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As many showrunners have done before, Doctor Who isn’t the only Whoniverse-related show to be on the air under their era. Russell T. Davies had Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, Steven Moffat had Class and I suppose to some degree the short-lived Australian-K-9 series, even John Nathan-Turner had K-9 and Company. Nowadays spin-off’s are a staple of television. But much like Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, I want my proposed three or four spin-offs to compliment the main programme, not seem to ignore it as Class did for the most part.

If you are a fan of the Arrowverse which features shows like the now ended-Arrow and continuing, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, The Flash and Batwoman, you’ll know that every year or ‘season’, they do a massive crossover episode that has gradually gotten bigger with each year. Most recently we had Crisis on Infinite Earths and it’s always surprised me that Doctor Who didn’t do something similar. Across the three different spinoff’s I’ve got in mind as well as one episode of the main Doctor Who series, there will be a big crossover story, which will gradually get bigger with each passing series of the show.

The three spinoff’s I’ve got in mind are:

  • A Charitable Earth
  • UNIT
  • Torchwood

And I’d also possibly like to do a spinoff set on Gallifrey. But I need to think more about that one so not to retrace the same steps Big Finish took in their spinoff series about the Doctor’s homeworld.

Ace will lead the first of three spin-off shows A Charitable Earth, the first two episodes of which will see her assembling her crew of old friends
Ace will lead the first of three spin-off shows A Charitable Earth, the first two episodes of which will see her assembling her crew of old friends

And if you’ve recently seen the latest Star Trek outing, Picard, then you’ll no doubt have enjoyed seeing old faces from across the Star Trek canon turning up. A Charitable Earth will be like that, with a number of Doctor Who characters either in main or supporting roles. These characters will also come from other spinoffs including The Sarah Jane Adventures, as the first episode will also deal with the fallout of Sarah’s death as well as setting up the new series and characters from Class as well as one or two surprise character-appearances.

While we will be featuring new and old villains from all over the Whoniverse, the main villain for Series 1, which will run for thirteen episodes, will be The Faction Paradox, a cult who despise time-lords and time travel and will stop at nothing to put a stop to it. Below is a list of the main characters and supporting characters, as well as a list and blurb for each episode. I’ve also included a few lines and scene descriptions in prose form, to show I have a great handle on the characters.

Main Characters

Ace: Following her departure from the Doctor, Ace founded A Charitable Earth, an organisation that was designed to send aid to countries and peoples in trouble. Ace, though she is now known by her actual name – Dorothy McShane – is happy in her new life. She thinks of herself as ‘The Doctor’ now, helping those who can’t help themselves. But what she keeps secret from the rest of the world is that she also helps aliens, either stranded, stuck, exiled or fleeing wars, to set up new lives on Earth. She also isn’t afraid to send invaders packing either. Following the ‘death’ of Sarah Jane Smith, she also found herself acquiring K-9 and Mr. Smith.

While K-9 helps her scientists catalogue and analyse alien technology, as well as helping Dorothy, Mr. Smith has detected strange goings-on from a seemingly normal club. Dorothy finds herself up against the Faction Paradox, a cult who hates Time-Lords and time-travel. And they know all about the mysterious Dorothy McShane. Ace knows she’s going to need all the help she can get.

Professor Bernice Summerfield: At a dig in her own time in the future, Bernice finds herself uncovering the frozen remains of a spaceship. When she gets inside she finds a number of stasis-pods. Inside each one is a friend of the Doctor’s, including Ace and herself?! When she’s pulled back through time by the machinations of The Faction Paradox, she sets out to warn her old friend about what is happening and that at some point, they’ll all find themselves stuck in the future. But Bernice finds herself now stuck in the past and has to adapt to life in a time period that isn’t her own.

Ace's old friend Bernice Summerfield will play a large part in Series 1 as she falls through time as part of the Faction Paradox's plan
Ace’s old friend Bernice Summerfield will play a large part in Series 1 as she falls through time as part of the Faction Paradox’s plan

Melanie Bush: An old friend of Ace’s, Mel has returned to her own time-zone and set up another company creating computers. Mel has come into a lot of money and like Ace, gives much of it away to charitable causes. Ace uses much of Mel’s technology in her own company and calls on Mel to try and find anything on the Faction Paradox online and throughout history. What Mel finds out chills her to her core, the Faction Paradox has been on Earth since its the very beginning and even had a hand in the formation of her company, forcing her to wonder who she can trust.

Rani Chandra: Following on in the steps of her mentor, Sarah Jane Smith, Rani has begun a formidable journalistic career and following her ground-breaking piece on Project: Refreeze, Rani is finding her life a little difficult. She’s got government officials at her door, threatening legal action because he piece is threatening to destabilise parliament and as someone who has travelled through time and journeyed in the TARDIS, she finds herself hunted by members of the Faction Paradox when she stumbles across them investigating for another article. This leads to her joining forces with Ace to stop the Faction Paradox.

Mel would be brought into A Charitable Earth as Ace needs her help and she discovers something is going wrong with her computer company
Mel would be brought into A Charitable Earth as Ace needs her help and she discovers something is going wrong with her computer company

Andrea Quill: Following on from the ending of Class, Miss. Quill has given birth and left her job at Coal Hill School. Ace offers her a position as her head of security, which allows her to get much more hands-on than teaching ever did. Which is just the way, Miss. Quill likes it. But she slowly begins to find herself adapting to life on Earth, even getting human emotions slowly. When the Faction Paradox kidnaps her baby, wounding Charlie and Mattuesz in the process, Miss. Quill sets out with the help of A Charitable Earth to get her child back before her child is sacrificed too.

Iris Wildthyme and Panda: Having arrived on Earth, in her TARDIS disguised as a double-decker bus, Iris Wildthyme decides to visit a few old friends and decides to join A Charitable Earth, even though no one particularly wants her. Iris isn’t bad, she just doesn’t have the best track record intact, something Ace needs when dealing with alien threats. But as a time-traveller and someone who could be a Time-Lord, Iris can’t remember she’s had too many gin and tonics, the Faction Paradox plan to sacrifice her, not only to remove one more time-traveller, but a time-lord’s blood will release an ancient demon across the planet.

Rani would follow Sarah Jane's footsteps as an investigative journalist
Rani would follow Sarah Jane’s footsteps as an investigative journalist

Racing into the expansive courtyard, Iris found herself forced to a stop. She felt a small bump in the back of her legs, nearly toppling her over.

