Doctor Who

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!

 

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.

 

An Alternative Ending

This is an alternative ending to Matt Smith’s last episode The Time of the Doctor. Not for a moment will I claim to be able to write a better ending. However this was a scene that dropped into my head after watching the episode.

A couple of things:

1)  This is a draft. There is passive voice and a probably a fair bit of clunk going on. That’s not important. For me this was an exercise in getting a story out of my head and onto paper as soon as possible.

2)  There may be plot holes. I wrote this without thinking too closely about the wider story or the loose threads that needed tying up.

*******

Enemies the Doctor had faced his entire life converged upon the old house, cornering him. And the Doctor stood in the doorway, defiant to the last. He would buy the townspeople some time. Tell the Daleks something clever. Distract them with his death while the others got away.

The Doctor grimaced. There was nowhere for the residents of Christmas to run.

He stepped out into the falling snow, trying to find a place clear of running people.

“I’m here!” he roared and a Dalek laser tore through him just as he knew it would. It brought him to his knees and his eyes met Clara’s across the field. “Run,” he mouthed, no sound coming out. Only a few had made it onto Trenzalore. Soon the whole Dalek fleet would be upon them.

Clara turned towards the TARDIS but spun back round again, her eyes wide. The Doctor’s own eyes narrowed but Clara wasn’t looking at him. He followed her gaze up towards the crack in the universe that had appeared in the night sky – and through the tear came a flood of regeneration energy.

The Doctor felt his hearts thudding too quickly and he clutched his chest, holding on for the miracle come too late. To regenerate amidst battle meant certain death anyway.

He began to laugh, a painful wheezing. “To hell with the rules hey?” he muttered to the Time Lords who would never hear him. He gasped as the regeneration energy fed into his body.

“The – Doctor – is – regenerating!” a Dalek screamed and the Doctor collapsed, his change beginning.

Clara ran to the Doctor, falling to her knees at his side.

“Clara, you have to get them out of here!”

“I have to get you to the TARDIS,” she said, tugging at his arm. Another laser cut through the air above them.

“No,” the Doctor panted, his hands beginning to glow. “I don’t have time and they just want me. Go. Save them.”

Clara pulled away, twisting around in the snow.

“Help me!” she screamed into the chaos. People ran in all directions. The Doctor grunted, the glow of regeneration spreading throughout his body.

“Help him!” she yelled again and this time the people closest to them stopped, turning to see that it was the Doctor who lay dying in the snow. Three or four dropped to the ground beside him.

Screams and laser beams filled the night but the residents of Christmas slipped their hands beneath the Doctor and hefted him from the ground.

“No – please. No!” the Doctor shouted but the people he had protected for three hundred years pressed on, dragging the old man towards the TARDIS against his will. The Doctor held on, struggling to delay his regeneration. It would kill everyone around him.

“Take them into the TARDIS!” the Doctor begged Clara. “I’ll catch up. I promise.”

Clara ignored him, clutching one of his legs to try and keep it from dragging along the ground.

“Leave me!” the Doctor bellowed.

Another group of townsfolk gathered, standing shoulder to shoulder to create a barrier between the Daleks and the Doctor. The Doctor cried out as they began to fall, one by one, to the weapons of his old enemies. With a scream of rage, the Doctor gave up fighting the townspeople and focused his attention on fighting the monsters. He threw himself to one side and let a flood of regeneration energy blast from one hand, taking out a Dalek.

More townsfolk moved to help, clearing a path before those carrying the Doctor. A contingent of the Order of the Silence joined the fray.

Another Dalek trundled towards a group of fleeing youths and the Doctor let another blast stream out from his other hand.

Lasers ripped through the crowd and the Doctor screamed with them as they fell. Still the people continued on. When one of the townsfolk dropped the Doctor into the snow with their death, another stepped forward to take their place, lifting him once more.

Pain lanced through the Doctor’s body as he fought to control his regeneration.

“Hang on, Doctor,” Clara pleaded and she dropped his leg, running for the TARDIS.

A Dalek appeared from behind the time machine, heading towards Clara. Another blast of energy took it out, the effort wracking the Doctor’s body with agony.

The door opened and to the sound of people falling and dying, the Doctor was deposited onto the floor of the TARDIS. Clara dragged him by his feet towards the console. The silence inside the ship as the door swung shut seemed to mock the slaughter outside.

“Clara…”

Clara looked down at the Doctor, reaching out to touch him but the regeneration glow grew brighter, making her pull back sharply.

“Doctor…” she breathed. “Tell me what to do.”

The Doctor gasped a laugh. “Now you want to listen to me.”

Clara’s watched the Doctor anxiously, eyes glistening.

“You’ve seen me change,” the Doctor continued, his voice tired. “You need to step back.”

Clara shook her head, tears beginning to fall. “No, I mean, what am I going to do without you?”

“To change is to survive, Clara.” The Doctor rolled his head to one side, watching the vision of a grown Amelia Pond coming down the stairs to kneel at his side. “But I never forget,” he continued, shifting his gaze between the two of them. “I’m going to be someone else. But I never forget my friends. And I will never, ever forget when the Doctor was me.”

The glow of his regeneration grew brighter still and Clara pulled back, sobbing.

Regeneration energy burst from the Doctor, changing every cell in his body from the inside out. It coursed through him and he gritted his teeth against the tidal wave that burned away everything that had been him, transforming him into something renewed and undiscovered.

The wave ended abruptly, leaving an entirely different man lying on the floor of the TARDIS. The mysterious man sat bolt upright, boggling wide-eyed at Clara.

“Didn’t I tell you to get everyone into the TARDIS?” he snapped, grey eyebrows drawing down to frame angry eyes. The Doctor struggled to his feet and staggered past a stunned Clara to fling open the door. A shot hit the door beside his head.

“Well come on then!” he shouted into the war raging outside. “What are you all waiting for? Everyone in here. Now!”

Evolution Update

Today I was sent the cover for my Doctor Who novella Evolution!

I’d post it here but I’m not allowed to yet. It’s being kept under wraps along with all the other covers for the stories in this season. I’m really excited about it though – and extremely happy with that way it has turned out. It’s so lovely to see a scene (or a landscape in this case) brought to life by an artist.

I’ve now done my final edits and the manuscript has been returned to the editor for one last glance. I don’t expect that I’ll need to make any more changes, which is great. I can now focus on my next project… more to come on that soon!

 

The Greatest Story Never Told

My daughter is a massive Eleventh Doctor fan. For Christmas last year, I wrote her a short story which made her the star of her very own Doctor Who story. Perhaps best of all, it gave me the opportunity to play with Photoshop and create a book complete with pictures that made it look as though my daughter truly did go on this adventure. My daughter was suitably impressed and excited to receive this gift, much to my delight. Now only if I could get Matt Smith to sign it for her :)

Read the story: The Greatest Story Never Told
or you can read it in pdf format: The Greatest Story Never Told (pdf)