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A Charitable Earth – Series 1: Pitch

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!

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