List of unmade Doctor Who serials and films
During the long history of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, a number of stories were proposed but, for a variety of reasons, never fully produced. Below is a list of unmade serials which were submitted by recognised professional writers and the BBC had intended to produce, but for one reason or another were not made. Many have since been the subject of a feature in Doctor Who Magazine, or other professional periodicals or books devoted to the television show.
Such serials exist during the tenure of each of the previous eleven incarnations of the Doctor. The reasons for the serials being incomplete include strike action (which caused the partially filmed Shada to be abandoned), actors leaving roles (The Final Game, which was cancelled after Roger Delgado's death), and the series being put on hiatus twice—once in 1985, and again in 1989—causing the serials planned for the following series to be shelved.
The plots of the unmade serials also vary. A theme of a civilisation where women are dominant was proposed twice—once for The Hidden Planet, and again for The Prison in Space. In some cases, elements of unmade serials were adapted, or were moved from one serial to another; for example, Song of the Space Whale was intended to be the introduction of Vislor Turlough until it was repeatedly set back, causing Mawdryn Undead to be Turlough's first appearance.
Some unused stories have since been adapted for other media. Shada was made into an audio play of the same name, while several unmade serials have been compiled into an audio series released by Big Finish called The Lost Stories.
- 1 First Doctor
- 1.1 Submitted for season 1
- 1.2 Submitted for season 2
- 1.3 Submitted for season 3
- 1.4 Submitted for season 4
- 1.5 Other First Doctor stories
- 2 Second Doctor
- 2.1 Submitted for season 4
- 2.2 Submitted for season 5
- 2.3 Submitted for season 6
- 2.3.1 The Aliens in the Blood
- 2.3.2 The Dreamspinner
- 2.3.3 The Eye in Space
- 2.3.4 The Harvesters
- 2.3.5 The Impersonators
- 2.3.6 The Laird of McCrimmon
- 2.3.7 The Lords of the Red Planet
- 2.3.8 The Prison in Space
- 2.3.9 The Rosemariners
- 2.3.10 The Stones of Darkness
- 2.3.11 "Untitled storyline (Ling)"
- 2.3.12 "Untitled storyline (Sherwin)"
- 3 Third Doctor
- 3.1 Submitted for season 7
- 3.2 Submitted for season 8
- 3.3 Submitted for series 9
- 3.4 Submitted for season 10
- 3.5 Submitted for season 11
- 4 Fourth Doctor
- 4.1 Submitted for season 12
- 4.2 Submitted for season 13
- 4.3 Submitted for season 14
- 4.4 Submitted for season 15
- 4.5 Submitted for season 16
- 4.6 Submitted for season 17
- 4.7 Shada
- 4.8 Submitted for season 18
- 4.8.1 The Castle of Doom
- 4.8.2 The Dogs of Darkness
- 4.8.3 Farer Nohan
- 4.8.4 Into the Comet
- 4.8.5 Invasion of the Veridians
- 4.8.6 Mark of Lumos
- 4.8.7 Mouth of Grath
- 4.8.8 The Psychonauts
- 4.8.9 Romanoids
- 4.8.10 Sealed Orders
- 4.8.11 Soldar and the Plastoids
- 4.8.12 Song of the Space Whale
- 4.8.13 "Untitled storyline (Brosnan)"
- 5 Fifth Doctor
- 5.1 Submitted for season 19
- 5.2 Submitted for season 20
- 5.3 Submitted for 20th anniversary special
- 5.4 Submitted for season 21
- 5.4.1 Children of Seth
- 5.4.2 Circus of Destiny
- 5.4.3 The Darkness
- 5.4.4 The Dark Samurai
- 5.4.5 The Elite
- 5.4.6 Ghost Planet
- 5.4.7 Hex
- 5.4.8 The House That Ur-Cjak Built
- 5.4.9 The Metraki
- 5.4.10 Nightmare Country
- 5.4.11 The Place Where All Times Meet
- 5.4.12 Poison
- 5.4.13 The Rogue TARDIS
- 5.4.14 The SCI
- 5.4.15 The Underworld
- 5.4.16 Warmongers
- 5.4.17 The Zeldan
- 6 Sixth Doctor
- 6.1 Submitted for season 22
- 6.2 The originally planned season 23
- 6.3 Also submitted for original season 23
- 6.4 The Trial of a Time Lord candidates
- 6.5 Mel introduction story
- 7 Seventh Doctor
- 7.1 Submitted for season 26
- 7.2 Under consideration for season 27
- 7.3 Submitted for 30th anniversary special
- 8 Eighth Doctor
- 9 Ninth Doctor
- 10 Tenth Doctor
- 11 Eleventh Doctor
- 12 Television spin-offs
- 12.1 The Daleks
- 12.2 Nelvana cartoon series
- 12.3 K-9 and Company
- 12.4 Rose Tyler: Earth Defence
- 12.5 The Sarah Jane Adventures
- 12.5.1 Series 4
- 18.104.22.168 "Untitled storyline (Ford)"
- 22.214.171.124 Don't Sit Too Close to the Screen
- 126.96.36.199 Supermarket Sweep
- 188.8.131.52 Underground
- 184.108.40.206 Wallpaper
- 220.127.116.11 "Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
- 18.104.22.168 "Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
- 22.214.171.124 The Children of Blackmere Rise
- 126.96.36.199 The Web of Lies
- 188.8.131.52 Sarah Jane and the Return of the Spiders
- 184.108.40.206 Servant of the Spiders
- 220.127.116.11 Miracle on Bannerman Road
- 18.104.22.168 Everyone's Asleep
- 22.214.171.124 Sarah Jane Goes Back to the Future
- 126.96.36.199 Sarah Jane in Prison
- 188.8.131.52 School Trip
- 184.108.40.206 Time Team
- 220.127.116.11 Trinity Wells Investigates
- 18.104.22.168 "Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
- 12.5.2 Series 5
- 12.5.3 Series 6
- 12.5.1 Series 4
- 12.6 Torchwood
- 13 Proposed films
- 14 Other related works
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 Bibliography
- 18 External links
Submitted for season 1
Nothing at the End of the Lane/The Giants
The first serial of the series was originally to be written by C. E. Webber, and would concern the four main characters (at that point named as the Doctor, Cliff, Lola, and Biddy) being shrunk to a "miniature size" and attacked by giant animals. The episode would have revealed that the Doctor had escaped from "his own galaxy" in the year 5733, seeking a perfect society in the past, and that he was pursued by agents from his own time who sought to prevent him from stopping their society from coming into being. The story was rejected in June 1963 on the grounds that the story was too thin on characterisation and that the giant monsters would be clichéd and too expensive to produce. Much of the setup was retained for An Unearthly Child, though the details about the Doctor's home were removed. The story's premise was reused for a submission by Robert Gould (later revised by Margot Bennett), The Miniscules, which was planned to be the fourth serial, but this story was dropped in January 1964. The third attempt to use a miniaturisation story was accepted for the Series 2 opener, Planet of Giants.
The Masters of Luxor
The Masters of Luxor, originally titled The Robots, was a six-part story submitted by Anthony Coburn for Series 1, but never produced, in which the Doctor faces a self-aware robot which is trying to gain a soul. It was rejected by the production team in mid-September 1963 in favour of Terry Nation's first Dalek serial. Titan Books published the unused scripts in August 1992. Edited by John McElroy, it was the fifth in the series of Doctor Who script books, and the first to appear after a break in publication following The Daleks (December 1989), during which the rights to the stories were negotiated with BBC Enterprises. The text of Coburn's script was amended to fit in with accepted conventions - for example, consistent use of the name "Susan", rather than the "Suzanne" and "Sue" used by Coburn. Major differences in style between these scripts and the transmitted series include a religious subtext, with the Doctor clearly presented as a believer. It was later adapted by Nigel Robinson for Big Finish's The Lost Stories in August 2012.
Britain 408 AD
Written by Malcolm Hulke. The story involved the departure of the Romans from Britain around the start of the fifth century in the midst of clashes against the Celts and the Saxons, culminating with the time travellers fleeing the indigenous savages back to the safety of the TARDIS. Britain 408 AD was first submitted on September 2, 1963. Story editor David Whitaker asked Hulke to revise his original storyline as he felt that the plot—with its many opposing factions—was too complicated, and that the serial's conclusion echoed that of "100,000 BC" too closely. It was hoped that an amended version of Britain 408 AD might occupy the sixth slot of Season One (Serial F), to be directed by Christopher Barry, but on September 23 it was decided that the production block did not need another historical story and Hulke's serial was abandoned. The spot in the schedule was ultimately occupied by The Aztecs, while Hulke began work on The Hidden Planet instead (see below). Following Whitaker's departure, Hulke resubmitted Britain 408 AD. It was rejected on April 2, 1965, by Whitaker's successor, Dennis Spooner, because the Romans had already featured in his own The Romans.
Farewell Great Macedon
Farewell Great Macedon (also known as Alexander the Great in the script's early stages) was a six-part story pitched for Series 1 and was written by Moris Farhi. In the story, the Doctor and his companions are framed for murder as part of a conspiracy to kill Alexander the Great and must pass a number of trials, including walking on hot coals, to gain the trust of his bodyguard Ptolemy. The script was published by Nothing at the End of the Lane in October 2009. It was later adapted by Nigel Robinson for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in November 2010.
The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance
The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance was the first script sent by Moris Farhi. It was one episode long and was a calling card piece never seriously pitched for production. This story never made it to the production stage, and was included in the 2009 publication of Farhi's script for Farewell Great Macedon. It was later adapted by Nigel Robinson for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in November 2010.
The Hidden Planet
The Hidden Planet by Malcolm Hulke was commissioned in December 1963 and at one point was to be the seventh serial of Series 1. The story would have concerned a planet in an orbit opposite Earth's, with a parallel but in some ways opposite society to ours; for example, women were to be the dominant sex. The original script was sent back for rewrites, and due to a pay dispute the rewrites were not made until after Susan had left the series; this necessitated further rewriting. A third submission was similarly rejected as Ian and Barbara were due to leave, and the script was dropped.
The Living World
Alan Wakeman was one of several writers contacted by David Whitaker in mid-1963. The story was commissioned on 31 July 1963. It involved a planet ruled by sentient rocks and trees, with the ability to control humans with an inaudible sound. A four-part episodic storyline breakdown of the story featured in the third volume of the magazine Nothing at the End of the Lane. In this breakdown the following episode titles are quoted: "Airfish", "What Eats What", "The Living Planet" and "Just in Time". Note that in the script, Susan is referred to as Suzanne, and Barbara is referred to as Miss Canning.
The Red Fort
Commissioned in September 1963, Terry Nation had intended for his second seven-part serial to be set during the British Raj in India (probably to have been the eighth serial), but the story was ultimately abandoned as the Daleks became a success, and demand for further adventures grew.
Submitted for season 2
The Dark Planet
Submitted for season 3
The Face of God
The Hands of Aten
Written by Brian Hayles.
The New Armada
Written by David Whitaker.
