An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV LegendBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Title Deeds
The eighteenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

Production on the new series was progressing. The main cast were under contract and being measured for costumes and make-up.

It was on Tuesday 20th August 1963 - exactly 50 years ago today - that Doctor Who had its first studio session.


The place was Stage 3A of the BBC's television studios in Ealing, and the event was testing for what would become the iconic Doctor Who title sequence. The designer assigned was Bernard Lodge and the inspiration for the design came from a piece of 35mm film obtained by Verity Lambert. The film had been created for the children's production of Tobias and the Angel, made in 1960, and featured a howl-round effect that impressed Lambert.


The use of howl-round as an effect had been pioneered in the late Fifties by Norman Taylor, a BBC technical operations manager on Crew 9 based at Lime Grove in London. He discovered, while experimenting with a camera looking at a monitor showing its own picture, the effect of diminishing images into limbo.
Norman Taylor
We sometimes were allocated to two minor programmes in the same studio on the same day. This often resulted in a gap of activity between the transmission of the first and the start of rehearsals of the second.

On one of these days I used the gap to experiment with a camera looking at a monitor displaying its own picture. I think it was either Studio H or G Lime Grove. I got the usual effect of diminishing images of the monitor disappearing into limbo, when suddenly some stray light hit the monitor screen and the whole picture went mobile with swirling patterns of black and white. Later I repeated the experiment but fed a black-and-white caption mixed with the camera output to the monitor, and very soon got the Doctor Who effect.

I reported this to Ben Palmer the Investigations Engineer, who did some further work on it, and he mentions it in his book. I submitted it as a Technical Suggestion which was forwarded to the Specialist Engineering Departments. They obviously had no idea of what I was talking about and rejected it. I then demonstrated it to [broadcaster and future BBC1 Controller] Huw Wheldon and others who were impressed.
Lambert would later ask permission for Taylor to be given a credit for his work on the series. Although this was rejected by Taylor's Head of Department, R W Bayliff, Taylor was given a Technical Suggestion award of £25 for his idea.


In 2011, Palmer recalled how Taylor had brought the effect to him in his role as an Investigations Engineer, responsible for developing new operational techniques:
Ben Palmer
Norman told me of the interesting effect and thought I might like to look into it further. I conducted several tests and discovered an astonishing range of feedback effects which were visually stunning. By deliberately moving the camera slightly and changing the operation of the camera tube – reversing line scan, reversing field scan, rotating the picture, phase reversing the signal – one achieved multiple patterns – all quite abstract in nature. Using an image, such as a human face, to initiate the feedback made the face distend and break up in a very strange way. Although not involved in the first use of this technique for Doctor Who, I was fully involved in generating the titles for several subsequent series, when the role holder changed. Because of this, I became associated with the feedback effect as well as with other special effects.

I demonstrated this effect to BBC production staff but they could find no use for it except for a brief scene in a Rudolph Cartier play – Tobias and the Angel.
It was this film sequence for Tobias and the Angel that had caught the attention of Lambert and which she showed to Lodge as the type of effect she would like for the opening of her new drama series. The sequence impressed Lodge and he suggested feeding the letters from the Doctor Who title into the sequence.
Bernard Lodge
Quite a lot of howl-around footage already existed as a technical guy named Ben Palmer had been experimenting. Although the pattern generation was a purely electronic process it had been recorded on film, They had yards and yards of this experimental footage and I was asked to go down to Ealing and watch through it all with Verity Lambert.

When I saw the footage I was amazed. I suggested that if the facility for producing the effect could be arranged, we ought to try entering the basic lettering into the howl round. What I didn't realise was that the simple shape of the words, the two lines of fairly symmetrical type, would generate its own feedback pattern. When we introduced the title, the effect was sensational.

I didn’t realise that it would involve a TV studio for half a day. Verity had to plead for more money. On the day there were about five technical men, with Ben Palmer in charge, and the effect was created again – the camera looking at the monitor to which it sent the image. When we introduced the title, the effect was sensational. We used 35mm film recording, and amassed miles of film. Verity asked me to edit the sequence, which I did.

