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Paul Cornell
Paul cornell.jpg
Paul Cornell
Born (1967-07-18) 18 July 1967 (age 46)
Occupation Writer, novelist
Nationality British
Period 1990 -
Genres Science fiction


Paul Cornell (born 18 July 1967) is a British writer best known for his work in television drama as well as Doctor Who fiction, and as the creator of one of the Doctor's spin-off companions, Bernice Summerfield.

As well as Doctor Who, other television dramas for which he has written include Robin Hood, Primeval, Casualty, Holby City and Coronation Street.

Cornell has also written for a number of British comics, as well as Marvel Comics and DC Comics in America, and has had three original novels published in addition to his Doctor Who fiction.


Already known in Doctor Who fan circles, Cornell's professional writing career began in 1990 when he was a winner in a young writers’ competition and his entry, Kingdom Come, was produced and screened on BBC Two. Soon after, he wrote Timewyrm: Revelation, a novel for the Virgin New Adventures series of Doctor Who novels. Timewyrm: Revelation was a reworking of a serialised fan fiction piece Cornell had penned previously for the fanzine Queen Bat. Several other Doctor Who novels followed, including the award-winning Human Nature.

Cornell then began working for Granada Television, where he wrote for the popular children’s medical drama Children's Ward and created his own children’s series Wavelength for Yorkshire Television, which ran for two series. He made the crossover to working in adult television full-time in 1996, when he was one of the main contributors to Granada’s supernatural soap opera Springhill, which ran for two years on Sky One and later on Channel 4.

After a short stint on Coronation Street, he began working for other production companies, including contributing an episode in 1999 to Red Production Company’s anthology drama series Love in the 21st Century for Channel 4. His episode, entitled Masturbation, starred Ioan Gruffudd as Jack. He was due to be one of the writers on Red Production Company’s planned Queer as Folk spin-off series Misfits, but the series was never made, being abruptly cancelled by Channel 4.

In the 21st century he has written mainly for the BBC, contributing episodes to all three of their regular medical dramas: Casualty, Holby City and the daytime soap opera Doctors. He also contributed to the 1950s-set Sunday evening prime time drama series Born and Bred and was one of the writers of the 2005 series revival of Doctor Who, writing the episode "Father's Day". The episode was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2006 and came third in terms of votes for its category. Cornell later wrote a two-part story for Doctor Who's 2007 series, based on his 1995 Virgin New Adventures novel Human Nature. The title of the first episode was also "Human Nature", while the second was titled "The Family of Blood".[1] In 2008, the two episodes were nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.[2]

In February 2006, Cornell announced in a post on his weblog [3] that he would be writing an episode for the BBC's forthcoming Robin Hood, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions for the same Saturday evening family slot as Doctor Who. He later announced on his blog that he was also writing a second Robin Hood episode for later in the first series. His first episode, "Who Shot the Sheriff?", aired on BBC One on 21 October 2006. His second, "A Thing or Two About Loyalty", followed on 2 December 2006. He also wrote an episode for the second season of another Saturday evening family adventure programme, the ITV science-fiction series Primeval, transmitted in February 2008.[4]

He also wrote the one-off pilot Pulse, which was shown on BBC Three in early June 2010.[5]

Outside of television, he has been active in various other media, having written six Doctor Who novels for Virgin Publishing and BBC Books during the 1990s, three Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish Productions and a fully animated internet-broadcast Doctor Who adventure, Scream of the Shalka (starring Richard E. Grant as the Doctor) for bbc.co.uk in 2003. He has also written two mainstream science-fiction novels, Something More and British Summertime for Gollancz, and various novels, short stories and audio dramas based around a character he created for the New Adventures, Professor Bernice Summerfield, and whom he later licensed to Big Finish Productions.

He has also co-authored (often working with Keith Topping and Martin Day) several non-fiction books on television, including The Guinness Book of Classic British TV, X-treme Possibilities (a guide to The X-Files), and The Discontinuity Guide (a humorous guide to Doctor Who). (Topping and Day's Doctor Who novel The Devil Goblins from Neptune was also based on an original idea with Cornell.) He has also written comics, both for Doctor Who Magazine and the 2000 AD spin-off Judge Dredd Megazine.

