The Doctor Who series finale had many shocking moments, from brutal battles to old faces returning. But it could have been so, so much more melodramatic, if Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies had had their way.
The wicked idea began when Moffat contacted his old boss to tell him that John Simm’s version of the Master would be returning.
“I wrote to Russell and said look I’m going to bring back one of your characters,” he revealed on the Doctor Who aftershow, “do you want the spoiler or not? And he said ‘OK tell me, tell me, tell me.’”
“I said OK, it’s John Simm’s Master.”
Davies was apparently pleased with the idea. Very pleased. A bit too pleased.
“He’s going ‘oh my God the dialogue! Oh god how brilliant. Oh my god…they’re going to, aren’t they?”
Thankfully, Moffat demurred on the dirty stuff (yes, we all thought of the same ‘Master’ joke) but the discussion sparked the idea for a silly, possibly show-ending prank.
“I said Russell it’s a children’s show, it’s not Cucumber, we can’t do that. But we concocted this whole scheme that I’d cliffhanger out of my era on Doctor Who – handing over to Chris [Chibnall, the incoming showrunner] – with Missy telling the Master and the Doctor that she’s pregnant.”
Yes, the former and current Doctor Who showrunners conspired to end the series on an EastEnders worthy reveal, just to mess with the incoming boss. The Master shooting himself in the back suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.
“Over to you Chibs,” Moffat giggles. “Sort that one out!”
Of course this never made the final draft, with Moffat describing it as “only email lunacy.” In fact he doubts whether even the Master is vain enough to become his/her own parents.
“I think the Master and Missy, I’m not sure about their flirtation, whether it’s just showing off.”
Well, that’s one way to describe it.