Series 12 once again sees new writers and directors join the Doctor Who team. Over the coming days Blogtor Who will be finding out more about these new faces and just why we should be excited to have them on board.
In addition to now established Doctor Who writers Ed Hime (It Takes You Away and Orphan 55), Vinay Patel (Demons of the Punjab and next week’s Fugitive of the Judoon) and Pete McTighe (Kerblam! and the upcoming Praxeus), some brand new faces are being added to Chris Chibnall’s team this year. Among them is the BAFTA winning Nina Métivier, writer of Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror. But as we’ll see, this isn’t her first brush with the world of Doctor Who.
Métivier’s career has seen her take an old school path reminiscent of past greats like Terrence Dicks. Not just a professional writer, she’s become a television industry all rounder. And she’s moved seamlessly between roles as writer, story editor, and producer on different shows over the past ten years. She began her career as a script editor and development executive at Kindle Entertainment. Initially working on their children’s output, she script edited Big and Small (starring Spyfall’s Lenny Henry) and both wrote and script edited Dinopaws (starring Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington).
Métivier won a BAFTA for her work on teen drama Dixi, which addressed issues like cyberbullying and catfishing
She stepped up for the Producer role on Kindle’s innovative interactive series Dixi. For four seasons on CBBC, Dixi followed a group of friends as they faced down drama both online and ‘IRL’. Story arcs included the hacking and vandalizing of social media profiles, and catfishing by online ‘boyfriends’ with hidden agendas. It made for a thoroughly modern take on teen strife. All in all, Métivier wrote over seventy episodes of Dixi herself while producing almost twice as many. And her work on the show ultimately saw her rewarded with a BAFTA Children’s Award.
But Métivier also worked on more adult material. Most notably on the modernized take on The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby created by The Witchfinders’ Joy Wilkinson. Like Dixi, the five episode mini-series showcased Métivier’s attraction to looking at age old stories and problems through the lens of the world today. Dickens’ tale, as scripted by Wilkinson and script-edited by Métivier, places Nick Nickleby as a care home worker who takes a stand when he realizes the vulnerable Mrs. Smike is being abused.
As co-creator of BBC/Netflix’s The A List, has shown a mastery of the sort of dark humour and scares that make for the best Doctor Whos
Expanding her ambitions further, she then co-created, wrote and produced The A List for BBC III. A teen horror drama, it follows events at the Peregrine Island summer camp as a battle for popularity between two teenage girls swiftly becomes something much darker. Because resident mean girl Amber’s ability to dominate her hangers-on seems almost unearthly. And when Mia realizes the camp actually closed down the previous year and the outside world doesn’t know they’re even there, she becomes the reluctant leader of a fight for survival. Co-starring Jacob Dudman (who voices the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors for Big Finish) The A List cuts the same line of scares and emotion as the best Doctor Who. Since airing on the BBC, the show has been bought by international giant Netflix, who have commissioned a second season.
But despite her success at creating her own show, Métivier has still been happy to join the Doctor Who team. In 2018 she acted as a script editor on the show, working on the episodes The Woman Who Fell to Earth and It Takes You Away. This week she graduates to writing her own episode, the majestically titled Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror. With the trailers showing us the real life rivalry between legendary inventors Nikola Tesla (Goran Visnjic) and Thomas Edison (Robert Glenister), turned in an out and out battle thanks to giant scorpions (led by Anjli Mohindra) and a time travelling Time Lord, it promises more of that mix of scares and humour that Métivier can do so well.
Doctor Who continues at 7.10pm this Sunday on with Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror
The time: the earliest years of the 20th century. The place: New York City. Inventor Nikola Tesla is at war with his rival Thomas Edison. However, there’s an even greater threat in their midst… Doctor Who continues next Sunday 19th January with ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ on BBC One and BBC America. Written by Nina Metivier. Directed by Nida Manzoor. Guest starring Anjli Mohindra, Goran Visnijc, Robert Glenister, and Haley McGee.