He has written Wisdom, a 6-issue limited series for Marvel Comics' MAX imprint, featuring the character Peter Wisdom, with art by Trevor Hairsine and Manuel Garcia.[6]

It was announced at the 2007 Wizard World Chicago comic book convention that Cornell would be following Chris Claremont on Marvel's New Excalibur. Plans were subsequently changed with the cancellation of the New Excalibur title and Cornell's new project was announced as being titled Captain Britain and MI: 13.[7][8] The third trade paperback, Vampire State, was nominated for the 2010 "Best Graphic Story" Hugo Award.[9]

Cornell has also written Young Avengers Presents #4 (April 2008)[10] and a Fantastic Four mini-series comic, True Story, which started in July 2008, which featured the team encountering characters from the pages of literary classics.[11][12] In 2008, he wrote a comic which featured on the Doctor Who website.[13] He has also written the Young Avengers limited series that ties into Dark Reign[14][15] and Black Widow: Deadly Origin a mini-series that ties into the character's appearance in Iron Man 2.[16]

Cornell became the next Action Comics writer after War of the Supermen.[17] Cornell signed with DC Comics exclusively in 2010 as part of writing for Action Comics.[18] By January 2011, he has completed Batman & Robin #17-19 and works on a Knight & Squire six-issue miniseries.

In September 2011, as part of DC's The New 52 relaunch, Cornell became the writer for the DC Comics titles Demon Knights[19][20][21] and Stormwatch.[22][23][24]

Cornell is part of the regular panel of the podcast SF Squeecast, which won the 2012 and 2013 Hugo Award for best fancast.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In an interview on the Doctor Who: DWO Whocast, Cornell stated that this entry in Wikipedia described him as "...both a Christian and a pagan...", which he has chosen not to correct as it illustrates his sympathies for the pagan world. He then goes on to state that he is an Anglican but is very "...Low Church, almost a Calvinist.." and this is partly because he doesn't enjoy hymns.

Spiritual themes are not uncommon in his work (for example his novel Something More). Other frequent references in his work include owls.[26]

Cornell is married to Caroline Symcox, who also has written Doctor Who-based audio plays for Big Finish Productions on her own and with Cornell.

In 2010, he appeared as a contestant on an episode of the BBC Four quiz show Only Connect.


He has written novels, non-fiction, audio plays and comic scripts.


Virgin New Adventures[edit]

Virgin Missing Adventures[edit]

Eighth Doctor Adventures[edit]

Other Doctor Who novels[edit]

Other novels[edit]

Short fiction[edit]


Audio plays[edit]

  • Something in the Water (2011)

Doctor Who[edit]

Professor Bernice Summerfield[edit]



Some of the notable series and episodes he has worked on include:

  • Casualty:
    • "Crash Course" (2001)
    • "You're Going Home in the Back of an Ambulance" (2002)
    • "Past, Present, Future" (2002)
    • "Code Red" (2002)
    • "An Accident Waiting To Happen" (2003)


