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What Could Have Been related to the new series of Doctor Who.


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    Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) era 
  • J. K. Rowling was offered to write an episode back when Russell T. Davies was planning Series 1. Of course, she was writing some book at the time and couldn't accept the offer, but just think. The writer of one of the most successful books in recent time giving a spin on one of Britain's most well-known series!
  • "Rose": In the scene where the Doctor comes to Rose's flat, the script called for him to stick his entire head through the cat flap in the door. However, when they got it, it turned out to be much too small.
  • "The End of the World": The Shooting Scripts has a number of deleted scenes, including a more brutal death for Raffalo, extended conversations between the Doctor and Jabe and Rose and Cassandra, and a second scene where Rose contacts Jackie as the sun rays begin to pierce the viewing gallery.
  • "The Unquiet Dead":
    • Mark Gatiss originally envisioned the episode, first titled "The Crippingwell Horror", as much darker and more frightening. At an early stage, the adventure was set at a "spiritualist hotel" owned by a Mrs. Plumchute, and involved a psychic named Noah Sneed contacting the Gelth. The maid, Gwyneth, was a much more minor character at this stage; her brother, Davy, was interred at the nearby Crippingwell Cemetery. It was RTD who suggested making it more of a romp.
    • According to Mark Gatiss, there was originally going to be a scene in which the Doctor was mistaken for Sneed's new cleaner. Someone would have stated, "I thought you'd be a woman" to which the Doctor replies "No, not yet", hinting that Time Lords can change sex. Would've become Hilarious in Hindsight when it turned out the 13th Doctor would be a woman.
    • Several characters were introduced and subsequently excised, including Mrs Sneed (who became superfluous as Gatiss strived to focus on Gwyneth) and a fake medium named Gideon Mortlock (who survived only in Gwyneth's mention of learning how to conduct a séance from a Madame Mortlock).
    • During the scene in which the Doctor and Dickens are talking in the coach, the driver was supposed to shout down to them (referencing a Dickens work) and the coach was to crash, but this was too expensive.
    • There was originally a scene where the Doctor responds to Rose's assertion that recorded history can't be altered by taking her to a devastated 2005, inspired by a similar scene in "Pyramids of Mars". Drawing the eerie depiction of George's travel through time in The Time Machine (1960), Gatiss scripted this to show the TARDIS scanner filling with Gelth-animated zombies as time marched on. However, it was ultimately felt that the return to the TARDIS interrupted the flow of the story too much and so the scene was removed, with the threat to the future now established through dialogue between the Doctor and Rose.
  • "Aliens of London":
    • Originally, the TARDIS brought Rose back home just minutes after she departed, much to her surprise — rather than arriving a year too late.
    • Jackie was originally meant to accompany the Doctor and Rose to 10 Downing Street. Such a concept would later be adapted into "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday" (where Jackie accompanies the Doctor and Rose to the Torchwood offices).
    • Originally, this episode featured the discovery of a buried "alien" spacecraft in a construction lot in Tottenham. It was only as production loomed that Russell T Davies began to realise what could be achieved with CGI, and so rewrote his scripts to provide greater scope for the introduction of the "alien", with the ship's destructive crashlanding now part of the narrative. Davies also elected to feature a live "alien" in the story, rather than just a corpse which would turn out to be nothing more than a shank of beef.
  • "Dalek":
    • Robert Shearman had to write a second version of the script because it was not initially known if the new series could obtain the rights to use the Daleks from Terry Nation's estate, so he had to create an alternate alien race that would have been used had the Daleks not been available. The back-up monster was the Toclafane, which would later appear in "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords". It would have been revealed that the Toclafane wiped out the Daleks.
    • Henry van Statten was originally named Will Fences in a joking allusion to Bill Gates. This was later changed to Mr. Duchesne, but Russell T Davies was concerned that this was too difficult to pronounce.
    • At one point, Adam was van Statten's son.
    • The story was originally set in 2010.
  • "The Long Game":
    • This episode's production is, essentially, the power fantasy of every aspiring writer. Russell T Davies originally wrote the concept of "The Long Game" in the early 1980s and submitted it to the Doctor Who production office in 1987, hoping it would air for the Seventh Doctor. Whether it was ever read by the production team of the time is unclear, as Davies received a rejection from the BBC Script Unit, who advised him to write more realistic television about "a man and his mortgage, his marriage, his dog" instead. So Davies reworked the story for the new series. Long Game, indeed.
    • A deleted subplot was to have revealed that Adam's father suffers from arthritis, and the first thing Adam looked up before he looked up "fabulous wealth-making future technology" was potential cures. It was presumably cut because it would have made Adam more sympathetic than he was intended to be. It is possible this inspired Adam's motivations in Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time.
    • Adam's house was originally going to be in Nottingham. Following the casting of Bruno Langley, it was moved to Manchester.
  • "Father's Day":
    • The Reapers went through many designs. Originally, they were supposed to be "men in cowls" based on the Grim Reaper; the final design retains some of this image with its "scythe-like tail". The original design was deemed too similar to creatures seen in "The End of the World", and so were reworked into something more "otherworldly". They were not originally intended to fly. There was also discussion of how much they should resemble animals as opposed to the Grim Reaper; the end result is a mixture of the two approaches. The final design had a "shark quality", bat wings, and a mouth influenced by the praying mantis. Vulture sound effects were used for its screech.
    • One scene excised from the script would have featured younger versions of Jackie's Chinese neighbours, Bau and Ru, who had appeared in "Aliens of London".
    • Originally Pete was to take a swig of wine before sacrificing himself, but this was removed because a correlation between alcohol and bravery was not thought to be a positive message.
  • "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances":
    • Davies' original pitch for the two-parter cast Jack Harkness as an interstellar alien soldier named Jax, who met the Doctor while tracking a murderous escaped "alien-child creature" in Blitz-era London. The character was also conceived as a serious, hard-nosed figure who would have befriended the Doctor while intimidating Rose.
    • Early drafts included the character of Jamie's father, who would silently and anonymously appear to aid Nancy and the war orphans. The climactic discovery of his true identity would be accompanied by the revelation that he is German, providing an alternative motivation to Nancy's shame.
  • "Boom Town" was a replacement for a story called "The New Team" by Paul Abbott (the creator of Shameless), which would have been set in Pompeii. More importantly, it would have revealed that Rose was created by the Doctor to be "the perfect companion". This was never filmed because Abbott couldn't do rewrites and Davies disliked the dark twist about Rose. An entirely different Pompeii story would be made three series later, however.
  • "Bad Wolf"/"The Parting of the Ways":
    • Russell T Davies first posited that the Game Station would be run by a mentally-enhanced teenager named Edward, but quickly came to dislike this idea. He first replaced Edward with an elderly man and then, inspired by Minority Report, with a pale, androgynous Controller instead.
    • Initially, the Controller survived into the next episode to provide the Doctor with someone to talk to, until Davies decided it would be more effective to have him converse with the Emperor Dalek instead.
    • The story was originally set 500 years after "The Long Game".
  • Imagine how many things would've been different if Eccleston had decided to stay on beyond the first season. For one thing, plans for a Series 2 with the Ninth Doctor would have included a story dealing with Captain Jack's missing memories. However, these were scrapped after Eccleston's departure, as the creative team decided to write off Jack as they felt that David Tennant needed room to establish his Doctor without another, more established male companion around.
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    Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) era 
  • The costume department originally intended for Ten to wear some kind of boots, and was initially resistant to David Tennant's idea of him wearing the now-iconic Converse trainers.
  • 2005 Children in Need Special: A deleted line established that the Tenth Doctor's Cockney accent was a result of him mentally imprinting on Rose's accent during his regeneration. Until someone pointed out that using that logic, the Second Doctor should also have had a Cockney accent, and the Sixth Doctor should have an American accent.note 
  • "The Christmas Invasion":
    • Russell T Davies wrote the script with the Ninth Doctor in mind, the idea being that the characteristics of the Tenth Doctor would emerge more through David Tennant's portrayal than from scripted lines.
    • A line of dialogue had been scripted which explained that the newly regenerated Doctor had imprinted on Rose's accent, "like a chick hatching from an egg", but the line was deleted from the final episode.
    • Davies briefly considered destroying Big Ben again.
  • "New Earth":
    • Because production fell behind schedule, several scenes were dropped. Many of these concerned the Duke of Manhattan and Frau Clovis. Originally, they first appeared in the hospital foyer when the Doctor initially arrives; as scripted, the Doctor immediately earns the Sisters of Plenitude's disfavour when he saves the Duke's life. Later, Clovis mutinies when the Duke refuses to help defend the hospital against the Intensive Care patients.
    • Originally, the Face of Boe was to deliver his message to the Doctor in this episode.
    • Cassandra's servant was envisioned as a dwarf named Zaggit, but as the character's importance grew during the scripting process, he developed into Chip.
    • In the original script, the Face of Boe was going to die in this episode and the only way for the Doctor to cure all the diseased was to euthanize them all. But then Russell T Davies read Steven Moffat's introduction segment in The Season One Shooting Scripts book, in which Moffat good naturedly mocked Davies, saying he "creates interesting characters and then melts them". This made Davies decide to have them all survive instead.
  • "Tooth and Claw":
    • Initially, the Doctor and Rose were both supposed to fake Scottish accents, and then forget to use them when the action started. Billie Piper's terrible Scottish accent put an end to that.
    • At one point, Russell T Davies contemplated surprising the viewers by having the werewolf kill Queen Victoria. This would then be the event which would cause the creation of the parallel universe to which the TARDIS would be drawn in for the season finale. However, Davies became concerned that this ongoing storyline would be too difficult for casual viewers to follow, and decided to drop the idea.
