Saturday 2 December 2023

The Eleven Doctors - part five



The idea of doing a dedicated anniversary story for the 50th actually came to me quite late, though you'd think it'd be a no-brainer! The 2013 schedule had already been allocated to the Daleks v Cybermen arc and the final part was originally supposed to play out in November. But I decided to move that to December making way for an anniversary story.                                           
At the time, it appeared the official anniversary story The Day of the Doctor would snub the classic Doctors. We had no idea that they'd actually ALL turn up (even a flash forward to the incoming 12th Doctor!) but I figured the best way to put all the Doctors together was in action figure form.

The conceit of getting Sarah Jane to collect the Doctors (joined along the way by the Brig) came quite early and I worked out the format of spending the first couple of episodes revisiting old adventures, followed by three eps throwing the Doctors together, realising that the main joy of multi-Doctor stories is seeing the Doctors mix and get along (or not).

The actual stories Sarah Jane visits were changed during the writing. She was supposed to see the Brig during the Pertwee segment (The Three Doctors) and pick him up during Robot. But this meant I couldn't use any of the various 4th Doctor monsters as the 4th Doctor wouldn't have met them yet.

For similar reasons, I chose not to have the 8th Doctor picked up from The TV Movie, deciding instead upon a "new" adventure based on a Daryl Joyce painting for the Doctor Who magazine, itself based on Spearhead From Space.

Sarah was supposed to pick up the 10th Doctor from Planet of the Ood but when John Barrowman was upset not to be asked back for the official anniversary, I decided to find a way to include Captain Jack.

My initial idea was that the 4th Doctor would visit Sarah Jane, stealing an idea Gareth Roberts wanted to use on the Sarah Jane Adventures where Sarah would find the 4th Doctor in her wheelie bin.

In the very first storyline, it's actually the 11th Doctor that is summoning his other selves. He's realised that his contact with the Daleks has made them powerful so he takes his various selves out of time before they each meet the Daleks in order to weaken them. But with the Daleks v Cybermen arc running, I wanted to avoid making either of them the villain so I looked at other monsters - but none of them had met ALL the Doctors! The closest was the Master but at the time I had other plans for him (those plans are lost in the mists of time!) so I had to ditch the "contact with the Doctor made them strong" element.

Given that it was the golden anniversary and with the announcement of the (then) upcoming humanoid Axon figure, I realised it would be fitting to make them my main villain - except the Axos set was then delayed! (see shooting below)

Originally, I'd planed to avoid The Eleven Doctors as a title, on the assumption that the other fan video sites would use it. But having considered several other titles on the theme of Fifty or Golden, I decided the best one really was The Eleven Doctors, so I went for it.


Here's the full list: Sarah Jane Smith (Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane Smith?), 11th Doctor (Eleventh Hour set), Mechanoid, Daleks (The Chase), 1st Doctor (original SDCC release), 2nd Doctor (original SDCC release), The Brigadier (The Three Doctors), 3rd Doctor (The Time Warrior), Lynx (The Time Warrior), 4th Doctor (Pyramids of Mars with scarf from City of Death set), D84, SV7, Voc robots, 5th Doctor (Time Crash), Peri (Caves of Androzani), Sharaz Jek, 6th Doctor (Original release), Peri (Attack of the Cybermen), Cyberman (Earthshock), Dalek (Remembrance of the Daleks), 7th Doctor (Remembrance of the Daleks), Autons (Rose), 8th Doctor (11 Doctors set), Cassandra, Jabe, Moxx of Balhoun, Face of Boe, 9th Doctor, Rose, Captain Jack, 10th Doctor (11th Doctors set), Martha Jones, Zygon, Pyrovile, Drashig, Slitheen, Empress of the Racnos, Krillitanes (grey and brown), Axon creature, Axon humanoid (custom), K-9, Robot K1, Weeping Angel, Sea Devil, Ice Warrior, Pig Slave, Sycorax Warrior, Mummy, Silent (both open and closed mouth), Empty Child, Ood Sygma, Sutekh, Graske, Smiler, Clockwork Robot (blue), Silurian (series 5), Judoon Captain, Kroton (custom), Heavenly Host, Scarecrow.

