Steven Moffat was once one of the busiest men on television, as he helmed two of the biggest British dramas in Doctor Who and Sherlock for many years. With the latter now on indefinite hiatus though and having handed the keys to the TARDIS over to new showrunner Chris Chibnall, Moffat’s free at the moment to work on some fresh projects and his latest has just been announced: an adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife for HBO.
The sci-fi romance is a 2003 novel by author Audrey Niffenegger and was previously brought to the screen in the 2009 movie of the same name starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. Unlike the acclaimed book, however, the film was met with mixed reviews – though it does have its fans – so it makes sense that HBO’s keen to mine the novel for its full potential.
What’s more, it’s easy to see why Moffat’s the perfect person to adapt the story. The writer’s made a name for himself thanks to his timey-wimey, complex plots, so a TV show about a man with a genetic disorder which causes him to travel through time randomly sounds right up his alley.
Speaking about the project in a statement released earlier today, here’s what he said:
“I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ as a direct response to it. When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realised she was probably on to me. All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself, is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after — but not necessarily in that order.”
Doctor Who fans will know that “The Girl in the Fireplace” similarly featured a time-travelling romance between David Tennant’s Doctor and historical figure Madame De Pompadour. Like Moffat says, Niffenegger appreciated the homage to her work so much that she referenced it herself in her next book, Her Fearful Symmetry.
The Time Traveler’s Wife is being described as “an intricate and magical love story” and from what we understand, Moffat will also executive produce and has brought two frequent collaborators with him: Sherlock producer Sue Vertue (who also happens to be his wife) and Doctor Who producer Brian Minchin. Warner Bros. Television and Hartswood Films, meanwhile, are co-producing the series.