Neil Gaiman wrote a terrific Doctor Who episode that premiered yesterday, The Doctor’s Wife. Follow that link for more information about it, including descriptions of lost scenes and writing tips from the author. Not to mention the shocking revelation (see screen capture) of who the Doctor’s wife really is. You can also check out Neil Gaiman’s journal online.
The episode reminded me of the Drabble I wrote (republished here) called “Initial paragraphs from a draft letter to my oldest companion”.
As fans, we’ve all pondered the relationship of the Doctor and his Tardis, but it’s taken until now for Neil Gaiman’s to convey it so beautifully. As Alexander Pope put it in his Essay on Criticism: “True wit is nature to advantage dressed/What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.”
Much more prosaically, I recall another poem, one that I wrote for a fanzine called Frontier Worlds, 25 years ago. I published it because I’d heard that the BBC might change the design of the Tardis. It turned out that it was just another piece of clever press agitation by the producer of Doctor Who, John Nathan-Turner, who had included a couple of sequences in Attack of the Cybermen where the Tardis changed its exterior appearance before finally getting stuck again as a police box. But, as you can see from my poem, the prospect of such a change made my fannish heart go dumba-di-dum dumba-di-dum. I got so cross that I wrote an acrostic.
Time was/is/will be, home for twenty years
And more of fiction, fantasies and fears.
Relative values, continuity
Doctored to test a taste for novelty –
In haste! And now the binding thread of blue
Suddenly fading finally from view?
Still, when you’re editing the fanzine, you can get away with publishing that sort of thing. A bit like a blog in that respect, I suppose.