The Space Trap
Written by Robert Holmes and submitted to Story editor Donald Tosh on 25 April 1965. This four-part story idea involved the Doctor and his three companions arriving on an uninhabited planet to discover a space craft controlled by robots while its human occupants lay in suspended animation who wait for additional crew members in order to once again pilot their crashed ship. The Doctor and his companions are taken captive and trained up by the robots as the replacement crew members, however only three additional crew members are required, so the member of the Doctor's party that proves least useful is to be callously killed off by the human crew. This was Holmes first story submission for the series, and was primarily rejected due to the robots role being similar to that of the Mechanoids in The Chase from the previous season. Holmes would later resubmit this story idea to producer Peter Bryant on 20 May 1968 which led to the commissioning of what would become The Krotons.
The White Witch
Written by Brian Hayles.
"Untitled storyline (Lucarotti)"
"Untitled storyline (Lucarotti 2)"
Written by John Lucarotti and was planned to be about Leif Eriksson. Story editor Donald Tosh turned down the storyline due to having already recently featured Vikings in The Time Meddler. Lucarotti later penned a "Brief Encounter" for an issue of Doctor Who Magazine published in 1992 (issue #184), called "Who Discovered America?", which reuses the rejected storyline.
Submitted for season 4
The Evil Eye
The Hearsay Machine
The Heavy Scent of Violence
Written by George Kerr.
The Herdsmen of Aquarius
The Hounds of Time
Written by Brian Hayles.
The Man from the Met
Written by George Kerr.
Written by Brian Hayles.
The Ocean Liner
Written by David Ellis.
The People Who Couldn't Remember
Written by David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke.
Other First Doctor stories
- The Son of Doctor Who, a story idea originated by William Hartnell
- "Untitled American Civil War storyline", by unknown author
- "Untitled Egyptian storyline", by Dennis Spooner
- "Untitled The Day of the Triffids-like storyline", by Robert Gould
Submitted for season 4
Written by Roger Dixon, this story was submitted on January 16, 1967. The basic story idea had the TARDIS bring the Doctor and his companions to the Nevada Desert, where they discover they have been shrunk to a tenth of an inch in height. To make matters worse, they learn that the local ants have been made super-intelligent by atomic bomb tests and plan to take over the Earth.
Written by Roger Dixon, this story was submitted in early 1967. Notes - Simon bar Kokhba was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi ("Prince"). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two and half-year war. 
The Big Store
Written by David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke, this story was submitted on 15 November 1966 and would involve faceless aliens infiltrating department stores as display mannequins. Ellis & Hulke would reuse the faceless aliens for their successful script submission The Faceless Ones.
Planned as the fourth serial of Series 4, The Imps by William Emms was a four-part story concerned about a spaceship overrun by Imp-like aliens and aggressive alien vegetation. The script was commissioned on 17 October 1966, and soon had to be rewritten to accommodate new companion Jamie. However, due to sickness on the part of Emms, this took so long that further rewrites were needed to explain the loss of Ben and Polly and on 4 January 1967 the story was dropped. Emms reused elements of the story in Mission to Venus, a Choose Your Own Adventure-style story featuring the Sixth Doctor.
The King's Bedtime Story
Written by Roger Dixon, this story was submitted in early 1967.
Written by Barry Letts, this story outline, submitted around November 1966, would involve a race of beings undergoing a cycle of mutations. Letts would later, as producer, have writers Bob Baker & Dave Martin use this as the basis of their script The Mutants.
The New Machines
Written by Roger Dixon, this story was submitted in early 1967.
The Return of the Neanderthal
Written by Roger Dixon, this storyline was about the TARDIS being dragged beneath the sands of Terunda to encounter people descended from Earth's Neanderthal Man who wish to return to the Earth of 2016. These story elements are similar to the story arc of the Silurians, intelligent reptiles that lived on Earth millions of years ago, dwell underground and wish to one day return to the surface.
Written by Roger Dixon, this six-part story was submitted on 16 January 1967. The story involved the TARDIS crew arriving on an Earth of the far future where a community of youth depend on the unseen Elders who dwell in the mountains.
Written by Roger Dixon, this story was submitted in early 1967.
"Untitled storyline (Dixon)"
"Untitled storyline (Letts)"
Written by Barry Letts, this story, submitted around November 1966, was about a sinister organisation operating on Earth under cover of an amusement park. Letts later partly reused this idea as the radio adventure The Paradise of Death.
Submitted for season 5
Written by Douglas Camfield & Robert Kitts, the storyline for this six-part story was submitted to the production office on 18 September 1967, although Camfield & Kitts had developed the outline in 1965. The story saw the Doctor arrive in Normandy just prior to the D-Day landings. It would feature a plan to stop the Nazis from using a form of matter teleportation. Only a draft script for episode 1 would be written.
The Queen of Time
Submitted for season 6
The Aliens in the Blood
Written by Robert Holmes, this story was pitched on 22 October 1968. The story was set in the 22nd Century and dealt with an outbreak of mutants with ESP powers. The plot was reused by Holmes in 1977 as the non-Doctor Who radio serial Aliens in the Mind.
The Eye in Space
Written by Victor Pemberton. Concerned an omniscient octopoid eye in space which drew things toward it. Doctor Who producer Peter Bryant asked Pemberton to develop a new idea shortly after completing Fury from the Deep in late 1967. When Bryant left Doctor Who in early 1969, Pemberton decided not to pursue the story, and it was not formally commissioned.
Written by William Emms and also known as The Vampire Planet.
Written by Malcolm Hulke, this six-part story was commissioned on 5 July 1968. The serial was cancelled on 30 December 1968 and its production budget allocated to The War Games, allowing that story to be expanded to 10 episodes.
The Laird of McCrimmon
Written by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, this storyline was considered around mid-1968. The story would be set in Scotland in Jamie's ancestral home, Castle McCrimmon, where the Doctor's old foe the Great Intelligence plans to use Jamie's body. At the end of the story Jamie would remain behind as the new laird. By late April 1968, it was clear that Frazer Hines would be leaving the series sometime during Season Six. One candidate for his departure story was Haisman and Lincoln's third Yeti serial, which they were working on around the start of June. Over the summer, however, the writers became embroiled in a dispute over copyright with the BBC regarding the Quarks, robot monsters which had appeared in their previous Doctor Who commission, The Dominators. The ensuing acrimony resulted in the abandonment of The Laird of McCrimmon during the August of 1968.
The story involved a strange force compelling Jamie to pilot the TARDIS to Scotland in 1746 where the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves isolated from their ship by a forcefield. They arrive at the foreboding Castle McCrimmon, Jamie's ancestral home near a misty loch. There they are met by Duncan, Factor to the ailing Laird, Sir James McCrimmon. Jamie shows Zoe around and she notices some strange cattle which then stand up - they are Yeti. The Yeti isolate the castle and the villagers fall under the influence of the Great Intelligence. One villager, Fiona, is immune and Jamie falls in love with her. The Intelligence aims to gain control of Jamie's body and settle in the castle as the Laird of McCrimmon when Sir James dies. The Doctor has to determine who the Intelligence is working through, with the Laird and the village sorceress being the prime candidates. It transpires that Duncan is protecting Fiona's mother, Morag - a woman with second sight. The Intelligence is defeated and, after Sir James dies with no heirs, Jamie is the last of the clan and is therefore the obvious choice for the new Laird. Accepting his rightful inheritance and responsibility, Jamie bids a reluctant farewell to the Doctor and Zoe to remain with Fiona as the new Laird.
The Lords of the Red Planet
The Prison in Space
The Prison in Space by Dick Sharples, originally titled The Amazons, returned to the idea of a female-dominated planet last attempted with The Hidden Planet. The Doctor and Jamie were to be imprisoned, and Zoe was to start a sexual revolution and then be brainwashed. The four-part story was commissioned on 4 June 1968 and was intended to inject humour into the show. It was to feature Jamie in drag and end with the Doctor deprogramming Zoe by smacking her bottom. The serial was rewritten to accommodate Frazer Hines' desire to leave by introducing a new companion named Nik, and again when he later decided to stay. Scripts for the first two episodes were delivered on 27 August 1968. The production team became unhappy with the serial, and when Sharples refused to perform further rewrites, the serial was dropped. The story was replaced by The Krotons. It was later adapted as Prison in Space by Simon Guerrier for Big Finish's The Lost Stories series in December 2010. In 2011, an illustrated scriptbook was released by Nothing at the End of the Lane.
Beginning life as The Rosacrutians, this story by Donald Tosh came about after Tosh contacted the production staff in early 1968 to see if they would be interested in him pitching a script. Initial discussion saw the story begin as a story featuring Jamie and Victoria, but by the time Tosh delivered the first materials for the story Patrick Troughton had already decided to depart the series. At the point it was turned down by the production team Tosh had completed a script for the first episode and notes for the subsequent three episodes. Tosh completed a full storyline for DWM in 1994. Set on an Earth Space station it deals with a conflict between the staff of the station and the Rosemariners, a group who plan to hold the staff hostage in return for Earth supplying them with sophisticated weapons. It was later adapted by Tosh for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in September 2012.
The Stones of Darkness
Written by Brian Hayles.
"Untitled storyline (Ling)"
"Untitled storyline (Sherwin)"
Submitted for season 7
The Circles of Power
Written by Brian Hayles.
The Mists of Madness
Written by Brian Wright.
The Shadow People
Written by Charlotte & Dennis Plimmer, this seven-part story was submitted to the production office 10 November 1969. It was seriously considered as the final story of Series 7, but a pay dispute with the writers saw the story being dropped.
"Untitled storyline (Ray)"
Submitted for season 8
The Space War
The Hollow Men
The Spare-Part People
Written by Jon Pertwee & Reed De Rouen and also known as The Brain Drain and The Labyrinth, this seven-part story was submitted to the production team in the summer of 1970. In the proposed storyline the Doctor poses as a Cambridge don to investigate a series of disappearances. He himself is kidnapped and taken to a civilization under Antarctica.
"Untitled storyline (Camfield)"
"Untitled storyline (Worth)"
Submitted for series 9
Written by Brian Hayles, this was submitted to the production office during the spring of 1971. The story involved an Ice Warrior plan to invade the Earth using a 'Z' beam which freezes things it strikes to absolute zero. When used on humans, it turns them into zombie-like slaves. Script editor Dicks rejected the storyline, but the inclusion of the Ice Warriors inspired the development of The Curse of Peladon.
The Daleks in London
The Daleks in London, commissioned on 25 May 1971, was to be the final story of Series 9 in 1972, re-introducing the Daleks after a five-year absence. Little is known about the exact storyline of the six-part Robert Sloman serial, other than the fact that it would have had some similarities to The Dalek Invasion of Earth, except set in contemporary London. This similarity caused the production team some concern, and producer Barry Letts eventually decided that he would rather start the series with a Dalek adventure instead of ending it with one. An unrelated submission by Louis Marks was therefore rewritten into Day of the Daleks, and The Time Monster was then written and commissioned to replace the original series finale.
Written by Bill Strutton, this four-part story was submitted to the production office on 25 September 1970 It was later adapted by Simon Guerrier for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in December 2013.
