Stories depend on surprise, says Doctor Who’s head writer, and spoiling those surprises is a terrible thing to do.
Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat hasn’t minced his words when it comes to “fans” who post plot spoilers online, saying that he wishes they would go and be fans of something else instead. His comments come after the plot of the first two episodes of the new season found their way online after a press event to promote the premiere.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Moffat said that a handful of fans had been invited along to the event. Despite asking them to keep the details of what they saw to themselves, the details of the episodes, with all their twists and turns, appeared online almost immediately. Moffat said that stories depended on surprise, and that it was heartbreaking when someone – he called them “twits,” presumably in place of a stronger word he couldn’t say on the radio – ruined it by giving the game away too soon.
“Stories are the moments that you didn’t see coming, that are what live in you and burn in you forever. If you are denied those, it’s vandalism,” he said. “I just hope [the spoiler poster] never watched my show again, because that’s a horrific thing to do.”
Moffat’s frustration is understandable; no one likes having their hard work ruined. Fortunately, many in the geek community are incredibly averse to spoilers. As trite as it might sound, part of the joy in watching shows like Doctor Who isn’t in knowing the truth, it’s in discovering the truth. Admittedly, it’s a subtle distinction, and it doesn’t hold true for everyone – if it did, Moffat wouldn’t have anything to complain about – but plenty of people, myself included, enjoy the journey as much as the destination.