Doctor Who: Steven Moffat on series 7 part 2

News Louisa Mellor 13 Dec 2012 - 09:00

The Doctor Who showrunner has teased a few details about the forthcoming eight episodes of series seven, airing in April 2013...

Picture the scene. It's 6.15pm on Christmas day, you're plump with Quality Street and turkey (or indeed, a Mycoprotein substitute of your choice), and the credits are rolling on The Snowmen, this year's Doctor Who festive special. All of a sudden, a wave of bereftness sweeps over you. Once again, after months of waiting, there's a Who-shaped gap in your life. What to do, what to do...

Begin the countdown of course. April 2013 is the appointment to keep for the remaining eight episodes of series seven, and the grand tease master himself, Steven Moffat, has scattered a few crumbs about the new stories for us to peck at.

Speaking to our chums at SFX, Moffat confirmed, “We’re back at the movie posters thing". There are to be "no two-parters, so they’re all standalone stories. And they are all huge – there isn’t the budget-saver episode. I don’t know how we’ve done this. Possibly we’ll find out at the end when we’ll have no money left and will have to go to prison…”

Having covered prehistoric adventure, western and noir in the first half of the series, which genres are left for episodes seven to fourteen? A "modern urban thriller", a "base-under-siege story", "a fantastic alien planet, which is looking absolutely amazing", and "a cracking ghost story", says Moffat.

There's also going to be a “Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS”, with more of the TARDIS than you’ve ever seen before." As well as “Diana Rigg and junior Diana Rigg in an absolutely mental story by Mark Gatiss – all period drama will pale next to this monstrosity of nonsense! It’s absolutely glorious. You’ll watch other period dramas and say ‘When are they going to do the scary bit?’

“We’ve got Neil Gaiman doing the Cybermen – part of the impulse there was to say “Have we fully exploited the creepy factor of the Cybermen yet?” I thought Neil would be a good match for that.

“And then there’s the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it. My aim for it – which I’m about to humiliate myself at the tone meeting by saying – is to have slightly more than you think could possibly happen in one episode. Slightly more treats than you think you could be allowed…”

Read our spoiler-free review of The Snowmen, here.


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Sold! Can't wait!

“And then there’s the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it. My aim for it – which I’m about to humiliate myself at the tone meeting by saying – is to have slightly more than you think could possibly happen in one episode. Slightly more treats than you think you could be allowed…”

You mean you'll have an actual story? Is this what will surprise me? You can't mean you'll have slightly more story as we're still waiting for a complete one in an episode.

Cheers Mr Moffat, series 7 part b sounds amazing and honestly i luv the split series format because we had some in the autumn just gone we are getting some in a few weeks and we will be getting some in the spring and more next autumn. lets hope this fan boy finale leads into a wonderful anniversary special.

A mid-season break is an American thing. To be honest I don't know why they don't regard it as two seperate seasons.

"And they are all huge – there isn’t the budget-saver episode. I don’t know how we’ve done this."

Well, I've got a pretty good hunch: you cut season 7 down dramatically under the pretence that it was just half a season, when really this next batch is an eight episode season 8 with 2013's budget.

I've been hoping for another 'In the TARDIS' episode since Logopolis when Tegan got lost in it's bowels. The Doctor's Wife, as great as it was, didn't give us a great deal of insight into the TARDIS's interior - all we got was a collection of fairly generic spaceshippy corridors and the Tennant console room.

At least we've got two mini seasons and the anniversary special rather than the 2009 debacle

Why does it matter? Regardless of whether it's labeled as season 7 or 8, we're still getting Doctor Who episodes in the spring, 8 of them. That's all that matters. Seasons are but mere numbers. We got a season's worth of episodes over two years but while it was annoying, it was not entirely Moffat's decision, but the BBC. I also imagine that with the 50th anniversary coming up they needed ample time to plan things out. They gave us 5 episodes to give us something for this year, and while it was short, we still had some goodness. I don't like having a break so soon but it's clear from all the news that they seem to be gearing up for the 50th anniversary officially from the Christmas special episode onwards.


I know. I would like to think that. BUT I want 12 episodes a year. Its only fair. I dont like this stupid season split where you get half one year and half the next. Its not clever at all. Its a conn. Its just a way of doing it on the cheap and using smoke, mirrors and excuses to placate the fans. In the cold light of day it comes down to the fact that they have made one normal season of 12 / 13 episodes that should have been for 2012. They have then then split that across 2012 and 2013. To save money, even though the BBC wastes a lot of it on other rubbish and extra channels we dont need. No matter what way you look at it we have been ripped off. I hate mid season breaks. Its just stupid. Either put a full season on, or dont bother, just be honest about it and stop trying to treat everyone like idiots. I find I no longer fall for the hype of "This is the best ever....its the BEST we have ever wont believe whats coming up this year..." and so on. WHY? Because the next year they say EXACTLY the same thing AGAIN. How can each year they say that? They do it every year, best one ever etc etc and then when the next season comes around, they say it AGAIN! I love the show, there are some great stories in there, M Smith is fabulous and Moffat is great....I just wish they would stop the hype and bullsh*t because its getting boring. I know they have to promote the show and they do a good job. But like I said a year ago on this very site, we are being shafted regarding Doctor Who over 2012 and 2013. And since 2013 is the anniversey year its inexcuseable. The only way this can work is if we get this - Second half of 2012 season in April 2013. Then a couple of specials for the anniversery. Then the first half of the next season in Autumn 2013. Then the second half in April 2014, and so on. But I will bet my entire Tom Baker collection that all we get are a couple of specials in Autumn 2013 and the docudrama on how the show began on BBC3 or where ever they show it. If I am wrong everyone can flame me and tell me off.

You are not wrong Davros, not at all. You need to get some of your single-minded creations of destruction down to the BBC management and give them some serious negative-screen skeleton zapping.

I want to look forward to this so much, and managed to find enjoyment in three of the five episodes that aired earlier in the year, but it's so hard when he describes 7B as being an action-packed bombastic, adrenaline-fuelled ride. THAT, to me, was the aspect that needed toning down. Too often do we end up with episodes like The Wedding of River Song, or A Good Man Goes To War, where a brilliant story is screaming to get out, but it never quite makes it because the episode is too busy trying to cover why we're watching Alien Viking Chess one minute and are on a train into Area 52 in Egypt in the next - such mad and wonderful ideas sound fantastic on paper, but these ideas could cover entire stories, and are instead a handful of short scenes interwoven with some exposition that is quite weak.

