History SoYouWantTo / WriteTheNextDoctorWho

19th Jul '17 3:58:35 AM Deekin
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The standard truism for writers is that the Doctor is never cruel or cowardly ''[[TheSoCalledCoward Cautious]]'', yes, but not cowardly. You can, however, have a character like the Master or the Dream Lord accuse him as part of a BreakingLecture.

to:

* The standard truism for writers is that the Doctor is never cruel or cowardly cowardly. ''[[TheSoCalledCoward Cautious]]'', yes, but not cowardly. You can, however, have a character like the Master or the Dream Lord accuse him as part of a BreakingLecture.
1st Jul '17 8:16:53 PM DoctorNemesis
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* He usually obeys a sort of temporal [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]], in that he doesn't trust a society or even an individual person to have and use technology too far ahead of its time (or, more generally, that they didn't develop themselves). (This is the primary reason why he doesn't like the Torchwood Institute, whose whole purpose is to get hold of alien technologies and develop them for human users.) However, unlike most, this Directive does allow for him to intervene in history in order to combat a particular injustice or wrong. It does mean that he finds himself faced with the problem of certain events he can change and others he cannot; the new series usually phrases this as the Doctor being 'part of events', meaning he cannot go back and change something which he is already involved in. Alternatively, he may find that he has become involved in what he calls a 'fixed point in time' i.e. some event of significance that cannot be altered without risking some kind of immense damage to or even destruction of the universe.

to:

* He usually obeys a sort of temporal [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]], in that he doesn't trust a society or even an individual person to have and use technology too far ahead of its time (or, more generally, that they didn't develop themselves). (This is the primary reason why he doesn't like the Torchwood Institute, whose whole purpose is to get hold of alien technologies and develop them for human users.) However, unlike most, this Directive does allow for him to intervene in history in order to combat a particular injustice or wrong. It does mean that he finds himself faced with the problem of certain events he can change and others he cannot; the new series usually phrases this as the Doctor being 'part of events', meaning he cannot go back and change something which he is already involved in. Alternatively, he may find that he has become involved in what he calls a 'fixed point in time' i.e. some event of significance that cannot be altered without (it is implied) risking some kind of immense damage to or even destruction of the universe.
1st Jul '17 2:14:51 PM SparkyYoungUpstart
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** If someone has been taken over by an outside force and there's absolutely ''no way'' of getting the real personality back, then the Doctor views him as already dead.

to:

** If someone has been taken over by an outside force and there's absolutely ''no way'' of getting the real personality back, then the Doctor views him them as already dead.
25th Jul '16 3:14:58 PM frogpatrol
Is there an issue? Send a Message


You can also take heart in the fact that ''Doctor Who'' is in fact really just a framing device for whatever story the writer wants to tell - there's no ''Franchise/StarTrek'' style [[UniverseBible continuity bible]], no fixed limits to TheVerse and an almost infinite variety of narrative styles, settings and devices.

to:

You can also take heart in the fact that ''Doctor Who'' is in fact really just fact, a framing narrative device for whatever story the writer wants to tell - there's no ''Franchise/StarTrek'' style [[UniverseBible continuity bible]], no fixed limits to TheVerse and an almost infinite variety of narrative styles, settings and devices.



''Who'' writers frown on using the TARDIS as a DeusExMachina, and most will use it only as a way to get the Doctor and companions to the plot hook. Actually ''separating'' the TARDIS and its crew, and making the Doctor's primary motivation getting back to it, is a classic plot device.

Plot Hook-wise, having the TARDIS answer a DistressCall is a fine old cliché that probably has plenty of milage left. You could do worse, anyway. But here's [[http://www.sfx.co.uk/2009/12/07/russell_t_davies_and_the_line_that_must_never_be_uttered/ some advice]] from [[Creator/RussellTDavies Uncle Rusty]]:
->"You wouldn't believe it, but every writer who comes in to write their first script has the TARDIS answering a distress call! You just sit there going, 'No, just have him land, why can't he just land, walk out the door and go, "Where am I?"' ''Then'' he can hear a distress call. But it's the most boring way to start a story."

to:

''Who'' ''Doctor Who'' writers frown on using the TARDIS as a DeusExMachina, and most will use it only as a way to get the Doctor and companions to the plot hook. Actually ''separating'' the TARDIS and its crew, and making the Doctor's primary motivation getting back to it, is a classic plot device.

Plot Hook-wise, having the TARDIS answer a DistressCall is a fine old cliché that probably has plenty of milage left. You could do worse, anyway. But here's [[http://www.sfx.co.uk/2009/12/07/russell_t_davies_and_the_line_that_must_never_be_uttered/ some advice]] from former ShowRunner [[Creator/RussellTDavies Uncle Rusty]]:
->"You
Rusty]]:

->You
wouldn't believe it, but every writer who comes in to write their first script has the TARDIS answering a distress call! You just sit there going, 'No, "No, just have him land, why can't he just land, walk out the door and go, "Where 'Where am I?"' I?'" ''Then'' he can hear a distress call. But it's the most boring way to start a story.story.

Former script editor Andrew Cartmel said the same thing writers starting their outlines with the TARDIS getting "a flat tire.
"



In addition to transportation, the TARDIS is also legitimately used as a WeirdnessMagnet and as a repository for whatever technobabble gadgets your plot requires.

to:

In addition to transportation, the TARDIS is also legitimately used as a WeirdnessMagnet and as a repository for whatever technobabble {{Technobabble}} gadgets your plot requires.



