The Door in Time, Craig’s Doctor Who role-playing blog, recently did an impressive series of posts breaking down the archetypal plots of Doctor Who, calling it “A seriesful of classic Who plots.” This covers both the original 1963-89 series, as well as the 2005 revival, so Craig’s breakdowns explain not only the series structure conventions that Russell T. Davies created, like the Season Opener, but also the time-honored — and often over-worn — plots like the Base Under Siege that recurred throughout the original run of Doctor Who.
For the newcomer to Doctor Who role-playing, this is useful for understanding the meta-structures that underlie the series and how they’ve influenced its development. The Season Opener, for example, is useful for kicking off an on-going campaign because it introduces the common elements of the Mysterious Individual archetype to players who are unfamiliar with Doctor Who, as well as setting expectations for the whole group.
For the more seasoned fan of the show who knows the property and is ready to take it to the game table, it becomes a menu of choices: “Why yes, I believe I’ll have a Historical Celebrity appear in the Season Finale that is a Secret Invasion of the Daleks.”
And if that’s not enough, Craig’s also posted a plethora of adventure hooks to plug into your seasons of Doctor Who. There’s enough there to sustain a campaign for months, if not years.