Today in Doctor Who: Shada is cancelled (1980)

ShadaShada was meant to be the final story of Season 17. However, a combination of rampant inflation in Britain and union strikes prevented its completion. Those parts of the story that were filmed were retained, and John Nathan-Turner was able to reuse them later in two notable ways. In 1983, a few clips of the show were integrated into ‘The Five Doctors’ when Tom Baker proved unavailable for filming. Later, in 1992, the existing footage was integrated with some new linking narration by Baker.

The industrial action occurred due to conflict over which union had jurisdiction over the operation of an elaborate clock that was featured on the BBC children’s programme Play School.



June 25, 1966 in Doctor Who: The War Machines

The War Machines was the tenth and final story of season 3. There were several companion cast changes in this story — Dodo Chaplet, played by Jackie Lane, left, while Polly and Ben Jackson, played by Anneke Wills and Michael Craze, joined. Ben and Polly join Dodo herself, Barbara and Ian in the fact that they accidentally entered the TARDIS and then later joined the First Doctor as companions.

The TARDIS arrives in London in 1966 and the First Doctor and Dodo visit the Post Office Tower. There they meet Professor Brett, whose revolutionary new computer WOTAN (Will Operating Thought ANalogue) can actually think for itself and is shortly to be linked up to other major computers around the world — a project overseen by civil servant Sir Charles Summer.


It transpires, however, that WOTAN considers humans to be inferior and believes they should be ruled by machines. Exerting a hypnotic influence, it arranges the construction of War Machines — heavily-armed, self-contained mobile computers — with which to take over the world.

These prove more than a match for troops, but by establishing a magnetic force field the Doctor is able to capture one of them, which he then reprograms to destroy WOTAN. Dodo, now back in her own time, decides to remain on Earth. The Doctor enters the TARDIS alone, but Brett’s secretary Polly and her merchant seaman friend Ben Jackson follow him inside just before it dematerialises.

Find out more at

The Doctor stands up to the War Machines on the Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1967 on WORLD TV: Our World

Our_World-1967Our World was the first live, international, satellite television production, which was broadcast on 25 June 1967. Creative artists, including The Beatles, opera singer Maria Callas, and painter Pablo Picasso—representing nineteen nations—were invited to perform or appear in separate segments featuring their respective countries. The two-and-half-hour event had the largest television audience ever up to that date: an estimated 400 to 700 million people around the globe watched the broadcast. Today, it is most famous for the segment from the United Kingdom starring the Beatles. They performed their song “All You Need Is Love” for the first time to close the broadcast.

The project was conceived by BBC producer Aubrey Singer. It was transferred to theTV-UK-06-25-1967 European Broadcasting Union, but the master control room for the broadcast was still at the BBC in London. The satellites used were Intelsat I (known as “Early Bird”), Intelsat 2-2 (“Lani Bird”), Intelsat 2–3 (“Canary Bird”), and NASA’s ATS-1.

It took ten months to bring everything together. One hitch was the sudden pull-out of the Eastern Bloc countries headed by the Soviet Union in the week leading up to the broadcast. Apparently it was a protest at the Western nations’ response to the Six-Day War.

The ground rules included that no politicians or heads of state could participate in the broadcast. In addition, everything had to be ‘live’, so no use of videotape or film was permitted. Ten thousand technicians, producers, and interpreters took part in this gigantic broadcast. Each country would have its own announcers, due to language issues, and interpreters would voice-over the original sound when not in a country’s native language. In the end 14 countries participated in the production that was transmitted to 24 countries with an estimated audience of between 400 and 700 million people. [Wikipedia]

Watch a feature about the broadcast on the Science Museum YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1984: Roger Taylor is on a ‘Strange Frontier’

Roger_Taylor-Strange_frontierStrange Frontier is the second album by the English musician Roger Taylor. This album includes two covers as well as a heavier sound than the previous album. Although Taylor again played most of the instruments himself (drums, guitars, bass and keyboards) and did most of the vocals, there were some occasional cameos by producer David Richards (on synths and piano), Status Quo member Rick Parfitt (on rhythm guitar) and Queen’s bass guitarist John Deacon (on bass and mixing), Brian May (rhythm guitar on “Man on Fire“) and Freddie Mercury (additional keyboards, and it is rumoured Mercury did backing vocals on “Killing Time”, although this is speculative).

Multiple musical elements from the song “I Cry for You (Love, Hope and Confusion)” (the drum machine, harmonies, chord progressions and overall arrangement) would be reused for the Queen hit song “Radio Ga Ga“, released later the same year. [Wikipedia]

Listen to the album on Spotify.

June 25, 1982 in US cinemas: Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl

“Never before in the entire history of human civilization has there been a motion picture called…”

Monty_Python_Live_At_The_Hollywood_Bowl-1982Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a British concert comedy film directed by Terry Hughes (with the film segments by Ian MacNaughton) and starring the Monty Python comedy troupe (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) as they perform many of their greatest sketches at the Hollywood Bowl. The film also features Carol Cleveland in numerous supporting roles and Neil Innes performing songs. Also present for the shows and participating as an ‘extra’ was Python superfan Kim “Howard” Johnson.

The show also included filmed inserts which were mostly taken from two Monty Python specials, Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus, which had been broadcast on German television in 1972. The performance was recorded on videotape in September 1980 and transferred to film. In the wake of Life of Brian‘s worldwide success, the Pythons originally planned to release a film consisting of the two German shows redubbed and re-edited, but this proved impractical, and so Hollywood Bowl was released instead.

Although it mostly contains sketches from the television series, the scripts andCinema-US-06-25-1982performers are not identical to those seen on television. The line-up also includes some sketches that predated Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including the “Four Yorkshiremen sketch”, which dated from 1967’s At Last the 1948 Show.

Watch the trailer on the cinetobi YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1982 in US cinemas: Megaforce


Megaforce-1982Megaforce (or MegaForce) is an action film directed by former stuntman Hal Needham. The film starred Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatta, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare, George Furth, Evan C. Kim, Ralph Wilcox, Robert Fuller (who, years later, admitted to being less than fond of the picture) and Henry Silva. [Wikipedia]

Ace Hunter (Bostwick) is the leader of Megaforce, an elite group of American soldiers who travel the world to fight Evil. In this case, Evil is represented by a third rate dictator who they must blow to bits. [IMDB]



Watch the trailer on the DigThatBoxHOLLYWOOD YouTube Channel.

June 25, 1962 in UK cinemas: The Phantom Of The Opera

“BENEATH HIS MASK…the Grotesque Face of Horror Unimaginable! INSIDE HIS HEART…the Desperate Desire for Beauty and Love!”

The_Phantom_Of_The_Opera-1962The Phantom of the Opera is a British horror film based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The film was made by Hammer Film Productions.

It stars Herbert Lom as The Phantom/Professor Petrie, supported by Heather Sears as Christine and Michael Gough as Lord Ambrose D’Arcy.  The Rag Trade‘s Miriam Karlin and future Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, also appear. [Wikipedia]

The corrupt Lord Ambrose D’Arcy steals the life’s work of the poor composer Professor LCinema-UK-06-25-1962. Petrie. In an attempt to stop the printing of music with D’Arcy’s name on it, Petrie breaks into the printing office and accidentally starts a fire, leaving him severely disfigured. Years later, Petrie returns to terrorize a London opera house that is about to perform one of his stolen operas. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the 100YearsMonsterMovie You Tube Channel.