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My Doctor Who Pitch: Series 1

Recently, my friend and I had an idea to create some Doctor Who audio adventures much akin to the stories told from the masters at Big Finish. I don’t think we realised how much money we would have to spend though, microphones and editing software don’t come cheap and we wanted to make them of the highest possible quality.

Still, I had previously come up with six series of stories I would like to tell at some point, possibly putting them on my own blog: https://www.tardistravellerreviews.co.uk/ or through fan-fiction sites, a completely new blog or publishing them independently through Amazon and related sites as completely unofficial books, I’ve seen a couple of War Doctor books on Amazon in the same vein, though I’m yet to read them.

The 13th Doctor's TARDIS
The 13th Doctor’s TARDIS

As someone who is an aspiring writer, I’ve got a series of novels I’m constantly working on called Shaw & Sullivan currently on Amazon, it’s perhaps cheeky of me to think that I might be allowed the producers chair of our favourite show. Who knows though?! But for now, it’s a bit of fun to get these ideas down and over a few articles, I’ll be taking you through the six series I had previously planned out.

We’ve got a list of Main Players: The new Doctor (including actors I’d like to see playing the role), two new companions and their relatives (though I haven’t decided who I’d like to see playing them just yet). We’ve got brand-new and returning baddies from all over the history of Who and a story arc that runs through each series. And I’ll talk a little about each story from the series, which I’ve written in the form of a book-blurb so not to give away too much, including a Christmas special. I hope you enjoy! (And if anyone from the BBC is reading this, I hope this pitch impresses you! 😉 )

One of my choices for a Doctor would be Matt Ryan, who can currently be seen playing John Constantine in DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
One of my choices for a Doctor would be Matt Ryan, who can currently be seen playing John Constantine in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

MAIN PLAYERS AND CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:

  • THE DOCTOR: Quirky, loud and brash. Has hearts of gold but something is kept hidden away, darkness from his past. While outwardly happy, fun-loving and adventurous, he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty if necessary and isn’t incapable of having darker moments and will take out enemies permanently if he has too. He sees something of himself in his new friend’s George and Elisabeth. He knows what its like to want something more and yearns to see the universe through the youthful wonder in their eyes. Because this Doctor is broken inside, haunted by something from his past. George and Elisabeth bring out the best in the Doctor and he does the same for them. They make a great team and overtime gradually help to heal one another.
  • Possible actors for the role of THE DOCTOR: Hayley Atwell, Gillian Anderson, Colin O ‘Donoghue and Matt Ryan.
  • GEORGE ATKINS: Much like The Doctor, outwardly George portrays something that is very happy. But he too is broken inside. His father had passed away a few years earlier and he is worried that something similar would happen to his mother, who was also ill recently, though she has since recovered. But its taken a toll on George and he longs to get away from his life. He’s spent the last few years working in retail but its a dead-end job that he can’t see a way out of. His fiancĂ© Nate tries to help, but he can only do so much. George dreams of flying away while Nate and George’s Mother have tied him to reality. This has started to form cracks in their relationship. While George dearly loves Nate, he still goes on adventures with the Doctor, someone who can give him the life he wants.
  • ELISABETH WATTS: A stewardess from the real-life Titanic, Elisabeth Watts was supposed to drown when the ship sinks. But the Doctor and George offer her a place on the TARDIS and Elisabeth accepts. She too is damaged, escaping from a life she doesn’t want. Her parents are rich and so she could have everything. But she wanted to see the world and escape an arranged marriage between her and a suitor from another powerful family. She believes you make your own destiny and while it takes her a while to-get-to grips with time travelling and visiting the future, she eventually adapts to it. The Doctor is hesitant at first, he’s rescued people before from disasters they were supposed to perish in, (maybe give a mention of Big Finish’s Charlotte Pollard?) and knows the types of paradoxes that can happen. But history has other plans for Elisabeth, and while she believes in making your own destiny, fate has plans for her in Normandy on the 30th May 1431…

 

Hayley Atwell would be a casting choice as the Doctor
Hayley Atwell would be a casting choice as the Doctor

