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WOTCHA!

The page that resists all attempts to change it into something else.

A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects…

#77 POLLY’S GLASS OF WATER

Considering it’s one of the most significant milestones in Doctor Who history, The War Machines isn’t half peculiar. In the space of just four episodes, it effectively rips up the show’s rulebook and sets a fresh template for the next decade or so, until Tom Baker’s Doctor slips the surly bonds of UNIT HQ. Not every story between 1966 and 1976 is indebted to The War Machines, but a heck of a lot of them are.

What’s remarkable is how haphazardly the masterplan is put into action – not just by WOTAN, but by the incoming production team. Having worked their way through a backlog of scripts bequeathed by their predecessors, producer Innes Lloyd and story editor Gerry Davis set out their stall in two consecutive serials written by Ian Stuart Black. First comes The Savages, which takes the old ‘utopia hiding a dark secret’ scenario rehearsed in the Morphoton episode of The Keys of Marinus and uses it to frame a new kind of story, in which the Doctor overthrows a tyrannous regime not just so he can get back to the TARDIS, but because it’s the right thing to do. His moral stand against Jano in The Savages (“I am going to oppose you, just in the same way that I oppose the Daleks or any other menace to common humanity!”) quietly reinvents Doctor Who on the spot: everything from The Moonbase to Planet of the Ood begins here. But there’s an altogether louder change just around the corner.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

1970s special! Contents include: an extensive interview with writer Terrance Dicks; actor and writer Mark Gatiss and Katy Manning (Jo Grant) remember the 70s; Gary Gillatt takes a nostalgic look at everything that was happening in the world of Doctor Who in November 1977; a feature by Jonathan Morris asks whether the 1970s really were the 'golden years' for Doctor Who; a new comic strip adventure for the Twelfth Doctor and Jess – Doorway to Hell part one, by Mark Wright, with art by Staz Johnson; the Fact of Fiction examines 1976's The Brain of Morbius; previews; TV and audio reviews; news; the Watcher's column; prize-winning competitions; PLUS 20 bonus pages, paying homage to the 1970s comic Countdown, and reprinting the Third Doctor adventure *Sub Zero;
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