Pitch Your Doctor Who Era

If you were the Doctor Who showrunner, what would your era of the show look like? Let’s assume you have limitless money, unlike Russell T Davies. How many episodes would each series be? Would you have any spin-offs? Who would you cast as the Doctor and companion?

Personally, I’d go for an Arrowverse approach. Each series would have a serialised story arc, with each episode including one scene that ties each episode together, and furthers along the story. Every series of the main show would be 13 episodes like the original RTD era, and one Christmas Special, and I’d have a few interconnected spin-offs with their own story arcs.

Alongside each show’s story arc, there would be one event arc that crosses over between each show. The climax to the event arc would see one episode of the crossover for Doctor Who, and the other parts would come in the spin-offs.

I would cast Hayley Atwell as the Doctor, who would be a more stern and authoritative woman of action, like a female Third Doctor, and there would be two companions in total across three series. My series would be as follows:

Series 1: The Diabolical Box

Joining as companion in this series is Brian Conley as P.T. Barnum. Alongside the story arc, there’d also be a character arc regarding over whether P.T. Barnum can be changed, acknowledging his controversial views regarding freak show entertainment, or if some people are beyond changing.

Episode One: Geeks And Freaks - The newly regenerated Doctor lands in 1850, in the middle of P.T. Barnum’s circus. P.T. Barnum is amazed, and becomes fixated on making the Doctor a part of his freak show. Whilst at the circus, the Doctor discovers P.T. Barnum has found and captured an Ood, to use for his show.

As the Ood’s eyes turn red, can the Doctor contain the threat and free the Ood from captivity before anyone gets hurt? This one would borrow elements from the excellent Big Finish audio Judoon In Chains, and concludes with P.T. Barnum stowing away undetected on the TARDIS, as part of his plan to make the Doctor a part of his circus. Meanwhile, there’s also a story arc scene of the Daleks discovering the existence of the Diabolical Box, which promises to offer the Daleks the ultimate power.

Episode Two: Cinématographe - The TARDIS arrives in Paris 1895, when the Lumber brothers introduced the notion of cinema to an audience for the first time, using their Cinematographe - a camera, projector, and film printer combined. The Doctor is irritated to discover P.T. Barnum stowed away on her TARDIS, and is concerned about the effect this will have on the timeline, whilst P.T. Barnum is amazed by the Cinematographe. The audience get more than they bargained for, however, when a spaceship that looks like a steam train crashes through the screen, and extra-terrestrial bandits steal the Cinematographe as a historical artefact to sell on the intergalactic black market, as it turns out artefacts from Earth’s history are worth a ton in the future. Can the Doctor save cinema? Meanwhile, the Daleks take the Diabolical Box to Skaro, where they conduct experiments on how to open it.

Episode Three: The Rules Of Time - With P.T. Barnum seemingly here to stay, the Doctor establishes some ground rules for her new companion: always be kind, and treat everybody the same, no matter how different they appear. The pair are interrupted by the Shadow Proclamation, who need their help in capturing a dangerous criminal from the planet Draxicargo, who plans to assassinate the president of the planet Faragan, who is destined to sign a peace treaty that changes the face of the war between the Draxicargoians and the Faragans. Can the Doctor and Banrum catch the criminal assassin? Meanwhile, the Daleks uncover a new mystery on how to open the Diabolical Box, which requires help from the Mechanoids.

Episodes Four/Five: The Regeneration Of UNIT/A New Legacy - Kate Lethbridge-Stewart is tragically killed during a failed UNIT operation to stop a gang of alien dinosaurs from the planet Terra, who plan to destroy the Earth, and terraform it back to the conditions of the prehistoric era, so that they can populate the planet. They appoint a gruff and outspoken woman named Valerie Pemberton as their new UNIT Brigadier, who immediately clashes with the Doctor’s pacifistic views. Barnum spots an opportunity to capture the alien dinosaurs and take them back home for his freak show, but the Doctor works to make him change his mind. The two-parter sets up the UNIT spin-off and also features two scenes of the Daleks’ uneasy alliance with the Mechanoids to open the Diabolical Box.

