Prop maker Jason Onion made the discovery while researching the town’s links with the show – the works were found amongst a box of paperwork that once belonged to An Unearthly Child writer Anthony Coburn.
Originally, Jason didn’t realise just what he had uncovered:
I had a look and as soon as I saw the first few pages I knew it was not the episode that had been televised. I just sat there, and stared and stared. I wanted to cover them with glass. They are unbelievably precious, and I had them in my hand.
Those precious scripts include two versions of the first episode and an alternative episode two, and another three scripts as well as the Masters of Luxor stories, which were replaced by the original Dalek serial.
Contained within those pages are ideas that went on to become some of the key concepts of the show and, in some cases, reveal a few as yet uncovered secrets:
It explains the Tardis’s original name, the planet Doctor Who came from and that his granddaughter – Susan in the programmes, but Suzanne in the scripts – was a princess saved from another world.
He created the cornerstones of Doctor Who that have been expanded and built on ever since. It was all devised in Herne Bay, and he should never have been forgotten like he has.
Plans are already underway for a permanent exhibition to commemorate Mr Coburn:
It may be possible to arrange something for the 50th anniversary of the series in November. It would be fantastic to celebrate Herne Bay’s connection and give Anthony Coburn the credit he deserves.
What great news for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary!
@GazetteSam, Joe, and many others!)