As part of an interesting Twitter chat that saw people choosing their favourite Doctor Who episodes from each series of the revived show yesterday, Gareth Roberts – who’s written a fair few of the choices that came up – dropped in some information on a particular episode that he put together, that never made it to the show.
And it goes right the way back to Steven Moffat’s first series overseeing Doctor Who, series 5, that was also Matt Smith’s maiden run in the role.
As it stands, The Lodger was Roberts’ contribution to Doctor Who series 5, but it wasn’t originally planned this way. Originally, he was also working on a story called Death To The Doctor. And it sounds really something, too.
The episode was scripted, and as per Roberts’ Twitter account, it would have panned out as follows:
Holiday planet like Vegas in middle of huge star war. Totally peaceful, law rigorously enforced. Dr gets arrested for minor offence, sentenced to fight giant Cyclops. Cyclops CG was designed!
— Gareth Roberts (@OldRoberts953) January 16, 2018
This would have been, Roberts revealed, the seventh episode of Doctor Who series 5, with Neil Gaiman’s The Doctor’s Wife originally scheduled to be episode 11.
As it happened, though, budgets got in the way. The Doctor’s Wife was moved back to series 6, and Death To The Doctor was ultimately shelved. Simon Nye’s acclaimed, far more economical Amy’s Choice was brought in for series 5 to take the episode 7 slot. The Lodger slotted in where The Doctor’s Wife was supposed to go, and Roberts would move on to work on Closing Time for series 6…