My Mum and Doctor Who

My Mum and Doctor Who

Charlotte Prichard, 25 November 2013

"Hello, everyone! My name's Lucy and I work at Tatty Devine's London HQ. With all the excitement surrounding the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, I thought it was time to share my very special story with you. Want to know why Doctor Who is so close to my heart? It's simple: my mum Liz worked on the series in the seventies! Back in 1972, she was working at the BBC up on the 6th floor with the directors. She found it a little bit boring(!) and had studied art at college, so she transferred over to the Design Group instead. That's where her adventure began! She joined an expert team of model makers, graphic designers, sculptors and pyrotechnic experts, all of whom worked on amazing projects for BBC television shows. Whilst she was there, she got up to all kinds of exciting things, including making props for Doctor Who. Working at the BBC played a really important part in my mum's life. It's where she met her husband, my dad, who worked at BBC Radio for years. She can even remember what she wore for her very first day at the department - a multi coloured tie dye maxi skirt, blue rubber clogs and an afghan waistcoat. Well, it was the seventies... At the time, Doctor Who wasn't as massive as it is now. There was no-one else in the country or the world doing what the team were doing. My mum likes to say they kind of made it up as they went along! She even saw the robot dog K-9 being designed for the very first time. It's quite funny really - the flashing light on the top of its head was actually part of a bicycle and it could only move backwards and forwards. If they wanted to film it travelling in a different direction, they'd have to stop shooting, reverse the model and change the camera angle! We're both hoarders, so our house is full of bits and bobs. One day, I found these photographs and drawings in an old box. They're very special as they were given to my mum by Jack Kine, an amazing technical draftsman and co-founder of the BBC Visual Effects Department. Check out that Cyberman and Dalek... There were always exciting things going on in the department. Once, my mum was waiting to take one of the huge lifts that was also used to move props. The doors opened and she was just about to step inside - when she realised there was a Dalek hiding the gloom! I don't think she ever got over the fright... It's really interesting comparing the designs to the finished set. These details show the redesign of the inside of the Tardis for around 1974: When I was younger, I wasn't really bothered by my mum's job and the cool things she's done. Now, I love it! We're both big David Tennant fans, so we were very happy to see him return this weekend for The Day of The Doctor. We watched it together, curled up on our sofa - though our dog, Barney didn't join us. He's too scared! I like to think the world is divided into two types of people. Those who would run towards the sound of the Tardis and those who would run away. I'd definitely run towards it...!"
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