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Steven Moffat Explains The Big "The Day Of The Doctor" Twist

The Doctor Who showrunner explains why he has changed the show's mythology.

Last night's 50th anniversary Doctor Who special saw the show's mythology change completely, with Gallifrey revealed to still exist.

BuzzFeed caught up with showrunner Steven Moffat at the official celebration event at London's Excel. He confirmed that the Doctor is now definitely on a voyage home. "He has the possibility of going home," he said. "He can find Gallifrey. It might take him a while, who knows? And who knows what he’ll do when he gets there? Get bored and run away again I would think. But! Yes, he has a mission statement now."

The show is now effectively rebooted.


"I think there came a point where — it was fascinating when it came back, he was this war survivor dealing with guilt and rage and all of those things and that was his story," says Moffat. "And of course he slowly gets over that, and you do sort of think — well you’ve got over genocide Doctor, that’s okay! But then there’s a danger he just becomes about farting about a bit, which takes the baseline out of the show somehow. By giving him something to pitch for… it’s not that every episode will be, ‘oh well I nearly found it!’ We absolutely will not do that, but it gives him somewhere to go. Even a character like the Doctor… this is going to sound absurd and I’m trying to work out a way not to sound pretentious, but he doesn’t know he’s a character in a television show, he doesn’t know he’s just having adventures for our entertainment. He’s got to have something to do, and this will be the thing he does.”

Because when you think about it, the Doctor is just not the genocide type.


As Moffat explains: "I remember thinking, 'what was the most important occasion in the Doctor’s life?' Obviously it was the day he blew up Gallifrey. Then I tried to imagine what writing that scene would be like, and I thought literally – there’s kids on Gallifrey and he’s going to push the button. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t. I don’t care what’s at stake, he’s not going to do it. So that was the story – of course he never did that. He couldn’t have. He’s the Doctor, he’s the man who doesn’t do that. He’s defined by the fact that he doesn’t do that. Whatever the cost, he will find another way. So it had to be the story of what really happened that he’s forgotten. Of course he didn’t! He’s Doctor Who. He doesn’t do things like that.”

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