Doctor Who Now and Then. The Doctor is more popular than ever and regenerating all the time (In more ways than one)!
Welcome to another episode of Plastic Soul: The Entertainment Earth Pop Culture Show. I’m Jason Lenzi, your host. Today, I want to talk about Doctor Who.
Doctor Who’s Expansion: A Testament to Its Timeless Concept
We’ve covered this show quite a bit, and it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan, especially of the Tom Baker era from the 70’s. Something big is happening with Doctor Who and Disney+. There’s more to come, and it’s remarkable to think about. This little show that I always thought was great, with one of the best concepts in the history of television, had a budget of about 1.35 units. But when it came back in the mid-2000’s on the BBC, it suddenly got a huge budget. Now, each episode they’re doing for Disney+ has a budget equivalent to an entire season back then. It’s truly amazing to see how far the show has come.
Speaking of Doctor Who, let me show you this awesome Tom Baker action figure by Dennis Fisher from the UK. They were a sibling company of Mego, which was big in the U.S. for various properties. These figures are quite interesting because they’re 10 inches tall, unlike the standard 8-inch Mego figures. They never quite fit in with the rest of the Mego world, which was still popular in the 70’s and early 80’s. Nevertheless, they made figures for Tom Baker’s Doctor, Leela, Dalek, K9, a giant robot (which is amazing), and even a TARDIS with a little disappearing feature, similar to the transporter on the Enterprise. They also made a Cyberman, but let’s not dwell on that.
Classic Figures and Nostalgic Logos
When Bif Bang Pow! started looking at the Doctor Who license, there was an open category for 8-inch figures. I thought, why not do something that nobody has done before? That’s when the idea came to me. We could create a line that pays homage to the Dennis Fisher figures from the 70s. I envisioned having figures like Tom Baker’s Doctor, K9, a Dalek, the TARDIS, a Cyberman, and even Sarah Jane Smith in her camo trousers and sweater from “Revenge of the Cybermen.” It was going to be a fantastic line, capturing that nostalgic feel of walking into a store in 1977 or ‘78 and seeing these figures on the shelf. I believe we pulled it off quite well.
Now, let’s look at this beautiful set. Character Options still has the Doctor Who license, and they’ve been doing a great job. Shortly after launching with the current show featuring Christopher Eccleston and then David Tennant, they started delving into the classic creatures and doctors. They even released a Tom Baker line, like this reissue of Tom Baker with the giant robot. Initially, the giant robot was a build-a-figure, but now it’s all together and repainted.
It got me thinking about how the Doctor Who logo has changed so many times over the years. It’s crazy! That’s when I realized we created something special—a coaster set featuring all the logos used throughout the show’s lifetime. The BBC was initially against it, wanting a unifying logo for the new show. But we stuck with it, and now you can own a coaster set with logos from 1963 up to the 50th Anniversary. I’m really proud of it.
But I noticed with this big new deal with Disney+ and Doctor Who they’re going to do, maybe we’re going to get a mini-series with Paul McGann. That’s the rumor right now, they’re using the 70’s logo that was basically John Purroy’s last season and Tom Baker’s first and several throughout. And I thought ‘Isn’t that interesting?’, that seems to be the new logo – is the 70’s logo – because it really is the best known of all the Doctor Who logos and I think that’s where most of the affection comes from. Just something to think about, is it me? Did we do it? Am I responsible for that? Did they look at this coaster set and go, “let’s use that one.”? Probably not, but I can’t prove it, I don’t know for sure.
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
Anyway, let me know what you think about anything Doctor Who, the new Disney+ deal that’s happening, any of the toys. Do you have stuff from the 70’s? Do you have all the character options stuff? What kind of stuff would you like to see? God knows they’ve made a ton of it and it’s pretty fun.
Let us know in the comments, please hit like, subscribe, and don’t forget to sign up for the Entertainment Earth email newsletter to stay up to date on all of your pop culture needs. Time to rip this open and have a Time War. Heading off into time and space, we’ll see you soon!