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Who-oops!

Compiled by Jon Preddle and Paul Scoones

Doctor Who is made on a tight budget, and with very limited time. Such is the pace with which the production team work sometimes technical errors creep into the finished product which weren't detected at the time of recording. This article (suggested by Jonathan Park) looks at these 'bloopers'. If, the next time you are watching your favourite Doctor Who episode or reading a Doctor Who book, you notice a blunder, simply jot it down and send it in, and we'll print it in an upcoming second instalment of this feature.

Thanks to blooper-spotters Alden Bates, Edwin Patterson and Graham Howard.

TELEVISION

The Keys of Marinus
[Episode 1] After Susan's shoes have been disintegrated by the acid pool, she goes back to the TARDIS to fetch a new pair. The Doctor scolds Ian for not wearing any shoes because if he was 'he could have lent her hers'.
[Episode 1] Just after the Doctor vanishes into the pyramid, the arm of a studio technician is seen quickly moving out of shot, on the mid-right of the screen.
[Episode 6] When Sabetha is brought before Yartek, one of the Voord escorting her catches his flipper against the door frame, nearly causing the entire set to collapse.
The Web Planet
[Episode 3] When a Zarbi runs from the Karzenome and out onto the planet surface, the operator in the Zarbi shell demonstrates his limited vision by running smack straight into the camera with an audible 'clunk'.
The Chase
[Episode 6] When the Doctor is arguing against Ian and Barbara's using the Dalek Time ship to return home to Earth, he tells them they will 'end up as a couple of burnt cinders floating around in Spain, um... er... space.'
The Tomb of the Cybermen
[Episode 1] When both the Doctor and Jamie attempt to pull open the supposedly heavy doors leading to the Cybermen's city, the actors are clearly seen to hold one door closed with a foot to stop it from 'accidentally' opening.
[Episode 3] During Toberman's fight with a Cyberman, the wrestler is picked up by the Telosian and thrown to the ground. The wires of the harness supporting the actor are clearly visible during the battle.
[Episode 4] When Toberman and the Cyber Controller fight. Toberman picks up the leader of the Cybermen (clearly a dummy!) and hurls it against the control panel. The Controller's head falls off as it impacts!
The Daemons
[Episode 2] During his fight with Benton in the cavern, Garvin's shotgun is accidentally broken. The actor continues the choreographed combat all the while trying to hold the broken prop together.
The Sea Devils
[Episode 2] The Doctor and Jo are stranded on the sea fort. A rescue helicopter is seen taking off from the shore, but the helicopter that arrives at the fort is a completely different make and model.
The Green Death
[Episode 1] When we see Dai Evans on the telephone in the mine, the arm of a studio technician can be seen in the bottom right corner of the screen, giving the actor his cue to speak.
Robot
[Episode 4] In one scene during the giant robot's attack on the UNIT soldiers, the reflection of the blue-screen needed for CSO on the metal robot costume results in the robot's legs vanishing.
The Sontaran Experiment
[Episode 1/2] Earth has been supposedly ravaged by solar flares however a farmhouse can clearly be seen in the background of some scenes!
The Robots of Death
[Episode 1] After being arrested, the Doctor and Leela are detained in the crew's quarters. In all the previous scenes the Doctor is wearing his scarf, but in all the scenes in the crew's quarters, the scarf is nowhere to be seen. It reappears when the Doctor is taken to the bridge!
The Robots of Death
[Episode 3] Near the beginning of the episode, in the crew lounge, when Toos says "There's a strict legal code covering the disposal of robots," the head of a studio cameraman is visible to the right of the screen, just over her shoulder.
Pyramids of Mars
[Episode 4] The infamous scene where Sutekh stands for the first time after the power of the Eye of Horus has been released, and a hand can be seen holding down the cushion on the throne then slowly sliding out of view!
The Invisible Enemy
[Episode 3] K9 is instructed by Leela to create a barrier. He does so by blasting a sizeable chunk from the wall. Unfortunately, the 'chunk' is an all too obvious pre-cut segment of the set wall.
The Invisible Enemy - Warriors' Gate
It is clear that the designer of K9 had no idea the mechanical mutt was to stay on for a longer period than just its first story - it is obvious that K9 cannot fit through the TARDIS doors, and 'clever' camera angles are used to hide the fact!
Image of the Fendahl
[Episode 4] The Doctor says that the Fendahl killed the hiker and Mitchell, which is odd since he was never told that the first victim was a hiker, or that the guard's name was Mitchell!
The Invasion of Time
[Episode 1] When the Doctor is talking to the Vardans in the opening scenes, he is wearing his scarf. When we cut to Leela and K9 in the TARDIS, the Doctor's scarf is hanging from the hat-stand. The Doctor then enters the TARDIS and is no longer wearing a scarf!
The Androids of Tara
[Episode 3] When the Doctor enters the Pavilion of the Summer Winds and shuts the door, the door slowly swings open again. A hand then appears from behind the set wall and pulls the door shut again.
Nightmare of Eden
[Episode 3] When officer Fisk takes command of the Empress he places Captain Rigg under arrest. As Rigg is lead away Fisk turns to Professor Tryst, and calls him 'Fisk'!
[Episode 4] Della gets shot by Dymond. The laser beam hits her in the face - but she clutches her stomach!?!
The Horns of Nimon
[Episode 3/4] When the co-pilot is killed by the Nimon at the end of episode 3 (and again in the recap in episode 4) actor Malcolm Terris's trousers are clearly ripped along the seam - and his white underpants showing through!
[Episode 4] Actor Graham Crowden (Soldeed) obviously gets emotionally carried away with his great death scene in this episode. While screaming that they are "all doomed!" he starts giggling!
Shada
[Episode 2] Professor Chronotis always refers to Chris Parsons as 'Young Parsons' in the Doctor's and Romana's presence. When Chris returns to the Professor's study Romana calls him by his first name - although she has never been told what it is!
The Leisure Hive
[Episode 1] Mena and Brock observe Hedin's video recording of his time experiment, the rejuvenation of an old woman into a younger one. When the video ends the door opens and the Doctor and Romana are escorted in. Later, the two Gallifreyans discuss the authenticity of the video - which they never saw!
Earthshock
[Episode 4] Near the start of the episode Scott, a curly-haired male trooper, a straight haired male trooper and a female trooper make their way back to the TARDIS. As they enter the ship, the woman is pulled away and killed by a Cyberman. The scene then cuts to inside the TARDIS; where Scott, the straight-haired male trooper and the female trooper rush in, firing at the Cybermen as they enter. Later, when Scott leaves to attack the bridge, he is accompanied by two male troopers, the one with curly-hair and the straight-haired one!?
Frontios
[Episode 2] Towards the end of this episode, Tegan flees from the colony ship and jams the main door by sliding a metal bar between the middle prongs of the door handles. There is then a cut to a different scene, but when it cuts back to the door, the bar has mysteriously moved to the top prong of the door!

