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Steven Moffat On The Next Season Of Doctor Who – Capaldi, River, and More

Now that the great regeneration has happened, what can we expect from Doctor Who in the next few years? Steven Moffat gives a few details. 

Although we don’t have a set premiere date yet, we previously had word Season 8 would not have a break but run straight through. In a recent interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat confirmed that and gave us a little more.

“We’re not going to do splits, and the same format will repeat exactly the following year like that — so it will be the traditional form,” he told them. That means both Season 8 and 9 will run uninterrupted, which is good news to this fan.

He also spoke about the changes we can expect to see as they relate to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.

“There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor. The last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult,” he said. “I think it was time for the show to flip around a bit. The new version of the show is quite old now. It’s very old… We need the kick-up-the-arse Doctor, in a way, to frighten you and make you think, oh, it’s a different show again.”

Here’s hoping Capaldi won’t turn into a “boyfriend” Doctor. Speaking of which, on the subject of River Song, Moffat said his “immediate instinct was that story’s probably done.” But he is tempted.

Because I imagine Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston would be absolutely hilarious together…She could certainly have met other Doctors. So there’s nothing stopping us… But is there anything new we can do? Or is the new thing that Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston would be very sexy together? Is that enough? We’ve always had fun with the fact that they don’t look like a couple…Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston would look like a couple – that’s the thing. Whereas I thought Matt and Alex were gorgeous together, but it looked slightly strange, because he was so much younger.

Personally, I feel her story has indeed ended but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see something from other points of her timeline. Though if I had my way, we’d have a web spin-off with just River going on her own adventures.

(via Geekosystem, Doctor Who TV, Doctor Who TV)

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  • Alex Young

    I would like an episode with Clara and River together. Do something similar to RIver and Amy’s interactions at the Byzantium, as Clara already knows that the doctor has a wife (seemed a bit perturbed if i remember) and will hopefully have got over her crush on 11 now he’s 12.
    Clara and River having to save the Doctor, that could be a good episode.

  • Anonymous

    I thought this said here’s hoping Capaldi doesn’t turn into a boyfriend for the Doctor at first.

  • Thomas Hayes

    No more River Song. I liked her at first, but she definitely outstayed her welcome. Moffat wrote her terribly!

  • Troy Lenze

    Wasn’t Moffat the only person to write her?

  • Anonymous

    I am cautiously hopeful about Capaldi’s Doctor. I’m ready for a change. I think that change would be more effective if we didn’t revisit worn-out plot devices.

  • Lady Commentariat

    This is hopeful; glad to hear that Moffat realizes there needs to be a change. I wouldn’t mind a River cameo at some point per se, but it would have to be handled well, which I very much doubt would happen at this point.

    And River/11 pairing wasn’t odd because of the apparent age difference (or rather, it shouldn’t have seemed odd considering the Doctor’s been significantly older looking than most of his companions, so why not a little reversal for a change)–the pairing was odd because they totally screwed up River’s character.

  • Hannele Kormano

    Old rant, I cannot help myself:

    They wasted River Song so abominably! Her storyline tied up way too neatly for my tastes, and am also hideously annoyed how they burned her regenerations.

    I never really bought the chemistry between Eleven and River – it seemed more like Eleven was dealing with an annoyingly fixed fact of life, rather than falling head over heels.

    I do feel like Twelve and River would make more sense, and it is a shame if they feel that’s too cut and dried (this is Doctor Who for chrissakes).

  • Alan Kistler

    I’d be more open to River if we didn’t already get to a point where the 11th Doctor had his last date with her before her death and then, on top of that and on top of his considering himself a widower, he also said goodbye to her digital ghost before it evaporated. Bringing her back after all THAT makes it an “I’m not dead yet” joke.

