Steven Moffat on plans to end Doctor Who after David Tennant

News Louisa Mellor 27 May 2014 - 12:01

Steven Moffat has told the Hay Festival that the BBC considered ending Doctor Who after David Tennant left the show...

Speaking at this year's Hay Literary Festival, Steven Moffat has admitted that he didn’t realise how many people at the BBC thought a Tennant-less Doctor Who "wouldn’t succeed at all. That was quite terrifying when I found out about it later."

He explained, "David owned that role in a spectacular way, gave it an all-new cheeky sexy performance and became a national treasure. And he didn’t do it instantly, he did it over time. So the idea that Doctor Who could go on at all in the absence of David was a huge question. I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it. It was Russell T. Davies saying, 'you are not allowed to end it'.” 

As a statement, Moffat's words couldn't be much more couched in uncertainty. Plans, consider, maybe... it's hardly confirmation that the show was destined for the chop. It makes a better story of course, to ignore the ambiguity and take Moffat's assurance that the BBC were gunning for Doctor Who before its stalwart champion Davies pulled it back from the brink. It'd certainly make for a dramatic scene in any future making-of-new-Who docudrama.

A Matt Smith-free Doctor Who though? It doesn't even bear thinking about...

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Well, that would have been an idiotic decision.

It would be typical BBC given how they treat shows like Ripper Street, The Fades and The Paradise.

David Tennant was amazing because he is amazing. He is a great actor with a huge charisma, but his Doctor was, I think, the less Doctor-ish Doctor ever. I loved it, but the thought that the show couldn't make it without him is just silly.

Sure, Tennant was popular but it would have been exceptionally short-sighted to have ended the show when he left. As I'm sure David Tennant would be the first to point out! Imagine the uproar from fandom and the show's newly found female and family audiences if after waiting for 16 years to see the show return just four years later Tennant goes and so does the show?!! Ludicrous suggestion. It had just returned viewing figures of 13 million and beaten Corrie. Surely there was no way that idea was ever treated seriously. Sounds to me like Moffat bigging himself up...

Maybe it was floated as a "BBC test of popularity" of the show. The protest would be bigger than if they had suddenly axed East Enders or Blue Peter. Thank god it was rightly stamped on! ;o)

Let's just hope those gunning for its demise aren't given any ammunition like a new Doctor's premiere episodes taking place in the traditional ratings trough that is August. Oh, wait...

That is why Doctor Who is now relatively safe, as we have fans at almost every level of the BBC who will champion it.
Nothing is safe at the BBC with cuts, but nothing at the BBC is safer than Doctor Who. In the last 4 years it went from being a ratings success in the UK to an international merchandising juggernaut. To the BBC's credit, I think they realised in 2009 that they could achieve this with more effort. They were understandably cautious, but I think it's clear to them that the risk of rebooting with a new production team pays off. They will be more likely to take such risks in the future when the show is at a crossroads.

DW viewing figures are some of the highest in broadcasting - rivalling DW viewing figures from the days when there were only 3 channels.

The sad bit here is that I can honestly believe it going by some of the idiotic decisions the policy makers at the BBC have made over the years, showing little or no regard for he viewers that pay their wages.
I remember the way they stitched up Doctor Who in the years prior to its cancellation with poor writing, scheduling and production values. Therefore canellation was inevitable. And yet the BBC were happy to gather in the harvest of cash that the Doctor Who fanbase splashed out on video / dvd and other merchandise over the years.
Recently, as Sean has already said, the BBCs treatment of successful and popular drama shows has been appalling. Why? Money, pure and simple. They choose to spend their money on cheap reality and cooking shows fronted by over the hill and over paid presenters with little to no talent rather than on quality.
So ultimately Im sad to say that I can well beleve that short sighted, naieve, BBC accountants would be willing to cancel a show due to the exit of one o its stars. They probably hadnt even heard of the previous regenerations from the classic era!!??!

Classic BBC behavior for Modern Who...

I loved him and thought he was the best Doctor EVAR at the time, but since The Smith/Moffat era, I have *really* cooled on both the Tennant Doctor and RTD era (although to be fair, I was getting tired of RTD's shenanigans by S4).

