Doctor Who News dw-grandmoffmad-hp3

Published on March 23rd, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Moffat Takes It “a year at at time” too…

Are we approaching the end of an era? Just days after Matt Smith admitted that his future on Doctor Who is “a year by year thing”, Executive Producer Steven Moffat has revealed that he approaches the job in the same way, and that “statistically he is nearer the end than the beginning” of his role in charge of the BBC’s internationally successful series.


Speaking in the recent Doctor Who-covered issue of Entertainment Weekly Moffat – who has been with Doctor Who as a writer since 2005 and in the hot seat as the “showrunner” since Series 5 entered production early mid-2009 – stated that like his star, he too has a relaxed approach to career mapping.

I just take it a year at a time. I think the feeling of it being done for you is quite unambiguous when it suddenly arrives.

Given how soon this has come after the shock departure of Caro Skinner, the news is likely to come as some surprise to many of Doctor Who‘s fans.

So, the time has come for the speculation to begin – who would YOU like to see take over from Steven Moffat?

(Via The Mirror)


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About the Author


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+.

29 Responses to Moffat Takes It “a year at at time” too…

  1. avatar Andrew says:

    I hope both Steven Moffat and Matt Smith stick around for a while yet, but I’d like to see Smith under a different exec-producer. Like how Tom Baker had 3 different producers, it would be interesting to see how say Toby Whitehouse or Gareth Roberts would handle the 11th Doctor.

    • Great point and exactly the reason I wanted Tennant to stick around for the Moffat era.

  2. avatar Paul Blume says:

    …Toby Whitehouse, Gareth Roberts OR Mark Gatiss.

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      Has Gareth Roberts ever Exec’d anything before? I can’t think of anything and they’re not going to give the Job to a TV production novice.

      Toby has had his own success so is a candidate and so its Mark Gatis, but the below suggestion of Nicholas Briggs is just silly – he hasn’t even written an exisode as far as the BBC are concerned, never mind had any TV production experience. It’s a big show for the Beeb, they are not just going to give it to a fanboy without some serious TV success behind them

      • avatar paul blume says:

        Very true, Mark ~ I’m actually hoping for Gatiss, whom I think has the ‘chops’.

        • avatar Mark Lenton says:

          True, but maybe Whithouse would be a good change from the old fanboys club of showrunners, and bring some fresh air to the show…

      • avatar Bob James says:

        The suggestion of Nicholas Briggs is not silly, just possibly, as noted in your concerns, not plausible………..

  3. avatar Guy Grist says:

    I would like either Neil Gaimen, Nicholas Briggs or who I have never heard of before.

    • avatar J W says:

      Nick Briggs would be an interesting choice for show runner. His love of classic Who would undoubtably give us a series that feels the most like the classic series in tone. And we’d likely see more classic who monsters under a Briggs regime than we ever have under Davies or Moffat. Mark Gatiss would be a good choice as well. His love of classic Doctor Who as well as his familiarity with the new series would make him a good candidate to replace Moffat when the time comes.

      • avatar Bob James says:

        I agree wholeheartedly about Nicholas Briggs, and have said as much in this very forum before. I don’t think that he would neccessarily bring a “classic” take to the series in any unhealthy amount though, as his work with Big Finish displays his progressive approach to greater character emphasis, and more complex plot development than the classic series usually displayed. We do also have to consider whether these “candidates” have the credentials and experience to run a television program. We have been blessed twice now, with showrunners who love Doctor Who, and who know the medium very well. And why do people keep bringing up Toby Whithouse? I have also previously voiced the fear (mine at least) of his willingness to “americanize” his work, as is evident with the completely unneccessary US version of Being Human. The BBC would (dear God, I hope) resist any effort to subject Doctor Who to that sort of thing, as Who is BRITISH and needs to stay BRITISH, but I’d rather have someone incorruptible than someone who’d chase a US paycheck the way some dogs chase parked cars (RTD, anyone?). Whithouse is a brilliant writer who would best serve under another showrunner, who would keep Doctor Who’s integrity intact.

  4. avatar Francis cave says:

    Why just one person? Surely two could help share the workload. How about say Toby Whithouse AND Mark Gatiss?

    • avatar paul blume says:

      Apart from no longer actually being based in the UK, Gaiman has a TONNE of prior commitments ~ best he sticks to writing. But I agree, dual co-production credits might work very nicely, diminishing the dictatorial hand of a single show-runner.

