No Daleks in new incarnation of “Doctor Who.”

Well, this is disappointing news. Seems the BBC and the Terry Nation estate weren’t able to reach an agreement on a copyright license that would allow the Daleks to appear in the new Doctor Who series due to return to British airwaves in 2005.

The BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC offered the very best deal possible but ultimately we were not able to give the level of editorial influence that the Terry Nation estate wished to have.”

But an agent for the Nation estate accused the BBC of ignoring copyright laws and said the corporation was trying to “ruin the brand of the Daleks”.

Agent Tim Hancock, who represents the Nation estate, said: “We wanted the same level of control over the Daleks that we have enjoyed for the last 40 years.

“If the BBC wanted to re-make any of George Lucas’ films, you can bet George Lucas would have something to say about it. “

This news item illustrates just how nightmarish copyright issues are in the U.K. compared to the States. Seems that when Terry Nation created the Daleks for the original series way back in the 1960’s he was given the copyright to the creatures and was quite particular about how they were used over the years. He even withdrew the rights for a time and brought them to America where he hoped they’d be as popular as they were back in England. There were two American films starring Peter Cushing that were basically a retelling of stories written original for Doctor Who that were absolutely dreadful. Not to mention the fact that they had to completely change the character of the Doctor and his companions in order to avoid their own copyright issues.

Anyway, I think the last line there illustrates just how silly it the situation is. They’re trying to compare ownership of one monster from the series, albeit a very popular one, to ownership of an entire series and everything in it. As popular as the Daleks were, they’re not comparable to Star Wars. The Nation estate when on to bitch about the fact that the BBC allowed Daleks to appear briefly in the recent Warner Bros. film Loony Toons Back In Action without seeking the estate’s consent, but honestly I think Warner Bros. probably could have gotten away without asking in the first place purely on the fact that it was a parody and the use of the Daleks was very brief (though probably the coolest part of the movie for a fan like me).

Still, the Daleks tend to turn off most American sci-fi fans as being too silly so I suppose it’s not entirely a bad thing that they won’t be in the new series, though it is somewhat disappointing. You’d think the Terry Nation estate would be happy to have their monsters back in front of the camera once more, but it seems they won’t be happy unless they have input into how they’re used.

Found via ***Dave, who’s easily as big a DW fan as I am.


6 thoughts on “No Daleks in new incarnation of “Doctor Who.”

  1. You can add myself to your list of fans of Doctor Who! Not only have I seen every episode of the series played on TV. I’ve watched the Flash episodes “Shada” written by Douglas Adams with Paul McGann and Lalla Ward and “Scream of the Shalka” with the new doctor. I also have just under 60 audio drama’s I’ve been listening to on the way to and from work. smile

    To say I’m disappointed that the Daleks won’t be in the new series would be a lie. They may have been formidable adversaries back in the 60’s. Now, they have so many problems, it’s a wonder they function at all. The modifications that the writers have had to make to allow Daleks to climb stairs and such is just ridiculous. Then there is their voices. :shiver: They give me headaches when listening to them in the audio dramas.

    It would be nice to see some more “modern” monsters for the new series.

    Can’t wait for the new series to come out. I just hope that they bring the shows to the States right away. I would hate to have to wait even longer to see what they come up with. smile

  2. Dr. Who, is in my opinion, the epitome of the Sci-Fi world as far as television series are concerned… move over Kirk with your girlyman starship, The Doctor is a Time Lord!

  3. It’s definitely one of those shows you either love or you hate. Most folks who hate it can’t get past the awful sets and cheesy special effects, which is a shame because many of the stories are quite good. Doctor Who has so shaped my ideas on time travel that I couldn’t stand watching shows such as Quantum Leap. Surprisingly, there’s often quite a bit of science behind the fiction in Doctor Who, which isn’t to say it didn’t have it’s fair share of stinker storylines.

    I think the biggest attraction to the show for myself was the character of the Doctor, particularly as portrayed by Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

  4. Even through the cheesy special effects it’s hard to hate a show that brought us such greats as this:

    “Are you telling me you don’t know what year it is?”

    “If I knew, I wouldn’t ask. Don’t be obtuse, man!”

    Laurence Scarman and the Doctor, in “The Pyramids of Mars”

    Well, you see, Mr Scarman, I have the advantage of being slightly ahead of you. Sometimes behind you, but normally ahead of you.

    The Doctor, in “The Pyramids of Mars”

    “I see.”

    “I’m sure you don’t, but it’s very nice of you to try.”

    Laurence Scarman and the Doctor, in “The Pyramids of Mars”

  5. I personally liked the Doctor saying “Stands to reason…”. Then when on a 5 minute analysis of the fact that standing to reason was much more uncomfortable than “sitting” to reason. smile This was the Tom Baker version. smile

  6. Ex-term-i-naaaaaaate!

    They’re back…

    Daleks back to fight Doctor Who

    Doctor Who’s arch enemies the Daleks are coming back to the series after a lengthy dispute between the BBC and the creator’s estate was finally settled.

    The estate of sci-fi writer Terry Nation had originally blocked their return to the classic BBC One show.

    But the BBC said an agreement had been reached ensuring that the Daleks – voted the most evil Doctor Who villains of all time – would be back.

    Doctor Who returns to TV in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the lead role.

    “I am absolutely delighted that the Terry Nation estate and the BBC have been able to reach agreement on terms for the use of the Daleks in the new Doctor Who series,” said Tim Hancock, agent for the Terry Nation estate.

    “We look forward to working closely with the production team in the forthcoming months.”

    From BBC news

    Jelly Babies anyone?

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