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS

  • NATE WALLIS: George’s fiancĂ©. Tries to ground George but has to let go when George travels with the Doctor. Works as an executive at Suntrap, in charge of distributions. (Suntrap is the overall arc for Series 1 and is a Wi-Fi and mobile signal service that doesn’t require electricity as it uses solar rays from the sun. But Suntrap is owned and run by an old foe of the Doctor’s and has gradually been destroying the Earth’s natural defences against the sun’s rays.) NATE though, doesn’t know any of this until it’s too late. He will go on to travel with The Doctor in the future.
  • SUSIE ATKINS: George’s Mother. Doesn’t know and later like that her son is travelling with the Doctor and later blames the Time Lord for the distance between her and her son. But the distance has been there for some time as she hasn’t been there for her son since her husband had died. She never understood that George wanted more than a life stuck in one place and never really understood or liked George’s adventurous side, which she never really allowed to develop.
  • CLAIRE & JONATHAN WATTS: The parents of Elisabeth are only referenced through the first half of the series until a two-part story which sees Elisabeth returning home to visit them. But because she should have died on the Titanic, time is swirling around the family and Elisabeth’s ancestral home. Claire and Jonathan are forced to understand their daughter who has come to live with some modern ideologies over the course of her travels with George and the Doctor. But they can’t forgive Elisabeth for an accident in her childhood which resulted in the death of Elisabeth’s sister Amanda. The two-part story will see Claire and Jonathan disowning Elisabeth. This isn’t the last we see of them but they’ll only be included in guest appearances in future series’.
  • THE RANI: Yes, you read that right, the Rani! She’s the mastermind behind Project: Suntrap and recruits Nate to the business as a way of luring the Doctor into her trap. Driven mad by the Time War, she’s decided that the Doctor is responsible and Earth, as his favourite planet, should be destroyed as she believes it was more of his home than Gallifrey. She uses humanity’s need for Wi-Fi and mobile coverage against us and creates a trap which sees the destruction of the world as the solar energies of the sun cause an extinction-level event. She’s defeated when a band of survivors, including Nate travel back in time to her underground bunker and release the full force of the sun’s radiation through the innards of her TARDIS, which she has turned into a bunker for a select few before she can destroy the Earth.
The Rani would return in the series, finally seeing her plans come to fruition in the two-part finale.
The Rani would return in the series, finally seeing her plans come to fruition in the two-part finale.

THE SERIES

A series of thirteen episodes, the last of which will be a Christmas Special, will see the introduction of the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and all the supporting characters. Across the series will feature a number of returning and brand new villains and will see stories from sci-fi to horror, to war epics from across space and time. All of the historical episodes will feature aliens, though, in the future, we will be including pure-historical adventures akin to the style told with William Hartnell. Each episode below features a blurb.

1. THE HOTEL THAT BLED TO DEATH

Determined to get away from his mundane life, George Atkins books himself and his fiancé into a fancy hotel/spa in the Lake District. Arriving in the middle of a storm, George and Nate find themselves in a sinister trap laid by two old ladies who own the hotel.

But the hotel holds a deadly secret, it’s a literal death-trap, with previous visitors hooked up to alien machinery, slowly draining them of blood.

The Plasmovores are using Earth as their hunting ground and George and Nate’s only hope of survival lies in them trusting a stranger called ‘The Doctor’. The Doctor has a long history with vampires but will he win this time as the Plasmovores grow in strength and the hotel literally starts to bleed to death?

2. THE HIGH-RISE HORROR

George has agreed to travel with the Doctor and finds himself in the far future. Initially disappointed to find himself in a block of flats, (he thinks the Doctor’s brought him to Leigh-Park!), they quickly discover that things aren’t as they should be. The residents are dying from accidents, things going wrong in their apartments and with no way of communicating with the outside world, the high-rise locks itself down.

On the top floor is the Penthouse Suite. It’s owned by a man who is going to be a great architect in the future named Kroagnon. One day, he’ll create the universally famous, Paradise Towers. The Conclave of Tranquillity is the first of its kind, a fully automated assembly of houses that cater for everyone, including Kroagnon’s more homicidal tendencies.

The Doctor knows all about Kroagnon, but this the Great Architect before the events of the Paradise Towers and Kroagnon is a living, breathing person in this time period, not a machine. The web of time is a fragile thing, and the Doctor isn’t sure he can defeat him this time…

The High-Rise Horror would be a prequel/sequel to the Seventh Doctor story, Paradise Towers. (I've always thought it was an underrated story!)
The High-Rise Horror would be a prequel/sequel to the Seventh Doctor story, Paradise Towers. (I’ve always thought it was an underrated story!)

