Neil Gaiman returns to 'Doctor Who'

Neil Gaiman's episode is scheduled to air in 2013 during the second half of the seventh season.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith will return for season seven of the show.

The Doctor Who season seven premiere, “Asylum of the Daleks,” elicited a mixed response from some fans and critics (read our Doctor Who season seven premiere review) – with a few of story beats that were off-putting for certain longtime viewers. However, many Whovians still enjoyed the episode and are eagerly looking forward to the remaining season seven chapters.

As we mentioned in our recent Doctor Who Viewing Guide feature, it’s a great time to get started with the series – especially considering executive producer Steven Moffat has promised that this season will be the biggest and most exciting installment in the near-50 year old show. To that point, we’ve got a number of intriguing season seven details – including the return of celebrated comic book writer, novelist, and screenwriter, Neil Gaiman, as well as several new new images and a trailer for the highly-anticipated “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” episode.

Gaiman is well known for a myriad of reasons – including The Sandman comic book series, Stardust and Coraline novels (later adapted into feature films by directors Matthew Vaughn and Henry Selick, respectively), as well as one of the most memorable episodes in Doctor Who history, ”The Doctor’s Wife” (originally titled ”The House of Nothing”) – which, paired with intriguing standalone plot points, provides canon backstory for The Doctor’s TARDIS (a time machine/spacecraft).

The episode recently won Gaiman a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in the Short Form category beating out two other Doctor Who nominees, ”The Girl Who Waited” (written by Tom MacRae) and ”A Good Man Goes to War” (written by Steven Moffat) as well as the Community episode ”Remedial Chaos Theory” (written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna) and “The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech” (from Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon).

During his acceptance speech, Gaiman took an opportunity to tease viewers with confirmation that he’s already writing a future episode of the iconic sci-fi series:

“Only a fool or a mad man would try to do it again… so I’m on the third draft.”

As for when Who (along with Gaiman) fans will get to see the episode, as well as what they might be able to expect, io9 managed to prod the famed writer into revealing that his next Doctor Who installment is scheduled for the second half of season seven (which will air in 2013). That said, much like “The Doctor’s Wife,” which was pushed from season five to season six (for a bigger budget), the next Gaiman episode is expected to be similarly expensive – and could, as the writer pointed out, be bumped into a future Who season. As a result, it may be awhile before we learn any concrete story details – plus whether or not the episode could feature a flesh and blood return of the TARDIS matrix.

Ben Kendrick blogs at Screen Rant.

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