At the moment, Smith is easily my favourite modern Doctor, and one of my all time favourites too, it remains to be seen if I just love the current Doctor most (I haven't discounted this theory), or if Smith really was one of the all time best Doctors (you can only start really slotting them in with the other Doctors after the dust has settled).

Well, the BBC does seem to be completely retarded when it comes to Who. And Moffat isn't that much of a dick.

I am relatively new to Doctor Who. I've watched all New Who and a few episodes of each of the previous Doctors. With that background, I'd say that Eccleston was a WONDERFUL (and SO underrated in my opinion!) comeback doctor who brought some action hero touch; Tennant did a great job at modernizing the Doctor to a 2000's hero, being cool, funny, sexy, with a touch of tormented hero and tragic romance; Smith, however, looked more like a bridge between Classic and Modern Who, IMO. He got a lot from the New Doctors without forgetting the basics of the Classic Doctors. I think he did a great job, but didn't have the scripts to go with his great performance.

I feel like Capaldi will probably be a bit more modernized Classic Who, with less romance and more moodiness.

Ultimately, the three actors we had until now were all good at their craft. None of them was a disappointment, at least not for me. They are three very talented men who brought their own touc to the character. Of course, we can all argue who was the better fit for the show, and although I liked Eccleston and Tennant better as actors (they felt much more solid and confident at the start of their series, probably out of experience), I feel like Matt Smith was a better fit for this particular show in terms of style and looks (his odd looking face added so much to the alieness of the Doctor for me!).

I'd love to know what a life-long fan has to say, I don't feel like I know enough about the show to have a proper opinion.

Hmmmm. The show that continued has been so disappointing after the RTD years that it feels like we DID lose it for me....

Gotta agree. I wouldn't want the show to end but after RTD / DT, the show lost its spark and many times watching it didn't see it as Doctor Who but as the Amy Pond Show; the Doctor became a secondary character to his own show.

Moffets words seem like the truth to me, poor Doctor Who one of the most successful shows but always with its enemies waiting in the shadows to shoot it down first chance it gets.
Leave it alone.

Personally I'd rather have seen the Yanks pick it up back when they did the pilot. The Beeb didn't deserve Who after how they treated it and Who didn't deserve what RTD turned it in to. Most of the time it was no less childish than the Sylvester McCoy years. At least the Yanks wouldn't have given us terrible dialogue, burping dustbins and egregious slapstick.

Agree, hate how those burping dustbins were in every single episode while RTD was at the helm and glad they got rid of all of that slapstick too when Moffat took over. I heard RTD was going to include a comedy Dalek whose role was as a servant to an interspecies gay couple in the Regency era, one of whom was Zygon. Apparently, her role was to make poor puns and do lots of silly things. Thank God that idea was killed off.
Yes, with the dreadful ratings and complete failure of all aspects of the revived Who prior to 2010, I really don't know why they continued it. At least everything is absolutely perfect since that time and no silly jokes ever again!

Hmm, let's see. Changeover from a very popular and acclaimed Doctor to a new one, opportunity to say some nice clickbaiting things about Doctor Who and Sherlock which might just about be of interest to the media and I am sure the very question must have been asked of Moffat about whether he thought Doctor Who would be cancelled before he took it over because, you'know that lovely David Tennant chappy was so beloved by the ladies. Imagine if next day, the comments section were full of disgruntled fans clammering for the BBC to protect Doctor Who, that Matt Smith was the best doctor ever, that it has never been in safer or better hands, that worldwide viewing figures slay anything under RTD and that David Tennant and/or RTD must have thought they were bigger than the show, and the continued success after they left shows their hubris.
As usual, Mr Moffat is the master of PR and we all hang off his every word.
Who knows what he might say next to rev up some more PR, perhaps he will muse on the fact that not everyone thinks Benedict Cumberbatch is sexy?? No doubt that will bring the masses out, because Mr C is even more clickbaiting than Matt Smith.

Yes, very amusing. My point, however, was not that Moffat was any better. The kind of idiocy that brought us burping dustbins continued through his run and in to Moffat's. They're both as bad as each other. Obviously it wasn't just dustbins burping; that was merely an example of the kind of childiness I'm talking about. Same for the slapstick, which continued unabated. Witness the ridiculous 'hanging from the TARDIS' opening stunt in TotD.