In general, the screwdriver works best when limited to performing small, concrete tasks: opening doors, disabling security cameras, etc. It is essentially an all-purpose answer to the question "Why didn't the bad guys just [lock the doors; ask the guards to keep a lookout for the intruders; imprison the Doctor; take the {{doomsday device}} with them when they left the room; etc.]?"--and, best of all, if you ''need'' (say) a door to keep the Doctor out, there's plenty of room to {{handwave}} an explanation along the lines of "It doesn't work on wood!"

to:

In general, the screwdriver works best when limited to performing small, concrete tasks: tasks to move the story along: opening doors, disabling security cameras, etc. It is essentially an all-purpose answer to the question "Why didn't the bad guys just [lock the doors; ask doors/ask the guards to keep a lookout for the intruders; imprison intruders/imprison the Doctor; take Doctor/take the {{doomsday device}} with them when they left the room; etc.]?"--and, best ]?" Best of all, if you ''need'' (say) ''need'', say, a door to keep the Doctor out, there's plenty of room to {{handwave}} an explanation along the lines of "It "it doesn't work on wood!"



* The standard truism for writers is that the Doctor is never cruel or cowardly (''[[TheSoCalledCoward cautious]]'', yes, cowardly, no). You can, however, have a character like the Valeyard or the Dream Lord accuse him as part of a BreakingLecture.
** While the Valeyard himself is cruel and cowardly, it is also emphasized he is an aberration of some sort, not being a "proper" incarnation unto himself.
* The Doctor ''himself'' often gives a BreakingLecture or even a full-on HannibalLecture to his enemies, particularly in some incarnations. This began with the very first Doctor. Only the Second and Fifth Doctors have shied away from giving them.

to:

* The standard truism for writers is that the Doctor is never cruel or cowardly (''[[TheSoCalledCoward cautious]]'', ''[[TheSoCalledCoward Cautious]]'', yes, cowardly, no). but not cowardly. You can, however, have a character like the Valeyard Master or the Dream Lord accuse him as part of a BreakingLecture.
** While the Valeyard himself is cruel and cowardly, it is also emphasized he is an aberration of some sort, aberration, not being a "proper" incarnation unto himself.
* The Doctor ''himself'' often gives a BreakingLecture or even a full-on HannibalLecture to his enemies, particularly in some incarnations. incarnations more than others. This tendency began with the very first Doctor. Only the Second and Fifth Doctors have shied away from giving them.



* The Doctor ''always'' sides with the oppressed against the oppressors. GovernmentDrugEnforcement or any other form of coerced happiness counts as oppression in his book.
* He prefers to incapacitate, or, better yet, [[TheChessmaster outmanoeuver]], his enemies rather than kill them. He does have a weakness for [[LaserGuidedKarma poetic justice]], though, and especially likes to catch enemies [[HoistByHisOwnPetard in their own traps]].
* He usually obeys a sort of temporal [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]], in that he doesn't trust a society -- or even an individual person -- to have and use technology too far ahead of its time (or, more generally, that they didn't develop themselves). (This is the primary reason why he doesn't like the Torchwood Institute, whose whole purpose is to get hold of alien technologies and develop them for human users.) However, unlike most, this Directive does allow for him to intervene in history in order to combat a particular injustice or wrong. It does mean that he finds himself faced with the problem of certain events he can change and others he cannot; the new series usually phrases this as the Doctor being 'part of events', meaning he cannot go back and change something which he is already involved in. Alternatively, he may find that he has become involved in what he calls a 'fixed point in time' -- i.e. some event of significance that cannot be altered without risking some kind of immense damage to or even destruction of the universe.

to:

* The Doctor ''always'' sides with the oppressed against the oppressors.oppressors, except in some historical stories where that would change the timeline. GovernmentDrugEnforcement or any other form of coerced happiness counts as oppression in his book.
* He prefers to incapacitate, or, better yet, [[TheChessmaster outmanoeuver]], his enemies rather than kill them. He does have has a weakness for [[LaserGuidedKarma poetic justice]], though, and especially likes to catch enemies [[HoistByHisOwnPetard in their own traps]].
* He usually obeys a sort of temporal [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]], in that he doesn't trust a society -- or even an individual person -- to have and use technology too far ahead of its time (or, more generally, that they didn't develop themselves). (This is the primary reason why he doesn't like the Torchwood Institute, whose whole purpose is to get hold of alien technologies and develop them for human users.) However, unlike most, this Directive does allow for him to intervene in history in order to combat a particular injustice or wrong. It does mean that he finds himself faced with the problem of certain events he can change and others he cannot; the new series usually phrases this as the Doctor being 'part of events', meaning he cannot go back and change something which he is already involved in. Alternatively, he may find that he has become involved in what he calls a 'fixed point in time' -- i.e. some event of significance that cannot be altered without risking some kind of immense damage to or even destruction of the universe.



* The Doctor honors his word, and usually expects (sometimes naively) everyone else to honor theirs. (The Seventh Doctor broke with the latter principle in a big way, accounting in large part for his reputation as the "Dark Doctor".) He does not look kindly upon those who break that trust.

to:

* The Doctor honors his word, and usually expects (sometimes naively) everyone else to honor theirs. (The Seventh Doctor broke with the latter principle in a big way, accounting way. This accounts in large part for his reputation as the "Dark Doctor".) He does not look kindly upon those who break that trust.



