Its 1963. Youre involved in planning the show that will become Doctor Who. A question arises: what should the Doctors space/time vehicle look like?
Heres an excerpt from a memo of that period:
Evidently, Dr. Whos machine fulfils many of the functions of conventional Science Fiction gimmicks. But we are not writing Science Fiction. We shall provide scientific explanations too, sometimes, but we shall not bend over backwards to do so, if we decide to achieve credibility by other means. Neither are we writing fantasy: the events have got to be credible to the three ordinary people who are our main characters, and they are sharp-witted enough to spot a phoney. …
When we consider what [Dr. Whos Machine] looks like, we are in danger of either Science Fiction or Fairytale labelling. If it is a transparent plastic bubble we are with all the lowgrade spacefiction of cartoon strip and soap-opera. If we scotch this by positing something humdrum, say, passing through some common object in [the] street such as a night-watchman’s shelter to arrive inside a marvellous contrivance of quivering electronics, then we simply have a version of the dear old Magic Door.
Therefore, we do not see the machine at all; or rather it is visible only as an absence of visibility, a shape of nothingness ….
Evidently the rejected common object option ended up being reconsidered. But what bizarre definitions of science fiction and of fantasy must they have been working with, to deny that Doctor Who was either?