“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one.” So says Dr Who back in season five, and he’s certainly followed his own advice, as the UK prepares for the 50th anniversary of the cult series. Celebrating this epic milestone is Steven Cook , a London College of Fashion tutor, whose photographic exhibition this month reveals long lost photos of the Doctor’s much loved companion Ace.
Sophie Aldred, the actress who played Who’s assistant, is seen behind the scenes in shots captured by Cook while he was working for Marvel UK as art director of Doctor Who magazine in the 1980’s.
“We were licensed by the BBC and because I was also a freelance photographer it was arranged that I could go on set and attend the press calls and interviews, thereby getting exclusive images for the magazine.” Explains Cook, “During Sylvester McCoy’s era, I struck up a friendship with Sophie Aldred who played Ace and along with a terrific make-up artist called Nina Gan, we shot pictures in our spare time for our own amusement. A lot of the previously unseen photographs from these sessions will be exhibited in September alongside images from the show itself.”
Looking back on the legacy of Dr Who Cooks says: “ I think of watching Doctor Who as the rite of passage for every child in this country, as it has been since the early sixties. Just as the seasons came and went, so did The Doctor. My first memory of him was as the grumpy old man who I really wanted as my own Grandfather. I watched him on telly every week. The Zarbi, the Cybermen and of course the Daleks. How could he defeat them all!?! I watched him throughout his first three incarnations, then I stopped, but he didn’t stop inspiring me; so when I finally ended up working on the Doctor Who magazine it was one of those things that your younger self would be so very thankful for. And ever since; the genius of the show and the whole concept of Time Travel went a great way towards inspiring my own Time Travel art project ‘Alternity‘. “
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