Category Archives: Classic Series

Animated Daleks Set to Menace BBC Store

A classic 1960’s Doctor Who story is being resurrected from the ‘missing’ list by BBC Worldwide as an animated project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the shows first regeneration, when William Hartnell changed into new Doctor, Patrick Troughton, in The Power of the Daleks.

BBC Store will début the six animated episodes of the completely lost story (some short clips have been returned to the archives over the years, but no full episodes exist) at 5:50pm on November 5th 2016, exactly 50 years after the opening credits rolled on episode one of Power on British TV. That night the people of Britain were introduced to the first ever regenerated Doctor, with character actor Patrick Troughton giving a very different performance to his predecessor. This was a whimsical, scruffy, mysterious and mercurial Doctor, referring to himself in the third person a number of times over the course of the first part of the story. But the introduction of his oldest foes, the Daleks, soon showed that despite the differences in face, form and personality, this ‘new’ Doctor was still the same man underneath.

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The Doctor, Ben and Polly discover the Daleks in the original story from 1966.

The decision by BBC Worldwide to animate a full six episode story is a major one. In the past, a couple of episodes per story seemed to be the limit of what they were willing to animate, with releases such at Troughton tales The Invasion, The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors and Hartnell’s The Reign of Terror and The Tenth Planet all having episodes animated to cover the missing parts of those stories. More recent releases with missing material, The Web of Fear and The Underwater Menace, haven’t even had this treatment, being made available with basic reconstructions using photographs from the lost episodes. So putting out a full six episode story is big news for fans of the first two Doctors. If this proves a success, it may lead to other stories being animated using the soundtracks, which exist for all the missing stories through fans off-air audio recordings. The stories with the most missing material are Marco Polo (all 7 episodes) and The Daleks Master Plan (9 episodes out of 12), all other stories have at most six lost episodes, the same as Power of the Daleks.

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The animated Daleks plot their take over of the Vulcan colony

This does appear to finally put to bed any rumours of episodes from Power of the Daleks having been found, and also hopes of finding any in the future. Professional episode hunter Philip Morris, of Television International Enterprises Archives Ltd (TIEA) has already returned 9 previously lost episodes in 2013, completing the story Enemy of the World and almost completing The Web of Fear (episode 3 was found by him, but went missing before he could recover the episodes and may have been passed on to a private collector). He continues to travel the world, exploring old archives and trying to track down lost TV and film. Recently he revealed at the Starburst Film and TV event in Manchester that he has found an episode of the BBC adventure series The Troubleshooters (1965-1972), so there are still chances of more Doctor Who being out there. But if BBCWW are animating Power of the Daleks, it must mean that TIEA do not have any episodes of that story and if Philip Morris can’t find it, who can?

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The newly regenerated (animated) Doctor

The animated Power of the Daleks is being produced by the same team that brought the animated Dad’s Army episode, A Stripe for Frazer, to the BBC Store earlier in 2016. This has proved to be a big hit and it is hoped that Power, which hits BBC Store on 5th November, with a DVD release coming on 21st November, will be similarly received. So Christmas is coming early for fans of vintage Who!

Gallifrey Stands Podcast 76

This week on Gallifrey Stands they talk the Witches Familiar, ratings and time shifting. After that they feature their guest companion this week, John Guilor. He talks about playing the voice of the 1st Doctor in the Day of the Doctor and recreating a missing episode with Carol Ann Ford & William Russel!

Check it out!

 

Underwater Menace DVD To Be Released

“Nothing in ze world can stop me now!” It’s the line that was used by the mad professor in The Underwater Menace. The line (and the acting) was over the top and hammy and also completely wrong. It seemed like everything in the world was going to stop a DVD release of UWM. Like a rotting and bloated fish floating in the ocean it was being picked apart from all sides. There were famous quotes about the classic Doctor Who DVD range being dead and Doctor Who Magazine very recently printed a story that UWM had been pulled from the release schedule. Not to mention all the speculation that it was being held back while animations were done or because Phil Morris had found more episodes.

Then the petitions started.

