Journey’s End has produced some fabulous fiction. I’ve loved getting to know all the new writers. I still have major issues shipping Ten II and Rose but I can still appreciate some of the brilliant stories I’ve read with that pairing. Some are character-driven and that’s fine, others are compulsively and brilliantly plotty as well. And an Honourable Mention for the Journal of the Most Normal things – funny, touching and interactive role-play.
For my own part, I feel I’ve peaked as a writer. I’ve now done post-JE four different ways – one completely canonical, one basically rewriting the episode with the whole bunch of them stopping the Doctor from running away, one where Rose stays with Ten II and the Doctor gets Donna back and finally a version where both Doctors, Donna and Rose stay together. Although that’s not a simple solution by any means, for me it’s the only one that works, at least when I write it. That must mean that at some level I haven’t really accepted the outcome of JE, because the Doctor remains alone.
There are a couple of people on my flist who think we haven’t seen the end of the narrative arc yet and that the Xmas Special will bring some kind of resolution. I’d love to buy into that but I’ve been let down too many times. On Christmas Day I’ll be on a plane to New York and I’ve no regrets. I thought VOTD was an overhyped pile of shite and I’m quite prepared for this year’s to be no better. At least they don’t seem to have a huge star name in it this year, unless DT himself counts. After all, if your run of Hamlet can sell out in three hours flat, that must make you pretty stellar.
I think what makes me sad about JE is that I get the distinct feeling a lot of the people creatively involved didn’t like it any more than I did. I’m really looking forward to getting the inside scoop (or as close to it as we’re ever likely to get) in RTD’s new book. It didn’t feel like it was written by someone who felt comfortable with it, that he was producing his best work. And we don’t know what pressures were brought to bear, why it was done the way it was, but I wish it hadn’t been. I think the major fault with it was there was just too much packed in, too many characters, not enough time, and it wasn’t possible to do justice to the emotional whammy. It was almost as if it left spaces for fan fiction to fill.
I haven’t really liked a thing I’ve written since “Lighten Our Darkness”, which was pre-JE. I’ve a feeling I won’t quite come to terms with the new landscape and that my best DW work is behind me. The last few stories I’ve done haven’t engaged me emotionally or been nearly as much fun to write as my earlier ones. I’m surprised anybody liked them at all, to be honest.
OTOH I don’t feel a particular urge to continue with classic Ten/Rose + Jack stuff, either. It’s all a very long time ago now. What seems to have happened is a whole “generation” of new writers have been inspired, just as I was inspired by “Doomsday”. I may not be enjoying writing DW fic as much as I once did, but I’m enjoying reading it more than ever before.