Doctor Who News The Doctor's Wife

Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Rebecca Crockett

Gaiman: “The Doctor’s Wife could’ve worked for any Doctor.” [VIDEO]

In a recent interview with a local Portland, Maine television station, Neil Gaiman spoke about the power of Twitter, the advice he’d once gotten from Stephen King, and how long he’d wanted to write for Doctor Who as well as what writing the episodes was like.

So just how long had the Stardust author wanted to work on Doctor Who?

Let’s see so what am I now? Fifty-two? And I saw my first Doctor Who when I was three? So forty-nine years, I guess?

The writer of Nightmare in Silver also has a controversial opinion about his most-acclaimed episode for the series…

Is it easier when you’re writing for Doctor Who and you know the established actor or its easier when that actor hasn’t been cast yet?


You write for the Doctor. The weird thing, you know in people’s heads the Doctor is very, very different. The truth is when I wrote The Doctor’s Wife, I went through that first, the first draft of the script, imagining any of the Doctors and realized that it would have worked for any of this from the Second on could’ve done that. I don’t think the First could’ve done it, but it would’ve worked for all of them.

It’s interesting that Gaiman thought any of the previous versions of the Doctor could’ve been in The Doctor’s Wife aside from Matt Smith’s Eleventh. Personally, I think it fit Eleven’s personality and I don’t think it would’ve had the same charm it had if it had been say, the Tenth or the Third Doctors.

Do you think there was any other Doctor that would’ve had the same reactions to meeting his TARDIS in human form?


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About the Author


Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

10 Responses to Gaiman: “The Doctor’s Wife could’ve worked for any Doctor.” [VIDEO]

  1. avatar TonyS says:

    If we accept for the sake of argument that The Doctor’s Wife even worked for the 11th Doctor. (Sorry, I really did not like it!) That is not to say that it could have worked for any of the others. It might, at a stretch, have been made for the Nu-Who Doctors. I’m not sure I could see any classic era Doctors making it work. And they were all extremely fine actors.

    • I can see Patrick Troughton acting in exactly the same way. Both of the Bakers too. I can’t see Pertwee, Davison or McCoy thought. Definitely McGann, probably not Eccleston – though I can’t really see Tennant, surprisingly.

  2. avatar TonyS says:

    Excellent article, by the way, Rebecca

  3. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I thought it was a good story, albeit too condensed—should have been a two parter—but that being said, yeah, I think it could have worked with any Doctor but the later the doctor, the more time they would have spent together, the better, that type of thing.

    I think he does tend to write for any and all Doctors to start with. That old console room that appeared in the ep could easily have been and I’m guessing *may* have been originally intended to be the classic console room. Much like Nightmare in silver should have been the original Tenth Planet Cybermen. The ep might have worked a lot better.

    • avatar Al says:

      No guessing required. I believe Gaiman has stated that the plan was to use the original console room, but there wasn’t enough money in the budget to build one so they held onto the Ninth/Tenth Doctor version which, frankly, had the same impact for the majority of today’s viewers anyway who would have only started watching in 2005 or later. For many viewers, the console room in The Eleventh Hour is “the original.”

  4. avatar Al says:

    I consider Doctor’s Wife the best DW episode ever, full stop. And because it’s such a strong story, it would have worked with any Doctor, but the actors transform the script when they get it. David Tennant and Helena Bonham-Carter or Tom Baker and Joanna Lumley or Patrick Troughton and Helen Mirren or Peter Capaldi and, well, Suranne Jones, would have made it a completely different episode.

  5. avatar lee moone says:

    He’s talking rubbish, I’d have said McGann upwards. Can you really see the 2nd or 3rd calling her ‘Sexy’? 4th and 6th wouldn’t want to show their emotions over how they felt and show mild irritation and 5th would have been embarrassed about the whole thing!

    Nu Who is so different to classic, especially when it comes to characterisation of the Dr and companions as there was no flirting in the TARDIS or in this case, with the TARDIS!

    • avatar lee moone says:

      Another thought on this. The TARDIS said the 1st thing he called her when boarding was ‘Sexy’. Can you really imagine the 1st Dr uttering those words? Nope!

      • avatar DWFanPenn says:

        The quote was actually “You’re the most beautiful thing I’d ever known.” And I -can- see the First Doctor uttering that.

  6. avatar Ran ger says:

    I especially think that it would have worked with the 10th Doctor.

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