Steven Moffat: I worried about changing Doctor Who

"It’s like you’re curator of the crown jewels or something," says the head writer

After more than 50 years, 12 lead actors and several hundred episodes, the legacy of Doctor Who has never been greater – and Steven Moffat is feeling the pressure.


Speaking yesterday at a panel to promote the series eight DVD, Moffat was asked by host Frank Skinner whether he ever feared “crashing” the long-running series, having taken over the reins from Russell T Davies in 2010.

“Yes of course you do,” Moffat said. “Any time you make a big shift in it or a big change in it, which we did this year, then you’re properly worried – it’s like you’re curator of the crown jewels or something.”

Still, Moffat went on to explain how he put aside such concerns, which he considers an essential practice to make the series: “You have to shut that off in your mind,” he said. “You’ve got to treat it like you own it – even though you don’t.

“You have to sort of be bold with it, you have to sort of behave as if you were allowed to do this. If all you were ever doing is tending to the upkeep of the monument, then it’s not gonna be a proper TV show.”

These comments echo those made by Moffat last week, when he said that new Doctor Peter Capaldi had saved the series by forcing it to change.

“A show dies when it’s reliable like a pair of old slippers,” he explained at a Royal Television Society event. “If any reviewer says that about a show, that show is gone within a year.”


The Doctor Who series eight DVD will be released on 24th of November