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October 17th, 2021 16 comments

Script Doctor: The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986-89

Available to order from

Script Editor Andrew Cartmel’s inside account of the final years of classic Doctor Who returns for a limited reprint.

‘There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace – we’ve got work to do!’

Andrew Cartmel was the script editor on Doctor Who from 1986 to 1989. During his time on the show, he introduced the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) and oversaw 42 scripts written by eight writers new to the series.

With a clear mission to bring proper science fiction back into Doctor Who, he formulated what was later termed ‘The Cartmel Masterplan’, reintroducing the mystery to the character of the Doctor as the series celebrated its 25th anniversary and beyond.

Script Doctor is his memoir of this time, based on his diaries written sometimes on set and sometimes not even in the diary itself but on the backs of script pages.

With an introduction by modern-era Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, a foreword by Sylvester McCoy, and an afterword by Sophie Aldred, this book is illustrated with 32 pages of photographs, many never published before. It is a vivid account of life in the Doctor Who production office in the late eighties.

2021 Reprint 222 pages in black and white, plus 32-page colour insert

Categorised under: Books, Reference books


  • Alan

    October 28th, 2021 - 7:14pm

    Just noticed that TheWhoShop has the signed version in stock for £19.99

  • Anonymous

    October 16th, 2021 - 11:10am

    How long do you think these 100 copies will be around for booboo?

    • booboo

      October 16th, 2021 - 11:15am

      not sure it sold quite quickly before i think

    • Anonymous

      October 16th, 2021 - 2:28pm

      Didn’t realise it so so limited, will be gone in a flash.

    • Rory

      October 19th, 2021 - 9:38am

      It is a really good book with a lot of new insight into the Cartmel years so I’d highly recommend getting it if you haven’t already.

  • BW

    October 16th, 2021 - 10:02am

    Heads up, Ten Acre Films have done another reprint of this.

  • Rory

    June 29th, 2021 - 5:48pm

    There’s a limited release of 150 extra copies to tie in with the release of s24. Get it while you can.

  • MJS

    May 22nd, 2021 - 7:06pm

    If you didn’t get this before, order now while you can. Great book.

  • MJS

    February 3rd, 2021 - 5:02pm

    Got my dispatch email today. Can’t wait. The cover is gorgeous

    • Mjs

      February 10th, 2021 - 5:23pm

      It’s arrived and it’s lovely!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      February 11th, 2021 - 1:26pm

      Arrived this morning

  • Fledershrew

    January 22nd, 2021 - 5:13pm

    Ordered. Really looking forward to reading this.

  • Dalekz

    January 22nd, 2021 - 12:45pm

    Could that cover be any more 80’s!

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2021 - 11:41am

      I thought the exact same thing. It reminds me of the Duran Duran Big Thing album cover which was released 1988.

  • Erato

    January 22nd, 2021 - 9:38am

    I’ve read this in the original print… It’s a fantastic book and so insightful! I hope Andrew Cartmel gets interviewed by Matthew Sweet in the future Season 25 blu-ray release.

  • Big Blue Box Podcast

    January 22nd, 2021 - 8:59am

    Nice re-design for the re-print. I’ve had the original for years and have read it numerous times, it’s a great read and a good peek behind the curtain on the production of the show as it started its goodbye. If you haven’t picked this up yet then now is a good time to do it.


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