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Published on September 11th, 2011 | by Scott Varnham

Killing The Doctor Before It Was Cool

Before River was brainwashed into killing the Doctor, there was Turlough. If you’re tired of this year’s Doctor-killing arc, or “The River Song Show” as some of the guys here on Kasterborous have dubbed it, you might be interested to read this lengthy interview with Mark “Turlough” Strickson.

It covers a great deal of ground about the years since he left Doctor Who and his move into television production, as well as the typical producer cagey-ness about his new project. Amusingly, he starts off the interview (conducted over Skype, a sign of the times if ever there was one) by saying that his mother prefers the RTD-era onwards to her own son’s work in the show.

Now, I can’t claim to be a big fan of his work, since I have seen exactly one serial with him in his companion role (Resurrection Of The Daleks) but it still makes for interesting reading. I didn’t even know that he’d gone into television production before I read this but was absolutely astounded to discover that he made the career of the late Steve Irwin by producing the show that shot him to stardom. (Incidentally, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from me if you see me at a Who convention, as I love trivia like this and will keep on using it.)

It is also interesting if you’re interested in his work for Big Finish and want to know more about what went on behind the scenes of his era of Doctor Who. For example:

The BBC rehearsal rooms, at the time, were on a traffic island in North Acton in the West of London .You couldn’t walk to a shop. There was nothing there.

He also notes the rather obvious problem of having too many characters and too little for them to do, while his main role was to attempt to kill the Doctor:

The problem with that is that within a 25 minute program and you’ve got the Doctor and a female assistant and a baddie and another character like Turlough you really haven’t got time for it.

The interview is, as I mentioned in the link, rather lengthy but is all in all good reading, so I recommend checking it out!


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About the Author


In his spare time, Scott writes for Kasterborous, his personal blog at WordPress and the revived Starburst Magazine. He’s also on Twitter (as @Scott_V_Writer) where he tries to be interesting and verbose in 140 characters.

3 Responses to Killing The Doctor Before It Was Cool

  1. avatar Krumstets says:

    I liked Turlough in the show, it certainly added a new dimension to the companion role.
    I hope that if any past characters come back in the future that Turlough is revisited, he could become friends with River Song maybe…

  2. avatar Charlie says:

    The BBC rehearsal rooms were situated in an office block that was located in the middle of a rather complicated road junction in Acton, more or less a roundabout (a.k.a. a traffic island). There isn’t much there even now apart from some light industry and warehouses and a practice area for rock bands, which is how I know it. So hopefully you now know what he means by that.

    • avatar Scott says:

      Cheers Charlie. That cleared it up! I thought he was speaking in the sense that the rooms didn’t actually exist and that was the only space they could find.

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