Clive South, who was part of the technical team, recalls that TC3 was used to create the effect which was recorded on to film at Lime Grove. He said:
Clive South
I was one of the three-man engineering team in the VAR (Vision Apparatus Room) so we set up a spare camera channel to look at a preview monitor switched to its own video output. Next was the really high-tech operation – a candle was lit and quickly flashed in front of the camera, and hey presto! A video howl-round was created.
Hugh Sheppard, who was on camera for the session, recalls Taylor lighting matches to trigger the howl-round.

Geoff Higgs, who was working in videotape in 1963, talked about some of the complications in recording the sequence:
Geoff Higgs
I remember that the result was fed through the device in standards converters (third or fifth floor, central wedge, TVC) that split the picture vertically down the middle and made the left and right halves of the raster mirror-imaged. I definitely recall titles that looked like that.
Lodge used just one part of the old Tobias and the Angel footage: the very start, the opening line that comes up and then breaks away. Everything else was new.

Complete with the Ron Grainer music, realised by Delia Derbyshire and Dick Mills, the opening sequence would become one of the most memorable and inspired in the history of British television.

Next EpisodeBox of Delights
SOURCES: BBC Prospero 2011; The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994); Ben at the Beeb, Ben Palmer, Valarie Taylor




Puffin Books: Spore by Alex ScarrowBookmark and Share

Monday, 19 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Spore, by Alex Scarrow (Credit: Puffin Books)The writer of the eighth Puffin Books e-book to celebrate the 50th Anniversary is the author of the TimeRiders series of books, Alex Scarrow.
Spore
Written by Alex Scarrow
Published 23rd August 2013

In a small town in the Nevada desert, an alien pathogen has reduced the entire population to a seething mass of black slime. When the Eighth Doctor arrives, he realises this latest threat to humanity is horrifyingly familiar – it is a virus which almost annihilated his entire race, the Time Lords...
With careers as a rock guitarist, graphic artist and game designer Scarrow became a successful author, writing adult thrillers and screenplays, but it is the world of Young Adult fiction that has enabled him to further develop concepts he originally delved into when designing games. Commenting on his latest commission, he said:
I am squeeing like an over-sugared toddler at the thought of being part of this project. Doctor Who is an export this country can be proud of. We OWN time travel. My small part in this project was to breathe life back into the least known, Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann. I chose him because I felt I had the most room to manoeuvre, to explore a lesser known Doctor and add flesh to his character. In my story entitled Spore, we're getting a particularly grisly tale of an intelligent virus that liquifies and absorbs any creature it infects. All in all... quite gross - liquified people an' all.
The author can be reached on Twitter via @AlexScarrow, and more details about the TimeRiders series can be found via this website.

A promotional video featuring Scarrow has been made available via the BBC's YouTube channel, and the Guardian has also published an extract from the e-book.






Doctor Who Anniversary Party To Be Held In LondonBookmark and Share

Monday, 19 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A party celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is to be held in London in November.

Organised by Jeremy and Paula Bentham together with Tony Clark, The Doc Lands @ 50 Party will be free to attend and will take place at a venue in Docklands on Saturday 23rd November, starting around 7pm after the BBC's Doctor Who 50th Celebration at ExCeL has ended that day. The party is open to all people aged 18 and over, whether or not they are going to the ExCeL event.

Jeremy told Doctor Who News:
The ultimate form of celebration is getting together to share an enthusiasm. Doctor Who fans have been sharing their passion for the programme since the '70s, but doing it on 23rd November 2013 is definitely the light on top of the police box, and will be a great occasion to don your party hats – fez, stetson, astrakhan, fedora, Paris Beau, or panama . . .
If the broadcast of the anniversary episode and any other Doctor Who programming by the BBC coincides with when the party is taking place, it will be shown on the venue's large-screen TV.

Food and drink will be available to buy at the party – although fish fingers and custard will not necessarily be on the menu!

Entry to The Doc Lands @ 50 Party will be by allocated ticket only, and capacity is strictly limited to 1,500 places. To apply for tickets, e-mail Jeremy at jjbentham@aol.com by Monday 9th September, using the subject line Doc Lands ticket applications and stating your name as well as how many people will be in your group. Before applying, though, people are urged to consider their transport options for getting home afterwards, as the party will finish late.

Successful applicants will be contacted in early November, when they will be told the exact location of the party and will be sent their group or individual tickets too.

Since the show's return to TV in 2005, the organisers have held a series of highly popular event parties in London.




