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Bookmark and Share Neil Gaiman discusses securing women writers for Doctor Who

10/23/2014 10:46:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Reported by Nathan Brown
Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman has indicated that recruiting women writers is “a priority” for people working on the show.

The Who script editors and producers he has worked with on a direct basis - most of them women - have been giving much attention to bringing onboard female writers, he said.

Posting on Tumblr in response to a question from site user lenyberry, Gaiman also added:
They’ve reached out to a lot of women writers — I know that Steven Moffat has personally been in touch with a lot of female writers and been defeated over and over by scheduling problems, and people saying no […]. It’s a priority for them too.
As well as suggesting that Moffat has found these set-backs frustrating, Gaiman said that Who certainly needs "some women writing for it."

Both lenyberry’s query and Gaiman’s answer make reference to another question the writer tackled on Tumblr this month.

When guyplayfair asked which Who writer Gaiman would hug, the author quipped that he wanted to hug every woman that has written for the series this side of 2008 - a number that, as he noted, is zero (at least as far as TV episodes are concerned).

“That can’t be right... (goes off, puzzled),” he added.

The response, Gaiman said in his more recent post, “was mostly wistful” and wasn’t meant to be the attack on the programme’s makers he has seen it read as.

To contextualise his comments it’s worth noting that since 2005 only four TV Who episodes out of more than 100 have been written by a woman.

Helen Raynor penned 2007 adventure Daleks in Manhattan/ Evolution of the Daleks and followed this up in 2008 with The Sontaran Stratagem/ The Poison Sky.

Between Rose (2005) and last week’s Flatline, 23 different writers have had television episodes credited to them, meaning only around four per cent of these have not been men.

Gaiman, a well known writer across several mediums from graphic novels to long-form fiction, has authored TV Who twice, with The Doctor’s Wife (2011) and Nightmare in Silver (2013). Last year, he also released Eleventh Doctor short story Eleven O’Clock.

His most recent novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was named Book of the Year at the 2013 National Book Awards in Britain.