The truth about the David Burton “Doctor Who” pilot

Last week I wrote about how I met David Burton, who was claiming to be the new Doctor Who back in 1991. A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from the current editor of Doctor Who Magazine, Tom Spilsbury.

This rang some bells. I checked and an earlier tweet showed what had prompted the comment.

A documentary on the Doctor Who: Inferno – Special Edition DVD includes an interview with David Burton and, it seems, the DWM pages including my photographs. The producer of the documentary, James Goss, offered a copy of the DVD as thanks. Given the payment I got for the original publication of the photographs, it seems about fair. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing it.

David Burton at the fete

A couple of weeks later, Doctor Who researcher Richard Bignell got in touch. He was planning a more in depth article about the claims made by David Burton. I told him what I could remember of the fete itself and the David Burton story in general. Following a trawl through my photo albums and archives I was able to find the photographs I had sent to DWM all those years ago. The two that were published still have the comments made by the photo editor on the back, and there’s a sceptical note from the then-editor John Freeman with them.

John Freeman's note about David Burton

DWM editor John Freeman’s note to me about David Burton. I think his conclusion was right.

Richard’s article is available now at the Nothing at the End of the Lane site. It includes some more of the photographs from the fete, in colour for the first time. The detail in the article is a testament to the hard work he has put in. He has even pinned down the exact date of the fete and uncovered facts about Burton that I didn’t know. It’s bizarre that something that I happened across has appeared in press, on a BBC DVD and resulted in Doctor Who fans around the world talking about this mysterious “lost” pilot. Over twenty years after I took them, those photographs just keep on giving. 🙂

David Burton, the new Doctor Who

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    3 Responses to The truth about the David Burton “Doctor Who” pilot

    1. John Freeman says:

      That comp slip has got to be a hoax. You can read my writing! 🙂 All the best…

    2. Tony says:

      Haha, thanks John!

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