** Unless it's the [[TheChessmaster Seventh Doctor]]. And even then, [[SpannerInTheWorks extenuating circumstances]] usually force him to [[XanatosSpeedChess improvise on the fly]].
** When the stakes are high, The Eleventh Doctor increasingly shows signs of this.
* Violence is the Doctor's ''last'' choice, and he nearly never uses guns himself. That the Doctor prefers to keep his hands clean by letting other people do his dirty work is a fair criticism (brought up in the Twelfth Doctor's character arc in Series 8, among other places). The Doctor is at best a TechnicalPacifist; he doesn't like to fight, but he ''will'' if he has to, and whilst he might not use guns personally he's found plenty of ways to get around that in the past.
** Even when he HAS [[BatmanGrabsAGun taken up weapons]] against an enemy, it's always a) directly involved the Time War's participants (the Time Lords and Daleks), b) risked massive catastrophe (planet-wide genocide being the lower end of the scale), and c) still preferred the use of the weapon to cause indirect harm, such as Ten firing a pistol at an object or the War Doctor shooting down a wall. The Ninth Doctor alone attempted to directly use a weapon to kill an enemy, and failed, leading to a HeelRealization.
* In keeping with the above two points, the Doctor generally doesn't go around picking fights or looking for trouble (he does, however, look for ''excitement'' or something interesting, which generally leads to trouble); he usually just wanders across a problem, and his first instinct when faced with someone planning on starting something is to ask -- or warn -- them to change their course of action. (This is especially true of New Series Doctors, who make a special point of offering the enemy a peaceful way out.) When they (inevitably) refuse... well, though he didn't ''start'' the fight, he is perfectly willing to end it by any means necessary.

to:

** Unless it's the [[TheChessmaster Seventh Doctor]]. And even then, [[SpannerInTheWorks extenuating circumstances]] usually force him to [[XanatosSpeedChess improvise on the fly]].
**
fly]]. When the stakes are high, The the later Eleventh Doctor increasingly shows signs of this.
did the same.
* Violence is the Doctor's ''last'' choice, and he nearly never uses guns himself. That the Doctor prefers to keep his hands clean by letting other people do his dirty work is a fair criticism (brought up in the Twelfth Doctor's character arc in Series 8, among other places). The Doctor is is, at best best, a TechnicalPacifist; he doesn't like to fight, but he ''will'' if he has to, must, and whilst he might not use guns personally he's found plenty of ways to get around that in the past.
** Even when he HAS ''has'' [[BatmanGrabsAGun taken up weapons]] against an enemy, it's always a) directly involved the Time War's participants (the Time Lords and Daleks), b) risked massive catastrophe (planet-wide genocide being the lower end of the scale), and c) still preferred the use of the weapon to cause indirect harm, such as Ten firing a pistol at an object or the War Doctor shooting down a wall. The Ninth Doctor alone attempted to directly use a weapon to kill an enemy, and failed, leading to a HeelRealization.
* In keeping with the above two points, the Doctor generally doesn't go around picking fights or looking for trouble (he does, however, look for ''excitement'' or something interesting, which generally leads to trouble); trouble). Usually, he usually just wanders across a problem, and his first instinct when faced with someone planning on starting something is to ask -- or warn -- them to change their course of action. action or warn they of what would occur if they chose otherwise. (This is especially true of New Series Doctors, who make a special an efspecial point of offering the enemy a peaceful way out.) When they (inevitably) refuse... well, though he didn't ''start'' the fight, he is perfectly willing to end it by any means necessary.



* The Doctor tends to be male. WordOfGod confirms that Time Lords may regenerate across gender lines, but whether it's appropriate for the Doctor to do so is less than universally accepted.
* Each regeneration maintains true to the above rules, but personality traits vary wildly, particularly from the immediately previous regeneration. Elegant Three becomes the bohemian Four; gentle Five becomes abrasive Six; boyish, quirky Eleven becomes GrumpyOldMan Twelve, etc.

to:

* The Doctor tends to be has, so far been male. WordOfGod confirms that Female incarnations have appeared in comedic alternative universe stories. Time Lords may regenerate across gender lines, but whether it's appropriate for the Doctor to do so is less than universally accepted.
* Each regeneration maintains true to the above rules, but personality traits vary wildly, particularly from the immediately previous regeneration. Elegant Three becomes the bohemian Four; Four, gentle Five becomes abrasive Six; Six, boyish, quirky Eleven becomes GrumpyOldMan Twelve, etc.
etc.



* The companion is generally female. The Doctor has rarely travelled with ''just'' a male companion (and not for long at that); the few occasions there has been a male companion on board, there's usually been a female companion as well. Even Jamie, the male companion who has, to date, travelled longest with the Doctor, also travelled, alongside female companions, namely Polly, Victoria and Zoe. This has the effect of establishing a clear male-female dynamic to the Doctor-companion relationship which, while not exclusive, provides a handy template from which to work.
* The Doctor also usually travels with one or two people at a time; certainly no more than three. Having more than one companion around tends to be tricky for writers to handle, in terms of giving everyone enough to do story-wise; two companions on as well as the Doctor seems manageable, but having three seems to be a bit of a struggle. Something to keep in mind.

to:

* The companion is generally ''generally'' female. The Doctor has rarely travelled with ''just'' ''only'' a male companion (and not for long at that); the few occasions there has been a male companion on board, there's usually been a female companion as well. Even Jamie, the male companion who has, to date, travelled longest with the Doctor, also travelled, alongside female companions, women, namely Polly, Victoria and Zoe. This has the effect of establishing a clear male-female dynamic to the Doctor-companion relationship which, while not exclusive, provides a handy template from which to work.
* The Doctor also usually travels with one or two people at a time; certainly no more than three. Having more than one companion around tends to be tricky for writers to handle, in terms of giving everyone enough to do story-wise; two do. Two companions on as well as and the Doctor seems manageable, but having three seems to be a bit of a struggle. Something to keep in mind.



