Shadows of The Past allowed me to explore the ‘miniaturisation’ theme. This has been covered in a few classic series stories. First, and most infamously, in Planet of the Giants, 1964, which was let down by its special effects. Then in Armageddon Factor when Drax miniaturises himself and The Doctor, in Logopolis when The Doctor and TARDIS shrink, and finally in Planet of Fire when the Fifth Doctor finds a miniaturised Master hoist by his own petard.

With Doctor Who action figures all over the place now, shrinking them to doll size was a fun thing to do. Having them in a toybox next to Barbie, was irresistible. Then having to run for the safety of Barbie’s Dream House as a loveable dog tries to lick them to death tops it.

The loveable dog is based on my dog, Kirkby, who is named after the railway station she was abandoned on as a puppy. Hence Bootle and Crosby for the dogs in this story, two more Merseyside railway stations. She does the paws over the side of the bed bit very cutely, too.

This is Susan’s backstory, of course. The girl in the bed, Heather, is her big sister who died before she was born, a girl who DOES like Barbie, unlike Susan. A girl who her parents tried NOT to compare her with, but such things are a little inevitable in families.

Above all, a sister that she never got to know. So as well as the main plot of ridding the house of Shadows, there are emotional issues for Susan.

Shadows from the Dungeon Dimensions were first mentioned in Love and Monsters. They killed Elton’s mum before The Doctor had chance to get them. That was only a snippet of that story, though and it NEEDED expanding on. So I took it on, introducing another family who were being terrorised by the shadows and The Doctor to the rescue. Ric comes into his own in this story in much the same way K9 did from time to time, but in other stories it’s a struggle.

Leukaemia, of course is a dreadful disease and I wouldn’t trivialise it in any way. The Doctor couldn’t offer any miracles. But Human medicine sometimes does. Sometimes people DO recover and go on to have lives they never expected to have. I knew a man personally who recovered from childhood Leukaemia. I don’t know why some make it and others don’t. Perhaps it depends on the patient having the stamina or the strength, or perhaps just the luck to make it through the treatment. What accidentally happened in the TARDIS was that Heather gained enough strength to see her through a few more months, time enough for the therapy to take effect and allow for remission. Because a happy ending is no harm, after all.