  • locuas

    How about this for an episode? “The tardis malfunctionj and sends the doctor to another universe…OUR UNIVERSE! where he is a fictional chyaracter played by actor Peter Capaldi. And to make matters worse Peter capaldi has fallen in love with him!” I am kidding of course……the doctor already came to our universe to suggest that peter capaldi played him and to praise william Hartnell…

  • Anonymous

    Just because he created her doesn’t mean he didn’t do a terrible job of writing her. I’m in a similar boat as Thomas: loved her first appearance, was wary the second time, and then I’d had enough.

  • locuas

    Then he will not be the “gradfather” that the first doctor was? As long as he does nto become a bad “boyfriend” as Colin Baker was, everything sould go fine, i think.

  • Anonymous

    Not to mention her creator…

  • James Austin

    “Though if I had my way, we’d have a web spin-off with just River going on her own adventures.”

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    “but it looked slightly strange, because he was so much younger.”

    I will bet my left tit that Moffat wouldn’t think a younger woman with an older man looks strange at all.

  • Anonymous

    omg, everything they are saying about how this doctor will be different is music to my ears! We have had a few fun, happy, jump around doctors. I want to someone more serious, more controlled, and not so into yelling to everyone how smart he is.

    And I am firmly in the “just get the hell out River” But seriously, Capaldi and her would be great together. It would be a more equal discourse between them, which would be nice, not just flirty 13 year old boy. (God this post is making me see like i hate Smith! i love him dearly!!)

  • Jamie Jeans

    So.. Moffat is still the showrunner? Great.. >_<

    And here I was hoping he'd leave.

    Although I am looking forward to a Doctor who's a bit more like 4 and 9.

  • Hannele Kormano

    I acknowledge that the canon makes it less than possible, it’s just that it’s all so neat and pat.

    It rankles my sense of Doctor Who-ness, that the Doctor should only really know one incarnation of River, and that River should only really know one incarnation of the Doctor (and one that doesn’t seem particularly fond of her, at that). And yes, they caught glimpses of others, but they only really had a relationship with one.

    Time-travelling shape-shifting romance should not be so tidy.

  • Robert Vary

    I’m really torn on the matter of River. Like others, I loved her at first, but hated how she became more of a plot device than a character. On the one hand, I’m so tired of her storyline and am glad to see it pretty much wrapped up. On the other hand, now that she’s not needed as a plot device anymore, it’s possible that they could bring her back more as just a character instead. You know, only once in a while, maybe show that her whole life HASN’T just revolved around the Doctor (like have him get involved in some of HER adventures, like in the Library). Maybe finally reveal how she knows his name (because remember, he didn’t actually tell her when they got married). I guess hope just springs eternal that we could see some of that wasted potential after all.

  • Abel Undercity

    But that’s been the principle problem with Moffat’s time on the show, IMO: The Universe revolves around The Doctor.

  • debijl

    I’d like to see an episode where the Doctor goes into the past runs into River by accident, and she has no idea who he is and HE is the one grieving and missing HER.

  • Important Film Maker

    “This season, we’re going to try writing scripts. Real scripts, with words and plot and all that. We’ll see how it goes, can’t promise anything yet!”

  • Eve

    I adore River, but the reason I adored her so much was the tragic part of their love story where every time they met, she knew him more and he knew her less. Well, they went and ruined that concept. They had a final farewell between her and 11 that should be left as a “final” farewell.

  • Eve

    That line bugged the heck out of me. Saying that Alex Kingston and Peter Capaldi would “look like a couple” is bullshit. River would look too young for him.

  • Eve

    Turning her into Amy and Rory’s long lost baby added a creep factor to their relationship that never sat with me. Plus, it was another way to screw over Amy and Rory. Aren’t we done with making every companion miserable and broken yet?

  • Anonymous

    I was glad I’d bailed on the show before that happened. If I’d seen it unfold in-episode rather than hearing about it online, I might have put my fist through the TV. Or at least broken every bone in my hand trying. LOL!

