Outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has said that he believes the actors who’ve played the Doctor have an “emphatic” duty to always be kind to their fans, even long after they’ve stepped away from the series.
Speaking in a recent interview, the writer/director noted that those who take on the iconic role have “to be Doctor Who forever.”
“You will always be an ambassador for the show. I remember us saying that when Matt Smith took over – ‘You have been rude to your last taxi driver… and we don’t mean for the next three years, we mean for the rest of your life!’
“And I remember Matt himself saying, ‘Imagine how awful it would be if somebody had to carry the memory that Doctor Who was rude to them. You would remember it on your deathbed, you’d still be thinking about that!’
‘So you have to be Doctor Who forever… and nobody who’s played the Doctor has ever thought, ‘Am I contractually obliged to do this?” – no, it’s a role for life.’
Moffat’s frequent Doctor Who collaborator, and Sherlock co-showrunner, Mark Gatiss agreed with him, referencing how one of the most famous classic Doctors ensured he never disappointed his fans.
“I remember distinctly reading that Tom Baker had given up smoking in the street, because he couldn’t bear the idea of children seeing him like that. Things have slightly changed, but it’s the same principle, isn’t it? It’s an ambassadorial role.”
The two writers’ comments gel with what Peter Capaldi said recently as well, about how he feels he has a “responsibility” to the fans of the show to treat them with kindness and courtesy. “‘As a kid, I liked Doctor Who,” the actor stated. “So I wouldn’t have liked to have met Doctor Who and found them to be rather unpleasant.”
Thankfully, the upcoming Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, seems to feel the same way as Capaldi and Moffat. “It’s one of the only roles you really can say: ‘you are that character forever,’” she stated during a recent interview.
Capaldi will hand over the keys to the TARDIS to Whittaker in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, titled “Twice Upon a Time,” which is written by Moffat and will also feature Gatiss in a supporting role.
Source: Digital Spy