Dr. Who Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing’s Doctor Who movies are now canon, but not the way you think

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Apr 6, 2018, 12:24 PM EDT

Fans have been debating for decades whether or not the two Dr. Who movies starring acting legend Peter Cushing were actually part of the official Doctor Who canon. Former showrunner Steven Moffat’s novelization of his 50th anniversary special finally puts those debates to rest.

In the new novelization of “The Day of The Doctor” (available now), Moffat has revealed that the films now exist in the Whoniverse-at-large as movies that are big screen adaptations of the Doctor’s “real” timey wimey adventures. In a book excerpt released via Digital Spy, Moffat wrote a scene where UNIT’s Kate Stewart tells Clara about the films: “Seen them? [The Doctor] loves them. He loaned Peter Cushing a waistcoat for the second one, they were great friends.”

Apparently, Moffat originally planned to include the idea into the 50th anniversary special by featuring posters of the Cushing films in UNIT’s Black Archive, but they couldn’t afford the rights to those posters — which isn’t so much a problem anymore when you put everything down on paper instead of on the small screen.

Cushing starred in 1965’s Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., released the following year. Plans for a third film never materialized following the poor box office reception of the second movie. The Cushing films were actually retellings (in color, no less) of Doctor Who serials “The Daleks” (1963) and “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” (1964), featuring William Hartnell's First Doctor. They were meant to cash in on the success of those beloved space pepperpots and the Doctor's greatest foes.

But instead of being a Time Lord from Gallifrey, Cushing’s Dr. Who was an eccentric human inventor and kindly grandfather claiming to have built a time machine called TARDIS in his back garden. Oh, and in the movies, his name really is Dr. Who. It is those important deviations from the TV canon that have made it pretty difficult to consider the Cushing films as integral parts of the official Whoniverse. Until now.

What do you think of Steven Moffat's nifty way to make the Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies kinda sorta part of the official Doctor Who canon?

(via Digital Spy)