In an alternate universe, the very first episode of Doctor Who was greeted by this awesome cover of the Radio Times, the BBC's venerable weekly guide to television listings. But in our world, this cover was mocked up — and then canceled because of a belief that Doctor Who was just a fill-in show that was going nowhere.

This unused cover below comes from an exhibition celebrating the 90th birthday of the Radio Times. And it's accompanied by a memo from the BBC's Head of Serials, Donald Wilson, complaining about the Radio Times' decision not to promote Doctor Who after all:

I was unhappy to hear to-day that the proposal to give 'Dr Who' the front page of the 'Radio Times' had now been abandoned. It was particularly distressing to hear that one reason given was lack of confidence in the programme at Controller [Kenneth Adam's] level. I assure you that this does not exist and if you have a word with [him] I know he will express enthusiasm. I myself believe that we have an absolute knock-out in this show and that there will be no question but that it will run and run.

I would be most grateful, if it is not too late, for the decision against it to be reversed, and that will help me to get this show off to a good start.


At least Wilson was right about the "run and run" part. [Doctor Who News]

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