Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday puzzler - Fourth Doctor DVD sleeve

This DVD set came out November last year as a HMV exclusive.
It’s nothing super special - just three classic Fourth Doctor adventures bundled up in a card box.

It includes his first outings Robot, plus two early classics, Genesis of the Daleks and Pyramid of Mars.

The box art is nicely done, and sits well with the other two similar sets for the Third and Fifth Doctors.

But I have a little quiz question for you - and I’ll give you the full answer this time next week.

What’s wrong - or should I say, has been put right about the portrait shot of Tom Baker?

Post your answers in the comments below, and come back this time next week for the reveal - and how I helped!
Doctor Who: An Introduction to the Fourth Doctor (hmv Exclusive)

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Fourth Doctor -
as played by THE WAR DOCTOR!

Ever wondered what might have been?

What if The War Doctor had been an earlier incarnation?

What if he said that immortal speech in Genesis Of The Daleks?
Well at Gallifrey One this year, as part of his stage talk on the Sunday, legendary actor Sir John Hurt did just that!

He also read a much overlooked speech from The Ark In Space.

See more of Sir John Hurt reading classic Doctor speeches as The War Doctor here
The Third Doctor
as played by THE WAR DOCTOR!
The Twelfth Doctor
as played by THE WAR DOCTOR!

To my surprise, The Radio Times’ website has picked up on my videos and shared them online!
Watch John Hurt re-read some of
Doctor Who's most iconic speeches
as The War Doctor

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bonhams: 1994 -
31st March Entertainment Sale

I’m getting quite into tracking down past Bonhams Entertainment auctions where Doctor Who items were sold.

It started with the 1991 Doctor Who auction, where dozens of costumes and props were up for grabs. I’ve since traced later sales where many times from the 1991 auction were resold, and some of these still pop up today from time to time.

A couple of weeks ago I found a Bonhams catalogue from 1994, containing 22 lots of Who-related items on sale.

Frustratingly due to the cost of producing print publications in the days, there are no photographs to illustrate the items on offer (every image would have had to be taken on film and processed, compared to the instant and cheap nature of digital photography today).

These sales also pre-date the internet, so finding the realised prices is near impossible.

Less care seems to have been taken in preparing the text in the catalogue.

There are a number of spelling errors and possible mis-titling of episodes, but since some of these are for pre-production scripts (and therefore possibly correct at the time) I have replicated the text here exactly as it appeared in the 1994 catalogue.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:

Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Please note there are a number of spelling and title errors in the catalogue, which I have repeated here for accuracy as some may refer to early drafts of scripts

Lot 348 DR. WHO The Leisure Hive 1980 (Tom Baker)
A pair of yellow shoes and gloves belonging to the Argolin. (4)
Estimate £40 - 60

Lot 358 DR. WHO
A TARDIS Sign and casing of metal, wood and fibreglass used during the John Nathan Tumer era of Dr. Who (1978-1989), together with the back cloth belonging to the TARDIS door.
Estimate £400 - 600
Note: The vendor informs me he acquired this lot at a Dr. Who auction in Saxmundham.

Lot 359 DR. WHO
Various floor plans and designs for 'The Pirate Planet'. 'Timescoop'. and 'Morbius', series 1976-78. Estimate £30 - 50

Lot 360 DR. WHO
Various lighting plans, model shots and studio plans for 'City of Death', 'Nightmare of Evil', 'Shada', and others series 1979-80.
Estimate £30 - 50

Lot 361 DR. WHO
A small quantity of recording orders, floor plans, studio set scripts, duty sheets and design sheets for various episodes of 'The Leisure Hive', 'The Wasting', 'Warrior's Gate' and 'The Keeper of Traken'.
Estimate £30 - 50

Lot 366 DR. WHO
A script for Episode 3 'The Gamble with Time’ by David Agnew, belonging to Count Scarliani (Julian Glover), with pencil annotations.
Estimate £30 - 50
Note: This episode was transmitted as 'City of Death'.

