Neil Gaiman Pens “Doctor Who” Episode

It has been a recurring rumor for months, one that has been shot down by the subject in question on more than one occasion.

Now at last it seems that acclaimed comic book and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman (“Sandman,” “Stardust,” “Coraline”) has confirmed he’ll be penning an upcoming episode of international hit British sci-fi series “Doctor Who” according to SFX Magazine.

Gaiman gave the magazine the following statement: “As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching – from behind the sofa – when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called ‘The House of Nothing’. But it definitely isn’t called that any more.”

Bleeding Cool adds to the story, claiming that Gaiman initially wrote the episode for the upcoming 2010 season, but budgetary reasons saw it bumped to next year. The show itself was revived in 2005, but undergoes a kind of ‘reboot’ this season with an entirely new production crew and cast in the wake of the previous producer (Russell T. Davies) and star (David Tennant) departing after five highly successful years.

While most of the scribes penning the different episodes this upcoming season have previously worked on the show in the last few years, acclaimed comedy writer/director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually,” “Blackadder,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary”) is guest penning an episode to air likely in May. Like Gaiman, the much beloved Stephen Fry has also been linked as a potential ‘guest writer’.

According to The Escapist, Fry was previously set to do one but had to bow out due to a scheduling conflict. Nevertheless he remains interested, especially with the show’s new star (Matt Smith) taking on the role of the titular Time Lord. Fry said last month that “I’m very happy to have had the experience of thinking about it… I look forward so much to seeing Matt Smith and I’m sure he’s going to be wonderful. If I get time it’ll be a thrill, I can’t think of anything nicer.”