You Are The New Showrunner: How Would YOU Change Doctor Who?

“‘Tis nature’s law to change”, as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester wisely said. Writing in the seventeenth century he wasn’t talking about DoctorWho but change is, of course, the one constant in the programme. Eventually, everyone who works on the show will move on: actors, writers, technicians, showrunners…

Whilst there’s no sign of Steven Moffat moving on just yet, what with Series 9 due to hit the screen in a couple of months and the recent news that he’d signed up for a further series, the day will inevitably come when he decides it’s time to do something else. We’ve discussed possible replacements in some depth here at Kasterborous in our ‘Man Who Would Be King’ series but today it’s all about you. What would you do if, unlikely as it may sound, the BBC chose to put you in charge of your favourite show?

Previous changes of leadership in the Doctor Who production team have led to significant new directions being pursued in the tone and style of the programme. Think of Jon Pertwee’s debut in Spearhead From Space, which, along with colour filming being used for the first time, established the show’s new, earth-bound setting and slicker feel reminiscent of the classic ITC shows of the previous decade, once Barry Letts’ and Terrance Dicks’ influence was felt.

Philip Hinchcliffe took over as producer with a clear plan to take the Doctor away from UNIT and back into space. The stories he and script editor Robert Holmes oversaw, influenced in many cases by literary and cinematic classics, have endured as some of the very best in the programme’s long life. Later still John Nathan-Turner’s era burst into life with a new title sequence, a new colour palette for the Doctor’s costume and an emphasis on more serious story-telling, ditching the comic whimsy of the Williams/Adams period.

Moffat himself has spoken of the need for such a long-running programme to constantly re-invent itself and has overseen not one but two significant changes of tone and style. Matt Smith’s debut in The Eleventh Hour heralded what some have described as a ‘fairy tale’ feel for the next few years, with the mysteries of the girl who waited and later the impossible girl (not to mention River Song) serving as enduring arcs which would span multiple seasons. Just when he felt things were getting a little too cosy he went and shook things up again, delivering a new acerbic incarnation of the Doctor who would no more eat fish fingers and custard than he’d wear question marks on his jumper. This most recent change is still being played out, with hints in the build-up to Series 9 that the grumpiness will be toned down, allowing the Doctor to rediscover his sense of fun.

So what do you think? How would Doctor Who be different if it was your name on the credits? New writers? New monsters? Old monsters? More multi-episode stories? Series-spanning arcs? Bring back the Ergon? Give us your views below! Be as bold as you like – but remember, this is about you and the future, not any perceived mistakes of the past…

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71 Responses

  1. FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Firstly I would appoint myself as the 13th Doctor, cast my daughter as my companion and lastly cast my wife as the Rani! Yeah, don’t think the show would last too long if I was put in charge but it would be fun while it lasted! 🙂

    Seriously though, in a fantasy world where this scenario was reality then I would bring back the Sea Devils (and not drastically redesign them like they have done with the Silurians). I’d promptly give the Master his tackle back and explain that we had to steal a body Tremas-style and a female was the only one available at the time. I would force Capaldi to sign a contract for at least another few years! I’d try and bring back Susan and Ian somehow while the brilliant actors are still with us. I would try and make the Cybermen good again. And I’d definitely give the Daleks a long overdue rest from the show.

    • Castellan Spandrel says:

      “I would bring back the Sea Devils (and not drastically redesign them like they have done with the Silurians).”

      This is one of the things I’ve wanted the most since the series returned 10 years ago.

      I want the Rab C. Nesbitts, mind – the string-vested Sea Devils, not the clumsy ones in Samurai helmets from Warriors of the Deep.

      • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

        Totally with you on that one. I should have made it clear I meant the original 70’s Sea Devils (string vests and all), not the wobbly-headed, lumbering, samurai buffoons we got in Warriors Of The Deep. That was just plain embarrassing.

        • Castellan Spandrel says:

          I assumed you meant that anyway. I was just keeping myself in the clear. I mean, why would anyone want the other lot?

