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Published on July 24th, 2013 | by Meredith Burdett

Remember: This Man Lies

The Doctor Who panel at the recent San Diego Comic Con celebrated 50 years of Time travel with the Doctor with an audience Q&A.


Hosted by Craig Ferguson, a self-confessed Doctor Who fan, the panel included Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Jenna-Louise Coleman, David Bradley, Marcus Wilson and for the last time ever (sob!) Matt Smith.

Moffat came up with the most enigmatic and rewarding comments when talking about the impending 50th anniversary special starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and john Hurt and suggested that the end of a long game is approaching in the episode:

There are certain things we’ve been setting up for a very long time and they will be resolved in the 50th anniversary.

After being asked about John Barrowman’s involvement in the special, something that was denied by the actor himself, Moffat intrigued the audience and indeed the entire world when stating:

lied my arse off for months.

But what exactly about? Barrowman’s involvement? It does seem rather odd that the actor stated he was talking to the BBC regarding Doctor Who and then did a complete U-turn to say he would be having no involvement.

So, if Moffat has got Barrowman involved and then asked him to deny this, what else could we expect in terms of surprises? It’s clear that Christopher Eccleston won’t be involved but could there be a fleeting appearance from another Doctor that we don’t know about?

Rule number one: Moffat lies. But that makes the reveal when you’re watching his episodes all the more satisfying.

(Via Radio Times.)


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

22 Responses to Remember: This Man Lies

  1. avatar TonyS says:

    We all know that he lies. He admits it. The pay off for this should be that we are blown away by what appears on the screen. Otherwise it is just self-indulgence. If you don’t want us to know, Mr Moffat (and I can understand why you wouldn’t), say nothing! His hit rate for delivering satisfying reveals is still rather hit and miss. While I now enjoy The Name of The Doctor, at the time I found it less than satisfying.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      I suspect that if Moffat simply said nothing – answering questions with “no comment” or “wait and see” there would be even more complaints from fandom that he wasn’t communicating with them. And we’d still be no better off – surprises would still be ruined by leaks, rumours and speculation would still be rife and if Moffat said “I haven’t cast the Doctor yet, I’m still looking”, people would still claim this was a lie…

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I agree with you. Fandom being what it is, the man cannot win. So he might as well carry on as he is. A cynical part of me also suggests that this way he is keeping the programme in people’s consciousness.

  2. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    First Rule: Writers Lie. Everytime we open our mouths. We are professional liars – we lie for a living. So don’t be surprised that Moffat has said this. I’m certainly not.

  3. I think you should be fair to Steven Moffat and quote the WHOLE answer he gave to that particular question, so folks who have not seen the panel video can make a fairer judgement. He did say it would be impossible for every assistant/Doctor to appear in a 60-90min production and I agree with him, The story can’t move if it’s just one scene after another full of cameos to appease the hardcore fans.

  4. avatar Bob James says:

    Anyone who takes on the job of showrunner, and I would add, probably most especially for Doctor Who, a portion of whose fanbase which continuously proves to be quite rabidly disrespectful, abusive, and rancorous, has to walk in knowing that they will be taking it on the neck no matter what they do. I haven’t been a tremendous supporter of Moffat’s “carnival barking” to promote the show, which has led to disappointment for so many, but, in my estimate, the man and his team have delivered far more than they’ve fallen short. Like RTD before him, he has purposefully refused to “get into bed” with fandom, even though he has engaged them more, which can be very much akin to playing in traffic. I for one hope Steven Moffat stays as long as he feels he has something to bring to the show. And I can only hope that the showrunner that succeeds him will also possess his integrity, and love for Doctor Who. I think some of these professed “fans” don’t realize how good we’ve got it.

  5. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Bit alarmed to see extracts of the audition scripts have been released – and all three are very much in the 10/11 hyperactive mode – suggesting that this is yet again the avenue they are going down! I have read them and can’t hear how an older actor could read them in an audition, let alone a woman! I would have thought a bit of variety would make more sense, give actors something to show their abilities. (actually, wouldn’t it be better to use scenes from old stories, different Doctors, see how T Baker’s speech from Ark in Space sounds in the mouth of a different actor?)

    Getting worried again…

    • Probably just bad writing. Moffat’s been writing the character since 2004/5, so that’s what, nine years since he started on the early drafts of The Empty Child.

      He needs a break.

      • avatar Bob James says:

        Since my last post failed to appear, is that sarcasm being employed on your part, Christian?

