Since writing for Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss created Sherlock and acted on Game of Thrones. And a return to the show that started it all is in the cards.
Mark Gatiss has written nine episodes of Doctor Who, including classics like “The Idiots’ Lantern” and “Cold War.” (He also co-created and acted in the BBC’s Sherlock, not to mention playing Iron Banker Tycho Nestoris in Game of Thrones.) His connection to Doctor Who goes back a long way, when he published his first book, Nightshade, as part of the franchise’s New Adventures line of novels. However, Gatiss hasn’t contributed to Doctor Who since writing 2017’s “Empress of Mars.” But might that be about to change?
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Gatiss revealed that current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has left the door open for him to continue writing for the show, and while he doesn’t have “millions” of ideas, many of the concepts he comes up with are “something very particular” that could only be “a Doctor Who idea.”
Very early on, Chris emailed me – all the new writers were announced and everything, and I sort of assumed that that was my time [over]. But he sent me a lovely email saying ‘you’re very much part of the family, I’d love you to [write a new episode]’
Despite not actively working on any new scripts for the series, Gatiss continues to be involved in the wider Doctor Who universe: he write a short story for last year’s Adventures in Lockdown published for the BBC’s Children in Need, an annual charity telethon. Gatiss even believes the story may work on-screen, “because [the Doctor’s granddaughter] Susan comes back!”
A Childhood Dream Fulfilled
This month, Gatiss also achieved one of his lifelong ambitions with the publication of The Crimson Horror for the legendary Target book range, a novelization of his own 2013 Doctor Who episode starring Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. Published between 1973 and 1991, the original Target range has a special place in the hearts of many fans, as it’s the primary way to relive many unseen Doctor Who adventures in the days before VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray.
With his inner childhood fan shining through, Gatiss describes the new book as “amazing,” marveling at how much “it looks like [a classic Target novel]!”
I remember when the show came back, thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be nice…?’ but it felt a world away. But nowadays, it feels eminently feasible that you could continue your long postponed collection after all these years. I’m going to dig mine out of the loft so I can start putting them together again!
While Gatiss may not have written for the show in a while, he’ll always have a place in the fandom. And as he approaches his own personal 30-year milestone with Doctor Who, it seems that a return to the show may yet be on the cards.
Until then, The Crimson Horror is available to buy from Amazon and all other good book stores, alongside many other fantastic entries in the Target range by the likes of Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies and Robert Shearman.