The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is out today, and for the first time in a while I've been fortunate enough to be able to write a piece for them. It's actually a piece I wrote an original, far-too-long version of a few years ago, but it's finally been able to find a home in the pages of the magazine, for which I'm very grateful.
It's all about a man named Donald Wilson, who has fascinated me for... I don't know, probably getting on for a quarter of a century now. He was the co-creator of Doctor Who, he may have even actually named the series, and yet he hardly ever seems to get his fair share of the credit. Which is particularly sad as he's also the one who seems to have most strongly believed in it, and who had the greatest foresight about its success, as most notably demonstrated in a memo he wrote to the editor of the Radio Times shortly before the first episode was broadcast:
Unlike Sydney Newman, not being widely credited as a creator of the show never really seems to have bothered Wilson, but it bothered me. I wanted to at least attempt to remind people of the important part he played.
During the course of researching the piece I was able to find a great deal of information about Wilson's life from speaking to his family, former colleagues, and through the BBC Written Archives Centre, the British Film Institute and various newspaper archives. There wasn't the time or space - haha - for much of this in the DWM piece, but perhaps I'll be able to use some of it elsewhere someday. I hope so - Donald certainly deserves his due.
You can read more about the vital part he played in creating Doctor Who in my piece in DWM issue 566, on sale now at WH Smith's, various other newsagents, and via DoctorWhoMagazine.com.