Q/A Peter Harness

We're asking, they're answering.



Peter Harness, writer


What's your desert island Doctor Who story?

State of Decay. That's what my heart says.


Who's the best actor that should have played the Doctor?

Mark Rylance should definitely have a go. And the bloke with the teeth out of Cardinal Burns.


Who is the sexiest Doctor Who producer?

Sanne Wohlenberg, without a doubt.


Who's the most famous Doctor Who related person you've got in your phone contacts?

Steve O'Brien.


Do you have all your Doctor Who DVDs in transmission order on your shelf?

Occasionally. Maybe once every three years.


Which single episode would you like to be recovered?

Something from The Abominable Snowmen or The Web of Fear.


Which is your favourite regeneration scene?

Parting of the Ways. It's a perfect end to what is I think the definitive series of Doctor Who.


Has a Doctor Who story ever made you cry?

Yes, most of the 2005 series entailed a little weepy moment for one reason or another. The end of School Reunion, however, made me sob uncontrollably and get a sore throat.


Which Doctor would/wouldn't you like to be trapped in a lift with and why?

Tom Baker. If all other conversation dried up, I could ask him his opinions on Symphony Fitted Furniture, or to repeat one of the best lines from all of literature, care of his excellent novel, The Boy Who Kicked Pigs: "he got his dirty bum comfy in a tray of scampi."


Have you ever watched The Web Planet twice?

I would have thought so. For the Vaseline alone.


Name a Doctor Who story you've never seen.

The Savages.


Have you ever thought about Doctor Who during sexual intercourse?

No, but I've often thought about the hiatus.


What evidence is there in your home that you like Doctor Who?

Very little. My wife is a militant not-we. However, my office is crammed with Target novelisations, Daleks, Cybermen, sonic screwdrivers, enormous posters of Melkur etc, amongst my True Crime library and busts of King Edward VIII.


What percentage of your friends would know what "the Cartmel Masterplan" or "UNIT dating" means?

About two per cent.


What are the most embarrassing lengths you have ever gone to in order to ensure you didn't miss an episode of Doctor Who?

Probably attempting to introduce my 88 year old grandfather to the mysteries of operating a VHS machine so he could tape part two of The Curse of Fenric for me when we were on holiday. Needless to say, it didn't work and he died shortly after.


Give us a hint of the most scandalous behind the scenes Doctor Who gossip you know.

That's forbidden knowledge from the Dark Time.



The hirsute Peter Harness, 67, is a Doctor Who fan and lead writer on the Sir Kenneth Branagh series, Wallander. His written work includes the Michael Caine movie, Is Anybody There? and the Frankie Howerd biopic, Rather You Than Me, for BBC4.



Q/A: Peter Harness
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