Rhekan IV began with some very strange pictures I found on a computer art website by somebody called Lars Sydolf. He creates amazing, surreal worlds. One of his pictures was of a sort of striped woman standing in a landscape. Another was abstract art in a landscape. I took those as the basis of the at garden that The Doctor and Susan landed in and then built the rest of the story up around that place. WHY is so much land given over to abstract art? What is the secret of this planet.

And The Doctor discovers an amazing secret. Rhekan IV is a university planet full of students who are kept n suspended animation while they learn. And he learns that a great computer called The Arch Chancellor is responsible for them being kept that way.

BUT, it is not what he first thinks. The Arch Chancellor has LEARNT to love the students and care for their welfare. But it can’t break the programme and release them from the cycle of waking and sleeping and learning. The computer needed The Doctor to come and help finish what it started.

Again, these stories were written weeks in advance of being posted, but this one went online the same weekend as the episode Gridlock, in which the Face of Boe needed The Doctor to help him to rescue the people of the motorway from their endless nightmare. The coincidence of the two plots was just that, a coincidence. It proves, I think, a similar wavelength that all us 35-45 year old fans who grew up in the 1970s and now WRITE Doctor Who, either professionally or just for the joy of it, share.

And of course, this provided the purpose and home for Ric. He joined with the Arch Chancellor, with the programming he downloaded from the TARDIS, in order to facilitate the revival of the students to make a new life for themselves.

Incidentally, the 2007 series also featured The Doctor wearing a mortar board just as I envisaged him in this story, in Human Nature/Family of Blood.

http://homepage.mac.com/lasyd/PhotoAlbum.html