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Published on July 20th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Gatiss on Writing…and Showrunning?

It’s a busy old time for Mark Gatiss, with the much anticipated An Adventure in Space and Time due in November and a role in HBO’s Dragon-a-thon Game of Thrones, Mark has now confirmed, to the surprise of no one, he’s confirmed that he’ll be back writing again for Series 8 of Doctor Who.


Speaking to Tardib (French language site) Mark Gatiss shared his take on the unique challenge of being a recurring writer and writing once again for a new Doctor:

“It is lovely to write for the series when you have never done it before, but to continue to do so and to make new things for a new Doctor, it is a kind of different challenge.”

While on the subject of a different challenge, he was also asked if he would be interested in taking over as head writer if and when Steven Moffat departs:

“Steven will never leave. I hope that he will never leave! I can’t say much about it, life is too complicated and strange to know when this sort of thing will happen.”

The keen amongst you will note that he hasn’t said ‘no’.

According to Variety, Mark is set to join the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which is currently filming its fourth series, alongside Pedro Pascal, in an as yet unannounced role.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

7 Responses to Gatiss on Writing…and Showrunning?

  1. avatar Ben says:

    “The keen amongst you will notice he hasn’t said no”
    Yeah, or everyone will notice he hasn’t said no, after reading a comment that points out that very fact.

  2. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    I was thinking the other day why is it always the showrunner who writes the Xmas ep? RTD and Moffat always do it, but there’s no real reason why it could not be commissioned from another writer – Gaiman could do something with Xmas I am sure! And, to the point, Gatiss certainly could – look at his interest in MR James and ghost stories, he could combine the two (the Doctor meets James and its a ghost story!). The Unquiet Dead was a Christmas ghost story, after all!

    But anyway. As to showrunning – yes, he could be good, but I do wonder if they’ll continue with the post after Moffat (and how long will the BBC continue with him?). Brian Minchin, to my mind, signals a move towards a more traditional Producer set up, which might not be a bad thing – unless you’re Joss Whedon it is probably best if writers stick to writing, not trying to be God like Executive Producers! Recently DW has definitely slipped, Moffat’s work has not been up to his writing under RTD and there have been rather more misses than hits, and too many changes to the Production staff.

    If, as seems indicated, it was Moffat who wanted the split series (presumably instead of the Doctor lite episodes RTD went with) then it has backfired rather – I note the BBC Worldwide Report, showing a drop in profits, actually mentions the lack of new episodes as one reason for this! Money being all important, the BBC won’t like this kind of misstep – and it’s noticeable that the next series will apparently be back to a full season, if the BBC’s hints are true.

    Anyway, we’ll see.

    • avatar STLShawn says:

      I agree with Lewis. RTD and Julie and many other talented individuals who they could turn to not only for fantastic writing, but to do their fair share of other duties. I have always felt that Moff and his team couldn’t pitch plans to the BBC as well as RTD and Julie, nor could they pass the torch to others as well.

      I’ve been waiting for this time to come (when the BBC said profits were down from DW), and it sounds like they at least acknowledge that it is because of lack of product being produced.

  3. avatar Ed says:

    i think he would be a terrible showrunner….his episodes ware always the weakest.

    • avatar vortexter says:

      Unfortunately I agree. Crimson Horror was great but the other stuff was average at best. He comes across as trying too hard when writing. He had fun writing Crimson and it shows.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      So you consider Unquiet Dead weaker than Boomtown, Crimson Horror weaker than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, The Idiot’s Lantern weaker than Fear Her, Victory of the Daleks weaker than Hungry Earth, Night Terrors weaker than Black Spot? I would disagree – whether he failed or succeeded with his scripts, he at least tried to be different.

  4. avatar vortexter says:

    Unquiet dead was so-so. Crimson Horror excellent. Idiots Lantern dire. Night Terrors was a rip off of Fear her. Even Gatiss didn’t understand the point of the Daleks in Victory or what the weird titles they held meant. And spitfires in space? Really?

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