“Blimey Iris, when we are running away, you don’t just stop suddenly like that! You could have fallen on me and in that puff-skirt you’re wearing, I’d have been a flat pancake Panda on this surprisingly beautiful mosaic floor!” Panda looked down at the patterned stones once again, trying to memorise the intricate details and patterns featured there.

Panda came out of his revere at the sound of a number of guns being cocked in his direction. Iris turned to face him. “Oh ‘hecky-thump Panda. I think we’re in a spot of bother here.”

“Really Iris?” Panda looked up at the woman incredulously. “What gave that away, the fact we’re surrounded by a load of nuns with very big guns?” – Excerpt from the third episode, The Trans-temporal Adventuress

A Charitable Earth would see Miss. Quill working as the Head of Security
A Charitable Earth would see Miss. Quill working as the Head of Security

Supporting Characters

There will be a number of supporting characters across the series, both old characters the viewers will be familiar with and new characters, allowing the former friends of the Doctor’s to have lives. These include husbands and wives, though they won’t feature heavily, but will all form a lure for Ace and the gang to fall for the Faction Paradox’s trap.

These characters will include:

Will Buckland: First mentioned in the novel, At Childhood’s End, Will was an ex-boyfriend of Ace’s when she initially founded her charity. He will feature throughout the series and will pose as the potential love interest for Ace.

Ben Hayworth: Mel’s husband, first mentioned in the novel, Heritage, his origins will be different here and he won’t kill Mel as he does in the book, he provides stability for Mel who sometimes has her head in the clouds, the pair live happily together and he is a joint owner of the company that Mel founded.

Charlie Smith & Mateusz: Still living with Miss. Quill, Charlie and Mattuesz find themselves looking after her baby and teaching her the ways of the Earth. The pair have gradually come to like Miss Quill over the years but they along with the baby find themselves kidnapped by the Faction Paradox in an attempt to trap Miss. Quill.

Jason Kane: The husband of Bernice Summerfield, Jason works in archaeology with his wife. When Bernice falls for one of the Paradox’s traps and finds herself stranded in the twenty-first century, Jason has to find out what happened to her and if he can, get a message of warning to her.

Kelsey Hooper: There was a time when Kelsey was in Sarah Jane Smith’s orbit. One of the unwitting victims of the Bane and their Bubbleshock scandal, Kelsey soon found herself in the orbit of the Faction Paradox instead. Now she’s a fully-fledged member of their cult, hunting down anyone the Paradox tell her to. Even if it means she has to kill some old friends.

Rounding out the main gang is Iris Wildthyme, joined by Panda
Rounding out the main gang is Iris Wildthyme, joined by Panda

Melanie Bush heard the door to her office open, with a soft hiss. For a moment she didn’t look up, and finished typing up a report. Taking off her reading glasses, she pushed her red hair away from her face. She’d kept it virtually the same and she was happy that any signs of age hadn’t begun to creep in. Maybe something in the TARDIS fought off grey-hairs. Now her hair more controlled and even she had to admit it made life much easier.

Closing her laptop she looked up at her secretary. “Julie?”

Her secretary stepped forward. “I’m sorry to disturb you Mrs. Bush, but there is someone here to see you. She’s not got an appointment but she’s refusing to leave, says she’s an old friend of yours.” She swallowed nervously.

Melanie looked past her secretary and out into the corridor, the glass wall allowed her a good look at the coming and goings of her employees. There, in a rather familiar jacket stood her old friend. She waved from the other side of the glass. Melanie felt a smile cross her face. “It’s alright Julie, let her in and cancel all my other appointments for the day. Tell them I’m feeling a little under the weather.”

Julie nodded and opened the door again, stepping aside as the woman with shoulder length dark hair and the jacket covered in badges to step into the office. Ace waited for the door to close. “Hello Mel, long time no see.”

Mel stood up and the pair hugged. “How long has it been?” She asked Ace.

“About six years.”

Mel hugged her old friend again.

“I wish I could be here under better circumstances. But you see, there’s a spot of bother and I really need you’re help.”

Mel nodded and headed to the door, opening it she called across the lobby to Julie. “Better cancel all the appointments for the week.” When Julie nodded in response, Mel turned back to Ace. “Now, what seems to be the matter?” – Mel and Ace reunite in an excerpt from the second episode, Some Assembly Required.

The members of A Charitable Earth would be aided along the way by K-9 and Mr. Smith
The members of A Charitable Earth would be aided along the way by K-9 and Mr. Smith

The Series

1. A Charitable Earth

It all starts here! Find out what happened to Ace after she left the Doctor and what her charity actually does. Ace is happy, but she feels empty and as she gets older, she finds herself missing the old days, the aliens, the danger, her old friends and the Doctor. She’s suddenly thrust into her old world again of danger and monsters. When an alien refugee from a far flung war arrives on Earth, it seeks sanctuary in one of the outreach buildings for the charity. Ace finds herself flung into a feud between two alien families, two planets at war and a star crossed relationship that could hold the secret of planetary peace.

2. Some Assembly Required

Ace needs a team of specialists if she’s going to put together a covert team to tackle the alien division of A Charitable Earth. Luckily for her though, an old acquaintance of Sarah Jane’s, Rani Chandra is trying to write a piece about her charity, her head of security is an alien herself, her technology expert is a robotic dog, an old friend has just fallen through time and her predecessor in the TARDIS, Melanie Bush is happy to help. Can Ace assemble them all in time for their first mission?

3. The Trans-temporal Adventuress

With reports of a rogue Double Decker Bus having hit the streets of London, Bernice Summerfield has a feeling she knows whose behind the wheel. Iris Wildthyme and Panda have just narrowly escaped a deadly predicament and crash landed on Earth. But they don’t know that the Faction Paradox have followed them and are lying in wait. But Ace fears it could be worse than that, what if Iris was the bait and the Paradox are the trap?

The Trans-Temporal Adventuress would introduce properly Iris and Panda as well as really set up the Faction Paradox as the villains of the series
The Trans-Temporal Adventuress would introduce properly Iris and Panda as well as really set up the Faction Paradox as the villains of the series

4. The House of God

People have been disappearing around St. Judes Church, vanishing a puff of blue smoke. Ace fears something alien is behind it all and when the team investigate the Church, they find a deadly trap laid out by the mysterious Blue-Angels, creatures that have recently faced the Doctor. The walls of reality are weaker around St. Judes Church and could the Blue Angels be a precursor for something much worse? Something that has been waiting for a long time. Something hungry for the souls of the human race.

