DOCTOR WHO: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE SPACE MUSEUM - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE SPACE MUSEUM

Geek Dave wonders if they have a gift shop?

The Space Museum was the seventh serial of season 2 of Doctor Who. It was the first story to deal with the dimensions of time as well as space and the first to feature alternate timelines. Personally, I always felt it kicked off really well with an exciting opening installment, but then never properly came together for the remaining three episodes. Perhaps because during production it was a tormentous time for Doctor Who behind the scenes, as we will explore...

1. The origins for The Space Museum can be dated back to October 1964. While he was preparing to leave Doctor Who, the original story editor David Whitaker contacted South African writer/actor Glyn Jones with a view to Jones penning an adventure for the programme.

Jones came up with the museum concept, and the serial became Whitaker's last commission, just prior to being replaced by Dennis Spooner.

2. After Jones handed in his completed screenplay for The Space Museum, he was dismayed by Spooner's editing of his scripts, which excised much of the humorous content. Spooner explained that he felt that such material was inappropriate in what he envisioned as a high-concept science-fiction story.

The Space Museum would be Jones' only contribution to Doctor Who as a writer. He submitted a second adventure in 1970 but it was rejected by then-script editor Terrance Dicks. However, it wasn't Jones' last association with the world of Doctor Who as he went on to play Krans in 1975's The Sontaran Experiment. Here he is...

3. Mervyn Pinfield was assigned to direct The Space Museum. He had previously been Doctor Who's associate producer, helping rookie producer Verity Lambert to learn the ropes of the job. As a director for the series, Pinfield had most recently helmed the majority of Planet Of Giants, but this would be the only story he directed entirely by himself.

Pinfield was aware that Lambert and Spooner hoped to save money on The Space Museum to compensate for the strain on the programme's resources caused by The Web Planet, two serials earlier, and The Chase, which would be the next story in production. Both of these either had been or were very expensive serials to produce. Part of Pinfield's cost-saving efforts was to utilise just a single day of filming at the Ealing Television Film Studios (often one day was assigned per episode), to film all the model shots.

4. As recording for The Space Museum was getting underway, in April 1964, it was all change on the good ship Who. Dennis Spooner determined that he would not return to the show following the expiry of his six-month contract. Dalek creator Terry Nation had recently taken over as script supervisor on the high-profile new series called The Baron, and requested Spooner's help on the show. Spooner, enticed by the prospect of working on a programme which would receive attention in the lucrative American market, readily agreed.

Doctor Who's third story editor would therefore be Donald Tosh.

5. During taping of The Web Planet, William Russell, who played original companion Ian, had already decided to leave the show at the end of the second recording block. During filming of The Space Museum, Jacqueline Hill, who portrayed Barbara, decided that she would depart with him, meaning all of the Doctor's original companions would have departed the TARDIS by the close of season 2.

We're not done with departures decisions that occurred during this story, but more on that later.

6. As for the guest cast, The Space Museum features an appearance by Jeremy Bulloch, who later played Hal in The Time Warrior. Ivor Salter later played Odysseus in The Myth Makers and Sergeant Markham in Black Orchid. Peter Craze is the younger brother of Michael Craze, who played companion Ben Jackson from 1966 to 1967, and Craze the younger also later played Du Pont in The War Games and Costa in Nightmare of Eden.

7. Although the first episode of this serial is also titled "The Space Museum", this was a late change as it was originally called "The Four Dimensions of Time".

8. The first episode, "The Space Museum", begins with a brief reprise of the final episode of the previous adventure The Crusade. This recap is currently the only surviving 16mm black & white film footage from that episode.

9. The cliff-hanger for episode four of The Space Museum presented fans with a preview of the Daleks' third appearance. Their return was awaited impatiently, a fact that was baited by the appearance of a Dalek shell in part one.

This shell, featured above with one William Hartnell inside, was the final appearance of the original Dalek design until The Magician's Apprentice in 2015. The Daleks at the end of "The Final Phase" do not have the metal band of their predecessors.

10. Doctor Who's original producer Verity Lambert had already declared her intent to leave the show at the conclusion of the second recording block, and as the first episode of The Space Museum went before the cameras John Wiles was appointed as her successor.

Wiles had made a name for himself both in the theatre, as a director, and in television, where he had worked as a writer and a story editor. Wiles' offer to take over as producer of Doctor Who came as something of a shock to him initially, as he'd only put in a request to take the BBC's internal directors' course!

Next time, it's The Chase.

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