5 Whoniverse Writers Who Should Work on Capaldi’s Era
Guest contributor John McDermott suggests five writers he’d like to see.
While Series 8 of Doctor Who is some ways off, one can’t help but speculate what the season will entail. And while most of us are wondering what kind of Doctor Peter Capaldi will be, or what villains we’ll see and what eras and planets, I personally can’t help but wonder who will be writing the season.
See, if you’re like me, you begin to notice stand out writers in your television shows. Writers who make you stop and go, “Wait, who wrote this? Because this is good!” The skeleton of a great episode is the script. The actors, direction, special effects and scoring are all well and good but where would they be without a great script bringing it all together. Rhetorical question.
So I compiled a list of my favorite Whoniverse writers I would love to see return to take on number 12. Now before we get to the list let me go ahead and say that Steven Moffat is a given. It’s also very plausible we will see a story or two by his BFF, Mark Gatiss, and we already know Neil Cross is back (whom I love) so I’m not including them in my wish list. And yes, we all do want more Neil Gaiman so adding him would be like adding a drop of water to the ocean.
Let me not bore you any longer. Let us get on to the list! Because we all love a good list.
Russell T. Davies
“Duh!” Listen: It would be pointless for me to list off why we should have the former showrunner back or what episodes he wrote to make you agree with this. No. This just makes sense. He could write anything he wanted! Specifically though I would like to see him reintroduce Ace and what happened between her and the Doctor as he intended to do for The Sarah Jane Adventures. But that’s the fan in me and he has stated he would not return to write for the show. (Petitions anyone?)
“Is that the guy that … ?” Many of you probably recognize this name right away. If you don’t and need a refresher I’ve got you covered. Gareth wrote “The Shakespeare Code”, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”, “The Lodger”, “Closing Time” and co-wrote “Planet of the Dead” with RTD. He was also the head writer for the first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It also helps that this guy can do a spot on Douglas Adams exposition (see his novelization of “Shada”).
His strengths not only include a sense of history, both factual and show specific, but in witty character report and humanizing hero and villain alike. And if we have to have an episode with the Maitland kids in tow we know he can at least write children.
[Recently, it appears Roberts will be back for Series 8, so that's one to cross off the list!]
“You mean the guy who does all the crazy voices?” He’s not just the go to guy for voice work; he’s also a writer and executive producer of the Big Finish audio drama line of Doctor Who. While he’s not yet written for the show itself proper he has contributed a lot to it in other media. Be them spoofs or fan works, he is a man who loves this show something fierce.
Do yourselves a favor and check out some of the audio productions he’s written for Doctor Who and you’ll see this is a man who can nail the history of the show while presenting it in a thrilling new way. I’d love to see him tackle a 12 meets 8 tale in some timey-wimey Schrodinger’s box way. Listen to the “Dark Eyes” serial and tell me I’m wrong.
“Wait a minute!” You may exclaim, saying that this Hugo Award winning woman has not written for Who. True, but she did write for Torchwood and while I might not be a huge fan of Miracle Day you could argue that her episodes were the most tolerable of the bunch. Plus you’ve also got RTD vetting her.
Jane Espenson is mostly known as “the Lady version of Joss Whedon”. Some have even taken to calling her the ‘Queen of the Geeks’. What has she written to gain this title? (Takes in a deep breath) There’s Dinosaurs, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Once Upon A Time, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Gilmore Girls, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Dollhouse and Game of Thrones. (Whew!) Need I say more?
She’s great with quirky tech babble and marrying tragedy with comedic beats. She understands character in a way that shames most writers because she understands how people change or refuse to. I’d like to see her tackle a Clara heavy episode that deals with choice.
“Okay … who?” Catherine is yet another Torchwood alum whose episodes include “Out of Time”, the Hugo Award nominated episode “Captain Jack Harkness”, “Meat” and “Adam”. Also to her name are episodes in EastEnders, Casualty, and Law & Order: UK.
Tregenna’s strength is not only emotional advancement but also ensemble drama. She can write a team. It would be very interesting to see what she could do with a post-Miracle Day Jack meeting the newly incarnated Twelfth Doctor. Or, I’d even love having her write for the Paternoster Gang.
Honorable Mention: Paul Cornell
“Why didn’t you put him in?” As great as Paul is, well, he’s too great. He does Doctor Who so well you might not even wonder who wrote it. That’s a terrible compliment, I know! I’m so sorry.
He wrote “Father’s Day”, the Hugo Award nominated two-parter “Human Nature/Family of Blood” as well as several novels and a handful of audio dramas for Doctor Who. If he were to come back I see him writing a heart-wrenching melodrama that ends poignantly.
I would kill to have these writers take up Season 8 or help contribute in some way. Okay, well maybe murder is a bit steep. I would just be happy to see any one of these names underneath the “Written By” credit.
How about yourselves? What Whoniverse writers would you love to see come back?