The heart and soul of Doctor Who is taking a little battering right now... emotional moments like the departure of the Ponds end up short changed... instead of a story that could have spanned two episodes, we're resigned to a 45 minute piece that chucks in a 30's setting and Weeping Angels too... why the episode couldn't have 15 extra minutes to make room for all these elements, we're left with episodes that jump from action scene to action scene, and expect us to then care when characters who have been around for years are swiftly booted off. Put short... the pacing needs to be sorted, and if that means extending episodes to 60 minutes now and again just as they used to, then I don't care if it interferes with BBC America's scheduling to fit in commercials...

I agree somewhat and I can't believe it's reached the point where I would. Whilst I do have an issue or two with Moffat, I can't blame him for the scheduling, but rather the BBC. They explicitly said back in late 2011 that we'd be having "more Who than ever" over the next couple of years. Now, I don't like the term "less" Doctor Who as getting any new episodes means more, but they have indeed split one series over two years now...the whole intent of shifting DW to the autumn seems wasted on them, as the vast bulk of Series 7 is going to air in April and May - just like any other series really. More to the point, this current series is fragmented enough already with a change in cast and tone... it hardly needed such a big break in the middle of it, as big breaks simply make people lose interest...especially with no two-parters as well now... it feels like a whole long line of "specials" episodes...and we all know how that turned out in 2009.

The show has so much potential, and so much acting, writing and production ability behind it... someone needs to get their act together and sort things out, because quite frankly, I'm the last person I'd have imagined to have a rant about it all, and I know plenty of others who have grown tired with how messed-around Doctor Who has become this past year or two.

I may be wrong but I think we will get 8 episodes in April and another 13 in the Autumn, they have just finished 200 days shooting, that seem an awful lot for 14 episodes - say 10 days per episode that is 20 episodes and another couple of months after Christmas and we could have a season and a half in the can already.,...

Errrr... what? I'll admit the RTD finales were just "random events thrown into a pot, here's some fanservice and don't worry about what is going on", but the Big Bang in particular was one of the most wonderful pieces of fiction the show has ever produced.

Afraid you're wrong the BBC has already announced series 8 won't be until 2014. Sadly it looked like there might be multiple specials, now that looks unlikely. Still we're getting 10 episodes next year, two of which are longer length, and we're getting the docudrama, it's not exactly a disaster.

“And then there’s the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it. My aim for it – which I’m about to humiliate myself at the tone meeting by saying – is to have slightly more than you think could possibly happen in one episode. Slightly more treats than you think you could be allowed…”

Jesus, when will he learn that blatant pandering to fanboys by glimpsing a hundred old-school characters or aliens in one episode without having any great plot to undermine it is NOT the way to end a series? It doesn't make it epic, it makes it an utterly transparent story with you sitting behind it going "Remember the Silurians? Remember the Judoon? Remember Dorian? Love me! Please, love me!"

COOL, sounds like a good 2nd half on tap & I also love that Gaiman is writing another episode. The ep where we "met" the TARDIS remains one of my all time favorites.

where? I've not seen it confirmed anywhere that S8 won't be transmitted until 20134 only that Matt Smith has confirmed he will be in S8 and he "will be around till 2014" which does not equate to the same thing, after googling every news report I have seen has just assumed that because 8 episodes of S7 will be in April - and these are "2012s" episodes - that Season 8 can't start in say September a year after S7 started airing.

An issue of Doctor Who Magazine over the summer reported it almost exactly as Tardinsexy says.

If Moffat's writing is as transparent as you complain,why was everybody so slow to note that memory related to all of his plots since he started producing the programme? Considering every new episode is reviewed hundreds of times on the internet and i never saw anybody highlight it as significant,nobody can say it was obvious.Moffat always includes multiple possibilities to disguise his intentions in his plots,at least his resolutions and reveals tend to make sense and don't appear from nowhere.If he was as keen to be popular with fanboys as you protest he would have answered his biggest questions like who destroyed the Tardis and tried to kill the Doctor through Melody by now?

I *think* Moffat just said we get prior Doctors in the finale. I think. Maybe. Bring on Sly and Colin, and give them a chance to impress in ways they never had the freedom to do before. :D

Amen, Davros01. I too am frustrated!! At the very least, we deserve the truth behind this.

Thanks for the support! It means a lot to me, to know I am not alone in how I feel about it. The thing is though, I have complained to the BBC about this already. I emailed them at the start of the year, when I found out about the split season. You know what sort of response I got back?

" While we understand your frustrations, rest assured that Doctor Who is safe, and well at the BBC. There are some great things planed for 2013...."

And also the classic -

"We have had great viewer response, and the majority of people we have spoken to have responded well to the shorter run of episodes..."

Blah blah blah...

The whole thing was a complete waste of my time. They basically stated that they think I am wrong and why was I complaining? Because everyone else is happy about it, and the BBC does a great job and I have no right to complain, because there is nothing to complain about because I am wrong and because everyone is happy, all is well in the world.

Typical BBC propaganda.

I have noticed this is what happens with most large organisations these days and the BBC is just one example. They seem to think that everything they do is right, perfect and all ok, and no one else ever complains about it, and so because of that, therefore I / you are wrong in your views, and they are right...because they are the Great BBC and know whats best.

Well I too have a theory.....Kylie Minogue was at number one with "I should be so lucky" for six weeks, and millions of people bought it, but that did not stop it from being UTTER CRAP or make it a great record.

Its time that these sort of organisations realised that.

This will be epic..bottom line is Moffat is a true Who fan of old...I also think his track record is excellent (with the notable exception of the beast below....a space whale??) so whatever the doubters and naysayers may believe this really is a golden age for Who fans. In Moff I trust :)

Some of the budget saver episodes are my favorites, too.

Mine too, Amy's Choice, the Lodger, Midnight, Blink.

Errr what the **** are you talking about? It was RTD that brought back every old companion and minor companion in Journey's End, The Stolen Earth, it was RTD who had a 15 minute snore fest as the Doctor said goodbye to everyone he had ever met in the End of Time.
Seriously, wtf, Moffat brings back a character more than once and has occasional cameos and he's pandering to fanboys? Are you diseased in the brian boy?
He also has very strong plotlines, another thing no one could accuse RTD of.

