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'Doctor Who' season 10 promises 'brain-exploding' new writers

As the Christmas episode sees the return of River Song, producer Steven Moffat says preparations are underway for the next series.

Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston join forces for a Christmas caper as the Doctor and River Song.
Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgeway/BBC

"Doctor Who" mastermind Steven Moffat has hinted at mind-blowing new writers for the next season of the show. Discussing preparations for next year's 10th season, Moffat said of the potential new writers, "If I told you their names, your brain would explode."

Writer and producer was joined by "Doctor Who" star Peter Capaldi this week at a London screening of festive episode "The Husbands of River Song", which will be broadcast on Christmas day. The episode sees Capaldi's Doctor encounter for the first time River Song, played by Alex Kingston, who previously appeared alongside Capaldi's predecessors David Tennant and Matt Smith. Capaldi will then board the time-travelling Tardis for a new season of the long-running BBC sci-fi show at some point in the new year.

"We're already moving," said Moffat of the new season. In fact, he said "We've had meetings today with two writers who've never written 'Doctor Who' before." Moffat wouldn't name names for fear of brain-explosion, saying only that they are "brilliant, prominent and amazing writers."

"It's going to be amazing," he promised.

At a question-and-answer session with the audience of children, press and other invited guests, Capaldi was asked to name his favourite episode of his most recent season. "They all have extraordinary things in them," he said, adding he is "very conscious that one's time as Doctor Who is finite, so every episode is very special."

Moffat noted that sentiment was "so Scottish: an equivocation followed by a certainty of mortality."

Asked the same question Moffat replied, "I only care about the one that was next and the one that was last, that's all I ever think about... I care profoundly and tragically and tear-inducingly about all of them. You know how they say Doctor Who fans are really sad? I'm the really sad one."

Asked about his complex plots, Moffat joked, "It's not that complicated, really -- if you're having trouble following it ask a 12-year-old!"

"One of the things we have to keep in mind is that 'Doctor Who' is for everyone, but we all know it belongs to children," said Moffat. "And we have to keep in mind that they are far more intelligent than we are or ever will be. They can watch 'Doctor Who' at its most complex while while tweeting their friends and emailing her friends and playing 'Angry Birds' and doing their homework -- apparently -- so you have to raise it up to meet their level of expectation. Look at the doorstep books they're reading! Children are not cheap little mini versions of us, they are not our pets, they're our replacements and they're definitively better than we are so we have to keep up with them with really complicated television."

While we don't know anything about the new series yet, Capaldi has teased fans that "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson could be involved. Capaldi and Jackson appeared together in a video skit suggesting that the Kiwi director could work on the show.

And we could see a return for one item that divided opinion among fans: the Doctor's sonic sunglasses. "I think the sonic shades are fun," said Capaldi, "and the sonic screwdriver's fun, and a sonic hearing aid might be useful... There's room for all kinds of sonic devices!"