** Human. The Doctor seems to like having humans around, often vocally considering them his favourite species. This is obviously a matter of practicality (it saves on make-up costs for a start, budget considerations being something the ''Series/DoctorWho'' production team cannot afford to sniff at). This also enables the audience to engage with what's happening easily. He has travelled with non-humans before, to great success . Romana, a fellow Gallifreyan, was quite popular with the audience, as was the robot dog K9 (although due to his tendency to break down, K9 was ''not'' popular with the production team). But they're outnumbered by humans.

to:

** Human. The Doctor seems to like having humans around, often vocally considering them his favourite species. This is obviously a matter of practicality (it practicality. It saves on make-up costs for a start, budget considerations being something the ''Series/DoctorWho'' production team cannot afford to sniff at).at. This also enables the audience to engage with what's happening easily. He has travelled with non-humans before, to great success . success. Romana, a fellow Gallifreyan, Time Lady, was quite popular with the audience, as was the robot dog K9 (although K9, although due to his tendency to break down, down in real life, K9 was ''not'' popular with the production team).team. But they're outnumbered by humans. (Another "real" robot companion, Kamelion, got written out in record time because his remote-control operator died and no one knew how to operate him.)



** Less 'intelligent' / more naive than the Doctor. This enables them to again act as an audience stand-in by asking all the questions the audience will have ("Where are we? What's going on? What's that?!"), enabling the Doctor to act as MrExposition. Even Romana, who was established at times as more intellectually gifted than the Doctor, was still less experienced than him, allowing her to fill this role at times.
*** '''Important note''': 'Less intelligent' does not equal 'stupid'. Companions who have clung on too tightly to the IdiotBall in the past have generally not gone down well.
** Curious. They have an interest in the universe around them and the wonders the Doctor shows them. Particularly in the new series, in their introductory / early episodes they're often directly compared with more jaded, less intellectually curious or more timid people around them to demonstrate how they stand out, and consequently why they appeal to the Doctor.
** Moral and ethical. The companion generally supports the Doctor in his battles against evil. However, particularly in the new series, the companion has often acted as the Doctor's moral guide; even when he's not being particularly an AntiHero, the Doctor ''is'' still an alien, and therefore does not often operate according to human morality. The companion has often acted to guide the Doctor into doing what is right, express outrage when he does go too far and steer in him the right direction once again. Much has been made in the new series about how the Doctor needs someone around him to 'stop him' from going too far. (It may be that his new status as LastOfHisKind has something to do with this.)
*** Trustworthy. The companion usually functions as the Doctor's best friend, and unscrupulous types rarely get invited aboard. Although mileage has and can be made from making the companion an untrustworthy sort who may even be acting against the Doctor (such as Turlough in the classic series, and Adam in the new series), these generally don't tend to last long; Turlough eventually did a HeelFaceTurn and became a genuine companion, and Adam was booted out of the TARDIS after one adventure because he betrayed the Doctor's trust and lied about it.
** Able to be frightened. It's a big, bad, scary universe the Doctor inhabits, and it's often been the companion's job to get scared by it when necessary (such as when the MonsterOfTheWeek is baring down on them). Be careful with this one, however; in the past, this has translated to the typical cliche of the companion standing around doing a lot of screaming. Keeping in mind that the companion is generally female, and this can lead to some quite outdated gender roles and UnfortunateImplications very quickly (it also tends to make the companion look rather useless and come off as rather irritating). Consequently, this means that more modern roles for the companion have made them more:
** Capable. Although they are usually still not as competent as the Doctor, the companion is expected to look after herself. You don't have to make the companion [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Ellen Ripley]] (although you could do worse), but modern audiences will find the timid, screaming, near-useless cliche of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' companion unacceptable these days.
* In the past, the companion's relationship with the Doctor has tended be more a close friendship or a teacher / student-style connection, with little overt romantic tension. The new series companions have generally introduced more romantic subtext between the Doctor and the companion. This also impacts on the male companion / female companion dynamic as well; the male companion in these cases is often the female companion's 'everyman' boyfriend, and is less than pleased at both the risks inherent in the Doctor's chaotic lifestyle and the female companion's obvious interest in the daring, charismatic and heroic Doctor, which often expresses itself in hostility towards the Doctor.
* Companions who are witness to a regeneration must get to know their strange friend all over again due to his altered personality and appearance, which can take a while and provides a deep well of CharacterDevelopment for both sides. Examples include Peri's relationship with Five/Six, Rose's with Nine/Ten, and Clara's with Eleven/Twelve.

to:

** Less 'intelligent' / "intelligent" and/or more naive less worldly-wise than the Doctor. This enables them to again act as an audience stand-in by asking all the questions the audience will have ("Where are we? What's going on? What's that?!"), enabling the Doctor to act as MrExposition. Even Romana, who was established at times as more intellectually gifted than the Doctor, was still less experienced than him, allowing him and allowed her to fill this role at times.
*** '''Important note''': 'Less intelligent' "Less intelligent" does not equal 'stupid'.stupid. Companions who have clung on too tightly to the IdiotBall in the past have generally not gone down well.
** Curious. They have an interest in the universe around them and the wonders the Doctor shows them. Particularly in the new series, in their introductory / early episodes they're often directly compared with more jaded, less intellectually curious or more timid people around them to demonstrate how they stand out, and consequently why they appeal to the Doctor.
** Moral and ethical. The companion generally supports the Doctor in his battles against evil. However, particularly in the new series, the companion has often acted as the Doctor's moral guide; even when he's not being particularly an AntiHero, the Doctor ''is'' still an alien, and therefore does not often operate according to human morality. The companion has often acted to guide the Doctor into doing what is right, express outrage when he does go too far and steer in him the right direction once again. Much has been made in the new series about how the Doctor needs someone around him to 'stop him' "stop him" from going too far. (It may be that his new status as LastOfHisKind has something to do with this.)
far.
*** Trustworthy. The companion usually functions as the Doctor's best friend, and unscrupulous types rarely get invited aboard. Although mileage has and can be made from making the companion an untrustworthy sort who may even be acting against the Doctor (such as Turlough in the classic series, and Adam in the new series), these series. These generally don't tend to last long; long. Turlough eventually [[spoiler: did a HeelFaceTurn and became a genuine companion, companion]], and Adam [[spoiler: was booted out of the TARDIS after one adventure because he betrayed the Doctor's trust and lied about it.
to him]].
** Able to be frightened. It's a big, bad, scary universe the Doctor inhabits, and it's often been the companion's job to get scared by it when necessary (such as when the MonsterOfTheWeek is baring bearing down on them). Be careful with this one, however; in however. In the past, this has translated to the typical cliche of the companion standing around doing a lot of screaming. Keeping in mind that the companion is generally female, and this can lead to some quite outdated gender roles and UnfortunateImplications very quickly (it quickly. It also tends to make the companion look rather useless and come off as rather irritating).irritating. Consequently, this means that more modern roles for the companion have made them more:
** Capable. Although they are usually still not as competent as the Doctor, the companion is expected to look after herself. You don't have to make the companion [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Ellen Ripley]] (although you could do worse), but modern audiences will find the timid, screaming, near-useless cliche of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' companion unacceptable these days.
days. (That said, while that described a few of the Doctor's companions, many other deviated from the pattern.)
* In the past, the companion's relationship with the Doctor has tended be more a close friendship or a teacher / student-style connection, teacher-student relationship, with little overt romantic tension. The new series companions have generally introduced more romantic subtext between the Doctor and the companion. This also impacts on the male companion / female companion-female companion dynamic as well; the male companion in these cases is often the female companion's 'everyman' boyfriend, and is less than pleased at both the risks inherent in the Doctor's chaotic lifestyle and the female companion's obvious interest in the daring, charismatic and heroic Doctor, which often expresses itself in hostility towards the Doctor.
* Companions who are witness to a regeneration must get to know their strange friend all over again due to his altered personality and appearance, which can take a while and provides a deep well of CharacterDevelopment for both sides. Examples include Examples; Peri's relationship with Five/Six, Rose's with Nine/Ten, and Clara's with Eleven/Twelve.



Two main choices to make - '''setting''' and '''genre'''. ''Doctor Who'' is a very versatile format and continuity has never been strictly observed. The setting can be pure space fantasy with CrystalSpiresAndTogas, TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, ancient Rome, Victorian Cardiff, SpaceOpera - or, of course, contemporary London. (His sojourns in places outside of Europe are quite rare by comparison.)

to:

Two main choices to make - '''setting''' make:setting and '''genre'''.genre. ''Doctor Who'' is a very versatile format and continuity has never been strictly observed. The setting can be pure space fantasy with CrystalSpiresAndTogas, TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, ancient Rome, Victorian Cardiff, SpaceOpera - or, of course, contemporary London. (His sojourns in places outside of Europe are quite rare by comparison.)



The other pitfall many writers seem to fall into is over-use of the VillainBall (so many villains were only caught because they pointlessly murdered people) -- or the IdiotBall (companions wandering off and into trouble ... again...)

to:

The other pitfall many writers seem to fall into is over-use of the VillainBall (so many villains were only caught because they pointlessly murdered people) -- or the IdiotBall (companions wandering off and into trouble ... again...)



TechnoBabble can also be a bit of an issue. In fairness, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has always generally hovered around the 'soft' side of the 'hard' science fiction / 'soft' science fiction scale, but the over-use of technobabble can easily switch an audience off.

Some of the show's longer stories, particularly in the 'serial' format of the classic series, also tended to run out of steam by the third episode or thereabouts, generally relying on a lot of {{Padding}} wherein the Doctor and friends would get captured, locked up, threatened with death, escape, run around the villain's base a bit, and then get cornered again just in time for the end of episode cliffhanger (lather, rinse, repeat, depending on how many more episodes were left in the story). The new series, with a shorter running time, has generally avoided the problem of padding, but instead can seem to go the opposite route, resulting in a lot of frantic running around, shouting and waving of arms in the last fifteen minutes or so to effect a hurried (and not necessarily coherent) conclusion to events.

A note also about the fan-base: as might be expected with a series that has being going strong in some form for almost fifty years in a wide variety of styles, formats and approaches, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has a huge fan-base. And this fan-base is incredibly varied, intensely committed and, so it sometimes seems, [[BrokenBase unable to agree on anything]]. Some like the new series not the old series, some like the old series not the new series, some like parts of the old / new series and absolutely nothing else, and so on. As such, no matter what you do, the fans will be split roughly between those who think you're the best thing to happen to the series and who worship everything you've ever written, and those who believe you're a soulless demon sent from Hell by {{Satan}} himself to spite them personally by ruining the show. Take this into account when you're reading the reactions of both groups.

to:

TechnoBabble can also be a bit of an issue. In fairness, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has always generally hovered around the 'soft' "soft" side of the 'hard' "hard" science fiction / 'soft' science fiction scale, dichotomy, but the over-use of technobabble can easily switch an audience off.