5. Time Team

When A Charitable Earth funds an archaeological dig, Ace sends Bernice along as a consultant in an attempt to cheer her old friend up. At the dig of what is believed to be a roman palace, Bernice finds herself caught up in the black market. In between having to stop smugglers getting away with priceless treasures and alien devices, she soon finds that the dig has disturbed an old evil. Can she stop that evil before it spreads across the whole planet?

6. Conversion – Part 1

Part One of the four part crossover epic. Years ago, Tobias Vaughn entered into a partnership with the Cybermen. As a result, the Cybermen used London’s sewer system to put a number of drones in hibernation. There were a number of hibernation chambers that had never been found. When a team of surveyors accidently stumble upon one of these chambers, the Cybermen wake up. Learning of their defeat, they set out to convert the city of London and then the world.

Investigating the disappearance of the survey team, Ace and her friends come up against the might of the Cybermen. But they know they can’t handle this alone. Its time for A Charitable Earth, UNIT, Torchwood and the Doctor to team up once again. But the Cybermen are determined to survive and will stop at nothing to see that goal achieved.

Conversion will be continued in Doctor Who – Series 5.

The Invasion-style Cybermen would be returning across the four-part Conversion storyline
The Invasion-style Cybermen would be returning across the four-part Conversion storyline

7. A Charitable Earth At Sea

Following the invasion of the Cybermen, Ace decides that her staff need a holiday and books them all on a Caribbean cruise. While Mel, Miss. Quill and Rani are happy to lounge around sunbathing, Ace, Bernice and Iris stumble upon an old temple when the ship docks. Inside the old inhabitants used to worship the Sea Devils. When the Sea Devils attack the ship, unaware of the truce met between the human race and their people in the Doctor Who story, Waters of Death, Ace and the gang must protect the crew and passengers of the ship, before the Sea Devils kill everyone on board.

8. Target Located

Picking up strange transmissions from a nearby ship, Rani, K-9, Ace and Mel find themselves up against some robotic enemies. Rani has faced the Automatons before, last time her Clyde found themselves the only people on the planet. But what do they want this time? They need to find out in a race against time as the Earth as forty-minutes before it’s destroyed completely.

9. The Many Faces of Iris Wildthyme

As the Faction Paradox close in, Iris finds time swelling around her with many different incarnations of herself arriving on Earth. What’s going on, Iris knows she’s crucial to the plans of the Paradox but she can’t let her friends die for her, so she takes all her previous incarnations and flies them away in the double-decker bus, leaving Panda stranded on Earth.

Ace and the gang follow her in a captured time-ship and run into many people throughout time who both love and hate Iris when they track her down, they find her TARDIS crashed on an alien moon but Iris is nowhere to be found.

The Sea Devils make an appearance in A Charitable Earth at Sea
The Sea Devils make an appearance in A Charitable Earth at Sea

10. Kidnapped!

With Iris in the hands of the Faction Paradox, their plans are coming to fruition. They begin to use the friends of Ace’s associates to lure them into their trap. First up is Miss. Quill who returns home to find her baby, Charlie and Mattuesz missing. Ace can’t find her on-off boyfriend Will and Bernice has to face the idea that her husband, Jason Kane is a member of the Paradox. Its time for Ace and the gang to take the offensive.

11. Old Friends that are New Enemies

There was a time when Kelsey Hooper was a normal girl. She had music channels, dressed in the latest clothes, had loads of friends and drank Bubbleshock. But then the Bane came and her life was turned upside down. When she turned eighteen the Paradox came for her. Now, sporting a cybernetically enhanced body, she is a hunter for the Paradox and her new target is A Charitable Earth. And she’s out to terminate them all.

Rani, K-9, Ace and Mel find themselves face to face with the Automatons once again in Target Located
Rani, K-9, Ace and Mel find themselves face to face with the Automatons once again in Target Located

12. The Faction Paradox

With Iris, Miss. Quill, Rani and K-9 prisoners of the Paradox, plans are coming to fruition. Soon Time Lord blood will flow and the Paradox’s master will rise to conquer the earth and kill anyone who has ever travelled through time. Ace, Mel, Bernice and Panda make a last-ditch attempt to free their friends and loved ones. But the Faction Paradox has been planning this resurrection a long time ago and they are prepared for every eventuality. Will anyone make it out alive?

13. Origins and Endings

With Ace and the Gang under the control of the Paradox, the preparations for Iris’ death is underway. When Ace finds a way out of the Paradox’s lair, they discover the ship that Kelsey Hooper came to Earth on, with a number of stasis pods inside. Bernice realises this is what leads her to find Ace and her friends in the far future, but first they need to stop the Paradox, free Iris and stop the rise of the Great One, an ancient vampire that fell through time during their war with Gallifrey. This is a battle to the death but its a battle that Ace and the gang have been preparing for some time for. This is it, if they fail then they doom the entire human race.

The Faction Paradox would make their first on-screen appearance in the first series, using Ace and her friends to resurrect an ancient vampire
The Faction Paradox would make their first on-screen appearance in the first series, using Ace and her friends to resurrect an ancient vampire

That’s a brief outline for the first series of A Charitable Earth. A lot of the appeal of this series will no doubt come from the fact that there are a number of returning established Doctor Who characters. Those characters are appearing from across all different Doctor Who formats, TV, books and audio. But hopefully, it’ll capture some of the charm and brilliance of The Sarah Jane Adventures as Ace would have been the natural continuation for the series.

The Faction Paradox is an interesting inclusion to the Doctor Who universe and while in the books they are something of a confused mythos. But they are a villainous entity that I’m surprised never turned up in the show proper. They’d certainly prove an interesting problem for the Doctor! While I’d love for Katy Manning take up the role of Iris Wildthyme on screen but if she didn’t want to, then we’d have to recast, Iris is such a brilliant character, as is Panda and I’d love to see them both appear on screen.

Conversion would be a four-part story that sees the return of the Sixties Troughton Cybermen that would begin in A Charitable Earth and then continue in Doctor Who, UNIT and come to its conclusion in Torchwood. As much as I really like The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, the inclusion of everyone feels much more like ‘oh remember them’, by dedicating an episode of each series to the story, it’ll give it a much more cohesive feel and give people a chance to experience each series if they’ve chosen not to watch one.

