The Frighten Factor
It was 40 years ago today that end of “The Gothic Horror” period of Hinchcliffe/Holmes began.
“The Deadly Assassin”
The cliffhanger to Episode 3 – where Goth holds the Doctor’s head underwater in an attempt to drown him – came in for heavy criticism, particularly from the ‘clean-up TV’ campaigner Mary Whitehouse. She often cited it in interviews as one of the most frightening scenes in Doctor Who, her reasoning being that children would not know if the Doctor survived until the following week and that they would “have this strong image in their minds” during all that time. After the episode’s initial broadcast, the master tape of the episode was edited to remove the original ending. However, off-air U-matic recordings of the original broadcast exist with the ending intact, and have been used to restore the ending on the VHS and subsequent DVD release.
It was the pinnacle of power for Mary Whitehouse (National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association) who was anti-TV violence campaigner. She would never have so much power again.
It eventually lead to Phillip Hinchcliffe being replaced as Producer.
Mary Whitehouse would ironically pass away on November 23,2001- Doctor Who’s 38th Birthday.