The Shotgun Blog
Friday, February 19, 2010
"far more terrifying than any monster"
Doctor Who and the Plot to overthrow Mrs Thatcher:
McCoy, now 66, who took over as the Doctor three months after Thatcher's third election victory in 1987, said they brought politics into the show "deliberately" but "very quietly".
He said: "We were a group of politically motivated people and it seemed the right thing to do.
"Our feeling was that Margaret Thatcher was far more terrifying than any monster the Doctor had encountered," he told the Sunday Times.
Cartmel said it was almost a job requirement to detest Thatcher.
When asked by John Nathan-Turner, the producer, what he hoped to achieve in being the show's script editor, he recalled: "My exact words were: I'd like to overthrow the government.
Cartmel lamented that such satire never reached its intended audience.
"Critics, media pundits and politicians certainly didn't pick up on what we were doing. If we had generated controversy and become a cause célèbre we would have got a few more viewers but, sadly, nobody really noticed or cared."
He said nobody further up in the BBC such as Jonathan Powell, then controller of BBC One, knew about their plan.
Or perhaps no one cared enough to say anything. Long before Bush Derangement Syndrome infected the American Left, the British Left went kooky denouncing Mrs Thatcher. You couldn't walk through the West End in the 1980s without falling over an unemployed actor peddling an anti-Thatcher play. Henry V was endlessly butchered as an anti-Falkland War diatribe, a bizarre distortion for an obviously patriotic play. The sum of human evil in 1980s Britain, for the Left, was a middle aged woman trying to cut taxes, balance the budget and place grossly mismanaged government industries in private hands. The murderous thugs running the Warsaw Pact were just overly enthusiastic social workers by comparison. The horrible "social injustices" of the era consisted of cleaning up nearly four decades of exactly the sort of progressive thinking McCoy & Co were preaching. Had Doctor Who succeeded in overthrowing HM's ministers, and installing a government like that in A Very British Coup, Britain today would be Argentina with fog.
Posted by Richard Anderson on February 19, 2010 | Permalink
The BBC needs to be privatized. What is described here sounds criminal. Government employees trying to devise ways to bring down a Prime Minister.
Not that anyone is going to be surprised by this.
Why should people be forced to fund their political enemies media empire?
Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-02-19 3:23:06 PM
Floyd, I agree but then we have the same with our CBC.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-02-19 6:54:12 PM
Britain today would be Argentina with fog.
Posted by PUBLIUS on February 19, 2010
Hate to break it to you PUBLIUS but Britain is Argentina with fog. More idiotic laws than California, thousands of cameras watching every everything that moves, debt out of control, economy flat, and immigration policies that are coming home to roost. What they really need is another Thatcher , but I think it's already too late.
Posted by: peterj | 2010-02-19 8:31:47 PM
Something similar happened in America in the early 1990s. At least two episodes of Murphy Brown featured this: Murphy the Mom and the perfectly ridiculous feces storm that followed Dan Quayle's remark that such plotlines denigrated the role of fathers in modern family life, and another that suggested Republicans would be happy to put every American child into "a nice, safe orphanage." Another gem was the episode of Deep Space Nine "Past Tense" that intimated that people should be tolerant of those who refuse to work for a living.
Yes, Hollywood took the loss of Congress very hard, even as they took the loss of the White House several years later. To those of you in the habit of basing your opinions on what your favourite TV or movie actor thinks, stay tuned: These people are professional emoters. They are not trained to think; their very occupation discourages it; and their lifestyles are famously hostile to normal family life. A word to the wise: Don't take political advice from crackheads.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-02-22 2:23:57 PM
Had Doctor Who succeeded in overthrowing HM's ministers, and installing a government like that in A Very British Coup, Britain today would be Argentina with fog.
No, it would just be Argentina. The billowing drifts associated with Victorian London were caused by coal stoves and factory stacks. It was smog, in other words. London today is not foggy at all. And if memory serves, it was the same nationalized coal industries that Maggie dismantled that caused the killer fog of 1952.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-02-22 2:34:15 PM
What they really need is another Thatcher , but I think it's already too late.
Where's Edward the Longshanks when you really need him?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-02-22 2:40:39 PM
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