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Steven Moffat, writer of Doctor Who and Sherlock

Moffat Defends “Complex” Doctor Who Plots

Steven Moffat has launched a staunch defence of his “complex” Doctor Who plots, noting that his approach to plotting the series should be “celebrated and not criticized”.

Steven Moffat, writer of Doctor Who and SherlockSpeaking on Richard Bacon’s BBC Radio 5 Live show this morning (catch the highlights here), The Grand Moff revealed that he had received “no actual feedback” from BBC audience researchers highlighting issues following plots.

“It’s demanding television, but isn’t that something to celebrate? We are doing the opposite of dumbing down. Shouldn’t that be celebrated and not criticized?”

We at the K would say that on the whole, Steven Moffat is absolutely right. Plot complexities – as long as they are properly explained – shouldn’t cause anyone much of a problem. If they do, they’re watching the wrong show. However, there are instances in Doctor Who over the years in which editing and dialogue have clashed, resulting in odd things happening. This *might* result in some confusion (for instance, pirates going missing…).

Moffat was also asked if the BBC considered Doctor Who a children’s show or adult drama. With a suitably diplomatic-yet-frank answer, he replied:

“Everyone by the end of the opening music is a kid! It is watched by more adults than kids, but there is something at its heart, which belongs to children. All the best stuff is children’s. You look at a risotto on a menu and you see the children’s menu and there’s sausage and chips. All the good stuff belongs to children.”

Personally, I’d rather have the risotto. Still, I’m sure he knows what he means…

Christian Cawley


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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