Paul Cornell


Paul Douglas 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.

Paul Cornell
Paul Cornell
Paul Cornell
BornPaul Douglas Cornell
(1967-07-18) 18 July 1967 (age 54)
Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
OccupationWriter, novelist
Period1990 –
GenreScience fiction

As well as Doctor Who, other British television dramas for which he has written include Robin Hood, Primeval, Casualty, Holby City and Coronation Street. For US television, he has contributed an episode to the modern-day set Sherlock Holmes series Elementary.

Cornell has also written for a number of British comics, as well as Marvel Comics and DC Comics in America, and has had six 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 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 No. 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] His 16-issue run on the series included number 900. In late 2010 and early 2011, Cornell completed nine issues set in Batman's world: Knight & Squire, a six-issue miniseries, and a 3-issue run in Batman & Robin, #17–19.

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's last DC work was the 14-issue science fiction series Saucer Country, which ended with the June 2013 issue.

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

In January 2016, Cornell announced his return to television drama work when he told followers on his Twitter feed that he had written his first script for US television, contributing an episode to the CBS Sherlock Holmes series Elementary.[26]

In 2018, he started co-hosting (with Lizbeth Myles from the Verity! podcast) a podcast reviewing horror films made by Hammer Film Productions entitled Hammer House of Podcast.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

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.[citation needed]

Spiritual themes are not uncommon in his work (for example his novel Something More). Other frequent references in his work include owls.[28]

Cornell is married to Caroline Symcox, currently the Vicar of St Mary's Church, Fairford, 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 AdventuresEdit

  • Doctor Who: Timewyrm: Revelation (ISBN 0-426-20360-7)
  • Doctor Who: Love and War (ISBN 0-426-20385-2)
  • Doctor Who: No Future (ISBN 0-426-20409-3)
  • Doctor Who: Human Nature (ISBN 0-426-20443-3)
  • Doctor Who: Happy Endings (ISBN 0-426-20470-0)

Virgin Missing AdventuresEdit

Eighth Doctor AdventuresEdit

Other Doctor Who novelsEdit

Shadow Police novelsEdit

The following three novels in the series have been published by Tor Books, with two further novels remaining unpublished.[29]

  • London Falling (ISBN 0-2307-6321-9)
  • The Severed Streets (ISBN 0-7653-3028-8)[30]
  • Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? (ISBN 1-4472-7326-5)

Other novelsEdit

Short fictionEdit

  • "The Ghosts of Christmas" on, 19 December 2012
  • "The Elephant in the Room" on, 29 May 2013 – a Wild Cards story
  • Rosebud (novella), Tordotcom, 26 April 2022

Jonathan Hamilton storiesEdit

About an out-of-uniform soldier in a parallel world where the ‘great game’ of European espionage continues into space.

  • Catherine Drewe (2008) Available to read for free at the Pyr Books Sample Chapters blog
  • One Of Our Bastards Is Missing (2009) Available as a pdf download from Solaris Books
  • The Copenhagen Interpretation (2011) Available as a pdf download from (Hugo 2012 Nominee Novelette)
  • A Better Way to Die (Novella, 2014) Included in the Rogues (anthology)

Witches of Lychford novella seriesEdit

  • Witches of Lychford (ISBN 9780765385239)
  • The Lost Child of Lychford (ISBN 9780765389770)
  • A Long Day in Lychford (ISBN 9780765393180)
  • The Lights Go Out in Lychford (ISBN 9781250249470)
  • Last Stand in Lychford (ISBN 9781250752123)


  • Avengers Dossier: The Definitive Unauthorised Guide (ISBN 0-86369-754-2) with Martin Day and Keith Topping
  • Licence Denied: Rumblings from the Doctor Who Underground (ISBN 0-7535-0104-X) (editor)
  • X-treme Possibilities: A Paranoid Rummage Through The X-files (ISBN 0-7535-0228-3) with Day and Topping
  • The Discontinuity Guide (ISBN 0-426-20442-5) with Day and Topping
  • The Guinness Book of Classic British TV with Day and Topping
  • The New Trek Programme Guide (ISBN 0-86369-922-7) with Day and Topping

