Doctor Who - Documentary s06e02 Episode Script

Tomorrow's Times - The Second Doctor

NARRATOR: The British Library's newspaper archive in London contains a wealth of hidden information and opinion about Doctor Who.
This series looks at the comments made by the critics and reporters who reviewed the programme for daily newspapers and other publications.
What do these comments tell us about the way the programme was perceived in the days and weeks following the broadcast of the original episodes? -How did you know? -I saw it in The Times.
That's impossible.
The reporter is still here.
Tomorrow's Times.
By 1966, newspaper critics had grown a little bored with Doctor Who.
The programme's reputation and its audience had dwindled during the latter months of William Hartnell's tenure.
Indeed, the arrival of a new leading man was barely noticed by the newspaper critics.
The publicity-shy Patrick Troughton attracted little attention to his Doctor and the press paid little attention to him.
However, over the next two years, the reviews would improve.
Critics who admired the show even began to suggest it was becoming something of an institution in the BBC schedule.
One critic who made a point of following the series during the Patrick Troughton years was The Morning Star's Ann Lawrence.
After the final William Hartnell story, "The Tenth Planet", Lawrence was on the verge of giving up on Doctor Who.
(WOMAN READING) She corrected herself when reviewing "The Underwater Menace" on the 25th of January, 1967.
(WOMAN READING) "Patrick Troughton's Doctor Who is a clown, "looking and acting sometimes like one of the Marx brothers.
"Instead of modifying nonsense, "his interpretation of the part only heightens it.
" (WOMAN READING) After pouring scorn on Professor Zaroff's attempt to destroy the world by unleashing the Earth's core, Mrs Lawrence then queried his ability to replace human respiratory organs with plastic gills.
"I feel that the futurist stories of Doctor Who "are an awful letdown.
"They are just not good enough for the children "and my own youngster's interest has declined markedly.
" Doctor Who's demographic and its responsibility towards younger viewers had already been addressed by The Guardian.
(WOMAN READING) DALEK 1: Exterminate all humans.
DALEK 2: Exterminate all humans.
WOMAN: "Her father, Mr Brian Jackson, "Director of the Advisory Centre for Education, "commended the programme as 'marvellous', "although he agreed that it should be disturbing "that an infant retires with the word 'exterminate' in her mind.
" Mr Jackson told The Guardian (MAN READING) In February, 1967, Ann Lawrence of The Morning Star decided to give Doctor Who another chance.
(WOMAN READING) "Written by Kit Pedler, himself a scientist and research worker, "the present adventure of the Tardis "has a better balanced mixture of science and fiction.
" Ann Lawrence was still watching the programme when its fourth series came to an end with "The Evil of the Daleks".
(WOMAN READING) "I did not understand why, "until the adventure with the Cybermen earlier this year, "these were robots in human form with distorted faces, "and they gave my daughter nightmares.
" (WOMAN READING) As 1967 and season five progressed, it seemed that the spirit of the Summer of Love had rubbed off on Julian Critchley, television critic of The Times.
(MAN READING) Following a brisk summary of the current adventure "The Tomb of the Cybermen", Mr Critchley explained that (MAN READING) "But most important of all, Doctor Who's infallibility "is a device that allows even a nervous child to believe "that in spite of the most alarming experiences, "all will be well in the end.
" (MAN READING) Writing in the New Statesman, Francis Hope began his article by introducing the concept of (MAN READING) Mr Hope's tribute to the show was overdue recognition of a programme that was well on its way to becoming a national institution.
(MAN READING) Mr Hope wasn't entirely complimentary.
He bemoaned Doctor Who's (MAN READING) And expressed concern that (MAN READING) "Fungus to seaweed is not the widest gamut in the world.
"And everyone might benefit from a pattern of six weeks on "and six weeks off, "rather than the present continuous stream of six-episode adventures.
"The Doctor is also, by my reckoning, due for a change of youthful companions.
"Frazer Hines's Jamie is growing more warmly pig-headed "and Victoria Waterfield more vulnerably wet all the time.
" Mr Hope highlighted the faceless ones as (MAN READING) While stamping his approval on this and other stories such as "The Enemy of the World", Mr Hope was nevertheless disappointed by the show's presentation.
(MAN READING) "But once in the main body of the story, the camera work dwindles, "the Underground, even the deserted Underground "is a familiar property and last Saturday's episode "included some ludicrous larking about on a beach, "which was the soggiest possible echo of the obligatory seaside scene "in the working-class melodramas of the '50s.
" George Melly, the flamboyant jazz musician and art expert, took comfort from the fact that Doctor Who was at least preferable to the latest American import, The Time Tunnel.
When it began on BBC1, Melly dismissed the show as (MAN READING) Writing in The Observer on the 14th of August, 1968, Melly said that The Time Tunnel (MAN READING) Doctor Who enjoyed a critical renaissance during 1968, helped in part by its longevity and a strong central performance by Patrick Troughton.
The announcement of Troughton's departure was therefore a shock, which some critics argued could threaten the very future of the series.
(WOMAN READING) announced The Times on the 7th of January, 1969.
(WOMAN READING) Former BBC man Stuart Hood was a fan of Troughton's and sang his praises in The Spectator on the 14th of February.
(MAN READING) "This time in a space beacon and under attack from space pirates.
"As usual, these are threatening figures which contrive to behave "like ultra-modern robots "and yet look like a nightmare version of Homeric warriors.
" (MAN READING) "What is the Doctor himself, after all, but a wily Odysseus, "prepared to lie, to simulate, to feign death, "matching his human cunning against giants and monsters "or the machines which are the modern equivalent?" Stuart Hood's article was typical of the more analytical reviews, which started appearing towards the end of the 1960s, as critics began analysing Doctor Who on a thematic level for the first time.
Rather more surprising was Hood's assertion that the space-walking scenes in "The Space Pirates" were so effectively realised that (MAN READING) The article concluded with a look towards Doctor Who's uncertain future.
(MAN READING) It is perhaps fitting that The Morning Star's Ann Lawrence return to watch Patrick Troughton's final performance in "The War Games".
(WOMAN READING) Mrs Lawrence stressed the need to (WOMAN READING) But the seventh series was going ahead regardless.
In June, 1969, the next Doctor, Jon Pertwee, gave reporter Brian Dean some clues about what was in store.
(MAN READING) If anything can be learned from the press criticism of the Troughton years, it's surely that the production teams in the late '60s were either listening to the critics or that the critics reflected enough public opinion to warrant change.
A more detrimental aspect of the press criticism was its increased preoccupation with the levels of violence in the show.
This debate would increase during the 1970s.
In the coming decade, pressure groups and psychologists would pick up where the journalists had left off.