*Please don't read this if you haven't seen 'The Pandorica Opens'.*
So Rory's shot Amy. The TARDIS has exploded with River inside it. And The Doctor has been trapped in the Pandorica. In short, it's the end of the universe. But there's still one episode of the series to go, so things must be far from over, right? Not if you believe Steven Moffat. We caught up with the Doctor Who showrunner at the launch of the latest Adventure Game in Glasgow to glean what we could about the finale and beyond.
When you came to plan out this series, did you have the finale in your head from the start?
"I had aspects of it. I had certain things I needed that I need to get to, and I had an overarching idea that would, and I suppose it's a better conversation to have after next week's episode. There are certain things that you'll see that have been there from the beginning. There's been quite a careful planning of things, which is pretty obvious from episode 12, that everything was set up and paid off there. There's more coming next week, in the event that anyone comes out of the Pandorica. So yeah, you have to leave yourself some space to improvise, otherwise it gets boring, otherwise you get bored with your own script, and quite a lot of episode 13, which is a mad episode, is brand new. But there are certain key points where I know I wanted 'this'. I'm thinking of the next finale right now so I can plot the rest of the series. I know what the big reveals are and the big hopefully jaw dropping moments are going to be."
So you'll be planning a similar sort of setup for the next series?
"Similar in the sense that it's an arc that doesn't get in the way too much. That's in the event if there is another series, which is all told in flashback."
Episode twelve ended with an almighty trio of cliffhangers. Can you tell us anything at all about episode 13?
"Well, there's going to be some light music and a short note of apology saying, 'The universe ended last week, we're really sorry, we don't know what you're doing here, didn't you get the message?'"
Does the series wrap things up with a neat resolve in time for the Christmas special?
"Well we blew up the universe, so it'll be a nice flashback episode at Christmas."
Will there be any kind of trailer for the Christmas special after the episode?
"After the 50 minutes of gentle music and weeping apology? Nope. The universe has ended."
Will you at least reveal the title?
"There will be a Christmas special - well, a flashback Christmas special - but no, we won't be telling you anything, not a single thing. It's too early."
Do you know when we'll find out?
"No, I don't actually know when we'll start releasing that information. I genuinely don't! [We'll] try and work what we've normally done as with all these specials before, but there'll be some strategy that won't be mine."
Watching this series back as it's aired, have you learned any lessons about what works and what doesn't?
"I think you learn things every day, yeah. A lot of things we learn isn't necessarily artistic in a way, sometimes it's practical, it's 'That's where you spend your money, over there, not over there, over there'. A lot thinking that's wasted money. Don't use your CGI when you need a spaceship, when you use CGI somewhere make sure it blows something up. Just stuff like that. It's less artistic and more practical."
How far into planning series six are you?
"Not far enough, I think is the answer to that! I've got lots of plans - plans are not nearly as useful as scripts, I find - so I'd like to have more scripts and fewer plans. We're not quite as ahead of the game as we were last time. But it's fine."
Do you have all of your writers confirmed yet?
"We've got a fair number of them, there's one more I'm chasing, but yeah."
Do you think it's possible Russell could come back to write an episode?
"Is it possible? He's pretty adamant that he's not going to. I'm in constant touch with him. I don't know, you'd have to ask him. He did an awful lot of Doctor Who for an awful lot of years, and I think he's finding it in a way hard, because he's done a Doctor Who story in effect for Sarah Jane Adventures. So I think he possibly wants to get away from it for a bit. I can understand that, because he did a hell of a lot. But I'd love to get him, it would be just joyous to get him back because I miss him."
So it's something you'd like to see happen?
"Oh I would love it, and I said to him, "Look I want" and he said, 'Don't even ask me for series five because I'm just knackered, I just want to go lie down,' and I think I'll find out how that feels. But I did ask him for series six, and I always will."
And you definitely can't tell us anything about episode 13?
"The universe has ended, mate, he's dead. The Doctor is in the Pandorica, there's this little voice saying: 'Hello, that was a big bang wasn't it? Oh, something happened out there?'"
Thanks for your time, Steven.
"I hope you enjoy it, it's the maddest thing you'll ever see."
TRUST THE MOFF, GUYS!