The Shape of Terror
Submitted for season 10
This was the original idea for the story to open the 10th season. This story took aspects from The Seventh Seal, with the ruler of the Time Lords playing a variation of Chess with Death, who was leading a Federation of Evil. The Three Doctors would get transported to an Underworld-like realm, where they would face such creatures of evil like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Seven Deadly Sins. This was deemed too expensive and not suitable for a family show, but the three doctors featuring was recycled into The Three Doctors.
Written by Godfrey Harrison, this four-part story was commissioned by Letts on 19 July 1971. Feeling it was more fantastical than appropriate for Doctor Who, Letts dropped the story on 25 February 1972.
Submitted for season 11
The Final Game
The Third Doctor's final story was to be The Final Game by Robert Sloman and Barry Letts as an uncredited co-writer which was commissioned on 15 February 1973. The story was to end with the Master dying in a manner which suggested that he was trying to save the Doctor's life. The actor who played the Master, Roger Delgado, was killed in a car accident in Turkey on 18 June 1973, forcing the scrapping of the story. The story was replaced by Planet of the Spiders.
Submitted for season 12
The Ark in Space (Lucarotti)
Written by John Lucarotti, this script came about after Space Station was rejected and Lucarotti was suggested by Terrance Dicks as a replacement writer on the strength of his Moonbase 3 script. The story would use the same space station setting as Space Station, the setting being dictated by the production office as means of saving money by having it share sets with Revenge of the Cybermen. Commissioned in June 1974, Lucarotti devised the concept of the ark, a space station that housed a huge plot of countryside the size of Kent - a sort of Home Counties in space. His six-part story concerned the invasion of the ark by a species called the Delc, a spore-like fungus with separate heads and bodies. When the draft scripts arrived from his home in Corsica, Holmes and Hinchcliffe felt they were far too ambitious and complicated to realise on the programme's budget and Lucarotti had over-conceptualised the story. It was replaced by a different story with the same title by Robert Holmes, which shared only the setting with the previous version.
The Sea of Fear
Written by Brian Hayles submitted this storyline to the production office on 9 March 1974. The story involves the Doctor and Sarah becoming caught up in an experiment to determine the true ancestors of humankind.
Written by Christopher Langley, this storyline for a four-part story was submitted to the production office on 30 December 1973. It was subsequently commissioned for scripts on 24 January 1974 and planned as the second story of Series 12. It was dropped on 17 June 1974 and replaced by Lucarotti's The Ark in Space.
"Untitled storyline (Adams)"
Written by Douglas Adams, this story was submitted around the middle of 1974. It involved a space ship leaving Earth and filled with the affluent but "useless" members of society. Adams later adapted the material for the "B Ark" storyline of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Submitted for season 13
Written by Eric Pringle, the story dealt with people offering sacrifices to sentient rocks. Pringle was commissioned on 11 August 1975 by producer Philip Hinchcliffe to write the first two episodes of the four-part story. Pringle submitted the final two episodes without commission on 10 March 1976, but the story was cancelled on 23 June 1976.
The Beasts of Manzic
The Eyes of Nemesis
Written by Brian Hayles, this story was submitted to the production office on 15 May 1975. It would involve the Doctor and Sarah in a chase between the hunter Torr and his quarry Lakdem. Towards the end of the adventure it is revealed that Torr works for the Celestial Toymaker.
Fires of the Starmind
Written by Marc Platt, this story was submitted in late 1975 and dealt with a sentient star using the Time Lord libraries as a means of invading Gallifrey. It was rejected on 15 December 1975.
Written by Terrance Dicks, this six-part story was submitted at the start of November 1974 and was to dealt with vampires. The storyline was commissioned on 11 December 1974, but was abandoned on 13 May 1975. Dicks later reused some of the material for his 1977 script The Vampire Mutation, the story that eventually became State of Decay.
The Menday Fault
Written by David Wiltshire, this was an unsolicited script for a six-part story. The story revolved around a nuclear submarine diving into the 'Fault of Menday' and discovering a subterranean world. The 'sun' for this world is dying and the underground dwellers, Suranians led by Zorr, are planning to invade the surface world. Wiltshire was never commissioned to develop the storyline further. Rough story breakdown is as follows:
Episode 1 The Doctor and Sarah are aboard the experimental nuclear submarine Thor to observe its attempt to break the world undersea depth record – which Thor quickly passes when it dives into the 20,000 ft deep ‘Fault of Menday’, situated in the Bermuda Triangle. As the hull begins to react adversely to the pressure, the Commander orders the submarine to surface – but the vessel continues to descend before the pressure suddenly decreases. The crew become weightless before a jolt sends them tumbling to the floor. The depth gauge reads 30,000 ft. Footsteps are heard on the hull and the outer hatch begins to open…
Episode 2 A creature enters through the hatch, subduing resistance by using a pressure weapon to squeeze several crewmembers to a pulp. The Doctor theorizes that the submarine has penetrated an inner world within the Earth itself. The creature orders the crew to disembark, and they emerge into a world of blue grass, white trees and towering red buildings. Light radiates from a ‘sun’ of green incandescent gas. The Doctor is thrown into prison with the others. He is horrified by the threat posed by the Polaris missiles aboard the submarine; the underworlders’ sun is dying and they plan to use the missiles in an invasion against the surface world!
Episode 3 The Doctor and the Commander are taken from their cell to a large palace and introduced to Zorr, the leader of the Suranians – who demands information about the surface world. A water tank is revealed. Inside is Sarah, water swirling around her ankles. If the Doctor and the Commander don’t co-operate, the water level will rise. Another tank is revealed. The water is somewhat higher and a horrifying creature, identified as a Trelw, is swimming inside. Zorr reveals that the Trelws are an aquatic race conquered by the Suranians and used in their experiments. These creatures have previously been sent to the surface world to test the possibilities for survival, and have given rise to certain Earth legends. Trewls are both poisonous and carnivorous – a fact which Zorr demonstrates by throwing a scrap of food into the tank, which the creature leaps upon. Within three-and-a-half hours the water levels in Sarah’s and the Trewl’s tank will coincide and the creature will be released. The Doctor and the Commander are forced to tell the Suranians about the surface world. Whilst the Doctor attempts to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the Commander gives a guided tour of the submarine. Secretly, he sets a timing device on the nuclear warheads. Back in the cell, the Commander tells the Doctor what he has done. The Doctor is horrified. The explosion will expand the gases of the Suranian sun, destroying the Earth. Stunned, the Commander says that the warheads will detonate in one hour…
Episode 4 The Doctor demands to see Zorr. He escapes from his two escorts by tying their tails together, then makes his way through the streets to the submarine. He finds it guarded so swims to the hull. As he pulls himself up from the water, a hideous shark creature snaps at his heels. With only moments to spare, the Doctor deactivates the firing mechanism, but he is captured by guards and taken to Zorr, who orders the Doctor to be taken to the museum. He is joined by the Commander and Sarah in a long gallery containing various human figures on display in different historical dress. These are not waxworks but the past victims of the Bermuda Triangle – turned into display objects by the Suranians. Despite pleas from the Doctor and his companions, two crewmen are brought in and frozen by a hypodermic injection. As an incentive, Zorr warns that the same thing will happen to one crewman per day if the humans don’t co-operate. In the cell, the Doctor considers the possibility of escape. He hatches a plan to blast through the energy barrier between the surface and the Suranian world using the nuclear torpedoes. First, he says Sarah must trust him with another plan. The Doctor and Sarah are taken to the palace and Sarah is returned to her glass tank. Zorr is angered by the Doctor’s lack of co-operation, and the gate between Sarah’s and the Trelw’s tank is raised. The creature rushes forward with a ghastly roar…
Episode 5 Sarah faints and the Trelw picks her up, but does not harm her. The Suranians are amazed and in the confusion, the Doctor releases Sarah and her rescuer. They escape down a side tunnel. Realizing that the Trelws are the basis for the surface world’s stories of mermen, the Doctor had realized that Sarah would be safe and had told her so in prison. The Trelw says he is called Nephus, one-time leader of the erebus. He claims that his people are being mentally controlled by a Suranian machine, which the Doctor deduces is a transmitter sending its power through the weapons that the Suranians carry. The Doctor and Sarah break into the transmitter room and sabotage it. Guards burst in and drag them away to Zorr, who has decided that they are a threat. Two syringes of freezing liquid are produced, and the Suranians move towards their captives…
Episode 6 Thanks to the Doctor’s tampering, the transmitter room explodes. A Suranian inadvertently stabs himself with his own needle and, in the confusion, the Doctor and Sarah escape. They release the captured submarine crew and race toward the docks. In the grand hall of the palace they are surrounded by guards. Nephus and a score of his people burst in and overcome the Suranians. In the ensuing battle, Nephus kills Zorr. Later, at the dock, Nephus and the Doctor say goodbye. After promising to return, the Doctor boards the submarine and it finally sets sail. Quickly he calculates the figures needed to break through the energy barrier. The nuclear torpedoes fire and the ship is suddenly through, rising quickly to the surface. Everyone is overjoyed. Later the Doctor confides to Sarah that he is troubled – this is not the last they’ll see of the Suranians…
The Nightmare Planet
Written by Dennis Spooner, this story was to be concerned with a planet where drugs in the food and water are used to control the populace. Punishment would be meted out by temporary withdrawal from the drugs which would cause people to see monsters all around them. The storyline for the four-part story was commissioned on 31 January 1975 and the full scripts on 4 February 1975.
The Prisoner of Time
Written by Barry Letts, the storyline for this four-part story was commissioned on 21 January 1975. It was based on audition piece for the role of Sarah Jane Smith Letts had written in 1973 and was initially known as Time Lord Story. Scripts were requested, but Hinchcliffe was unhappy with the draft of the first part and ultimately the story was dropped.
Pyramids of Mars
Written by Lewis Griefer, this story was commissioned in the July of 1974. The story would involve museum keepers being chased out of the British Museum by a mummy. It would turn out that a group was scaring people away in order to gain access to a sarcophagus which would contain wild rice from thousands of years ago. The group wanted to use the rice to seed Mars and make a fortune. It was replaced by Robert Holmes' Pyramids of Mars when Griefer fell ill and the scripts came in late and were not what the production team wanted.
Return to Sukannan
The Silent Scream
Submitted for season 14
The Dreamers of Phados
Written by Chris Boucher, was submitted at some point after The Silent Scream had been rejected in early 1975. It was based on a premise that Hinchcliffe and Holmes wanted to use in which people and machines are controlled by a computer that malfunctions. It was to be set on a space ship which has been home to several generations of a civilization.
The Foe from the Future
Written by Robert Banks Stewart as a six-part story, the story was commissioned in May 1976. This story was replaced by The Talons of Weng-Chiang, which used the same basic premise of a villain traveling back in time when Stewart took up the post of script editor on the series Armchair Thriller and would be unable to deliver the scripts. It was later adapted by John Dorney for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in January 2012.
