Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen take us on a journey
through the archives to uncover the history of Doctor
Who on BBC radio and television...
double CD release is a curious beast. The first disc contains
the complete 56-minute radio documentary 30 Years,
presented by Nicholas Courtney, which commemorated Doctor
Who's last big anniversary in 1993. The second disc is
an altogether more eclectic affair, in which Elisabeth Sladen
introduces a number of clips from a variety of radio programmes.
Years contains interviews with a number of Who
contributors, including five Doctors, six companions, producers
Verity Lambert, Barry Letts and John Nathan-Turner, Dalek
creator Terry Nation, and William Hartnell's granddaughter
Jessica Carney. As with many documentaries on the subject,
less time is spent on the 1980s seasons than on the '60s and
'70s eras. In fairness, though, 30 Years devotes the
largest part of its running time to the early days of the
Hartnell era, and thereafter spends progressively less time
describing each successive Doctor's tenure.
two includes further interviews from shows such as Today
(in which Terry Nation repeats his story about the Georgian
State Dancers from the first disc), Morning Sou'West
(which covers the recording of The Sontaran Experiment)
and The Ed Stewart Show (broadcast from the 1983 Longleat
convention). We also hear sketches from the comedy series
Hello Cheeky, Week Ending, The Skivers
and Dead Ringers - the latter two examples are easily
the funniest. Clips from the drama programmes Exploration
Earth and The Paradise of Death are also included.
can see the logic of presenting only brief clips from these
dramas, because they are already commercially available in
their entirety. However, I find it a shame that I couldn't
hear more than an excerpt from Blue Veils & Golden Sands,
the 2002 dramatisation of the life of Delia Derbyshire, the
musician who arranged the original version of the Doctor
Who signature tune. The same goes for the 1985 documentary
The Enthusiasts, which deals with fandom. More complete
programmes would have made the second disc less bitty. Hopefully
Blue Veils and The Enthusiasts will turn up
as DVD extras some day, just as Whatever Happened to Susan
did on The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
I said, Doctor Who at the BBC is a curious beast, but
it is nonetheless a welcome addition to the BBC's celebrations
of Who's 40th anniversary.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.