The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021


It’s been a bumper month of Morris merchandise.

Last week saw the release of Doctor Who: The Day of the Comet. This one has been in pipeline for a long time; I wrote it back in October 2016 (when Barack Obama was still President!) and it was recorded in April 2017. I’ve reread the script since then a few times, to refresh my memory when doing interviews. What was I thinking when I wrote it? I remember being inspired by the apocalyptic paintings of John Martin, particularly the one below. It set me thinking, what would it be like to live in the city in that painting? The lights are on, so there are people home, but not for long as it’s about to be inundated with lava or suffer a volcanic storm. But beyond that as a starting point, I really can’t remember! (2016 did seem quite an apocalyptic year at the time, though)

It can be ordered here.

And this week’s release is River Song: Queen of the Mechonoids which I do remember a lot more about, as I wrote it in June last year. It was one of those ‘can you write something that can be recorded remotely under lockdown’ jobs. The brief was to feature River Song, the Mechonoids, and to introduce the duo of Mark Seven and Anya Kingdom, as although some of their other adventures had already been written, this would be the first one to be released.

The Mechonoids were quite tricky to write for; I went through their one, brief appearance in Doctor Who with a fine and very pedantic toothcomb, looking for every detail of their backstory. I realised that they have a very limited vocabulary; in the final two episodes of The Chase they only say 19 different words, and even then they rather take their time about it and are none too clear when they do. So that kind of ruled out any long scenes between two Mechonoids discussing their plans for cosmic domination (although James Goss managed it to great effect in the Daleks! series). So the adventure would need to be about the Mechonoids, rather than simply featuring them; as way of putting them centre stage without having them carry the story through dialogue.

The other thing I was thinking was, as the story featured characters and monsters either created by Terry Nation or inspired by him, I really should write a story in a Terry Nation mode. Not as a pastiche or a parody, but just to think, “What would Terry do if he was writing this?” That’s why the story features an exciting and suspenseful crossing-an-underground chasm set piece, because Terry did like his underground chasms. So let’s just say it’s From The Worlds of Terry Nation.

It can be ordered here.

So there we go, two releases in two weeks. I think it’s going to be a bit quiet after that – I have a few other stories at various points along the pipeline but have no idea when they will see the light of day. My next release this year is going to be the BBC Audio Doctor Who: The Nightmare Realm, out in June, which can be pre-ordered here.

That said, I do have an exciting secret project on the go, in its own exciting and secret pipeline. Well, I say exciting; it might just turn out to be an average romp.