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Serial Q:
The Space Museum

Plot

When the TARDIS jumps a time track while landing on Xeros, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki are thrust, phantomlike, into their own near future. They discover that they are destined to become exhibits in an unscrupulous museum run by the warlike Moroks who rule the planet. Teaming with the native Xerons, the companions try to overthrow the dictators and avert their horrible destiny.

Production

During October 1964, while he was preparing to leave Doctor Who, story editor David Whitaker contacted South African writer/actor Glyn Jones, whom he had met at a dinner party, with a view to Jones penning an adventure for the programme. By the time Whitaker was replaced by Dennis Spooner, Jones had been commissioned to write The Space Museum.

One of the requirements of the adventure (designated Serial Q) was that the Doctor should be absent from the third episode; this would enable William Hartnell to take a week off. Jones was later dismayed by Spooner's editing of his scripts, which excised much of the humourous content. Spooner felt that such material was inappropriate in what he envisioned as a high-concept science-fiction story. This would be Jones' only contribution to Doctor Who as a writer, a second submission in 1970 being rejected by then-script editor Terrance Dicks. However, Jones would go on to play Krans in 1975's The Sontaran Experiment. He died on April 2nd, 2014.

The director assigned to The Space Museum was Mervyn Pinfield, who a few months earlier had concluded his appointment as 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. 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 were very expensive serials. Part of Pinfield's cost-saving efforts was a minimal filming schedule at the Ealing Television Film Studios. This encompassed just a single day, on March 11th, 1965 and chiefly dealt with model shots.

As The Space Museum was being prepared for recording in April, a sea change was taking place in the Doctor Who production office. Lambert had already declared her intent to leave the show at the conclusion of the second recording block. Around the start of April, 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, on programmes such as Compact as well as a variety of thriller serials for the fledgling BBC2. Wiles' promotion to producer had come in place of his original request to take the BBC's internal directors' course.

At around the same time, Spooner determined that he would not return to Doctor Who 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 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. Ironically, Tosh had also recently concluded a stint as story editor on Compact. With the changeover in production team, Jacqueline Hill decided that she would depart Doctor Who in The Chase along with William Russell, who had voiced the same intent some weeks earlier.

Production on The Space Museum was originally planned to begin on April 9th, skipping April 2nd, which was Good Friday. In the event, however, part one did in fact go before the cameras on the 2nd; the subsequent installments would follow on consecutive Fridays. Unusually, The Space Museum was recorded in Television Centre 4 rather than Doctor Who's usual studio home of Riverside 1. On April 16th, Hartnell was absent from the recording of The Search. Amongst the limited guest cast for The Space Museum was Peter Craze, playing Dako; Craze's brother, Michael, would later be cast as companion Ben Jackson.

Sources
  • Doctor Who: The Handbook: The First Doctor by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1994), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 0 426 20430 1.
  • Doctor Who: The Sixties by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1992), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 1 85227 420 4.
  • Doctor Who Magazine #316, 1st May 2002, “Archive: The Space Museum” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #7, 12th May 2004, “I'm Into Something Good” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
1: The Space Museum
Date 24th Apr 1965
Time 5.41pm
Duration 23'38"
Viewers (more) 10.5m (16th)
· BBC1 10.5m
Appreciation 61%
2: The Dimensions Of Time
Date 1st May 1965
Time 5.55pm
Duration 22'00"
Viewers (more) 9.3m (23rd)
· BBC1 9.3m
Appreciation 53%
3: The Search
Date 8th May 1965
Time 6.00pm
Duration 23'33"
Viewers (more) 8.5m (22nd)
· BBC1 8.5m
Appreciation 56%
4: The Final Phase
Date 15th May 1965
Time 5.43pm
Duration 22'15"
Viewers (more) 8.5m (27th)
· BBC1 8.5m
Appreciation 49%


Cast
Dr Who
William Hartnell
Ian Chesterton
William Russell
Barbara Wright
Jacqueline Hill
(more)
Vicki
Maureen O'Brien
Sita
Peter Sanders
Dako
Peter Craze
Third Xeron
Bill Starkey
Xerons
Michael Gordon
Edward Granville
David Wolliscroft
Morok Guards
Lawrence Dean
Ken Norris
Billy Cornelius
Lobos
Richard Shaw
Tor
Jeremy Bulloch
Morok Messenger
Salvin Stewart
Morok Technician
Peter Diamond
Morok Commander
Ivor Salter
Dalek Voice
Peter Hawkins
Dalek Machine operated by
Murphy Grumbar


Crew
Written by
Glyn Jones
Directed by
Mervyn Pinfield
Produced by
Verity Lambert
(more)

Story Editor
Dennis Spooner
Fight Arranger
Peter Diamond
Title music by
Ron Grainer
with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Lighting
Howard King
Sound
Ray Angel
Costumes supervised by
Daphne Dare
Make-up supervised by
Sonia Markham
Designer
Spencer Chapman


Working Titles
Episode 1
The Four Dimensions Of Time
Episode 4
Zone Seven


Media
DVD Release
Doctor Who: The Space Museum / The Chase (2010)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Audio Release
Doctor Who: The Space Museum narrated by Maureen O'Brien (2009)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Doctor Who: The TV Episodes Collection Six narrated by Maureen O'Brien (2013)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Novelisation
Doctor Who: The Space Museum by Glyn Jones (1987)

Updated 4th April 2014