More over this is the 50th anniversary, *this* is the time when he would be down right insane not to give some fanservice.

I work at BBC Wales with many colleagues working on Doctor Who. The sole reason for the mid-series breaks is that Moffat is late with scripts. The production of Doctor Who has been halted on a number of occasions since Moffat took over, all because he has writer's block. There is no other reason than this. There are many talented writers out there he could bring in, but for some reason he doesn't.

Interesting. That makes some sense at least. I cant believe the BBC lets him get away with it. I like Moffat. But if he cant produce a full season per year, then maybe they need to get someone else in. On the other hand, RTD was getting very repetitive in his writing after the first couple of years, and the Moffat scripts were the best and the most true to what Doctor Who always used to be like in the Classic Series. Its a quandry. He is tied up with Sherlock too and has to make those. Moffat is late with scripts....hmmmm. Can you give him a prod? Can you tell him the fans and general public are getting fed up about it? The trouble is, and the thing I worry about, is the people who watch the show on a casual basis. The ones that are not fans of the old series, but have got into the new one to a degree. And then of course there are the people with the attention span of plankton, who might drift off to other things. Its not good that the show is so fragmented and has so many gaps. Everyone was stoked when it came back in the Autumn and no sooner had the show built up some steam and everyone was loving it, off they go again on another break. Speaking for myself, I mean how long does it take to come up with a script anyway? He only has to fill 45 minutes a story! Its not like the classic series and six parters that take up 150 minutes. And most of the time the Doctor never gets much time to do anything, because its all been about the companions and with two of them to write for and River Song, the Doctor often does not get a lot of air time in the 45 minutes. With the shows rich history and any one of a million monsters that could be used again, along with a whole universe he can go to, I cant understand why he gets writers block. The Doctor can go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone from History etc! Hmmmmmm.....All that to one side, fair enough its a hard job, he gets writers block etc, but if this is the reason we are only getting 6 / 7 stories and a special in the 50th Anniversery year, then in my view he needs to either step aside or give a couple of other good writers more stories to do. Either way I wish he would get on with it and stop messing about with the show, I expected better for the 50th, more fool me for that I suppose. If you have any more information or can tell us any more details I would love to hear them on this thread. Thanks for telling us all the inside info!

Pullan we know you're fake, previously we had you pretending to know someone at BBC Wales, now you're pretending to BE someone at BBC wales, as if anyone there would be so stupid as to post something like that. Nice try but troll somewhere else. If his scripts were late, and he contributes all of two scripts per half season, then all that would happen is his episodes would end up being filmed last - unless there were a greater level of incompetence somewhere else in the team.

#1 he's clearly fake, he was here previously claiming to know someone, know we have an annonymous account claiming to know first hand
#2 what good would a prod do? We'd end up with scripts of the god awful quality of RTDs showrunner pieces
#3 What talented writers? Give more episodes to Chris Chibnall? The truth is Moffats episodes always receive the best reviews and appreciation indexes, it's not easy to find writers of Doctor Who. I don't want more Chibnall, RTD, Raynor etc scripts for example, no one does. THREE, just three episodes per season were watchable under RTDs watch. I'd rather half half a strong series a year than a full series filled with utter ****!

You can really tell Moffat has much more class than his critics,when this sort of thing pops up on forums,can't you?I guess some people are getting desperate now they can't send the personal abuse on the twitter account.

I'm pretending to be someone...Nurse, the screens! And I'm not trolling. I'm stating a fact. Another point about why the BBC would put up with him behaving this way? And this will knock you for six, I can't wait for your response...No-one wants to produce Who. The BBC seem very nervous.

Anyway, I'll get back to my trolling elsewhere, TARDInsexy, you can get back to writing Who.

Further to the trolling comment, I am very much a fan of Who. I've not set out to antagonise anyone. Anyway, I bet you're dying to have another rant.

The split in series is because Moffat is late with scripts.

It's just coming out now. Sorry, this must be upsetting you. Anyway, it's sunny outside, enjoy your weekend. Oh, you don't go outside? You just sit on your arse all day being brave online? Cool!

You're language is that of a 12 year old, making personal (and wildly inaccurate comments, I couldn't be any further outside), so you having any job, let alone one at the BBC is laughable. More over I'm not the one being brave; I don't discuss the inner workings of my industry, I have NDAs preventing me from doing so, unless the BBC is wildly incompetent then so do they. So I hope, as I suspect, you are lying, but if not you're taking some interesting risks with your career in the most bizarre of manners.
Secondly if it was true, who cares? The show is a bigger success than it's ever been, Sherlock is a worldwide phenomenon, I can even buy the boxsets in Japan. Now the BBC doesn't have anyone else running a 14 episode show of this nature, they don't have them. And if Moffat were churning out 7 a year he's still besting Toby Whithouse, Neil Cross and my other favourite talent at the BBC - what sense would firing him make? The only thing that adds any credibility to your tale is that the superb Neil Cross has come on board to contribute as many scripts as Moffat for series 7 part 2.
I have *no doubt* in my mind that Chibnall, Gatiss or, at a later date, Whithouse, would happily jump at the chance to run the show (especially Gatiss as he, like many other people, pitched the idea of the reboot long before it happened), so there's a pretty glaringly big hole in your lies, unless you meant to say there's no one as capable as Moffat who wants to run the show, and that would be why *everyone* keeps their job.

The split in series was also to ensure that Doctor Who will be transmitted on it's anniverary and to make it more difficult for rival broadcasters to compromise it with scheduling .I'm exhausted with fans speculating about schedules and production rather than discussing storylines and characters.It's pointless and boring.I can't really take your rumours any more seriously than Private Eye's.Suppose its okay for you to post stuff about professionalism of writers online as it's not libellous at all.I wouldn't be surprised if the BBC has a lot of difficulty replacing Moffat,the diversity of the programmes audience makes it so difficult to please everybody.Moffat is as good as Holmes,Nation,Spooner,Hulke,Adams,Bidmead and Davies although i don't think he'd ever admit that personally.It's not going to be easy for anybody to write better stories and most creative writers would rather be free to pitch their own projects than cope with Doctor Who's schedule.