I don't recall suggesting Who wasn't a ratings success, nor that it was popular. A billion flies eat horse manure but that does not ignoble the activity.

But they've never been quite as good as Tennant's last season, the second half of series seven was definitely slipping.... rescued by the massive hype of the 50th special which has detracted attention from the decline...

Imagine if the BBC felt that way about Tom Baker's Doctor!

Or even "enoble".

I thought 7's ratings were actually pretty good. There was doomsaying about the ratings decline, but if memory serves correctly those projections weren't taking international or online viewers into account.

Given that the harder Tennant worked to win me over with his cheeky sexiness (is that what it was?) the more he repelled me, I am very relieved I stuck with the show (Donna was key there) and was rewarded with Matt Smith.

Series 7 ratings were fine. The overnights were down, but this is the for TV shows across the board because the television landscape is changing, with more and more people watching by Tivo and iPlayer. Consolidated ratings were consistent with what had gone before.

Given the split and the light nights when both parts of the series went out, the ratings are pretty healthy. Doctor Who was easily the top show on the night or second if BGT or X Factor were on - though for the most part not opposite Who. Truth is Who is a "ratings football" it will always attract 5 to 7 million wherever it is placed and gain another million or two on catch up. Even against the ratings of the Tennant era there is far more catch up today. In the days of three channel tv if you missed it that was it. Hence the recaps on The Sea Devils in the power cut prone Pertwee era.The 50th special did well as much for its scheduling as its significance. Like The Waters of Mars before it, a well scheduled November transmission - when it's dark outside - did wonders for the figures. Truth is there are many other shows which the BBC would cancel before Who. Even if there was a massive ratings decline and (god forbid) Capaldi only got 2 or 3 million, it is more likely the BBC would look to fix the show than axe it. When the McCoy era ended the programme was actually beginning to improve in the ratings and was watched by more people than Match of the Day and some editions of Wogan... Only it's unpopularity

Lost connection! As I was trying to say.... The series Only ended in 1989 because the BBC suits, who viewed Doctor Who with disdain, couldn't wait to end it.


Family Guy? ;0)

That's the one ;)

Indeed! There was, famously, a huge decline in ratings between season 17 and 18. As JN-T was fond of pointing out, putting the Davison series in the soap slot doubled the audience. Given 14 to 16 million saw City of Death in October 1979 - admittedly ITV was on strike - it feels almost criminal only 6.1 million watched part four of Logopolis in March 1981. Weirdly, part two of Logopolis (5.8 million) was topped by the Five Faces... repeat on BBC 2!! Nine million saw the reprise of the regeneration on a Monday night in January 1982 to launch Season 19. Weirder still, the top-rated serial of Season 19 - despite the return of the Cybermen, was... Time-Flight!! If anything, this proves the change of Doctor was very much to the advantage of the show. For the many that loved Tennant, there was also a sizeable number who couldn't wait to see the back of him! Smith took a while to win me over but proved a good replacement. Capaldi is excellent casting and should see an upswing in the ratings as the hardcore, old-school fans start watching again and the nuWho "the Doctor should always be young!" fangirls at least give him a chance to impress. We shall see in August. My money's on August 30th - same date as the debut of Terror of the Zygons in 1975 and The Leisure Hive in 1980.

Some interesting points, very well made. I first saw Doctor Who in 1973 as Sarah Jane Smith joined the series in the Pertwee serial The Time Warrior - (a rare Pertwee historical, if you love Sarah Jane and Sontarans - check it out!) Agree with you about Eccleston. Liked what Tennant did, being a real fan - who told his friends aged four he would be the Doctor one day! - he felt better suited to the part. Smith took a long time to win me over but I will genuinely miss him. I liked what you said about his odd looking face accentuating the alien quality of the Doctor. Smith based a lot of his performance on Patrick Troughton's Doctor. The obsession with hats is very Troughton! Peter Capaldi is a truly superb bit of casting and personally I can't wait for August. We need an older, darker, moodier Doctor but one with flashes of wit and eccentricity. Love the rebel idea. Like Tennant, Capaldi is a genuine fan so it safe to say the series is in good hands. I think to keep it fresh, Steven Moffat should leave next year to concentrate on Sherlock. Whoever replaces him will inherit a series in rude health which has great potential for the future, the past and the present!

Haha, yes, quite right.

