Timey Wimey

Doctor Who's Secret Weapon Is Returning This Christmas — Maybe For The Last Time

But could this be the final story from one of Who’s greatest writers?

Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor in 'Doctor Who.'

Doctor Who may have regenerated as many times as the lead character, but its sense of legacy is evident in every episode. Because of the series’ 60-year history, whole characters can seem to be forgotten for decades and then re-emerge in a grand reveal. That isn’t just limited to characters — writers and directors are constantly returning to the franchise, as exhibited by Episode 3 of the new season, “Boom,” written by former showrunner (and writer of some of the most acclaimed episodes ever) Steven Moffat.

That’s not where his return to the series will end: he’s coming back yet again later this year. But how long can Doctor Who’s dynamic duo keep this pattern going? The reunion may be short-lived.

In conversation with TV Choice, Steven Moffat revealed how the series has changed — and let slip his next writing gig. “We’d shot this year’s Christmas special before last year’s Christmas special went out,” he said. “I know that of course, because I wrote that one as well!” The upcoming special, entitled “Joy to the World,” will mark Moffat’s first Christmas Special since 2017’s “Twice Upon a Time,” which saw the Twelfth Doctor reunite with the First Doctor in his last adventure before regenerating.

Steven Moffat is no longer the showrunner of Doctor Who, but he’s still lending his writing talents.

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“Joy to the World” will also mark Moffat’s 50th time writing for Doctor Who, making him the most prolific writer for the series so far — but current showrunner Russell T Davies, whom Moffat wrote episodes for back in Seasons 1-4, isn’t far behind.

Unfortunately, it seems like 50 may be where Moffat remains. “It is entirely possible that I won’t write Doctor Who again. I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, after Christmas, I’m not lying. I’m not involved in series two. My contribution, in effect, is the Christmas special. I’ve got quite a lot of things that are coming in for me to do, so I might never write Doctor Who again.”

That said, even when he says he’s not lying, with Steven Moffat, anything is possible. In the interview, he describes shutting down the rumor he would return for Russell T Davies’ iteration of the show by saying “It’s not like I’m getting on a train to Cardiff tomorrow morning,” even though that’s exactly what he was doing. He’s the wild card of Doctor Who, but the longer he keeps writing for the series, the better.

Doctor Who is now streaming on Disney+.

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