I see I have been Duped! Oh well. As for giving him a prod, it was a JOKE! Sorry! It did seem a bit strange didnt it? And yes you are right in the fact that we would end up with lots of the same sort of rubbish we had when RTD was in charge towards the end. As for other Talented writers...well I was thinking Neil Gainman and so on but I am sure there must be plenty of other script writers out there who could come up with stories. My thoughts, are I dont care who it is writing it, as long as its good, as long as the Doctor gets a lot of screen time, and as long as its like Doctor Who and not a soap opera....

Heheh so many comments and arguments and counter claims. Anyway to answer everyone that has replied with their thoughts, I would just like to say, my reasons for posting about it were -

The fact that we are getting the second half of the season we should have had in 2012, in spring 2013 and then they are only doing some specials. I am angry because I wanted two years of full season and not just one split into two.

And the fact that there has been no straight answers about it, until recently and the fact that the BBC hype machine was telling everyone 2013 is going to be great, when in fact we are getting 2012s second half of a season and a special, and NOT a full season and a special or TWO.

And for the 50th I really thought they would do the show proud and make more of an effort.

Dont get me wrong, I am sure what we get will be great as always and I will watch it and love it. But to be short changed like this on a flagship show, in a milestone year is still a kick in Daleks for the fans like me and you.

Anyway, going back to what Pullan has said, if he is real or fake or not I have no idea. However some of his comments make sense, in the fact that the BBC CANT or has difficulty getting a producer for Doctor Who. I cant shake off the feeling that it might end up like the 80s again with John Nathan T stuck as producer. Now before this starts another war, hear me out. RTD left to go to America, Moffat is another hardcore fan that loves the show and is doing a great job. But he is busy, has Sherlock as well, and can you imagine the stress and pressure involved in making D Who? It must be very hard work. So when he leaves, who do they get to replace him? They will find someone, but we wont know who it will be, untill it takes place. If the show gets in difficulty because they cant get anyone suitable, or whatever reason, RTD always said if it was ever in trouble , he would go back to it in a heartbeat, so there is always that safety net.
Someone somewhere at the BBC knows the REAL reason why we are getting split seasons, either money is a factor, or getting scripts, writers, or something else. But no one is being honest about what is going on. I am sure in time it will all come out , just as it did with C Ecclestones reasons for leaving did. But until then we are in the dark, and that is annoying, and upsetting for the fans, who just want the show on with full seasons like it was back in 2005 - 2009 / 10 / 11

Thank you, Davros01. A measured response. I can accept people may be sceptical when someone offers a point of view. I have no axe to grind. The fans wonder about the breaks, I happen to possess the facts. I've offended the Moffat Camp.

Anyway TARDinSexy I have never posted as anyone else on here. Is this a trick you play yourself? Anyway, I've not read all of your replies as there's too many words, and I really can't go that long without pictures or amusing sound effects.

I caught the comment about me writing like a 12 year old. I couldn't be offended by that as I haven't consciously read anything by a twelve year-old in many years. I'll ask my husband as he's a secondary school-teacher.

I like Moffat, he can be a great writer. I don't think his greatest work has been while he's been producer. I 'd love to work on Who, but not while he's running it. Yes, I know. He'd be gutted by this. Gosh.

Thats a Shame. Things must be bad over there if all this is true.

Does anyone else feel like that in the team? That they would rather someone else was in charge? I am a bit fed up now. By the fact that all is not well behind the scenes. Maybe you could take industrial action or something, to make a point that the fans are fed up with the split seasons. So much for his it will all be ok "Hush and patience" tweets of last year.

Its not alright. Its anything but! If this is how they are going to go on with 6 episodes a year instead of 12, they are going to have some seriously
annoyed and unhappy fans. Does anyone else working on the show realise that this is not what the fans, or the majority of normal viewers want? I cant believe I am the only fan / viewer that has complained to the BBC about this, or at least asked whats going on.

We want (because we are paying for it, £145 a year remember) 12 episodes of Doctor Who a year from 2013 onwards. Anything less is wrong, and any excuses / plans are just spin and lies.

If you get chance you can tell him that personally from me. I am in the same age range as him and grew up watching Tom Baker. For Gods sake he only has to do 45 minutes a show, and 5 of that is taken up with credits. Thats five minutes less than a classic series two parter. To quote Clarkson " How hard can it be???......"

Seriously though, I respect him, he has written some great stuff, its because its so good, we want more and are upset when its not on.

The series is still a success. The ratings and BARB figures are positive, so who are we to judge?

As far as the production's concerned the crew frequently don't know what's going on till the last minute, and there's been lengthy periods where they've been held back from shooting altogether, which is deeply frustrating. Not just for hours, or days, but weeks! It was even worse when he took over, but it's not much improved.

As far as industrial action being taken? The crew are still paid despite not doing anything. The BBC are literally throwing money at it. No-one outside the most senior ranks of the BBC/Moffat team know what the budget of Who is per week.

Bottom line: we COULD have a full run of episodes, but it's the fact that Moffat is a draw that keeps him there. The BBC want to keep him working with them. If it was any other production, he'd have been given the boot. Is this right or wrong? Is there a moral implication? This is our licence fee that's being poured down the drain?

There are countless talented writers out there who could be brought in, but they're sticking to old hands. RTD is just as guilty of this, even on his Wizards vs Aliens he resisted trying new people.

Davros, use your brain, I already listed several candidates. We know Gatiss pitched the reboot, so obviously he's a candidate. Chibnall has experience running Torchwood, obviously he's a fan, why would he turn it down? McRae has stated on twitter that he wants the job when it comes along, and has show runner experience. Toby Whithouse is a Dr Who fan and Being Human can't have much more life left in it (I enjoy it still but it feels like it's run it's course). This person is looking to outside writers but this story doesn't make sense - numerous people already involved in the show, still writing for (all contributing something this year or next), would jump at the job.
No one wanted the job after JNT, but that was at a time when it was career suicide.

So your claim is that it's not just Moffat slowing it down but other writers too? Neil Cross isn't an old hat, is this a bitter streak about not being able to pitch your own story? New writers in the JNT era turned out to be a gigantic disaster, most of the stories remembered fondly were down to acts like bringing back Robert Holmes and Terrance Dicks.

I'll save you reading everything I wrote and ask again - why don't you have an NDA, and if you do why have you just risked your career breaking it on something with an axe to grind. If you were legitimate you would just now have provided the BBC enough information to track you down and fire you for breach of contract.