  2. Dr. Moo says:

    I’d fill the TARDIS with several younger people who only wear one or two costumes. The Doctor, I’m thinking four of them while I’m in charge, would only ever wear one thing each with every costume covered in more question marks than the last. Location filming to fit in with my personal holiday plans rather than the stories it’s used for. I’d alienate lots of fans and the BBC would eventually be actively trying to get the show cancelled and they’d not let me leave when I wanted to.

    • Dr. Moo says:

      Or:
      I’d fill the first series under my watch with slapstick and unfortunate attempts at comedy. I’d create some rifts with my Doctor actor do that he never speaks of it again. I’d subsequently make the companions, all contemporary earth girls, fall in love with the new new Doctor. I’d insist on undermining the Daleks by using them every year with each appearance worse than the last. I’d finish by pre-emptively turning the fans against my successor.

      • Dr. Moo says:

        Or:
        I’d make the show cleverer than ever before exploiting the true potential of time travel. I’d focus more on longer storylines that develop over several years before coming together. I’d retroactively change what my predeccesor set up as a backstory to celebrate a major milestone. Then after three seasons I’d change it up again and make the show much darker and slow things down a little more like the classic years with UNIT and the Master as new regulars.

  3. alistair thosmon says:

    Reinstate the original music, and title sequence, digitally restored.

    Keep PC, and reunite The Doctor with his wayward daughter.

    Each series would treat the viewer to a link with an earlier and later adventure; laying down timey-wimey possibilities. In this way, we’d see Donna in shot, walking into her boring office block, Martha sitting on the tube train dressed in her whites, or maybe Mrs Angelo with her her naughty son Jeff (with laptop in hand), walking into PC World.

    The role of the companion would be enhanced by a contractual requirement to film well-crafted and cleverly scripted dialogue against green screen that would allow the inclusion of a present companion in a future episode. In that way for example, Jenna Coleman could lay down some appearances that might by spliced into an episode ten years hence. In this way, Clara’s influence upon past a future events could be underlined. PC’s Doctor too could film scenarios where he engages with his future self, and adversaries; so allowing interplay between timelines. To this end, SM should try to persuade DT and MS to film similar inserts for future episodes, so preserving the Who legacy.

    I’d encourage more plotting where the environment, democracy, and minority rights are explored in satirical, oblique and entertaining ways. The Christmas Invasion and Partners in Crime, where state and body politics were lampooned, offered the viewer no end of fun. I’d encourage The Doctor to look at our planet’s workings more often with the weary eye that has seen it all before. Religion is a big issue in our world yet even the idiotic doctrines of the priests in The Underwater Menace would have to be treated with sensitivity these days, given our society’s growing awareness of its own intolerances. Never the less, The Doctor would, and should have a view.

    Mystery is a great feature of the best adventures. Girl in the Fireplace and Silence in the Library are adventures where the the protagonists motivations are shrouded in mist until a denouement that satisfies. Unseen threats remain at the core of Doctor Who, with Midnight, and Listen being great examples of what can be done with few special effects, but with great plotting and scripting.

    I’m waiting for a story where the doctor witnesses the same event from different perspectives, properly testing the fixed point-in-time rule for the first time since Father’s Day. D riven by a desperate need to undo the undoable, The Doctor must challenge fate like never before. Not in a Waters of Mars vainglorious manner, but in a carefully executed navigation of the inevitable, to steer the outcome in a manner that saves us all. I would commission such a piece.

    Oh, and although I fully expect to see it in the coming series; lets see Missy’s Tardis too (it may be grave indeed).

    • alistair thosmon says:

      Oh, and please lets see more location filming. I want to see The Tardis materialise on the pier at North Queensferry, below the Forth Railway Bridge, or on a mysteriously abandoned oil platform in the North sea. Maybe on Hardrians wall? …or beside the great Uffington White Horse (more like a Horn-ed beast if you ask me….).

    • Castellan Spandrel says:

      I like a lot of your ideas and would do some of the same, especially this:

      “Reinstate the original music, and title sequence, digitally restored.” -or at least, something as moody, atmospheric and genuinely ‘out-there’ as the first Tom Baker title sequence.

