John Ostrander (born 20 April 1949) is an American comic book writer who made several abortive attempts to write for Doctor Who prior to his first published work of fiction for the franchise, Autopia in 2009. In the mid-1980s he wrote a theatrical play, The Inheritors of Time that was abandoned due to lack of funding.[source needed] Prior to that, Ostrander's first published work in the DWU was likely the foreward to Blood and Hope, written in October 2003.[statement unclear]
In March 2004, Big Finish Productions announced that Ostrander was to write the audio play Dead Man's Hand, initially scheduled as the September 2004 installment of their monthly range. Gary Russell, the executive producer for Big Finish at the time, said in Doctor Who Magazine that it was "set in the gambling, gun-totin' world of the American Wild West". (DWM 341) The story would have featured the Seventh Doctor and companions Ace and Hex. (DWM 343) However, after multiple delays in production, Dead Man's Hand was ultimately never produced.