For those who don’t know – in the whole universe, how many can there be? – DOCTOR WHO is a BBC science fiction series that began in 1963, about the titular Time Lord who travels the cosmos in his Tardis with a variety of companions. Whenever the Doctor is fatally injured, he regenerates into a new body, played by a new actor.
The series and the Doctor had lain dormant for some years when Russell T. Davies revived DOCTOR WHO in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston in the lead. After one season, Eccleston’s Doctor regenerated into a new iteration played by David Tennant. Both Davies and Tennant left the series at the end of 2009.
Steven Moffat, who was already on the DOCTOR WHO writing staff, took the reins as DOCTOR WHO show runner and producer in 2010, bringing Matt Smith in as the new Doctor. Moffat was already a very successful writer of British television – he wrote and produced the excellent series JEKYLL. Moffat and Mark Gatiss are now also working on their second season of SHERLOCK for the BBC, which still produces the Time Lord’s adventures.
With the second half of DOCTOR WHO’s sixth season airing on both BBC and BBC America, Moffat took some time to talk to ASSIGNMENT X about both his current series.
ASSIGNMENT X: Now that you’re on your second season as executive producer on DOCTOR WHO, is doing the show what you expected it would be like before you started?
STEVEN MOFFAT: Yeah. I mean, it’s been exhausting and a long slog, but yes, it is. I had the advantage over [previous DOCTOR WHO show runner/reviver] Russell [T. Davies] in one sense – I’d seen Russell do it, so I knew, “All right, that’s what it’s going to be like, and I’m just going to be really tired all the time.”
AX: How did you like working in America?
MOFFAT: You know, I never got to be in America. I was too busy on the episodes. I thought it looked amazing, but I never was present for the filming at all.
AX: Do you foresee any more production in the U.S. in the future?
MOFFAT: If we’ve got a story for it. I mean, that’s all it’s about. It is story-driven, so if we’ve got a really great idea set in America, we’ll do it.
AX: But is it a production issue? Obviously, you can shoot “America” in Wales, where DOCTOR WHO production is based?
MOFFAT: We can shoot quite a lot of it [in Wales]. [For] New York, we shot it in Britain. We can’t cheat the Valley of the Gods, but we can cheat quite a lot of it very successfully. After all, American television cheats most of America in a back lot in L.A. Pretty unconvincingly, I have to say.
AX: You’re working on DOCTOR WHO at the same time that you’re working on your second season of SHERLOCK. How are you scheduling work between the two shows?
MOFFAT: Badly. Very, very badly.
AX: Was the first season of SHERLOCK always intended to end on a cliffhanger?
MOFFAT: Well, yeah. And at that time, when we actually filmed that, we didn’t know if we were coming back or not. So I said, “Sod them. If they don’t bring it back, they’ll have a cliffhanger. I don’t care.” We haven’t given up on cliffhangers yet, I promise you.
AX: Is there anything that’s surprised you about the reception to your first season of DOCTOR WHO, or did that all go pretty much as you expected it would?
MOFFAT: I was surprised and relieved that Matt [Smith as the Doctor] went down so completely celebrated so instantly, because David [Tennant] had been so brilliant and so popular. So it was a joy and an excitement that Matt was instantly embraced. It didn’t even take time – it was like that [makes gesture of immediacy].
AX: You have alluded to the fact that whenever the Doctor regenerates and is played by an actor who is new to the role, the audience is looking for what’s the same within the Doctor, instead of looking for what’s different. What do you think is the same core thing that’s gone through all of the Doctors?
MOFFAT: All of DOCTOR WHO? I think the character is identical. He’s not really different at all. He’s insatiably curious, morally passionate and loves life and adventure. I think fundamentally it’s the same man. It’s the same man for a very long time, in very different ways.
Click on Link: Review of DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “Let’s Kill Hitler”
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Click on link: AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “A Good Man Goes to War”
Click on the link for AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO episode “The Rebel Flesh”
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CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with DOCTOR WHO showrunner Steven Moffat