'Mortal Engines' producer Peter Jackson: I would love to direct 'Doctor Who' (exclusive)

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson says he’s still keen to direct an episode of Doctor Who, and has jokingly offered to let the show shoot on the set of his new film Mortal Engines “to help the BBC budget”.

Jackson is a big fan of the Beeb’s long-running sci-fi show and, while he’s yet to watch the latest series with Jodie Whittaker, he says he’s just waiting for the BBC to invite him to collaborate on the series.

“I haven’t actually seen the new Doctor yet,” Jackson, producer and screenwriter on Mortal Engines (in cinemas 8 December), tells Yahoo Movies UK.

“I haven’t had to chance because I’ve been so busy on these films. I just have to get invited, and asked, and if we can figure it out, I would love to do a Doctor Who.”

Jackson cast former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy in The Hobbit (BBC)

Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, who left the series in 2017, says he met with Jackson “face to face” about directing an episode. “He accepts that there’s no money and that there’s no time,” Moffat told Empire (via Den of Geek), “and it would have to be when he’s available… I think it will probably happen at some point.”

Jackson’s latest film, based on the Philip Reeve books of the same name, is set in a far-flung future Earth, where cities like London have become huge mobilised battle stations. The world of Mortal Engines would make a great setting for an episode of Doctor Who, and Fran Walsh – Jackson’s wife and co-screenwriter on the film – says the BBC could make it a crossover episode.


“[The Doctor] could end up on a giant moving city,” Walsh suggests.

“We’ve got a few spare giant moving cities we could throw into the mix,” Jackson adds with a wry smile.

“We could offer that up to help the BBC budget!”

The New Zealand filmmaker owns two Daleks, and made a cameo appearance in Peter Davison’s The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, a spoof episode starring Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Paul McGann, and other Who alumni, that was made for the show’s 50th anniversary year.

In 2015 he shared a video sketch (above) from his own home featuring the-then current Doctor Peter Capaldi, who delivers a contract from Steven Moffat to direct an episode.

Maybe now, this time, it might happen for real?

Mortal Engines is in cinemas nationwide from 8 December. Watch our BUILD interview with the cast below.

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