Follow TV Tropes

Following

Blooper / Doctor Who

Go To

Doctor Who suffered from many of these, especially during the Classic series, due to limited budget and hasty scheduling. First Doctor stories often included glaring line flubs as the episodes were shot on tape almost if they were being broadcast live; editing on the kind of tape used was cumbersome and very expensive (as the high-cost tapes could not then be reused), so the scenes were committed to tape in order and scene cuts were done by switching cameras. Editing remained expensive up until the early 80s, something Tom Baker notoriously exploited to force his various adlibs and scene-stealing into the show against a director's wishes. Listing all the bloopers would require its own wiki. Ignoring virtually omnipresent Visible Boom Mic, visible strings on the special effects, and wobbly sets, some of the funnier ones:

Advertisement:

  • William Hartnell's dialogue fluffs are the stuff of legend; many of his serials are graced by at least one, many memorable for as much for his attempted saves (born of his training in theatre and live television) as for the miscue itself. Many Who books and websites recount these in detail.
    • "The Chase": A classic Hartnell fluff when the Doctor is refusing Ian and Barbara permission to return home in the Daleks' time machine: "You'll end up as a couple of burnt cinders floating around in Spain... in, er, space!"
    • "The Time Meddler" offers a unique example of Hartnell correcting someone else's flub: when Peter Purves, playing Steven, talks about the TARDIS landing on "the pebbles" (he should have said "on the beach"), the Doctor, very much in character, demands, "On the what?!"
  • "The Web Planet": A Zarbi runs towards the camera and unexpectedly bumps into it. This serial also includes a blatant prompt directed at William Hartnell: "What galaxy's that in, Doctor?"
  • "The Ice Warriors": The Ice Warriors have finally penetrated the base. They come in through the door in a fairly dramatic scene. One Ice Warrior, near the back, bangs his head on the doorframe. Another Ice Warrior sees this, ducks slightly as he enters to avoid this fate and then bangs his head anyway.
  • Advertisement:
  • "The Web of Fear": The villain rants about his plan and the characters Security Cling to each other in fear. Except for Chorley, who, trying to hold Victoria from behind, accidentally touches her breast and quickly adjusts his hand.
  • "The Wheel in Space" has the Doctor confidently announcing "We'll all be killed unless we switch over to sexualnote  air supply." Neither he nor the other actor visibly react at all.
  • "The Mind Robber": The Master's Ominous Multiple Screens were real screens showing the live feed from the cameras. In the scene with him at the end of Part 1, you can actually see the ending credits of the episode are cued up on one of them. Since the episode contains moments of Noticing the Fourth Wall, it works beautifully.
  • Advertisement:
  • "The Krotons" features the character Beta being in both the Underhall and the lab simultaneously, as dialogue intended for another character was reassigned to him to save money on another speaking part.
  • "The Seeds of Death": The Doctor comes bursting in through the door on a wave of foam, skids and goes flying onto his face. Zoe's actress absolutely cracks up for the whole of the rest of the scene.
  • "Inferno": One of the dials famously reads "Megga Volts". (As one guide book said, the set designers went to art school.)
  • "The Three Doctors" has a creepy reveal when Omega takes off his mask and he has no body underneath it. Omega puts his mask back on, and flies into a Villainous Breakdown in which he's Chewing the Scenery so much that his mask flips up, revealing the actor's face, in closeup, just before the camera setup cuts to another angle.
  • "Pyramids of Mars": Sutekh rises from his throne, revealing the hand of a production assistant holding the seat down.
  • "The Brain of Morbius":
    • During the mindbending contest, Sarah Jane can be heard calling the Doctor "Tom". This is even subtitled on the DVD.
    • When Morbius is run off the cliff, Stuart Fell couldn't see what he was doing due to the limited visibility the Morbius suit gave him, misjudged his fall and collided with the camera.
  • "The Deadly Assassin" has the Doctor Spiking the Camera during a scene. This isn't that unusual since the Fourth Doctor had shades of a Fourth-Wall Observer and loved larking about in front of the camera that only he knew was there, but the trouble is that the camera is supposed to be a shot from the scope of a sniper rifle. The resulting effect is that it gives the impression that the Doctor knows the sniper is there, when it's in fact a key point that he doesn't, ruining the interpretation of the scene.
  • It was normal in Doctor Who production to use liquorice allsorts instead of jelly babies when possible, because they were substantially cheaper and to give Tom Baker a break. This unfortunately leads to several shots where the Doctor offers people jelly babies that are visibly allsorts, like in a prominent closeup in "Image of the Fendahl". The Expanded Universe suggests he does this deliberately to confuse people.
  • There's one Season 16 story where the Doctor is in full comic flow bellowing at Romana in the TARDIS, and unexpectedly burps, before resuming with a slightly more cowed air as if he had been expecting a retake. May have qualified as Throw It In!.
  • "The Horns of Nimon" has a legendary scene where a Mauve Shirt is blasted by Graham Crowden as Soldeed and falls to the ground writhing in agony, his trousers splitting open. Later Crowden, whose performance in this story is pure Ham and Cheese, manages to crack up during his own death scene, although he just about manages to rescue it by turning it into a crazy Evil Laugh.
  • "Logopolis": The Doctor wears a flashy pair of buccaneer boots throughout, but upon regenerating they transform into brogue shoes. This was because the shoes were an original part of the costume as designed and thus owned by the department, but the boots were a pair of Tom Baker's own personal shoes that he'd appended to the costume himself, and left the show with him.
  • "Castrovalva": At the end, you can just about hear a hungover Matthew Waterhouse throwing up at the back of the set while the Doctor and Tegan are discussing the plot.
  • "Battlefield": In a much less funny example, at the end of the cliffhanger where Ace is stuck in a water tank you can faintly hear Sylvester McCoy shouting "get her out!". This is because the special effect had malfunctioned, the glass had cracked and the water was approaching some exposed wires taped to the floor. If McCoy hadn't intervened Sophie Aldred would have been electrocuted; as it is, she escaped with just some cuts to her hands from touching the cracked glass.
  • "Dalek" rewrites the map of the continental US in one scene by omitting Upper Michigan (the state is divided into two peninsulas, the southern shaped like a mitten and the northern shaped like a boot). Perhaps it's part of Canada in this universe. (The same map also merges the New England states apart from Maine.)
  • "The Idiot's Lantern": When the Wire kills Mr. Magpie and shocks the Doctor on the transmission tower, the Doctor's foot disappears for a moment thanks to a green screen error.
  • "Human Nature": In the opening shot of the scene with the schoolboys at machine gun practice, a large, white, anachronistically modern semi truck can be seen driving from left to right in the distance (this is supposed to be 1913).
  • "Partners in Crime" has one of the most noticeable continuity errors in the new series: during the scene where the Doctor and Donna are in the window-washers' bucket, the cable Miss Foster cuts changes sides between shots of Foster on the roof and shots of the Doctor and Donna in the bucket.
  • "The Poison Sky": When the Doctor and Clone!Martha are in the ATMOS factory, just after the Doctor tells Donna over the phone that he's coming, the camera and crew can be seen reflected in a door in the background.
  • "Day of the Moon": A production assistant is clearly visible in a long shot. Steven Moffat apparently had a Retcon to this to make this into Clara, but this didn't end up going in the eventual episode.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report