    • The episode was originally meant to be written by a freelance writer new to the show, who ignored Davies' requests as to what the story should involve and developed a storyline set at Buckingham Palace involving an alien insect getting in Queen Victoria's eye. This was not what the production team wanted and the storyline was rejected.
    • Davies initially planned for the Doctor to give his name to Queen Victoria as a Scottish equivalent of his usual "John Smith" alias. He had difficulty finding something suitable, however, and quickly came up with idea of using the pseudonym James Robert McCrimmon.
  • "School Reunion":
    • The original storyline submission for the episode was entitled "Black Ops", and it involved the Doctor meeting Sarah while investigating events at an army base neighbouring an isolated village.
    • The Buffy Speak example in the episode? Originally the line was just "Get the shooty dog thing". A quick bit of editing changed it. Note how the camera changes to Finch as he's on the "get" part.
    • Mickey originally didn't appear in the episode.
    • The confrontation between the Doctor and Finch was originally scripted to happen in the school gymnasium but was moved to the pool, which James Hawes felt served as a more dynamic setting.
    • The Krillitanes' physical appearance changed greatly during the episode's development — originally they were all winged but otherwise human.
  • "The Girl in the Fireplace":
    • In the original script, the "mind meld" with the Doctor is what actually attracts the clockwork robots to Reinette. Rose then offers Madame de Pompadour a gem which could erase all signs of contact with the Doctor from her mind, but she refuses because she does not want to forget him.
    • The script originally contained out-of-order meetings between the Doctor and Reinette in which she recalls seeing him at her convent school, which he later visits.
  • "The Age of Steel":
    • Mrs. Moore was going to be killed when she and the Doctor were escaping from the awakening Cybermen.
    • In the same scene, the two Cybermen who woke the army were going to have different voices.
    • In the original script, the emotive Cyberman euthanized by the Doctor was an eleven year-old boy.
    • In the original script, Rose killed the Cyberconverted Jackie.
    • The climactic action involving the destruction of the Cyber-Controller originally took place in a lift rather than on the roof, with the transformed Lumic trying to break through the compartment's floor.
    • In the original ending, the link between the TARDIS and the other universe was just sufficient to allow the Doctor to take "his" Jackie there, to be united with the "other" Pete, while Rose elects to continue travelling with the Doctor. However, Russell T Davies subsequently felt that this was too depressing a choice to confront Rose at this stage in the season, especially given that the alternative world would be revisited in the finale.
  • "The Idiot's Lantern":
    • Mark Gatiss originally wrote the script with the Ninth Doctor in mind.
    • The story was originally set during the dawn of the rock 'n roll era of the late Fifties. However, it was eventually agreed that the idea of a living song did not translate sufficiently well to television.
    • The story originally took place on Powell Street, intended to be the same location where Rose Tyler's apartment block, the Powell Estate, would later be built. However, since Rose's home had already been established as being situated in the south of London, this would make setting the climax at Alexandra Palace a more cumbersome plot element (not without giving the characters a reason to take the Northern line across town).
    • A subplot in which Rose visits her aunt who works on a game show for The BBC was deleted because Russell T Davies feared that having the Corporation be too involved in the plot would make the episode difficult to take seriously.
    • Magpie was originally a more malevolent figure. His villainous nature was toned down at Davies' suggestion.
    • Tommy's grandfather was removed from the script. At one point, he appeared in place of the grandmother.
    • The entrance to Bishop's headquarters was originally concealed by a newspaper vendor rather than a market stall.
    • The chase scene was originally much longer and included action in the London Underground (presumably cut around the same time that they moved the story from Powell Street up to the north London boroughs).
    • The climax originally featured the television sets in Magpie's shop exploding after the defeat of the Wire.
    • A line cut from the script had the Doctor mention his fear of radio towers, a reference to the Fourth Doctor's death in "Logopolis".
  • "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit":
    • Originally, the Slitheen were going to be in this episode. Or, more specifically, another family from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius — with the idea being that they had become enslaved by humanity. The Raxacoricofallapatorians secretly believed that the planet being explored was actually the dwelling place of their god, who would free them from servitude. However, Russell T Davies ultimately became concerned that the presence of the returning monsters was detracting from the humans whose pioneer spirit he felt was at the heart of the tale.
    • The planet was originally named Hell.
    • In Doctor Who Magazine, Russell T Davies said that they considered dozens of options for what would be in the pit. One was the Master. Another was Davros. Not Daleks, mind, just Davros being a possibility. They settled for Satan.
    • The Slitheen (or another family of Raxicoricofallapatorians) were originally going to be used in place of the Ood, having become subservient to humanity in the milennia since "Aliens of London", but the presence of a returning monster was felt to distract from the story of the pioneering humans, which was meant to be the story's heart.
  • "Love & Monsters":
    • In the original script, Elton was to have witnessed more events in Doctor Who history. Namely, his third birthday party was evacuated because of the Daleks' invasion of Shoreditch, his mother was killed by a plastic daffodil (instead of an elemental shade), and he witnessed the Loch Ness Monster rising from the Thames.
    • The very first scene of the episode, when Elton sees the TARDIS near the warehouses, was originally supposed to be shot at the dockside. However, due to a large shipment of steel cables, that location fell through at the last minute.
    • The original concept concerned a female fan of the Doctor's who was essentially stalking him. With a surfeit of strong female characters already conceived for the season, however, Russell T Davies decided to instead replace the female stalker with a more well-intentioned male named Elton.
  • "Fear Her":
    • Stephen Fry was meant to write a Tenth Doctor story set in The Roaring '20s. Let us weep for budgetary problems pushing it forward a season, and then Stephen not having time to rewrite it with Martha instead of Rose. "Fear Her" substituted for this episode in Series 2.
    • At one point, the story took place on another planet.
    • Matthew Graham originally pitched a storyline in which the Doctor and Rose are faced with a man who has discovered how to drain things of their beauty, leaving his planet a sterile grey landscape.
  • "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday":
    • Torchwood was originally based in Cardiff on the time rift, as had been introduced in "The Unquiet Dead".
    • One expensive sequence removed from the script at the development stage involved the Doctor and Rose ascending to the top of Torchwood Tower in the Jathaa Sun Glider (described as a "space canoe") mentioned in the previous episode; this was replaced with the much simpler moment of Jake summoning them into the lift.
    • Dalek Jast was originally named Rabe. This was changed because it sounded too much like Ray. (This was quite a late change, as the original name still appeared on some merchandise.)
  • "The Runaway Bride":
    • The climax originally took place at Stonehenge. Russell T Davies was unable to come up with a satisfactory rationale for Stonehenge's involvement, however, and so the idea was abandoned at an early stage.
    • The vicar had four lines in the shooting script, but the part was cut to one line in the transmitted version.
  • "Smith and Jones":
    • For a number of drafts, a key element of the adventure involved the Doctor and the Plasmavore each trying to reach the hospital basement, where the TARDIS was hidden. Russell T Davies subsequently felt that this was too banal a plot strand, however, and decided to have the time machine left behind on Earth instead.
    • A set piece in which the Doctor and Martha flee from the Judoon by scaling down the outside of the hospital in a window cleaner's cradle had to be excised due to its length, but was later resurrected for "Partners in Crime".
  • "The Shakespeare Code":
    • The Doctor acts like he's meeting Shakespeare for the first time — originally there was a line acknowledging that he's met Will Shakespeare before but Will hasn't actually met him before. It ended up being cut.
    • The scene in which the Doctor and Martha share a room was originally written to have the Doctor casually undress down to his underwear; and still obliviously invite Martha to share the bed. It was rewritten as the producers and David Tennant thought it would be inappropriate.
    • For the villains, Gareth Roberts proposed drawing upon either the three witches of Macbeth or the fairies of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was felt that the former were more iconic, and so Roberts created the Carrionites (originally spelt “Karyonites”).
    • Initially, Bloodtide and Doomfinger were referred to as Lilith's sisters rather than her mothers. Their despatching of Peter Streete was at one point envisioned as being much more complex, with Streete being sucked down into his bed.
    • Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, was to have appeared at one stage.
  • "Gridlock":
    • In the original outline, the action would have been split between the wealthy inhabitants of the Overcity, the downtrodden denizens of the Undercity riding the Motorway, and the gargantuan creatures living in New Earth's oceans.
    • In devising an appropriate aquatic monster, Russell T Davies considered both a Godzilla-like reptile and a giant octopus before recalling the Macra.
    • One story strand excised involved baby Macra, which were feeding upon the drivers of the Motorway's lowest level.
  • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks":
    • Steven Moffat was supposed to write this two-parter, but he was busy with Jekyll. He offered to write the season's Doctor-lite episode instead, which turned into "Blink".
    • The original script set much of the action around speakeasies, and Laszlo was involved with the mob. However, Russell T Davies wanted to avoid the jazz music which would be predominant in such an environment, and so Raynor came up with the Broadway and Hooverville settings instead.
    • Helen Raynor had originally envisioned the TARDIS materialising on the roof of a Broadway theatre, but amended this to the base of the Statue of Liberty.
    • In the original script, a major set piece saw Tallulah discover a cage full of the remnants of the Daleks' failed genetic experiments, but this was dropped due to expense.
    • Laszlo originally perished: Russell T Davies asked Helen Raynor to alter this, as he felt the development was too depressing.
  • "The Lazarus Experiment":
    • Lazarus was originally working on developing invulnerable synthetic skin. This dropped because Russell T Davies feared that this might be part of the plot of Spider-Man 3, which was due for release in May 2007, around the same time that the episode would likely air.
    • Lazarus was originally named Professor Anger.
