On Sunday it came to light that Stef Coburn, son of Doctor Who‘s first author Anthony Coburn, is suing the BBC for copyright infringement, claiming that his family is owed compensation for every appearance the TARDIS has made in the show and out of it (story can be read at the Doctor Who News website). You see, the TARDIS first appeared in the story that Anthony Coburn wrote, and Stef believes that the BBC has been withholding due compensation for its subsequent use of the TARDIS.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this case unfolds. On the one hand, I can understand his desire to see his father’s work receive the acclaim it deserves, but I must admit it was rather stinky of him to wait until the week before Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary to make his claims. Personally I believe the timing was deliberate; Stef could have spoken up sooner, but instead he wants to try to ruin the fun of countless Whovians everywhere by besmirching the 50th anniversary celebrations. What I also find interesting is that his mother, Anthony’s wife Joan, never felt compelled to sue the BBC for copyright infringement despite Stef’s claims that the rights to the TARDIS fell to her after Anthony’s death in 1977.
What will happen next? We’ll just have to see. In the meantime, he’ll only ruin the party if we let him–so don’t let him.