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Exclusive First Look - Making Planet of Giants - Doctor Who - BBC01:56

Exclusive First Look - Making Planet of Giants - Doctor Who - BBC

Planet of Giants was a First Doctor serial which had a long and interesting gestation. Its basic conceit — that of miniaturising the Doctor and his companions — was to have been the very first story in Doctor Who history, but the technical challenge was too great for that earliest of production crews. It was therefore rejected by producer Verity Lambert, but script editor David Whitaker continued to push the topic. By its third writer, the "miniaturisation idea" had become intertwined with an important, pro-evironment message. The script that emerged was based on the non-fiction book, Silent Spring, and therefore contained an obvious warning against the environmental dangers of pesticide.

The women who gave Doctor Who back to us
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Think Doctor Who is just for boys? Don't you believe it. Not only was the show's very first producer a woman, but it would never have come back without the fierce advocacy of Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner. Considering her importance to Doctor Who it's somewhat ironic that Tranter's only on-screen credits are for Torchwood: Miracle Day. But Gardner, her "partner in crime", is tied only with Russell T Davies as the most prolific producer in Doctor Who history.

Industrial action


Click for a video of a 21st century geek as he takes delivery of one of the two Paintboxes used by the BBC in the 1980s
The Quantel Paintbox was a graphics workstation that allowed Doctor Who to have a primitive form of colour grading in the 1980s. To find out more about the "business of show", go to category:production information, where you can read about colour separation overlay, low loaders, telerecordings, vidFIRE, rostrum cameras, 2" quad tape, Ealing Studios and tons more.
Surprising guest star
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Though largely unknown to non-British audiences, Ken Dodd was a major star in the United Kingdom when cast to play the Tollmaster in the Seventh Doctor serial, Delta and the Bannermen. Find out more about the thousands of actors who have been on Doctor Who by exploring Doctor Who guest actors.

Ex-Doctors never die, they just make audios

The careers of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors are significantly longer in audio than on television. Check out their latest works at category:2017 audio stories

The relevance of comics

Officially, only The Lodger has been explicitly adapted from a comic strip — also called The Lodger.


However, several stories have clearly taken material from comic strips — often those in Doctor Who Magazine. The Shakespeare Code contains a good amount of material from A Groatsworth of Wit, and the notion of the Doctor absorbing the time vortex in order to spare a companion was explored in both The Parting of the Ways and The Flood.

The first of the "money men"

Donald Baverstock was the BBC executive who set the the wheels in motion that eventually led to the creation of Doctor Who. Essentially the original commissioner of the programme, he hired Sydney Newman and later imposed a sense of financial responsibility upon producer Verity Lambert.

But Baverstock wasn't the only BBC executive to have a profound impact on the development of Doctor Who. Make sure you read about Lorraine Heggessey, Mark Thompson, Danny Cohen, George Entwistle, Tony Hall, Shaun Sutton, Sydney Newman and others.
Things released on 12 August

Did you know…

12 August births and deaths
Production history for 12 August
"I feel most strongly that Dr. Who must from time to time explore the full range of technical resources, otherwise we shall lay ourselves open to criticism for lacking in imagination and boldness."

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