Who's the lead character again?

Having been recently discussing Marco Polo and then posting a review of The Massacre on to TARDIS Guide, it occured to me that in both stories (and both written by John Lucarotti) the Doctor isn’t actually the main character. Marco functions more as a lead in the story and in The Massacre it is far more Steven’s story than the Doctor’s.

It got me thinking about other Doctor Who stories where the Doctor isn’t really the main character. The ones that leaps to mind are, of course, the ‘Doctor-lite’ stories such as Blink, Turn Left and Love & Monsters.

But are there any other examples in the show, particularly in the expanded universe. (And here we’re talking about stories which are ostensibly Doctor Who stories and not spin-offs where other characters take over as the lead).


Flatline, Curse of Fenric at a stretch. On audio, the Settling, Black and White, Protect and Survive, the Veiled Leopard.


A lot of companion introductions, but especially Rose focus more on the companion than the doc.

The Crimson Horror also spings to mind (being semi-doctor-lite), and also The Girl Who Waited and Amy’s Choice are Rory and Amy episodes respectively


Mission to the Unknown comes to mind, with both the Doctor and companions completely absent.


The VNA “Birthright” is basically wholly without the Doctor as well as he is off gallivanting in “Iceberg”.
Main character duties are divided between Benny and Ace instead :+1:


Pretty much any of my beloved Companion Chronicles!

I do love the concept of a Doctor Who story from the perspective of someone who isn’t the Doctor or companion. Most of the examples I can think of are short stories, like the Short Trips ranges (prose and audio), where it’s pretty common. I wish the show did it more often!