Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor
|Created By:||Adam Murray Briggs|
|Running Time:||50-65 Pages|
|Number of Episodes:||20|
|Series Debut:||December 7, 2009|
|Network:||Monster Zero Productions|
Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor is another saga in the BBC's Doctor Who franchise. It takes place at a very specific point in the Doctor Who timeline, being a sequel to the classic series, a prequel to the 2005 revival show and a semi-direct continuation of the 1996 TV movie. It was created by Adam Murray Briggs in 2005, although was not picked up by a network until late 2006.
The team behind the series is called The Eighth Doctor Project. This page also includes information on other Doctor Who stories released by them, which are considered a part of the Eighth Doctor saga and included in the same continuity.
The series follows the adventures of the Doctor: a mysterious alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He has the power to travel to any point in time and space by flying his machine, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space). This craft is bigger on the inside than the outside, the latter of which resembles a 20th century British Police Box. The Doctor is currently in self-imposed exile from his people, and instead tends to meddle his way into adventures alongside various companions, whom he picks up along the way.
The Doctor, like all Time Lords, has the ability to cheat death twelve times, essentially bestowing him thirteen lives. This series follows him during his eighth incarnation, as played by Paul McGann.
The pilot episode (Return of a Time Lord, unaried) was written in less than a week between Christmas 2005 and New Year's Day. It was written as a movie, not a series pilot, although deliberately had a cliffhanger ending for possible future developments. MZP and BVC Producer Paul Robinson read the pilot and immediately became interested in a potential series. Meanwhile, Adam Murray Briggs produced a sequel story (The Cutis Continuum) which was also greatly enjoyed by Robinson. After bringing the stories to the attention of Network Executive Anthony J. Black, Briggs was approached to produce a full-series for the then-infant Blackster Virtual Community.
However, Briggs was too busy to work on the series full-time. He had commitments to other projects which took up most of his free time. He did agree to continue to develop the series, though, intended for release in November 23rd 2007 (the anniversary of the broadcast of the very first Doctor Who episode in 1963). He worked on the project alone, and eventually realised that he could not put a show out by the intended date (mostly due to his work on other virtual series'; in one of which, he was promoted to Co-Executive Producer). He briefly considered releasing only the pilot as a stand-alone adventure, but this was not favoured by Anthony Black. Because of the lack of progress and the unlikelihood of more free time in the near future, the project was almost cancelled.
That was, until Jo Hack joined the team. After reading the series pilot, he wrote a full-length story and pitched it to Briggs, who loved it and immediately brought Hack on board as Co-Executive Producer. To keep in with Doctor Who tradition, Hack's official designation was soon changed to Script Editor, although he is the genuine second-in-command of the show. One of his first major contributions was to suggest a change from single-titled episodes (like the 2005 Doctor Who revival uses) to multi-part serials (akin to the classic show). Black was not interested in releasing stories in 25-30 minute installments, so a compromise was reached: hour-long episodes that made up parts of an overall serial story.
A new 2008 release date was set. However, Briggs still wanted to release something for the Doctor Who 44st Anniversary on November 23rd. The initial idea, as proposed by Hack, was a short featurette dealing with the drastic change of the TARDIS interior from the Seventh to Eighth Doctor eras. However, on 16th November, the charity special Time Crash covered that issue in one throwaway line. Instead, Briggs embarked on a more ambitious project: a full-length Seventh Doctor serial to be spread over multiple episodes. The first two parts of The Empire of Steel were released on-time in November 2007, but due to real-life issues, the remaining episodes were delayed until early 2008.
The original pilot episode, Return of a Time Lord, was altered and extended into the first serial of the series. The Cutis Continuum also recieved the same treatment, although only scenes were added in (few alterations were made to the existing material). Hack's story used as a pitch to join the staff was also included in the first season.
- Adam Murray Briggs -- Creator/Executive Producer/Writer
- Jo Hack -- Script Editor/Writer
- Leigh Nguyen -- Website
- C.D. Howard -- Graphic Artist (2007)
- Matt Steele -- Graphic Artist (2008 - 2009)
- Paul Robinson -- Consulting Producer (2007)
- Anthony J. Black -- Consulting Producer (2007 - 2008)
Note that the characters listed here are considered to be series regulars. Other characters are listed on the serial pages.
- Paul McGann -- The Doctor
- Hannah Murray -- Eloise May
Note that until the release date, any and all information below is subject to change.