Sale of selected costumes from the wardrobe, on 11th May 1991. 41 page catalogue with black and white illustrations, colour cover, together with a list of prices realised. (2)
Estimate £10 - 20

An extensive collection of Dr Who and related science fiction memorabilia, including jigsaw puzzles, badges, Cassette tapes, models, newsletters, annuals, toys, posters, magazines, approximately thirty paperback books, a mug, a china moneybox and three albums comprising of numerous official BBC colour photographs. (a lot)
Estimate £200 - 300 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bonhams: 1992 -
August 24th Entertainment Sale

Last week I showed you the content of a Bonhams sale from January 1992. In it a large number of ex-BBC Costume Dept outfits from Doctor Who were sold off.

Since then I have found another catalogue from 1992, this time from August.

Interestingly a number of the extensive Doctor Who items sound very much like those sold back in January, though with much higher estimates this time around.

More recently I think we have seen some of these lots continuing to be sold on. It’s fascinating to trace the items back through the various auction catalogues, following the prices they sell for.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Lot 648 Dr. Who—The Auction, Catalogue from 11th May 1991, sale of selected costumes from the Wardrobe, 42 page catalogue with black and white illustrations, colour cover, together with a sheet of prices. (2)
Estimate £10-20

Lot 662 ‘Masque of Mandragora’, 1976 (Tom Baker) A grey accolyte’s mask.
Estimate £80-120

Lot 663 ‘Masque of Mandragora’, 1976 (Tom Baker) A burnished gold colour Mask of Demnos, worn by Hieronymous (Norman Jones).
Estimate £200-300

Lot 664 ‘Nightmare of Eden’, 1979 (Tom Baker) Two passenger liner overalls, in grey plastic.
Estimate £30-50

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bonhams: 1992 -
The BBC Costume Dept sale

Exactly 24 years ago TODAY there was an unusual auction at Bonhams to sell off a vast amount of ex-BBC costume department items.

Due to the volume of items on offer, the sale was held at the BBC Costume Warehouse, which at the time was on the Royal London Industrial Estate in North Acton.

Most of the sale was non-descript items, broken down into sections such as PERIOD COSTUMES - GREEK/ROMAN, MEDIAEVAL, TUDOR, ELIZABETHAN, STUART, GEORGIAN and REGENCY, VICTORIAN and EDWARDIAN etc.


Then things got more interesting with NARNIA prior to the big draw the sale - the SCIENCE FICTION section.


The sale closed with a section of late additions, which included an extra Doctor Who lot.

I recently picked up a copy of the sales catalogue on aBay - such as it is. Back in 1992 this consisted of a pocket folder with a stapled loose sheet listing of the items for sale. There are no photographs or illustrations, and the descriptions are scant to say the least.

I have transcribed all the Doctor Who items.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era
Click the link above to download a copy of the full catalogue

Lot 283 Masque of Mandragora, 1976, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Gold Hieronymus mask (1)
Sold for £200

Lot 284 Pirate Planet, 1978, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Green uniform suit worn by Andrew Robertson as Mr Fibuli (1)
Sold for £110

Lot 285 Nightmare of Eden, 1978, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Passenger liner space suits, silver plastic with hoods (2)
Sold for £60

Lot 286 Horns of Nimon, 1979, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Skonnon Guard uniform full length gown in wine green and black and Graham Crowden’s costume as Soldeed, full length gown in gold, brown, green and black (2)
Sold for £180

Lot 287 Creature From The Pit, 1979, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Chloran Guard masks plus a spare (7)
Sold for £160
Lot 288 Warriors’ Gate, 1981, Tom Baker as Dr Who. 
Gundan helmets, one silver and one black (2)
Sold for £180

Lot 372 Dr Who: Masque of Mandragora, 1976, Tom Baker as Dr Who.
Gold Hieronymous mask (1)
Sold for £100

Monday, 21 December 2015

Original 4th Doctor items on eBay - December 2015

This month on eBay I spotted this tunic, worn in Warriors’ Gate.

