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Published on July 15th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Andrew Cartmel @ Vworp 3

One of the guests at Sunday’s Vworp 3 Doctor Who event is former script editor Andrew Cartmel, the man who reimagined the series in the late 1980s and brought some renewed, if short-lived, kudos to the show.

Former Doctor Who script editor Andrew CartmelAs part of LassFest, the Vworp 3 event takes 7 Doctor Who personalities and asks them to present and talk about 6 things about the show. The “pubcon” event takes place on Sunday, July 18th at 9.30am at Manchester’s Lass O’Gowrie pub.

Andrew Cartmel of course was script editor from 1987-1989, for the duration of the Seventh Doctor era. As well as introducing some new back story to the Doctor, Cartmel also brought a tougher, sharper and less self indulgent attitude to episode pacing, something particularly reflected in Seasons 25 and 26. He also contributed books to the Virgin range of New Adventures.

Andrew will be appearing from 4pm, and chatting to Gareth Kavanagh, about his 6 favourite Doctor Who moments. See Vworp 3 News for the full schedule.

If you require further information and directions to the Lass O’Gowrie in central Manchester, visit – meanwhile check out to purchase a ticket for £19.50.

Don’t forget – The Lass O’Gowrie is a pub, so food and drink will be available for purchase!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

3 Responses to Andrew Cartmel @ Vworp 3

  1. avatar Paul says:

    Andrew Cartmel. The man who destroyed Doctor Who.

  2. @Paul – you cannot make statements like that without backing it up with some form of argument.

    It’s meaningless, and generates nothing but raised eyebrows. Perhaps a few reasoned examples of why you think this is the case.

    Also, remember that just because you understand something to be so, doesn’t mean that it is that way.

  3. avatar Paul says:

    Andrew Cartmel is the man who destroyed Doctor Who, and here are ten reasons why:-

    1/ The ratings during the Cartmel era were extremely poor, with “Battlefield” achieving the lowest ratings in the history of the series. Fan’s usually try and defend these ratings by saying that the show was up against Coronation Street, however, Blake’s 7 was also up against the same programme for three of its four seasons and that managed to achieve an average audience of 9.2 million viewers.

    2/ Cartmel is a big comic book fan, and at the time he became script editor on Doctor Who, “Watchmen” by Alan Moore was being hailed as a work of genius. To be fair “Watchmen” is a work of genius, but that doesn’t mean that you then take it and use it as a template for the McCoy Doctor, especially if you intend to achieve it by doing a three way cross between, Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias, because what you end up with is a crypto-Nazi psychopath, with an amoral plan and the power of a god to put it into action.

    3/ Sylvester McCoy was a fairly good choice for the character of the Doctor as envisaged for season 24, and played him as a slightly bumbling Buster Keaton type character, however, McCoy was totally miscast as the “Dark Doctor,” with his attempts to convey inner darkness by rolling his Rs as just laughable.

    4/ Having come up with the idea of the “Dark Doctor,” Cartmel instructed that various clues to this character’s nature and origins should be scattered though out the scripts for season 25, however, he then strangely decided to cut most of them out again. What was the point of that?

    5/ Cartmel does exactly the same thing for season 26, scattering clues, and then deleting them all. Why? Perhaps he thought turning the Doctor into a Nazi psychopath wasn’t a very good idea after all, then changed his mind, and then changed it back again.

    6/ Melanie Bush was not the world’s best companion, but she deserved a better send off than the one Cartmel wrote for her at the end of “Dragonfire”. Why on Earth would Bush want to leave the Doctor and his time and space machine to travel in space only with convicted criminal, and self confessed compulsive murdering, Sabalom Glitz? It makes no sense.

    7/ “Remembrance of the Daleks” and “Silver Nemesis” have the same basic plot, anyone with half an eye can see that, so why the hell did commissioning script editor Andrew Cartmel fail to see it himself?

    8/ Cartmel tells us that Classic Doctor Who was a very White and middle class programme, and that when he came along he wanted to change all of that. Fair enough. However, his take on both issues is to give us a procession of patronizing stereotypes. Ace, for example, is a troubled-working-class-sixteen-year-old-girl-from-a-one-parent-family-who-lives-on-a-housing-estate. She was expelled from school and in currently on probation following an arson attack! So what does this tell us about the working classes? They are violent criminals, who come from broken homes, apparently. As for Black people, well, in “Remembrance” we’ve got a character called John, who tells us that his grandfather was taken to Kingston in chains and sold into slavery. We have another Black guy in “The Happiness Patrol.” His name is Earl Sigma, a wandering harmonica player who likes blues music. Then, of course, we get jazz musician Courtney Pine in “Silver Nemesis,” and a black rapper called the Ringmaster in “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”. So what has this taught up about black people? Well, they like jazz, they like blues music, they like rapping and they were once slaves!!!

    9/ Recently Andrew Cartmel was totally humiliated on “Newsnight” when he tried to argue that Helen A from the “Happiness Patrol” represented a searing indictment of Thatcherite social policies.

    10/ At the end of the Cartmel era the show was canceled and did not return for seventeen years.

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