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2003 - The Year of the Wake-Up

Well, it’s been quite a year of the Official Timeslip Website… and it was only our FIRST year – imagine what’s yet to come!

Let’s spool back to Sunday, February 2nd 2003, which fell on one of the coldest weekends that Britain had seen for quite some time. Snow was in evidence in many parts of the country and many homes were without power. However, there was one corner of north London where the there was a definite glow and high-spirits were very much in evidence!
The Official Timeslip Website was being launched at the home of series’ creator and script editor, Ruth Boswell and many of the former cast and crew had gathered from all corners of the country to celebrate the event!
It was very gratifying for a couple of part-time writers like Andy and I to see so many people who we so admired turning out to help us celebrate the launch of the site. It was something that neither of us will ever forget and it made us humble to think that so many of those wonderful people have since become our friends.

EarlyApril 2003 and two amazing discoveries! After much searching and lots of dead-ends I finally managed to track down two of the ‘missing’ cast members! John Barcroft (Dr. Bukov) and Ian Fairbairn (Alpha 4/Dr. Frazer) are both now retired, but using a bit of detective work I was able to find both of their home addresses and chance my arm with a phone call. I am delighted to report that both men were happy to talk to me about their life and careers and both subsequently sent me CVs for later inclusion on the site.

Ian invites me down to his house in West London and I made the first of several visits – the first being with Andy and Spencer (a long overdue reunion!) – and Ian and I became firm friends, exchanging telephone calls at least once a week.

21st September, 2003 and after a LOT of planning and the begging of favours, a small party of dedicated ‘slippers’ gathered at a pub in Herfordshire and prepared themselves to go Back to the Barrier! Star guests for the day were Cheryl and Spencer who were literally returning to the scene of the crime!

Cheryl hadn’t been back to the ‘Ministry Field’ since the location shoot on Timeslip had wrapped back in 1971. She later told me: “I never thought I would ever go back to where we filmed the barrier. That was so exciting and made me nostalgic and emotional. It is hard to believe that after 33 years, people are still interested and talking about Timeslip and that Spencer and I are still part of that memory.”

The event was recorded on video and some brand new publicity stills were taken.
Slipper and staunch site supporter David Convery recorded his personal recollections of the day, which you can read here.

6th October, 2003. The news is released that Denis Quilley had passed away the day before after a long illness…

4th November, 2003 sees Cheryl and Spencer in Derby addressing the monthly meeting of The Whoovers (the Derby & District Doctor Who Group) who had extended a welcome outside of the ‘Whoniverse’ to two other veteran time travellers.

The evening is a roaring success with the recently cleaned-up and remastered COLOUR version of episode 12 being shown to a wide-eyed audience… plus a rough edit of the Back to the Barrier video was shown.

The evening was rounded-off with a Chinese meal at The Excelsior in Derby (highly recommended!) and everyone going to bed at about 2.00am.

29th & 30th November and the final event of the year. Cheryl and Spencer guested at one of the highly popular Memorabilia events at the NEC in Birmingham signing photographs, meeting fans both old and new, posing for piccies and renewing old acquaintanceships. Everyone had a fabulous time (even Andy!) and we went away with some great memories. You can read more (and see more piccies!) here.

18th January. Nearly a year on and no sign of the momentum slowing! Already some of the Timeslip ‘gang’ have been invited to Odyssey: 2004 in Taunton over the weekend of 8th & 9th of May. So far confirmed are Cheryl, Spencer, Ruth Boswell and Ian Fairbairn. I’ll be on the panel, too – but don’t let that put you off attending!

Still to come this year on the site there will be the continuation of the brilliant Mike Noble comic strips that first appeared in Look-in magazine, more and updated biographies, more behind-the-scenes information, a map of the village of St. Oswalds (no kidding!) and the latest news from the world of ‘Timeslip’. And believe me, it ain’t over yet…

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