The biggest talking point surrounding the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special is, of course, how it’s Peter Capaldi’s final hour, before he regenerates into Jodie Whittaker. But it’s worth remembering that the episode, titled “Twice Upon a Time,” is also the last one to be written by showrunner Steven Moffat, before he hands over the keys to the TARDIS to new guy Chris Chibnall.
Moffat has helmed the show for the past seven years, casting and overseeing the whole eras of both Matt Smith and Capaldi’s Doctors. Though he’s also known for creating BBC’s Sherlock, he’s never been shy about showing his love for Doctor Who above all else. And, now that he’s leaving, he’s taken the time to give a touching speech about why he believes the sci-fi series is the best TV show ever made.
At a screening of the Christmas special at London’s Science Museum, attended by cast, crew, press and fans alike, Moffat made the following speech, which apparently brought the house down with thunderous applause.
“It is actually the greatest television show ever made… It’s not The Wire. It’s not I, Claudius. It’s not The Office. It’s not even Blue Planet. I’ll prove it to you. How do you measure greatness? Do you measure it by ratings? Do you measure it by reviews? Christ, no.
Do you measure it by perfection? Is Doctor Who perfect every week? It really isn’t. It can’t be. Every episode of Doctor Who is an experiment, and if you experiment, sometimes you’ll get a faceful of soot and you’re blinking the smoke away and you look a bit ridiculous. Doctor Who by always being different can never be perfect.
How do we measure its greatness? There are people who became writers because of Doctor Who. Loads of them. There are people who became artists because of Doctor Who. There are people who became actors because of Doctor Who. Two of them have played the Doctor.
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Continuing on, he said:
There are people, believe it or not, who became scientists because of Doctor Who. That seems improbable given we said the moon was an egg … but people become scientists, people change their view of the world and what they’re capable of, because of a silly show about a man who travels around in time and space in a police box.
So never mind the reviews. Never mind the ratings. Never mind any of that. Count the scientists, the musicians, the scholars, the writers, the directors, the actors, who became what they are because of this show. Count the hearts that beat a little faster because of Doctor Who.
I do not even know what is in second place, but by that important measure Doctor Who is the greatest television show ever made.”
Though Moffat’s tenure on the show has infamously not been to every fan’s tastes, it can’t be argued that the writer doesn’t love Doctor Who with a passion. He also makes a very good point here. Other series might wow us for, say, four or five seasons and then disappear. Doctor Who, on the other hand, just keeps going and inspires generation after generation, in a way that very few other TV series can claim. Based on that criteria, it’s hard to knock Moffat’s assertion that it’s the king of television.
Though those who attended this event got to see it early, the rest of us will have to wait until Christmas Day to catch Doctor Who “Twice Upon A Time” on BBC One/America.