It's been a full decade since Chris Eccleston left Doctor Who, and fans have wanted more of his Ninth Doctor ever since. Titan Comics had heard those pleas and hired author Cavan Scott to write a new miniseries starring the rogue Time Lord, due out on March 11th. We put the sonic screws to Scott to get all the details.
io9: What it difficult to get approval to do a Ninth Doctor series?
Cavan Scott: Not at all. There seemed to be a real desire to tell new Ninth Doctor stories, especially with his 10th anniversary coming up. To be honest, it was one of my easiest pitches ever. Editor Andrew James asked me which Doctor I'd like to write and I went straight in with number Nine, a story already bubbling away in the back of my mind. "Funny you should mention him," Andrew said, and before I knew it, we were discussing the story arc of the miniseries.
When Doctor Who relaunched, it had a much lighter tone than the series does now. Will the comic try to recapture this style, it will it be more like the modern show?
Scott: We're absolutely trying to recapture the style of the 2005 season. There's lots of action and peril, but hopefully humour and heart too. Or should that be hearts, plural? There may even be a reference or two to bananas, because, as we all know, bananas are good!
By that token, will Captain Jack be his more like his fun-loving version from Who or his more morose incarnation from Torchwood?
Scott: Oh yes, this is absolutely the Jack we met in The Empty Child. Younger, impetuous and outrageously flirtatious. The guy we saw in Torchwood was weighed down by centuries of long life, and many, many deaths. This is fun Jack – although, of course, he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the Doctor, especially in these early days together.
So this is set just before the Slitheen episode, correct? Any particular reason this specific point was chosen?
Scott: It was because we wanted to see more of the Ninth Doctor, Rose and Jack together. As we see in Boom Town, the TARDIS trio work insanely well together, but their time together was cut short by the events of Parting of the Ways. We wanted to put that right, to see the first of their adventures in time and space. Hopefully we'll go on to see more of them too!
The first description of the series says Time Lord technology has been stolen. Any clues you can give us about what was taken or who took it?
Scott: As River Song was keen of saying: Spoilers! The idea for Weapons of Past Destruction comes from something that has nagged away at me ever since the series came back to our screens in 2005. If the Time Lords are gone, then who is looking after time? Surely someone would want to step up and take their place, especially after such a catastrophic conflict as the last great Time War. And wars aren't neatly tied up after peace breaks out, even if they are time locked. If the Time War raged across the cosmos, then weapons and artifacts would have been left, from both sides. After all, the Doctor survived as did the Master, Davros and a handful of deranged Daleks. What happens if Time War weaponry fell into the wrong hands? And what would the Doctor do about it?
What do you think sets Nine apart from his other incarnations?
Scott: I co-wrote a Ninth Doctor audio adventure with Mark Wright back in 2013 [titled] Night of the Whisper. It was during the research for that audiobook that I fell back in love with the Ninth Doctor's era. He's such a fantastic character – so damaged and angry, but desperate to claw back who he actually is. There's certainly an underlying rage there – as witnessed by his many outbursts about us primitive apes! – but there's a real sense of joy in his nature too. He makes silly jokes, and has the best goofy smile. He's a man who wants to share the universe with people and make connections – but sometimes gets it very wrong. In some ways, he's the most human of Doctors!
Is this a chance to bring Nine into contact with any of the later Who mythos? I.e., could he theoretically meet the Weeping Angels or something?
Scott: He could – the Doctor certainly knows about the Weeping Angels before Blink – but not yet. Certainly, not in this story anyway. With Weapons of Past Destruction, we're telling a lost story of the Ninth Doctor, something that very much fits into his own time on the show.
That's not to say that there won't be little references about his past and future history sprinkled here and there. That's the fun of Doctor Who – spotting all the little links that are lurking in the background.
What else can you tell us about the series?
Scott: I'm working with Doctor Who fan-favourite artist Blair Shedd, who is simply brilliant. Right from the off, I knew I wanted to take the Ninth Doctor to other worlds. On TV, the majority of his adventures took place on Earth or on distant space stations. Here we see him on star-cruisers and alien planets, surrounded by all manner of strange, strange creatures. I can't think of someone I'd rather do this with than Blair. His creature designs are simple wonderful — so, so detailed. We have two main alien races in the story, both very different to each other, but both sharing certain characteristics. Blair has really gone to town on both of them, working out how their weapons work, aspects of their back-story and much more. He's fantastic!
If the miniseries does well, is there a chance for a Ninth Doctor monthly series?
Scott: Well, I would certainly hope so. I know that Titan Comics don't want to completely flood the market – after all, they do have three very successful ongoing series, but I know I have more Ninth Doctor stories to tell, so hopefully we'll see more from number Nine in future. I've been blown away by the love shown for the Ninth Doctor since the miniseries was announced. There are a lot of Ninth Doctor fans out there!
Seems like the next thing Titan needs to do is make a War Doctor comic. Do you know if there are any in the works?
Scott: I'm afraid I've been sworn to secrecy about any future plans. A War Doctor comic would be amazing though, wouldn't it, especially after George Mann's cracking Engines of War novel last year. Who do I have to bribe to write for the War Doctor, Titan?
I know a lot of fans are also clamoring for more Eighth Doctor too, which would be very cool. At the moment, Titan's plans are to run a different Doctor with a different creative team when the Ninth Doctor miniseries comes to an end. Time will have to tell which incarnation is up next!