  • Iron Woman

    Gotta say I don’t understand the hate. I loved River. I love all the Doctors. I love nearly all the episodes (that I’ve seen – still not through with Classic Who). I’m pretty pissed at Moffat right now for some of the stuff he’s said but I don’t think he’s a bad writer and I don’t think he’s doing a horrible job. I mean sure, some stuff could be better, but the only episode of new Who I can honestly say I disliked was the dinosaurs on a spaceship thing, and someone else wrote that one.

  • Eve

    I was more confused than anything else during the actual episode. “Wait, you mean she’s . . . wait, what? Isn’t that a little . . . and her crib is right there . . . ew.”

  • Eve

    I love River, but I wish they’d kept up with the “going backwards through time” instead of ditching that concept randomly. I love all the Doctors, but I haven’t been really thrilled with season 7, aside from my thrill of seeing the Doctors in 3D on a big screen. I would like to get back to visiting planets/different times and saving people rather than everybody being after the Doctor all of the time.

  • Eve

    Since he was trapped on Trenzalore in the middle of a war zone for so long, I suppose I can kind of see him being angrier. Maybe he was internalizing that anger? I don’t know, but I’m curious to see why he’s going to be darker besides “let’s do something different.”

  • Chiara

    A River spin-off would be amazing, and I’d love to see a cameo from Alex Kingston, because she’s cool, however, I think they should let that bit of the story be, since it has had closure.

  • Anonymous

    Welp, with time travel, that’s just a risk you gotta take…

  • kbroxmysox

    Their is only a five year age gap between them. Not that I agree with his line about Matt and Alex, but yeah Peter and Alex are close in age.

  • Anonymous

    I ship 12th with Nyssa. Bring back Sarah Sutton!

  • Lorelei Lee87

    I would totally watch a River Song spin off.

  • Lorelei Lee87

    Yes, not nearly wibbley, wobbley, timey, whimey enough.

  • Travis

    Couldn’t happen. River was born to assassinate him.

  • Travis

    Couldn’t happen. River was born to assassinate him.

  • Anonymous

    While I am totally with you on the the ‘Steven Moffat is a misogynist douchebag writer’ thing (seriously, I think my epitaph will be ‘she thought Steven Moffat really sucked’), I’m curious about this particular angle? I can’t myself think of any evidence that Moffat likes to pair up older men with younger women in his stories (I mean, the Doctor is obviously older than everyone, but I mean physically). He does love the creeptastic trope of having the Doctor involved with girls from childhood that he’s later going to have a semi-romantic attachment to, but that’s a slightly different matter, I would have thought.

    My friend who is equally – or even moreso – contemptuous of Moffat as I feels that actually the personal fetish Moffat writes women to suit is that they are slightly OLDER than the man. And while I’m not sue on the point, I agree with my friend that Moffat likes to write women with a gloss of dominance and power (which is always undermined in some way, but then it’s the aesthetic Moffat likes not the actuality), rather than young ingenues.

    With this in mind, I certainly wasn’t surprised to read Moffat’s statements above, as – if my friend is right – Capaldi wouldn’t be able to fit into the narrow band of gender relations that Moffat likes to write.

    But I’d be interested to hear why people feel Moffat has a pattern of writing younger women love interests for his male characters?

  • Anonymous

    After watching the new series of Community with Dan Harmon back in charge of his own show, I’m looking forward to the first post-Moffat season (soon, please) where the script dismisses all the nonsense that preceded it with references to ‘that gas leak last year that made everyone hallucinate’.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    I wasn’t. I was just suggesting he’d likely never call “older man/younger woman” strange as he does the reverse. He just seems the type.

  • Ben English

    Which is, of course, the worst plot revelation… well ever, in the history of New Who.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough.

  • Temmere

    Nice to see him acknowledge that 10 and 11 were essentially the same character; if he can follow through on his desire to do something different I might actually get interested in Doctor Who again.

  • Liz

    When was it said that he was not her Doctor? I thought she said he was…?

