As the arc of Missy and the Nethersphere develops, it raises awkward and potentially uncomfortable questions in a science-fiction or science fantasy setting.
As Series 8 of Doctor Who continues, Tony Fyler looks at the developing series arc and ponders what it could mean for the Doctor if the “NetherSphere” really is a kind of Heaven where everyone he’s failed to save ends up.
The God Complex is pretty explicitly an anti-religious morality tale – fear is replaced by faith, which feeds a monster and ultimately leads you to your death, happy, changed from who you were, robbed of your self-determination and sacrificing yourself to the pleasure of the beast.
The God Complex, for perhaps obvious reasons, was Tony’s favourite story during the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who. He reviewed the episode for Project: Torchwood in September.
Destiny of the Daleks. Where it all began for Fyler.
When two writers with absolutely opposite styles come together, the result can frequently be a car crash of staggering proportions. Keeping that in mind, Destiny of the Daleks is something of a masterpiece of unlikely triumphs, occasionally let down by logic and faintly unfortunate late-70s BBC production values.
For September’s Project: Torchwood magazine, Tony returned to the very beginning – at least for himself – reviewing the first story that made him a Whovian, Destiny of the Daleks.
Apologies, everyone – been rather quiet of late, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is I’ve been what they call ‘head down, bum up,’ writing – and now I’ve cracked the 70,000 word mark. Seventy and counting.
There are two things that need doing though. Firstly, my bit with Shakespeare, my bit with an explanation of the joy of sec (hey, talking to an angel, that’s not as straightforward as it sounds…) and my bit with the entrance exam for Heaven need interspersing, and possibly, in at least the first two cases, need rewriting, so that they a) make sense and b) are funny. Pretty happy with the entrance exam stuff – maybe an extract will be coming your way shortly. Need a bit with Gandhi too, which needs thinking about.
Verrrrry surprised and happy with my “end of Act 2” highly dramatic bit. Not sure where that came from, but it reads pretty well, if I say it as shouldn’t. But now, the second thing needs doing.
I need to finish.
There are all sorts of writers in the world of course – those who are afraid to start, those who know in advance they’ll peter out in the middle and so don’t pick up a pen at all. For me, it’s finishing that’s always been the problem. Not that there’s any particular issue with the story – I know where it goes from here to the end. It’s just the idea of having something finished, and having to take it seriously. Having to take myself seriously. Scary stuff.
But this time, dammit, there will be an ending. Annnnnd then there will be inevitable rewrites – not least because I’ve written a whole lot of new scenes, and there were some pre-existing scenes, and ultimately the journey of one of the characters needs to be re-stitched through them all in a way that makes sense and convinces. But there will be an ending…there will…there will…
For now, woohoo – 70k done, two-ish weeks of September left. I’d love to be able to have a rough draft of the manuscript by the start of October, so I can spend a couple of weeks polishing, and then start sending it out. Will that be anything like a reasonable timeline?
Addressing the backlash against Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, Tony wrote a controversial piece on WarpedFactor.com, which garnered almost 12,000 views in its first twelve hours. It’s message to the doubters: You will survive.
In many ways, Leela of the Sevateem was a massively unlikely companion for the super-intelligent Fourth Doctor to have taken around the universe. That she’s one of the most well-regarded and durable companions in the show’s history is down to some exceptional writing and showrunning, and even more, it’s down to the amazing performance of actress Louise Jameson.
In the ongoing series of pieces on notable companions throughout the history of Doctor Who, Tony recently profiled Leela, the mid-70s companion who accompanied the Fourth Doctor on some of his most memorable adventures, for the WarpedFactor website.
Blake’s 7 was a late-70s/early-80s dystopian sci-fi show that continues to have fans (and additions to its canon in . Tony recently wrote a two-part review of its first series, Series A, for the WarpedFactor website.