Also by connecting all the spin-off shows as well as the main Doctor Who series, we’ll have something of a TV universe and a way of connecting everything. Repercussions from events in all the shows will be felt in all the shows as well as honouring the legacy of everything that came before.

Moving into Series 2 of A Charitable Earth, we’ll see the repercussions of the cliff-hanger of this series as Ace and the Gang find themselves in the far-flung future. Their mission will be to get back to present-day. Along the way, they’ll meet old and new enemies as well as a few old friends, maybe tying some other continuity plot threads up along the way. And it’ll culminate in the conclusion with a showdown between the gang and a fan-favourite Sarah Jane Adventures villain. There is a lot of brilliant stuff to come!

Something that has been really good to see in the Torchwood range is the expansion of characters that Big Finish have been playing with. We’ve seen the return of Yvonne Hartman and Torchwood One, seen what Ianto’s life was like before we knew him, seen PC Andy get some much-needed exploration, the further adventures of Gwen and Rhys, the list goes on. One of the best ideas the range ever had was to include stories from Torchwood’s creator, Queen Victoria. Save Our Souls sees Rowena Cooper make her tremendous return to the character.

Save our Souls
Save our Souls

Rowena Cooper has been playing Queen Victoria in Big Finish since 2016’s Torchwood release, The Victorian Age. Since then she’s played the monarch in a further five outings, including the finale of Jago and Litefoot. A further story, The Crown is set for release in December 2020.

Save our Souls, written by Scott Handcock sees Queen Victoria arriving on an island where the inhabitants of a lighthouse have been conducting experiments with the supernatural and built a machine which can receive messages from ‘The Other Side’. Along with Victoria, there are four other people, all of whom receive warnings, because all but one is doomed to die.

Handcock makes sure that Victoria is strong right off the bat and listening to the CD extras at the end, director Lisa Bowerman gets it right when she says that this version of Victoria is soft and kind when she needs to be but will always slip back into the role she’s been given to play. At that point in history, she was one of the most important people of the planet and she’d do anything to survive, even if it means everyone else has to sacrifice themselves for her.

Handcock makes sure that Victoria has a little moral grey area. While one can’t condone some of the actions, well, the action she takes at the end to make sure she survives. But you know that for the sake of history she has to survive.

The cast of Save our Souls
The cast of Save our Souls

What helps is that every character here has some kind of flaw and a reason why they die. One is a liar, the other a murderer, a traitor and I suppose you could say two are cowards. But even if some of them only have brief airtime, Handcock makes sure to make each of them sympathetic and each death is a shock.

One of my favourite ever Doctor Who stories is Horror of Fang Rock and Handcock takes all the very best elements of that outing, the isolated setting, the spooky atmosphere, the deeply flawed characters that you root for nonetheless and an unrelenting enemy. The enemy is also a look at what Torchwood does best, giving us an alien threat without much of an explanation as to where it comes from and in this case, what it even is and as a result puts the heroes of the audio in the losing field.

This is my first time hearing Rowena Cooper as Queen Victoria in the Torchwood range, for some reason I never got around to listening to her previous story, Fortitude, but Save our Souls has succeeded in making her one of my favourite parts of the Torchwood range. Handcock makes her engage in a battle of wits with the alien menace and Cooper equips herself well, and dare I say she’s better than Pauline Collins who played the same role on screen in Tooth and Claw? There is a nice reference to that story here too, which pleased me because it’s one of my favourite modern-era stories. She displays a much more manipulative streak here than she did on-screen when everyone seemed happy to die for her, on audio though, the characters aren’t quite as happy to do that for her, and as a result, puts her at odds with almost every character she encounters.

As a result, Save our Souls rattles towards its far-from-predictable conclusion and Handcock offers us some interesting reflections on the idea of free-will and predestination. I always like stories that make me think ‘what would I do here’ and Save our Souls is one of those. What would you do if you were faced with the knowledge that in a matter of hours, you were going to die horribly? Would you surrender to it, or would you fight? Rightly so Save our Souls offers us no easy answers.

Sylvester McCoy arrives in America only to be greeted by some Asian gangsters and a hail of bullets. Not the opening of the 1996 TV Movie, but the beginning of the 1987 low-budget crime actioner Three Kinds of Heat! 

I’ve always said that Doctor Who is a wonderful gateway to amazing worlds of literature, television drama, comedy and cinema. Enjoying the work of Terry Nation and Chris Boucher introduced me to Blake’s 7. I saw The Brain of Morbius long before I saw James Whale’s beautifully haunting Frankenstein. That said, an interest in the show can also introduce you to some utter tosh – Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, Lost River, Confessions of a Private Eye 

Following a Doctor Who actor’s career can be both enlightening and infuriating, and this new irregular feature will find me sharing some of the more obscure and bizarre results that I find as I trawl through various actors, directors and writers’ careers. 

This week is Three Kinds of Heat – a cheap and tacky transatlantic crime thriller which boasts two Doctors and a companion in supporting roles. There will likely be spoilers along the way, though it’s such a predictable movie that they shouldn’t hamper your enjoyment of its rather dubious charms.  

Poster artwork for Three Kinds of Heat (1987)

Following a gangland shoot-out at JFK airport, US Agent Elliot Cromwell (Robert Ginty playing a sort of Poundland James Bond) is teamed up with NYPD cop Terry O’Shea (Victoria Barnett playing the only member of the NYPD with their own soft lighting) and Hong Kong police officer Major Shan (played by Shakti Chen in full conspicuous Hong Kong constabulary regalia throughout). The official synopsis makes a point of highlighting that both female cops are “attractive” and “tall”, so it’s good to know that the distributors know exactly what audience they’re after. The trio are on the trail of a mysterious crime boss, tracking him from New York to London to…er… New York again. 

Initially, O’Shea and Chen don’t see eye to eye and their snappy back and forth suggests that this could be a progressive gender-flipped mismatched buddy cop movie. Soon enough though, sleazy Cromwell is engaging in some inappropriate workplace conduct and the female cops are stripping down to their underwear to fit in at a fashion show. Oh well. The fashion show provides one of the most hilariously convoluted money laundering schemes in cinema history. It’s a scheme that involves stolen gold bullion, a threading machine, expensive dresses and airport baggage allowances. The trio has arrived at the show in pursuit of the small-time criminal who they believe has crucial information on the identity of the mysterious head of the Black Lion syndicate.

