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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 515 > STEVEN MOFFAT’S DOCTOR WHO

STEVEN MOFFAT’S DOCTOR WHO

Over the past six series of Doctor Who, one man has helped to shape every single episode. We present our choices of the 20 most amazing things about the Steven Moffat era…

20 amazing things about…

Can it really be nine years since the announcement that Steven Moffat would be replacing Russell T Davies as Doctor Who’s lead writer and executive producer (‘Moffat named Doctor Who supremo’ – The Guardian)? Can it really be that long since Steven decided to put a movie career with Steven Speilberg and Peter Jackson on the backburner? (Well, no, as by the time the announcement was made, Steven had already known he would be taking over Doctor Who for nearly a year, and had already started writing his new episodes.) In fact, it’s over ten years since Steven received an email from Russell about the ‘Elephant in the Room’. Real life can be very ‘wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey’.

Since then, Steven has written 36 episodes, and co-written (or rewritten without on-screen credit) many more (in addition to the six episodes he wrote for Russell). He’s also written countless ‘prequels’, minisodes, charity sketches and half a dozen or so short stories, while as executive producer he has overseen 84 episodes in total. In terms of screen time, that’s about as much Doctor Who as was made during the entire 1980s.

There are few who have made a greater contribution to Doctor Who, while his work on Doctor Who now forms the most sizeable – and greatest – chunk of his television career (which is no mean feat, as it also contains Sherlock). So, in no particular order, here are some highlights of Steven Moffat’s time on Doctor Who. The Doctor Who supremo!

THE ELEVENTH HOUR

The TARDIS in Amelia’s garden in The Eleventh Hour.

Steven Moffat has said this was the “single hardest script” he has ever written (although this was before The Day of the Doctor); on the other hand, in 2016 he listed it as one of his three greatest triumphs (alongside The Day of the Doctor and Heaven Sent). It’s not hard to see why it was so challenging – it’s a fresh start where the only pre-existing element is the TARDIS – nor why it was such a success. Matt Smith’s Doctor is so captivating and so firmly established that when a clip of David Tennant appears at the end, you have kind of forgotten that he was the Doctor only three months earlier. Plus, it introduces Amy Pond, Rory Williams and the sinister crack in time and sets up threads that will run for the next four years.

But, aside from the shopping list, The Eleventh Hour is just an incredibly strong story. It might be Steven’s most tightly plotted Doctor Who episode. You don’t notice how many clever things it is doing because it is telling an incredibly exciting story at the same time; it’s basically a hostage crisis, with an alien fugitive holed up on Earth, some alien police placing the planet under siege, and the Doctor acting as the hostage negotiator. It’s Dog Day Afternoon in an English country village with a shape-changing snake in the Al Pacino role.

AMY POND

Never has the description ‘a fiery redhead’ been more apposite than for Amy Pond. She is a walking personality clash. On the one hand, she had a miserable, isolated childhood, a Scottish girl in an English village, taking comfort in a fantasy life, and is now a cynical, spiky adult, very much the dominant partner in her relationship, about to embark on a life of marriage and babies. But on the other hand, she is still the little girl who had a ‘raggedy Doctor’ drop into her life, who wants to run away from her responsibilities and have adventures. The irony is, she had to wait until she was an adult before she could do all things she wanted to do as a child. She is torn between the mundane and the magical, between adulthood and childhood, between Rory and the Doctor. And, Amy being Amy, she refuses to accept that she can’t have both.

Amy Pond: the first face seen by the Eleventh Doctor.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • An in-depth interview with STEVEN MOFFAT, head writer and executive, who reflects on his years working on the series • STEVEN MOFFAT writes his last-ever PRODUCTION NOTES • A look back at 20 amazing things about the STEVEN MOFFAT era of DOCTOR WHO, plus tributes from RUSSELL T DAVIES, CHRIS CHIBNALL, MARK GATISS and many more • Part 2 of the DWM interview with DOCTOR WHO writer, actor and fan, MARK GATISS • A brand-new adventure for the Doctor and Bill in Part 1 of the latest comic strip story, THE PARLIAMENT OF FEAR by Scott Gray, with art by Staz Johnson • Reviews of the 2017 series finale WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME and THE DOCTOR FALLS • THE FACT OF FICTION looks at the Eleventh Doctor’s debut episode, 2010’s THE ELEVENTH HOUR • The latest DVDs and audios are reviewed • Previews of forthcoming releases • Prize-winning competitions, the 2017 SEASON SURVEY official news, the WOTCHA! column
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