Well the producers now are writers themselves. RTD famously rewrote huge parts of other writers' work. I'd say most of the poor writing in the JN-T era was when Saward was involved. When Cartmel came in it was virtually all new writers and the series improved.
I'm not a writer. I'm freelance crew.

Doesn't matter if you're a writer or tea boy or not you should still have an NDA or something built into your contact, just as in my industry the play-testers and even the cleaners have to sign one. So either you're stupid, a troll, or someone at the Daily Mail making up sources to report on.

Your opinion is in the minority, series 24 is the most poorly regarded in the shows history, yes season 26 had moments of excellence but hardly signs of a dramatic improvement.
Besides which you're talking utter nonsense, it wasn't Saward or Cartmel who dictated what writers came on but JNT. Saward has often spoken of how hard he had to work just to get back Dicks and Holmes (who as I said wrote some of the most popular episodes). All the worst episodes under Saward were from new writers, Timelash being a particularly disastrous example. I have no idea where you got it into your head that Saward frequently used old hands, but he wasn't allowed to much to his great dismay.

The only point I will agree on is that having the same man acting as producer and writer on such a show is a mistake - RTD was an excellent producer, Moffat is a superb writer, from day one they should have divided up the work accordingly. But it's not hard to see why the BBC combined the roles, infighting between producer and script editor led to the disaster that Eric Sawards public rant that practically executed the show.

Yes I know, I get it. I cant believe they could not find someone to do it. But it must be a hard job to do, but to me it would be the best job in the world, apart from being the Doctor himself that is! JNT was hopeless as a show runner. It just got worse and worse. At the time I kept thinking why dont they get someone else in to do it. I read somewhere that the BBC said to JNT, if you dont stay on and do the show, we will scrap it. So he was loyal and wanted it to stay on air, so he stayed against his will because he did not want the show axed, but then they axed it anyway because it got so bad! What do you do? All I want is 12 episodes a year! I dont think thats a lot to ask for as a fan. I just wish the BBC would stop wasting money on other things, like BBC3 and BBC4, then they would have plenty of cash to make quality shows like Dr Who. And I would rather just have BBC1 and 2 and good stuff on them, than BBC1, 2 , 3 and 4, with very little spread across all of them. What the hell is the point in it? You could put whats on 3 and 4 on BBC2. But instead BBC2 is all repeats, and so is BBC3 most of the time, Eastenders at 10pm etc...I just think its a lack of common sense. They dont need all the channels but carry on anyway because they can as they get £145 a year of everyone that watches Tv! Its mental! Anyway rant over.....must get down to the incubation tanks and see how the Dalek mutants are getting on....

Look TARD, Pullen and co, lets stop fighting about this eh? Maybe Pullen works there, maybe he does not. Its made for an interesting chat, and if its all false, its not hurt anyone on here. I have enjoyed discussing it with all of you. Bottom line on it is, we should be able to talk about the stories and the plots, and we cant because the smeggers in charge are not making enough Who this year or next. Someone somewhere knows whats going on with it and they are not being honest, for whatever reason. There is a debate like this raging on Galifrey Base right now, along the same lines about what the hype has been, who has said what, and Moffat saying there will be more Who than ever, and yet there has been less. Its just a shame. But its not your fault TardisInSexy and its not Pullans fault either. The fault lies with the BBC management and them alone. If Moffat is faffing about, for whatever reasons, then its time for him to step aside and go back to writing just episodes. If there is another reason then the BBC should sort it out one way or another. If its money then they have no excuse for next year, because they waste so much elsewhere. Without Merlin to film now, there is no reason that the money freeded up from filming that, could not be spent on a similar fantasy show Like Doctor Who, and there is no excuse they can make to me. I just think that after all the fuss about the show in the 80s, all the sadness, it being run into the ground, then cancelled, after waiting YEARS for them to bring it back, and then them doing so and it becoming so popular, flying so high, making so much money and getting such acclaim....for the BBC to put on less than a full season for the 50th is a massive FU to the fans, casual viewers, the show itself and all the people involved, and its a despicable trick to try to explain it all away and cover it up with false promises.
Gasp , pant!!!
Ahem. Anyway...its the BBC that makes it, its up to them to make more and stop shilly shallying! The buck stops with them, and if next year works out the way its looking to do and as I fear then I will never forgive them. Because after everything in the 80s, 90s and 00s regarding Doctor Who, they should know better by now. We deserve better as fans and viewers. I dont buy all the arguments about , we are lucky to get what we get, we should be happy, isnt it great its back on TV at all etc. Yes it is, but thats not the point. I am angry about all the hype and false hope and waste of money at the BBC and because of that my favourite show of all time is suffering in lack of episodes. Its not on! heheheh
Anyway lets all be friends and brother Who fans and look forward to Christmas, gifts, fun , frolics, birds, booze and a new Tardis console room and peace on earth and goodwill to all men and all that and everything! Says he in a Ben Elton names Davros01...Goodnight!

I agree with everything your saying by the way, and I complained to the BBC as well as you did. All I got in response was some general email about viewer responses and the fans responding welll lah di da di da

Sorry Davros but your rant has failed from day 1. Every show they produce has seen fewer episodes, I was gutted to see only 4 episodes of Luther season 2, I really doubt season 3 will see us getting more. In case you hadn't noticed the belt has been tightened significantly. No raise in TV licence in years but many additional responsibilities.

Who would you replace Moffat with? No one at the BBC is producing 13 episodes of a similar show per year, why would you have better luck? RTD produced absolute tosh, by his own admission he had no idea where his later seasons were going. Look at his openers, all were met with lacklustre reviews compared to 3 home runs in a row for Moffat and an increase in quality that made the show capable of penetrating the international markets.

When the BBC does shows like this they do 6 episode seasons, maximum. When America does shows like this they have a producer and writers room which has it's own faults. If Moffat were struggling putting another person into his place to face the same problems would accomplish nothing (bare in mind I consider RTD to have failed utterly and totally, the quality of his scripts was a disgrace to the show). That said I would expect either Moffat to hand half a season over to Gatiss or for the BBC to find an additional executive producer - as neither has happened I call BS.

All that to one side, for the anniversary year, who ever is to blame, if we only get one special for the anniversary I shall be dissapointed. Moffat struggling wouldn't explain that as you can get anyone in to do a single story, and we know for example some series 8 scripts are already written (Tom McRae confirmed that his is coming but he didn't know when, but we do know not in series 7).