Anyone who’s seen The Usual Suspects can probably figure out where this is going… 

Sylvester McCoy isn’t as small-time as he initially appears

Said small-time hoodlum is played by Sylvester McCoy, dressed suspiciously like the Seventh Doctor in the New Adventures novels. Released in 1987, the film would have been made around the time that he started in the role of the Doctor. It appears that during the 1980s if you cast Sylv you also cast his hat. He doesn’t have much to do for most of the film’s runtime – ducking for cover in the opening gunfight and looking shifty and sweaty in a fireworks factory. Given your tolerance for cheap and cheesy action movies, you may find your patience waning between glimpses of McCoy.  

Don’t worry, it’s worth the wait – the final confrontation back at the fireworks factory is peak-McCoy. All rolled R’s and hissing menace. It’s a bit like that “pull the trigger, end my life” bit from The Happiness Patrol if, instead, the Doctor had spat “You tried to kill me, bitch!” then shot both guards in the guts. It’s also an absolute hoot to see him firing an uzi into the air with an elaborate cigarette holder clamped between his teeth. 

Whilst you’re waiting for the over-the-top climax you’ll be treated to glimpses of both Mary Tamm (Romana I) and Trevor Martin (who played the Doctor in the Seven Keys to Doomsday stage play) as a glamorous and despicable criminal couple who at one point order someone to kill McCoy’s arse dead. I’m paraphrasing there, but only very slightly. Tamm is, as ever, incredibly glamorous with a different costume in each of her scenes vamping it up as part gangster’s moll part Lady Macbeth. Martin is terrific too, gleefully veering into cockney gangster stereotypes as he growls orders at the bent copper on his payroll.  

Trevor Martin and Mary Tamm as a criminal couple

Overall, Three Kinds of Heat is the sort of corny, outdated, straight to VHS fare that was legion in the early days of home video. It’s badly made, occasionally culturally offensive, sexist and the script is so cringeworthily juvenile it could be an episode of Torchwood. And yet, it’s a right laugh. Where else can you see Sylvester McCoy play as a pugnacious gangster trading punches with a corny special agent and inadvisably brandishing firearms in a fireworks factory? Where else, outside of a hotel function room can you see the 7th Doctor, the stage Doctor and Romana I all share a stage? It’s a proper Doctor Who curio and, if you fancy it, it’s currently available to view via a VHS rip on YouTube. I advise watching it after a couple of drinks with plenty of junk food and low expectations. 

The News

No news this week.

The Merch

You can now order the twin-pack Dalek set “The Jungles of Mechanus” direct from Character, the figurine collection is to stop shipping to newsagents but you can pick up a “Classic Subscription” and Titan Comics start a new run with the Sea Devils appearing in #1.

Review story this episode: Cold War

After our recent stint on classic Who for The Key to Time it’s great to get into some modern Who with this 11th Doctor story. Good things from Matt Smith and this stellar supporting cast or does it get frosty real quick?

Coming next week: SJA – The Nightmare Man

An often highly voted story, we’re back to SJA to kick-off Series 4.

Thank you all for listening, and until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

Answering a distress call, the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa find themselves propelled 100 years into the past. There, they discover that the reason for the distress call in the future originated here. They believe there is something out in space causing trouble but the trouble might be closer than they both think.

Downward Spiral
Downward Spiral

I’m a massive Fifth Doctor fan and I count Nyssa as one of my favourite companions, so I’ll always enjoy any Fifth Doctor story. Downward Spiral from Alan Flanagan is a story that falls somewhat short of other stories in the ShortTrips range but is a story where you can appreciate the effort gone in here.

Where the script from Flanagan shines is in how he manages to make the spaceship interior feel very grounded and real, despite it taking place hundreds of years from now. There are some great ideas on offer here, and a nice ending, made even sweeter by something said at the beginning of the adventure. However, that line of dialogue is easy to miss, especially if you aren’t paying attention and I probably took something away from it at the end that is completely wrong. But with an AI system that can be anyone you like, it allows for some character development for the secondary character that Nyssa and the Fifth Doctor encounter.

Where I was a little confused was in Nyssa using the term “you” when either talking to the other character or to you the listener. I wasn’t entirely sure if we were supposed to be the secondary character or it was a recording Nyssa made for someone. Perhaps this was what I missed in the beginning but it certainly left me with lots of questions and no answers.

Sarah Sutton and Alan Flanagan at the recording for Downward Spiral
Sarah Sutton and Alan Flanagan at the recording for Downward Spiral

That’s not to say that in any way Downward Spiral was a failure, it’s still a great story that may have benefited from being expanded to at least two episodes. Where it shines is in Sarah Sutton’s soft narration. By now, she eases back into the role of Nyssa and manages to perfectly recreate the role she began playing in 1981. The other characters she gives a soft Irish accent too, an accent she is very talented at doing and her impression of Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor is light and soft enough to distinguish him from any other incarnation of the character.

Perhaps the main problem of this story is that it is a short story. I think it would have definitely benefited from having at least another instalment to really develop the villain and clear up who Nyssa was talking to or into. But if the main problem of a story is that it isn’t long enough, then it proves that it is another great story, it just needed more time to breath and develop.

In the hearts of the “not-we”, Tom Baker and David Tennant are Doctor Who. They were the Doctor when the show was at the peak of popularity in the mid to late 70s and mid to late 00s. So it was rather exciting to hear that Big Finish was pairing up both Doctors for Out of Time – a fast, funny and occasionally quite moving story that should prove to be a strong hook to entice some new Big Finish listeners.

It would be easy to be cynical about Out of Time, to trot out some ill-informed reductive reasoning for the play’s existence – David Tennant’s only doing it because the theatres are closed and film and television production has stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Finish are only doing it because David Tennant and Tom Baker sell, multi-Doctor stories should only be used for special occasions etcetera etcetera. And yet, within the opening couple of minutes, any cynicism or apprehension very quickly fades, giving way to childlike glee as two Doctors interact with each other. And not any two Doctors – Tom Baker and David Tennant.

2005-10 style cover artwork for ‘Out of Time 1’

David Tennant himself puts it best when talking about how multi-Doctor stories can elicit this mixture of apprehension and elation: “…five Doctors didn’t really get together in the end but three Doctors and a man in a wig and some clips of Tom Baker all got together, and that was exciting enough.” He’s not wrong, and it’s something that’s not exclusive to The Five Doctors. William Hartnell isn’t really talking to Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton in The Three Doctors due to his own ill health. In The Two Doctors, Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton spend less than an episode’s worth of screen time together. And in The Day of the Doctor Christopher Eccleston is replaced by John Hurt playing a completely new incarnation, although that one really did work out rather nicely. Especially for Big Finish.

