Steven Moffat On The Day Of The Doctor: "This is the adventure that he really remembers, and thinks, 'That was the day everything changed.'"
Doctor Who boss Steven Moffatt has been chatting about the show's 50th Anniversary episode, The Day Of The Doctor.
Talking about the challenges in keeping the plot a secret from fans he says:
"The Zygons are just the villain we shot outside. I'll be honest with you, what you know about Doctor Who is entirely conditioned by which bits we have to shoot outside. We just tell you what we have to, when we have no choice. If we could make this on the dark side of the Moon and tell you nothing at all, I'd do it. I'd also lie to you prodigiously and regularly right now if I felt it would help keep a secret. Watch me."
On David Tennant and Matt Smith working together and playing the same the part he says:
"One of the comments that David and Matt made to each other after the read-through was 'It's really weird to hear someone else doing this, because I can keep thinking "Oh, is that how you're meant to do that bit?"
You have to say, 'No, no, could you please both do it different ways?'
While the flourishes change between the Doctors, the essential Doctor is just the Doctor."
On bringing Ten and Eleven face to face:
"It's one of those things that Doctor Who can do. You actually can have another Doctor revisit. I tried to imagine what it would be like to interact with your younger or older self, and I concluded that I'd absolutely hate it. My younger self would be a prat and my older self would just be even uglier. Imagine the lack of hope you'd have the moment the 30 year old me came into the room and saw the 51 year old me and went 'Really? Is this as good as it's ever going to get?'
I didn't write the show like that. That would've been depressing."
On how the show has gained mainstream popularity since it's comeback:
"In the first years when Doctor Who came back, everyone just became a fan. People stopped me in the street with the most abstruse questions - and they're real people, they're not fans like me - and I'm thinking 'You're not supposed to know this stuff, that's supposed to mine!'
It's very, very easy to keep Doctor Who accessible, because it's designed to be. The format can be summed up in such a short sentence even after all this time: it's a man who can travel anywhere in time and space and a box that's bigger on the inside. That's all you need to know."
On how he hopes the 50th will ensure there's a 100th!:
"You're going to get every kind of retrospective in the world when it comes to the 50th and you're not going to be short. To make this show just a walk-down, just a tribute to the past, a backward glance, would be like one of those end of year shows: 'That was the year that was! Look back and feel slightly old and sad.' Don't do that! Of course it's a celebration of the legend of Doctor Who, but more importantly it's ensuring there's going to be a 100th anniversary.
It's a hugely important story to the Doctor. That was my mission statement. Very, very rarely in Doctor Who does a story matter to him very much at all. Obviously he runs around, defeats mutants, meets a space badger, saves a civilisation, causes epiphanies to happen to everyone he meets, rushes back to the TARDIS and forgets everything about it. If you asked him he might have a vague memory of the badger, and that's it.
My intent was to move it forward, to have a show that's equally about the next fifty years of Doctor Who. Attaching the word fifty to anything...I almost tried to rip the logo off saying 'Why is that good?! That show you're watching is really old!' Why is that a good thing to say? It's about proving we've got many, many more stories to tell, and in a way, being able to say the story really starts here. People ask me how am I going to please the regular audience and I say I'm actually on a recruitment drive to get the people who've never watched it before to watch Doctor Who. That's what matters. There are some people out there who've never watched it before, God help them. You want them to think, 'Oh I've been missing out, I;m going to join in now.'
If you're going to celebrate Doctor Who, you're celebrating the Doctor - well, why not tell his story? What's it like for him? What's it like being him, what defines him, what defines what he is? How do you make that might moment in his life? What would be the Doctor's most important day, what would be the show that would change him as a person for ever, alter the course of his life?
That's what's big enough to do for the 50th, rather than just a parade of the greatest hits. Never mind that space badge one; this is the adventure that he really remembers, and thinks, 'That was the day everything changed.'"
Extracts from The Doctor His Lives And Times - Out now.
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