Steven Moffat: why I brought back Davros

The creator of the Daleks made a surprise appearance in The Magician's Apprentice. Here the Doctor Who showrunner reveals why he orchestrated his return...

Have you heard? Davros is back. The creator of the Daleks reared his ugly head once again in tonight’s episode of Doctor Who, seven years since he last appeared opposite then-Doctor David Tennant. 


But now it’s 2015, Peter Capaldi is manning the Tardis, and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has been explaining the reasoning behind his decision to resurrect one of the Doctor’s best-known nemeses. Apparently it’s something he’s dreamed of doing since childhood… 

“When I was very young, I watched Genesis of the Daleks and began a long plan.” Genesis was the classic 1975 Tom Baker serial in which Davros made his first appearance, but this was far from the first time Moffat had seen it.

“I was doing what I do in my spare time which is watch old episodes of Doctor Who – because I really know how to kick back and relax,” he explained. “Davros had already returned within the series…and it occurred to me, and I think this is just true, there isn’t a bad scene between the Doctor and Davros.”

“Whatever you think of the stories – and I think they’re all good – all the time, every time you have the Doctor confronting Davros, in the classic series and in the new series… every time they meet, it’s really quite electric. There’s something about those two characters meeting, so I wanted to have a go at it.”

Moffat also explained his desire for the Doctor and Davros to spend some quality time together. 

“What surprised me, looking back at the old stories, was how little screen time they have together. In Genesis of the Daleks they have a couple of scenes, that’s all – brilliant scenes, beautifully written and played, beautifully done. But they’re very short – they’re not long at all. I’d imagined it in my memory as being most of the story, but it wasn’t at all. 


“So my notion was to actually stick them in a room together and see what happens after a long while. So that’s, you know, a childhood ambition that hasn’t changed into my 50s.”

See Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi LIVE at the Radio Times Festival  on Friday 25th September