  • Liz

    But she was supposed to kill his 11th incarnation (Matt’s Doctor) so she probably has no idea who this new guy is.

  • Anonymous

    I think that ‘not her doctor’ thing was more in reference to when they still had their timelines parallel but reversed. Each time she ran into him, he remembered her a little less, until it came a point where she kissed him and while it was a regular thing for her, it was the first time for him – he was no longer the man she’d spent countless adventures with, and soon he wouldn’t even remember her anymore.

  • Travis

    Unless Capaldi spends the entire episode away from the TARDIS, his sonic, his companion, and doesn’t call himself The Doctor, there’s no way to do it.

    Well.. I say that as though the show isn’t being run by the same guy that came up with “The War Doctor.”

  • Iron Woman

    I can definitely agree with that; different planets and action scenes are generally a lot more fun than emoting about the Doctor.

  • Whovian

    “But I’d be interested to hear why people feel Moffat has a pattern of writing younger women love interests for his male characters?”

    I’ve covered my own feelings on this in the Mary Sue comments section before, so I’ll expand without reposting .

    I do not blame Moffat for this pattern, it’s built into the Doctor Who ‘formula’ and has been there from the shows inception in the sixties. (I’m not a fan of it. But, without makeing major changes in how Doctor Who is written it’s going to persist in one form or another.)

    Moffat does deserve some credit in reframing and pointing out this formulaic relationship as a major charter flaw of the Doctor(s) (‘The old man prefers the company of the young.” – Dream Lord Amy’s Choice).

    What I do blame RTD and Moffat for is that the relationship between the Doctor and the companions was never overtly sexual. The original ingenues (who girl) was Susan after all; the Doctor’s granddaughter.

  • Whovian

    Your friends assessment of Moffat may have some meat to it. But, I don’t think the ‘real Moffat fetish’ has anything to do with age, but is in fact focused solely on the ‘gloss of dominance and power’. We’ll have to see what happens if Tasha Lem ever makes a reappearance in the Whoverse.

  • Anonymous

    Boy I hate to pee on all this River grumbling but you folks are in the minority on her character. The vast majority of Who fans in the world loved her entire story – beginning to end. Period.

    And I’m honestly sorry if this annoys you but it IS under Moffats control that the show has enjoyed its greatest expansion, viewership and profitability.

    Not trying to troll anyone but the comments here are in a seriously slanted bubble.

  • Anonymous

    I see your point: its certainly a long-standing fact of DW that the Doctor is an old man whose companions are almost always young women.

    As for Moffat deserving credit for lampshading the pattern… perhaps, but I find people (not you, I mean generally) give a lot of credit for lampshading in writing, as if a writer pointing out the foibles of their writing or the show justifies or excuses them. It’s like using ‘ironic’ racism: just because one is being arch about it doesn;t change the fact one is doing it.

    I blame Joss Whedon – he used lampshading very effectively himself (‘Dawn’s in trouble, must be Tuesday’ and ‘We live on a spaceship, dear’ for instance) but he influenced a lot of writers who miss the point of using meta and self-reference. Joss never made the mistake of thinking lines like that papered over problems. Moffat does.

    I find the way Moffat uses lampshading a way of being complacent. He makes a comical reference to problematic tropes in his writing and show rather than actually addressing them. If the show says, ‘lol, the Doctor DOES act like a sexist pervy douche, doesn’t he? Hey, but don’t judge him because no reason’ and then goes about its business as usual, that doesn’t make me feel any better about the show or character. It’s not enough to have someone point out the Doctor’s tendency to do a thing that is problematic if then you don’t change anything about the writing.

    I’m not impying you’re of this view, btw, just explaining why I don’t give Moffat credit even for the lampshading bit. By comparison, Davies both broguht the matter up in dialogue and drama (e.g. in School Reunion) AND tried to address it somewhat in his writing of Doctors and companions. I don’t consider Davies flawless but he gets an awful lot of credit from me for actually trying…

  • Whovian

    I was going to bring up School Reunion also, but, it is just as much of a lampshade as Amy’s Choice.

