Mark Gatiss joined New Who as a member of Russell T. Davies’ Series One fanboy club, along with Paul Cornell, Steven Moffat, and Robert Shearman. A fan since childhood, Gatiss had his first publishing success with Doctor Who: a series of New Adventures novels featuring the Second, Third, and Seventh Doctors and their companions. Over the last ten years he has contributed a handful of episodes to the show, as well as a powerful piece of meta:
- ‘The Unquiet Dead’ – The Doctor offers the Gelth a second chance; Charles Dickens and Gwyneth the servant girl discover their own.
- ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ – The Doctor and Rose stand up to bullies, human and alien.
- ‘Victory of the Daleks’ – The Daleks forget who they are and need the Doctor to remind them.
- ‘Night Terrors’ – The Doctor soothes a child’s nightmares and a father’s fears.
- ‘Cold War’ – A long-frozen Ice Warrior mourns his lost world.
- ‘Crimson Horror’ – A blind, disfigured woman meets a monster and discovers her own worth.
- ‘Robot of Sherwood’ – Stories have power.
- ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ – A pair of young television professionals accidentally create something eternal.
The episodes employ the full range of Doctor Who traditions: classic monsters, famous people from history, everyday things like dolls and televisions becoming objects of terror. They expose the strengths of ordinary people, and the potential for good in everyone. Some of them, like ‘An Adventure in Space and Time,’ demonstrate amazing storytelling. Others, like ‘Victory of the Daleks,’ are weaker, but not without merit. Strangely, all except for ‘Night Terrors’ are period pieces; perhaps, for Gatiss, the future still lies ahead?
I look forward to his contribution to S9.