Posted by: Nick Walters | June 2, 2013

The Twelfth Doctor

12

A while ago I had this crazy, very vivid dream about a new season of Doctor Who with a brand new Doctor. It was so coherent and so good (if I say so myself) that I wrote it up and sent it to a few friends. They all thought I was insane. So it goes.

In the current Who climate, this piece of fevered gibberish has gained a new relevance. So – read on, and find out my plans for the 12th Doctor! (Mr Moffat, if you’re reading this, I’ll do it for a pork pie and a pint of beer – ginger beer, of course!)

(And yes, like me, this Doctor is ginger. It’s not complete wish-fulfilment – the Doctor has been wanting to be ginger for ages!)

The Twelfth Doctor

This proposal comprises the synopsis for the first episode of a new series of Doctor Who plus a brief plan for the rest of the season. It assumes 13 x 45 minute episodes plus a Christmas special. It is the start of a new era, the era of the Twelfth Doctor. There will be a new logo, title sequence, music etc. And a new showrunner. Me! I will write most of the episodes, and encourage new and upcoming talent (i.e. my mates) to write the rest. I have no casting ideas, so will take on board any suggestions. So strap yourself in and prepare to meet Doctor number 12! Bally heck and hellfire!

Episode 1: The Albert Hall Caper

Long shot of a suburban street. Zoom in on a terraced house. Angry voices can be heard from within. Suddenly the front door bursts open and a young Indian girl runs out, slamming the door behind her. She runs down the street, sobbing, hardly daring to look back. This is Simaya, aged 17, and she has just had a deeply wounding argument with her father. She’s now vowed to leave home forever. She runs blindly for a few streets, then stops. Through her tears, she sees a huge articulated lorry parked at the end of the road – and its cab door is open. A mad idea seizes her and she runs towards the lorry.

Oxford Street, central London. A rogue Cyberman is causing chaos. Appearing from out of the sewers, it has blasted shops and cars and people, and is now taking down the police. We see it torch a police car. Cut to a side alley, where we glimpse a figure in a long leather coat. Close up of hands holding a control box. Cut to a high rooftop, from where a cowled, shadowy figure looks down upon the action. The Cyberman shoots – and another police car bursts into flames. The police begin to retreat. “Where the hell’s UNIT?” one of them shouts. We see long-coated figure manipulate the control box.

Simaya clambers into the cab, elated. Now she can run away properly, as far as she likes! To her joy, the keys are in the ignition; but to her frustration, the engine won’t start. And when she tries to get out, she finds the doors locked. Suddenly the engine roars into life, the steering wheel moves of its own accord and the huge vehicle lurches into motion. Soon Simaya is hurtling helplessly through suburbs.

Back to Oxford Street. The Cyberman stands undefeated. In the distance, we see an articulated lorry hurtling towards it.

Cut to Simaya in the cab of the artic. She is terrified, and screams as the truck accelerates towards a giant silver robot. As she hurtles past a side-street, she briefly glimpses a man in a long brown leather coat giving a double thumbs-up and a roguish wink. Then – SMASH! Truck 1 Cyberman 0 – it is totally destroyed. The truck zooms on, not even slowing, away from the scene of chaos, Simaya still trapped inside.

Cut to the side street, where we get the briefest glimpse of the mysterious man in the long coat, before he turns and strides away into the shadows. Smoke rises from the body of the dead Cyberman up to the rooftop where the shadow-figure stands, a sinister smile on its transparent face.

Title sequence.

We rejoin Simaya in the truck as it zooms through London, now pursued by UNIT troops and helicopters. Somehow the massive vehicle can squeeze itself through impossibly narrow streets and turn corners seemingly far too tight for it. In this way, it is able to shake of the UNIT pursuit. (However, we see that from another high rooftop, one of the shadow-figures is watching.) Simaya’s terror has now abated somewhat, and she is now curious, wondering what the hell she’s got herself mixed up in. Eventually, the truck enters a run-down part of the city, a former industrial estate south of the Thames, now mostly overgrown wasteland. Simaya gasps in horror as the lorry begins to accelerate towards the solid brick wall of a warehouse – she flings her arms across her eyes and screams – but there is no impact. Hesitantly, she opens her eyes. Somehow, the truck is inside the warehouse! Simaya tries the door – this time it opens. She steps down from the cab and gazes around her in wonder.

The warehouse is full of an incredible amount of stuff, half of it appearing to be junk, the other half antiques. Bathtubs and tea chests full of rubbish vie with mahogany chiffoniers and marble statues for floor space. Huge, hulking machines which look like giant engines lurk in the corners. Bookshelves and computer banks line the walls. Fruit machines, clocks, skeletons, street signs, cash registers, old Masters, Henry Moore sculptures – you get the idea. The place is a junkyard, treasure chest and workshop all in one.

All of a sudden a door to a side-room bursts open and a stocky man with rakish red hair and a bristling moustache strides out. He see the artic. “AH HAAA! You made it home, Bessie!” he roars. He claps his hands and the massive truck “transforms” into a small yellow vintage car. The strange man then notices the trembling, wide-eyed figure of Simaya, and yells, “Who the heckity-heck are YOU and what are you doing in MY workshop?!”