And if it is false then it's slander, if it's true then it's a breach of contract. Either way someone DOES get hurt.

Yes I am afraid you are probably right. I know my rant will fail, because as stated elsewhere I complained to the Beeb and got the same old party line BS as I expected. It just helps me to to talk about it I suppose. Who would I hand it over to...I dont know..I suppose I would look for another real fan of the classic series in the current team or someone new, or someone from on here! Its just annoying when you know it can be so good. Looking back at the RTD era , yes a lot of it was utter garbage, compared to what we get now. Its only compared to Moffat that you realise just how bad a lot of his stuff was, Partners in Crime, Smith and Jones etc....We just have to put up with it and make the best of it when it comes. I just looked through the Christmas Radio Times and the Top Gear Christmas special they promised us, is nowhere to be found. Unless I missed it. We were supposed to get one episode for Christmas instead of the full autumn series we should have got. So its not just Doctor Who thats getting cheated out of shows.The BBC is ripping everyone off big style this year and next ...sigh. Maybe the Top Gear Xmas special will be on mid January or something, thats just the typical stupid thing the Beeb seems to do these days. I am convinced more than anything its all down to money. Yes the shows makes loads and making less Who = less money made, but the BBC dont care about that, because they know they will always get the fee from every single one of us. They would rather have big studios, lots of managers, workers and hangers on, along with four channels and lots of radio stations and internet stuff than make quality tv these days. Get rid of BBC3 and BBC4, get rid of a few radio stations, stop moving studios all over the country and get back to making the Tv Shows we pay to be made, or sod off and go comercial. Thats my view. Anyway enough Doom and Gloom...the Daleks are mutating hapily in their tanks so I am going to go and play Lego Lord of the Rings for a while and cheer myself up.

Personally, i think you are being excessively harsh in your assessment of the quality of RTD's writing.Russell is a dramatist rather than an adventure writer and the biggest strengths of his writing tend to be in characterisation and creating drama .The biggest problem with his writing was usually resolving dramatic situations he got his characters into and the process of his plotting but considering how important it was for viewers to relate to characters and Doctor Who to retain some sense of reality,he was an ideal writer for establishing the programme and has made an important contribution in working out the practicalities of production.I'm completely in agreement with you concerning the political pressure on the BBC financially and your concerns about how it is affecting production now but everybody should be very aware of how much scrutiny it is under because of it's recent news coverage of journalists and politicians,particularly Dr Who fans.The circumstances are not the same as the 1980's.

As I say, the BBC do care, when they had the money they produced more episodes. Now their belt has been tightened they are producing fewer, that's not apathy, and that's CERTAINLY not taking the licence fee for granted, that's the inevitable result of the licence fee being insufficent for the BBC to meet their previous output (at least without some clever restructuring which I would imagine would lead to job cuts - not something anyone wants to see in this economic climate).
Feel free to rant, I'll join you, but the BBC probably isn't the target - the BBC isn't directly tax funded so the goverment couldn't slash their budget directly, but the freeze and additional responsibilities mean they've done everything in their power to do so.

All of that said, whilst I do believe the previous poster was a troll they didn't base their statements on nothing, Moffat himself has admitted the lateness of at least two scripts (Angels in Manhattan and the previous Christmas special), and Cumberbatch mentioned he was waiting on series 3 of Sherlocks scripts - I dare say that doesn't help delays (but it's absurd to think it would be solely responsible for 3 seasons being cut to 2).

Yeah..its the Governments fault! Heheh I should blame them as well. I was glad when they froze the fee as it was getting silly. But I am now in two minds about it, because the BBC has just decided to take it out on the viewers by making less of everything. And there is no need to do that. But as I have said they waste money all the time on stuff we dont need like BBC3 and BBC4. Honestly how many people watch those channels? Not many. And anything on them could be moved to BBC 2 without a problem at all. Because now BBC 2 is mostly full of repeats. They even complained in the papers about it. They stated the same thing as me, instead of cutting back channels they dont need, they are going to carry on regardless and just spread the same amount of butter more thinly over more bread. Its stupid and its bad management, but since when has that ever stopped the BBC or indeed any big company?
I would be fascinated to see what the License Fee would be next year if they had not been told to freeze it, probably about £160 a year. Its not worth it. I would like to know how people manage to pay that, as well as ANOTHER fee per month if they have Sky . or Virgin etc. Its just getting stupid.

Going back to one of my other posts, I just found out that the Top Gear Christmas special is also not on! Its going out in February instead!!

A Christmas Special in February!!! And their episodes have been cut from 8 to 6. What a rip. I swear the BBC has lost the plot.
As Clarkson would say -
"This is what you get when you pay left wing gay liberals lots of money to run an organisation."
Pathetic....An Xmas special in Feb and they are calling it a winter special instead and putting it out at the start of the new season. So we get 5 episodes of Top Gear and a special. I wonder how many episodes of Who we will get in 2014????
Four? With an option of two more if the fans all chip in and send the BBC more money to make them.
Say what you like about Top Gear, I like it, its funny and blokey and there is nothing else like those three clowns arguing and messing about on TV anywhere else. Less Who and Top Gear, I might as well do myself in, its so depressing....Thank God I have all the DvDs etc...

I can see why you call yourself Davros,your rants actually go on and on.Have a jelly baby.

Errr how can not having enough money for something be "taking it out on the public"? Either they can afford it or not, I know you're annoyed but please try and act rational or you discredit the complaints.
BBC Three and Four amount for a tiny fraction of the budget allocated to TV, I can't find the link now but the breakdown I saw showed them totaling less than 10% of the total BBC TV budget between them.

I don't see how you thought £145 a year was "getting out of hand". That's £12 a month, you can't get a basic satellite or cable subscription for that. I'd happily have paid double that for the services I was getting including TV, radio and iplayer. I really can't believe you find that kind of expenditure prohibitively expensive. You should also remember that satellite and cable providers DON'T produce their own content, so ask yourself why the hell they are so expensive - the licence fee is a comparative bargain, much more for far less, and lots of original content.

