Steven Moffat has strongly denied tabloid reports that Doctor Who will run next year with a reduced number of episodes.
The denial comes in response to a newspaper story which alleges that next year's series of the BBC1 sci-fi show will be halved so that lead actor Peter Capaldi can turn director on other projects – including a film based on his time in Glasgow punk band The Dreamboys and two episodes of US sitcom Veep. However, speaking to RadioTimes.com, Moffat said that the story was "bunk," and that he could "confirm absolutely" that he is not making fewer episodes.
"We’re making a full series. I can confirm that," said Moffat. "I’m making a full series of 12 episodes, plus a Christmas special. I don’t know when it goes out. That’s up to someone else. And even if I did know – which I genuinely don’t – I wouldn’t be allowed to say so as I have absolutely no say in it whatsoever.
"[But] it’s not being reduced in size. We’re not making fewer episodes. That’s all complete bunk. I can confirm that absolutely."
Rumours of a reduced 2016 series have been swirling for a few months, with Private Eye first reporting in August that in lieu of a full series there will instead be several specials – a la David Tennant's swan song in 2009 – allegedly due to Moffat's commitment to his other series Sherlock, which goes into production next year.
Moffat is not the only one denying the claims, though, with Capaldi himself also having responded to a question about the possibility of a shorter series by confirming "That's not what I've been told... that's not what I'm contracted for."
The next episode of Doctor Who, The Zygon Inversion, will air on BBC1 tomorrow at 8pm