Writer Stephen Gallagher has revealed why he doesn't want to return to Doctor Who, saying that newer voices should be heard on the beloved sci-fi.


The series, which is turning 60 this year, has seen various comebacks over the years, including stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate and showrunner Russell T Davies.

But Gallagher, who is revisiting his 1981 story Warriors' Gate for a new novelisation, won't be one of them. He explained to RadioTimes.com: "I’ve never really thought about it. When modern Doctor Who came back, it was so different and so self-contained. I didn’t really see anything I could have brought to it.

"Latterly, I’ve looked at Peter Capaldi’s season because Capaldi, I feel, is a link to my era. I looked at it and I thought, it would be quite nice to get re-involved again. But the thing is, you don’t go to them, they come to you. They have an agenda and they have their own plans.

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"The classic Who writers don’t really come into it and that’s not unfair. There is a whole new generation out there and those are the voices that probably need to be heard. The worst thing would be to come back, do one, and everybody hated it and it just didn’t measure up to the memories of what you’ve done before."

Gallagher, who also wrote the 1983 story Terminus, added of what it's been like to revisit his older stories for the new novelisation: "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 have 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."

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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