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You Can Now Read 200+ Scripts for Doctor Who (and Spin-Offs) Online — Completely Free!

BBC Writers (formerly known as BBC Writersroom) has updated their website to include a whole script library dedicated to the Whoniverse! Featuring over 200 PDF scripts from Doctor Who, spin-offs (Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Class), and many more, this is a perfect gift for Whovians and (aspiring) screenwriters alike.

The collection includes not just shooting scripts for various episodes and specials, but also the Children in Need minisodes and animations (The Infinite Quest and Dreamland), too. Always a brilliant opportunity to read and be inspired by the writing styles of showrunners Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, and Chris Chibnall!

To be perfectly honest, my reaction to this announcement was very much the same as how the Fourteenth Doctor excitedly reacted to the revamped TARDIS interior in The Star Beast. So, to make it easier for navigating the website, I’m going to list the additions and categories of scripts.

Let’s begin with the mavity of the situation… the 60th anniversary specials. We have The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder, and The Giggle, along with the 2023 Christmas special, The Church on Ruby Road, the 2023 Children in Need minisode Destination: Skaro, and a surprising bonus… The Fifteenth Doctor Audition Piece! Funnily enough, the pink revisions script for Wild Blue Yonder has been replaced with a slightly modified version (dated 16th July 2022, which also happens to be my birthday). But don’t worry, it’s already been archived via Wayback Machine, alongside plenty others which I’ll discuss later on.

Next, we have the Series 1 to Series 13 (2005-2022) episodes, culminating with The Power of the Doctor, but categorised separately in conjunction with the Whoniverse branding. To my surprise, I didn’t expect the entirety of Series 2345 and 11 to appear on the website. And I was completely overjoyed when I discovered that my all-time favourite episode, School Reunion, was among them, plus The Eleventh Hour and Resolution (the 2019 New Year’s Day special) which I’d been dying to read for a very long while.

However, Series 169 and 10, so far, remain incomplete with 7 and 8 yet to be added, while 12 and 13 remain unchanged (excluding The Woman Who Fell to Earth, which had its post-production script replaced). Only The Parting of the Ways has been added alongside Father’s Day for Series 1, while The Rebel Flesh is the only Series 6 script available. One half of a two-parter without the other half among the collection — what a strange anomaly! Nonetheless, despite not being added to the Whoniverse library, you can still check out the first drafts and shooting scripts for the Series 8 episodes, Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline on Jamie Mathieson’s website. And let’s not forget about The Shooting Scripts book, published a few months after Series 1 aired in 2005; a hardcover worth putting on your shelf.

What’s also interesting to note is that the title pages for four of the Series 11 scripts have the numbering presented in a different order, while the rest are still the same.

  1. The Woman Who Fell to Earth
  2. The Ghost Monument
  3. Rosa
  4. Arachnids in the UK
  5. The Tsuranga Conundrum
  6. The Witchfinders
  7. It Takes You Away
  8. Kerblam!
  9. Demons of the Punjab
  10. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

Not sure if this was what they originally intended, but I wonder how the episodes would’ve turned out if they aired in this order? Well, numbering and production code changes have happened before, and that’s definitely a story for another time.

Now, let’s move onto Torchwood – outside the government, beyond the police; primarily based in Cardiff. We have the entirety of Series 12, and Children of Earth, excluding Miracle Day (except for the first episode, which has already been archived). What’s more, which came as a surprise, they’ve also included the radio plays! Definitely worth studying the format to see how it compares to the Big Finish audios.

We shouldn’t also forget The Sarah Jane Adventures, set in the fictional street of Bannerman Road in Ealing – not far from where I actually live – with all episodes including the “pilot” special Invasion of the Bane. And there’s also the entirety of the eight-part Class, taking place at Coal Hill Academy, as well as the scenes shot exclusively for Tales of the TARDIS. Aren’t they just wonderful additions!

In addition to BBC Writers’ Whoniverse library, there are a number of scripts formatted differently that were replaced upon the website’s update. Presented in chronological order:

While the page has already been archived, the first draft and shooting script for the Series 10 opener The Pilot, thankfully, remain unaffected. And with the entirety of Series 4 and the 2009 Specials also added to the Whoniverse library, you can still download RTD’s shooting scripts from the archived website promoting The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter.

Furthermore, some fans may remember the Lockdown Who website, which has since been defunct. This was to coincide with the tweet/watchalongs organised by Emily Cook, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with plenty of bonus content and some first draft scripts kindly provided by Steven Moffat. These include Blink (originally titled Sally Sparrow and the Weeping Angel) and A Christmas Carol (2010 Christmas special), which can only downloaded via Wayback Machine. However, the Dalek: Spoof Scenes (presented as “script extracts”) by Robert Shearman, originally tweeted by Cook and later published on the website, sadly didn’t get archived, hence why I managed to save the PDF and upload it here instead.

It’s such a privilege to have access to the official Doctor Who scripts, as well as the spin-offs. Whether it’s a shooting script or an early draft, you’ll find plenty of similarities and differences that include deleted scenes and altered dialogue. Definitely worth comparing with the TV episodes, as well as the Target novelisations!

While BBC Writers takes their time to track down other scripts, I have my fingers crossed for The Day of the Doctor to be among them. Do you have any scripts in mind that you would like to be added to the Whoniverse library’s growing collection?

Andrew Hsieh

Aspiring screenwriter with Asperger's syndrome, and lifelong Whovian since (shortly after) Christopher Eccleston's reign, Andrew has written and co-edited short story anthologies for Divergent Wordsmiths. Plus, he lives near Bannerman Road.

You Can Now Read 200+ Scripts for Doctor Who (and Spin-Offs) Online — Completely Free!

by Andrew Hsieh time to read: 4 min
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