Friday, April 19, 2013

A Fictional History of the Future of DOCTOR WHO (1990)

Back before Doctor Who was successfully revived on television in 2005 (with Christopher Eccleston in the title role), and even before the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann, I had wondered about how the series might retool itself for the Nineties following the broadcast of Sylvester McCoy's last story "Survival" at the end of 1989.

     In 1990, I thought that a new actor as the Doctor would be needed, someone who would excite more interest than the 1980s incarnations had -- someone more in the mold of 1970s favorite Tom Baker, or perhaps an older actor like the original Doctor, William Hartnell.  However, I thought it was important to maintain continuity with the past, and so I dreamed that if I ever became producer of Doctor Who, I would at least want to produce one last season featuring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, and his companion Ace, so that fans of those two characters would not feel abandoned by the change.

     I also thought it would be useful to bring back Richard Hurndall, who had played Hartnell's Doctor in the 1983 episode "The Five Doctors," to reprise the role and help reintroduce the core concept of the character to a new audience, as well as providing hints to the Doctor's origins for the fanbase.  (I didn't know at the time that Hurndall had unfortunately died back in 1984, shortly after his appearance on the program.)

     The following correspondence was written by me to a friend on October 11, 1990, presenting my ideas for an "interlude season" starring Hurndall, followed by a final season featuring Sylvester McCoy, which would then set the stage for "Actor X" (as I called him) to take over the role.

     I was only 19 years old when I wrote this stuff, though I would turn 20 the following month, and wrote out these ideas simply because I thought they were good ideas that ought to be shared, but didn't seriously consider writing out scripts from these plots.  Too bad, as I think they could have been developed more, if not as TV scripts, then as one of the other outlets for Doctor Who stories that were being done in the Nineties, such as audio plays or novels or comics.  Who knows, maybe someday...

                                       Left to right: Ace, Glitz, Mel, and the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy).

Around the same time as I wrote the above ideas out (late 1990), I had also some more story ideas for Sylvester McCoy's final season, as well as for his successor....