Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Returns With New Thirteenth Doctor Story

Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has made his return to the franchise for the first time departing after the 2017 Christmas Special. Moffat has written a new Doctor Who short story titled "The Terror Of The Umpty Ums." The story marks Moffat's first time writing a story featuring Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor. The story centers on a boy named David. Except he's not a boy. He's a DeathBorg 400 named Karpagnon. He plans to destroy the human race, but then the Doctor shows up and starts talking, as the Doctor does, and things go from there.

If you're a fan of Moffat's six seasons as the person in charge of Doctor Who, you'll find some recognizable Easter eggs and references in this story. When Chris Chibnall took over for Moffat and introduced Whittaker's Doctor, it felt like a fresh start for the series. Moffat writing Thirteen with callbacks to his internal canon feels like a bridge bringing the two eras together.

You can read the story on the BBC's website. Here's an excerpt:

"New protocol, replied the Tactical Monitor. Cruelty and cowardice to be avoided. Destruction of humans within this installation now designated as cruel and cowardly.

"'What new protocol?' demanded Karpagnon.

"'Oops, sorry that was probably me.' It was the voice again – the untagged data stream. But where was it coming from? 'I got bored, you see,' the voice continued, 'Thought I do a bit of housekeeping, long as I'm here. Love a bit of rewiring, me, and I get bored when I'm asleep. I can't be doing with all that sleeping, there's too many planets. What if you sleep and miss a whole planet. Nightmare, yeah?'"

While this story feels like it bridges two eras of Doctor Who, Moffat doesn't think in those terms. He spoke to ahead of the airing of "Twice Upon a Time" in 2017. When asked what he hopes people will associate with the "Moffat era" of Doctor Who, he told us he didn't think they would think of it that way.

"I don't think they will look back on anything called 'the Moffat era.' They might look back at the Peter Capaldi era, or the Matt Smith era. I don't think they'll look back on it, at me, at all. I don't think that's how an audience works or thinks nor have I wished they did. The main legacy you'll always want is, 'the show's still here, it's still successful.' That's what I wanted. I want my legacy to be that you can still watch it. That's exciting to me. As to what people will look back and think of it, I don't know, I haven't a clue. I hope they think of it fondly."

Doctor Who aired its Season Twelve in early 2020. It will return for a holiday special later this year.