“Doctor Who is the most exhaustingly planned show on earth.” So says the show’s lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, in an interview today. Moffat admits that he encounters few surprises when putting together the show that encompasses all of time and space but there are plenty of surprises for the audience.
The second part of season 7 begins with The Bells of Saint John, which will kick off Jenna-Louise Coleman’s run as the Eleventh Doctor’s (Matt Smith) newest companion. Speaking about Coleman, Moffat said Clara brings a wit and unimpressed quality to the TARDIS and the Time Lord that makes the Doctor work harder to be impressive. “They have enough in common and yet enough sharp contrast,” said Moffat, referring both to the Doctor and Clara as well as Smith and Coleman.
Adding to the uniqueness of Clara is that the Doctor has already met two other versions of his new companion. Regarding whether Clara will ever remember or learn about those other encounters, Moffat jokingly replied, “I would know the answer to that question and certainly won’t give it to you.”
Also a subject that Moffat won’t be talking about is the 50th anniversary episode. While remaining tight-lipped about milestone, Moffat did say he wants it to fit into the overarching plot for the series. “It’s all about the next 50 years, not the last 50 years,” Moffat said. “The show must never feel old. It must always feel brand new.” Though John Barrowman confirmed via Twitter that he won’t be appearing as Captain Jack Harkness in the 50th anniversary episode, there is no word on appearances from David Tennant (the 10th Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), or other Doctors or companions.
Shifting back to talking about The Bells of Saint John, Moffat admitted that the biggest challenge is always creating or choosing the monster for any given episode. From what we’ve seen of Saturday’s episode it looks like Moffat has hit is out of the park again. The villainous Spoonheads, which Moffat says are “quite creepy,” become the Doctor’s latest nemesis when he and Clara travel to London and discover something sinister in the WiFi.
Describing the premiere episode as both an “action rollercoaster” and a “rollicking adventure,” Moffat has set expectations high for The Bells of Saint John. See for yourself if the Doctor’s return lives up the hype when Doctor Who premieres this Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America. In the mean time check out the episode’s prequel below.