Writer's Commentary

Eleven: December 1970

Stevens makes a public appeal for information about the Glasshouse, a mysterious institution that is apparently involved with mind control experiments. He gets crank calls from members of the public, including a woman attacked by a plastic daffodil (a reference to Terror of the Autons). Another caller complains about propaganda against deadly nightshade and says the plant isn't deadly at all in small doses. He is based on a man who accosted me in Taranaki when I was a cadet reporter to complain about an article on deadly nightshade. Unsurprisingly, we didn't do anything about it.

Stevens is approached by Dorothea 'Dodo' Chaplet, who wants to talk about her experiences in the Glasshouse. They meet in a café near Clapham Junction. I used to go through Clapham Junction on my way to work when I was writing Who Killed Kennedy, but the café was based on a greasy spoon in Fulham Broadway round the corner from my previous flat.

What happens to Dodo is probably one of the more controversial aspects of Who Killed Kennedy. She was a late addition to the cast of the cast and was originally only going to appear in this chapter, passing on information to Stevens. But once she appeared on the page Dodo wanted to stick around. It's a strange experience when a character takes charge of their own destiny while you're writing and Dodo was the first time this had happened to me.

During research for Who Killed Kennedy I watched The War Machines and was amazed at the off-hand way in which Dodo was discarded from the show. She gets her brain scrambled by WOTAN and is sent to the country to recover. The Doctor leaves and we never see her again, goodbye Dodo! I felt the character was ripe for resurrection, having been given such short shrift by the TV show. So I suggested she had not recovered after a few weeks in the Home Countries but was left permanently scarred by her experiences.

When Stevens first meets Dodo she is staying in a halfway house for the homeless. She talks about having flashbacks to events she could not have witnessed, events Doctor Who fans will probably recognise from the TV stories The Gunfighters, The Ark and The Celestial Toymaker. Dodo says she suffers blackouts and memory losses, tracing these all back to the events of C-Day - July 16, 1966. Since then she hospitalised several times, given electric shock therapy and almost raped, Dodo only escaping the sexual assault by accidentally killing her attacker. Not the happiest of post-TARDIS lives...

Dodo moves in with Stevens and begins recovering from her years of ordeal. The pair eventually become lovers, a sequence of events that invented themselves as I was writing the book. I never intended Dodo to be such a significant character but she started taking charge, so I let her.

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