SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Doctor Who -

Steven Mof­fat

“The open­ing twoparter is a good one for not let­ting you know where the story’s go­ing to jump. In ef­fect it starts with the Doc­tor go­ing miss­ing – it’s a search for the Doc­tor, and it gets quite Star Wars- y dur­ing that. Then there’s a bril­liant un­der­wa­ter base in the next story – it’s about time we had an un­der­wa­ter base! – plagued by ghosts. I’ve al­ways wanted to do ghosts in Doc­tor Who. Ghosts plus time travel al­ways strikes me as a very strange idea. You could meet your own ghost… The open­ing episodes, the first four, are quite a tu­mult of events – you don’t set­tle for a mo­ment.

“Af­ter that you’ve got one by me and Jamie Mathieson, which is about Vik­ings, where you meet the Maisie Wil­liams char­ac­ter. It’s a re­ally good Doc­tor- Clara one, that one. It’s quite emo­tional.

“Then Cath Tre­genna comes in and gives us a bril­liant story with Ru­fus Hound as a high­way­man – and a very dif­fer­ent take on Doc­tor Who. She’s writ­ten such an elo­quent and heart­felt and very char­ac­ter- driven episode. An un­usual episode for us. Then there’s a two- part Zy­gon story, which feels like we did a fi­nale in the mid­dle of the show. It’s got that kind of scale and gravitas and fun. And real drama. Some­times you can do things in the mid­dle of a show, or at the end of a show, that you can’t do in the first few episodes, which have to be quite invit­ing. This one is maybe a bit more chal­leng­ing. It’s writ­ten by Peter Har­ness – and me, a bit. It’s a sort of global ur­ban thriller, quite dif­fer­ent in tone from any­thing we’ve done be­fore. It’s an idea I had ages ago. I con­structed, in part, the 50th an­niver­sary story as a pre­quel for it, as a pro­logue [ laughs]! You’ll see the set- up. This is not a short- term plan. This plan’s been around for­ever.

“Episode nine is a very un­usual idea from Mark Gatiss. It’s a very unique idea for Doc­tor Who. I think it’s ter­rific. Episode ten is by Sarah Dol­lard, who’s a ter­rific new writer – she worked with Toby Whit­house on The Game – and she’s given us a ter­rific idea. This one leapt out at me as ‘ Why haven’t we done this al­ready? This is so Doc­tor Who we s hould be d oing this im­me­di­ately!’ She’s a great new Doc­tor Who writer, which is very ex­cit­ing. And then we’re into the fi­nale, episodes 11 and 12… That was a chal­lenge [ laughs]! I’m not say­ing very much about them, but there’s plenty to say, god knows!”

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