The Gaslight Murders
Written by Basil Dawson, this four-part story involving murders in Victorian London. Dawson, a veteran screenwriter, was approached by script editor Robert Holmes to develop a story which would introduce a new companion to replace Sarah Jane Smith following her departure. The new character was to be a Cockney girl whom the Doctor would take under his wing and educate, in the manner of Eliza Doolittle in the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion. This story was planned to be the fourth story of Season 14. The Gaslight Murders was quickly abandoned, however. Its spot in the schedule was ultimately filled by The Face of Evil, while Holmes reused the general framework in The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
The Lost Legion
Written by Douglas Camfield, this four-part story was commissioned on 22 January 1976. The story would involve the Doctor and Sarah arriving in North Africa at an isolated French Legion outpost. This has become the battleground for a fight between two alien races, the Skarkel and Khoorians. The story was planned to write out the character of Sarah and would see Sarah killed by one of the aliens. The first script was submitted on 9 February 1976 and removed from the series schedule in April 1976. Camfield would continue to work on the scripts, delivering the final part on 24 September 1976, but the production team were no longer interested in pursuing the story.
The Mentor Conspiracy
Written by Chris Boucher, this story was, like The Dreamer of Phados, written to an idea brief from Holmes and Hinchcliffe. It was to be set on a space ship which has been home to several generations of a civilization. The script was turned down on 30 October 1975.
Submitted for season 15
Written by Moris Farhi, this four-part story was officially commissioned by producer Graham Williams on 8 November 1977. The script was not produced and Farhi no longer recalls what it was about; the script itself is lost.
Killers of the Dark
Following the successful realisation of the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey on screen in The Deadly Assassin, producer Graham Williams wanted another Gallifrey story. Script editor Anthony Read approached David Weir with whom he had worked before. Weir's script, a six-part story, was planned as the final story of Series 15 and was commissioned on 18 July 1977. Weir's script had elements drawn from Asian cultures, and included a race of cat-people with links to Gallifrey. Scenes included a gladiatorial duel in a stadium filled with cat-people. Read and director Gerald Blake, upon reading the finished script, determined that the story would be impossible to shoot on Doctor Who's budget and the story was abandoned mid-August 1977. With only two weeks to spare before filming, Read and Williams quickly co-wrote a replacement script in the form of The Invasion of Time. When asked about Weir's story at a fan convention years later, Williams could not recall its title and made up the name The Killer Cats of Geng Singh, by which title the story became widely known in fan circles.
Written by Douglas Adams, this was one of several ideas that Adams proposed to the production office around 1976. It was rejected by script editor Robert Holmes, who nonetheless encouraged Adams to continue submitting material; this ultimately led to his commission for The Pirate Planet. Later, in 1980, Adams revised The Krikkitmen for use by Paramount Pictures as a potential Doctor Who feature film, although nothing came of this project. Finally, Adams included many of the ideas from The Krikkitmen in his novel Life, the Universe and Everything, the second sequel to his The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The story is set two million years ago, the inhabitants of the planet Krikkit built a race of androids called the Krikkitmen to wipe out all life in the universe. They were stopped by the Time Lords, who trapped Krikkit within a temporal prison. Now, however, a group of Krikkitmen which escaped the Time Lords' sentence are trying to reassemble the components of a key which can free Krikkit—components of which happen to resemble elements of the Earth game of cricket, itself actually a reflection of the ancient war. The Doctor and Sarah stumble upon this plot when they see the Krikkitmen steal the Ashes during a test match at Lords. They then travel to the planet Bethselamin to foil the next step in the Krikkitmen's quest.
"Untitled storyline (Holmes)"
Written by Robert Holmes, this storyline was considered in the autumn of 1976 when it was assumed Hinchcliffe would still be producing Series 15. It was to have been inspired by Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness.
Submitted for season 16
Written by Ted Lewis, and also known as The Doppelgängers, the scripts for the first two episodes of the four-part fourth serial of the season were delivered to the production office on 28 April 1978. Although a third script arrived on 12 May 1978, Lewis turning up inebriated to a meeting with Graham Williams and Anthony Read and the unsuitability of the submitted material meant the story was dropped and replaced by David Fisher's The Androids of Tara.
"Untitled storyline (Boucher)"
Written by Chris Boucher, this idea was submitted shortly after Boucher had completed Image of the Fendahl. However, BBC Head of Drama Ronnie Marsh did not want writers working on both Doctor Who and Blake's 7 at the same time, and the story was consequently dropped.
Submitted for season 17
Shada was a six-part serial written by Douglas Adams that was to have concluded Series 17 in 1980. Production was halted during filming due to a strike and never resumed, although a reconstruction of the serial using narration and existing footage was later released on VHS in 1992. The story was later adapted by Big Finish in 2003 as a webcast production featuring Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor (and later released as an audio story that same year), while Adams himself reused elements from the serial for his first Dirk Gently novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. The story was novelized by Gareth Roberts in 2012.
Written by Alistair Beaton & Sarah Dunant, this four-part story was commissioned on 12 December 1978. The scripts were delivered on 5 January 1979 and rejected four days later as unacceptable.
The Doomsday Contract
For Series 17, John Lloyd, a frequent collaborator with script editor Douglas Adams, adapted material from his unpublished science fiction story GiGax and in October 1978 submitted Shylock, a four-part serial written in Adams' light-hearted style. After providing a second draft of the storyline to modify parts of the script to avoid issues such as the rules involving child actors, Lloyd was forced to focus on his commitments as producer of Not the Nine O'Clock News. Williams was still interested enough in the storyline that he made plans to involved writer Allan Prior to work on the scripts. The storyline was commissioned on 7 February 1979 and a script list dated 29 June 1979 links Lloyd and Prior to the project. Lloyd officially agreed to another writer taking on his story on 25 August 1979. In the story, the Doctor subpoenaed to appear in court when a corporation tries to buy Earth in order to obtain a matter-transmutation device.
Written by Pennant Roberts, this four-part story was commissioned on 10 January 1979 as Dragons of Fear. The adventure would involve the planet Erinella and two men fighting over a princess. The Doctor would become involved in his own timeline by arriving at the wrong time and becoming accused of being a poisoner. Roberts resubmitted the story in the mid-1980s to script editor Eric Saward, but nothing came of the submission.
The Secret of Cassius
The Tearing of the Veil
Written by Alan Drury, the scripts were commissioned on 2 April 1979 for this four-part story. The story was set in the Victorian era and the entire action would take place in and around a vicarage. The vicar has recently died and fake spiritualists are exploiting the widow. The first episode would open with a seance during which the TARDIS would arrive. On 19 September 1979, the story was accepted subject to alterations.
Valley of the Lost
Written by Philip Hinchcliffe, this story involved the Doctor and Romana encountering an alien Luron called Godrin who crash landed in a South American jungle in 1870. Adams wrote to Hinchcliffe on 3 January 1979, explaining that the proposed script would be too costly to produce. It was later adapted as The Valley of Death by Jonathan Morris for Big Finish's The Lost Stories series in January 2012.
"Untitled storyline (Adams)"
Written by Douglas Adams, this story would involve the Doctor going into retirement but being constantly called upon to solve various problems. It was considered as the final story of Series 17 till Williams dismissed the idea. It was replaced by Shada.
"Untitled storyline (Mills & Wagner)"
Written by Pat Mills & John Wagner, this story was submitted around the start of 1979. The story would involve a parallel universe in which the Roman Empire never fell. Mills & Wagner subsequently adapted it to become the comic story The Iron Legion for Doctor Who Weekly in late 1979.
Submitted for season 18
The Castle of Doom
The Dogs of Darkness
Written by Jack Gardner, a scene breakdown for this four-part story was commissioned on 29 March 1980 and the scripts on 11 August 1980. It was still under consideration in April 1981.
Into the Comet
Written by James Follett, this involved monsters attacking a race of beings who live inside Halley's Comet, unaware that there is anything beyond it. Follett was a novelist who pitched this idea circa September 1979, when it was rejected by script editor Douglas Adams. Follett resubmitted Into the Comet to new script editor Christopher H. Bidmead around May 1980, but once again the storyline was not pursued.
Invasion of the Veridians
Written by Nabil Shaban (better known as Sil from the Colin Baker Doctor Who stories Vengeance on Varos and The Trial of a Time Lord) who was a longtime fan of Doctor Who and had previously suggested himself to replace the late Roger Delgado as the Master. In offering this script to the production office in 1980, Shaban also put himself forward as a potential successor to Tom Baker as the Doctor. Nothing came of Invasion of the Veridians. Nabil Shaban had only written the first episode, it was written around the early 1970s, and was very much influenced by the Troughton/Pertwee era. Nabil believes that the only copy has now been lost in time, as he no longer has it.
Mark of Lumos
Mouth of Grath
Written by David Fisher, this story was discussed with Adams in late 1979. It would have featured the Doctor battling the Nephilim, creatures who travel through time in sleeping units that look like sarcophagi. New producer Nathan-Turner was not interested and instead The Leisure Hive was developed.
Written by Christopher Priest, a scene breakdown for this four-part story was commissioned on 27 February 1980 and the full scripts on 24 March 1981. The story, set on Gallifrey, involved hopping back and forth in time resulting in multiple variants of the TARDIS and a spare Doctor, one of whom was killed.
Soldar and the Plastoids
Song of the Space Whale
Space-Whale was originally pitched by Pat Mills and his writing partner John Wagner in 1980 as a Fourth Doctor adventure. When the production office showed some signs of interest, Wagner left the project and the script was commissioned as a four-part Fifth Doctor story for a scene breakdown on 7 September 1981 and full scripts on 2 December 1981. The new drafts reduced the humor and the renamed Song of the Space Whale was now planned as the third series of Series 20 and intended to introduce new companion Vislor Turlough. The story concerned a group of people living in the belly of a giant whale in space. The Doctor would find this out while attempting to protect the creature from being slaughtered by a rusting factory ship. The castaways living in the whale, as well as the ship's captain, would be working class characters, with the former's dialogue being based on that of a working-class Northern Irish family that Mills knew. During the writing, Mills and script editor Eric Saward "fundamentally disagreed" on the character of the captain (Saward wanting a more Star Trek-type figure) and the dialogue for the castaways. Mills has said that "there was a Coronation Street quality to it that Eric felt didn't work in space. He thought the future would be classless, and I didn't." Mills' disagreements with Saward led to the script being delayed until it was too late to serve as Turlough's introductory story. The script was then considered for Series 21 and later still Series 22. By this point the script had been revised as two 45-minute episodes, but although it was still listed in July 1985 as an ongoing script, by November 1985 Nathan-Turner confirmed at a convention that the script had been dropped. The "Space Whale" concept was eventually revised and realised in the 2010 episode The Beast Below. The rejected script was later adapted as The Song of Megaptera by Mills for Big Finish's The Lost Stories in May 2010.
"Untitled storyline (Brosnan)"
Written by John Brosnan submitted this idea some time after Bidmead became script editor in January 1980. The story would have involved the Doctor arriving at the BBC Television Centre and meeting Tom Baker. The two would then pair up to combat a threat.
