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RealWorld

Mark Gatiss (born 17 October 1966, in Sedgefield, Durham, England, UK), once credited as Sam Kisgart and also Rondo Haxton[1], has been a major creative force in the production of Doctor Who fiction since the 1990s. Given his accomplishments as a Doctor Who author, screenwriter, audio writer, audio actor, screen actor, documentary narrator, and documentary subject, no other individual truly comes close to Gatiss in terms of the breadth of his contributions to the Doctor Who franchise.

Televised Doctor Who

In terms of televised Doctor Who, Gatiss has contributed four scripts to the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who, made four guest appearances, and been a narrator and a subject of Doctor Who Confidential. Although other writers had enjoyed small roles in the 1963 version of Doctor Who, he was the first to have a large speaking role — much less a part the size of Professor Richard Lazarus, the titular villain of The Lazarus Experiment. Later that year, the Richard Lazarus prosthetic was used in Voyage of the Damned to stand in for the actor playing Max Capricorn in some long shots. In a sense, then, Gatiss was an indirect, on-screen "double" for Capricorn. (PCOM: Voyage of the Damned)

He later returned to make two brief, uncredited appearances during the Matt Smith era as a Spitfire Pilot in Victory of the Daleks and A Good Man Goes to War. He then made credited return to the programme as Gantok in The Wedding of River Song. As of series 5's Victory of the Daleks, Gatiss became the only person to have written and starred in the same episode of Doctor Who, and he claimed that it also made him "the first and only person so far to write for the series and be in it twice". [2]

This episode also gave Gatiss the opportunity to write for his seventh different televised Doctor. This surpasses the number of different televised Doctors for whom Paul Cornell has written (but they are on level ground if the Shalka Doctor is counted). Both writers are, however, behind Terrance Dicks, who has written original stories for eight different televised Doctors — and has written for nine different Doctors, if one counts Target novelisations.

With his role in this episode, Gatiss also achieved something of another Doctor Who record. As of June 2012, he has acted with nine of the eleven actors to have played the Doctor, though not always when that actor was playing the Doctor. Matt Smith was the sixth different Doctor he had encountered in a piece of performed Doctor Who.[3]

Doctor Who work in other media

Outside the programme proper, he has written various officially licensed novels, televised spoofs and audio plays, and has sometimes lent his voice to Big Finish Productions. Counting BBC-made spoofs and these audios, he is alone with Sir Derek Jacobi in having played both the Doctor and the Master.

Work with Doctor Who personnel outside of the programme

Gatiss also has significant relationships with Doctor Who luminaries that extend beyond the programme itself.

For instance, he is a frequent collaborator with Steven Moffat, with whom he created and produced Sherlock, a TV series (into which he starred as Mycroft Holmes) that was in production at BBC Wales at the same time as Moffat's first series as head writer of Doctor Who. He also played Robert Louis Stevenson in Moffat's Jekyll.

He has had some form of professional or semi-professional contact with every actor to have played the Doctor except William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. David Tennant is his most common acting partner amongst people who've played the Doctor. They've been on screen together on several occasions — most prominently in The Quatermass Experiment and the episode "Drop Dead" of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), which also featured Jessica Hynes. He's also been alongside Tennant in Bright Young Things, which also co-starred Fenella Woolgar, Stephen Fry, Bill Paterson, Richard E. Grant, and Jim Broadbent; and the English-language cast of the Norwegian animated adventure Free Jimmy, with Simon Pegg, Jim Broadbent and Steve Pemberton. He and Tom Baker have occasionally crossed paths, through their mutual connection to Matt Lucas. Gatiss script edited several episodes of Little Britain, on which Baker was the regular narrator, and fellow Doctor Who Confidential narrator, Anthony Head, played a leading role. Later, Baker and he both appeared as actors in Lucas' The Wind in the Willows. Christopher Eccleston once appeared on an episode of Gatiss' show, The League of Gentlemen. Peter Davison and he were in several BBV productions at the start of Gatiss' career, but they have not, as of 2010, acted together in a fully professional production, except on Big Finish Productions audio. [statement unclear] By virtue of his participation in The Zero Imperative, he's acted on-screen alongside Caroline John, Jon Pertwee, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Louise Jameson, and Sophie Aldred.

Works in the Doctor Who universe

Series Production relevance Role Adventure
Televised Doctor Who Writer The Unquiet Dead
Writer The Idiot's Lantern
Actor Richard Lazarus The Lazarus Experiment'
Writer, actor

"Danny Boy" (uncredited)

Victory of the Daleks
Actor "Danny Boy" (uncredited) A Good Man Goes to War
Writer Night Terrors
Actor Gantok (credited as Rondo Haxton) The Wedding of River Song
Big Finish Doctor Who Actor Walther Schwieger The Sirens of Time
Writer Phantasmagoria
Actor Karl Hendryk The Mutant Phase
Actor Thinnes Sword of Orion
Actor Vincenzo The Stones of Venice
Writer, director Invaders from Mars
Actor The Master Sympathy for the Devil
Officially licensed spoofs Writer, actor Terry Scanlon Global Conspiracy
Writer, actor The Doctor The Web of Caves
Writer, actor Mark The Kidnapping
BBV P.R.O.B.E. series Writer, actor William Bruffin The Zero Imperative
Writer, actor Georgie The Devil of Winterborne
Writer, actor Alfred Emerson Unnatural Selection
Writer Ghosts of Winterborne
Virgin New Adventures Author Nightshade
Author St Anthony's Fire
BBC Past Doctor Adventures Author The Roundheads
Author Last of the Gaderene
Doctor Who Confidential Documentary subject Himself Various episodes
Narrator Series 2
Doctor Who Greatest Moments Documentary subject Himself The Enemies, The Doctor
BBC DVD documentaries Documentary subject Himself Putting the Shock into Earthshock, Waking the Dead

References

  1. The Wedding of River Song
  2. "Mark Gatiss on Victory of the Daleks". sfx.co.uk. 11 April 2010.
  3. Although Elizabeth Sladen appeared alongside nine incarnations of the Doctor, one of "her" Doctors is Richard Hurndall, and she never appeared with William Hartnell, Paul McGann or Christopher Eccleston.
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