Steven Moffat thought he had got new Doctor Who so wrong, he threw his script away

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

Steven Moffat has revealed that he had to throw an early draft of a Doctor Who script away ahead of his return to the sci-fi series.

Moffat, who was showrunner on Doctor Who from 2010 to 2017, is back on writing duties for episode 3 titled ‘Boom’ this week (which happens to be the Doctor actor Ncuti Gatwa's favorite episode of this season), and has reflected on returning to the show – including the painful creative process in getting there.

"It was quite a long time ago, around two and a half years. I just started tentatively writing and got about twelve to fifteen pages in, and realized I had got it completely wrong," Moffat told the BBC. 

"I started the story in the wrong place, on the wrong foot, so to speak. So I threw that away and started again."

Moffat continued, "I don’t think I had even told the production office that I had started writing, so when I sent it to just [showrunner Russell T Davies] he was quite surprised – he didn’t know I had been working on it."

Aside from his stint as showrunner, Moffat is perhaps best known in the Whoniverse – yes, we’re using that name now – as the creator of the Weeping Angels in the classic 2007 episode ‘Blink’.

Judging by the trailer at the end of ‘The Devil’s Chord’, we can perhaps expect another explosive instalment from the writer – as Gatwa’s Doctor finds himself stepping on a landmine-of-sorts and must save the day without moving a muscle.

The synopsis reads: "Caught in the middle of a devastating war on Kastarion 3, the Doctor is trapped when he steps on a landmine. Can he save himself and Ruby, plus the entire planet…without moving."

Doctor Who is streaming weekly on BBC iPlayer and BBC One in the UK and Disney Plus in the US. For more, check out the Doctor Who release schedule.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.