      I’d have a season that doesn’t feature any returning ‘guest’ characters or monsters, friends, aliens, etc. – just the Doctor and his trusty companion vs a load of new monsters, including powerful, impressive, imposing main villains worthy of the Delgado/Scaroth roll of honour, while giving them depth of character rather than just being camp 1-D panto types (though seriously scary baddies like Sutekh and Fenric are also welcome).

      I’d also steer it away from Earth as much as possible and into the unfamiliar, eschewing a linked ‘story arc’ for a return to the series’ core values: a wanderer in time and space venturing into the unknown every week and taking us with him.

      When my series did return to Earth’s past, I’d minimise CGI backdrops as much as possible and forbid the use of characters who seem too modern for the time they live in (like Rosita in The Next Doctor).

      While retaining humour, an essential part of Who, I’d avoid ‘timey wimey’ type childish dialogue and would prefer the Doctor to have a sense of wonder towards the beings he meets, rather than ‘Ooh, ‘allo!’ And the humour has to be in tandem with the horror (I prefer the darker stuff, while realising it’s a family affair).

      • Castellan Spandrel says:

        I’d also have each season on TV in autumn/winter, not when the daylight is peeking through the curtains. Feels right that way.

        • Bern says:

          100% agree

          • Bern says:

            Why did last year’s series start in August? Too Soon!

            They ran out of episodes in November… should start mid Sept so it runs through to mid December and is followed a week or so later by the Xmas Special

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            True, but it’s better from August than in April, May, June, July, none of which felt right to me.

            I think it’s my Pavlovian response to watching new Doctor Who on TV in daylight, because growing up in the Pertwee/Baker, even the Davison, eras, I hated seasons finishing around March/April, with sunlight starting to come through the window, realising that it was all over for another season and feeling glum about it.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            Although i have a few vague memories of Doctor Who during it’s last few years (it was only years later that I discovered my earliest memory of Mel being chased by Daleks through dirty corridors was in fact Paradise Towers and the Cleaners – major letdown)! My first true memories of the show were during the BBC 2 repeats during 1992/1993 which I remember at least some of them being broadcast in March/April/May. I also remember my dad closing the blinds and curtains when the show came on so obviously even he knew the importance of enjoying the show in the dark. (ah, happy memories). Hope I’m doing the same for my little one!

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            Sounds like you’re doing it right, Franco.

            My earliest memory of Who is, funnily enough, The Sea Devils, when it was first shown in 1972. Perhaps yours include the repeat of it circa 1992?

            If it’s true that your life flashes before your eyes when you shuffle off this mortal coil, then I’m convinced mine will consist largely of me sitting in a darkened room watching Who.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            From that run in the early 90’s I remember (I think in order of broadcast) The Daemons, The Sea Devils, Genesis Of The Daleks, The Caves Of Androzani, Revelation Of The Daleks, Battlefield, Planet Of The Daleks and Pyramids Of Mars – and I think The Green Death. What better selection could a young 9/10 year old ask for when being introduced to the show (especially since it wasn’t even being made then)? It’s no wonder I fell in love with the show! I believe The Time Meddler and The Dominators were also shown at the beginning of that run (please correct me if I’m wrong) but sadly I missed those at the time. It was definitely Daemons that properly got me hooked and by the time Sea Devils had finished I was completely obsessed 🙂

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            You’re right about the whole run, except it was Mind Robber instead of The Dominators (to this day, The Dominators is the only surviving story I’ve yet to see in its entirety. Couldn’t get past part 2).

            Planet of the Daleks was on Friday nights and still partly in black and white, I think, while Pyramids and Green Death were on Sundays, late mornings/lunchtime – up here in Scotland, anyway; dunno about regional variations. Pretty sure the last ones were early 1994.

            Good schooling for you, then.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            You are so right. I now remember the lava at the end of the last episode – the next week was Daemons. And I’m a good ol’ Scotsman myself so we would have had them at the same time. Agree about when they stopped, But I had already had my first hit and have been addicted ever since. I also remember Planet of The Daleks having these little features before every episode (a few at least that have since been release as DVD special features).

