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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: Neil Gaiman talks about his script

You do know that we’re gonna get a Doctor Who script next year written by Neil Gaiman, don’t you?

[J]ust as the draft of Anansi Boys was handed in, the word came down from the powers behind Doctor Who that I was going to have to do another draft. The wonderful thing about books and comics is your budget is infinite: it costs the same to draw one thing as another, to write one thing as another. That’s not true of television, where a budget might stretch to prosthetics or CGI, but not both (quick! pick one! now rewrite to make it work) or you might find yourself being told that, no, we can’t make the Undersea Dancing Mermaids sequence work because the underwater cameras would blow the budget even before you factor in the mermaid tails but we already have a bird costume so could you just make all the mermaids into birds instead? And you’re sure you can, you can’t just quite figure out how…*

Truthfully, I’m not grumbling. I’m loving writing Doctor Who, and so far, each draft really has been better than the one before. But we’re now at the point where people in Cardiff are nervously drumming their desktops and checking their watches.

But wait! The best and most-insightful-with-regards-to-fandom part is Gaiman’s footnote:

*I’ve learned over the last few months that any comment one makes about Doctor Who is analysed, pored over, interpreted, and for all I know held up to a mirror and then combined with something from the Book of Enoch, by Doctor Who folk on the internet, who then have much too much fun using it to Build Up Theories. So this is a Disclaimer, just for them: There are no mermaids or birds anywhere in my Doctor Who script. That was just me making something up as an example. Honest. Also, this footnote is not a clever double-bluff, and really there are birds and mermaids but I am trying to throw you off the scent by mentioning them and then saying that there aren’t.

Gaiman knows us so well. Because he’s one of us.

(Thanks to reader Lynn for the link. If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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  • Todd

    Obviously The Neil is trying for the tricky yet critical triple-bluff, the sneaky, clever bastard.

  • Mo

    But oh, the things he’s losing:

    ” Deleted “Shall I push this?” “Not a good idea. Molecules might get all…unmoleculed.” Sigh. Go, little line of dialogue. Fly away. Be free.” 10:44 PM Jul 29th via TweetDeck

    I really want to hear the Doctor say that now. It sounds pitch-perfect for Matt’s Doctor.

  • Isobel

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Neil Gaiman’s blog for ages now, and am so excited about this Doctor Who script! Why oh why can’t it be airing already??

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