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Steven Moffat's new HBO series has a sneaky Doctor Who connection

In a timey-wimey throwback, it turns out Moffat's new project inspired an episode of Doctor Who

Published: Wednesday, 1st August 2018 at 10:54 am

Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is set to make another time-travelling drama – and it may sound rather familiar to Whovians.


The Sherlock co-creator has teamed up with HBO, reports Deadline, for an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife, the book that heavily inspired Moffat episode The Girl In The Fireplace.

In fact, Moffat has admitted that the Hugo Award-winning instalment – which saw Madame de Pompadour fall in love with David Tennant’s Doctor as he popped up in important moments throughout her life ­– was a “direct response” to The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Although it doesn’t feature a Time Lord, Niffenegger’s 2003 novel centres on Henry DeTamble, a librarian who has a genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. On his travels, he meets artist Clare Abshire, who soon falls in love with him and is forced to deal with his condition across decades.

Sounds similar, right? Well, it did to Niffenegger anyway. “When, in her next novel [Her Fearful Symmetry], Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realised she was probably on to me,” Moffat said. (Actually, the character in question not only comments on actor Sophia Myles's unconvincing de Pompadour wig, but asks 'Isn’t there anything else on TV?')

Moffat added: “All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself is a dream come true. The brave new world of long-form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after – but not necessarily in that order.”

Moffat’s series won’t be the first Time Traveler’s Wife screen adaptation. A 2009 film, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, was released to a mixed reception.

Here’s hoping the new drama fares better. And includes those clockwork droids? With David Tennant and Sophia Myles, maybe? And Billie Piper?


You know you want to, Steven.

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