Probic Vent Ood For Thought


Kandyman costume sells at auction for £2K

The Kandyman costume from the seventh Doctor Story The Happiness Patrol has sold for £1,920 at an auction of BBC costumes and props at Bonhams.

Recently in the news due to claims from Andrew Cartmel and Sylvester McCoy that the series at the time was a satire on the Thatcher government, The Happiness Patrol featured the homicidal Kandyman – originally conceived as a pasty-faced psycho but realised as a murderous Bertie Bassett - as part of a Thatcherite regime that persecuted people for being sad.

Bassetts did not see the funny side at the time, nor did most Doctor Who fans, but I always thought the costume and concept pretty effective.

Anyway, I suppose it's good that the costume ends up in the hands of someone who will look after it, rather than mouldering away in Television Centre.

Andrew Cartmel did not meet his reserve price.

Other items that went at the auction include:

• The stupid Torchwood Range Rover

• Two full-size Imperial Daleks from Remembrance of the Daleks raking in more than £35,000.

• The waitress costume worn by Kylie Minogue from Voyage of the Damned

• Tennant’s suit from the same episode

• Late 80s Cyberman costumes

• The London taxi used in The Runaway Bride

• The mask worn by Sharaz Jek in Caves of Androzani.

• A God of Ragnarok costume

• The bus conductor’s head from Greatest Show in the Galaxy

• Sarah Sutton’s original Nyssa costume

• A Marshman costume from Full Circle


Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight

The Cartmel-on-Newsnight piece can be found on Blogtor Who), where the former script editor discusses Margaret Thatcher and the Happiness Patrol with Gavin Esler and Tim Collins.

The report that preceded it is below, which is a fairly by-the-numbers piece obviously cobbled together fairly hastily (though it does provide an answer to the question 'what does Jonathan Powell look like these days?).

The appearance follows the 'revelation' that the seventh Doctor era had included some elements of left-wing satire in its stories.

As it goes, Cartmel took the 'I've been misquoted' line throughout, pointed out the absurdity of some of the reporting and had the good grace to look faintly embarrassed by it all.

Not so ex-Tory MP Tim Collins, who took the opportunity to point out that Doctor Who has always been political and made the somewhat dubious point that Doctor Who has often been presented as a right-wing satire, referencing The Sun Makers.

In fact, Robert Holmes script was tilting at the bureaucracy of the Inland Revenue, rather than Labour's taxation policies of the late 70s - but why let that get in the way of a daft anecdote?

Collins does, however, show that he has a decent knowledge of Who's history - pointing out that Uncle Terrace Dicks' assertion that Who can never be political is rather odd given stories like Colony In Space, The Mutants and The Green Death that aired while Dicks was script editor.

Anyway, it's all rather anti-climactic in the end, though it's nice to see that BBC news reports are still adhering to their age-old routine of materialising interviewees into the screen in a way that's wholly unlike the TARDIS materialising.

• See also: The Register's copied-and-pasted-from-the-Sunday-Times article here, which has the temerity to boast a copyright symbol and by-line after it.


Hush child stop addlepating me!

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