Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Enemy of the Empire and The Thistle of Fear

I don't know how rare it is to be both an SNP supporter and a lifelong Doctor Who fan, but as one such person I felt it was my public duty to inform you of something rather odd.  Like many others, I was thrilled and amazed the other day to discover that nine Patrick Troughton episodes that had been missing from the BBC archives for decades (five episodes of The Enemy of the World and four episodes of The Web of Fear) had suddenly turned up in Nigeria.  I dutifully downloaded itunes onto my computer, as for now it's the only way of watching the episodes.  So far I've got to episode five of The Web of Fear, which contains a series of scenes in which Victoria and Professor Travers are held captive by the Yeti in the London Underground.  Bizarrely, in the background, large as life, is the SNP logo.  Initially I thought I must be imagining things, and that it was probably an advert for a brand that used a similar logo, but no - clearly discernible in the middle of the thistle head are the letters 'SNP'.

I don't think anyone could accuse the BBC of giving free advertising to the SNP or the Yes campaign these days, but clearly things were different back in 1968.  How it happened is anyone's guess - the story was filmed in a studio rather than in the real London Underground, so the logo must have been put there 'deliberately', as George Foulkes would say.  I suppose the SNP weren't as well known back then (notwithstanding the Hamilton by-election) - maybe the people decorating the set thought it was an advert for washing-up liquid!


  1. Well spotted James, no got tae that bit yet masel (still girnin ower the iTunes download). As ye point oot, that wis deliberate set-dressin, which makes it even mair puzzlin. If the settin wis 'Scotland in the near future' or 'Scotland in the 1980s' ye could suppose that wis a realistic imaginin, but in the London Underground? They must've thought the SNP were gaunnae be awfy popular, like, awfy awfy popular...

  2. Tom Harris will be choking on his porridge!

  3. Vote No or the Yetis will get you?