TIMD chatted with Chris who started the #Savethefishpeople petition a few months ago. There was even talk of an organized protest at BBC headquarters where everyone dressed up like… you guessed it, fish. Luckily that never came to pass…

Now, after being declared dead in the water by the official Doctor Who magazine, we get a surprise treat. The Underwater Menace will be released October 26 in R2 (no date as of yet for R1). So, will it contain animations? Recons? Missing episodes? More than likely it will just be recons, but nothing has been officially confirmed. Stay tuned for TIMD for more details as they are released!

 

Sue Malden Q and A from DW ME Facebook group

A little while ago the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook approached Sue Malden to see if she would be interested in doing a Q & A session to shed some light on her past involvement in stopping the junking of old TV shows, including Doctor Who. They took questions from the group, picked out 20 and sent them to Sue. Well, she has given us the answers. Here is a transcript with only the names of those who asked the questions redacted for their privacy. There are no bombshells in here, but there are some very interesting little tidbits!

What do you believe was your most important rescue for the archives, the recovery you are most proud of, for a) Doctor Who b) general TV? And if you could have saved a single missing episode of Doctor Who, which would it have been?

Sue: I think that just finding any missing Dr Who episode was a tremendous achievement. With regard to other tv progs – the missing Dads Army finds were great and have been shown by the BBC so many times.

 

What were your impressions on Philip Morris finding most of ‘The Web of Fear’ and ‘Enemy of the World’? And do you think of ‘what if’ we went to went to search physically in the first place we could have at least had those episodes back and possibly others?

Sue: Phil’s achievements are amazing – a tribute to his determination and tenacity . I agree if we had been able to visit foreign archives in person all that time ago we might have found these and others earlier, but we relied on letter contact with people in these other archives

What do you think happened to Tenth Planet 4 and Master Plan 4 after their visits to Blue Peter for clip usage?

Sue: This is a mystery I could not get to the bottom of. I am checking details again now

(Note: Sue originally provided the above answer with her partial response. She provided the follow-up answer below when she sent us the rest of her answers…..)

Sue: There was a loan record set up for the Master Plan episode it was sent to the BP film editor in October 1973), and it was logged that the print never came back to the Library. The Tenth Planet episode was not originally logged on Infax/FLOL which implies that it was accessed from Enterprises at Villiers House, as with certain other clips that survive from missing episodes of Dr Who.

Apart from doctor who which is your most wanted missing TV show you would like to see recovered?

Bob Dylan appeared in a play called MadHouse on Castle Street transmitted in 1963

When did you realise just how much material was missing, and were you shocked by the amount or had you expected to find so much missing?

When I first began working in the BBC library like many others, I presumes that everything that had been broadcast had been put away safely on their shelves. I became the Archive Selector in 1978 against a background of the Asa Briggs report into the BBC Archives and it was then that I realised that not everything had been kept and I was most shocked and needed to find out why programmes had not been kept in the archives. This is when I learned about live transmission, technology issues, re-use value of videotape, contributor rights issues   – all of which led to tapes not surviving.

Many Dr Who fans demonise Pamela Nash for the destruction of overseas duplicates…

Given that she he had ordered the creation of many of the film negatives in the first place (without which we may not have many of the episodes now….and that It wasn’t her role to keep backups – they were just overseas prints and the BBC’s attitude then was that TV was ephemeral…

Do you have a view of Pam Nash’s role back then….Is it right that she should be vilified, or do you think that the situation was more complicated than that?

Sue: I think it quite wrong to vilify Pam Nash.

You are quite right. Her job in BBC Enterprises was to (among other things) organise the copying and distribution of BBC productions for BBC Enterprises clients. As I understand it this involves arranging for duplicating masters from the original BBC masters to be made solely for Enterprises use – to copy from, thus saving wear on the original BBC master . Sometimes this would be a film recording from a 2” tape copy(and sometimes a black and white copy of a colour original). Pam was not aware of what the BBC subsequently chose to do with its masters. She was fulfilling her role meeting Enterprises requirements. Even then the BBC was not a “joined up “ organisation!

As you say – the fact that this BBC Enterprises activity was in operation parallel to the main BBC functions of production and transmission does at least mean that additional copies of programmes were being made and distributed to many countries which has meant that the chances of at least one copy of a programmes were increased.(to later be found )

I found that once Pam understood what had been happening to BBC master tapes she was helpful to our quest, but very clear that she was not responsible for the BBC wipings.

