Doctor Omega is a 1903 science fiction novel by the French author Arnould Calopin. It revolves around a mysterious alien professor who goes under the alias of Doctor Omega. The Doctors real name and identity are never revealed throughout the book and not much of his backstory is given either. All we do know is that Doctor Omega and his grand daughter Suzane are in exile from their people. Though very few details about Doctor Omega’s race are given in the story, we do know that they have discovered and mastered time travel.
Doctor Omega (who is often just referred to as the Doctor) settles in France where he attempts to build a new type of time machine from a strange type of metal called Stellite. His experiments soon draw the attention of his neighbour, the creative and sensitive Denis Borel.
Omega is only too happy to let Denis in on his experiments, and after the time vessel which the Doctor christens “The Cosmos” is built. He invites Denis and a large hulking man named Fred to join him on an adventure into the past.
The three travel to Mars thousands of years before its destruction, landing straight in the middle of the Martian ocean. There they encounter gigantic whale like monsters and a race of hostile, reptillian Mermen. They soon reach the land where they encounter giant, Elephantine monsters, hostile gnome like aliens and intelligent, but poisonous plant life.
Travelling further inward they encounter a valley full of giant snake monsters and large bat like humanoids. Eventually the trio reach an advanced city of gnome like creatures who abduct the Doctor and his companions. The Gnomes, who are at war with a similar race, discover that the Stellite used to build the Cosmos is capable of deflecting their enemies weapons and cannibalise the ship to create shields to win the war.
Omega and the others are kept prisoner even after the war by the victorious Martian race, but with help from a friendly Martian named Tiziraou; Omega is able to contact his grand daughter Suzane, using a space time telegraph. Suzane in turn is able to contact another renegade of their people, Professor Helvetius who subsequently rescues the three time travellers from Mars in a craft similar to the Cosmos.
The ending of the story sees Doctor Omega build another space time machine to go on more adventures with Denis, Fred and Tiziraou who they take on as a companion.
When it was first released Doctor Omega proved to be a huge hit, but it quickly fell into obscurity for 100 years. Eventually in 2003 the book would be rediscovered, re-released and translated into English for the first time for Doctor Who’s 40th anniversary. This edition included more direct references to Doctor Who (including Sonic Screwdrivers.) As well as a foreward by Terrance Dicks, a former Doctor Who script editor.
Doctor Omega would develop something of a small cult following and more stories featuring the character would be released for Black Coated Press. These stories which featured the good Doctor meeting other famous fictional characters would eventually be collected as an anthology book called Doctor Omega and the Shadowmen.
Naturally many fans and critics have considered Doctor Omega as a possible influence on Doctor Who. The similarities are quite staggering. Even physically Doctor Omega resembles the first Doctor, as played by William Hartnell. Both have long flowing white hair, a stick, wear a long flowing cape etc.
Ultimately however Doctor Omega has never been mentioned as an influence on Doctor Who by anyone involved in the creation of the series and the book was never released outside of France prior to 2003, so it seems most likely the similarities between the two characters is coincidental.
Nevertheless Doctor Omega can be seen as Doctor Who’s literary predecessor regardless and as a result I think people have tended to overlook the character of Doctor Omega. Naturally when people think of writing about a time travelling alien, then its Doctor Who they go to. Still there is value in the Doctor Omega story in its own right and now I think the time is better than ever for the character to step out of the shadows, as now Doctor Omega can fill the void left by the absence of true Doctor Who.
For the past few years Doctor Who has gone down a very bad path. From the Peter Capaldi era onwards it began to pander to the regressive left. Now I myself would identify as left wing. I support the Welfare state, the NHS, legalising cannabis, I’m pro choice and I support gay marriage and gay couples rights to adopt children.
That said however I feel the modern day left has been taken over by upper middle class career socialists who simply want to use left wing politics to further their own careers, or foster their own prejudices against white men, and white people in general.
I’m all for stronger roles for women and minorities, but the regressive left it seems care more about attacking or replacing roles for men than they do in building women up.
If you are interested I have written many articles which cover the sad decline of the revival of Doctor Who due to pandering to the regressive left on this blog, but I don’t want to get bogged down in this argument again. If you disgaree with me, please take it to the articles I have written on the subject.
Whilst the Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker eras represent the nadir of the entire franchise. If we’re being honest the 21st century version of Doctor Who was never the same show as the original, 1963-1989 version.
The original classic era Doctor Who was primarily a sci fi adventure show, with a focus on horror, monsters, high sci fi concepts, and derring do. The revival was always more of a soap opera series with a focus on romance, shipping, and making its audience cry at sad moments.
