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Journey into Space

In 1964 Terry Nation named one of the characters in The Dalek Invasion of Earth after his friend and colleague Brad Ashton. Two years later, he asked him to collaborate on The Dalek Outer Space Book…

I’ve never seen Doctor Who”, says Brad Ashton. This must be an unprecedented confession in the pages of this magazine, but Brad would be the first to admit that he represents a highly unusual footnote in the series’ history. In 1966 Brad was the co-author of The Dalek Outer Space Book, and now seems faintly bemused thatDoctor Who Magazine is so keen to find out how it happened.

Brad doesn’t even mention the Dalek book in the cruise-ship lectures he gives about his career. “There are so many other things to talk about”, he says. He certainly has a wealth of anecdotes about the legendary figures he wrote for during and after his days as a member of the Associated London Scripts agency. The mind-boggling list includes Arthur Askey, Hylda Baker, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Benny Hill, Groucho Marx and Tommy Trinder. He script-doctored five of the black-and-white Carry On films, and once came to the rescue of Morecambe and Wise. “I got a call from Ernie saying that they were going out on a cabaret tour and had six minutes missing from their act. Could I fill it for them? I wrote them a sketch in which Ernie was teaching Eric to dance, with one of them playing the girl. They paid me £25 for it, which was good for 1961. Six months later Ernie phoned me up and said, ‘We haven’t used it yet – can we have our money back?’” n the 1930s Brad was classmates with Harold Pinter, but his schooldays came to a premature end. “I left at 14”, he says. “It wasn’t my idea – it was the headmaster’s. He wrote to my parents and told them it would be a good idea if I took ‘early retirement’ from the school. I was playing truant so much, spending all my time in Hackney Library, reading about showbusiness.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DWM 522 throws new light on Doctor Who's success in its early years, with exclusive interviews with two people who knew Terry Nation (the creator of the Daleks) well: his agent Beryl Vertue and his writing colleague Brad Ashton. Doctor Who Magazine 522 also includes: • New research which reveals the Dalek toys which never made it to the shelves • The story of the Daleks in print in the 1960s • Previously unseen interviews with Peter Capaldi • Comedian – and now Doctor Who writer – Susan Calman discusses her love for the Time Lord • Emma Freud, the organiser of Comic Relief's unprecedented Breakfast with the Doctors is interviewed • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying Ace • Part four of The Phantom Piper, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2006 Tenth Doctor story New Earth • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!