Audio playsEdit

Doctor WhoEdit

Professor Bernice SummerfieldEdit


  • Doctor Who:
  • Pan-African Judges (with Siku, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 2 #44–49, 1993–1994)
  • Deathwatch: "Faust & Falsehood" (with Adrian Salmon, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #8–13, 1995–1996)
  • XTNCT (with D'Israeli, in Judge Dredd Megazine #209–214, 2003–2004, trade paperback, XTNCT: CM ND HV G F Y THNK YR HRD NGH!, 48 pages, hardcover, December 2006, ISBN 1-904265-69-3)
  • Wisdom (with Trevor Hairsine and Manuel Garcia, 6-issue limited series, Marvel Comics, January–July 2007, tpb, 144 pages, August 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2123-4)
  • Young Avengers Presents No. 4 (with Mark Brooks, Marvel Comics, April 2008, collected in Young Avengers Presents, 144 pages, October 2008, ISBN 0-7851-2975-8)
  • Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1–15 plus annual (with Leonard Kirk, Marvel Comics, May 2008 – July 2009):
    • Secret Invasion (collects Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1–4, 104 pages, Panini Comics, January 2009, ISBN 1-84653-407-0, Marvel Comics, March 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3344-5)
    • Hell Comes To Birmingham (collects Captain Britain and MI: 13 #5–9, 120 pages, Panini Comics, June 2009, ISBN 1-84653-423-2, Marvel Comics, July 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3345-3)
    • Vampire State (collects Captain Britain and MI: 13 #10–15 + annual #1, 184 pages, Marvel Comics, October 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3952-4)
  • Fantastic Four: True Story (with Horacio Dominguez, 4-issue mini-series, Marvel Comics, July–October 2008)
  • Dark Reign: Young Avengers (with Mark Brooks, 5-issue limited series, Marvel Comics, May–September 2009)
  • Dark X-Men: The Beginning (with Leonard Kirk, 3-issue mini-series, Marvel Comics, September–October 2009, hardcover, December 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4230-4)
  • Black Widow: Deadly Origin (with Tom Raney and John Paul Leon, 4-issue mini-series, Marvel Comics, January–April 2010)
  • Dark X-Men (with Leonard Kirk, 5-issue limited series, Marvel Comics, January–May 2010, premiere hardcover, June 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4526-5)
  • Action Comics #890–904 and Annual 13 (with artist Pete Woods, DC Comics, August 2010 – October 2011)
  • Soldier Zero #1–7 (with Javier Pina, POW! Entertainment/Boom! Studios, October 2010 – April 2011)
  • Knight and Squire (with artist Jimmy Broxton, 6-issue limited series, DC Comics, December 2010 – May 2011)
  • Batman & Robin #17–19 (with Scott McDaniel, DC Comics, November 2010 – January 2011)
  • (12 July 2011), Stormwatch #1–6[31] (with Miguel Sepulveda, DC Comics, November 2011 – February 2012)
  • Demon Knights #1–14 (with Diogenes Neves, DC Comics, November 2011 – November 2012)
  • Saucer Country #1–14 (with Ryan Kelly, Vertigo, May 2012 – April 2013)
  • Wolverine vol. 5 1-13 (March, 2013-January, 2014):
    • Volume 1: Hunting Season (hc, 136 pages, 2013, ISBN 0-78518-396-5) collects:
      • "Hunting Season" (with Alan Davis, in #1-4, 2013)
      • "Drowning Logan" (with Mirco Pierfederici, in #5-6, 2013)
    • Volume 2: Killable (hc, 160 pages, 2014, ISBN 0-78518-397-3) collects:
      • "Mortal" (with Mirco Pierfederici, in #7, 2013)
      • "Killable" (with Alan Davis, in #8-13, 2013-2014)
  • Wolverine vol. 6 1-12 (February, 2014-October, 2014):
    • Three Months to Die Book 1 (hc, 160 pages, 2014, ISBN 0-78515-419-1) collects:
      • "Rogue Logan" (with Ryan Stegman and David Baldeon, in #1-4, 2014)
      • "His Own Skin" (with Gerardo Sandoval, in #5, 2014)
      • "The Madripoor Job" (with Gerardo Sandoval, in #6-7, 2014)
  • This Damned Band (with artist Tony Parker, 6-issue limited series, Dark Horse Comics, August 2015 – January 2016)


