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31 August 2014
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Doctor Who
A victim of the mysterious plague

Doctor Who

Press pack - phase seven

Steven Moffat - writer of episodes nine & ten

Discovering he had been chosen as one of the writers on the new series of Doctor Who helped to seal a perfect day for Steven Moffat, writer of Coupling.


"I heard I'd got the job on the way to the Comedy Awards, where we won for my BBC TWO series Coupling, and I got to meet (former Doctor Who) Peter Davison," he recalls.


Like the other writers working on the Doctor's return, Steven is a big Doctor Who fan. "I remember me and (fellow Doctor Who writer) Mark Gatiss drunkenly pitching the return of the show to the BBC's Head of Comedy at a party once and him saying 'It sounds very interesting, but I'm comedy'.


"Getting involved in the new series was absolutely thrilling, but I guess I took a deep breath before I started writing my episodes."


Steven scripted one of three two-parters in the new run, a sinister tale set in London during the Blitz, where a mysterious presence is mutating humans into something not of this world.


Best known for his comedy work, he says: "Comedy is just another sort of drama really, and there's always been comedy in Doctor Who to offset its scariness.


"To my mind, Doctor Who should be predominantly scary, but you can't make it too terrifying if you're aiming it at a family audience.


"I've always seen it as a kind of badly-behaved children's show. It scared and thrilled me as a kid and will hopefully do the same to a new generation of viewers this time round."


Steven says he put being a long-time fan of the show aside while writing his scripts.


"I actually pre-date Doctor Who, and I remember being very confused as a boy when Patrick Troughton took over from William Hartnell, the first Doctor," he recalls.


"I started being a never-miss-an episode fan when Jon Pertwee was the Doctor.


"But I tried to switch off from being a fan when I was writing because it was hard work. Where being a fan has come into it is stuff like being on the set of the TARDIS, and seeing clips from the episodes by the other writers.


"I came into the show expecting that it would be done well, because that was the intent, and it really has been mounted at a very high level."

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