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What Steven Moffat Regrets Most About Doctor Who Season 9

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who

Steven Moffat has been showrunner for the legendary British series Doctor Who ever since 2010, so he's had a hand in all of the big successes of the series from Seasons 5-9 so far. As it happens, however, Moffat believes that one of his moves as head honcho was a downright failure, and he has a major regret about a Season 9 decision that evidently still haunts him. According to Moffat, he could have kicked off the ninth season in a more interesting way. Here's what he had to say:

First episodes are tough, and I feel as though I slightly fumbled it last year by not having a 'new thing' in 'The Magician's Apprentice'. It was the same Doctor, same companion... You want to persuade people to tune in because a brand new thing is happening.

Steven Moffat's confession to Doctor Who Magazine (via CultBox) is slightly surprising, all things considered. The Season 9 premiere may have kicked off the season with the same Doctor and the same companion, but the status quo did allow the episode to jump straight into the action without introducing any new lead characters. The episode was even a two-parter that featured the Doctor's long-running enemy Davros, with callbacks to the entire history of Who, original series and reboot alike. Although there may not have been a totally "new thing," Moffat did deliver some fun twists on old things.

Of course, Steven Moffat might feel his failures more keenly now that the end of his time on Doctor Who is nigh. The showrunner is set to leave the series in the not-too-distant future. He will still be around for the entire run of Season 10 and the post-Season 10 Christmas special, but that will be it for Moffat as showrunner on Who, and he'll be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall for Season 11. Considering that Moffat has been on board in some capacity or other since Season 1 of the reboot in 2005, he might feel that he doesn't have too much time left to create big new things for the show in Season 10.

That said, the Season 10 premiere will give him the chance to do what he didn't in the Season 9 premiere and completely change the status quo of Doctor Who. The departure of Jenna Coleman as companion Clara in a string of emotional Season 9 episodes meant that the Doctor would be needing a new companion for his next set of adventures. Actress Pearl Mackie has signed on to play the next human to join the Doctor in his TARDIS as a character called Bill, and she won't be quite as easily impressed by what the Doctor can do in time and space as past companions have been. The dynamic between Twelve and Bill should certainly be different from the dynamic between Twelve and Clara.

Steven Moffat's last full season of Doctor Who won't hit the airwaves until some point in 2017, so fans still have a while to wait to see just how different the Season 10 premiere is from the Season 9 premiere. In the meantime, check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see what's coming your way.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.