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Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Alex Skerratt

Doctor Who: Fantastic Fan Fiction

I had no idea how big fan fiction had become. I used to think it occupied a tiny, undiscovered corner of the internet, reserved for hardcore science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts.

Not so! Just Google any TV programme and add the words ‘fan fiction’ into the search bar, and a whole list of choices will pop up. Crikey, there’s even fan fiction for Emmerdale (that’s a British soap opera set in the Yorkshire dales, for the unfamiliar!). And some of it isn’t half bad. Even Fifty Shades of Grey started out as a homage to The Twilight Saga, so it must have done something right.

And what’s clever about Doctor Who is that it packs infinite story potential. Set in a universe containing 70 thousand million million million stars, alongside limitless parallel (and pocket) universes, and at any time between the year dot and 100 trillion A.D., one doesn’t have to look far for inspiration.

So when Mr. Cawley (Kasterborous‘ Editor-in-Chief) suggested The Cumbrian Retreat of the Doctor – Chapter One by dschram as a topic of discussion, my initial reaction was, “Huh. Interesting.” That’s not a bad thing, by the way; it’s just a story I would never have thought to tell. Set between The Bells of Saint John prequel and The Bells of Saint John itself, it charts the Doctor’s journey from the play park (where he encountered a young Clara Oswald) to the Cumbrian monastery where he later goes into retreat.

But the exciting thing about this piece is that it’s not just a glorified TARDIS journey, as I first assumed. Have a look at the stats at the top of the page: “Chapter 1 /3.” There’s more to come! Now, I like to think that the Rani invades and takes over the monastery for her own villainous ends (watched over by an incensed ‘Mr. Saxon’ incarnation of the Master - because, why not?). However, you will notice that “The Woman in the Shop” has been entered into the story’s dramatis personae, so is this particular author going to succeed where Steven Moffat so far has failed, and finally explain who gave Clara Oswald the TARDIS’ phone number? Now that would be cool. (And if it’s the Rani, that would be even cooler – just saying.)

That’s the great thing about a long-running series like Doctor Who; there will always be moments the TV camera fails to capture. What was the true nature of the Scarlionis’ marriage? How did the Doctor meet Melanie Bush? And just what did The Singing Towers of Darillium really look like? No script writer can ever cover everything, and that’s when the faithful viewers can enter the fray, biros in hand!

So it’s over to you, Kasterborites - do you read or write any fan fiction? And if so, would you like to see it on Kasterborous in the future? Let us know!

Until then, I’m holding out for the next chapter of the Doctor’s Cumbrian retreat, and keeping my fingers firmly crossed!


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About the Author


likes William Hartnell, whisky, being creative, debating canonicity, The Gunfighters, The Keys of Marinus and City of Death. He has a strong dislike of cold quiche, corporate PowerPoint presentations and lanyards, but loves terrible puns. He's currently employed by a mute teddy bear with black ears.

7 Responses to Doctor Who: Fantastic Fan Fiction

  1. Yes, I both read and write fan-fiction. Not sure if what I write is really any good, but it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. I’d like to get back to writing more. The last one I did was a cross-over of sorts involving other shows. None of the characters actually crossed over, but the five stories were all related and each story explained other things in the other stories.

  2. avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

    I am many things, but one of them is a lover of fan fiction. In fact I HAVE published some fan fiction, including a pair of Doctor Who fan fiction stories. In fact, one fan in the classic era even got a story written and done as a story during the JN-T era. Don’t knock fan fiction, because it gives authors a chance to show what they can do. You never know: Writing fan fiction can give a author a chance to show what they can do, and maybe, just maybe, get a chance to write for a major show, be it Doctor Who or some other show.

  3. avatar DonnaM says:

    I too am both a reader and occasional writer in some fandoms although I’ve steered generally clear of Doctor Who. It’s a way of sharpening my writing style for the historical novel I will (honestly!) write one day :-)

    There are some incredibly talented writers putting stuff online; frankly they’re much better than some of the popular stuff I’ve tried to read that’s professionally published! What can be off-putting is the amount of less good stuff you have to sift out too…

    If a story isn’t laid out well or is riddled with spelling/grammatical errors, I’ll not bother however interesting the content might be. If it’s focussed too much on an “OC” I’ll be wary; they can sometimes be quite obvious glorified versions of the author! And where Doctor Who is concerned, unless you’re a dedicated fan of the Rose/Ten relationship, there’s a lot of uninteresting stuff to wade through (is there a vomiting emoticon, anyone know?)

    When I find a well-constructed, well-written story with good characterisation though – it’s worth sifting out all the rubbish for.

  4. Curiously, I haven’t read that much fan fiction and what I’ve written as what might be labelled “fan fiction” can be counted on one hand and still have fingers left. Has anyone visited the site “A Teaspoon and an Open Mind”? I believe it’s dedicated to Doctor Who fan fic.

    • avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

      I have the site bookmarked, but its hard to maneuver around it unless you are focusing on a particular Doctor. I would suggest going to or, if you want crossovers, try Twisting The Hellmouth.

      • avatar Rick says:

        Timelord is an online forum with some great fanfiction on it. I particularly like the section on The War Doctor

  5. avatar teddybowties says:

    aw now that was good. But it COULd have been called, ‘The Cumbrian Vacation’. that would have been funny And sad. good on you Mister Cawley! I wonder if anyone has done a Hope/Crosby parody yet called ‘Road to Trenzalore’?

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