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For a long time I've wanted to set up an online repository of my interviews, reviews and other writings ... and here it is! Use the Subject List to the right to select an author/topic and you will get all the entries which relate to the selected subject. Have fun browsing through!

Saturday, 11 May 2013



I have no idea where this piece came from or why it was written ... it looks like the start of the article is missing as well ... It seems to be similar to the 'unreliable history-type pieces which are also on this archive ...

In fact, John Nathan-Turner was already aware of the pulling power of pants and took great pains to ensure that the cast were wearing theirs at all times. In particular young Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse, who kept his hand in his pocket specifically to ensure that his undies never fell off during filming. He had heard about the experiences of Katy Manning and did not want the same misfortune to befall him.

The other characters were also aware of this, and Nyssa, played to perfection by Sarah Someone, tantalised the audience by removing all her clothes in her final story. Even here the power of the pants was evident as the Garm fell over himself to help the stricken Nyssa out.

As the eighties progressed, so the significance of undies lessened even further. There were fewer and fewer occasions when they appeared, and even mentions seemed few and far between. The Doctor played by the real-life vet Peter Davidson, made up for this shortfall with a cunning technique of his own. He would get very breathless very quickly and he spoke in short sharp gasps of air ... that's right ... he was pant-ing! As Peter Davidson gave way to the curly haired Tom Baker so pants started to be replaced with leotards as Naughty Nicola joined Baker in the TARDIS. Naughty played Unpronouncable Brown, or Peri for short, and Peri hated pants. In fact she would far rather get dressed up in bacofoil and ice cream than get within an inch of more traditional undergarments. As Naughty once said, 'I used to get into character by going down M&S and swearing at the lingerie.'

Naughty was succeeded by Bonny Lungfull, who played the carrot-headed waif Mel Gibson. Mel liked screaming and keep fit, and so the audience screamed every time she appeared and she tried hard to fit in. Despite the high pant potential in this scenario, we were not to see Gibson's pants in Doctor Who.

Bringing this history right up to date, and the latest and ninth Doctor was played by the ferret stuffing Sly McCoy. He often kept an inquisitive furry animal in his underpants and a brace of nails up his nose, and his Doctor was the most pant-obsessed of them all. Like Troughton he would keep a pair in his top pocket, and also have the uncanny ability to produce them from thin air for his companion, Ace, played by Sophie Allright, to use as boomerang, catapault, scuba-diving equipment, hang glider and box girder bridge. Allright's training as a children's TV presenter on Blue Peter served her well, and she could whip up an impressive explosive device with a couple of pairs of size 14s, an old yoghurt carton, some sticky back plastic and silver paint.

To conclude, if it wasn't for the humble underpant, Doctor Who would not have turned out to be the success it undoubtedly is.

David J Howe