Friday, July 07, 2006

DOCTOR WHO - The Animated Series?

Back in February 2002 I had a meeting at BBC Birmingham with the script editor from the Animation Unit (we met half way, since the BBC's animation unit is based in Bristol and I live in Nottingham). The meeting was with regard to pitching a new animated show. I had three ideas tucked away in my bag. The first two were original properties, one I can't remember, the second a series called "Audrey Payne Investigates" focusing on a 13 yr old girl with the ability to see other people's imaginary friends and lastly "Doctor Who - The Animated Series". I pitched the first two concepts and we seemingly settled on Audrey and so that went off into development (never to return).

I tentatively asked what the situation was with the good Doctor and asked if the door was open to pitches and pretty much got a negative response. The Doctor was a no go, animated or otherwise. The pitch never left my bag. The BBC never saw it.

So here he is (a dusted off revamp from original crude sketches I'd scribbled back in Autumn 2001); my version of the Doctor from my unpresented pitch, sporting the fourth Doctor's scarf and Harry Sullivan's duffle coat and a very dark secret.

I had a season outline and a small handfull of story ideas. The pilot was a two parter; the second episode (featuring Sea Devils attaching 1960's Brighton) was engineered in such a way that it could also work as a stand alone episode. Animated shows are often subject to non-sequential scheduling so have to work as stand alone episodes because the scheduling may monkey around with the order. I decided to build that into the format as this was a show about Time travel after all. I used that to tell story arcs that could be told in any order, so, the show's structure had a selling point as far as a scheduler was concerned (which was part of the appeal for doing it in the first place).

The rules were a little different. This Doctor had regenerated along with the Master into one body (in much the same manner as the Fourth Doctor merged with The Watcher to become the Fifth Doctor). Sacrilege, I know, but, that was pretty much it; a pitch that never got pitched, consigned to a file marked "fanboy frivolity".

Doctor Who is © BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation). No infringement intended.

17 comments:

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Sounds great,I'll watch it !! The pic has a bit of Eccleston,Tennant and Tom Baker all on the go. Nice work ! I find it amusing that for years the BBC refused to accept Doctor Who's success and just seemed to think it was an amusing part of the BBC's past and made fun of it on retrospect shows etc... now it's probably their most popular show !!!

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Glad you like. I think it was Stuart Townsend that I had in mind when I designed him (my kid sister had seen him in Shooting Fish and raved about him and she was a teenager at the time so it sort of made sense).

Jo Bling said...

Stuart Townsend. The man who dropped a big old googlie when he got himself kicked off LOTR.

Ian, always loved the concept for Animated Who, and it's a real shame it never saw the light of day under your vision, instead coming out as the 'net Richard E Grant gubbins.

Also nice to see the Squirrel Nut Zippers making an appearance below ;-)

I. N. J. Culbard said...

I thought Townsend dropped out of the role of Strider because he thought he was too young for the part?

Andrew Glazebrook said...

That was the studio story,I've heard he's an awkward fella and they kicked him off because Peter Jackson said he couldn't put up with him for 14 months !

Jo Bling said...

What Glazey said. The Townsend camp may say that but nope, he was an arse according to the crew.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Golly gee willikers and cheeze wiz. I had no idea.

paulhd said...

Well well well, and he sucked in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which meant he fitted in perfectly)
Nice Who pic too!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I'm sure it was a similar story as to why Dougray Scott was kicked out of the role of Wolverine with Hugh Jackman taking over at last minute.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Dougray Scott as Wolverine. Imagine how much that would have changed the face of cinema as we know it today had that happened. Who would have played Van Helsing? Who would have starred in The Fountain? Who would have played opposite Christian Bale in The Prestige?

Meanwhile, in a parallel earth, much like our own but with airships ...

paulhd said...

Thing Dougray (I can use his first name, I saw him on a bus once) wasn't able to do it because Mission Impossible 2 over shot and he couldn't get out of it - imagine how galling that must have been, stuck in the murk of MI2.
Oh, looking forward to The Prestige, no idea how well it'll turn out but the book's a corker!

Danny said...

I read somewhere that Paddy Considine read for Wolverine... Having seen him in Dead Man's Shoes or A Room for Romeo Brass, I wonder what he'd have pulled off, despite perhaps not looking that much like him...

I love your take on the Doctor, BTW, and it's a real shame you never got the chance to pitch it.

azhar said...

nice chartacter design. love it. post more!

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Thanks Danny, and welcome to Strange Planet, Azhar, thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have seen that show.

Matt said...

Nice teaser image.. but given its Potter mega hype (last book and new film) my first thought was 'so he grows up, loses the glasses and goes abit EMO...'

But seriously, they're idiots for not listening to you. (plus the idea of a show about time travel which you could watch in any order I find fasinating!)

Firestarter said...

Amazing. Simply amazing! I would have loved to see this. Are there any more designs? The TARDIS? If so, please post.