I had a very vivid dream – and though I always have vivid dreams, I’ve never had one before about writing a Dr Who episode for the telly. But this time, that’s what it was. Somehow it had happened and they had made it without me even knowing it, and the next thing I was tuning in and recognizing everything that was happening as something I’d written.
It started off and it was the usual thing of lots of people in a control room, looking at computer screens and wearing spacey outfits and shouting about some kind of impending disaster. But they were all characters that were quite interesting.
And then it went a bit peculiar – going completely dark, and replacing itself with a series of still shots of the action in black and white, and then the soundtrack overlaid on the top, with a narrating voice telling us what should be happening. Then there was a sequence Bollywood style, in very bright colours, all swirling and dancing; then plasticine models in stop motion; then cartoons and then a very curious few moments where it all went dark and you had to take the card out of that week’s Radio Times and experience the adventure through the medium of scratch and sniff.
This was followed by everyone being told they must put on a pair of gloves and a balaclava – also free with the Radio Times – and us all having some kind of sensory experience of the adventure through the medium of knitting.
I don’t remember what the actual story was, but it was amazing. The final strand was a bit self-referential, of course, and had the villain pointing out how massively ironic it would be if this whole knockout, paradigm-shifting episode was just something I was dreaming. And how I laughed and even though, somehow, that laughter was in the script, too – it broke my dream, and the moment, plus the whole episode were suddenly gone.
(NB I nicked the illustration from someone's FB page. They were pointing out how, for many years, the Doctor really was called 'Dr Who' in the credits of the TV show.)