Plans are firming up for Doctor Who‘s next series, and Steven Moffat has been predictably happy to share some of them. More unexpectedly, he’s even gone so far as to reveal the name of one episode. What a brilliant tease he is.
Here are my transcripts of the best bits from Moffat’s interview in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, though you’ll probably enjoy the whole thing:
nothing in the next run is starting out as a two-parter. At this stage, everything is a single episode, and the only reason anything will become a two-parter is if we think it needs to be; not so much that the story is too long for 45 minutes, because nothing is too long for 45 minutes, but if it feels as though there are two distinct stages to the story.
This year, we used a lot of cliffhangers and mysteries to pull people through, but then I remember the moment, at the end of A Good Man Goes to War, when we put up the title Let’s Kill Hitler. That was so exciting. I’m thinking, ‘Can we do that every week?’ You can sod off with poetic understatement.
I was looking at the facts and stats and it’s not true that the two parters save us money. We’ve assumed it for years. They don’t save us money at all. Not a penny. So what’s the point in them?
I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.
I want slutty titles and movie-poster plots. I want big pictures and straplines. The first episode I’m writing is called [Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]. And it’ll feel a bit like Die Hard, that first episode.
Those spoiler tags are not my own – I’d probably have blown the lid off it in a giddy heartbeat – so don’t go rushing to the magazine looking for that particular revelation.
I think these ideas sound great. There’s nothing to stop a more involved arc developing across what are ostensibly stand alone stories. The only concern, perhaps, would be one of pacing. The comment:
…nothing is too long for 45 minutes
Is a good reflection, perhaps even explanation of the break-neck plotting that Moffat has pulled off in some episodes. You can see Let’s Kill Hitler‘s first fifteen minutes or so for a great example of this style at its best… but, of course, the statement isn’t entirely accurate. It neglects any notion of slower pacing being desirable.
Surely Doctor Who is capable of more kinds of stories, including those that would benefit from a slower, more measured rhythm?
And what of these hour long Christmas specials, Steven? What’s going on there? 15 minutes of padding?
Though we won’t be seeing it on out screens for the best part of a year, production on the next series of Doctor Who is just a couple of months away. Stay tuned for more.