The Saurus Mystery Solved

Yesterday, a delve inside the TV Zone magazine from November 1993, found an article about a mysterious BBC sci-fi project called Saurus. Apparently, it was in development, with pre-production starting on the 13 episode series, including some model shots that were featured in the article.

This show was never made, and I found no references to it anywhere else on the internet. But because the internet is a massive social network, a friend of mine put me in touch with Stuart Clark, the author of the original article and many astronomy books including The Search For Earth’s Twin. He says:

That was me writing a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. The show never made it past the pitch. I was in conversation with the FX guy, Bill Pearson, talking to him about Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct. He whipped out a folder and showed me his idea for a show. The images made it publishable. He was a fun Scot who had a workshop at Shepperton Studio.

Thanks to Stuart for the information. We’ll dive into another vintage magazine tomorrow.

What is Saurus?

There’s a mystery in the November 1993 issue of TV Zone magazine.

In amongst all the usual bits and bobs about Who, Trek, and Dwarf, there’s an article previewing an in development BBC sci-fi show called Saurus. It has vague details about the characters, some hints at the series plot arc, and even some photos of props and models that had been made.

I can find no record of this show ever making it to the air, nor any other mention of it anywhere on the Internet. Anyone know anything about this one?

Deep Space Nine in TV Zone #47

This is the cover for the issue 47 of TV Zone, published in October 1993.

And here is a letter from an incredulous reader, presumably referring to the lack of a Doctor Who 30th Anniversary Special.

I hope Simon was much more credulous circa 2005.

The main article in this issue is an interview with Rick Berman and Michael Piller, the co-creators of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (one of my favourite iterations of the franchise).

The review of the CIC releases of Deep Space Nine on VHS gave me fond memories of this trailer that sat at the beginning of each and every one of my DS9 tapes.

Rimmerworld in TV Zone #46

There’s a big gap in my small collection of TV Zone magazines. Either I didn’t buy editions 31 to 45, or they’re in another drawer somewhere, or I just didn’t keep them. Whatever the case, the next one in the chronological pile is this:

There’s a fair bit of talk in about the aborted 30th Anniversary special for Doctor Who. A letter from Will Wyatt, who at the time was the Managing Director of Network Television at the BBC, squarely blames the fans for getting their hopes up, since “no final decision had been taken to proceed with the project”. Read much more about it all here. What they ended up making instead was this:

Considering that most of the pre-publicity for Red Dwarf VI focused on the episode Gunmen Of The Apocalyse, it’s interesting to see that there’s a whole article about Rimmerworld here, and the experience of shooting the location scenes.

rimmer03

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The episode was planned to air fourth in the series, and set itself up as a sequel to the Gunmen episode, but ended up being shown fifth instead.

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TV Zone #31: With Zaphod Beeblebrox

I found these in a drawer:

So guess what this blog will be obsessed with over the next few weeks?

Let’s start with the June 1992 issue, featuring a cover of Gates McFadden, and promising an insight into the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that the BBC banned.

The episode in question was season three’s The High Ground, which the BBC explained was not aired because “the whole tone is one trying to justify terrorism”.

Moving on, we see this.

It seems Sky One was about to show the first (and only) season of CBS’s The Flash, starring John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays.

One of the main colour spreads (this was when magazines still had black and white pages), is an interview with Mark Wing-Davey, talking about Zaphod Beeblebrox. Click the images to see them in full resolution.

The article was written by Jane Killick, who you might know as a novelist, or for her books about Red Dwarf and Judge Dredd.