Thursday, 26 December 2013

Now On The Big Screen

“After some time, something resembling a giant egg appears on the horizon. A crack splits open the egg and through it the Doctor sees a scarecrow lose its head in a guillotine. The Doctor’s horse vanishes.”

Judging by the description in Now On The Big Screen, a new book about the mostly unsuccessful attempts to put the Doctor in the cinema, Doctor Who Meets Scratchman would have been a... singular piece of work.

(I imagine it looking like one of those windswept not-Hammer 70s horror films tapping into old British folklore, despite the robots and the giant pinball table.)

By comparison, The Krikkitmen seems almost normal. The whole “the game of cricket is a psychic echo and the Ashes are vitally important” thing is the only really bonkers bit. I like the visual for the Krikkitmen on the cover too.

Before that, there could have been a third Peter Cushing movie, without Daleks even, adapting The Abominable Snowmen. Cushing met them in a completely different film, and it nearly ended up as a Professor Challenger movie as well. Or a third film from the same producers in the 80s.

Coverage of the 1989-1996 scripts use The Nth Doctor as a source of quotes, so much of this was familiar, but it caught up with some of Greenlight Productions who were essentially ruined financially by the whole fiasco. Ouch.

It ends with writer Charles Norton musing that perhaps the Doctor should stay out of the cinema. This conclusion seems unfortunately timed after seeing thirteen of him up there in 3D along with millions of other people.

Oh, and one more thing. As RTD and crew worked to bring the show back in 2004, mentioned in passing in DWM, one of the casualties was a completely different BBC South West production from Bill Baggs intended to star Alan Cumming. Wha-huh?

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