It doesn’t appear as if Doctor Who will be dropping by Comic-Con 2016, but ahead of Steven Moffat’s final season, the longtime showrunner seems to be letting it all hang out. Not only does a new interview see Moffat admitting some major mistakes in both Season 7 and the Season 9 premiere, but also when we’ll finally meet Pearl Mackie’s new companion Bill.

The newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (via CultBox) sees Moffat getting reasonably candid for a writer-showrunner gearing up for their final season, admitting to a few missteps in recent years. For one, it seems Moffat struggled to balance Season 7 exiting Matt Smith and introducing Clara, as well the 50th anniversary, saying:

Well, there was a long time when I thought I’d only do three years. That was the absolute plan … But I didn’t enjoy my third year as much. It was a bit miserable … The workload was just insane. I wasn’t coping as well. No-one else’s fault, all mine. The 50th was looming, and I didn’t know if we could make it work. It was a tough, tough time. My darkest hour on Who was that. […]

Matt [Smith], who was a friend and ally, was leaving – I couldn’t get him to stay. It felt like everything was blowing up around me. I was staggering into the 50th, with no Doctors contracted to appear in it, battered with endless hate mail about how I hadn’t got William Hartnell back … and Sherlock Series Three at the same time … I was pretty miserable by the end of it, and I coudn’t bear to let that be the end.

Not only that, but Moffat even felt Season 9 got off to a rough start, to have little fanfare in reintroducing Peter Capaldi and Clara’s adventures:

First episodes are tough, and I feel as though I slightly fumbled it last year by not having a ‘new thing’ in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice.’ It was the same Doctor, same companion … You want to persuade people to tune in because a brand new thing is happening.

Brand new things are definitely on the horizon for Season 10, including a brand-new companion, though Moffat specifically noted we’d meet Pearl Mackie’s new character in 2017, rather the upcoming 2016 Christmas Special:

We’ll introduce [Bill] in the first episode of 2017, and she’ll run through that series. She’ll not be in Christmas [2016], because that would blow the series launch … So there’ll be somebody else – a different, guest companion – this Christmas, like how River Song played the companion role in last year’s Special.

We also know Chris Chibnall will take over from Moffat after the spring season in 2017, but does Moffat have a point about struggling through Seasons 7 and 9? Will 10 right the TARDIS, especially with a new companion aboard?

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