Yeah, it was inevitable I’d write a few Doctor Who stories here from time to time. Did anyone expect anything less? In any case, Neil Gaiman has clarified an interview where he may have inadvertently suggested he was interested in running Doctor Who.
I can’t entirely fault Paul Verhoeven’s original interview — indeed, I’m jealous — because Gaiman’s actual quote isn’t that clear when read out loud:
Well… the tragedy is that ten years ago, before Russel T. Davies brought it back, I was trying to get all the people at the BBC circa 2001, just to say, what are you doing with this show? Can I bring it back? And I never actually got a call returned. I sort of got bounced around, and it died, then Russell did it. And I love that he did, because he did it better than I ever could! I… these days, I don’t have the mad drive that I had ten years ago. I like hanging around with my wife! I like having this peculiar lifestyle! I have watched Stephen Moffat for five years now, helming Who and Sherlock, but there was a point where he’d go off on family holidays and spend the whole time indoors, working. I was the same on Sandman! Every month, artists, writers, inkers, readers, all riding on my back. My family would be on the beach and I’d have the curtains drawn. I’ve done that! Now, I love coming in and writing one episode once in a while. And people I know think I’m mad for even doing it, because the amount an episode costs me… I lose a ridiculous amount of money for the time it takes! But I don’t care, I love it! I get to write Doctor Who! But if Stephen showed up and asked me, I’d say yes. Because it’s an addiction for me.
Gaiman, however, has responded to clarify, noting that what he was talking about was how happy he is to actually write for Doctor Who.
I know it’s not very clear at the end, but I’m actually saying I would say yes to writing an episode once in a while, if Steven Moffat asked me to, not yes to becoming showrunner. (Which I’d say no to.)
Honestly? Gaiman’s take on Who if he were running it might be interesting in a story arc sense, but part of the beauty of the program is having a multitude of writers and approaches. I love Gaiman’s work, but I do wonder if a Gaiman-helmed series might not lose some of that original spark.