Ghost Ship – Season 40, Story 1

DOWNLOAD GHOST SHIP HERE.

A distress call, abruptly cut off, leads the Doctor, Val and Tom to a ship where only a handful of people remain. Ghostly shapes prowl the corridors, picking off the survivors one by one.

Then the TARDIS is taken.

The Doctor is forced to take desperate measures to track down the alien force behind the ghostly apparitions, find out who sent the distress call and explain why six life signs are registering, when only five people are aboard…

You can read more original Doctor Who stories at The Doctor Who Project website!

Ghost Ship Cover (by John Gordon Swogger)

Doctor Sherlock and Danny Watson?

Buzz about the new Doctor Who series is swirling around the internet. The fandom is divided – as usual – but I think the general consensus is positive which is lovely. For myself, I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know this new Doctor. Peter Capaldi is brilliant and Jenna Coleman is now being given a real chance to shine.

Something has really piqued my interest though. I’ve found myself contemplating the Doctor’s characterisation more closely than usual. I’m particularly interested in trying to predict the dynamic between the Doctor and his yet-to-be, kind-of-companion, Danny Pink. The conclusion that I’ve come to (and am slightly concerned by) is that the Doctor might be becoming Sherlock. And could Danny be Dr John Watson?

It started with this line:

“Top layer, if you want to say a few words.”

At the time I laughed and reveled in the delicious darkness of that line. Later I thought, “Oh, shit. Sherlock just spoke out of the Doctor’s mouth!”

A lack of empathy largely defines Sherlock’s character. He is described as a high functioning sociopath and while the Doctor is thankfully still reaching out to people for connection in his grumpy kind of way, one could argue that his dialogue at least is sounding rather devoid of empathy. In fact, his dialogue is sounding extremely Sherlock. It doesn’t take much effort to imagine Benedict Cumberbatch delivering the above line in his droll, uniquely resonating voice. Similarly, I can hear his voice in this:

“Yeah, my carer. She cares so I don’t have to.”

But moving on.

There’s been a fair bit of talk about the Doctor suddenly having a disdain for soldiers. At first I didn’t want to think about it but eventually I had to admit that this doesn’t seem to make much sense. The Doctor has had many close dealings with U.N.I.T. Clearly the Doctor has never thought much of the way soldiers choose to deal with things but he’s never displayed any specific distaste for them that I can recall. If anything, he’s been more chiding. Perhaps it might be argued that this Doctor’s more bristly personality means that he is now happy to be open about his disdain. I’m not sure that I’m sold on that though.

This brings us to Danny Watson, I mean – Pink.

“I just wish you hadn’t been a soldier.”

Journey Blue was denied companion-status and the only reason this scene was written is because it sets up the relationship between the Doctor and Danny, a former soldier.

It stands to reason that Danny’s relationship with the Doctor might help him come to terms with his killing of a civilian. I expect we might see antagonism and bonding over this shared experience. One tick for character development.

But what might make Danny want to travel with the Doctor in the first place?

Danny is a soldier-turned-teacher and perhaps he simply wants to learn more about his love interest, Clara. But might we see a, “You’re not haunted by the war, Dr. Watson. You miss it,” moment? I don’t think that Danny will necessarily miss war. But I do wonder if travelling with the Doctor will reveal Danny’s need for excitement and danger in the same way that Dr Watson needs these things in his life.

In conclusion?

Well, I don’t know. I love Doctor Who. I’ll follow the journey wherever it takes me. Some things I’ll love. Other things I won’t.

Writing is hard. Writing for a successful show like Doctor Who must come with a lot of pressure. Writing for Doctor Who and Sherlock sounds… well, super hard. So I wonder whether it was inevitable that one show might bleed into the other.

 

Where are all the women?

There have been six female writers for Doctor Who in 50 years. Six. And that’s only if you count two people who may not have actually written much or any of the script.

I’ve never really thought about it before. At least, not until I glanced over the list of writers for Series 8. I was pleased to see some of the usual suspects. These are some great writers. Writers that I love. And all of them men.

Of course, the best writer should get the job. But then that would suggest that time and time again, women haven’t been up to the task. I refuse to believe that, so what is really happening here?

The truth is – I don’t know. What I do know is that networking and referrals is the way this industry works. So as a screenwriting student who is constantly thinking about how to break into the industry, it is a little daunting to see that my favourite show does not appear to employ female writers.

I’m sure this issue extends well beyond Doctor Who. I’m reluctant to look into this further though. Breaking into this industry is hard enough without having such a powerful shadow as ‘statistics’ hanging over me. Belief in failure can only have one outcome.

No, I’m just more determined. And on that note – back to writing my feature film!

 

Nooooope!

I used to be really open to all kinds of theories. Even when things sounded far-fetched I still perched on the fence, not willing to rule out any possibility. At some point though, I allowed myself to really notice what my instincts were telling me. And far more often than not they were saying, “Nooooope!”

People can and do have their own beliefs. That’s perfectly fine in many circumstances but make no mistake. These are beliefs. Far too often I see arguments formulated upon false premises. Whether it is the anti-vaxxer movement, climate change deniers, alien conspiracy theories or Facebook hoaxes, all to often the arguments for their validity are based on an incorrect proposition. Take the anti-vaxxers for example. Many of their arguments are based on the idea that vaccines cause more diseases than they prevent. That simply isn’t true and the result is that we are now seeing the return of preventable diseases. Another example can clearly be seen in the quote and screenshot from the Ancient Aliens series that I have posted below.

