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Steven Moffat On The Night Of The Doctor’s Big Surprises

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In this age of social media and a near constant barrage of information, it’s exceedingly rare to be genuinely surprised by pop culture these days. Especially when it’s your job to cover such things, I can’t remember the last time a show or movie caught me completely by surprise. I shared that all-too-rare experience with Doctor Who fans around the world last week when I loaded up The Night of the Doctor, the special mini-episode prequel that would set the stage for this week’s 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. In the days since, the show’s executive producer Steven Moffat has addressed the minisode’s big stunner, and its implications for the show’s mythology.

WARNING: SPOILERS IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T SEEN THE NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR!

Night

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Steven Moffat On Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, And Looking Ahead To The 100th

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WhoDayIt seems like we’ve been waiting forever to see the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special…I guess some people have technically been waiting 50 years, but whatever. Anyway we’re finally within spitting distance of The Day of the Doctor. We’ve been teased with an amazing trailer and by accounts we’re in for an epic adventure come November 23. Just how epic? Who executive producer Steven Moffat says it will change the course of the Doctor’s life forever, and will begin “chapter two of his life.” For a show celebrating five decades of life, that’s a bold statement.

Moffat sounded off about The Day of the Doctor in a recent issue of SFX (as reported by Doctor Who TV), explaining that “This is where the story starts. This is where he finds his mission, he finds his destiny.” And he’s just getting started. Moffat continues:

We’re not fibbing — this one is going to change the course of the series. And it’s very rare in Doctor Who that the story happens to the Doctor. It happens to people around him, and he helps out – he’s the hero figure who rides in and saves everybody from the story of the week. He is not the story of the week. In this, he is the story of the week. This is the day of the Doctor. This is his most important day. His most important moment. This is the one he’ll remember, whereas I often think the Doctor wanders back to his TARDIS and forgets all about it.

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Steven Moffat Hints That We’ve Miscounted The Doctor’s Regenerations

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RegenWe’re a little over a month away from Doctor Who’s no-doubt-epic 50th anniversary special, and the rumors continue to fly. Actually, is it still a rumor if it’s a case of executive producer Steven Moffat deliberately kicking the anthill to keep Who fans guessing? Well, whatever you want to call it, Moffat has taken his best cleats to that anthill by hinting that the fans have somehow miscounted how many times the Doctor has regenerated.

Time Lords are sort of like cats in that they have multiple lives. If they’re mortally wounded, they can regenerate into a new body and go on about their business. According to the show’s mythology, this can happen twelve times, and Moffat himself confirmed that limit a few months ago. Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is the Doctor’s eleventh regeneration (the second Doctor is the product of the first regeneration, the third is the second, and so on.) So whenever Capaldi decides to leave, whoever replaces him would be the Thirteenth Doctor, and thus, by the existing rules, the last Doctor. There’s no question, however, that the show will find a loophole when that time comes, since the BBC is going to want Doctor Who to continue as long as it remains a success.

WARNING: SPOILERS AND SPECULATION BELOW!

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Steven Moffat Says Doctor Who Won’t Ignore Peter Capaldi’s Past Roles In The Show

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PompeiiWhen it was announced that Peter Capaldi would be taking the TARDIS keys from Matt Smith and stepping into the role of the Twelfth Doctor later this year, many pointed out that the actor has already popped up in the Who-niverse. Twice, actually: once in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii” and again — playing a different character — in the excellent 2009 Torchwood: Children of Earth. There’s nothing terribly unusual about all of that; it’s hardly the first time an actor has put in minor appearances in Who before moving on to a more substantial role. But recent comments from showrunner Steven Moffat suggest that Capaldi’s role as the Doctor not only won’t ignore his earlier appearances, but they may serve as an actual plot point within the show.

So what the hell does that mean? Let’s take a look at Moffat’s exact words. In a video interview with Nerd3 (seen below), Moffat addresses Capaldi’s earlier roles in Who and Torchwood by saying:

I remember Russell [T Davies] told me that he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldi’s in the Who universe: one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood. When I cast Peter and Russell got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said, ‘Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?” and he said, ‘Yes it does. Here it is…’

We’ll play that one out over time. It’s actually quite neat.

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Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat Says Search For The New Doctor Is Terrifying

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moffatWhile the TARDIS may be heading off into space at some point, here on Earth, Doctor Who‘s current showrunner and executive producer Steven Moffat is hard at work trying to figure out who will become the 12th incarnation of the great Doctor. (Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith made his upcoming departure official at the beginning of last month.) Moffat recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly, where he he admitted that searching for a new Doctor is “always just terrifying,” and gave quite a cheeky answer when asked when the world at large might hear about the casting news.

Unless we have an insane plan, we’ll announce a new Doctor within days of finalizing the new Doctor. Because it’s very hard to keep any kind of a secret. The last time, when we chose Matt, we had to hold over on that one, because there was a Christmas Doctor Who special called ‘The Next Doctor’ for which Russell (T. Davies, former Doctor Who showrunner) was playing the game of pretending it was going to be David Morrissey. So we couldn’t deflate that. [Laughs]. But I think we’ll go public pretty fast.

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Peter Jackson Would Direct A Doctor Who Episode For Free, Sort Of

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Jackson

For genre fans, seeing two powerhouse pieces of pop culture come together is more the exception than the rule, though J.J. Abrams’ perched presence atop science fiction might be the exception. Peter Jackson, a life-long Doctor Who fan, made it very clear last year that he is interested in directing an episode of the cult BBC show. And yet somehow, Peter Jackson has not yet directed an episode of Doctor Who.

This month’s issue of Entertainment Weekly is particularly suited for a Doctor Who connection, seeing as how it celebrates the show’s milestone 50th anniversary. Peter Jackson appears within the issue’s pages offering his services to the series’ current head writer/executive producer, Stephen Moffat. In his article, Jackson mentions running into Moffat over the Christmas holidays and reaffirming his interest in helming an episode. Presumably it would be a solitary episode, and not three episodes filmed at the same time and released once every few months.

“They don’t even have to pay me,” Jackson says, not without an air of greed . “But I have got my eye on one of those nice new gold-colored Daleks. They must have a spare one (hint, hint).” He’s already got two of the famed mutants that were used on the show, but the third time is the charm, especially if it would lead to Jackson’s involvement.

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