Who Certainly a bit impressed to see that Big Finish, creators of the new Doctor Who audio content have managed to secure the services of Sir Derek Jacobi to appear as The Doctor in one of their Unbound plays. For the probably unitiated, these are their version of the Marvel Comics What If? series and DC Comics Elsewhere. The first example being 'What if The Doctor never left his home planet?' Myseriously, Jacobi's is going to be something akin to 'What if Doctor Who never quite made it to our TV screens?' which makes no sense at all really. It won't be around until October.

The BBCi Shada wound down last week and was mostly a success. Although the Flash animation was a nice touch, it finally failed to engage and I've a feeling the piece will work much better in an audio release when more emphasis can be heard on Douglas Adams words.

And finally I found this the other day when I was having a clear out. It's a pretty good idea of how to make new Who for TV without pissing off current fans or scaring off new or casual viewers:

A vision for the future of television Doctor Who:

Main Characters: The Doctor, Female companion, The TARDIS
Familiarity. Turn on your average post-Troughton story this is your set up. The companion explores the problem at hand, The Doctor explains and solves it. The average viewer isn’t expecting three ‘teenagers’ and a robot. Better to give depth to one companion than have two or three ciphers.

Six one hour episodes
Clarity, attention span, budget. With judicious and careful editing most tv Who stories could be told in an hour – the audio version of ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ proves this. Yes, it’s nice to see Tom and Lalla running around Paris in ‘City of Death’ but it doesn’t exactly drive the plot forward does it? If Buffy can do it, so can this -- see also Jonathan Creek and Strange.

First episode - Cybermen. Last episode – Daleks (with cliffhanger ending)
Nice and familiar. Monsters, and monsters the public have heard of. Could give the Cybermen the usual redesignt, but keep the Daleks as pepper pots (that’s half their appeal). Daleks in last episode not first so as not to show all your good cards.

In between, The Doctor takes his companion to see the first civilisations (Stonehenge, Ancient Egypt, even earlier) and the end of time (last surviving human, aliens trading the last human DNA remains). Episode set on a strange alien planet, episode on a starship.
The Hartnell era might be a good pattern to follow. So two sci-fi, one quasi-historical, one pure historical. Random order. I’d have the historical as episode two, sci-fi three, then follow in ‘The Time Meddlers’ footsteps and sell the quasi-historical initially as a historical. Then Sci-Fi, then that Dalek story. Returns the show to unpredictability; the TARDIS guidance circuits have malfunctioned so he doesn’t know (and therefore we don’t know) where he’ll end up next (that’s real adventure isn’t it?). Historicals potentially an easier sell now alongside the monster stories.

Ignore continuity references, but don’t contradict anything too much.
Base everything on what the general public probably knows – yes, we know The Doctor is a Timelord, but do we need some boring old episode on Gallifrey to prove the point? Only exposition relating to plot at hand then, and make the stories self contained. No need to keep referring back to ‘the canon’ all the time, but don’t contract it. That way the fans will be content that this isn’t a re-boot, but the fans won’t start turning off in their droves when it becomes clear that they should have seen half a dozen old stories and read four novels to make the story at all comprehensible.

No romance, but lots of flirting.
See Pertwee and Jo Grant; Tom Baker and everyone (apart from Harry); whilst I personally had no problem with ‘that kiss’ this needs to have the original family show appeal.

Family show, but scary enough to need a sofa
Everyone says they hid behind the sofa. Nothing wrong here – scary monsters and cartoon violence. But keep to the model of The Doctor using his mind to outwit his opponents.

And as I said at the end -- 'It’s as easy as that. So what’s taking so long?'

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