Earlier this year, you might’ve heard a loud squeal of glee originating from the direction of Splash Page HQ — right around the time celebrated writer Neil Gaiman announced that he was scripting an episode of “Doctor Who” scheduled to air next season on the hit television series.
Yeah, that was me. Sorry about that.
Nevertheless, when I had the chance to chat with Gaiman during the recent C2E2 convention in Chicago (he was speaking in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), I made sure to ask him for some info about his upcoming contribution to the long-running series’ canon.
“I was hugely relieved recently to read an interview with Steven Moffat online where he actually talked in public about my episode of ’Doctor Who,’ because he revealed things about it,” said Gaiman. “I figure anything that Steven Moffat has revealed about my episode, I am also at liberty to reveal in public.”
“He said it’s going to be on television, and that it will be in color,” he said, smirking.
Given his reluctance to reveal any more details about the episode, I moved on to something a little less secretive, but just as interesting — his take on the recent transition from previous “Doctor Who” star David Tennant to new lead Matt Smith.
“I think i have a slightly different attitude to the role of The Doctor than a lot of Americans do, because so many Americans really discovered ’Doctor Who’ through David Tennant,” he said. “As far as they’re concerned, The Doctor is David Tennant, and, ’Oh my god, how can somebody else be this?'”
A longtime fan of the series, Gaiman echoed the sentiments of many veteran fans after the inevitable “regeneration” moments occur in the series.
“I already went through my trauma a little bit when [original ’Doctor Who’ star] William Hartnell died as The Doctor and was replaced by Patrick Troughton in 1966, when I was about five, and that hurt,” he explained. “And then when Patrick Troughton stopped being The Doctor and Jon Pertwee took over after the ’War Games’ right around 1971, it went into color and suddenly there was this man with curly hair, and he wasn’t even in the TARDIS — he was riding around in a yellow sports car.”
“So that was my trauma,” he laughed. “I’ve been through this, and as far as I’m concerned, there is The Doctor and he looks different from incarnation to incarnation, but fundamentally he’s the same person.”
Neil Gaiman’s “Doctor Who” episode is expected to air in 2011. The current season of “Doctor Who” airs new episodes every Saturday at 9 PM EST on BBC America.
Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!