Lol...Thats me! I am actually quiet normal really, I just like to get my point across and say the things that a lot of people might think, but either dont say or cant be bothered. I work designing and building web pages, so popping in here for a chat is what I do when I need a break and I know I can get out of hand, but I would like to think that I am entertaining people too, even if they dont agree with some of my more extreme views. I call myself Davros01 because I was 5 years old when Genesis of the Daleks was broadcast and I watched it live first time around and was scared witless, but loved every second of it. Michael Wisher was the best Davros ever, but Julian B comes pretty close to what Wisher did. The whole Tom Baker era defined my childhood, and I have yet to find anything as good as that again. Now I am an adult and have a mortgage and have to stuggle like many other people I see, I get so annoyed when I see the BBC waste money on pointless things. It would not matter but if they are cutting my favourite show as well, because of it, the blood boils! Anyhoo, I do have jelly babies, and thanks for listening. Happy Christmas to all.

I know they are not taking it out on the public!!!! It was a JOKE! I was trying to be funny and witty and stupid and make people smile. I know I dont act rational about it, I go off on one, because its fun, because I can, because it gets it out of my system, and if people like some of the things I say, all the better, if not, well its a free country...cept nothings free! BBC3 and Four take less than 10% eh? Right...well in my book they can get bent, take them off air, and spend that 10% on Doctor Who and we might get a full season next year! Problem solved! If I worked there and was in charge, thats what I would be doing anyway....As for £145 a year, ok thats only £12 a month true. BUT if your not getting a lot of money, and have gas to pay, electric, water and a council tax bill along with a mortgage, have to buy food and so on, it soon mounts up. If I was not married, I would take the tv reciever card out of my media center and just watch Blueray / Dvds of what I want. I would buy Doctor Who on disk, each season per year would not cost me £145. But thats just me being me. I dont bother with radio, I cant see the point of listening to a DJ waffle on, then put on a song you probably wont like. I would rather listen to the stuff I like, when I like. Sat and cable now cost a lot as well, add to that on top of the Tv License and its just stupid money. I took Sky out years ago as it was costing me £30 a month to watch hours of adverts in shows. My whole point is back in the 70s we had two BBC channels and they did all quality shows, well most of them, despite inflation being sky high etc etc and it did not cost £145 for the fee. Now we have two other channels, websites, more radio etc etc, and way way WAY less quality shows. A lot less people watch tv live, they record it, watch Iplayer, or dvds on laptops, ipads etc and if you miss something you can get it straight away. Things are different now. I accept it, but not all of it is for the best. The BBC does not NEED to chase ratings. It does not matter how well something is doing, because its all paid for in the fee. If no one at all watches, then dont make it again, fair enough. But they dont need to worry about adverts, revenue or any of that sort of thing, and they can do what they want as after all, we are paying! It just feels to me, personally that they are getting so dumbed down, and trying to please so many people at once, that they are pleasing less people than ever. I watch less BBC than ever before because they just dont make things I want to see anymore, all I watch is Doctor Who and Top Gear. I dont watch Eastenders, Holby , Strictly, Casualty, Spooks, Merlin , Crime Dramas, Flog it, Cash in the Atic and so on and so on. I find I watch stuff like Den of Geek covers, because I am a film and sci fi nerd. So I watch Game of Thrones, 24, The Walking Dead, StarTrek, Babylon 5, Homeland, Prison Break etc, and stuff the Beeb used to make years ago, like Colditz, Open all Hours, Secret Army, Morcambe and Wise etc, because its what I grew up with. Anyway thats just me, being me as I said, I understand and respect everyones views, and that not everyone will like what I like. I am just really mad that we are getting shafted on Who in the 50th year and with Top Gear as well, because its all I watch from the Beeb and so its no longer worth it for me, moneywise. I really enjoy coming in here and chatting and arguing or points, its nice to have someone who watches Who to talk to and debate things with and our chat thread here has been the highlight of my very dull week. Thankyou. And have a great Christmas, enjoy Doctor Who, because I will be right there watching it too, with everyone else and loving every second.

Genesis of the Daleks is amongst my favourite television of all time. Don,t agree with the persistant claim perpetuated by JNT that six part Doctor Who never worked.Rubbish.Not an episode of Genesis bores me.It is so disappointing to me that the people involved in Doctor Who never got any recognition from their industry for it's success and popularity.Sladen, in particular,seems to have had a lack of confidence about her ability and some recognition from other actors might have been hugely helpful to her.Keenly anticipating brand new Doctor Who,a new companion,a new desk top theme courtesy of the architectural configuration circuit and different titles plus killer snow,Silurians ,Sontarans and Lesbian maids.Sorry to admit considering I,m writing to somebody calling themselves Davros online that you,re not the most extreme Doctor Who fan i've met as i know there are people who describe themselves as fans who don't care if there is new Doctor Who.If it is not consistant with what they historically expect.So selfish,they,d be happy for children to grow up without it because they don't think it's right or [oh no!] not the same as it used to be with better special effects.Don't want anything to do with them .They might as well be Daleks.Merry Christmas to you .

Moffat himself said he was pandering to fanboys. Perhaps you didn't read the quote... the diseased brian <sic> seems to be more apparent in you than in Villa's post.</sic>

I agree strongly that RTD was a better producer. Very much so. Hand on heart! It's often said that RTD's plots were formed from 'broad strokes' and Moffat's wear 'in the detail'. However, I've found my lack of connection with the Ponds has had a bigger impact than any deux ex machina that RTD pulled out the bag.

Moffat actually said he was pandering to fanboys in that particular story.He,s a fan himself.He likes fans and it would be inappropriate not to acknowledge the programmes history in the episode before the anniversary celebration.He certainly didn't marry off the Doctor to River Song or kill him last year to please the conservative/traditional long term fanboys but he's not in charge of the program just to please us so he's doing what he's supposed to do and experimenting and subverting to keep the programme fresh.Bewildered by suggestions that Doctor Who seems more juvenile after the death, pregnancy ,kidnap and baby theft and the accusations it was too complicated for casual viewers now.Didn't seem very juvenile to me.

