Sunday, 22 June 2008

Steven Moffat Interview - Radio Times, June 2008

Writer Steven Moffat talks to Nick Griffiths about winning awards, capturing young fans' imaginations - and being the next Who-premo.

Steven Moffat on…winning a Bafta for Blink

"That's been an ongoing astonishment to me. I thought it was good, in so far as you can ever really judge these things. I worried about the lack of action [in Blink], because nobody really breaks into a trot in it - even the monsters are inanimate objects. I thought, 'My God, this is just people standing in rooms being semi-urgent!'

"I'm genuinely surprised and faintly troubled by how popular it was. Because it means I know nothing. You've overturned every single possible rule of Doctor Who: there's no Doctor in it, the companion is an old-fashioned snob, who's posh and doesn't like the modern world. It couldn't be less like Doctor Who, yet it was a hugely successful show."

…writing Blink

"Probably the one I felt most relaxed about writing was Blink. I thought nobody would care about it anyway, because my first two adventures had been really quite popular and had won awards, so sitting down to my third, I felt relieved I was doing the Doctor-lite one [filmed at the same time as another episode, meaning David Tennant and companion were tied up elsewhere] with no special effects. So there was no pressure on me. If it went straight to the bottom of the fan polls, that's OK - I could blame David for not being in it!"

…writing Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead

"I just thought the library was a great setting for Doctor Who, that's not a great stretch of the brain. The whole idea of this library that's been abandoned and silent for 100 years, cracking it open to see what happened, what killed all the people inside. That's good Hammer Horror nonsense, isn't it?"

"[The Vashta Nerada is] just another cheap but effective monster, which you're always looking for."

…the key to a successful Doctor Who episode

"Doctor Who doesn't really take place in outer space, it takes place under children's beds. So you're always looking for things they can see, games they can play. You want to know what the next playground game is - how they're going to play at it the next day."

…taking over from Russell T Davies

"I heard last July when I got an email from Russell as I boarded a plane to Athens. There was about to be a Greek version of [Moffat's sitcom] Coupling and Sue [Vertue, his wife and producer on Coupling] and I were off on a jolly - sorry, were off to consult with the production team.

"And there it was on my BlackBerry: an email. A whopping big "What do you think?" It was a bit gobsmacking, to be honest. A 'roaring in your ears moment', hanging onto my chair because of heavy turbulence. Then I realised we hadn't taken off.

"It's kind of hard to have a feeling about it at the moment - and it's way too soon to be talking about it. Series five is two years away."

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