The idea for this story actually came from the Sarah Jane Adventures Live Journal site. Somebody suggested a ‘plot bunny’ about a dimensional letter box through which Rose in the parallel universe sent letters to Sarah Jane. That wasn’t a bad idea, but I thought I might transfer the plot bunny to the Ten series.

I’m not sure if the two halves of this story exactly match. The first part is a story told in retrospect by The Doctor about meeting a young girl whose parents were killed in a car crash and how she has kept in contact with him through the years, using a ‘magic pen’ which he gave her, which has ink charged with artron energy that automatically sends her letter through to The Doctor wherever he is.

All well and good. It then turns on the subject of the most recent letter, which is an invitation to a wedding. Gillian, his friend, is grown up now and about to get married.

And there, I think, the story starts to lose some impact and originality. I had just finished this story when the Torchwood episode ‘Something Borrowed’ aired, with an alien shapeshifter eating people and causing mayhem. Well, that allowed me to add ‘Nostrovites’ to the list of shapeshifting trouble makers, but it also pointed to the central problem – drama surrounding weddings is bloody difficult to make original. Every soap opera in the world has done something on the lines of missing bride/groom or people dying on the way or during the ceremony, and all kinds of domestic problems. Then there is the great Dynasty wedding massacre! Making a science fiction story centred on a wedding is even harder. Torchwood just got away with it. I think I might JUST do the same because of the original method of rescuing the two kidnappees.

I wonder if the aliens living peacefully on Earth plotline is just a bit overdone now, too. I did it in the New Year story, The Dufoins Go Home. I may need to think of some other ideas for future reference.