How did you go about developing a story for your slot?
Justin said he was interested in an “historical” and I’m a sucker for a bit of research. I came up with about ten ideas, but The Many Hands was the one that Justin settled on as being the best.
So it’s a historical story, set in the dark, labyrinthine Edinburgh of the eighteenth century. What aspects of the town appealed to you as a setting for a Doctor Who story?
I started going to Edinburgh as a Festival-goer in 1997, and the moment I stepped off the train I fell in love with it - which led me to Ian Rankin’s Rebus books. In the back of my head, I thought that Rankin would love to write for Doctor Who so he can really get his fingers into all that mucky past. I went back to Edinburgh after I knew I was getting the book. I got the guided tour of St Cuthbert’s church and had a look round Mary King’s Close, and dug up as many interesting little bits and bobs as I could find out. Little stories like the three generations of people called Alexander Monro all doing the same job at Edinburgh university for 126 years . . . most of all the really weird things in the book are actually true.