Some of the show's longer stories, particularly in the 'serial' serial format of the classic series, also tended to run out of steam by the third episode or thereabouts, generally relying on a lot of {{Padding}} wherein the Doctor and friends would get captured, locked up, threatened with death, escape, run around the villain's base a bit, and then get cornered again just in time for the end of episode cliffhanger (lather, rinse, repeat, depending on how many more episodes were left in the story). The new series, with a shorter running time, has generally avoided the problem of padding, but instead can seem to go the opposite route, resulting in a lot of frantic running around, shouting and waving of arms in the last fifteen minutes or so to effect a hurried (and not necessarily coherent) conclusion to events.

A note also about the fan-base: as might be expected with a series that has being going strong in some form for almost fifty years in a wide variety of styles, formats and approaches, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has a huge fan-base. And this fan-base is incredibly varied, intensely committed and, so it sometimes seems, [[BrokenBase unable to agree on anything]]. Some like the new series post-2005 not the old 1963-1989 series, some like the old series but not the new series, some like parts of the old / new series and absolutely nothing else, and so on. As such, no matter what you do, the fans will be split roughly between those who think you're the best thing to happen to the series and who worship everything you've ever written, and those who believe you're a soulless demon sent from Hell by {{Satan}} himself to spite them personally by ruining the show. Take this into account when you're reading the reactions of both groups.



Try taking one of the Aesops mentioned below and turning it on its head is always a good place to start. Maybe sometimes there ''are'' problems that no one can overcome, no matter how determined they are, or how great a team they have with them. Maybe there ''can'' be HappinessInSlavery. Maybe we ''would'' be happier if we were all the same.

Of course, keep in mind that a LongRunner like ''Doctor Who'' has probably already explored many of these themes in some form or another.

to:

Try taking one of the Aesops mentioned below and turning it on its head is always a good place to start. Maybe sometimes there ''are'' problems that no one can overcome, no matter how determined they are, or how great a team they have with them. Maybe there ''can'' be HappinessInSlavery. Maybe we ''would'' be happier if we were all the same.

Of course, keep
same. Given in mind that the length of a LongRunner like ''Doctor Who'' Who'', it has probably already explored many of these themes in some form or another.



Probably the biggest theme of ''Doctor Who'' is that one man ''can'' make a difference and that it's always a worthy thing to try to help people. Even in the stories where the Doctor fails miserably and almost everybody dies, there's at least one person left who is better off for having met him, or some malignant entity who's ''worse'' off (and deservedly so) for having opposed him.

to:

Probably the biggest theme of ''Doctor Who'' is that one man ''can'' person''can'' make a difference and that it's always a worthy thing to try to help people. Even in the stories where the Doctor fails miserably and almost everybody dies, there's at least one person left who is better off for having met him, or some malignant entity who's ''worse'' off (and deservedly so) for having opposed him.



Similarly, the new series has taken criticism for the prevalence of the HeroicSacrifice as a means of resolving a plot. (The old series used it quite a lot, too. Dalek stories ''always'' have them.)

to:

Similarly, the new series has taken criticism for the prevalence of the HeroicSacrifice as a means of resolving to resolve a plot. (The old series used it quite a lot, too. Dalek stories ''always'' have them.)
)



* The season finales to the past few series notwithstanding, not ''every'' plot that puts the Doctor and his companions in danger, and makes for intriguing viewing, has to imperil a planet (or an entire race, or the universe...) Smaller stories were done plenty of times within the original run of the series: take "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E6TheCavesOfAndrozani The Caves of Androzani]]", mentioned below. The Doctor and his companion find themselves caught in the middle of a drug war and spend the entire story just trying to get back to the TARDIS. It's widely regarded as one of the best stories in the show's history, and it doubled as the Fifth Doctor's sendoff.

to:

* The season finales to the past few series notwithstanding, not ''every'' plot that puts the Doctor and his companions in danger, and makes for intriguing viewing, has to imperil a planet (or an entire race, or the universe...) Smaller stories were done plenty of times within the original run of the series: take series. Take "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E6TheCavesOfAndrozani The Caves of Androzani]]", mentioned below. The Doctor and his companion find themselves caught in the middle of a drug war and spend the entire story primarily want to just trying to get back to the TARDIS. It's widely survive. It is regarded as one of the best stories in the show's history, and it doubled as the Fifth Doctor's sendoff.



* A BusmansHoliday is another frequently used device to get the Doctor and his companions planetside. Basically, if the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS promising "Nothing bad ''ever'' happens on Nixyce VII!", [[TemptingFate then the Daleks are on their way.]] [[note]]It's suggested that the Doctor does often have nice, relaxing visits to planets where he ''doesn't'' end up risking death and/or dismemberment, but obviously that doesn't make for interesting television[[/note]]

to:

* A BusmansHoliday is another frequently used device to get the Doctor and his companions planetside. Basically, if the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS promising "Nothing bad ''ever'' happens on Nixyce VII!", [[TemptingFate then the Daleks are on their way.]] [[note]]It's (It's suggested that the Doctor does often have nice, relaxing visits to planets where he ''doesn't'' end up risking death and/or dismemberment, but obviously that doesn't make for interesting television[[/note]]
television.)
21st Aug '15 7:45:58 AM Sapphirea2
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Violence is the Doctor's ''last'' choice, and he nearly never uses guns himself. That the Doctor prefers to keep his hands clean by letting other people do his dirty work is a fair criticism. The Doctor is at best a TechnicalPacifist; he doesn't like to fight, but he ''will'' if he has to, and whilst he might not use guns personally he's found plenty of ways to get around that in the past.

to:

* Violence is the Doctor's ''last'' choice, and he nearly never uses guns himself. That the Doctor prefers to keep his hands clean by letting other people do his dirty work is a fair criticism.criticism (brought up in the Twelfth Doctor's character arc in Series 8, among other places). The Doctor is at best a TechnicalPacifist; he doesn't like to fight, but he ''will'' if he has to, and whilst he might not use guns personally he's found plenty of ways to get around that in the past.



