Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
And welcome to ‘Making ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ – Part Three’! 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 ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ features the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy and is the third of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’, featuring the villainous Salvador.
WARNING: If you haven’t read ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ 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!
The third and final adventure of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ called ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series is based on my summer holidays to Scotland with my parents. I essentially wanted to write a ‘Doctor Who’ story set in the Highlands of Scotland and to feature some caves in it.
I initially struggled to come up with a third ‘Doctor Who’ story for my second trilogy in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series at the time back in 2011. Originally the story was going to be called ‘The Caves of Gom’ and the villain was going to be called Gom. This changed as I was developing the trilogy.
With Salvador included as the main villain for the trilogy, it made little sense to have another villain called Gom. I could have used him as a disciple of Salvador, but as the story developed, especially with the inclusion of the MacDonald and Mackintosh characters, this made Gom redundant to be featured.
As I said, this story is based from me enjoying family holidays with my parents to Scotland when I was a teenager. This was also bolstered from my love and enjoyment of a certain TV drama-comedy series. That drama series is of course ‘Monarch of the Glen’ which stars Richard Briers and Alistair Mackenzie.
I recall first watching this drama series in 2003. I enjoyed watching that series as well as visiting the actual filming locations in the ‘The Monarch of the Glen Country’ in Badenoch and Strathspey whilst on holiday in that year. ‘Monarch of the Glen’ also inspired me to write character drama in my stories.
As well as the influence of the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ TV series, I also read the original book, ‘The Monarch of the Glen’, by Sir Compton Mackenzie. This was to help me with writing the story and gain inspiration in setting up the landscapes when I initially struggled to come up with a tale set in Scotland.
What I did was read ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ book and loosely base my story around the plot in that. It was an unusual approach for me to write a ‘Doctor Who’ story like that, but I enjoyed the process. It helped with me knowing what the story’s central premise was early on when I was reading the book.
I knew the story was going to be about a set of caves in Scotland and two Scottish clans were going to fight over them. I essentially did a homage to Sir Compton’s book by adding juicier elements and developed the characters to make it exciting and unusual as I was following to the novel’s original plot.
From reading ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ book, it is described as a comedic farce. The story is about a Scottish MacDonald laird of Glenbogle and has American visitors who were also MacDonalds. If you read ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ novel, you can spot similarities and differences in my fan-fiction story.
The inspiration for the Racta alien characters including Ches and Cari of Roid came from the American MacDonald visitors in ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ book. The two hikers including Macmillan and Buchanan were also derived from ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ book as I was writing my fan-fiction story.
The concept of the Scottish laird of Glenbogle is also featured in the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ TV series with Richard Briers as Hector MacDonald. I enjoyed the process of reading ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ whilst writing ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ at the same time. It was a joyful and creative experience for my part.
‘Chieftain’s Caves’ is also a story that takes its cue from the classic historical stories of the 1960s in the William Hartnell era of ‘Doctor Who’. The historical aspects are mainly drawn from the research I did into Scotland’s wars including the William Wallace wars from the Middle Ages and the Jacobean wars.
These historical settings were used as backdrops and aren’t historically accurate. Unlike what I did with ‘The Austen Code’, I had little time to prepare in terms of historical research. I did refer to souvenir booklets on Eilean Donan Castle and Cawdor Castle I had collected from my summer holidays.
I also referred to Internet resources to help with my historical research into Scotland. Most significantly, I referred to a map of the Scottish Highlands which I also collected from my summer holidays. This was to help give names to the places featured in Scotland throughout most of the story.
I didn’t feel though that my historical research for ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ was enough in order to justify the world I had created. Thankfully I didn’t need to worry, since this was of course the planet Scotland created by Salvador and not everything needed to be historical accurate with the mishmash of things.
Another source of research I took in writing ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ was watching the film ‘Braveheart’, starring Mel Gibson. I’d like to thank my best mate from school, Stephen Buckley, who lent me his DVD copy of the film. It helped to give me another boost of inspiration in adding the historical context.
The historical context is of course for William Wallace and his Scottish forces during the tale and although the historical figure doesn’t appear in my story, hopefully the themes of freedom are featured significantly. This would apply for the Jacobeans Scotsmen that also fought for freedom.
I was also influenced by two certain Patrick Troughton ‘Doctor Who’ stories that were shown on TV as well as a certain Fifth Doctor one. These include ‘The Mind Robber’ and ‘The War Games’ with Patrick Troughton and ‘Castrovalva’ with Peter Davison. These also helped in developing Salvador’s character.
