Doctor Who is enlisting the help of Sherlock writer Steve Thompson once again – and the “Curse of the Black Spot” writer has revealed new information about his 2013 effort.
For the last few months, rumours of an episode focused on the inner-working of the TARDIS have been rife, and it appears those rumours were indeed correct. Speaking in issue #454 of Doctor Who Magazine (in shops throughout Britain today), Thompson confirmed his next Doctor Who episode will be titled “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.”
The idea first came from Who showrunner and Thompson’s Sherlock co-writer Steven Moffat. Said Thompson: “My first meeting was last October. I went along with a pocketful of dream-episodes. (Still trying to work out a way to shoehorn the Krynoids in. Might yet happen.) This initial meeting is fairly predictable. Before I even open my mouth and pitch to the room, Steven goes ‘I want you to do x.’ And his idea is so wonderful, and so much more clever and interesting than anything mere mortals like myself could come up with, you end up saying ‘Yes’ and the meeting’s over in record time. Or at least the same time it took last year. And so it was. ‘Would you do one where we see the centre of the TARDIS?’ ‘Er, yeah. Okay.’ Conversation took nine seconds. And then I’m chained to a laptop on and off for the next six months, basically.”
“The Curse of the Black Spot” was one of the most criticized episodes of series 6, with many feeling it descended to cheap gimmicks and an unconvincing plot. But the writer who was also behind this year’s Sherlock finale “The Reichenbach Fall” explained the tone of the rip-roaring pirate adventure. “My brief from Steven was very different – he said a lot of the [Series 6] episodes were dark and complex, and he needed me to write something light. This year got to indulge my inner fan. (And I got to ask my kids what rooms in the TARDIS they’ve always wanted to find.)”
He also says, “This episode will be different in many ways, not least because the star won’t necessarily be the usual person. You might not even see the star, it might be the guy at the drawing board. It just might be the designer…”
It seems that “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” could be series 7’s ‘Doctor-lite’ episode – an annual tradition created to help with the show’s tight filming schedules. First executed in series 2’s “Love and Monsters,” the format has since brought fan-favourite classics like “Blink” and “The Girl Who Waited.” Of particular note is the idea of the main character being the designer of the TARDIS – suggesting a glimpse into the Doctor’s history that goes further than we’ve ever seen before.