Writing The Doctor

The Second Doctor - Patrick TroughtonSo, how do you answer if you get a call one day asking if you would be interesting in writing a Dr Who short story for the 50th Anniversary? Your instinct – to draw breath and shout “yes,” – is immediately tempered with a degree of caution.

This is The Doctor: an iconic television character who comes fully formed with fifty years of history, mythology and legend tied up in the character. You don’t want to mess it up.

But you cannot say no…

And in many ways, the Doctor was probably one of the reasons I became a writer. Growing up, watching every episode ending in a cliff-hanger, I would spend the rest of the week creating my own solutions and escapes for The Doctor.

The Doctor was also my introduction to the world of science fiction. I was lucky to be growing in an age when the works of the masters of science fiction were still available and in just about every second hand bookstore and library. The Doctor led me to Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, Robert Silverberg and Harry Harrison, EE Doc Smith and EC Tubb, Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury and ultimately to the works of Andre Norton, who was a huge influence on my early work. But it began by watching Dr Who and wondering was there anything else like that out there…

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