Deborah Latham


As a sixteen-year-old I won my age category for a competition run by a local newspaper in the West Country to 'Draw A Monster To Frighten Doctor Who', as a result of which I met both Tom Baker and Louise Jameson.

The photograph on the right shows the newspaper's reproduction of my artwork.

One of the rules of the competition was that the monster had to have then Radio 1 disc jockey Simon Bates' face, which some people were heard to suggest was bound to be pretty frightening in any case... But since the prize included a brief interview on air with Simon on the Radio 1 Roadshow as well as meeting Tom and Louise, okay, fair enough. And as you can see below - yes, I have touched THE SCARF! (As David Tennant has observed, some of us will never get over the scarf.)

This (personally) significant encounter was hosted at the Doctor Who Exhibition, which, in those far-off days of the 'classic' era of the programme, was located at Longleat House in Wiltshire. I came away from it with my pencil-drawn portrait of Tom Baker signed by the man himself, and it's one of my most treasured possessions. It's astonishing how much store you can set by a more than forty-year-old bit of reconstituted wood pulp, the surface of which has been inscribed with graphite and ink! (I also have both his and Louise's autographs on a poster-size reproduction of my monster - regarding which the same sentiments apply.)

In terms of encouraging and inspiring my imagination, little has had more influence on me than Doctor Who, both in the 'classic' and 'modern' eras. Countless more articulate commentators than I - mostly those involved in the making of the programme - have enthused about its format providing such an infinite range of possibilities for creating stories. When all of history and the entire universe (plus alternate dimensions and the multiverse) are available from which to choose your settings, there's no limit to what you can write about. Which is, as the Ninth Doctor would say, "Fantastic!", and the Tenth Doctor, "Brilliant!"

So, inspired by the 'modern' era reboot of the series, I have since 2010 been among the ranks of the innumerable Doctor Who fan fiction writers that infest this planet.

At this point I ought to mention...


My major project across 2020-22, "Chain Letter", resulted not only in the original story but also a video serial consisting of 13 episodes (the shortest is just over 7 minutes and the longest 13 minutes). Every Doctor from the First to the Twelfth (including the War Doctor) has an encounter with the same mysterious woman. Who is she, and what does she want with him? The answer has fundamental implications not just for the Doctor but for everyone, everywhere...

For those of you who would be interested in reading the original story, here it is: If you wish to view the videos, please visit the Doctor Who: Chain Letter page here on my website, or my YouTube Videos page.

Meanwhile - where was I...? Oh, yes...

You can't, of course, aspire to financial reward of any kind as a fanfic writer, but the sense of enjoyment (and often personal fulfilment, especially if you find that other people have also enjoyed what you've written) is hard to beat!

As my family did not own a television until the mid 1970s (Revenge of the Cybermen is the first story I remember from the time) the Fourth Doctor should have been 'my' Doctor; indeed, for many years he was. But, faithless wretch that I am, I transferred my allegiance to the Tenth Doctor, and it was his storyline - and some of the gaps in it - that inspired me to write the story arc of seven novel-length tales that appear below.

They were originally published on the website 'A Teaspoon and an Open Mind' under the pen name 'TheDoctorDeborah'- indeed, they are still to be found there - but here they're available in PDF format, enhanced by the occasional illustration.

If you're debating as to whether or not you should read them, watch this video trailer to see why the Tenth Doctor thinks you should!

After the completion of that story arc I went on to write a slightly tongue-in-cheek short story about the Ninth Doctor: which motivated me to set myself the target of producing one short story for each of the Doctors from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi (no 'tongue-in-cheek' about any of these, unless, of course, you count the Doctor's own sense of humour).

This project being a work in progress, these are the ones completed so far, but in the fullness of time I intend to fill in all the gaps. In each case the Doctor concerned has contributed a video trailer, in case you want to hear what he has to say before reading the stories:

If you get anything like the degree of pleasure from reading them that I did from writing them, fist pumps from the author will ensue...

But with all those gaps still to be filled, there's only one thing I can say, really - "Allons-y!"

Special thanks (that would be undying thanks if I was Captain Jack Harkness, of course!) to Wink Taylor for performing and producing the audio trailers wot I wrote.

Oh, one last thing - if you think you'd enjoy a couple of videos I've put together comprised of clips of the Doctor set to two of my all-time favourite songs, you could always give these a try...

Doctor Who - Heart of Darkness

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor - Holding Out For A Hero

Doctor Who - If I Could Turn Back Time

plus this tribute to Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith:
Doctor Who: Sarah Jane Smith - You Look Beautiful

Deborah Latham