Saturday 15 July 2023




Backwards is a funny kind of story. It was written in 2005 before Doctor Who returned to our screens. It was intended to be one of a series of six adventures for the 9th Doctor and Rose (along with The Axis of Fear) Since I knew little about the characters of the new Doctor or Rose, this is less about the characters and more about telling an interesting story in an original way. 
It was inspired by the 2000 thriller movie Memento starring Guy Pearce as a man with no long-term memory whose life resets every few minutes so he has to take photos and leave notes in order to remember things.
I loved the way the director tells the story through flashbacks and you don't really see the whole truth until you've got back to the beginning, so to speak. And it's that kind of story telling that I've tried to emulate with Backwards.
Hopefully, it kept you guessing until the end - the flashback elements (in more muted colours) play fowards while the 'present' sequences play backwards.


This was only the SECOND AFT story featuring Character's 5" figures. The series 2 Rose had yet to be released. At that stage, there was a dearth of supporting characters in the same scale so the inhabitants of Kulkaron are gladiators bought in a 3 pack in a pound shop in Hull. They were originally intended to look a lot more alien.
Can you also believe that while Character had released the TARDIS interior playset (Sept 2006), there still wasn't a Police Box toy so the one used in this story was the money box, which was of a decent enough scale.
Mio's form-swapping device comes from Spy Kids 2 figures and makes numerous return appearances.


The story was shot in late Summer 2006 with some pick-ups in September following the acquisition of the TARDIS interior. 
The paper sets were designed in photoshop.


In order for the reader to distinguish between the past and present strands the colour saturation was taken down somewhat for the 'past' sections making them appear less vibrant. For the original publication, a "vortex" image was placed on the background behind the past sections.
The planet Kulkarron as seen from the air is a composite image of buildings in Greece.
The banners of Mio feature the Fonz actor Henry Winkler since I thought the figure looked a bit like him.
In the original script, after the Doctor has beaten up Karrick, Rose puts the Doctor in a car. He reads the note in the reflection of the window rather than a phone box before driving off. The confrontation with the guards then happens on a high bridge. When it came to shooting, I simply didn't have a car.
The story was original made up of individual jpegs for each panel. When it came to reposting the story in 2023, I re-edited it (25 May 2023) and gave it more comic-like appearance, a new title and a more coherent recap towards the end. The 'past' sections have blue frames.


Backwards was original published in October 2006 with a fantastic cover by Luke Spillaine to whom I'll always be grateful.
At the time the story was quite odd and I worried that readers wouldn't get it. So I posted this reassuring panel on the homepage (below).
After the AFT was temporarily closed in late 2006, Backwards was offline until 11 June 2008.
It was reposted for the third time on 15 July 2023.


As it was written before series 1 aired, I had no clue about the other stories so it doesn't share any continuity with existing episodes.
It's clearly established that the Doctor has been to Kulkarron before and knows Mio personally, but this is presumably in another incarnation and certain before he met Rose.