It was quite a coup when the Doctor Who producers talked writer and geek icon Neil Gaiman into writing an episode. (It also worked pretty well for Gaiman, since “The Doctor’s Wife” just won a Hugo.) With Gaiman now reportedly working on a second Who venture, what other SF/fantasy luminaries could be lured into the Doctor’s world? How about Peter “Lord of the Freakin’ Rings Jackson?
Calm down now, this is hardly a done deal. The latest Who rumors were spurred by current Doctor Matt Smith during an interview with a New Zealand publication, the Waikato Times. Since that country is Jackson’s birthplace, Smith enthusiastically suggested that the Hobbit director should helm a Who episode, and that it would be even better if they shot the hypothetical episode in New Zealand. Smith says:
Let’s get Peter Jackson to direct one and go and make it in New Zealand. I would love to, I will campaign endlessly to come over and film there … There’s clearly a great film industry out there. It’s something I would be very interested in it’s just whether we can persuade the producers to fly us all over.
Jackson himself then proceeded to dump several gallons of gasoline onto the fire by responding to the offer: “‘I’m a huge Dr Who fan, and I think Matt’s fantastic. Just name a time and place, and I’ll be there!”
Needless to say, this exchange has shifted the blogosphere into DEFCON 2, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is hardly a confirmation that Jackson will direct a Who episode. And honestly, if you were Jackson and somebody asked, would you really say no, even if you didn’t really have any interest? I’m sure his interest is genuine, because it’s the sort of thing you’d expect to be right up his alley, but still. Either way, at the moment this is just a case of mutual back-patting by Smith and Jackson, and whether anything comes of it, aside from sending the internet into a frothing frenzy, remains to be seen.
If the Who producers aren’t idiots, they’ll at least do the legwork to see whether a Peter Jackson episode is a possibility, something that’s certainly not a given considering Jackson’s workload on the three Hobbit movies. Who knows, maybe they will find a way to coordinate and work it out, and I certainly hope they do. I don’t know about you, but I’m keen to see what a Peter Jackson-directed Doctor Who ep looks like.