Welcome to ‘The Stockbridge Terror’ of ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series. This is the second story of my third season of ‘Doctor Who’ fan-fiction stories with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy. It was also the second six-part adventure I wrote in the series after I had finished ‘Dawn of the Dwaxi’.
It was so surreal for me to write just two ‘Doctor Who’ stories for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy back in 2012. Usually I would write three four-part adventures as I did in 2010 and 2011. But because these were six-part adventures, two stories took the place of the twelve episodes that year.
I wanted to do a sequel to one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ trilogies by Big Finish called ‘The Stockbridge Trilogy’. It featured ‘Castle of Fear’, ‘The Eternal Summer’ and ‘Plague of the Daleks’. I also wanted to do a sequel to one of my favourite audio stories from ‘Circular Time’ called ‘Autumn’.
It all started with me having a dream/nightmare (however you want to perceive it) whilst I was writing my first trilogy with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy in 2010. It was also while I was finishing my IT degree at Cardiff University as well as me meeting Sarah Sutton at conventions pretty early on.
The dream involved Nyssa reunited with Andrew from ‘Circular Time: Autumn’ and having a date with him before he turned into some kind of horrible monster (or something). I’m sure the dream also included Maxwell Edison and the Sontarans in it. And it was definitely set in Stockbridge village.
With these ingredients of inspiration from my dream, I set about planning a six-part story that featured the return of Andrew Whittaker; the return of Maxwell Edison; the appearance of the Sontarans and the return to Stockbridge. I’m glad this was a six-parter rather than a four-parter.
When I eventually wrote this story in 2012, it was quite a challenge to keep the ingredients going to progress at a certain point by the end. I found that it was the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy who were being reflected around Andrew, Max Edison, the Sontarans and Stockbridge as I wrote the six episodes.
As well as listening to the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ featuring Stockbridge, I also read ‘The Tides of Time’ graphic novel featuring the Fifth Doctor. It was great to read the Stockbridge stories in comic form from the 1980s as well as reading Max’s debut appearance in ‘Stars Fell On Stockbridge’.
I recall planning the notes for the two stories ‘Dawn of the Dwaxi’ and ‘The Stockbridge Terror’ whilst holidaying in York 2011 with my parents. This was before I went away to a ‘Doctor Who’ convention in Swansea, September 2011 called ‘Regenerations 2011’. Oh they were very happy days.
Originally, the story was called ‘Sontarans Fell On Stockbridge’. This was of course to tie in with the other comic story ‘Stars Fell On Stockbridge’. But then I heard the news that Big Finish were going to do ‘Heroes of Sontar’ with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and older Nyssa. I became very worried.
I was afraid that I would never have Nyssa meet the Sontarans in my Stockbridge story as Big Finish were to do theirs set later on in Nyssa’s life. Thankfully ‘Prisoners of Time’ and ‘The Five Companions’ have saved the continuity issues for me to allow Nyssa to have an encounter with Sontarans for this.
Regarding Sontarans, I loved the ‘Dad’s Army’-style of Sontarans in ‘Heroes of Sontar’. So I decided to reuse them here, except do them differently and base them on my own interpretation of what I found funny in ‘Dad’s Army’ and its characters. I hope you’ll find them entertaining and threatening.
By the way, I decided to do a reversal of what ‘The Invasion of Time’ did with their Sontarans. In ‘The Invasion of Time’, they had their Sontarans appear mostly in the last two episodes of the six-part story. I swapped it around by having my Sontarans appear more in my story in the last four episodes.
Writing Nyssa’s reunion with Andrew from ‘Circular Time’ was a challenge, as complications get raised when Billy’s around. How would I handle Andrew’s reaction to Nyssa having Billy as her boyfriend? How would I handle Billy’s reaction to the fact that Andrew was once Nyssa’s boyfriend?
For the story, I used inspiration from watching, listening and reading the various versions of ‘Shada’ at the time in 2012. This was to give the story another Douglas Adams feel as I’d done with ‘The Space Hotel’ and ‘The Austen Code’. I’m sure you’ll find the Adams-esque humour during this story.
In terms of the final title for this story, there was another ‘Doctor Who’ story called ‘The Stockbridge Horror’ in comic form. I decided to replace ‘horror’ with ‘terror’ and it became ‘The Stockbridge Terror’ as befits the story. I didn’t know anything about another ‘Stockbridge Terror’ by Paul Ebbs. 😀
There’s so much I’d like to tell you about this six-part adventure set in Stockbridge, but that’s enough for now. All I can say is, this story is a love letter to the people at Big Finish who fulfilled my love of ‘Doctor Who’ through their audio dramas that feature the classic Doctors on new adventures.
I hope you’ll enjoy ‘The Stockbridge Terror’. It was a challenge for me to write, but it was fun to write humour in the story and not be so intense compared to writing ‘Dawn of the Dwaxi’. I hope you’ll enjoy how the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy return to Stockbridge with Andrew, Max and Sontarans.
TIM BRADLEY, March 2018
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