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louisedennis

Cartoon image of the Shalka Doctor - looks like a cross between Richard E Grant and Dracula in a green great coat.

I had not realised (or perhaps remembered) that NuWho was announced before Scream of the Shalka was released on BBCi - the DWM article that accompanies this picture notes that this is "the official ninth incarnation according to the BBC". But the same issue carries the stop press announcement of the new series. This ninth incarnation was not going to be official for much longer.

I can't help feeling, in some ways, that its just as well this wasn't the future of Doctor Who at the BBC. The whole article is bizarre. DWM is on set or the recording of the story. Except they aren't. At 10:10am DWM is banned from the studio (in case they stress the actors). At 10:15am they are banned from the Green Room and sent to the car park and are told can they can't talk to the actors. Richard E. Grant (it is stressed to them several times) is not the new Doctor. He's just an actor who is providing the Doctor's voice. Anyway he knows nothing about the show and has never seen it. Nor has the director, Wilson Milam - in fact the director has never even heard of Doctor Who. Eventually they do get to interview Richard E. Grant (in the car park) and DWM dutifully reports that he is very nice and not at all standoffish. They are even allowed briefly into the studio (when the actors aren't there) and told they can come back later to take photos - when they return Richard E. Grant is absent. The whole article finishes as DWM reports a random conversation, as they are packing up, with a man who abridged some of the Target novelisations to be released on tape "It was bollocks!" he tells DWM. "But there are 5,000 completists right? Mad fans who'll buy any old crap. It's the Doctor Who fans. They're mad as f---"

What's most bizarre about the whole thing, really, is not that DWM (and by extension the fans) is basically treated as a nuisance (I'm sure DWM is often considered a nuisance by the production team and I suspect they don't always hide that as well as they might) but that those involved had sufficiently little grip on the publicity machine that something like that could get written up and printed in the show's official licensed magazine. Someone must have realised about halfway through the day that they were busy shooting themselves in the publicity foot - and hence arranged the interview with Grant - but even so the whole thing is shambolic and, given the viewership for an animated adventure on BBCi was not going to be much larger than the fanbase, reveals a shocking contempt for the story's core audience. Less than a year later and the BBC would, one way or another, be ensuring that nothing less than a kind of breathless enthusiasm for the current version of Doctor Who and the production team could appear in the magazine.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/505350.html.