As shown in Mark Gatiss’ excellent An Adventure in Space and Time, Waris Hussein was an invaluable part of Sydney Newman’s “misfit dream team” in the early days of creating Doctor Who. The young Indian director, who was barely 25 at the time, oversaw the production of Doctor Who’s very first story in 1963 and helped to mold it into the show that we all enjoy today.
In a recent fascinating feature on the Radio Times website, 50-year-old original pages from Hussein’s copy of the script for Doctor Who’s second episode, The Cave of Skulls, are shown in full detail.
The director’s notes on the production–in his own handwriting–including ideas on music cues, changes to the script, and even a drawing or two, can be seen. There is no doubt that without Hussein’s guidance on these very early episodes that the show could have turned out quite different.
Waris Hussein went on to direct many film and TV projects over the years, but before he drifted away from Doctor Who for good, he returned in 1964 to direct episodes of the now-lost (cough, cough!) serial, Marco Polo.
Kasterborites, Mr. Hussein seems to still be active and involved in the directing world. Would you be interested in him making a triumphant return to Doctor Who and directing an episode a half-century after his last one?
How did you enjoy The Day of the Doctor? Did you snuggle up at home with convenience food and alcohol, or did you venture out into the cold to enjoy the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special at the cinema?
If you opted for the latter, you will have struck gold with these excellent warnings and guidance films in which Commander Strax and the Eleventh Doctor guide you (separately) on cinema etiquette and wearing Real 3D glasses.
(Yes, we know it’s a bit wonky. And subtitled too. Frankly, we weren’t expecting to have to share them like this. We’re sad these clips didn’t make it onto the new DVD or Blu-ray of The Day of the Doctor…)
Nothing to do with the anniversary, but hey, you've got to put it somewhere.
Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) has said that discussions of him helming an episode of Doctor Who are “actually kind of serious”.
Jackson’s love of Doctor Who isn’t exactly a secret and this project has been mooted for a while now. The director even made a cameo appearance in The Five(ish) Doctors last month.
Jackson said: “I would be very happy to [direct an episode]. I’d love to try my hand at television, because I’ve never had the discipline of having to shoot for those impossibly tiny schedules. I think I could do it okay now.”
He jested: “I did suggest that they did a New Zealand story – something to do with the [rugby union] All Blacks versus the Daleks. There’s a good story in there, although obviously the All Blacks would have to win!”
The Meta-crises Doctor and Peter Cushing are not counted, meaning Matt is the twelfth, although there's no way anyone is gonna stick to that numbering.
It's like the specials after The Next Doctor. They don't technically belong to series 4, but they weren't ever called series 5...
Lovers and haters of the two Dalek movies from the 1960s will openly admit that Peter Cushing’s incarnation of the famous Time Lord presents something of a problem in the Doctor Who canon. In his widescreen outings, Cushing plays a mad inventor called Dr Who, whose latest invention inadvertently whisks a group of unwillingly passengers into the time vortex where they experience adventures almost identical to the William Hartnell stories The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Over the decades, many theories have been put forward in an attempt to legitimise Peter Cushing’s place in the Doctor Who universe. Was he an incarnation of the Time Lord from a parallel dimension? Or was he a future version of the Doctor forced to revisit some of his most dangerous exploits as part of a maniacal scheme concocted by the Celestial Toymaker?
Thankfully, Doctor Who‘s head writer has come forward with an intriguing new theory that might just calm a few nerves! Speaking in the current edition of Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat reveals:
“When I started writing The Day of the Doctor I knew I wanted every Doctor to make some sort of appearance… But what about Peter Cushing? Now I love those movies… but they don’t exactly fit with the rest of the show, do they? … You remember that line, in the Black Archive, when Kate is explaining about the need to screen the Doctor’s known associates… She wasn’t supposed to be looking at the Vortex Manipulator – originally she was walking past the posters for the two Peter Cushing movies. In my head, in the Doctor’s universe those films exist as distorted accounts of his adventures… Sadly we couldn’t afford the rights to the posters.” It would have been great to see. In a 50th anniversary year that saw a new Doctor, a new regeneration cycle, a mass return of missing episodes and an appearance from Tom Baker, a canonised Cushing would have been the cherry on the cake!
Alas, it wasn’t to be. The debate must rage on.
At least until the price of those posters comes down…