  • "42":
    • Originally, the script involved a generational space station, whose crew had grown up on board. However, Russell T Davies realised that although the new Doctor Who series had already enjoyed several episodes set on space stations, none had been set entirely on a spaceship, and so asked Chibnall to amend his storyline appropriately.
    • It was suggested that Chibnall's script be set in the same era as "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit", and for a time, consideration was given to including the Ood, although this did not survive to the drafting stage.
    • Riley's last name was Kincade at one point, but became Vashtee when Davies used Kincade as Brannigan's middle name in "Gridlock".
    • Ashton was originally called Motta, but it was felt that this would sound too similar to “Martha”.
    • The story originally took place in the Peony system, but it became the Torajii system following concerns that the original name would be misheard as “penis”.
    • A major set piece involved the Doctor scaling the exterior of the Icarus, until fears were raised about the expense it would incur.
  • "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood":
    • Martha's home year was originally to have been 1913, which would have made this a "back to reality" story for her and thus included her family.
    • The aliens were intended to have technology that was very organically based and this carried through to the design of their guns. The guns' theoretical design was that there was a creature inside each gun and pulling the trigger resulted in a jab to the creature, who would then scream; this scream is the disintegration beam.
    • The cliffhanger originally focused on John Smith being faced with the decision of ordering the schoolboys to open fire on the Family.
  • "Blink":
    • At one point, Sally would have been seen to be pregnant at the episode's conclusion, but Moffat decided that it was more effective to delay Sally and Larry's romance until after her meeting with the Doctor.
    • Moffat revealed that he considered an alternate Bittersweet Ending where Sally ends up trapped in the past.
    • Originally, the producers considered having Michael Obiora play both the young and old version of Billy Shipton. However, it was decided that Obiora in makeup would look too fake, so Louis Mahoney was cast to play the older version.
  • "Utopia": The Futurekind originally travelled around on quad bikes. This was abandoned due to safety issues.
  • "The Sound of Drums":
    • The car chase was originally much more elaborate. It was scaled down due to budget concerns.
    • The Mysterious Man from "The Lazarus Experiment" was due to make a cameo appearance. But when actor Bertie Carvel was not free, the character became Sinister Woman instead.
    • Russell T Davies decided against bringing back the Master's tissue compression eliminator, despite his fondness for it. He decided that he had enough tricks to use against the Doctor.
    • The Archangel Network was originally named Angel One.
    • The Toclafane was originally called the Roclafane. This was changed to avoid confusion with the Racnoss.
  • "Last of the Time Lords":
    • Leo Jones was also intended to appear, welcoming Martha back to Britain and introducing her to Milligan. This had to be changed due to Reggie Yates' scheduling conflicts, which meant that he could only spare one recording day.
    • Originally, Downing Street played a much larger role in the story, serving as the location for the last of Martha's decoy chemicals. At this stage, Milligan was in fact a traitor, who was killed after betraying Martha to the Master. Russell T Davies began to feel that the world of the ravaged Earth deserved greater exploration, however, and concocted the material involving Professor Docherty instead.
  • "Voyage of the Damned":
    • It was originally planned for the Judoon to return at the end to arrest Max.
    • Originally, Max was seen to be a passenger on the Titanic in the ballroom during the episode's opening scenes. He was also not confined to a life support machine at this point.
    • In his first draft of the episode, Buckingham Palace was destroyed by the Titanic. The Doctor stops the ship from crashing, but not before it smashes through the palace. In this version, instead of wishing the Doctor a Happy Christmas, the Queen is heard to curse the Doctor. This same early draft also featured a hoped-for cameo by Prince Charles. Davies spared the Palace as he felt it was too negative an ending for a holiday episode. Ironically, the alternate universe timeline created in the events of "Turn Left" showed that the Titanic would've hit Buckingham Palace without the Doctor around.
  • Wilfred Mott was originally meant to be just a one-shot character. He was only written as Donna's grandfather after Howard Attfield, who had played her father in "The Runaway Bride" and was intended to continue doing so as a recurring character, died suddenly.
  • "Partners in Crime":
    • In the first draft, the initial confrontation between the Doctor, Donna and Miss Foster was to have happened in the cradle, but budgetary and logistics problems meant the scene was moved to the sales cubicles area (and the Doctor's "sonic screwdriver plus sonic pen equals massive sonic feedback" diversion added).
    • Russell T Davies considered setting the story in suburban London, with a spaceship sealing off a section of the city under an enormous dome while an alien was hunted through the streets. The dome aspect was dropped because it was used in The Simpsons Movie.
    • Miss Foster was originally called Miss Rattigan. It was changed because Davies felt that it better encapsulated her motherly role, and the Rattigan name would instead go to Luke Rattigan in "The Sontaran Stratagem".
    • When it was clear that Howard Attfield would be unable to be in the episode, Davies considered writing his character's death into the story arc, with Donna becoming a stronger person after dealing with the loss of her father.
    • At one point, the story was set in a dilapidated old house which would hide a portal to another planet which had been overrun with vicious, dog-like Vorlax. The last survivors of this world had opened the portal to Earth in order to rid their world of the invaders.
  • An alternate concept for the episode slot that was later filled by "The Fires of Pompeii" was a story set in World War II-era London, with monsters prowling around the Natural History Museum as a Nazi strike force invaders. However, Davies felt they were going back too soon to that time period too soon after Series 1, so he went with his alternate idea that became the aforementioned Pompeii story.
  • "Planet of the Ood":
    • Ida Scott from "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" was going to be a main character in this episode. She would now be a member of an investigative team looking into conditions on the Ood-Sphere, who would be dismayed to discover that her estranged father is now involved with Ood Operations — although it would later be revealed that he is secretly acting on behalf of the Ood.
    • Russell T Davies contemplated making this a Two-Part Episode, but ultimately decided that the storyline would work better if it was not overcomplicated.
  • "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky":
    • Initially, cloning was going to be a much more persistent element of the story, with the ATMOS factory workers all being clones. Russell T Davies felt that the clone idea would be more effective in small doses, however, which led to the introduction of the cloned Martha.
    • Originally, Geoff Noble was in this episode. Following Howard Attfield's death, his role was given to Wilf. The original script mentioned that Geoff was unwell.
    • Originally, the story involved a new kind of chimney attached to every home which purported to cleanse the atmosphere.
    • When the Doctor cuts off Staal's speech on the video screen in mid flow, a clip from Tommy Zoom is featured. The original plan to use a clip from Shaun the Sheep fell through.
  • "The Doctor's Daughter":
    • The Doctor threatening to shoot Cobb was a late change. Originally, he was taken away to be executed.
    • The Hath's opponents were originally called the Takrans, but this was excised because of its ambiguous pronunciation.
    • The original plan for the story was to keep Jenny killed off. However, Steven Moffat noted that Russell T Davies seemed to have a habit of introducing interesting new characters and then promptly killing them off, which led Davies to change his mind.
  • "The Unicorn and the Wasp":
    • Initially, Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts envisioned setting the story in the mid-1960s, depicting an elderly Agatha Christie who could be portrayed in the manner of Miss Marple. However, they soon came to realise that a relatively modern setting would not convey the desired flavour of a classic Christie novel. And as listed under Deleted Role, they also filmed scenes for a planned framing device wherein the events of the episode were book-ended around the Doctor and Donna visiting Agatha on her deathbed.
    • The script originally contained a reference to Ten Little Niggers, the original title of And Then There Were None, which was dropped for being too risky:
      Donna: It's like Ten Little
      The Doctor: Niggles aside, we'd better look in the library.
  • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead":
    • The little girl was originally a boy. It was felt that a young female character would be seen as more vulnerable.
    • Donna's illusory children were initially called Alan and Tracy.
    • A twist revelation in which Donna's artificial-reality husband, Lee, turned out to be an overweight woman in the real world was excised for fear of being too confusing.
  • "Turn Left":
    • Russell T Davies dropped a subplot involving Donna getting married and having children. This was originally intended to add even more drama to Donna's decision to sacrifice herself and unravel the parallel timeline: not only would she be giving up her own life, but her offspring would be erased from history. However, Davies became aware that Steven Moffat had similar plans for Donna in "Forest of the Dead" and Davies agreed that it was more pertinent to Moffat's tale than his own.
    • Davies considered exploring how stories set in the past or on other planets would be affected — such as having UNIT send "time commandos" to the year 1599 to foil the plot of the Carrionites in "The Shakespeare Code". Ultimately, however, he decided that this would cause an already very self-referential episode to become unnecessarily obsessed with minutiae, and Davies was very concerned about the ability of casual viewers to immerse themselves in the storyline.
    • Davies wanted the TARDIS to be on fire, but the budget didn't allow for the effect.
  • "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End":
    • RTD's original notes and concept sketch for the Shadow Proclamation (which appeared on TV as a handful of Judoon and one official, the Shadow Architect) has a huge council chamber containing "every creature we've ever had", including a fifteen-foot adult Adipose, and Margaret Blaine the Slitheen, now a toddler being raised by the Jingatheen family, but still voiced by Anette Badland (who actually recorded the dialogue for her scene). This was axed because it would have used up half the episode's allotted budget in about 30 seconds.
    • Alonso Frame's original role in the story was that he would appear when the Doctor and Donna travel to the Shadow Proclamation, assisting them in dealing with his superiors there. He would then journey with them in the TARDIS to the Dalek Crucible, only to be exterminated. His role was given to Harriet Jones.
    • There was originally a scene where a Dalek saucer landed at Westminster and one in which the Daleks exterminated the Prime Minister, Aubrey Fairchild, before the Dalek invasion force emerged from the saucer. Fairchild's name would later be used for a murder victim in "The Next Doctor".
