Prisoner of Brockley Hall was, I have to admit, partially inspired by an episode of Stargate Atlantis, “The Real World” in which Elizabeth Weir, the leader of the Atlantis community finds herself in a mental institution back on Earth and is told that Atlantis is some kind of fantasy as a result of her mental breakdown. In that episode, the mental hospital turns out to be the fantasy and she IS really on Atlantis, which is quite an interesting idea, but since it HAD been done I decided not to get SO close to the idea.

But having The Doctor confined to a mental hospital, pressurised to admit he is NOT a Time Lord, and treated bizarrely by the hospital staff was a variation on the theme. He goes through a lot of misery before he starts to put two and two together. The torture he suffers, and his fellow prisoner who is eventually killed, are pushing the PG envelope, but I thought it necessary to make his plight more realistic.

The Doctor uses his mental powers to establish that he is in Brockley Hall and it is 1971. Brockley Hall is the place he rescued Dodo from in the second story of this series. 1971 was an interesting year, not only because Margaret Thatcher was interfering with school milk, but because in 1971, The Third Doctor was on Earth, working for U.N.I.T. The Tenth Doctor reaches out to his younger self for help.

There is a very slight ‘error’ in the scene where the Third Doctor talks to the Brigadier about Gallifrey. On screen, the first time The Doctor mentions the name of his planet is in the episode Time Warrior, which is the first Sarah Jane episode, AFTER Jo. But then, that was only the first TELEVISED mention. It was not a secret as such, and there is no reason to suppose that The Doctor didn’t talk to the Brigadier about such things.

Jo as the U.N.I.T operative in Brockley Hall was a late addition to the plot. I had the idea first of The Doctor seeing her kind eyes and being comforted by them. Then the scene when she takes his advice and leaves the hospital, walking, then running, and finally re-united with HER Doctor and U.N.I.T, was the perfect way to tie it all together.

The Doctor spending some time in the Zero room of his younger incarnation’s TARDIS was a way of rounding up the story. His body begins to mend after the abuses Marsh had inflicted. Then a sweet moment with Jo and his decision to take another detour on his way to visit Wyn. After his miserable time at Brockley Hall, he wants to be with the woman he loves. And who can blame him?