* Each regeneration maintains true to the above rules, but personality traits vary wildly, particularly from the immediately previous regeneration.

to:

* Each regeneration maintains true to the above rules, but personality traits vary wildly, particularly from the immediately previous regeneration.
regeneration. Elegant Three becomes the bohemian Four; gentle Five becomes abrasive Six; boyish, quirky Eleven becomes GrumpyOldMan Twelve, etc.




to:

* Companions who are witness to a regeneration must get to know their strange friend all over again due to his altered personality and appearance, which can take a while and provides a deep well of CharacterDevelopment for both sides. Examples include Peri's relationship with Five/Six, Rose's with Nine/Ten, and Clara's with Eleven/Twelve.



The Doctor values self-actualization and the realization of hidden potential as much as he values freedom: "there's no such thing as an ordinary human".

to:

The Doctor values self-actualization and the realization of hidden potential as much as he values freedom: "there's "There's no such thing as an ordinary human".



Being an obvious symbol of time (and hence time travel), clocks are also a potential; they were quite a motif in the 1996 telemovie, and it's worth mentioning that the new series has had plenty of shots of Big Ben (which formed a central part of the plot of at least one of them). The radically different opening for Season 8 has a clock theme.

The new series has opened several episodes with a long zoom shot from Earth in orbit to an aerial view of London.

to:

Being an obvious symbol of time (and hence time travel), clocks are also a potential; they were quite a motif in the 1996 telemovie, and it's worth mentioning that the new series has had plenty of shots of Big Ben (which formed a central part of the plot of at least one of them). The radically different opening for Season Series 8 has a clock theme.

The new series has opened several episodes -- including its very first -- with a long zoom shot from Earth in orbit to an aerial view of London.



* There has been a preponderance of plots in the new series about plots to destroy/take over the entire Earth, or the entire galaxy/universe. Or even just plots where destruction would be an unfortunate side-effect.
* The season finales to the past few series notwithstanding, not ''every'' plot that puts the Doctor and his companions in danger, and makes for intriguing viewing, has to imperil a planet (or an entire race, or the universe...) Smaller stories were done plenty of times within the original run of the series: take "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E6TheCavesOfAndrozani The Caves of Androzani]]", mentioned below. The Doctor and his companion find themselves caught in the middle of a drug war and spend the entire story just trying to get back to the TARDIS. It's widely regarded as one of the best stories in the show's history.

to:

* There has been a preponderance of plots in the new series about plots schemes to destroy/take over the entire Earth, or the entire galaxy/universe. Or even just plots where destruction would be an unfortunate side-effect.
* The season finales to the past few series notwithstanding, not ''every'' plot that puts the Doctor and his companions in danger, and makes for intriguing viewing, has to imperil a planet (or an entire race, or the universe...) Smaller stories were done plenty of times within the original run of the series: take "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E6TheCavesOfAndrozani The Caves of Androzani]]", mentioned below. The Doctor and his companion find themselves caught in the middle of a drug war and spend the entire story just trying to get back to the TARDIS. It's widely regarded as one of the best stories in the show's history.history, and it doubled as the Fifth Doctor's sendoff.



With regard to the Doctor's costume a wide spectrum of outfits have been used through his current eleven lives, from Nine's simple leather jacket to Six's eye-searing Technicolor dreamcoat. Striking a balance between ordinary and odd is key, but since no one really seems to notice what the Doctor wears wherever/whenever he is, this balance can shift. [[AwesomeAnachronisticApparel Period clothes]] seem to be a favorite among the costume designers, but this has been kept within recent parts of history (19th to early 20th Centuries). The Doctor's outfit also gives chances to lampshade how strange it is sometimes (e.g. Four's scarf, Five's celery stick, etc.) ''No'' incarnation of the Doctor has been particularly self-conscious about the eccentricity of his sartorial choices -- if someone asks why he's dressed so strangely, he usually replies along the lines of "What's ''wrong'' with my outfit? I ''like'' my outfit."

Despite the differences, certain fashion motifs tend to appear; a jacket with distinct (usually [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacket_lapel#Notched_lapel notched]]) lapels, something worn over the shirt (a waistcoat or sweater of some kind), a distinctive form of cravat or tie, the occasional NiceHat. Although the costuming of the new series made a distinct effort to get away from the more period styles of the classic series Doctors by clothing the Doctor in something more modern, some of these motifs still bled through, and the Eleventh Doctor's tweed jacket and bow-tie look -- rather like an {{Oxbridge}} don on holiday -- perhaps indicate something of a return to the classic series template of AwesomeAnachronisticApparel.

One thing ''has'' emerged after eleven Doctors and fifty years: designing the Doctor's outfit ''without'' the active participation of the actor doesn't end well.

to:

With regard to the Doctor's costume a wide spectrum of outfits have been used through his current eleven lives, from Nine's simple leather jacket to Six's eye-searing Technicolor dreamcoat. Striking a balance between ordinary and odd is key, but since no one really seems to notice what the Doctor wears wherever/whenever he is, this balance can shift. [[AwesomeAnachronisticApparel Period clothes]] seem to be a favorite among the costume designers, but this has been kept within recent parts of history (19th to early 20th Centuries). The Doctor's outfit also gives chances to lampshade how strange it is sometimes (e.g. Four's scarf, Five's celery stick, etc.) ''No'' incarnation of the Doctor has been particularly self-conscious about the eccentricity of his sartorial choices -- if someone asks why he's dressed so strangely, he usually replies along the lines of "What's ''wrong'' with my outfit? I ''like'' my outfit."

