5 Writers Who Should Take On… The Doctor

Jess Adducci —  March 18, 2013

The challenge is bigger on the inside. But many have become companions and gone on to become Doctor’s themselves.

Steven Moffat started as an occasional writer, bringing us breathtaking episodes like “The Empty Child” (meet Captain Jack and the creepy gas mask kids), “The Girl in the Fireplace” (which has had Who fans begging for more Sophia Myles), and “Blink” (the hallmark Weeping Angels introduction). When Matt Smith joined us as the 11th Doctor, Steven Moffat was coming on board behind the scenes as showrunner.

Now Neil Gaiman is the new occasional writer fan favorite. “The Doctor’s Wife” was one of the best and most vocally loved in Season 6. Fans are already frothing over his sophomore outing in Season 7.5, “The Last Cyberman”. So who should take a stab at the Doctor next? I have a few ideas…

Joss Whedon

Duh. Ask any American geek. This will be their number one answer. Before Joss was crowned King of Geeks in Hollywood, he was already ruling the television universe (and the webiverse for that matter). If anyone can capture the light and dark of the Doctor, it’s Joss. I mean, look at Buffy. Joss is great at treating tortured souls with a reverent levity.

Jane Espenson

Queen of the Geeks. The woman may be over-qualified. Once Upon a TimeWarehouse 13, Torchwood, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Firefly, Angel… to name a few. In all of her work, there’s this great “what if?” quality. She’d be the kind to come up with a quirky world and obstacle the Doctor and his companion would have to navigate through. And she’s great at observing character change through trials. Who knows what kind of Doctor we’d have in the end… what if…

Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Who? How do you pronounce that? I don’t know. But I do know I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of his work. Seaquest, The Pretender, Charmed, Lost, and Medium. He makes this particular list because of something he created called The Middleman. It only lasted one season, and unfortunately aired on ABC Family (wrong network for it, in my opinion). But the snappy dialogue, and specific mythic leader with newly recruited sidekick feels a lot like the Doctor/Companion dynamic. I have no doubt he’d submit a meaty, whimsical, snarky episode truly appropriate for the Doctor.

Ben Edlund

The sci-fi/fantasy world is pretty incestuous. Writers tend to work on similar genre shows all the time. So I see the same names, but they all bleed together after awhile. When I started listening to the Nerdist’s Writers Podcast, I got to know them a little better. And I LOVE Ben Edlund. The man speaks in beautiful, ironic, nerdy metaphors. He also happens to have co-written Titan AE, and been on Firefly, Venture Bros., Star Wars: Clone Wars, and some of the best episodes of Supernatural (including, “Hollywood Babylon”, “Ghostfacers”, and “Monster Movie”). He’s got a sassy (can men be sassy?) ironic wit that would lend itself perfectly to a River Song episode.

Sera Gamble

If Ben Edlund is the wit, Sera Gamble is the heart. The vast majority of her credits are for Supernatural, but her episodes make me sit up and take notice of the series. She’s excellent with heart-wrenching tragedy (“Heart”,  “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and “Bloodlust”) and genuine terror (“The Kids are Alright” and “Time is on My Side”). She’d be the writer I’d bring on board to handle those devastating Who episodes that rip your heart out and massage it at the same time. The kind that lead to new companions and regenerations…

Who would you like to see writing a one-off Doctor Who episode?

Jess Adducci

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Jess wrestles through story as a screenwriter & director. She's a sci-fi/fantasy nerd, archery champion, and big kid.

6 responses to 5 Writers Who Should Take On… The Doctor

  1. J. Michael Straczynski! His writing on Babylon 5 was brilliant

    • I’m ashamed to say I don’t know much about him. I never really watched Babylon 5 and I haven’t read any of his comic book runs. I’ll have to give him a shot. :)

  2. Jasper Fforde! Author of _The Eyre Affair_, the Nursery Crimes series, and the stand-alone _Shades of Grey_. He’s imaginative and clever and would produce a damn fine Who episode!

  3. Jim Butcher

    • I LOVE Butcher! You’re right! Maybe I should do a separate post with novelists that could send the Doctor on new adventures. :)

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  1. Holy Retweet, Batman! | jessadducci.com - April 17, 2013

    […] geeky writers I’d invite to the show if I were Steven Moffat. The blog went live yesterday. 5 Writers Who Should Take On… The Doctor. I thought I’d tweet some of the writers mentioned in the blog and let them know they made my […]

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