Mark Gatiss, (born 17 October 1966[1]) credited on three occasions as Sam Kisgart and once as Rondo Haxton[2], 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, his contribution to the Doctor Who franchise is unique.

Televised Doctor Who

In terms of televised Doctor Who, as of 2018, Gatiss has contributed nine scripts and made four guest appearances since the series' revival, 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 not just one, but two large speaking roles — Professor Richard Lazarus, the titular villain of The Lazarus Experiment, and "the Captain" in Twice Upon a Time. During Steven Moffat's time as showrunner, Gatiss was the only writer other than Moffat himself to write a script for every season.

The Richard Lazarus prosthetic was later used in Voyage of the Damned to stand in for the actor playing Max Capricorn in some long shots. (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 a credited return to the programme as Gantok in The Wedding of River Song. In series 5's Victory of the Daleks, Gatiss became one of few people to have written and acted 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".[3]

This episode also gave Gatiss the opportunity to write for seven different Doctors. This surpasses the number of different Doctors for whom Paul Cornell has written (but they are on level ground as of May 2013 if the Shalka Doctor is counted). As of May 2013, both writers are, however, behind Terrance Dicks, who has written original stories for eight different 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.[4] Later, in 2017's Twice Upon a Time, Gatiss further appeared alongside the then-outgoing Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, as well as David Bradley, who was playing the same role as the late William Hartnell's First Doctor.

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.

Gatiss also wrote the docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time. A dramatised account of William Hartnell's tenure as the Doctor, it was produced and broadcast as part of the show's 50th anniversary celebrations.

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 which started airing in 2010. 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, he and Baker 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. He and Peter Davison were in several BBV productions at the start of Gatiss' career, but following that, as of 2017, they have only acted together in the Big Finish Productions audio story Phantasmagoria. 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.

Doctor Who and related works

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"


Victory of the Daleks
Actor A Good Man Goes to War
Writer Night Terrors
Actor Gantok

(credited as Rondo Haxton)

The Wedding of River Song
Writer Cold War
Writer The Crimson Horror
Writer Robot of Sherwood
Writer Sleep No More
Writer Empress of Mars
Actor The Captain Twice Upon a Time
Big Finish Doctor Who Actor Walther Schwieger The Sirens of Time
Writer, actor Jasper Jeake Phantasmagoria
Actor Karl Hendryk / Roboman The Mutant Phase
Actor Announcer Storm Warning
Actor Thinnes Sword of Orion
Actor Vincenzo The Stones of Venice
Writer, director, actor Radio Announcer Invaders from Mars
Actor The Master

(credited as Sam Kisgart)

Sympathy for the Devil
The Library in the Body
The Emporium At The End
The True Saviour of the Universe
Minisodes Writer, actor Mr. Borusa The Pitch of Fear
Writer, actor The Doctor The Web of Caves
Writer, actor Mark The Kidnappers
Writer, actor Terry Scanlon Global Conspiracy?
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
Other related works Writer, executive producer An Adventure in Space and Time

External links


  1. DWDVDF 139
  2. The Wedding of River Song
  3. "Mark Gatiss on Victory of the Daleks". SFX. 11 April 2010.
  4. Although Elisabeth 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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