Steven Moffat hits back at ‘weird and stupid’ critics of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Sherlock’

The showrunner insists that TV audiences like complexity

Steven Moffat has branded critics of his shows Doctor Who and Sherlock “fairly stupid”.

Since he took over as showrunner of the BBC’s science-fiction hit in 2010, ratings have remained high, but some quarters have criticised some of the story arcs as too convoluted, particularly the saga of Alex Kingston‘s mysterious River Song. Sherlock, too, has been accused of being too hard to follow.

But in a new interview, Moffat has shrugged off the criticisms. He told BAFTA Guru:

There’s been a weird backlash among, I presume, fairly stupid people about the fact the shows are complicated and clever, but they’re both huge international hits.


He explained: “We make no apology. Don’t expect to do the ironing; sit down, pay attention and think about it. Audiences like complexity. They follow intricately plotted soap operas all the time. It depresses me when people say, ‘It’s all far too clever’.”

Despite the workload of running two such massive shows, Moffat added that he currently has no plans to step down, saying: “The moment it’s time to stop on a show is not an ambiguous feeling – you suddenly think, ‘I can’t do it anymore; I’ve had enough.”

Moffat will be presented with a special award at Sunday’s Arquiva BAFTA Television Awards. Doctor Who returns for new episodes in the autumn.