3. SHIP OF THE DEAD

Having been to the far future, the Doctor takes George on a trip to the past. Setting the destination to random, they find themselves onboard a cruise ship. It doesn’t take them long before they realise they are on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic. The Doctor decides they should leave but George is excited, they’ll get to solve one of the most curious mysteries in history, what made the Titanic vanish?

But the Titanic didn’t vanish, it sank, the Doctor knows this, but why doesn’t George and why do the crew and passengers keep reliving the same day, ending just before the tragic collision between the boat and an iceberg. Only a stewardess called Elisabeth Watts can help the Doctor and George. The Doctor has his suspicions about what might be happening but to set it right would mean to condemn thousands of people to death. Does he have the right?

4. THE HEAVY SCENT OF VIOLENCE

Forgetting to turn off the randomiser, the Doctor, George and Elisabeth find themselves in the future. Stepping out of the TARDIS onto a battlefield, they are quickly captured by the Sontarans and mistaken for Rutans in disguise.

This is one of the worst skirmishes in the war between the Sontarans and the Rutans. And facing villains on both fronts, George and Elisabeth a forced to face the realities of time-travel, its dangerous and they might die. Separated from the Doctor and finding themselves on the side of the Rutans, they have to use their wits to keep themselves alive.

The Rutan’s aren’t quite how the Doctor remembers either and they are trying to broker a peace between the two species. But the Doctor has a bigger crisis to face, in a battle where anyone could be a shape-shifter are his friends really his friends?

5. THE WHISPERS OF ANGELS PART 1

George has always found the story of Mary Queen of Scots to be a tragic one. He was obsessed with her life when they learned about the Tudors and her sister, Queen Elisabeth 1st at school. The Doctor has met Queen Elisabeth, he even married her. And his Sixth Incarnation met Mary 1st. But he’s never met Mary Queen of Scots, so he sets the course for France in 1557, at French Court.

It’s a year before Mary is supposed to marry Francis the Dauphin of France but things are going wrong. Francis’ father is going mad and Catherine De Medici is plotting behind the scenes. Also at court at this time is the famous, Nostradamus who claimed he could see the future. Catherine keeps him close, relying on him to warn her of possible opposition. But where do his visions come from? There is a secret in Nostradamus’ chambers and one rule that must be obeyed at all times; Don’t Blink. Blink and you’re dead.

The Weeping Angel’s civil war has reached back through time and this side is trying to cause a paradox large enough to give them unlimited energy. They must kill Mary Queen of Scots so that her son, King James is never born and the entire history of Earth is changed forever.

The Weeping Angels would return in the two-part story, The Whispers of Angels/Long Live the Queen.
The Weeping Angels would return in the two-part story, The Whispers of Angels/Long Live the Queen.

6. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN PART 2

With the Weeping Angels’ plan having been revealed, the Doctor, George and Elisabeth must navigate the French Court and keep Mary safe and history on-track. But the other side in the Angels’ war have arrived and are determined to stop the plan to kill Mary, at any cost.

While George and Elisabeth have to keep Mary and Francis safe fighting Angels’ and human villains alike, the Doctor must put a stop to the Weeping Angels’ plan and send them back through time to their home planet. But he also has to battle the wits of Catherine De Medici again and Nostradamus and offers a grave warning and vision to one of the Doctor’s new travelling companions…

7. HOMECOMING

Deciding to return home for a while, George arrives a few hours after he left. And while the Doctor and Elisabeth take a trip around modern-day London, George has to face his mother again. He also learns that Nate is now working for Suntrap, and meets his enigmatic boss.

The Doctor and Elisabeth soon discover that alien creatures are using London’s water-supply to infect human beings and use them as hosts for the survival of their species.

The Doctor, George, Elisabeth, Nate and Susie have to put a stop to these alien visitors who aren’t necessarily villains and send them home again. For Susie though, learning about what her son has been doing is a little too much and she tells him she needs time to process it.

8. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WATTS: PART 1

Elisabeth Watts was supposed to die in the sinking of the Titanic. That what history recorded. A family, following the death of their surviving daughter, was supposed to be in mourning. They’d lose all their money and wealth and die penniless in a house that used to be full of love.