Hi Sue how are you? Thanks for all your hard work over the years trying to recover Doctor Who, Z Cars and many other programmes. Are you still involved in trying to recover missing episodes?

Sue: Hi

Many thanks. I am not directly involved these days, but do like to help out where and when I can

Thanks for the Q&A Sue. My question is how much of a process was it back in the 1970s to realise there had been a mistake in junking the BBC’s archive? Was there apprehension from other departments to abort junking in favour of retaining the status quo (i.e. continuing to junk)? What was the reaction (if any) of the unions when the BBC began retaining material for potential domestic sales?

Sue: The Asa Briggs report on BBC archives in 1978/9 was crucial in highlighting the need to review and bring consistency to the BBC’s retention activities. This report, among other things, recommended the creation of the post of Archive Selector. When I first began it was so helpful to have this report to refer to if I met any resistance from production managers!

Video recorders have been around for decades, when did staff at the BBC first think as a germ of an idea, “in the future people will have these things in their homes and they might want to access these old programmes”. Or did it just suddenly dawn on them just before the Revenge of the Cybermen.

Sue: I do not know when home video sales first appeared, but I would presume as soon as Enterprises (now Wordwide) became aware of the commercial opportunity. But unti then there were no domestic video rights negotiated or paid to the contributors so the back catalogue would need to be re-cleared – another commercial decision Going forward when a programme was made Enterprises would have to express an interest in it so that the appropriate rights could be negociated with all the contributors. Eventually these rights were written into most BBC contracts

When you started checking the archive for doctor who were there any records of non-theatrical sales (generally donated to areas like the armed forces etc ) or was there nothing like that i believe there were index cards for each DW story held by what is now BBC worldwide

Sue: I never found any formal records of non commercial distribution. There were certainly index cards for a Enterprises (now Worldwide) holdings and distribution

Was it true Sue that the directors or producers of a programme had to sign a form saying that there was no merit in keeping a story on tape? If they said no, it was junked?

Sue: It was certainly a production decision to wipe or keep and I think the wiping sheets may have been signed by the department managers, but I don’t think every individual tape was signed away!

Beyond broadcasters, is there a possibility other organisations such as government departments obtaining episodes from the 60’s?

Sue: The BFI did; govt overseas depts. did, but I don’t know on what basis and we did try to get programmes back from remote places such as the Ascension Islands

This is broader than Doctor Who I hope that’s alright, here goes. We’re told the BBC, and I assume other broadcasters, couldn’t keep everything. So was there a specific set of rooms or a building designated for this. Was it running some sort of system were new programs went in one end and the oldest programs went out the other to the skip to make space. I’m making it sound very simplistic, I’m sure it must have been much more complex. Thank you for giving some of your time to answer questions.

Sue: In the early days The VT programme tapes were managed by VT Engineering on behalf of the Production departments who would decide which of their tapes they wanted to retain depending on the significance of their content, the copyright and contractual arrangements for that programme and repeat or sale potential. In the late 1970s the library became responsible for this store and when I was appointed I could override the production decisions to wipe – using the BBC’s section criteria thus taking a wider view of the value of the programme

Not limited to Dr Who, but can Sue tell us what to do if us fans stumble across BBC material at boot-sales, junk shops etc? I live quite close to London and I often see material that may or may not be of interest, usually on old video formats, or reel-to-reel audio tapes. Is there any value in this material and should we try and get it all back, or are they just junk copies on obsolete formats that have been thrown out by the corporation on purpose, as they switch to digital formats? Also what is a fair price for us to pay and would we be reimbursed for expenses by the BBC/BFI if we have to pay out on material that might be of interest to the corporations, but might not be of any immediate interest to us as individuals? I’d be fascinated to have some advice and guidance.

Sue: It is always worth following up on any old tv or radio recordings you come across. Dick Fiddy who organises “Missing Believed Wiped” at the BFI is the best person to contact. In genera it is not likely that vhs are worth collecting because the broadcast master probably has been retained. Most interesting would be film recordings and 2 and 1 inch videotapes. All BBC material that is not required was supposed to be wiped first recycled or sent for landfill, but I know things slipped thru this process!

