Your Dream Era

This might belong better in fan media but I’m not too sure. Oh well.

I think every fan dreams in some form of their take on Doctor Who and what direction they’d take the show. What sort of Doctor would you write? Who would you cast? What would your TARDIS look like? What sort of characters would you make your companions? Writers? Storylines? Arcs? You get the picture. I think it’s always a fun way to get insight into what you love about the show by seeing where you would take it.

For me, I would take two approaches: stories on a grand and epic scale paired with small-scale, more intimate, character-focused stories. Stories that can take you literally anywhere in time and space. One week we could be in modern-day London with UNIT, the next we could be in Rennaisance Italy matching wits with the Borgias, the week after we could be in the far future fighting off a Sontaran invasion, and then after that, we could end up in the Land of Fiction. The byline for any story is fun and adventurous but thoughtful and thematic at the same time.
I’d also take shorter seasons, 8 episodes max but expand to 90-minute episodes standard. Ultimately, I’d want to produce a combination of the best aspects of the Revival and Classic series where stories are compelling and quick-paced but still have time to breathe and explore their settings and guest cast.

What about you? Feel free to share!

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I don’t know about completely new era, but I’ve briefly toyed with creating new mini-eras within existing ones (i.e. creating a new companion for existing Doctors and maybe planning out that new companion’s season/seasons). As for casting, no idea.

Hey! That counts too! What sort of companions do you want to pair with each Doctor?

I’m not really sure. I never really get very far in these things.

My ideal era, if all things were possible and I could bring anyone back, would be a series of small stories featuring different Doctors and companions, and at the end of the series all the Doctors realise that they are being manipulated and there is a larger story at play, then there would be a multi-Doctor multi-companion epic at the end to rival Journey’s End.

Yes I basically want The Sirens of Time but on TV and much better :smile:


I’ve personally given a lot of thought down to companions and even some episode briefs with how I’d do my dream era.

The Doctor: Female presenting. A more fashionable chameleonic Doctor who will change her outfit to match her surroundings. Her “iconic” look is a flapper dress with a short bob (think Clara’s Mummy on the Orient Express costume). She is possibly the most alien Doctor since the 4th: callous and flippant but she has the standard heroic attitude when it is called for.

Martin Sinclair: a detective from contemporary New York. Kind and brave but gullible and impulsive. Extremely charismatic, he is very much the Doctor’s buffer for most episodes’ guest casts. A himbo and it absolutely shows. Emotionally intelligent but he certainly is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Season 1
Episode 1 - The Dreamless City: Martin Sinclair, well-liked amongst his colleagues and in the community, comes across the newly regenerated Doctor as a mysterious rash of otherwise innocent people who have been committing petty crimes whilst sleepwalking is sweeping the city. The Doctor and Martin discover an alien reason for all this.

Episode 2 - The Smoking Gun: The Doctor takes Martin aboard his first trip in the TARDIS where they land near an English manor in 1956, where a mysterious murder has occurred. Very much a showcase for Martin to show himself and his defining traits as a companion: kind, charismatic, funny, and brave.

Episode 3 - The Crown of Peladon: The Doctor and Martin land on Peladon, where Princess Zyloma is due to be crowned queen in the coming days after the tragic passing of her father, the king. Conspiracies abound as Zyloma (alongside Martin, who has thoroughly charmed and likewise been charmed by the princess) is pulled in multiple directions by bickering advisors, the wills of the Galactic Federation, and a dangerous intersection of politics, tradition, and religion attempts to seep into the palace.

Episode 4 - The Channel War: In a far future Earth colony, Daleks have taken over the airwaves and the Doctor and Martin must put a stop to it.

Episode 5 - The Fair Folk: A pseudo-historical based on the Cottingley Fairy hoax

Episode 6 - Creeper: A horror episode set in an abandoned spaceship

Episode 7 - Divided We Fall: Kate Stewart calls the Doctor in as a strange civil war brews amongst the personnel of UNIT. A cliffhanger shows that the civil war is a result of an attempted secret takeover by the Cybermen.

