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Steven Moffat Tells Us Why It’s Actually Super Great That We Had to Wait a Year for Doctor Who
by Susana Polo | 11:08 am, May 23rd, 2012
Ask any Doctor Who fan when they last saw a new episodes and when the series is coming back and they’ll likely break down and cry (or at the very least show you a whole bunch of crying Doctor Who gifs on their tumblr). When the last season ended in October, fans already knew from BBC schedules it was going to be a unusually long wait of a year for the next season, with but a mere hour of a Christmas special to tide them over until the adventures of that mad man in a box and his various companions could be continued.
And, you know, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Filming has resumed on the series, with five episodes to air in the fall, and then with another break until the Christmas special and then the rest of the thirteen episode season will air in the spring. So it seems like an odd time to hear series head Steven Moffat talking about the advantages of the long break. The break’s almost over. Shouldn’t we have been talking about this when it started? Naturally, it’s because somebody asked him about it in an interview, but for what it’s worth, here’s how Moffat puts a bright spin on it, for him anyway (with bonus angst for Sherlock fans).
Oh, and first, it should be mentioned that the decision to push Who back a year was not in Moffat’s hands, but the BBC’s, whose irregular schedule may seem odd to many Americans who are used to far more, ah, loose-with-the-cash television networks.
I’ve been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes Doctor Who an event piece.
The more Doctor Who becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. You’ve got to shake it up, you’ve got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back.
Sherlock is the prime example, as far as that goes. Sherlock almost exists on starving its audience. By the time it came back this year, Sherlock was like a rock star re-entering the building!
So keeping Doctor Who as an event, and never making people feel, ‘Oh, it’s lovely, reliable old Doctor Who – it’ll be on about this time, at that time of year’. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house – ultimately invisible. And I don’t want that to ever be the case.
So, yes, fans of Moffat’s work with recognize here the man’s deep fondness for toying with the emotions of his audience, and his skill at getting an audience’s emotions on a hook to toy with in the first place. We’re still not sure this is a reasoning that’s looks good for anybody but the Moff. Digital Spy did the interview, where Moffat also says that if he’d have kept the fact that Amy and Rory were leaving a complete secret if he could. Those pesky actors and their needing to advertise their job availability.
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