Submitted for season 19
The Enemy Within
Written by Christopher Priest, the opportunity to write this four-part story was offered to Priest after his previous script, Sealed Orders, had been cancelled. The scene breakdown was commissioned on 5 December 1980 and the scripts on 6 February 1981. Priest's story idea dealt with the 'secret' of what actually powered the TARDIS, in this case fear. Somewhere hidden inside the TARDIS was the one being the Doctor feared above all others, and the psychic tension between the two of them produced the energy to move through space and time. The story involved the Doctor having to confront and ultimately defeat this fear, and was designed to write out the character of Adric. After hearing nothing from the production office with regard to his completed scripts or his payment for them, Priest made contact with John Nathan-Turner. He was told that the scripts were unusable and that he would not be paid. After a bitter dispute Priest was paid and both Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward forced to pen a letter of apology over their treatment of the writer. The script was replaced by Saward's script Earthshock.
Genesis of the Cybermen
Written by Gerry Davis, this four-part story was submitted on spec to the production office around February 1982. It concerned the Doctor arriving on Mondas at a point in time when the Cybermen are being created. The rough storyline was where the Doctor and his companion “Felicity” arrive on the planet Mondas, Earth's twin orbiting on the opposite side of the Sun. While the Doctor works on a piece of TARDIS equipment, Felicity encounters the gentle Prince Sylvan. Sylvan accidentally activates the TARDIS, sending him, the Doctor and Felicity fifty years into the future. There, Sylvan's brother, Dega, is now king and has used the Doctor's device to begin turning his people into Cybermen. He has constructed a space fleet with which he intends to invade the mineral-rich Earth, and plans to kill any unconverted Mondans with cyanide gas. Felicity appeals to Dega's partly Cybernised wife, Queen Meta, and she shoots her husband dead—only to be killed by Dega's chief of staff, Krail. In the confusion, Sylvan and a band of Mondan rebels flee in the spaceships to Earth; the massive concussion of take-off knocks Mondas out of its orbit into deep space. Former script editor Davis submitted this idea circa early 1981, intending it to be a prequel to his and Kit Pedler's original Cyberman serial, The Tenth Planet (which also featured Cyberman Krail). It also borrowed elements from The Ark and The Savages, two stories which Davis had been story editor on. Producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Antony Root were ultimately not interested in Genesis of the Cybermen. Davis wrote his storyline with only the Doctor and one female companion in mind; he called this character “Felicity” rather than writing with any particular companion in mind. This idea would be later explored in the Big Finish audio adventure Spare Parts by Marc Platt and released in July 2002. In turn Spare Parts was heavily borrowed from for the television episodes Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel in 2006.
Project Zeta Sigma
The Fifth Doctor's first story was originally intended to be the four-part Project Zeta Sigma, written by John Flanagan & Andrew McCulloch. It was not intended to follow on directly from the events of Logopolis; instead, the Doctor and his companions would have already left Earth. The story was to concern nuclear disarmament. Commissioned as Project '4G' on 7 October 1980, the script proved unworkable, and producer John Nathan-Turner dropped the story on 19 February 1981. He then commissioned recently departed script editor Christopher H. Bidmead to write a replacement which became Castrovalva. This last minute change disrupted the shooting schedule, meaning that Castrovalva would be the fourth serial of the series filmed, though it would be the first transmitted.
Written by Terence Greer, a scene breakdown for this four-part story was commissioned on 13 June 1980. It was finally rejected sometime after April 1981 and was originally submitted featuring the Fourth Doctor. It is not known if the idea's development extended to the point that Greer would have had to modify it to include the Fifth Doctor.
The Torson Triumvirate
Written by Andrew Smith, a scene breakdown for this four-part story  set on present-day Earth was commissioned on 25 November 1980. The story was still under consideration in April 1981.
Submitted for season 20
Written by Bill Lyons and also known as The Parasites, a scene breakdown was commissioned on 22 September 1981, with the scripts commissioned on 16 February & 23 April 1982 by which point it was being considered for series 21.
Way Down Yonder
"Untitled storyline (Lee)"
Submitted for 20th anniversary special
The Six Doctors
Written by Robert Holmes, this story was planned as the 20th anniversary special. The 90-minute single-part story was commissioned on 2 August 1982 and would involve the various Doctors and companions drawn to the planet Maladoom where they are trapped by the Master who is working for the Cybermen. The Cybermen want to isolate the genetic material that permits Time Lords to time travel freely so that they can incorporate that information into their own biology. The First Doctor would be revealed as an android, hence the title being the Six Doctors. Holmes made little headway with the script and withdrew from the project on 13 October 1982. Holmes would later use part of the storyline in The Two Doctors.
Submitted for season 21
Children of Seth
After completing Snakedance, Saward requested that writer Christopher Bailey devise another story. The initial outline for May Time was commissioned on 24 August 1982 and was about the Doctor and his companions arriving at the court of Byzantium. Full scripts were commissioned on 16 September 1982 with the new title Man-watch, but the scripts were dropped from production for unclear reasons. A second attempt at the story under the title Children of Seth was attempted as a Sixth Doctor story, for which the scripts commissioned on 14 July 1983. This failed because of Bailey's failure to devise a structure for the new doctor's new 45 minute episode format and a tangible villan for the Doctor to face. It was later adapted as The Children of Seth by Marc Platt for Big Finish's The Lost Stories in December 2011. This version reverts to the TARDIS crew of the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa.
Circus of Destiny
Eric Pringle submitted this storyline for a four-part story to the production office in August 1981 alongside The Awakening, but only the latter was developed further. The story may have involved the Daleks.
The Dark Samurai
Written by Barbara Clegg this was submitted in late 1982. It dealt with a race of intelligent youths controlled by a lone Dalek. It was later adapted by John Dorney for Big Finish's The Lost Stories in October 2011.
Written by Peter Ling & Hazel Adair, this story developed out of plans by producer Nathan-Turner to create a sequel to the 1960s soap opera Compact, entitled Impact. When, after drafting three or four scripts for the proposed Impact, Nathan-Turner informed the pair that plans for the soap had been cancelled, the producer offered them the opportunity to write for Doctor Who as a form of compensation. A scene breakdown (whittled down from six parts to four) was commissioned on 12 July 1983, but after three months of development on the scripts, during which the story was restructured into two 45-minute episodes, it was ultimately rejected. The plot involves the disappearance of various people on Earth, which leads the Doctor and Peri to the planet Hexagora where the Doctor becomes romantically involved with Queen Zafia who is trying to save the insect race of Hexagora from destruction through a plan to infiltrate and take over Earth. It was later adapted as Hexagora by Paul Finch for Big Finish's The Lost Stories in November 2011.
The House That Ur-Cjak Built
Written by Stephen Gallagher, this script was submitted in late 1982 but rejected by Saward on grounds of cost. The four-part story would involve the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough testing a Reality Simulator. This simulator projects a graveyard world overrun by the Vodyani who soon find a way out of the virtual reality and into the real world.
The Place Where All Times Meet
The Rogue TARDIS
Written by William Emms, this four-part storyline was discussed but not commissioned when Emms approached the production office in 1983. The story involved the populace of the planet Alden falling under mental domination.
Written by Barbara Clegg, this story was submitted in late 1982 and saw the Doctor travel down the River Styx in Ancient Greece where he would discover an alien race, the Hadeans, kidnapping the women of Greece due to their own race being rendered infertile.
Written by Marc Platt and Charles M. Stevens (a pseudonym for J. Jeremy Bentham), this story was submitted on spec in 1983 and was discussed with Saward but not commissioned. This story dealt with Sontarans and Rutans in England during the 1940s blitz.
Submitted for season 22
All scripts for this series were commissioned for the new 45 minute episode format.
Written by Marc Platt, this was submitted to Saward in 1984 and rejected for being too ambitious for Doctor Who's budget. Platt later adapted the story as a novel for the Virgin New Adventures range in February 1992.
The First Sontarans
Written by Andrew Smith, a scene breakdown had been commissioned on 10 January 1984. The two-part story would have involved the Mary Celeste. It was turned down due to the fact that the Sontarans were to appear in The Two Doctors. It was later adapted by Smith for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in July 2012.
The Guardians of Prophecy
Written by Johnny Byrne, a plot outline for this story, also known as The Place of Serenity, was submitted to the production office by Byrne in July 1983. The two-part story would have seen the Doctor visit the planet Serenity, which is part of the same union that Traken belonged to. The rulers of Serenity are assisted by a computer known as Prophecy and the villains of the piece, Auga and Mura, are attempting to overthrow the rulers. It was later adapted by Jonathan Morris for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in May 2012.
Written by Brian Finch. The scripts for the two-part story were commissioned as Livanthian on 14 August 1983. It was later adapted by Paul Finch (Brian's son) for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in January 2010. It would have seen the Doctor arriving in medieval times.
Written by Ingrid Pitt & Tony Rudlin was conceived of as a four-part Fifth Doctor story during the production of Series 21 before being quickly revised as a two-part Sixth Doctor tale. A script for the first episode only was commissioned as The Macro Men on 19 January 1984. It was later adapted by Pitt & Rudlin for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in June 2010.
Written by Ian Marter, the script for episode one only had been commissioned as Strange Encounter on 2 February 1984. The two-part story is thought to have dealt with the theme of hospital overcrowding.
"Untitled storyline (Bidmead)"
Written by Christopher H. Bidmead, a scene breakdown was commissioned on 19 June 1984.
"Untitled storyline (Boucher)"
Written by Chris Boucher, a scene breakdown was commissioned on 7 February 1984.
"Conquest of the Daleks"
Written by Glen McCoy, McCoy submitted this four part idea on spec to the production office in 1983. Script editor Eric Saward was taken with the idea, but asked McCoy to rewrite it without the Daleks and to add more original characters of his own. The resulting efforts became Timelash. The story involved The Doctor and Peri meeting author H G Wells. Their subsequent battle against the Daleks provides the inspiration for some of his future novels (The Time Machine and The War Of The Worlds).
The originally planned season 23
When Doctor Who was put on hiatus in February 1985, several completed scripts were already being prepared for the 1986 series (which would retain the format of thirteen 45 minute episodes). Others tales were still in the story-outline stage. All of these scripts were later abandoned to make way for The Trial of a Time Lord, when the series resumed in September 1986.
The Nightmare Fair
Written by Graham Williams, this two-part story was commissioned on 25 September 1984 as Arcade and was planned to open the original 23rd series. Nathan-Turner hoped to have Matthew Robinson direct the adventure. Williams wrote a novelisation of the script which was published by Target Books in May 1989. It was later adapted by John Ainsworth for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in November 2009.
The Ultimate Evil
Written by Wally K. Daly, this two-part story was planned to be the second story in the original 23rd series. Nathan-Turner hoped to have Fiona Cumming direct the adventure. Daly wrote a novelization of the script which was published by Target Books in August 1989.
Mission to Magnus
Written by Philip Martin, this two-part story was planned to be the third story in the original 23rd series. Nathan-Turner hoped to have Ron Jones direct the adventure. Martin wrote a novelization of the script which was published by Target Books in July 1990. It was later adapted by Martin for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in December 2009.