The first stumbling block in the production and with some footage already shot, was the Axon set which was due in 2013 but then delayed to 2014. After considering making the Zygons into the main enemy (but risking being too similar to Day of the Doctor), I contacted some chums in the toy industry to see if I could borrow an Axon figure, to no avail. So I decided to make a custom version. She's simply a Primeval Jenny with greenstuff added in the eye area. Her skin is painted in a yellow undercoat and given a gold wash.

What's that in the background of part five, page one? Top marks if you spotted my little paper Kroton.


With the first storyline done by April 213, the script was finished on 28 May 2013.

The final panel of the script was removed and not filmed. This would have shown Clara appear and kill the Silent, thus saving the Doctor and tying in with The Name of the Doctor (the last aired story at the time) where she's sent back across the Doctor's timeline to save him at various points.

Another scene cut at the scripting stage would have seen the 5th Doctor concerned for his companion Peri given that she is currently (in his timeline) suffering from Spectrox Toxaemia. He asks the 8th Doctor what her ultimate fate is but the 8th Doctor genuinely doesn't know. This could've been interpreted as a comment on how Peri's muddied departure was handled on screen. But it was actually a veiled foreshadowing of the end of the Daleks v Cybermen arc where the Doctor... well, if you don't remember, let's save that for when that arc is re-published.


One of the fun things about this story was reusing sets from TV adventures. Some were dictated by which episodes were revisited during the story but most (for the Axon's holograms) were picked from my favourite downloadable sets. How many did you recognise?

Filming began on 8 July 2013 with the Traken scenes.

9 July: Sandminer corridors, Nerva Beacon and The Time Warrior stairwell.

10 July: Rasillon's tomb from The Five Doctors and UNIT HQ.

12 July: Platform One and Torchwood exit in Cardiff.

13 July: London streets for Remembrance of the Daleks and the interior of Sarah Jane's house.

14 July: Attack of the Cybermen sewer

15 July: Skaro corridors

16 July: 1960s TARDIS interior and Spiridon jungle

17 July: Exterior of Sarah Jane's house and the Silence timeship. I realised since it was only used for one panel, I didn't need to make the whole console.

There followed a break in filming while I made the sets for the next block, resuming on 8 August with Sharaz Jek's lair in The Caves of Androzani.

14 Aug: The Chase.

22 Aug: Green screen elements.

Once I'd made my Axon female custom, the Axos interiors could be shot (18th Sept and 21st Sept)

24 Sept: The 8th Doctor segment was referred to as San Fransisco in the script and was supposed to a street with upturned cars. But when I researched, I discovered the Daryl Joyce painting was actually set in Singapore. The set is based on the Sunrise Mall in Singapore.

26 Sept: The first Doctor encounters the Krillitanes on Castrovalva - simply because I had the set to hand.

8 Oct: The final bits and pieces including the Axon hologram room (with the hologram switched off) and an insert of Inter Minor from Carnival of Monsters

13 Nov: final pick ups of the Doctors seeing the Silent ship.


Editing for the story was done alongside filming with each scene being slotted in as they were done.

One of the final panels to be done was the one in part 3 where the 7th Doctor peeks into the future. I needed a distinctive setting. Some people suggested the Powell Estate but I struggled to find a recognisable image. In the end I went with Starship UK and used an image from an AFT story that has yet to be republished: Return To Starship UK.

The other remaining panels involved exterior shots of Axos, the last being completed on 13 Nov.


In its original run, the story ran for five consecutive days, Monday 18 Nov to Friday 22 Nov.

I'd been hyping the story for months with tidbits on Facebook and it even had its own dedicated website: As part of the build up, I had my own countdown of my favourite Doctors.

Ten years on, without the time to make anything remotely similar for the 60th anniversary, it seemed a perfect time to republish this and it ran weekly from 4 Nov to 2 Dec 2023.


Where do we start?

This story revisits a number of televised episodes directly:

The Chase (part 6) The Doctor and his companions are now prisoners of the Mechanoids when the Daleks, having pursued the TARDIS for the last five episodes, arrive.

The Three Doctors (part 2) While the third Doctor and Jo have been transported to Omega's black hole, the second Doctor is left behind at UNIT HQ.

The Time Warrior (part 1) The Doctor is investigating the disappearances of scientists and his sensors are set off by the appearance of a Sontaran projecting himself from the past.

