Daily Archives: October 30, 2013

It’s About Time, It’s About Space

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ImageSo pervasive was the force of American television popular culture on this child of the 1960s that every time I type An Adventure in Space and Time, the forthcoming docudrama on the genesis of Doctor Who,  I have to make a correction that the spell checker never picks up. What error could this be, I hear you ask? Well, for the last 40 odd years a catchy little theme song has been running through my head that goes something like this “It’s about time, it’s about space, about two men in the strangest place …”

Yes, the Sherwood Schwartz created one season science fiction comedy series, It’s About Time, will forever make me type An Adventure in Time and Space. This 1966-1967 CBS show was in production at the same time as Schwartz’s more famous offering, Gilligan’s Island. It’s About Time chronicled the adventures of two astronauts that travelled faster than the speed of light and somehow found their way back to the prehistoric times. Their interactions with the locals were the constant cause of merriment.

The stars of It's About Time Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney

The stars of It’s About Time Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney

Having watched the short YouTube clip memories of my Australian childhood came flooding back as I recalled the days when we had only three TV stations.  It wouldn’t have mattered that It’s About Time was filmed in wonderful “Technicolor”, because we still only had black and white TV. Colour transmission didn’t begin in Australia until 1 March 1975. Name an American children’s themed TV show of the Sixties and you can be sure that it was played ad nauseam on one of Australia’s networks.

The clan of cavemen, in wonderful Technicolor, from It's About Time

The clan of cavemen, in wonderful Technicolor, from It’s About Time

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between episodes two, three and four of An Unearthly Child and It’s About Time. The Cave of Skulls, The Forest of Fear and The Firemaker saw the Doctor and his companions, Ian, Barbara and Susan, caught in pre-historic times and at the mercy of likes of Za, Kal, Hur and Horg. As Season One of Doctor Who was never aired in the US the likelihood of Sherwood Schwartz having seen, let alone heard, about Doctor Who is negligible. Stranger things have happened, though!

The Doctor is at the mercy of cavemen in An Unearthly Child

A monochrome Doctor is at the mercy of cavemen in An Unearthly Child

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

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An Adventure in Space and Time Retro Posters and Interviews Released

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The anticipation for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary docudrama, An Adventure in Space and Time, is growing daily as the BBC drip-feeds publicity stills, posters and interviews for the forthcoming drama. The 90 minute special, which was penned by Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, will air on ABC1 in Australia on Sunday 24 November 2013 at 8.45 p.m.

The Radio Times published two retro inspired posters yesterday for what Mark Gatiss has described as his “love-letter to Doctor Who”. The BBC Media Centre has also released a Media Pack for An Adventure in Space and Time which includes an interview with Mark Gatiss, together with press releases and short interviews with the show’s stars – David Bradley (William Hartnell), Jessica Raine (Verity Lambert), Brian Cox (Sydney Newman) and Sacha Dhawan (Waris Hussein).  

An Adventure in Time and Space Retro Poster First Doctor

Vivien Fleming