180. 1963: The Assassination Games
Behind the Scenes
(Extract from Vortex issue 57, click here to DOWNLOAD)
Assassination Games writer JOHN DORNEY talks about rounding off the 1963 trilogy in style...
[Aside from Lords of the Red Planet]... The other story I have out this month is the monthly range’s fiftieth anniversary release, the culmination of the 1963 trilogy – The Assassination Games. Set largely on the 30th November 1963 (fun fact: the trilogy moves from the beginning to the end of the month across the three stories. Something we, amazingly, didn’t consciously plan), this features the reunion of the Seventh Doctor, Ace and the group we now know as the ‘Counter-Measures Gang’: Gilmore, Rachel and Allison from Remembrance of the Daleks, with added Sir Toby Kinsella thrown into the mix.
It had always niggled slightly that I didn’t get to write the opener for Counter-Measures. It had been part of the plan, but time pressure and other projects got in the way. So when I got assigned this story to write I was delighted. Okay, it was always going to be a bit of a juggling act, trying to squeeze a story in between Remembrance and the series one opener… but at the same time it was also going to be fun doing a little bit of tidying up. I’d had such a lovely time writing these characters in series two, and enjoyed working with the actors hugely – all utterly lovely, charming people – that I couldn’t say no. Coming up with the storyline was tough; it had to cover a lot of bases: British politics and military action, and yet also work as a birthday treat. I went back to the Remembrance novelisation, the original television episodes, multiple history books (I read one backstage at the Edinburgh festival whilst in a play that contributed one tiny but vital bit of info… with Sophie Aldred herself sat in the audience watching the show at the same time!). Eventually after quite a while, I got a story that I was happy with. All of the research came together into a concept I couldn’t wait to write, little ideas and notions all blending together. The month or so I spent in coffee shops tapping away over egg nog lattes was a great pleasure.
Having been a Doctor Who fan for over thirty years, to be involved in the show’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations in any way was always going to be a thrill. One connection would have been great. To write two of the Big Finish audios coming out in November 2013 is a privilege. I only hope the plays prove worthy of the honour.