"What Russell did that was so brilliant was make the companion our way into the story. And the companion was Rose." -Neil Gaiman, The Doctors Revisited - The Ninth Doctor
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The stretch of time between the announcement of a retiring Doctor Who actor and that of their replacement is a fevered one indeed. Every possible human entertainer with a face is examined by fans as a potential new Time Lord, then given the imaginary walkaround and twirlabout in a fanciful frock coat, and set to virtually run down a make-believe metal corridor to see if they leave the right kind of Gallifreyan chaos in their wake.
That’s what the past week has been like. Some truly bizarre names have already been thrown out there, including Tom Cruise and Simon Cowell. Then, over the weekend, two rumors erupted over the internet, the first claiming it was a three-way tie between Domhnall Gleeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Dominic Cooper, the second claiming Rory Kinnear had definitely got the job.
Samuel West threw his hat into the ring, claiming he had always wanted to play the Doctor, “and Hamlet. And I’ve done Hamlet.”
Radio Times had a poll, which Colin Morgan won.
And Neil Gaiman has expressed a wish that the next Doctor should not be an actor we’re already familiar with.
Meanwhile, Steven Moffat is quoted in the Radio Times as saying, “I haven’t a clue who it is, we’ve barely started.”
Read on for more.
Neil Gaiman and Arthur Darvill, backstage at Once the Musical
Doctor Who has never pretended to be hard science fiction … At best Doctor Who is a fairytale, with fairytale logic about this wonderful man in this big blue box who at the beginning of every story lands somewhere where there is a problem. - neil gaiman
Arthur Darvill and Neil Gaiman on Twitter
"The original companion was going to be very much the Victorian governess we saw at Christmas," Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman told Radio Times, while discussing the genesis of his most recent story, Cybermen vehicle Nightmare in Silver.
“Doctor Who has its own peculiar way of being written, so I started writing it about 14 months ago. I wrote about the first ten pages and then they said they’d changed the companion from what I was expecting to something else.
"We decided they can do more weird stuff if it’s now the contemporary third incarnation so I had to reshape it so it wasn’t the governess."
Behind the scenes of Nightmare in Silver with Matt Smith, Neil Gaiman, Steven Moffat, and Jenna-Louise Coleman. Narrated by Richard Bacon.
Matt Smith and Neil Gaiman, the episode’s writer, introduce Nightmare in Silver.