The leading feature in this month’s issue of Doctor Who Magazine is the 10 pages of preview features, four of which consist of an interview with Michelle Ryan, for 11 April’s Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead.
The episode has a lot more ‘sci-fi’ in it than Gareth’s previous Doctor Whos or Sarah Jane Adventures. “But you need to approach a totally imagined setting with equal thoroughness as a historical or contemporary one,” he points out. “I’ve never done that for TV before, so it was a real challenge, but every Who script throws new problems at you that nobody’s encountered before.”
Also featured is what promises to be a very controversial interview with Christopher H Bidmead, script editor of Doctor Who’s 18th season. In the interview, Bidmead explains why his episodes were so much better than what came before, after, and much later on.
“Russell,” he continues, “who I shouldn’t call Russell, as I don’t know him and have never met him, is what I call a first-draft writer. He sits down in the heat of the moment and churns out something that’s delightful and inventive and wonderful. But writing’s not about that. It’s about going back into that script, and cutting it, and shaping it. The problem is, Russell will put a first-draft script into the studio, because he can. He’s in charge!”
In his column You Are Not Alone, Neil Harris ponders the culture of tabloids gaining “exclusive” celebrity Doctor Who rumours.
Also, readers are asked to rate all 200 (technically) Doctor Who stories, the second part of Mortal Beloved, Who On Earth Is… Daniel Kaluuya, the first part of a quick guide through the history of Doctor Who, as well as The Fact of Fiction: Castrovalva, Sheridan Smith in Out of the TARDIS, The Time Team looking at The Happiness Patrol, and the usual reviews, news and production notes.