Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat to leave for Star Wars?
Sometimes when you read a rumour online, before you race off to check its authenticity with the star/director/writer you’ll take a moment to stroke your chin and have a really good think about how that might turn out.
I’ve had my share of these in the past; my first real experience was probably a big footballing name being linked with joining Leeds United, or more frequently over the past decade, leaving; before he defected was wished well on his transfer to Fulham last week, Leeds striker Ross McCormack was rumoured to be going to just about any team with a vowel in its name for months. As I mused over each of the possible destinations for the league’s top scorer last season I had a good think about where he would be better off; finally settling on ‘any club that doesn’t treat its players like dickheads’. Call me crazy, but all power to Ross for deciding his future didn’t lie in Leeds. The fact that the club appears to have no ambition right now is, for me at least, a solid enough foundation for a rumour like its best player deciding to leave.
In TV land, it apparently gets even more cut-throat sometimes, but the rumour that TV producer/writer/ninja Steven Moffat is set to take the reins over some aspect of a future Star Wars production is, again for me, an absolute non-starter.
I really can’t see why some fans give Moffat a hard time over his showrunning on Doctor Who; I’ve much preferred his run on the show to that of predecessor Russell T. Davies. Moffat is a seasoned storyliner, and while there may be some sci-fi-type blips here and there, he’s been faithful to the programme’s mythology since the get-go; his characters develop smoothly, the performances from his cast have been brilliant, and what’s more – a charge I do lay at Davies’ door in particular – Moffat builds up a story at great pace, neatly and tidily introduces all the necessary plot elements, and can hit all the right notes without the requirement of someone swanning in and deus ex’ing their way to a satisfying conclusion. (I know I’ve mentioned that before, but it was a real issue for a long time.)
With all that (and Sherlock, which I’ll just come out and say I don’t watch) to go on, and the announcement that there will be a series nine of the rebooted Who, why would Moffat choose to move on to Star Wars?
I know there are a lot of people getting hot and bothered about Disney’s plans for a continuation of the Star Wars universe (I myself am maintaining a dignified poise about the whole thing; after all, they’re making more, not deleting current entries) but it strikes me as common sense that they wouldn’t have waited this long and got this far into the whole revival thing before they started tapping up producers of other hit programmes to try and lure them into the fold. JJ Abrams will have been doing absolutely nothing for the past year as he starts to get his head around the whole nasty business of expanding the Star Wars story; isn’t Moffat still well into filming series eight?
It’s a daft rumour, it really is – as confirmed by his wife Sue Vertue who tweeted “that’s news to him!”
I firmly believe he isn’t doing it, and only because it’s obvious how much he loves doing this. Any kid who grew up dreaming of being in a Star Wars movie has another chance – but judging by the statement he released when confirmed as the showrunner in 2008, Moffat is already living the dream:
“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.”
I also remember during an episode of the Moffat-created criminally underrated sitcom Coupling when lead character Steve does one of his once-a-series monologue rants, lamenting that cushions on a sofa serve no purpose, unlike the sofa itself which you could hide behind in case of…
It’s hardly solid evidence here to dispell a job change, but It’s the little things like that – and bear in mind that Coupling was made a good few years before Doctor Who returned – that make me feel like the programme’s going to stay in Moffat’s good hands, and that there’s precious little danger of him stopping right now; not when there’s a new Doctor to get excited over!