Firstly, let me say this. Eric Saward is a great writer.
He is also a terrible human being.
And if any one person should be blamed for the crashing and burning of Doctor Who in 1985, it's him.
A script editor that dislikes the main characters, the regular actors and his boss quite clearly isn't suited for the job, yet Saward was. Season 22 is full of pointless, violent and abrupt stories that for the most part sideline the one Doctor that needed time for us to get to like him. Saward's decision to make Season 23 a "screw you" to the BBC rather than say, try and get the show to survive is damning in itself. I've read his final script for the show he didn't care about.
We lost NOTHING.
So, I - and some like minded but far more talented individuals including published author Cameron J Mason, Jared Hansen and Miles "Balls of Steel" Ried - intended to do rather than say. If say, some freak time storm deposited us back in 1985 with the opportunity to write for the series with the same basic plots, sets, actors and even titles, could we have done a better job?
I honestly believe it would be a close-run thing, but I'm not arrogant enough to think we'd win effortlessly.
And so, a quick guide to Doctor Who if *we* wrote it...
Warhead of the Daleks by me
The story that kicked off Season 22 in style and content, and arguably the most confused script outside Dimensions in Time, well, Resurrection of the Daleks needed a rewrite like an ameba needs a nervous system
Planet of Fire by Peter Grimwade
The Caves of Androzani by Robert Holmes
We don't have any problems with these.
The Twin Dilemma by me
Now, you really cannot have a go at Eric Saward for this one - as he was rewriting an unfinished script by someone who was so out of it he thought his typewriters were trying to kill him. But if there's a more important story in canon that screwed up this bad, let us know.
Attack of the Cybermen by Jared Hansen
Definitely where the rot set in, but mastreo of characterization JH intends to turn it fantastic. Check it out on his blog. He'll post it in his own time, but it will be worth the wait. It's brilliant.
Vengeance on Varos by Jared Hansen
The one everyone seemed happy with. Well, we thought different. If the original creeps you out, the remake will make you sleep with the light on from hereafter.
Hex by Cameron J Mason
The Mark of the Rani is too good to be rewritten directly, but too poor to be left alone. CJM takes the lateral approach of replacing it with a "missing story" with suspiciously similar themes. Looks to be good, but don't hold your breath. (Just joshing, Cam. Please don't kill me.)
The Enemy Within by me
Yes, I'm back. It's time that title was used on a proper story, and this will not allow you to look at the main characters of Doctor Who quite the same way ever again.
SlipBack by Miles Read
Were underwhelmed by the radio version? This time and space hopping rewrite full of lethal androids, swauve brain donors and far, far too much voxnic will wish you were in the parallel universe when things were ALWAYS this good.
The Androgum Inheritance by Jared Hansen
It's The Two Doctors. Only better. Much, much better.
To Catch A Thief by Jared Hansen
A proper historical! No aliens, time machines or Torchwood here, thank you very much. Doctor Who meets Dick Turpin!
The Riddle of the Styx by Cameron J Mason
Another story you definitely won't see coming, as Doctor Who enters... unexplored areas.
TimeLash by Miles Reid
Miles Reid has no conception of mortal terror. Which is what coursed through the rest of us at the thought, the concept, of doing this story. Then he added another two episodes. If there is a way to become the literary equivalent of Mohammed Ali, then this is it.
The Song of the Space Whale by me
Remember Turlough? You will.
In The Hollows of Time by Cameron J Mason
If there is such a thing as good fanwank, this is the story it will be in.
The End of the Road by me
I started, and I might as well finish, in this, the ultimate challenge to improve the story all the retarded grass-munching baby boomers thought impossible to make better... Revelation of the Daleks!
The rewriting of history begins here and now.