The Almost Doctors

Almost banner

The Almost Doctors is a five part web series by Babelcolour, depicting the actors originally considered to play the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who.

In January 2017 I began a project, originally suggested to me by Mark Gatiss (a phenomenal ideas man!), 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 production commenced it became immediately apparent that the running time would be prohibitively long, probably pushing an hour, 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 a series of episodes, around 10 minutes each, which would concentrate on different decades.

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.

1974 Annual - Ron Moody

1976 Annual - Richard Hearne

1979 Annual - Graham Crowden

1979 Bentine DWM

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 potentially 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

Grabbed Frame 5

Grabbed Frame 1b

Grabbed Frame 8

 

I am currently working on the second instalment, which will actually be Episode One 'The 1960s'. This video will illustrate the potential involvement of Hugh David, Geoffrey Bayldon, Alan Webb, Leslie French, Rupert Davies, Michael Hordern, Brian Blessed and Valentine Dyall.

Almost Doctors

Almost Doctors Part 1

Talented voice artist Jonathon Carley is once again on board to provide linking material (although, on this occasion, not in his guise as K9). 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 privilage to work with two very gifted voice actors, so expect something rather wonderful!

Annual Spread

Reception:

BBC America recommended the video on their website as "exceptional". Doctor Who script writer Gareth Roberts Tweeted "This is just glorious".

Roberts

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.

DJHowe

Hickman

Gillatt Tweet

Baxendale Tweet

Gatiss Retweet