In January 2017 I began a project, originally suggested to me by Mark Gatiss, to present a series of videos on YouTube which would depict the actors originally considered for the role of Doctor Who within the context of contemporary episodes, using editing techniques to interweave footage of the candidates into something approximating their performance as the Doctor.
The original idea was to produce a single video, but as I began planning the video it became clear that the running time would be too long and that the length of time needed to source the actors in suitable footage was also going to be a lengthy process. Consequently I opted to break the project down into manageable bite-sized chunks, uploading individual episodes which ran for about 10 minutes each.
The first instalment to be completed was ‘The 1970s’, uploaded on 25th March, detailing the candidates Ron Moody, Richard Hearne, Jim Dale, Bernard Cribbins, Fulton Mackay and Michael Bentine.
For the linking material I created a set of spoof publications depicting the new actors in various mock-ups of the Doctor Who Annuals and Doctor Who Weekly Magazine.
I penned a short script and was fortunate enough to collaborate with the talented voice artist Jonathon Carley, who recorded the video’s introduction in the style of David Tennant and the linking material as K-9.
After identifying usable source material for the actors I was helped in securing good quality copies by Mert Karaca, who provided a 1970s episode of ‘Raffles’ for the Graham Crowden sequence and the 1970s movie ‘The Railway Children’ for Bernard Cribbins. The full credits for material used are as follows:-
‘The Twelve Chairs’ – Ron Moody
‘Mr Pastry At The Circus ‘ – Richard Hearne
‘Carry On Screaming’ – Jim Dale
‘The Railway Children’ – Bernard Cribbins
‘Raffles – Home Affairs’ – Graham Crowden
‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’ – Fulton Mackay
‘The Sandwich Man’ – Michael Bentine
The second upload, which is actually be Episode One ‘The 1960s’, went live on 11th June 2017. This video covers the potential involvement of Hugh David, Geoffrey Bayldon, Alan Webb, Leslie French, Peter Cushing, Rupert Davies, Michael Hordern, Brian Blessed and Valentine Dyall.
The full credits for material used are as follows:-
‘Tarnished Heroes’ – Hugh David
‘Chimes At Midnight‘ – Alan Webb
‘Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed’ – Geoffrey Bayldon
‘Juggernaut’ – Cyril Cusack
‘The Protectors’ – Leslie French
‘Sherlock Holmes’ – Peter Cushing
‘Frightmare’ – Rupert Davies
‘Whistle and I’ll Come to You’ – Michael Hordern
‘Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)’ – Brian Blessed
‘Room To Let’ – Valentine Dyall
Talented voice artist Jonathon Carley is once again on board to provide linking material as the Dalek Fleet. Also collaborating in Part Two is Matt Smith’s uncanny vocal doppelganger Jake Dudman, fresh from his YouTube sensation with Jon Culshaw in ‘The Great Curator’. It’s a real privilege to work with two very gifted voice actors.
Artwork by Kade Fisher
The BBC’s Fan Show promoted the video on their After Show here
Listed on the TV Database here
BBC America recommended the video on their website as “exceptional“. Doctor Who Magazine issue 512 (June 2017) recommended the first instalment in their monthly YouTube highlights.
Mark Gatiss tweeted “Stop everything and watch @babelcolour’s amazing ‘Almost Doctors’.
Doctor Who script writer Gareth Roberts Tweeted “This is just glorious”.
Doctor Who historian and writer David J Howe Tweeted ” This is something of the work of a genius”. Doctor Who novelist Trevor Baxendale Tweeted “This is genuinely amazing!”. Two former editors of Doctor Who Magazine Tweeted their responses – “That’s brilliant” from Gary Gillatt and Clayton Hickman posted “This is remarkable“. The episode’s magazine & annual covers were Retweeted by Mark Gatiss.