The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine features – as ever – a Production Notes column by Steven Moffat, in which the man in charge of our favourite show teases us with some “Twelfth Doctor audition scripts”.
All very well, you might think – but why did we call them “Twelfth Doctor audition scripts” as opposed to Twelfth Doctor audition scripts?
Well, have a read of this sample…
THE DOCTOR: Right then, eyesight. Not bad, bit blue. Ears – not pointy, right way up, more or less level. Face – well I’ve got one. Oh, no – French!
THE DOCTOR: I’ve deleted French! Plus all cookery skills, and the breast stroke. And hopping. Never mind hopping, who needs to hop. Ohh, the kidneys are interesting. Never had that before – interesting kidneys.
CLARA: Are you all right?
THE DOCTOR: I don’t know, do I look all right?
CLARA: I don’t know.
THE DOCTOR: How’s the face? Seems all right from the inside. Nice action, responsive. Bit less heft on the chin. How is it?
CLARA: It’s… okay.
THE DOCTOR: Okay?
CLARA: It’s a bit… you know.
THE DOCTOR: No I don’t, I haven’t seen it yet.
CLARA: Maybe it’s just new.
THE DOCTOR: Have you changed height?
THE DOCTOR: You sure?
CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.
THE DOCTOR: And look at your nose.
CLARA: What about my nose?
THE DOCTOR: It was really cute, I loved your nose, you should’ve kept it.
CLARA: I did, it’s the same nose, it’s the same all of me. You’re the one who’s… regenerated, whatever you call it.
THE DOCTOR: Are you wearing a smell?
CLARA: Do you mean perfume?
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it could be perfume.
CLARA: You’ve always liked that perfume, you said so.
THE DOCTOR: No I didn’t, that was the Doctor.
CLARA: You’re the Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose I am. That’s going to take a bit of getting used to.
CLARA: Yeah, it really is.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that extract from Doctor Who Magazine 463 tells me very little about the Twelfth Doctor…
…and a lot about the Eleventh Doctor. Whether or not you might be able to envisage an older man or even a woman outputting that dialogue is neither here nor there; it’s not even suitable for David Tennant’s Doctor.
It is Matt Smith’s dialogue. Dialogue that should really be quite different coming from the hand of one Steven Moffat and being intended to characterise a brand new Doctor. A different person to the last – not the same.
So what is going on? What is this above? Would the Moff go to the lengths of not sharing a genuine audition script? I doubt it, as Production Notes itself is probably quite a chore for the man who is famously short of time when producing and writing Doctor Who.
The worse-case scenario, of course, is that Moffat hasn’t got a clue who the Twelfth Doctor is. Not the actor, of course, but the character. This alone makes you wonder whether the show is going to take a new direction or carry on as it has since 2010…
What do you think?