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Published on August 31st, 2013 | by Alex Skerratt

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Moffat: Doctor Who Must Be ‘funny and exciting’

Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat has given a rather interesting interview to WorldScreen.com. In it, he talks about why Doctor Who has lasted for so long, his reservations about bringing Sherlock back, and why he doesn’t listen to people on Twitter!

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When quizzed about his plans for the show when he first took over from Russell T Davies, Moffat was quite clear:

I just wanted it to be good. People always want me to have some form of agenda. Sometimes in desperation I say I want it to be a fairy tale or I want it to be this or that. I just wanted it to be a good Doctor Who. The thing about Doctor Who is it’s a different show every week. It speaks with a different voice on a weekly basis. It must be fast moving. It must be funny and exciting. Those were all present in Russell’s era and I hope they are all present in mine. I serve at the pleasure of the TARDIS [the time machine in Doctor Who].

And if anybody is still holding out for a return of the Plasmatons, they might be disappointed. This is what Mr Moffat had to say about old monsters returning to Who:

When it first came back, if we hadn’t done the Daleks or the Cybermen or The Master, it wouldn’t have felt like Doctor Who. Now, the two eras of the show have merged into one big glorious tapestry. It is better to add to the mythology than to draw from it. I have a slight fear that the first appearance of any given monster is always the best. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring them back if people love them. It’s an age-old debate. I think I’d probably rather invent new [monsters].

Of course, it’s always great to see the strange, strange creatures of the Doctor Who universe, whether classic or brand new! And, even if you’re not a fan of Steven Moffat’s work, his interview to WorldScreen is a very frank and honest one, and well worth a read.

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8 Responses to Moffat: Doctor Who Must Be ‘funny and exciting’

  1. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    And the Moff has indeed created some great creatures/monsters during the new series. The Clockwork men, The Weeping Angels, The Vashta Narada, but as I think about it, those were all for the RTD era. Aside from The Silence, I’m struggling to think of any *really* impressive monsters created during the Moffat era that would be worthy of a return. It gives credence to the notion that the Moff has shifted his attention to story arcs and tent-pole stories, instead of creating new monsters and memorable alien races. I guess *maybe* the headless monks……

    Although credit due for new and interesting character such as the Victorian Trio, River and the like.

    • avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

      True – I’m trying to think of any other examples beyond the Silence…nope, still can’t. I like Moffat and his era but it’s disappointing to think he hasn’t created any other monsters worthy of a rematch.

      I agree about the Headless Monks…they were quite cool but not really ‘iconic’…but I wouldn’t mind seeing them again….the best bit was when they did that spooky chanting before their attack. Creepy and cool. They should have made an action figure that might have helped establish them in the playground a bit more.

      Can we have Dorium Maldovar back though please? either pre-chop or with a new body…I know he’s not a monster…but he was great.

      • avatar rickjlundeen says:

        Agreed, Dorian was great and really, just him as a floating head on a platform would be fantastic! More proof of some of the great characters he’s added during his reign if not monsters. I’d welcome back the headless monks as well.

      • avatar vortexter says:

        How could they chant if they had no heads?…
        Dorium would make a great companion. You could weld his head to a cyber-body.

        I agree with the lack of an Iconic monster. The Whispermen had potential but no sooner are they introduced than we move on. I could even argue that his era has weakened an old monster: The Silurians. Making them appear human has taken away some of their impact.

        • avatar TimeChaser says:

          I think having more human Silurians isn’t a bad thing. The point the Doctor would make is that we’re not all that different from them, so giving them more facial expression and emotional range is a good thing for the storytelling.

    • avatar CGW says:

      I agree that Moffat has been using his creative powers for other things since taking over as show runner. But I guess it makes sense that he can’t always be coming up with brilliant new monsters while he’s also busy planning a whole new doctor and new companions (I think Amy and Rory were brilliant and iconic in their own right).

      Still, I miss the days where he had time to put all his effort into a single episode, because back then every single one was always one of the show’s best. I’ve really loved the Matt Smith era of course, but I know and expect that he’ll step down sooner or later, and I just hope that when that happens he doesn’t pull an RTD and stop submitting scripts. Maybe we can get some new, brilliant monsters from him then!

  2. avatar castellanspandrel says:

    Astonishing. A balanced thread by reasonable adults about Steven Moffat, in which no one has posted “Moffat is a liar and has killed Doctor Who!” etc. Nor the polar opposite, “Moffat is an awesome godlike genius!”

    At least, not yet.

  3. avatar castellanspandrel says:

    “People always want me to have some form of agenda. Sometimes in desperation I say I want it to be…. this or that.”

    - The poisoned chalice that is the Doctor Who showrunner’s job in a nutshell. Like Russell T Davies before him, every word he utters is subject to microscopic over-analysis, leading to accusations that he’s ‘a liar’ or doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    And the next incumbent will get the same, too, no matter what he/she does in the series itself.

    On the topic of monsters, I do like a good old-fashioned monster season, and the likes of Tennant’s second run was a great example of one. But on recent rewatch of Smith’s first season, I got the impression that Moffat was trying to do something different, a bit like Philip Hinchcliffe when he declared he wanted to move the villains/threats away from ‘men in rubber monster suits’. So the cracks in time were a more substantial threat than any trad monsters.

    Fair play to him for trying something else, and it was similarly noticeable in Moffat’s/Smith’s second season that, aside from Closing Time, the returning monsters were all used as cameos rather than as the main threats.

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