[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stevenmoffat_5067.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:''[[NightmareFuel/DoctorWho He feeds on fear]].'']]

->''"There's something really cool about scaring children. Traumatize a generation, that's what it's all about."''
-->--'''Steven Moffat'''

'''Steven Moffat''' is an award-winning writer and executive producer known for his work on ''PressGang'', ''{{Coupling}}'', ''{{Jekyll}}'', ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', and ''Series/DoctorWho''.

Initially becoming involved with ''Doctor Who'' writing the 1996 Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse short story "Literature/ContinuityErrors" and later the 1999 parody episode ''Recap/DoctorWhoTheCurseOfFatalDeath'', he has gone on to be one of the most critically hailed writers involved in the franchise. In 1999, he was one of the writers asked to contribute for AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho, but dropped out because he was only interested in writing for Eighth Doctor Creator/PaulMcGann -- who, at that point, hadn't signed for Creator/BigFinish yet. Moffat has since written a short story for one of Creator/BigFinish’s Franchise/BerniceSummerfield anthologies.

His credits for the TV series proper include the HugoAward-winning episodes [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E9TheEmptyChild "The Empty Child"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E10TheDoctorDances "The Doctor Dances"]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E4TheGirlInTheFireplace "The Girl in the Fireplace"]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]] (also won a {{BAFTA}}) and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens "The Pandorica Opens"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]]. His two-parter [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary "Silence in the Library"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead "Forest of the Dead"]] was nominated as well, only to lose out to Creator/JossWhedon's surprise hit ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''.

He also eventually replaced Creator/RussellTDavies as the head writer and executive producer of ''Doctor Who'', starting with Creator/MattSmith's first scene at the end of 2010 episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]]. He's unabashedly OneOfUs and loves {{shipping}}. Upon becoming executive producer, he mentioned that he'd applied for the job once before, but "Creator/TheBBC already had someone else in mind... also, [[PromotedFanboy I was seven at the time]]." As such, he is fonder than even [[Creator/RussellTDavies his predecessor]] of {{Continuity Nod}}s to classic ''Doctor Who'', sometimes reaching the level of ContinuityPorn.

Frequently throws out [[LyingCreator red herrings]] to the spoiler-loving press, calling it "[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/aug/16/doctor-who-lets-kill-hitler by far the best way of communicating]]". He also unabashedly and gleefully [[LyingCreator lies]], [[TeasingCreator teases]], and generally [[TrollingCreator drives the fanbase of his shows insane]]. For instance, he kept the fact his massively popular show ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' was already commissioned for a third series a year earlier until after the [[Recap/SherlockS02E03TheReichenbachFall final episode of series 2]] aired with a shocking ending, even for those familiar with Holmes lore.

He's known to prefer [[HandWave Timey Wimey]] explanations to TechnoBabble, gleefully uses StableTimeLoop and TemporalParadox plots, and plays the LongGame when it comes to dramatic tension: he intentionally planted seeds into ''Doctor Who'' back in ''2006'' that didn't begin to get resolved until the 2013 season finale. He's also fond of esoteric plotting and going beyond the traditional boundaries of the franchise and television as a whole.

Born in 1961 in Paisley, Scotland (hometown of ''Series/DoctorWho'' star Creator/DavidTennant) and a former teacher.

!!'''Selected filmography:'''

* ''[[Film/{{Tintin}} The Adventures of Tintin]]: The Secret of the Unicorn'' (feature film, co-written with EdgarWright and Joe Cornish, 2011)
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' (a [[SettingUpdate contemporary adaptation]] of the Literature/SherlockHolmes stories, nine 90-minute episodes [[note]]three episodes written/produced, one episode co-written/produced, five episodes produced only[[/note]], 2010-present, co-created with Creator/MarkGatiss)
* ''{{Jekyll}}'' (all episodes, 2007)
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' (51 episodes [[note]]6 episodes written, 21 episodes written/produced, 24 episodes produced only[[/note]], writer 2005-present; producer 2010-present)
** 50th anniversary OfficialParody ''Recap/TheFiveishDoctorsReboot'' (2013)[[note]]executive producer and actor, [[AdamWesting playing himself as the short's villain]][[/note]]
** The Comic Relief two-parter "[[Recap/DoctorWho2011RedNoseDaySpecialSpaceAndTime Space]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWho2011RedNoseDaySpecialSpaceAndTime Time]]" (2011)
** The Children in Need special "[[Recap/DoctorWho2007CiNSTimeCrash Time Crash]]" (2007)
** Also the very AffectionateParody for UsefulNotes/ComicRelief ''Recap/DoctorWhoTheCurseOfFatalDeath'' (1999)
** The 50th anniversary prequel mini episode "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thPrequelTheNightOfTheDoctor The Night of the Doctor]]"
* ''Series/{{Coupling}}'' (all episodes, 2000-2004)
* ''Chalk'' (all episodes, 1997-1998)
* ''Joking Apart'' (all episodes, 1993-1995)
* ''PressGang'' (all episodes, 1989-1993)

