Monday, March 5, 2007

An Explanation

Firstly, let me say this. Eric Saward is a great writer.

But I think he's a terrible human being.

And if any one person should be blamed for the crashing and burning of Doctor Who in 1985, it's him.

A script editor that dislikes the main characters, the regular actors and his boss quite clearly isn't suited for the job, yet Saward was. Season 22 is full of pointless, violent and abrupt stories that for the most part sideline the one Doctor that needed time for us to get to like him. Saward's decision to make Season 23 a "screw you" to the BBC rather than say, try and get the show to survive is damning in itself. I've read his final script for the show he didn't care about.

We lost NOTHING.

So, I - and some like minded but far more talented individuals including published author Cameron J Mason, Jared Hansen and Miles "Balls of Steel" Ried - intended to do rather than say. If say, some freak time storm deposited us back in 1985 with the opportunity to write for the series with the same basic plots, sets, actors and even titles, could we have done a better job?

Needless to say, the original stories remain the copyright of (deep breath) Eric Saward, Anthony Stevens, Paula Moore (maybe), Philip Martin, Peter Ling, Christopher H Bidmead, Glenn McCoy, Robert Holmes, Barbara Clegg, Patt Mills, Chris Bidmead, Terry Nation, Gerry Davis, Kitt Pedler, Chris Chinball and Ian Stuart Black. And no infringement is intended, this is just us who fans attempting to prove a point for their own amusement. Doctor Who is owned body and soul by the BBC, and good for them.

I honestly believe it would be a close-run thing, but I'm not arrogant enough to think we'd win effortlessly.

And so, a quick guide to Doctor Who if *we* wrote it...


Warriors of the Deep by Johnny Byrne (4 episodes)

The Awakening by Eric Pringle (2 episodes)

Frontios by Christopher H Bidmead (4 episodes)

Warhead of the Daleks by me (4 episodes)
The story that kicked off Season 22 in style and content, and arguably the most confused script outside Dimensions in Time, well, Resurrection of the Daleks needed a rewrite like an ameba needs a nervous system.

Planet of Fire by Peter Grimwade

The Caves of Androzani by Robert Holmes

The Twin Dilemma by me (4 episodes)
Now, you really cannot have a go at Eric Saward for this one - as he was rewriting an unfinished script by someone who was so out of it he thought his typewriters were trying to kill him. But if there's a more important story in canon that screwed up this bad, let us know.
1. Back from the Dead
2. Mestor the Magnificent
3. Infinity of Surprises
4. Endgame


[episode titles may change]

The Attack of the Cybermen by Jared Hansen (4 episodes)
Definitely where the rot set in, but mastreo of characterization JH intends to turn it fantastic. Check out the original, unabridged first episode on his blog He'll post the rest in his own time, but it will be worth the wait. It's brilliant.
1. Uneasy Allies
2. A Cold War
3. The Road To Telos
4. Showdown

Vengeance on Varos by Jared Hansen (4 episodes)
The one everyone seemed happy with. Well, we thought different. If the original creeps you out, the remake will make you sleep with the light on from hereafter.
1. Realm of Chaos
2. Quillam's Domain
3. Condemned Changelings
4. The Final Broadcast

Hex by Cameron J Mason (4 episodes)
The Mark of the Rani is too good to be rewritten directly, but too poor to be left alone. CJM takes the lateral approach of replacing it with a "missing story" with suspiciously similar themes. The Doctor and Peri arrive on what seems to be Earth in the past... Looks to be good, but don't hold your breath. (Just joshing, Cam. Please don't kill me.)
1. Distractions
2. Deception
3. Perception
4. Too Clever by Far

The Enemy Within by me (4 episodes)
Yes, I'm back. It's time that title was used on a proper story, and this will not allow you to look at the main characters of Doctor Who quite the same way ever again. The Doctor and Peri are trapped in a 1920s mansion haunted by something insane that wants them dead.
1. The Darkest Night
2. Shadows
3. War of Nerves
4. Broken Promises

Bid Time Return by me (2 episodes)
A character-based story set in an exotic sun-kissed alien city... and the powderkeg contained therein.
1. In the Beginning...
2. ...Goodnight And Amen

The Androgum Inheritance by Jared Hansen (6 episodes)
It's The Two Doctors. Only better. Much, much better.
1. A Tomb In Space
2. The Massacre on J7
3. Company of Madmen
4. The World-Eater
5. Countdown
6. Face to Face

To Catch A Thief by Jared Hansen (4 episodes)
A proper historical! No aliens, time machines or Torchwood here, thank you very much. Doctor Who meets Dick Turpin!
1. The Last Highwayman
2. Strong Justice
3. Walking Into A Trap

The Chase of Pathos by me
A single episode story with no science fiction or horror content whatsoever!

The Riddle of the Styx by Cameron J Mason (2 episodes)
Another story you definitely won't see coming, as Doctor Who enters... unexplored areas.
1. Before the Legend
2. Stranger than Myth

Only A Matter of Time by me (4 episodes)
At the dawn of history, a new age is beginning on a forgotten world.
1. Into the Fire
2. Rust Never Sleeps
3. Iron Legion
4. Soul's End

Legacy of the Borad by Miles Reid (6 episodes)
Miles Reid has no conception of mortal terror. Which is what coursed through the rest of us at the thought, the concept of doing TimeLash. If there is a way to become the literary equivalent of Mohammed Ali, then this is it.
1. The Maylins of Karfel
2. The Final Days
3. Bandril Battle Stations
4. Stirring Embers
5. The TimeLash Empire
6. Whirlpools

The Song of the Space Whale by me (4 episodes)
Remember Turlough? You will in this story of eco-terrorism, biblical parody, and EarthLink Dilemmas.
1. A Spanner In The Works
2. Castaways & Stowaways
3. Running the Gauntlet
4. The Space Whalers

In The Hollows of Time by Cameron J Mason (4 episodes)
If there is such a thing as good fanwank, this is the story it will be in.
1. A Deadly Signature
2. Brush With Disaster
3. Crisis in Time
4. In the Jaws of Death...

The End of the Road by me (4 episodes)
I started, and I might as well finish, in this, the ultimate challenge to improve the story all the retarded grass-munching baby boomers thought impossible to make better... Revelation of the Daleks!
1. Tranquil Repose
2. Harsh Truths
3. The New Order
4. A Meeting With Destiny

Arcade Games by me
The Doctor Who Christmas special set at Blackpool Pleasure Beach... and a familiar Mandarin.
i. The Nightmare at the Fairground
ii. Stalemate of the Toymaker
iii. The Elmon & The Mechanic
iv. Game Over

As well as --

C-Day (formally known as The War Machines)
The Apocalypse (formally known as The Tenth Planet)
The Problem With Lisa (formally known as Torchwood: Cyberwoman)
Blake's 7: Hostage by Jared Hansen and me.

Well, why not?

So, pull up a seat and see history rewritten without giant winged monsters consuming all life on Earth!

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