Doctor Who News Steven Moffat

Published on January 10th, 2014 | by Drew Boynton

Moffat Talks “Dangerous” Doctors

As production continues on the first episodes of Series 8, showrunner extraordinaire Steven Moffat has been grabbing some headlines of his own. This will mark Moffat’s fourth series as top TV Time Lord, and in this month’s Doctor Who Magazine he has been explaining his thoughts on shaking things up for the Doctor and his friends in the wake of Matt Smith’s departure:

“There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor. The last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult.”

And it sounds pretty certain that Moffat will be using that “dangerous” personality (and more mature age) of Peter Capaldi’s shiny-new Twelfth Doctor to add some dramatic tension to the show:

“If we’d cast Ben Whishaw, you’d know what we were doing. You’d think, ‘Well, that’s another quirky young man with entertaining hair!’ And he’d be a brilliant Doctor, but Clara would just think, ‘Okay, you’ve rearranged yourself a bit…’”

Series 8 and the now-confirmed Series 9 may hold some surprises for fans when it comes to the Twelfth Doctor. After being in charge for all of the Eleven’s time, Moffat seems determined to try something different with Twelve’s dawning era:

“I think it was time for the show to flip around a bit. The new version of the show is quite old now. It’s very old… We need the kick-up-the-arse Doctor, in a way, to frighten you and make you think, oh, it’s a different show again.”

The question is whether newer fans and younger fans – who may only know “flappy hands” Matt Smith as the Doctor – will be patient enough to stick with an older, more difficult Doctor. It seems as though the pressure will very much be on Jenna Coleman’s Clara and any other returning characters to keep the show fun and relatable.

So, Kasterborites; you know the score – are you ready for a possible return to a Hartnell-like grumpier, older Doctor?


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About the Author


Drew has been a fan of Doctor Who ever since he flipped through the channels late one night and saw a girl blowing up an army of funny robot men with nothing but a slingshot and some old coins. He currently lives somewhere in the woods of Missouri with his beautiful wife Barbara.

12 Responses to Moffat Talks “Dangerous” Doctors

  1. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    The Moff is indicating a lean toward Baker, not Hartnell, but I’m all for it. he show needs a good change up.

  2. How about a source for those quotes of the Moff.

    • avatar Philip Bates says:

      Check out the latest Doctor Who Magazine.

  3. avatar Solonor says:

    So ready.

  4. avatar TimeChaser says:

    David and Matt were very similar in that they were young, energetic, and quite manic at times. I think its the right time to show newer fans that the Doctor can be different. Matt was as alien as Tom but with the whimsy of Troughton. I think its’ll be good to keep that alien-ness, but revisit the more patrician aspects of Doctors like Hatnell, Pertwee, Colin Baker, and Eccleston.

  5. I grew up on Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Baker so in my heart that’s what i think the Doctor should be like..

  6. avatar DonnaM says:

    If the kids turn off, don’t worry too much – more old-timers will be coming back! I know several who got tired of what one called the “panto-damery ” of David and Matt who can’t wait to see a “proper” Doctor again.

    Anyway the “younger” fans I know aren’t threatening to desert in droves. My eight year old niece has been informing everyone she meets since Christmas that she doesn’t like the colour of her kidneys… it’s just as well her teacher’s a fan too!

    From a personal point of view, Series 8 sounds more exciting the more we hear. Roll on the autumn!

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said to me re Matt Smith that they “couldn’t take to him” – I personally felt that he was rather let down by both some of the stories and the way the series was shown over the last couple of years – I really liked his Doctor in his first season, but somewhere along the line felt he lost his way. The last scenes of Time of the Doctor showed just how good he could be, but there was too little of that in the way he was written. I am actually struggling as I write this to think of more than a couple of stories in seasons 6-7 that made any impression on me at all, which is a rather sad state of affairs.

      As for fans leaving – isn’t this always going to happen with new Doctors, with new ones will come aboard. Not everyone is going to be a fan of every Doctor – I can’t stand McCoy’s for example – it doesn’t mean the show will end – it will evolve. This is how it has lasted 50 years.

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        Exactly, Simon – there are only going to be some of us who’ll watch regardless. I mean, I insisted on sticking with Timelash on the grounds that “it might get better” and I’m not usually that optimistic…

        Matt’s best series for me was his first, and I liked him a lot better in that Olympic rowing drama he did. I’m hopeful the writers will cut back the pratting about and the whimsicality for the new Doctor – he’s too good an actor to waste as I think Matt was sometimes wasted in his run, and I want those friends of mine back watching every week again too!

  7. avatar dr jon says:

    I’m all for a change of direction all the Dr’s should be different in persona,the first six dr’s were all completely different in nature. But even though I enjoyed both tennent and smith in the role they were very not that different in how they played it quirky. I am looking forward to a more difficult Dr with a lot more emotions going on around him and his close friends stopping in their tracks and thinking who the hell is this guy.

  8. avatar Geoff says:

    Change is good! The Doctor should be different each time and there shoukd be a marked contrast from the immediate predessecor. I really liked Matts crazy old guy/ crazy young guy version. I don’t think he played it like David Tennant at all. David’s portrayal was the most ordinary of the lot. I don’t me that as an insult, his Doctor was generally quite human and accessible. Very different to Matts approach. And by the sound of it we are going to have a brilliant, arsy, grumpy alien Doctor this time round. I could be quite wrong but I’m looking forward to it in any case.

  9. avatar Jamie-42 says:

    I think that this will be a much more mature Doctor. The seeds were sown with the War Doctor’s comments about how 10 & 11 had to grow up.

    Maybe I am just easily pleased but I am sure that the wailing and nashing of teeth that will come with the arrival of Capaldi was there with Troughton, Pertwee, Baker…

    He will be brilliant and so will the show. A combination of Baker and Eccleston (With a touch of Cushing…?), it will be fantastic! (Pass the jelly babies!)

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