Steven Moffat Returns to Doctor Who With a Fresh Script After Initial Doubts

Ethan James 13 May 2024

Steven Moffat had doubts so severe about his initial take on a new Doctor Who episode that he discarded his script entirely.

Steven Moffat shared his experience of ditching an initial draft of a Doctor Who script as he geared up for his comeback to the iconic sci-fi saga. Serving as the series' showrunner from 2010 through 2017, Moffat has resumed his scriptwriting role, notably for the third episode of the current season titled ‘Boom’—which is actor Ncuti Gatwa's preferred episode thus far. Reflecting on his return to the series, Moffat opened up about the challenges of re-entering the creative realm of Doctor Who.

"This happened a while back, about two and a half years ago now. I hesitantly began writing, got through around twelve to fifteen pages, and it hit me that I had completely missed the mark," Moffat confessed to the BBC.

"The narrative kicked off from an entirely incorrect starting point. As a result, I scrapped everything and started afresh." Moffat added, "I hadn’t even informed the production team of my writing progress. So, when I finally forwarded it to [showrunner Russell T Davies] alone, he was taken aback, unaware of my efforts."

Beyond his tenure as showrunner, Moffat is widely celebrated within the Doctor Who community—affectionately known as the Whoniverse—for conceiving the Weeping Angels, first introduced in the renowned 2007 episode ‘Blink’.

According to previews following ‘The Devil’s Chord’, the audience should brace for another riveting chapter penned by Moffat, wherein Gatwa’s Doctor has to navigate an exceedingly precarious situation, metaphorically likened to stepping on a mine, requiring him to avert disaster without any physical movement ingeniously.

The episode preview reveals: "Amidst a harrowing conflict on Kastarion 3, the Doctor finds himself immobilized by a landmine. His challenge? To rescue himself, Ruby, and potentially the entire planet, all without taking a step."

Doctor Who episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and BBC One in the UK and Disney Plus in the US.

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