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


  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. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness: Robin Hood and business ongoing". 4 February 2006. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  4. ^ Cornell, Paul (24 April 2007). "Primeval". Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  5. ^ Pulse at the BBC
  6. ^ SDCC 06: Paul Cornell and Nick Lowe Talk Wisdom For MAX, Newsarama, 23 July 2006 Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Cornell & Lowe talk "Captain Britain and MI:13", Comic Book Resources, 18 February 2008
  8. ^ The British Invasion: Paul Cornell on Captain Britain and MI: 13 Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Bulletin, 10 April 2008
  9. ^ 2010 Hugo Award Nominees – Details, the Hugo Awards site
  10. ^ VISION QUEST: Cornell talks Young Avengers Presents, Comic Book Resources, 23 April 2008
  11. ^ Stranger Than Fiction: Cornell on “Fantastic Four: True Story”, Comic Book Resources, 10 April 2008
  12. ^ Fantastic Four: True Story, Newsarama, 12 June 2008
  13. ^ "Just Another Thursday". Paul Cornell. 2008.
  14. ^ NYCC: Cornell Talks “Dark Reign: Young Avengers”, Comic Book Resources, 7 February 2009
  15. ^ NYCC '09 – Paul Cornell on Dark Reign: Young Avengers, Newsarama, 7 February 2009
  16. ^ Black Widow bites back, SFX, 28 October 2009
  17. ^ Segura, Alex (12 April 2010). "Paul Cornell Steps in as New Action Comics Writer". The Source. DC Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  18. ^ Phegley, Kiel (22 June 2010). "Paul Cornell: A DC Exclusive". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  19. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (7 June 2011). "CORNELL Creates Sword & Sorcery Superheroes in DEMON KNIGHTS". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  20. ^ Manning, Shaun (9 June 2011). "Cornell Summons "Demon Knights"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  21. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (26 August 2011). "The DCnU Take 2: Paul Cornell's DEMON KNIGHTS". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  22. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (11 June 2011). "CORNELL Calls STORMWATCH "Kingpin" DCnU Title". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  23. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (20 June 2011). "Cornell Checks the Temperature of "Stormwatch"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  24. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (18 August 2011). "THE DCnU Take 2: Paul Cornell's STORMWATCH". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  25. ^ "2012 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 3 September 2012. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  26. ^ Cornell, Paul. "9:38 PM - 12 Jan 2016".
  27. ^
  28. ^ BBC – Doctor Who – Classic Series – Ebooks – Human Nature – Adaptation Archived 1 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "The Future of the Shadow Police".
  30. ^ "Paul Cornell – The Severed Streets cover art and synopsis reveal". 9 July 2013. Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  31. ^ Cornell to leave Stormwatch, Multiversity Comics. Retrieved December 16, 2016


  • Paul Cornell at IMDb
  • Paul Cornell at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
  • Paul Cornell at Barney

External linksEdit


  • Paul Cornell interviewed at CONvergence 2010 by The Omega Podcast (in mp3 format)
  • Podcast Interview with Paul Cornell (in mp3 format)
  • Interview with Paul Cornell on the Bullpen Bulletins Podcast
  • Interview with Paul Cornell at Millarworld[permanent dead link]
  • Interview with Paul Cornell at YMCA England
  • Author interview: Paul Cornell, SFX, 10 June 2008
  • Special Edition Podcast: Paul Cornell, iFanboy, 3 July 2008
  • X-POSITION: Paul Cornell, Comic Book Resources, 23 September 2008
  • Geek Syndicate Podcast Interview with Paul Cornell (in mp3 format)
  • Paul Cornell live at BICS 2008 on the Geek Syndicate Panel
Preceded by Batman and Robin writer
Succeeded by