Steven Moffat is Doctor Who’s lead writer and Executive Producer. He recently took time out to answer questions about the new series, spilling some secrets about mystery, monsters and a momentous cliff-hanger…
How has this series evolved from last year?
Steven Moffat: Well we’ve moved through the funfair a bit – we’ve done the rollercoaster, now we’re on the ghost train. Last year, in a way, was all about saying, don’t worry, it’s still him, it’s still the same show, nothing’s really been lost. Losing a leading man like David Tennant is seismic – unless you gain a leading man like Matt Smith. It’s been the biggest joy to see him stride in and just claim that TARDIS for his own. But now he’s really here, and the part is his, and the bow tie is cool, he’s ready to lead us places we didn’t know existed. Last year we reassured you – this year, to hell with that, we’re going to worry the hell out of you. How well do we really know that man, or what he’s capable of? We’re putting the Who? back in the Doctor.
Is there a major story arc to look out for?
Oh, there’s a big story being told this year, and major mysteries from the very off. As ever, in this show, the stories all stand alone, and every episode is a perfect jumping-on point for a new viewer. But at the same time the over-arching plot will be a bigger player this year. More than hints and whispers – we’re barely ten minutes into episode one before our heroes face a dilemma that they’ll be staring at months from now. And there will be no easy answers.
Will there be new monsters?
They’re … scary. Very scary. And, ohh, I don’t want to say more – there’s the Silence in 1 & 2, the Siren, in episode 3, the Gangers in 5 & 6, all these are more than just freaky costumes and masks; there are SCARY ideas here. And just wait till you meet Idris in episode 4.
Is this series scarier than the last one?
See above. Yes, I think so. But it’s not JUST scary – it’s funny and moving and revelling in its own insanity too.
How have the characters evolved?
The big difference, I suppose, is how long the Doctor is hanging around in the lives of his Companions. His normal MO is get them while they’re young, and leave them while they’re young too. He’s careful to put them back where he found them, before he screws up their lives. But here he is, married couple on board – and much as he loves them both, he does wonder if it isn’t time he got out of the way. Before something really BAD happens.
What can you tell us about the cliff-hanger at the end of episode 7?
Normally our cliff-hangers are lives being threatened. With this one, three live are changed FOREVER.
Big thanks to Steven Moffat for discussing the new series. Don’t forget you can read more about the opening two-parter and watch the Prequel for The Impossible Astronaut now. Later today we’ll be bringing you the thoughts of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill – alias the Doctor, Amy and Rory – as they gear up for the return of Doctor Who!