Doctor Who Fans Believe They've Found Proof Steven Moffat Will Return, But What's Actually Happening?

Ncuti Gatwa wearing cowboy hat as the Fifteenth Doctor in Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who brought back a showrunner for the first time with Russell T. Davies' return for the 60th Anniversary and the upcoming season on the 2024 TV schedule. Now it seems another former showrunner might be joining the Disney+ era. Chatter about this all started because Steven Moffat's name was spotted recently in reference to having a role in an upcoming episode, but despite this proof, there's some other information that leads us to question what is happening. 

As we await updates on Doctor Who Season 14 and its arrival for those with a Disney+ subscription in the spring, news might've leaked about Steven Moffat returning in Season 15. No, he's not taking over as showrunner, but this proof suggests he'll have a role Whovians previously thought was spoken for. 

Steven Moffat Was Noted As The Christmas Special's Writer

The speculation about Steven Moffat started when Doctor Who Filming Locations shared an interesting note on the CV of Doctor Who producer Alison Sterling on social media. A screenshot highlighting her role on Season 15 of the Doctor Who Christmas special noted that the episode was directed by Alex Pillai and written by Steven Moffat. If this news is correct, it would be Moffat's first episode since the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon A Time." All we know about the story so far is that it features Nicola Coughlan, who you likely know as the star of the Bridgerton cast

Moffat's Name Was Quickly Removed After It Was Noticed

Not long after the discovery, Alison Sterling's CV was changed, with Steven Moffat and Alex Pillai's names removed. This led some fans to believe the post was just a mistake, but others weren't quite so sure. 

It seems odd that Sterling's CV would get the correct and officially announced director for the episode and not the episode's writer. I could believe the mistake if Davies stepped in after Moffat's departure as showrunner, but he hasn't been a part of the series since 2017. It's an intriguing situation, especially since there's been no public comment from The BBC as of writing post-removal. 

Russell T. Davies Said He Was Writing The Special Himself, But That Was A While Back

Another interesting element to this is Russell T. Davies made a big show of the fact that he spent his previous Christmas writing the 2024 special (via Cultbox). So, to hear that Steven Moffat was listed as the writer is confusing. Is it possible the two collaborated for a holiday special? 

Considering Moffat worked for and with Davies before taking over as Doctor Who's showrunner in Season 5, I would believe it. It's also worth noting that Davies shared his plans for the new era of Doctor Who with Moffat before the 60th anniversary. I'd reckon Moffat knew about the wild bi-generation twist based on his cryptic statements on the plans, and he could possibly even return for something related to that. 

It would be exciting to see Steven Moffat contributing to Doctor Who again, even if it's on a one-episode basis. He and Russell T. Davies are responsible for a bulk of Doctor Who's best episodes, though that comes with the territory of being two-thirds of the showrunners of this modern era. Even so, I'd love to see what they could cook up in a collaborative Christmas special, assuming that could happen and it really wasn't just an honest mistake. 

Doctor Who Season 14 will arrive at some point on the 2024 TV Schedule, but we're still waiting on an explicit release date. To go back and watch Moffat's episodes of Doctor Who, you can stream them with a Max subscription.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.