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Trivia / Steven Moffat

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  • Creator Backlash:
    • He regards "The Beast Below" as his least favourite episode he wrote, calling it a bit of a mess. A lot of the fandom agree with him, this episode being widely considered the worst of Series 5.
    • He doesn't have high thoughts on Series 7.
    "I didn’t enjoy my third year as much. It was a bit miserable... The workload was just insane. I wasn’t coping as well. No-one else’s fault, all mine. The 50th was looming, and I didn’t know if we could make it work. It was a tough, tough time. My darkest hour on Who was that."
    • He also feels the opening episode to Series 9 wasn't original enough.
    • He also had regrets over not being able to properly revise Series 10's "The Pyramid at the End of the World", which was criticized for its Idiot Plot and extremely contrived Cliffhanger. (It also led into the least-popular episode of the season, "The Lie of the Land", a Toby Whithouse script.) He was preoccupied with getting "Extremis" in shooting shape and, sadly, the terminal illness of his mother, so he couldn't revise "Pyramid" with co-writer Peter Harness (who was initially Misblamed for its failings).
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  • Creator Breakdown: Both Press Gang and Joking Apart contain some incredibly bitter dark comedy regarding his attempt to deal with his divorce.
  • Creator Couple: His wife, Sue Vertue, has co-produced several of his shows, including Coupling and Sherlock.
  • Disowned Adaptation: He didn't care for the American remake of Coupling, blaming it on NBC's interference.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: His fans have taken to calling themselves "Moffat Masochists" with good reason.
  • Fan Nickname: Otherwise known as "The Moff", "The Grand Moff" and the "King of Nightmares".
  • Lying Creator:
    • 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 rumours—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).
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    • It happened again with "The Abominable Bride". He'd flat-out stated it was a Victorian "alternate universe" setting that had nothing to do with the main series' continuity. The Victorian part turned out to be accurate, but the Mind Screwy ending showed either that the entire Victorian storyline was a drug-induced hallucination of modern-day Sherlock's, or that the entire modern-day series is a drug-induced hallucination of Victorian Sherlock's. Intriguingly, the episode could support either interpretation. In any case, the episode is a direct sequel to the series 3 finale, "His Last Vow", and the end of that episode becomes a plot point for the special.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: Aside from the typical contests from the likes of Blue Peter that surround Doctor Who, there has been some unofficial 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 "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. He's also taken the opportunity to canonize some of his own personal fan theories, like the idea that the word "doctor" came to mean "healer" in the English language because of the Doctor's interventions throughout Earth's history.
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  • Old Shame: He's quite embarrassed by his sitcom Chalk. In one interview, he refused to even name it for fear of getting attacked in the street.
  • Promoted Fanboy: There's a reason he's quote at the top of that particular page. In fact, he appeared on TV once to discuss the show's failings at the time from a fanboy perspective. He later wrote short stories for the officially licensed Doctor Who Virgin Books line, and in 1999 wrote the Comic Relief spoof Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death.
    "My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also, I was seven."
  • Self-Adaptation;
    • He wrote the Doctor Who episode, Blink based on his short story, 'What I Did on My Summer Holidays' by Sally Sparrow.
    • His only book is the novelization to the Doctor Who episode The Day Of The Doctor that he wrote.
  • Teasing Creator: 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.
  • Trolling Creator:
    • He seems to enjoy inflicting the Comedic Sociopathy version of this on his characters and his fans. In fact, in Twitter posts he even admitted he took sadistic pleasure in making Rory The Chew Toy. And then there's the massive Ship Tease Red Herring in series 6, involving the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River, the TARDIS, a baby, and one hell of a Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • Realizing that River Song is a polarizing to some fans, he and Neil Gaiman 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. And then he married them at the end of the series.
    • He also loves to straight-up lie about his plans for the show. Reached epic heights with the 50th anniversary, which he claimed 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 heartwarming cameo by Tom Baker. Well played.
    • He's also fandom-savvy enough (he's been at it long enough, after all) to know exactly the right things to say and do to whip his detractors 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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • He was asked to write Doctor Who audio plays for Big Finish when the company first started. He was interested, but the only Doctor he wanted to write for was Eight and Paul McGann hadn't signed on yet.
    • He was originally supposed to write "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks", but he was busy with Jekyll. He volunteered to write the Doctor-lite story of that season, which turned out to be "Blink".
    • He was supposed to write "The Crimson Horror", but he realized he would not be able to write the story from the point of view of Vastra, Jenny and Strax, and he called on Mark Gatiss to do so.
  • Word of Gay: Has stated that River is bi and that the Doctor has no real concept of human sexual preference for one gender over another. Both were hinted at in his stories, but only became explicit on his Twitter and in Doctor Who Magazine.

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