This is a real mix of different Steven Moffat quotes, pulled together to give some kind of indication of how he might steer the show over the next few years. Sources include DWF, various press interviews, a couple of magazine pieces and probably others I’ve forgotten.
Casting Matt Smith
It’s the first day of the auditions, we’ve only been at it for an hour – and sitting in front of us, fully formed and unmistakable, is the Elevent Doctor. Every detail is absolutely right – boffin and action hero, schoolboy and professor, hot young guy and ancient wizard. He’s like Patrick Moore in the body of an underwear model. It’ll be two weeks before I admit it to myself, but really I know it already. We all know it. This man is the Doctor.
Piers and I go straight for a drink and try to stop shaking. It’s not supposed to happen – not on the first day! There’s a lot of contradictions, I think, in the part of the Doctor. He’s very, very old, but he looks young. He behaves very childishly, but he also behaves in a very sort of magisterial way. I think you need somebody who is old and young at the same time. That means if you cast someone in their fifties, that’s fine, but they’ve got to have something very, very youthful about them, like Jon Pertwee did. Although he was an older man, there was something quite young about him.
One thing I was very emphatic about, and I remember being quite sort of brutal and argumentative in a meeting with the Beeb about this, was saying ‘There are too many young people on this list’, and ‘I’m not really convinced there’s all that many people that young who can play this part’. I thought we were looking for someone in their forties, late thirties, you know? David’s a unique case – he could play it at that age. But no, I was saying he should be an older man. Of course, I’ve just ended up casting a 26-year-old in the part!
On the supposed ‘no old monstes’ rule
I think there should be more new stuff than old stuff in ‘Doctor Who’. You sit down to plan the series and think ‘I’m bringing back something every single story’, what’s the use? You might was well call this ‘Doctor Who 2’. It’d be a sequel and ‘Doctor Who’ shouldn’t be a sequel. Ev ery year, there are new 8-year-olds watching it and those new 8-year-olds saw it at the most important age because they’re going to live a lot longer than the rest of you. I want them to have their monsters, so that in forty years’ time they can grump to their children, ‘Oh, it’s not as good as it used to be’. You’re not getting lost in nostalgia. You’re creating nostalgia.
Is Doctor Who a children’s show?
Calling ‘Doctor Who’ a children’s show isn’t a definition of the audience, it’s a definition of the show. In style, pace, tone, sensibility, ‘Doctor Who’ stories are children’s stories. Like Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Hobbit, Narnia, Toy Story, The Incredibles, and all gorgeous magical stuff. Does that mean it’s not for adults? Don’t be daft, adults love children’s stories – just look at that list. Some of the most famous creations in human history! People who grow out of children’s stories are people who never understood them in the first place.
His thoughts on Doctor Who in the 80’s
I rather liked season 18, though found it a bit dry and uninvolving, and thought Tom was a bit off. Adored the next three seasons, and thought (and think) Davison was superb. Colin Baker’s two seasons, and Sylvester’s first – well, I’m afraid I found very little to enjoy there, though honestly I tried! Colin is a good actor, and he’s been good in many things, but I didn’t think he landed the role of the Doctor. On telly, anyway – he’s been good on audio. And no, the costume and the scripts weren’t helping. Really enjoyed the last two seasons of ‘Doctor Who’, though – some plunges from grace, but some cracking stuff too. You’ll never quite convince me that Sylvester is an appropriate choice for a BBC1 leading man, but clever people like Paul Cornell think otherwise so what do I know? Preferred him to Colin and (ooh, the heresy!) William Hartnell, so that’s gotta count for something.
Doctor Who fans
Most fans are delighted with just about all of ‘Doctor Who’. Really, they are. But mixed in with that are some insanely vocal ones who go on about how they hated it every single week. Which raises the question, ‘Why are you f***ing watching it then?’. If ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ had been shown in the 80’s (or the 70’s, or the 60’s), we’d all have fainted of joy on the spot. All of us! Some of us had to go to school the Monday after the Giant Rat (in Talons of Weng-Chiang)!! No, really! Thank about that! Added ten years to my virginity, that did, Giant Rat Monday! Oh, I haven’t forgotten! (But) I want Robert Holmes brought back to life just so I can tell him he’s a genuis, ’cause I don’t think he knew.