Pre-Release Special (2009)
|000||The London Hiatus||S-02||1 episode||Annalisa Lindt||Adam Murray Briggs||31st August 2009|
Season One (2009)
|001||An Unearthly Man||1-1||3 episodes||Eloise May, Annie Blackwood||Adam Murray Briggs||7th, 14th, 26th December 2009|
|002||The Cutis Continuum||1-2||2 episodes||Eloise May||Adam Murray Briggs & Jo Hack||4th & 11th January 2010|
|003||Armageddon Game||1-3||3 episodes||???||Adam Murray Briggs & Jo Hack||???|
|004||The Arsenal of Eternity||1-4||???||???||Adam Murray Briggs||???|
|005||Blood Royale||1-5||???||???||Jo Hack||???|
|006||The Echoing Green||1-6||???||???||Adam Murray Briggs||???|
|007||Horror of Asteroid 5||1-7||???||???||Jo Hack||???|
|008||Sins of the Time Lords||1-8||???||???||Adam Murray Briggs||???|
|N/A||Return of a Time Lord||N/A||1 episode (feature-length)||Eloise May, Annie Blackwood||Adam Murray Briggs||N/A (Never released)|
The Seventh Doctor
For the 44th Anniversary of Doctor Who, the team behind The Eighth Doctor produced a special serial featuring the Seventh Doctor. Though generally advertised as a prequel to the then up-coming The Eighth Doctor show, the story was not directly connected (story-wise) to the parent series. Writer Adam Murray Briggs has stated that it should be viewed as a stand-alone production and is not required reading for The Eighth Doctor story, although he has hinted that one or two elements of the serial do tie into the first season of the main show. It was the only production to come out of The Eighth Doctor Project under the Blackster Virtual Community banner.
|N/A||The Empire of Steel||S-01||10 episodes (28-38 pages each)||Ace, The Brigadier||Adam Murray Briggs||23rd November, 31st November 2007, 15th February, 22nd February, 29th February, 7th March, 21st March, 28th March, 12 July & 8th August 2008|
Over the years, there have been many Doctor Who stories and productions released under license from the BBC. However, not all of them are considered canon (as having actually 'happened' to the Doctor from the television series).
We have divided canon into four distinct 'levels':
- Primary = The ‘official’ BBC continuity. Essentially, the TV episodes and 1996 movie (and spin-offs, such as Torchwood, The Sarah-Jane Adventures and K-9 and Company). This is the absolute canon. Everything here ‘happened’ to the Doctor or the universe around him as if it were an actual history of events.
- Secondary = The licensed ranges (Virgin/BBC novels, Doctor Who Magazine/IDW comics, Big Finish audios, etc). These stories and events all ‘happened’ in the Doctor's universe so long as they do not contradict the primary canon, which always takes precedence.
- Fandom = Other fan stories/series like ourselves (such as the Doctor Who Tales). We do not take them directly into consideration, unless otherwise stated, but the individual reader may do so if they wish.
- Non-Canon = Various ‘fourth wall’-breaking stories, the 1960s Peter Cushing movies, the ‘Shalka’ Ninth Doctor, and so forth. Adventures that could not have ‘happened’ in the Doctor's universe as they flatly contradict established Doctor Who lore or are obviously not written to fit into existing continuity. This also includes MZP's Doctor Who Virtual Season 4 (see below).
In regards to other Eighth Doctor series's (BBC's Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, the Doctor Who Magazine comic stories, the various audio seasons from Big Finish, etc), there is no hard and fast rule as to where Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor fits in and the show is not written to make reading or listening to those other ranges a necessity. However, as a general guide for those that do, we consider our series to take place after the novels and comics but before the Big Finish audios. See the Continuity Guide attached to An Unearthly Man Part One for more information.
Relationship with Doctor Who VS4
The Eighth Doctor Project (Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor, the other Doctor adventures and various spin-offs) does not consider Doctor Who Virtual Season 4 to be canon and is not set within the same fictional universe. VS4 (a fellow show produced by Monster Zero Productions) was intended to be an alternative version of Series 4 of the BBC Doctor Who revival, and is therefore impossible to fit into the regular Doctor Who canon. Conversely, all stories produced by the Eighth Doctor Project attempt to fit into canon as if they were missing television episodes.
However, both shows have acknowledged each other as possibly being set inside the same continuity if the reader so chooses. The VS4 pilot episode Voyage of the Damned (an alternate version of the BBC Christmas Special of the same name) has the Doctor mention a girl named Eloise as a past companion. This is a direct reference to Eloise May from The Eighth Doctor. In return, the Seventh Doctor special The Empire of Steel has a character appear named Captain Shackleton, intended to be a younger version of Major Ben Shackleton, a character from the VS4 story A Storm of Angels. Officially, though, these two characters are alternate universe versions of their respective sources.