Jamie Mathieson
Mummy Poster Large.jpg

Doctor who; Three years, four episodes

All with my main man P Cap. Yes, he lets me call him that, mainly because he doesn't know that I do.

So here's to Perkins and Rigsy, and Clara and Bill and Ashildr, and Captain Quell and Professor Morehouse, and the poor doomed crew of Chasm Forge. I'm sorry for what I put you all through.

Steven made me do it.

the almost return of gus

As soon as I found out that Oxygen was due to be a space story I started trying to figure out a way to incorporate the character of Gus.

For those of you not familiar with Gus (and seriously, why are you even reading this piece if you aren't?) he was the homicidal computer in Mummy on the Orient Express.


flatline cut scenes

One of the criticisms levelled at Flatline was the lack of character development in the guest cast. I knew I forgot something!

No wait, I didn't forget at all! As is always the case, we were up against the clock and character stuff is always the first to go, along with jokes. If it doesn't further the plot, it's disposable.


the origin of oxygen

So Steven emailed me asking for an idea about space. I emailed him one back. An hour later, he said yes and we began the long and winding process that lead to the episode itself. Would you like to read what I sent him? Of course you would.



techno zombies

By the time I handed in draft one of Oxygen the monsters were fast space zombies, with all that that implies; running down corridors, jumping through space with no need to breathe and murder on their mind.

The focus of the episode, the high concept, was the search for oxygen, making the monster of the week a secondary issue, so I didn't bother thinking too hard about them. They would be a background threat, nipping at our character's heels. Then I had a meeting with Steven Moffat and a casual question from him changed everything, as it often does.


oxygen cut scene

The title to this piece is a bit of a misnomer. Most of this scene you will recognise from the episode that aired, with the exception of a couple of comic beats and a chunk of dialogue, mostly from Ivan, played by the wonderful Kieran Bew. As always, it was cut for time, but adds quite of bit more weight to Ivan's arc and there's a cracking Nardole gag...


I'M BACK BABy (FROM 16/11/16)

'I know a race made of sentient gas who throw fireballs as a friendly wave. I know another race with sixty four stomachs who talk to each other by disembowelling.'

- The Doctor, Flatline.

Yes, I am back writing for Doctor Who. As evidenced by the accompanying photo which I call 'Power Stance while Protecting Groin'.



Originally, the spacebound Orient Express in 'Mummy On The..' was scheduled to visit The Seven Wonders Of The Universe. Indeed, in the first few drafts, she did just that, with passengers getting off to explore exotic ruins as they discussed the mysterious deaths plaguing the train.


cut scene from mummy on the orient express

This is a scene from a fairly early draft and is set just after Captain Quell cuffs the Doctor and before he has a change of heart, which in the final draft was about thirty seconds!

There was a whole other plotline involving the Doctor in the cab of the train that didn't really move the plot forward, which is ultimately true of this entire scene.

But more Perkins is always fun!



In early 2004 my agent managed to get me a meeting. They were rebooting Doctor Who apparently, had read a spec script of mine and wanted to chat.


the boneless

It was one of those ideas that I was surprised Who hadn't done before. Flat monsters that steal dimension. But no. It was just sitting there, waiting for me.

It has antecedents of course. I remember vividly the book Flat Stanley from my childhood.


tiny tardis of terror

'It's going to be have to be a Doctor light episode. But so was Blink. Which some people seemed to like.' I'm paraphrasing from memory, but that was the gist of the direction from Steven. The implication being, this doesn't have to be a limitation. If you're smart, you could make it a strength. 


I was a teenage computer

At the table read through for 'Mummy On The Orient Express', several of the actors were unavailable due to prior commitments. This meant that various staff members read in for some of the roles. I was offered Quell or Moorhouse and declined.

I mean come on. The last time I acted was in a school play.


building a better mummy

So the way it worked was this: Steven Moffat gave me the title: 'Mummy On The Orient Express' and the idea that this episode would be set in space. I went away and had a think about it. And what I thought was this:

A monster on a train in space is a problem. Put bluntly: there's nowhere to hide it.


the mummy's first victim

There are only a few definite landmarks in my development as a writer. The Singing Detective is a big one. I was sixteen years old when I saw it and it's deft weaving of one man's memories and fantasies rearranged the furniture in my head like an over enthused lifestyle guru.


i am writing two episodes of doctor who (from 26/6/14)

So... they quite liked the first script I delivered and asked me if I'd like to write another. They quite liked that one too. Then they decided to put them next to each other in the schedule as episodes 8 and 9.

No pressure.


frank skinner in my episode of doctor who

So, Frank Skinner is in my episode. Which is very cool.

I was a stand up for a living for quite a few years. When I was trying to figure out how to do it in 1996, his first two stand up videos were part of my boot camp, so there is a nice synchronicity for me to be writing lines for him to deliver nearly twenty years later.



So for all the people who googled me solely because of that fact, and ended up here, this is what you need to know;

I am forty four this year, which means that I was five when the Tom Baker Doctor Who adventure Terror of the Zygons first aired. I have a memory of it being utterly terrifying. And strange. And wonderful. And too much for my tiny mind to deal with.