Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
And welcome to ‘Making ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ – Part Two’!
This is a continuation of the ‘Making ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series.
This is a blog post focusing on the behind-the-scenes making of ‘Junglos 4198’ in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. ‘Junglos 4198’ features the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy and is the second of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’, featuring the villainous Salvador.
If this is your first time, check out the first blog post ‘Making ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ – Part One’.
WARNING: If you haven’t read ‘Junglos 4198’ 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!
After I finished writing ‘The Austen Code’, the first story of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ in March 2011, I was looking forward to writing the next story. This was to be the epic adventure on a jungle planet called ‘Junglos 4198’. I wrote this tale from April to June 2011 while Series 6 of new ‘Who’ was on TV.
I was inspired by my love of action-adventure movies and high-fantasy dramas when I came to write ‘Junglos 4198’. This included the likes of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy and the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy. I was also inspired by the classic book, ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Albeit the ‘Treasure Island’ inspiration for ‘Junglos 4198’ derives mostly from ‘Muppet Treasure Island’ which I enjoyed watching as a kid. I purchased the 1950 ‘Treasure Island’ film on DVD (which features John Laurie and Patrick Troughton) as well as the ‘Treasure Island’ novel itself back in 2011.
Back in 2003 when I was a teenager, I attempted to write a high-fantasy trilogy in the style of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. This was before ‘Doctor Who’ came into my life. This high-fantasy trilogy by me was called ‘The Quest of the Jungle’. ‘Muppet Treasure Island’ was also my inspiration for this trilogy.
In that fantasy trilogy by me, I created the island of Junglo, not Junglos. A lot of the ideas I created for that jungle island are included in the ‘Junglos 4198’ story. This included the savage-like tribe that would be called the Gren; the dark tower of Ungol in the story and the mystic tree kingdom, Edolas.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to complete ‘The Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy back when I was a teenager. I was inexperienced then and had only completed the first and a half parts of the trilogy. I struggled to write prose back then and reading from my original writing…well, let’s say I am embarrassed by it. 😀
But I didn’t want to waste what I’d written already for my ‘Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy. On the contrary, I kept what I’d written before using the material to include the ideas to be featured in my ‘Doctor Who’ story in 2011. This was before I threw my hard copies of the material in the bin. Argh!!!
By the time I came to write ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ in 2011, I found an opportunity to re-use my ‘Quest of the Jungle’ story ideas for my ‘Doctor Who’ fan-fiction series. I’ve always wanted to re-use my ‘Quest of the Jungle’ story. Having it in a ‘Doctor Who’ setting seemed like a great choice to do it.
Also my love for ‘Doctor Who’ was pretty strong at the time in 2011 (and probably still is 😀 ) when I came to write ‘Junglos 4198’. Essentially I re-applied what I wrote in my ‘Quest of the Jungle’ story and included some of those ideas that would befit and make sense within the ‘Doctor Who’ universe.
As well as transforming the island of Junglo into the planet of Junglos for my ‘Doctor Who’ story, I included a number of characters that were similar and different from the ‘Treasure Island’ story. This included a number of traits and characteristics that would’ve been featured in ‘Treasure Island’ itself.
These characters include Jason Drodo who is similar to Jim Hawkins. I even had the Fifth Doctor call Jason Jim Hawkins’ by the end of the story, similar to how the Fourth Doctor called Jackson ‘Jason’ in ‘Underworld’. I also had Jason’s surname Drodo derived from Frodo Baggin’s father, Drodo, in ‘LOTR’.
There’s also Lo-Jo Sil who is similar to Long John Silver. You can tell that it’s Long John Silver especially from his name as I shortened the name like this – Long = Lo; John = Jo and Silver = Sil. The inspiration for making Lo-Jo Sil a cyborg with metallic legs came from Long John having only one leg.
And there are other characters like Captain Doromir similar to Captain Smollett; although his name sounds like Boromir with the D replacing the B. There’s Mr. Harbork who is essentially the Mr. Arrow character and there’s Mr. Deletos who is essentially the Squire Trelawney character. Nice links, hey?
