Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fan fiction

Da-lin da-din, da-lin da-din...

I have never been one for writing fan fiction. While I don’t have anything again those who pour all of their writing time and energies into doing it, for me the interest in writing has always been in trying to create characters and stories that are my own.

But there’s another aspect to it.

Those who know me, even a little, will know what a great fan I am of Doctor Who. And yet, you may perhaps find it curious that it has never been my ambition to write for Doctor Who. This is partly because I don’t want to be a scriptwriter – I’m far too selfish to be any good at that, anyway! – but also because, well... I’m just not up to it.

Hundreds, probably thousands by now, of pieces of tie-in fiction have been published connected to Doctor Who down the years, most notable the series of original novels from Virgin Publishing and later BBC Books in the 1990s and 2000s. Many written by some splendid and very talented writers... But also some written by writers who I wouldn’t say were any more talented than I am.

So maybe I could have had a go.

But there’s always been one great block to this. I simply don’t have the ability. For whatever reason, whenever in the past I have sat down to try, I have never – not once – been able to come up with a decent idea for a Doctor Who story. Not one.

It depresses me to consider that, when it comes down to it, I just don’t have the imagination for it. I love Doctor Who almost beyond all other things... But I know that, sadly, I will never be able to be a part of it. Not professionally, anyway.

However, that love of the series has burned all the brighter in this fiftieth anniversary year. And when An Adventure in Space and Time was being filmed in February and March, such was my excitement as I followed the development of its production that I was inspired to actually sit down and have a go at writing a Doctor Who story. Just a short one. Just for my own entertainment.

The draft has sat there doing nothing for a couple of months, but with time to kill before the last episode in the present series this evening, I dug it out to have a look. And, do you know, I don’t think it’s actually too bad? It’s not the greatest or most original story ever, and like many of the writers back in the 1960s I found I didn’t have enough for Susan to do... But I must admit I am rather pleased with my First Doctor, and perhaps one or two nice moments for Ian and Barbara.

So, I present...

(Doctor Who, the TARDIS, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan are all, of course, the property of the BBC. This story is presented purely on an amateur basis)