Tag Archives: Moffat

Moffat: More Online Doctor Who

During an interview with SFX magazine, Moffat talked candidly about the prequels and minisodes that have been a staple of his tenure:

“I think we now have to accept that online stuff isn’t a spin-off anymore. We used to treat it as a spin-off that maybe some people would watch… But then you suddenly realise something like ‘Pond Life’, which we took much more seriously, had an audience of over six million. You think oh wait, that’s a TV show! That’s just a TV show and a lot of our audience make no distinction between that and the TV show. Same with ‘The Night of the Doctor’.”

Further insight on the Night of the Doctor:

“What I think is quite exciting about all that stuff is you’re allowed to do a six minute episode. I actually think ‘The Night Of The Doctor’ is one of the best ones we’ve done, and I don’t think it would be improved by being 45 minutes long. What more storytelling do we need? Arguably always the problem with the regeneration show is everybody’s just waiting for the bit when he dies and regenerates – so why don’t we just do that bit? You don’t feel that you’re short-selling it at all.”

No more prequels or minisodoes though…

“We’ll certainly do some more. We’ll do more prequels and stuff. I’ve been in to talk to the channel controller of iPlayer and say ‘We need proper money for it’, and they’re very keen. And we don’t call them prequels, we don’t call them minisodes, we just call them Doctor Who. That’s all they are. As I say, why not do an episode that’s ten minutes? Or an episode that’s half an hour? It depends what it suits.”

I can’t wait to see what sort of Doctor Who online episodes we get in the future! You can read the full interview on the SFX website or in their latest issue.

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Doctor Who Almost Cancelled When Tennant Left?

There’s an article on the Metro website where Steven Moffat dropped a bombshell! At the Hay Literary Festival, he claimed the BBC thought Doctor Who ‘wouldn’t succeed at all’ without David Tennant. According to Moffat, it was Russell T. Davies who once again came to the shows rescue! ‘I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it. It was Russell T. Davies saying, “you are not allowed to end it”‘. So RTD not only brought the show back from the Wilderness, but may have also staved off cancellation. I find it unlikely that they seriously considered axing the show for a second time, but you never know…

Happy Fish Fingers and Custard Day

Fishfingers

Where were you four years ago today? Probably glued to the tv just like I was. After all it was the debut of a new Doctor. We mark the anniversary of Matt Smith’s first episode today and I hope you will indulge me as I reminisce for a moment.

 
I’ll start by saying that I was a big Tennant fan. The day that his final episode aired, I walked around in a state of dread befitting someone who actually lost a loved one, not merely mourning the changing of a fictional character. The End of Time was a bit of a disappointment for me, but that’s neither here nor there. What does matter is that I thought nobody could ever replace him. He was going to be The Doctor. The definitive article, as his most popular predecessor once said. Fans of the classic series may love to argue and discuss who’s their favourite from the first of the Doctor’s eight regenerations, but there was no doubt in my mind that Tennant was going to be the New Who Doctor that went down in history as the most beloved.
So with great trepidation I sat on the couch as The Eleventh Hour started. I had already seen some stills from it online and was in a foul mood. That new companion was dressed like a police officer. That’s ridiculous, she’s going to be arrogant and bossy and hard to get along with. I just knew that I wasn’t going to like her. And Matt Smith? Seriously, I have socks older than him. How can he possibly be better than Tennant?

 
The show started up and I was immediately hooked. Just from that opening scene with young Amelia Pond and the crack in her wall. The slapstick comedy of the Doctor walking into a tree. Fish fingers and custard. By the time we moved forward and got to the real gist of the story I was already warming up to the new guy. What sealed it for me is Steven Moffat’s writing. You can complain all you want about his jiggery pokery later on in the series, but he writes one hell of a heroic Doctor. Just look at the “is this planet protected?” speech from the end of the episode. When we see all the previous incarnations of the Doctor flash across the screen and then Smith steps through the hologram of Tennant to introduce himself as the Doctor? BAM! I jumped off the couch, fist pumping the air. That’s one hell of an introduction. From that moment Matt Smith was my favourite New Who doctor and he has been for the last four years. Oh and that annoying police officer companion? Yes she was arrogant, bossy and hard to get along with, but that didn’t stop me from loving her and her husband.

So what did I learn from my Tennant to Smith experience? Not to prejudge what will come. Maybe Capaldi will blow away Smith, you never know. Looks like we will find out in this fall.

Doctor Who and the Interminable Waiting

I remember waiting 18 months for a new series of Doctor Who once as a kid. I didn’t mind that much, and although Trial of a Time Lord wasn’t a very good series, at least it was back to being on at the same time of year, every year. Even if internal BBC politics meant that I had grown taller than usual in between.

I was used to the usual 9 month waits between series, as a child they didn’t seem as interminable as they do now. Even the 7 years between Survival and the TV Movie, and the 9 between that and Rose didn’t bug me too much.

Perhaps that’s more to do with the times we live in. The world has become a far less patient place. Because these days I HATE waiting for more Doctor Who. I HATE that Easter moves every year and that the series seems arbitrarily pinned to a date that can be anything from the end of March to the end of April. Just pick a date and have done with it!

I started to slightly hate waiting for Doctor Who at the end of The Christmas Invasion. Ok, it was only a few months, but they went and showed a trailer for the new series, making it worse…..and there’s Easter off in the distance…….and it’s moved……

I dealt with the Easter thing (although, New Earth wasn’t a strong start, sorry Russell), and got on with the fallow periods where you knew the series wouldn’t be on. Until 2009, the year where Shakespearian commitments for David Tennant, and the slow handover between RTD and Moffat meant only 4 new episodes, with Planet of the Dead rushed out into the world at Easter, and a 7 month wait for The Waters of Mars, during which I, knowing full well that there was a whole new series of Who being made with a new Doctor, silently, internally screamed “Just ****ing PUT IT ON!” more times than I could have possibly anticipated.

Things seemed to go back to normal in the early Matt Smith era, I can honestly say that I didn’t mind the split series the first time round (apart from people at work asking me “Why have they split the series?? How long is it off for??”), but once Christmas 2011 was over, what felt like the longest wait began, the road to Asylum of the Daleks.

I grew and shaved off several quite bushy beards. I got into and out of a relationship. I began to externally scream “Just ****ing PUT IT ON!” at my housemate (who has nothing to do with the black arts of BBC scheduling or the Doctor Who production office, but was very understanding). Nine whole months. No Doctor Who. And I couldn’t see why, until last year.

Basically, Steven Moffat, right from the outset of taking over as showrunner, had the date of the 50th anniversary in front of him, immovably set in stone, hence the transmission creep from series 6 onwards. His plans for Matt Smith’s Doctor were set up to end in a particular way, topping off the craziness of the anniversary year.

I got it, during the surprisingly painless wait between The Snowmen and The Bells of St. John. I realised then, that whatever happened during the year would happen when it happened. The War Doctor rocked up, and I was more than happy to wait 6 months to see what the deal with him was. The anniversary has been the whole reason for the last few years of shuffling transmission.

Now, there’s no milestone to meet, no need to mess around with the transmission pattern. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor makes his debut this year in a full, uninterrupted series at….

What’s that?

Oh, yeah.

It’s not on until Autumn this year.

*Facepalm*

Oh well, maybe we’ll get Marco Polo at Easter instead.