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COVID-19, (PROSE: The Invasion of London) also known as Corona Virus Disease 2019, (WC: U.N.I.T. On Call) was an infectious and deadly disease, caused by a virus which spread on Earth during 2020. (PROSE: Sweet Revenge)

To mitigate the spread of the pandemic, (PROSE: Sweet Revenge) individuals remained in isolation, a lockdown, (PROSE: The Invasion of London, Sweet Revenge) though if a person did need to go out, then they had to keep 2 metres apart, wear face masks and use hand sanitiser. (PROSE: 8.46)

People communicated over the internet using video chat programs such as Zoom, (WC: The Zygon Isolation) VidChatX, (WC: The Descendants of Pompeii) and Whoosh!. (PROSE: Copy/Paste. Sweet Revenge)


The long lockdown[]

At the beginning of 2020, a version of Yvonne Hartman from Pete's World, (AUDIO: Poker Face, The Empty Hand, et al.) released a public broadcast where she warned the populace of the "unprecedented times" ahead, telling them to self-isolate, or there would be consequences. (WC: Incoming Message) The Thirteenth Doctor also sent a similar message from inside a wardrobe, telling those who received the message to know that they could "get through this" even if things looked bad, to keep spirits high by telling jokes, to be kind, as well as to look out for friends and family, to listen to doctors, and finally to stay strong, as she promised to be back "very soon". (WC: Message from the Doctor)

Lockdown in Ogmore-by-Sea began by 24 March. (PROSE: Copy/Paste)

On 10 May, Petronella Osgood and her Zygon duplicate kept in touch during lockdown, using Zoom to converse while isolating. Among other things they discussed the fact that Petronella needed a new prescription for her asthma inhaler but had trouble getting one as, due to the pandemic, doctors were "all busy at the moment." After their chat, they watched the BBC television series Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer. (WC: The Zygon Isolation) On 17 May, Evie and Maxine also conversed during their self isolation, though using a different video chat application called VidChatX. (WC: The Descendants of Pompeii)

The Grandfathers sent a plant to attack Lucy Wilson. (PROSE: Flower Power) Donna Price treated three COVID-19 patients in the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. (PROSE: The Edge of Glory)

During the crisis, Conall was furloughed while Dean got a temporary job in at Tesco Extra. Conall and Lucy spoke a lot during this time, and he told her that he and Dean were thinking of moving to Cardiff once the lockdown was over, to be nearer to his family. (PROSE: The Invasion of London)

The murder of George Floyd occurred during the pandemic and, despite the lockdown, it sparked mass protests across the United States and United Kingdom. When Lucy and Hobo joined the peaceful protests in Ogmore-by-Sea, they wore face masks, carried a bottle of hand sanitiser, and made sure to stay two metres away from other people. (PROSE: 8.46) Bill Potts attended a similar march in Bristol, noting that people kept their distance and remained calm while protesting. (WC: The Best of Days)

The Third Doctor knew that COVID-19 impacted the Earth in 2020. During late 2020, a Doctor Who fan somehow called UNIT in the 1970s, to get advice about how to handle COVID-19 now that UNIT had been suspended. (WC: U.N.I.T. On Call)

In November 2020, the British government ordered P.R.O.B.E. to investigate whether lockdown was some kind of alien conspiracy. Giles reluctantly got to work, and uncovered an unrelated conspiracy by Control to conceal the CIA's experiments with a device that created gaps in the border between the normal universe and Ecto-Space. The CIA had been using COVID-19 as a convenient excuse to cover up disappearances related to their experiments, with people who inquired after those captured by the pink slime receiving laconic text messages purportedly from the individuals, claiming that they were COVID-positive. (HOMEVID: Goo!)

Behind the scenes[]

Impact on production[]

  • Post-production work on Revolution of the Daleks, which had concluded filming before the lockdowns began, was continued remotely.[1]
  • Big Finish Productions announced on 17 March that production on future audios would be suspended in compliance with health and safety guidelines. Production resumed later in the year, with recording being done remotely. Due to several audios being recorded up to several years in advance, Big Finish's release schedule for 2020 was largely unaffected.
  • Although production on Doctor Who Magazine continued remotely, the main comic strip was twice forced to go on hiatus. The first began from DWM 553 and lasted until DWM 556, while the second lasted from DWM 563 and until DWM 570. A serialised short story, Black Powder, was published within the final two issues of the second hiatus to make up for the strip's continued absence. Production on the magazine's regular humour strip, The Daft Dimension, was not affected.

Affected releases[]

  • As with multiple American comic book publishers, the pandemic had a large affect on Titan Comics' output throughout 2020. The second year of Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor was brought to an abrupt end following the conclusion of A Little Help from My Friends (13DY2 1-13DY4, released from January to May) with the beginning of the following storyline, Alternate Current, being delayed from its presumed summer release via issue 5. The story would not finally begin until November, being published in a new ongoing series. The delay caused a particular storyline to be published out of sequence; Titan's entry into the Time Lord Victorious event, Defender of the Daleks, ended up being published before Alternating Current, despite the former taking place after the latter chronologically.
    • Publication of the UK counterpart series, Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, was also affected, with the fourth issue of its third year being delayed from May to November. While it was initially stated within said issue that the series would continue, Titan later revised the issue's online listing to say that issue 4 would be the last, bringing the series to an end.[2]

References in invalid sources[]

In Strax Saves the Day, Strax mentions having hoarded toilet paper, a reference to the real world shortages of essential items due to hoarding for lockdown.

The webcast United we stand, 2m apart saw the Thirteenth Doctor send out a video message directly instructing an unseen audience on how to protect themselves against the virus.

The 2021 Comic Relief skit 2020: The Movie was set up as a trailer for an upcoming movie that depicted the struggles of lockdown in a light-hearted way, with Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill being among the films all-star cast.

Other related productions[]

The Doctor Who: Lockdown! project was founded by Emily Cook to help Doctor Who fans pass the time in self-isolation. The initiative involved scheduled simulcast watch-alongs of past episodes, and other specially made content such as webcasts and short stories. These stories, as well as novelised versions of some webcasts, where later released physically in the Adventures in Lockdown anthology. A portion of the proceeds made by the anthology were donated to Children in Need.

The short video message, The Doctors Say Thank You, was broadcast during BBC One's The Big Night In telethon on 23 April 2020, in which nearly every living on-screen Doctor actor thanked the National Health Service and frontline doctors and nurses for their efforts in caring for the unprecedented numbers infected by the virus.

The telethon itself was also presented by Lenny Henry, Matt Baker, Davina McCall and Zoe Ball, with many other stars taking part in the night's line-up.

External links[]