NOVELISATIONS

Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child
The last line of page 87 and the first five lines of page 88 are a repeat of the last two paragraphs of page 87.
Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters
The back cover states that the Tyrannosaurus Rex is 'the biggest, most savage mammal which ever trod the earth!' - the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a reptile, not a mammal!
The front cover of the 1992 reprint states that the story was first broadcast in 1974, when it should say 1970.
Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon
On TV, Colony in Space was set in the year 2472. For the novelisation, Malcolm Hulke changed the setting to 2972. However, the back blurb of the book states that the adventure takes place in the year 2471!
Doctor Who and the Ark in Space
Ian Marter changes 'Wirrn' to 'Wirrrn' (with three 'r's), however the back cover spells it with two 'r's.
Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment
Ian Marter changes 'Styre' to 'Styr', however the back cover spells it as 'Styre'.
Doctor Who and the Robots of Death
On page 43 Terrance Dicks includes 'the lean, muscular Cass' as one of the crew present in the crewroom. However Cass isn't present and on the next page Uvanov announces that 'Cass is dead!'
Doctor Who - Castrovalva
Three lines on page 12 are repeated.
Doctor Who - The Caves of Androzani
On the title page Robert Holmes is credited as the writer of the novelisation, which was actually written by Terrance Dicks.
Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric
Ian Briggs is not credited as the writer of the novelisation on the title page.

This item appeared in TSV 31 (November 1992).

Index nodes: Who-oops