Tardis

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This story was never produced.

Therefore, its known narrative elements are not a part of the Doctor Who universe as we, on this Wiki, choose to define it. It may have been the basis for a similar story in another medium, however — and that story may indeed be valid.

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, also sometimes titled Doctor Who and the Big Game, was a planned movie written by Tom Baker and Ian Marter.

The story was to feature the Doctor, Harry and Sarah as they faced the Devil known as "Scratchman". Other enemies which were to appear were Scarecrows which came alive, the Daleks and a small cameo of the Cybermen. The finale was to take place on a giant pinball table.

The movie was to have Vincent Price and Twiggy involved and to be written and directed by James Hill.

In 2007, an article about the production of the film was featured in DWM 379. Also included was a retelling of the story by Marcus Hearn, with accompanying illustrations by Brian Williamson. Williamson also created a mock poster for the film had it been released.

Over 44 years after its initial development, on 24 January 2019, the story was finally adapted by Baker and James Goss into a novelisation, with the audiobook read by Baker himself.

Plot[]

For plot details of the unreleased screenplay, see Doctor Who Meets Scratchman (short story).

Production[]

At the Who 1 convention in Los Angeles in 1980, Ian Marter explained that he and Tom Baker came up with the idea at the pub during cast rehearsals where they weren't needed. However, the BBC and Robert Holmes did not like or even pay much attention to the idea, so Baker suggested making a film, inspired by the Peter Cushing Dr. Who films. The pair wrote a rough screenplay with the help of director James Hill in September 1975, around the filming of The Android Invasion. The Cybermen were to make an appearance emerging from the sea, but due to uncertainty regarding the licence, the script used the "Cybors" instead. The Daleks were also to appear.

In October 1975, BBC Enterprises indicated interest in a contract for a Doctor Who film starring Baker. A contract was drawn, although producer Philip Hinchcliffe insisted that the film production team consistently made sure with him and the BBC that the film was acceptable, and it was agreed that it would remain completely based on the TV series. Filming was to begin in early 1977 in Scotland and Lanzarote (later the location for Planet of Fire). In fall of 1976, Hinchcliffe indicated he was generally happy with the current script, although the use of the Daleks was being debated with Terry Nation and the use of Cybors or Cybermen reconsidered. With little interest from the British film industry, an American studio was looked for to back it, with the inclusion of actor Vincent Price as Scratchman used as a draw.

By this point, both Harry and Sarah Jane had left the series, so replacement characters were drafted, Sarah's replacement planned to be played by the actress Twiggy. However, finding financial backing still proved difficult. In July 1977, Baker received donations for the production from fans due to a misquote, but was told to return the money. Throughout 1977 and 1978, a studio still could not be found despite talks with several, and the release of Star Wars changed the market for sci-fi films. In early 1979 the film was renamed to Doctor Who and the Big Game, but neither funding nor time to film could be found, and many individuals previously said to be involved were now uncertain. Later that year Graham Williams told an interested party that the project was postponed indefinitely, and by 1980 Marter said he hadn't heard anything of it and that it sadly "seemed to have died a bit of a death." (DWM 379)

Notes[]

  • Doctor Who Meets Scratchman was often listed by fans of Big Finish as a story which would be interesting to produce. In a recent interview, Baker noted the interest, [1][source needed] and at the Folkestone Film TV and Comic Con mentioned that the audio company was looking into adapting recently discovered scripts, but Baker expected copyright issues with the BBC and the estate of James Hill.


Footnotes[]

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