The Interview

DWO interviews Classic Series Writer, Robert Banks Stewart, regarding his Classic Series stories, his thoughts on the New Series and his brand new book title; 'The Hurricane's Tail'.

When you wrote Terror Of The Zygons, and having seen how well they translated on screen, did you ever, or were you ever tempted to write a follow up story featuring the Zygons, and how does it feel to know they will be making a long-awaited return in the 50th Anniversary Special?

The reaction to both Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom did not come until that particular season was shown on air. However I regarded both as being one-offs. Of course I realised later that I might have been tempted to write a follow-up featuring the Zygons, but by then I was very busy writing scripts for other series. Lucky me! Also, I think it be true to say that I wasn't quite as skilled - in the Doctor Who sense - as other writers at sci-fi. Having said that, I did create my very first TV series, Undermind, many years earlier, and the theme was the irrational behaviour of people whose minds had been taken over by some evil, unknown cosmic force, and the chaos and crime it caused.

I'm absolutely delighted that the Zygons will be making a long-awaited return in the 50th anniversary special, especially as the new DVD of Terror of the Zygons will be going worldwide very soon.

Did either of your televised stories (Terror Of The Zygons & The Seeds Of Doom) change much from script to screen?

Although the scripts remained substantially the same I'm sure changes were made in the course of production of both Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom. Producer Philip Hinchliffe and Story editor Robert Holmes were highly creative, brimming with extra ideas. And the director, Douglas Camfield, was also terrific in the touches he added when shooting.

What do you think of the New Series of Doctor Who and are you an avid viewer?

I think the new series of Doctor Who is tremendously good technically, thanks to CGI; the creative ideas and writing are of a very high quality. My only reservation is that it no longer seems to be made to principally entertain children. It feels as if it is inviting, through action and special effects, a bigger international audience, and often doffs its cap to an American audience in particular. Having said that, kids today belong in an entirely different age. I have to admit I'm not a regular viewer, finding the lead characters sometimes too puppet-like.

You have a new novel out ('The Hurricane's Tail') can you tell us a bit more about it?

My new book, The Hurricane's Tail, is a wide-ranging thriller set in London, Paris and the Caribbean, one my favourite parts of the world. Call it a beach thriller. It's my first novel, after years of creating television thrillers, and I thoroughly enjoyed plotting and writing it. The hero is a West Indian who's never been to the West Indies.

Finally, if you could have one round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

I guess if I could make a round trip on the TARDIS anywhere in time and space, my choice would be the lost city of Atlantis - and I would be there when it would be in existence, meeting the people who lived and worked there. How different would that be, compared to archaeological guesswork?

The Hurricane's Tail is available now, priced £9.99 in paperback and £5.99 as a Kindle ebook.
For more information visit

© Copyright Doctor Who Online, 2013.
Page Updated: 19/4/2013

Interview Details

Interview with:
Robert Banks Stewart
(Classic Series Writer)
Conducted by:
Doctor Who Online

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