Robots of Death (part 3) The Doctor and his friend D84 are on the look out for Taren Capel's workshop. The cry that D84 heard is Leela, locked in the crew room.

The Caves of Androzani (part 2) The Doctor and Peri have been rescued by Sharaz Jek only to find the vile creature has romantic intentions towards Peri.

Attack of the Cybermen (part 1) The Doctor and Peri are following a signal from, they believe, a stranded alien, unaware that the Cybermen are at large in London's sewers. (Ideally, this scene would have used the black stealth Cyberman figure but I didn't own one.)

Remembrance of the Daleks (part 4) This scene is probably during the end of the story. While Ace follows Mike, the Doctor heads back to the school to finish off the Imperial Daleks.

The End of the World
. The Doctor brings Rose to Platform 1 to watch the final death of Earth.

The Last of the Time Lords. With the Master defeated, the Doctor and Martha bring Captain Jack back to Torchwood.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Fallen Angel - one episode



I wanted a Moffatesque season finale. Having built up the Dalek assault on the dream dimension, I wanted to take the story in  completely different direction to find an unexpected way of resolving it.
The original draft of the final episode took it even further with the Doctor arriving in a mystical setting, meeting odd characters that represented the various people Angel had met on her travels in the TARDIS. It would also have included flying dragons. Angel's subconscious self was represented by a castle that the Doctor and his new friends would have to storm. Only once inside would the Doctor realise he's inside Angel's mind, not in the dream dimension proper.
Having virtually destroyed the TARDIS interior at the top of the episode, I toyed with the idea of the TARDIS reforming with the RTD era control room. This would basically wipe my previous 8th Doctor AFT stories from history (since they're set later than this in the 8th Doctor's timeline) so I decided against it. Just as well, since this predated The Day Of The Doctor which established the War Doctor and his version of the TARDIS interior!
For a long time, the episode was untitled. One title I considered was Out Of Your Mind but I thought this might give too much away. The idea of a fall angel getting redemption was much more appropriate.


8th Doctor - 11 Doctors boxset
Angel 0 Hermione Grainger (Deathly Hallows)
Dalek Strategist - From Day of the Daleks
Dalek Drones - From Remembrance of the Daleks
Dalek Scientist - From Death To The Daleks
Dalek Supreme - From Remembrance of the Daleks
Dream Person 1 - Claudia (Primeval)
Dream Person 2 - Connor (Primeval)
Dream Person 3 - Abby (Primeval)


The Skaro scenes were shot on 5th Dec 2010 at the same time as the other Skaro scenes for stories 1 and 4. The TARDIS scenes were shot backwards, beginning with the Doctor and Angel leaving in the TARDIS and ending with the TARDIS interior being destroyed. They were done on 7th Jan 2011.

The Windsor street scenes were filmed weeks later. A pick-up shot of the Doctor and Angel in Angel's memory gallery was taken on 8th March 2011. At the same time a new ending was written and filmed.


The images for this final episode were completed on 8th March 2011 with lettering following soon after.
As with many stories in the season, more dialogue was added during the editing to flesh out the stories and characters' motivations. That included a change to the ending.
The original ending was set in the TARDIS and would see the Doctor and Angel ride off into the time vortex. I changed it partly to give a more emotional ending and party to finish on a clean slate while still allowing Angel to return.
Most of the images in Angel's memory gallery were taken from the opening episode of the series before Angel was a duplicate but some images were specially taken. There's a hidden image of Angel standing next to the 11th Doctor. A red herring? Or a glimpse of something we've yet to see? Honest answer: it was a little easter egg but has no meaning and doesn't refer to any planned stories at all.


Although not explicitly states in any of the stories, I place the Dalek parts of this series around 3011 - a thousand years from the time the story was made. The Doctor's reference to the Daleks being a renewed threat in a thousand years' time is a reference to The Dalek Masterplan, set in 4000AD.


This finale was originally posted on 30th April 2011 topping off a ten week run of 8th Doctor stories at a time when AFT was a regular monthly thing. It was well received enough that I was planning a second series for the following year but it never happened.
It was re-published online on 28th October 2023.


I haven't had time to make an all-original anniversary special so we'll have to make do with the one I made for the 50th. Over the next FIVE WEEKS.