These are exciting times for Doctor Who. As the countdown continues to the Twelfth Doctor’s final adventure—an episode that will also serve as an all-new television adventure for the First Doctor!—the series itself is undergoing a regeneration. Jodie Whittaker has claimed the role of the Thirteenth Doctor! We couldn’t be more proud, and we’re excited to see her take over the TARDIS. Our Doctor Who roleplaying campaign, like so many others, openly embraces the myriad possibilities embodied by the show’s changeable title character. There is so much potential in the role of the Doctor, and Whittaker will usher in a bold new era for the character. If regeneration stories have taught us anything, it’s that change is necessary, even if it can be hard to accept.
Amid the flurry of news regarding this changeover, it’s time to for us to share an update from the game table. Series 10 is at an end, and so is our most recent run of roleplaying adventures. “The Starmind” concluded an unforgettable second series for the Lost Doctor, Jeremy Brett (pictured here with esteemed Doctor Who guest star David Suchet, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, and John Thaw, each of them a famous TV detective). The Lost Doctor and Riddell braved the elements across frozen tundra, through the depths of teeming alien jungles, and into the roiling cytoplasm of the universe’s largest living amoeba. They faced the Master, the Chelonians, the Ice Warriors, and the enigmatic Viyrans. The series ended with an epic cliffhanger, the revelation that the Cybermen have evolved to vanquish one of the most advanced races in the galaxy! What could possibly happen next? When the Dark Dimension campaign resumes later this week, you’ll find that we’ve jumped a time track.
After two series of adventures featuring the Lost Doctor, it’s time to change things up. Our next run of stories will return us to the era of the Nth Doctor, Richard E Grant. We promised you he’d be back! Consider these to be the Nth Doctor’s lost adventures. They’ll break the chronological order of things and take place earlier in the timeline, slotting into the existing chronology for the character. (The episode guide will, of course, be appropriately updated.) Ultimately, our intention is to introduce a unique original Doctor for each of the players in our campaign, and we’ll alternate between them from time to time. This is intended to ensure variety and allow everyone in our game an opportunity to play the Doctor, create a companion, and serve as our game master.
So, prepare yourself for all-new adventures in time and space with a familiar hero! The Nth Doctor remains a tormented puppet of the Time Lords, sharing his TARDIS with the ever-inscrutable android Master. We’ll also be introducing a never-before-seen companion who will join in these adventures.
The Lost Doctor will return, in time. After all, someone has to stand up to those pesky Cybermen…
Jeremy Brett is the Lost Doctor. At least so in our universe, which celebrates alternate possibilities and adventures for our favourite Time Lord. He was, frankly, an obvious choice. Back in the 1980s, his name was oft-cited by fans as potential casting for the role, and in 1994 he was long-listed for the part in the Doctor Who TV movie that would eventually see Paul McGann cast as the Eighth Doctor. And then, cruelly, his career and life were cut short in 1995 by heart failure after a long-term struggle with mental illness. Brett was admirably outspoken about his bipolar disorder at a time when few sufferers would dare speak out about their condition, including this audio statement given just two weeks before his death as part of a radio appeal for the BBC’s The Week’s Good Cause. Lost to us and gone before his time, both his “casting” and his characterisation as the Lost Doctor just fell into place.
If you have never seen Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, then we urge you to check out the Granada series; it is, truly, one of the great television performances of all time. A 1993 piece in The Independent summed up his take on the part perfectly as “a richly comic performance. His Holmes is composed of sudden wild stares, dreamy vacancies, hoarse exclamations, dulcet murmurs which wilt into silence… Into this potent brew go a jigger of remorse, a dash of sheer lunacy, and a strong whiff of camp—the camp is held firmly in check by sincerity.” It is fair to assume that the Lost Doctor will exude all of these qualities.
Not that Jeremy Brett’s Doctor would have merely replicated his interpretation of Holmes, of course. He was an accomplished and versatile actor, as exemplified by a video retrospective aptly titled “A Journey Through Time.” Alongside aspects of his Holmes’ more energetic moments, we also imagine a performance infused with more of the actor’s warmth and charm that are self-evident in interviews—characteristics that he stripped away to deliver a more austere performance as the world’s greatest consulting detective. Consider this a tribute of sorts to one of our favourite actors, then, as the quintessential Holmes becomes our latest incarnation of the Doctor.
So join us for all-new adventures in time and space with another distinctive incarnation of our favourite Time Lord that never was, save in the infinity of our collective imaginations…