I'm no one special and I can only hope to one day live up to studiorobb's praise.
I started writing science fiction when I was 11 years old. I became very practiced at writing something, showing it to a couple friends, then filing it away never to see the light of day again. By the early eighties, I was inspired by a "Doctor Who" story idea. This was the first time I had any writing idea that was based on a television show. While I was a little nervous about writing something that people could compare to other writing based on the show, I decided to take a stab at it.
"Tinkering With Time" received positive feedback from friends, and one of the things they liked was that it was a generic "Doctor Who" story, not based on any particular regeneration. This occurred mainly because I had grown up with the Jon Pertwee doctor in the early seventies, whereas most of my friends of the eighties were Tom Baker fans. But having seen a variety of Doctor Who's, I had found a number of character commonalties that I used for my generic Doctor which allowed the reader to envision their personal favorite. It was this generic Doctor writing that would get me in trouble for "Retirement?"!
After the success of my first Doctor Who story, I started to get a number of new "Doctor Who" story ideas. Having read David Gerrold's the making of "The Trouble With Tribbles", I thought I'd take a stab at writing a television script and after researching TV script formatting & theory, I got the Doctor Who production office's address from Nicholas Courtney when he was in town for a convention.
I wrote up what I thought would be my most sellable story ideas and sent them off, and while the experience got me a chance to meet John Nathan-Turner, I had picked the wrong time to start pitching for Doctor Who: The infamous 1986 cancelled season. After which, given the reduced number of shows each subsequent season would have, the Doctor Who production office was no longer able to entertain an unknown American writer for the series.
With one "Doctor Who" story under my belt and a bucket of story ideas that weren't going to become scripts, Jay L. Ritchie thought we could create a Doctor Who fanzine, "The DWIS Newsletter", with my story ideas becoming a source of fiction for it. After studiorobb approached DWIS with the idea of doing a comic serial, I was called upon to help out. At first hesitant, I remembered that writing for television meant working with others to reach the final result, so I decided this would be a good growth experience for me.
And it was. I went through all of the story ideas I had come-up with, that weren't in the pipeline to become a story for DWIS, and the one that caught studiorobb's attention was a multiple story-arc idea. Once we settled on this one, the first thing we had to do was change the title of the story as the original title would have given the story away. So the title "Retirement?" was born with the question mark to hint that the Doctor might not really end-up in a nursing home by the end.
Next was the choice of Doctor. As people had their own choice of favorite Doctor, it was decided to choose the current Doctor as a way of picking no favorites. Even though none of the Sylvester McCoy episodes had yet aired in the U.S., we had pictures of him and his new companion 'Ace'. And as every Doctor to that point had an English accent and a companion calling him 'Doctor', how could we go wrong...?
Well, for those of you familiar with the Sylvester McCoy era, I hope you can forgive the little problems in the first couple of episodes. After we watched a Sylvester McCoy/Ace episode, we quickly fixed things up...
back to the Doctor Who "retirement" home page.