Included in the player above is a segment from Episode 5 of the BBC Radio 2 series, Michael Grade: On the Box. Grade was Controller of BBC One from 1984 to ’86 and was the man who “cancelled” Doctor Who back in the Colin Baker era. Featured are exclusive interviews with the people who helped bring it back in 2005: Russell T Davies, Jane Tranter, Lorraine Heggessey, Mal Young and the man who runs it today, Steven Moffat.

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Cameron K. McEwan
Cameron K McEwan was the first owner and site editor of Blogtor Who since its creation in May 2008 until Dec 2015. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Cameron has also written two books, The Who’s Who of Doctor Who and Doctor Who: The Big Book of Lists, and directed a film all about Doctor Who fans throughout the years, Who’s Changing - An Adventure In Time With Fans. Cameron also contributes TV and film news and reviews to BBC Radio London, Metro, Digital Spy, New York Observer and Den of Geek. He lives in London with his one trousers.


  1. He canceled it during its best era ever. Colin was the best classic doctor, and the only reason more people don't agree is his time was cut short by this idiot

  2. I still find Grade and Powell's attitude to the Doctor Who of the 80s staggering. In 1985 they were still allowing a tent-pole show, a sci-fi show to be shot theatrically, multi-camera nearly a decade after Star Wars. What Who needed was money so it could be shot single camera and filmically so the shots could be intricate and lit properly. But there was no kudos to be had in investing in an old show like Doctor Who in 1985 so they let it carry on in basically the same shooting paradigm as since 1963. The old Who production team were forced to use a system of making the show that by the 80s was inimical to its success. But did Powell or Grade grasp that? No. The sort of shots and effects that today are simple and can be done on anyone's computer were impossible in the 80s.

  3. I'm afraid as painful as it may have seemed at the time, Who did die a little bit after episode four of Androzani, then it was a progressively slow death afterwards.

    Bad creative choices made and average to poor stories. As Moff put it 'charmless'. It certainly was. A shame but true. So, I don't begrudge what he did, not really.

    There was one thing worse than the cancellation, that was enduring Ian Levine's frankly scary rant and rally call at that same years DWAS social in Hammersmith!

  4. The main problem with Michael Grade is that given he is from a showbiz family, he's never actually been that good at controlling, managing and producing TV companies or channels. A TV exec should leave their bias and prejudices outside their offices and not be involved in the sort of things that Grade was back in 1985 (plus there was the Dallas incident that he was involved in too.)


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