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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 516 > Ruler of the Universe

Ruler of the Universe

We talk to the creative talents behind Who releasesa

Coming Soon …



While the Fifth Doctor is facing a new life as President of Gallifrey in Time of Office (see page 79), another incarnation is running an entire reality.

Last year, The Unbound Universe paired Bernice Summerfield (a companion introduced in the New Adventures novels in 1992) with the parallel-universe Doctor played by David Warner (originally created for the Doctor Who Unbound audios in 2003), and their story continues in Ruler of the Universe. “We didn’t want to get rid of the Unbound Doctor at the end of the previous series,” explains Guy Adams, who’s written this new run with producer James Goss. “We wanted to make sure we left it in a position where – if we had the right ideas – we could pick it up again. James came to me and said, ‘Okay, he’s president of his universe. Let’s add a couple of drops of The West Wing. What can we do that would be fun with him trying to run the universe, trying to actually be a grown up?’” Guy ended up writing the first and third episodes, while James tackled the second and fourth, with each acting as the other’s script editor. “It was a properly collaborative setup,” says Guy. “It’s one of the most fun things I’ve done at Big Finish. There is a practicality to having two writers working in each other’s pockets, to bounce ideas backwards and forwards and create one cohesive story. I think each of the episodes stands on its own two feet, but the political threads that weave through that story flow seamlessly and very neatly.”

Ruler of the Universe’s David Warner with Lisa Bowerman and Annette Badland.

When we rejoin the Doctor and Benny, both are missing adventure in their lives.

“The Doctor is doing his best to succeed at the sort of job the Doctor should never have,” Guy reveals. “Arguably no-one should run the universe, but certainly not the Doctor! I don’t think it plays to his particular skill-set, so he’s miserable: he is drowning under paperwork, he’s drowning under responsibility. Benny, meanwhile, is still stranded from her real home and her family, and is adrift in this universe – this dying universe that is shrinking day by day. And she’s looking at the man that, with various faces, is one of her very best friends, and finding that with each new day, she ceases to recognise him, because the Doctor shouldn’t be doing what the Doctor is doing. If the last series was about anything, it was really about the Doctor remembering how to be the Doctor again. This series finds him, having regained that knowledge, now no longer able to enjoy it or use it, because he’s now having to become something else entirely! “I love writing Warner’s Doctor,” Guy smiles. “The last series taught us the sort of humour that works for David, the sort of character moments – obviously he’s an amazing actor, and he can pull anything off, but you like to watch an actor in a scene and see the bits where they really sparkle. I just love his surly humour.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: · An exclusive interview with the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker · DWM asks what the casting of Jodie Whittaker means for the future of Doctor Who. · Go behind the scenes with monster makers Millennium FX, with never-before-published imagery from the making of the last series. · DWM talks exclusively to former showrunner Russell T Davies about his illustrations for the forthcoming collection of Doctor Who poetry, Now We Are Six Hundred. · Nicholas Briggs reveals the secrets of giving voice to the Cybermen. · Discover new information about a classic adventure as the 1964 First Doctor story The Aztecs goes under the spotlight in The Fact of Fiction. · DWM pays tribute to the late Trevor Baxter, who played Professor Lightfoot in 1977's The Talons of Weng-Chiang, with contributions from Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Christopher Benjamin, Lisa Bowerman and more. · A brand-new comic strip adventure continues for the Doctor and Bill The Parliament of Fear, written by Scott Gray and illustrated by Staz Johnson. · A sneak preview of the forthcoming book on the history of Doctor Who in the USA: Red, White and and Who. · Legendary guitarist Hank Marvin talks about his latest recording – the Doctor Who theme! · Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more.