November 13 2013

BBC Sued Over the Use of the TARDIS in Doctor Who


What is Doctor Who without the TARDIS? Well, one man in England may be trying to show all of us what that world may be like.

Stef Coburn has filed a lawsuit against the BBC over its use of the iconic blue police call box as the form of the TARDIS in the Doctor Who series. Just who is Coburn? He is the son of Tony Coburn, the man who wrote the first episode of the series in 1963, “An Unearthly Child.” He claims that the informal rights to the TARDIS expired in 1977 when his father passed away and at that time went to his mother, Joan. She supposedly passed them on to Stef earlier this year and now he is looking for the BBC to stop using the police call box as the shape of the TARDIS or else royalties be paid on every use of the design since 1977.

A BBC spokeswoman told the Radio Times, “The BBC registered the TARDIS trade mark in the 1980s unchallenged and there have been no challenges since.”

Considering he claims the rights reverted to his family 36 years ago, and no challenge was offered at the time the BBC registered the trademark, it is highly unlikely a court will side with Coburn. It doesn’t help that he has stated that he is “extremely angry” that an upcoming television dramatization of the creation of the series, An Adventure in Space and Time, downplays his father’s role in the creation of the series. Nothing helps your court case like sour grapes.

Colburn does have some reassurances for the fans, however. “The only ends I wish to accomplish, by whatever lawful means present themselves, involve bringing about the public recognition that should by rights always have been his due, of my father James Anthony Coburn’s seminal contribution to Doctor Who, and proper lawful recompense to his surviving estate.” He went on to add, “It is by no means my wish to deprive legions of Doctor Who fans (of whom I was never one) of any aspect of their favourite children’s programme.”

I already don’t like him for never liking the show and calling it s kids show. Let us keep our TARDIS!

Source: Radio Times .

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