Doctor Who Revisited Specials 1-4 on UKTVBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 August 2013 - Reported by Paul Scoones

UKTV

Sunday 18th August sees the broadcast of the first four instalments in the Doctor Who Revisited series on Australian and New Zealand television. The screening of this specials are part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

This is a late change to the programming schedules in both countries, and consequently has yet to appear on UKTV's websites and electronic programme guides.

The Doctor Who Revisited specials will screen in a two hour block of four episodes, covering the first four Doctors. They are expected to screen in Australia at 4:30pm and in New Zealand at 4:40pm or 4:50pm.

UKTV describes the specials as follows:
These programmes provide an introduction to each of the previous incarnations of the Doctor, and are designed to work alongside a specially curated selection of stories. Featuring interviews with key cast and crew along with classic clips and a montage of the Doctors’ key moments, iconic lines, and monsters, these programmes are the perfect companion pieces to some of the classic and newer Doctor Who. Featuring contributions from Steven Moffat, John Barrowman, David Tennant, Caroline Skinner and Neil Gaiman, among others.
When originally seen on BBC America earlier this year, the four specials were presented in conjunction with screenings of stories including The AztecsThe Tomb of the CybermenSpearhead from Space and Pyramids of Mars. All four stories have previously screened on UKTV as part of the 50th Anniversary season.

The specials replace other planned Doctor Who screenings on UKTV. Australia was due to screen Doctor Who America Specials: The Science of Doctor Who and The Timey Wimey Stuff of Doctor Who, whereas New Zealand either had The Three Doctors or Spearhead from Space (the website currently lists the first, whereas the electronic programme guide has the latter).





William Hartnell TV Interview DiscoveredBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A TV interview with William Hartnell dating from 1967 has been unearthed and will feature on the DVD release of The Tenth Planet.

The news broke today following the BBFC's classification of extras, which included an interview with Hartnell among them.

Doctor Who Restoration Team member Steve Roberts confirmed that it was an in-vision interview - meaning that it was on screen as opposed to just being audio - and stated that it was fellow team member Richard Bignell who had discovered it.

The interview was conducted by Roger Mills for Points West - the BBC's regional news show - and was held in the dressing room of the Gaumont Theatre in Taunton, where Hartnell was appearing in the panto Puss In Boots less than three months after last being seen in Doctor Who. The interview aired on Tuesday 17th January 1967.

The extra runs for 3 min 16 sec, and Bignell detailed the discovery of what is now the only known on-screen interview with Hartnell to exist:
A few years ago, I was doing research into the article I was preparing for Issue 3 of Nothing at the End of the Lane on Hartnell's rather disastrous performance as Buskin the Fairy Cobbler in the pantomime Puss In Boots, which toured around four different venues in December 1966 and January 1967, just three months after he had completed work on The Tenth Planet.

Whilst doing some work at the BBC Written Archive Centre, I checked the respective Programme-as-Broadcast sheets for the period, looking specifically at the local BBC news programmes to see if Hartnell's appearance in panto was deemed worthy of a television report.

He was in fact interviewed twice. Once in the first week of the tour in Ipswich (shown on Look East on 27th December 1966) and again during the final week in Taunton for Points West, shown on 17th January 1967. As I'd built up some contacts in the BBC's regional news libraries working on the DVDs, I dropped the respective archives a line to see if there was any chance the two interviews survived.

The first interview for Look East had long gone, but the ladies in the Bristol News Library very quickly got back to me to say that the interview done in Taunton still survived. We arranged for the footage to be sent over to London, where it was duly transferred. It shows Hartnell in his dressing room doing his make-up for one of his performances, with his "Doctor's ring" on the table and a Berwick Dalek playsuit stuffed in the corner. Hartnell speaks about his problems acting against the Daleks and how pantomime isn't "legitimate" theatre! Enjoy!!
Roberts also revealed that David Bradley was shown the footage as part of his preparation for playing the role of Hartnell in the upcoming BBC Two drama An Adventure In Space And Time.

The Region 2 DVD will be released on Monday 18th November and is available to pre-order.




Silva Screen updateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As previously reported, the Doctor Who Series 7 double-CD will be released on 9th September 2013.