Episode Six: Reversal - The Doctor and Barnum land in the year 3692, where the world is largely populated with the kind of people Barnum would have viewed as ‘freaks’, and those without any abnormalities are instead the ones seen as different. The Doctor and Barnum work together to negotiate peace between those who are seen as ‘freaks’ and those who are not, and for the first time Barnum can see things from the perspective of those who he deemed as ‘freaks’ back home. Meanwhile, the Daleks and Mechanoids are amazed to discover the Diabolical Box contains a tiny supernova.

Episode Seven: The Queen Of Hearts - The TARDIS arrives during Princess Diana’s final days before her horrific car crash. This one’s an emotional episode, with the Doctor falling in love with Princess Diana but knowing the tragedy that’s to come, and Barnum trying to work out why the Doctor looks so sad. The story arc scene is the Daleks betraying the Mechanoids and exterminating them.

Episode Eight: Political War Part One - This is the first episode of a multi-show event. UNIT discover that the world’s most powerful politicians have been replaced by alien shapeshifters, and call in the Doctor and Barnum to help. The episode concludes with a massive nuclear explosion, and there’s a story arc scene of the Daleks building something big that they plan to use the Diabolical Box for.

I’ll do more tomorrow as I’ve got to go to sleep for work tomorrow.


Impressive. I was toying with a thread along these lines but for existing Doctors.


I have an idea knocking around my head, but having the time/energy to actually put it in words is tough. Maybe I’ll get around to it someday.


My ideas tend to be more one-off episode ideas then eras, but I think we’re about due to have a “Brigadier comes out of retirement for an episode” episode. Let’s bring Angela Bruce back as Winifred Bambera…


Interesting premises. I would have one main show with 13 episodes + a Christmas special per season. Every episode is 60 minutes. I would hire other people to write it because I can’t do that. I would have a writer’s room that controls the overall narrative and that writes about five stories a season.

I would have a TARDIS crew of three. The Doctor is played by Maggie Smith. One Companion is played by a young unknown but talented female actress and the other is a returning companion, maybe Yas.

I would have mini-series in between seasons. Those would be different each year.

The first one would star Billie Piper and Camille Coduri. It would be called The Tylor Dimension - A Doctor Who Story.

It will lead to a lot of discussions online. What will next year’s mini-series be about? Many speculate and hope that it will be about the Ponds but it is revealed that it is called: Clara and Me - A Doctor Who Story starring Jenna Colman and Maisie Williams.

The third year turns out to be Ponds in New York - A Doctor Who Story.


Daniel Radcliffe as the Master?


He would be an awesome Master.


I agree. Playing opposite Maggie Smith would be a bonus, but he’s been one of my picks for the Master for a while regardless…


I keep coming up with mini-series that I want to watch :joy:.

The Lost Season - A Doctor Who Story staring Paul McGann as the Doctor.

K9 - A Doctor Who Story. The Australian series is finally becoming part of the official Whoniverse.


Okie Dokie!

I would essentially go for a massive conflict across the universe between the Voord and an original species of pufferfish-like aliens who could naturally produce poison darts from their hands (think the villain from MIB 3).

The Aqueous Wars

The Doctor and friends would find themselves entangled in the conflict before things eventually came to an epic conclusion; the Voord would channel the God of Water - Poseidon himself - in the hopes of becoming beings of pure H20 with the ability to flood the universe, wiping the slate clean for the Voord to take absolute control.

The Doctor (Rosie Marcel)
No-nonsense and carrying the weight of the universe on her shoulders, the Doctor is determined to make sure the Aqueous Wars don’t devastate reality; making sure they aren’t a repeat of the Flux tragedy. Best described as a fusion of latter-day McCoy and Series 10 Capaldi.

Simon Costello (Miles McKenna)
Holidaying in Santa Monica when he first encounters the Doctor, Si is a chaotic ball of energy who wants nothing more than to see the universe… shame then that most of it is under threat from the Aqueous Wars. A marine biologist, Si would become crucial in liberating worlds taken over by the Voord and their opposition.