      • avatar Lozzer says:

        It’s crossed my mind that two people should share the load. Gatiss and Whitehouse would be interesting be the logical choices,

  5. avatar drewboynton says:

    I’d say Gareth Roberts or Phil Ford or Toby Whithouse. You need someone with TV experience–prefereably showrunning experience. Neil Gaiman is cool, but basically has no TV experience (outside of a few scripts.)

  6. avatar barry whysall says:

    i would like to see both moffatt and smith go at the end of the 50th, not that i dont like them just feel the show now need a new start again. bring in paul cornell, and someone like kieron richardson or damien molony fron being human, better still nicolas hoult, someone who would appeal to a young audience and someone who would have a strong following with both straight and gay guys and young girls too.

  7. avatar John Shandler says:

    With Jenna Louise Coleman’s recent comments that there will another long break until Series 8 (which will probably mean September 2014, and if so the possibility of another spilt season over two years), it really does appear that Moffat is not handling the show too well.
    RTD kept DW, SJA and TW all going at the same time. Moffat cannot keep this show going with Sherlock as well. Why are so many executive producers leaving Doctor Who? It does not seem like things are harmonious behind the scenes. Gardner and Davies may have had their differences, but can you imagine this happening under them? When we had the specials year RTD told us what was happening and why. Moffat doesn’t. We just get trite, unfulfilled statements about the things that we should be looking forward to, but don’t happen.
    I know that some people will post and say that some fans think that we are ‘entitled’ to the show and are ungrateful and moaning- well yes I do think that we are entitled to this show. The same sense of entitlement that RTD, Moffat, Gatiss and other writers felt when the show went off the air for so long after 1989.
    We are fans- we want it on. 14 episodes are year is not too much to ask. If you cannot produce that, stand aside and let someone who can do it.
    Enough excuses. Enough rubbish about never being more than a few months away from the next block of episodes. Enough rubbish about Doctor Who needing to be on ‘when it’s dark’ (like that happened!). Enough rubbish about Doctor Who ‘taking over television for the 50th’ – it isn’t going to.
    Time for a change.

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      I think the guy says it all….

      Look at the output:

      2005 – 13 eps and a special, 2 Docu’s, 13 Confidentials and a Podcast
      2006 – 13 eps and a special, 13 Torchwoods, 13 Confidentials, 14 Podcasts
      2007 – 13 eps and a special, 1 SJA Special, 10 SJA Eps, 14 Confidentials, 14 Podcasts
      2008 – 13 eps and a special, 13 Torchwoods, 14 Confidentials and 14 Podcasts
      2009 – 3 specials, 5 Torchwoods, 12 SJA Eps, 3 Confidentials, 3 BBC3 Docu’s and 3 Podcasts
      2010 – 13 eps and 2 specials (1 from RTD), 12 SJA’s, 15 Confidentials, 1 Podcast
      2011 – 13 eps and 1 special, 6 SJA, 10 Torchwoods, 13 Confidentials
      2012 – 5 eps and 1 special
      2013 – 8 eps and 2 specials plus AIS&T

      • avatar John Shandler says:

        And the Torchwoods and SJAs were all RTD exec’d as well.
        2014 looks like 5 eps and 1 special and 2015 looks like 8 eps and 1 special.
        Not good. Not good at all.

        • avatar Paul Blume says:

          Do I sense a disenchantment, here, with the ‘Grand Moff’? About time.

    • avatar Paul Blume says:

      To both John and Mark ~ hear, hear!

    • avatar Bob James says:

      I think that the reality of making Doctor Who now for Moffat might possibily be a different one than RTD had when he was showrunner. It probably is coming down to the way the show is budgeted, and how that must be made to work. I don’t think, for example, that we are ever going to see thirteen episodes in a single year ever again, that was odd in the first place for British television and would be even more odd now in these times of cutbacks and budget squeeze. I think Moffat is concentrating on making the absolute best Doctor Who he and his team can make, and I think that given the current climate, that might mean more investment in a lesser number of episodes. The reality that things are changing within the BBC has to be faced by us fans, and we have to stop whinging about it. It is what it is and what it will be. I’m just happy that Doctor Who is still important and a priority to the BBC, and I hope it remains so. This is better than the show going away altogether once again.

