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Trivia / Doctor Who S16 E2 "The Pirate Planet"

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  • Acting for Two: Tom Baker briefly plays the Doctor and his projection.
  • Creator Backlash: Douglas Adams didn't like the casting of Bruce Purchase as the Captain. He envisaged a grotesque, and felt that Purchase played it far too jokey.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Mary Tamm named this as her favourite story.
  • Name's the Same: There was another sci-fi four-parter entitled The Pirate Planet serialized in The '30s in these four Astounding issues. The two stories are completely unrelated.
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  • No Adaptations Allowed: One of just four Doctor Who stories from the show's original run not to receive a novelisation by Target Books, as the success of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meant Douglas Adams was priced out of Target's range but he was unwilling to let anyone else novelise them. BBC Books published a novelisation based on Adams' original outline in 2017, following on from their previous novelisations of Shada and City of Death.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Douglas Adams' original outline involved a planet which is being mined by the Time Lords, who use a giant aggression-sapping machine (disguised as a statue) to pacify the natives. One Time Lord (stuck in the slow-time field, in the midst of his last regeneration) becomes trapped in the statue and absorbs all the aggression, inducing him to turn against his people. He causes the mining devices to hollow out the planet and now plans to make it dematerialise and reform around Gallifrey.
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    • Additionally, Adams had conceived a drug addiction allegory, about a company which preys on people who fear death by offering machines which can slow time for them — but at an exorbitant price. The company goes bankrupt, however, leaving one old lady in need of a source of fantastic energy.
    • Mula's line "I get the feeling the Doctor isn't fully in control" was originally supposed to be spoken by Romana but Mary Tamm was having problems saying "control". Pennant Roberts initially complained that she was saying it in her natural Yorkshire accent and then that she was using too much of a posh voice so she ultimately suggested that Primi Townsend say the line instead.
  • Working Title: The Pirates.
  • Written-In Infirmity: The Doctor's accident where he falls and bangs his face on the console during the TARDIS' failed attempt to materialise on Calufrax was staged to explain Tom Baker's real-life cut lip. This was due to a dog bite from a Jack Russell terrier owned by Paul Seed which had occurred during filming of the preceding story "The Ribos Operation" (where Seed played the Graff Vynda-K.)


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