    • In the Russell T Davies book The Writer's Tale, there are places where he goes over the various episodes' production notes and gives feedback on ideas they didn't end up going with. Most notably, he talks about his expanded ideas for Davros, even going into background information and flashbacks, if "Journey's End" were more Doctor-specific instead of a Mega Crossover. Some of the dialogue on the drafted scripts is very awesome:
      Rose: What happened to you? I mean, your face... your eyes...
      Davros: Do you pity me, Ms. Tyler?
      Rose: Someone must have, once.
      [Or, while still trapped on the Crucible...]
      Rose: So how was that sentence going to end?
      The Doctor: Which one?
      Rose: The one that started with "Rose Tyler"?
      The Doctor: "...it's cold out."
      Rose: Seriously!
      The Doctor: Does it really need saying?
      Rose: Yes.
      Davros: Such intimacy with your companions, Doctor. So different from the man I once knew.
    • Originally, Donna was to hear the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising and a brief look of recognition registered on her face before being dismissed. This shot was dropped at the suggestion of Julie Gardner, who felt this would be incompatible with her memory loss.
    • "Journey's End" had a proposed Mood Whiplash ending like the ones of "Doomsday" and "Last of the Time Lords", where a Cyberman would somehow appear in the TARDIS, and the Doctor would say "What?" three times. The scene was actually shot and is included as a deleted scene on the Series 4 DVDs, before they decided to go with a more somber ending, to put some distance between "Journey's End" and "The Next Doctor" (and also because the Christmas special had been shot much earlier than usual that year, meaning they could put a trailer for it at the end to substitute for the cliffhanger).
  • "The Next Doctor":
    • An early script draft had the story following on from the unused Cybermen cliffhanger for "Journey's End". The two inside the TARDIS would vanish, and the Doctor would realise that they were falling through the Time Vortex, and follow them to Victorian England.
    • Russell T Davies considered having the Doctor's companion be a grown-up version of the Little Match Girl.
    • Davies considered setting the story in the court of King Henry VIII, but rejected this notion on the grounds that it would not feature enough recognizable Christmas traditions (since these typically postdated the sixteenth century). He also mulled another completely new idea, about a hotel which becomes displaced in time.
    • Davies later realised that it would have been a better ending to have Miss Hartigan redeem herself by making the falling CyberKing disappear, rather than introducing what Davies calls "a silly Dalek continuum dimension vault" to the plot. Davies states that he "can't bear that there could have been a better ending than we actually transmitted".
  • "Planet of the Dead":
    • Despair for the alternate Easter specials, which ranged from a space opera featuring an EU race to a horror story featuring alien eggs in a space hotel.
    • The story was originally to have featured the Chelonians, villains of The Highest Science and recurring bad guys in the Expanded Universe, but the Dubai filming location meant they couldn't put an actor in turtle-man prosthetics without real risk of heatstroke. The Chelonians would eventually get a namedrop in "The Pandorica Opens", but still haven't appeared onscreen.
  • "The Waters of Mars":
    • The story was meant as a Christmas special — and was almost a sword-and-sorcery tinged future Earth tale.
    • Phil Ford envisaged Mars in the adventure as a terraformed planet, with the Bowie base personnel flying great distances to various installations. Russell T Davies encouraged him to take a much more low-tech approach to the story, with Bowie Base as the rugged first outpost on the untamed Martian frontier.
    • Adelaide was originally a Russian named Valentina Kerenski, with Helen Mirren written in mind. Davies feared that this was too similar to Mirren's turn as Tanya Kirbuk in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. She was renamed Grace, then Adelaide.
    • The original draft of the script had Adelaide surviving, with the Doctor realising upon seeing Ood Sigma (who arrived straight after he'd declared himself the "Time Lord Victorious") that he had gone too far.
    • Yuri's relationship with Mia is mostly removed in the final draft, except for a single moment when they hold hands.
  • Remember how Russell T Davies tried to get J. K. Rowling to write an episode in Series 1? Late in the Tenth Doctor's run, Davies wanted Rowling to star in an episode, too, in which she fell into the Harry Potter universe thanks to a minion of the Trickster. The idea was, they'd had Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare on, why not bring on another famous British author? In the end, David Tennant, fearing a Jumping the Shark moment, convinced Davies to drop the idea.
  • "The End of Time":
    • The Tenth Doctor's epic send-off was just one option considered. The other possibility was a much smaller-scale one-part story about the Doctor befriending a family of aliens on Christmas Eve, and giving his life to save them from a radiation leak.
    • Russell T Davies originally wanted to have the Doctor and the Master swap bodies. However, Davies wasn't keen to spend time during David Tennant's final story with the actor playing anybody other than the Doctor, and was also mindful that he had used a similar notion in "New Earth".
    • Donna was originally supposed to appear only in the epilogue for Part Two, giving the Doctor a chance to see that she was enjoying a good life despite losing all memory of her time with him.
    • Davies originally planned for the Master leave an "M" at the scenes of the murders he committed so as to provide a trail for the Doctor to follow. This was dropped when he realised that it had already been established that the Doctor would simply "know" where to find his fellow Time Lord.
    • Omega was originally going to appear instead of Rassilon, but the idea was dropped.
    • Abigail Naismith was originally named Alice.
    • Davies originally considered having the Time Lords in an alliance with the Daleks to show how they had been corrupted. However, Steven Moffat was also planning to bring back the Daleks and expressed his preference for this to be the first Dalek story in a while. Keen not to undermine his successor's first season, Davies abandoned the notion.
    • There was originally a scene where the Doctor actually met Trinity Wells, the American news anchor who had appeared intermittently ever since "Aliens of London". Davies was eager to give Lachele Carl a proper appearance in the series, but ultimately dismissed the sequence as too self-indulgent.
    • The Master's original plan was to trap Earth in the Time War in place of Gallifrey.
    • Originally, much of the Vinvocci's faces retained their natural human skin tones, but it was now decided that they should be completely green; sequences featuring the aliens which had already been recorded would be computer-tinted to match the revised look.
    • In an early draft of the script, Davies had the Doctor address the "half-human" statement the Eighth Doctor made in the TV Movie, dismissing it as "a forty-eight-hour bug". The line was cut by Davies for several stated reasons, including the fact it would have confused viewers who were only familiar with the events of "Human Nature".
    • One prominent element dropped from the script was a subplot in which the Doctor tries to convince the "Danes-Master" (that is, the copy of the Master who had been Danes, the Naismiths' butler) to rebel against the evil Time Lord.
    • Davies had originally intended for the Tenth Doctor to sacrifice himself for a complete stranger, but decided that Wilf should be the person the Doctor saved as he developed the story.
  • David Tennant was offered near the end of Davis's run to do one more season under Steven Moffat, partly to make the showrunner transition easier. Tennant at the time refused, but admitted to having a "bit of a wobble" upon learning he'd have gotten to work with Moffat specifically. Had Tennant stayed, Amy would have remained the season's companion, with "The Eleventh Hour" having Amy meet an injured Doctor before meeting him years later unscathed. The finale would have shown a Timey-Wimey Ball showing that Amelia had met Ten at the end of his life, on the brink of regeneration, leading in to what would have been Ten's regeneration into Eleven.

    Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) era 
  • Steven Moffat originally considered the Eleventh Doctor to be played by a middle-aged actor (one of the actors he was hoping to get was future Twelth Doctor Peter Capaldi), someone who was (in his own words) "young enough to run but old enough to look wise", but he and executive producer Piers Wenger were so impressed by Matt Smith's audition that they decided to cast him.
  • According to Steven Moffat, the initial plan was to have the Eleventh Doctor in a "piratey" outfit, but Matt Smith wasn't happy with it, until, at the last minute, he discovered his onscreen costume. There were apparently photos of the alternate costume which Moffat showed to Doctor Who Magazine. (The black clothes Matt wore for his initial photoshoot and interview, despite fan speculation, don't seem to have been an option.) Some photos did eventually surface, and turned out to be much more "insufferable Hoxton hipster" than "Jack Sparrow", supporting rumours that BBC Executive Meddling initially wanted to make Smith's Doctor much more of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Tennant's in concept and characterisation.
    • However, Word of Saint Paul is that Matt Smith wanted to be his own individual Doctor, not a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for David Tennant's. Contrary to popular belief, although he is influenced by the Second Doctor in terms of outfit, characterization is very different.
  • "The Eleventh Hour": Numerous scenes were either cut or changed, from the draft scripts:
    • There would have been a Running Gag where the inhabitants of the village recognized the Doctor as "The Raggedy Doctor", and when the Doctor asks if they heard that name from Amy, they claim to be dating her.
    • Rather than contacting world experts, the Doctor would have enlisted the help of some students of a computer & maths course in the church hall. Jeff himself was still part of the scene, but as a student of the class which the Doctor would dub "Jeff & The Clever"? The scene would have also shown the Doctor commandeer the firetruck.
    • When Prisoner Zero is captured, rather than call the Atraxi back to give them a talking to while also taking his clothes from the hospital, the Doctor would have gone straight back to the TARDIS, and have gotten his clothes from the TARDIS wardrobe.
    • During the Atraxi montage, when the Doctor asks them about who protects the Earth, it would have also shown images of UNIT, Sarah Jane and Captain Jack.
    • While the Doctor looks about the TARDIS console, a segment comes from the console, with the Doctor explaining to Amy that he has just found the TARDIS' steering wheel, claiming he's been looking for it for nine hundred years. This is when Amy learns about his age.
    • Steven Moffat debated setting the story in his native Scotland. He ultimately decided on England, in keeping with the notion of Amelia as an unconventional girl.
    • The cameo role of Dr. Ramsden was at first intended for a male actor.
  • "The Beast Below": In the original script, the Doctor and Liz 10 did not meet properly until she rescued him and Amy in the overspill pipe.
