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KEEPER OF THE FLAME

John Nathan-Turner’s professional involvem ent with Doctor W ho continued after he stopped being the series’ producer.

Interviewed for the New Jersey Network’s The Making of Doctor Who in 1988, John Nathan-Turner explained his wish to leave the series by saying it needed “taking into the 90s”. He felt this was not something the producer who had been around to “take it into the 80s” could do. Yet as the 90s began, he was still working in Doctor Who’s production office, even though Doctor Who was no longer being made.

JNT had known since September 1989 that there wouldn’t be a Season 27. He wouldn’t be taking Doctor Who into the 90s, but then neither would anyone else. Without a series to plan, he worked on merchandise approvals and an extended VHS version of The Curse of Fenric (1989), requested by BBC Video’s Penny Mills when she discovered how much material had been cut from the story for timing reasons. Nathan-Turner and director Nicholas Mallet re-edited it, reincorporating as much cut material as they could, with Mark Ayres composing new music for the reintegrated sections. Then, one Friday in August, John Nathan-Turner left the BBC and walked into a job at the UK’s newest television service.

Alister Pearson’s cover painting for the 1991 VHS release of The Curse of Fenric (1989), which starred Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace.

British Satellite Broadcasting had launched in March 1990 as a rival to Sky. BSB, as it was known, was repeating Doctor Who, starting with the first episode. It planned to show every complete story, in order. BSB would also be running a Doctor Who weekend over 22-23 September, with 30 hours of programming. Nine monochrome serials, most never reshown in the UK or released on VHS, were being repeated, as were The Three Doctors (1972-73) and the surviving episodes of The Abominable Snowmen (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968). There would be new interviews with figures from the series, with BSB’s chat show 31 West renam ed 31 Who for the duration. Hired as an advisor, JNT also joined 31 West’s presentation team

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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE JOHN NATHAN-TURNER LEGACY A new perspective on Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, featuring previously unseen images from his own scrapbooks! Highlights of this issue include: • Former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel describes working with John Nathan-Turner. • Sophie Aldred explains how JNT changed her life. • Stephen Cranford on what it was like to know JNT as a friend. • Writer Philip Martin and actor Nabil Shaban reveal Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor. • Composer Richard Hartley on recreating his score for 1986’s ‘Mindwarp’. • An investigation into the deepest mysteries of regeneration. • Your at-a-glance guide to Doctor Who’s post-regeneration stories. • An interview with the creators of the new VR game The Edge of Time. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2017 story Knock Knock. • DWM’s verdict on Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 23. • Part One of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!