There hasn’t been a series in the style of the original since it finished in 1989. Some critics and so called Doctor Who fans would say that Classic Who is dated and therefore couldn’t be made for modern audiences.
Personally I think that is utter nonsense. Classic Who looks dated only because of its low budget effects and sets. Many of the ideas and concepts in the Classic series were actually decades ahead of their time, such as the Matrix in The Deadly Assassin, or the Cybermen who were complete precursors to the Borg.
The Classic era still holds up and always has. In 2017, Classic Doctor Who was the best selling science fiction series on DVD and Blue Ray in the world. (It was also the third best selling cult series on DVD and Blue Ray.)
If a series done in the style of Classic Who were released on a streaming service (which could allow for the stories to be longer) and had a decent budget then I think would be a hit. It would fill a void for both mainstream horror (which classic who often did) and sci fi.
Now ideally I’d love for this series to be Doctor Who, but sadly in the current climate that is not going to happen. During the 90s when the show was off the air, Doctor Who was taken over by a fandom clique, who are often referred to as the Fitzroy Crowd (as they all used to congregate at the Fitzroy club.) The Fitzroy crowd includes the likes of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall, Nicholas Briggs and Paul Cornell.
Almost all of the most prominent Doctor Who fiction of the past 20 years has been produced or at least overseen by members of the Fitzroy Crowd. Whenever one of the clique steps down from producing the main series, they make sure to hand it over to another member of the clique (as can be seen with the likes of Russell T Davies handing the show over to Steven Moffat, who then handed it over to Chris Chibnall.) All of the spin off material is also produced and written by this fandom incrowd too. The books, the comics and the audios etc.
The Fitzroy crowd have made it clear in the past that they have contempt for the style of the original. Though they do have a nostalgic affection for the classic series from when they were children, ultimately they don’t want to produce a similar series.
Examples of the Fitzroy crowd’s “love” for the original series.
At the same time the identitarians who hold the Doctor Who franchise in an iron grip, have no real love for the Classic era either. Take a look at the reviews from the new Time Team in Doctor Who magazine made up of notorious SJWs like Claudia Boleyn and Christel Dee. They regularly slag off the original series for supposedly being sexist, dated and gimmicky (which it never was.) All they care about is in turning the show into a propaganda piece for their own agendas.
Since these people hold all the sway at the BBC, don’t expect to see anything even resembling Classic Who for a long while.
Doctor Omega meanwhile is a public domain character. He is thankfully not in the shackles of the BBC or the Fitzroy crowd and you could do all the same types of adventures with Doctor Omega as you could with the classic era Doctor.
Omega has a machine that can travel to any planet at any point in time. Omega is a mysterious alien with a love of exploration. Omega can be caring and morally righteous, yet also quite ruthless too. He is both a level headed, practical, grandfatherly figure; and a fool hardy, reckless adventurer. All you’d have to change would be the name from the Doctor to Doctor Omega. (Even then Omega is often referred to as just the Doctor too.)
The Doctor Omega tv series would be to Doctor Who what The Orville was to Star Trek. The Star Trek franchise went through a similar bad patch to Doctor Who in the late 00s-late 10s. Like DW the focus of the Trek franchise was changed in an ill guided attempt to pander to modern audiences.
The original Trek series were always more philosophical, thoughtful and nuanced, whilst the J J Abrams trilogy of films were just generic action movies. (J J Abrams much like the Fitzroy Crowd expressed a contempt for the original Star Trek series, finding it slow and boring.)
Star Trek Discovery meanwhile, the most recent Trek television series was taken over by the same cancerous ideology as the Moffat and Chibnall era’s of Doctor Who. They also showed the same level of disrespect for established canon and beloved characters. (Just look at what Discovery and Moffat era Who did to the Master and Spock for instance.)
Fortunately however Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy would produce (and star) in a series called The Orville, which was far closer to the original Star Trek series in tone and style. The Orville featured the same more thoughtful and nuanced stories of the original Star Trek series, as well as characters and concepts that were closer to the original Star Trek series.
The Orville is not a Star Trek series, but it has a similar premise of a future where humanity has become part of a galactic federation of planets, and a crew of humans and aliens go exploring on a ship through the universe.
Whilst critics were slow to warm to The Orville. It proved a huge hit with viewers and Star Trek fans and has recently been renewed for a third series.
The Orville has not only filled the Star Trek shaped hole in the television landscape. It has also shown that the Trek formula can be updated for modern audiences. You don’t need to dumb Star Trek down to being a generic action blockbuster like Abrams did. With a decent budget and good scripts you don’t even have to change the look of the show, let alone the type of series it actually is.
