Doctor Who: Russell T. Davies' First "Who" Script Finding New Life?
Last week, Russell T. Davies, who was responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005, joined Emily Cook on Twitter for her re-watch and tweet-along of his 2006 Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride". It introduced future companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) declaring "SANTA'S A ROBOT!", which became the hashtag #santasarobot.
It was all good fun. Davies gleefully tweeting "is a robot" like the newest iteration of dad jokes. And Davies likes to post bonus material whenever he joins a tweet-along. This time, he decided to talk about the first-ever Doctor Who script he wrote, all the way from 1985. That was the year he began his TV writing career where he created two kid's Science Fiction shows Dark Season and Century Falls, the former starring a very young Kate Winslet. That was the start of an illustrious career that led to Queer as Folk, which brought him to Doctor Who.
"In preparation for today's tweet-a-long, I went through some old papers to find the script and found… the VERY FIRST DOCTOR WHO SCRIPT I ever wrote!! On a manual typewriter! In 1985! 1986? Sixth Doctor and Mel!"
"This script has no title, but it's undoubtedly called MIND OF THE HODIAC. I'll post a few pages here, but it's 62 pages long. I think, in 1985, I imagined that was a 25 minute episode!! Hah. And there's a synopsis for Ep.2."
"MIND OF THE HODIAC. I think I sent this to the Doctor Who production office. I've always said in interviews that I sent in a rough version of The Long Game… but think I misremembered, I think it was this. Must have been. I's not bad, I like it!"
"I think I sent this to the Doctor Who production office. I've always said in interviews that I sent in a rough version of The Long Game… but think I misremembered, I think it was this. Must have been. It's not bad, I like it!"
"When the show closed down in 1989, I had a letter from Andrew Cartmel saying 'Thank you for your idea, I liked it and put it to one side for consideration but now we've closed down…' (Contrary to what he says in next month's DWM, fact fans)"
"OKAY, it's not the Doctor Who rarity you wanted. It's not a missing episode, it's a never-episode. But it's the first script by the man who went on to relaunch the show in 2005, that's not too bad!"
"I won't post the whole thing – this story could still work! But it's very much my Doctor Who, even in 1985, great big cosmic events all focusing down on an ordinary Earth family. Come and bid, Big Finish!" He's offered it to Big Finish Productions to produce an audio version of it. Big Finish produced an audio drama version of his Virgin Adventures novel "Damaged Goods" back in 2015. Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford are still playing the 6th Doctor and companion Mel Bush, so we might get "Mind of the Hodiac" sometime in the future as an audio drama after all.
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