  • "Victory of the Daleks":
    • The episode was intended to be the first of several to prominently feature the New Paradigm Daleks, with future episodes planned to focus on the workings of their caste system and presumably the details of what each one was designed for. However, following the disastrous reception to the New Paradigm Daleks' design, these plans were scrapped and the classic Dalek design was brought back for their next outing, with the New Paradigm Daleks restricted to cameos, and eventually being jettisoned altogether after Matt Smith left the series.
    • Mark Gatiss originally wanted there to be a green Dalek, but he decided that green "just doesn't seem to work somehow". A black Dalek was also rejected.
    • Originally, the episode would have concluded with the Doctor and Amy watching Bracewell enter the post office about which he had reminisced, and the crack in time would have been revealed on the wall of a nearby cottage in front of which the TARDIS had materialised.
  • "The Vampires of Venice":
    • In the original script a big monster rose out of the water in Isabella's death scene, but this would have been too expensive and Steven Moffat was forced to ask Toby Whithouse to make it "invisible".
    • The flower vendor was originally named Bianca.
    • In the original script, Amy and Rory cornered Francesco after suspecting him of killing a villager and Francesco climbed up the wall. Toby Whithouse thought this would be a relatively easy stunt, but was told it would be too hard to accomplish and Whithouse revised it to when Francesco simply runs away.
  • "The Hungry Earth":
    • Chris Chibnall wanted to take the redesign of the Silurians a step further and reveal that they always had human-like faces, and just wore masks over them in their classic series appearances. Showrunner Steven Moffat overruled him, however, and instead established that the Silurians here were a different subspecies to the ones seen previously.
    • Originally, Mo and Amy were to be stripped down to their underwear before being dissected. This was removed as "too adult".
    • One major story element that was ultimately excised from the script was a new monster called the Armasaurs, armadillo-like dinosaurs which would emerge from the Silurians' shafts to abduct people. Due to budget constraints, it was replaced with the bioprogrammed quicksand.
    • Chris Chibnall also considered bringing back the Sea Devils, but decided that doing two races of monster was much tougher and the story was "so clearly about the Silurians and what the Silurians want".
  • "Vincent and the Doctor" was intended by Richard Curtis to be a very low-key story where the Doctor and Amy simply hang out with Vincent van Gogh for a few days as a pure character piece. Executive Meddling then insisted every episode of the show needed to be about fighting a villain somehow. This rule was finally dropped for Thirteen's era.
  • "The Lodger":
    • An early draft of the episode (reportedly) featured Meglos from the classic series as the villain. The punchline would be that the Doctor had completely forgotten about him in the intervening centuries, and wouldn't remember even when prompted, which Meglos would have taken great offence at.
    • There was originally a fourth victim of the Avatar, a middle-aged man named Martin who would leave behind a holiday magazine which would later serve as an additional clue that the Avatar is targeting people who want to get away.
    • The script originally lifted scenes from the original comic strip, such as the Doctor beating Craig in a first-person-shooter videogame by making peace with their intended targets, and the Doctor annoying the participants in a pub quiz by getting every answer right.
  • "The Big Bang": There would have been a shot of the village when Amy and Rory take off with the Doctor, which would have shown a family of ducks in the pond, as a bit of a Brick Joke to "The Eleventh Hour", where the Doctor notices the "duck pond" doesn't have any ducks, implying they were taken by a crack in time too, but have now been restored. The scene had to be relocated to Amy's garden, though.
  • "The Impossible Astronaut": In the script, Amy and Rory were dropped off by a truck. Toby Haynes altered this to a yellow school bus as he felt it was more distinctly American.
  • "The Curse of the Black Spot": One late deletion from the script was the idea that the Siren would appear to Toby Avery as a young girl. This would have given the Doctor a clue as to the entity's true nature.
  • Neil Gaiman's "The Doctor's Wife" was originally the eleventh episode of Series 5, and as such had to be completely rewritten to feature Rory when pushed to the next series. Gaiman has mentioned significant bits of his script that never made it to the screen.
    • First, there was supposed to be a scene where they were being sacrificed at the Planet of the Rain Gods when they got the message. Second, Nephew was supposed to be a monster of Gaiman's own creation, instead of an Ood. Third, the (in)famous TARDIS swimming pool would have finally made an appearance. Fourth, Idris as herself (before the TARDIS went inside her) would have been given more screen time. Fifth, the console room at the end was originally going to be a Rebuilt Set of the classic series white console room. All five ended up getting cut due to budget (and the third was doubly shot down when Karen Gillan mentioned that she couldn't swim). A classic series console room would eventually appear in the War Doctor's TARDIS in "The Day of the Doctor", and a more elaborate version would appear in a different TARDIS in "Hell Bent", the Series 9 finale.
    • Gaiman also says that he originally wrote this episode as a Tenth Doctor tale, and it had to be retooled for the Eleventh.
    • According to some reports, the villain House was originally supposed to be the Great Intelligence as a preview of his return in Series 7, but they couldn't acquire the rights in time.
    • Gaiman stated in an interview that the original plan for this episode would have involved an entity chasing the Doctor through the TARDIS; however, this was changed to the companion being the target of the chase as the Doctor would know the ship too well, then the enemy became an entity possessing the TARDIS itself to stop it being a simple 'cat-and-mouse' chase, and only then did Gaiman have the idea of focusing on what happened to the mind of the TARDIS during this assault.
    • Originally, House would be revealed as having grown from a spore which entered a bubble universe via one of the cracks in time which featured throughout Series 5. Gaiman intended the Doctor to glimpse the true House, an enormous mollusc-like entity concealed beneath the asteroid's mantle.
    • When Amy was sent back to the TARDIS to fetch the sonic screwdriver, she originally found her engagement ring — a version of which ultimately appeared in "The Lodger".
    • A scene involving House toying with Amy and Rory's perceptions as they traverse a hallway lined with mirror-like walls was cut due to budget constraints.
    • A scene where Rory is trapped in the TARDIS Zero Room from "Castrovalva" was cut due to budget constraints.
    • Early drafts of the script featured more of Idris before having her soul removed, more backstory about the Corsair's relationship with the Doctor, more TARDIS rooms, burial of Idris's corpse and clear indication that House survived its defeat.
  • "The Rebel Flesh":
    • In the early drafts of the script, there were "so many copies of people running around the place" which made the story too confusing, so Matthew Graham and the production crew worked to make it more rational.
    • The arrival of the TARDIS at St John's was originally more involved, and included the Doctor revealing the existence of a "dear little hatch" in the bottom of the police box.
    • A "chief computer" was to feature in the dining room, which chatted with the humans in a Yorkshire accent.
    • Jennifer originally had perfect recall, which explains why her Ganger is able to overcome the memory suppression protocols.
  • "The Almost People":
    • The original ending had Amy having a vision of the "Eye Patch Lady" while the Doctor and Rory head back to the TARDIS.
    • It was originally planned that Jennifer would eat Buzzer, but The Mill decided only the shadows of the action would be shown on the wall. All of this was cut from the final episode, with the exception of Jennifer's elongated mouth as she advanced towards him.
    • Matthew Graham originally intended on setting the episode in a different location to "throw everybody", but decided that would be unnecessary.
    • In the original script, the Doctor quizzes the Flesh Doctor about the events of "The Mind of Evil" and mentions former companions Jo Grant, Sarah Jane Smith, Romana, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, and Donna Noble.
    • The pile of discarded Jennifer Gangers was originally intended to just be a pile of bodies, but it was decided that would be "too grim". Instead, life-sized dolls were used and computer-generated Flesh was painted on it, giving it a more melted look.
    • The original script contained a scene where the TARDIS provides the Doctor with another sonic screwdriver after he had given it to the Flesh Doctor, in a similar fashion to "The Eleventh Hour".
  • Jack Harkness was originally going to be in the Doctor's army at Demon's Run in "A Good Man Goes to War", but John Barrowman was filming Torchwood: Miracle Day at the time. It's often thought that Madame Vastra was created to replace him, which explains why she is rather more sexually flirtatious and less monogamous with Jenny than she is in later appearances.
  • "Night Terrors" was originally set in a hotel hosting a psychiatric conference, where the patients' phobias would be made manifest. However, this was very similar to "The God Complex". Steven Moffat suggested setting it in an apartment complex.
  • "The Girl Who Waited":
    • In one draft of the script, the scene near the end in which Rory and the two Amys race to the TARDIS did not include Rory in person; he was watching the scene from the lens.
    • The Handbots were originally envisaged as cloaked entities whose hands emerged from the folds of their robes.
  • "The God Complex":
    • Originally, an additional human character was Edward, a conservative blowhard who placed his faith in authority. To provide more variety, Edward evolved into the alien Gibbis, who exhibited more extreme and comical versions of the earlier character's traits.
    • Toby Whithouse originally envisioned Amy and Rory moving into an idyllic cottage, reflecting the fairy tale theme which Steven Moffat had woven into the Eleventh Doctor's era.
  • "Closing Time":
    • Gareth Roberts' first draft was much different. The disappearances were not a new phenomenon, but occurred every few decades, to be accompanied by strange graffiti. Much was made of the history of a market which had been held for centuries on the site of the shopping centre; the Cybermat would have been found entombed within its foundation stone. It transpired that the being responsible for the kidnappings was a Cyberscout — referred to as "the Guardian" — which had operated on automatic for centuries, with the graffiti part of its reconnaissance procedure. Over the years, the Guardian had gradually replaced its defective parts with human limbs and organs when it periodically awoke from dormancy. Now nothing was left of the original Cyberman, and it was protecting Colchester from the other Cybermen which lay underground in suspended animation. After an ending in which Craig destroys the Cybermen with a wrecking ball was dismissed, the climax subsequently hinged on the Doctor transmitting the Guardian's personality into the reactivated Cybermen, overwhelming them.
