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Ragtag Daily Prompt: Copyright

I recently listened to a Big Finish Doctor Who audio production called Original Sin, which was one of the plays which was in their short lived range of adaptions from the Virgin New Adventures and Missing Adventures ranges. It’s a notable book as it introduced a pair of new companions to the Doctor Who range: Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej and it features the return of an old foe from the 1968 serial The Invasion, no not the Cybermen but the human villain Tobias Vaughan and actually gives a convincing reason as to how the character survived his “death” in The Invasion. Obviously in the audio drama his is played by a different actor due to the original actor no longer being alive. What is a more interesting issue is that in the book Tobias Vaughan is named and referred to as such once his identity is revealed, the audio drama he is not named and his identity while clear, is only employed. The reason for this I don’t actually know but I assume it was to avoid an issue with copyright on the character as Vaughan is no doubt owned by the “Invasion” script writer Derrick Sherwin. Times have changed in copyright law and in Sherwin’s autobiography he does rather frequently keep pointing out characters and concepts he created.

Of course many a good series has bent copyright rules. The Prisoner is quite clearly supposed to be John Drake from Danger Man and the excellent series Kaldor City (nothing to do with Superman) has a character who is quite clearly supposed to be Avon from Blake’s 7 but it is different enough to deflect any challenge presented.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Copyright

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