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And Here You Thought Rule #1 Was “The Doctor Lies.” It’s Actually “Steven Moffat Lies.”

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

Steven Moffat has admitted he’s a liar. But should we believe him? PARADOX! 

The Doctor Who 50th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con both revealed things and did not reveal things. It was like Schrödinger’s panel. But we’re used to being confused and/or frustrated by Moffat’s answers when it comes to Doctor Who.

For instance, that time we asked him about the origins of Clara, or when he tried to explain “The Angels Take Manhattan.” But it seems most people involved with Who have to bend the truth now and then. Matt Smith told the press he was coming back for the next series and just a few weeks later, he was announcing his departure.

However, at SDCC Moffat straight up told the audience he’s been lying for months. Here’s an excerpt from SpinOff’s report on the panel:

Asked why John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness isn’t in the anniversary special, Moffat said, “You can’t put everybody in the 50th, and he’s been gone a very long time.” Then, “and how do you know what is and is not in the anniversary? I’ve been lying my arse off for months — you know nothing!” While this was by no means confirmation Barrowman would in fact appear, he added that “it’s all based on story,” and Captain Jack could return if the right story came along.

I’m sure Barrowman would love to hear that. Moffat also insisted they have not chosen a new actor for the next Doctor yet. I’m almost 100% sure that’s a lie.

But regardless, it’s a frustrating admission. It’s one thing to dance around journalist’s questions because you want to maintain secrecy around your project but it’s another to put them and fans off in the wrong direction for the sake of that same secrecy. I know “no comment” must get tiring after a while but I’d rather hear that than a bald-faced lie.

However, false-truths weren’t the only thing Moffat said at SDCC that caused frustration. Victoria McNally over at our sister site, Geekosystem, reported on Moffat threatening SDCC exclusive footage in the future if any of it wound up online. She writes, “Threatening Doctor Who fans across the Internet by saying that the show will never come back to Comic-Con is misguided at best and insulting at worst. For one thing, it immediately vilifies the fans present at SDCC — fans who, by the way, did a pretty good job of not spoiling the end of this past season when DVDs of Season 7 were mistakenly sent out early.”

Previously in San Diego Comic-Con

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."