Steven Moffat: Peter Capaldi doesn’t just want to come back being the same Doctor in series nine

The Doctor Who showrunner talks to RadioTimes.com about the challenges ahead and the decision behind the increase in two-parters

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While Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who debut was well-received by fans and critics, his return to the Tardis for series nine isn’t without its challenges – and Steven Moffat isn’t about to relax just yet.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com at last night’s Bafta Nominations party, the Doctor Who showrunner said, “there is a temptation if you go into a second series with a Doctor, you think, ‘last series, that’s major’. You’ve got a new guy – what’s he going to wear, what’s he going to be like, is he good in those scenes, is that close up working for him? Everything is new and you solve all that. 

“And there could be a danger that you go, ‘ah, it’ll be easy now,’ because you’ve got an established Doctor so you’ve got to make it difficult again. You’ve got to do something different.

“What you always have to do with Doctor Who is not relax, is not to think we’ve cracked it now.” 

So, how exactly are show bosses planning to mix things up for when the series returns to screens this autumn? “We’re continuing to develop his Doctor which is a thing he’s very keen on. [Peter Capaldi] doesn’t just want to come back being the same Doctor. He wants to move it on.”

Moffat has also overseen a shift towards two-parter storylines for the upcoming series, with the first six instalments split into three sets of double episodes to “change up the rhythm of it a bit.” 

“That 45-and-out rhythm has served us incredibly well for ten years,” he explained, “but there is a slight sense sometimes – about 35 minutes into the episode, you expect the hero music.

“They’re not all two-parters – sometimes they’re just linked episodes. It’s just making you slightly unsure you’ll get through the story by the time the music comes up. We’ve all got to be on our toes, can’t be relaxed.” 

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