Helen Raynor (born March 1972) is a British television and theatre writer and script editor. From 2004 until 2007 she was one of the script editors of the revived version of the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who, working on its first three series. Her own writing work includes two Doctor Who stories and episodes of spin-off series Torchwood. Her non science-fiction work includes Cake, a fifteen-minute television short for BBC One's Brief Encounters strand shown in May 2006, and a sixty-minute play Running Away with the Hairdresser for BBC Radio 4, broadcast in June 2005. For the theatre she has written Waterloo Exit Two, a short play presented as part of Paines Plough's Wild Lunch season at the Young Vic in 2003.
Raynor was born in Swansea and attended Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Her initial career was in the theatre, where she worked for eight years as a director and assistant director for the Bush Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, the Royal Opera House and Opera North. Her RSC Fringe production of Soho by Rebecca Lenkiewicz won a Fringe First at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival. Switching to television, from 2002 to 2004 she was a script editor on BBC One's daytime medical soap opera Doctors.
Outside broadcasting, she has written for Doctor Who Magazine and compiled the script book of the 2005 season of Doctor Who for BBC Books. She also provides an audio commentary for the Doctor Who episode "World War Three" in the 2005 season DVD boxset, released in November 2005. She later provided a second audio commentary for the series two episode "School Reunion" in April 2006, this time for free download from the bbc.co.uk Doctor Who website. Raynor is currently working as a writer for several theatre companies. She co-wrote the 2011 TV series Baker Boys with partner Gary Owen.
In addition to her production duties for the show, Raynor wrote the two-part story "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" for the 2007 series of Doctor Who, in which the Daleks invade New York in 1930. She was the first woman to write for the new series, as well as the first woman to write a Dalek story in Doctor Who's history. She then wrote another two-part story for Series 4, entitled "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" in which the Doctor's old enemies the Sontarans, last seen in 1985's "The Two Doctors"" make their re-imagined return to series. UNIT and Martha Jones also returned in these episodes. She also returned to her script editing duties later on in the same series, working on the Steven Moffat two-part story "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" and Russell T Davies' "Midnight".
Raynor has also contributed the story "All of Beyond" to the Doctor Who short story collection Short Trips: Snapshots, published in June 2007. This was her first professionally published work of prose.
In Doctor Who Magazine issue 366 (dated 1 March 2006), it was announced that Raynor would also be script editing the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, also produced by BBC Wales. She went on to write one episode of the series herself – "Ghost Machine", broadcast on 29 October 2006 – making extensive use of locations in the city of Cardiff where she lives.
She wrote the third episode of the second season of the show, "To the Last Man", in which Toshiko falls for a handsome soldier, trapped out of his time, who unwittingly holds the key to saving the world.
- "Biography at the official Big Finish website". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- Price, Karen (22 January 2011). "Creating the BBC’s Baker Boys". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Who's Writing?". Doctor Who Magazine. 31 May 2007.
- Interviewed in Torchwood Declassified, BBC3, 30 Oct 2006.
- Gallifrey Guardian Extra. "Doctor Who Magazine". Issue 354. Cover date 21 July 2004.
- Helen Raynor at the Internet Movie Database.
- Article on "Running Away With The Hairdresser" at bbc.co.uk.
- Review of "Soho".
- Wild Lunch 2003.
- Article on "Cake" at bbc.co.uk.
- Radio Times interview with Helen Raynor - April 2007