Welcome to ‘Making ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ – Part Three.
This trilogy of blog posts focuses on the behind-the-scenes making of the first trilogy of stories featuring the Fifth Doctor; Nyssa and Billy in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. The third blog post looks into the making and writing of the third story in the series, ‘Doom of the Daleks’.
If this is your first time, check out the first blog post ‘Making ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ – Part One’ and the second blog post ‘Making ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ – Part Two’.
WARNING: If you haven’t read ‘Doom of the Daleks’ yet, check it out now by clicking the link. Read further on in this post and you do so at your own risk. This blog post contains SPOILERS!
I finished the first ‘Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ trilogy in 2010. I started writing the first ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Railway of Time’ in 2009 before I finished it in 2010. I wrote the second story ‘The Space Hotel’ in the summer of 2010 whilst I did the third story ‘Doom of the Daleks’ in the autumn of 2010.
‘Doom of the Daleks’ was a story I’d planned to do when writing the first trilogy in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. As a ‘Doctor Who’ fan, it would be mad of me not to write an adventure with the Daleks in it and featuring the Fifth Doctor; Nyssa and Billy. I enjoyed the experience very much.
When I wrote ‘Doom of the Daleks’, it was after getting my degree at Cardiff University and seeing Sarah Sutton at the ‘Regenerations 2010’ convention in Swansea, 2010. I wrote this story whilst I was at home in the autumn. At the same time, I was looking for a job whilst I was currently unemployed.
‘Doom of the Daleks’ was a more serious affair compared to when I was writing ‘The Railway of Time’ and ‘The Space Hotel’. Whereas the first two stories were light-hearted, ‘Doom of the Daleks’ goes into darker territory; as it puts our trio of heroes in a dangerous situation and they’re put to the test.
The Daleks are easily my favourite monsters in ‘Doctor Who’. From my ‘Doctor Who’ experience in ‘Dalek’ in 2005, to watching and listening to the other Dalek adventures in TV and audio, I was into these metallic meanies that want to exterminate; conquer the universe and to destroy the Doctor.
For my first Dalek story, I wanted to tackle something that was thought-provoking and challenged the audience’s perception of the Daleks as well as the Daleks themselves. The idea I came up with wasn’t an original idea, but it was a different slant on it and it also introduced a new set of enemies.
The idea I had in mind was asking ‘what if there was something far more powerful than the Daleks’. This was addressed by Nicholas Briggs, to a certain extent, in his audio story ‘The Mutant Phase’. My approach to this was to provide the Daleks with an enemy matching their aggression and superiority.
I was disappointed with the way ‘Destiny of the Daleks’ told its story of the conflict between the Daleks and the robot-like Movellans. For me, it was a lacklustre story and the story focused on the computer programming aspects instead of focusing on the brutally and aggression of both creatures.
Also, I felt it was forgotten that the Daleks had creatures inside them and they weren’t just robots. So, I decided to pit the Daleks against an adversary that would be tougher than they were and that they threatened their superiority. These new enemies became the dreaded and ultra-violent Dwaxi.
I originally created the Dwaxi as villains for the spin-off series ‘Torchwood’. Most of the ideas I had about the Dwaxi for ‘Torchwood’ are included in this story ‘Doom of the Daleks’. I was also inspired by the Jem’Hadar from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ as they were like super-thugs addicted to a drug.
The Dwaxi are a representation of the human race gone badly wrong. They come from an alternative dimension and gained access to our universe via a spatial-temporal rift. It’s open for debate whether the rift in ‘Doom of the Daleks’ is similar to the one featured in Cardiff in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Torchwood’.
The development of the Yentias drug; the rift; the physics of the Dwaxi universe and the reasons for their ultra-violent behaviour were a challenge to write in this story. This is especially true when I balanced the writing in developing the Dwaxi and giving justice to the Daleks’ presence in the story.
A lot of questions go unanswered in ‘Doom of the Daleks’ about the Dwaxi. This included the Directors, the leaders of the Dwaxi, who don’t make an appearance in the story. I addressed these issues about the Dwaxi and their leaders in stories that featured them later on in this fan-fiction series.
The Daleks were a joy to write for in this story. Although they were challenging to write, in terms of their dialogue and how menacing they could be, I enjoyed trying to understand how the Daleks worked and what makes them tick. It was great to write for them and use familiar Dalek moments.
