After seven successful years at the helm of Doctor Who, head writer Steven Moffat is stepping down later this year (handing over to showrunner Chris Chibnall and new Doctor Jodie Whittaker), and as with any long project the screenwriter says he’s had a few regrets along the way.
However, the “mistake” that apparently still rankles him the most might surprise you – because it stems from a small creative choice in a slightly obscure scene filmed well over seven years ago.
“There’s loads of things I’d change,” Moffat told BBC America in a brief Twitter Q and A about his tenure on the series. “I’d change all my mistakes, but that’d be exhausting, so let me just choose one mistake. I’ll choose one mistake, because it just rankles me to this day that I got this wrong.
And that mistake was? A scene between Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) where an adventure battling deadly Weeping Angels has brought some sexual tension to the fore (see video below).
“There’s a scene at the end of a season five episode called Flesh and Stone, where Amy comes on to the Doctor,” Moffat recalled.
“It’s a very good idea for a scene, it’s a very good idea, because she’s been through this traumatic experience and she doesn’t quite know who or what the Doctor is, and she doesn’t quite know what his interest is.
“And there’s a brilliant scene to be written there, and I entirely avoided writing it. I played it for laughs, and it was so wrong.”
The scene from Doctor Who that Steven Moffat now says he’d do differently
Still, Moffat was also happy to admit that he is proud of many of his achievements during his years steering the series – “Not entirely screwing up The Day of the Doctor was I think quite special for me,” he said – and would have plenty of fond memories as he departs for pastures new.
“There are so many great parts of being involved in Doctor Who that I don’t know where to start!” he said. “I think I’ll know the answer when I finish and I look back in my days of regret and humiliation and failure. But the best part was absolutely everything.
“If I had to say something….I’d suppose the friends I’ve met. The friends I’ve met. I’ve made loads of really great friends on Doctor Who.”
Clearly, the real time-travelling police box was the friends we’ve ALL made along the way.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news