Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor had a stunning finale last Sunday, but it got off to a bumpy start when the first five episodes and their scripts were accidentally released online. Now showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that, as a fan himself, he would have been those downloading and watching the rough cuts.
Speaking at a Royal Television Society event, Moffat said: “To be honest, I don’t blame the guys who went and looked, ‘cause I would have. I would have as a fan.”
The episodes in question were in black and white and lacked most of the special effects. At the time, fans banded together to stop people sharing the leaked materials, claiming it would spoil the experience. But while he thanked fans and the press for “playing along” and keeping the show’s secrets, the shoddy versions wouldn’t have stopped Moffat from peeking:
“It would have ruined it for myself, but it was a new Doctor! I would have had to go and look. They have at least learned something, because they now know what the episodes look like when we sign them off. Into the Dalek in particular looks ridiculous. It’s just some people running round some rooms that have an extraordinary fixation for green curtains.”
The showrunner also spoke about the circumstances of the leak, where an internal BBC Worldwide server was left completely open to the public and eventually cropped up on search engines. “You are talking to the production team who dealt with the fact that the first half of our series was leaked online,” he sighed. “You didn’t even have to hack it, you could just Google it. Oh god! So forgive us if we try to hold back the occasional secret. Other shows seem to do absolutely fine.”