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            I don’t remember the features. What were they about?

            There’s something special about watching Who when you’re a kid. I know there are a lot of fans, including many on here, who got into it in the last ten years, mostly via the modern series, as adults, and their love of DW is as valid as us older fans. But there’s something truly magical about ‘your first Who’, which for me will always be Sea Devils, Three Doctors, Time Warrior and those wonderful first 3 Tom Baker seasons, including Ark in Space, Genesis of the Daleks, Zygons, Pyramids, Morbius, Deadly Assassin…. and a hell of a lot of Target novelisations.

            We were spoilt back then, too.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            There was an ‘Antique’s Roadshow’ kind of thing, There was a mock U.N.I.T recruitment film among others. I know people go on about ‘their Doctor’ that was on TV at the time the first watched, but I consider myself lucky as it wasn’t on and I instead got some of each Doctor’s best stories one after the other. Maybe that is why I find it impossible even to this day to pick a favourite!

          • bar says:

            The UNIT recruitment film is on the Spearhead DVD – funny and camp.
            There’s always been a talent for playing with the show, but modern easy-to-use-at-home software makes it so prolific we can forget to appreciate them.
            like the first ‘out-takes’ of animated characters – was it Antz or Bugs life? By School Reunion it was an age-old trend.

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            There was also a 30-minute feature called ‘Resistance Is Futile’, shown with the first of the repeats (Time Meddler pt 1). Narrated by Nicholas Courtney. They highlighted the Doctor saying that an aspirin could kill him – I remember that much.

            The Antiques Roadshow thing rings a bell.

          • James Guthrie says:

            Good grief! How could you give up on a Patrick Troughton story!? And The Dominators has so much going for it – fabulous cast, dotty robots (I have the Quarks’ chuckle as my ringtone …), wicked villains (Ronald Allen is especially creepy), outlandish sounds and sights, the shocking death of a beloved childhood hero, and a cliffhanger ending – glorious! Go and pop that DVD in the player right now – obey the Dominators!

          • Castellan Spandrel says:

            I quite like the fact that there’s one left unaccounted for, waiting for that rainy day.

            Hang on – it’s chucking it down right now…

            Nah. I’ll wait.

            (Don’t worry – it’s on the bucket list, though.)

          • The Earl Fleabag of Turdshire says:

            Yeah, and if they did that all the fans would be moaning that the gaps between the Xmas special and new episodes was far too long!

        • Planet of the Deaf says:

          The autumn Saturday night schedules are too busy for me, I preferred late spring, as the programme stood out amongst the filler elsewhere in the schedule, whereas fitting it in before or after Strictly Come Dancing makes a regular timeslot very difficult.
          Some of S8 aired at 8:30 which was far too late

    • Nathaniel Downes says:

      You know, that would be a hell of an episode. Bring out Jenny, Susan and River in the same episode, with a very awkward family dinner, no Christmas dinner, to be held!

  4. Planet of the Deaf says:

    To me the one constant of the Moff era is the sheer timey-wimeyness of it. In no other era of the show has the ‘time traveller’ aspect of being a Time Lord been so exploited than in the Moff era, with his Moffat Loops of characters meeting younger versions of themselves (Amy and Amelia) or influencing themselves (Clara jumping into the timestream to create fragments, whose actions make Clara realise that she’s jumped into the timestream and thus make her jump into timestream!), the massively complex Crack/Silence arc etc

    This has been great, but very comprehensively covered, so I would have much more linear stories. S8 was a bit like this, but even here stories like Listen used classic Moffat Loops with the young Danny scenes and the presence of Orson.

    Maybe two Companions in the TARDIS to create a different vibe, one of them being from the future say.

    I definitely want a Companion who doesn’t live in London, as for a show filmed in Cardiff we have had an awful lot of scenes set in London, even if filmed in Cardiff or Bristol!

