Doctor Who Rejected Stephen King’s Son Because He’s American


With the worst ratings in years plaguing the show’s overnight figures and fans criticizing showrunner Chris Chibnall’s take on the series, the BBC’s Doctor Who is currently in a bad spot.

The long-running sci-fi program came back this year with Jodie Whittaker’s second run as the first female Doctor. But in spite of an overhaul in the show’s production values and many unexpected twists in the narrative, fans are not happy with how Chibnall is handling things. While some criticize this season for suddenly becoming too politically charged, many just don’t appreciate the new stories and their resolutions.

Suffice it to say, if this negative backlash continues to grow, Chibnall’s tenure as the executive producer will be short-lived. Though considering the fact that he doesn’t care about reviews, and Jodie already confirming she’ll return for another season, the BBC might decide to not intervene after all.

As if these weren’t enough to infuriate fans though, we’ve recently learned that the network has rejected Joe Hill’s pitches for the series in an insulting manner. Appearing on The Horror Show podcast from Brian Keene alongside Christopher Golden, Stephen King’s son talked about his experience with the BBC and how they rejected his ideas simply because he’s an American.

When Keene asked the two if there was anything that they’d wish to tackle in the future, Hill mentioned that he’s a huge Doctor Who fan and talked about the one time he decided to send his pitches to the BBC.

“So…I’m a huge Doctor Who geek,” He said. “Watching Doctor Who…watching the David Tennant Doctor Who with my boys was a really happy part of their childhood, and of me being a dad. And I had some ideas for Doctor Who, and I really wanted to write for that show. And my screen agent got me a chance to pitch on it. So, I spent a month and a half working on three pitches, and man, I have never imagined harder in my whole life.

I mean, I just worked so hard on these things. And by chance, I actually wound up spending a weekend with Neil Gaiman. We were in the same place at the same time, and hanging out a lot, and he actually edited my pitches. He actually went through the pitches and was like, ‘Yes do this. Don’t do that. This is a good idea. Hate this idea.’ You know? And I’m like, you couldn’t ask for a better editor!”

The fact that Neil Gaiman, who himself was once a writer on Doctor Who, reviewed these ideas is as heartwarming as it’s exciting. Though Joe explained that his fantasy was transient since he didn’t get the response that he was looking for, saying:

“And so I, you know, with trepidation and my heart in my mouth, I sent in my pitches, and a couple weeks passed, and I got…the email I got back said, ‘We have never let an American write Doctor Who, and if we were going to, we wouldn’t start with you.'”

Doctor Who

Of course, the BBC has never had any problems hiring American actors or crew members to produce Doctor Who before, so this rude and impertinent response is strange, to say the least.

Imagine the nerve to address Stephen King’s son in that manner, which is not only unprofessional but also unbecoming for a globally-recognized network such as the BBC. Obviously, though, there might be more to the story, so until something else comes up, we won’t be able to get to the bottom of this matter.