From Rose Tyler to Bill Potts, Doctor Who has repeatedly brought the Doctor’s companions incredibly close to death but has never actually pulled the trigger and killed them off for good. Yes, the likes of Amy and Clara have been dead at one stage or another, but thanks to the Time Lord’s ingenuity, they’ve always been brought back to life.
In the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (via DoctorWho.TV), showrunner Steven Moffat has spoken about why he doesn’t think the Doctor’s friends should die. According to the long-running writer, such a grim ending wouldn’t sit right with the show’s core ideas.
“I don’t think that’s the story. I’m sorry, it’s a children’s programme. And explicitly, the companions are like Doctor Who’s children. Or his grandchildren. They’re in his care, and lovely old Doctor Who is opening the TARDIS doors and saying, ‘I will always look after you.’ Get it right – that’s the story. It’s not the mean-spirited kind of story where you’ve proved the ‘grittiness’ of real life. It’s not real life – it’s Doctor Who.”
Continuing on, Moffat noted that while there is a lot of death, there’s still a “joyousness” at the show’s heart.
“Well, obviously, there is a lot of death and screaming people, for an optimistic show. But there’s a joyousness at its heart. And although you get into trouble for saying this, at its heart it is a children’s programme. It has a very special relationship with them, and you can’t spoil their story like that. I would never have done it.”
The showrunner will probably annoy a few hardcore fans for saying this. For starters, one of the most iconic moments from the classic series is the death of Adric in 1983 story “Earthshock.” That said, Moffat is clearly passionate about his vision for the show as a force for good and positivity and it’s brought him a lot of success – albeit a lot of mixed reactions from fans as well – over his tenure as showrunner.
The writer’s final episode of Doctor Who arrives this Christmas in the form of “Twice Upon A Time.” For a look at what’s in store, check out the preview below.