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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old March 14 2013, 10:05 PM   #1
Candlefright
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Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Doctor-s...ail/story.html

SCRIPTS from never-seen episodes of Doctor Who have been found in Herne Bay.

Prop-maker Jason Onion unearthed them while researching the town's links with the series – the brainchild of BBC head of drama Sydney Newman – as part of a plan to build a Tardis to raise money for Children in Need.

Life-long Doctor Who fan Mr Onion initially didn't realise their significance and believed they were from the first four episodes, screened in 1963, written by Mr Coburn.

He said: "With the consent of Anthony's wife, Joan Coburn-Moon, and other family members, the family lent me a box of his work and I saw the scripts, but put them to one side. When I scanned the cover later I realised it didn't have the right title for the first episode.

"I had a look and as soon as I saw the first few pages I knew it was not the episode that had been televised. I just sat there, and stared and stared. I wanted to cover them with glass. They are unbelievably precious, and I had them in my hand."
The scripts were early drafts for the first episodes – the collection includes two versions of the first episode and an alternative episode two, and another three scripts as well as the Masters of Luxor stories, which were replaced by the original Dalek serial.

Mr Coburn had rewritten them after he felt the background would not fit with the first four episodes.

Mr Onion said: "You can see that the template for the Daleks came from Anthony. You can see in these episodes a device to unlock Tardis, which became the sonic screwdriver, and the science and regeneration and renewal of the body, which were all created in Anthony's mind. This find completes the genesis of Doctor Who from Anthony Coburn's imagination. The drafts explain the mystery of Doctor Who, his origins, his people and all the background.

"It explains the Tardis's original name, the planet Doctor Who came from and that his granddaughter – Susan in the programmes, but Suzanne in the scripts – was a princess saved from another world.

"He created the cornerstones of Doctor Who that have been expanded and built on ever since. It was all devised in Herne Bay, and he should never have been forgotten like he has."
Very cool.
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Old March 14 2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

I saw there was a Radio Times article on this but couldn't read it because my ship blocks the site (who knows why). Thanks posting this so I could read the details about the discovery. Very cool indeed.
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Old March 14 2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

It's a nice story but this guy seems to be making some quite large over claims about Coburn's influence - things like the sonic screwdriver & regeneration came years down the line with none of the original production team still around so it's unlikely they ever saw any of these scripts.

And is the Dalek template anymore than him also having robots in Masters Of Luxor - hard to tell from this but again there's no real proof of anything he is saying.
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Old March 14 2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

^Yeah, his interpretations are kind of questionable, but it sounds like the scripts are real, and hopefully they'll be made available for people to read for themselves rather than just hearing someone else's take on them.
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Old March 15 2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

They better be published!

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Old March 15 2013, 01:03 AM   #6
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

Yes, he's overstating the influences on later stuff a bit - any similarities are mostly down to other people coming up with similar ideas because they suited the series (and using the pentorch to open the TARDIS is there in the pilot version of the first epiosde). But that suggests Coburn had the right feel from day one.
Similarly, a lot of what's mentioned is already known from yes/no memoes (like Suzanne being a princess), but it'll be fascinating to see it in context, in a script.
And - an outside chance - is there a remote possibility that one of these scripts isn't by Coburn, but is the original 1st draft of An Unearthly Child by CE Webber, which was passed to Coburn as a starting point when Webber dropped out and Coburn took over as writer of the opening episode?
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Old March 15 2013, 01:31 AM   #7
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

"The scripts were found under some old film reels, apparently an old documentary of Marco Polo, that was of little interest, probably only holding sentimental value for the family."
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Old March 15 2013, 02:24 AM   #8
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

I've always been a fan of early drafts, pre-production art and the like. So yeah, I'd love to see these in print some day.
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Old March 15 2013, 04:11 AM   #9
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

Not only do I hope they get published but I also hope that Big Finish get the opportunity to use them for Lost Tales, assuming they're good. Yeah, I know the series is ending soon, but who's to say a one-offs can't happen?
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Old March 15 2013, 04:21 AM   #10
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

I wonder: is there a outside chance that the Marco Polo film cans might actually be copies of the Canadian TV series that John Lucarotti had earlier written, and used as the basis for his Doctor Who script (obviously they're not the Doctor Who serial, or that would be the big news).
As for Big Finish versions.. forget about it: on the report at the top, these are earlier versions of scripts which either made it to the screen (An Unearthly Child) or have already been done by Big Finish (The Masters of Luxor).
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Old March 15 2013, 04:29 AM   #11
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

^Umm, I think he was joking about the Marco Polo thing. I can't find anything about that in the actual article.
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Old March 15 2013, 05:04 AM   #12
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

Yeah, sorry, I often succumb to bad jokes about missing episodes. I figured everyone would groaningly get it.
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Old March 15 2013, 12:09 PM   #13
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Re: Early version of An Unearthly Child scripts found + others

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
Yeah, sorry, I often succumb to bad jokes about missing episodes. I figured everyone would groaningly get it.
It made me laugh if it's any consolation.
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