he was reluctant to play a roll on a “children’s show” as Doctor Who was originally meant to be educational and friendly to all audiences

 

The First Episode/Season

  • The first episode was originally written by CE Webber, but was too technically difficult to perform. So, they replaced it with an episode called, “An Unearthly Child” written by Anthony Coburn, who took aspects of the original first episode and re-tooled them.
  • The first companions were Ian and Barbara who were school-teachers and his granddaughter Susan
  • Newman, however, was unhappy with the first recording, and gave the producer (Lambert) and the director (Hussein) another chance to get it right. In the first recording, the Doctor was too abrasive, and Susan, his granddaughter, was “too strange” 
  • After months of work, the first episode aired on November 23, 1963. The ratings were low, though there was a black-out at the time of airing. Also, the nation was still reeling from the shock of JFK’s assassination just one day earlier.
  • The show dealt with many difficulties. The show had an incredibly low budget for what it needed, only 2300 pounds per episode. The filming conditions were tough, they were forced to use old studios and out-dated equipment 
    • After the first season aired, the show was renewed partly due to the creation of an already notorious villain in the series: The Daleks. While the first season saw many adventures with an educational focus, the Daleks were a popular and exciting addition to the show. Isn’t it funny how The Doctor’s arch nemesis actually HELPED keep his show alive? 

– In 1966, the show runners were met with a difficult situation when William Hartnell’s health began to fail and he was unable to play the role. Story editor Gerry David and producer Innes Lloyd came to an agreement with Hartnell that he should pass the roll on. They didn’t like the idea of simply re-casting, so they came up with the idea that the doctor could change his face and called it regeneration. This has become one of the most genius ideas of the show, allowing re-casts whenever necessary. 

Who is The Doctor? 

  • When the show was still in development, it was Newman’s idea to have a young girl on the show, a teenager to appeal to the younger demographic.
  • When Coburn wrote the pilot, he made this young girl to be The Doctor’s granddaughter. This made Newman upset, because he didn’t want anything revealed about The Doctor. The ambiguity of the character is a key part of the show. The character is meant to be mysterious so that writers and viewers can interpret the show in different ways. We are not meant to see the doctor as someone that we understand, we are meant to see him through the eyes of the companions who have just met him. 
    • Revealing that The Doctor may have a biological granddaughter hints that he might have a family, something that the show has hinted at for years since but never elaborated on
    • We know for certain that Susan is not human, but whether or not she is biologically related to The Doctor. 
  • The Doctor is the only known survivor from the war between the Daleks and the Time Lords. The Time Lords were lost, along with their home planet of Gallifrey.
  • Much of what we know about the doctor is steeped in mystery, and it’s meant to be that way! Andrew Cartmel in the 1980s purposely threw in details to create more history around the doctor. This was known as the Cartmel Master Plan
    • Some of these stories were meant to suggest that The Doctor was more powerful than previously thought; that most of what we knew about him was wrong. They did this by dropping subtle hints that went nowhere since the show was cancelled. 
    • There is, however, a series of novels that used the masterplan; These were generally ignored.
  • Time Lords have 13 lives or regenerations (We know this from the 1996 film, after The Master was executed on Skaro)
  • The Doctor is half-human, as discovered by the Master in the 1996 movie. Later on the doctor says it’s on his mother’s side.

 

Why was it cancelled in 1989?

  • There is a large debate that the Commander of the BBC at the time, Michael Grade, purposely killed off the show.
    • He said in a Room 101 interview that  he hates sci-fi. (Room 101 is a BBC show where the person interviewed tells their hates and motivates the host to banish it to Room 101 in reference to the torture room in George Orwell’s 1984).  He also essentially implied it was low budget and past its prime. Many believe that because he hated it, he put it in a bad time slot and lowered the budget in order to justify low ratings and a reason to cancel.

 

The Doctors

  • William Hartnell (1963-1966)

    • The 1st Doctor
    • He wore a wig to portray The Doctor.
    • He was the first to give way to regeneration due to his failing health. 
  • Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
    • The second person to play the Doctor.
    • Although he had a few ideas on how to play the character the final decision was on the model of a “cosmic hobo”. This was suggested by Sydney Newman and inspired by Charlie Chaplin.
    • He was known for being a bit of a practical joker on set.
  • Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
    • He was known for his Edwardian Dandy style.
    • For the majority of his time as the Doctor he was exiled by the Time Lords to Earth and served as a scientist to advise (UNIT) The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.
  • Tom Baker (1974-1981)
    • Longest to play the role: from 1974-1981.
    • He was known for his many colored and long striped scarf. This scarf had been a happy accident. A costumer was given a bunch of yarn, and the miscommunication on its design gave way to her making a very long and colorful scarf. 
    • Famous companions were Sarah -Jane and K-9 who both make an appearance in the new series.
      • He had a couple famous companions, one of which was Leela who often appeared with K-9
        • There were three versions of K-9, the third he sent to Sarah Jane later in the show so she could have a companion with her on her travels. There was a one-off episode that was meant to be the pilot of a spin-off show about her and K-9, but it didn’t take off
      • As he is dying from radiation he goes back to Earth to spend the rest of it with Sarah-Jane and regenerate.
  • Peter Davison (1982-1984)
    • At the time he was the youngest to play the Doctor-only 29. 
    • Known to wear a question mark on his collar.
    • The father of Georgia Moffat who married David Tennant
      • Both Tennant and Georgia Moffat appear in the episode “The Doctor’s Daughter”
  • Colin Baker (1985-1986)
    • Known for his very colorful costume and question mark on his white collar.
    • Since he was unceremoniously fired he refused to come back for a regeneration scene.
      • This was possibly due to Michael Grade not liking him. Grade was quoted in saying that Baker was “utterly unlikable; absolutely God-awful in fact!”
    • It is known to be one of the worst TV deaths.
      • In order to film the regeneration scene they had the next Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, wear a blonde wig.
  • Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989)
    • He was known for wearing a Jumper with question marks all over it.
    • His first appearance is in Time and the Rani.
    • He technically played two incarnations of the Doctor if you count him wearing the wig in the regeneration scene.
    • He used a slight Scottish accent while playing The Doctor. (He himself is Scottish.)
    • He played the last doctor before series was cancelled.
    • He is still the shortest to be The Doctor at 5’6”.
  • Paul McGann (1996 Film)
    • He portrayed The Doctor in the 1996 film
    • “I love humans: always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there”
    • McGann regenerated into John Hurt in a mini-episode called “The Night of the Doctor,” which chronologically would take place before the 50th anniversary special that aired on November 23rd, 2013. But, more on that next week!

Sources:

Hearn, Marcus (2013) Doctor Who: The Vault. New York, NY: Harper’s Design.

Doctor Who – Characters. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/Dl87bYjhKrF2MHQM7StFXQ/characters