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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 525 > Missing Persons

Missing Persons

Sometimes edits can remove entire characters from episodes of Doctor Who – even after a performance has been recorded…
Donna (Catherine Tate) and the Doctor (David Tennant) meet the elderly Agatha Christie (Daphne Oxenford) in a scene cut from The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008).

When scenes and dialogue compete for space, there are often casualties in the cutting room. Some actors are ultimately never heard. If they’re very unlucky, they aren’t even seen.

Possibly the earliest Doctor Who cast member to go missing between performance and programme was Bill McGuirk – indeed, his role in the show was a bit of a puzzle for emergent fandom in the 1980s. He wasn’t credited in the Radio Times (not unusual for minor roles at this point in the show’s history)… but he was listed as ‘Policeman’ at the end of Episode Three of Terror of the Autons (1971). As such, it was assumed that he was one of the two Auton constables who kidnapped the Doctor at the end of Episode Two. So why wasn’t he billed at the end of that instalment as well? In fact, Episode Three originally had a third policeman – a real one!

A production document from 1970, stating the cast list for the third episode of Doctor Who serial EEE (ie, Terror of the Autons). Bill McGuirk is credited as ‘Policeman’, but did not appear in the broadcast programme.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

From scenes which didn't make the final cut to characters who were completely edited out... Issue 525 of Doctor Who Magazine brings you the best bits of Doctor Who you never got to see! Doctor Who Magazine 525 also includes: • An interview with Will Oswald, an editor on Doctor Who from 2007 to 2017 • DWM chats to Michelle Ryan about the return of her character Lady Christina de Souza • The Time Team returns - and they've regenerated! • Out of the TARDIS with Janet Fielding, who played 80s companion Tegan • A look back at the ways new Doctors have been introduced to the public • Jamie Lenman's cosplay quest to recreate the Fourth Doctor's scarf • Part Two of The Clockwise War, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 2009 Tenth Doctor story Planet of the Dead • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!