Series 7 (soundtrack) - limited edition card set (Credit: Silva Screen)Doctor Who Series 7 - Original TV Soundtrack(pre-order)

Silva Screen’s eighth Doctor Who soundtrack release since 2006.

Long awaited by the fans, Series 7 has been uniquely made up of 13 self-contained stories and this 2 CD set offers a feast of new Murray Gold signature themes with music from each and every story.

Murray Gold’s phenomenal output as a composer began close to twenty years ago and he has stacked up five BAFTA nominations (two for Doctor Who) plus three Royal Television Society nominations and a win for Queer As Folk. In 2013 Murray Gold celebrated one of his greatest musical accomplishments with a third Doctor Who Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

(see our previous news item for track listing)

In addition to the gatefold wallet and jewel box formats, there will also be a limited number of CDs for sale containing cards with five alternative covers for Series 7. This will be available exclusively from drwho.tmstor.es.

There is no information at present as to if and when the soundtracks for the two Christmas Specials The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe and The Snowmen might be released.


Silva Screen have also reported that their limited edition vinyl release of the Doctor Who Series 1&2 soundtracks has been delayed due to a problem at the factory. Originally scheduled for next Monday, it is now expected for Monday 2nd September.

Win a copy of the Series 7 soundtrack!

Thanks to Silva Screen we have three copies of the CD for our readers to win. To be in with a chance, simply answer this question:
Emilia Jones portrayed the Queen of Years in The Rings of Akhaten, but who performed that role at this year's Doctor Who Prom?
Please send your answer to comp-s7cd@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Run, you clever boy", along with your name, address, and where you read about this competition. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date will be on 6th September 2013. Only one entry per household will be accepted.


There's still a chance to win a copy of Ghost Light, which closes on 24th August 2013. Answer the question below and send the usual details as outlined above to comp-ghostlight@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "We all have a universe of our own terrors to face":
In Ghost Light, when Ace discovers that the Doctor has taken her back to the house she hated from her youth, she asks if he too has things he hates - name one of his responses.




DWM's Circulation Rockets But DWA's PlungesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Doctor Who Magazine has seen a bumper rise in circulation but Doctor Who Adventures has recorded a sizeable fall.

Figures released at midday today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations showed that DWM had a total average net circulation of 31,692 per issue between January and June 2013 - a 10.3 per cent rise on the previous six months and a 17 per cent year-on-year increase.

However, DWA - which last time reported a slight rise - had a total average net circulation of 24,497 per issue for the same period: a drop of 23.3 per cent on the Jul-Dec 2012 period and a 23.2 per cent fall year-on-year.

Tom Spilsbury, the editor of DWM, which is published by Panini, told Doctor Who News:
I'm absolutely delighted – and a little bit stunned – to see Doctor Who Magazine's ABC figure increase by so much for the first part of 2013. Whenever these figures are published, we always brace ourselves – sometimes we might have gone up a bit, sometimes we might have gone down a bit. In fact, even holding steady is always a major achievement in the current magazine climate. For us to have increased by more than 10 per cent since the last report is staggering, and also highlights our strong sales in North America, due to the increasing popularity of Doctor Who there.

Of course, the second half of 2013 will see the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who itself, so here at Panini we're very hopeful that we can keep these strong sales – and improve on them – in time for the next ABC report in six months' time. We've got some great plans for the 50th anniversary, which will include strong coverage of the forthcoming Anniversary and Christmas Specials, as well as the Adventure in Space and Time drama for BBC Two. We're also planning further ahead, as we look forward into next year and the arrival of the Twelfth Doctor.

I'd like to thank all of DWM's readers for staying with us over the years, and to give a huge welcome to anyone who's picked up the magazine for the first time recently. Doctor Who Magazine has been around for almost 34 years now, and we're going to be here for a long time yet. For DWM, the best is definitely still to come!
Jaynie Bye, of Immediate Media Co, which publishes DWA, told us:
After changing frequency, Doctor Who Adventures magazine is now the top-selling boys' fortnightly title in a tough and challenging market. With a new Doctor just announced, the 50th anniversary of the programme, and renewed interest in the Time Lord, we are very optimistic about the future of this well-established magazine.
For detailed breakdowns of the latest figures, click on the relevant links in the table below.

