Comic-Con Interview: Steven Moffat on Jodie Whittaker’s New Doctor Who

Steven Moffat says that the only thing that makes the new Doctor Who any different is a pronoun

This Christmas, Doctor Who is preparing to say goodbye not only to star Peter Capaldi, but to showrunner Steven Moffat. Moffat, who has been writing for the BBC series since Who returned in 2005, took over as showrunner starting with series five. Now, Moffat is turning over the reins to Chris Chibnall, who will launch series 11 in 2018 with Jodie Whittaker set to play the 13th Doctor. CS had the pleasure of catching up with Moffat at Comic-Con International and learned that plans for the new Doctor Who have been in the works for some time. 

“I’ve known for the entire series I’ve been working on that the next Doctor was going to be a woman,” Moffat smiled. “I didn’t know that it would be Jodie. I didn’t know that until the Friday before the announcement. I didn’t want to know until Peter [Capaldi] knew. That was my rule.”

While Whittaker represents the first female regeneration for the Doctor, Moffat stresses that gender isn’t really the kind of thing that matters in the slightest to Gallifreyans.

“I thought that, if this is the last go-round for a long while of the Doctor being a man, I thought I should bring out all these manly qualities,” Moffat continued with a grin. “There aren’t any! He doesn’t have any masculine qualities at all. It makes absolutely no difference. It’s a pronoun. This man/woman doesn’t have any masculine qualities and probably won’t have any feminine qualities, either. He’s an alien in the form of a human male, now an alien in the form of a human female and that’s it. The truth is — and Chris and I have been talking about this — is how long does it take for the Doctor to notice? Missy didn’t know! Time Lords don’t care about that kind of stuff!”

It was revealed at Comic-Con that the new Doctor Who Christmas Special would be called “Twice Upon a Time” and, as revealed at the end of the tenth series finale, it will pair Capaldi with the first Doctor in a story set during 1966’s “The Tenth Planet.” That episode marked the final regular appearance of leading man William Hartnell. Although the serial’s final chapter is missing, it saw the Hartnell regenerate into the second doctor, played by Patrick Troughton. Although Hartnell passed away in 1975, David Bradley will be playing the part for “Twice Upon a Time.” He previously played Hartnell himself in the 2013 true story An Adventure in Space and Time, released in conjunction with the show’s 50th Anniversary.

Check out the new Doctor Who Christmas Special teaser in the player below and, just beneath that, a sizzle reel celebrating Capaldi’s run.

How do you feel about Jodie Whittaker as new Doctor Who? Are you excited for the Christmas special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!