Doctor Who

Script Books: Television Stories: BBC Books

Script Books
Doctor Who: The Script of the Film

by
Matthew Jacobs
Cover image: Doctor Who, Doctor Who: The Script of the Film, BBC Books (1996)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher BBC Books
Publication Date May 1996
Original Price 5.99
ISBN 056340499X

The Script of the Film contains the script to the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, featuring the Eighth Doctor.

Back Cover Blurb
HE'S BACK...AND IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Late December, 1999: the brink of a new millennium. The TARDIS crashlands in San Francisco's Chinatown and a horrific shooting forces the Doctor to regenerate.

But the Doctor is not the only time-traveller in San Francisco. His oldest adversary, the Master, is there as well, desperately trying to steal the Doctor's newly-regenerated body. And soon, the Doctor is faced with a choice: to save his own life, or the billions of people who have no future unless the Master is stopped. If only the Doctor could remember how...

Read the complete script of the long-awaited new Doctor Who film, a co-production between BBC Worldwide and Universal Television starring Paul McGann as the Doctor, Eric Roberts as the Master and Daphne Ashbrook as Grace. With an introduction by the Executive Producer, Philip Segal and featuring eight pages of colour photographs.
Book Contents
  • Introduction
    By Philip Segal.
  • Cast / Production Credits
  • Complete camera script.
In the Press
  • DreamWatch #22
    Review: p41, Paul Simpson, 6/10
  • Doctor Who Magazine #240
    Review: p15-16, Dave Owen
  • Starburst #214
    Review: p38, Simon Bacal
  • TV Zone #80
    Review: p49-50, Terry Richards
Television Story
Doctor Who
90 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

27/05/96 Doctor Who Matthew Jacobs

See the Novelisations: 8th Doctor page for details of DVD releases.
Regular Characters and Familiar Faces
Seventh Doctor / Eighth Doctor / The Master
Notes
  • Paul McGann's voiceover from the start of the TV Movie is not included in the script book as it was only added during post-production and wasn't in the original camera script.

    Despite this being McGann's only appearance on screen in the role, the Eighth Doctor was to go on to feature as the lead character in a series of original novels titled the Eighth Doctor Adventures from BBC Books between June 1997 and June 2005, as well as appearing in Doctor Who Magazine's comic strip for a similar length of time.

    In 2000 it was announced that Paul McGann would be recording a number of audio plays for Big Finish Productions as the Eighth Doctor, and these continue to the present day — even resulting in a series of eight new stories being produced for broadcast on the BBC's digital radio station BBC7 from New Years' Eve 2006.
  • The full story behind the development and production of the 1996 TV movie was chronicled in Philip Segal and Gary Russell's Doctor Who: Regeneration, published in 2000 by HarperCollins Entertainment.
  • A novelisation, written by Gary Russell and simply titled Doctor Who, was also released in May 1996.
Doctor Who: The Scripts — Tom Baker 1974/5

by
Various
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Scripts - Tom Baker 1974/5 (BBC Books (2001)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher BBC Books
Publication Date October 2001
Original Price 16.99
ISBN 0563358155

The Scripts — Tom Baker 1974/5 contains the scripts to all five stories from Season 12 of the Doctor Who television series.

Back Cover Blurb
The actual scripts for Doctor Who — available for the first time in their original form.

Reproduced in this volume are the complete scripts for Tom Baker's first ground-breaking series of Doctor Who.

Fight with UNIT and the Doctor to defeat the giant Robot.

Travel to the The Ark in Space and save the last survivors of the Human Race from the Wirrn.
Visit the abandoned Earth far in the future and discover the secrets of The Sontaran Experiment.
Share the Doctor's dilemma as he meets Davros for the first time and struggles to prevent the Genesis of the Daleks.
Then return to Nerva Beacon in time to save the Vogans from the Revenge of the Cybermen.

  • An introduction by Doctor Who script editor and writer Terrance Dicks
  • Extensive production notes for each story
  • Comprehensive annotations that detail how the programme was made
  • Deleted scenes and altered sections — available in print for the first time
  • Original production documents and designs
  • A wealth of additional supplementary material including the BBC's own audience research data, how the Doctor was screened in the USA, production notes for an unmade mid-seventies Who documentary, and much more...
A comprehensive guide to how television was really made in the mid-seventies... A complete companion to the twelth season of Doctor Who... Five fantastic adventure stories gathered together in a single volume... Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it here.
In the Press
  • Doctor Who Magazine #310
    Review: p48, Vanessa Bishop
  • TV Zone #143
    Review: p82, David Darlington
Television Stories
20 × 25 Minutes | BBC1 | Colour

