Steven Moffat on Doctor Who: “I will not be returning”

With Russell T Davies back on the scene and all the talk of returning cast members for the upcoming Doctor Who BBC 100th celebration episode The Power of the Doctor and the likes of David Tennant and Catherine Tate already confirmed for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials in 2023, it’s no wonder fans are keen to know whether there could be more former Whovians returning in the near future.

This week it was the turn of former showrunner and writer of some of the most celebrated episodes of the modern era, Steven Moffat, to be asked whether he could be tempted back one day to Doctor Who like Russell T Davies.

Moffat, who has just released his new excellent series Inside Man starring David Tennant and Stanley Tucci on BBC in the UK (see review below), told RadioTimes that although he loved making Doctor Who, he had no immediate plans to return to the science fiction behemoth, and that he was enjoying having more time and freedom to work on various projects.

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who

“I’m delighted Russell’s taking it over again,” Moffat explained.

“I’m not going to do that. I’m not lying! I’m thoroughly enjoying having more freedom than I had.”

He went on to explain that Doctor Who was a very big gig, and that the work around it was all-consuming, especially when simultaneously producing the hit detective show Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“I mean, I loved that job to bits, but it was relentless. It was at the same time as Sherlock and, for a moment there, those were the two shows in that area that were massive. They were massive. So they both needed to be thought about every single day. And by the time I did my sixth and last season of Doctor Who – which was two beyond what I had planned to do – I was surviving episode-to-episode. I was tired.”

He added: “I loved it. I loved every aspect of that job, but I will not be returning to it, no.”

Despite such denials, it is clear fans are enjoying speculating right now about who could or could not be returning to the show in the near future.

It is understood there will probably be three anniversary specials in 2023, before the first full season of Ncuti Gatwa’s tenure at the helm of the TARDIS gets under way properly. Although there is currently no confirmed release date for that new series, it is thought that filming will begin on the series in November of this year.

However, before all that, Doctor Who fans still have the final chapter of the Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall era to look forward to in the shape of The Power of the Doctor next month. The episode has been described by Whittaker as “one for the Whovians” so it sounds like it could be worth the wait.