Yellow Fever and How to Cure It
Yellow Fever and How to Cure It was a three-part story by Robert Holmes that would have taken place in Singapore and featured the Autons as the monsters, with both the Rani and the Master appearing. The first episode was commissioned on 26 October 1984, before being put on hold. The entire story was subsequently commissioned on 6 February 1986, only a couple of weeks before news of the planned hiatus broke. Nathan-Turner hoped to have Graeme Harper direct the adventure. After the news of the hiatus, Holmes was asked by the production team to continue with the story but as six 25 minute episodes, this version seeing the removal of the Master from the plot. Holmes reportedly only completed a story outline before the planned Series 23 was completely cancelled.
In the Hollows of Time
Commissioned as a two-part story from Christopher H. Bidmead on 21 November 1984. After the news of the hiatus, Bidmead was asked by the production team to continue with the story but as four 25 minute episodes. It was later adapted as The Hollows of Time by Bidmead for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in June 2010.
The Children of January
Written by Michael Feeney Callan, this story was commissioned on 5 February 1985. After the news of the hiatus, Callan was asked by the production team to continue with the story but as four 25 minute episodes. It had been planned that an adaptation of this story would appear as part of Big Finish's The Lost Stories range, but fell through due to the author's other commitments and was replaced by The Macros.
Also submitted for original season 23
Written by David Banks, the story involved the Sixth Doctor and Peri encountering the Master in Ancient Crete, as well as a contingent of Cybermen. David Banks, who had played the CyberLeader in three serials in the early 1980s, submitted this storyline around the time that ‘Attack Of The Cybermen’ entered production in 1984. Script editor Eric Saward liked the idea, but felt that it would prove too expensive to film.
Written by Philip Martin, this story was submitted on 28 December 1983 and dealt with an alien race returning to Earth to discover their "humanity" experiment has failed. The story involved the TARDIS alerting the Doctor to the fact that a regeneration is in progress nearby, suggesting the presence of a fellow Timelord. The Doctor instead find the elite of the Doomwraiths emerging, reconstituted, as shimmering metal columns with many moving strips and a deadly purpose. The Wraiths find that human evolution has failed, and mankind has not taken on their form; they will thus release a plague to destroy humanity, relocate the missing section of genetic code and repopulate Earth themselves. The Doctor and Peri discover that the Doomwraiths themselves have a genetic flaw which gives them the impulse to destroy. The Doctor manages to destroy the discovered code block, but says that the Doomwraiths may have left their legacy on other worlds. On 9 March 1984, Saward noted that the story idea would need further development before he could assess it for commissioning.
Written by David Banks.
Gallifrey was a Pip & Jane Baker script for four 25-minute episodes that was commissioned on 11 March 1985 in the wake of the hiatus announcement, that reportedly would have dealt with the destruction of the Doctor's aforementioned home planet. The concept of Gallifrey's destruction was briefly revived for the proposed interregnum feature film version of Doctor Who (see "Proposed films" below) before being incorporated into the Doctor's backstory beginning in the 2005 series.
Written by David Banks, the writer proposed the story around the time that he was engaged to play the Cyberleader in Attack of the Cybermen. The story is set in 2006, human scientists in Antarctica race to construct a device which will undo an imminent reversal of the Earth's magnetic field. However, the Cybermen are also present in Antarctica and are plotting to sabotage the device, giving them the opportunity to conquer the planet in the confusion caused by the reversal. The device is activated prematurely, crippling the Cybermen, and giving the Doctor the opportunity to stop the Cyber forces. Banks later adapted the story as a novel for the Virgin New Adventures range in September 1993 featuring the Seventh Doctor.
League of the Tancreds
Written by Peter Grimwade, this two-part story was commissioned on 13 August 1984 and abandoned on 8 November 1984 after the completion of a scene breakdown. Nothing exists of this story.
Written by Gary Hopkins, this story reunites the Doctor with former companion Victoria Waterfield, now crusading against nuclear waste. It was later adapted as Power Play by Hopkins for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in June 2012.
Point of Entry
Written by Barbara Clegg, this storyline involved the Doctor and Peri in Elizabethan London as an alien race, the Omnim, return via an Aztec knife. It was also to feature Christopher Marlowe. It was later adapted by Marc Platt for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in April 2010.
Written by Philip Martin, this story was submitted on 28 December 1983 and had the TARDIS pulled to a spaceship graveyard controlled by the Master. On 9 March 1984 Saward felt that the story idea needed further work before it could be considered for commissioning.
Valley of Shadows
Written by Philip Martin, this story was submitted on 28 December 1983 and had the Doctor travel into the Egyptian underworld to save Peri. On 9 March 1984 Saward felt that the story idea needed further work before it could be considered for commissioning.
"Untitled storyline (Pritchard)"
"Untitled storyline (Wolfman)"
The Trial of a Time Lord candidates
After the decision was taken to cancel all the stories previously commissioned for series 23, new stories were sought for the shortened 14 episode series. The plan was for three production blocks, divided up into two four-episode lots and one block of six episodes. Robert Holmes was assigned the opening four-part story and Philip Martin the second four-part story. The final six episodes were to be broken up into three two-part stories.
Attack from the Mind
Writer David Halliwell was approached by Eric Saward in early July 1985 as a prospective writer for the "new" series 23. Halliwell submitted his untitled first draft of the then untitled two-part story to the production office in late July 1985. The story dealt with a conflict between the ugly looking Freds and the beautiful Penelopeans. Work on a second draft began on 14 August 1985 and was completed by 22 August 1985, with a third draft submitted on 11 September 1985. Saward spent much time with Halliwell on further drafts, changing the name of the Freds to Trikes. The fourth revision was delivered on 26 September 1985 and 7 October 1985 saw a fifth draft arrive at the production office. Halliwell received a letter from Saward on 18 October 1985, advising him that Attack from the Mind had been cancelled.
The Second Coming
Jack Trevor Story was invited to the same series briefing as Halliwell, and this two-part story was meant to share sets with Attack from the Mind as well as being linked narratively. The story was centred around the idea of a man playing a saxophone inside an empty gasometer.
With the dismissal of Halliwell and Story's scripts, Saward looked to replace them with a single four-part adventure.
Written by Christopher H. Bidmead, the story was commissioned on 29 October 1985 as The Last Adventure, with second draft scripts of all four episodes delivered by 9 January 1986. The story was dropped on 7 February 1986.
Written by P.J. Hammond, the story was commissioned as End of Term on 10 February 1986 as a replacement for Pinacotheca. It involved the Doctor investigating the resort of Paradise Five, while Mel goes undercover as a hostess. When this script too failed, it was replaced in turn by Pip & Jane Baker's Terror of the Vervoids. It was later adapted as Paradise 5 by Andy Lane for Big Finish as part of their The Lost Stories series in March 2010.
Time Inc was the title for the concluding two-part story-arc as to have originally been written by Robert Holmes when commissioned on 4 February 1986. However, Holmes was unable to work on the script past the first part due to his untimely death on 24 May 1986. Script editor Eric Saward was tasked with completing the story, his version of the script ending with the Doctor and the Valeyard locked in battle in the time vortex and no clear victor. This was disapproved by series producer John Nathan-Turner as being too down-beat and would end the show on an inconclusive moment should the BBC decide to cancel the series. The final episode was subsequently commissioned from Pip & Jane Baker by Nathan-Turner after Saward quit as script editor following the rejection of his proposed ending.
Mel introduction story
According to his book Doctor Who: The Companions (published at about the time The Trial of a Time Lord was broadcast), series producer John Nathan-Turner intended to chronicle the Doctor's first meeting with Melanie Bush in a later episode. The subsequent dismissal of Colin Baker from the role of the Doctor rendered this potential storyline moot, although the later novel Business Unusual by Gary Russell, that was published in September 1997, would attempt to fill in this gap in the show's continuity.
Submitted for season 26
Written by Robin Mukherjee, this three-part story had been considered for series 26 as the "spare" script should another planned story become no longer suitable. The adventure was to take place on a monastic planet inhabited by humans and large beetles. The humans were monks who worked to provide a special elixir that enhanced intelligence. This elixir would be produced by the beetles feeding on intelligent beings. The abbot of the monastery wants to feed the Doctor to the beetles in order to produce a more potent elixir for himself. The script was not completed beyond a partial storyline. Mukherjee was unsure how events would have been resolved beyond a contest of wills between the Doctor and the abbot.
Written by David A. McIntee, this was a four-part Lovecraftian horror story set in Arkham, New England in 1927, although McIntee later began a rewrite to shift the action to Cornwall. The story was based around alien bodysnatchers who could only inhabit the bodies of the dead. The villain of the piece would discover the remains of a Silurian god and try and clone itself a new body from the fossilized body.
Written by Mike Tucker & Robert Perry, this was a three-part Cybermen story set in war-torn London of the 1940s. They had completed the first two episodes in script form and the final episode as a storyline, and were planning to submit it during the start of production on series 26. Fellow writer Ben Aaronovitch intercepted the script, suggesting that submitting to script editor Andrew Cartmel a World War II script when he was currently already editing something similar (The Curse of Fenric) was a mistake and to instead submit it for the following series. Tucker & Perry later adapted the story as a novel for the BBC Past Doctors range in October 1997.
In 1988 writer Marc Platt discussed with script editor Andrew Cartmel an idea inspired by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, concerning stone-headed aliens looking for their God-King in Tsarist 19th Century Russia.
Under consideration for season 27
Before the original Doctor Who series reached its conclusion, some tentative plans had been made for a proposed 27th series under the assumption that it would maintain the then-current pattern of two four-part and two three-part stories. As noted in each entry, Big Finish Productions has produced audio adaptations of several scripts as part of their The Lost Stories releases. The safecracking companion introduced in Crime of the Century (see below), who was never named during the planning, has now been given a name, that of Raine Creevey, and she is portrayed by Beth Chalmers.
The opening three-part, studio-bound story was to be by Ben Aaronovitch; a space opera featuring a race of samurai insect-like aliens called the Metatraxi. Earth Aid was to open with Ace in the captain's chair of a starship, and the story would concern the politics of humanitarian aid. The Metatraxi were originally conceived as part of a stage play entitled War World. The Metatraxi were later used in Lawrence Miles' spin-off novel Alien Bodies. Earth Aid (a title invented by Dave Owen for his "27 up" article in DWM) was later adapted by Aaronovitch and Cartmel for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in July 2011. Cartmel is on record as preferring the title Bad Destination.
This four-parter, the second story of the proposed series, was to have been written by Marc Platt and was due to feature Ice Warriors in a London of 1968. It would have seen the departure of Ace to the Prydonian Academy to become a Time Lord. The story was to introduce a character with underworld connections who was intended to become a recurring character similar to the Brigadier. The character would have a daughter born at the conclusion of the adventure who would be named by the Doctor. The plot would have featured an Ice Warrior's armour in the London Dungeon and two reincarnated Warriors continuing a long rivalry. Platt also intended to have bikers being controlled by the Ice Warriors (and wearing similar helmets), scenes on a terraformed pastoral Mars, and a more mystical bent to the aliens while deepening their history. Marc Platt has revealed that the name Ice Time was "only ever invented for an article in Doctor Who Magazine" (Dave Owen's "27 up" article). It was later adapted by Platt for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in April 2011.