    Finally I would also have Jenna wearing the Oswin dress one more time before she leaves, but that’s for different reasons 🙂

    • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      In hindsight it seems almost crazy that the time-travel aspect of the show had never been utilised fully until Moff came along. And I love that he did. I think with Doctor 12 we are slowly moving away from that so the ‘timey-wimey’ era may become something we particularly identify with Smith’s tenure when we look back in years to come. Sure, some complain about it being too complicated but the truth is it was only a few adult fans complaining. I’ve mentioned before how my young daughter was keeping me up-to-speed with what was going on (you’d think it should be the other way round!!!)
      As for future companions, I’d love to see one from the past in the same vein as Jamie or Victoria. And as for Jenna – well she would probably look fantastic no matter what she is wearing 🙂

      • Planet of the Deaf says:

        S8 was certainly less timey-wimey, helped by all the Matt Smith loose ends being wrapped up (a bit hurriedly) in Time of the Doctor

    • Bern says:

      I’d have Jenna *not* wearing the Oswin dress….(drool…)

  5. J.M. says:

    So … basically we should just link to the fan fic we’ve written?

    😉

  6. Bern says:

    I’d have many more stories set on alien worlds – lot less on present day earth. I’d have a few more historicals, i’d try to ensure there was a “monster of the week” roughly 50% of which would be new monsters. I’d try to have a great villain – someone to really trouble the Dr at least once every 3 stories – in some cases this could be the Master but others too – i always thought Anthony head was great in school reunion so something like that.

    I’d keep the time-travel/paradoxes stuff that Moffat loves as I feel that has been the real benefit of having him as showrunner over the last half-decade and hope that stays. I would also force Capaldi to sign for at least 10 years but i’d give him more humour in his performance – he is a brilliant comic actor but has yet to show this on Who.

    • Dr. Moo says:

      Really? I think he’s managed to get some humorous moments in there. Dark comedy, often subtle but it’s there.

      • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

        He really needs to confront Davros and break into a full-on Malcolm Tucker tirade though 🙂

  7. John McJohnson says:

    I’d keep things how they are right now. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  8. Ned Netherwood says:

    First up I’d take Murray Gold out to dinner, thank him for all his hard work and tell him nicely that his services are no longer required. Then I would hire some talented but reliable electronic artists on a freelance basis to do the soundtracks. It would save lots of money and give the show a new feeling. I’d bring in a 2nd companion who would be from another time and space and completely bewildered by all the earth visits. Once a season I’d do a mad, experimental story, a historical, a genre tribute and an episode with a different Doctor, either a previous Doc or one from another dimension or have the Doc get a disease that uses up regeneration energy causing him to change a couple of times dramatically without warning allowing some fun celeb Doctor cameos.

    • Dr. Moo says:

      So basically you’d repeatedly remake The Curse of Fatal Death?

    • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Was kind of with you until the ‘different Doctor’ thing. You kind of lost me after that point. Capaldi IS the Doctor right now – nobody else.

    • kwijino says:

      I wouldn’t mind a one-off Paul McGann, Tennant or Smith episode as a Doctor light alternative. Aside from Chris, the other Doctors look too different to be of their eras, and with Chris Eccleston, he’s just not coming back.

  9. Caleb Goldberg says:

    As a few other people said, I am very frustrated with the “timey-wimey” aspect of Moffat’s stories. Paradoxes and time travel-heavy plots are fun in moderation, but when used every second episode, they’re not clever, they’re frustrating. No doubt I would tone them down.

    I’d also vary my companions more. While I would love to put in a companion who isn’t from modern day Earth, that isn’t all I mean. Remember Zoe’s sheer genius, Leela’s savage nature, and Ace’s tomboyish tricks? If your answer is no, then you clearly haven’t seen them, because their personalities are hard to forget. Amy and Clara, meanwhile, have very little character, and most of their appeal is in their looks (which admittedly are good). Now, I like good-looking companions as much as the next male fan, but looks should not be what makes them up. I would like to give my companions more traits that make them distinctly them.

