Classic Series

Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight

Exclusively available on Probic Vent (and other niche websites sad enough to give two hoots) is the one you’ve all been waiting for: Andrew Cartmel discussing Margaret Thatcher and the Happiness Patrol with Gavin Esler and Tim Collins 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.