In Matt's own words.
I've been a big fan of Doctor Who ever since it was rerun on PBS in the 90's. In high school I began writing a fan fiction series set during the 13th Doctor era, long before the 2005 revival of the series and its Time War backstory. Unfortunately I never got to finish it, however I still have the story outlines I came up with so I'll be using them for future comics.

I first discovered the Action Figure Theatre around 2009 while searching the Internet for paper models. Inspired by Phil’s wonderful models and storytelling, I set about to create my own figure adventures, resulting in the Fourth Doctor story 'A Christmas Vignette' posted to Facebook in November 2012 and still available to read in the photo albums of my Facebook profile.

Another hobby of mine beside Doctor Who is my Halloween costume creations for my hometown's Halloween parade. All hand made from materials like recycled cardboard and clothing from Salvation Army or Goodwill. Basically I'd rather make my own costumes instead of paying an arm and a leg for a cheap looking jumpsuit and mask. To date I have done a Ghostbuster, Dalek,  Ash Williams, 'Dark Knight' Joker, Marvel Cinematic Universe Iron Man & Captain America, and Boba Fett. This years costume is DuckTales Gizmoduck. Future costume ideas include Skeletor, New Series Cyberman, and Marvel Zombies Spider-Man.

The Second Doctor is from the Eleven Doctors box set. The Unnamed Gallifreyian is Star Trek TNG's Captain Picard in Romulan Disguise. The Third Doctor is from the Eleven Doctors box set photoshopped into his Three Doctors jacket. Jo Grant is from the Three Doctors collector set. The Brigadier from the Three Doctors collector set stands in for Sgt. Benton with John Levenes head photoshopped on top.
While working on 'A Christmas Vignette', I began making plans for future action figure adventures. The Eleven Doctors box set lets me cover all eras of Doctor Who, but the lack of TV Companion figures means I have to custom make my own OR create brand new companions and find areas in DW mythos where they can join the Doctor. Very few of the Doctors actually have a point in their adventures where they travel alone or are cut off from their respective TV companion. In researching how many of these points actually exist, I remembered reading about SEASON 6B, a proposed 'retcon' for the Second Doctor to explain the differences in his character as depicted in both 'The Five Doctors' and 'The Two Doctors'. SEASON 6B suggests that the Second Doctor, instead of exile and regeneration at the end of 'The War Games', goes to work for the Time Lords, or perhaps the Celestial Intervention Agency, carrying out special missions for them. At the end of SEASON 6B, the Time Lords enforced the original judgment of exile and regeneration plus a little memory loss, which leads right into 'Spearhead from Space'. Here is the perfect opportunity not only to introduce a new companion for the Doctor, but to also have stories not bound by established continuity because the Doctor won't remember any of it. I had story outlines leftover from my unfinished Doctor Who fan fiction series so I decided to use them as the basis for my version of SEASON 6B.

This story, originally titled 'After the Trial', was meant to begin this new series. After Phil Lawrence announced the Storylab, I decided to use this opportunity to fine tune the story and maybe pick up some pointers on action figure storytelling. Hopefully what I learned here can be applied to future adventures.

 The original script, under the title 'After the Trial', was completed on January 12, 2013. The revised AFT script, now titled 'Quid Pro Quo', was completed on March 13, 2013. Although never named in the story, the Unnamed Gallifreyan was called Josman in both scripts. The black hole was not in the original script, but was added to the AFT version to give the Doctor an obstacle to overcome.

The 'After the Trial' script contained an opening scene recreating the final moments of the Second Doctors trial from 'The War Games'. This was to establish where the Doctor was on his personal timeline when Unnamed Gallifreyan snatches him up. While reworking the script for the Storylab, I knew this scene would have to be cut to fit the story into the 4 page requirements. This also meant I had to change the title, hence the title 'Quid Pro Quo' meaning 'you help us, we'll help you', which fits in perfectly with the Doctors situation.

The Unnamed Gallifreyans lines of 'bending the laws of time' and 'a pariah exiled from Time Lord society' are almost direct quotes from the Second Doctor in 'The Five Doctors' and 'The Two Doctors' respectively.