I cannot advise on a fair price to pay or whether it would be reimbursed by the rights owners – but I would hope so. Dick is the best person to check with, especially if possible before buying. I realise this is not so easy at a boot sale .

Were there any countries or types of countries that is it was difficult to get a response from when asking for old material to be returned, for example, countries like Ethiopia when it was under a dictatorship, and we know that some Dr Who was sold to Iran. It’s obviously rather a difficult place to approach. Do you know if they have been contacted again since the classic “Who in the name of Allah are you talking about” response many years ago?

Sue: I think almost everywhere I contacted responded, mainly because I was contacting people in the libraries . I cannot remember any rejects. Whether they all looked in the relevant stores is another matter. I do not recollect the quote, but certainly an archivist in Iran Tv was most helpful some years ago

Do you think there are any more missing episodes out there ?

Sue: Never say never!!!I think it is possible that more will be found – but who knows where!!

I’d like to ask Sue to tell us a little about her career leading up to becoming the BBC Archive Selector? Also, I’m interested in hearing about what she’s been up to since leaving the BBC.

Sue: I did a degree in Economics specialising in Economic history. My first job after leaving college was for about a year in the library of Birkbeck College London. I enjoyed library work so I decided to persue this as a career and left Birkbeck to undertake a Post grad diploma in Information Management at the Library School of the Polytechnic of North London. This ran for a year from Jan – Dec. Whilst I was there the BBC Film library advertised for student holiday relief work and I was a successful applicant. I returned to work there in Dec when I qualified – as an assistant librarian. I worked in all areas of the library including intake. In c 1975 I was sent to Lime Grove to work as librarian/researcher for the current affairs programme “Midweek”. The position of first Television Archive Selector was advertised in c 1978 and I applied.

I went on to work on the BBC’s 50th anniversary celebration, became Assistant head of the Film Library. Following management reorganisation I became head of BBC TV Broadcast Archives covering News, Photos, Music, Grams and later Radio archives. For a short period I was Head of Marketing for BBC Information and Archives I was Corporate Affairs Manager when I left in 2001. Since then I have been a freelance film researcher working mainly on current affairs productions, but also on the History of Ealing Studios and the Great War repeat. I have worked in a range of countries in the Middle East and Caribbean as a management consultant and training in archive work and research. I am currently chair of FOCAL International and also chair of the media Archive of Central England (MACE)

Hi Sue. Its 2015 now, looking back when you started cataloguing and preserving Doctor Who back in the late 1970`s, could you have possible envisaged how your work has brought joy and delight to the legion of Doctor Who fans all over the world with the releases on VHS then DVD, and do you receive much fan mail these days?

Sue: I had no idea what I was taking on when I began investigating Dr Who episodes. I just chose what I thought was an iconic, significant long-running series to investigate in order to earn about what had happened to programmes in the past. I do not get any fan mail these days!

How easy was access to the archives in the 1960s and 1970s – could items have been removed by any producers, editors and simply not returned?

Sue: In the early 1960s the library was based in Ealing studios so it is possible that “physical ” access was easier than when the archive moved to the Brentford site but I don’t know. Anyone working for the BBC with a legitimate production number could borrow from the library – it was unusual to loan a negative or master copy unless to the editor or the labs for transmission. There was also an overdue chasing process to get items back – but not always successfully. In fact the copy lent for the 1973 special did not return, but there was a master in the archive

Were copies of programs ever made for persons such as the royal family or celebrities to view at their leisure?

Sue: Hi, Copies of BBC programmes were made for contributors and others, but I do not know if Dr Who was ever copied for them.

 

Facebook Q&A with Sue Malden

Over on Facebook, the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group are currently inviting questions for another of their popular and successful Q&A series. This has already featured Philip Morris (the man who returned Enemy of the World and Web of Fear in 2013), Richard Molesworth (author of the popular book Wiped!) and Paul Vanezis (documentary producer and member of the Restoration Team) and next up to answer fan questions will be archivist Sue Malden.

Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.
Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.

