Neil Gaiman: ‘Doctor Who’ ep is ‘scary and exciting and heartbreaking’

Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman has described writing for Doctor Who as “probably the nearest to being God that I have ever been or will ever get”.

Gaiman’s Doctor Who story, set to air as Episode 4 when the show returns for Series 6 later this month, stars Suranne Jones (Coronation Street) as Idris, Elizabeth Berrington (Waterloo Road) as Auntie and Adrian Schiller (Being Human) as Uncle, with the voice of Michael Sheen (Tron Legacy) as The House.

Speaking to Newsarama at WonderCon in San Francisco, Gaiman revealed: “I was very determined that if I was going to write an episode of Doctor Who, it was going to have everything in it.”

He continued: “So it’s funny and it’s scary and it’s exciting and it’s heartbreaking and it has running down corridors and there are places where I kind of hope that it may add to the giant Doctor Who mythos because you always want to leave something nice behind you. But really what it is is just, you know, somebody who’s just always wanted to write an episode of Doctor Who, just writing an episode of Doctor Who and being indulged by the BBC in this folly.”

The episode’s title, which contains a major spoiler, was announced last week.

Gaiman recalled the experience of writing for the show: “Getting to write a Doctor Who episode, for me anyway, was probably the nearest to being God that I have ever been or will ever get. I remember a similar feeling of megalomaniac power for about fifteen minutes in 1988 when I got to write my first Batman line. I got to bring on Batman and write dialogue for Batman and, I’m making Batman talk. But making Batman talk does not actually compare to the feeling of glorious power you get the moment you type, ‘Interior TARDIS’.”

The author added: “This was my first opportunity to write Doctor Who, it very well may be the only opportunity I ever get because there are too many things in this life that I have to write and there’s not enough time to write them all before I don’t get to write anymore.”