Steven Moffat

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Name: Steven Moffat
Also Known As:
Occupation: Screenwriter and producer, showrunner
Medium: Television
Works: Doctor Who, Sherlock (BBC), Jekyll, Coupling
Official Website(s): Steven Moffat
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Steven Moffat is a Scottish television writer for Doctor Who, showrunner for the program since Series 5, and co-creator with Mark Gatiss of BBC's Sherlock.

Moffat & the Fans

Fans seem to have a love/hate relationship with Moffat. Those who adore him seem to feel he can do no wrong while those who oppose him despise everything he touches. He is responsible for some of the most popular episodes of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who, as well as the extremely well-received 50th Anniversary special. He is likewise accused of sexism, queerbaiting, and writing in circles for both popular shows.

In 2016, when Moffat announced leaving Doctor Who after Series 10 (which will air in 2017) and would be replaced by "Broadchurch" writer and producer Chris Chibnall, many fans rejoiced[1].



Moffat's inability to write female characters is still debated extremely strongly. The term Moffat Women is often used as a shorthand when describing or discussing his depiction of female characters. While he has said some questionable things about women and what women want,[2] the relative quality of his female characters as compared to Davies' could be argued either way. Some fans see Amy Pond as a strong, decisive character while others feel she is a victim with no agency. This is probably not a debate with any resolution.

In 2014 a media study was conducted by a group of students with the intent to examine the differences between Davies' and Moffat's writing. It applied the Bechdel–Wallace test[3] to female companions from Davies' and Moffat's eras (Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, and River) and compared the differences between the two. It also measured the companions' overall speaking time, the speaking time of any female characters in general, and the number of female speaking roles for either era up to that point. According to the study, Moffat's characters passed the Bechdel–Wallace test far less often, his female companions had overall less speaking time and the speaking time of any of his female characters as well as the number of female roles were significantly lower compared to Davies' era. However, despite being deemed credible enough to be quoted by the press[4] and earning second place in Brigham Young University-Idaho's Research and Creative Works Conference, the study came under intense criticism and scrutiny[5] by fans of Moffat's work. In response, one of the authors of the study admitted that the Bechdel–Wallace test may have its own set of flaws and limitations,[6] but maintained that the study is still significant enough to provide a solid starting point for discussion.


This article or section needs expansion.

Plot Holes



Moffat had a habit of writing lesbian characters who would then interact romantically with men. Irene Adler in Sherlock was specifically made a lesbian for the adaptation only to declare her romantic interest in Holmes, and one Doctor Who story featured a pair of lesbian wives only for the Doctor to kiss one of them. This last point is often attributed largely to Moffat, despite the episode in question - The Crimson Horror - having been written by Mark Gatiss.


  1. ^ 'Doctor Who' show-runner Steven Moffat leaving in 2017. January 23, 2016.
  2. ^ 10 Sexist Steven Moffat Quotes
  3. ^ "Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the 'Bechdel–Wallace Test,' ThankYouVeryMuch" on The Mary Sue 25 August 2015. (Accessed 30 October 2018)
  4. ^ "Has Doctor Who become more sexist?" on The Guardian 30 May 2014. (Accessed 30 October 2018)
  5. ^ "Rebecca Moore’s Doctor Who Study is Dishonest" on 3 June 2014 (Accessed 30 October 2018)
  6. ^ "University Study on Sexism in BBC’S Doctor Who (Infographic)" on Wordpress 29 May 2014 (Accessed 30 October 2018)