10 'What Ifs' That Could Have Changed The Course Of Doctor Who

3. Doctor Who Continued After 1989

Doctor Who Ace Time Lord Right off the bat, Season 27 would have been all about change with the second serial Ice Time ending with Ace leaving the Doctor to become a Time Lord, the next story introducing an upper class cat burglar as the Doctor€™s new companion, and the Seventh Doctor regenerating in the season finale, potentially being succeeded by Richard Griffiths. It€™s hard to tell whether or not these changes would have reinvigorated Doctor who enough to let it continue long into the 1990s but the increase in writing quality right before its cancellation was a good sign that it might have. But those changes are minor in comparison to what Andrew Cartmel had planned. The Cartmel Masterplan (as fans came to call it) was to bring the Doctor closer to his original character as a darker and more mysterious being whose past was largely unknown. Cartmel€™s specific intention was the eventual revelation that the Doctor was a Time Lord known as €œThe Other€ who had been a part of a triumvirate of influential and revered Time Lords with father of Time Lord society Rassilon and stellar engineer Omega, and was worshipped almost as a demigod. The groundwork for this was laid in Seasons 25 and 26, particularly with the implication in Remembrance Of The Daleks that the Doctor was one of the creators of star manipulation device the Hand Of Omega, and a deleted line from the same story where he declares himself to be €œFar more than just another Time Lord€. The concept of the Doctor as a god-like figure is one that splits the fandom to this day and the Cartmel Masterplan would have been a risky direction to take the programme in. But at the same time it would draw Doctor out of the rut it had been in for the past several years and give it a much needed kick up the backside. As well as that, CGI was becoming more and more affordable by 1990 which potentially meant that Doctor Who€™s production values could be increased and enable it to compete with flashier American imports like Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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JG Moore is a writer and filmmaker from the south of England. He also works as an editor and VFX artist, and has a BA in Media Production from the University Of Winchester.