In late 1986, when he was in his late twenties, Andrew Cartmel was hired as the script editor for the 24th series of Doctor Who. Cartmel worked on the programme for the next three years, overseeing the final three seasons of its original run. He brought in several young, new writers, and despite declining ratings, tried to take the series in a new creative direction.
The most significant legacy of this new direction might have been the so-called “Cartmel Masterplan”, a backstory developed with other writers that both restored some of the mystery of the Doctor’s background but also expanded upon that a lot more. Although hints were dropped in the two final series Cartmel edited, including that the Doctor was also Merlin, the proposed revelations never materialised on screen because the programme was taken off the air in 1989. It would be the New Adventures novels that would take some of those ideas forward, but the revived TV series in 2005 left them well alone.
In June, Titan Comics are to publish a new Seventh Doctor comic book three issue mini-series, as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy alongside classic companion Ace (Sophie Aldred), beginning with a double-sized first issue, written by Cartmel and Rivers Of London writer Ben Aaronovitch, artist Christopher Jones and colourist Marco Lesko.
In Titan Comics’ new mini-series, an unknown alien intelligence in orbit around the Earth. Astronauts under attack. A terrifying, mysterious landing in the Australian interior. The future of the world itself at stake. Counter Measures activated. The Seventh Doctor and Ace are slap bang in the middle of it all! This is OPERATION VOLCANO!
The comic will also contain a back-up strip written by Twelfth Doctor writer Richard Dinnick, with art by Jessica Martin — who actually acted in the Sylvester McCoy episode of Doctor Who, ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ — which was script edited by Cartmel.
Quite a reunion.