Doctor Who Blog

50 Glorious Years: Episode 10 - 1972

Ah, 1972! What a year that was! Not just for Doctor Who, but so many things in terms of music, film, sporting events…..but let’s focus on Doctor Who. This is the year that started off (on New Year’s Day no less) bringing the Daleks back to television for a new adventure for the first time in 5 years, and then ended off (on the day before New Year’s Eve, no less) bringing back the 1st and 2nd Doctor’s to television for the first time in six and three and a half years, respectively - and what’s more, having the two of them meet up with the then-current Doctor (number 3) Jon Pertwee! Imagine if you were a long time fan back then to see this happening after you had probably given up hope of the Daleks ever coming back and never thought you’d ever see the first or second Doctor’s again…...unbelievable!

That wasn’t all of course - there were a great bunch of stories in between those two as well, with no less than two trips to alien planets and one trip to the past to Atlantis along with sea-based adventure with the Master and the cousins of the Silurians. The Ice Warriors appeared in colour for the first time - and turned out (in this story at least) not to be the bad guys! What a twist! The Mutants was first (and only) story this season not to feature a returning monster or villain, and the first to do so since Inferno. Although the Doctor’s exile would not be formally lifted until early in 1973, for all intents and purposes the show had gone back to not being a contemporary earthbound series (only The Sea Devils fits that bill - the two UNIT stories of the season feature trips into the future and past, respectively).

1972 also saw something significant happen which rarely gets talked about - which is the publication of a book called “The Making of Doctor Who”. Written by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke, this was the first professionally published factual book about the show. A lot of people who would go on to work for the series in later years first got interested in the idea from reading this book, showing how it could be done. Considering how many more factual books or magazines would follow in the decades to come (not to mention documentaries, DVD extras and an entire tv series), Doctor Who is likely the television series that has had its production documented in some way more than any other. No other tv series (certainly that has been running this long, or even close to running this long) has had its production ins and outs made publicly available - especially the classic series (with the new series there is still a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff which will one day be revealed). It all started with the publication of this book in the fine year that was 1972.

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