We are appreciators, enthusiasts, and fanatics of certain television programs due in no small part to the captivating nature of the stories they tell. They are the creators and builders of worlds, the artists that add color, detail, and depth to an audio-visual experience that captures our imaginations, stimulates our minds, and often touches our hearts. With over 250 televised stories within Doctor Who, how does each writer put their individual and unique mark upon the tale being told? Can a producer or showrunner look to a repertoire of wordsmiths, knowing which ones can fulfil certain wishes or needs for the program’s trajectory in a given season? What aspects of fledgling writers stand out to make them ideal candidates to be given a first opportunity to write for the program?
This week, we look at the contributions of a series of beloved Doctor Who writers, classic and new, veteran and freshman. We discuss the nature of their individual craft, what impact their stories had upon the DWU both within their respective seasons and beyond, and what adept skills many of them demonstrate when penning a script for the Doctor. From the prolific Robert Holmes, to the acclaimed Paul Cornell, to brilliant newcomer Sarah Dollard, the pen so often proves mightier than the sonic screwdriver.
How forever righteous is the spark that ignites the fires of rebellion? Is it always the casting down of shackles that have held back the multitudes, the rise of the oppressed against tyranny, as they realize their strength in numbers and move as one to claim their freedoms? Or could it be nothing more than a chaotic, irrational lash at authority for no other purpose than to feel empowered, an incitement of disorder as a demonstration of might, to feel important through fear, and striving to become the new authority — but in turn, creating another imbalance of power within the next regime?
Peter Harness and Steven Moffat conclude their mid-season story with “The Zygon Inversion”, a performance masterpiece by both the Doctor (Basil?) and Clara, ripe with drama, intensity, emotion and poignancy at this critical time for Doctor Who. In our reaction cast, we revel in the Osgood mystery, marvel at the acting choices of Capaldi in his most stirring monologue to date, witness incredible versatility and character presence from Jenna Coleman in both her roles, and grin shamelessly at the many connections to “Day of the Doctor”, and countless ‘classic’ Whovian references.