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Creator Spotlight: Editors, Advisors and an Artist

Header Image: Editors, Advisors and an Artist

We’re back with a brand new creator spotlight, featuring some of the unsung heroes of the project team, new and old: series editors and writers Zoe Lance and Alex Wakeford (who will be co-writing the ever-ambitious series opener with Ruth Long), promotions advisor Johanna P.H. and episode artist Tousle, who is illustrating a very special story indeed...


Editor and Writer: Zoe Lance

How did you come to Doctor Who? What’s your journey with the show?

Perplexingly, I can't recall what drew me to Doctor Who. When I think back to then, I just remember I’ve always been watching, right from when the Ninth Doctor and Rose were running around together. I’ve grown up with the show, and it’s evolved alongside me. When the RTD era was over and Moffat’s era was truly beginning, I was moving on to secondary school. When the Moffat era ended, I’d finished with school. Now the Chibnall era’s begun and I’ve started working. I suppose the different eras enabled me to comfortably transition between these different stages of my life, and I’m grateful I had Doctor Who with me on this journey down the slow path.

What is your favourite thing about the show?

Change. There’s always something new and brilliant and bold on the horizon of this one show - new stories, new characters, new scope - but there’s still the sturdy foundation of that original, distinctive formula. Doctor Who is like a BBC soap that is untethered to a single location.

What’s it like working on TUA? What are you most excited for?

It’s been both an honour and a privilege to watch TUA throughout its development, and I’m most excited for it to be recognised and lauded as the incredibly successful series it clearly is. It’s versatile in its storytelling, and resilient in its characters.

You'll be joining Ruth and Alex in writing the opener of the series - any teasers on the story and what awaits Clara and Me?

Breathtaking scenery, complex characters, and the beginning of an amazing journey. All of this and more describe The Untold Adventures. As Ruth Long always says: Doctor Who was the prologue, TUA is Clara’s superhero story.


Editor and Writer: Alex Wakeford

Blog: | Twitter: @haruspis

How did you come to Doctor Who? What’s your journey with the show?

Heh, the last time I was asked this was when Russell T. Davies was flirting with me!

My journey with the show is a rather strange one. I must’ve been about five or six years old when I caught Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. on the television, one of the films featuring Peter Cushing as Dr. Who (as well as Bernard Cribbins). Marvellous film, thought it was very strange when I later saw this old serial called ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ that seemed to have copied it and was in black-and-white for some reason...

From there, my next brush with Doctor Who was the 1996 film with Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. I wish I could say that this was a very strange transition to me, owing to the fact that Dr. Who was wearing a very similar costume but was no longer an old man with a moustache. No, instead he was a tiny Scotsman, who was, after some delightful Gothic brooding, shot a few minutes into the film and he magically turned into a much younger man who took manic enjoyment in his choice of footwear.

This all made sense to me.

Oh, and he wasn’t fighting Daleks, but a snake who jumped into a man’s body through his mouth while he slept (this was a very scary change in tone for Younger Me) and called himself The Master.

No, really, this definitely all made sense to me!

What is your favourite thing about the show?

Did you know that they haven’t yet invented words that can articulate exactly what the Moffat era has meant to me?

I love so many things about the show, I have enjoyed it for as long as I can remember, but that era in particular was such a formative and comforting influence on who I am today. I have never known investment and joy in a show quite the way I have in Doctor Who from 2010 to 2017. A more fascinating exploration and interrogation of themes, a more challenging deconstruction and reconstruction of the mythology of (and around) ‘Doctor Who,’ all bound within the simple message it comes back around to about kindness and love and punching racists in the face.

What’s it like working on TUA? What are you most excited for?

It’s early days for me right now, but I’m incredibly excited to be working with such a talented bunch of writers and the consistency with which my jaw is dropping at the stunning work our artists have produced.

What I’m most excited about TUA is the project itself. This is a thing that exists. A bunch of passionate fans came together to resume Clara’s journey in the spirit of Hell Bent’s refreshing remedy to a pretty widespread issue in storytelling.

The biggest television phenomenon right now is one that depicts cynicism as wisdom, where the best path to security and independence is to be comfortable – and even stylish – with violence. Death is typically used to fulfil short-term character arcs for revenge over and over again. It’s summed up quite effectively in a sentence that's used in countless memes of poor old George R.R. Martin.

“And then they died.”

Steven Moffat says that you can rearrange that sentence and tell a much more interesting story. One where consequences are not traditionally linked to mortality, where death is just the beginning of a character’s arc. Not the end.

“They died, and then…”

That is the story we’re telling, together – through our words, our artwork, in its various forms. We’re doing that! That’s the most exciting thing there is!

You'll be joining Ruth and Zoe in writing the opener of the series - any teasers on the story and what awaits Clara and Me?

So following up Hell Bent is, y'know, kind of a big deal. No pressure in continuing the story given by the most radical Doctor Who episode probably ever.

It's all about character, in the end. Everything revolves around our growing understanding of Clara and Me, and so a big question for us with this opener is "Where on earth do these women go from there?"

