Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has revealed details of one of his scripts for David Tennant‘s Tenth Doctor which never made it to screen.
The Suicide Exhibition was originally intended to air as part of the show’s fourth series in 2008, but was eventually turned down in favour of The Fires of Pompeii. It was later proposed as one of the specials which saw Tennant round off his time as the Doctor in 2009, but ultimately went unmade.
“The title came from this thing I was reading about how, in the First World War, they were evacuating stuff from museums to various Welsh museums. All this precious stuff, they hid in places like salt mines. But what they had in both World Wars was this amazing thing called the Suicide Exhibition. People still needed stuff to see, for spiritual succour. So if they had 300,000 Anglo Saxon pots, they just put some of them out that they could afford to lose! If a bomb fell, it wouldn’t matter, because they had loads of them.”
With initial drafts of the episode set during World War One, Gatiss described the evolution the script went through following feedback from then-showrunner Russell T Davies:
“After the first draft, Russell said, ‘Let’s make it the Nazis and do the full Indiana Jones on it.’ The whole museum was a puzzle box of sliding doors and traps and stuff.”
Despite the episode being ‘on the verge of production’ and Gatiss having ‘put a lot of work into it’, the writer doesn’t harbour any hope that his unmade episode will ever get made:
“I would’ve liked to have done it, but it was not to be!”
The Suicide Exhibition may never have made it to air, but Gatiss has nevertheless contributed several episodes to Doctor Who since its 2005 revival, with the most recent being the Series 10 Ice Warrior adventure The Empress of Mars. Gatiss has also appeared in the show itself on multiple occasions, and will be returning once again at Christmas to guest star in this year’s festive special Twice Upon A Time alongside Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and David Bradley as the First Doctor.
Issue 515 of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale from today, Thursday 27th July, priced at £5.99.
[Source: Doctor Who]