Home Doctor Who 60th Anniversary EXCLUSIVE – Channel 5 Releasing A Doctor Who Documentary

EXCLUSIVE – Channel 5 Releasing A Doctor Who Documentary

Some interesting Doctor Who news we have to share with you, fellow Whovians. Since October 2022, Nerdgazm has been aware of work taking place on a documentary production through 2022. After a little bit of investigation through Winter 2022, Nerdgazm was able to determine that Channel Five have been working on a new documentary about the show… But it’s not quite what you’d have expected. Meet – The Secrets & Scandals Of Doctor Who.

The Doctor Who

Back in October, an edit producer called Matt Nida updated their CV with a listing for a programme called “The Secrets and Scandals of Doctor Who”, with their work on the project having begun in July under a company called Raw Cut. 

Matt Nida’s CV listing for the Doctor Who Documentary.

Raw Cut Television, as it happens, specialises in factual productions – with their most known work being on everyday cop shows like “Police Interceptors” and “This Cop Life” – but as it happens, this CV tied the production to an exciting series of programmes that Raw Cut had been making and releasing for quite some time prior on Channel Five.

The Secrets & Scandals Of Series

Focused on classic Television, the Secrets & Scandals Of series released seven episodes throughout May, July and August of 2022 – centred on Eurovision, Steptoe & Son, Are You Being Served?, Only Fools and Horses, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, The Good Life and Top of the Pops.

As such, it is safe to say that the Doctor Who episode that has been in development will focus upon the classic run of the TV show from 1963 to 1989. The series format focuses mostly on the use of archive footage, alongside newly filmed interview contributions. But how long is it? And what form is it likely to take? And is it connected to filming in Dublin during early November that was claimed to be for a Doctor Who documentary?

Nerdgazm were able to exclusively learn that Series Producer Kate Staples’ CV had a listing for the full series – indicating that the Doctor Who episode had been pitched & produced alongside the other ones, as it lists it alongside them. The listing also noted the project as “Two 90 minute and six 60 minute documentaries.”

The Episode Length of the Doctor Who Documentary

Having checked out the previously released episodes on Channel 5’s on-demand service My5, we’ve been able to identify that though listed that way, these are timeslots inclusive of ad time… and infact the documentaries are two sixty-five minute and six forty-five minute productions. Six of those released are forty-five minutes, and Top of the Pops as the latest release stands at sixty-five… so by process of elimination, the Doctor Who documentary episode must be 65 minutes long.

Promotional poster for one of the previous documentary series episodes, as released by Kate Staples.

As for the format, well, as we said earlier, the rest of the Secrets & Scandals Of series involves a mix of newly shot interviews mixed with archive material from a given show & other shows that are related to it, such as local news coverage. So, we can expect familiar faces from the production of the Classic run to appear – and perhaps alongside some Doctor Who aficionados too.

Potential Contributor for Doctor Who documentary

One of the episodes of the series has already featured TV Archivist Richard Latto. Given his previous work on the Doctor Who – The Collection boxsets, and as a producer and contributor to various visual & radio documentaries about Doctor Who; it is very likely that he will have contributed to the Doctor Who episode of this documentary series.

Secrets and Scandals Banked

But why is this episode so delayed from the rest of the run? And did this have anything to do with the reporting filming in Dublin back in November? Almost certainly not. The CV of a researcher for the series, Fez Sayed, marks the end of their work on the project in June… Kate Staples’ CV lists her work on the series as finishing in September of this year… 

Another production crew CV listing that has been pointed out to us specifically by a party who wishes to remain anonymous listed the Doctor Who episode as being in production June to August.

It is more likely that the delay in release is simply a matter of practical timing. With Doctor Who’s sixtieth anniversary incoming, it would have made sense to keep hold of a completed documentary until 2023 when it would be even more notable to broadcast. At any rate, it does seem possible that finishing touches on the episode may have been going on at winter time… 

Edit Assistant for the first seven episodes, Liam Gough, updated their CV on the 24th of November to note that they were working on editing work for Secrets and Scandals through November and December… a listing that comes after their initial listing for the episodes of the series. Perhaps some amendments have been made to acknowledge the upcoming anniversary, or the recent return of many Doctors in the Centenary special The Power of the Doctor?

Dublin filming

The claimed filming – on November 9th at Brendan’s Café in Dublin – has been variably credited by those present to Channel 4 or Channel 5, based on what crew told them… with one individual claiming to have been told it was for a spinoff show. But given what we know about the production of the documentary: it would be very unusual for the team of Secrets and Scandals Of to come back to do further interview work on the Doctor Who episode three months later, and as far as we can tell, there is no connection between Brendan’s Café and any episode or contributor involved in the classic run of the show.

News Imminent?

Nerdgazm believes that further details about the release of The Secrets & Scandals of Doctor Who are soon to be given. We will post any updates as and when we receive them.

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