Doctor Who News Doctor Who Series 7b: Nightmare in Silver

Published on May 8th, 2013 | by Meredith Burdett

Neil Gaiman Won’t Be Showrunner

We’re all incredibly excited at Kasterborous Towers because this Saturday not only do we get a brand new episode of Doctor Who on the telly, not only does it feature the return and the redesign of the Cybermen, not only does it guest star Warwick Davis and Tamzin Outhwaite.. but it’s also written by the brilliant Neil Gaiman.

Doctor Who Series 7b: Nightmare in Silver

Gaiman’s 2011 Doctor Who episode The Doctor’s Wife was brilliant and if the early indicators from that illusive old thing we call the internet are correct (and we bet they are) then Gaiman’s newest episode, Nightmare in Silver, will be just as good – if not better!

SFX Magazine got the opportunity to sit down with the writer extraordinaire recently to ask him a few questions regarding his episode and his future with Doctor Who. The good news is that he has more ideas and would like to write more episodes for the show in the future; the other news is that Gaiman will not be considering the position as Doctor Who’s showrunner anytime soon.

Which is, quite frankly, a very good thing indeed. We have an excellent Commander-in-Chief in the form of Steven Moffat who is already planning series 8 of Doctor Who and while it certainly is lovely to have Gaiman ‘pop in’ now and then to deliver a cracking yarn featuring the Doctor, it would be better to keep things that way and leave the producing to someone else.

Doctor Who Series 7b: Nightmare in Silver

We’re not stating that Gaiman isn’t up to the job but there’s a feeling that comes with the idea of him running the show that it just wouldn’t work on the same level as it does with Moffat or it did with Russell T Davies. Mainly to do with his incredibly busy schedule in all his other works that wouldn’t give the man the time to devote a huge portion of his life to Doctor Who.

You can read the full interview with Gaiman, which includes a wonderful theory that marries the Mondas/Telosian Cyberman to the Cybus iterations by visiting SFX.


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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

8 Responses to Neil Gaiman Won’t Be Showrunner

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I always knew it was a pipe dream to think Gaiman would consider running the show in the future. But I’m not bummed out as long as he returns regularly to write episodes. He has proved he has the capacity to tell wonderful stories.

  2. avatar Bob James says:

    I once discounted the very notion, but now I find myself thinking it should/could be Mark Gatiss. Not that I want Steven Moffat to depart anytime soon, as I think he’s doing a fantastic job, despite the small group of hater/trolls who apparently want to burn him at the stake. But between his contributions to both Doctor Who and Sherlock, as well as his co-production of the latter, and his obvious love for Doctor Who, he begins to appear to me to be a very viable candidate, if he is ever offered the position, and is so inclined to take it on.

  3. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    After the quality of most Gatiss scripts over the past seasons, I came to dread the possibility that Gatiss will indeed take over once the Moff leaves….BUT being a contributing writer and being a show-runner are two very different things, working two different skill-sets. I think Moffat did better work on writing episodes when he was a contributing writer than he has while he’s been show-runner. He still does a good job though and wouldn’t necessarily want him to leave anytime soon.

  4. avatar TonyS says:

    Of course he won’t. He is far too busy. One thing that has become apparent over the last few years is just how time-consuming the job is. I’m not about to indulge in a spot of Moffat bashing. I am a fan. But I have been disappointed by the show lately and I do wonder whether Mr M has taken on too much. If and when he steps down (“when” obviously- but I am trying to avoid any suggestion that I am calling for his departure), I hope we get a showrunner who has an admiration and liking for the programme, without necessarily being a “fan”. Someone with energy and vision. Someone who realises (as do both Mr M and RTD) that there is no point in making a show to please the fans if it will alienate the peripheral audience. We fans will like it anyway. Some of us will complain anyway. It’s what we do. Lets have a programme that we can like but that will also attract more casual viewers and hook them. Have no idea who that might be though. I am not a fan of “The Doctor’s Wife”, I am afraid. It’s not good Who or good Gaiman. It’s not rubbish, but I was expecting better.

    • avatar vortexter says:

      I agree with Tony. Phillip Hinchcliffe wasn’t a fan when he took on the role and he produced some of the best stories out there. I would levitate away from a fan and more to someone who would take a chance and bring something new to the table. Mark Gatiss as showrunner doesn’t thrill me. the phrase ‘safe pair of hands’ comes to mind when I consider his writing.
      The Doctors Wife was great but not amazing. 8/10 and hopefully Nightmare in Silver will be better but if we look at Robert Holmes his first two scripts were not brilliant but look at the writer he became for the show so keep using Gaiman, I’m sure he will deliver that knockout story one day.

  5. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    Why are we happy with Moff?
    I’m not.
    During his tenure the show has gone very bland with annoying companions, a ridiculous wife, too many frivolous, stand-alone stories and incomprehensible story-arcs which all end with a reset. Neil Gaiman would be infinitely more imaginative and the show would be revitalized. At the moment it is stale, cheap and monotonous.

  6. avatar TonyS says:

    RTD used to end seasons with massive dei ex machinae endings. Steven Moffat does the same but tries to make a virtue out of it. Not always successfully IMO. A side-effect of story arcs is that they tend to build up to a massive situation that needs a drastic resolution.

  7. avatar Paul Morris says:

    Gaiman is vastly over-rated, anyway!

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