Friday, 11 October 2013

The Cosmic Hobo Comes In From The Heat

And, in the news. . . 
Very happy that, in time for the show's 50th Anniversary celebrations next month (23rd), the BBC have unveiled a couple of gifts from up their corporate sleeve - well, nine actually; episodes from the tenure of my 'own' Doctor (and the 2nd in the line since 1963), the mercurial, mop top, marvellous Patrick Troughton.

Rumoured for a week or two, then the subject of typically overblown headlines at the weekend ("100 lost episodes found!"), the truth was revealed - episodes that complete fragments held of classic stories "The Enemy of the World" (written by David Whittaker and broadcast December 1967 to January 1968) and - a tale that shaped my notion of London, and especially its underground system (where hulking robotic servants of the malevolent "Great Intelligence" prowled in the shape of monstrous Yeti) - "The Web of Fear" (written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, broadcast February to March 1968).
The episodes were found in a TV relay store room in Nigeria by Phillip Morris of the Television International Enterprises Archives.
Of course it was the Beeb who junked these and scores of other episodes back in the 1970s when the oncoming reality of a market – and ready audience – for domestic copies was a misty future dream. Simpler times and simpler income streams.

Obviously that mysterious blue box, amongst its endless dimensions, holds a few childhoods, not least my own. In the second image here we see a typical scene of the period - my fresh grey matter already in thrall to the cathode ray tube - never to be free of it. The Great Intelligence, indeed.

Here's to Troughton and those who walk (or, rather, run down corridors) in the dream of my 60s TV childhood alongside him: Anneke Wills (Polly, 1966 - 67), Michael Craze (Ben Jackson, 1966 - 7),  Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon, 1966 - 69), Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling, 1967 - 68) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot, 1968 - 69).

Here's to warm memories, never lost.

And, as The Doctor would say: "When I say "Run!", RUN!"

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