While accepting the Hugo Award for his Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” geek icon Neil Gaiman dropped news that set many a fan frothing: he would be penning a second episode for the show. At the time, however, it was unclear when exactly the episode would air. Now the good word has come down and it’s official: Gaiman’s second Who episode will indeed air this season, as episode 12 (not counting the Christmas special).
The folks at Doctor Who TV have the word straight from the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. Gaiman’s episode is slotted as the penultimate episode of season seven, which is only appropriate for a name-value “get” such as Gaiman. The magazine also reveals which other writers will be handling the rest of the season’s episodes, although we don’t have any episode titles or plot details yet. Here’s the breakdown:
- 706. Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by Colm McCarthy. (Filming now)
- 707. Written by Neil Cross (of the BBC series Luther). Directed by Farren Blackburn. (Not filmed)
- 708. Written by Mark Gatiss (he’s done several previous Who eps, as well as co-creating Sherlock with Moffat). Directed by Douglas Mackinnon. (Filmed)
- 709. Written by Neil Cross. Directed by Jamie Payne. (Filmed)
- 710. Written by Stephen Thompson. Directed by Mat King.(Filmed)
- 711. Written by Mark Gatiss. Directed by Saul Metzstein. (Filmed)
- 712. Written by Neil Gaiman. Directed by Stephen Wolfenden. (Not filmed)
- 713. Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by TBA. (Not filmed)
The breakdown of episodes makes me wonder how interconnected the rest of season seven will be, since none of the writers are penning back-to-back episodes. I’m all for one-off Doctor Who episodes, but I must admit I’d like something a little more serialized after the “movie-a-week” approach of the first five episodes. We shall see.
After how good his previous effort was, it’s great to see Gaiman returning for another episode of Who. I always think it’s interesting when an established series brings in a writer who is traditionally known for working in another medium, such as Gaiman and his prose. It’s the sort of thing that the original Star Trek series did all the time, bringing in some of the best science fiction writers of the era in to pen episodes. It seems like something that doesn’t happen nearly as often as you’d like in the TV landscape these days. (I do still have fond memories of Gaiman’s Babylon 5 episode back in the day.