|Other names:||Gareth John Pritchard Roberts|
|In the DWU|
|Main time period active:|
1993-1996, 2005-2012 (prose)
1994-1996, 2001-2006 (comics)
Gareth Roberts (born 1968 as Gareth John Pritchard Roberts) is a television writer and novelist. He has a substantial body of work related to Doctor Who, across every medium in which Doctor Who fiction has appeared. Indeed, it would be fair to consider him, along with Paul Cornell, as amongst the most versatile writers of Doctor Who fiction.
His work is consistently described as "witty" or "humorous" by reviewers. It betrays a desire to make less popular or under-explored characters "work". This penchant for exploring unusual character combinations has, in various media, made him an early proponent of stories featuring the teams of Vicki/Steven, Susan/First Doctor, Mel/Sixth Doctor, Romana II/K9, Rose/Mickey and Jack/Rose.
Roberts began writing professional Doctor Who fiction in the early 1990s, when he started contributing to the Virgin New Adventures and Virgin Missing Adventures novel ranges. His works were generally hailed by fans for their consistent use of good humour. It has been said that his creations, the Chelonians, were "one of the best monsters created in the novels". All of his Missing Adventures were set in televised eras generally recognised for their strong use of humour. The Plotters was a First Doctor novel said to evoke the Dennis Spooner era, reminiscent of The Romans and The Time Meddler.[source needed] The bulk of Roberts' prose work betrays Roberts' bias for the Graham Williams/Douglas Adams era. No other Virgin writer used the combination of the Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9 as much as Roberts. It has been said that Roberts' Missing Adventures were "love-letter[s] to the Graham Williams era". It is perhaps for this reason that Roberts was chosen to be the BBC Wales representative for the documentary about the Graham Williams era included with the UK DVD release of The Ribos Operation.
Roberts is one of a few writers who has written for both the original Virgin lines and the BBC Books series that have accompanied the BBC Wales series of Doctor Who. In fact, he and Justin Richards are the only two authors as of 2012[update] to write a Missing Adventure, a New Adventure, a Ninth Doctor novel and a Tenth Doctor novel.
He has exclusively used companion Melanie Bush in his audio plays, once with the Sixth Doctor and once with the Seventh. His work with co-writer Clayton Hickman was amongst the very first to employ Mel in audio, and can therefore be said to have been instrumental in redefining the generally fan-disliked companion for audio.
Roberts' first works in comics were Plastic Millenium and Operation Proteus, both of which featured the comic first appearances of televised companions. Millenium, in fact, is the only appearance of Mel in comics, while "Proteus" affords a very late debut for Susan, outside of cameos and parodies. It also posited a pre-Unearthly Child TARDIS, something that had never been considered by the comics before.
Years after this story, Roberts' work experience with Clayton Hickman in audio would help him get a steady string of work in 2005. Roberts was the dominant comics writer during the Ninth Doctor's era. Concepts in his comic work during this period would later make their way into Roberts' televised episodes of Doctor Who. He was entrusted with writing "the Shakespeare episode" in series 3 largely on the strength of his Ninth Doctor comic, A Groatsworth of Wit, in which he revealed his detailed knowledge of Shakespeare. The poisoning scene in The Unicorn and the Wasp was directly lifted from one of his comic strips. [source needed]
Virgin New Adventures
Virgin Missing Adventures
BBC New Series Adventures - Ninth Doctor novels
BBC New Series Adventures - Tenth Doctor novels - Quick Reads
BBC Books Doctor Who novelisations
The Sarah Jane Adventures novelisations
Doctor Who Magazine
Brief Encounter series in Doctor Who Magazine
Short Trips series
- Return of the Spiders
- Special Occasions: 1. The Not-So-Sinister Sponge (with Clayton Hickman)
- The Brain of Socrates
Doctor Who annuals
Doctor Who Yearbooks
Doctor Who Storybooks
Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories
DWM comic stories
- The Lunar Strangers
- Operation Proteus
- Target Practice
- The Last Word
- Where Nobody Knows Your Name
- Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game
- The Love Invasion (with Clayton Hickman)
- A Groatsworth of Wit
- The Lodger