During Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat’s tenures as showrunners on Doctor Who, British actor and screenwriter Mark Gatiss penned 9 scripts for the sci-fi series, but now that current EP Chris Chibnall is taking advantage of an all-new writers room, we shouldn’t expect to see any of the old timers back for at least a while. Or so we thought.
Interestingly enough, Gatiss was the first guest contributor to the show after its revival in 2005. He wrote the third episode of season 1, “The Unquiet Dead,” involving Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor and Rose Tyler going back to the 19th century for a ghost thriller plot. But among these nine independent stories, perhaps those that stand out the most are “Victory of the Daleks” in season 5 and “Robot of Sherwood” in season 8, wherein the 12th Doctor and Clara pay a visit to medieval England to search for none other than the Prince of Thieves, Robin Hood.
Alas, Gatiss hasn’t had anything to do with Who since his 2017 episode, “Empress of Mars.” But apparently, the present showrunner isn’t the one who’s keeping the door shut. Quite the contrary, in fact, as the writer has just revealed in an interview that the EP asked him back almost immediately after taking over from Moffat.
“Very early on, Chris emailed me – all the new writers were announced and everything, and I sort of assumed that that was my time. But he sent me a lovely email saying, ‘you’re very much part of the family, I’d love you to [write a new episode.]'”
While Gatiss’ scripts have generally been middling, many Whovians would agree that he’s still one of the more experienced Doctor Who writers out there, especially when compared to Chibnall’s collaborators, none of whom have quite managed to stick the landing thus far with their work in seasons 11 and 12.
Hopefully, either he or Moffat will eventually decide to guest write for Doctor Who again, though we wouldn’t hold our breath for the possibility of that happening in the upcoming thirteenth season, which is currently in production and slated for release in 2021.