Good morning and welcome to the day of the Doctor…Who news you’ve been waiting for, but never expected to actually hear. Steven Moffat is looking for his replacement. Of course, in true Moffashion, the showrunner isn’t giving out any projected end dates or specific plans — tidy endings haven’t exactly been his strong suit — but like any proud parent, he’s concerned that his baby be passed along to the proper caretaker, someone who’ll love it as much as he has. Who/whatever our issues, no one can deny that Moffat has given us plenty of great stories (Blink, Silence in the Library, The Angels Take Manhattan), Eleven,Twelve, Ashildr and *insert heavenly music here* Missy; on the other hand there was that whole Pond thing (go ahead, grab your pitchforks and come at me!), so it all levels out. The one thing we can be sure of is that Moffat won’t leave until he feels certain the Doctor is in good hands; the search for a new showrunner is underway.
“[The search is] one I’m actively engaged in but I can’t say much about that. Everything is difficult in Doctor Who, including leaving, and I would never do anything to harm it. I would never leave it in the lurch because it means too much to me. Yes, it’s a problem. Let’s not pretend it’s not a big problem. But there will be a solution. In terms of the emotional difficulty of leaving, it’s hard.”
As to whether he’d still like to write for the Doctor after he leaves (unlike his predecessor Russell Davies who quit cold turkey and never looked back):
“I’ve no idea until I’m there. I mean, I can understand Russell. I’m gobsmacked by how much Doctor Who I’ve written - an insane amount.”
In his rather lovely interview with Radio Times, Moffat addresses Who criticism and while the dearth of female writers and directors isn’t discussed, misogyny is.
“The general point being made by these people is correct. We need better female role models and representation on screen. We need all of that. Maybe this is my dimwittery but I do not understand why Doctor Who of all shows is singled out as a misogynist show. And I’m really not like that. I’m sure I’m to the left of a lot of my detractors, but I don’t want to argue with them because I think generally they’re right. We do need to do better.
It’s important to me that the little girls watching see Amy or Clara or Rose and want to be like them. People object and say you’re turning it into The Clara Show but that’s always been the case from the beginning. The Doctor’s always been a co-lead. He’s the hero figure but he’s not any more than a co-lead. Elisabeth Sladen was not less important than Tom Baker. Katy Manning was not less important than Jon Pertwee. Ian and Barbara frequently eclipsed the Doctor. Rose Tyler was the star of modern Doctor Who for the first two years. Every time any paper carried a photo of Doctor Who, it wasn’t Chris [Eccleston] or David [Tennant], it was Billie [Piper]. And that’s a strength.”
Speaking of Companions, if you’re wondering how the search for Clara’s replacement is going, here’s what the man has to say.
“I’m beginning to have an idea of the kind of person, specific ideas but not a specific actress. A new companion gives us the chance to launch the show again. It began in 1963 with the story of Ian and Barbara and then in 2005 with Rose Tyler. Arguably it begins again with the story of Amy Pond. You can recruit new viewers when somebody else meets the Doctor. And I think we’ve got a really cool new idea about how to do that.
Because he specifically said “actress,” it sounds like she’ll be a female Companion; could the person be either gender?
“That’s still being discussed. We’re definitely looking for a different dynamic.”
As Moffat notes, his response to the “When?” he’ll be leaving query is always the same — he takes it a year at a time — but the fact that there’s an active search means he’s preparing. Is it because Moffat’s tired of the Doctor?
“I won’t be leaving because I’m suddenly miserable. It’ll be because I want to do something else.”
(via Radio Times)