Much like with Doctor Who, there was no way the current idealogues in charge of the actual Star Trek brand were ever going to produce a show or film similar to proper Star Trek. The Orville was the only way we were ever going to see proper Star Trek. Furthermore its success will now show potential future producers and holders of the Trek brand that a profit can be made from actually updating the original, as opposed to tossing everything about the original out and just cashing in on the name.
Doctor Omega, the series could do the same for Doctor Who. Give us a chance to see proper Classic Who style adventures, whilst showing people that the old style, if updated in practical ways can work which might end the Fitzroy Crowd’s strangle hold over the series.
Doctor Omega would actually be an easier sell than The Orville which was accused of being derivative of Star Trek at first. No one could accuse Doctor Omega of ripping off Doctor Who as he debuted about 60 years earlier!
Of course I wouldn’t want Doctor Omega to remake any classic era stories. It would be new adventures just in a similar style. You could invent a rogues gallery for Doctor Omega similar to the Doctors, the same way that the Krill in The Orville fill a similar role to the Klingons and the Romulans in Star Trek as well, but again you’d give them their own backstories and characteristics.
Personally I think it might be interesting to adapt monsters from other Classic sci fi stories in the public domain and have them fill the role of the Doctors colourful rogues gallery. Doctor Omega has been used for crossover stories in the past, so it would be continuing the tradition. Just as Doctor Omega was the predecessor for Doctor Who, then so were many classic literary monsters predecessors for the Doctor’s enemies.
For instance the Martians from H.G. Wells War of the Worlds could take the place of the Daleks in the Doctor Omega series.
The Martians who invade the earth in Wells classic novel were one of many key inspirations on the Daleks. Both are hideous Octopus monsters who house themselves inside tank like robots. Both speak in electronic, but hysterical voices. Both are pitiless conquerors devoid of any concept of pity or remorse and both come from a dying, barren world.
The Daleks and Wells Martians also serve as metaphors for xenophobia and race hatred, chemical warfare, man’s desturctive effect on the environment, and technology moving inward and turning people into machine like creatures.
The Martians could also have quite a close personal connection to the Doctor too. The first Doctor Omega book, (which presumably would be adapted as the first story.) Sees the Doctor and his companions reluctantly help a ruthless race of Martians defeat their enemies. The Martians are described by one of their own, Tiziarou as a dying race who have become so dependent on technology they could never cope without it.
The series would reveal that the Martians Omega helped would eventually become Wells Martians. Thanks to his help they would only defeat their enemies, but all other races on Mars, devastating the planet before moving to earth.
In a later story of the series (perhaps the first season finale?) Omega would return to earth where he would discover that the monsters had invaded in his absence and devastated the planet before being defeated by bacteria.
The Doctor and his companions would then be captured by the forces of earth who would force him to build a war ship to use against the Martians, before they could launch a counter strike.
This story would be an adaptation of both War of the Worlds (which would unfold via flashback) and Edison’s Conquest of Mars. Edison’s Conquest of Mars was an unofficial sequel novel to the original War of the Worlds which saw Thomas Edison build a war ship from the ruins of the Martian technology left over after their invasion, to launch an attack on the Martians.
The novel sadly doesn’t hold up that well to contemporary audiences. It has some inspired ideas, but overall it reads as nothing more than a puff piece for Edison.
Replacing Edison with an Omega who is reluctantly forced to lead a war could make the story more interesting and the conflict more tense. The ending of “Omega’s Conquest of Mars” would see the last of the Martians flee to another world (perhaps Mor-Tax in honour of the War of the Worlds tv series.) Where they would build up their forces, eventually becoming a major galactic power similar to the Daleks.
From there you could use the Martians in all of the same ways you could the Daleks. You could do stories involving the monsters conquering other planets, mastering time travel, trying to invade the earth again etc. You could even incoporate elements of later adaptations of War of the Worlds too into the monsters characters and design as they alter their bodies and technology throughout history.
Doctor Omega would always feel tremendous guilt every time he met the Martians, knowing that it was his own innocent trip to the past which caused the monsters to become among the dominant life forms in the universe, making their confrontations more interesting.
For the Silurians and the Sea Devils meanwhile, the Newts from Karel Capek’s classic novel could take their place.
War with the Newts is a classic sci fi novel that sees mankind discover a race of ocean dwelling reptile like creatures who they enslave and exploit, but who eventually turn the tables on humanity. The creatures bare a slight similarity to the Sea Devils from Doctor Who, in that both are lizard like humanoids who are unable to share the planet with humanity and both serve as a metaphor for xenophobia and race hatred. At one point the Newts are even referred to as “Sea Devils!”
The Newts could easily fulfil the Sea Devils and Silurians role of frightening looking reptile men, who are actually sympathetic, intelligent creatures who have a right to live on our planet too.
