Since Dr. Who is presently a quarterly release (which may change as new writers come on board), scripts for the show should be no more than 30 pages in length. We try to do single-episode stories, but if something exceptional comes about that requires two episodes, that's fine, pending my approval. The reason for this is to prevent lingering gaps in between episodes that keep our listeners in limbo for so long they lose interest. That said, here are some guidelines for aspiring writers to give them an edge in getting their scripts produced. The first batch is relative to our latest season (Season 2), the rest is for all scripts in general.
• No Daleks or Cybermen. We did Daleks last season and with Cybermen showing up on TV this year, we want to avoid seeming like we're copying the pattern.
• No Master (at least not yet). See above.
• No Eccleston/Tennant era villains (at least not yet).
• No Rain. Season 2 will debut an interesting new companion called "George," as well as solve the mystery of the metallic spike from the first season. Details on George will be revealed in the Season 2 opener, "The Thought Eaters."
• Don't make the stories over-complicated. While some of the novels, or even CDs, may get overly complex and attempt to be terribly cerebral, sometimes that just equates to being boring, ponderous and pretentious. We all know that Dr. Who is traditionally a fairly straightforward, easy to understand show--let's keep it that way.
• Let's keep the main villains (Daleks, Cybermen) to a minimum. Often, less is more. When Star Trek: Voyager started having the Borg show up all the time, the Borg lost their impact and simply became an attempt to generate ratings. By all means, see what you can do with lesser villains and aliens, e.g., Draconians, Ice Warriors, Sontarans, Sensorites, Voord, etc. But don't let that limit you. Be creative! Make new races!
• Historical stories are always a treat, but don't overuse Victorian England...please!
• Can you use U.N.I.T.? Sure! But try to avoid using any of the established TV companions as it could be tricky getting an actor to mimic their voices well enough.
• Keep the stories away from controversial topics that might mirror real events or people too much. I really don't need any overly-sensitive coalitions squawking at us because a certain species is led by a domineering little alien with a Charlie Chaplin mustache and an unusual salute.
• Listen to our first season and get a feel for the Darker Projects Doctor. While his voice may sound somewhat like the Sixth Doctor's, he's not necessarily as arrogant and cantankerous. In fact, he should be getting even wittier as time goes on.
• Hard-pressed for a story idea? Look in the history books or in the newspapers. It's kept The Simpsons & South Park in material for years! Truth can always be tweaked into fiction.
• Crossovers into other series like Star Trek & Star Wars, etc.? No, not really. Anything that gets developed like that is usually a one-shot indulgence and will not be considered canon for the formal Darker Projects Who-niverse. Its production priority will also come behind any scripts pertaining to the formal season in progress. Three years ago I actually wrote a story called "Mastermind," involving the Defiant crew, the Doctor, the Master, the Borg and Daleks, but I really don't plan on producing it.
• No multiple fan-Doctor stories...at least not at this time.
So for now, there you have it. I'm always open to ideas and will entertain any submissions along these guidelines. Ideally, what I'd like writers to do is to send me a 1-page story outline that we can discuss first, before actually generating a script. I'd hate for somebody to spend all that time and effort on the chance it might not even be accepted. As they say in the building world, let's measure twice and cut once. That said, I wish everyone good luck and happy writing!
Darker Projects: Dr. Who