 Jul-Dec 2009Jan-Jun 2010Jul-Dec 2010Jan-Jun 2011Jul-Dec 2011Jan-Jun 2012Jul-Dec 2012Jan-Jun 2013
Doctor Who Magazine29,00035,374 (+22%)33,554 (-5.1%)30,682 (-8.6%)30,614 (-0.2%)27,089 (-11.5%)28,743 (+6.1%)31,692 (+10.3%)
Doctor Who Adventures44,66453,559 (+20%)56,648 (+5.8%)50,013 (-11.7%)48,470 (-3.1%)31,903 (-34.2%)31,935 (+0.1%)24,497 (-23.3%)

(All figures are from the Audit Bureau of Circulations apart from the Jul-Dec 2009 figure for DWM, which is an estimate provided by DWM and included for comparison purposes. ABC figures for DWM only started being calculated in 2010. Percentages shown are the change on the previous six months.)





Doctor Who At The Proms TV Broadcast Time AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Highlights from this year's Doctor Who Prom are to be shown on BBC One in a 75-minute programme starting at 4pm on Monday 26th August.

Two concerts were held over the weekend of 13th and 14th July, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the programme and featuring music by Murray Gold, accompanied by specially-edited visual clips. The concert programme also included the world première of Song For Fifty, Gold's anthemic tribute to the show.

The first concert was broadcast live by Radio 3 and recorded for television broadcast.

Hosted by Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra and Dan Starkey as Commander Strax, the concerts also marked the classic era with a medley of sound effects by Brian Hodgson and music from The Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Sea Devils, City of Death, Logopolis, The Five Doctors, and The Curse of Fenric, with Mark Ayres and Peter Howell on synthesisers and sound effects.

In addition, the Proms featured guest appearances by Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, Peter Davison, and Carole Ann Ford.

The concerts were performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the London Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Ben Foster, with soloists Elin Manahan Thomas, Allan Clayton, and Kerry Ingram.

As reported previously, the broadcast date was announced during Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor.




Earls Court TARDIS reveals secretBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Ever since it was established in 1996, the police box at Earl's Court has been an attraction for visitors to London - not to mention Doctor Who fans, able to have their photo taken next to the "TARDIS". But little have they known how close they really were ... click on the double chevron when directions are shown on the map below for all to be revealed ...


(Follow this link if the map isn't displayed - users of the new Google Maps Beta please note that they need to be logged out in order for the correct Streetview image to load)




Guests Announced For BFI's Ninth Doctor ScreeningsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Producer Phil Collinson and director Joe Ahearne will be joining actor Bruno Langley and visual effects designer Dave Houghton as the special guests for the BFI's screenings marking the Ninth Doctor's era, it was revealed today.

The episodes Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways - which comprised the Series 1 finale and saw Christopher Eccleston bowing out as the Doctor - will be shown on the big screen on Saturday 24th August.

The Ninth Doctor event is the latest in BFI Southbank's Doctor Who At 50 celebratory season and will start at 2pm. Tickets are currently sold out but returns and stand-bys are a possibility.




Best Television Drama?Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Radio Times is trying to find the nation's most-loved drama series, with Doctor Who featuring in the final shortlist.

The magazine is celebrating its ninetieth birthday by creating a fantasy TV schedule made up of the most popular TV shows in history. This week, in a poll to find the best drama series, readers are invited to choose their favourite show, the one they would most love to watch on a Saturday night.

The Time Lord faces competition from some of the greats, from Brideshead Revisited to Our Friends in the North, from Cracker to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Classic adaptations are also included, such as Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice and The Jewel in the Crown, as well as the soap operas EastEnders and Coronation Street. Political thrillers are represented in the form of Edge of Darkness and House of Cards, alongside crime dramas such as Prime Suspect, State of Play, Inspector Morse and Life on Mars. All-time classic Upstairs Downstairs is also nominated, with Broadchurch, Downton Abbey and Sherlock representing the recent past.

Voting is via the Radio Times website.




Torchwood: Miracle Day to air on BBC AmericaBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 - Reported by Harry Ward
Torchwood: Miracle Day. Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins), Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) (Credit: BBC)BBC America has announced it will be airing the fourth series of Torchwood on its channel starting in September. This will be the first time Miracle Day has been shown in the US on a basic cable channel. The series originally aired in 2011 on the premium cable channel Starz.

All episodes will broadcast on Saturday at 9pm ET/PT.