!!'''Trope namer for:'''
* AlanFridge
* BowtiesAreCool
* EverybodyLives
* TheSlowPath
* TimeyWimeyBall

!!'''His work on ''Series/DoctorWho'' offers examples of:'''
* CreatorThumbprint: Only "The Empty Child", "The Doctor Dances" and "The Beast Below" ''don't'' involve the TimeyWimeyBall in some way, and of those, only "The Beast Below" doesn't have time travel integral to the plot (as opposed to just landing the TARDIS there).
** He seems to like using ClarkesThirdLaw as a plot device: apparently supernatural and bizarre (and terrifying) events are eventually explained as the result of malfunctioning advanced technology in a more primitive setting. This is used in "The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances", "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Day of the Moon".
* MythologyGag: Clara, played by Creator/JennaColeman, ''may'' have been named after [[Creator/ElisabethSladen Elisabeth]] ''[[Creator/ElisabethSladen Clara]]'' [[Creator/ElisabethSladen Heath Sladen]], who passed away in 2011. Considering she is the first new companion to appear since Lis's death, and that Moffat doesn't believe in coincidences...
* OfficialFanSubmittedContent: Aside from the typical contests from the likes of ''Blue Peter'' that surround ''Doctor Who,'' there has been some ''Un''official fan content. Fans will occasionally ask him a question at a convention or on Twitter, and he'll express some genuine interest in trying to put the answer into the show. He's said he tried to work in an explanation to a question about Weeping Angels and mirrors, but it was cut (although, [[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor The Time of The Doctor]] does have a brief reference to the idea that the concept works). Similarly, a fan asked if a pregnant Time Lady's unborn baby would regenerate if she has to regenerate, and it really seemed to pique his interest.
* OneOfUs: Freely admits he first petitioned for the job of Doctor Who showrunner when he was ''7'' and jokes that his entire writing career has merely been a clever ploy to get there.
* PromotedFanboy
* SignatureStyle: Most of his episodes are more psychologically scary, leaving you cowering behind the couch despite a body count of zero. He tends to invoke the UncannyValley quite often. His monsters involve masks (Clockwork Men, Empty Child) and statues/mannequins (Weeping Angels, Smilers).
** Also has a tendency to make the most innocuous things absolutely terrifying, like the voice of a child asking for his mother, clock ticks, statues, shadows, birdsong, mirrors, a crack in the wall... and now, after making almost everything else scary, he goes UpToEleven and makes ''silence itself'' terrifying. He wants to leave his audience with no place to hide.
** He's also mentioned Florida several times in a really short time frame. In "The Big Bang", the Doctor and Amy visit "Space Florida." "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" are partially set in and around Cape Kennedy.
** Scary spacesuits have also shown up in at least two different stories.
** And lots of BuffySpeak. ''Lots''.
** Moffat's stories tend to be ''about'' time travel in some way rather than just using time travel as a plot device.
** As mentioned above, he doesn't like Technobabble, and tends to try and subvert it when possible.
*** In "A Christmas Carol" when he's trying to explain why the flying fish like Abigail's singing, he begins to talk about stimulating ice crystals, during which a fish bites him. ("Look, the fish like singing, now shut up!")