      • avatar Mark Lenton says:

        But why does Merlin and it’s sucessor series still get 13 eps a year if you’re right about this budget thing? To be honest if the Moff has made the decision to do fewer episodes with a higher budget then I think many fans would support him in that. What we don’t support is the constant misdirection that John clearly points to.

        Just be clear with us. I thought BBC lying went out with the phone in scandal and the blue Peter cat naming – but the Moff misdirects us constantly.

        • avatar Mark Lenton says:

          And further Bob.. what’s wrong with cheap episodes. A season the quality of Boomtown, Love & Monsters, Midnight or Turn Left and the possible best story of all time Blink!!!

          Money isn’t a problem if you’ve got talent. Perhaps that’s the problem. The Moff made sixpence go a long way with Blink – now he’s spending like a maniac and we’re getting underperforming stories and only half as many as we should be getting…

          • avatar Bob James says:

            There’s nothing wrong with inexpensive episodes, but they can’t all be inexpensive. Gareth Roberts it was, I believe, once tried making the case in DWM that making Doctor Who would not come down to budget matters, like incorporating CGI. He called the apparent need for that a “silly myth”. He was wrong, and has been proven so. The occasional inexpensive story is fine, but Doctor Who, in these times, needs to be able to really bring the visuals to compete, and stay welcoming to potential new viewers.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            And, “spending like a maniac”? Perhaps you have access to the books, and know more about the budget than the rest of us? Underperforming stories? What, your opinion makes the fact that so many others obviously enjoy these episodes null and void?

        • avatar Bob James says:

          Merlin doesn’t get 13 episodes anymore, it got cancelled. And I believe the misdirection is a game. We fans keep asking questions that he doesn’t want to answer, as he doesn’t want to give anything away. We don’t know what he has to contend with in regards to who he answers to at the BBC. His recent comments in Entertainment Weekly about not wanting to be the one who’ll be “ending it” speak volumes about his thinking on his feet about maintaining the program, and continuing to move it forward. The budget for Doctor Who has to be considerable, especially now that the BBC seem committed to making the show properly. But despite the show’s success, there’s no guarantee that the budget will increase, and a lot of likelihood that it will be subject to cuts and reductions. It of neccessity has to be made of a flexible paradigm so that it can be adapted to these potential changes and still maintain its quality and integrity. We don’t know the politics or the realities going on behind the scenes, and Steven Moffat is under no obligation to keep us informed about them. His only obligation to us is to continue to produce great Doctor Who.

        • avatar Bob James says:

          Merlin doesn’t get 13 episodes anymore, it gets none, it has been cancelled. Note the wave of cancellations taking place. Moffat’s recent comments in Entertainment Weekly about not wanting to be the one “ending it” speak volumes. Who knows what the politics and realities are behind the scenes? Who knows what he faces when he has to pitch and explain to those in the BBC that he answers to? Doctor Who, despite its current international vitality and success, is still more likely to face budget cuts and reductions, rather than increases. The program has to be produced on a paradigm that can adapt to shifts and changes, so that it can continue to survive and thrive. And as to the misdirection, we fans keep asking questions that he doesn’t want to, or perhaps can’t answer. Steven Moffat is under no obligation to report to us about how he manages his job. His only obligation to us is to continue to produce great Doctor Who, and I believe he’s engaged in exactly that, despite the lack of gratitude and continuous criticism of a very vocal minority. Doctor Who is more of an international success than its ever been, while still remaining an export of the UK. All of these people watching it are watching episodes they don’t like?

          • avatar Mark Lenton says:

            Well Bob, you are entitled to your views and you may be as right as I think I am :-).

            But just to correct – Merlin wasn’t cancelled – the company that produces it finished it and are producing another 13part series of Muskateers in it’s place this year – read my post- ‘sucessor series’. So not cuts there. That’s six years of thirteen part series from that team – no breaks and no stalling.

            And I don’t agree that Moffatt is under no obligation to tell us the truth. The BBC is ours, we pay for it. The BBC does have an obligation to tell us straight what we want to know. They don’t have an obligation to do what we want them to do…. I’ll give you that, but being straight with answers to questions about the productions (not the story content) then yes they do.

            But you choose to believe it’s the Moff against the Beeb, I think there is evidence that the beeb would happily have more episodes and it’s the Moff who is reducing his workload because he can call the shots. We are not going to agree and either one of us may be right because no-one is giving straight answers.

  8. avatar Bob James says:

    Sorry about the nearly identical double post. I thought the initial one hadn’t gone through…….

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