Doctor Who thing: would Neil Gaiman be a good showrunner?

Neil Gaiman Suranne Jones Matt Smith

Apparently there are fans who are calling for Neil Gaiman to take over running Doctor Who whenever Steven Moffat steps down, which I was unaware of until Jef With One F at the Houston Press blog Art Attack brought it to my attention. As he says:

No doubt, Gaiman has the right heart for the show, and he definitely has the writing chops. Anyone who has ever read his Sandman series also knows that if you want an overarching epic story that can survive over years, he can do that as well. The Hugo award for “The Doctor’s Wife” speaks for itself. When Gaiman pens an episode of Doctor Who nothing but magic comes out.

I’m not sure that I’d call “Nightmare in Silver” magic, but point taken. Gaiman is a fantastic writer and a lifelong lover of the show. That said…

With Gaiman in charge I simply couldn’t see the show progressing much. I can’t see him crafting something like The Silence or the Weeping Angels. Both “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Nightmare in Silver” were intense exercises in looking back. House was never supposed to be an original villain; he was supposed to be The Great Intelligence. We weren’t supposed to stumble into the Tardis control room of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. We were going to get someone from the classic era. His decision to focus on the Mondasian Cybermen last week shores this up. Gaiman is interested in the past more than the future.

I’d add, too, that Gaiman’s experience as a teller of stories does not correspond in any way with the demands of producing a television show. So that would be a huge practical issue.

(Do go read all of Jef’s piece. He has an awesome idea about how Gaiman could make an incredible contribution to the Who canon apart from just writing more episodes for whoever is running the show.)

What do you think? Would Neil Gaiman be a good showrunner? Who would you like to see running the show? I’m thinking Toby Whithouse, whose Being Human was amazing and who wrote the heartbreaking “School Reunion.”

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

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