*** Also, in "The Doctor's Wife" (which was written by NeilGaiman but had finishing touches by Moffat), when the Doctor tries to explain why he can't [[spoiler:put the TARDIS matrix in another human body]], the TARDIS itself begins to spark almost spitefully (Rory's fault, but it was timed way too well), so the Doctor gives up and says "All right, yes, it's Spacey-Wacey."
** Since his current job involves Time Travel, and all the confusion that naturally occurs, he's developed a tendency to have characters change their names, often giving them a "Young Name" and an "Old Name." This happened with Amelia Pond/Amy Pond, and happened again with [[spoiler:Melody Pond/Mels/River Song]]. In fact, it harkens back to "The Girl in the Fireplace," with Reinette/Madame du Pompadour.
** While a lot of these aren't specifically written by Moffat, as producer he's had some say in them (approval, etc.) That being said, there have been a '''lot''' of Amy Pond doubles floating around. Let's count: Time-Shifted Amy/Amelia ("The Big Bang"), Time-Slipped Amy ("Space," "Time," "The Girl Who Waited"), Teselecta Amy ("Let's Kill Hitler"), and, of course, [[spoiler:Flesh Ganger Amy ("The Almost People")]]. Let's hope Karen Gillan gets time and a half for all the ActingForTwo she did.
** Furthermore, this tendency also shows in his decision to turn the fifty-year-long question of the Doctor's ''[[NoNameGiven real]]'' name into a major plot point in Series 6, that there's a DarkSecret behind why the Doctor purposely conceals his true identity and that he chose to adopt the name of "[[TheParagon The Doctor]]" because he considers it to be [[MeaningfulName a promise]].
* TrollingCreator: He seems to enjoy inflicting the ComedicSociopathy version of this on his characters and his fans. In fact, in Twitter posts he even admitted he took sadistic pleasure in making Rory TheChewToy. And then there's the massive ShipTease RedHerring in series 6, involving the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River, the TARDIS, a baby, and one hell of a TimeyWimeyBall.
** Realising that River Song is a polarising to some fans, he and NeilGaiman gleefully announced an episode titled "The Doctor's Wife". The section of the fandom that didn't like River went berserk ... and River did not appear in the episode. [[spoiler:And then he married them at the end of the season.]]
** He also loves to [[LyingCreator straight-up lie]] about his plans for the show. Reached epic heights with [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor the 50th anniversary]], which he claimed [[spoiler: would feature no classic Doctors, did not involve Tom Baker in any way, wouldn't provide any peeks at Peter Capaldi's upcoming incarnation of the Doctor, and wouldn't really involve much if any of the show's canon from before 2005. The climax of the episode was a scene of every single Doctor, even Capaldi, working together to save the Time Lords and Gallifrey, thereby restoring one of the biggest parts of Classic Who's canon that the new series changed, followed by a quite heartwarming cameo by Tom Baker.]] Well played.
** He's also fandom-savvy enough ([[PromotedFanboy he's been at it long enough, after all]]) to know ''exactly'' the right things to say and do to whip his substantial HateDumb up into a lather, which he does with some regularity. Predicting what he'll be bashed for this week makes for an entertaining spectator sport.
* UncannyValley: {{Invoked}}. His monsters are designed to be unsettling rather than outright horrifying.
* WordOfGay: Has stated that River is bi, and that the Doctor has no real concept of human sexual preference for one gender over another. Both things were hinted at in his stories, but only became explicit on his twitter.

