The Burglar and the Shaddow Proclamation started with the idea of bringing in a new companion aboard the TARDIS – a male one. This was kicked around in a lot of blogs recently in relation to the Eleventh Doctor. I for one think a male companion, other than Captain Jack, is overdue. I had the idea of somebody a little rough around the edges, possibly a petty criminal, who The Doctor might be a bit suspicious of at first but gain respect for slowly.

The name, Ben Carpenter, is actually a backhanded tribute to Captain Jack. Ben Carpenter is the name of the character played by John Barrowman in the much maligned b-movie, Shark Attack Three. It’s a terrible film for many reasons, though John isn’t one of them. And I thought the name of his character, at least, deserved a chance of redemption.

Ben shouldn’t have been able to break into the TARDIS using a picklock, of course. It’s meant to be far more sophisticated than that. So there is a hint of an idea that the semi-sentient TARDIS chose to let him in so that he would become one of the travelling companions. I don’t put too much emphasis on that idea, but it is there for those who pick up on it.

Of course, they need an adventure to plunge Ben into, and being summoned to the Shaddow Proclamation seemed like an idea to play around with. Once they were there, they were presented with a lot of dead Judoon and some shape-shifting aliens pretending to be Judoon. And that was where I decided to leave the story for the time being. Having spent a lot of time introducing Ben it would rush things too much to have the whole Shaddow Proclamation story squeezed into one story.

So the second part of the story opens with The Doctor encountering a very old enemy, the Ogrons. These were seen in two Third Doctor stories in the early 1970s as the henchmen of the Daleks. In one story, Frontier in Space, they were using stolen technology that allowed them to take on the appearance of Humans or Draconians in order to provoke a war between the two species. This seemed like a good idea for an enemy that could defeat the Judoon.

But the Ogron were never the instigators of trouble. They were the henchmen of others. So Ogron was inevitably going to lead to something else, and I decided that they should be under the command of the Dominators. They go back even further, to a Second Doctor story, where they were a humanoid race, but one which ravaged galaxies, enslaving people and despoiling planets. I had used them once before, last year, in a New Lords of Time story arc in which Earth in the 23rd century was invaded and the Ninth Doctor and his family were all that stood between the Human race and annihilation. This is a bit of a codicil to that in which the Dominators seek to use the Shaddow Proclamation as a jumping off point to ravaging a new piece of the galaxy.

Now, I am the only one who spells Shaddow Proclamation with two ‘d’s. I decided I like it better that way. Shadow or Shaddow makes no particular sense, but the second sounds like it could be the name of a place or person where it all began. The Shaddow Proclamation was first mentioned in Rose, in 2005, when the Doctor accused the Nestene of breaking the terms. It was mentioned again from time to time since until Stolen Earth in 2008, when The Doctor took Donna TO the Shaddow Proclamation, saying they were a sort of galactic police. Wikipedia describes them as: a galactic government concerned with upholding Galactic Law. Judoon acted as its enforcers. The Doctor often called miscreants to account for themselves according to its dictates. The same article also suggests that the Shaddow Proclamation is both a treaty document and the organisation itself.

The organisation, is a bit mysterious, sitting on its asteroid like that. So there is plenty of scope for imagination about them. A story in which they are used by the Dominators in this way, proving that they are vulnerable to attack by those who have no interest in keeping the peace made for a good vehicle for introducing the new character of Ben into the series. Obviously The Doctor wins ultimately, with Ben proving his loyalty and earning the right to travel with him.