    Finally, the story arcs. Moffat’s “arcs” tend to consist of a reminder that we’re in an arc every episode, but no actual progress. Having an impossible girl reference or Missy scene every time but never seeing any movement gets extremely grating. If I had the choice, I would actually make the plot progress through the season, as opposed to a “Don’t you wonder what this means?” every episode and a “Boom! This is what it means!” in the finale.

    • FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      “I would actually make the plot progress through the season, as opposed to a “Don’t you wonder what this means?” every episode and a “Boom! This is what it means!” in the finale.”

      …What, just like Bad Wolf and Torchwood during the first couple of series? If that is your thinking fair enough, but you can’t single out Moff when RTD was doing the exact same thing from the beginning.

      And as for companions, I couldn’t agree more with you about the next one either being from the past, the future or from another world. I do, however, disagree that Amy and Clara don’t have a distinct personality. If you think differently then “you clearly haven’t seen them, because their personalities are hard to forget”.

    • Planet of the Deaf says:

      Amy and Clara have little character?????

      Clara
      Is very self confident, she’s intelligent and good looking and knows it
      Is very controlling, she likes to have everything the way SHE likes, hence 11 came and picked her up once a week, rather than her dropping her home life completely, and has uniquely has tried to build a normal career alongside travel with the Doctor.
      Is very independent – happy to be away from her family, though is close to her gran
      Is addicted to travel with the Doctor, and can’t give it up
      Loved Danny, but somehow he wasn’t enough to supplant the Doctor in her life, hence she tried to have both.
      Has a very mature relationship with the Doctor now, in that both can take control of the situation and tell the other what to do.

      Amy
      Is far less self confident, having had her whole childhood twisted by the Doctor not coming back
      Hence treats people around her quite badly at times (i.e. Rory) but deep down loves him
      Was happy to settle down with Rory without the Doctor
      Is independent, the Scottish girl in the English village who kept her accent

  10. James Guthrie says:

    Truth be told, I’d be a terrible show runner! There isn’t a single Doctor Who story, era, whatever, that I don’t absolutely love, heart and soul, which would mean I’d have no critical objectivity about anything!

    I’d see the TARDIS return to Vortis, for example, and have a whole new adventure filled with Zarbi and Menoptra, that sort of thing. I’m watching Snakedance right now, as I type, and thinking another battle against the Mara would be awesome – oh, imagine a stand-up battle between Peter Capaldi and Janet Fielding, trying to out-mardy each other!

    I’d fill in continuity gaps, get Gallifrey and the Time Lords back full time, have loads of cameos, outer space battles, lots of season 15 horror/jokes, a meeting with Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrook … It just goes on and on.

    And if it was too much even for Peter Capaldi to cope with, I’d cast Eddie Marsan as the new Doctor, or Lee Ingleby, or Damien Lewis, or Miriam Margolyes! Two or three companions, K9 back on board, a September start to the series, cliffhangers a-plenty, Radiophonic theme and incidental music …

    Look, it’d be mad, and it’d send me mad too, so I think I’ll leave it to the professionals and go on enjoying Doctor Who as long as my beloved BBC wants to make it. Just keep on keeping on, and I’ll be a happy old fan.

  11. The Earl Fleabag of Turdshire says:

    Hmm, well. I’d like to try my hand at a few darker episodes. A Hinchcliffe-esque approach. However, it wouldn’t so much be about the dark monsters, but rather about The Doctor. I’d want to explore the Doctor’s dark side and do it in a much different way from what we saw in series 8. I don’t want a Doctor who just moans a lot or is gruff, but rather one who has the manipulative elements and mysterious history that Andrew Cartmel tried to introduce. I’d also introduce an alien companion (and possibly one who didn’t look human in natural form). Also, less time spent on earth.

    Oh, and I’d bring back Gallifrey and be done with it. I’ve always wanted to explore the Time Lords more.

    I’d also bring back Susan. That story desperately needs to be told before Carole Ann is too old and I’ve always found it hard that The Doctor never went back.

    And the round things…….The Doctor would remember where he put them……

    • Carl says:

      The Doctor has been back to see Susan. Check out the Big Finish story, An Earthly Child from the Eighth Doctor range of stories. The Doctor even finds out he has a great grandson.

