Doctor Who: Neil Gaiman on making the Cybermen scary again

News Louisa Mellor
13 Nov 2012 - 12:07

Neil Gaiman has been chatting to a French website about his Cybermen story in the forthcoming run of Doctor Who…

This story contains a potential spoiler for Neil Gaiman's new episode.

In France for the Nantes Utopiales sci-fi festival, Neil Gaiman revealed a little about the background of his forthcoming Cybermen story to French site

Gaiman confirmed a few basics for starters, “I can tell you that there are Cybermen in it. It will be a stand-alone episode, I don’t know if it will be number twelve or thirteen. It will be the series’ penultimate episode. But it has a beginning, a middle and an end.”

Gaiman went on to reveal that his busy schedule meant he initially turned down the opportunity to write another Who episode, but that he revised his answer following an email from Steven Moffat:

"Steven wrote to me and asked if I wanted to make the Cybermen scary again. I thought back to myself at the age of six or seven, The Moonbase, Tomb of the Cybermen… I saw them when they were first broadcast. The Cybermen were much scarier than the Daleks, because they didn’t make any noise. The Daleks moved around all over the place shouting “Exterminate”, etc. With the Cybermen, it’s different. You turn around and bam! There they are. It’s scary. I told him that I was going to take the Cybermen from the sixties […] and see what I could do. I don’t know if it’s going to work, we’ll see.”

Despite The Last Cyberman being mooted as his episode’s title after a script for the story sporting that name was discovered in the back of a Cardiff taxi last week, Gaiman insists he doesn’t know what his sophomore episode will be titled. “I don’t know anything. The title of The Doctor’s Wife was Bigger on the Inside until two weeks before it aired. It could be anything.”

So Gaiman could write dialogue for Jenna-Louise Coleman’s new companion character, Moffat has been keeping him informed as the second half of series seven has progressed. “Steven sent me his ideas and the beginnings of scripts. Once the auditions started he even sent me videos."

How does the new companion compare to her predecessors then? "Jenna-Louise Coleman is very different from Amy, Rose or Sarah-Jane. The dialogue is completely different. Just as it is with the various Doctors. But some things don’t change: the companion will always be intelligent and brave, and the Doctor will always be funny, annoying and strange, and he will always succeed in getting out of inextricable situations.”

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