Episode 1: The New World - September 14th
Episode 2: Rendition - September 21st
Episode 3: Dead Of Night - September 28th
Episode 4: Escape To LA - October 5th
Episode 5: The Categories Of Life - October 12th
Episode 6: The Middle Men - October 19th
Episode 7: Immortal Sins - October 26th
Episode 8: End Of The Road - November 2nd
Episode 9: The Gathering - November 9th
Episode 10: The Blood Line - November 16th




An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV LegendBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 August 2013 - Reported by Marcus
The Delia Mode
The seventeenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

Production is now well under way on the new science-fiction series, the main actors had been cast and issued with their contracts.

It was clear to the production team that a vital element of the new drama's success would be the title music and special sounds. On Monday 12th August, exactly 50 years ago today, director Waris Hussein contacted the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to discuss the requirements for the first episode of Doctor Who.

The Radiophonic Workshop had been founded in 1958, with a brief to produce effects and new music for radio and television using new techniques available in the new electronic age. It was based in the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, north-west London.

Verity Lambert had by now abandoned her original idea of asking the French group Les Structures Sonores to provide the title music. A meeting with the head of the Workshop, Desmond Briscoe, had persuaded Lambert that what she needed was "something electronic with a strong beat", something "familiar, but different" - something the Radiophonic Workshop could provide. Lambert was keen to obtain the services of Ron Grainer to write the music.

Grainer was an Australian composer who had been living in London for the past ten years. After working as a pianist in a nightclub, he had achieved some success as a composer, creating the scores for a number of TV series and a couple of features films. In 1961 he had won an Ivor Novello Award for the theme to Maigret, the series based on the books by Georges Simenon. Grainer had already worked with the Radiophone Workshop when creating his score for Giants of Steam, a documentary about railways.

Assigned to create the music would be one of the Radiophonic Workshop's staff, Delia Derbyshire. She had joined the BBC in 1960 working as a radio studio manager before joining the Workshop in 1962. The music she provided to herald the start of each episode of Doctor Who is now regarded as one of the most significant and innovative piece of electronic music ever produced. That it was created in the early Sixties, in the days before multi-track recorders and commercial synthesizers, is truly amazing. Aided by assistant Dick Mills, Derbyshire created each note separately by cutting, splicing, speeding up, and slowing down recordings of a single plucked string, white noise, and the output of test-tone oscillators. The notes were then edited together on quarter-inch tape. Mixing was done by starting several tape machines simultaneously and mixing the outputs together.

Grainer was highly impressed with the final result, famously asking Derbyshire, "Did I write that?" Her reply became equally famous: "Most of it."

Another important element of the show would be the special sounds. In charge for the first episode would be Brian Hodgson, who had joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1962. One of the most important effects that would be needed for the new series would be that of the Doctor's time-and-spaceship dematerialising. The ship had by now been named the TARDIS. Hodgson produced the effect by dragging the key to his mother's back door along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. Hodgson would provide most of the special sounds for the series until 1972, creating much of the soundscape of Doctor Who.

While the music was being put together, events around the series were moving on. William Hartnell had attended Television Centre in west London for make-up and costume tests in the first week of August, and Carole Ann Ford would attend the following week. Terry Nation had submitted his scripts for the fourth story of the season and the production team had decided to up the episode count to seven to better serve the story. The story was, however, likely to be moved back to fifth in the season as script editor David Whitaker was keen to include a story where the TARDIS crew get reduced in size. This, however, was dependent on getting a better studio allocation with more up-to-date equipment to help achieve the effects needed for such a story.

Next EpisodeTitle Deeds
SOURCES: Hartnell, William Henry (1908–1975) by Robert Sharp, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press; The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994)




"First Doctor" Console Installed At Doctor Who ExperienceBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The TARDIS console made for the forthcoming drama An Adventure In Space And Time has been installed at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.

The replica of the first console - which was originally designed by Peter Brachacki - is on show in the mezzanine section of the attraction throughout the summer. As previously reported, the replica console was first seen earlier this year by Paris Comic-Con attendees.

A time-lapse video of its installation at the Experience has been made available to view.


The 90-minute drama, which has been written by Mark Gatiss, will air on BBC Two later this year after a première at the BFI in London. The dates have yet to be confirmed.