I'll check it out after exams. In fact I planned on watching all the Classic Who I can access.
IMO, Matt Smith had a bumpy start because he was so very young! It must be difficult going after David Tennant and such a huge success when you are young and somehow inexperienced when compared to your predecessors. He was, after all, the youngest Doctor ever cast. I think that in his first episodes, he was trying to somehow copy Tennant instead of doing his own thing, but as he grew more comfortable in the role and found HIS way as the Doctor, I found his performance very inspiring. He was amazing at playing childish and old at the same time, an achievement for such a young actor, which fitted Moffat's script very well.

I would like to see a new showrunner taking over after the first Capaldi season. I like Moffat enough as a writer, but I think that he tends to get lost into shocking plotwists when it comes to carrying out an arc. I think he is better in shorter products. When he writes an episode, he can totally make it brilliant, quick, witty and frenetic. When he plans a season, he usually makes it convoluted in a bad way...

And thank you for the appreciation! I am an absolute noob when it comes to science fiction and that kind of thing. I am just getting started, and I always feel a warm rush of pride and satisfaction when an old-time fan of something says that I made a good point! >///<

am i not the only one that would crucifi moffat if he did end dr who?

and he wasn't with rose?

Hasn't stopped them before. Knocking DW on the nut after the McGann movie?

We should be glad it's not Fox that does it. He wouldn't have made it to Patrick Troughton, never mind Capaldi...

Goddamnit, no Matt Smith? Easily one of the greatest doctors regardless of the occasionally wobbly scripts and a dreadful final episode. I grew up with Tom baker onwards and genuinely think Matt was sublime as the Doctor, so much so I consider him 'my' Doctor above Tom now..... *ducks for irate geek flame war*

And Donna.

Whoa, awesome post. I found it fascinating. Expert Level: Unlocked.

Having seen (or heard recordings of) virtually all of the Doctor's outings, I have to agree, you've hit the nail largely on the head Halanefleur.

I also think Moffat is a much more old fashioned producer (in a good way), which has helped the Smith era feel a lot more like Classic Who.

I'm really hoping Calpadi ends up being the Doctor they were trying to go for during the Colin Baker era. I know he's not popular, and I know the outfit was horrendous, but Colin Baker's possibly my favourite Doctor (or as close as I'm willing to give to any incarnation).

Predictably, people in the comments are saying that nothing after RTD was good. Again, has everyone forgotten about Series 5? Great series.

Uh, Series 5? Even most Moffat haters think it was at least OK.

Tennent really shined in non RTD written episodes. I still think the one with the werewolves was his best episode ever.

I've personally really enjoyed the Moffat era, but then again I enjoy complicated stories that span more than one series. I can understand the criticism that he was better at writing one episode than he was a series, but I think that's probably true for a lot of writers. There's a big difference between putting all your time and effort into one episode and writing for an entire series.
Moffat's episodes tend to be strange and a bit offbeat, and it's not much surprise to me that the series has that feel with him as showrunner. I've always felt that his plot twists were natural and came from things established earlier in the season or the episode.
For better or worse he was willing to try and take the show in a new direction rather than just doing what his predecessor did. Every series he's done of the show has had a different and distinct feel to it.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Davies, but I got tired of pretty much every twist turning out to be that it was the Daleks all along. With Moffat we also have actual time travel stories where the use of time travel greatly impacts the broader narrative instead of just adventure stories that happen to have time travel in them where time travel is basically just used to get characters from point A to point B.
Sorry for the long post.

Agree with you there. Watched it again recently, really stands up!

RTD wrote Tooth and Claw and it is one of his best. I assume that is what you meant? Apparently he wrote it very quickly when another script didn't work out. I agree with you also that Tennant shone in non RTD scripts...

Actually, I was under the impression that that episode was not written by RTD. Kind of makes my comment contradictory.

