What the BBC wouldn't let Michael Moorcock do with Doctor Who

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Michael Moorcock, the author who created Elric of Melniboné, that albino sword-and-sorcery antihero, recently wrote a Doctor Who novel titled The Coming of the Terraphiles—and you'll never guess what the BBC stopped him from doing in the book.

Originally, the revered sci-fi and fantasy writer wanted to give Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), the Doctor's (Matt Smith) companion, her own room in the TARDIS. But that idea was nixed by the Beebs, who control what's happening in all the Doctor Who novels.

As Moorcock revealed in a recent interview:

The only real problem with Cardiff, as we call the BBC ... I mean, it's sort of 'Cardiff,' 'Cardiff says,' you know, 'Cardiff won't like that,' erm ... I've forgotten what the only problem was. Oh, I know, one of the things was, I wanted Amy to have her own room in the Tardis, so I can describe her getting up in the morning and hearing something going on in the main Tardis bit, you know, and coming in to breakfast, or whatever it was. And they didn't like that, and I think it's because they've got story plans that might not fit.

The BBC filters whatever's written in each tie-in novels so that nothing clashes with any upcoming episodes (and, of course, with what's been written before). So does it mean that we may get to see Amy and Rory's (Arthur Darvill) room in the next season of Doctor Who? It wouldn't be the first time we'd be privy to some of the Doctor's companions' private quarters.

The BBC also wants to make doubly sure that the writers don't use any ideas that may possibly be used in future episodes. Case in point: Winston Churchill.

A few years back, one of the novelists wanted to write a story with Churchill as one of the protagonists, but the idea was scrapped because someone (probably Steven Moffat) had already planned on using the famed British prime minister in a future episode. That episode was last season's "Victory of the Daleks."

The other thing Moorcock wanted to add in The Coming of the Terraphiles was Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), but then again, the BBC put its foot down:

I wanted to have Captain Jack in, but they didn't want me to, again because they kind of save these characters up for a specific purpose. It's not really a strong idea they've got, but they know they might want to use it in a certain way. But that's what you get if you do a job for hire.

As we told you, Steven Moffat may have plans to bring back Captain Jack to the Doctor Who world (or vice versa), and we do think that the first meeting between the beloved Torchwood leader and Matt Smith's 11th Doctor would be much more satisfying on a TV screen than in a book.

Do you think the BBC made the right call?

(The Quietus via Digital Spy)