Twelfth: Sleep No More

sleep no moreWriter: Mark Gatiss

Director: Justin Molotnikov

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companion: Clara Oswald

Series: 9, episode 9

Summary: This episode is told in “found-footage” style, similar to movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. A space station has been invaded by strange monsters made of “sleep dust”, the dust left in your eyes when you wake up. These monsters absorb crew members into themselves. The crewmembers don’t sleep, and instead use “Morpheus Pods” to renew themselves, subjecting themselves to a state similar to sleep.

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Twelfth: The Empress of Mars

empress of marsWriter: Mark Gatiss

Director: Wayne Yip

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companions: Nardole (Matt Lucas), Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie)

Series: 10, ep. 9

Summary: The Doctor and friends arrive on Mars and discover that humans have invaded and are attempting to colonize and revitalize the planet. However, his old enemies, the Ice Warriors, see the humans as invaders and the Doctor is caught in the middle of their conflict, unsure if he should take a side, and if so, which side he should take.

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Editorial: Top 10 Best Writers

In the 50+ years Doctor Who has been on the air, the show has had many great writers. While some have only made a minimal impact on the show’s history, others like Terry Nation and Russell T. Davies have made lasting contributions to the mythos.  For this editorial, I’ll be counting down the best writers.

Note: Writers must have written at least two episodes for the show. Also, I am not including writers such as Neil Gaiman who have a large body of work besides Doctor Who. In the case of Gaiman, his work is too vast to focus solely on his two stories for Doctor Who, no matter how much I like them.

sarah dollard

10. Sarah Dollard (Best stories: “Face the Raven”, “Thin Ice”)

When Peter Capaldi became the 12th Doctor, Moffatt wanted to take the show in a darker direction and hired several new writers. While Sarah hasn’t been on  the show as long as the others on this list, I really hope she sticks around.

whithouse

9. Toby Whithouse (Best stories: “School Reunion”, “The God Complex”, “Under the Lake/Before the Flood”)

Toby Whithouse seems able to take familiar formulas used in Doctor Who and use them in new unique ways, as seen in “The God Complex” and “Under the Lake/Before the Flood”.

mark gatiss

8. Mark Gatiss (Best stories: “Invaders From Mars”, “The Unquiet Dead”, “Robot of Sherwood”)

Mark Gatiss is one of the many writers that Russell T. Davies brought on from Big Finish, and while he’s not always written a good story (“The Idiot’s Lantern” is one of his less-inspired stories), he’s always managed to entertain and show Doctor Who‘s lighter side.

douglas adams

7. Douglas Adams (Best stories: “The Pirate Planet”, “City of Death”)

Douglas Adams is actually more well-known for his writings outside of Doctor Who, such as his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books. His unique brand of humor is still felt on the show thanks to the writings of Mark Gatiss and Russell T. Davies.

paul cornell

6. Paul Cornell (Best stories “Loup-Geroux”, “Human Nature/Family of Blood”, “Father’s Day”)
Another Big Finish contributor and he also worked for the show during Davies’s tenure as show-runner. I think what makes Cornell such a great writer is that he can combine both the human and alien aspects of the Doctor.

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Twelfth Doctor: Robot of Sherwood

robot of sherwood

Writer: Mark Gatiss

Director: Paul Murphy

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Louise-Coleman)

Series: 8, ep. 3

Summary: Clara wants to meet Robin Hood, but the Doctor isn’t keen on the idea. They go back in time and…wait, he’s real? The Doctor isn’t convinced at first. But is he right to be skeptical? They go to the archery contest and the Doctor discovers there’s a robot. Just what’s going on?

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Ninth Doctor: The Unquiet Dead

unquiet dead

Writer: Mark Gatiss

Director: Euros Lyn

Producer: Phil Collinson

Series: 1, ep. 3

Companion: Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)

Summary: The Doctor and Rose travel to 1869 Cardiff on Christmas Day. Charles Dickens is reciting his famous story A Christmas Carol. The local undertaker has a problem–the dead are rising. They have been possessed by spectral beings called the Ghelf, who reside in a time rift. But the rift is dying. A woman named Gwyneth who works with the undertaker can sense the future and communicate with the Ghelf. The Doctor conducts a séance and discovers the Ghelf are victims of the Time War, which is destroying the rift.

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Eleventh Doctor: Victory of the Daleks

victory-of-the-daleks

Writer: Mark Gatiss

Director: Andrew Gunn

Producer: Peter Bennett

Series: 5, ep.3

Companion: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)

Summary: The Doctor and Amy travel to WWII and we learn that he’s met Winston Churchill.  Churchill is ecstatic because he has new weapons called “Ironsides”. But the Doctor knows that they are something else: Daleks. What’s more Amy has no knowledge of their existence, despite the events of “Journey’s End.”

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Fifth Doctor Audio: Phantasmagoria

 

phantasmagoria

 

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Nicholas Briggs
Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery, Gary Russell
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
Companion: Vislor Turlough (Mark Strickson)
Summary: The Fifth Doctor takes Turlough to London in 1702, in the hopes of teaching him to play Cricket. While there, they investigate disappearances of patrons losing card games at the Diabola Club, run by Sir Nicholas Valentine.
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