Diana Gabaldon of Outlander fame has been tapped to write a Doctor Who episode. The writer of a time travelling nurse will now be writing about a time travelling alien.
As many fans of Outlander realize, Jamie Fraser’s origins are the direct result of a Doctor Who character. Gabaldon explains the spark of inspiration on her website: “I happened to see a Doctor Who rerun in a weak-minded moment, and was taken by a minor character—a young Scotsman from 1745, who appeared in his kilt. ‘Well, that’s fetching,’ I said. ‘Yeah, why not? Scotland, eighteenth century.’ So that’s where I began, knowing nothing about Scotland or the eighteenth century, with no plot, no outline, no characters—nothing but the rather vague images conjured up by a man in a kilt (which is, of course, a very powerful and compelling image).”
Gabaldon has also had other Doctor Who inspirations in her Lord John novellas. In one novella, she mentions an officer named Lethbridge-Stewart in homage to the Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. “The Brig,” as Doctor Who fans know, was a companion to many of the Doctors. He made his last appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Flash forward to the present, and it turns out that Gabaldon’s Whovian love came to the notice of Scottish Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. Moffat remarked in an exclusive statement to Hypable, “Outlander is immensely popular. It’s put Scotland on the map as a place to film. Of course, us Scots have known that all along, but now the rest of the universe is catching on.”
The outgoing Doctor Who showrunner continued, “We ordered up some Haggis and a dram (or six) of Talisker, and before you knew it, Bob’s your uncle. We had a deal. I mean frankly after the fourth Talisker I’d have agreed to about anything. I had to ring up Mark [Gatiss] to make sure I hadn’t sold our Sherlock rights away as Diana is quite a fan of that show too.”
Moffat hinted that Gabaldon might be resurrecting the character of Jamie McCrimmon or one of his descendants. “Let’s not forget that the madman in the box’s box is a time machine. There’s no reason why this Doctor couldn’t visit Jamie’s time period again. Peter Capaldi certainly has the accent for it.”
In case you’re more of a new Whovian, here’s what the TARDIS Wiki had to say about Jamie:
Jamie travelled in the TARDIS for most of the Doctor’s second incarnation. His journeys through time and space began not long after the Doctor’s first regeneration (TV: The Tenth Planet) and continued until the Time Lords sentenced the Doctor to exile on Earth. Jamie was returned to 18th century Scotland by the Time Lords, with the memory of all but his first adventure with the Doctor erased.
This will be the first time an American woman has written for the show. As for her plans, Gabaldon stated with a wink, “Dinna fash, me laddies and lassies, kilts, lots and lots of kilts! I don’t know why they haven’t have Peter Capaldi in a kilt before now. The man’s from Glasgow, it’s practically a bloody requirement.”
Gabaldon continued with just how she will add her own touch to the series, “I’m also rather thinking that the TARDIS landing in the middle of standing stones has possibilities. I worked with Frazer Hines last year on Outlander. He is practically a Scottish national treasure. He certainly could play an older version of Jamie. He’s still got the legs for it, and looking fetching in a kilt is an absolute requirement. It’s part of my contract. I have leg and kilt approval.”
What do you think about Gabaldon as a ‘Doctor Who’ writer?
Related: Why Outlander is must-watch TV for men and women
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