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25+ Doctor Who Steven Moffat Era Scripts Added to the BBC Writers’ Whoniverse Library

Celebrating 19 years of Doctor Who returning to our TV screens, in 2005, BBC Writers (formerly known as BBC Writersroom) has updated their Whoniverse library to include more than 25 PDF scripts from the Steven Moffat era. They consist of Series 78 and 9, with early drafts of Series 6‘s The Doctor’s Wife and Series 7’s Nightmare in Silver (under the working titles, Bigger On The Inside and The Last Cyberman) by Neil Gaiman.

Now that Series 9 is complete (hooray!), more than half of Series 7 and the majority of Series 8 are among the growing collection. But there are a few important things I need to point out…

Series 7, to my surprise, has post-production scripts rather than the industry standard shooting drafts, comprising the first five episodes with The Snowmen (2012 Christmas special) and The Day of the Doctor (which I’ve been dying to read for a very long while). For those unaware, a post-production script denotes timecode markers and music cues; typically formatted on Microsoft Word, rather than professional screenwriting software like Final Draft.

The first two episodes of Series 8, Deep Breath and Into the Dalek, are post-production scripts, whereas the remaining episodes are just shooting drafts including Kill the Moon (under the working title, Return To Sarn). Only The Caretaker remains absent from the collection, for reasons unknown, but it may pop up one day.

Funnily enough, the post-production scripts for Deep Breath and Into the Dalek somewhat differ from the watermarked versions that were leaked online in 2014. I don’t think I was the only fan who downloaded them at the time, but I deliberately waited to read them until after the episodes had aired. They have since been archived via Wayback Machine, so check them out… if you dare. And in case you’re wondering about Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline, both their shooting scripts are earlier versions of the ones (with colour revisions) that Jamie Mathieson released on his website, alongside his first drafts.

If you thought completing Series 9 were exciting enough, there’s actually a bit more to it. In addition to Under the Lake/ Before the Flood (both parts under the working title, Ghost in the Machine), we have a picture lock script for the first half of the two-parter. What’s interesting about this version isn’t just having the automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) coloured in red, with boldened timecode markers for the scene headers, it’s also the fact that they used Final Draft to format the script — far less cluttered and easier to read. No wonder that David Tennant found it frustrating to do ADR for Series 4’s Midnight, as discussed on Doctor Who Confidential.

And also, there’s the shooting script for Face the Raven, which comes before the purple revisions (with both versions under the working title, Trap Street). Same goes for the Zygon two-parter, The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion, using their respective working titles, Invasion of the Zygons and Inversion of the Zygons.

With Series 1, 6 and 10 still incomplete, I hope it won’t be long until more scripts are added to the Whoniverse library. Preferably industry standard shooting drafts, as long as they still exist. Maybe some minisodes as well, such as the two-part 2011 Comic Relief special Space/Time, or the Series 7 prequel Pond Life by Chris Chibnall? Well, we shouldn’t forget the remaining Christmas specials either, which include:

  • The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
  • The Time of the Doctor
  • Last Christmas
  • The Husbands of River Song
  • The Return of Doctor Mysterio
  • Twice Upon a Time

And before I forget, I’m happy to say that the scanned PDF script for the first Torchwood: Miracle Day episode The New World, by Russell T Davies, has been reinstated on the website.

Andrew Hsieh

Aspiring screenwriter with Asperger's syndrome, and lifelong Whovian since (shortly after) Christopher Eccleston's reign, Andrew has written and co-edited short story anthologies for Divergent Wordsmiths. Plus, he lives near Bannerman Road.

25+ Doctor Who Steven Moffat Era Scripts Added to the BBC Writers’ Whoniverse Library

by Andrew Hsieh time to read: 2 min
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