In the world of Doctor Who, the actors cast as the Doctor and his companions are a pretty big deal – so it’s no surprise to learn that occasionally their own ideas make it into storylines for the series, as outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed in a new interview.
“I’m always trying to keep people happy,” the series' head writer told SFX.
“I popped the Zygons into The Day Of The Doctor for David – he got to snog one, which he’s always wanted to, the naughty scamp – and Karen speciﬁcally asked to be offed by a Weeping Angel. Pushover, me.”
Of course, both stars got their wish – though Gillan’s companion Amy Pond didn’t technically die, in the grand Doctor Who companion tradition – so it was a no-brainer that current Doctor Peter Capaldi would get to face his own favourite monster, the original Mondasian Cybermen, in his final series in the lead role.
“Well, to be honest, I just had an idea for a story that sort of needed them,” Moffat, who is soon to give Doctor Who fans a sneak preview of the new series and new companion Pearl Mackie at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival next weekend (where he’ll also be inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame), explained.
“But, yeah, I did ponder what Peter said, about updating that version, about making it work, and Peter’s always really smart about what works visually.”
“In the end, though, I love ALL the Cybermen – except maybe the pouty-lip-slot ones in [classic Doctor Who story] The Wheel In Space. But someone will write in and convince me they’re best and I’ll probably believe them and start writing angry letters to [new showrunner] Chris Chibnall – ‘Why oh why, do the Cybermen not have a pouty lip slot? What has happened to the magic of Doctor Who?'"
And who knows? Maybe then Moffat will get his own pouty-lipped monster of choice into an episode or two…
You can read the full Steven Moffat interview in issue 286 of SFX, on sale now