"Recently, I was asked to proofread Gary Russell’s marvellous Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia. And under C for Cruciform, he’d written that this was seized by the Daleks… on Gallifrey! No, I said to him! Oh no! NO!!! And he reacted with genuine surprise, cos he’d honestly assumed from the Master’s speech ("I was there when the Dalek Emperor took control of the Cruciform") that this Cruciform, whatever it is, was on the Time Lord’s home planet.
Now, in my fevered thoughts, I happen to know exactly what the Cruciform was, and what it did (and it’s more terrible than I can say, of a scale and ferocity that’s absolutely untransmittable on primetime BBC One, or anywhere, come to that; the Time War wasn’t just spaceships and super-zooming battles, it was a disgusting, horrific, temporal hell). And bless Gary, he was lovely about it, and amended the entry.
But I’ve spent a good while since, thinking that I was wrong. That if Gary thinks it was Gallifreyan, then he’s got every right to think so. It’s not mine any more! And I’ve got no plans to show a Cruciform at work - not unless we ever get a Lord of the Rings-size budget (anyone? No? Please? Hush, Phil, be quiet) so nothing’s about to appear on screen that would contradict Gary’s theory.
And yet, and yet… I’m still glad we changed the entry, cos while you can argue forever about bleedin’ canonicity and its sources, the Encyclopedia’s status as an official BBC book, sanctioned by the production office, would have given the Gallifrey theory more weight. It would have become that awful thing, a fact. And that’s taking it away from you. It’s taking away the choice. The Master’s fleeting reference to the Cruciform had 7.5 million viewers; that allows for 7.5 million different versions of the Cruciform to exist. And actually… isn’t that brilliant? Isn’t that the best thing an idea can do, go anywhere, be anything, for anyone?
The Golden Age, the Cruciform, the Fall of Arcadia, the Church of the Tin Vagabond, all of ‘em. They’re yours. Just as I’ve treasured my own versions of Ancient Silurian Civilisation, and the origin of the Great Intelligence, and whatever-happened-to-the-rest-of-the-Zygons, for years and years and years. I think that’s Doctor Who’s greatest legacy - an imagination that goes way beyond the screen, and all the way into your head, where it’s yours, forever.”
Just discovered Doc Brown and now I can’t get enough of him! He’s great :)
One of my current guilty pleasures. I feel ashamed. But, at the same time, I feel Jedwarddy! ^_^
I absolutely love the Hartnell era. The first screengrab is from The Dalek Invasion of Earth's incredibly bleak opening - I particularly like the giant “forbidden” poster in the background. The second screengrab is from The Myth Makers - a brilliantly funny title…
The third is my own edit -
For The Myth Makers, writer Dennis Spooner intended for all the episode titles to be puns. However, these titles were vetoed by the BBC, but the title of Episode 2 (Small Prophet, Quick Return) was allowed to remain only at script editor Donald Tosh’s insistence. Due to this, we lost out on the glorious title of: Is There a Doctor in the Horse?
Doctor Who: The Daleks
This has been a Meg Tilly appreciation post.
The Yellow Brick Road in North Carolina. The abandoned Wizard of Oz Theme Park.
Just down the road from my hometown. I won’t ever stop loving this photo.