This is the Twelfth Doctor. He’s not short, not tall – but stocky and rather bullish, and looks like he’d be rather handy in a fight. He appears to be in his mid to late forties. He’s ginger – at last! – with a mane of wild ginger hair, and a bristling ginger “tache. His eyes are bright blue and he has alert, fox-like features, and a wide mouth, from which his rather gruff, posh-sounding voice bellows. He’s rather fond of anachronistic exclamations, as we’ll see, like bally hell, blimey etc, and these can be his catchphrase.

He wears a worn pale-grey hacking-jacket with an enormous red check pattern. It is not nor ever has been or ever will be “cool” neither does this Doctor ever say that anything he wears is “cool.”  Clothes are clothes. The top pocket of this jacket is crammed with pens, tools, bulldog clips etc (this can be his “gimmick”). His trousers are mustard-yellow corduroys. His footwear is a pair of 12-hole oxblood Doc Marten boots which he keeps obsessively polished. Under the jacket he wears a simple yellow shirt, no tie, and around his neck a thick gold chain on which dangles a mysterious symbol [see Series Plan for thoughts on what this might be]. The shirt sometimes changes to a white or pale blue one and the cords can sometimes be a pale brown colour. Over the jacket – as in the scenes where we glimpsed him earlier – he sometimes wears a 1970”s style long leather coat, all huge lapels, big buttons and pocket-flaps.

This Doctor is wild, gruff, reckless, charming, and dangerous. He keeps his emotions mostly to himself, and seems to love machines (e.g. Bessie) more than people. Imagine a cross between Rik Mayall as Lord Flashheart, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, and Oliver Reed, and you’re there.

Simaya is totally tongue-tied as the Doctor approaches her. “Never mind, I’m sure it’ll come back to you! I’m the Doctor. Don’t say “Doctor Who?” or I’ll kill you! Only joking. Now come and have a gander at THESE blighters!”

The Doctor drags Simaya over to a bank of monitors, all of which show looped footage of the shadow-figures. “These are my latest adversaries. Damned transparent wretches!” he roars. “What do they want? They don’t DO anything! Just STAND there! Well?”

Suddenly it all hits Simaya. The argument with Dad, the truck, the metal man, the impossible wall – now this raving loony. “I dunno!” she wails. “I just wanna go home!”

Suddenly the Doctor’s bluster vanishes and he puts an arm around her and looks into her eyes. “No you don’t,” he says, voice gruff and low. “I know you don’t.” He puffs out his cheeks and smiles. “You never told me your name.”

fulfilment Simaya, though still scared, begins to feel she can trust this loud, mad, ginger stranger. “It’s Simaya. And you’re dead right. I don’t. But who are you – and why do you think I’d know anything about those – ghosts?”

The Doctor squints at her. “Told yer – I’m the Doctor. Latest in a damned long line of defenders of good.” He sounds bitter and jaded. “As for you – I’ve had many like you before – er – by which I mean, companions, friends! They always seem to turn up at the right moment. You, now, you were running away when you saw Bessie there, didn’t you?”

Simaya nods.”Hmm!” The Doctor whirls round and addresses the yellow vintage car. “I told you, no passengers this trip!” He looks at Simaya appraisingly. “She must have picked you up for a reason. Seems like you’re MEANT to be with me! I wonder why?”

Suddenly an alarm blares. “Blimus o’Riley!” shouts the Doctor, running over to a monitor. “Never mind our spectral friends – ALIEN FLOBULES HAVE INVADED THE ALBERT HALL!”

The Doctor clicks a finger and Bessie transforms into an armoured car. The Doctor grabs a huge gun from a rack of weapons. “Oh, I hate guns,” he sneers. “Truth is, it’s hard to keep up that stance in the face of the CONTINUAL barrage of EVIL one is OBLIGED to deal with!” He cocks the gun. “Coming?”

Simaya nods. They hop into Bessie and zoom out of the warehouse through the wall to the tune of Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys (“I loooove classical music!) and into battle.

They find the Albert Hall surrounded  by UNIT troops. “Damn! The blighters are already here!” Simaya asks what the problem is. “I don’t want them to know I’m around – not yet.” Simaya asks why can’t the troops deal with these “flobules.” The Doctor snorts. “They don’t have the expertise. Flobules are just primitive forms of alien matter – they’re not intelligent, not even sentient. They just exist to reproduce. Danger is – if they touch you, they convert your body mass into flobule matter, which then disperses – and the effect repeats each time flobule matter touches life. Blighters can devastate planets!”

Simaya asks how the flobules got here. “God knows. Through a wormhole, maybe. Or perhaps they were brought here as a trap, or a diversion.”  This gives the Doctor an idea – they manage to get past the UNIT cordon by the Doctor creating a holographic image of a T-Rex. “That doesn’t look very convincing,” observes Simaya (spot the Classic Who reference!) “Don’t worry it’ll fool them!” grins the Doctor.

