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Vincent van Gogh visits a gallery of his paintings in the present day

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 09, 2016

In an episode of Doctor Who from 2010, the Doctor and his companion Amy take Vincent van Gogh, who was not a commercially successful artist in his own lifetime, to the Musée d’Orsay to see an entire room filled with his paintings. The resulting scene is unexpectedly touching.

We Work Remotely

Official BBC instructions for knitting Doctor Who’s scarf

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 15, 2015

Dr Who Scarf Instructions

Apparently if you wrote the BBC asking how to make Tom Baker’s Doctor Who scarf, they would send you the knitting instructions on BBC letterhead. According to the Whovians in that forum, the Fourth Doctor wore this particular scarf in a pair of episodes early in season 12. (via laughing squid)

Update: And here’s the Fourth Doctor’s scarf in HTML/CSS/JS by @kosamari.

Dalek relaxation video

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 13, 2015

It’s been a hectic week and now that it’s Friday, let’s all chill with this relaxation video narrated by a Dalek.

Exhale. EXHALE! EX!!!-HALE!!! Ps. Make your voice sound like a Dalek. (via digg)

If Doctor Who were American…

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 15, 2014

Back in February, Smug Mode chose American counterparts for all of Doctor Who’s past incarnations. We’re talking Dick Van Dyke as the 2nd Doctor, Gene Wilder for the 4th Doctor, and Donald Glover as the 11th Doctor. Here’s a nicely done faux 50th anniversary video celebrating those Doctors:

(via @moth)

Long-lost episodes of Doctor Who found

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 11, 2013

Nine Doctor Who episodes from the 60s featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor have been discovered at a TV station in Nigeria.

The BBC destroyed many of the sci-fi drama’s original transmission tapes in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, many episodes were transferred on to film for sale to foreign broadcasters. It is often these prints found in other countries that are the source of retrieved episodes.

In this case, 11 Doctor Who episodes were discovered, nine of which were missing, in the Nigerian city of Jos.

The episodes are already available for watching on iTunes: The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World.

Old school BBC sound effects

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 27, 2012

BBC Research & Development have created a site using the Web Audio API that lets you recreate the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, stuff you may have heard on a Jon Pertwee-era episode of Dr Who. The Wobbulator is my favorite.

Doctor Who gonna bust a cap in yo ass

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 01, 2011

Sometimes the simple things in life are best…like a compilation of clips of The Doctor shooting guns with a gansta rap soundtrack.

(via ★interesting)

The original pitch for Doctor Who

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 21, 2011

The Between the Pages blog tracked down the original set of five pitch documents for Doctor Who. It wasn’t until the fourth document, the Tom Baker of the group, that Doctor Who was explicitly mentioned by name.

The Secret of Dr. Who: In his own day, somewhere in our future, he decided to search for a time or for a society or for a physical condition which is ideal, and having found it, to stay there. He stole the machine and set forth on his quest. He is thus an extension of the scientist who has opted out, but he has opted farther than ours can do, at tne moment. And having opted out, he is disintegrating.

[Handwritten note from Sydney Newman: “Don’t like this at all. Dr Who will become a kind of father figure — I don’t want him to be a reactionary.”]

One symptom of this is his hatred of scientist, inventors, improvers. He can get into a rare paddy when faced witn a cave man trying to invent a wheel. He malignantly tries to stop progress (the future) wherever he finds it, while searching for his ideal (the past). This seems to me to involve slap up-to-date moral problems, and old ones too.

In story terms, our characters see the symptoms and guess at the nature of his trouble, without knowing details; and always try to help him find a home in time and space. wherever he goes he tends to make ad hoc enemies; but also there is a mysterious enemy pursuing him implacably every when: someone from his own original time, probably. So, even if the secret is out by the 52nd episode, it is not the whole truth. Shall we say:

The Second Secret of Dr. Who: The authorities of his own (or some other future) time are not concerned merely with the theft of an obsolete machine; they are seriously concerned to prevent his monkeying with time, because his secret intention, when he finds his ideal past, is to destroy or nullify the future.

[Handwritten note from Sydney Newman: “Nuts”]

Goodbye, Sarah Jane

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 19, 2011

Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who, has died at the age of 63.

Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2011

Nicholas Courtney, who played the Brigadier on Doctor Who, died yesterday aged 81.

Doctor Who cheat sheet

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 09, 2011

From illustrator Bob Canada, a one-page guide to Doctor Who for first-timers. Best viewed large. See also these illustrated portraits of all eleven Doctors.

Minimalist Doctor Who

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 02, 2010

Minimal Doctor Who

Only for Doctors one through six.

Early computer art

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 12, 2010

This collection of early computer generated art (1952-1978) includes this quite Whovian swirl:


(via do)


posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2009

Irate gentleman: “Are you in charge here?”
The Doctor: “No, but I have a lot of ideas.”

That’s the Fourth Doctor in The Horror of Fang Rock. However, it should be noted that aside from The Doctor and Leela, everyone else featured in the episode died.

What are you doing here?

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 02, 2008

A supercut of every utterance of the phrase “what are you doing here?” on Doctor Who, including dozens of variations. Wow.

Delia Derbyshire’s electronica

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2008

Working in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, Delia Derbyshire recorded the Doctor Who theme song in 1963 but also came up with a piece of electronica in the late 60s that sounds like it was recorded in the mid-90s.

Ms Derbyshire was well-known for favouring the use of a green metal lampshade as a musical instrument and said she took some of her inspiration from the sound of air raid sirens, which she heard growing up in Coventry in the Second World War.

(via overstated)

Update: Derbyshire arranged and recorded the Doctor Who theme song but didn’t write it. Ron Grainer did. (thx, kevin & pete)

Title sequences from Doctor Who, 1963-2006. Unfortunately

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 09, 2007

Title sequences from Doctor Who, 1963-2006. Unfortunately all the videos are in Real format, which in the age of YouTube is just silly. Not unfortunately, most of the opening titles videos are available on YT: first Doctor, second Doctor, third Doctor, fourth Doctor, fifth Doctor, sixth Doctor, and seventh Doctor, as well as other variants. (via quipsologies)

This video has so much goodness in

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 27, 2007

This video has so much goodness in it: a short Bollywood-esque production featuring Daleks and the Tardis and then Kevin Smith arriving at an event flanked by a bunch of Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, and Anakin Skywalker. “Stormtroopers, keep it tight, we gotta move.” I wonder if he always travels that way and if so, does he fly business class while the Stormtroopers are stuck in coach? (I assume Boba Fett has miles and can upgrade most of the time.)

Update: I really like the idea that the Stormtroopers, after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, are this giant unemployed workforce who occasionally find work chauffeuring Kevin Smith about.

Interviewer: Ok, tell me about your past work experience.

Stormtrooper: Most recently, I flanked Kevin Smith.

Good. What else?

Um, I was in the room when Lord Vader choked an Admiral.

Wow! Right next to Vader?

Well, no. He choked him over the video screen and I was in the room with the Admiral. But it was still pretty cool.


“The Google search box is like the

posted by Jason Kottke   May 24, 2006

The Google search box is like the Tardis — there’s a lot more inside that little box than you expect”.

Some of the onscreen special effects on

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 30, 2006

Some of the onscreen special effects on Doctor Who were generated by a home computer called the BBC Micro. “A brief sequence during this program actually showed the BBC Basic and assembler code used to create the console display”

Adult spin-off of Doctor Who being developed

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 18, 2005

Adult spin-off of Doctor Who being developed by the Beeb will have sex and swearing. Does this mean I can throw away my photo collection of Jo Grant posing nude with a Dalek? (second link NSFW)