The SIDRAT control room scenes and greenscreen images were filmed over Easter weekend. The SIDRAT control room set is a combination of TARDIS console room walls from all over the classic series. The idea was to have a mishmash of different eras since Unnamed Gallifreyan put the SIDRAT together in a bit of a hurry. We have the 'roundel printout' wall from the 60's era, the standard green roundel wall used until Season 14, the roundel wall with roman style columns used after Season 14 until the end of Season 20, and the fault locator wall from the 60's era which acts as the transmat controls. The transmat is a Space Station Nerva/Nerva Beacon transmat with a seal of Rassilon slapped on. The control column is a 'repainted' Dalek timeship control column from 'The Dalek Masterplan'. The 3 monitors have screencaps from the classic arcade games Tempest, Galaga, and Pac-Man, however the Pac-Man screen is not visible in the story.

After the 'explosion' on Page Three, the regular lighting (two desk lamps and the ceiling fan light) was turned off to darken the SIDRAT control room set. The only lighting is a LED flashlight hung from the ceiling fan and a diffused spotlight on the Doctors face. Pieces of Saran wrap litter the SIDRAT floor representing the broken glass from the control column.

The SIDRAT itself is a 1/12 scale paper model based on the original construction plans from 'The War Games'. No functional door, but I have plans to modify it with a functional door in the future. Over a dozen pics were taken of just about every angle of the SIDRAT to get the right perspective for a particular panel.

The Third Doctors TARDIS console room scene was filmed much later, April 20. The scene recreates the moment when the Second Doctor appears in 'The Three Doctors'. The set was designed to be disassembled and stored away, much like a movie or tv set. The template used for the walls were console room printouts originally designed by TickleontheTum, who created printouts of console rooms from different eras and offered them free on his website. Sadly, the website with the printouts is no longer online. The TARDIS console itself is Tickles 'Hartnell TARDIS console' repainted and modified to resemble the console during the Pertwee era.

This story required alot of photoshopping. The sparks on the control column is a pic of three sparklers. The figure used for the Unnamed Gallifreyan is not in scale with the Doctor Who figures, so shots where you see the full figure had to be shot twice; once with the figure standing on a stack of foamcore pieces to get the right height, then again with the figure standing on the floor of the set and the two images blended together. Other shots are from the waist up with the figure standing on the foamcore pieces. The SIDRAT was filmed on greenscreen and superimposed onto the black hole images. The lightstream was created in Photoshop using a Lightsaber beam tutorial as a guide.

The big explosion on Page 3 took many layers of different images to get right. A pic of a nebula was used as the temporal energy escaping from the column. Breaking glass images sell the idea of the column shattering, plus the sparkler images line the top and bottom of the explosion.

The Third Doctor's jacket and frilled shirt were altered in Photoshop to resemble the jacket and frilled shirt in 'The Three Doctors'. Sgt. Benton was the bigger challenge. Not having the actual figure nor the time to create a custom one, the Brigadier stood in for Benton and John Levenes head was overlayed on top. Not the greatest photoshop work, but being just one image I hope it worked just fine.

Several lines were added and altered during the editing phase, in particular Unnamed Gallifreyan mentioning the Time Lords took away his name because of his crime.

The logo used for this story is a custom version created for my unfinished fan fiction series. The base font is called Unicorn, which has an other worldly fantasy look to it. This same logo will also be used for my SEASON 6B series.

This story is set within the fabled SEASON 6B, between 'The War Games' and 'Spearhead from Space', where the Second Doctor is working for the Time Lords before his regeneration into the Third Doctor. The Unnamed Gallifreyan picks up the Doctor just as he's being sent to Earth by the Time Lords. The ending leads directly into 'The Three Doctors'.

The Unnamed Gallifreyans backstory is hinted at here, but never fully revealed. The next story would have the Time Lords grant him a new regenrative cycle for helping the Doctor and he would continue on as the new companion, acting as a sort of 'galactic parole officer', making sure the Doctor does as he told.

This has been a terrific learning experience, the best opportunity to improve on my storytelling abilities. I hope to apply what I've learned here into future adventures of the Doctor, and I hope Phil will bring about more Storylab type events in the future.
This story was completed on schedule and was one of the first to appear on the site on the planned date of 14th June 2013.
Matt's produced a great little prequel to The Three Doctors here giving a new slant on events we've already seen. The new Time Lord character (whoever that is) has a very characterful way of speaking that really brings him to life. The main set shows an imaginative use of my own TARDIS and Dalek ship interiors (among others) and I adore his Third Doctor's console/ room. The editing is brilliant and professional looking. I love the black hole and the very special effect of the console exploding.

 

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