True to form, and due to a global pandemic, David Tennant and Tom Baker sadly didn’t share a studio for the recording of this particular multi-Doctor adventure. Not that you’d know it from the finished result, which is an audio so evocatively written and performed that if you close your eyes you can see the 4th and 10th Doctors running around, dodging Dalek weapon fire and arguing over who has or hasn’t the right. The story, slight though it is, finds both Doctors thrown together to repel an invasion of the Cathedral of Contemplation. Offering a safe space to the universe, it can open its doors anywhere across all of space and time, offering sanctuary to anyone who needs them. Of course, such technology is irresistible to a Dalek faction in the middle of a war (not that one, for once). Business as usual then.

Given such a tried and tested Doctor Who plot, the Cathedral, the Daleks and the supporting cast are merely set-dressing for the Tenth and Fourth Doctors to trade barbs, show off, and eventually mutually appreciate each other. At the end of the day, this is the story’s main selling point and it would be churlish to judge it too harshly for letting trifling matters such as plot get in the way of these two megastars. Writer Matt Fitton absolutely nails down the mannerisms of each Doctor and neither incarnation feels short-changed or revered over the other. There’s a pleasing push and pull to their relationship that feels like a proper insight into the character of the Doctor whilst the bickering and the jokes (none of which I’ll spoil here) playfully tease the actors as much as their characters whilst gleefully tiptoeing along a precipice of self-indulgence.

Where the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor settled into the roles of bickering brothers of similar ages – one hip and trendy, the other awkward and nerdy – the Tenth and Fourth Doctor relationship is a little harder to pin down. There’s the fond nostalgia of Time Crash, as the later Doctor watches his younger self leap into action. There’s also the concern from the younger self over where his eventual successor is heading, alongside a touch of intellectual existentialist horror which feels very Fourth Doctor.

At the end of the day, one Doctor, a pilot, a soldier and an Abbot in waiting could probably have repelled the Dalek invasion of the Cathedral of Contemplation quite easily. Adding another Doctor, however, allows us to confront the differing approaches of both the “classic” and “new” series Doctors head-on. Crucially though, Out of Time wouldn’t be as much fun with just one Doctor. This is the thing we sometimes forget when we worry about the ubiquity of multi-Doctor stories in spin-off media. When they’re done right, they’re so much fun. The Three Doctors is like a lovely, cosy evening spent with your favourite people. The Five Doctors is a big, messy party which you can’t quite piece together in your memories on the morning after. The Two Doctors isn’t much fun at all, so for metaphor’s sake let’s ignore that. The Day of the Doctor looks like it’s going to be a pretty miserable party after all no one wants to celebrate their darkest day, do they? And then, everyone shows up and things aren’t so dark after all and it’s exhilarating and celebratory and punch-the-air brilliant.

I’m not saying they should happen every week, or even every year and I do agree that they should be saved for special occasions. But listen, David Tennant and Tom Baker fighting Daleks together? That’s special enough for me.

The News

Tickets for a new Doctor Who immersive show are now up for pre-order which features UNIT making a return plus a character that links into the Time Lord Victorious arc.

The Merch

No merch this week.

Review story this episode: The Key to Time Part 6 – The Armageddon Factor

We’ve reached the end of our review season of The Key to Time as we plough through this six-part finale. Creepy characters, time loops, Princesses and padding seem to be the order of things for this one.

Coming next week: Cold War

It will be good to dive into some modern Who next week as we adventure down to the depths in this 11th Doctor story featuring an old foe.

Thank you all for listening, and until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

The News

A new digital trading card game is coming later this year and Chris Eccleston is coming back. Yes, you heard that correctly, Chris Eccleston will back as The Doctor at Big Finish.

The Merch

No merch this week.

Review story this episode: The Key to Time Part 5 – The Power of Kroll

Are those auditionees for the old Incredible Hulk series? Anyway, The Doctor and Romana are closing in on the fifth segment but there’s the little problem of a giant squid.

Coming next week: The Key to Time Part 6 – The Armageddon Factor

We conclude our The Key to Time series reviews with the final chapter. Lots going on in this six-parter so join us as we wrap it all up.

Thank you all for listening, and until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

The News

Nothing this week!

The Merch

A double vinyl LP for the Time Lord Victorious arc – “Echoes of Extinction” is coming as an ASDA exclusive here in the UK.

Review story this episode: The Key to Time Part 4 – The Androids of Tara

We’re halfway through The Key to Time arc as we see what’s going down with androids, electric swords and a spot of fishing.

Coming next week: The Key to Time Part 5 – The Power of Kroll

Next week we continue on to Part 5 as we venture into the swamps on Delta Magna to say hello to a large beastie.

Thank you all for listening, and until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

Over the course of my last three hypothetical series as showrunner, The Doctor, George and Nate have been through quite a lot. They’ve lost a friend in Elisabeth Watts who sacrifices herself to keep history on-track and that caused a huge rift between the remaining travellers. Series 3 saw the three friends finding common ground again and growing to really like one another again. Series 4, will see a return to a status-quo we are all familiar with, the Doctor and his companions fighting against the baddies the universe throws at them.

It will also feature baddies from the history of the show in every episode, much like Series 20 did in 1983. Series 4 won’t feature much of an over-arching storyline, though there will be threads that lead into the three-part finale that will wrap the series up. As usual, there will also be a Christmas Special. Series 4 will also feature a modern adaptation of a proposed story from the original series of the show. This episode will be, The Red Fort.

The Main Players

The Doctor: Following on from Series 3, the Doctor is now much more secure with his companions and his feelings. Elisabeth’s death hit him hard and as a result, he didn’t really let George or Nate out of his sight, causing a bit of tension between the trio. Now though, he is almost back to his old self, fun-loving and a little reckless. But he can sense something isn’t quite right and there is a being reaching back through time. This worry is something he keeps from George and Nate for as long as he can but realises that was a mistake when he discovers who the big-bad is when they arrive in Ancient Egypt…

George Atkins: George has seen both sides of time-travel over the course of the last three series. Series 1 saw him enjoying it a lot, though it could be dangerous, getting to meet historical figures he’s admired and seeing the future more than made up for the dangers involved. Series 2 saw his friend die in a horrible way and forced a wedge between him and the Doctor. Series 3 saw that wedge slowly gets removed and going into Series 4, George is much more like he was in the first series, fun-loving with a sense of adventure and a need to get away from the boring life he thought he had on Earth. However, he does keep forgetting that the Doctor is alien and sometimes doesn’t understand his actions or reasoning’s behind things.

