In the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat has used his excellent Production Notes column to detail the process of writing this year’s Christmas special, which will see, of course, the departure of Peter Capaldi and Moffat from the show. He’s also revealed that Peter Capaldi has helped shaped the ultimate farewell for his take on the Doctor.
In the column, where he talks about the four full drafts he wrote of the script before it became the shooting script, he also touches on the various reactions as he worked through his drafts.
In particular, he salutes the involvement of script editor Nick Lambon, director Rachel Talalay and producer Brian Minchin.
He talks too of Peter Capaldi emailing his response after the second draft. “He was mostly happy”, Moffat noted, “but had a couple of thoughts… I agreed with the first of his points immediately, but wasn’t sure about the second. Peter is always clever, though, so I promised to give it a go”.
Whilst writing draft three, Moffat realised Capaldi’s feedback – which inevitably he didn’t detail! – was correct. “Peter’s first point worked perfectly well, but his second – a subtle realignment of the Doctor’s attitude in the final scenes – was bang on the money. The ending was suddenly so much better. Doctor Who is always right.
The full Production Notes piece is in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine, issue 514. We’ll get that aforementioned ending on December 25th this year…