Tuesday 10 June 2014

Denys Fisher Tom Baker action figure -
The Vectis auctions

I’m often brining you the latest lots for sale on eBay or at Bonhams auction house, a mix of costumes, props and behind the scenes memorabilia.

But I recently came across a specialist seller of collectible toys, and Doctor Who regularly crops up.

What caught my eye was the iconic Denys Fisher Tom Baker action figure - which I remember owning myself at the time. The reason I’m interested is that a number of the dolls have been sold down the years, dating back to 1999, well before the return of Doctor Who in 2005.
Some are boxed; some are grouped with other items; some have times missing, such as scarf, hat or sonic.

18th Feb 2014 - Lot 1421
TV & Film Related Sale
Harbert Doctor Who figure, depicting Tom Baker complete with scarf, although is missing hat, otherwise Excellent within Good original box.
Price realised: £40
26th Oct 2011 - Lot 5128
The Coventry Star Wars Collection Sale
Doctor Who collection of Toys and Ephemera including: Denys Fisher/Mego Doctor Who Poseable figure; Dapol K9; Dapol white and gold Dalek; Cyberman figure; plus a quantity of books, games and annuals on the Doctor Who theme, conditions are mainly Fair to Good Plus throughout. (qty)
Price realised: £35

7th Dec 2010 - Lot 1401
Specialist Diecast Sale
Denys Fisher Doctor Who figure, 1976 issue, Tom Baker figure, dressed in original clothing complete with scarf and hat which is still factory sealed within original plastic, figure is retained upon inner packaging and is Mint complete with mailing leaflet within Excellent box.
Price realised: £60

Bonhams auction - 25th June 2014

It’s that time of the year again and another Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia auction is looming.

There are a number of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures items on offer.

Most of the Doctor Who items are left over the from the previous sale in December last year, now with considerably reduced estimates and reserves.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the solitary Fourth Doctor era item was from the massive Doctor Who costume sale in February 2010, but this is actually a different costume. The previous robes, (Lot 161 in the previous sale) had a label inscribed Withryk, FUT 462.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:

Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Lot 101
DOCTOR WHO: THE DEADLY ASSASSIN, 1976, A TIME LORD ROBE, of russett-coloured velvet-effect fabric, brown lining, pleated sleeves and front, labels inscribed in ballpoint Moran and FUT 463.

This is very similar in style and labelling to several robes sold in these rooms, 24th February 2010, 'Doctor Who: The Auction, Costumes and Props from the BBC Archive'.

Estimate £2,000 - 2,500
Sold for £2,250

Monday 2 June 2014

DWAS Myth Makers convention -
the Fourth Doctor connection

This weekend I had a great day out today at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.

The studios are part of the history and folklore of Doctor Who, having been where The Daleks invaded Earth in 1964, and a couple of years later where William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton.

In fact the iconic scene of Dalek emerging from the Thames was filmed only yards from the studios, by Hammersmith Bridge!

Sadly the studios, currently used for Weekend Kitchen, are due to be demolished later this year, leaving only a fraction of the site still standing.

The event was organised by DWAS - The Doctor Who Appreciation Society - and was a lot more low key compared to a majority of the glossy events that are staged these days.

Don’t get me wrong - I PREFERRED this to the glossy events as it was a lot more intimate, you you got see every part of the days events and damn it, they kept to their published timetable.

The spin on the day was the production side and how the behind the scenes events shaped what we saw on screen, with a heavy bias towards the classic rather than new series.

We kicked off with a one-on-one interview with Philip Hinchcliffe, who produced the first three years of Tom Baker’s era.

Philip’s interview was very insightful and interesting, as he had taken over from Barry Letts to launch the Tom Baker era. Much of his first season had already been planned out for him, with the inclusion of crowd pleasing foes such as Sontarans, Cybermen and of course the Daleks.

It wasn’t until his second season was Philip able to set his own agenda and create some of the most memorable adventures of the Fourth Doctor’s early era.
He made a conscious effort NOT to plunder the back catalogue and use all new adversaries, to the extent that a planned return of The Master in what became The Talons Of Weng Chiang was vetoed.

At the end of the interview, DWAS presented Philip with a well deserved award for his contribution to the development of Doctor Who.

Next we had a double act in the form of Derrick Sherwin and Terrance Dicks, who had been consecutive script editors spanning the latter days of Patrick Troughton and the whole of the Jon Pertwee eras. Terrance also wrote for the Tom baker era too.

They were like two grumpy old men, contradicting each other on their stories and putting down each other’s involvement. It was all done in good spirt made for an entertaining talk.

What emerged the strongest was the creation of UNIT and how it was a long-term plan to help trim the budget.

Intended to appear first in The Invasion, UNIT were retrospectively added to The Web Of Fear. Their invention was specifically intended to act as a foil for The Doctor and to reduce his lines and scenes to make it less of a burden for the lead actor.

Like Philip, Terrance and Derrick were presented with awards for their contribution to the production of Doctor Who.

We then had a break to get the first of the autographs and photo opportunities.

I took along a River Song diary I now use for autographs, and found that there was 'no limit' on the number of items you could get signed, so long as it was within reason.

So I got Philip as well as visual effects expert Mike Tucker, composer Dominic Glynn, and script editor Andrew Cartmel.

I also grabbed a quick - and it was quick - photo op with firstly Graeme Harper, then with Terrance and Derrick together.

There was minimal queuing; the photo was printed in the time it took to pay for it; and they had emailed the digital copy I asked for within minutes (and it was the photo of me, not someone else!). The photo was frankly better quality than at many glossy events, including the official 50th celebration.

It was then back into the viewing theatre for the next one-on-one interview, with director Graeme Harper.

Graeme gave an absorbing interview about his time not only on the classic series, directing Peter Davision in Caves Of Androzani and Colin Baker in Revelation Of The Daleks, but also working on the new series where is helmed the return of the Cybermen in series two.

Since Graeme was only involved with the Fifth and Sixth Doctor eras, you can read more about his interview here:
The Sixth Doctor Connection
MIKE TUCKER interview
Next up was special effects guru Mike Tucker, who is one of a select few who has worked on both the classic and new series.

Since Mike was principally involved with the Seventh Doctor era, you can read more about his interview here:
The Seventh Doctor Connection

Then it was time for another break, during which I got Terrance’s autograph on my photo with him; as well as Graeme's on his photo with me and in my River Song diary.

I also had the chance to get a new photo with Colin Baker, who admired my Matt Smith costume.

Colin seems to know me pretty well now, as he pipped up, “Here comes the tailor!” when I stepped up for the shot.

Back in the viewing theatre we were treated to a double act of Dominic Glynn and Andrew Cartmel who sparked well off each other.

Both had been relatively young when they worked on Doctor Who, and they had similar stories of unsolicited approaches to JNT to get their jobs.

Dominic and Andrew were not involved with Doctor Who until the 1980s, so you can read their interview here:
The Seventh Doctor Connection
The final interview of the day was with Colin Baker, who was on good form.

COLIN BAKER interview
He talked at length about his pre and post Doctor Who fame and looked back on his time with sometimes mixed emotions.

You can read about Colin’s interview here:
The Sixth Doctor Connection

With the main programme over, it just remained to get Nicholas Briggs to scribble in my River Song diary and for Colin to sign the photo I had with him, as well as two shots from meeting him in LA earlier this year at Gallifrey One.

This was the first DWAS event I have actually been to, and I must say it was very well planned and executed.