Imagine finding an unknown work from a highly influential writer. In news that, timing-wise, simply could not have worked out better, The Radio Times is reporting that a trove of never-before-seen scripts from the early days of "Doctor Who" have been discovered in Herne Bay in Kent.
Local prop maker Jason Onion unearthed the scripts while doing research on the town's shared roots with the classic science-fiction series. Onion found the scripts in an old box of papers which belonged to "Doctor Who" writer and creator of TARDIS Anthony Coburn.
"With the consent of Anthony's wife, Joan Coburn-Moon, and other family members, the family lent me a box of his work and I saw the scripts, but put them to one side," Onion said in an interview. "When I scanned the cover later I realised it didn't have the right title for the first episode. I had a look and as soon as I saw the first few pages I knew it was not the episode that had been televised. I just sat there, and stared and stared. I wanted to cover them with glass. They are unbelievably precious, and I had them in my hand."
While specifics on the stories is scarce, the collection is said to include two versions of "Doctor Who"'s first episode, 'An Unearthly Child,' as well as an alternative second episode. Additionally, a three episode story revolving around the Masters of Luxor was discovered, a story arc later replaced by 1963's "The Daleks."
"You can see that the template for the Daleks came from Anthony," Onion said.
"You can see in these episodes a device to unlock TARDIS, which became the sonic screwdriver, and the science and regeneration and renewal of the body, which were all created in Anthony's mind. This find completes the genesis of Doctor Who from Anthony Coburn's imagination. The drafts explain the mystery of Doctor Who, his origins, his people and all the background."
Again, the timing of the discovery is near perfect, as Onion hopes to arrange for a public display of the works as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the character. "It may be possible to arrange something for the 50th anniversary of the series in November," he said. "It would be fantastic to celebrate Herne Bay's connection and give Anthony Coburn the credit he deserves."