As well as the characters from ‘Treasure Island’, I also included the Hispaniola that is Captain Doromir’s spaceship in ‘Junglos 4198’. The Orio Flinax character that only appears for the Prologue of ‘Junglos 4198’ is essentially the Billy Bones character that was featured in the ‘Treasure Island’ story.
An aspect of ‘The Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy that I included for my ‘Junglos 4198’ story is the super-villain called the Mud Man aka Dr. Gun Nett. This was the part of ‘The Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy I enjoyed writing, as I essentially based him on my favourite super-villains from the ‘Spider-Man’ films.
I also took note from the ‘Spider-Man’ comics for the creation of Mud-Man. This included Sandman and traits of Doctor Octopus/Doc Ock and the Green Goblin. Gun Nett as a troubled scientist and under the control of Salvador developed gradually as I was writing and developing the story in 2011.
Originally when I wrote ‘The Quest of the Jungle’, the Mud Man was originally one of the savage tribe members before he got executed in a savage-like mud-obsessed way by the original Ja-Ara character. For ‘Junglos 4198’, I had Gun Nett as a scientist investigating the mud to save human lives.
Another cue I took from the ‘Spider-Man’ movies/comics was the Venom character for the Mud Man. Originally for ‘Quest of the Jungle’; the Mud Man was born after a mud-like costume absorbed the corpse of the Gun Nett character. This of course differs for ‘Doctor Who’ as Salvador intervenes.
I also included the savage-like tribe of the Gren in ‘Junglos 4198’. This savage-like tribe originally featured in my fantasy trilogy and were originally from a beachy part of the jungle island called Serfenia. I also created my own fantasy series called Serfenia from ‘Quest’, but that’s another story.
A number of characters like Ja-Ara, Jor-Eliv and Elar-Jom were featured in ‘The Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy. They were re-named for ‘Junglos 4198’. Ja-Ara was the main leader of the Gren tribe and had this obsession with mud which features significantly in the tale. Jor-Eliv was her husband in that too.
Elar-Jom was always the daughter of Ja-Ara and Jor-Eliv who rebelled against her mother’s savage and mud-obsessed ways. Although in my original fantasy trilogy, she was kinder and sympathetic compared to how I wrote her in ‘Junglos 4198’, with being more savage-like and far more rebellious.
I believe that Ja-Ara is viler and far more bonkers compared to how I wrote her original character in ‘The Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy. The Gren’s worshipping of the mud in ‘Junglos 4198’ strengthens the Mud Man’s appearance in the story since he manipulates their mud worship for Salvador’s ends.
For ‘Junglos 4198’ and from my ‘Quest of the Jungle’ trilogy, I included the dark tower of Ungol. This was something that came from my love of ‘LOTR’ since the tower of Ungol in ‘Junglos 4198’ is not very dissimilar to towers featured in Middle-Earth with likes of Cirith Ungol, Barad-dûr and Orthanc.
I also included a ferocious beast living and lurking in the tower of Ungol called the Bullor. I wanted to create a challenge for our heroes going on the quest for Orio Flinax’s treasure. I was inspired by the Minotaur legend and the Garm from ‘Terminus’ when I created the Bullor monster in ‘Junglos 4198’.
Before I wrote ‘Junglos 4198’, I saw the 2010 movie, ‘Avatar’, directed by James Cameron. This was when my Dad purchased the DVD for it after its release at the cinema. I re-watched ‘Avatar’ to gain some inspiration for writing the story and I was pretty blown away by the CGI effects twice over in it.
I was able to visualise the jungle landscapes and atmospheres featured in ‘Avatar’ to help me with depicting the world of Junglos in my story. I wouldn’t say ‘Avatar’ completely won me over as a movie, but I enjoyed the concepts and ideas that helped with my approach to writing ‘Junglos 4198’.
It was around that time that the sad news came about Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith in ‘Doctor Who’, as she passed away in April 2011. I was devastated by this sad news. Like Nicholas Courtney, I decided to make a dedication to Lis Sladen in ‘Part One’ of the story.