Essentially, it transpires Salvador was a master of creating matter and reality. This aspect enabled me to gain inspiration from ‘The Mind Robber’ as well as re-introducing the multiple war zones scenario from ‘The War Games’ for Scotland. I also became inspired by ‘Castrovalva’ to create a fictional reality.
The reasoning behind me not including dates for the battles featured between the Scottish armies of the Middle Ages and Jacobean period was to emphasise the fictional reality of the planet Scotland created by Salvador. This was a challenge to establish, but I hope it will be intriguing and astonishing.
The truth of Salvador gets revealed by this point in the eponymous trilogy, especially in this final adventure. I count myself pleased that I gave Salvador a background of meeting the Doctor on Gallifrey as well as the Time Lords. Adding hints and clues during the three stories of this trilogy was fun to do.
It took a while for me to establish how Salvador came to be on Gallifrey and what the Doctor had done to make him become the villain I created him to be. There was a lot of exposition given between the Doctor and Nyssa in order to establish what the Doctor’s connection to Salvador was during the trilogy.
As many of you know, the Doctor has visited Scotland before. His first chronological ‘Doctor Who’ appearance in Scotland was as the Second Doctor during the battle of Culloden in ‘The Highlanders’ where he met Jamie McCrimmon. I did not listen to ‘The Highlanders’ on audio whilst I wrote my story.
I did make sure I included a reference to ‘The Highlanders’ in order to establish the point that the Doctor had visited Scotland before. In later life, the Fourth Doctor visited Scotland in ‘Terror of the Zygons’ and as the Tenth Doctor in ‘Tooth and Claw’ and as the Twelfth Doctor in ‘The Eaters of Light’.
I wanted to include the joke “Let Zygons Be Zygons!” whilst I was writing this story in order to use as a nod to ‘Terror of the Zygons’. Thankfully I found an opportunity to use it in my story. The Loch Ness monster also makes an appearance in ‘Chieftain’s Caves’, which is where my Zygons joke came to play.
‘Chieftain’s Caves’ presented a lot of complexities for me to tackle as ‘The Austen Code’ and ‘Junglos 4198’ presented a lot of complexities. All three stories for ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ were pretty ambitious and full of epic proportions. But for me, it was a fun and challenging experience to go through in 2011.
A common theme during ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ is literature. This is especially the case with Jane Austen’s literature in ‘The Austen Code’, the book ‘Treasure Island’ in ‘Junglos 4198’ and ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ in ‘Chieftain’s Caves’. I wanted to use this theme and emphasise Salvador’s development.
Like what the ‘Myths and Legends’ trilogy of ‘Doctor Who’ stories did with sci-fi takes on Greek myths, I wanted to have Salvador using literature as a means of defeating the Doctor and his friends. The Doctor would gradually realise what was happening with Salvador’s plans by the climax for each story.
The heart of ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ of course is the relationship between Nyssa and Billy where they become lovers after being friends. ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ sees Nyssa and Billy at a new stage in their relationship, following the events of ‘Junglos 4198’. It is something I was keen to explore in the series.
Most of the time in ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ however sees Nyssa and Billy separated from each other – or rather Billy is separated from Nyssa and the Doctor. This was a chance to give Billy his own adventure and to find a way to reunite with his friends, especially when he teams up with Cari of Roid in the tale.
The story was also a chance to explore more of the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa without Billy for a change. I had Nyssa and Billy together for the most part of ‘Junglos 4198’. When Nyssa is with the Doctor, they share the camaraderie they had in previous stories and Nyssa’s relationship with Billy gets addressed.
I found ‘Chieftain’s Caves’ a challenging story to write, but it was also a joy for me to do. I’m certain the historical research I put into this story isn’t accurate, but hopefully my readers have been able to appreciate that since it’s all part of what ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ is about in its themes and concepts.
At the time I wrote ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ in 2011, I was pretty excited and looking forward to writing more of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy I dreamt of writing for since I began this ‘Doctor Who’ fan-fiction series of mine. I also hope that people who’ve read these stories will be able to enjoy them too.
‘The Salvador Trilogy’ comes to a close with Nyssa and Billy on a new path in their relationship together and still travelling with the Doctor in the TARDIS. But what new adventures lie in store for them in the future of ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. It is hinted at that Salvador is still alive somewhere…
By the way, half-way through writing ‘Chieftain’s Caves’, I met up with Sarah Sutton for the third time at the ‘London Film and Comic Con’ in Earl’s Court, July 2011. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer occasion to see Sarah whilst half-way writing ‘Chieftain’s Caves’. It helped me to reflect and improve my story.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!