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Moffat ‘Wrote Doctor Who Off’ After Season 24

Steven Moffat reveals that he had ‘pretty much written the show off’ as a fan after watching Sylvester McCoy’s first season (1987) as the seventh Doctor, in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Moffat chooses Remembrance of the Daleks as his favourite seventh Doctor story, in response to a question about his favourite story from each Doctor. Despite his antipathy to season 24, he writes, he cut short a production meeting of Press Gang – the programme on which he was working at the time – to go home and watch Remembrance – ‘And blimey, where did this come from? Brilliant, brilliant story from Ben Aaronovitch and Sylvester completely revising his performance and giving us something mysterious and powerful and brilliant.’

This isn’t Moffat’s only barbed reference to 1980s Who.  For his favourite sixth Doctor story he chooses a Big Finish audio, The Holy Terror, because it ‘gave the wonderful Colin Baker the Doctor he needed to be at last.’  (It seems modern Doctor Who showrunners don’t think much of the sixth Doctor as he appeared on TV between 1984-6.  In the special BBC TV programme back in 2009 which announced Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor, and which analysed the eras of all eight ‘classic era’ TV Doctors, neither Moffat nor Russell T Davies, Moffat’s predecessor, even mentioned Colin Baker by name. Davies called the sixth Doctor era ‘brave’ – presumably a rather backhanded compliment.)

Moffat’s column, which lists his favourite stories for the other TV Doctors from William Hartnell to Matt Smith, can be read in full – including his explanation for the origins of River Song’s name – in Doctor Who Magazine issue 457 (March 2013).