High Inquisitor started with the mention on the last episodes of Doctor Who Season Four of a ‘time lock’ which kept the Time War from being messed with by time travellers. The time lock can be broken, because Dalek Sec managed it. So it seems kind of obvious that a really clever Time Lord could do it. But the cleverest one we know wouldn’t do that.

So the only way Donna was going to meet the Time Lords and visit Gallifrey was if they sent for him, breaking through the time lock and pulling the TARDIS in the way they can if they REALLY want to.

Having had the idea that the TARDIS would be summoned, I then remembered the beautiful space station in Trial of a Time Lord. This was before the box set came out and we got to see the model shots beautifully cleaned up for the DVD. The reason why trials were held on a space station was never quite explained, and in some of my other stories I have actually set trials on the moon of Shada. But there is no reason why they shouldn’t have a space station, too, and I decided to revisit it for the first part of this story.

My original idea was that this story would mainly be about the trial of the Rani, with The Doctor agonising over condemning her to death, either by atomisation, or in the future when Shada was destroyed in the Time War. But there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of plot there, really, and not a lot to involve Donna in, since all that goes back long before her time.

So I decided there needed to be a subplot to this, and a twist, and that it should go to two parts.

So the first ends with the most unlikely cliffhanger – the DEATH of The Doctor.

As if! Did anyone really believe I would kill him off? Naturally he turns out to have been faking it in part two. I think it makes for a good old fashioned Doctor Who style cliffhanger resolution before getting on with the story.

Bringing in another version of The Doctor to work in partnership with him was my next idea. The Sixth Doctor is one I haven’t featured very much in previous stories, so it seemed a good idea to get to know him. Appropriate, too, since I was using the satellite from Trial of a Time Lord. How to explain him to Donna was the tricky bit. Initially I did have several paragraphs where The Doctor explains before they look at the playback and spot the traitor. But it slowed things down. I decided to leave it to the end and let Donna work it out along the way. Because she CAN work things out. She is not as dumb as she looks.

The undercity idea grew from an initial idea of being in some kind of basement area under the Capitol itself. The idea of there being an old city under the existing one just appealed. It’s a pity I’ve stated that The Doctor had never been there before, as it would be a perfect place for a Theta Sigma story, but never mind.

Traitorous Time Lords abound, of course. There’s Chancellor Goth, Chancellor Hedin, Borusa himself, Castellan Kelner, far too many, really, for such a stable society as it ought to be. And here I have four of them in all! Two of them redeem themselves slightly and The Doctor is merciful to them. I thought of one of them having to regenerate after being wounded because it gave a perfect opportunity to SHOW Donna what Time Lords can do, rather than telling her. That way she put two and two together for herself and then got to tease The Doctor about his fashion taste.

Omega, is a stock bad guy who turns up every so often in Doctor Who mythology, either in person or in legend. Arc of Infinity, the Fifth Doctor story is the obvious reference in the plot the conspirators concoct.

As for The Rani, he really only had one choice. He had to condemn her to Shada. What else could he do? She IS mad.