My biggest problem with a lot of the criticism of RTD is it's too extreme.Russell is a proper dramatist but he always wanted to write Doctor Who,probably because the Doctor fascinates him and he started writing stories because he wanted to work on it.He had some experience of constructing plots from working in soap opera but writing adventure stories seems to demand detail,care and invention that his experience in soap opera couldn,t provide.It was a big advantage in terms of crafting characters people could relate to and keeping a sense of realism amongst his comic book science fiction concepts he'd build his stories from.He's often stated he's never written anything similar to Doctor Who.Moffat's writing is often so elaborately plotted that he seems to find it difficult to find the space in his stories for the attention to characterisation.I've often found his scripts and characters as engaging and emotionally provocative too though.I honestly think they're both great writers.Very sorry to note that the Ponds romance wasn't effective for you,hope Clara turns out to be more involving to you personally.

Merry Christmas.Beware the Snowmen.One day to go.Let me see that trailer.

Just cant get excited for this borefest since Moff took over

I knew it! The moff sucks and doesn't care half as much about this show as he claims. Maybe that's why he's trying to kill it

Moff sucks, deal with it. Stop making excuses for this third rate genius!

Well said sir!

Does TardInSexy get up anybody else's nose? Or is it just me? Judging by her comments, she is the divine authority for WHO and Moff's personal PR girl.

Have you noticed as well that anyone who disagree's with her rose tinted view of Moff's WHO is instantly slated as an immature child? What's with the personal insults, Tard? Not everybody is happy about Moff ruining our fave show. Why should people be forced to just be happy it's back? Why should licence payers have to accept mediocrity? Dont know about you babe, but I demand top quality for my hard earned cash. Why should we settle for anything less? That's just a cheap cop out, like most of Moff's naff arc conclusions.

You can tell when Moffat lies, his mouth moves.

Girl in the Fireplace

I am so looking forward to the rest of Season 7! I do hope that the action parts are not over done. After all, I would trade an episode with epic chases and action-packed scenes for an episode like "Midnight", which freaked me out as much as or even more than the Weeping Angels.

People accuse Moffat of using re-set buttons too. Hey, we know Moffat's not perfect, but at least he didn't have everyone thinking 'Doctor' as a way of defeating an enemy. This is Doctor Who, not Peter Pan.

I agree, the split series keeps it fresh.

It would be nice to have writers like Neil Gainman and Mark Gatiss on a regular basis, but I imagine they have other things to attend to. I do agree with you though; better wait a long time for something brilliant than a short time for a piece of c***.

I'm pretty sure I read a post by you (or possibly someone pretending to be you, though it seems unlikely), saying you knew someone at BBC Wales. Now, you post saying you yourself work at BBC Wales. I think that is what TARDinSexy is getting at.

Not as much as you.Actually i generally find most of her observations about Doctor Who to be quite perceptive and fair.Also,she doesn't post under multiple identities to create the impression that everybody agrees with her.I was quite impressed with how quickly she recollected the discrepancies in Pullan's posts.

yeah well, there's no accounting for taste, And I bet you are one of these fellas that always sides with the woman. Tard is nought but a massive hypocrite with a massive superiority complex I used to hate people who called my show Dr Poo, but since MiffMoff have ruined it, I'm starting to see their point.

Did moff tell you that in an interview? Do you know how to tell moff's lying? His mouth moves

Just listening to some of Moff's dialogue.

It's bloody awful

no, he just as crying baby's defeating cybermen

In moff-verse Who, the most powerful bad guys ever are easily defeated by a bout of crying that lasts five seconds. Pathetic

It's not hard for anybody to be superior to you.EXTERMINATE.

you know, big, small, budget or no, that doesnt matter. its the quality of the story.

Well, in fairness, nowadays at least, cyber-reprogramming of the brain works by suppressing emotion... and it was well-established even in RTD's era that strong emotions could override the programming ("I did my duty, for Queen and Country..."). The Doctor even begins acknowledging that, noting that it was the primal, evolutionary imperative to "protect one's young" or some such... the only reason he gave up is people were looking at him funny.

In short, it wasn't the "crying baby" that defeated the Cybermen in that episode; it was Craig's primal emotions overriding the programming that did. Which is well within the established canon. I am not saying you have to like the episode, but can we PLEASE stop claiming the resolution didn't make sense or contradicted other canon (a claim I have seen in several places)? Because it did make sense and didn't contradict any other canon; to the contrary, it was almost slavishly in sync with it on that point. Literally the only thing that could have allowed Craig to override the programming, him being a dim bulb and all, would have been a strong emotion that overrode the normal fear levels present during Cyberconversion. He was a new father, so obviously they used the baby's cries. You can dislike the solution for being cliche or too simple or just not liking it, but it DOES work with the canon, and not in a purely "Peter Pan" way either.

Go back to serial format. That's my suggestion. Moffat's best works were two parters, such as "The Empty Child," "Silence In the Library" and "The Time of Angels." Doctor Who is the kind of show that requires slow pacing to oblige the suspenseful, slow build up and unfolding of the plot and story. A good "Doctor Who" story simply cannot be served in 45 measely minutes. At the very least, they could start assigning each story two 45 min episodes, so that atleast we would have a semi-serial format.

and stop making up offscreen adventures, it's like the show has come uncoupled from the doctor's life and we're just getting snippets of it.

This alien feeds on faith!
But doctor, that makes no sense what so ever!
I don't care! It makes for a good filler episode!

It's not a finale anymore unless the universe blows up or is destroyed or never existed or always existed these days.

I'm pretty excited for March 30th. They have mentioned that the Doctor will answer the question at the last episode!!! His name was mentioned in the very first season (back in 1963), and was never supposed to be such a big secret or dangerous. Because I don't want to spoil, I'll just say that his name begins with a 'T', exists out of two words, and ends with an 'A'. And nobody would probably care, but The Master's name is Koshei.

The Doctor his name already has been mentioned back in 1963, but maybe Moffat will change it. Forgot to say that.

Hey, I actually liked the departure of the Ponds. I thought he did fantastic with their departure in the time alotted

LOL!!!! Now why do so many of the prattling fools on here sound JUST LIKE the writers on Doctor Who?! Hmmmmm? Could it be that you little turds come on here and ooooze out all of this nauseating crap just to con gullible young viewers that the show is more popular then it really is? Last Sat ratings were 4.6 million! They are sinking and they are sinking fast!

Moffats writing is lazy, cliched and boring as hades! Except to the uber creepy mega-nerd who is easily impressed with cheesy special effects and pretty girls or ugly old women with guns. BLEAH!

Seriously the uber fans get weirder and weirder. Pretty soon there will be a real life asylum for the Die Hard Dr Who fans. LOL

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