The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Early Christmas Present

More stuff I’ve written!

The Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out this week, contains a Fact Of Fiction article on the (checks article) 2008 Christmas episode The Next Doctor, researched, written and cursorily spellchecked by yours truly. It contains all sorts of fascinating insights; a new mistake, a guide to appearances by a ubiquitous bit of set dressing, and other bits and bobs of historical context. Of particular note, though, are two things; it contains details about the initial draft of the episode, which have never been disclosed before (because Andrew Pixley couldn’t open the file!) and it contains literally thousands of words of discussion with the episode's writer, Russell T Davies, divulging all sorts of marvellous titbits. Or is it tidbits? Never quite sure.

However, due to a freak wormhole opening up in the space-time continuum, one extra fact I gleaned at the last minute failed to be included in the article*. So here it is. It should’ve gone after The Other Doctor is Jackson Lake!

The plot devices of memory loss and assumed identities were common in Victorian fiction; such as the trauma-induced amnesia experienced by Laura Fairlie in The Woman In White (1860) by Wilkie Collins, and the new identity assumed by the missing-presumed-drowned John Harmon in Our Mutual Friend (1865) by Charles Dickens. But the most likely antecedent for Jackson Lake is the (similarly-named) Franklin Blake in The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins, in which he investigates the robbery of a diamond only to discover after using opium to jog his memory (spoiler warning) that he perpetrated the theft himself whilst in an opium-induced trance. 

I have to thank Matthew Sweet off of TV and Radio for this, and would also like to thank Niall Boyce off of The Lancet who also generously helped with the article. Their ‘thanks’ also seem to have fallen victim to the freak wormhole, for which I can only apologise.

* However the published article contains a bonus fact that wasn't written by me. What the freak wormhole takes, it also gives.

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