doctor who logo with joe hill insert

Joe Hill made a name for himself with works such as ‘NOS4A2‘,’Locke & Key,‘ and various other books and graphic novels, even before it was made public that he was Stephen King’s son.  But the one thing he was most excited about was to pitch a story to the creatives at ‘Doctor Who.’ Not only was he able to put together three ideas for one of his all time favorite shows, but he managed to get Neil Gaiman to edit his work too!

According to Hill:

“So, I spent a month and a half working on three pitches, and man, I have never imagined harder in my whole life. I mean, I just worked so hard on these things. And by chance, I actually wound up spending a weekend with Neil Gaiman. We were in the same place at the same time, and hanging out a lot, and he actually edited my pitches. He actually went through the pitches and was like, ‘Yes, do this. Don’t do that. This is a good idea. Hate this idea.’ You know? And I’m like, you couldn’t ask for a better editor!”

Hill’s ideas and a British writing legend giving his work a review? What could possibly go wrong? Well, likely the last thing that Hill expected:

“And so I, you know, with trepidation and my heart in my mouth, I sent in my pitches and a couple weeks passed, and I got…the email I got back said, ‘We have never let an American write Doctor Who, and if we were going to, we wouldn’t start with you.

Is that not the most smoking rejection of all time? I remain in awe. I remain in awe. It’s still my favorite rejection.”

Ouch. What a painful burn.


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This rejection clearly isn’t something that has hurt Hill’s career as he has gone on to see his works translated onto both the big and small screen. Not only that, but he co-wrote ‘In The Tall Grass’ with his father which has gone on to become a Netflix film.

When you think about it, the BBC has always tended to keep UK talent in the spotlight, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Just a “smoking rejection” that you wouldn’t expect to see as a response.

Do you at all blame the BBC for not looking at American writers for their shows? Would you have wanted to read Joe Hill’s pitches for ‘Doctor Who’? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Source: The Horror Show Podcast