The first part of Retrospective, up to where Jack and Gwen go off to find the source of the Rift sat in my ‘drabbles’ folder – a collection of ideas and intros – for a long time, without a story to hang it on. I was going to hold it over for the Christmas episode but decided to get on with it as a mid-summer story and then have stories that continued on after it in succession from New Year, leading to the following Christmas, but not synchronised to actual times of posting them.
This story got held over, in any case, once I had written it because of the references to kidnapped children in the intro. At the time it was going to be posted kidnapped children were headline news and it felt inappropriate.
The bulk of the story is, of course, a series of flashbacks and one flash forward which Jack and Gwen witness while standing under the very arch where Gwynneth opened the rift in the Doctor Who episode, Unquiet Dead, in April 2005, what seems a long time ago now. Not only did I intend to tie in that episode, but I also wanted to show HOW the rift was created, long before Gwynneth’s time, and suggest a reason WHY Gwynneth and Gwen look alike. Gwynneth never had a surname, of course. I made one up that fitted. Gwynneth Connors – Gwen Cooper. Jack’s explanation that Wales has a very small gene pool is plausible, and preferable to some of the odd ideas in various slash and crossover fiction suggesting that Gwynneth wasn’t such a pure Sunday School girl after all.
The rapes and the backstreet abortion scenes, the blitz scenes, were all meant to add to a picture of a place where things happened. The idea that one cellar saw all that drama over two centuries is possibly not quite believable. But then neither is a psychic wall that shows the past to people.
The future scene, of course, ties right back to another Doctor Who adventure. The SECOND Dalek adventure all the way back in 1964. Robomen and Daleks that can’t do stairs are straight from Invasion of Earth. This is a glimpse of the Cardiff story of that invasion.
The story was well received generally but there WAS a feeling that there ought to be a sequel to bring some sort of closure to the tale. And so there WILL be a sequel – the story that WOULD fall on Christmas week 2007.