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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 500 > HE’S BACK... AND IT’S ABOUT TIME!


Gary Russell might not have envied Gary Gillatt as the Doctor Who TV Movie went into production in early 1996, but the incoming editor of DWM found himself thrown in at the deep end...

“It’s easy to forget quite how quickly the TV Movie went from rumour to production to broadcast,” says Gary Gillatt. “It was the briefest break in the clouds, and came and went in a matter of months. Paul McGann was announced as the new Doctor, and within hours he was filming in Vancouver. DWM was as surprised as anyone when that photocall in the Longleat Doctor Who exhibition happened – and, for a cover, we had to make the best of that peculiar picture of Paul cautiously offering what appeared to be a novelty ashtray, or a ball of unicorn dung.

“The magazine had no contacts on the production, and little traction with the relevant decision-makers in BBC Worldwide. But we had a stroke of luck when DWM was asked to contribute an article to The Independent newspaper, which we made sure was full of encouragement for the new Doctor and the movie. Paul McGann and [executive producer] Philip Segal read it and appreciated it, and Segal, via Worldwide, helped us gain access to the set on the last few days of filming. What we wrote up was done in a tearing hurry – with chunks of it written longhand on hotel stationery and faxed from Vancouver – but it all looks and reads like a ‘modern’ DWM pre-broadcast set report.”


In the six years since Doctor Who had last been in production, DWM had effectively grown into an independent publication. Although still officially licensed by the BBC’s commercial arm, with royalties paid to the corporation, DWM was no longer being checked or approved by anyone at BBC Worldwide – an independence it continues to enjoy to the present day. However, with the TV Movie going into production, how tricky was it to maintain that independence?

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About Doctor Who Magazine

The biggest issue ever to celebrate 500 editions of DWM! Contents include: Interviews with Tom Baker, Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat; a message to readers from new companion Pearl Mackie; a letter from the Doctor; a 20-page celebratory comic strip, The Stockbridge Showdown by Scott Gray, drawn by a host of guest artists; an exclusive look at Mark Gatiss' 2001 pitch for Doctor Who; Peter Capaldi answers questions once put to William Hartnell; Fact of Fiction on The Day of the Doctor; competitions to win HUGE prizes; a bonus 116-page section looking back at the history of DWM, featuring every single cover and commentary from the editors; plus News, Reviews, Coming Soon, Wotcha... and LOTS of surprises!

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