      • The Earl Fleabag of Turdshire says:

        No offence, but I don’t count Big Finish as canon (and no Night of the Doctor didn’t canonise the whole of BF) and I just can’t get on with them as audio only. Just my thing.

  12. Nathaniel Downes says:

    One aspect which has been sadly missing these past, well, ever, is the magic of the Troughton era, the sense of wonder and comrades. To steal a phrase from Moffet, the Doctor has gotten too loud, too big. He is now bigger than life, rather than living his life. Companionship, not of some young thing to ride along to help show him how brilliant he is, *cough*, but someone who he is genuine friends with, and remains friends with throughout. We need a Jamie and Zoe, or a Teegan, Adric and Nyssa.

    Capaldi has the right stuff for this, but he needs more companions, more friends along. When we have him with the Victorian trio, we get that balance, but the trio never goes with him, they stay put. The sense of wonder from them is missing. And the joyeous humor from them, of a family made of friends, that is needed. Otherwise, the Doctor feels alone, the weight of the universe upon him. He is responsible, when all he wants is to not have any responsibility.

  13. Matthew Stutz says:

    Well for one thing I’d kill of Strax, or at least make him a legitimite Sontaran again, I’d bring back Jenny and Jack, I’d keep with the dark tone that Moffat brought to Doctor Who…… and if I kill someone……………. They stay dead.

  14. Psycho Dave says:

    I would make sure that the next actor to play the Doctor was William Beck

  15. Grumpy The Unicorn says:

    well, other than bring back the Cryons? I dunno. I doubt I’d have the stones for long enough before I tanked it. But I would certainly try to do that, and do a bit more past-series referencing for those of us who like a nice marinade on well-seasoned meat. 😉 and I would definitely tie up some but not ALL of the ‘strings’ I feel were left dangling in Smith’s era, such as River and him not meeting Jack. And the Omega lols sprinkled throughout.

  16. Lucas W says:

    This is a question I’ve asked myself so many times, and it’s one that I’ve thought about in a lot of depth.

    So much depth, in fact, that I’ve got a plan for 12 years of the show with the companions already drawn up and most of the episodes planned out. It shifts from practically no story arc to none at all to a very intricate plot lasting for about eight years.

    It’s a plan that I’m very proud of (and periodically tease my friends about by offering tiny snippets of my latest idea before refusing to spoil any further – just in case), but also a plan that would be impossible to write in this little box. Ah well.

  17. Connie Bennett says:

    I want them to travel back, meet Marilyn Monroe and have like a near-death adventure with her.

  18. Simon Spencer says:

    In terms of stories, I think respecting what has come before (regardless of its source) whilst aspiring to push the show forward is the most important. Doctor Who has always been remembered more for what works and what doesn’t, and fans can be super-critical of choices made by its creators. I also think, however, that writers should be entitled to experiment with new concepts, sometimes even if it means annoying certain groups.

  19. Carl says:

    I’d start to introduce “lost” Time Lords (the fob watch thing was a perfect McGuffin to use for that), also get away from Earth a lot more. I’d also bring in a new organisation formed by ex-companions and retired members of UNIT that deals with extra terrestrial threats. Might even develop into a spin-off, if it’s successful enough, possibly as a sequel to The Sarah Jane Adventures, featuring the same kids. I’d also bring in some older companions, since Big Finish did such a good job with Sixy and Evelyn.

    New monsters would be a priority as well as bringing back The Terileptils and The Draconians. Possibly even a Draconian companion.

    Finally, I’d try and get Paul McGann and John Hurt back to reprise their roles in a spin-off series, Tales Of The Time War (or something). If it wasn’t possible visually, a collaboration with Big Finish would be the way to go.

  20. Roderick T. long says:

    “Writing in the seventeenth century he wasn’t talking about Doctor Who” — or was he??

