We all have our opinions on the ill- fated 1996 TV Movie Doctor Who: ‘Sylvester McCoy deserved better!’ ‘The plot was a hackneyed cut and paste job of sci-fi clichés, Doctor Who mythology and tedious Y2K gubbins.’ ‘ERIC ROBERTS!’
What can’t be denied is that a lot of good came from it too – the Big Finish Eighth Doctor audio adventures, the renewed interest in Doctor Who as a viable product (9 million of us sat and watched it on BBC 1) and, of course, the TARDIS interior.
Like bow ties on a 900 odd year-old resident of Gallifrey – it shouldn’t work.
The iconographic melding of H.G. Wells and steampunk was so on the nose the Doctor might as well have been travelling around in an old grandfather clock (judging by how many other clock references there are in the movie, it was probably considered at some point) but somehow its clever design work and fusty arcane look sold the flawed concept.
That interior is one of my favourite TARDIS designs.
And now, its currently being fawned over by life long Doctor Who fan, writer and producer Paul J. Salamoff who was practically given it through a friend of a friend.
While talking about the time he spent chatting with legendary director Steven Spielberg (who was once involved with what became the 1996 TV Movie) while producing a video for the The Adventures of Tintin video game Salamoff – speaking to Science Fiction Zone – said:
“I produced a movie called Cemetery Gates and the boyfriend of the make-up artist’ on the movie owned the prop company that had the TARDIS console. He was looking to get rid of it and so he sold it to me for next to nothing.”
I actually hate him… not only does he own that console which cost him next to nothing but the movie has nothing to do with The Smiths either!
To make matters worse/geekier Salamoff lives down the street from Daphne Ashbook, who played Grace in the 1996 Movie:
“I told her, ‘Any time you want to come down and relive the memories you are more than welcome to’.”
My inner eleven year-old is currently doing the mental equivalent of tugging at my sleeve while pointing towards a shop window demanding to have it and the incumbent lifestyle such set design promises… Alas…
For more on Salamoff’s career, his life long love of Doctor Who and his work on an upcoming bio-comic based on Doctor Who head over to Science Fiction Zone.