Steven Moffat appeared on stage last night as part of ad-lib, at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The idea behind ad-lib is that 'some of the nation's most creative minds engage in surprising conversation with some of the sharpest comedians in showbiz' and last night was an opportunity to see the Moff chatting to Frank Skinner and Fred MacAulay. And so it was that, in this unusual context, the current Showrunner of one of the most popular shows on British television gave some interesting answers to some fairly commonly asked questions.
On the topic of Jenny, the Doctor's 'Daughter' returning to the show:
The door is open, it's entirely possible.This is, of course, not a very meaningful answer, and we all know that Moffat is exceptionally good at managing the information he gives away about the show's future, but even so, it's nice to hear that he doesn't seem to have forgotten about Jenny. And what about Romana? Less positive news for her fans, I'm afraid:
I have actually given no thought at all to Romana. The Time Lords are dead in my mind. They died.Frank Skinner also asked whether Moffat acknowledged the convention that the Doctor can only regenerate twelve times. Moffat replied (drum roll, please),
Yes.No one can accuse the man of being loose-lipped in this regard, either.
It is, of course, an important question. If John Hurt's Doctor is an incarnation between the eighth and ninth Doctors (and there's plenty of evidence to support this now), then this would make the key event in this year's Christmas special the last of these regenerations and Capaldi's Doctor would, in fact, be the final one - at least, until something changed the rules. Clearly it is a question whose answer has major consequences, although there's no fear of Doctor Who ending anytime soon regardless. There are so many ways around any established piece of canon - this show practically invented the art of retrospective continuity, after all - that the only question left (and it is the most important question in all storytelling) is 'how?'
So those were the beginner questions. Now we're onto the more advanced stuff, like whether or not Peter Jackson's likely to direct an episode of Doctor Who, to which Moffat sayeth,
He's serious about it. We talked at The Hobbit premiere - he just wants a Dalek. So we'll give him a Dalek and he'll direct an episode. I think he'd like to us to go to New Zealand. I think it's entirely possible.and on the rumour that J. K. Rowling is writing a short story for the 50th anniversary he gave this rather press release-y answer:
I can't confirm that... right now.which could mean everything and nothing, like every other press release-y answer in history.
Other interesting snippets from the evening included a comment about Billie Piper -
Those first two years, that was Billie Piper's show... it was all about Billie, and Billie as Rose. And Russell was clever in writing that character and casting that character so perfectly.- the possibility of bringing Dorium Maldovar back (at Frank Skinner's request) -
I love the character. We would bring him back if we had a good story for him. But he's just a head in a box, which could make it slightly limiting.- and about Peter Capaldi keeping his Scottish accent when he plays the Doctor:
I'd be very surprised if he didn't.That'll keep everyone blogging and tweeting for the next couple of days at least (and as an honorary Scot, I'm rather pleased myself). Christmas can't come soon enough.