    • Craig and Sophie's child was originally a girl, first named Grace and later Tess.
  • "Asylum of the Daleks":
    • Rory was originally meant to have a beard in this episode, which Amy would hate and he would shave off at the story's conclusion. Between seasons, Arthur Darvill was appearing on stage as Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus, and Steven Moffat planned to have him keep the beard grown for that role. However, this plan had to be abandoned when it was decided to make this as part of the second recording block alongside "The Angels Take Manhattan".
    • Oswin was originally conceived as being a fan of Elvis Presley, whose music would play throughout the episode and inspire the Doctor to give her the nickname "Blue Suede Shoes". However, when obtaining the rights to use these songs proved problematic, it was decided that the soundtrack to Bizet's Carmen would feature instead.
    • The continuity-patching placement of the Dalek Parliament on "Skaro 2" was cut from the script.
  • "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship":
    • Chris Chibnall intended Riddell to have once saved the life of the Doctor, who was now doing him a favour because Riddell was fated to die the day after he was collected from the African plains. (Both of these references were eventually deleted during editing.)
    • Chibnall also wanted to incorporate frontiersman Charles "Buffalo" Jones (1844-1919), who helped save the American bison from extinction. However, Steven Moffat was concerned that this character was too similar to the cowboys of "A Town Called Mercy", the story which would follow this in the season schedule.
    • Originally, Nefertiti knocked out the Doctor and gave her own life to destroy Solomon's ship. When this was felt to be too similar to other self-sacrificial moments in the final cycle of Amy-Rory episodes, Moffat instead suggested that the Doctor and Nefertiti could be saved by having the TARDIS materialise around them as the missiles strike Solomon's pod. Subsequently, however, Moffat decided that this lacked drama.
  • "A Town Called Mercy":
    • Originally, Rory was the one in favour of turning Jex over to the Gunslinger.
    • An early version saw the cyborg killed off partway through the story, which then focussed on the true villain of the piece, Kahler-Jex. This approach was soon inverted, with Kahler-Jex shot to death by Isaac's mad father George, and the drama of the final act generated by the cyborg seeking to punish the town that had deprived him of his revenge. This culminated in the Doctor confronting Kahler-Tec with the projected image of a woman named Kahler-San, who wore the same pendant as the cyborg. Although Kahler-Tec saw through the deception, it was enough to convince him to halt his assault on the people of Mercy.
  • "The Power of Three":
    • The episode was largely restructured to introduce the invasion storyline earlier. The episode originally began with scenes such as the adventure with Henry VIII and Amy at the engagement party.
    • One major element removed from the script was the appearance of Prime Minister Stephen Carter. Suspicious of the Doctor, Carter would bar him from the United Kingdom, resulting in the Time Lord's absence from a long stretch of the narrative.
    • Before being taken by android orderlies himself, Arnold Underwood was to make reference to a neighbour named Elizabeth Cracknell who had not returned home from the hospital.
    • The episode originally ended with Amy and Rory deciding to take "one more" trip in the TARDIS despite Brian's unease. Steven Moffat suggested that this be changed to have Brian encourage them to go with the Doctor, providing a less sombre and more subtle lead-in to Amy and Rory's final story.
  • "The Angels Take Manhattan":
    • This story originally featured the Daleks. It was decided that the Weeping Angels were a better fit.
    • Originally, the item made in ancient China at the Doctor's request was a TARDIS-shaped puzzle box. River discovered it amongst Grayle's collection and stored her vortex manipulator inside. The Doctor then used the vortex manipulator to travel to 1938 New York after locating the puzzle box in a museum in the twenty-first century.
    • The Chinese foreman reappeared later in the script: Grayle was transported back to his workshop by the Weeping Angels, and was put to work making the very things he had collected as antiques. The final script instead saw Grayle wind up as a slave during the Renaissance, as depicted in one of his paintings; however, this was lost during editing.
    • Early drafts saw more obvious time manipulation at Winter Quay, with multiple versions of both Rory and Sam Garner present at different ages.
    • Originally, when the TARDIS was unable to materialise in New York, it was shunted back in time to the Viking era.
  • "The Snowmen":
    • It was originally planned that this special would be the first episode to not have an opening credits sequence, instead opening with the title superimposed over a scene. In pre-production it was decided to have one, and a newly redesigned credit sequence and theme arrangement was devised.
    • The original concept for the new companion was that she would be a Victorian governess named Beryl. Over the next few months, however, the production team reconsidered the difficulty of writing for a regular character who was more than a century behind the viewing audience.
    • Some consideration was given to providing no on-screen title at all, since it was thought that the title sequence might be held off until the end of the episode, illustrating the Doctor's return to his old self.
    • Early drafts incorporated another ingredient to the mystery of the Snowmen, associating them with sightings of riderless hansom cabs. There were also more flashbacks to Dr. Simeon's early life, and medical equipment used to try to revive Clara after her fall was implied to be responsible for Strax surviving the events of "A Good Man Goes to War".
  • "The Bells of Saint John":
    • Until a very late stage, the Doctor found a sheet of passport photos in Clara's travel book rather than a leaf; this was changed to tie into the next story to go before the cameras, "The Rings of Akhaten".
    • Originally, there was no reference to Miss Kizlet's client, but in later drafts the Doctor learned over the course of the story that this was the Great Intelligence; only later was this made known to the audience but not the Doctor.
    • One major edit came towards the end of the episode, in which the Doctor would have been seen contemplating images of Oswin and the Victorian-era Clara when the TARDIS phone rang again; a whispered female voice on the line then implored the Doctor to trust Clara and take her with him. This had replaced an earlier version which took place after Clara was attacked by the Spoonhead, with the voice telling the Doctor, "Run you clever boy. And save her." The whispered female voice would presumably have been Missy's.
  • "The Rings of Akhaten":
    • The episode originally had a different pre-credits sequence, which consisted of a long scene in the kitchen in which Clara informs the Doctor she cannot come and travel with the Doctor because she has responsibilities to her job, and the boy she takes care of asks if the Doctor is her boyfriend. Neil Cross's intent was to juxtapose this "mundane" scene with the vast scale of the planet. However, Steven Moffat thought that at the time in the series the Doctor should be investigating Clara through her parents and Cross revised it to include the leaf, an idea Moffat approved of.
    • Akhaten was originally referred to as Akhet, a name which survived in references to the Sun Singers of Akhet. It was an homage to both the unknowable alien gods depicted in the macabre stories of H. P. Lovecraft, and the anthropomorphised moon in A Trip to the Moon.
  • "Cold War":
    • In a early draft the character of Professor Grisenko was a villain.
    • In the original script, the Ice Warrior Skaldak was a more complex creation: he was a time traveller from the thirty-first century who planned to provoke a nuclear war which would wipe out humanity, thereby preventing mankind from dominating Mars in his era. After mind-controlling the Doctor's new companion (at this point, a Victorian-era governess named Beryl) to further his scheme, Skaldak was ultimately killed by one of the Russians. The surviving crew escaped to a British sub, the Redoubt, while the sinking Russian vessel was destroyed by the water pressure.
    • Several of the character names evolved during the adventure's development: the lieutenant was originally Tsarsko instead of Stepashin; the name Stepashin was earlier applied to the political officer (later Belevich); and Serovian, not Onegin, was the navigator.
  • "Hide":
    • Originally planned as a crossover, with Bernard Quatermass in the place of Professor Palmer (riffing off the reference to the British Experimental Rocket Group in "Remembrance of the Daleks"). There's still a couple of nods to this, like Palmer complaining a previous project of his was taken over by the government (Quatermass and the Pit opens with the Rocket Group being commandeered by the Ministry of Defence).
    • In the original script, the Hex was the otherworldly dimension in which Hila was trapped, and it was the prison of the Lost Lord, an ancient Time Lord also called the Revenant of Anathenon who had become snared in the Hex so long ago that he was now just a bogeyman of Gallifreyan legend. The Lost Lord sought to tempt the Doctor into the Hex and feed on him, enabling him to return to the normal universe where he would begin absorbing all of time. The Lost Lord element of the tale was discarded, to be replaced by the more straightforward Crooked Man. (The Hex terminology would survive until recording, before being lost in editing.) However, Steven Moffat became concerned that the Crooked Man was now too shallow a concept. He worked with Neil Cross to develop the idea of the two Crooked Men and the love which bound them, reinforcing themes already present in the storyline.
  • "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS":
    • Steve Thompson initially thought back to his days as a teacher, and came up with a story in which the TARDIS crashed into a school trip, unleashing a gaggle of teenagers into the time machine who cause it to malfunction. Steven Moffat disliked this idea, and so Thompson suggested replacing the students with a salvage team.
    • For a time, the Van Baalens' salvage career was motivated by a severe metal famine in the area.
    • Originally, the third van Baalen brother was named Sander rather than Tricky — meant to be short for "Electricky" — and was not an android, while Gregor was disfigured and had numerous metal attachments.
  • Steven Moffat was originally going to write "The Crimson Horror", but ran out of time and called on Mark Gatiss to do so.
  • "Nightmare in Silver":
    • Neil mentions in this article that he wanted to set it on a beach, where the Cybermen would rise out of the ocean, but budget constraints prevented that. The beach gets mentioned as one of two possible defensible positions as a Development Gag.
