Angel of Decas was vaguely based on a story I remember from those magazines for girls with names like Bunty, Judy and Jinty, but so vaguely that it isn’t worth going into, and I can still use the original idea in another story one of these days.

This story is VERY unusual in my work since it begins with two strangers on a strange planet. Usually I start inside the TARDIS. In the TV series the story almost NEVER begins with The Doctor in the TARDIS. The exceptions are the 2006 and 2007 Christmas specials. So I broke with tradition for once and had the rather frightening notion of two young girls running from some as yet unexplained terror before they find themselves aboard the TARDIS, safe at last, and in the presence of the man they know of in legend as ‘The Angel’.

Then unfolds a story about a planet where family life is non-existent. Children are born under controlled conditions and grow up in institutions to become workers, and some are even worse off. The ones deemed to be potential criminals are sent to the prisons and cruelly treated for the crimes they haven’t committed. Of course The Doctor was bound to deal with that.

The other planet, Cie’lo, which The Doctor brought those he rescued from Decas to is something like Latin for Heavem. The Doctor claims it is Galifreyan for Paradise. And it looks like Port Merion. I’ve never LIKED Port Merion. I think it is a dreadful place, but it serves its purpose as an inspiration for a village where rescued people go to make a new and happier life.

The reflecting pool with a mosaic in the bottom of it depicting the ten doctors was inspired by a description in a story by my friend, Prue, who also writes Doctor Who fiction. In hers, it was a mural on the wall of the Cloister Room aboard the TARDIS. Here, I went for a reflecting pool because it was just the sort of thing The Doctor would HATE. He doesn’t take praise easily, and being ‘honoured’ in mosaic would embarrass him, but he would never object. When he later changes the mosaic to make it incorporate all the people of Cie’lo as well, it is his way of gently mending the problem.

Decas remains a society that is far from perfect, but when The Doctor destroyed the prison he managed to make a step in the right direction. It is an example of him not being able to sort EVERYTHING out. The universe is in as much of a mess as Decas and The Doctor can't sort it all.