We’ve seen Steven Moffat speak at a lot of panels and screenings over the years. At almost every one, he is asked the same question. At this point he is clearly fed-up with it. Yet the question refuses to go away, especially as the press and blog reports that follow his every answer seem to disagree wildly as to what he said. This only annoys Moffat further.
The showrunner was asked the question yet again this weekend, during the Doctor Who panel at London’s Comic-Con. (In fact, he had also been asked a version of it at the earlier Sherlock panel.) Here is his response in full, printed in the hope that it records his definitive views on the matter.
Fan: Is there a possibility in the future of the Doctor regenerating as a woman?
Moffat: [Succinctly] Yes.
Audience: [Long applause]
Moffat: But there is no vacancy. I’m being really explicit in my answer here because I gave this answer once in San Diego. I was asked if the Doctor could ever be a woman and I said ‘I think there’s a subtext in the show, maybe you should read it.’ And I turned and gestured to Michelle Gomez sitting next to me as Missy, and everyone laughed.
This was reported, widely, as me saying the Doctor would never be a woman. So let me just make this very, very clear: there is no vacancy, and it may never happen. However artistically it could work. Commercially, the audience would go with it, we’ve proven that with Missy. And that’s why we did it, frankly.
Yes, it can happen. It doesn’t need to happen, but it can, absolutely.
[Asking the audience directly]
Just in case: is anyone confused, from the major blog sites, about what I said? Do you know what ‘can happen’ means? Anyone confused?
If someone reports that as me being against it, could you go and beat the [inaudible] out of them?
Mark Gatiss: Could you clarify please?
Doctor Who is shown Saturdays on BBC1 and BBC America