    • The episode was to end with an ominous scene in the Cyberiad featuring Cybermen from throughout their televised history, including the "Oldest Cyberman" (resembling those seen in "The Tenth Planet") who would hint at a broader plot to snare the Doctor. This element would eventually be dropped, while Gaiman also struggled to find a way to better involve the Doctor in the action. He finally came up with the idea of engaging the Doctor and the Cyber-Planner in a duel set inside the Time Lord's mind, affording Matt Smith the opportunity to give a very different onscreen performance.
    • Hedgewick's World was originally called Lampwick's World, until it was found to be the same as that of a store which sold light fixtures.
  • "The Name of the Doctor":
    • Matt Smith's contract had actually ended with this series, meaning he had to go through the usual guest star negotiations despite him having two episodes left to film. As a backup plan in case he and the previous Doctors who were the primary guest stars weren't able to come to terms, an alternate ending was written: The Doctor completely vanishes from the space-time continuum after rescuing Clara, leading into a Milestone Celebration that hinged upon Clara remembering the Doctor back into existence via encountering "various fictional forms" of him played by other actors via Stunt Casting. Yes, Jenna Coleman almost had to basically carry the entire 50th Anniversary Special by herself.
    • In Steven Moffat's original conception, the Doctor would explicitly identify the time rift in his tomb on Trenzalore as leading back to the final day of the Time War. Once Clara had been splintered and scattered throughout the Doctor's life, he didn't enter the rift to save her. Instead, Clara emerged from it on her own, but then started screaming about knowing who the Doctor really is. This convinced the Doctor to return to the Time War via the rift, leading into the anniversary special.
  • "The Day of the Doctor":
    • In an interview late in 2015, Steven Moffat confirmed long-term rumours that the War Doctor was only created because Christopher Eccleston (amicably) refused to play the Ninth Doctor. This article contains details on how the story would have been different if Nine had been in it, including that Nine would have only recently regenerated.
    • After Eccleston turned the show down, Paul McGann was the second choice, but this was nixed by Executive Meddling as the BBC felt he was not famous enough. After creating the character of the War Doctor, it was decided to film "The Night of the Doctor" with McGann in order to show how the Eighth Doctor became the War Doctor.
    • He also wrote an emergency, last-resort script for a 50th anniversary special in case none of the Doctors' actors were willing to participate in it: Picking up from an alternate Cliffhanger for "The Name of the Doctor" in which the Doctor completely vanishes from the space-time continuum after entering his timestream to rescue then-new companion Clara Oswald, Clara is no longer able to remember him — and proceeds to encounter "various fictional forms" of the Doctor played by "very famous people", with her memory of the real Doctor jogged by these encounters. Basically, it would have been the denouement of "The Big Bang" expanded into a complete story.
    • Moffat toyed with the idea of showing the War Doctor's regeneration into the Ninth Doctor in full detail rather than it being cut off halfway through like in the final episode, but as revealed in an interview, he didn't want to draw out the Ninth Doctor's birth so much as to make it appear as if Eccleston had turned up to film the scene.
    • Moffat originally ended the script with the Moment talking to Eleven in the National Gallery because her Bad Wolf form just vanishes after the War Doctor decides to activate it, and he wanted to give it/her closure. But to have a part for Tom Baker to play in the special, Moffat created the character of the Curator; he got the Moment's role in the conversation, and it/her indeed just vanishes.
    • Kate's line about the disastrous consequences of information about the Doctor getting into the wrong hands was supposed to be juxtaposed with a film poster for the Cushing movies, implying that they are fictional in-universe. Unfortunately, they were unable to afford the rights. Channel 5 actually obtained the rights to broadcast the Cushing films in the UK and showed both of them during the anniversary weekend. This was welcome because they were careful not to clash with any of the official celebrations on the BBC, but still, if they been able to show the poster, the Channel 5 transmission would only have reinforced Kate's point!
    • Moffat also considered using audio clips to incorporate The Brigadier into the story, but ultimately decided against this.
    • The War Doctor was originally called The Renegade. The script designated him as "the Other Doctor".
    • The Moment originally appeared to the Ninth Doctor in the form of a young girl dressed in rags, and Clara accompanied the Eleventh Doctor through the portal to 1562. The portal's effects on the actions of the Tenth Doctor were to manifest themselves in the present day as the Eleventh Doctor becomes wracked with pain; this was similar to the Fifth Doctor's reaction when his past selves were removed from time in "The Five Doctors".
    • Originally, Clara saved the Doctors from their cell in the Tower of London by convincing their jailer that she is a witch.
  • "The Time of the Doctor":
    • There was an effort made to hide the news that Matt Smith would be leaving the show and thus make his regeneration a Twist Ending, but an email leak discussing plans for the next Doctor's first series scrapped this. Had it been kept secret, the central revelation and crisis of "The Time of the Doctor" that Eleven was actually the last of the Doctor's lives now that the Meta-Crisis and War Doctors counted towards his thirteen-life total would have been far more dramatic, since the audience wouldn't know if they were getting a surprise Grand Finale for the show or a huge development — and new Doctor — that would allow it to keep going.
    • Steven Moffat originally had planned an entire Series 8 with the Eleventh Doctor set almost entirely on Trenzalore, but Matt Smith's decision to step back after the end of Series 7 threw a kink to that plan. So instead, Moffat took most of his ideas for that version of Series 8 and condensed them into an hour long episode.
    • During the regeneration scene, Moffat initially hoped to include cameo appearances by many of the Eleventh Doctor's friends. Apart from Clara, these included Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song, Brian Williams, Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, Commander Strax, Dorium Maldovar, plus Craig Owens, his wife Sophie and their son Alfie (aka Stormageddon). Later, these plans were scaled back, eliminating some characters but adding Barnable and Handles, before it was finally decided that only Amy would appear.

    Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) era 
  • "Robot of Sherwood": In the original outline, the Headless Monks from "A Good Man Goes to War" were working with the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the Doctor and Clara set out to convince Robin Hood to form a band of outlaws to fight back against the Sheriff and the Headless Monks.
  • Sabrina Bartlett was meant to have returned in another role other than Maid Marian, who she appeared as in "Robot of Sherwood", but it never got beyond planning stages or even as far as negotiations with her agents. This was eventually scrapped, as she had a much more major role as Princess Isabella in the first season of Knightfall, produced by the History Channel in the U.S. All this was meant to exploit Sabrina's newfound British popularity, but it didn't work out.
  • "Kill the Moon" was intended for Series 7B but ended up in Series 8. It's safe to say a lot of changes were made to the script in the interim — replacing the Eleventh Doctor with the Twelfth and the Eleven/Clara dynamic with the Twelve/Clara one, and tying it into a completely different Story Arc (Impossible Girl versus Danny Pink/Nethersphere) and home base setting (the Maitland household versus Coal Hill School) to boot!
  • "Mummy on the Orient Express":
    • The author of this episode lists some ideas that failed to make the cut:
      There was a beat where the Doctor figured out how to reveal the Foretold, pulled a switch... and twenty Foretold faded in.
      There was Clara seeing the Foretold, and hiding inside the sarcophagus, which was then revealed as actually being a Foretold making machine, wrapping her in bandages...
    • Apparently, there is a version of the scene where the Doctor asks Perkins to come with him and he says yes. According to Frank Skinner, they shot this in case they want to bring him back as a future companion.
    • In 2016 the BBC posted a script excerpt for a sequence in which the Doctor walks along the outside of the train to get between cars. The scene was cut as being too expensive to produce.
    • The tour guide aspect of the Express originally had a bigger focus, with the "Seven Wonders of the Universe" being a part of the story, before being trimmed down for pacing.
  • "Dark Water": According to Michelle Gomez, one take of the sequence where Missy kisses the Doctor originally showed her also holding Clara's hand.
  • The saga of holdover companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) that began late in Matt Smith's tenure went on much longer than originally conceived!
    • Coleman initially planned to leave after Series 8, thus Clara's story is wrapped up in "Death in Heaven": Her boyfriend Danny's dead, the Doctor's learned that Missy brought him and Clara together just to make him miserable, and at the end a broken Clara lies to the equally broken Doctor that Danny managed to come back from the Nethersphere and the Doctor lies that he found Gallifrey because each wants the other to be happy. They part ways.
    • Then Coleman decided to stay on for the Christmas special. "Last Christmas" reconciles the Doctor and Clara in a Dream World, but the Bittersweet Ending reveals that in the real world she is now an elderly, feeble woman who can't travel with him anymore, with the Doctor spending the titular last Christmas with her in a parallel to her and old!Eleven's reunion in "The Time of the Doctor", the previous Christmas special.
    • Then Coleman decided to stay for Series 9, and old!Clara became the last layer of the Dream Within a Dream. Series 9 was her last season, but this raises the question of how different things would have been had it been introducing a new companion — as noted above, Steven Moffat admitted in 2018 that "Last Christmas" secondary character Shona was strongly in the running for that position. How would "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar" play out with someone who didn't know the Daleks and Missy? How would "Under the Lake"/"Before the Flood" work with a Doctor and companion who weren't Platonic Life-Partners? Might "The Girl Who Died"/"The Woman Who Lived" have been companion-free (Clara is virtually absent in the latter as is)? Who would Bonnie the Zygon have masqueraded as? And biggest of all, what would the overall Story Arc and finale have been?
  • "Last Christmas": Moffat admitted that he nearly put K9 in the episode.
  • "The Zygon Inversion": In an interview for Den of Geek, the episode's writer Peter Harness mentioned that the Doctor's de-escalation speech originally included several additional sections. These were cut out of the final draft of the script, mostly for pacing reasons. One of the sections included the Doctor asking Bonnie about whether everyone will be forced to grow and eat beetroot. During a convention appearance in New Zealand a few weeks after the episode aired, Peter Capaldi performed a version of the complete speech.
