Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Nearly Who (Part 2)

Though Patrick Troughton was chosen to replace William Hartnell, Michael Hordern was approached as a fall-back had Troughton turned down the role. Hordern is pictured here in the 1977 BBC production of 'A Christmas Carol'.

In 1969, the first choice to replace Patrick Troughton was Ron Moody, who had recently played Fagin in 'Oliver!'. When Moody declined the part, it was offered to Jon Pertwee. This picture comes from a 1970 play called 'Is That Your Body, Boy?' in which Moody played an oppressive sports teacher.

Fulton Mackay had appeared in the 1970 serial 'Doctor Who and the Silurians'. In 1974, he was approached to replace Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. When a comedy pilot that he had recorded with Ronnie Barker was commissioned for a full series - 'Porridge' - MacKay was no longer free for 'Doctor Who'.

Finding a replacement for Jon Pertwee in 1974 was a difficult task for producer Barry Letts. His shortlist included former 'Goon' and host of 'It's a Square World', Michael Bentine, until Bentine asked for more input into future scripts than the producer could permit.

Graham Crowden, later a familiar face from 'A Very Peculiar Practice' (1986-88) and 'Waiting for God' (1990-94) was also invited to replace Jon Pertwee, but was reluctant to take on a leading role. He made a guest appearance in 'Doctor Who' in 1979, as the villainous Soldeed in 'The Horns of Nimon'.

Pictures and text from the Beeb's Changing Face of Doctor Who, here.

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