While the holidays may be over, that doesn't mean the season of gift-giving is over quite yet. You can now download the script for the Series 11 debut episode of Doctor Who, 'The Woman Who Fell to Earth' from the BBC Writers Room website. Best part? It is entirely free. Second best part? There are a lot of other script options to choose from.
The BBC is a public service, and one of its mandates is to provide educational resources. BBC Writers Room offers opportunities for submitting scripts to the BBC, which is how many writers got their start at the BBC. It also offers free downloads of scripts for students of writing who want to see how scripts are written and formatted.
The first and best way to learn how to write screenplays is to read them, and the BBC offers anyone who's interested a number of samples to work with. Not everyone gets to go to an expensive writing workshop or get into a film writing course at a university: sometimes you learn the basic dynamics of television dramas just from absorbing the scripts in front of you.
The BBC doesn't just offer Chris Chibnall's first script as showrunner, the BBC Writers Room also includes a large selection of scripts from Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat's stints as well. If you want to learn how to write Doctor Who, this is a great way to immerse yourself in the variety of tones, themes, plots, and styles the show adopted over the last ten series. As a fan, it is a great way to revisit moments from your favourite episodes.
Below is the full list of Doctor Who-related scripts available in the Writers Room site:
● Smith and Jones by Russell T Davies
● The Magician's Apprentice by Steven Moffat
● The Witch's Familiar by Steven Moffat
● Under the Lake by Toby Whithouse
● Before the Flood by Toby Whithouse
● Face the Raven by Sarah Dollard
● Heaven Sent by Steven Moffat
● Hell Bent by Steven Moffat
● The Pilot by Steven Moffat
● Oxygen by Jamie Mathieson
● Thin Ice by Sarah Dollard
● The Lie of the Land by Toby Whithouse
● The New World by Russell T Davies
The Sarah Jane Adventures
● Prisoner of the Judoon Part One by Phil Ford
● Prisoner of the Judoon Part Two by Phil Ford
● The Vault of Secrets Part One by Phil Ford
● The Vault of Secrets Part Two by Phil Ford
In addition to Doctor Who, the BBC Writers Room also archives the scripts of virtually every drama series the BBC has produced over the years, including hits like The Bodyguard, Happy Valley, Peaky Blinders, The Informer, Mrs. Wilson, A Very English Scandal, Keeping Faith, Trust Me, as well as children's dramas and comedies like Cuckoo and Inside No. 9. This is a treasure trove of scripts in just about every genre the BBC has produced, and an invaluable resource for any student of screenwriting–all paid for by the licence fee. If you're not in the UK and didn't pay a licence fee, you still get the benefits since this is an educational resource.
Who says we can't have nice things? The BBC keeps giving us nice things–and for free!