        • Um, if it is it’s completely unintentional – I didn’t see your post…

  6. avatar Bob James says:

    One of the only forums where all I have to do is make my point, and lots of other people almost immediately set out to proving it for me. Moffat does something, makes a gesture, and people line up to criticize it, call him out for being wrong, and ask why he did it; Moffat refrains from doing something, doesn’t make a gesture, and people line up to criticize the lack of one, why is it he didn’t do something, and ask why he didn’t do it. If he does something, he’s doing it wrong for some reason or another. If he doesn’t do something, he’s wrong for not doing it, whatever “it” happens to be on the occasion. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions, but since we are, how about doing so intelligently, respectfully, and realistically? We are going to know who has been cast as the 12th Doctor when they cast him and announce it. We are going to know whether he’s a hyperactive individual, or a staid, stoic, calm, reserved individual when we see him portray the character. If Steven Moffat has come this far without wandering the streets asking for input and guidance outside of his own counsel, and those he’s chosen to trust, why would he ever start doing so now? He’s trying (and succeeding, in my opinion) to continue to bring us the best Doctor Who he and his team possibly can. Ironic, I’d say, that more often than not, that ends up being the complete opposite of what “fans” claim to want, or demand.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      The point of my post above (which I would say was written in an initial panic after reading the extracts – which are to appear in DWM) was that if you write dialogue in a particular way then it is possible for an actor to speak it only in one way. Pinter can only be acted in a Pinteresque manner, if you see what I mean. If you write dialogue in a way that presents a hyperactive way, the way both the 10th and 11th Doctors have spoken it, then in an audition it would be very hard, if not near impossible, for the actor to interpret it in anything much beyond the way it is written. That’s the whole point of writing – to make the actor sound like the character you have created. I simply suggest that, to give the actor the most room at the audition, it might have been better to have written extracts that didn’t sound quite so like the past two Doctors – using extracts from different writers for example, allowing them to present different (written) voices would give Moffat an idea of their range. As it is, these extracts are written by one person at a pitch that is level with the two previous Doctors interpretations (there’s very little difference between the 10th and 11th Doctors in term of their “voice”). That made me fear that Moffat’s thinking is that he wants a Doctor in the same vein. You’d have to be a bloody good actor not to sound like Tennant or Smith with this dialogue. Let’s hope then we get a bloody good actor…

      Also, though this is a different point, I’d not agree that Moffat and his team (which seems to change with alarming regularity) has succeeded in bringing us the best DW they can, and would suggest the collapse in ratings of the show in the past series would bear this out – frankly at least one episode (Gaiman’s) was so poorly written it should never have been broadcast in that form (and wouldn’t have been if it was written by anyone other than Neil Gaiman).

      • avatar Bob James says:

        The “collapse” in ratings is in your own head, and the result of the misinformation you obviously continue to choose to believe, Lewis. This has been proven again and again, as “overnights” are no longer the sole component in determining overall viewing figures, and haven’t been for a good while now. Old news, and your statement is obviously indicative of your not being very concerned with having your facts straight before you state your opinion. That makes that portion of your statement not only fallacious, but sloppy. As for your criticism of Neil Gaiman’s last contribution to the show, I think it’s a pretty sure bet that neither he, nor Steven Moffat care at all what you think of that episode. Your opinion does not render someone else’s work “poorly written” or unfit for broadcast. Doctor Who does not revolve around your tastes, your opinion is only that, your opinion. Sloppy, ignorant, and delusional, all in one post. There ought to be some kind of award for that level of ridiculous.

        • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

          Charming. I won’t bother to respond. I think your own post pretty much says everything about you that needs to be said.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            End of conversation. Off you go, now…………….

  7. avatar TonyS says:

    One of the things that I enjoy about this site is that there are particpants- and Lewis and Bob are among them- who contribute in an intelligent and reasoned manner. I may not necessarily agree with all the views expressed but I can usually enjoy the manner in which they are expressed. Intelligent and respectful contributors make this a fun place to be.

    • avatar authorman94 says:

      That’s why I like this site. I may not be a fan of Mr. Moffat and some of his recent decisions, but there’s always room for intelligent and reasonable debate in things like this, and I always find this site, while still having the odd one or two dumb comment, is much more restrained and kind than a lot of others out there. I enjoy debating with all of you (even if I don’t do much of it, I must confess), and it’s a pleasure to be part of this site. :)

    • avatar TonyS says:

      On the other hand… ^^^

      • avatar Lewis Seymour says:


  8. avatar Ian Gettings says:

    The shame of this guy is he has pandered, like JNT years ago, to worshipful American fans at Comic Con – giving them exclusive trailers on pain of goodness knows what to not share with the licence paying UK public. Grrr. Something is soundly going wrong with the production team – and for goodness sake, it’s repeating history.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      I sympathize with you, Ian. SDCC is the big mecca of American SciFi-SciFantasy media, and everyone who has something to sell is sure to make an appearance there. Never mind that the same organization runs ComicCons all across the United States. SDCC gets all the “A-Listers”, the vast majority of whom drop off the guest roster everywhere else a ComicCon takes place. The other, obviously lesser, events are more nostalgia shows featuring personalities who aren’t getting as much work nowadays, and so they’re doing conventions. I know BBC America is a big player in the Doctor Who market now, but the UK is Doctor Who’s home turf, and the trailer should have at least been screened in the UK and at SDCC within the same timeframe. If it’s any comfort, there’s an awful lot of US Doctor Who fans who didn’t get to see the trailer either, because we live somewhere other than San Diego, where this “hallowed” event takes place. A lot of these “artists” careers would be over with quite quickly if only the good folks who live in San Diego came out to see their films, or watched their television shows, but that’s how the rest of us US fans get treated every year nonetheless.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      It does seem somewhat insensitive not to have posted it online by now. The trailer seemed to have been specifically designed for (BBC) America – it refers to “this Fall” rather than Autumn. It would be nice to see what the fuss was about!

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