Published on February 15th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Do You Remember The Other Eighth Doctor?

After Doctor Who left television screens in 1989, it seemed that everyone was interested in bringing the show back to TV – except the BBC.

Among the stories circulating in the press, Doctor Who Magazine reported in 1991 on claims that an independent production company had made pilots for a new series, starring an actor called David Burton as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor.

But how true was this? And where is Burton now?

The clip above – featuring contributions from current and former DWM editors Tom Spilsbury and Gary Russell and David Burton himself – is taken from Dr Forever! Lost in the Dark Dimension, an excellent extra which can be seen in full on Doctor Who: Inferno Special Edition.

If you don’t own a copy of Inferno: Special Edition, head to the website of fanzine/research vessel Nothing at the End Of the Lane to learn more about David Burton’s claims…

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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+.




11 Responses to Do You Remember The Other Eighth Doctor?

  1. TimeChaser says:

    The TARDIS as a red telephone booth… Yeah, I think that would have caused a lot of fan rage.

    Too bad the material they did do has (most likely) been destroyed. It probably would give anyone watching it a laughing/conniption fit, but it would be fascinating to see, since other things like The Dark Dimension and Doctor Who Meets Scratchman never even made it past concept.

  2. STLShawn says:

    I am a bit confused about the timing and whatnot, 1991 seems too fresh.

    I’ve got a feeling that we may never know who the creator was, but for some reason i find this story plausible partially because i know people who worked on a couple “quiet” pilots based on old TV shows, comics, and stories before getting the author’s permission or lining up any investors. Most of these never saw the light of day in that format, but i am sure it was a lot of fun. This was long before YouTube when making an indie pilot meant “someone with money getting a very few people and some expensive equipment together”. They would rent a warehouse in downtown Saint Louis, have some people clap together some bad sets with cheap lighting, and whammo, instant rough pilot.

    The one i remember in particular was an actor friend of mine was in a two episode attempted reboot of “Greatest American Hero” with more comedy. They filmed two episodes all around St. Louis, but never got anyone interested enough to sell the idea i suppose. His story was similar in “I did the pilots over the course of a few days, then everyone disappeared. Never heard anything after that”.

    Now that i really think of it,,, these seem like “rich guy fan films” for the pre-internet age. Not that i have anything against fan films (LOVE some of them, despise others, but always a fun journey).

  3. IGettings says:

    I think it is always best to have a healthy scepticism about these sorts of things. The scripts were all destroyed, as were all the films, even though they apparently worked for a while on a number of episodes. That was the gist of the interview on the DVD. Hmmmmm. Who else was n=involved in the production, who can ratify all this?

    • Mark Lenton says:

      Yeah… no one it seems… even his CV doesn’t stack up if I remember and the Director was busy doing something else when he’s supposed to have done this. It’s bogus….

      …and old news again Kasterborous… is it slow news month?


      • …and old news again Kasterborous… is it slow news month?

        So we only discuss what you consider “news” now, Mark Lenton? I must have missed that memo. I thought the idea was to publish interesting things, and provide our readers with valuable information that they can go off and read more about.

        Clearly I’m wrong.

        So, you’re the editor. Should we cancel our classic series reviews? No more reprints of long lost fanzine interviews?

        Do let us know what we can and cannot run. Make it quick, though, your opinion might be out of date by the time the email arrives.


        • Hmmm, 2600+ views of this post in under a day.

          “old news”

          • Mark Lenton says:

            Ouch, sorry… hit a nerve.

            No feel free to discuss what you like… I was under the impression though that this area was for news (wrongly it seems so fair enough) and the above story doesn’t seem to be anything new.

            Sorry if I’ve hit a nerve here… yes lets all discuss an old DVD extra by all means… and in good houmour hopefully…


          • Not really a nerve, more of a “you’re wrong”. A ridiculous number of people have viewed this post since it went up, mostly from Facebook. To say that it is “old news” is odd – it was old news in September, given that it’s about something that happened in 1991.

            If something is new to someone, it is automatically “news”. Luckily as a Mark Lenton, man about town (or whatever it is you do) you don’t have to worry about finding interesting spins on things that might be considered drab, or attempting to educate post 2005 fans on the pleasures of classic Doctor Who and the pain of the hiatus. I do, however :)

            If I seemed brusque earlier, that’s just my manner coming across very poorly in written form.

  4. Stephen Oakes says:

    I think it’s interesting!

  5. Stephen Oakes says:

    By the way, this probably isn’t the place to mention it, but the graphic novel of The Daleks’ Master-Plan is awesome. Please do some more. Yeah! And sorry to spam too.


    • Thanks Stephen, delighted you’ve enjoyed it :)

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