As a beloved show with such a fanatical fanbase, Doctor Who often causes major discussions and debates amongst its audience, with the creative team behind the show being just as passionate about it.


Reminiscing on his time on the show, writer Stephen Gallagher, who was behind 1981's Warriors' Gate and 1983's Terminus, has opened up to about his connection to Peter Capaldi's era – and the parts of it that he was less impressed with.

"He was a child fan around the time that I was a child fan and he hung out with the show and finally got to engage with it," he explained.

"I got to engage with it a bit sooner than he did – the first shows that I saw were William Hartnell era shows and I kind of dropped in and out over the decades... I kind of feel he and I were paralleling on the outside somehow."

Peter Capaldi, BBC Pictures, SL
Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who.

Gallagher has never managed to work with Capaldi despite the actor being considered for a role in a series based on one of the writer's novels, but added: "I would have loved to. That, I suppose, is what motivates me to say if anything would have drawn me back, his season would have.

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"I also think his season[s] probably needed better stories than he got. I would have done him right!"

Years on from originally writing his Doctor Who episodes, Gallagher is revisiting Warriors' Gate for a new series of Target novelisations, set for release in July.

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Speaking about what it's like to look back at the episode for the novelisation, Gallagher explained: "It's really weird! It's been like four decades and, even as I'm saying it, it's hard to get my head around because I still feel like the inexperienced kid who wrote it and sort of got his start in the business with it."

He added: "You joined Doctor Who in the 1980s and, at that time, all television was kind of written on water. You'd maybe get one or two repeats and you might get two screenings in other parts of the world but, really, it went out and it was done.

"It was like theatre almost. It was made in a hurry, it was made on a budget, and it went out, it was consumed and then either remembered fondly or forgotten. It certainly didn't had further currency..."

He continued: "Once the show went off the air several seasons later, there was a kind of accumulation of fan momentum that kept it going, through the Big Finish broadcasts and through the circulation of the tapes that really meant the show didn't die.

"And when Russell T Davies came back and picked it back up again, there was this great sense of continuity going all the way through."

Gallagher points out that there are new voices getting to contribute to Who now, so he's not chomping at the bit to return, instead enjoying the series as a fan – but he remains proud of his episodes and their legacy.

As for the future of the show? "I hope it goes on and continues to change and mutate but always keeps at its heart that it's a show that can go anywhere and do anything."

Warriors’ Gate by Stephen Gallagher (BBC Books, £9.99) publishes on Thursday 13th July 2023.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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