26 November, 2021

More News on Neil Gaiman's Next Doctor Who Gig

In his Hugo acceptance speech, Neil Gaiman mentioned some exciting news: He’s writing a second Who episode. In fact, he mentioned that only a fool or a madman would attempt to write another episode of Doctor Who after having pleased people so much the first time around — so he’s on his third draft of a new episode now.

i09 caught up with Gaiman at the Hugo afterparty, and he explained more about this surprising turn of events. Apparently the new episode is slated for the second half of season seven, which means that it could air as soon as spring 2013. But Gaiman pointed out that “The Doctor’s Wife,” his Hugo-winning episode, was originally slated for season five and got bumped to season six for budgetary reasons. The same thing could easily happen to his new episode, he said — and it sounds like this is another super-expensive story to make. Fingers crossed we get to see it sooner rather than later.

On a related note, CNN reported that Ustream, the site that streamed the Hugo ceremony and abruptly killed the feed during Gaiman’s acceptance speech, has now apologized for what they’re calling a flaw in the ” automated software designed to detect the unauthorized posting of copyrighted material.” The software triggered when, before Gaiman’s speech, the ceremony showed clips of “The Doctor’s Wife,” an episode of the popular sci-fi series “Doctor Who,” that Gaiman penned.

Instead of Gaiman, text reading “Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement” appeared. Worldcon is the conference at which the awards are held.

“Our editorial team and content monitors almost immediately noticed a flood of livid Twitter messages about the ban and attempted to restore the broadcast,” Brad Hunstable, CEO and founder of Ustream, wrote on the site’s blog. “Unfortunately, we were not able to lift the ban before the broadcast ended. We had many unhappy viewers as a result, and for that I am truly sorry.”

The third-party system, Vobile, is used by video sites to detect unauthorized posts. The Hugo Awards had permission to air the clips but apparently had not notified Ustream.

Hunstable acknowledged that his site’s system for doing so wasn’t as clear as it should be. He said the automated system has been suspended until Ustream is able to “better balance the needs of broadcasters, viewers, and copyright holders.”

“Ustream is committed to promoting Internet freedom, and we will strive to continually improve our service to provide the best, legal viewing experience possible,” he wrote.

Perhaps as a boon to disappointed fans, Gaiman, a prolific Twitter user with more than 1.7 million followers, shared a link Monday to his video acceptance speech from when he won the SFX Award for screenwriting in February.

“Copyright bots switched off the Hugo Award stream last night,” he wrote.

Named after Hugo Gernsback, the editor of groundbreaking sci-fi magazine Amazing Stories, the Hugos (originally the Science Fiction Achievement Awards) have been awarded annually for science fiction and fantasy writing since 1953.

Gaiman, whose “Doctor Who” episode explored the doctor’s most longstanding relationship in an unprecedented way, is known for the groundbreaking “The Sandman” graphic novel series and books like “Neverwhere,” “American Gods” and “Coraline,” which was turned into an Academy Award-nominated animated film in 2009.

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