Morbius (Jake Wood)
Emerging from deep hibernation in the middle of the Aqueous Wars, the fourth incarnation of Morbius seeks to take advantage of the chaos to recruit numbers to his cult, before making a power grab for the less important Voors occupied worlds. He would attempt to get his revenge on the Doctor, before realising that the Aqueous Wars threaten all life in the cosmos… causing an uneasy alliance between the two.

The Lotus (Gemma Chan)
A former member of UNIT Black Ops who went freelance, becoming a skilled hacker and assassin in her headquarters at Chongqing. After encountering a Voord Battle Computer and bumping into Morbius - during his alliance with the Doctor - she sees the potential of forging a bond. Essentially an anti-hero who becomes Morbius’ companion.


The first of those I would watch in a heartsbeat 700000 times

The second one I did watch and I don’t like the idea of it being any more mainstream than it is. That said, I do kind of miss it…


My era in a nutshell


Honestly, we could still be getting K9 in the main series. It’s entirely possible that Ms. Flood is Romana, and K9’s been living next door to Ruby…



I adore the idea of this thread so much! I was so inspired, I wrote outlines for my very own TARDIS Team in the general style of a show bible. Perhaps I will create some episode outlines later.


The Doctor: The star of our show, the Doctor is a time traveller from a distant planet. As is typical of this programme, the Doctor has regenerated yet again, into a grey-haired, Miss Marple type. Like the original Hartnell incarnation, she conveys the respect and gravitas of a grandparent, with both the wisdom of years of experience and the feeling that despite the closeness, you and she live very different lives. She can be as sweet as a sugar biscuit and as sour as a lemon drop. This incarnation may not be as blustery as previous incarnations, but that may be because this version of the Doctor can be quite persuasive without having to shout. Nevertheless, this Doctor has been known to have fun, even at times which Earth society might deem inappropriate. She is also a prodigious knitter and manages to somehow manufacture between adventures a seemingly absurd number of hats, mittens, and ridiculously long scarves. She has sonic knitting needles instead of a screwdriver.

Matthew: a young, working-class man of Earth, early to mid-20s. Suffers from a great deal of self-doubt and seems to be rejected from job after job. Despite his misfortune, he has mechanical prowess that goes unrecognized by those around him. His younger brother, Tobias, received a tuition-free scholarship to St. Cedd’s College, Cambridge, at seventeen and is his parent’s “golden boy.” One unfortunate evening, Matthew’s parents tell him that he must find a job in a month or be kicked out of the house. That same night, his parents tell Tobias that they will pay for him to take a four-month grand tour of Europe. Frustrated by his ill fortune and poor reputation, Matthew takes a walk at night, which causes a chance encounter with…

Twee: an alien from the planet Ixar IV with the (helpfully for us) appearance of a human teenager. She is both older and younger than she looks. She is a member of the dominant alien species on Ixar IV, one of the most skilled telepathic races in the known universe. Unfortunately for Twee, her telepathic finesse is below average, but she is working on it. This causes a problem for her when she is mysteriously stranded on Earth, as her species lacks verbal skills, and her lack of telepathic finesse can cause temporary insanity in humans she tries to contact mentally. Fortunately for Twee, Matthew has “telepathic resonance” with her (meaning he does not go insane on contact), and he is able to help Twee to find the nearest other telepath on Earth, which just so happens to be the Doctor. The Doctor decides to help Twee in her quest to find home, perhaps because she is reminded of another young alien girl with telepathic abilities named Susan that she traveled with when she was a he some years ago. It is important to note that Twee’s species does not use names, and the alien known as Twee is dubbed by Matthew after her somewhat mangled attempt at her first word, “tree.” Any resemblance to a certain adjective meaning “cute” is purely coincidental, but somewhat descriptive. Twee can be fierce when provoked, however, especially when it comes to protecting Matthew. Over the course of the season, she manages to accrue a greater vocabulary, until she is around the same verbal ability as former Doctor companion Leela by the end of the season.