28/12/74 — 18/01/75 Robot Terrance Dicks
25/01/75 — 15/02/75 The Ark in Space Robert Holmes
22/02/75 — 01/03/75 The Sontaran Experiment Bob Baker and Dave Martin
08/03/75 — 12/04/75 Genesis of the Daleks Terry Nation
19/04/75 — 10/05/75 Revenge of the Cybermen Gerry Davis

See the Novelisations: Season 12 page for details of DVD releases.
Notes
Cover image: DreamWatch Bulletin #97
  • This was the first in what was hoped would be an ongoing series of Doctor Who script books. Sadly, the second volume — expected to cover Season 7 — was never given the official go-ahead. What made this doubly unfortunate was that this is probably one of the best examples published of how such a script book should be written.
  • The background information in the book was mainly compiled by Andrew Pixley, the writer of the extremely detailed "Archive" features which had appeared in Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Revenge of the Cybermen started life under the title The Return of the Cybermen. The original versions of the scripts were published in Issue 97 (January 1992) of the DWB fanzine, and then reprinted in the DWB Compendium the following year.
Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts

by
Various
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Shooting Scripts, BBC Books (2005)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher BBC Books
Publication Date October 2005
Original Price 18.99
ISBN 0563486414

The Shooting Scripts contains the scripts to all thirteen episodes from Series One of the television series in 2005, featuring the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler.

Back Cover Blurb
The planet Earth drifting in space, silent, serene. Suddenly — the beep-beep-beep of an alarm clock.

With these words — the opening stage directions from Episode 1, 'Rose' — Doctor Who returned to our screens after an absence of 16 years. And what a return! The new series of Doctor Who has thrilled and captivated millions of viewers, with a fabulous cast, led by Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, stunning sets and visual effects, and above all, wonderful scripts.

Filled with drama and emotion and crackling with wit and energy, the stories that launched Doctor Who into the twenty-first century are published here for the first time. This book presents the final shooting scripts for all 13 episodes, enabling you to relive the Doctor's encounters with the monstrous Slitheen, Rose's disastrous attempt to save her father's life, the apocalyptic showdown with the Daleks, and all the other great moments from the 2005 series.

The scripts also give a unique insight into how the writers visualised their stories, with descriptions of sets, hints about the characters' emotions, and ideas for specific shots. Introductions by the scriptwriters reveal their inspirations for each episode, as well as the practicalities of working to budgets and schedules, and any changes they had to make to bring their words to the screen.

With a foreword by lead writer Russell T Davies, explanatory notes on the scriptwriting process, and over 1000 screen grabs and photographs, this book is an essential companion to the 2005 series and a must for all fans of the new Doctor Who.
In the Press
  • Doctor Who Magazine #364
    Review: p61-62, Matt Michael
  • TV Zone #196
    Review: p84, Stephen Graves, 5/10
Television Stories
13 × 45 Minutes | BBC One | Colour

26/03/05 Rose Russell T Davies
02/04/05 The End of the World Russell T Davies
09/04/05 The Unquiet Dead Mark Gatiss
16/04/05 Aliens of London (1/2) Russell T Davies
23/04/05 World War Three (2/2) Russell T Davies
30/04/05 Dalek Robert Shearman
07/05/05 The Long Game Russell T Davies
14/05/05 Father's Day Paul Cornell
21/05/05 The Empty Child (1/2) Steven Moffat
28/05/05 The Doctor Dances (2/2) Steven Moffat
04/06/05 Boomtown Russell T Davies
11/06/05 Bad Wolf (1/2) Russell T Davies
18/06/05 The Parting of the Ways (2/2) Russell T Davies
Notes
Cover image: Doctor Who, Damaged Goods, Doctor Who Books (1996)

Cover image: Doctor Who, Nightshade, Doctor Who Books (1992)

Cover image: Doctor Who, Timewyrm - Revelation, Doctor Who Books (1991)

Cover image: Doctor Who, Decalog 3 - Consequences (1996)
  • Of the five writers who contributed to Season 27 of Doctor Who in 2005, four of them had written Doctor Who stories for Virgin Publishing in the 1990s.

    Russell T Davies, who was responsible for bringing the series back to the screen, wrote the controversial Damaged Goods for the New Adventures range back in 1996.

    Mark Gatiss wrote the extremely popular Nightshade for the New Adventures range in 1992. He's since written three more Doctor Who novels including Last of the Gadarene and is now best known for being one of the League of Gentlemen.

    Paul Cornell was the first of the fan writers to be commissioned with Timewyrm: Revelation in 1991. He's subsequently moved into TV and has written a further seven Doctor Who novels, including the novelisation of Scream of the Shalka. Love and War in 1992 saw the introduction of Bernice Summerfield. In 2007 he adapted his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature as a two-part story for the television series.

