Given that the annual “Doctor Who” Christmas special is still several months out, I knew full well that Steven Moffat wouldn’t be willing to offer up much in the way of information about what we could expect to see come December, but since I’d been fortunate enough to sit down with him – along with Mark Gatiss – in connection with their work on “Sherlock” (which comes to PBS in October), I couldn’t very well miss the chance to ask about it, anyway.
I started off with a non-specific question, asking how Michael Gambon had found his way into the “Who”-niverse.
“We sent him a script, asked him to do it, and he said, ‘Yes,’” said Moffat. “Simple as that.”
Had Gambon been a fan of the show?
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I didn’t get the impression that he was a fan of ‘Doctor Who,’ except insofar as everyone in Britain is at the moment, but it’s really…with these guys, send them a good part and there’s a really stonking chance they’ll do it. I mean, if it’s a good script…and you think it is…they’re being offered prime-time on Christmas day, really, so there’s a real chance you can get anyone for that. But it’s very exciting. He’s brilliant. Of course he’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. What a voice.”
The time had come to make the jump and ask something specific, so I wondered aloud if the teaser line at the end of season finale about the Orient Express in space would indeed come to pass come this Christmas.
“Who knows?” replied Moffat, stonefaced.
I told him he was a terrible person…which caused the stone face to break into a laugh.
“You wouldn’t really want to know,” he said. “I can tell. Also, what you have to keep in mind that I genuinely lie. I do. I actively lie to people about what’s going to happen in ‘Doctor Who.’ I’m not officially employed with the BBC. I can say any old thing I like. Even if I told you something, there’s no guarantee that it’s true. Disinformation and the white noise of nonsense is how we get through this!”