    To be honest I prefer to consider Davies work, or lack their of, completely separate from the train wreck that is Moffat. (For the sake of disclosure : After series one and two Davies really made me unhappy with what he did with Doctor Martha Jones in season 3. In hindsight, I like Martha for the reasons below, but, she fell so far from where she started that it ruined the pay out.)

    Doctor Who at its best, without changing the underling trope, is about the growth of the companion(s). The companion has to be a stronger person (deeper and more fully developed charter) after she steps out of those blue doors for the last time then she was the first time she walked into the TARDIS. The Doctor really should only be a foil for that charter development.

    “You were the noblest Romana of them all.” – Warriors Gate (1981)

    There are individual stories that worked out that way. (That is the Doctor Who that I fell in love with. I keep watching with the hope that I see that kind of Doctor Who again.)

    Moffat and Davies in my opinion both ruined it by turning that growth into a tragedy. In the Moffat and Davies universe the worst thing that a companion can do is admit that you no longer need the Doctor.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting point, I never really noticed that before, that New Who presents growth as sad whereas Classic Who was unsentimental about it…

    The issue of whether New Who sexualised the Doctor/Companion relationship, and if so whether that was a bad thing… well, that’s a wider debate and I myself don;t have anything against the idea of romantic tension between the characters. I do see that acknowledging a dynamic that had always been tacit before opened the floodgates so that now it seems EVERY Doctor/Companion relationship (apart from Donna’s tenure) is defined by romantic feelings.

    I agree totally that the show is properly about the Companions and their arcs – or should be. I think many of New Who’s problems are artifacts of the people in charge being fans.

    Fans writing the thing they loved as kids can work but often it’s like being in an echo chamber… A fan’s focus is not the same as a writer’s focus. Because Moffat is obsessed with the Doctor and the Tardis and the Doctor’s history, he thinks the show ought to be about those things.

  • Whovian

    I’m being kind of a downer on my favorite show, but, these have been things that have been on my mind for a while…


    Speaking of Moffat’s percolation for fan fiction, there one other thing that I noticed quite a while ago. Have you ever seen the children’s in need special “The Curse of the Fatal Death”. Moffat in a 19 minute comedy special spells out every single thing he has done as a show runner/writer in Doctor Who so far.

    Intro the Doctors fiancé in Library,…… ………(I had a bunch of stuff here but TLDR)……………………………… ………..and then finally successfully gives the Doctor a thirteenth regeneration by having the companion ‘plead with the universe’….

    LOL.. I guess, being a show runner is easier when you’ve mapped out exactly what you are going to do. But, it’s a little tacky when everyone who was starving for a little but of Who in the 90′s had seen the episode you based your whole run on.

    On the other side of the coin is Moffat has done everything that was in that episode. (Unless Peter Capadli is somehow really Joanna Lumley.) Maybe he’s out of ideas, we may get someone new.

  • Marek Pfeifer

    People are just haters. I don’t mind Moffat as well. He atleast consider major of cannon like regeneraton limit. I don’t say that i like it but it was stated that there is limit so it must have been included. Another thing i like War Doctor but he was really unnecessery they could just gave Mcgann the role of “darkside” Doctor.

  • Mr The Batman

    I came to this article with the mindset of ‘Moffat must go’ as let’s face the last series pretty much folded in on itself thanks to the last episode.

    Echoing the sentiments of Lady Commentariat, I’m also glad he realises things need to change, but I still believe that this should be his last series or at least his last Doctor, simply because he’s had his ‘go’, he’s got Sherlock and has made a bigger name for himself and so I believe it’s time for someone else to take over. Maybe it’s just me.

  • KT Pierce

    Well, I (for one) WANT RIVER TO COME BACK!!!!