For those whose memory is hazy at best on the saga of the missing episodes of Doctor Who, it was Sue Malden who was instrumental in the discovery and return of many thought lost episodes in the late 70s and early 80s, having been alerted to the junking of archive TV by Who fan Ian Levine. She also put together the first paper trail of episode sales, building on the work of Pamela Nash who had established a stock of 16mm prints to be sent to foreign TV stations. These along with the episodes held by the BBC were brought under one roof in the new BBC Film and Videotape Library, aka BBC Archives. Sue Malden became its first ‘archive selector’, responsible for deciding which programmes were worthy of storing there.

The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks
The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks

So, if anybody is interested in asking Sue a question about Doctor Who missing episodes in particular or Film and TV archiving in general, follow the link above to the group and add your question to the pinned thread. All questions to be received by 9pm BST (UK time) on Wednesday July 1st please.

Help Atlantis Rise! Saving The Underwater Menace!

A few days ago I came across a post online regarding the status of The Underwater Menace on DVD. BBC WW seem to have no plans to release The Underwater Menace any time soon. Fans are up in arms with the delay and want reassurance that the story will be physically available at some point. Enter Chris McAleer. He has started a petition on change.org to get the story released. I asked Chris a few questions about the whole thing.

Why did you start this petition Chris?

I started the petition because, at present, it’s incredibly unclear as to whether BBC Worldwide still intend to release The Underwater Menace on DVD. Since its announcement, it’s previously at least held a place in the DVD release schedule – even if only an intended year of release – but as far as I’ve seen, this is the first time it’s been removed from the schedules altogether. This was a potentially worrying development as it leaves no clear indication of when or if the title is planned to release. Additionally, there were suggestions that the viability of the release itself was being looked into, and with the rest of the classic Doctor Who range complete there seemed a very real danger that this release could slip through the cracks and never see the light of day. So I thought it would be useful to try to organise a way to demonstrate to BBC Worldwide the release is indeed viable, and that there is still support from fans for a DVD release of The Underwater Menace!

The decision to remove The Underwater Menace from the schedule was revealed in an email from the BBC DVD enquiry line. What led you to email them in the first place?

The DVD release of The Underwater Menace already has a history of delays. The plan to give it a standalone release with animation for the first and final episodes was originally announced in 2013, and at the time fans seemed hopeful for an early 2014 release date. It was later confirmed for a 2014 release by the BBC and even advertised on the DVD release of The Moonbase – however, subsequently no firm release date was forthcoming. The Restoration Team made it clear that work on restoration of the existing episodes had been all but completed, and that all DVD extras had been produced and were just waiting for delivery. I saw a lot of uncertainty amongst fans as to what was happening with the release, so I decided to e-mail the BBC DVD enquiry line to see if I could get some answers. At the time, the official word was that the release was still planned and was under active development.

2014 passed without any sign of the release, barring a statement given to Doctor Who Magazine in December that the release had been pushed back to 2015, and that it was still planned to animate the two missing episodes. However, with no more word since then I’d started to see a lot of uncertainty amongst fans, including frequent queries as to whether the release had been cancelled outright. For this reason, I decided to e-mail the enquiry line again for an updated statement. Given that only two months previously BBC Worldwide had stated their commitment to the release, I was incredibly surprised to hear that the DVD had been removed from the release schedule, and that the viability of the release itself was being worked on.

What do you hope to accomplish with your online petition?

My hopes for the petition are two-fold: to demonstrate to BBC Worldwide that there is definitely a market for this release, and hopefully to get a firm confirmation that they still intend to release it. Although work on the existing episodes and DVD extras is all-but-complete, there’s no indication that work has progressed on any animation or reconstruction for the missing episodes 1 and 4, so whatever form they would take, time would of course need to be spent on these prior to any release. But as far as I’m concerned this isn’t a “we want it now” situation – all we want is for BBC Worldwide to confirm that they will definitely issue The Underwater Menace on DVD and are not cancelling the previously-advertised release.

How many signatures are you hoping to get?

To be honest, as many as possible! Our current goal is 1,000 signatures, and I think it’s really important for us to break that four-figure barrier in order for BBC Worldwide to take the petition seriously. But beyond that, the more the merrier – the higher the number of signatories, the better it illustrates that there’s market demand for the release.

