Gareth Roberts (writer)

Gareth John Pritchard Roberts (born 5 June 1968) is a British television screenwriter and novelist, best known for his work related to the science-fiction television series Doctor Who. He has also worked on various comedy series and soap operas.

Early life and personal lifeEdit

Roberts studied drama at the University of Winchester (then King Alfred's College) and Liverpool John Moores University (then Liverpool Polytechnic). He has also worked as a clerk at the Court of Appeal.


Roberts has worked on some of the most popular British soap operas, including Channel 4's now-defunct Brookside as a scriptwriter (1999–2003), and as a story associate on ITV's Coronation Street in 1997. In 1998 he worked as a script editor on ITV's other long-running soap, Emmerdale, moving across to write several episodes himself the following year.

Doctor WhoEdit

During the 1990s, Roberts was associated with the range of Doctor Who spin-off novels published by Virgin Books. He contributed several novels to both their New Adventures and Missing Adventures ranges of Doctor Who fiction. He also wrote some Cracker novelisations for Virgin, and a gay erotic novel named The Velvet Web under the pseudonym Christopher Summerisle, the title of which also happened to be an episode of the Doctor Who serial The Keys of Marinus.[1]

He continued his association with Doctor Who in the 2000s, penning several feature articles and comic strips for Doctor Who Magazine, co-writing audio plays and short stories based on the series with Clayton Hickman for Big Finish Productions, and in 2005 writing another Doctor Who novel, Only Human, based on the characters from the new series launched that year, for BBC Books' New Series Adventures range. A further novel, I am a Dalek, was released in 2006 and featured the Tenth Doctor. I am a Dalek is part of a Government "Quick Reads initiative". He also co-wrote The New Gods with Rebecca Levene, the first Tomorrow People audio drama for Big Finish.

Roberts appeared as a contributor to the documentary Serial Thrillers, exploring the popular Philip Hinchcliffe era of Doctor Who between 1975 and 1977, which featured as an extra on the 2004 DVD release of the serial Pyramids of Mars.[2]

On 25 December 2005 a special 'interactive' mini-episode of Doctor Who written by Roberts, Attack of the Graske, was broadcast, and can now be accessed on the BBC website (only available to UK Broadband Users). Roberts also wrote a series of "TARDISODEs", short videos available online and via mobile phones promoting the 2006 series of Doctor Who.

He has written four full episodes of Doctor Who, "The Shakespeare Code" in 2007, "The Unicorn and the Wasp" in 2008, "The Lodger" in 2010 and "Closing Time" in 2011.[3] He co-wrote 2014's "The Caretaker" with show runner Steven Moffat.

Roberts also co-wrote, with Russell T Davies, "Invasion of the Bane", the pilot episode of the Doctor Who spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. He wrote two two-part stories for the full series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which began broadcasting in the autumn of 2007, and another two two-part stories for the 2008 series.

Roberts co-wrote with Davies again for the second of the 2009 specials of Doctor Who, "Planet of the Dead".[4]

Gareth Roberts has also written a novelisation of Shada, the uncompleted Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) story written by Douglas Adams, that was due to be the finale of season seventeen of Doctor Who in 1979 before it was abandoned due to industrial action. The book was published by BBC Books on 15 March 2012.[5]

Other workEdit

In comedy, Roberts has worked in collaboration with The Fast Show writer and performer Charlie Higson on the sitcom Swiss Toni, a spin-off from The Fast Show. He also collaborated with Higson on scripts for the second series of Randall and Hopkirk for BBC One in 2001. He would reteam with Higson for the superhero-style series Jekyll & Hyde, based on the novel. It was not renewed for a second series.[6]

Roberts has also contributed sketches to the Five sketch show Swinging, and wrote for the fantasy series The Librarians.[7]

Transgender and racism controversyEdit

On 1 September 2017 Roberts published a picture of Ronnie Corbett in 'Blackface' on his Twitter account. Under the picture he wrote, "This account is fully behind diversity and inclusion - there's still so much to be done". This picture and comment drew widespread criticism and accusations of racism.[8]

On 3 September 2017, Roberts posted on his Twitter account, "I [love] how trannies choose names like Munroe, Paris and Chelsea. It's never Julie or Bev is it?" Later that same day he wrote "It's almost like a clueless gayboy's idea of a glamorous lady. But of course it's definitely not that."[9][10][11] These comments were condemned by some Twitter users.[11]

In June 2019, it was leaked that Roberts' contribution for a Doctor Who short story collection had been dropped due to his previous tweets, as well as the threat from other writers to withdraw their contributions. Roberts responded with a blog post on Medium, sharing further transphobic remarks such as that "I don't believe in gender identity" and "I don't believe anybody is born in the wrong body."[12][13][14]

Personal lifeEdit

Roberts is gay and a supporter of the Conservative Party.[8]



Short storiesEdit

Short stories in:

Television scriptsEdit

Production Notes Broadcaster
  • Several Episodes (1999)
  • Multiple Episodes (1996-1997)
Channel 4
  • Multiple Episodes (1999-2003)
Channel 4
Randall and Hopkirk BBC One
Swiss Toni
  • Staff Writer (2003)
BBC Three
  • Staff Writer (2005)
Doctor Who BBC One
The Sarah Jane Adventures CBBC
Wizards vs Aliens
  • "Fall of the Necross" (2 parts, 2012)
  • "The Curse of Crowe" (2 parts, 2013)
Jekyll & Hyde
  • "The Incubus" (2015)
The Librarians
  • "And the Curse of Cindy" (2017)


  1. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Keys of Marinus - Details".
  2. ^ "BBC - Cult - Doctor Who - DVD - Pyramids of Mars". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Chris Allen (10 June 2010). "Gareth Roberts talks 'Who', 'Sarah Jane'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  5. ^ Doctor Who: Shada: Douglas Adams, Gareth Roberts: 9781849903271: Books. ASIN 1849903271.
  6. ^ Higson, Charlie. "Sad day today as ITV announce they don't want any more #JekyllandHyde Ah well, I tried. It was a grand adventure while it lasted".
  7. ^ Able, Sane and. "Gareth Roberts".
  8. ^ a b "Doctor Who Writer Gareth Roberts Tweets Trans-Misogynistic Remarks". Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Doctor Who Writer Gareth Roberts Talks Vile, Ignorant Trash About Trans Women". Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  10. ^ "'Doctor Who' Writer Gareth Roberts Tweets Controversial Comments Online". Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Doctor Who writer Tweeted a transphobic comment and the internet is not having it". Gay Star News. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  12. ^ "'Immediately folded': Doctor Who writer dumped from BBC anthology over views on transgenderism". RT. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  13. ^ Flood, Alison (5 June 2019). "Doctor Who anthology drops writer over transgender remarks" – via
  14. ^ Roberts, Gareth (4 June 2019). "Statement on BBC Books and Transgenderism".

External linksEdit