Since the Doctor previously sent K-9 Mark III to Sarah Jane in ‘K-9 & Company’ before the Fourth Doctor regenerated into the Fifth, it made sense to have a continuity reference to that story here as a tribute to Lis Sladen. With Nick Courtney, it was a link to ‘Mawdryn Undead’ for ‘The Austen Code’.
The villainous presence of Salvador in ‘Junglos 4198’ is a fleeting one for the first two episodes. At the time of writing this story, I wasn’t sure how Salvador’s role in the trilogy was going to turn out. So I decided to hold him back for the first two episodes and to discover whether he’d reveal himself.
As the story progressed, I eventually had Salvador reveal himself before the Doctor in ‘Part Three’ and they have a confrontation with each other. This is different to how the Black Guardian makes his appearance for his trilogy, as he never revealed himself to the Doctor till the end of ‘Enlightenment’.
I was still uncertain as to what the connection between the Doctor and Salvador was in this trilogy so far. But I knew it had something to do with the Doctor’s past on Gallifrey and Salvador having apparently been there. This background is hinted at during the Doctor and Salvador’s confrontation.
The clue in the title ‘Junglos 4198’ is essentially what this story’s about. It’s the date for the planet Junglos as the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy visit it. But there’s more to the date 4198 and it’s in connection to Salvador. I decided to have Salvador as a world maker and this manipulator of matter.
Therefore, Salvador would have created the planet of Junglos himself to trap the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy in it. But it’s not essentially a world that’s lived for four thousand year as some may think. Like ‘Castrovalva’, the Doctor discovers the history of Junglos in its bible as a fake and the world is young.
As revealed in the story, the date of Junglo is the fourth day of the first month in ninety-eight years. This was a challenge to get my head around as I was writing this story. I had to re-read the tale again when I came to uploading it for my blog in order to make sense of the jungle planet I had envisaged.
The main highlight of ‘Junglos 4198’ for me was the development of Nyssa and Billy’s relationship in my ‘Doctor Who’ fan fiction series. I’d enjoyed writing for Nyssa and Billy’s characters so far and how their relationship developed into a romance. I’d wanted to see it progress to a new level in this story.
By this point, Nyssa and Billy have become close friends. In the story, they face some challenges where their relationship is tested. I wanted Nyssa and Billy to be separated from the Doctor in order to discover how they interacted and discovered their feelings for each other before they fell in love.
I liked the romance Nyssa had with Andrew in the ‘Circular Time: Autumn’ episode. I wanted to give a prolonged romance for Nyssa with Billy in my series of ‘Doctor Who’ stories. I know it goes against the rules what happens to Nyssa’s character in the TV stories as well as the Big Finish audios later on.
But I felt it was important to explore that relationship further and see whether Nyssa would be willing to have a romance with Billy after this story. It was also my way to make Nyssa warm-hearted and happier instead of dull and cold, as many writers portrayed her in other ‘Doctor Who’ tales.
The change in Nyssa and Billy from beings friends to becoming a romantic couple was a risk and won’t agree with everyone. But I felt it important to explore Nyssa and Billy as characters and how they interacted with each other by making them a romantic couple especially when with the Doctor.
As I wrote my ‘Doctor Who’ fan-fiction series, there was already a romantic couple in the TARDIS in Amy Pond and Rory Williams with the Eleventh Doctor. Whilst I like this approach of a romantic couple in the TARDIS in the TV series, I’d like to think that my approach with Nyssa and Billy is better.
‘Junglos 4198’ was definitely a different beast to tackle compared to ‘The Austen Code’ beforehand and ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ afterwards. But I enjoyed writing it and found it to be my favourite out of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’. It changes the dynamic in the TARDIS set-up with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.
I wanted this adventure to include plenty of drama, action, adventure, high-fantasy and romance for audiences to enjoy. Whether I’ve achieved that is up to the audience, but it was a great time for me writing this. I cherish fond memories, especially when I was developing Nyssa and Billy’s characters.
As the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy leave Junglos behind them, having saved the day with the planet and the treasure quest, they’re still not out of danger. Salvador’s plans for the Doctor get deadlier. ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ continues, as the next trap and the battle for ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ is about to begin…
TO BE CONTINUED…
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!