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Steven Moffat Thought The Curse of Fatal Death Would Be His Only Chance to Write Doctor Who

Former showrunner, Steven Moffat, has reflected on his experience writing 1999 Comic Relief special, The Curse of Fatal Death, which he predicted would be his only chance to write Doctor Who.

The charity special was a tongue-in-cheek short which featured a whole plethora of possible Doctors including Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley.

Moffat recalls:

“The irony of that show is, I honestly thought it would be my only chance to write Doctor Who and I loved it.

“I loved doing it and I thought, ‘I’ll never get another chance to do this,’ which might turn out to be the least reliable prediction in human history.”

So following The Curse of Fatal Death, Moffat would be brought in by Russell T Davies to write The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances for the 2005 run of episodes starring Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, then became a mainstay of the programme, writing for every season until Season 11, the first with Chris Chibnall as showrunner. Between Davies and Chibnall, Moffat served as showrunner, giving us the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi respectively), plus John Hurt as the War Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.

And after a little while away from the franchise, it’s been revealed that Moffat has returned to write an episode of Doctor Who Series 14 with Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor!

Nonetheless, perhaps The Curse of Fatal Death is so good because Steven thought it was his one shot at Doctor Who. That is arguably why Series 1 is so great too — Davies wasn’t sure if they’d be commissioned for a second season so threw it all into that one run of stories. Seemingly it’s a solid approach to have!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Steven Moffat Thought The Curse of Fatal Death Would Be His Only Chance to Write Doctor Who

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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