Episode 8 - Upgraded We Stand: The Doctor has fallen. Kate, Osgood, and Martin are all that remain from a complete and total invasion of Earth by the Cybermen. They must save the Doctor, stop the Cybermen, and somehow save the Earth. And they only have an hour and a half to do it.

Christmas Special - The Holly and the Ivy: The Doctor and Martin land on a snowy mountain cabin where a scientist is about to discover that nature should not be toiled with, less she toil with you.

I’ll post more as I think of it :grin:


I think about this a lot, to the point where I have several conflicting pitches. The easiest one to convey is broadly what Big Finish is doing with the 9th Doctor (no companion, the Doctor is effectively a recurring side character, and each episode focuses on a different main character), but with a few more layers. My goal is for every episode in the first season, including the finale, to work as a not just a standalone story, but as someone’s first story. In an 8 episode season, we’re basically making 8 pilots, designed to be as accessible to casual viewers as possible. That being said, while each episode is standalone, when viewed in sequence, an arc forms.

The first episode is very triumphant, almost easy, very much showing the Doctor off at their best. I like the framing of someone trying to summon a demon and they end up summoning the Doctor. The climax of this story should feature one of those “I am the doctor” speeches, where they list off previous titles, like “The Oncoming Storm”, “The Timeless Child”, and so on. Among these titles, they say “The Knight of the Vel”, something that casual viewers just watching this episode will group with the other titles and dismiss, but fans will spot as a new thing.

As the episodes progress, the situations get trickier, less clear cut, more morally complex, and the Doctor is more visibly frustrated with each new complication, as if they just want to do easy stories for a bit, but the universe won’t let them. The lack of a constant companion means they don’t get called on this.

Each episode focuses primarily on a new character, most of whom we’ll never see again. I like the idea that to most of them the Doctor remains a mystery. Some never see the tardis. Some never learn that the fake backstory they give is fake. I’d also like this season to focus on new monsters, ideally ones that could come back. I’d quite like this season to create the next Daleks or Weeping Angels.

Around episode 5 out of 8, we get the first of what I’m going to call “consequences episodes”, basically the situation from episode 3 wasn’t fully resolved, and is coming back to haunt them (like Shades of Fear). This episode has a totally different cast, so, again, nobody can call the Doctor on it, but it still clearly affects them.

The ending of episode 6 sees the Doctor nebulously injured, either via radiation or slow-acting poison or something. Nothing visible, and at the end they brush it off as something that can’t hurt timelords.

Episode 7 is the hardest to make standalone, but I think it can work. It’s the second consequences story, this time with the fallout from episode 1 (you know, the triumphant, easy one). Making matters worse is that it does feature the same protagonist as episode 1 (who we’re setting up to be a companion in season 2), so they know it was the Doctor’s fault, and that they were extremely glib, almost arrogant, and then they didn’t actually defeat the villain. I think the ending note to this episode is the protagonist insisting on coming with the doctor, asking them what’s going on with them. The Doctor brushes off the question with “I’ll explain later”.

Episode 8 is called “The Night of the Vel”. It’s a flashback, designed to recontextualize a lot of things from season 1, and set up a lot of beats for season 2. The main idea is that the planet Vel is dying. Maybe it’s an invasion, maybe a natural disaster. Whatever it is, the Doctor keeps trying their hardest to save this planet, but it keeps not working. I think at one point, a proposed solution ends up costing the Doctor their ability to regenerate. Maybe the plan will release radiation that disables it, maybe they willingly funnel the energy away into a machine that just doesn’t work. Either way, they give up their regenerative ability for ultimately nothing. When they learn that it doesn’t work, they take a beat, but continue, saying that they’d do it again in a heartbeat. Eventually, the planet, the civilization, is doomed. The only way for their culture to survive is for the Doctor to become the Knight of the Vel. Basically, to upload the Vel version of the Timelord Matrix into their brain, and swear to guard it with their life.

