Neil Gaiman Up For A Third Doctor Who Episode, And Steven Moffat Agrees To Give Peter Jackson A Dalek
Neil Gaiman kicked many a Whovian’s salivary glands into overdrive when he first announced he was writing a Doctor Who episode back in 2010. Gaiman and Who is the sort of peanut-butter-and-chocolate combination that makes you wonder why it took them that long to make it happen. And things certainly turned out well for all involved: Gaiman’s first Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” was quite lovely and earned the writer a Hugo Award. This past season he contributed a second, Cyberman-heavy episode, “Nightmare in Silver.” It wasn’t as good as his first, in my opinion, but it was still good fun and served as an excuse to cast Warwick Davis in the show. Now Gaiman has confirmed that he would love to pen another episode for the show…at some point.
I definitely, definitely — I don’t want to be coy, you know with ‘Nightmare in Silver’ it was like I was being coy, but I figured they would like to have me, I would like to do more. The only problem that I’m having right now is the time that I probably would have spent writing a Doctor Who script this year suddenly got eaten by going on tour for this book. So, what I’m hoping, is that I can persuade Steven Moffat, instead of getting the BBC to pay me in cash, cos, you know, I’m now like this best-selling author — I’ve got enough money! Money is just fine! So I’m wondering if maybe I can get them to start paying me in time.
Season nine would also include an extra incentive for Gaiman to return to the show, the chance to write for the latest Doctor, actor Peter Capaldi, who appeared in Gaiman’s Neverwhere TV series back in the day, as the Angel Islington.
Speaking of dream Who connections, you might recall that last year Matt Smith had said that The Hobbit director Peter Jackson should totally direct an episode of the show. There was much head-shaking and agreement, and ever since then Jackson and Who executive producer Steven Moffat have been engaged in a mutual-admiration society. Every few months Peter Jackson will say he would love to direct Doctor Who. Or Steven Moffat will say that he’d love Peter Jackson to direct Doctor Who. And so on. At one point Jackson even said he’d do the job for free, as long as they gave him a Dalek. (Specifically, a gold one.)
Moffat made headlines at the Ad Lib Comedy event in Edinburgh last week by seeming to affirm that the Doctor was indeed limited to only twelve regenerations, but he also addressed the whole Peter Jackson thing. When asked about the subject, Moffat responded, “He’s serious about it. We talked at The Hobbit premiere — he just wants a Dalek. So we’ll give him a Dalek and he’ll direct an episode. I think he’d like to us to go to New Zealand. I think it’s entirely possible.” It’s only a Dalek after all. The damn things are everywhere, so it seems a small price to pay. The real trick may be, as with Gaiman, finding a time when everyone’s schedules can align to make it happen.
So there we have it. Neil Gaiman wants to come back, Peter Jackson wants to direct an episode. Who else could have Doctor Who tentatively penciled in on their schedule? How about Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston? We haven’t heard from him for a while, since he sank fans’ hopes that he might be returning for the 50th anniversary episode along with David Tennant and Billie Piper. Maybe the guy’s had a change of heart(s)!
It turns out he would be willing to return to Who after all…we’re just going to have to wait a while. At a British Film Institute event celebrating the show’s 50th anniversary and the Ninth Doctor’s era, host Justin Johnson read a very special message from Eccleston on the subject of his theoretical return to the show. Eccleston just has one demand:
I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely — strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.
If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and — providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs — I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.
Mark your calendars, people! And don’t hold your breath!