The Great Intelligence’s place could be taken by The Mad Mind. The Mad Mind is an unseen monster from The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke. The Mad Mind is a disembodied intellect created to rule the galaxy, that eventually devastates it. The creature is imprisoned, but could easily escape to wreak more havoc in a Doctor Omega series.
The creature could possess people and serve as a more distant, alien enemy that the Doctor couldn’t fight, or even defeat as it has no form just like the Great Intelligence. An adaptation of The City and the Stars would also be an excellent adventure too. Another bonus about using these monsters is that it could bring more attention to obscurer sci fi stories and novels.
The Cybermen could be replaced by the robots from Karel Capek’s R.U.R play. The robots in this play though not greatly resembling the Cybermen follow a similar theme of mans own technology turning in on him. The robots themselves could also fulfil the role of being giant robotic creatures.
Of course it would be hard to incorporate War of the Worlds, War of the Newts and R.U.R into one timeline, but it could be done.
War of the Newts would take place after War of the Worlds. Humanity might ironically use the Martians technology to overthrow the Newts and enslave them. The humans would then overthrow the Newts after they rebelled and took us over (which happens in the book) with the robots from R.U.R who would then overthrow humanity, forcing the humans into an alliance with the Newts to reclaim the planet. The last of the robots would then be forced to flee into space where they would settle on a far away planet and build up an empire from there. (This could serve as a problem in future stories for when humanity meets other races, as humanity would perhaps be known and hated all over the galaxy for creating a monster race that went on to slaughter hundreds of worlds.)
For the Master meanwhile, Doctor Omega’s friend Professor Helvetius could take his place. Helvetius could serve as an ally for the Doctor in several stories who we gradually see descend into darkness and who the Doctor is forced to fight, leading to their feud.
The iconic British comic book character, Dan Dare meanwhile could serve as a Brigadier type character for Doctor Omega. He has a similar, stiff upper lip attitude and even a similar look. Dan’s time would have to come after the Newts and humanity reclaimed the planet and would be depicted as a golden age for mankind. The inclusion of Dan Dare would also bring in his enemies such as the famous Mekon and the Treens.
Captain Dan, Digby, Professor Peabody and Spacefleet could easily be Doctor Omega’s version of the Brigadier, Benton, Liz Shaw and UNIT.
Finally Doctor Omega could even be made to change his face too. I think it would be better to have it be something that only Omega can do however. You could have it that on an advanced planet Omega found a machinea that can allow you to live forever, as whenever you get too old it rebuilds your body into a younger form, but changes your appearance.
Doctor Omega would have stolen it, as he felt that one lifetime wouldn’t be enough for him to explore the wonders of even one galaxy. Every time the Doctor got old or was wounded he would use the machine to rebuild himself and from a real world perspective change actor.
With these ideas you could essentially produce a Doctor Who expy series, except that the characters and ideas in this series came before Doctor Who! You could utilise all the great things about the brand whilst being free of the tyranny of the BBC, the Fitzroy Crowd and the Regressive left.
Of course ultimately I wouldn’t want Doctor Omega to replace Doctor Who completely. In a few decades time a proper version of Doctor Who could easily return, but until then Doctor Omega could give us a proper Doctor Who series. Doctor Omega would also be the only way to ensure that the classic style is updated as currently the people in charge of the brand have no interest in reviving the true series.
As for who I would cast? My choices would be the same as they would for a proper Doctor Who series.
Julian Richings, a British actor best known for playing Death in Supernatural would be a perfect choice for Doctor Omega. He looks somewhat like the character and would have the necessary authority and gravitas to pull it off.
Dana Delorenzo of course would be a perfect choice for Suzane. Personally I’d replace Fred with Suzane as Doctor Omega’s first companion. Fred doesn’t really have any personality, and again I’m for having more roles for women as long as it’s not designed just to take a role away from a man. Suzane is already a character in the novel, and ultimately Fred is just an ordinary man with no backstory, whilst Suzane has a greater link to Omega and a mysterious origin of her own which could make for a better dynamic. Dana could bring a lot to the character and make her a stronger, more proactive character than the Susan of Classic Who.
Finally Wentworth Miller I think would be good for Denis. Miller is a charismatic actor best known for his starring roles in Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow. I think Miller would be a good choice for Denis as in real life, Miller is somewhat more sensitive and thoughtful than a lot of the characters he plays. Denis could give him a chance to show that side off more, yet at the same time Miller could make the character less of a wimp like the literary Denis and more of a vulnerable hero.
The first incarnation of Doctor Omega.
and his two companions
the more aggressive Suzane
and the sensitive and creative Denis Borel
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think below.