And that will sometimes put him and the Doctor in different outlooks on the events unfolding around them.

Nate Wallis: Going into Series 4, Nate is beginning to question his place in the TARDIS. He originally only agreed to go because that’s where George was and he didn’t want to lose him. Over the last two series, Nate has grown to enjoy his travels and not be completely terrified by them, even if he isn’t still the most seasoned of time-travellers. It’s not a lifestyle that completely suits him and he is beginning to question whether he wants to stay or leave. But he knows if he leaves, George will stay. This is the happiest he’s ever seen George, and Nate doesn’t want to ruin that. For Nate, the running question through this series will be whether or not he wants to leave.

The Master: Having been trapped in the Land of Fiction for an undisclosed amount of time, the Doctor and his companions eventually manage to free him from that strange land. Escaping from the Land of Fiction, the Master finds himself propelled into a number of adventures with the Doctor, George and Nate, facing creatures like the Krell, Dominators, Meglos and the Doomwraiths, the Master gradually comes to find common ground with the Doctor once again, even beginning to like his companions.

Ultimately his loyalty to his old friend is tested when the Doctor is killed by Sutekh and George and Nate have to rely on their uneasy ally to help them save the day. This new incarnation of the Master will become a companion to the Doctor and will go into the next series in the same role, though he will leave at some point in Series 5.

For the role of the Master, one actor I would consider for the role would be Daniel Sharman, recently seen in Medici and Cursed
For the role of the Master, one actor I would consider for the role would be Daniel Sharman, recently seen in Medici and Cursed

The Series

1. Waters of Death

The TARDIS brings the Doctor, George and Nate to modern-day Earth. While George and Nate take the opportunity to go home and see their families, the Doctor finds himself working with UNIT once again as strange things have been happening at sea. UNIT suspect the Sea Devils to be behind the acts of vandalism on a new project looking at the mass advantages of hydropower.

Their fears come true when they learn that the excavations of the massive power complex disturbed a hidden Sea Devil base. When the Sea Devils attack the base, which is hidden under a massive dam at the bottom of the ocean, George and Nate find themselves trapped in rising waters and the Doctor and UNIT must try to make peace, this time properly between the human race and the Sea Devils.

2. The Red Fort

With George and Nate narrowly escaping death by drowning, the Doctor promises to take the pair somewhere nice and warm and the TARDIS brings them to India in 1803 at The Red Fort just before The Siege of Delhi. With the TARDIS captured by the fast-approaching English soldiers, The Doctor, George and Nate find themselves trapped as the Siege is about to begin.

They must use all their wits and guile to get back to the TARDIS and escape a gruesome fate at the hands of the  English soldiers, though George and Nate hope to try and find a way of making peace. But the Doctor knows that sometimes, you just can’t rewrite history. Not a single line. It’s time for his companions to really learn the hard way…

The Sea Devils will return in Waters of Death alongside UNIT
The Sea Devils will return in Waters of Death alongside UNIT

3. The Land of Fiction – Part 1

When something seems to seriously go wrong with the  TARDIS, the Doctor, George and Nate find themselves trapped in a mysterious land. The Doctor knows they are stuck in the Land of Fiction, though he doesn’t know why. When the TARDIS team get separated, George and Nate find themselves meeting a number of fictional characters while the Doctor comes face to face with the Master of the Land of Fiction.

It’s there he learns that the Master of the Land of Fiction is dying and he’s selected the Doctor to take over. Trapped in the clutches of this land the Doctor has no choice but to take his new role and finds himself as the new Master of the Land of Fiction. Now he has to escape before the land warps his mind beyond all recognition.

4. The Doctor’s Angels – Part 2

“Once upon a time, there were three little companions who each lead very boring lives,

Two were from 2020 and one was from 1911,

But I took them away from all that and now they work for me.

My name is the Doctor…”

The three-part Land of Fiction saga will see the Doctor's companions in a Charlie's Angels-like epic mystery
The three-part Land of Fiction saga will see the Doctor’s companions in a Charlie’s Angels-like epic mystery

5. Escape from the Land of Fiction – Part 3

With the Doctor now the new Master of the Land of Fiction, he’s saved his friends from certain death by putting them in a story. He’s also managed to find a way out, but they aren’t the only ones trapped in this strange new world. The Master is stuck here too. Unlike the Doctor, the Master is free to move around the different locations but he needs the Doctor’s help to escape.

He’s put in touch with the John Smith Detective Agency. Luckily for him, the Doctor’s Angels want to take the case. But can they all escape?

6. Date Night

With the fake Elisabeth having sacrificed herself once again, allowing the Doctor, George, Nate and the Master to escape the Land of Fiction, the Doctor takes George and Nate back to Earth for a date-night. While his companions are away, he plans to take the Master away from Earth. But the TARDIS won’t leave.

Having booked a table at an exclusive restaurant, George and Nate find things are a little strange. In between, they discover a number of the diners are aliens, before starters and after the main course, the other diners come from different time periods. This is a place where all times and places meet. A safe place, where no violence is allowed.

But the Krill have set their sights on the restaurant, the Doctor and the Master can’t take off because of all the time paradoxes. Will George and Nate survive to enjoy their dessert?

7. The Sands of Zolfa Thura

Narrowly escaping destruction after closing the restaurant down in the previous adventure, the TARDIS is ejected from those paradoxes and crashes on a dusty planet. Its a boring place, a desert landscape, the only thing of interest here is the mysterious screens.

With the Doctor and the Master forced into an uneasy alliance for the time being, perhaps now isn’t the best time for the Doctor’s old foe, Meglos to raise his prickly head. But with two Time-Lords around this time, has Meglos bitten off more than he chew or with the Doctor and the Master at each other’s throats, will he finally win this time and claim the title of the Doctor’s deadliest foe?

Meglos would make his prickly return in The Sands of Zolfa Thura
Meglos would make his prickly return in The Sands of Zolfa Thura

8. The Conquest of Planet 28

Having left Zolfa Thura, the Doctor and the Master have slowly come to respect each other over the last three adventures together. Arriving on Planet 28, the Doctor, Master, George and Nate find themselves amongst an archaeological dig, where the archaeologists have found the remains of an ancient spaceship.

