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Answering the burning questions posed by DWM readers – the man in charge of Doctor Who!

CLIVE WINTERBOTTOM asks: In 52 years of Doctor Who, which stories do you think could be considered ‘groundbreaking’ is some way?

Oh, now that’s an interesting question. But what do you mean, groundbreaking? You know what, I’m going to make some odd choices here (I think) so let’s start by defining our terms (as I used to write at university before I discovered that conversational English wasn’t an impediment to reason but instead its most powerful articulation).

Groundbreaking doesn’t just mean different, or new. If it did, I might be citing stories like Midnight or Love & Monsters or Heaven Sent. But those stories come along, light up the sky for a moment (or possibly blow a hole in the ground, depending on your perspective) and then go on their way. The show is briefly enlarged (or deformed) but the change is transitory. No, for me groundbreaking Doctor Who has to mean finding the new spaces for the show to work in. Those stories that work so well that everybody else grabs hold of the ideas and tries to mass produce them. You might think I’m looking at the launchpads of all the Doctor Who clichés, and in a way I am. You say cliché, I say meme. If something works, it makes more of itself: that’s about as fundamental a truth as the world has to offer.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

A special issue celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1996 TV Movie! Contents include: interviews with actors Paul McGann, Eric Roberts, Daphne Ashbrook, Yee Jee Tso and Gordon Tipple, and Executive Producer Jo Wright; a feature examining the legacy of the TV Movie; Steven Moffat answers readers' questions; Fact of Fiction – The Power of Kroll; Part One of a new comic strip, Witch Hunt by Jacqueline Rayner, illustrated by Martin Geraghty; The Time Team watch Victory of the Daleks; plus news, reviews, previews, prize-winning competitions and much more.