Exclusive: Peter Harness on which classic ‘Doctor Who’ monsters he wants to return

Doctor Who writer Peter Harness has revealed which classic monsters he’d like to bring back in a future story.

The Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell writer has penned a two-part story for the new season of Doctor Who, featuring the return of the Zygons.

Speaking exclusively to CultBox to promote the release of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on DVD and Blu-ray, Harness told us: “I’d love to do something with the Mara and/or the Krynoids.”

images_620x220_D_DoctorWho_Classic_Monsters_the mara

He also teased: “And I have an idea for bringing something/one else back which I’m not going to tell you in case I’m allowed to. Cause I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.”

The Wallander writer added: “And Meglos, of course. He/she/it is long overdue a comeback. Meglos the floppy cactus.”

Doctor Who Tom Baker Fourth Meglos

> Read our full interview with Peter Harness.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

> Order the DVD on Amazon.

> Order the Blu-ray on Amazon.

Jonathan Strange DVD

Season 9 has been filming in Cardiff since January and will begin on BBC One in September.

> Here’s everything we know about Season 9 so far.

Which classic Doctor Who monsters would like to return? Let us know below…

  • Dr. Moo

    Am I the only one who is nervous about having this guy back for more Doctor Who? I’m sure he’s capable of writing something good but Kill the Moon was so awful that I’m genuinely worried for the show if he continues to be involved. Here’s hoping his series nine effort redeems him.

    • Intothevervoid

      C’mon, Kill the Moon only really had that silly central idea about the egg and the rest was quite good. Don’t forget that Moffat greenlights the storylines and in many cases also co-authors and works on scripts with the main writer. Blame Moffat if anything as he would have come up with the overall concept and should have perhaps stepped in or at least queries the central conceit. The rest of the episode is great and creepily effective. And of course the final scenes on the beach are simply gorgeous. Give me writers with ambition and vision, rather than boring by-the-numbers Chibnall or Davies types. As this series is under the tight control of Moffat as part of the huge story arc, I am certain he’ll carefully vet Harness’ script to ensure that it matches the rest of the series in terms of tone and quality.
      Strange and Norrell was exceptionally well written I thought, so that alone gives me great hope.
      Bottom line is that it is great that Moffat is bringing in lots of new talent. Just look at Jamie Mathieson last year who I thought actually wrote better episodes than Moffat himself and before that, we had Neil bleedin’ Gaiman. I applaud him for opening up the writing to people outside the Who club.

      • Edward Delingford

        Agree. This was a thousand times more interesting and inventive, albeit a little daft, compared to anything from a hack like Chibbers.

        • Intothevervoid

          Personally, I worry more about using the old Who gang too much. Chibnall is simply dull. He obviously hasn’t improved when you see what a pig’s ear he made of the sequel to Broadchurch. If you can make actors like Olivia Colman, James D’Arcy, Arthur Darvill and Charlotte Rampling look bad, it’s certainly a rare skill! I also have a few problems with Gatiss. When he’s good – The Quiet Undead, Crimson Horror, he’s very good, when he’s bad – Idiot’s Lantern, Victory of the Daleks, he’s very bad and the rest of the time, he’s just meh. I very much approve of Moffat spreading out the writing honours much more widely but hope we do get some returns. I’d love to see more Whithouse (I’ve liked all of his except the massively over-rated School Reunion) as his recent spy series was really top grade and another go by Gaiman but this time without interference (Nightmare in Silver is just about redeemable due to the excellent performances by Smith and Davis but underneath the rewritten stuff, there’s a fantastic could-have-been episode).
          Mathieson was simply excellent last series and I really look forward to his return and I am also keen to see how the new girls and boys acquit themselves.

          • Dr. Moo

            I’m surprised that they keep getting Mark Gatiss back year after year due to relatively low success rate.
            Toby Whithouse has never failed me once (except how Rose was portrayed in School Reunion).
            Chris Chibnall is the embarrassing uncle of the Who family that you invite along but secretly hope he’ll be too busy elsewhere.
            Peter Harness was disappointing. Frank Cotrell-Boyce even more so.
            Jamie Matheison was the true star of series eight and I’m seeing future showrunner written all over him.
            I’d like a return for Neil Gaiman, I think he’d find something very interesting to do with Doctor no. 12 that he couldn’t with 11.
            The newcomers for series nine Catherine Tregenna and Sarah Dollard are looking to be very exciting additions.
            Two writers that have never failed are Tom McCrae and Paul Cornell. If it were up to me I’d be asking them to write more stuff in future seasons.

          • Intothevervoid

            Gatiss comes with the territory and Moffat seems to be very loyal . I really like his Victorian pastiche and thoroughly enjoyed the Dickens episode and the penny dreadful with the trouble at mill. Didn’t hate Sherwood, just thought it dull and Capaldi didn’t look comfortable with slapstick in the same way that Smith was an absolute master. After the Godawful mess that was Broadchurch, I wonder if anyone would ever hire Chris Chibnall again (I think the demolishment of the
            show by the Daily Mail is the only time I have ever agreed with anything they have ever written). Not so sure about Cornell. I find Father’s Day over rated and like School Reunion, often viewed through uncritical soft focus because Cornell can write a few good weepy bits (see also the slightly unsatisfactory Human Nature). I think Cornell wouldn’t be a good match for the more cerebral 12. Macrae would be good – Girl Who Waited is a masterpiece but the cyberman two parter felt to me like it had Davies’ big fat fingerprints all over it.

            My money is still on Harness writing a cracker as the proof is in his wider work and there is just so much good stuff in Kill the Moon.

            My only real dud last year was The Caretaker. Never been a Roberts fan and I think he only writes well for Smith’s doctor. The entire enterprise felt flat for me, although I did like the Pink Floyd nod.

          • Dr. Moo

            Broadchurch was a case of lightning in a bottle. Series one is still some of the best TV drama I’ve seen which only serves to emphasise how terrible series two was.

          • Intothevervoid

            Broadchurch number one was enjoyable but doesn’t hold a candle to any of the Scandi-noir which informed it. Broadchurch two was simply lazily written and acted dreck. What a waste of Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. I never finished watching it to the end and sort of hope there was a major landslip from those cliffs taking away most of the town’s inhabitants and the unintelligible David Tennant with it!. Well at least the actors had a nice summer holiday on the beach filming it. Still, Olivia Colman remained good and our own boy, Arthur Darvill also acquitted himself well again (thought those two + David Bradley were the best things about the first one too. Although Tennant let the side down, good to see the other Who alumni did the show proud!).

      • Dr. Moo

        Okay, you’ve made me stop worrying so much now. It’s just not an episode I enjoyed in any way except the last few minutes and it singlehandedly put my off that writer. Let’s see if he redeems himself.

      • Galax

        “””Blame Moffat if anything as he would have come up with the overall concept and should have perhaps stepped in or at least queries the central conceit.”””

        Nope, Harness came with several ideas, one of his favourites was that moon egg thing, and Moffat approved it.
        Don’t blame Moffat for everything other writers do. He’s only showrunner.


  • karl speller

    Bring back Sil the Mentor from Thoros Beta! He was brilliant, dark, comic and I am sure the new fans would take to him as played wonderfully by Nabil Shaban. I am sure he would have a settle or two to score with the Doctor by now!

  • shelley greenaway

    meh, i want to see omega return!! it would be cool to have him be able to possess the bodies of other people!!