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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

Steven Moffat to take over ‘Doctor Who’ from Russell Davies

I know, I know, I know! I’ve been hearing this from all angles today: Steven Moffat is taking over the helm of Doctor Who from Russell Davies for Season 5, which will air in Spring 2010. Very cool news indeed, as the official BBC Doctor Who site notes:

Moffat has penned some of the series’ most unforgettable and acclaimed episodes – including Blink with its terrifying Weeping Angels, for which he was awarded the Bafta Writer Award 2008 on Sunday 11th May. His previous work on Doctor Who includes The Girl in the Fireplace for Series Two, which earned him his second Hugo Award.
His first was for the Series One two-parter The Empty Child, which became famous for its terrifying refrain ‘Are you my mummy?’

And I didn’t know this about Moffat:

He has just delivered the screenplay for Tintin, the first instalment of the trilogy of films featuring the iconic Belgian comic-strip hero, to Steven Spielberg who will direct it for DreamWorks. Thomas Sangster and Andy Serkis will star.

Wow.

And look: Moffat’s brilliant even when he’s writing his own dialogue:

“My entire career has been a Secret Plan to get this job,” said Steven Moffat. “I applied before but I got knocked back cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven.”

Steven, if you need a new writer… [raises hand]

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  • angel

    I’m thrilled with the news. I’ve loved what Russell T. Davis has done, but the show will definitely be in good hands. I guess the next big question is: Will Tennant stay for year with Moffat or will we meet Eleven all too soon? And if he doesn’t stay, who in the world could top Chris Eccleston and David Tennant?

  • Moffat is clearly a good writer. Blink was perhaps the best hour of Doctor Who I have ever seen.

    But I have to say, between the news that David Tennant might be wanting to move on and the news that Russell Davies is moving on, methinks that a lot of people are going to look back at this period of time as a high-water mark for Doctor Who. It’s hard to imagine how the show could be much better than it is now, but really, really easy to see how it could be worse.

  • This is great news. Davies definitely deserves credit for bringing Who back in a big way — I wasn’t a fan before its remarkable return a few years ago — but I’ve always felt the series could use a darker, more serious approach without losing its youthful appeal. Steven Moffat’s episodes have been among my favorite, and the franchise couldn’t be in better hands (unless they were Joss Whedon’s hands… but that would be an entirely different show).

    Thanks for the scoop, MaryAnn.

  • Barb Gorczyca

    Moffat taking over for RTD is excellent news. Hopefully, series 5 will see a bit of a change in the approach that RTD took over the last couple of years (e.g., concentrating on too many Earth-bound stories and not varying content sufficiently).

    The only thing that would make series 11 even better is to know for certain Tennant would stay one more year before hanging up his coat.

  • MaryAnn

    I was doing some pathetic David Tennant surfing today and looked at lots of articles so I can’t remember where I saw this little tidbit, but apparently he is unofficially onboard for the 2010 year.

  • joy

    I could see DT staying, if only to make the transition just a little smoother. Just based on the DW eppys that Moffat’s written, I think the show may be in good hands. And ITA, Newbs, re: only Joss could do better… (though, in my head RTD has always been the UK equivalent to Joss).

    It’ll be interesting to watch whose names get thrown into the DW pot over the next year or so, but I’ll happily ignore them until DT finally says he’s out.

  • Aderack

    Yeah, basically Tennant has said that he intends to do series five; he just hasn’t been asked to sign anything yet. And until he does, nothing is definite.

  • Maddie

    Well, one alternative name my hubby has heard (he is as big a Who geek as you, MaryAnn) for Eleven is Eddie Izzard, who is apparently very keen. We are intrigued by the notion…

  • NorthernStar

    This is fantastic news! I think it’ll take a while to sink in, though. Fandom is just not used to having its wishes granted.

    Now all we need is offical confirmation of DT’s involvement.

  • I wish I’d thought of this joke first. Moffat, as you know, wrote Coupling. Imagine “Lesbian Spank Inferno” meets “Dr. Who…”

  • Jim Mann

    It’s very surprising, since just last month SFX (the quirky British SF film magazine) had a long interview with Davies, who was very enthusiastic about the future of Doctor Who and talking about his ten-year plan for the show. Then, a month later, he’s gone.

  • MaryAnn

    Moffat, as you know, wrote Coupling.

    Sure, but Davies wrote the *Casanova* with David Tennant, which is pretty adventurously sexy.

    last month SFX

    That *is* interesting. Hard to know how long ago that interview was conducted, but still… perhaps something interesting has been going on behind the scenes. I do have to say that so far this season, there’s been nothing yet that has made me say, “Okay, *this* is going to win the Hugo next year.* It’s all been great fun, but nothing so far as been simple great.

  • Several months ago BBC Four screened a one-hour interview with Davies in which he let slip that he knew when he’d be leaving and how long Tennant would be staying for. He hinted that Doctor Who would be continuing in ways that no-one was anticipating. When the interviewer asked if he’d like to make a Doctor Who feature film, Davies beamed and said: “That would be nice.”

    Bear in mind also that he and Doctor Who Magazine’s Benjamin Cook are collaborating on a memoir about his time on the show; and the the last story of the current season is entitled Journey’s End.

  • Sonia

    Well I’m excited to see what Moffat has in store. He’s definitely impressed me in the past. He also wrote Silence in the Library didn’t he? I can’t wait to see that!

    Oh and the mid-season trailer is up on YouTube, yay. Although if you’re watching the season on the US schedule, I would suggest waiting. I must say that I did love it.

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