The interior of the Albert Hall is empty – staff were evacuated once the flobules appeared, and those unlucky enough not to escape have been converted. Consequently, the auditorium is full of hundreds of floating glowing blue balls. We see an usher run from hiding, get chased by a flobule and turned into dozens of the floating balls. “Flobules!” spits the Doctor. “Lowest form of life in the universe.” He cocks the gun. “Lucky I’m here!”

Big action sequence as the Doctor, helped by Simaya, “hoovers up” all the flobules with the gun. The last flobule manages to escape through a window and “flobulates” a UNIT soldier, but the Doctor manages to suck up the resultant flobule matter in time before any more damage can be done.

“Job’s a good “un!” cries the Doctor as he and Simaya roar off in Bessie, now a top-of-the-range BMW, then Mercedes, then Porsche etc back towards the warehouse.

Atop the Albert Hall, a trio of shadow-figures watch them speed away, and applaud silently and slowly, their grins wide and transparent.

Back at the warehouse, the Doctor tosses the gun into a corner. It turns out that the flobules aren’t dead, just compressed in the gun. “No point killin’ ‘em, or punishing them, as they won’t appreciate it, so in there the blighters stay until I can think of what to do with “em.” He then immediately starts working on one of the massive hulking engines. Simaya says she’s hungry, and the Doctor points at a huge fridge next to the skeleton of a rhino. She opens the door, to find it full of Pork pies, pasties, Scotch Eggs, etc – disgusting! She throws the Doctor a Scotch Egg and munches dubiously on a Cheese and Onion pasty.

“So are you staying?” asks the Doctor through a mouthful of meat and egg. “You were jolly useful back there!”

“Yeah, I’ll stay for now,”. But at some point I’ll have to go back and confront my Dad – and he’s scarier than any ghost things or alien flobules.”

“Well done!” shouts the Doctor. “We’ll find out why you were sent to me, eventually – but before that, let’s have some fun!” Then there comes a knock at the wooden door on the far side of the warehouse. “What the BLAZES?!” roars the Doctor. “No-one knows I’m here! No-one SHOULD know…” He rounds on Simaya. “Except – YOU!”

Simaya backs away. “What do you mean?”

The knocking becomes more insistent.

“Well they ain’t gettin’ in!” The Doctor throws some switches on a console and huge shutters begin to descend. But before they are even half-way down, there’s an explosion and the door is blown in. The Doctor and Simaya duck – and when they get up, they see, standing in the smoke and dust, a battalion of UNIT soldiers.

“Seduce my ancient footwear,” breathes the Doctor. He sighs. “I suppose this had to come. They just CAN’T! LEAVE! ME! ALONE!”

He gets up and legs it up a spiral staircase to an upper level of the warehouse. Simaya goes after him but is restrained by UNIT troops. There’s a mad manic chase scene but eventually the Doctor is brought before the CO, who introduces himself as Brigadier Scanlon.

“Doctor… I presume?”

“Who else were you expecting?” growls the Doctor. “How did you find me?”

Brigadier Scanlon smiles. It is not a friendly smile. “We have our methods.”

“What do you want?”

“You, Doctor. The Oxford Street debacle, the Albert Hall caper. Who else could it have been but you?”

“Well nobody really. I’m rather an expert at defeating alien threats – unlike some. No need to thank me!”

Scanlon glares at him.

“I expect you want me back as your scientific advisor?”

Scanlon’s voice is cold. “I meant, Doctor those things were sent here because of you. They wouldn’t be here if you were not either. I want you off this planet! Now!”

The Doctor glares back at Scanlon. “No! If it weren’t for me, those flobules would have absorbed the whole population of Earth! I’m needed here!”

“You’re NOT needed, Doctor, we have our own anti-flobule gun.”

“What?!”

“And we were about to take out that Cyberman from the air before you recklessly endangered lives with that ridiculous vehicle of yours!”

“Don’t listen to him, Bessie!” the Doctor yells.

“Your services are no longer required, Doctor. So just get in your TARDIS and leave!”

“Eh?”

Brigadier Scanlon frowns. “What do you mean, “eh”?”

The Doctor looks puzzled. “What the bally hell is a TARDIS?”

End credits.

Season Plan

The rest of the season will explore the Doctor’s uneasy relationship with UNIT as a growing threat to the Earth emerges.

The season will also have other arcs:

Simaya: her relationship with the Doctor and the confrontation with her domineering father.

The TARDIS: has the Doctor really forgotten it – has his memory been wiped? Or is he bluffing to hide it from UNIT – or from someone else?

The flobules: we’ve not heard the last of these – they’re still in the gun, and could be used as the ultimate weapon!

The shadow-figures: these are not Time Lords, but the major threat which emerges throughout the season.

Bessie: clearly the old girl’s been tinkered with – but something could go wrong with her programming, leaving the Doctor with a terrible decision.

The Doctor: why does he distrust UNIT? Has he really forgotten about the TARDIS? What is that symbol on the chain around his neck – the TARDIS key, or something else?

Coming to BBC1 in March 2014!

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