While 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.
Moffat was understandably wary of confirming that the new series will begin airing in late summer 2014 — “I think that’s probably right. But these things change so often.” — and he was very clear that he would not be sharing any of their plans for casting a new Doctor. He did, however, reassure fans that whoever they choose will definitely be in this year’s Christmas special, as has become the norm. Moffat explains:
That’s not the hope — that’s the plan. It’ll be the traditional regeneration. You know, the eleventh will fall and the twelfth shall rise. And you’ll see that in the closing moments of the show. I mean, you sometimes sit and think, ‘Are there better ways of doing it? Is there a different way of doing it?’ But quite honestly what could be better than that? It’s just too exciting.
At least we won’t be waiting until well into next year for this news. That’s always nice.
Reticent about revealing anything involving this November’s 50th Anniversary special, Moffat says it’s “certainly well over an hour,” and confirms the appearances of fan favorite monsters, the Zygons. He also says it and the TV movie An Adventure in Space and Time, starring Game of Thrones‘ David Bradley as Doctor #1 William Hartnell, will be a “very different celebration” of Doctor Who.
As far as his own work on the show, Moffat says he takes it one year at a time, explaining that, “It’s one of those jobs when you know when you’ve had enough. At the moment I haven’t had enough and am thoroughly enjoying it.” The massive popularity the show has received over the Tennant/Smith years is certainly a good reason for that enjoyment.