2MTL 404: Series 9 in Review (Part Two with The Writers' Room)

Thanks to the holidays, this huge Time Dilation edition of the podcast was almost literally 404. Thanks so much to Kyle Anderson and Erik Stadnik of Doctor Who: The Writers' Room for joining me for an in-depth (believe me, once they get wound up about "Sleep No More"…) examination of Series 9.

This podcast was recorded before "The Husbands of River Song" aired, about which more next time.

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  1. Only just got onto this episode and absolutely loved it. A lot of the thoughts were ones I agreed with but a couple of bits for further thought as well.

    The reason I wanted to write in is Sleep No More. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to defend the episode – I agreed with everything that was said and then some. I'm going to make a case for defending Mark Gatiss.

    I was lucky enough to attend the Doctor Who Festival on the Saturday that Sleep No More aired. There was a writers panel each day with a different writer from series 9 and we had Sarah Dollard. She was a delight and, not being so used to the secrecy of the BBC, quite open. This also forced Steven Moffat to run with it a bit when she did.

    As a result of this we discovered that Face the Raven was originally scheduled to have aired much earlier in series 9. Moffat thought that a "major event" and "another big character" suited this story better so the placing of the story and, quite late in the day, those major changes were made. Nothing was stated conclusively but the overriding opinion in the room was that Face the Raven had been given the return of Me and the death of Clara. We were proved right.

    If this is correct then it means that the death of Clara and possibly the appearance of Me were removed from another story, which was also moved to another place in the order of the series and all at short notice.

    I think that the changes were to Sleep No More and are a result of why it was a bit disjointed and didn't quite connect to the rest of the series – it was substantially re-written at very short notice and with its major plot development removed. Doesn't it feel like the episode wanted Clara to die after the Doctor sees the dust in her eye? That point was never satisfactorially resolved.

    Anyway, still a bad episode but perhaps not wholly the writers fault.



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