Doctor Who – All The Years is a quick examination of what was happening in the world of Doctor Who over all its years of existence. I’m not attempting to create a thorough history–just brief look back at the real-life timeline of my favorite TV show. Go back to the beginning and read about 1963 here.
(Daily Doctor Who #30)
1967 kicked off on January 7th, with the conclusion of a story that had been running at the end of the previous year, The Highlanders. Though Jamie McCrimmon had been appearing as a guest character in the first three episodes, this was the story that brought him on board the TARDIS and made Frazer Hines a regular on the show, beginning one of the longest runs by a companion in the series.
Season 4 of the show continued with five more stories (a total of 25 more episodes), covering The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones and The Evil of the Daleks. The Cybermen reappeared in The Moonbase, which would make them the series’ second recurring monster, and began their run as ultimately the most popular monster of the Second Doctor’s era.
With The Faceless Ones the series’ opening theme arrangement and title sequence changed for the first time, with the Doctor’s face (ironically, I suppose) becoming part of the title sequence, a convention that would remain for the rest of Classic Doctor Who and some of the revival series as well. Series regulars Michael Craze (Ben Jackson) and Anneke Wills (Polly) were written out at the end of The Faceless Ones, after actually having been written out with Episode 2 (they left via a single pre-filmed departure scene that was edited into the final Episode 6). And of course the Daleks came back in epic fashion in the 7 part finale to the season, which introduced Deborah Watling as new regular Victoria Waterfield. The season concluded on July 1st.
Like the rest of the 4th season, none of these serials exist in their entirety, with only seven episodes across the stories to currently exist. However, one can now watch animated recreations of the missing episodes of The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, and The Moonbase, and The Underwater Menace can be seen with its two missing episodes replaced by telesnap reproductions accompanied by the audio soundtrack.
Because of this, I’ve only seen a couple of these stories all the way through–The Macra Terror and The Moonbase. The Moonbase always struck me as a bit clunky, whilst I quite enjoyed the strange dystopia of The Macra Terror. Some of my opinion could be colored by the quality of the animation though, as The Macra Terror was done much more recently.
In the meantime Doctor Who comics continued to be produced by TV Comic, still featuring the Second Doctor along with John and Gillian.
Over in TV Century 21, David Whitaker’s Dalek strip came to an end on January 14, with a story that ostensibly led into the movie from the previous year, Dalek’s Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Dalek fans needn’t worry, as the killing machines showed up the very next week in the TV Comic series. Indeed, from January to about June, the title of the comic changed from Doctor Who to Doctor Who and the Daleks, even though the Daleks didn’t appear every time. The Cybermen also began to show up in the comics during this era, bringing the comic another step closer to the TV show.
A couple First Doctor (still with John and Gillian) were published in the TV Comic Annual 1967. And in the TV Comic Holiday Special there were two stories with the Second Doctor, John and Gillian–one featured the Daleks, and the other included a robot named Barnabus that the Doctor had invented to do chores around the TARDIS!
In September, around the time that the fifth season of the show began, the third Doctor Who Annual was published (dated 1968). It included a bunch of prose and comic stories that featured the Second Doctor, Ben and Polly (a cast who had only starred in one, or arguably two, serials, quite a while earlier).
It also featured a non-fiction article about the series–one of the first published by someone licensed by the BBC–which talked about the change between William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, and featured the term “regeneration” long before it was used on TV.
A company called T. Wall & Sons released both Dr. Who’s Space Adventure Book and a comic card set called Dr. Who Adventure, both of which featured the Second Doctor and the Daleks, and were sold in connection to the company’s Sky Ray ice lollies.
When Doctor Who returned for the fifth season on September 2, it did so with the first episode of Tomb of the Cybermen, and then continued for a total of 18 episodes. After Tomb of the Cybermen there was The Abominable Snowmen (which introduced the Yeti and the Great Intelligence), The Ice Warriors (which introduced the Ice Warriors), and the first two parts of The Enemy of the World, in which Patrick Troughton played a double role. Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling were along for the ride for the rest of the year as Jamie and Victoria. Deborah Watling’s father Jack made the first of two appearances on the show as explorer Edward Travers.
Again, a lot of these episodes were missing for a long time–at one point, there were only three extant episodes of the show featuring Deborah Watling. Since then, there have been a fair number recovered, which includes all of Tomb of the Cybermen, all of The Enemy of the World and most of The Ice Warriors.
I’m pretty familiar with Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World, and both are quite good. There are some particularly bad special effects that really let Tomb of the Cybermen down, but otherwise I love this era of the show, largely thanks to Patrick Troughton’s charisma as a performer.
Though much credit is due to William Hartnell for getting this series going, it is in Patrick Troughton’s Doctor that modern fans are going to find many of the qualities that we now associate with the character–especially the whole thing of playing the fool while outwitting his enemies with devastating intelligence. You see quite a bit of this with David Tennant and especially Matt Smith, for example.
Behind the scenes it’s a bit complicated to keep track of who was doing what. Innes Lloyd began the year as producer, and Gerry Davis as Script Editor. Davis continued in that role until Episode 3 of The Evil of the Daleks, just before the season ended. Then Peter Bryant took over for the rest of that serial (and season).
But then at the start of the fifth season, Peter Bryant became the show’s producer and Victor Pemberton became the script editor. This combination only lasted for one serial, however (Tomb of the Cybermen). With The Abominable Snowmen, Innes Lloyd returned to being producer Bryant returned to being script editor. They remained in these roles until the end of the year…but not much afterward, as we’ll see next time.