Why is it so important for the BBC to release The Underwater Menace on DVD?

There are many reasons this DVD’s release is important for Doctor Who fans. The most obvious reason is it would give fans he chance to own Episode 2, recovered in 2011 and still unreleased officially. It’s the earliest surviving episode featuring Troughton’s Doctor, and offers the only visual glimpse of the slightly-different take on the character from his first three serials, where he was a little more prone to clownishness, and had a pronounced love of both hats and disguises, all of which pretty much disappear as of The Moonbase.

Also, while I’m aware The Underwater Menace doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation among fans, in my opinion if people are content to let Episode 2 slip through the cracks and remain unreleased it could set a precedent for future releases. Hunts are still ongoing for further missing episodes, and there’s always the potential for more finds to come to light. So if you’re someone who isn’t that bothered just because it’s The Underwater Menace, ask yourself – would you feel the same if the unreleased episode was one orphaned from Marco Polo, The Power of the Daleks or one of the other better-regarded missing serials? Another reason it’s important is that the Restoration Team have already completed work on restoring the episodes and creating DVD extras, and DVD is definitely the best format on which to enjoy the full fruits of their labours. If, for example, it was decided to shelve the DVD and release the story as a digital download, comparing the iTunes release of The Enemy of the World to the DVD shows that the full extent of their restoration work isn’t done justice through the digital release, thanks to a combination of lower resolution visuals and a non-interlaced format, the latter of which destroys the effect of their VidFIRE process for restoring the fluid motion of scenes originally shot in studio. Finally, BBC Worldwide have actively advertised the DVD release of The Underwater Menace on the DVD of the following serial, The Moonbase – since they’ve advertised the product, I feel it’s only fair that they deliver it to market.

Who are you hoping will sign this petition, just fans of the 2nd Doctor?

Not at all! Fans of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor will of course have a great interest in this release, not least because it would be the first official release of his earliest surviving episode in the role. However, they’re by no means the only group that this petition is meant for – anybody with an interest is encouraged to show their support! Any fans of Doctor Who are more than welcome, as are fans of sci-fi, of archive TV in general, or anyone else for that matter! The more people who show their support, the better we’ll demonstrate to BBC Worldwide that the release of this DVD is still viable for them.

Besides signing the petition, what other ways can people let BBC WW know they want to see Underwater Menace on DVD?

It’s very important that, as well as signing the petition, people also take the time to send a direct message to BBC Worldwide, if possible, expressing their interest in this release. Although the petition is a great way of showing support in numbers, it’s less likely to be noticed right away by BBC Worldwide. However, through my contact with the DVD Enquiry line I’ve been informed that the number of direct enquiries they receive regarding specific titles are periodically passed on to the relevant departments; so the more individual enquiries they receive regarding The Underwater Menace, the more of a potential market they’ll see for its release.

With this in mind, I’d strongly suggest that anyone who signs the petition also sends a message to BBC Worldwide in one or more of the following ways:

  • Send a polite letter expressing your interest to the following address: BBC Worldwide 33 Foley Street London W1W 7TL UK
  • Send a tweet to @bbcwpress and @classicdw stating your support for the release, including the hashtag #SaveTheFishPeople

If fans who sign the petition also take the time to directly messaging BBC Worldwide in this manner, I’ve no doubt the voices of fans who want to see this DVD released will be heard!

Thanks Chris for the interview and good luck with the petition. If you haven’t signed it yet, you can head over to change.org  and do so right now.

Pascal Salzmann Timelash Convention Founder Interiew

Pascal Salzmann is one of the organisers of the first German Doctor Who convention, TimeLash, which takes place on the weekend of 24th and 25th October 2015 at the KulturBahnhof facility in the city of Kassel, in the northern Hesse district of Germany. This e-mail interview with Pascal took place on 1st February 2015.

Hi Pascal. Firstly, can you tell me a little bit about how you came to create the first dedicated Doctor Who convention in Germany?

