What Doctor Who setting does Steven Moffat prefer: the past, the present or the future?

The Tardis can go anywhere, but the showrunner has a favourite destination...


The Tardis can go anywhere, the past, the future, distant planets or just down the road. But where is Doctor Who showrunner’s favourite destination when it comes to writing an episode?


“Generally speaking, I quite like setting them in the present day, the future or on a distant planet,” Steven Moffat told an audience at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, “because you don’t have to do any research.”


“But I have nonetheless forced myself to do them.”

Lest we forget, Doctor Who started as educational sci-fi for children.

He explained, with his tongue in his cheek. “I had never done a lick of research in my entire life until I finally got the gig writing Doctor Who,” but that all changed when he “got a story given to me by Russell T [Davies] that was set in the Second World War, and I was like ‘I’m going to have to look stuff up! I don’t know this! Is there a film or Ladybird book?”

“Then he gave me Madame de Pompadour and I hadn’t a clue. So I actually slightly prefer the future ones.”

Considering they’re some of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever, we’re awfully glad Moffat cracked a book.

Joking apart, the showrunner had more practical reasons for liking present day Earth (“we have got a very, very realistic Earth set, millions of years in the making, so we like to use it”) and allowed that the historical settings can create some striking visuals: “big clanky monsters in Victorian times or Roman times, it looks kind of great.”

Still, if history isn’t his heartland, at least Moffat will always have science.

“I’m always right on science. Science is totally my thing and we never get that wrong.” 


Well, quite.