Scholars of the Doctor Who television series will recall, if for no other reason than through my own enlightening articles on the era, that series 340-343 of the program were its most controversial. Regular readers of this series will also remember that season 343 saw a marked change in the series’ format, with the Doctor leaving the confines of the TARDIS and living in a Seattle apartment which he shared with a Dalek named Martin (and his raggedy old chair), a naughty Cybermat named Eddie, and Millicent, who became his housekeeper.
Despite the change in setting, the series retained a certain SF air to it, albeit with light entertainment Producer Geoff Cambridge-Smythe’s own unique bent. The series now had a laughter track, and plots would centre around the Doctor’s dating exploits with alien lifeforms, and Millicent’s dallying with the Master, who had become obsessed with her beauty and who would hang around the apartment for no apparent reason, even if the Doctor was out.
With most episodes from the era now wiped since the infamous and highly destructive “Fandom Wars” of 2340 which followed lead actor Derek Deadman’s assassination, many records from that period are sadly (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) lost. Luckily, some on-set stills remain, and we have here an exclusive shot from a season 343 episode entitled “Sleepwalking in Seattle” which saw the Dalek, Martin, revert to type and begin randomly exterminating visitors to the Doctor’s apartment, with amusing results!
Many people have of course criticised the blatant copying of the format of the TV sitcom Frasier (1993-2004 and revived between 2142-2185), but BBC Producers ploughed on with production of the series, regardless of all litigation thrown at them, on the basis that they had by now been sued by just about everybody in the world for just about every reason known to man, and had THE most experienced and fearless Lawyers on the planet.
This is the Frasier-style set used in Season 343 of the long-running TV series, which aired in 2339. It featured the panoramic window leading onto a balcony, the eclectic styling of the original show and even the crusty-old chair owned by Martin, the Dalek.
This is the Frasier-style Doctor Who logo used in Season 343 of the long-running TV series, which aired in 2339. Featuring the Seattle skyline, with the TARDIS taking the place of the Space Needle.
Oh, and this will teach me to write a one-line throwaway gag that kind of paints me into a corner and that I just HAVE to see through to conclusion!