Offered is an original Tunic from the classic Tom Baker episode Warriors’ Gate.

The tunic is in good shape but does have the stains shown in photos but is in tact for being 34 years old.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Bonhams auction - 10th December 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time for the end of year Entertainment Memorabilia sale at Bonhams.

Here’s the Doctor Who items on offer.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Lot 70
Doctor Who/Tom Baker - The Creature from the Pit: an original prop 'eggshell' photon drive, BBC, 1979, the hollow 'eggshell' of mixed media resin painted in mottled grey paint, with part of a computer mother board glued to the underneath.

The underneath with grey paint to the edge signed and dated by Tom Baker in blue pen, an identical prop can be seen when the Doctor finds the fragment of 'eggshell' which is the 'creature's' space vehicle's photon drive; together with two dyeline copies of construction drawings for the set, the photon drive, 23 x 20 x 4cm (9 x 8 x 1½in).

The vendor was the studio design assistant for these episodes.

Estimate £1,000 - 1,500
Sold for £1,500

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dressed By Angels - CLOSED!

I can’t believe it!!!!

After only going to see the Dressed By Angels exhibition on Friday,  I read today on Facebook that it has closed with immediate effect!

Sure enough the website is now down, replaced by a sorry notice.

The exhibition was supposed to run until January, but is now gone.
I’m stunned.

Having spoken to a friend who knows a little of the inside to this, I hear the choice of venue was really a nail in the coffin and the relatively thin displays did not help.

It’s sad that it closed so quickly, but I’m grateful i got to see it when I did.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Dressed By Angels - Fourth Doctor display

As you’ll have read, I went this week to see the Dressed By Angels exhibition in London’s East End.
There was lots on display, which I’ve already written about, but I wanted to take a bit of time to show you the Doctor Who section.

They decided to focus on the Fourth Doctor’s costume, and how it was assembled from rack items at Angels.

How much of that is really true I would question, as the frock coats and scarf were all custom-made, but I would say a dressing up day was held to find a style and look for The Doctor before refining the pieces that make up the costume.

The rack, with a variety of scarves, jackets, waistcoats and trousers is trying to give a feel of what that search might have been like.

And the pile of clothes on the floor evokes the discarded choices along the way.

On the wall at the back was an amazing display of June Hudson’s original charcoal sketch of Tom’s final costume for season 18.

It was stunning to see it for real so close up.

Accompanying it was a display of swatches for the coat as well as the Norfolk jacket worn briefly underneath.

It was a shame the lighting was quite low-key, which made reading the hand written notes almost impossible.

On the wall nearby is a display card explaining part of the history of the Doctor Who costume and Angels’ involvement in it down the years.

On the day I went to the exhibition, we had a tour guide to show us around and discuss the costumes. He lingered at the Doctor Who display, but sadly a lot of his comments and input was not entirely correct, given the things we know about how the costumes have been created.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Dressed By Angels - the full tour

This week I took a little bit of well earned time off to go and visit an exhibition in London’s East End.

It was a display of costumes made by Angels Costumiers, the world’s largest single costume maker and supplier to film and tv in the UK, as well as around the globe.

Through the years, and a series of take-overs, they have amassed an archive of costume from some truly great films, so I knew this exhibition would be worth the trip.

It goes without saying there is a bit of Doctor Who on show, so I not entirely off duty!
I will do a separate posting about the Doctor Who display to do it justice, so what I have written about below excludes this, plus some stuff I am not personally interested in.
When I bought my ticket online I noticed there was also an opportunity to go with a tour guide to show you around and give some background information on the displays. I therefore booked for today’s 11am tour.

The venue was somewhat hard to find - in fact it is hidden away in an alley off Brick Lane, then down stairs into a basement of what was once a brewery.

I guessed it would be a bit tricky to locate, so I did allow some extra time for my journey, which actually meant I had time before the official tour to have a nose round on my own to see what was on show.

As we moved past the early days of costme for Victorian music halls, we came to a display of 1930s usherette costumes.

