Sunday, September 25, 2016

Doctor Who: The Tale of the Tale That Almost Never Was


Hi there, Whovians!


Last Sunday, I ended that week's Doctor Who post with news that I was launching a new Doctor Who fan fiction script as of the following week.


Which, in this way that time moves, is now this week and what the hey? There’s no fan fiction story.


As I noted in this space yesterday, sometimes this blog has to take a back seat to real life. In this case, it was necessary to move the debut episode of this new Doctor Who story from this week to next. Perhaps I could’ve made it work; Episode One is pretty much written. But I don’t do this for money, I do this for fun and rushing to get this posted would not have been a lot of fun.


So bear with me, Doctor Who – Cybermania – Episode One will see the light of day… next Sunday.


Is that a threat or a promise? I’ll leave that to you to decide.


Let's touch base on an actual Doctor Who production that was delayed but sadly never saw the light of day as originally intended. That story was Shada.


The BBC back in the 1970s and 1980s always seemed to be beset by union strikes frequently and Doctor Who did not get a pass on being impacted. Much of Season 7’s premier story, Spearhead From Space, was shot on location due to union action shutting off production from using studio sets. 

Episodes would have to be changed or cut to accommodate some resource or another not being available due to a strike. But there was the time that a union strike against the BBC took out any entire story. The year was 1979 and the story was Shada, a 6 episode serial written by Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). 




A lot of Shada was shot but the strike prevented completion of the episode. The Doctor Who production office held out hope the story could be finished but finally, the call was made to shut down Shada. A day after production was closed, the strike was settled. The producers tried to ramp up production to complete Shada but it was too little, too late.


Footage from Shada was incorporated into The Five Doctors in 1983 when Tom Baker decided not to participate in the 20th anniversary special. A subsequent version of Shada was made as an animated digital feature featuring 8th Doctor Paul McGann. 




Another version was edited together using existing footage and bridging narration. 


Getting episode one of Cybermania off the ground is a little less problematic. I just need to be sure I have the complete cooperation of the production staff which includes me, me, me, me, me and me. And Phil. To be honest with you, if we continue to run into any problems with this new story, it will most likely be Phil's fault. 

Quick note on the Doctor Who spin off Class. If you thought, "Hey, no new Doctor Who series for 2016 but at least Class is coming this fall, right?", you may need to revisit that concept depending on where you live.

The debut of Class will take place in October 2016... for viewers in the United Kingdom. Over here in the United States, Class will not debut on our screens until the spring of 2017. Which is a very frustrating development. Yes, there were times in the past that American access to new Doctor Who stuff was delayed by months or even years. But we've gotten use to a bit more synchronous cooperation on both sides of the pond in recent years. 

But we do have confirmation that the Doctor himself, courtesy of Peter Capaldi, will appear in the first episode. So there's that.

But if you're desperate (and I do mean DESPERATE) for a new Doctor Who adventure, next week, in this space....


Doctor Who 
Cybermania
Episode One

One more thing before we go, a lovely pose from Lalla Ward who portrayed companion Romana in Shada. 




Before I wrap things up, some blog stuff. Tomorrow (Monday, September 26th), I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You will have not ONE, not TWO but THREE posts. The first will go up on the blog thing at 5:00 AM, the second at Noon and the third at 5:00 PM. (All times in the United States Eastern Time Zone.) 

Remember to be good to one another and I’ll see you here again next time. 

All Things Must Pass

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