Gareth Roberts (born Gareth John Pritchard Roberts) wrote for Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures on television, the Virgin New Adventures, Missing Adventures and New Series Adventures novels, Big Finish audios, the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, short stories published by Virgin Books, BBC Books, Big Finish and Panini Comics, and the interactive BBC Red Button adventure Attack of the Graske. He also novelised the unfinished Doctor Who television story Shada and Roberts' own script for The Sarah Jane Adventures television story The Sarah Jane Adventures.
His work is consistently described [by whom?] as "witty" or "humorous" by reviewers. [who?] It betrays a desire to make less popular or under-explored characters "work". [source needed] 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.
Doctor Who Edit
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]
Other work Edit
He also contributed to the charity reference book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.
Doctor Who Edit
- The Shakespeare Code
- The Unicorn and the Wasp
- Planet of the Dead (with Russell T Davies)
- The Lodger
- Closing Time
- The Caretaker (with Steven Moffat)
- The Ultimate Guide (Beginning & end scenes)
The Sarah Jane Adventures Edit
- Invasion of the Bane (with Russell T Davies)
- Revenge of the Slitheen
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
- Secrets of the Stars
- The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
- The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
- The Empty Planet
- Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith (with Clayton Hickman)
- The Man Who Never Was
Comic Relief Special Edit
Interactive Red Button story Edit
Virgin New Adventures Edit
Virgin Missing Adventures Edit
BBC New Series Adventures Edit
BBC New Series Adventures - Quick Reads Edit
BBC Books Doctor Who novelisations Edit
The Sarah Jane Adventures novelisations Edit
Short fiction Edit
Doctor Who Magazine Edit
Brief Encounter Edit
Virgin Decalogs Edit
Short Trips Edit
- Return of the Spiders
- Special Occasions: 1. The Not-So-Sinister Sponge (with Clayton Hickman)
- The Brain of Socrates
Doctor Who annuals Edit
Doctor Who Yearbooks Edit
Doctor Who Storybooks Edit
Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories Edit
Novel Adaptations Edit
- The Highest Science (adapted by Jacqueline Rayner from the novel by Roberts)
- The Romance of Crime (adapted by John Dorney)
- The English Way of Death (adapted by John Dorney)
- The Well-Mannered War (adapted by John Dorney)
DWM comic stories Edit
- The Lunar Strangers
- Operation Proteus
- Target Practice
- The Last Word
- Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game
- The Love Invasion (with Clayton Hickman)
- A Groatsworth of Wit
- The Lodger