Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has suggested that the Marvel Cinematic is becoming more like Doctor Who and not the other way around.

Source: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013), BBC

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Moffat’s opinion was offered in response to a recent rumor published by the Mirror, wherein they reported that Bridget Jones’s Diary star Hugh Grant had been tapped to portray the next incarnation of the Doctor as part of the BBC’s plans to turn the show into “a Marvel-like product, building franchises around the Doctor and other key characters in his many lives.”

“He offers many attributes – great actor, British, award-winning, Hollywood A-lister and excellent at comedy,” an alleged source told the UK-based news outlet. “Conversations are in progress.”

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” (2021), BBC

Responding to these rumors during a recent interview with Inverse, Moffat speculated, “I think it’s someone in a newspaper office [who is] bored, in all honesty.”

However, turning to the topic of the series’ MCU-style refreshing, the former showrunner offered the well-put response, “Isn’t Marvel just like Doctor Who?”

Source: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013), BBC

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“Doctor Who’s been [building franchises around the Doctor and other key characters in his many lives] for a very, very long time,” he added. “Certainly, since Russell brought it back, but arguably a lot before that, it’s been very human-driven.”

To that end, Moffat gave praise to Marvel’s silver screen endeavors, opining, “I wouldn’t say I’m a [Marvel] devotee, but I like the movies very much. I think they’ve raised the bar as to what can be done in movies like that. Other action blockbusters should watch out ’cause they’re so witty.” 

Source: Doctor Who Season 4 Episode 1 “The Next Doctor” (2008), BBC

“They’re very bold with what they think an audience can follow along, and they get away with it,” he continued. “I’m always getting told my stuff is far too complicated. But have you seen this stuff? It’s really complicated.”

He then lavished specific praise upon the MCU’s most recent entry, Spider-Man: No Way Home, stating, “When the three Spider-Men were in it, I thought that was immensely clever, very bold in the storytelling — and so funny! What great actors. They’ve totally raised the bar.”

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“I know lots of wise beard-strokers sit around saying, ‘Of course, movies are all superhero films.’ Yeah, but they’re good superhero films,” he argued. “They’re really good! People go and see them, not because they’re superhero films, but because they’re good!”

Ultimately, Moffat asserted, ““I don’t know what ‘more Marvel’ means. I would hope [it] means more money. And I think that would be good, more Marvel in that sense, but I’m not sure how much more Marvel it could get, and I’m not sure they’ve got it the right way around.”

Source: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013), BBC

There is a lot of accuracy to what Moffat told Inverse, as the Doctor has been going on adventures through time and space akin to The Avengers’ since the show first hit TV screens in 1963 with William Hartnell in the lead role.

Yet, if the BBC truly wanted Doctor Who to become a Marvellevel production, the braodcaster would need to drastically increase the show’s budget.

Source: Doctor Who Season 2 Episode 5 “Rise of the Cybermen” (2006), BBC

As the series was funded by the national broadcaster, it never received anywhere near a large budget, leading the sci-fi classic to give many of its characters their now-iconic tinfoil-and-carboard designs.

Even when renewed in 2005 by Russell T. Davies, the budget per episode was only around one million sterling – a sum that makes the epic portrayal of the Ninth Doctor’s adventures all the more impressive.

Source: Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 1 “Asylum of the Daleks” (2012), BBC

Admittedly, a larger budget may be on the cards for this upcoming era of Doctor Who, especially as the aforementioned Davies is back on board.

Bad Wolf, who worked on the Doctor’s 2005 return and was recently acquired by Sony Pictures television, is returning to produce the show.

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” (2021), BBC

Given that they are currently producing the BBC show His Dark Materials, which has an estimated budget of almost $10 million per episode – substantially higher than was ever given to any Doctor Who episode – it’s possible that higher budget being allocated for Davies’ return.

If given this budget, there is no doubt that the adventures of the Doctor will get even grander. Hopefully, they stay true to the core of the show as described by Moffat above: “They have always been very human-driven”.

Source: Doctor Who Season 3 Episode 4 “Daleks in Manhattan” (2007), BBC

This is what the core of Doctor Who has always been about, and it’s through this human element that the series has been able to captivate audiences and bring them back to watch the Doctor’s adventures through time and space – regardless of its CGI and special effects.

Source: Doctor Who Season 2 Episode 9 “The Stan Pit” (2006), BBC

Jodie Whittaker and current show runner Chris Chibnall are due to exit the show after a trio of Whittaker led specials usher in Davies’ new direction of Doctor Who.

What do you make of Moffat’s take on Marvel and Doctor Who? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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