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Former Who producer reveals ‘lost’ plan for Indiana Jones-style Tom Baker season

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Jun 25, 2018

Before he left Doctor Who in 1977, former producer Philip Hinchcliffe was already planning a new season that would have had an Indiana Jones feel to it.

That’s what Hinchcliffe revealed (via Digital Spy) at the BFI screening for “Genesis of the Daleks” to celebrate the Blu-ray release of Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12, marking Tom Baker’s first series as the Fourth Doctor. Hinchcliffe acted as producer for three seasons: between 1974-1977, before he left the BBC series in the hands of Graham Williams.

“There was all this musical chairs going on, about whether Bob [Holmes, script editor] and I were going to carry on or not,” Hinchcliffe said before explaining he was already prepping Doctor Who’s 15th season with a potential series of adventures that would have had an Indiana Jones vibe to it. Way before Raiders of the Lost Ark opened in theaters in 1981.

“I was ahead of the game,” the ex-Doctor Who producer said, explaining he had this idea of “the Doctor being like a colonial explorer, with a pith helmet out in the jungles. So I was kind of already on the Indiana Jones trail without realising it. It was the next thing bubbling up in my head that might somehow take the programme in a slightly different way. We started to think of stories like that. In fact, I even wrote one and sent it in after I left the programme, and was told it would be far too expensive, so they couldn't do it.”

Hinchcliffe’s tenure as producer heralded more gothic stories heavily influenced by the Hammer Horror movies such as “Genesis of the Daleks,” “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” and “The Brain of Morbius.” He said he wanted to make the show “feel a bit more plausible, and maybe appeal a bit more to the adults in the audience,” but gave props to script editor Robert Holmes for those Hammer influences.

“I hadn't seen a lot of those old movies... it was Bob who knew all those films and kept pulling that in,” Hinchcliffe said. “Barry Letts [who was Hinchcliffe's predecessor and the man who cast Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor] didn't let him do it, but I didn't know that ... so he took the show in that direction.”

What do you think of Hinchcliffe’s revelations that he originally had plans for a new season of Doctor Who that would have felt like Indiana Jones?

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 is out now in the U.S. under the name Doctor Who: Tom Baker Complete First Season.

(via Digital Spy)