“BBC lawyers sweated blood on our behalf to get the rights to use the Big Brother concept. It took them more than 11 months to secure the deal - I’d started writing the episode before we had an absolute guarantee. And our thanks go to Endemol, the creators of Big Brother, for being so gracious and joining in with the fun (they even designed the galaxy-eye BB logo for us.)”

Doctor Who: Bad Wolf

The Doctor wakes up in the Big Brother house, with no recollection of how he got there. Similarly, Rose finds herself on the set of “Weakest Link”, presided over by the Anne Droid. Captain Jack in the meantime is being made over by Trinny Droid and Susanna Droid. These are all diversions, however, to keep the Tardis crew occupied whilst a huge space-fleet enters the solar system under cover. However, this has been discovered by the Controller of the Game Station and it her she who has brought the Tardis crew there as she knows the occupants of the space fleet fear the Doctor. Rose is transported to the mother ship, where she discovers the occupants of the war fleet are the Daleks!

Alien resurrection

Not everyone believed in his Doctor Who revival. But, as the series nears its triumphant climax, Russell T Davies says the only scary part of the process was meeting the monsters

Never go back. That's what they say about boyfriends, or certain restaurants, or any kind of first love. And Doctor Who was the very first thing I loved on telly. As a kid I loved it simply and honestly, before there existed a million websites analysing Best Monster, Worst Costume and Funniest Death.

So, when I was asked to bring back Doctor Who, I did pause. Going back can work for maybe one night - a drink, a flirt, a snog, then vanish - but this was going to be a year of my life. Plenty of people told me that it was a mistake, that revivals never work, that science fiction was irretrievably niche, that frankly, I had better things to do. It sounded like a great mistake. And that's what made my mind up. Flying in the face of opinion, lovely.

We started work, in the corridors of BBC Wales. Here, the lifts announce the floor in both English and Welsh, which is fine, but in the voice of a child trapped down a well, which is not. The team began to gather. If we had been in LA, we would have just wandered along the lot and snapped up production teams from whatever sci-fi show had been axed that week. But that expertise did not exist in the UK. Every single department had to learn its stuff from scratch. I dreaded that being a disadvantage, but now I think it added a lot of adrenaline, and even passion.

When the work started, I had presumed that I was long in the tooth when it came to television drama. I have done gay men, Jesus and Casanova, all of which should converge nicely on a Time Lord. But Doctor Who turned out to be a world of its own, a mad, colourful, little world with dozens of satellites. We had a long day in a hot Cardiff conference room, working out how certain aliens could have zips in their foreheads. Can hair have a zip? Should they be bald? But what about the women? Are they bald too? Can we get bald women? Can the hair be a wig, can they lift it up? But doesn't that still make them bald? And so on, for three hours. And then we turned to page two.

Script editing sessions normally revolve around basic emotions - why is he angry, who does he love, why does he not say so? Doctor Who brought a whole new set of considerations. We had one fraught session over a scene where our heroes find an invisible spaceship. We picked at it for hours, until someone said, why is it invisible? Because it is hidden. No, but the point of the scene is that they find it, so why does it actually need to be invisible? Oh. Good point. (And a lot of money saved, hooray.)

One night, at 10 o'clock in a Newport warehouse, we had a Monster Parade. Except the monsters weren't ready, so it became a Monsters' Clothes Parade. Dressers strode up and down in front of us, looking like someone had mugged an opera. I joined in and spent the night in a big furry ensemble, which I wish I had stolen. On other days, alien beings would walk around on set, drinking coffee through straws. The Moxx with its face of blue, the Living Trees, the zippy Slitheen. Strange thing is, I would find myself staying away from the monsters. I rationalised this as keeping a guilty distance from some poor actor having to suffer in hot latex. But actually, I think somewhere deep down, it is because they were monsters.

Then there were the camera crews. Not just ours, but the behind-the-scenes teams - 13 half-hour documentaries for BBC3, the electronic press kit, the website, GMTV, the Culture Show, you name it. I was given a camcorder to create some DVD extras, so I filmed them filming the filming of the filming. That is the game, these days. The extras are part of the hype, and I cannot deny that I am glad the hype was with us. On screen, the Doctor was deliberately flying the flag as a very British icon (Routemaster buses, Big Ben, Simon Callow) while off screen, the concept was given a very American kick up the arse. We built in sweeps episodes - event episodes and two-part stories placed strategically throughout the run, designed to boost ratings. The last in the series quickly became the "season finale". And we did not just learn structure from the States, we stole story. So many good dramas - thank you, Buffy - had expanded the genre. They showed us that if you can laugh and cry in the middle of a story, then the adventure is that much better.

I never expected any of this to work. I swear, I thought the niche would win. I'd watch rushes of Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper being so very, very excellent, and feel sad that all this hard work would be relegated to a Friday at midnight by week seven. But somehow, it seems to have worked, although you will not find me celebrating until after the last episode - sorry, season finale. And even then, I am not going to think too much about what worked. Beware the analysis. I went into the first series on instinct, and that's how it should stay.

But I love this show as much as ever. It has not diminished as I feared it would. I can still catch a Jon Pertwee repeat on UK Gold and be happy as a Zygon. And as a writer, I have had a ball. This programme gave me the chance to swing from New Labour to Dalek armies, taking in plastic surgery, Fox News, religious fanatics and farting obesity along the way, with a Christmas special to come (just wait till you see what we do with Santa). I should never have worried about going back. This programme's about time travel. In the act of going back, it is hurtling forward, as fast as it can go.

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