Knock Knock’s Mike Bartlett: “Doctor Who Started My Career”

Mike Bartlett, writer of Knock Knock and the hit BBC drama, Doctor Foster, has revealed Doctor Who had a hand in starting his career.

The scribe’s Doctor Foster was a massive success, and led to Steven Moffat asking him to write an episode in Peter Capaldi’s last series as the Twelfth Doctor. Bartlett said:

“When I was nine I found a copy of Doctor Who: The Making of a Television Series in the school library. It had a picture of Peter Davison on the front and it was a formative book for me. It explained all the different departments like the script, cameras and sets, and explained how a television show is put together… That book started my career so when I eventually wrote an episode of Doctor Who last year, Knock Knock, it was pretty special.”

Knock Knock saw companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) take on a house-share with her university mates – only to find the walls infested with lice and a spooky landlord dropping by, out of nowhere. It was the fourth episode of Doctor Who Series 10, and the first written by Bartlett.

And I’m sure there are legions of fans with fond memories of Doctor Who: The Making of a Television Series! Written by Alan Road and released in 1982 in hardback (with a paperback coming out the following year), the book mainly concerned itself with the behind-the-scenes details of The Visitation. It’s wonderful to hear how the show, and specifically a reference book, inspired Bartlett to become a screenwriter. (I also think this is another reason Doctor Who Confidential shouldn’t have got axed. Inspiring new generations is essential.)

Mike’s new show, Trauma, stars Adrian Lester alongside Who alumni, John Simm (The Master), Jade Anouka (The Bells of Saint John), and Calvin Dean (Nightmare in Silver).

Trauma begins on ITV tonight (12th February 2018) at 9pm; subsequent episodes follow tomorrow and Wednesday.