  1. ^ Doctor Who Magazine, issue 378 (December 2006)
  2. ^ "2008 Hugo Nomination List". Denvention 3: The 66th World Science Fiction Convention. World Science Fiction Society. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness: Robin Hood and business ongoing". Paulcornell.blogspot.com. 2006-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  4. ^ Cornell, Paul (2007-04-24). "Primeval". Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  5. ^ Pulse at the BBC
  6. ^ SDCC 06: Paul Cornell and Nick Lowe Talk Wisdom For MAX[dead link], Newsarama, July 23, 2006
  7. ^ Cornell & Lowe talk "Captain Britain and MI:13", Comic Book Resources, February 18, 2008
  8. ^ The British Invasion: Paul Cornell on Captain Britain and MI: 13, Comics Bulletin, April 10, 2008
  9. ^ 2010 Hugo Award Nominees – Details, the Hugo Awards site
  10. ^ VISION QUEST: Cornell talks Young Avengers Presents, Comic Book Resources, April 23, 2008
  11. ^ Stranger Than Fiction: Cornell on “Fantastic Four: True Story”, Comic Book Resources, April 10, 2008
  12. ^ Fantastic Four: True Story, Newsarama, June 12, 2008
  13. ^ "Just Another Thursday". Paul Cornell. 2008. 
  14. ^ NYCC: Cornell Talks “Dark Reign: Young Avengers”, Comic Book Resources, February 7, 2009
  15. ^ NYCC '09 - Paul Cornell on Dark Reign: Young Avengers, Newsarama, February 7, 2009
  16. ^ Black Widow bites back, SFX, October 28, 2009
  17. ^ Segura, Alex (April 12, 2010). "Paul Cornell Steps in as New Action Comics Writer". The Source. DC Comics.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ Phegley, Kiel (June 22, 2010). "Paul Cornell: A DC Exclusive". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  19. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (June 7, 2011). "CORNELL Creates Sword & Sorcery Superheroes in DEMON KNIGHTS". Newsarama. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  20. ^ Manning, Shaun (June 9, 2011). "Cornell Summons "Demon Knights"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (August 26, 2011). "The DCnU Take 2: Paul Cornell's DEMON KNIGHTS". Newsarama. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  22. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (June 11, 2011). "CORNELL Calls STORMWATCH "Kingpin" DCnU Title". Newsarama. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  23. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (June 20, 2011). "Cornell Checks the Temperature of "Stormwatch"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  24. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (August 18, 2011). "THE DCnU Take 2: Paul Cornell's STORMWATCH". Newsarama. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  25. ^ "2012 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  26. ^ BBC - Doctor Who - Classic Series - Ebooks - Human Nature - Adaptation[dead link]
  27. ^ "Paul Cornell - The Severed Streets cover art and synopsis reveal". Upcoming4.me. July 9, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ Cornell to leave Stormwatch[dead link], Multiversitycomics.com, 12-07-2011


External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cornell — Please support Wikipedia.
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74 news items

Comic Book Resources
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 05:59:37 -0700

In the current arc of the new volume of "Wolverine" writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Stegman are showing readers how their protagonist developed his plan and some of what it entails. X-POSITION: Cornell's "Wolverine" Switches Sides. Sofar we've see ...


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:50:59 -0700

The comic The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton, has been nominated in the graphic story category. • While we're on awards, John Hurt appeared on the BBC's The One Show to ask Doctor Who fans to vote for “The Day of the ...
Bleeding Cool News
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 09:18:45 -0700

When even the sweetest of folks Paul Cornell from a previous year had to apologise for some statements that weren't taken in the way they were intended, a safe pair of hands was considered by many the most desirable choice. So Jonathan would have to ...
Digital Spy UK
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:51:22 -0700

The bestselling Image Comics series Saga and the xkcd strip 'Time' feature in the Best Graphic Story alongside Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton's 'The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who' (from Doctor Who Special 2013). Also nominated in the category are Kaja ...


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:45:49 -0700

One of the company's attorneys declined to comment when contacted about the rumours. Attempts to reach chief executive Lefteris Papatrifon and finance chief Paul Cornell by phone and email were not immediately successful at the time of writing. Finance.

Unleash The Fanboy

Unleash The Fanboy
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Paul Cornell has probably produced his best Wolverine script yet with this being an intriguing development for Wolverine. He gives us the final pieces of Wolverine's transition to the dark side making everything that has happened so far much clearer ...
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:43:26 -0700

If the Watcher suddenly shows up out of nowhere (as he did in Civil War or recently in Paul Cornell's Wolverine run), it's a clear sign that major things are brewing. But at times he again breaks his vow of noninterference and aids the Fantastic Four ...
A.V. Club DC
Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0700

Other stories of this era have celebrated the essential beauty and wonder of Doctor Who's premise: stories like “The Empty Child”/“The Doctor Dances” or “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit,” or indeed Paul Cornell's previous effort “Father's Day.

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