  • Shortly after "Sleep No More" aired, Mark Gatiss went on record as saying he was writing a sequel to it. However, when Series 10 was confirmed as Peter Capaldi's last as lead and Steven Moffat's last as showrunner, he decided to finally write "Empress of Mars", the premise for which he'd had on the back burner for a while. He discussed with the Radio Times could-have-beens about the other stories: "Sleep No More" was originally set in a futuristic stock exchange, and the sequel would have been set in London in The Present Day, revealing that the Morpheus technology was developed then and not in the far future as "Sleep No More" implied — and had the exact same harmful side effects on its users.
  • "Face the Raven":
    • The episode was written as the standalone story "Trap Street", but Sarah Dollard's original script was revised to make it key to the Hybrid Story Arc, serving as the Wham Episode Part One of the three-part finale.
    • In the sequence where Clara takes the tattoo from Rigsy, she was scripted to use a Full-Name Ultimatum while persuading him.
    • According to the published script a scene was cut that would have suggested that magician Derren Brown was an alien and the Doctor didn't like him to the point of banning his name from being mentioned around him. The scene is included in the deleted scenes section of the DVD release.
    • According to script writer Sarah Dollard, the episode was originally going to open with Clara and Jane Austen doing some of the pranking that Clara alludes to in the final episode. In particular, Clara was to be shown teaching Jane how to be a card shark at poker. Presumably, the sequence might have also cleared up the "is she or isn't she" bi debate regarding Clara's sexual orientation.
    • There were several scenes deleted from this episode's denouement over the course of filming and editing: Originally, the Doctor took Clara's body into a side room (the room he emerges from in the Cliffhanger) to lay it upon a bed, and ordered Ashildr/Me not to mindwipe Rigsy again, as he would have to assume the responsibility of getting it and the news of her death to Clara's family, friends, and coworkers. Second, after the Doctor was teleported away Rigsy finally returned home to his worried wife; asked where he'd been he embraced her and broke down in tears. Finally, the couple and infant daughter visited the abandoned TARDIS (its perception filter allowing his wife to see it too) and Rigsy painted the memorial to Clara. Only Rigsy finishing the memorial, alone, appeared in the final episode as The Stinger. This was probably both for time reasons and because as it was the ending was about Rigsy rather than the Doctor.
  • "Hell Bent":
    • According to the published script, Clara and the Doctor's reunion in the extraction chamber was originally planned as being more tender, with the Doctor hugging her as he told her about her frozen heartbeat.
    • The script also originally had Clara lying to the Doctor about not overhearing his plans to wipe her memory, and not immediately telling him about hacking the neuroblock, making the deception somewhat more harder edged in tone.
    • Timothy Dalton was asked to reprise the role of Rassilon, but he was busy filming Penny Dreadful, leading to the casting of Donald Sumpter in the role instead. Whether this would make the villain more threatening will never be known.
  • Steven Moffat went into Series 9 and the post-season Christmas Episode intending them as his last work as showrunner, hence the Season Finale three-parter returning the Doctor to his home world at last only to have him once again become a renegade, and parting him from Clara Oswald in a way that precluded grieving at length in future seasons. From there, he used the Christmas episode "The Husbands of River Song" to give closure to her story. In the end, he decided to stay on for Series 10 before calling it quits for good.
  • Patrick Ness was asked to write a script for the show, but declined. Instead, he took the producers up on an offer to write the spinoff Class, which aired between Series 9 and 10. Ness' choice not to write the second season was, effectively, the show's death knell.
  • Series 10 was originally set to only feature new companion Bill Potts travelling with the Doctor, but Matt Lucas enjoyed playing Nardole in "The Husbands of River Song" so much that he asked if he could appear on the show again, and Nardole became a secondary companion. This came late enough in the game that three scripts — "Oxygen", "Empress of Mars", and "The Eaters of Light" — had to be revised to include him; "Empress of Mars" notably sidelines him early on.
  • Bill Potts wasn't conceived as a lesbian, but Steven Moffat changed this while writing material for prospective actresses to audition with. Originally she was attracted to a man at the university, but her dialogue didn't sound quite right. When he changed her sexuality, it did.
    • A Deleted Scene from "The Pilot" featured the Doctor playing guitar — specifically, "Clara's Theme" — at the bar that Bill and Heather first connect at, neither of them noticing him. The director stated that the idea was to suggest he was bringing them together — which would have made the denouement of Season Finale "The Doctor Falls" effectively his act coming back to him.
  • "Thin Ice": Sarah Dollard substantially rewrote the script after Pearl Mackie was cast, adding all the stuff about the issues of a black companion being in this time.
  • "Knock Knock":
    • A reference to Harry's other grandfather (not the one who was arrested in China) being the Fourth Doctor's companion Harry Sullivan was cut from the episode.
    • In an alternate ending that got as far as being filmed before it was abandoned, the house remains standing and the Doctor breaks out his legal-document-altering skills again to put the title deed in his own name so Bill and her friends can continue living there.
  • "Oxygen":
    • Jamie Mathieson originally planned for Dahh'Ren to have the head of a spider, but due to budget he was made blue instead. Mathieson commented on Reddit that his species is cheap!
    • Much more importantly, Mathieson's script ended with the Doctor's blindness (due to his Heroic Sacrifice for Bill) cured, but in the finished episode the final Wham Line reveals that his treatment in the TARDIS didn't take. Steven Moffat liked the idea of the Doctor's actions having a long-term personal consequence that he'd have to cope with, and made it central to the Monks Trilogy that followed.
  • Kate Stewart was originally intended to be in "The Pyramid at the End of the World", but Jemma Redgrave had a scheduling conflict with Holby City.
  • The titular villains of said trilogy ("Extremis"/"The Pyramid at the End of the World"/"The Lie of the Land") were originally conceived as kung fu warriors rather than all-seeing schemers.
  • Originally, Winston Churchill was going to be a character in "Empress of Mars" simply because Ian McNeice wanted to play him again (as he had in Series 5 and 6), but neither Steven Moffat or Mark Gatiss could figure out how to work Churchill into the story's 1881 setting.
  • If not for a tabloid leaking that John Simm was returning to the show, the Harold Saxon Master's presence in Series 10 finale "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls" would have been a closely guarded secret up to the first episode's airing (The Reveal is part of the Cliffhanger), much the way Anthony Ainley's Master kept making surprise appearances during the Fifth Doctor's era thanks to disguises in-universe (as happens in "World Enough and Time") and promotional materials disguising his presence in the cast out of it.
  • Peter Capaldi was asked to stay on for Series 11, Chris Chibnall's first season as showrunner. Had he accepted, he would have become the longest-serving new series Doctor (at least four seasons plus specials) but he was ready to move on, worried his work and the show would suffer if he stayed.
  • At last, Steven Moffat intended "The Doctor Falls" to be his last Doctor Who script and work as showrunner, which is why all the recurring characters' fates are neatly tied off by the end. As originally written, it ended with Twelve's regeneration into Thirteen,note  Moffat figuring that Chris Chibnall would produce and script the 2017 Christmas Episode as Thirteen's first adventure. This would have been the first time the special doubled as a Doctor's introductory story since "The Christmas Invasion" post-Series 1. Unfortunately, Chibnall wanted to start his tenure with Series 11, and with the BBC's Christmas schedules increasingly packed Moffat realized this raised the threat of not only no Christmas Episode for 2017 but no more Christmas episodes period. Moffat decided not to let the tradition die and, once he'd convinced Peter Capaldi to do one more episode, revised "The Doctor Falls" to have Twelve putting off his regeneration just long enough for the events of "Twice Upon a Time" to unfold.
    • Ironically, Chibnall then chose to move the holiday special to New Year's Day.
  • "Twice Upon a Time":
    • Bill Potts was not included in early drafts of the script, with Steven Moffat intending The Captain to be The Watson, but he changed his mind when he realized that there needed to be more "fun" in the story.
    • Production set photos released before the episode revealed more recreations of sets from "The Tenth Planet" having been built, as well as Mondasian Cybermen being prepped to appear, all of which imply that the opening flashbacks to said serial were going to be more involved than in the final episode.
      • Indeed, a more extensive behind-the-scenes documentary aired after the episode in North American movie theaters shows footage of much more extensive recreations, what might have added up to several minutes of scenes from "The Tenth Planet". One of the creators even commented that it shows how they could potentially recreate missing episodes — wishful thinking, or the BBC putting out feelers on potential audience reactions?
      • Further confirmed by the May 2018 reveal that the original cut of this special was 90 minutes. That's a half-hour's worth of Deleted Scenes!
    • Moffat seriously considered explaining why the First Doctor's clothes changed to fit the Second Doctor's upon regeneration, but decided it wasn't worth spending time on.
    • The Twelfth Doctor was going to hug all of the Testimony avatars of his companions — Clara, Bill, and Nardole — at once and tease that one of them was his favourite but not revealing who, which would have been his final words to them before returning to the TARDIS for his regeneration and been much more lighthearted than the "empty battlefield" speech of the finished episode. But Jenna Coleman could not come to the shooting location due to Victoria commitments, so Moffat came up with an alternate bit for Clara's avatar that could be quickly shot in a studio and edited into the location footage, and rewrote the rest of the sequence from there. This is why her avatar does not share the screen with any other characters, not even the Doctor.
  • While Peter Capaldi said in an interview that he hoped his Doctor would encounter both the Mondasian Cybermen and Susan Foreman at some point in his tenure, Twelve only met the former as part of his final Season Finale as a sort of parting gift.
  • Neil Gaiman told Digital Spy that he'd been in discussions with Steven Moffat to write a Twelfth Doctor episode, and even had an idea for it, but was unable to due to his work on the TV adaptation of Good Omens.

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who Revival Series

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