Doctor Who: Mark Gatiss reveals details of scrapped David Tennant 'Indiana Jones' episode

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Jul 28, 2017

Doctor Who writer and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has revealed details of a scrapped episode from the BBC series' David Tennant era.

In an in-depth interview to be found in the pages of the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (issue #515), Gatiss explained he had written an episode back in 2008 titled “The Suicide Exhibition” that would have seen Tennant’s Doctor battling Nazis and going full Indiana Jones.

Apparently, said episode was on the “verge of production for a while in the late 2000s,” and was originally slated to appear in Season 4. Instead, “The Fires of Pompeii” was produced, and Gatiss said then-executive producer Julie Gardner proposed that “The Suicide Exhibition” be part of the four 10th Doctor specials that aired in 2009. However, even though Gatiss put in a TARDIS-load of work for the episode, it never saw the light of day.

So, what was “The Suicide Exhibition” about? Here’s what Gatiss said:

“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 succor. 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. After the first draft, Russell [T Davies] 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. I would’ve liked to have done it, but it was not to be!”

There you have it.

Gatiss will soon be seen in the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, which will feature David Bradley in the role of the First Doctor (a role originally played by the late William Hartnell) and see current Doctor Peter Capaldi regenerate into the 13th Doctor, played by Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker.

What do you think about the storyline for “The Suicide Exhibition”? Are you disappointed the timey-wimey adventure never got made?

(via Doctor Who TV)