Somehow I managed to stumble across this news days ago and yet still forgot to include it in my preview article. According to SciFiFx, there’s a rumor making the round that Neil Gaiman may write an episode for Season 7. As the story goes, he’d be covering a “re-imagining of the Cybermen.”
If you don’t know who Neil Gaiman is, then go check out a copy of Coraline, move on to Sandman, American Gods, then watch this commencement address and consider yourself up to speed. Alternatively, just know that he’s an excellent author who wrote the Season 6 episode “The Doctor’s Wife.”
The episode was, my insignificant opinion, absolutely brilliant. The overall tone sat perfectly on the line between “delightfully odd” and “outright creepy” thanks to the pervading theme of isolation. Only three side characters were introduced (yes, technically five), and there were no background crowds or other distractions. Just the Doctor, an odd collection of a family (I need to quit these awful puns) and a heck of a story. Some truly excellent connections are created and explored between the main cast, and mortal peril drives those connections to near breaking. Those that hate spoilers who, for whatever reason, have still not seen this fantastic bit of writing can either kill or thank me now.
It was, and may always be, my favorite episode of Doctor Who. Gushing aside, let’s move on.
Gaiman gave an interview to Den of Geek some time after the episode originally aired, and it’s well worth the read. More to the point, they specifically asked him whether or not he’d consider writing for Doctor Who again. He had this to say:
Then I found myself saying something, and realising it was true as I said it. Which was I think I’ll only do it if I come up with an idea that’s better than this one. It’s not like… do I want to become a regular Who writer? No, I don’t want to become a regular Who writer. What I’d love to do is every now and then go oh my God, I’ve got this amazing idea for Doctor Who.
The key bit there being “an idea better than [The Doctor’s Wife].” To me, this is an aggravating response. On the one hand, it means that if we are due for another Gaiman episode it will (theoretically) be on par with his first foray. On the other hand, Gaiman’s own opinion of his work may prevent a new entry entirely. Nevermind the reality of budget constraints (his first episode was…quite expensive), Neil Gaiman’s own work schedule (he’s almost famously busy), and story limitations. With the buildup to 2013, it’s quite possible that another fairly tangential episode just won’t work. I would love to see it happen regardless, but I’m afraid this may just end up a nice dream for the time being. What do you all think?