Last time on ‘The Chairs of Doctor Who’.
Season 8 contained perhaps the most celebrated scene involving a chair. “Sylvia, will you check Mr. McDermott’s entitlement on termination of employment, please.”
Death by chair.
In fact, it was a vintage season throughout, with as many chairs as I could take in one sitting.
This time around, we travel 12 years forward in time, and tick off the 1980’s, with season ‘birthday’.
Arc of Infinity
The arena for Gallifreyan hijinks has its own spectator seating area, using these 1970s chrome dining chairs by Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin.
Meanwhile, Michael Gough enjoys being grand in this Domani chair, made by the German company Odo Close in 1972. It’s a rare item, which brings up memories of ‘Space 1999’ and ‘The Caves of Androzani’. This time the Domani is featured without headrest.
In the corridors of power, we have what I believe to be a Swiss sofa – a lesser known sectional design by De Sede. Some listings call it ‘Talisman’ – although I’m not convinced. It’s a lovely moulded shape, using suede. It’s a sofa that features in Blake’s 7 as well, particularly in season C, on Sarran and Sardos.
This story includes another sectional sofa, although this one was tricky to identify. It pops up in Blake’s 7 – ‘Sand’, and also in this obscure farewell broadcast for ITV franchise holder in the South West – ‘Westward’. Both are 1981, so I was fairly convinced we’re talking a 1970’s design here. I love the way that the ’20 years of Westward’ set design, is not far off what Gallifrey would look like a couple of years later!
This sofa also was a mainstay of the BBC’s short lived ‘Nationwide’ successor – ‘Sixty Minutes’. I wonder if it is the very same sofa? I mean it does look a bit battered and bruised from all that Gallifreyian canoodling.
More significantly, it is the sofa of choice in Pierre Carrdin’s decorated ‘Palais Bulles’ in France. The sofa is question is part of the Bogo furniture System by Carlo Bartoli.
Bogo contains 300 different elements, some curved, some straight, so it is perfect for all kinds of space age configurations.
Meanwhile, we have a 1970’s Rattan chair (not the same one as seen in ‘The Ribos Operation’). I need to warn you in advance, we’re going to see a lot of Rattan in this season.
And there is a familiar 1970’s leather dining chair, which is instantly recognisable from a couple of episodes of Blake’s 7, particularly in the courtroom in ‘Trial’. It’s slightly gothic, with an arch shaped backrest. It’s as distinctive as it is unidentifiable.
Hello ‘Terrazza’, by Ubald Klug for De Sede of Switzerland. As in ‘The Sun Makers’, it languishes in the background.
Sometimes it’s the most distinctive chairs, that are the hardest to find. This carved item, echoes a ladder back design, however I am still unable to identify it. Victorian Yorkshire dining chairs, are the closest I could find, which isn’t vaguely close enough.
Another appearance for the sectional sofa, that features in the preceding story.
Can’t make out this jet black leather executive chair. There’s just not enough of it on screen.
And another rattan peacock chair, similar to the one seen in ‘Arc of Infinity’.
But we do have these Danish X Line Stacking Chairs by Niels Jørgen Haugesen for Hybodan AS, 1977.
Finally, a classic style of chair appears once more. A carule chair.
At Chez Brig, we have all kinds of early 20th century furniture. Club chairs, tufted Chesterfield sofa and upholstered loungers.
On board the TARDIS, you can’t move for Rattan. Here we have furniture that has a distinctly Art Nouveaux style to it. The jury is out about whether they are stools or side tables.
Our good friends the Pieff Eleganza’s by Tim Bates, make another appearance. Sadly not long after this was broadcast, Pieff went into terminal decline and administration.
Oh yes, more Rattan peacock chairs. And a rather mundane looking industrial chair on Terminus itself. It’ll probably be a classic.
On Wrack’s vessel, the Buccaneer, there are all kinds of carved furniture on show. I opted for Heraldic chairs, and came reasonably close.
More ephemeral artefacts are on show. Alas I can’t identify these particular dining chairs.
Edwardian tufted wing back chair.
Eternal Rattan peacock chair. Probably nicked from the TARDIS, yet a slightly different design. And what is this in the console room? MORE Rattan seating!
The Kings Demons
We have some of the finest medieval artefacts from the props store. In fact, to my delight, I found this particular prop is still in use. So I’m going to stick the pink border around it. Keeley Hire is the company and the link is at the bottom of the page.
I couldn’t find the others. Too much to ask, I suppose.
The Five Doctors
These chairs look so much like these Willy Rizzo dining chairs, with a touch of Milo Baughman thrown in. Close, but no cigar.
Finally we raise a glass to the 20th anniversary, while sat in these ghastly 1970’s Rattan barrel chairs, possibly Dutch in origin. I say ghastly, I mean they sell for a pretty penny online.
What have we learned from this anniversary season? Well, we have access to space age thinking that us mere humans can only dream of. We can tap into alien technology again and again at the click of a finger. We can even find some money down the sofa to spruce up the TARDIS console room. But, when all is said and done, Rattan is flavour of the month.
Well I never.