Christmas is coming up, so I thought I’d share some of Doctor Who‘s Christmas special scripts. Today is The Next Doctor from 2008 by Russell T. Davies. It was previously available on his website, The Writer’s Tale, but now only exists through archiving.
The concept of the episode received significant publicity from Davies’ book, The Writer’s Tale, in-which he described the 2008 Christmas special as being the Tenth Doctor meeting a supposed future incarnation. Working titles included The New Doctor and The Two Doctors (referencing the three-part serial by Robert Holmes). The first draft continued the annual tradition of Christmas specials continuing from the previous season’s finale – The Next Doctor began with Cybermen appearing in the TARDIS, then disappearing, prompting the Doctor to conclude they were falling through time and following them, leading into the episode. When advised that the previous episode, Journey’s End, would be better left open-ended, the scene was cut was cut from both episodes. Davies also admits the ending isn’t to his liking. In the transmitted version, the Doctor disposes of the Cybermen by firing them into the time vortex with a dimension vault he conveniently finds in the CyberKing that the Cybermen “stole from the Daleks”. Not being able to find a better ending during the writing process, he only realised after production that Hartigan should have disintegrated the Cybermen using her new-found powers after the Doctor begs her to save the people below as the CyberKing fell. This, Davies, would’ve been a better ending, as it would’ve allowed Hartigan to redeem herself. The companion of Rosita was intended as Jackson Lake’s companion, inspiring Davies to combine previous companions of the Doctor, Rose Tyler and Martha Jones, into a single character.
Script secretary: Claire Thomas
Script editor: Lindsay Alford
Davies, R. (2008). The Writer’s Tale. London, United Kingdom: BBC Books.