The Doctor and the Master are interested and the group join the initial journey into the ruined ship. What is inside worries the Doctor though, and the robots that George and Nate think are quite a cute turn out to be the deadly Quarks. This is a Dominator ship, a weapon of mass destruction. The presence of aliens has awoken the ship and the Dominators are waking from their hibernation.

As the archaeologists are killed off, the Doctor and his friends find themselves facing the fact that this time, the Dominators might actually win.

9. The Doomwraiths

There is an ancient Gallifreyan legend about the Doomwraiths. They were some of the first Time Lords involved in Omega’s exploration into time-travel. They were pulled apart by the time-winds and now haunt the time-vortex forever doomed to see everything that has happened, will happen and could happen, driven mad by it all.

When the TARDIS brings the Doctor, Master,  George and Nate to long-abandoned space-station and it doesn’t take them long to discover its an old Time Lord observation platform. Recognising the Time Lord DNA in the Doctor and the Master, the platform begins to wake up and slowly allows them access the Time Lord records.

The  Doctor and his friends learn that the missing Time Lords were investigating the mythical Doomwraiths, but were they just a myth? What happened to the Time Lords on the platform and why to ghosts consumed by madness wander through the corridors?

The Dominators and their robot's the Quarks will make a return in The Conquest of Planet 28
The Dominators and their robot’s the Quarks will make a return in The Conquest of Planet 28

10. The Dust of Ages – Part 1

When the TARDIS arrives in ancient Egypt, the Doctor, Master, George and Nate find themselves thrown into a war of gods. The Osirans are waging war against each other. On one side, Horus leads a troop of gods against Sutekh and his wife, Nephthys. The Doctor knows Sutekh of old and knows how thoroughly evil he is. But this is a long time before he originally pitted his wits against the god, would he change history if he defeated him here.

As the TARDIS team try to get back to the TARDIS, the war wages on around them and the Egyptians hope that a sacrifice will please their gods, fearing they have done something to upset them. Thankfully four strangers have just arrived and they have no qualms about putting them under the sacrificial blade. But are they playing into Sutekh’s hand?

11. The Reign of Sutekh – Part 2

With Sutekh having won the War of the Gods, the River Nile has run red with the blood of his enemies. Now ruling over Ancient Egypt and with access to the TARDIS and all its functions, Sutekh is setting his sights on the future and on other planets. He’s already sent his emissaries of death into the future to spread his law. History has been damaged almost beyond repair and it seems Sutekh has finally won.

The Master having escaped the sacrificial blade in the previous adventure now has to prove how much he’s changed, with a band of rebels by his side, of whom George and Nate are members, will he try to defeat a god or will he ultimately betray them all?

The four-part finale will see the return of Sutekh the Destroyer who will murder the Doctor, gain access to the TARDIS and sees history unravel completely
The four-part finale will see the return of Sutekh the Destroyer who will murder the Doctor, gain access to the TARDIS and sees history unravel completely

12. Abandon All Hope – Part 3

Having gained access to the TARDIS, the Master plans to escape from Earth and spread the news that Sutekh has conquered the planet around the galaxy, giving warnings to all the races he comes across. But he’s haunted by the ghost of the Doctor, who is compelling him to do the right thing, to stick around and fight.

Abandoned by the Master, George and Nate find themselves in the clutches of the Sutekh as the timeline of Earth continues to shatter around them. The Master has stolen the TARDIS and fled, the Doctor is dead. What chance to do humans really stand?

13. The Great Pyramid – Part 4

Having built a Great Pyramid from which Sutekh plans to rule the galaxy, bending everything to his way of thinking. Death and destruction lay in his wake. George and Nate are one of only a handful of humans kept as servants to the ancient gods. But hope comes in the form of the Master who takes them to the planet Osiris, just long after Sutekh was born into being.

George and Nate know what needs to be done but they don’t have the conscience to do it. They can’t kill baby-Sutekh. It’s lucky then that the Master doesn’t have the same moral values as them, but he’s still haunted by the ghost of the Doctor. Its a race against time to prevent the Great Pyramid from being completed, and history only has a matter of hours left before the time-line shatters completely. Can the Master, George and Nate stop Sutekh or will they all ultimately fail this time?

Dead Christmas – Christmas Special

The TARDIS, now functioning properly once again after being used by Sutekh and the Master, brings the Doctor, Master, George and Nate back into proper time and George and Nate get a chance to go home. Having arrived a few days before Christmas, George’s Mum invites them all to Christmas Dinner but something isn’t right. People are being pulled up chimneys by a mysterious force, a creature with hooves for feet and horns on its head.

Christmas means many different things for different people, for the Master though, this is the first time he’s been treated really nicely, he’s even slowly coming to call The Doctor, George and Nate his friends. He isn’t happy though that his first Christmas is going to be ruined by the Krampus, an alien being who eats naughty children. But it isn’t stopping at just children, it is going on a killing rampage. And it looks like its up to the Doctor and his friends to stop him.

Dead Christmas will see the onscreen meeting of the Doctor and the legendary Krampus
Dead Christmas will see the onscreen meeting of the Doctor and the legendary Krampus

Overall

That’s an outline for Series 4 of Doctor Who if I were the producer of the series. With plenty of returning villains, we’ve also got the Krell coming back from the previous series, and we’re also introducing the Doomwraiths, twisted ghostly forms of ancient Time Lords who took part in Omega’s first experiments with time-travel.

The inclusion of the Master comes from the fact that I really liked the redemption arc that Missy got alongside Capaldi’s Doctor. But I decided to take that one step further and actually give the Master a taste of the Doctor’s life and finds that he actually rather likes it. Of course, being the Master there will always be a question of whether the Doctor, George and Nate can actually trust him but here, the Master will be given plenty of time to betray them all and he decides against it.

As well as Missy, the animated Scream of the Shalka did something similar to Derek Jacobi’s version of the Master seeming to be a companion to the Doctor. I think its something we’ve not seen before and will add a different light to the character.

As for George and Nate, the next series will be their last as long-running companions, simply because after my planned six series, I think I’d hand the reigns of the show to someone else. The Sutekh story at the end of this series will see Nate finally deciding that he does, in fact, wish to leave, but is only staying around for George, but all that will change in a new way in the next series, with Nate asking George one question…