Ex-Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that a new online minisode will finally mark his last contribution to the Whoniverse, with the former head writer returning to the fold a few weeks ago to pen a new short Doctor Who story and a number of online scenes for fans to enjoy during lockdown.
“This – THIS – finally … is … IT! Bang! Kerpow!” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m out of here! So with that in mind can I just say … the title is quite perfect.”
Called The Best of Days and starring Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas as their characters Bill and Nardole, the short scene catches up with the characters after their exits at the end of Moffat’s tenure, taking in the current Black Live Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic while hinting at a reunion between Bill and Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor.
It’s definitely a sweet, apt way for Moffat to finally leave Who behind, after quite a few self-admitted false starts.
“I planned to leave with The Husbands Of River Song,” Moffat wrote on social media, noting that a few different episodes were intended to be his last on the sci-fi drama. “Then it was The Doctor Falls. And then it was Twice Upon A Time.”
At the time in 2017, fans assumed this would be the last they’d see of Moffat – but like fellow ex-showrunner Russell T Davies he adapted one of his old episodes for a Target novelisation.
Then, a couple of years later as the UK coronavirus lockdown forced fans indoors, he joined forces with Davies, current showrunner Chris Chibnall and other Who writers to keep Whovians entertained, writing a Jodie Whittaker short story and a number of online scenes that tied into planned “watchalongs” of episodes organised by Doctor Who Magazine’s Emily Cook.
“I novelised Day Of The Doctor and that was going to be the very end,” he said. “And then Chris got me to write “Terror Of The Umpty Ums” and Emily got me writing online minisodes.”
Still, despite all this Moffat had said he wasn’t tempted to return to the series proper.
“I think Doctor Who’s suffered enough at my hands,” he told RadioTimes.com a few weeks ago.
“I’ve always said, and Russell has always said, I’ll come back when there’s an emergency. Well what the f*** do you call this?
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Really pleased – mostly because of what everybody else did. Now. Permit me the self-indulgence. I planned to leave with The Husbands Of River Song. Then it was The Doctor Falls. And then it was Twice Upon A Time. And then I novelised Day Of The Doctor and that was going to be the very end. And then Chris got me to write “Terror Of The Umpty Ums” and Emily got me writing online minisodes. But this – THIS – finally … is … IT! Bang! Kerpow! I’m out of here! So with that in mind can I just say … the title is quite perfect.
“But I think that Doctor Who has to change hands and have new creators, new people involved. And I wrote a tonne of them! I think I’m out of ideas. I don’t have a single one left.”
As it turned out, Moffat may have had one or two ideas still cooking – at least for short minisodes – and if those do end up being his final legacy, we’re sure fans will understand. At least until the next big emergency comes round…
Doctor Who returns to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.