Real Time Travel!

20 Feb 2017

Alien Heart cover

Alien Heart is a two-part Doctor Who adventure I wrote featuring the 5th Doctor and Nyssa. I can’t believe it’s been over 35 years since I first watched these characters having hectic space adventures on TV.

My mind, as if zapped by a Dalek, is blown.

Incredibly, I was younger still when I met my first Dalek in the flesh. It was in 1978 at the Doctor Who Exhibition in Blackpool. My parents took me and my sister there for a treat for my 7th birthday. It took about 20 hours to get there but I still remember how excited I was.


Here is the “Alek” that confronted me there! There was a recording of Dalek voices and it was dark, just to add to the atmosphere. Happily, my dad bravely photographed most of the exhibits. I’ve only just discovered these slides still exist!

So come with me in a red Ford Cortina on a journey through time and motorways to witness them for yourself!

There was a scene from one of my favourite stories from 1977, The Robots of Death…


Metal mutt K9 had made his first appearance later that year. I was glad he was there to protect me with his nose laser!


The stary-eyed dude below is a Time Lord who’s just noticed the pudgy Cyberman is wearing his chest unit the wrong way round. Still, in 1978, I knew no better and loved it all.

Here is a frightening scene from 1977’s The Invisible Enemy. These guys were infected with an alien virus which turned their eyebrows bushy and silver. An alien virus who eventually grew super-big…


… and here is that Virus. He looks like a giant prawn! But he still scared me behind the sofa.


Now, this scene TOTALLY freaked me out. It was from another 1977 story called Image of the Fendahl. This Blackpool version of the Fendahl Core looks very jolly, like she’s just found someone to dust the place. She is way happier than the ultra-creepy version from the TV show.


And now, here is Mr Sin –an evil robotic pig-brained dummy – with his master’s laser dragon, both from The Talons of Weng-Chiang (also from 1977). For a little dude Mr Sin seems to have a seriously long arm. He terrified me – mainly because my dad used to scare me and my sister after each episode’s transmission by getting down on his knees and stalking us around the coffee table with a letter opener.


There was a version of the TARDIS console towards the end of the exhibition. How I hated the metal barrier stopping me flicking all the switches!


There was even an Ice Warrior in attendance. I had no memory of these Martians because the last time they’d been on TV I was 2 years old. But I knew they were Deadly Enemies of Doctor Who because I had a handy Doctor Who monster book at home.


How could I have imagined that decades later Doctor Who would still be big on TV, I’d have written an audio drama about Ice Warriors, and would even meet one in the icy flesh?


It’s a funny thing, time-travel.

  • What a treat! I’m off to the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank in July for my own spacey experience. Perhaps I’ll bump into a Dalek or two there!

    • I’ve heard that’s a really good festival! I’ve driven past Jodrell Bank a few times and it always looks really cool and exciting…

  • Hello Steve,
    I think these photos are absolutely brilliant – thank you so much for sharing them.
    Would there be any chance at all I could obtain a set of these images in hi-res from you? If so, please drop me a line.
    Thanks again – these pictures bring such happy memories.

  • Hi Steve,
    Big fan of your Doctor Who work! I was thrilled to read your new 8th Doctor short story in The TARGET Storybook featuring Fitz and Trix!!! When I heard they were featuring, I instantly knew I had to get this book. The EDA’s are some of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time!
    I was wondering if Fitz and Trix might make any more appearances soon in perhaps something a little larger? It has pained me to see so little attention paid to this era since the tv series revival. I mean there has been close to nothing with these characters since 2005.

    Will we see any kind of return to the EDA era any time soon?
    Thanks so much!

    -Melvin Arwell

    • Hi Melvin!
      Thanks for the kind words. I love those characters too, and agree it would be lovely to bring them back in something meatier… There’s so much ground to cover these days, but fingers crossed for more blasts from the past!


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