All opinions are valid. Doctor Who is a huge franchise with (currently) 800 episodes to watch and enjoy, well 703 to watch - to be precise but there are audios for the missing eps. I think all the Doctors are great in their own way but I have soft spot for Troughton,Tom Baker, McCoy, Eccleston and Smith. I love the historicals. So many to choose from in the Hartnell era but sadly the producer axed them after Troughton's second serial - The Highlanders. Pertwee should have done more. Elements of Carnival of Monsters set on a cruise ship in 1926 work really well. There are some terrific pseudo historicals in Tom Baker's gothic era: Pyramids of Mars, Talons of Weng Chiang and Horror of Fang Rock. The Davison two-parters all share a historical theme: Black Orchid is a murder mystery set in 1925, The King's Demons is set in 1215 and concerns an attempt to change history. The Awakening is a clever tale of a civil war re-enactment gone wrong. The Visitation is also good. The Curse of Fenric and Ghostlight are the two stand out historical tales in McCoy's time.

I will keep this for future reference, although I tend to watch shows in order!

Now I feel bad, I wasn't trying to say that RTD was better. I just commented on Moffat because he is the one we are getting now.

I love his stories, how could I not, they are amazing. Engaging and funny and quick. However, IMO, he tends to get so lost in his clever plots that the characters sometimes come out as flat or under-developed, at least for me. I didn't start to feel like Clara had a distinctive personality until after her storyline was done. Amy and Rory seemed to suddenly be OK with the awfully traumatic way in which they got a daugther, like PIUF, plot done, emotional process completed. He tends to introduce his companions as special, even though in the end they prove to be mostly common human girls who end up in complicated situations. I think he should try introducing a companion as a companion, with nothing special going on, just for a change. He should give them a chance to be interesting by themselves, and not because of the mystery they represent.

I like Moffat a lot. The only serious issue I have with him is that his humour sometimes makes me uncomfortable. I am not in the Moffat-is-a-sexist-writer, but I've noticed a few jokes in the last episodes that did make me feel a bit awkward.

I have enjoyed his work, but I think a change to a more character-oriented showrunner in a year would give a nice contrast now, with him still on the writing team to bring the nice awesome adventure times! It would also be a fairly long run in Doctor Who, wouldn't it? We are heading for the 4th Moffat series. A good moment to change. 4 series in Doctor Who is, I understand, quite the long run!

I can't wait for Capaldi. He is not only a great actor, but one with writing experience. I am sure he will be able to contribute a great deal to the show. And wouldn't it be great if, after completing his run or during it, he contributed with some script? I would love to see that. An episode written by the Doctor himself, with his own understanding of his character. Quite the interesting experiment!!!!

Sometimes it seems as though no-one involved with Who acknowledges that Eccelston was the 'reboot' Doctor and attribute all of the shows success to Tennant.

I said the same in a comment below, Eccleston is so underrated and forgotten. I guess it has to do with his quick departure and his negative to have anything to do with the show, but it still feels unfair. He was amazing in the role.

I can agree that it is probably time for a new showrunner soon, and I wasn't trying to make you feel bad.

I disagree about Moffat's characters. Clara did have a personality, but it was subtle and there was rarely a point at which the Doctor told us what her personality was through exposition. The coffee scene in Bells of St. John is perfect. That scene establishes that Clara is good at taking control of whatever situation she is. She forces the Doctor to acquiesce to her demands simply because they're logical, and they do this without the Doctor ever pointing special attention to it. This continues in Rings of Akhaten where when confronted with a problem, Clara goes head on into it and is always trying to come up with a solution. She panics when her initial plans start to fall apart due to the TARDIS not letting her in, but she manages to still calm the Queen of Years and give the situation a peaceful resolution.

As for Amy and the baby, I can understand some ill feelings toward how the loss of her baby was handled, but there are a couple of things to keep in mine. 1) It has been close to a whole summer for the ponds between Good Man Goes to War and Let's Kill Hitler. This is plenty of time for the Ponds to no longer be hysterical. 2) The Ponds write a message for the Doctor as a giant crop circle because he's not taking their calls. This is not something done by people who have no cares in the world. 3) This is a completely alien situation. The Ponds know that their daughter is River and that she will end up okay. Amy does still kill Madame Kovarian for stealing her baby away.

Having the companions as a mystery gives the Doctor a genuine reason to be interested in his companions. In the early run of season 1, I wondered why the Doctor was so enamored with Rose. She didn't really become an interesting character to me until the first Dalek episode.

