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back to article Doctor Who writers Neil Gaiman and Terrance Dicks talk to The Reg

Two writers stand at opposite ends of the Doctor Who anniversary - cult graphic novelist and author Neil Gaiman and veteran TV man Terrance Dicks. Gaiman contributed two pieces to Doctor Who. One is the tale that personified the TARDIS as a woman named Idris, lending flesh to the love of the Doctor's life and articulating an …

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A single story?

What about "Nightmare in Silver"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A single story?

It was a nightmare; well, not a nightmare but not as good as some think it was. Proves you can't always reuse a writer based on the previous episode they did.

One thing they have the luxury of these days is more time to produce a story. On the other the script editor oversight seems to have been lost with the amalgamation of producer and head writer into the showrunner. In the classic period it gave an oversight and also for a decent idea poorly written up to be turned into a good story. It also meant there was a script writer on staff if a script fell through, or there was a production issue.

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Alien

And his biggest writing influence is...

... L Ron Hoover of the First Church of Appliantology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And his biggest writing influence is...

If you remove Scientology from his bio then L. Ron has quire a few fans just for his SF writing.

Some of it is indeed utter shite but some is IMHO pretty decent of the time.

I admire the man for getting on an old Motorcycle in 1946 and taking off round war torn Europe with a camera. Some of those photographs are (again IMHO) beautiful.

L. Ron came from an era when people tried many things in life. If they'd fail at one they'd try another.

Sadly I do think that Scientology is not what he intended it to be. A way of life yes but not a religion.

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Re: @Mahat And his biggest writing influence is...

Downvoted for not checking your facts - he broke with them years ago.

Plus on his worst day he's a better writer than Hubbard ever was.

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FAIL

Re: @Mahat And his biggest writing influence is...

Downvoted for not checking your facts - he broke with them years ago.

Sense of humour failure?

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"Sadly I do think that Scientology is not what he intended it to be."

Scientology is exactly what Hubbard intended it to be. Or did you forget that he is the person who said the fastest way to make a million dollars is to found a religion?

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Re: @Mahat And his biggest writing influence is...

Downvoted for not checking your facts - he broke with them years ago.

He says he's no longer a member of "the church". This doesn't contradict the fact that $cientology is Gaiman's biggest influence. The young Gaiman was a model $cientologist:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/07/scientology_neil_gaiman_bbc_1968.php

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Re: @Mahat And his biggest writing influence is...

"The young Gaiman was a model $cientologist:"

Yes, let's all judge people on what they said as 7-year olds, 45 years ago.

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If you love someone...

..then you have to accept their faults along with their talents.

Dr Who is the same. Its never perfect, but we love it.

(Same with Star Trek , for each 'City on the edge of forever' you get a couple of 'Spock's brain's);

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TARDIS navigation

"Going where/when you needed to be, not necessarily where you wanted to go" was pretty much assumed (if not explicitly stated - though I *think* 5 said this once). It was certainly reused by Douglas Adams for Dirk Gently's "zen navigation" principle.

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Am I the only one

who didn't think much of The Doctor's Wife? The TARDIS being alive and having a mind of its own is a given, but I didn't need to see it turn into a person and have it and The Doctor express their love for each other. It's bad enough having all his companions fall in love with him, we don't need it from the bloody police box, too!

Here's hoping that Capaldi's Doctor can be more grandfatherly, and less teenage heart-throb.

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Re: Am I the only one

I didn't like it much either. For a worrying time it also seemed like every Doctor Who fan posting on the internet was going to refer to the TARDIS as "Sexy" from then on, although thankfully that hasn't persisted. It was almost as bad as all the people who insist on constantly using the phrase "timey-wimey".

But I'm just a curmudgeonly bastard who grew up on '80s JNT Who and doesn't like Doctors being all shouty and flirting with companions...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I the only one

... I think as one episode out of very very many, it works really rather well. If it were happening every series or so, I agree it would be dreadful.

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Zot
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Re: Am I the only one

The timey-wimey thing was taken the piss out of in the 50th anniversary episode, as well as the childish behaviour of the last two Dr.'s. Plus their use of the screwdriver thing for everything. Hopefully the generation extracted from the first Doctor (again?) will be far more of a scientist than those two cartoon twits.

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TRT
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Re: Am I the only one

That was excellent... finding a bizarre and intricate way of using the sonic to get them out of an unlocked prison cell... :D

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Anonymous Coward

Gaiman Dicks

Admit it, Reg, you were just childishly amused by this combination of names.

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Anonymous Coward

Growing up I must have read every Dr Who book Terrance Dicks wrote! For me the books were better than TV because my imagination was in there too! Good times.

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I wonder if he's said this to her?

"rather than try to do it on not enough money, and in a hurry, they .. gave it lots of money. So we actually got to do it properly"

A lesson for the 'I'm touring, anyone want to be in my backing band for no payment?' wife there, methinks.

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ISP

Re: I wonder if he's said this to her?

'I'm touring, anyone want to be in my backing band for no payment?'

For most bands that's pretty much true for everyone in it.

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Re: I wonder if he's said this to her?

For support bands, yes. But the members are not discarded after a night by someone being paid thousands.

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The 80s

I have to agree with the steady decline in the 80s. I think Peter Davison was capable of much better than the scripts they gave him, and by the time Colin Baker came along, I was right on the edge of giving up on Dr Who. Then he picked up a gun and shot a cyberman and I decided that was it - a proper script would have had him get out of that without needing to shoot.

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the 1996 movie

I'm sorry, but it was better than anything that came after it.

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I just wish they did proper long story arc's when it is needed. You can do much more useful things over say 13 hours than trying to start again each time.

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TRT
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I have to agree with Terrance.

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