    Steven Moffat is now best known as co-creator of Sherlock with Mark Gatiss, but back in 2005 it was his writing for the children's drama series Press Gang and the comedies Joking Apart and Coupling for which he was most famous. He had a Seventh Doctor and Bernice story included in the Decalog 3 anthology in 1996 and also contributed to The Dead Men Diaries anthology. In 1998 he wrote the four-part Doctor Who story Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death for that year's Comic Relief event on BBC One.

    Robert Shearman was best known to Doctor Who fans for his audio scripts such as The Holy Terror and The Chimes of Midnight, but has also contributed to two of the Doctor Who anthologies from Big Finish.
  • As well as winning numerous television awards in the UK (including Best Drama Series at the 2005 BAFTA TV Awards) the series also achieved success in the science fiction world.

    Steven Moffat's The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances won the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form award at the 2006 Hugo Awards.

    Earlier winners of what is generally regarded as being one of the most prestigious awards in science fiction include episodes of The Twilight Zone in the early 1960s, the legendary The City on the Edge of Forever from Star Trek in 1968, and The Coming of Shadows and Severed Dreams from Babylon 5 in 1997 and 1998.

    Amazingly, the runners-up were Dalek and Father's Day, with the highly-regarded Battlestar Galactica episode Pegasus only managing to finish fourth.

    And as if that triumph wasn't impressive enough, Moffat repeated the feat at the 2007, 2008 and 2011 awards, with The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink and The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang all winning the same category. Russell T Davies and Phil Ford also picked up the award for The Waters of Mars in 2010.
  • Rose is the first television story to feature the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), although we never get to find out how he regenerated. The story also introduces the characters of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), her boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke), and Rose's mother Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri).

    Unlike earlier seasons, the stories would frequently see the TARDIS landing back in London on the Powell Estate so as to involve Mickey and Jackie in the stories.
  • The Empty Child saw the introduction of a second companion in the form of Time Agent Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). The character was written out at the conclusion of The Parting of the Ways although, unbeknownst to Rose and the newly-regenerated Tenth Doctor, he was still alive. The character returned to the screen in the BBC Three spin-off series Torchwood in October 2006, before re-appearing in the parent show in 2007 and 2008.
  • Like many earlier stories, the new series included some old enemies.

    The very first episode, Rose, saw the re-appearance of the Nestene Consciousness and the Autons who had first appeared in the series in Robert Holmes' Spearhead from Space in 1970.

    Dalek, unsurprisingly, saw the return of the Doctor's most famous adversaries although, for this outing only, just one of them would be seen. According to the script the Daleks and the Time Lords fought a massive war with the end result being the destruction of both species. As the season ending two-parter Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways was to reveal, the Daleks aren't that easy to get rid of...
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale

by
Russell T Davies
and
Benjamin Cook
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Writer's Tale, BBC Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher BBC Books
Publication Date September 2008
Original Price 30.00
ISBN 978-1846075711

The Writer's Tale contains twelve months of email correspondence between writer Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, covering the scripting and production of Series 4 of the television series, broadcast in 2008.

Back Cover Blurb
'It's such a hard job. Writers never talk about how hard it is, out of the fear of being pretentious. "Try being a nurse or a teacher," people say. No — try being a writer! Try sitting with every doubt and fear about yourself and everyone, all on your own, with no ending or help or conclusion... At the same time, writing can be the most wonderful job in the world. When I'm happy with a script, I'm happier than you could ever imagine. Delirious! What I mean is, writing is never easy.'

Inner Cover Blurb
'Writing isn't just a job that stops at six-thirty... It's a mad, sexy, sad, scary, obsessive, ruthless, joyful, and utterly, utterly personal thing. There s not the writer and then me; there's just me. All of my life connects to the writing. All of it.'

A unique look into the BBC's most popular family drama, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale is a year in the life of the hit television series, as told by the show's Head Writer and Executive Producer. A candid and in-depth correspondence between Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, the book explores in detail Russell's work on Series Four, revealing how he plans the series andworks with the show's writers; where he gets his ideas for plot, character and scenes; how actors are cast and other creative decisions are made; and how he juggles the demands of Doctor Who with the increasingly successful Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures spin-offs.
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale
UK | Hardback | BBC Books | October 2008 | 60.00 A limited edition version of The Writer's Tale, produced exclusively for the Waterstones chain of bookshops. Unlike the standard edition, it was numbered, signed and came in a slipcase. It also cost twice as much...
In the Press
  • Doctor Who Magazine #401
    Review: p61, Vanessa Bishop
Television Stories
70 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
25/12/07 Voyage of the Damned Russell T Davies

45 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
05/04/08 Partners in Crime Russell T Davies

45 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
28/06/08 The Stolen Earth Russell T Davies

65 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
05/07/08 Journey's End Russell T Davies
Notes
  • The Writer's Tale concentrates on the production and writing of Doctor Who from the Christmas 2007 special Voyage of the Damned through to Journey's End, which concluded Season 30. It includes Russell T Davies' draft scripts to Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime, The Stolen Earth and Journey's End.

