Neil Gaiman has said one of the episodes of Doctor Who he wrote ended up leaving him with “a bad taste in my mouth” because he had no say over the finished product.
The author, who wrote The Doctor’s Wife in 2011 and Nightmare in Silver in 2013, said the experience made him determined to have creative control over his new show Good Omens, starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
He said: “I did two episodes of Doctor Who over the last decade, one I loved and it won awards, one I do not love and it is widely regarded as having some good bits in it but being rather a curate’s egg.
“As far as I’m concerned both of the scripts were of equal quality but the biggest differences were having a say in what actually got to the screen, a say in what got changed, a say in what got rewritten, a say in the colour scheme, a say in all those things.”
Gaiman’s new series is based on the 1990 book he wrote with the late Terry Pratchett, and the Discworld author asked him to make it into a show before he died in 2015.
He said: “I’m glad my second Doctor Who episode left me with a bad taste in my mouth because that is why, when Terry said ‘You have to make this thing’, I was like ‘If I’m going to to do it then I am going to be showrunner because I can’t just write the scripts, hand them over to somebody and hope that I get something fantastic back, I may or I may not.
“If this is going to be f***** up it’s going to be f***** up by me personally with love and dedication.
“And I hope that it isn’t but it needs to be done properly and I need to care.”
Gaiman has signed an exclusive deal with Amazon Prime Video, which will stream Good Omens, but said he will never work in the same way on another show again.
He added: “I am never going to do what I’ve done in Good Omens again, in the sense that here are four years of my life and I’m going to spend them writing and rewriting and making and in post-production and promoting one thing, which I’m doing basically because my dead friend asked me to, that is never going to happen again.
“With Amazon I am going to create things, I am going to write things, I am going to find terrific collaborators but I also have novels to write, I also have a family, I would like to see daylight, we have pictures of what our wives look like, it’s going to be a balancing act.”
– Good Omens will stream on Amazon Prime Video in 2019.