Moffat's plots I would say are more character driven than his predecessors. The solution isn't devised by someone inheriting God powers or finding a magical particle, but it is instead about the power of his relationships. He's only able to survive the series 5 finale because of his relationship with Amy, and the series 6 finale resolves with him finally fully accepting and going into his relationship with River Song. He only survives series 7 because Clara makes a sacrifice to save him. In Day of the Doctor his relationship with Clara is what allows him to see and understand how to save the Timelords and earn his redemption, and in Time of the Doctor he is saved by Clara's willingness to believe in his race when he wouldn't.

Moffat is a very oddball writer, but his stories are character driven. Everything important that happens in his stories is because characters make decisions or come to realizations and discover something important about themselves.

I'm sorry if I made you feel bad, that was not my intention. Although I disagree with you, I do think your opinion is valid and well stated.

He's my favourite of the new Doctors and his season, which was rough in some ways but really hit it's stride at the midway point for, is under appreciated. Eccelston may have declined to return for the 50th but that will never lower my opinion of him or his performance. I wish he'd had more time in the role.

I see your points. I'd have to rewatch to change my mind, and I'll be sure to keep it in mind if I do. Maybe I will see it with a rewatch. What do you think about flaws? Another thing that I miss in Clara are flaws, and that makes her really flat to me. Apart from being labeled as "bossy", I can't recall anything else.

About Rose (who by the way I never liked as a person, although I thought she was very well-written), I think that is the point. Rose, Martha, Dona, there was nothing to make the Doctor interested in them. I just don't think there needs to be something extra. Why can't a human companion be enough just because of who he/she is? Why would he/she need a mystery to be interesting?

This discussion is being so interesting! It is nice to have someone point out a different view on things. Sometimes you just aren't in the same wave than a particular writer, and you skip things.

For the 50th birthday we had a tv show about the making on the first episodes starring year we've got 10 years of new who to there's the story you can tell on screen BBC, either a tv movie or a documentary, you decide!

The part about flaws is a little true. I wouldn't say the character is completely flawless, but her faults never really hinder her at any point in the story.

Clara was a completely normal person. That was the whole twist with Name of the Doctor. We're built up this expectation that maybe Clara is a timelady in hiding or a weird alien thing, but she is in fact just a normal girl who made an extraordinary decision that required a lot of courage.

Even Steven Moffat himself has more or less admitted to Clara being too perfect. I think she was that way in series 7 as a way to offset her mystery. She seems perfect, but you know there's something not quite right about her. Moffat has stated that with Capaldi that she'll be given situations that are more out of her control and that may lead her down the road for more development.

As far as the mystery angle goes, It sets up an automatic conflict for the Doctor and the Companion to overcome. At the end of Name of the Doctor when the Doctor fully accepts Clara, the moment is dramatic and interesting because he's spent the entire series distrustful and wary of her, and so when she shows the value of being who she is the payoff is genuine.

For me, I was alright with the Clara mystery angle because I found the situation to be genuinely interesting, but it pretty much meant that most of her character in 7B was in standby or setup mode. Even though Jenna and Matt were great together it just always felt to me like she was meant to really be the 12th Doctor's companion before the 12th Doctor even showed up.

As far as Amy goes, I think people play up the mystery angle with her a little too much. Remember that in the Beast Below the Doctor was more than willing to abandon her when he felt she crossed the line. Amy proved his worth through her intuition and keeping him from making a terrible mistake. From episode 2 and onward Amy is on the TARDIS is not because she is a mystery but because she kept the Doctor from making a horrendous decision and showed that she had the skills necessary to come with him.

Even though my favorite companion is still probably Donna, though I do love the Ponds, I felt like Martha had some really great potential that got wasted. Out of all the companions she probably earned her spot the most. She was smart and compassionate and willing to accept truths of the world that no one else wanted to. It's a pity they didn't really use her effectively at all until the series 3 and 4 finales.

10 years of new Who next year, the BBC should do a tv movie about the story behind the return or a documentary!

Dear Martha Jones. She is my favourite because she left the Doctor by and for herself. I like that about Martha, how she left and how she didn't even need to go with him in the first place (Rose and Dona were in pretty bad places in their lives). She was probably the most intelligent companion the Doctor had, at least in New Who. But the same thing happens with her, I can't see any fault in Martha! She was clever compassionate, sympathetic, sensible, pretty, professional and had a wonderful life of her own. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her. And yet she came across as quite normal. I don't know how, but you had to stop to notice that she was almost too perfect. I also loved the detail that she gave her phone to the Doctor to be able to call him. I bet he didn't see THAT coming. Ha.

