a real world point of view
Doctor Who spin-offs can be separated into two distinct categories: officially licensed BBC productions, and other productions (not licensed by the BBC.)
The latter are all Doctor Who spin-offs which generally contain a monster or element of Doctor Who (licensed from the original holder) and then produced without BBC licensed elements.
Officially Licensed by the BBC Edit
see Torchwood for more detailed information
K9 and Company Edit
see K9 and Company for more detailed information
The Sarah Jane Adventures Edit
see The Sarah Jane Adventures for more detailed information
Big Finish Productions Edit
Virgin New Adventures Edit
Telos Publishing Edit
- Time Hunter series
Other Doctor Who Spin Offs Edit
Beginning in 1987 with the release of Wartime by Reeltime Pictures, a number of professionally produced spin-off films and audio dramas have been produced. As noted above, these differ from BBC and Big Finish productions in that they usually only feature characters or monsters not owned by the BBC, but rather licenced from their creators. Some spin-offs are original works using original character strongly suggested by characters in Doctor Who (such as The Stranger). In many cases, original cast members from Doctor Who reprised their TV roles for these films and several involved behind-the-scenes veterans of the series (for example, Christopher Barry, who co-directed the very first Daleks story in 1963-64, directed Downtime). A number of writers and actors involved in these productions later went on to work with fully licenced Doctor Who spinoffs such as the Big Finish Productions audio dramas, and even on the revived Doctor Who series itself when it returned to TV in 2005 (most notably Nicholas Briggs and Mark Gatiss). By way of comparison, these spin-off productions, often classified as fan films, are in spirit similar to the professionally made fan films based upon the Star Trek franchise that began to emerge in the early 2000s when the rights holders for Star Trek relaxed their restrictions; unlike the Doctor Who-related productions, however, no restrictions on character use have been imposed.
BBV Productions Edit
BBV produced both Video and Audio spin-offs.
Auton Trilogy Edit
The Airzone Solution Edit
The Airzone Solution is notable that while it doesn't have any narrative connection with Doctor Who, it does feature Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Nicola Bryant. In the DVD featurette The Wilderness Years, of the 2010 DVD release of the 1996 TV movie, reveals that Jon Pertwee was not cast until after production had begun, after calling the director and complaining that a Doctor Who movie was being made with the other Doctors and he wasn't in it. It was one of Jon Pertwee's final appearances (in film) before his death.
The Stranger Edit
A series featuring Colin Baker as 'The Stranger' (a.k.a. Soloman) and his companion 'Miss Brown' played by Nicola Bryant. Originally intended as a Doctor Who pastiche -- the second film, More Than a Messiah was even based upon an Audio Visuals Doctor Who story -- any similarities to the TV series were erased beginning with The Terror Game.
- Summoned by Shadows
- More Than a Messiah
- In Memory Alone
- The Terror Game
- Breach of the Peace
- Eye of the Beholder
Do You Have a Licence to Save this Planet? Edit
A parody of Doctor Who produced to mark BBV's 10th anniversary, this short film featured Sylvester McCoy as "The Foot Doctor" and poked fun at not only Doctor Who, but also BBV's line of spinoff dramas and the whole "fan film" genre. The film also included appearances by Autons, Sontarans and BBV's Cyberons.
Reeltime Pictures Edit
Produced the large range of Myth Makers video interview tapes which interviewed much of the Doctor Who cast and crew. Reeltime Pictures were the first production company to make a Doctor Who spin-off licensed from the creator rather than through the BBC.
Myth Runner Edit
A parody of Blade Runner, Doctor Who and the Myth Makers interview series (see below), built around bloopers from Myth Makers.
Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans Edit
A feature-length drama featuring the Sontarans. It has the distinction of being one of two "unofficial" spinoffs to be adapted as an officially licenced Doctor Who novel. The novel Shakedown was expanded to include the Seventh Doctor and released as part of the Virgin New Adventures line.
This feature-length drama saw the return of Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield, Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Nicholas Courtney as The Brigadier, and was directed by Christopher Barry. As with Shakedown, it too was adapted as a novel, this time for the Virgin Missing Adventures line; see Downtime (novel).
Mindgame and Mindgame Trilogy Edit
These two dramas featured a Draconian, a human and a Sontaran, in Mindgame they are trapped in a cell together. In Mindgame Trilogy three individual stories are told. Both feature Sophie Aldred (as the human), Miles Richardson as the Draconian and Toby Aspin as the Sontaran.
Dæmos Rising Edit
Magic Bullet Productions Edit
Faction Paradox Edit
Kaldor City Edit
Incomplete privately made fan film notable for featuring Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor in his final known performance in the role. Audio of Pertwee was reused by Big Finish Productions for the audio drama Zagreus. In 2009, a 12-minute excerpt from the production, featuring the extant footage of Pertwee, was released by BBC Video with the DVD release of The War Games. Notwithstanding a few Reeltime-produced comedy skits included in previous DVD sets, this makes Devious to date the only fan/unofficial spin-off to actually be released by the BBC, not to mention the only such production featuring the Doctor to see commercial release.
K9 (TV series) Edit
A spin-off TV series produced in Australia featuring an updated version of K9 Mark 2, with John Leeson reprising his role as K9's voice. It was the first Doctor Who-related TV series that was not produced or co-produced by the BBC.
Non-fiction spin-offs Edit
Since the revival of the Doctor Who franchise in 2005, several ongoing non-fiction TV series have been commissioned to suppliment the main programmes. All feature behind-the-scenes documentary coverage of production, with the exception of Totally Doctor Who which also featured an animated serial, The Infinite Quest.
- Doctor Who Confidential
- Totally Doctor Who
- Torchwood Declassified (technically a spinoff of Torchwood)
Reeltime Pictures also produced several non-fiction spinoffs:
Myth Makers Edit
A series of several dozen interview documentaries featuring cast and crew of the series. Notable entries in the series included a 90-minute interview with Jon Pertwee and two tapes dedicated to Tom Baker.
Return to Devil's End Edit
Lust in Space Edit
A mock trial in which Doctor Who is cross-examined on charges of sexism over the years. Features appearances by many past female companions.