Steven Moffat stays true to Doctor Who

Even without all the technology in the universe, writer Steven Moffat delivers with the new Doctor Who.

For the first episode of the new-look Doctor Who, producer Steven Moffat says it was important to focus on establishing the new team of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, rather than bombarding the screen with special effects.

"That's appropriate I think," he says, "when you're introducing the characters. God knows, when you've got big set pieces and it does open with a doozy, that was principally what it was about."

But holding back on its trademark big-budget scenery doesn't diminish from a thrilling tale. In fact, it just increases the jeopardy according to Moffat.

"It's about a man stuck in a tiny village trying to save the world with no equipment.

"How do you foil an alien invasion when you're not in Washington? When you're not in London … when you're actually stuck right out in the sticks?

Inevitably what you don't have is the big control room, but a little church hall. "He can still save the world without a sonic screwdriver, without a TARDIS, no soldiers, no armament."

Moffat also promises to pull out "the big guns" across the series.

So far the response to the new series in the UK has been terrific. It has managed to quash any fears from some devotees that casting Smith and Gillan might not live up to the enthusiasm for David Tennant. Early responses to Smith noted he is the youngest-ever actor in the role of the Time Lord.

"Everyone who has seen him play the part -- has actually seen him play the part -- has absolutely no problem with that," says Moffat. "He's playing him as the same magical mystery Doctor as ever.

"And the remarks about Karen are just bonkers. She's not even the youngest. I don't think she's in the top five youngest companions. I think she's older than Billie Piper was when she took it on."

Moffat remains enthusiastic, if guarded, about the upcoming season, declining to detail how the series might shift under his watch.

"I'm always kind of edgy about those conversations because having an overall philosophy for a series sounds great for a sound bite in a newspaper, but the reality is more complicated," he says.

"I'm always saying it's not a matter of making it different because I'm producing it, it's a matter of making Doctor Who different because it's a new episode.

"It's a different show every single week. That's its strength."

The first episode of the series, "The Eleventh Hour" will debut on iView at midnight Friday, April 16, ahead of its Australian broadcast premiere. Season Five of Doctor Who has already premiered to rave reviews in the UK.

Doctor Who airs 7:30pm Sundays on ABC1.

Comments (2)
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Apr 15, 2010
Have to agree, was worried that he was not going to live up to the previous doctor (Who has been my favorite) but after watching the episode he quite believably fits into the doctor who role.
Apr 15, 2010