The cliff-hanger to ‘Part One’ of ‘Doom of the Daleks’ was inspired from watching ‘Scorpion, Part 1’ of the ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ series. The teaser that had the Borg destroyed instantly by Species 8472, gave me the idea to re-use it as a cliff-hanger for the Daleks when they got destroyed by the Dwaxi.
I also wanted to do a ‘Star Trek’-styled adventure in ‘Doctor Who’ with my Dalek story. This is where the starship Moonraker and its crew come in. Being a Trekkie first before ‘Doctor Who’ came, I enjoyed writing the scenes set on the Moonraker bridge and including the familiar ‘Star Trek’-like characters.
The Moonraker characters like Captain Sulley; Elaine Thomas and Colin Wilson developed gradually as I was writing the story. I didn’t know the outcome of these characters; in terms of whether they died or became traitor. But I knew I wanted Elaine Thomas to survive at the end of this Dalek story.
The 26th century setting of ‘Doom of the Daleks’ came from seeing ‘Earthshock’ as well as ‘Frontier in Space’. This helped me to establish the war occurring between the human and Dalek empires. The alien planets of Yondamus Prime and Yondamus IV were based on characters I created from ‘so’ long ago in old stories I wrote when I was young.
The heart of ‘Doom of the Daleks’ of course is Billy’s journey as a companion and how his relationship is developed between the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Although established as a companion after ‘The Space Hotel’, Billy has a lot to learn and he faces some harsh lessons throughout this story.
After the light-heartedness of the first two stories, it was important to have Billy enter darker territory and to realise that travelling in the TARDIS isn’t as cosy as he hoped it would be. Billy discovers this when he; the Doctor and Nyssa encounter the Moonraker; the Dwaxi and the Daleks.
Having spent a lot of time with Nyssa in the first two stories, it was time for Billy to spend some time with the Doctor when they both get separated from Nyssa on the Moonraker. It was interesting exploring the interaction between the Doctor and Billy and how they worked well together and not.
It was also nice to give Nyssa an adventure of her own and how she coped without the Doctor and Billy when separated from them. Inspired by ‘The Stockbridge Trilogy’ by Big Finish, Nyssa gets to demonstrate how capable and intelligent she is as a companion as well as a very resourceful woman.
Billy also shows how emotionally attached he is to Nyssa and how determined he is to save her when he feels she’s in danger with the Dwaxi on the planet of Yondamus IV. This shows when he clashes with the Doctor aboard the Moonraker and when he meets and is helped by Boco and Hilda.
The use of a fixed-point in time with the Moonraker was developed gradually throughout the story. It is revealed late in ‘Part Four’ of the story, but for me it needed to be built upon and hinted at whilst developing the characters of the Moonraker crew. It also adds to how Billy reacts to the situation.
I wanted to have Billy do something out of compassion but was wrong in the Doctor’s eyes. This was when Billy saves Elaine from the Moonraker being destroyed, knowing that all Moonraker crew-members are meant to be dead. This raises the emotional level when the trio return to the TARDIS.
I also wanted to develop Billy’s interest in Nyssa, when he asks his first request in the TARDIS to go to Traken. This strengthens the relationship between Nyssa and Billy, as he discovers the circumstances of the loss of her home planet and family before the trio go to Traken at the story’s end.
Writing the first trilogy in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series in 2010 was one of the happiest experiences of my life as a ‘Doctor Who’ fan. It was an invigorating experience for me to write my own fan-fiction series. I soon made preparations to write the second trilogy of stories in my series for 2011.
Now in 2016, I’m gratified at the response and feedback to my first trilogy of stories in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series on my ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog. I was anxious about whether it was a good idea to share my stories, but having seen the reassuring feedback on my stories, I’m glad I did.
I was also pleased to share with Sarah Sutton about the stories I wrote on my blog and have my cover of ‘The Railway of Time’ signed by her. I’m looking forward to post the next set of stories in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series on my blog. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them when they become available.
Where the story goes for the Fifth Doctor; Nyssa and Billy after ‘Doom of the Daleks’ will be revealed in ‘The Tree of Riverloth’. As I write this post, I’m wondering myself how Billy will continue travelling with the Doctor and Nyssa having seen the harrowing things of time-travel. Will Billy stay on? Let’s find out!
THE END (FOR NOW!)