The Hot 100 2011 - No. 22: Steven Moffat interview

The Hot 100 2011 - 25: Steven Moffat interview

Writer behind Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of Tintin

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Perhaps the biggest stumbling block the latest series of Doctor Who hit this year were complaints in some quarters that it was becoming too complex. Yet Paisley-born showrunner Steven Moffat is rightly unrepentant about a storyline which began and ended with The Doctor’s ‘death’. ‘I can say with pride verging on smugness that I’ve got two very successful shows that assume their audience is very smart,’ says Moffat. ‘But then, the audience is smart. You’ll go out of business if you think people are stupid.’

Although Sherlock, the other of those successful BBC series, saw no new episodes in ’11 (it’s back next year), Moffat found plenty to keep himself busy over the past 12 months, in addition to turning 50 in November. His second annual series in charge of Who saw the show split into two transmission blocks, one in spring and one in autumn, which Moffat describes as a ‘neat little confidence trick’ to avoid a mid-season lull. ‘You get another Radio Times cover or two, you get an extra press launch – it just adds more fuel to the fire.’ Then there’s the traditional Who Christmas special later this month, with Moffat describing The Doctor, the Widow and The Wardrobe as ‘very sentimental; it’s Christmas turned up to eleven as usual.’

His Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish co-written script for Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin also finally hit cinema screens, while Moffat was forced to fend off rumours that a possible Doctor Who movie would dispense with Matt Smith’s Doctor. ‘Of course a movie would be exciting,’ he says, ‘but we wouldn’t reboot the story from a Hollywood perspective, that would be insulting to the audience.’ He is prepared to admit that a big screen perspective will influence Who in 2012, though: ‘We’ve done the year of the arc, now let’s have big, one-off stories. It’ll be like, don’t tell me the plot, tell me what the movie poster would be.’ No more plans he can reveal for 2012? ‘Just to assassinate everyone above me on this list.’

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