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Grant Morrison Plans To Replace Russell T Davies On Doctor Who

Over forty years ago, Grant Morrison wrote a few short Doctor Who comic strips for Doctor Who Magazine. They then went on to be one of the leading lights in comic book writing, including the likes of Animal Man, Arkham Asylum, The Invisibles, The Filth, Sebastian O, JLA, Batman And Robin, Batman Incorporated, All-Star Superman, New X-Men and so much more. More recently they have started writing and producing TV shows, such as Brave New World and Happy! 

Grant Morrison Plans To Replace Russell T Davies On Doctor Who
Photo of Grant Morrison by Jason Mouratides / CC 2.0

But on their Substack newsletter Xanaduum, just as Russell T Davies is returning as showrunner, Grant Morrison has started talking about returning to Doctor Who. A couple of years ago, they told TechRadar "Well, it kind of did happen. I did pitch a couple, but it didn't work out. One of these days, I've got a whole season worked out, so I'm sure it'll happen eventually."

Today, Grant Morrison posted far more details to their Substack, including their thoughts on the current era, Jodie Whitaker, Peter Calapdi, Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies, but also what happened with their pitching, and when it went down. Turns out it was just as Matt Smith was to leave, though before Peter Capaldi had been named.

"At the start of 2013, I went down to London to pitch a bunch of ideas to Steven Moffat and his team… I'd correctly guessed the new Doctor would be an older man (I speculated on some kind of cross between Pertwee and Peter Cushing oddly enough) and suggested he'd be chalking his racing thoughts on blackboards all the time…

Grant Morrison Plans To Replace Russell T Davies On Doctor Who
BBC Doctor Who screencap

"I think there were two potentially great stories out of the five or so I pitched – one was a 'timey-wimey' story designed to work as a high concept Doctor Who feature film and the other a heart-wrenchingly emotive Railway Children episode set in World War 2 – nevertheless, even after a few attempts at refining the first idea, I didn't make the grade. Having now worked at all stages of TV production, I know exactly where I went wrong in emphasising certain aspects of the story over the ones the BBC were keener for to have in foreground.

"One of my stories involved meeting the Doctor as a child, which then happened in a very different way in the episode Listen. I'd also created some new monsters they really liked so while unwilling to commission any scripts from me, the BBC did offer to buy out my baddies! As an offer, it left a lot to be desired and I'd have got more busking Oasis songs for an hour, so I declined and kept the characters in the event I ever got another shot."

"A few years ago, I befriended my personal favourite UK auteur, who also did a few Doctor Who episodes. Following many chats, we ended up with a whole fantasy season of Doctor Who adventures which can only be described as revolutionary! We have big, mad ideas for the Doctor, the Companions, the Daleks, the season arc, the TARDIS and everything else, that not only fit with canon and are blindingly obvious but have never been done before! So there does exist what I can only describe as an ultimate Doctor Who pitch, poised to materialise, awaiting the day Russell Davies tires of the Time Lord!"

Well, Grant Morrison was writer and producer on Brave New World and Happy, which is just the kind of thing the BBC like to bear in mind when making such decisions. As it stands, there is no reason why not.  And might Grant be talking about Alan Garner there, do you think? Or possibly Paul Cornell – they did praise Human Nature and Family Of Blood earlier in the Substack…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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