!!'''His other writing provides examples of:'''
* CreatorCouple: His wife, Sue Vertue, has co-produced several of his shows, including {{Coupling}} and Series/{{Sherlock}}.
* CreatorThumbprint:
** Phones seem to be one of his things, they tend to be featured prominently and as integral plot devices, both Sherlock "A Study In Pink" and Doctor Who "The Eleventh Hour" feature mobile smart phones as plot devices.
*** "The Impossible Astronaut" also has phones as plot devices, both mobile and land-line.
*** The Empty Child from the episode of the same name is fond of placing unearthly calls, even to the TARDIS' fake phone.
*** "The Beast Below"'s cliffhanger involves a phone call, and "The Pandorica Opens" is kicked into gear by a phone call as well.
*** "The Day of the Doctor" has the Doctor answer the fake phone, followed by a nice aerial trip over London outside the TARDIS.
*** "The Time of the Doctor": "Urgent: action required. You must patch the telephone device back through the console unit."
*** The titular "Bells of St. John" is the phone on the TARDIS.
*** {{Coupling}} has several episodes based around misunderstandings with phones.
*** Likewise with PressGang
* DeconstructorFleet: This was hinted at with "The Curse of Fatal Death." Both Matt Smith's ''Doctor Who'' and ''Sherlock'' are defiantly 'anti-myth', as it were. Sherlock is a self-aggrandizing genius who gets a taste of his medicine in "The Reichenbach Fall", when ''every'' character he has insulted throughout the series conspire to ruin his reputation and [[spoiler:drive him to apparent suicide]]. The Doctor is a bit friendlier, but makes no bones about being a "mass-murdering psychopath" who often dooms people by offering them an escape from real life. The overall message seems to be that there are no clean "heroes" and that myths are dangerous, though Moffat concedes the childlike wonderment of myths.
* EagleLand: Harsh flavour in ''{{Jekyll}}'' and ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''; mixed flavour in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* FanCommunityNicknames: His fans have taken to calling themselves "Moffat Masochists" with good reason.
* FanNickname: Otherwise known as "The Moff", "The [[StarWars Grand Moff]]" and the "[[NightmareFuel/DoctorWho King of Nightmares]]"
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Seemingly one of his favorite pastimes, with spit-take inducing results:
--> '''Doctor:''' Shout if you get in trouble.
--> '''River:''' Don't worry, I'm [[TheImmodestOrgasm quite the screamer]]. Now ''there's'' a spoiler for you...
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Any male character (except the Doctor) will become near-comatose at even the mention of lesbianism. Oddly enough, this includes his version of John Watson, whose sister is a lesbian.
* LyingCreator: Rule Zero: Moffat Lies (after the well-known "Rule One: The Doctor lies"). ''Self-admitted''; in an interview on about the fiftieth anniversary special, he said, "Normally I am responsible for the disinformation and the rubbish rumors - I usually put them out myself, but I haven't needed to for this one." (And he was lying about this too; he was personally responsible for some of the misinformation about the fiftieth).
* LastNameBasis: He's noticed that fans frequently refer to him as merely "Moffat," with some confusion (he blames [[Creator/MattSmith Matt]] for starting the whole thing.) He then snarked, since Creator/JennaColeman dropped the "Louise" out of her name after the end of series 7, he was going to take a page from her, and would now call himself, "Steven Fat."
* MathematiciansAnswer:
** So, what does he like better, [[http://twitter.com/#!/steven_moffat/status/87486063911763968 Doctor Who or Sherlock]]?
** And again, the ''Doctor Who'' episode [[http://twitter.com/#!/steven_moffat/status/108824874016976896 City of Death or Kinda]]?
* NoodleIncident: Episodes often begin with these and casual lines are often tossed in. These are often used for humour and to effect a zanier mood.
* SignatureStyle: Most things he's written will have a "Jeff" and a "Sally" appear at some point.
** {{Author Avatar}}s of Moffat appear throughout his works. ''Joking Apart'' was based on Moffat's early life as Anti-Sherlock, a sort of fratboy Machiavelli whose schemes never quite take off; ''Coupling'' was a rather merciless depiction of his own marriage (with his wife's consent, of course). The Doctor and Sherlock channel his voice quite often, as well.
** Continuing the theme of "Florida", in the ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' episode "A Study in Pink", Mrs. Hudson's husband was arrested in Florida.
** He seems to really love the ButtMonkey and TheChewToy, and always makes sure one character has almost everything seemingly possible go wrong in their lives. [[{{Coupling}} Jeff Murdock]], [[Series/DoctorWho Rory Williams]], [[Series/{{Sherlock}} Molly Hooper]], he seems to always like having one character to use as a punching bag.
** Has a fondness for not-so-subtle {{Audience Surrogate}}s and [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall metatexual references]] to ''Who's'' and ''Sherlock's'' popularity. Also enjoys lampshading the fact that his superheroes are going to win, no matter what; thus, the story becomes more about the journey than the destination.
* SpiritualAntithesis: In a few interviews, he has said that he considers ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' to be this to his tenure on ''Series/DoctorWho'', with his take on Literature/SherlockHolmes essentially a dark {{Foil}} of the Doctor. ''Doctor Who'' is about an immortal alien time traveler's relationships with his beloved friends who keep him "down to Earth", whereas ''Sherlock'' is about a human detective who shuns emotions and friendly relationships. Where the Doctor is an omnipotent being who's afraid of losing touch with his "human" side, Sherlock Holmes is an ordinary human who wants to prove to the world that he's something better than human, or as Steven himself put it, "The Doctor is an angel who wants to be human; Sherlock is a human who wants to be a god."
** Tonally, they're also complete inversions of one another: ''Doctor Who'' is a whimsical, light-hearted science-fiction series that's known for its dark undertones, and ''Sherlock'' is a gritty crime saga that's known for its whimsical undertones.
* TeasingCreator: He routinely and openly admits to lying about his shows, encourages preview guests to give out fake spoilers, and is generally good at gleefully trolling the fandoms.
** He also encourages fans to speculate on their own because if they have a good idea it makes his job much easier.
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