The Leisure Ship

When I was about 12 I used to write what would now be called “Doctor Who Fan Fiction”, a term I was unfamiliar with as to me they were just new Doctor Who stories and they happen to be written by me. At the time Virgin publishing had launched two successful ranges of original Doctor Who novels which were The New Adventures- original fiction feature the then current 7th Doctor and The Missing Adventures- a similar concept but featuring Doctors 1-6. The Missing Adventures had the added issue of trying to write fiction for adults featuring characters who weren’t really designed for it and there were various ways in which the writer’s attempted to add more adult levels to the characters… with mixed results shall we say. The presence of these books lead me to write stories in my spare time which often ended up being unfinished or deleted off the computer, or as in one case, eaten by a computer virus. Now the stories are consigned to that special part of silicon heaven set aside for computer files assigned to saved on floppy disc and written on WordPerfect, but a few shreds of the stories still exist in the furthest reaches of my memory and I will know present a short list of what I can remember of the stories and a bit of a retrospective thoughts upon them…. plus a bit of giggle at 12 year old me’s  thought processes.

  1. The Weather Meddler: The Doctor and his companion Jack arrive on the planet Kathmandu where they meet a chipper young adventurer called Dizzy and they help him on his quest to stop the Evil Wizard Zaks as he uses the weather as a weapon. -Okay this will now doubt sound vaguely familiar to those of a certain age who grew up playing on 8-bit computers such as the Spectrum  and the C64. Yup, this story was based on the first Dizzy game and crowbarred Doctor Who into the narrative. However rather then have it be magic I changed it to Zaks being a humanoid using alien technology to disrupt the local environment so the local population would move away and he could take over the area, dry out the land and then claim it and all the mineral wealth under the surface. To be fair that sounded fairly mature for a 12 year old to write.
  2. The Galactic Bounty Hunters- Spaceship crashes in Telford and a local business man hides the survivors in his farm as they try to repair their ship. The Doctor arrives having traced the ships energy signature as have a group of hunters who are after the crew.- This one got scuppered by the virus and I never got further than the passages of the spaceship crash. All I recall was that there was going to be a twist as to who the Bounty Hunters were going to turn out to be.
  3. The Zygon Experiment- Just remember the name and the idea of finding out how the Zygons learnt their shapeshifting technology and them kidnapping people as research…. I wonder if animal rights and vivisection had been in the news at the time.
  4. The Horror of Grundy Hill. The Doctor, Jack and Dizzy investigate hauntings on the titular Grundy Hill. Hiker is murdered, devil worshippers and a Stonehenge like circle in the woods, some kind of beast lives in the cellar of the Inn on the Hill. Also something about staring into candles and parallel/spirit worlds. Sounds a bit like schizophrenic jumble of various horror and campfire stories thrown into one. Having said all that, it does sound like there might have been an interesting story in the mix somewhere. Grundy Hill as it is named, was almost certainly based on the Wrekin which is a big hill between Telford and Shrewsbury and the Inn was no doubt based on the Halfway House, the refreshment café which is as you might guess, half way up the common walking route.

and finally, to justify the title of the post:

5. The Leisure Ship: The TARDIS lands on a Space Cruise Liner which offers any form of leisure the visitor wishes to indulge in. However all is not right and the ship gets hijacked. Now interestingly enough I first titled this “The Pleasure Ship” and then decided that it sounded a bit suspect. But there was still an element of lots of women dancing around in bikinis, hey I was twelve, also an element of a holiday camp in space. That’s about all I can recall.

Yeah, I don’t think writing for Doctor Who was ever on the cards for me, haha.

Word of the Day: Leisure


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