UPDATED: Is Neil Gaiman writing another episode of Doctor Who?

News Louisa Mellor 3 Sep 2012 - 09:32

Neil Gaiman’s Hugo award acceptance speech for The Doctor’s Wife may have let slip something very exciting indeed…

UPDATE: The good folk at io9 report having chatted with Gaiman post-acceptance speech at the Hugo Awards and learning that yes, he is indeed writing a second episode of Doctor Who, and yes, it is pencilled in for broadcast in the second half of the current series.

Whether or not budgetary constraints will mean that's when we'll actually see Gaiman's new episode (you'll remember that The Doctor's Wife was shifted a series for this very reason) is something of a question mark, but we'd still judge that as a right result, wouldn't you?

Since The Doctor’s Wife, comfortably one of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever broadcast, was screened last May, one question has dominated: when is Neil Gaiman going to write another one?

As we speak, might well be our answer, if a line from Gaiman’s Hugo award acceptance speech for The Doctor’s Wife is to be taken seriously.

After picking up the Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form award for the episode yesterday, Gaiman’s speech contained one seriously tantalising tidbit. Appreciating that nothing’s been confirmed as yet, this is what the novelist had to say on writing for Doctor Who:

“...only a fool or a mad man would try to do it again... so I’m on the third draft.”

That sound? A million Who fans crossing their fingers and hoping he wasn’t kidding, us amongst them.

If true, we could be looking at one of the as-yet unconfirmed episodes from this series' 2013 chunk being penned by Gaiman. We'll keep you posted.


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I'm sure I read a rumour somewhere that he was writing an episode that re-invented the Cyber Men.

But I may have dreamed it...

Congratulations to the Doctor Who crew,Mr Gaiman and Mr Clarke,i know Steven Moffat values this recognition from science fiction writers and fans for the programme. Really commendable that Neil is working on further adventures for Doctor Who as well as developing scripts for his American Gods series,i hope he maybe has ambitions to do something with cybermen or daleks.

No, I heard that too :-) Unless we both had the same dream....

i've watched "the doctor's wife" so many times i lost count. i think i've watched it more than "blink".

If anyone has the imagination to re-interpret a classic Who villain I would think it would be Gaiman. After turning the Tardis itself into a well-loved character, which could have ended very badly in someone else's hands, I don't think there's anything he couldn't do right.

I've heard it too. Here's hoping.

great! The Doctor's wife was one of the most boring episodes since the show came back, bring back RTD, you knew what you were getting from 9 and 10, whereas Matt Smith is an ok doctor, the show just tries to be too clever now

As opposed to aiming to lowest common denominator under RTD? You won't see me complaining about the changes.

I agree with you 100%, Andrew. I cannot understand why "The Doctor's Wife" is regarded as a decent piece. As you quite rightly say, it was boring to the point of switching-off. Nor can I understand how or why Gaiman was awarded a Hugo for a quick piece of very dull and unexciting hack writing when everything else he has ever written (probably including his early school essays) is of vastly better calibre. I have mourned for the passing of RTD, who was an unadulterated genius with a brain full of wonderful ideas which enthralled me. The Moffat/Smith combo is a very poor, second-rate, sub-standard and reliably disappointing imitation of the RTD/Tennant days. Many moons ago (February 1964) I recall watching the William Hartnell story "Edge of Destruction", which despite its black-and-white "steam television" era, I think revolves around a vastly better imagining of the sentient reasoning personality of the Tardis than that depicted in "The Doctor's Wife". Since Russell T. Davies left, the series has plummeted to new depths of banality and bland writing based on second-rate ideas.

Sarcasm, right ?

Can't see that happening as Cypbermen have sort-of already re-invented by RTD as alternate universe beings. I'd prefer smething original from Gaiman's wonderful imagination.

There is great "Genesis of the Cybermen" story waiting to be written. Neil Gaiman would be a great choice with his history of writing in a horror sci-fi style. Something like the Big Finish "Spare Parts" would be fantastic. People on a dying planet slowly mechanising their bodies in a bid to survive the worsening conditions until the final removal of emotion. It's essentially a body horror story. It's always better when the monsters feel real and have a genuine story and motivation behind them rather than just here's the goodies and here's the baddies.

You fail to mention that the Cybermen have been universally rubbish in this new series of Dr Who. They're totally ripe for re-invention/reinterpretation.

I don't see the point of reviving the original Cybermen unless it leads to some kind of war with the newer models. And Rory's already pretty much underlined how that can't really work because it's just boring after "the message and the question". The Last Centurion rendered the Cybermen dull. However, this is still Gaiman, so I'm eager to be surprised.

Not sure if you're trolling or this is how you really feel, but assuming the latter personally I've found DW much more watchable since RTD left and at a much higher and consistent quality level than previously.

This isn't to say it's the same beast as Classic Who but Moffat has taken the ethos of NuWho (which has made it so popular worldwide) and improved on it. The supporting characters are better and less wooden and the season arcs have been much more entertaining in their payoffs than under RTD where you were guaranteed to be underwhelmed or annoyed.

Everyone's taste is different so I can accept that what appeals to one person doesn't to another but The Doctor's Wife showed what a Tardis in a 'human' body would be like, where it was able to feel emotion. It just highlighted one aspect of the relationship and bond between the Doctor and the Tardis and no doubt there are other tales to be told of this kind from different perspectives in the future.

I do agree that for Gaiman it wasn't as amazing as some of his own work but hopefully if he is doing another episode we get to see more of that and that he doesn't think it's a good idea to retread a formula that went down so well with many others for this episode and does something totally different and unexpected again but with more of his voice in it.

Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel was actually loosely based on Spare Parts, and imo is the only good Cyberman story of the modern series. Although I did enjoy Closing Time more than I probably should have.

As long as Gaiman does 'something' next we'll be in for a treat Doctor Who or not. The man has a ridiculous share of talent, clearly near the front of the queue where they handed it out!

Can't wait! Could it be a sequel to the Doctor's wife?


The Doctors Wife - one of THE most over rated stories. Even Suranne Jones couldn't help this tosh.

Sits back and awaits the hate

regarding the update's concerns about budget I would think Gaiman might be a bit wiser this time or perhaps the producers of the show have got a better handle on making sure they've set enough aside to be able to meet the demands of his episode if he chooses to be self-indulgent and write what he wants to write.

Great to hear it confirmed though!

No pressure, heh.

Any chance Neil Gaiman could be the next showrunner? Surely anyone is better than the (rumoured) Chris Chibnall...

Well, I find Dalek from Series 1 to be as good as those three, along with The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances Two Parter, also from Series 1. I think they're my top 5 episodes out of all of Who.

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