Crime of the Century
Was to have been written by Andrew Cartmel, and would have introduced a cat burglar/safecracker as the next companion. The character with underworld connections from Thin Ice would be featured as an older individual and the father of the new companion. Crime of the Century (another title invented by Owen for "27 up") was later adapted by Cartmel for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in May 2011. Cartmel would have preferred to call the story Action at a Distance.
Cartmel had wanted to pen a story of his own. Animal (another title invented by Owen for "27 up") was later adapted by Cartmel for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in June 2011. Cartmel would have preferred to call the story Blood and Iron.
Written by Neil Penswick, this was a three-part futuristic thriller in which a group of soldiers are hunting down two shape-changing criminals called Butler and Swarfe. The cliffhanger to part one had Swarfe changing into a monster who then went on the hunt in part two. Penswick later adapted some material from this for his Virgin New Adventures novel The Pit in March 1993.
Written by Edward Young, this is a horror story set in an isolated house. It would feature a group of university staff, one who was a cripple, trapped in the house during winter. One of the characters would turn out to be a murderer. The story took its name and theme from the poem Night-Thoughts by Edward Young, namesake of the story's writer. It was later adapted by Young for Big Finish in February 2006. The adaptation featured the Seventh Doctor and Ace, as well as Big Finish-original companion Hex.
A School for Glory
Written by Tony Etchells & an unidentified writer, this was to be set during the Great War. The narrative was planned to alternate between the trenches and a British country house doubling as an army academy.
Submitted for 30th anniversary special
Lost in the Dark Dimension
The first time the idea of a special video-only anniversary special was mooted was in a memo Nathan-Turner wrote to Head of Video Production Penny Mills on 18 February 1992. With Tom Baker not averse to appearing should conditions be met, serious thought was given to an original production and there was a meeting in June 1992 to discuss the concept of the special; by 21 July 1992 writer Adrian Rigelsford (later joined by Joanna McCaul) had completed an initial outline for the story entitled Timeflyers. Shortly afterwards the project was given the cover name The Environment Roadshow. A production office was opened for the project in the first week of September 1992 with shooting planned for January–February 1993. The script was sent to Peter Cregeen on 22 March 1993, indicating at the same time that Graeme Harper was being looked at as a potential director for the special. However, issues with budget plagued the production and shooting slipped to taking place November–December 1993 with a final delivery date of 14 March 1994. Around mid-May Cregeen indicated that he'd like to see the special broadcast on the BBC in November 1993. By the end of May 1993, the project was now being referred to as The Dark Dimension before a new working title of Lost in the Dark Dimension was settled on. Harper was contracted as the director of the special in June 1993 and intended Rik Mayall to play the part of the villain, Hawkspur. What was hoped to be the final shooting script was completed on 21 June 1993 and with the production now aimed for broadcast than a direct-to-video release, Alan Yentob gave the special the green light with the plan to have the completed project delivered by 27 November 1993 but by the start of July 1993, budget issues continued to plague the production and on 9 July 1993 the project was officially cancelled. With the project sunk, the thirtieth anniversary was instead celebrated with the light-hearted Children in Need charity special Dimensions in Time and the documentary 30 Years in the TARDIS. The BBC press release had hinted at the plot with the following:
The future? The Earth is dying under the onslaught of industry, the polar caps are melting, the ozone layer is nearly destroyed ... To save the planet, the Doctor must overcome the combined forces of some of the most feared of his old adversaries. But he must also confront a far greater enemy - one that has already reverted him to his Fourth Incarnation - in order to save both the past and future Doctors before they are taken out of time and cease to exist.
1990s US reboot - Leekley bible
Early in the process that was to lead to the 1996 Doctor Who film, Universal Television had Amblin Entertainment produce a writers' bible which detailed John Leekley's proposed pilot and episodes of a new series. The new series would have established a new continuity rather than following on from the classic series, and the bible reused many elements from the classic series. It is unclear whether clearance could have been obtained for all the episodes detailed, as the costs would likely have fallen to the BBC.
The pilot was to feature the half-human Doctor seeking his father, Ulysses, through various time periods—contemporary Gallifrey (where Borusa dies and is merged with the TARDIS, and the Master becomes leader of the Time Lords), England during the Blitz, Ancient Egypt, and Skaro (where the Daleks are being created). Other proposed episodes in the bible included The Pirates, in which the Doctor teamed up with Blackbeard, and several remakes of stories from the classic series, including:
- The Talons of Weng-Chiang, set in New York
- Earthshock, featuring the "Cybs" (Leekley's more piratical version of the Cybermen)
- Horror of Fang Rock
- The Celestial Toymaker, who was to have been under the control of the Master.
- Don't Shoot, I'm the Doctor, a more historically accurate remake of The Gunfighters
- Tomb of the Cybs, a remake of The Tomb of the Cybermen in which the Cybs are awoken by the Master
- The Yeti, a remake of The Abominable Snowmen featuring the Dalai Lama and Sir Edmund Hillary
- The Ark in Space
Earlier versions of the bible included, among others:
- The Cybs, a story set on Mars in which the Doctor escapes capture by hiding in a gold mine
- A remake of The Sea Devils, set in a Louisiana oil rig
- The Outcasts, in which the Cybs would attack Gallifreyan outcasts
- The Land of Fear, a conflation of The Reign of Terror and The Claws of Axos
- A remake of The Dæmons, set in Salem, Massachusetts
- A completed version of Shada, which would have introduced Romana and Professor Chronotis as Romana's uncle.
Leekley's scripts were not well received at Amblin or elsewhere; and in September 1994, he was removed from the project.
"Absence of the Daleks"
During the development of Dalek, it was unclear whether the production team would be able to obtain the rights to use the Daleks in the revived series of Doctor Who. In the case that they did not, writer Robert Shearman produced a Dalek-less draft of his story that instead featured a Sphere instead of a Dalek as the enemy. This particular draft of the episode was sardonically titled Absence of the Daleks. After the production team obtained the rights to be able to use the Daleks, this draft was scrapped. The concept of an enemy Sphere was later used in the Series 3 story The Sound Of Drums and Last of the Time Lords, under the name of the "Toclafane".
"Untitled storyline (Abbott)"
Written by Paul Abbott, this episode was intended for episode 11 of Series 1. With Jack Harkness having joined the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, Rose feels left out. But when they land in Pompeii in 79 AD, Jack discovers that Rose's life has been manipulated by the Doctor in an experiment to create the perfect companion. Abbot's commitment to Shameless and other projects led to him dropping out of the episode. Russell T Davies took over and wrote "Boom Town" in its place.
For Series 2 of 2006, an untitled episode 2 set at Buckingham Palace, concerned Queen Victoria getting an alien insect in her eye. The setting was eventually changed to the Torchwood Estate and the alien being changed to a werewolf. For the same series, episode 11 involved a villain who has discovered how to drain things of their beauty, and has reduced his planet to a sterile grey landscape.
"Untitled 1920s storyline"
The revived Doctor Who series was to feature a script by Stephen Fry, set in the 1920s. Rumours appeared on the BBC's websites shortly after the airing of the new Series 1 and the story was pencilled in as the eleventh episode of Series 2. According to a video diary entry by David Tennant, Fry attended the very first cast read-through for Series 2, indicating that his script was still under consideration at that point. Due to budgetary constraints, the episode was moved to Series 3 and replaced by Fear Her. The story was subsequently abandoned, as Fry did not have spare time for the rewriting necessary to replace Rose with Martha. Fry said, "They asked me to do a series and I tried, but I just ran out of time, and so I wrote a pathetic letter of "I'm sorry I can't do this" to Davies."
A "companion-lite" episode, Century House was written by Tom MacRae for Series 3 of the revised show. The Doctor was to appear on a live broadcast of Most Haunted, investigating a house haunted by the "Red Widow", with Martha Jones watching at home as a framing device. The episode did not fit into the production schedule, and was pushed back to Series 4 and reworked such that the show was watched by Donna Noble and her mother Sylvia. Due to dissatisfaction with the premise, and to avoid two comedic episodes in the same series, the episode was dropped and replaced with Davies' Midnight.
"Untitled storyline (Davies)"
Russell T Davies scrapped a glass bowl storyline for the Partners in Crime slot in Series 4, as he decided this would make the story too contained, and that wasn't the tone he wanted. In his book The Writer's Tale, Davies remarked that he was glad he abandoned the idea, because The Simpsons Movie had a similar premise.
The Suicide Exhibition
During the Second World War, a Nazi task force assaults the Natural History Museum in London, which has been overrun by monsters. Later action would have involved the discovery of a secret chamber beneath the museum. This episode was written by Mark Gatiss and planned to air in the fourth series of Doctor Who, but was replaced by The Fires of Pompeii. Elements of the story were later reused in Steven Moffat's The Big Bang, the finale of Series 5.
"Untitled 2008 Christmas special"
On Christmas Eve, an alien creature attaches itself to author J.K. Rowling. Suddenly, the real world is replaced by a magical reality influenced by the writer's own imagination. The Doctor must battle witches and wizards to reach Rowling and put the world to rights.
"Untitled storyline (Graham)"
Written by Matthew Graham and planned for the 2010 series, to be about an old people's home and a lighthouse that was a spaceship. Trips to the USA, and Graham's work on Ashes to Ashes precluded him from developing the storyline to script stage.
"Death to the Doctor"
Written by Gareth Roberts. Before settling upon the storyline that would become The Lodger, Roberts initially developed a different storyline for the 2010 series which would have featured a disgraced Sontaran called Strom. This idea reached draft stage before being abandoned altogether. However the idea of Strom was later recycled into Sontaran Commander Strax, who first appeared in A Good Man Goes to War and became a recurring character.
During its run, several Doctor Who spin-offs have been proposed, including one featuring Professor George Litefoot and Henry Gordon Jago from The Talons of Weng Chiang, and a children's show featuring "Young Doctor Who" which was vetoed by Russell T Davies and replaced by The Sarah Jane Adventures. The following is the remainder of the proposed but eventually cancelled spin-off productions of the series:
On 1 November 1966, Dalek creator Terry Nation pitched a spin-off series The Daleks to the BBC, writing a 30-minute teleplay entitled The Destroyers as a possible pilot episode for an American co-production. The Daleks was to have focused on the adventures of the SSS. Lead characters included agents Captain Jack Corey, David Kingdom, his sister Sara Kingdom, and an android named Mark Seven. On 22 November 1966, the BBC informed Nation that they were no longer interested in the project. It was later adapted by Nicholas Briggs & John Dorney for Big Finish's The Lost Stories range in December 2010.
Nelvana cartoon series
In 1990, following the cancellation of the live action series, the BBC approached the Canadian animation house Nelvana to propose an animated continuation of the show. The cartoon series was to feature an unspecified Doctor incorporating elements of various BBC series Doctors and was not to be oriented to a younger audience than the live action series but was intended to be a continuation of the cancelled series but in animated form in order to save costs but with design elements that would promote merchandise sales.
According to Nelvana's Ted Bastien: "We went through a lot of development on it, then we were scripting and storyboarding it and about 4 scripts had been written. It happened really fast".