PumaPunkuDebunked

Generally I don’t care if people’s beliefs are harmless. What does get me angry is the spread of any misinformation that causes far-reaching adverse effects such as climate change denial or incorrect claims about vaccination. I’m also not partial to being treated as though I’m naive or ignorant simply because I don’t believe there is any merit to your particular ideology. But I’m not going to bother arguing the point with any individual if I can avoid it – because people will almost always remain unmoved in the face of evidence when it challenges their belief system. Religion is proof enough of that.

Dammit, Ben!

Of the five graded assessments that I turned in for my uni course, I have received four “High Distinctions”. I am still waiting to find out how I did on my “Assess TV” presentation. The suspense is killing me.

I can’t help but be intrigued by my attitude towards my grades. I’ve never been a high-achiever – in high school or at the two inappropriate university courses I started and never finished. For that matter, I’ve never been able to stick with anything for long. I guess it just shows that I’m never going to do well at anything when my heart isn’t in it. It is therefore a pleasant surprise to be getting good grades. Leaves me with a warm and fuzzy feeling ;)

Prisoners of our own device

I’m zeroing in on the theme for my feature film project. And I can tell you, it’s been a headache.

That’s what happens when you naturally gravitate towards political ideas – at least for me. It means that I often come at a story with social commentary or a moral in mind. Unfortunately, deciding upon a theme in a story isn’t always what comes first. More often than not, a theme is discovered. It kind of pops out from somewhere in between the characters, the conflict and the setting. So what starts off as a clear idea about what I want to write, morphs into something entirely new.

There is a lot of letting go in this process. It hurts to have to put aside an idea and admit that perhaps this time, the story isn’t about x, y, z.

Originally, I started out wanting to write a story that said something about class-ism. While I haven’t deviated very far, I’m realising that the theme for this story is more about prisons – those that are imposed on us and those we devise for ourselves. It is about authority and how easily we hand our power over to others – often to our own detriment. And it is also about refusing to see the truth of our prison.

All of us live in prisons. There is no such thing as true freedom. It doesn’t exist. What do your prisons look like?

Evolution – Season 39, Story 4

Download Evolution here

While travelling to the Eye of Orion, the Doctor and his companions encounter a powerful telepathic field that tears the TARDIS from the Time Vortex. Crash landing on the planet Satrigon in the year 3450, the Doctor discovers that the primitive species he once knew has become an advanced military civilisation, in just over 200 years.

The Doctor, Val and Tom investigate claims that gods have advanced the species and learn that the population regularly experience psychic communication with these mysterious deities known collectively as The Colony.

When the time travellers begin to experience these events for themselves, the Doctor and his companions become caught in a race against time to find out what is accelerating the evolutionary rate of the Satrigorns—before worlds are destroyed and the lines between reality and illusion are dissolved permanently.

You can read more original Doctor Who stories at The Doctor Who Project website!

Evolution - Titles - Kevin Mullen - MEDIUM

The Companions Collection

Journeying through all of time and space in the TARDIS is an experience like no other. But travelling with the Doctor changes a person, and often comes with a price. Doctor Who fans already know the challenges a companion faces – but what happens outside of the episodes, books and audio plays?

The Companions Collection delves into this void, daring to explore the possibilities that the official series is unlikely to ever confront.


THE COMPANIONS COLLECTION

Parting Clouds (May 2013)

Every evening, an old woman waits for the sky to clear so that she can see the stars and feel a little closer to understanding the sadness in her heart. On this night, however, a mysterious man joins her in her nightly vigil.

Jack and the Doctor (Jan 2014)

Jack has thwarted the invasion of Earth by a species known as the “456” but success has come at a terrible personal cost. Grief-stricken, Jack wanders the world alone, not realising that he is searching for one man.

One Last Adventure (on hold… thanks uni assignments)

The Doctor and Clara hunt an alien creature with the ability to devastate London’s vegetation if left to breed. Tracking the critter to a cemetery in Ealing, the Doctor finds more than he bargained for –  the grave of Sarah Jane Smith.

Silver Leaves (Nov 2014)

Set within the episode “The End of Time”. The Master fights to salvage his plans of world domination from the Time Lords who have returned from Gallifrey to destroy the Time Vortex and end time itself.


More to come!

 

*Head desk*

From a recent Facebook status update:

Coming out of four days of illness and launching myself into writing a story outline. Now my head hurts… I have all these ideas floating around me – some circling slowly, others zipping this way and that. Occasionally one idea hits another and they snap into place. Then a rogue asteroid of an idea hurtles into the orbit, smashing into my infant planet and sending bits and pieces flying in all directions. Ugh!

Right now I’m struggling. Yes, I have a lot on in my life at the moment. I’ve been unwell and I’ve had lots of other things on my plate. But overwhelmingly, I’ve just been plot-tied. I’m not sure I would call it writer’s block. Not really. I have ideas. They’re just not coming together yet.

That’s it. I just wanted to vent.