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Doctor Who: 5 Doctor Who Films That Were Never Made

Doctor Who: 5 Doctor Who Films That Were Never Made

When The Day of the Doctor was shown in theaters as part of the 50th anniversary celebration it was a huge success. In fact, it had the third-highest rated box office take of that day, which is doubly impressive considering you could stay home and see almost the exact same thing for free.

It's gotten plenty of folks interested in the idea of more cinematic outings. Perhaps a film with starring Paul McGann, whose Doctor has experienced a significant renaissance of late. Or maybe the Christmas specials could be regular holiday events at the movies. The possibilities are endless

Of course, there's not a good precedent for this sort of thing. Lots of people have tried to bring The Doctor to the big screen before, and almost none of the succeeded.

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Doctor Who: 5 Doctor Who Films That Were Never Made

Daleks vs. Mechons

The Peter Cushing Dalek films are really underrated bit of Who history. Granted, they don't do much for the mythos overall and you have to do some real canon gymnastics to get them to fit into the overall narrative, but just looking at them on their own they are really good classic science fiction horror flicks.

Two were made; Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.. Both of them were remakes of earlier First Doctor stories. Unfortunately, the second film did so poorly at the box office that the proposed end of the trilogy was scrapped.

Daleks vs. Mechons would have remade "The Chase", which is arguably the best of the Hartnell Dalek adventures. The movie would have seen the Daleks on a mission of vengeance against Dr. Who and in a pitched battle with their ancient Mechon enemies. Cushing would go on to play the role one more time in the pilot for a radio series written by Malcom Hulke, but the recording has been lost.

Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen

Some days it just seems like a too-good-to-be-true fact that Douglas Adams once wrote for Doctor Who, but write he did and his work is some of the best of Tom Baker's time. If he had gotten his way he would have given us a pretty good film, I reckon.

Adams submitted The Krikkitmen to script editor Robert Holmes, who rejected it but encouraged Adams to keep sending him ideas. The story involved a race that had been stopped by the Time Lords after they'd built robots designed to wipe out all life in the universe. It would also reveal that the game cricket is actually a representation of the great war between the Time Lords and the Krikkitmen, though humans have forgotten this.

After Adams re-submitted the script as a full-length film, it still went no where. Eventually aspects of it would become the third Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book.

This story continues on the next page.

 

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The Last of the Time Lords Leading up to the 1996 television movie were a whole lot of different ideas on what a Doctor Who movie would look like and a fair amount of scripts were proposed. It started in 1987 when Mark Ezra turned in a fairly typical adventure script called Return of the Varnax. It's a pedestrian affair that has The Doctor facing another Time Lord.

Two re-writes later by Johnny Byrne and we get The Last of the Time Lords. At this point The Doctor has survived the destruction of Gallifrey, but with a bout of amnesia to deal with. The script's got a pretty epic feel for it, and for having been written in 1991 it shows off much of what makes up the modern show today. It's a much more romantic story than classic ones, and if you trade the Nth Doctor's amnesia for the Ninth Doctor's PTSD it fits in perfectly with the show we currently have.

Doctor Who: 5 Doctor Who Films That Were Never Made

Blood of the Robots Richard E. Grant has the rare distinction of portraying two Doctors and a recurring villain. He appeared as an alternative Tenth Doctor in the comedy sketch "The Curse of Fatal Death" in 1999, but then he took on the role again as the Ninth Doctor in the animated webcast Scream of the Shalka in 2004.

OK, this isn't technically a film, but it isn't technically an episode either so I'm counting it.

When the animated project was announced it wasn't clear that Doctor Who would be getting a television rebirth, and the animated adventures were looked at as the legitimate successor to the lineage. Once BBC retook the reins, though, Grant was left with just the one full adventure.

However, a second adventure was already planned and ready to go. Blood of the Robots was written by horror novelist Simon Clark, and would have sent the Shalka Doctor and his robotic companion version of The Master to a planet populated by kind, sensitive robots abandoned by their human masters and now being hunted to extinction by new settlers. It would have continued the dark humor that best fitted Grant's Doctor, including a poor funeral bot junked because it kept flipping coffins high into the air instead of gently lowering them. The script's still out there, but whether it might one day be whittled down to regular episode length or expanded back into animated or live action feature length we'll just have to see.

Doctor Who Meets The Scratchman This is easily the most bizarre proposed Doctor Who film.

While working together on the first season of Tom Baker's run, he and Ian Marter wrote a script for a film together where The Doctor, Harry Sullivan, and Sarah Jane Smith would meet The Devil. Yes, the actual Devil, and if you're think that sounds like "The Satan Pit" then trust me, it gets way weirder.

First, they are attacked by scarecrows made of bones, including one that is sporting a spiked German military helmet. Luckily, they are saved by the god Pan playing galactic coordinates on his flute for The Doctor to put in the Tardis controls. Once they arrive, a Black Knight tries to run them down, Daleks, and then they do battle with Satan on a giant pinball table. I didn't make a single bit of that up. The story reads like a Who album ground up and snorted through an Iron Maiden CD insert.

Baker and Marter seriously kept trying to make this happen, and even had fans start sending them money to fund the production. BBC legal informed them that this was a terrible idea, and Baker was forced to send the money back. Still, just like The Doctor to accidentally invent Kickstarter three decades early and have no one remember.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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