Concept art was prepared depicting several possible versions of the Doctor modelled on actors such as Peter O'Toole, Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd with elements of the wardrobes of previous Doctors. and new versions of allies such as K-9 and enemies such as the Daleks and Cybermen. The Master was to be "half man, half robot with a cybernetic bird accessory and a face modelled after Sean Connery." The show was also to feature female companions from Earth, and space battles which the BBC would not have been able to afford for the live action series.
The series would have been Nelvana's biggest show to date, however, according to Bastien, "it was pulled out from under us" after a British animation studio told the BBC that it could do what Nelvana intended for a much lower price. The project did not proceed further and no pilot was produced.
K-9 and Company
Elisabeth Sladen was approached to return to Doctor Who as Sarah Jane Smith to help with the transition between Tom Baker and Peter Davison, but resisted the offer. Following the outcry after K-9 was removed from the show, producer John Nathan-Turner proposed a spin-off featuring the two characters. A single episode, "A Girl's Best Friend", was produced as a pilot for a proposed series, and broadcast by BBC1 as a Christmas special on 28 December 1981, but the series was not taken up. The basic premise of a series centered on Sarah Jane Smith was reused in the Sarah Jane Smith audio series and in The Sarah Jane Adventures just over 25 years later.
Rose Tyler: Earth Defence
When it was decided that Billie Piper would leave the series at the end of Series 2, executive producer and head writer Russell T Davies considered giving her character Rose Tyler her own 90-minute spin-off production, Rose Tyler: Earth Defence, with the possibility of such a special becoming an annual Bank Holiday event. The special would have picked up from Rose's departure in Doomsday in which Rose joins the Torchwood Institute of a parallel Earth. The special was officially commissioned by Peter Fincham, the Controller of BBC One, and assigned a production budget. Davies changed his mind while filming Piper's final scenes for Series 2 of Doctor Who, later calling Earth Defence "a spin-off too far," and deciding that for the audience to be able to see Rose when the Doctor could not would spoil the ending of Doomsday, and the production was cancelled. Davies said Piper had been told about the idea, but the project ended before she was formally approached about starring in it. The plot element of Tyler working with Torchwood to defend the earth would be revisited towards the end of Series 4 in 2008.
The Sarah Jane Adventures
"Untitled storyline (Ford)"
Written by Phil Ford. A story idea considered for the first and second episodes of the fourth series. Set at Park Vale Comprehensive School, it would have concerned an Aztec priestess who had lived for thousands of years and was now working there as an English teacher.
Don't Sit Too Close to the Screen
Written by Joseph Lidster. A story idea considered for the third and fourth episodes of the fourth series. It involved a new children's television show that causes its viewer to become possessed. The aliens behind are harnessing electrical impulses in the viewer's brain, their aim being to get rid of humanity so that they can live uninterrupted in the electricity.
Written by Joseph Lidster. A story idea considered for the third and fourth episodes of the fourth series. It concerned an alien operating from a supermarket with a voice coming over a tannoy into the empty store. The focus of story would be Luke and K9, with Luke combating the alien alone like the 1988 action movie Die Hard.
Written by Joseph Lidster. A story idea considered for the third and fourth episodes of the fourth series. It was based upon the old childhood game of not standing on the cracks between paving slabs.
Written by Joseph Lidster. A story idea considered for the third and fourth episodes of the fourth series. It was based upon the notion of 'faces' which people used to be able to see in patterned wallpaper.
"Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the seventh and eighth episodes of the fourth series. Sarah Jane would have, as a result of a lightning storm, come face to face with her father who has been dead for over 55 years.
"Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the seventh and eighth episodes of the fourth series. It would have seen Sarah Jane being kidnapped and replaced by an identical look-alike. It was ultimately replaced by The Empty Planet as the production team was concerned it had too much of the feel of the 1970s Gerry Anderson science-fiction series, UFO.
The Children of Blackmere Rise
Written by Rupert Laight. A story idea considered for the ninth and tenth episodes of the fourth series. It would have seen Rani investigating a strange council estate, as part of her Journalism course, to find all its inhabitants possessed by an alien egg.
The Web of Lies
Written by Gary Russell. A story idea considered for the eleventh and twelfth episodes of the fourth series. It would have seen Sarah Jane being controlled by a trio giant spiders from Metabelis III, an alien race previously featured in the Doctor Who story Planet of the Spiders.
Sarah Jane and the Return of the Spiders
Servant of the Spiders
Miracle on Bannerman Road
Written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman. It was originally planned that series four would conclude with a Christmas Special. It would have been a pastiche of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with Sarah Jane being shown Christmas past, present and future by a guide. Tom Baker was considered at one point for the role of the guide.
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the fourth series. An alien causes the entire population of the UK to fall asleep in order to execute a bizarre plan. This idea later formed the basis for The Empty Planet.
Sarah Jane Goes Back to the Future
Sarah Jane in Prison
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the fourth series, it would have seen Sarah Jane framed for a bank robbery by Mrs. Wormwood.
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the fourth series. Rani, Clyde and Luke encounter an alien is distress whilst on a school trip.
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the fourth series, inspired by the Channel 4 archaeology series Time Team. An archaeological dig would have raised Sarah Jane's distinctive Nissan Figaro from where it had been buried thousands of years ago.
Trinity Wells Investigates
Written by Gareth Roberts. A story idea considered for the fourth series, it would have seen the character of Trinity Wells, an American news anchor previously featured in Doctor Who, investigating a series of strange events occurring in Ealing and surrounding Sarah Jane.
"Untitled storyline (Roberts)"
Production on the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures was brought to a close due to the death of series star Elisabeth Sladen. This left several planned scripts and storyline ideas unused:
Meet Mr. Smith
Written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman. Planned for the seventh and eighth episodes of the fifth series, and would have seen Mr. Smith, Sarah Jane's alien computer, adopting human form.
The Thirteenth Floor
Written by Phil Ford. Planned for the ninth and tenth episodes of the fifth series, it would have focused on Clyde and Rani and seen them trapped in a lift of a tower block. This script has since been reworked by Ford and was featured as part of the Wizards vs Aliens series.
The Battle of Bannerman Road
Written by Russell T. Davies. Planned for the eleventh and twelfth episodes of the fifth series, it would have featured the revelation that Sky was the child of the Trickster, seen the return of Katy Manning as Jo Grant Jones and the destruction of Bannerman Road.
Written by Clayton Hickman. Planned as a Halloween special for a Live 2011 broadcast. Set at Halloween, it would have seen an encounter with the Pagan Gods, Gog and Magog, who attempt to escape from a decaying alien prison ship.
Written by Clayton Hickman. Planned as a Halloween special for a Live 2011 broadcast. Set at Halloween, it would have seen the gang transported back to the years 1911 and 1934.
"Untitled storyline (Hickman)"
Written by Clayton Hickman. Planned as a Halloween special for a Live 2011 broadcast. Set at Halloween, it would have seen an encounter with an hideous gargoyle-like creature.
Night of the Spectre
Written by Phil Ford. Planned as an animated Halloween special for a 2011 broadcast. It would have seen the return of former series regular Maria Jackson and her father Alan who had since left for the USA.
"Untitled storyline (Davies)"
Written by Russell T. Davies. Planned for the sixth series, it would have seen the return of former Doctor Who companion Ace and explained how Ace left the Doctor and what had happened to her since then.
"Untitled storyline (Lidster/Davies)"
It was to be set at a spooky 24-hour supermarket. A version of this idea was initially developed by Joseph Lidster for inclusion in the second series. However, at one point Russell T. Davies was to use this idea as the basis for the opening episode of the second series.
In the mid-1960s, two motion pictures starring Peter Cushing were produced based upon the television series. Since then, there have been periodic further attempts to adapt Doctor Who as a feature film.
Daleks vs. Mechons
In issue 461 of Doctor Who Magazine, it was revealed that a third Peter Cushing Dr. Who film entitled Daleks vs. Mechons, to be based on The Chase, was in production; but because of the poor box office returns from Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., the project was eventually cancelled.
Doctor Who Meets Scratchman
During spare time in filming, Tom Baker and Ian Marter (who played Harry Sullivan in the series and later novelised several Doctor Who scripts for Target Books) wrote a script for a Doctor Who film, Doctor Who meets Scratchman. The script, sometimes titled Doctor Who and the Big Game, saw the Doctor encounter the Daleks, meet the Devil known as Harry Scratch or Scratchman, robots known as Cybors, scarecrows made from bones, the Greek god Pan, and at times Vincent Price and Twiggy were associated with the production to play as the villain Harry Scratch and a possible new female companion after Elisabeth Sladen left the TV series. The finale of the film was to have taken place on a giant pinball table, with the Doctor, Harry and Sarah dodging balls as well as battling Daleks on the board. During his tenure as the Fourth Doctor, Baker repeatedly tried to attract funding for the film. At one point, he received substantial donations from fans, but after taking legal advice was forced to return them. The plans were eventually dropped.
Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen
During the Fourth Doctor era, future Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams submitted this story in 1976 before later preparing it as a submission for a Doctor Who film, Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen. Elements of Krikkitmen were used in the Key to Time story arc, for which Adams wrote a story, and Krikkitmen was reworked as the third Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book Life, the Universe and Everything.
Lacuna film proposals (1987–1994)
As the original Doctor Who series was nearing its end and continuing during the first interregnum (1989–1996), numerous attempts were made to adapt the series for the big screen for the first time since the Peter Cushing films of the 1960s. Jean-Marc Lofficier, in his book The Nth Doctor, profiles a number of film proposals, some of which came close to being produced. Ultimately, however, the only film version of Doctor Who (other than the two Cushing films) produced to date has been the 1996 made-for-TV film which was developed as a continuation of the TV series rather than a reboot or reimagining of the concept. At one point, the film had the full working title, Doctor Who: The Last of the Time Lords. Among the script proposals profiled by Lofficier are several submissions by Doctor Who and Space: 1999 alumnus Johnny Byrne, plus others by Robert DeLaurentis, Adrian Rigelsford, John Leekley, Mark Ezra and Denny Martin Flinn.
"Dr. Who radio series"
During the late sixties, a radio series starring Peter Cushing as The Doctor from the Dalek films had been planned to be produced. A collaboration between Stanmark Productions and Watermill Productions, a pilot had been recorded and a further 52 episodes were to be produced. The pilot story titled Journey into Time featured The Doctor and his granddaughter travel to the time of the American Revolution. The script was written by future television series writer Malcolm Hulke and the recording remains lost.
Doctor Who Webcast
In 2003 the BBC announced the return of Doctor Who, as a series of webcasts to air on bbc.com. Richard E. Grant was announced as the Ninth Doctor. A webcast, written by Paul Cornell, entitled Scream of the Shalka was completed, and aired on bbc.com. This was followed by an online short story entitled The Feast of the Stone. Work was already well underway on the second webcast, entitled Blood of the Robots. This was to be written by Simon Clark. However, before production began, it was announced that Doctor Who would be returning to television, with Russell T. Davies as Producer. Blood of the Robots was never made.
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