Wednesday 21st May 2008... long live The Moff
Well now, this is good news, isn't it? Not that Russell T is leaving - that's neither sad nor happy, he's done an astonishing job and one can only wish him all possible success in the future - but that the evil genius that is Steven Moffat is to take over. Bizarrely, it was so obvious that this had to happen eventually that in many ways it seemed unlikely that it would, if you see what I mean. Things just don't work out that perfectly. But they have.
What strikes me is the very fact that this is deemed to be NEWS at all; looking back at the days of Classic Who I don't recall there being press releases and TV news items covering the fact that Eric Saward had succeeded Christopher H. Bidmead as script editor, or Graham Williams taking over from Philip Hinchcliffe as producer... It does speak volumes as to the level of cultural penetration New Who has achieved that the punters are expected to know and/or care who's writing it...
I suppose there is also the fact that RTD himself has been far more of a public figure than any of his predecessors. This is probably due not just to his being a great on-screen personality in a way most writers and producers aren't, but equally to the fact that he has far more opportunities to be - or, looked at another way, is required to be far more often. Had there been something along the lines of Doctor Who Confidential back in the 1980s then maybe John Nathan Turner would have become as recognisable then as RTD is now. As it is, it's perhaps been considered necessary to announce this succession in such a prominent way if only so when DWC starts up again in 2010, nobody's bewildered as to why the big camp Welsh guy has been replaced by a beady-eyed sarcastic Scotsman.
From the exact same neighbourhood as David Tennant, incidentally. Paisley. Who'd have thought it.