The Nelvana Animated Series

Imagine, if you will, an incarnation of the Doctor, that somehow manages to carry traits of the Fourth the Doctor (his scarf and jacket), a bit of Jeff Goldblum, a bit of Peter O’Toole, a bit of Christopher Lloyd, and some more of other incarnations’ traits mixed in. On the surface, this concept seems a bit out of place, but it was in fact almost a reality. In 1990, following the cancellation of the original series, BBC enlisted the animation studio Nelvana to tackle an animated series. 

Nelvana had notoriously dealt with adaptations and franchises in times past. They have dealt with everything from toys, games, and kids books, as well as creating their own original productions. A few of the franchises that they took on included: The Magic School Bus, Star Wars Droids, Star Wars Ewoks, Beetlejuice, Care Bears, Inspector Gadget, Fievel’s American Tails, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, and many, many others.

Their Doctor Who production, however, never managed to make it to air due to the BBC pulling the plug after finding a cheaper price from another animation studio. Nelvana got the ball rolling on the project even if they hadn’t been able to produce a pilot. In the wake, they had managed to hammer out four scripts and storyboards.

As a result, we have some general idea of what could have been. The Doctor, himself, would carry traits from previous incarnations, but it’s very unclear as to what regeneration or variation he was. Rather, we are left to assume about this version and how he came to be until at least some further information surfaces. It was very likely that he would have a new female companion, but not much was really known beyond that about her status. K-9 would appear with a design very much in the vein of his original show counterpart.

The Master would return, apparently as a half-human, half-robot, that looked like Sean Connery and had a cybernetic bird companion. The Daleks and Cybermen would return as well. How everything connected fully, however, remains very much unclear and open to speculation.

There have been animated Doctor Who projects produced since this failed attempt, but one has to wonder how long this series would have lasted and what else it could have offered, especially in the wake of The Wilderness Years.