[[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''', OBE, is a British award-winning writer and executive producer known for his work on ''Series/PressGang'', ''Series/{{Coupling}}'', ''Series/{{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 UsefulNotes/{{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 the 2009/2010 story [[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 fanbases of his shows insane]]. For instance, he kept the fact that 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 in ''Doctor Who'' back in '''2006''' that didn't ''begin'' to get resolved until the '''2013 series finale'''. He's also fond of esoteric plotting and going beyond the traditional boundaries of the franchise and television as a whole.

In fact, he has now written more TV ''Doctor Who'' than any other writer, including the late Creator/RobertHolmes.

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

In 2015, he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to drama just like Russell T. Davies before him.

It has been confirmed that he will step down as showrunner after Series 10 and will be replaced by Creator/ChrisChibnall.

!!Selected filmography:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin: The Secret of the Unicorn'' (feature film, co-written with Creator/EdgarWright and Creator/JoeCornish, 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)
* ''Series/{{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 2010-2016)
** 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)
* ''Series/PressGang'' (all episodes, 1989-1993)

!!TropeNamer for:
* AlanFridge
* BowtiesAreCool
* EverybodyLives
* TheSlowPath
* TimeyWimeyBall

!!His work on ''Series/DoctorWho'' offers examples of:
* AuthorAppeal: There's a lot of Scottish floating around ''Who'' since he took over. Between the Scottish Amy Pond, the Scottish-sounding Twelfth Doctor, and subtle references about Scotland in various forms (Strax's favorite hobby is regular bar fights in Glasgow, Amy chalking up her temper in "Asylum of the Daleks" to being Scottish) he seems to be doing to Scotland what Russell T Davies did to Wales during his tenure.
* CanonWelding: According to producers at Audioplay/BigFinish, Steven was in charge of the push to bring newer monster and characters to the classic (audio) series. Up until 2015, Big Finish were not allowed to use characters from the 2005 revival series. Due to Moffat, we'll now get encounters such as the Eighth Doctor meeting River Song, and the Fifth Doctor fighting the Weeping Angels!
* CrackFic: He likes to indulge in really silly stories in the ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' Q&A section. Highlights include a comedy bit about the Silence, an encounter between Amy and the Twelfth Doctor ("You've managed to lose that accent") and a ''very'' out-there Delgado Master/Gomez Master ship-ficlet. None of which are meant to be taken as WordOfGod, of course.
* 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", "Day of the Moon", and "Deep Breath".
* DistractedByMyOwnSexy[=/=]ScrewYourself: A bit of a running gag, combined with time travel. It's used sparingly, but pops up in "Space"/"Time" and some other stories. The ScrewYourself trope is, of course, not used ''explicitly'', since ''Doctor Who'' is a family show, but he did once write a Master-on-Master CrackFic as a joke--in which the Delgado and Gomez incarnations ended up bangin'.
* FreeLoveFuture: Installed in "The Empty Child" and confirmed at every opportunity. Moffat's vision of the future is one in which everyone is free to love/screw whom they like, regardless of gender.
* 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...
* 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 the Doctor'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!")
*** In "The Doctor's Wife" (written by Creator/NeilGaiman but with 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 with [[spoiler:Melody Pond/Mels/River Song]], and again with Rupert/Danny Pink. In fact, it goes 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 Creator/KarenGillan 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 "[[TheParagon The Doctor]]" because he considers it to be [[MeaningfulName a promise]].
* UncannyValley: {{Invoked}}. His monsters are designed to be unsettling rather than outright horrifying.

!!His other writing provides examples of:
* CreatorThumbprint: Phones seem to be one of his things. They tend to be featured prominently and as integral plot devices.
** Both Sherlock's "A Study In Pink" and Doctor Who's "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's 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.
** ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'' uses the protagonist's mobile phone [[spoiler:as a clever communicator "device" between two sides of the character's personality]].
** ''Series/{{Coupling}}'' has several episodes based around misunderstandings with phones.
** Likewise with ''Series/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 own 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 flavor in ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'' and ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''; mixed flavor in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* EverybodyLives: The Ninth Doctor might have coined the phrase but Moffat practically shouts this at the end of every episode. Unlike Davies who is very keen on death, he can't bear to lose even a single character. He even brought back Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) ''and'' the fake Osgood.
* 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 and Sherlock) will become near-comatose at even the mention of lesbianism. Oddly enough, this includes his version of John Watson, whose sister is a lesbian.
* NoodleIncident: Episodes often begin with these and casual lines are often tossed in. These are often used for humor and to effect a zanier mood.
* SignatureStyle:
** Most things he's written will have a "Jeff" and/or 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 "Florida" theme, 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. [[Series/{{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 the popularity of ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''. 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.
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