Archive for January 2018

The Doctor and the lawyer   Leave a comment

Recently it came to light that there may have been some conflict over use of the name Lethbridge-Stewart in the most recent Christmas special. While the parties involved downplay any kerfuffle, it brings to mind the odd status of many of Doctor Who‘s most beloved inventions, as described in this post shared by a lawyer friend:

The Strange Copyright of Doctor Who

The Daleks are of course the most famous example of shared ownership between the show and a writer: Terry Nation and his estate pushed for Dalek spinoffs, held up novelization of Dalek episodes, blocked several of those episodes from streaming on Britbox, and very nearly prevented the Daleks’ return to the show in 2005. But they are not the only ones. Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, both deceased, are credited on every appearance of the Cybermen. The son of writer Anthony Coburn recently demanded credit and compensation for his father’s alleged invention of the TARDIS. Now, the Brigadier joins the parade.

On the other hand are the unsung, uncredited, uncompensated BBC employees behind these creations and many others. Delia Derbyshire, an employee of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, was denied ownership of her most famous contribution – the arrangement of Ron Grainer’s theme – and was credited only on the 50th Anniversary Special. Raymond Cusick, the mind behind the Daleks’ iconic look, has none of the control or compensation Terry Nation and his family have enjoyed. And who did design the TARDIS interior, some invisible employee suggested in An Adventure in Space and Time but unsung even today?

As mentioned in the post above, the TARDIS itself has been a point of contention between the BBC and the London Metropolitan Police. Unfortunately, that body waited too long to lay claim to their famous Police Box: by the time they came forward, the box belonged firmly in the minds of the public to Doctor Who.

Other entities may own a share of the Daleks, the Cybermen, or the Brigadier – but that doesn’t make them less a part of Doctor Who.

 

Advertisements

Posted January 30, 2018 by Elisabeth in Piffle

Tagged with , ,