Doctor Who Really Needs Peter Capaldi’s Return After Season 14 Fixed A Moffat-Era Injustice


Former Doctor Who showrunner and returning writer Steven Moffat has been able to correct an error from his final episode in charge, but something he recently admitted suggests Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor should return to the show soon. Moffat came back to write for the Doctor Who season 14 cast, penning a single episode for Ncuti Gatwa’s inaugural run as the Fifteenth Doctor. The installment was immediately hailed as one of the best Doctor Who episodes written by Steven Moffat, adding to his catalog during his involvement with the show.

Moffat wrote for Doctor Who even before he took over showrunning duties from Russell T Davies after David Tennant left the show as the Tenth Doctor. As well as Matt Smith’s Eleventh, Moffat remained in his role for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor too. As a result, he became the longest-running showrunner in the show’s modern era. Although Capaldi has suggested he wouldn’t return to his former role, Moffat’s comments about how both men ended their initial Doctor Who tenures could mean a reunion is necessary.

Doctor Who Season 14 Redeems Steven Moffat After The Final Episode He “Didn’t Love”

“Boom” is a much better episode than “Twice Upon a Time”

Speaking with TV Choice, Steven Moffat spoke of how he left Doctor Who in 2017. During the interview, he claimed he wasn’t the biggest fan of the story he submitted to bring his time in charge to a close. His comments suggest he felt he could have written a better episode to end his time as Doctor Who showrunner, as well as Peter Capaldi’s run as the Twelfth Doctor. Thankfully, Doctor Who’s Disney era opened the door for Moffat’s return and allowed him to redeem himself in his own eyes.

“I thought I knew how the story ended. I thought I knew how that chapter of my life expired. I thought it ended with “Twice Upon A Time” – which I didn’t love.”

While the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special isn’t the worst episode to go out on, Doctor Who season 14, episode 3, “Boom,” is a far superior installment. Among the endless mysteries and mystique of Davies’ first season back in the showrunner’s chair, Moffat’s latest script allowed for a much more self-contained story that didn’t promise more than it was able to deliver. Even on its own merit, “Boom” boasted an incredibly effective, tense, and to-the-point narrative. While Moffat’s arcs while in charge were often far more high-concept, even a stripped-back version of his formula suited Doctor Who’s new age perfectly.

Doctor Who Now Needs To Bring Back Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor

The Disney era could give Capaldi’s Doctor a better send-off

With Moffat’s exit now successfully redeemed, there remains the matter of Capaldi’s Doctor needing a better send-off than he received in “Twice Upon a Time.” If the episode fell somewhere in the middle of Twelve’s run, it would likely be held in much higher regard than it currently is. It isn’t a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination, but an outgoing Doctor’s final episode often ranks among their best. Unfortunately, there are much better Capaldi episodes than “Twice Upon a Time,” and they therefore overshadow his festive exit.

It may be that Capaldi is more at peace with how his time on Doctor Who ended than Steven Moffat is with his.

Much to the chagrin of portions of the Doctor Who fan base, Capaldi seems to be staunchly against returning to the show as the Twelfth Doctor. Speaking with Forbes, the Scottish actor explained, “I like the idea that my Doctor is still out there. He’s not available to come and be on TV.” So, it may be that Capaldi is more at peace with how his time on Doctor Who ended than Steven Moffat is with his.

Why Steven Moffat Is Right About “Twice Upon A Time”

The former Doctor Who showrunner said the 2017 special was “Soft in the middle”

In the same TV Choice interview where Moffat explained his disappointment with “Twice Upon a Time,” he gave the specific reason that it was “Soft in the middle.” He goes on to suggest that he was perhaps more hung up on ending the script in a way that made him feel comfortable about parting ways with Doctor Who. While his assessment of the episode having a good ending is correct, he’s also accurate in his appraisal of the main body of the episode.

The episode’s premise, as well as the beginning and the end, are absolutely solid. The middle is incredibly entertaining, but it doesn’t quite reach its potential. There’s also the matter of Capaldi sharing his farewell episode with another iteration of the Doctor, which was always going to pull focus. It’s understandable why Moffat decided to raise the stakes by bringing the First Doctor back into the fray after so long, but it was perhaps the wrong time to do it. In short, it was a good episode of Doctor Who, it just didn’t fit the occasion.