Could Sinking ‘Doctor Who’ Ratings Mean The End For Steven Moffat?

Steven Moffat
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Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is once again under fire amid sagging ratings and complaints about the show’s increasingly adult themes.

According to the Mirror, the primary complaints among fans are the story lines which have become too complicated and adult oriented. The British TV show has been a child friendly, family show since it first aired in 1963. Now, with increasingly adult plot lines and a start time of 8:30 p.m. in Great Britain, many families no longer watch the show together and the ratings have suffered.

A senior BBC official told the Mirror that the network is determined to make changes to address concerns.

“There will be some tweaks. We are obviously keen for it to appeal to the whole family.”

Most concerning to the BBC are the ratings. According to Doctor Who TV, Series Eight averaged fewer than seven million viewers during the season. This is a noticeable fall from previous seasons and more than enough reason for Moffat to be concerned. The previous incarnation of Doctor Who, featuring Matt Smith, averaged over eight million viewers.

As reported by the Inquisitr, Steven Moffat has defended the sagging ratings, claiming that streaming services like iPlayer and Amazon made up the difference. Moffat claimed, “exactly the same number of people watch ‘Doctor Who’ now as they ever did.”

Moffat did, however, concede the need to make changes as the show progressed.

“We actually have changed it up quite a lot, look how different those girls have been. Wait and see. What we have is probably the most enduring form of the show and I think will always tend back to it for whatever reason, but there’s no reason you couldn’t tend away from it and there’s no diktat or special rule book left by Verity Lambert or something. We absolutely could vary it. The times they’ve varied it, it makes them work hard – you can see them struggling with Leela. She was a great character but they had to civilize her fast because it was getting hard to fit her into stories – but it’s not a hard and fast rule at all.”

Fans have recently taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the Doctor Who showrunner. Fan have complained about the storytelling tropes and poor storytelling.

With Doctor Who Series Nine set to start filming in January, Moffat is in no danger of losing his job in the near future. Following the somewhat disastrous results of Series Eight, his leash is certainly shorter. Even with a planned return to more ffamily-friendly stories, this may be Moffat’s last chance.