Want to learn even more about Doctor Who? Then join the only evening class in Britain that is dedicated to the long-running sci-fi series, as it regenerates this spring.
Join historian and writer Michael Herbert, who has followed the show from 23rd November 1963 for an 11-week course starting on Monday 11 April 2016, at Aquinas College, Stockport.
This course will look at the creation of Doctor Who by BBC’s head of drama, Sydney Newman, and producer Verity Lambert, in 1963. Continuing through five decades, including the Twelve Doctors from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi; the many companions from Susan to Clara; and the role of producers and script editors in the programme such as Verity Lambert, Terrance Dicks, Barry Letts, John Nathan Turner, Andrew Cartmel, Russell Davies and Steven Moffat. Before looking at why Doctor Who was taken off the air in 1989 and how, against all the odds, it returned in 2005 to critical acclaim and is now watched by millions, both in Britain and abroad.
Each week the course will view a number of classic episodes from each Doctor’s era.
The course first ran in 2015 and Michael has talked of his delight at its return saying, “I am delighted to be presenting this course again at Aquinas College. I am hoping that viewers who have become fans of the programme since 2015 will come along and find more about the history of the programme. I also hope that viewers of my generation would like to revisit their memories of Doctor Who.“
In 2015 Michael was interviewed about the course by local TV station Quays News…
Those involved in Doctor Who have also got behind the course…..
Frazer Hines, who played Jamie in Doctor who in the 1960s, sent a message to the course last year. “I wish all the course members the best of luck and I hope you all have as much fun as I did working with the lovely Patrick Troughton. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t think about him as my den is full of photos of the two of us. Of course, if I was invited I would love to reprise my role as Jamie (somewhat older, though! Ha Ha) and if Patrick was still with us, the fun we would have in the current brand new, special Tardis! One only as to watch the DVD’s of our shows to notice the fun, love and camaraderie that the two of us shared with our female companions as well!”
Michael Troughton, whose father Patrick played the Doctor in the 1960s, and has himself appeared on the show, also sent a message. “I know my dad would be very honoured, if not a little amazed, to be included in such a course. After all, he did say right at the beginning of rehearsals for ‘The Power of the Daleks’ – ‘without Bill, it will probably only last 6 weeks.’ How wrong he was! It still survives today, stronger and just as popular as ever. In fact, I was so pleased to be able to fulfil a childhood dream and appear in the Christmas Special last year. What an emotional experience that was. It took me back to those heady days of studio visits to ‘The Web of Fear’ set and seeing Yeti and Daleks – I was just 12 years old then. I think if it hadn’t been for the wonderful new character he was able to create for the Doctor, so different and above all believable, we would never have enjoyed the incredibly talented Doctors who followed. We have a lot to thank him for. Good luck with the course and hears to another fifty years of exploring time and space.”
While eighth Doctor Paul McGann jokingly accused Michael on Twitter, of nicking the title of his memoirs following the release of Michael’s pamphlet “Doctor Who and the Communist”, from Five Leaves Press in early 2015.
Michael Herbert specialises in the history of Manchester’s radical and feminist movements. His latest book is “Up Then Brave Women”: Manchester’s Radical Women 1819-1918. He also teaches classes on the history of radical women at Aquinas College.