Steven Moffat & David Tennant (2009)

Here’s a transcript of David Tennant interviewing Steven Moffat for ‘Doctor Who Confidential’:

Tennant: So, Steven Moffat, television writer of some repute, where did you grow up?

Moffat: I grew up in Paisley.

Tennant: Just down the road from myself.

Moffat: That’s right.

Tennant: So growing up in Paisley, how remote did television feel to you?

Moffat: Well it was more Hollywood than Hollywood. I mean, this place (BBC Television Centre) is more exciting to me, to this day.

Tennant: You grew up watching Doctor Who. What was your era?

Moffat: I remember Patrick Troughton being bewilderingly the Doctor, and being confused by that, and really from the start of Jon Pertwee I was watching every single episode devotedly.

Tennant: This is Studio 8. In this very studio, TC8, we had ‘The Sea Devils’ was in here, ‘Planet of the Spiders’ was in here.

Moffat: Jon Pertwee turned into Tom Baker somewhere in this room.

Tennant: Well, quite a few studios were used for ‘Planet of the Spiders’, but let’s just say he did.

Moffat: All those events happened in this very big, dull grey room. I don’t know about you, but I got interested in background stuff, how television was made, because of ‘Doctor Who’.

Tennant: Yeah.

Moffat: It wasn’t really background information about television I was researching, it was ‘How do they make Doctor Who?’.

Tennant: Here’s another studio, TC7. I think all the studios in Television Centre have been used at some point by ‘Doctor Who’. This is currently being used by ‘Newsnight’, but we’re going to invade. ‘Robot’ was filmed in here, this is where Tom Baker began. In fact, this might be the very studio where – I remember, very famously, there was a scene-shifters’ strike, wasn’t there, and ‘Blue Peter’ transmitted from the set.

Moffat: That’s right. I remember my Dad shouted ‘Doctor Who’s on’, I thought ‘That’s amazing, it’s Wednesday’ or whatever day it was, and I went running down and discovered it was just ‘Blue Peter’ and burst into tears.

Tennant: Oh.

Moffat: Sorry, ‘Blue Peter’, it just doesn’t measure up to ‘Doctor Who’.

Tennant: So what was it about ‘Doctor Who’ in particular that fired your little infant imagination?

Moffat: It was a children’s programme, it was also frightening, there was no other show like this. It works you hard as a writer, but I think if you’re prepared to work hard, it helps you.

Tennant: Russell (T. Davies) says that. He says it’s the hardest thing to write. Why is that?

Moffat: ‘Doctor Who’, you’ve got two minutes – if that – of the Doctor and companion in the TARDIS, they walk out the door and it’s a new world of some kind or other, a whole bunch of people you have to introduce and dispose of in one episode. It needs a big, strong idea every week. I think you know you’ve got a good idea for a ‘Doctor Who’ episode if you think ‘Well, I’ve just blown that feature film idea forever, haven’t I?’, that’s the size of story that gets you through forty-five minutes of ‘Doctor Who’.

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