Dona was a better character, and her friendship with 10 was the best. Pity that they decided to reset her at the end of her run, she was the most developed companion. That hurt.

I feel like Clara improved A LOT after her "mystery" was revealed, as I say, and I hope she will get even better now. That is part of what I meant about giving priority to the plot over the character. For her to be in stand by with all she was going through felt strange for me. I feel as if her development was stopped for the mystery's sake, as you say, and only after that we started to see the true Clara. In fact I quite liked Gatiss' (I think?) episode in the submarine because Clara was scared not because she didn't know how to react, but because she started to notice what she had got herself into. In that episode, she felt very real to me.

Cold War was a Gatiss episode. Although I can understand people having issues with Clara, I don't really understand the hate that she gets. I can get being bored or uninterested in the character, but there are just some people who hate her, and I think hatred for the character is a bit unwarranted.

Clara was an attempt to do something different with the Companion, and for some people it worked and for some it didn't. I do agree though that her character has vastly improved in the last couple of specials.

I don't think there's really anything left to debate. It's been nice. I've only recently started to be involved in online communities, and I was starting to get a little jaded with Whovians. I can admire the passion some people have for the show, but that passion can lead to a lack of true dialogue. I'm not going to pretend that only one side does it. Both the Pro and Anti Moffat camps say some unnecessarily terrible things to each other. I kind of hate the fact that Whovians have been separating themselves into camps and factions.

Nothing wrong with having an opinion, but I really hate feeling like I'm going to war every time I want to talk about one of my favorite TV shows.

Best way! I was just pointing out the historicals, because that is what got me into Doctor Who. You may love space operas or the fantasy serials like The Mind Robber... Have fun watching it from the start! ;o)

Capaldi writing for the Doctor - that's a brilliant idea! Pass that one on to Moffat ASAP! I mean Tom Baker used to change bits and pieces because (understandably after many years in the role) he really understood it. My favourite was the moment he told a character he would be back in three minutes and held up FOUR fingers! It was so alien and funny yet suited the Fourth Doctor so well! Perhaps Capaldi could direct an episode too? He has won several awards for his directing and writing skills. We truly have a multi-talented Doctor 12!

Mofffat has stated that Peter Capaldi will be too busy playing the Doctor to write any episodes. He has also stated that he will not tell Capaldi how to play the Doctor. We can hope that after he has completed his tenure, Capaldi might stay on and write or direct some episodes.

Yup that is a sad truth but compare with FOX, BBC is more than a saint.

Tooth And Claw was utter rubbish. One of the blandest things I've ever watched with an ending that made no sense and with The Doctor and Rose being unlikable.

With a piece of news like this we really need to put hindsight away and think about what things were like at the time. Bringing the show back in 2005 was a huge gamble, which was fixed somewhat by casting Eccleston, who is an established and well-respected actor in the role. After Eccleston left it was another gamble to continue with a less-known actor, but Tennant managed to make such an impact that he became synonymous with the role in the eyes of the public. That made it an even bigger gamble to find a replacement for Tennant, at the same time as the show was taken over from an established showrunner and production team. The continuation of Doctor Who on television is never guaranteed, as the show has always had to re-establish its worth with each new Doctor and producer. Ever since the 1960's Doctor Who is close to being cancelled at least once every few years, which is why each regeneration into a new Doctor is meant to shake things up to either ensure high ratings or to save the show from outright cancellation.

The current situation makes it especially challenging. Both the economy and the environment for television programming is so fickle at the moment that I understand if the Beebs was skeptical at the time of the show still remaining as popular after Tennant left, not to mention Russel and almost the entire production team. Doctor Who is also facing many big risks due to being classified as scifi, because the competition in scifi-television is very demanding and unforgiving at the moment, with shows being immediately cancelled if they don't hit a certain very specific goal in the viewing figures. Doctor Who's fifty years of existence aren't a guarantee that the BBC won't suddenly lose faith in the show and decide to axe it for some stupid reason. That is why Capaldi's first season must work extra hard to convince the bigwigs that he'll give them as much money as Matt did, which will be the case again when Capaldi leaves or Moffat leaves, et cetera, et cetera.

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