These were made by Angels for the cinemas sprouting up across the UK at the time, making visiting them a more eventful and special experience.

Moving on we came to the early days of film, with the cape, hat and scarf from The Lodger, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest silent movies.

Film adaptations of Dicken’s Novels on show included A Tale Of Two Cities, Oliver! and Great Expectations.

I was amused to see the trousers of the Artful Dodger were made from pillow ticket, in just the same way The Sixth Doctor’s were.

We then came to the first of my childhood influences - The Red Shoes.

It was stunning to see the actual shoes and ballet dress on show. I had never seen them before.

Next to The Red Shoes was another Powell and Pressburger classic, A Matter Of Life And Death. This time the RAF uniform worn by David Niven for the film.

Moving to the 1950s, we then saw costumes from the classic St Trinian’s films, always a favourite of mine.

Alongside this was a display of various armed forces uniforms from the likes of Band Of Brothers etc.

Not far away was a composited Sherlock Holmes costume, made up in part of an Inverness cape worn by Peter Cushing in the Hammer Hound Of The Baskervilles, as well as a suit underneath from the 1968 BBC version.

This was next to a glass cabinet containing Peter Sellers’ tweed hat and moustache from his Pink Panther films of the 1960s and 70s.

I was then stopped in my tracks to see costumes from The Boyfriend - a Ken Russell film of the early 1970s which inspired much of my love the how film is made.

These costumes were worn by lead stars Twiggy and Christopher Gable (of Caves Of Androzani Fame).

Next was Heath Ledger’s last costume as he worn in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus.

Followed by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford from the biopic Mommie Dearest.

Sitting in a chair opposite was Ernst Stavro Blofeld as depicted in You Only Live Twice, complete with white cat.

That particular bond film was screenplay by Roald Dahl, as was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, another Broccoli adaptation of a Ian Fleming novel.

On display here was the Childcatcher, as played by Robert Helpmann, and Truly Scrumptious, as played by Sally Ann Howes.
the Childcatcher scared the life out of me, as I’m sure it did many who saw it.

Moving on, I came to something else that scared the life out of me as a child - Dracula, as played by Christopher Lee in the many Hammer films he did in the 1960s and early 70s.

This, like many of the other displays, is quite wittily done. The blank faceless mannequins are dotted with occasional make-up references, and this one has the fang marks and blood from the maiden’s neck!

Separated off into a small room was a display of various BBC comedy programmes from the 1970s and 80s.  Here was Manwearing from Dad’s Army (also the upcoming film version); Margot Ledbetter from The Good Life; as well as the Batman and Robin fancy dress outfits from Only Fools And Horses.

Also here was Glenda Jackson’s Cleopatra outfit from her appearance on the iconic Morecambe & Wise Christmas special.

Bringing things more up to date were costumes from The Lady In The Van, and A Theory Of Everything.

These are good examples of modern period pieces, and how costumes are often newly made, but broken down to age them prior to filming.

As part of the modern period display there was also robes worn by Helen Mirren as The Queen; as well as Margret Thatcher as played by Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.

Moving into the world of pop music, there was a flamboyant head-dress worn by Annie Lennox for her Diva solo album. This I found out had originally been made for the Roger Moore Octopussy Bond film.

Another 80s favourite of mine, Adam Ant, was represented by his ornate military tunic. This had been made for The Charge Of The Light Brigade.

Also here was a set of Sargent Pepper tunics, but these came from the opening ceremony.

On show were costumes from a variety of Oscar winning films. These included Peter O’Toole as Lawrence Of Arabia; Russell Crowe’s leather uniform from Gladiator.

Also here was Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones outfit and Alec Guinness as Ben Kenobi from Star Wars, and a montage from Titanic.

All in all it is quite a good exhibition, covering many popular films and tv shows. There was space for more stuff, so it was disappointing it hadn’t been filled as well as it could have been. That said every piece was worth seeing and with the photo displays alongside you could clearly see everything was original and screen worn.