Steven Moffat Originally Planned To Quit Doctor Who With Matt Smith

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Sci-fi fans might think that being the showrunner of Doctor Who sounds like a dream come true, and while that’s probably the case for the most part, it’s also one heck of a stressful and demanding job. Just ask previous exec producers Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat, the latter of whom has just stepped down.

If things had followed his original plan, though, Moffat would have exited the series five years ago. While speaking in a fascinating, in-depth interview on The Fan Show (available on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel), the writer explained that he initially expected to leave with his first Doctor, Matt Smith, at the end of 2013, the year of the show’s 50th anniversary. However, the demands of the series were so high that he ended up staying on board to keep things afloat.

“I’d always sort of assumed that I would leave with Matt. [But] I was so insanely busy I didn’t have time to leave. It was season 7, [50th anniversary special] ‘Day of the Doctor’, [Smith’s final episode] ‘Time of the Doctor’… and people [were then] saying, ‘Who’s the next Doctor?’ and I’m going, ‘Yes, better find one!’ and before I know it, I’m auditioning Peter Capaldi.”

Though this might sound like Moffat was roped into staying on against his will, any misgivings he might have had about continuing on in the role as showrunner disappeared when he cast Peter Capaldi. The idea of writing for the actor as the Doctor completely reinvigorated his imagination, which ultimately led Moffat to remain on for three more seasons.

“That’s when I suddenly got excited. I thought, ‘My God, Peter being the Doctor! That’s a whole new Doctor. That’s going to be a whole new sky for us to fly through’.”

When Doctor Who airs its eleventh season later this year, it will be Chris Chibnall – most known for creating crime drama Broadchurch – who will be taking the reigns of the show. Chibnall looks to usher in a completely revamped era of the series, too, with his first act having been casting Jodie Whittaker in the lead role, the show’s very first female Doctor.

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