Unspeakable: The Doctor’s cat. At least, we think it is a cat. It looks like a cat. It acts like a cat, most of the time, except when it seems to have knowledge and intelligence no cat should have. Perhaps it got into something it shouldn’t have in the TARDIS…

The TARDIS: is tired of being taken for granted and being treated as a mere machine. She decides that she is going to take a more active role from here on out. While the Doctor tries to foster a mentor-mentee relationship with Twee, the TARDIS is going to surreptitiously take Matthew under her wing and build his self-confidence by arranging a series of events that seems coincidental but will form him into the young man he needs to become.


They could very well be a Gallifreyan cat.


Unspeakable will neither confirm nor deny this assertion. (Gotta give something for the fans on the forums to speculate over)


The Doctor would be someone like Claire Foy, Michelle Dockery or Elizabeth McGovern - more than a bit posh, super RP, wildly condescending to everyone, and with a preference for Edwardian Fashion. You thought the Third or Sixth Doctor could act a bit aloof and better-than-though? Guess again :wink:

I would instigate yet another Memory TARDIS spin-off where the Doctor recovers the Fob watch 13 dumped in the TARDIS at the end of Flux and starts to remember earlier memories. Every season then had a Tales of the TARDIS style beginning and end, but with new adventures of an undiscovered past in mini-series ~5 episodes style.

  • The Fugitive Doctor and Karvanista.
  • The Morbius Doctors seasons, with a revolving door of Doctors for each season. Stunt casting of Doctors galore. Dame Judy Dench as the Doctor and Maggie Smith as the Corsair getting into scrapes.
  • Theta Sigma at the academy, trying to be kept in line by Borusa and constantly reminded that his big brother Brax has vastly better academic credentials.

The 13 episodes is just not going to happen the way TV is produced these days, it’ll probably be 10 at a stretch.

Out Murray Gold, back Segun Akinola thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

And definitely go back to New Year’s Specials instead again.


Being an obsessive Doctor Who fan and an aspiring writer, obviously I sat down at one point and wrote the premise to an entire season of the show.

I immediately realised that my take would instantly alienate nearly every single fan.

But oh well here goes.

I’d go for the 13 episodes, one Christmas special format, like most people.

My Doctor would be a Sherlock Holmes type, very analytical, overjoyed by the little things in the universe. Obsessed with solving mysteries and searching for little beauties, really the pinnacle of the bohemian traveller.

I’d have two companions, neither from the 21st century:

There’s Jess, a scientist who ended up working in the military in the 25th century, forced to investigate weapons of war to make ends meet. Whip-smart and always overlooked, she would act as the Doctor’s peer and closest friend, sharing his fascination in the universe.

Then there’s Emily, who was Jess’ commanding officer before she ended up doing something terrible in the season opener and running away with the Doctor. It’s the teacher/student dynamic of the Doctor and companion but rather than a plucky young girl, its a woman whose life couldn’t have gone in a worse direction and now she needs guidance.

I’ve also thought of a TARDIS interior - the basic idea is that when redecorating, the TARDIS got the library and console room mixed up. It’s very tall, the walls all towering bookshelves that a spiraling staircase wraps around, reaching the top. Any metal is polished copper and brass and everything has a slightly antiquated vibe to it.

The sonic’s design would also follow this, being polished wood and copper, the end piece being a piece of crystal, sort of like 13’s. I’d also add in an explanation for why the Doctor holds it up like there’s some sort of display.

I have thirteen episodes and a Christmas special already thought up earlier, I just need to type them down; I’ll probably post them here a little later.


I did just remember one episode idea I’d had.

Cybermen crashed near a castle in Scotland, converted the inhabitants, and were using it as a base of operations to try to take over the area, and eventually the world.

So instead of a CyberLeader this time around, we have the CyberLaird, sending out kilted Cybermen with bagpipes adapted into sonic weapons, terrorizing the countryside…


I want to see that 100%