A Doctor Who Convention for Germany has been on my mind for quite a while. In the last few years the popularity of the show increased and after sold-out cinemas at the 50th anniversary I felt the show finally “arrived”. We are now getting DVD releases of the Classic Show and also German translations of the novels, which I heard sell very well. So a Doctor Who convention has always been a No-Brainer to me. There are several other sci-fi/fantasy conventions established in Germany already but when fans asked for actors from Doctor Who they usually got a reply “too niche” for Germany or something along those lines. I never believed that.
I later met Ralf Schmidt at the 50th Anniversary Event in London and found someone who also believed in the idea of a German convention. Also he had experience with the convention scene, as he hosted the “Weekend of Horrors” Convention in Germany. Later Simone Violka joined us and the three of us founded the TimeLash Event organisation.
And the reception we received was amazing from the start. So much that not long after we began to announce details, another huge Con in Germany announced two actors from Doctor Who. I am not sure this would have been possible without the positive reactions we received for the TimeLash.

TimeLash logo

Of the guests announced so far, which one has excited you most?

Although it isn’t my favourite era of the show, I am looking forward to meeting Nicola Bryant. I met her before several times by coincidence but I don’t think she will remember me.
I am also excited to meet Catrin Stewart, who plays the wonderful Jenny Flint. I’m also watching “Stella” right now, so I appreciate her in that show, too.
And I’m also very, very excited for the Doctor-actor. Due to complicated reasons we cannot reveal which Doctor is coming to our event, though we are hoping to announce who that is in a few weeks. I’m sure he will make many fans very happy.

How many guests are still to be announced? And can you give any hints about them?

Well, when we started out developing the convention we planned with three guests. And look where we are now! Our budget is limited, though we have just added Big Finish writer Nev Fountain to the line-up.
Our guest list is finished for now, with the exception of the Doctor.

What are your earliest memories of Doctor Who? Which story or stories got you hooked?

Paradise Towers. I watched it on German television in 1993. I was eleven and it hooked me right from the start. After that I watched Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Curse of Fenric. I then found some German versions of the Target novels in my local library. One of them had a chapter about the history of the show. In 1994 I went to London for the first time in my life and discovered all the wonderful Doctor Who merchandise. Not long after I subscribed to the Doctor Who Magazine and found out about a German fanclub. I think the club had around 15 members back then. But it was great to get together with other fans. Otherwise it could get very lonely as a fan in Germany in the 90’s.

You also set up last year what has become a very successful discussion group of Facebook dedicated to the missing episodes of Doctor Who. Which story would you most like to see returned in full and why?

Oh, there are so many. I especially love The Daleks Masterplan, as it feels really epic and it has so many magic moments: Katarina’s sacrifice, the Sarah Kingdom-arc, her gruesome death. This has to be one of the bravest Doctor Who of the 60’s and I would really love to see it in its entirety.

Tough one I know, but which is best, Classic or New series?

I love them both, for different reasons. Is this reply satisfying enough?

Who is your favourite Doctor? And who is your favourite companion?

These things change for me constantly. Right now Patrick Troughton is my favourite and I really love what Series 8 has done with Clara Oswald as a companion.

Returning to the convention, what aspect of it are you most looking forward to?

We have so much exciting things planned, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. Toby Hadoke will perform one of his shows. I’m very excited for this as I wanted to see him live for years. Never being able to come to the UK when he was touring, I just invited him to Germany. We will also have a Cosplay-Contest with some exciting prizes for the winners.

How much time do you estimate has already gone into the preparation of the TimeLash convention?

Hard to say. Most of my free time in the last few months. We have been preparing the event since September 2014.

What has been the most challenging part of organising TimeLash? And the most fun?

Challenging and fun has been to contact and communicate with all the agencies of the actors. It is something I wasn’t used to, but I think I learned a lot on the way and most of the agencies have been very helpful.
Organising an event like that is always challenging. Every day there are new challenges. But if it was not fun, I wouldn’t do it.

Where can people find out more about TimeLash?

You can find out everything about the TimeLash at our website http://www.timelash-event.de. So far it only exists in German but we are planning to do an English version, too.
If you want to be up-to-date with the latest news, then like our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/timelashevent.
And then there is our Crowdfunding site at Indiegogo: http://igg.me/at/timelash/x. You can pre-order tickets from there. The campaign runs until 12th March 2015.

Pascal Salzmann, thank you very much for your time.

Thank you.