Scriptwriter joins efforts to bring Doctor Who here

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 21/09/2012
Scriptwriter Neil Cross
Fairfax NZ
KEEN AS: Scriptwriter Neil Cross wants to see Dr Who brought to New Zealand and will be having talks with industry insiders while at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles this weekend.

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Matt Smith wants to land the Tardis in New Zealand, Sir Peter Jackson wants to direct the episode of Doctor Who and now a Wellington scriptwriter wants to pen the tale.

Neil Cross, who has written two yet-to-air episodes of the popular BBC show, is backing Smith's campaign to bring the Doctor and new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman Down Under.

Smith this week told the Waikato Times he would "campaign endlessly" to film Doctor Who in New Zealand and Sir Peter told him to "just name the time and place".

Cross, whose two episodes will air next year, sent executive producers Steven Moffat and Caro Skinner a link to the story and plans to talk to Moffat at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles about the idea at the weekend.

The Cross-created psychological crime drama Luther has been nominated for four Emmys, while Moffat's modern Sherlock Holmes spin Sherlock has been nominated for 14 Emmys.

"It would be awesome to see the Tardis materialise here," Cross said as he packed his bags for Los Angeles. "I suspect Steven and I will have a long conversation about this, one way or another. We will drink gin and talk a lot about bringing Doctor Who to New Zealand."

Cross, who emigrated to New Zealand from Britain a decade ago, may at least be in part to blame for planting the idea in Smith's head. The writer discussed the idea with the actor on the Doctor Who set as his adventure was shot.

"We just talked about what an amazing place New Zealand is and said it was amazing how this country did not have the biggest film industry in the world," Cross said.

Cross was not surprised to hear Smith had egged the Times on to contact Sir Peter with the idea for The Hobbit director's reaction, as Sir Peter had hired Moffat to pen the Tintin movie which Steven Spielberg had directed.

"Matt Smith is such an extra-ordinary human being. I am not actually convinced that he's not actually the Doctor," Cross said.

Cross could not say much about his two episodes.

"I can tell you they feature a character called the Doctor and are two stand-alone stories, but if I told you any more they might send a Cyberman after me," he joked.

"I would spend my life writing Doctor Who if I had the opportunity. It's the best TV show in the world. It's incredibly dear to my heart. It's something I grew up with. It's wonderful to see how popular and how beloved it is in New Zealand. Doctor Who is written into the DNA of the British psyche."

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The Times has requested interviews with the show's producers.

The BBC's Doctor Who website is asking fans to send questions about the show, running at 8.30pm on Thursdays on Prime, to the pair at thedoctor@bbc.co.uk so why not join Smith's campaign and send them an email?

neil-cross.com

- Waikato Times

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