This all means that we end the season with a self-sacrificial Doctor, slowly dying, unable to regenerate, who also can’t let themself die because their brain houses the only remaining trace of a civilization they failed to save. They’re now travelling with a companion who’s seen the doctor fail, is willing to call them out, but knows none of the above context. That sets up an incredible season 2.

With this context, looking back on season 1 we see a Doctor coming off a colossal failure, just looking for an easy win. They stick to the sidelines because they can’t risk dying and losing the Vel Matrix.

Naturally, the plot of season 2 is the Doctor looking for a way to offload the Vel Matrix onto some other archive or system or something, and the companion working out what’s happening, then looking for a way to stop the Doctor from dying/restore their regenerations.

The main concept I wanted to explore with this is to see what it would take to turn the Doctor into the Master, to see them turn darker, more pragmatic and self-serving, but not by choice. They have an external reason to survive, and they’re suddenly much more physically vulnerable. I think season 2 sees the Doctor start carrying a gun.

For casting, I like Kirby Howell-Baptiste as the Doctor. I know her from The Sandman, where she plays Death, and I like how she plays a being so clearly ancient, and effortlessly kind.


I don’t have a very in detailed concept but Estelle is 100% my dream Doctor. I never see her mentioned but I reckon she’d be great. For companion I’m gonna go for Samuel Blenkin - whenever I watched the Loch Henry episode of Black Mirror I though he’d be great. I’d give them the 7/Ace and 12/Bill dynamic… the teacher best friend type of thing. The Doctor would be completely alien… if I had to say a mixture between 2, 7 and 13. I’d want to take the best bits of classic and modern. Having the uniqueness and strange, often high sci-fi ideas from classic and the more down to earth character approach from modern. I’d try to make every story extremely unique also bringing fun spins of classic monsters. For example, I’ve also thought of the concept of the “Cyber-Things” which are monstrous, bizarre cybermen that live in the woods, converting any creatures into amorphous cyber forms. Inspired by things like the Blair Witch Project and folk horror. I’d do a lot of ideas like that. Often fun, often spooky, often weird.
Since Power of the Doctor aired, I loved the idea of bringing back Yaz as a companion a lot further down the line so an older Yaz would appear for sure.
TARDIS would be a modernised organic feeling version of a classic TARDIS.
So yeah, not sure quite if this is what you meant but this is all what came to mind :slight_smile: it would be consistently inconsistent in terms of types of story per series.

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Why not think of more?

Season 2
A season very much centered on Martin that starts out very light and fun but progressively gets darker as it goes along.

Episode 1 - CyberCop: A RoboCop pastiche. In the wake of the previous season finale’s Cyberman invasion, Martin’s commanding officers wish to use leftover cybertechnology to upgrade the NYPD. The future of law enforcement has arrived and the Doctor and Martin must stop it.

Episode 2 - New Recruit: Doctor-lite episode. Martin, having left his previous work as a detective in the wake of CyberCop, takes up a previous offer from Kate Stewart to join UNIT. He tells the Doctor the story of his first mission: investigate the strange superpowered individuals that seem to have sprung from nowhere.

Episode 3 - French Connection: A Pure Historical set in Belle Epoque France

Episode 4 - Flight of the Eagle: Pseudo-historical about the founding of Tenochtitlan.

Episode 5 - Perchance to Dream: Dream Crabs return. Complex, nightmarish, and borderline disturbing.

Episode 6 - The Great Morsban: A pastiche of The Great Gatsby set on New Earth

Episode 7 - Don’t Look Down: An episode set on a planet where civilization is high in the trees, for a dangerous creature lurks in the jungle below.

Episode 8 - Fork in the Road: Martin, after this series of several adventures that have resulted in death and destruction, has found his travels with the Doctor not as enjoyable anymore. A time bending tale where he is presented with several options for the future. Martin departs but tells the Doctor to keep in touch, keeping the door open for him as a recurring character.