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The Jigsaw War (2012)
The brilliant, brilliant Frazer Hines in a two-hander where Jamie has to work out a temporal puzzle. I absolutely loved writing this – I only started watching Doctor Who a couple of years before it stopped in 1989, and so oddly the era I feel the most nostalgia for is the 1960s stuff which was all coming out on VHS just as we got a player in 1990. I watched The Mind Robber at least twenty times. It probably shows here.
The Jupiter Conjunction (2012)
A Cold War-style thriller set on a comet. Rebecca Front out of The Thick Of It, who is of course brilliant, is in this one and perfectly cast, too. Also features one of my favourite TARDIS teams, although finding stuff for all four of them to do isn’t easy.
One of the last plays recorded by Caroline John before her death in 2012. A terrific actress and a terrific performance, especially as the script required her to recreate a performance from more than forty years ago. I feel lucky to have got the chance to write for her.
Industrial Evolution (2011)
Doctor Who in the style of Elizabeth Gaskell. Rory Kinnear is absolutely brilliant in this as a feckless alien smuggler. The Cybermen aren’t in it. Some people thought they would be, but if they were they’d be on the cover. Useful rule of thumb there.
Prisoner of the Sun (2011)
A twisty-turny thriller with the Doctor held prisoner inside a sun, like the title says. The monsters in this were created for a Second Doctor short story in a collection called The Solar System – I wanted to create the ultimate David Whitaker-style monsters, creatures made of Mercury.
Situation Vacant (2010)
The Doctor chairs an Apprentice-style competition to find his new companion. I don’t usually enjoy listening to my own plays because I’m too busy criticising my own writing and punching myself in the face, but I liked this. James Bachman, Niky Wardley, Shelley Conn and Joe Thomas are all great as the ‘contestants’.
The Eight Truths/Worldwide Web (2009)
A sequel to the final Jon Pertwee story, Planet Of The Spiders, which is absolutely unrelated to a recently-founded religion popular with certain celebrities. Guest stars Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me), Stephen Moore (Hitch-Hiker’s) and Sophie Winkleman (Peep Show).
Masters of War (2008)
An ‘Unbound’ adventure (i.e., it doesn’t take place in the show’s continuity), starring David Warner as the Doctor and Nicholas Courtney as Lethbridge-Stewart. There’s a scene where two factions of Daleks start blowing lumps out of each other, which is one of the most purely enjoyable writing experiences I’ve had.
The Raincloud Man (2008)
A sort-of sequel to The Condemned, but only in terms of setting and the character of DI Menzies, who we all knew was due a comeback when we heard Anna Hope playing her. Also features Michael Fenton Stevens, British comedy’s go-to guy for vicars and dads. But in this he plays the owner of a time-travelling casino boat.
Grand Theft Cosmos (2008)
A frothy heist caper set in 1890s Stockholm. If it feels well-researched, that’s because polymath Barnaby Edwards threw some handy tid-bits of historical information at me. The only disappointment was that I failed to shoehorn in an appearance from August Strindberg.
The Condemned (2008)
A police procedural set in modern-day Manchester, but it’s far more influenced by film noir (there are various nods to film noir in the character names). It’s nice hearing Colin Baker’s Doctor in a real-world setting, which rarely happened on TV, and his rapport with Anna Hope’s DI Menzies is great.
Human Resources (2007)
This was pitched as a one-part story and got expanded to two, with the Cybermen in it and a load of stuff wrapping up the initial backstory of companion Lucie Miller, played superbly by Sheridan Smith. Most people think it’s still my best Doctor Who play. Four years later, fellow writer Jonathan Morris said he’d assumed I nicked the idea from Philip K Dick’s Time Out Of Joint, which I’d never read. I have now, and it’s half Human Resources and half a novel I’m in the middle of writing. Bah. A small thrill in this was working with Owen Brenman, who was in my favourite ever sketch show, Alexei Sayle’s Stuff.
A speedy rewrite job of someone else’s script, which I ended up getting sole credit for and which ended up being my first broadcast credit. I’d have much rather it had been Human Resources, which is better and more representative of my work, but that’s life. It’s got Timothy West and Nerys Hughes in it.
I.D. & Urgent Calls (2007)
A three-part story bundled with a totally unrelated one-part story. The three-parter is an unloved futuristic thing with killer robots, guest starring Gyles Brandreth and Helen Atkinson Wood. The one-parter is a high-concept thing about phone calls which went down really well.
Memory Lane (2006)
My first Doctor Who play. I was anxious about it so I kept chucking in more jokes in a desperate effort to keep people entertained. It seemed to work. Features Nina Baden-Semper from Love Thy Neighbour, who’s great in it.
Starring Gareth Thomas as Blake, based on another old sci-fi show I’m too young to remember but have seen all of anyway. This is what I spent my teenage years doing, watching all these shows. And to think they said it was a waste of time.