    A web site to promote the book was set up at thewriterstale.com, with the special features including the final shooting scripts to the four episodes featured in the book, as well as those for Midnight and Turn Left. All six scripts were made available in PDF format.

    The only other Tenth Doctor episode to be made available in script form prior to the release of The Writer's Tale was Russell T Davies' Smith and Jones, which was made available for download in PDF format from the BBC's Writers' Room web site in April 2007.
  • The final two episodes of Season 30 (The Stolen Earth / Journey's End) saw many familiar faces from the previous three years of the programme returning to help defeat Davros and the Daleks. The episodes also marked the first official crossover between Doctor Who and its two spin-off dramas — Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • As well as being a prolific contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, Benjamin Cook also wrote the 2003 non-fiction book Doctor Who: The New Audio Adventures — The Inside Story, a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the making of the CD audio dramas from Big Finish Productions up to the release of Zagreus in November 2003.
  • A revised version of The Writer's Tale was published in January 2010 under the title The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter. See below for further details.
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale — The Final Chapter

by
Russell T Davies
and
Benjamin Cook
Cover image: Doctor Who, The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter (2010)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher BBC Books
Publication Date January 2010
Original Price 16.99
ISBN 978-1846078613

The Writer's Tale — The Final Chapter is an expanded version of The Writer's Tale, covering the scripting and production of the final Doctor Who episodes featuring the Tenth Doctor, broadcast on BBC One during 2009/10.

Back Cover Blurb
'This book is a treasury of wit, of truthfulness, and of good, sound storytelling sense.'
PHILLIP PULLMAN

For this new edition of The Writer's Tale, Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook expand their in-depth discussion of Doctor Who to cover Russell's final year as Head Writer and Executive Producer of the show, as well as his work behind the increasingly successful Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures spin-offs. Candid and witty insights abound throughout two years' worth of correspondence, covering David Tennant's last episodes as the Doctor and the legacy that Russell and David leave behind as a new era of Doctor Who begins.

With over 300 pages of new material, and taking in events from the entire five years since the show's return in 2005, The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter is the most comprehensive — and personal — account of Doctor Who ever published.

'Davies has engaged with the book totally and there is full disclosure from him about everything.'
THE INDEPENDENT

'You can douse all the other books about new Who' in lighter fuel and spark up your Zippo — this is all you need.'
SFX
Other Editions
Flag of UK Click for cover image Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale — The Final Chapter
UK | eBook | BBC Books | February 2013
In the Press
  • Doctor Who Magazine #419
    Review: p59, Vanessa Bishop
Notes
  • In an unusual move, instead of publishing a completely new volume which chronicled the writing of the remaining Tenth Doctor scripts between The Next Doctor and The End of Time, BBC Books instead came up with the idea of excising the majority of the draft scripts from the original version and then adding an extra 357 pages.

    While this was ideal for the three people who had failed to pick up a discounted copy of the enormous hardback original, there was a certain amount of disquiet among people who already owned half of the book — and it is half of the book. After the removal of the script extracts, the original material takes up the first 337 pages of the book, with the remainder then given over to the development of The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time.

    But is it worth buying The Final Chapter if you already own the original?

    Well, love or loathe Russell T Davies' Doctor Who work, there can be little doubt that as an account of how Doctor Who reaches the screen, the original book was without equal. You may not like the scripts he wrote, but seeing how and why he wrote them in the manner he did makes for fascinating reading.

    So, what's different about the material from the original book?

    1. The majority of the draft scripts to Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime, The Stolen Earth and Journey's End have been removed, although bits and pieces survive where the emails would be completely nonsensical without them.
    2. Davies' cartoons are sadly only in black and white, unlike in the original volume where they appeared in colour. As The Final Chapter is in paperback and printed on poorer quality paper, the colour photographs have been included in three insert sections, rather than distributed throughout the text at the relevant points.

    But what about the new material?

    1. In keeping with the revised section, the complete draft scripts to the episodes covered are not included, although there are still plenty of extracts. As with the earlier volume, the final scripts to all the episodes — including the two which Davies co-wrote with Gareth Roberts and Phil Ford — have been made available as PDF files at thewriterstale.com.
    2. Sadly there are no accompanying cartoons, although it's worth bearing in mind that less illustrations means more space for text, which is, after all, what the book is about.

    In summary, no complete draft scripts, cartoons from the original book in black and white, but... double the amount of emails between Davies and Cook, now including the development of the scripts to four of the most eagerly awaited episodes of all time. The choice to buy or not is entirely yours, but it gets a full 10/10 from this site. And for anyone who doesn't already own the original, it should be an essential purchase.