Gareth Roberts (Various)

Here are a few quotes from Gareth Roberts, one of the New Adventures authors who ended up writing for the series upon its return. Some are taken from a great, andfairly  long, interview here.

On The New Adventures

I quite like the idea of the Seventh Doctor. I remember being hugely excited by Remembrance of the Daleks, but the idea of the cosmic manipulator is a hell of a pig of a notion to sustain effectively, and was showing signs of strain in 1989.

On Doctor Who returning to TV (quoted years before it happened)

I’m not sure if it should. If it does, I’d like to see the fans alienated and the general public wildly acclamatory.

On The Shakespeare Code

Russell T. Davies just said ‘Shakespeare’. At that point it was all open, and we thought about it and discussed the possibilities. One of my first ideas was to use the lost play Love’s Labours Won. It’s nice if you can tag a little real-life mystery to the historical character you’re using.

There are very few references (for Shakespeare’s character), and trying to extrapolate from them could lead you down all sorts of weird alleys. So what we thought was fun was to make him a kind of celebrity.

On The Unicorn and the Wasp

Agatha Christie’s a brilliant writer, very good at character. And brilliantly simple prose. Anyone can write simple prose, but to write simple prose that’s gripping is very difficult.

We couldn’t decide initially whether Christie should be young or old. When someone says ‘Agatha Christie’ to you, you immediately think of an elderly lady, but her disappearance was just too tempting, so it’s set firmly during the time of that disappearance.

We don’t see posh people on television much any more, except at Christmas, and it’s kind of odd to be writing a Doctor Who where people are talkin in cut-glass accents.

When I saw the finished episode, I was quite taken aback by how different it was in some regards. Because of the genre, little things hae a lot of emphasis in whodunnits, and little things never have any emphasis in Doctor Who – nobody ever says ‘Your hair looks nice’ or ‘Ooh, what’s in your handbag?’. In Doctor Who, when somebody speaks, it has to be significant or relevant; there’s never any slack. The murder mystery plays by different rules. I think this will intrique people, because it’s different.

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