Well, at least he apologised. I should've known, of course, that Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat was fibbing when he told us that the search had "barely begun" for the 12th Doctor when he had, in fact, already cast Peter Capaldi some time previous...
After all, at the very same Comic-Con where our chat took place, Moffat admitted to lying his "arse off for months" about all things Who - and, in my defence, I did voice my suspicions that he could be having me on...
He confirmed the truth prior to a press interview conducted last night - yes, Capaldi was the only choice for the 12th Doctor, his was the only audition held, and yes, those in the know about the 55-year-old's casting had been in the know for "quite a while".
> Doctor Who Steven Moffat: 'Peter Capaldi's moment has arrived'
Ultimately though, I'm sort of happy that I was had. As lead writer and executive producer of the biggest drama on UK television, Steven Moffat is constantly under the scrutiny of the media, being bombarded with questions on everything from plot to characters' wardrobe choices. If he answered all of them honestly, there'd be no surprises left.
It's hard enough to produce a television series - particularly one as enormous and with such a fervent fanbase as Doctor Who - without most major twists being uncovered as it is. Moffat once told me that he'd been "pilloried" by an angry Who fan disappointed that news of Rory and Amy's exit had 'leaked'.
As he explained: "Actors' agents really do have to advertise their clients' availability - I had no choice but to announce they were going to leave," and the same logic applies to those questioning why the 12th Doctor's identity couldn't be concealed until Christmas, when Matt Smith's Time Lord bids his final farewell...
Yes, it's a lovely idea in theory, but in practice, it would be *impossible* to pull off - with Capaldi shooting his brief scene for the Doctor Who Christmas special way in advance of transmission, his identity was always going to get out there, so isn't it better to reveal it with a great deal of pomp and ceremony on a glitzy primetime BBC One show?
> Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi announcement seen by over 6m on BBC One
With so many of the show's 'secrets' being exposed through sheer necessity - the appearance of the Zygons in the 50th anniversary special only being announced because they feature in exterior scenes and so were bound to be captured by snap-happy fans - you can't really blame Steven Moffat for attempting to preserve what's left of Doctor Who's mystery. You can't blame him for misleading fans and journalists alike when he has the opportunity.
Every Doctor Who fan knows Moffat's edict is 'Rule 1 - The Doctor lies', and by now, we know that Rule 2 is that the man himself leads us down a merry path too. But that's a good thing - given how intensely opposed most Who addicts are to 'spoilers', they should be happy that the man in charge of the show cares enough to conceal the surprises he's got in store.
In short, long may Steven Moffat continue lying his arse off.
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