Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE HIGHLANDERS - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE HIGHLANDERS

Geek Dave should like a hat like that.

1. Doctor Who's script editor, Gerry Davis, and producer, Innis Lloyd, commissioned Elwyn Jones to write what was to become The Highlanders on August 30th 1966. Jones was one of the BBC's most senior figures, and had gained numerous credits during his tenure there as Head of Serials, including the development of Z Cars and its spin-off, Softly, Softly.

Jones came up with the idea for an historical story set during The Battle of Culloden, but soon found himself tasked by the BBC to revive Z Cars, meaning not only would not have time to write the script, he wouldn't be able to complete his story outline. Script editor Gerry Davis stepped in and wrote the entire serial, drawing inspiration from the 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson novel Kidnapped. Jones and Davis still shared on-screen credit although Jones, ultimately, did no work on the script.

2. When Hugh David, the director assigned the second story for the Second Doctor, was presented with the completed scripts for The Underwater Menace he did not believe the story could be produced on Doctor Who's standard budget. After much negotiation, The Highlanders was bought forward to take it's place, with a frantic Gerry Davis still completing the final scripts as it went before the cameras from November 11th 1966.

3. Hugh David had previously worked as an actor in the early 1960s, before completing the BBC's internal director course. In 1963 he had been considered for the role of the First Doctor but being only 38 years old at the time was deemed to be too young by the series' original producer Verity Lambert.

4. The working title for this story was, simply, Culloded. However, unknown to the production team the BBC had aired a docudrama titled Culloden two years earlier. Wanting to avoid any confusion the BBC asked for a name change, and so the title became The Highlanders.

5. Frazer Hines had previously worked with Patrick Troughton on Smuggler's Bay in 1964, and had unsuccessfully auditioned for the part of companion Ben Jackson earlier in 1966.

6. Producer Innes Lloyd and script editor Gerry Davis were initially uncertain whether Jamie would work as an ongoing character, and although Hines' contract had an option for three more serials an ending was filmed on location with Jamie staying behind when the TARDIS departed.

7. Hines' performance during shooting of The Highlanders ultimately convinced Lloyd and Davis that the character of Jamie had potential and so the ending was re-shot, again on location, with Jamie joining the Doctor, Ben and Polly in the TARDIS. This marked the first time Doctor Who had returned for an additional day of unscheduled location shooting (as in non-studio) to re-film a scene, and resulted in the first time the TARDIS crew had returned to its original complement of four since The Chase toward the end of Season Two.

8. During filming Patrick Troughton ad-libbed the line “I should like a hat like that” in the scene where he finds a blue-feathered bonnet. This was then added to his character profile, part of a short-lived attempt to ensconce this as the new Doctor's catchphrase.

9. The Highlanders was the last purely historical story until Black Orchid in 1982. Both Davis and Lloyd had been keen to drop the format, noting that the pure historical adventures had traditionally received lower viewing figures, however it was Patrick Troughton that finally encouraged the BBC to move away from historical stories. According to his son Michael, his father was more interested in exploring "real science in drama", and had a desire to further distinguish his era from that of the previous Doctor, William Hartnell.

10. The Highlanders was the first Doctor Who serial to have its videotapes wiped, which occurred on 9 March 1967, just two months after its broadcast! Although audio recordings, still photographs, and clips of the story exist, no episodes of The Highlanders are known to have survived the BBC's junking policy.

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