We've arrived, I think, at a place that is every bit as fairy tale – as wondrous and horrifying – as you'd expect in a Clara Oswald story.

The idea of 'legacy' is a big one that we really have to grapple with when exploring the next step in the journey of a character who has now become a mythical figure – not just for this episode, but across the entire series. We've chosen a direction that really digs into not just the fulfilment of that, but also the consequences that Clara finds herself having to confront.

That's our first foot forward with The Untold Adventures and it doesn't let up from there.


Promotions Advisor: Johanna P.H.

How did you come to Doctor Who? What’s your journey with the show?

One day in late 2008, or thereabouts, my dad sat me down in front of the tv, as he did on a regular basis, and said "we're going to start watching a new science fiction show" – as he also did on a regular basis – and put on the first series of Doctor Who from 2005. He gave me a very short summary, along the lines of "It's a British science fiction show about a character called the Doctor who travels in time and also a bunch of British actors have played him". I think at this point my thoughts were more "James Bond" in terms of the changing of actor than what I ended up understanding of regeneration later.

Anyway, long story short, I absolutely fell in love with it, and I'm not being overly sentimental when I'm saying that Eccleston had me from the moment he said "Run!" - that's exactly what happened. I watched all of Series 1 with my dad and sister. I was terrified by the Dalek and by the Empty Child. And I was a sobbing mess when Nine regenerated. We didn't have any more DVDs after that, but that didn't stop me, I was hooked. This was sometime in 2009 I think, and I binged all of S2-S5 online and was caught up by the time of the mid-series break of Series 6. I dived headfirst into everything Doctor Who I could get my hands on – fandom, spin-offs, Classics, Big Finish – as I'm prone to do. And I've been with it ever since. It's my happy place, it's given me tons of friends, and it has also stuck around as a shared favourite tv show between me and my dad (who's continue to spread his love for the show with friends and family), and for that I'm also very grateful to it.

What is your favourite thing about the show?

How there's something for everyone in it. Doctor Who is usually said to be a very divided fandom, and I've seen that. People can never agree on who's the best Doctor, companion, showrunner, episode, series, etc. But, ignoring nasty internet arguments – isn't that amazing? Everything might not be for you in Doctor Who, but there's most certainly something out there in the Whoniverse that definitely is.

What’s it like working on TUA? What are you most excited for?

It's amazing to be surrounded by people with such talent and passion and creativity. I honestly get inspired to work harder on my own projects by just partaking in discussions about character arcs and what makes a good story. So I suppose what I'm mostly looking forward to is correlated to that as well - to show everyone what the team has poured such enormous passion into, and to be able to share that passion and all these fantastic ideas with the rest of the fandom.


Artist: Tousle

What’s your journey with Doctor Who? Did it inspire your art?

Back in 2010 some friends introduced me to their favorite episodes of Ten's tenure (I think it was 'The Sleeping Angels', 'Silence in the Library'... 'A Ride to Midnight', among others… intense!) I was overjoyed at this mixture of sci-fi and delightful camp (just how I liked it), and how it plays with every other genre, from horror to comedy... It has something for everyone. Later I kept watching from the beginning to mid-Eleven era on my own before unfortunately falling out for a while, while waiting for more episodes.

Then at long last my interest was peaked once again when I saw posts with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara going around on social media last year and thought "this looks like it's right up my alley" and unsurprisingly, already from the very first episode, it was. Twelve became what we say, "my Doctor". Watching again rekindled all the old love for Doctor Who, and led to a re-watch of the entire NuWho last summer. It was all a wonderful inspiration to draw lots of fan art of my favorite characters and moments.

What is your favourite thing about the show?

Oh there is just so much to love, too much to mention! For starters it has so many of my favorite genres and themes: sci-fi, time travel, space... It has such a solid charm and I adore the recurring themes and parallels throughout the series. And of course the most important: a compelling and exciting main character, having adventures together with companions that has great dynamic and relationships. It's kind of rare with a series where the aliens aren't all hostile, and encounters treated with a "shoot first", but rather a main-character who tries to show kindness, fix misunderstandings, and straight up befriend aliens when possible. It's so cute and refreshing.

I also really love the consistent messages of hope, kindness, and inclusiveness within Doctor Who. I still remember that among the Twelve era pictures on Tumblr, it was actually a screenshot of Twelve's profound speech from 'Thin Ice': "the value you place on a life", that made me go "I really need to check this out again soon" and got me back into watching.

What are you most excited about when it comes to doing art for this series? What do you think are/will be the greatest challenges?

I'm really excited to see this entire project come together for everyone to see. It is such a thorough project and such a labor of love, with so many talented people, and I'm thrilled to be on board. In terms of art I'm looking forward to draw Clara again. She is gorgeous, and the most challenging parts will be to try to capture some of that and get the likeness right, as well as expressing the emotions. Another great challenge will be putting together a scene with characters and simple backgrounds, but I'll try my best.

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