  21. kwijino says:

    I’d take a more long term approach, more along the lines of what Japanese studios do when making anime. I would work with my producer to map out where the show should end up at at the end of a season or two, and then keyframe a few scenes that would get us there and roughly when we would see them each season. It would be a flexible approach that would let us do standalones also. Personally, I’d love a Fullmetal Alchemist style long story about the finding of Gallifrey, including some flashbacks to the Time War. Not major battles, but a few scenes here and there for John Hurt or McGann, depending on if John would return.

    I’d also work on the universe the Doctor lives in, so he can have a network of friends that are Capaldi’s… and no, no more Strax, Vastra and Jenny. euuuuuuuuuughhhhh! I agree with others that we’ve revisited enough villains/monsters, so other than Daleks in the Time War, which would satisfy the Nation estate, I would keep away from them, Silurians, Cybermen and the Master. It’s a large universe, let’s go see it! However, I agree with Earl Fleabag about returning Carole Anne Ford (which is one of Capaldi’s wishes anyway) and making good on seeing Ian Chesterton, president of the board of directors at Coal Hill School. Do both of those in one episode, even. That would be cool.

    Next, I would call in Peter and ask him where he wants the Doctor to go. Dunno if I could use all his ideas, but at least one or two of them a season. He’s a smart man, and I’m sure the ideas would be good. I’d also show him the direction and see about signing him for as long as the story would last, just to make sure it doesn’t all fall apart by him moving on.

    I’d go back to the 2005 titles, which to me still look great. I’d try some different styles of music, losing the Korngold/Williams thing that has been with us long enough. Wouldn’t mind if Murray stayed, but I’d look for Yoko Kanno or Andy Summers to come in also.

  22. Keir says:

    We discussed this very topic on Gallifrey Public Radio in late May (http://www.gallifreypublicradio.com/GRP/showrunner-for-a-day/). Paul Cornell himself told us that he wouldn’t change a thing about the show at present, he considers it near perfection.

  23. Steven B says:

    The most exciting kind of changes to my mind wouldn’t work in a thirteen episode season that is part of an on-going series.

    Thoughts that catch my mind about what totally different Doctor Who would look like essentially fall under an ‘Unbound’ banner in a loose confederacy of ideas that would present ‘reboots’ with each story; some of them reaching into a reimagined past, and others looking further forward or sideways in time in an exercise ‘what could have been if…’.

    These include:

    David Bowie – echoed in this week’s PodKast – as the final incarnation of the Doctor, still a long way from his last end, materialising the TARDIS in Mictlan, riffing on a scene in ‘Alien Bodies’.

    A Season 19 where Christopher H Bidmead stayed on as Script Editor, Peter Davison taking the Doctor confidently into an ’80 s dominated by youth culture and synth-wave pop music while focussing on the quantum advances and discoveries occurring simultaneously in science and technology, the thinking MTV generation’s hero.

    The pre-Unearthly Child adventures of a remote and truly alien First Doctor and his telepathic, Cathy Gale/Emma Peel-esque slinky granddaughter, Susan, as they flee from Gallifrey and outrun the agents of its hostile regime.

    Tom and Mary Tamm in the TARDIS, for years and years and years.

    Sylvester and Sophie in Season 27.

    I’m thinking along these lines because I genuinely can’t anticipate where Moffat and Capaldi will go in Series 9 – and that makes me feel as excited about the future of the show ahead of us now as I ever have been. The new trailer promises so much, and I can’t wait to see the new episodes!

  24. Pantz says:

    I’d have stories with ideas that work and don’t rely on “luck out” endings. I’d give my writers lots of time to write their stories, maybe an entire year if necessary and film the series the following year. I’d have more regular two parters. I’d replace the series arc with a general theme to run through the series, like crime and punishment or loyalty and betrayal for example (not every episode would have to have these themes though as it would surely get repetitive and tiresome). I’d have a title sequence that doesn’t suck. I’d have more aliens and alien planets. I’d get away from the convenient early 21st century companion and have someone from the future or maybe an alien who uses a perception filter to disguise themself as human and uses it whenever they land on earth to blend in. I’d do away with the cringe inducing dialogue and treat the subject matter more seriously, but still make it fun and exciting……have I possibly been thinking about this a tad too much?

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