The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Small World

Another blast from the Doctor Who Magazine archives, this time a piece written about the much-admired Tom Baker Doctor Who story The Invisible Enemy. I’ve written a sequel which will be released later this year. Pre-order it now! 


The Invisible Enemy

Ah, Graham, Graham! Come in, sit down. Been meaning to have a word. See how you’ve been settling in.

As you know, you were asked to take over as producer of Doctor Who – super show, – because it had come to my attention that the previous chap – has he emptied his desk yet? – had been making it a little too… brusque. Aubergines coming to life, bursting through shop windows, holding people’s heads underwater, that sort of thing

Now, as Head of Drama at the BBC, one thing I don’t like is things coming to my attention. I’m a busy man, I don’t have time to go around paying attention to things. Avoid it whenever I can. So that’s why you were brought in. No more shootings, no more stabbings and absolutely no more aubergines. 

So tell me about your first show. What’s it called?

Excellent! Sounds perfect. And so budget-conscious! So much cheaper than having a visible enemy!

Oh, I see. It’s just very, very small. Well, that still sounds super. So, how was your first day in the job?

Now Graham, there’s no need to cry. Just start at the beginning and tell me what’s wrong.

What do you mean, “we’ve got a script that’s impossible to make”? That script was commissioned by the previous producer! Have you tried phoning him up?

Yes, and what did he say when he stopped laughing?

“Without a paddle”, I see. But it can’t be that difficult. What makes you think you can’t afford it?

You don’t have to build real spaceships, you can use models, you know.

Oh, I see, that fee was for the models. What else?

A robot dog called K-9? And how much did this ‘Matt Irvine’ person that would cost?

Can’t you just get a dachshund and wrap it in bacofoil? You’re not making Star Wars, you know! So, what happens in the story.

Two Tom Bakers?

Oh, I see, the same Tom Baker twice, for the same fee. Almost gave me a heart attack! And this all takes place where?

Are you sure you can’t set it in a gothic mansion? Only we get a discount if we film on National Trust property. Your predecessor was very keen.

No? Well, maybe you can bear it in mind for the next one. And this “not actually invisible, but very, very small” enemy. How much did Matt say that would cost?

Good grief. And that’s for…?

"A bin bag with a pincer sticking out the side". Well, I might be able to help you out there. The Crackerjack Christmas special last year had a giant comedy prawn, took it home for the kids, you could use that. Terrifying in the right light.

Graham, hiding under the desk whimpering won’t solve anything. Have my hankie. One last thing. About that new girl…

Yes, she does rather, doesn’t she? Could you have her back in the leathers? Saw her in the Victorian thing. Most discouraging. Except for that bit in the sewers.

Well, I think we’ve covered everything. Just remember – it doesn’t have to be good, just get it made and make sure everyone’s out of the studio before you start paying overtime. Oh, and before you go, what’s the next story about?

Vampire Mutations? Ah. That might be a problem…

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