Who And so here we are one month until the (possible) start of the new tv series of Doctor Who. All signs point to 26th March 2005. On a Saturday. At tea time. I had a brief panic attack today. At the back of my mind, the words 'What if it's no good?' shuffled past. But then I contained myself. While am here I want to re-post something which was knocking around about three years ago in the dark ages before this dream began. It was my vision for a new tv series ...
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.
Which was my not at all secret attack on the Davison era. The Caves Of Androzani was the best story. Why? Less people running around and getting into trouble. Chris and Billie look great together on all those magazine covers don't they?
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 'Who'.
Who imagined there would be thirteen? Apparently there were only going to be six but Russell and his producer Phil turned around and asked if they could have thirteen if it cost the same amount of money and the BBC said -- well OK! There will be cliffhangers in there but I was mostly right about the format. But what's fifteen minutes between friends?
First episode - Cybermen. Last episode - Daleks (with cliffhanger ending)
Nice and familiar. Monsters, and monsters the public have heard of. Could redesign the Cybermen a bit, 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.
Not Cybermen but something else. But were the metal men all that great anyway?
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.
No pure historicals apparently, but there is a story set at the end of time. But thirteen shows offers the chance of even greater flexibility.

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.

This is the Ninth Doctor, and I'm guessing that any in-jokes will be exactly that. It's a continuation but not abject slavery. Excellent.
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 is a family show.
Indications are that The Doctor and Rose will have that kind of 'understanding'.

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.
Well see. I'm suddenly really excited again!

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