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By Paul Scoones

It's now ten years since Doctor Who ceased regular production; in the last decade the Paul McGann TV Movie has been the only new television story. Somehow I doubt there'll be a book called Doctor Who - The Nineties with so little to write about!

The lack of a television series seems to have helped rather than hindered the development of Doctor Who over those ten years. At the beginning of 1990, The New Adventures were no more than a publisher's proposal and the closest we'd come to experiencing Doctor Who done as audio drama was probably Slipback. The 1990s saw the series expand to take full advantage of the medium of both the full-length novel and full-cast audio drama. The decade produced some 150 original novels, and following an unpromising start with two mediocre BBC radio plays, the audio medium has now taken off thanks to Big Finish.

Most months of the year, there are now three brand-new Doctor Who adventures available to purchase, but most fans still yearn for the long-awaited return of the television series. As great as some of these books and audio productions are, they just don't conjure up quite the same thrill that watching a previously-unseen story on television can.

Near the end of 1989, two other fans and I watched The Curse of Fenric. Not one of us had seen the story before, and when Dr Judson unexpectedly rose from the floor, eyes glowing, at the end of Part Three and said, “We play the contest again, Time Lord,” it sent a chill up our spines. I want to be thrilled and surprised by Doctor Who again. Can we have our series back, please?


This item appeared in TSV 59 (January 2000).