The portal to another dimension inside a girl’s bedroom came initially from a comic strip story in Doctor Who Adventures, the weekly Doctor Who comic. In that story things went a rather different way and there were far less words. It wasn’t a bad little story for a comic strip. It annoyed me because the parents, having seen their child and The Doctor fall through a glowing gap in reality, still didn’t believe that there was such a thing as monsters in the wardrobe. That was so totally thick that I decided to write something where there couldn’t be any doubt about it.

Having started with that premise, I did need a bit more of a story for my usual audience. So I added the idea of finding the missing Torchwood Four on the other side, surviving in a barren landscape. That they CAUSED the barren landscape was a later addition once the story was partially written. THEN came the idea that the tentacled creatures were mutated humans and the planet was an alternative reality Earth that had been destroyed by the unthinking actions of the Torchwood team.

The problem was how to get them back! That actually took longer to sort out than anything else. In the end I went back to the remark that The Doctor made earlier about putting a finger in the dyke, and after a bit of bafflegab with the makeshift broadband router that allowed him to contact Jamie, I had the TARDIS forcing open the portal and at the same time blocking it, long enough for everyone to escape.

The big problem with rescuing Torchwood Four, of course, is that this Doctor is not actually in the same dimension where Torchwood actually came into being. He crossed into Nine’s universe a long time back, allowing me to write stories that didn’t have to follow the canon of the TV series. That meant that The Doctor had to explain the difference between the two realities and that he had to being the survivors back to the universe he was living in, not their own. He is quite ruthless about doing that. He doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter.

There was going to be a long postscript in which Harriet Jones makes an official visit to the scene of the disaster and promises compensation and explains that Torchwood are looking after the refugees from the other dimension. It was just a bit too anti-climax, so I decided to sum it up in a few paragraphs from Wyn and The Doctor’s viewpoint as they took off again for new adventures.