But Elisabeth Watts didn’t die in the sinking of the Titanic. And history recorded something different. She went missing and turns up on her family’s doorstep with two people her family never met. And Elisabeth’s sister, Amanda is still alive. Time is swirling around the House of Watts and the fabric of reality has been changed. And the Reapers are circling…

The Fall of the House of Watts two-parter would see the return of the Reapers as a huge time-paradox sweeps through recorded history.
The Fall of the House of Watts two-parter would see the return of the Reapers as a huge time-paradox sweeps through recorded history.

9. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WATTS: PART 2

With Elisabeth’s secrets revealed, her parents learn of the tragic deaths of their two daughters. But neither happened. The staff are being killed by monsters, eaten away as they try to fix the wound in time.

The Doctor is conflicted. He did the right thing saving Elisabeth, but history recorded her death. Cut off from the TARDIS and the future in tatters, the Doctor, George and Elisabeth have no choice but to go back to the Titanic on the day it sank.

Elisabeth knows she has to die to save everything she knows and loves. The cold depths of the ocean are calling to her like a siren song, but she’s got to get past the Reapers first.

10. PLANET OF NIGHTMARES

On the planet Spartox, people are having strange dreams. Horrible dreams. Nightmares.

The Doctor, George and Elisabeth arrive following a distress call. People won’t wake up. It’s a virus of sleep, with the people of Spartox dropping into sleep like flies.

It doesn’t take long before the Doctor and his friends feel sleepy and wake up in a strange realm, the realm of the Nightmare Man.

11. THE DYING EARTH: PART 1

The Suntrap arc begins to close with the Doctor, George and Elisabeth becoming embroiled in a plot by the evil  Rani. She plans to boil the Earth and kill everyone, except for a lucky few in her TARDIS, disguised as a bunker.

With the Doctor, George and Elisabeth out of action, the Rani has won, the Earth and it’s inhabitants have been completely destroyed. It seems this time that the Rani has won…

12. THE DYING EARTH: PART 2

The Rani won. Her plan came to fruition and the Earth is dead. The Doctor is dead. So are George and Elisabeth.

Only Nate, who, along with a band of rebel survivors, can use his limited knowledge of time-travel to journey back and stop the Rani before she kills everything. His plan is to flood the bunker with the radiation before it can be used on the surface of the planet.

The problem is, the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and his younger self is still there and he goes too far back. Not everyone deserves to die here. But he has to change the future. Even if it means he becomes a bigger monster than the Rani ever was.

The Sontarans and their mortal enemies, the Rutans, would return in The Heavy Scent of Violence.
The Sontarans and their mortal enemies, the Rutans, would return in The Heavy Scent of Violence.

13. O’ LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

After the Rani and Suntrap, the Doctor takes George, Elisabeth and Nate on a mystery trip. Setting the randomiser, the TARDIS brings them back in time to Bethlehem.

It’s the furthest George, Elisabeth and Nate have ever travelled back in time and they are suddenly faced with Roman politics. And the Doctor has heard rumours of mysterious blue angels.

With angels appearing to the inhabitants of Bethlehem and beyond, the Doctor and the gang have to stop them from gaining a foothold in the town and then the planet.

So maybe this isn’t the best time for a pregnant woman and her husband to arrive, looking for a place to stay…

Another casting choice for the Doctor would be Colin O' Donoghue
Another casting choice for the Doctor would be Colin O’ Donoghue

So there you have it. If I was in charge of Doctor Who, this would be the debut series that I would tell. I don’t know if I’d want the Doctor to male or female but the character would be written so that this doesn’t matter. With stories ranging from heavy-sci-fi to horror, to ones with a political message, though The Dying Earth/The Rani’s Masterplan would have the global-warming message as a part of the plot, not something that is tacked on at the end like Orphan 55. 

You may also have noticed that by the end of the series, the Doctor is once again travelling with three companions, this time with Nate joining the crew, but I would purposefully make the stories bigger in scale and scope to allow for this, giving each character a moment to shine, not forgetting one or favouring one or two over the rest.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this pitch for my first series of Doctor Who! I’ve got plans for a further five series, which I will turn into articles like this throughout the coming weeks. I really liked doing this! I might even turn these story ideas into reality through the different ways I mentioned above. Who knows, but for now this was a great way of getting my ideas down! And should anyone from the BBC should be reading this article and are really impressed by it, then don’t hesitate to give me a ring!;)

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