" (That said, in stories that have more than one incarnation of the Doctor encountering each other, they might poke fun at ''each other's'' choices.)

Despite the differences, certain fashion motifs tend to appear; a jacket with distinct (usually [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacket_lapel#Notched_lapel notched]]) lapels, something worn over the shirt (a waistcoat or sweater of some kind), a distinctive form of cravat or tie, and the occasional NiceHat. Although the costuming of the new series made a distinct effort to get away from the more period styles of the classic series Doctors by clothing the Doctor in something more modern, some of these motifs still bled through, and the Eleventh Doctor's tweed jacket and bow-tie look -- rather like an {{Oxbridge}} don on holiday -- perhaps indicate something of a return to the classic series template of AwesomeAnachronisticApparel.

AwesomeAnachronisticApparel. The basic costume might evolve over a Doctor's tenure to reflect his CharacterDevelopment -- going from bright to darker colors (Four, Seven), elegant to battle-worn (Eight), severe to soft (Twelve).

One thing ''has'' emerged after eleven twelve Doctors and fifty fifty-plus years: designing Designing the Doctor's outfit ''without'' the active participation of the actor doesn't end well.



Casting the Doctor is one of the hardest jobs. Whoever comes next will have many previous incumbents of the role to follow, all of them generally well thought-of. Your actor will need to be commanding when required, but always remain likeable; have the acting chops to pull off high drama and the timing for high comedy; and something to set him apart from the previous incarnations. Casting rumours surrounding the Eleventh Doctor in 2008 suggested he would be played by a black actor (either Paterson Joseph or Chiwetel Ejiofor), and although the casting was eventually that of white actor Creator/MattSmith, it is notable that the prospect of a black Doctor was met with little to no resistance. Furthermore, in Eleven's guest appearance in ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'', after regenerating since he last met the gang, he states that regeneration isn't always the same skin tone, and it can be anything. In the episode "The Doctor's Wife", the Eleventh Doctor mentions the Corsair, a Time Lord who had some incarnations in the form of a woman as well as a man.

to:

Casting the Doctor is one of the hardest jobs. Whoever comes next will have many previous incumbents of the role to follow, all of them generally well thought-of. Your actor will need to be commanding when required, but always remain likeable; have the acting chops to pull off high drama and the timing for high comedy; and something to set him apart from the previous incarnations. Casting rumours surrounding the Eleventh Doctor in 2008 suggested he would be played by a black actor (either Paterson Joseph or Chiwetel Ejiofor), and although the casting was eventually that of white actor Creator/MattSmith, it is notable that the prospect of a black Doctor was met with little to no resistance. Furthermore, in Eleven's guest appearance in ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'', after regenerating since he last met the gang, he states that regeneration isn't always the same skin tone, and it can be anything. In the episode "The Doctor's Wife", the Eleventh Doctor mentions the Corsair, a Time Lord who had some incarnations in the form of a woman as well as a man.
man, and another example of this is [[spoiler: longtime arch-enemy The Master, who became The Mistress -- "Missy" for short -- in Series 8]].
5th Apr '15 8:02:51 AM ACW
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ''Also'' note that fierce individuality has been shown to be the [[PlanetOfHats hat]] of both humans, and, more importantly, ''Time Lords''. A single Time Lord being involved in a plot is usually a very big deal while in groups they are usually [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Obstructive Bureaucrats]], or even {{Complete Monster}}s.

to:

** ''Also'' note that fierce individuality has been shown to be the [[PlanetOfHats hat]] of both humans, and, more importantly, ''Time Lords''. A single Time Lord being involved in a plot is usually a very big deal while in groups they are usually [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Obstructive Bureaucrats]], or even {{Complete Monster}}s.vile villains.
11th Mar '15 4:20:38 PM ThallianGold
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

* The Doctor tends to be male. WordOfGod confirms that Time Lords may regenerate across gender lines, but whether it's appropriate for the Doctor to do so is less than universally accepted.
* Each regeneration maintains true to the above rules, but personality traits vary wildly, particularly from the immediately previous regeneration.
11th Mar '15 4:01:21 PM ThallianGold
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** While the Valeyard himself is cruel and cowardly, it is also emphasized he is an aberration of some sort, not being a "proper" incarnation unto himself.
11th Mar '15 3:59:47 PM ThallianGold
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Even when he HAS [[BatmanGrabsAGun taken up weapons]] against an enemy, it's always a) directly involved the Time War's participants (the Time Lords and Daleks), b) risked massive catastrophe (planet-wide genocide being the lower end of the scale), and c) still preferred the use of the weapon to cause indirect harm, such as Ten firing a pistol at an object or the War Doctor shooting down a wall. The Ninth Doctor alone attempted to directly use a weapon to kill an enemy, and failed, leading to a HeelRealization.
26th Aug '14 1:31:15 PM ScrewySqrl
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Being an obvious symbol of time (and hence time travel), clocks are also a potential; they were quite a motif in the 1996 telemovie, and it's worth mentioning that the new series has had plenty of shots of Big Ben (which formed a central part of the plot of at least one of them).

to:

Being an obvious symbol of time (and hence time travel), clocks are also a potential; they were quite a motif in the 1996 telemovie, and it's worth mentioning that the new series has had plenty of shots of Big Ben (which formed a central part of the plot of at least one of them).
them). The radically different opening for Season 8 has a clock theme.
This list shows the last 10 events of 167. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=SoYouWantTo.WriteTheNextDoctorWho