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'Doctor Who' Short Story Collection, with Added Gaiman

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | November 7, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | November 7, 2013 |

There are not currently any plans for Neil Gaiman to write another episode of Doctor Who. There is however a collection of eleven short stories about the Doctor - presumably one per regeneration, though I can find no confirmation of that - set to be released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary special. And guess who is writing one of the stories?

No, stop guessing, it was rhetorical and the answer was handed to you so I’m deeply disappointed at most of these responses. Some of these are fictional. And this guy’s dead. It’s Neil Gaiman.

It’s the eleventh story of the collection, and features Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor. Says Mr. Gaiman about his story:

Nothing O’Clock stars the Eleventh Doctor, the Matt Smith Doctor, with Amy Pond as his companion. I set it somewhere during the first season of Matt Smith, mostly on Earth, in our time now and in 1984, but also somewhere else, a very, very long time ago. I had never created an original monster for Doctor Who and really enjoyed getting to create a creepy Doctor Who monster of the kind that we haven’t quite seen before… I hope that the Kin will get out there and occasionally give people nightmares. And that you will be worried if a man in a rabbit mask comes to your door and tries to buy your house

I am now concerned about that man in a rabbit mask who keeps knocking on my door. In addition, we have an excerpt from the story:

The Time Lords built a Prison. They built it in a time and place that are both unimaginable to any entity who has never left the solar system in which it was spawned, or who has only experienced the journey through time, second by second, and that only going forward. It was built just for the Kin. It was impregnable: a complex of small rooms (for they were not monsters, the Time Lords - they could be merciful, when it suited them), out of temporal phase with the rest of the Universe. There were, in that place, only those rooms: the gulf between microseconds was one that could not be crossed. In effect, those rooms became a universe in themselves, one that borrowed light and heat and gravity from the rest of Creation, always a fraction of a moment away.

The Kin prowled its rooms, patient and deathless, and always waiting.
It was waiting for a question. It could wait until the end of time. (But even then,
when Time Ended, the Kin would miss it, imprisoned in the micro-moment away
from time.)

The Time Lords maintained the Prison with huge engines they built in the hearts
of black holes, unreachable: no one would be able to get to the engines, save the Time
Lords themselves. The multiple engines were a fail-safe. Nothing could ever go

As long as the Time Lords existed, the Kin would be in their Prison, and the rest
of the Universe would be safe. That was how it was, and how it always would be.
And if anything went wrong, then the Time Lords would know. Even if,
unthinkably, any of the engines failed, then emergency signals would sound on
Gallifrey long before the Prison of the Kin returned to our time and our universe. The
Time Lords had planned for everything.

They had planned for everything except the possibility that one day there would
be no Time Lords, and no Gallifrey. No Time Lords in the Universe, except for one.
So when the Prison shook and crashed, as if in an earthquake, throwing the Kin
down; and when the Kin looked up from its Prison to see the light of galaxies and
suns above it, unmediated and unfiltered, and it knew that it had returned to the
Universe, it knew it would only be a matter of time until the question would be asked
once more.

And, because the Kin was careful, it took stock of the Universe they found
themselves in. It did not think of revenge: that was not in its nature. It wanted what it
had always wanted. And besides …

There was still a Time Lord in the Universe.

The Kin needed to do something about that.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.