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…
Prior to BBCi’s premiere of “Scream of the Shalka,” Doctor Who Magazine asked star Richard E Grant to comment on the legendary character he was taking on. “Ooh, I don’t know,” Grant answered, parrying the question and bracing for an inevitable onslaught of audience critique. “What I do know is that a huge number of people have very strong ideas about what he looks like, who should play him, who’s the best person that has played him, and all those sorts of things.”
There is something prophetic in his reply, of course. To this day, a great many viewers have strong opinions regarding the webcast and Grant’s performance as a would-be Ninth Doctor. None can deny, however, that the troubled but lively Doctor glimpsed in “Scream of the Shalka” stands apart from all other incarnations. Grant’s distinctive persona has inspired the driving spirit behind each and every one of this role-playing campaign’s stories, from “Ghost Town” to “Catatonia,” allowing us to explore a mythology entirely independent of the saga that continues to unfold on television.
Today, on the occasion of the actor’s fifty-eighth birthday, the official Doctor Who site has been kind enough to share a celebratory announcement, remembering that he “thrilled us as the Great Intelligence” in episodes such as “The Snowmen” and “The Name of the Doctor.” Lest the internet forget that he was also the Doctor himself for a brief and peculiar moment in Doctor Who history, we have decided to celebrate the occasion by imagining what Doctor Who Magazine might have looked like had Richard E Grant’s adventures taken hold. For us, Richard E Grant is the Doctor, and he’s earned the traditional cover proclaiming this. As for the feature articles, behind-the-scenes photos, and all-new comic strip adventures to be found behind such an enticing cover, you’ll just have to use your imagination.
A bold new series of Doctor Who is underway. As Peter Capaldi dominates our screens in the guise of the cantankerous Twelfth Doctor, challenging mythical heroes and conquering primal fears, preparations are being made for the long-awaited return of our tabletop alternative: Richard E Grant as the Nth Doctor. The first series of our Doctor Who role-playing campaign came to a dramatic end with “The Origin of Evil,” in which the Rani revealed that this Doctor’s greatest fears are taking shape. The Divinity, an ancient and evil race that the Doctor had thought wiped from existence, have survived. For millennia these hateful beings have been twisting human history to exact a cruel revenge. The Doctor has never been more driven—or more dangerous.
The adventure continues with the forthcoming second series premiere. Hidden in human history, the Divinity wait. The Doctor and Selene continue to struggle for control as the Time Lords manipulate their lives. The Master, his black soul and secret knowledge preserved in a robotic body, has awakened. And a new companion from an exotic, far-away period in Earth’s history is ready to step through the doors of the TARDIS and experience all that the universe has to offer.
Brace yourself for an all-new Doctor Who. Updates are imminent.
Richard E Grant graced the cover of Doctor Who Magazine only once, during the weeks leading up to the premiere of the BBCi webcast “Scream of the Shalka.” Doctor Who Magazine #336 (November 2003) offers us a glimpse of what might have been. Peel away that proud, attention-grabbing orange label that proclaims the series is “Set for BBC TV Comeback!” and we’re left with a cover that suggests Grant’s moody Doctor is the future of Doctor Who.
During the course of the issue’s infamous interview, an otherwise enthusiastic Grant confessed his inexperience: “I’ve never seen Doctor Who. And I’ve never read it. I’ve never read any of the Doctor Who books. I feel like a complete—I don’t know—fraud, really.” Producer James Goss was a bit more confident about the animated adventure and its hero. “Richard E Grant is the ‘now’ of Doctor Who,” Goss declared, looking to the future. “No one knows how his story is going to end, or what the next step will be. It’s very exciting.”
There were no subsequent adventures, of course. Fate had other plans for the celebrated Time Lord, and the Ninth Doctor soon adopted the face of one Christopher Eccleston. “Scream of the Shalka” became trivia and Richard E Grant never earned the traditional Doctor Who Magazine cover proclaiming that he “is the Doctor.” As the Nth Doctor’s thrilling adventures continue in our ongoing role-playing campaign, this blog will have to take a stab at imagining just what that might have looked like. No one but the game master knows how his story is going to end, or what the next step will be…
In celebration of fifty years of Doctor Who, our own TARDIS team decided to launch a new role-playing campaign based on Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. The first game begins on 23 November, just hours before the premiere of the fiftieth anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor.” We’ve chosen to establish this blog to serve as the official chronicle of the campaign. This site will offer an episode guide, conveying the essential details of each adventure as it takes place. We’ll also post fiction, artwork, character stats, and other gameplay materials. Our intention is to keep an official record and to allow the rest of you to follow along with the fun at home.
We’re so excited to get things underway that we’ve prepared this teaser poster to set the mood. Our campaign begins with the adventures of the Nth Doctor, modeled on the character played by Richard E Grant in Scream of the Shalka (2003). A direct successor to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, the temperamental but spirited Nth Doctor allows us to forge an entirely new continuity going forward. Devastated by his personal losses, controlled by shadowy forces, the Nth Doctor is a conflicted hero. Those mysterious assignments to be undertaken in the universe’s darkest corners are sure to reflect his troubled persona.
As celebrating fifty years of history and monsters has reminded us, there can never be enough stories set in the Doctor Who universe. Prepare for all-new adventures in time… and space!