Doctor Who’ showrunner Steven Moffat has spoken out over claims that the show has become ‘misogynist’ since he took over as lead writer. In a survey carried out last year by group of US university students, it was found that women on the show had less speaking time and fewer speaking roles under Moffatt.

Peter Capaldi Doctor WhoPeter Capaldi in 'Doctor Who'.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Moffatt said it was a “complicated issue”, adding: “The general point being made by these people is correct. We need better female role models on screen.” However the writer said he doesn't understand why his show is the one being single out as ‘misogynist’.

“Maybe this is my dimwittery but I do not understand why Doctor Who of all shows is singled out as misogynist. I’m sure I’m to the left of a lot of my detractors.” Moffat also added that he was “married to a very powerful woman”, producer Sue Vertue, who he works with on ‘Sherlock’.

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‘Doctor Who’s’ current companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), is leaving the show at the end of the current series after three years. Addressing her departure Moffat said he wanted to emphasise the impact her leaving will have on the Doctor.

“'Doctor Who' does that form of bereavement rather well. We have an emotionally engaged hero and those women he knows are not like James Bond girls. They don’t just disappear between movies. When the Doctor ends a friendship, it tears him apart,” Moffat said.

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But despite her impending departure, a replacement has not yet been found for Coleman. “A new companion gives us the chance to relaunch the show, and we’ve got a really cool new idea about how to do that,” he added.

As for Moffat, he has no plans to leave the show, after taking over as the head writer in 2010. “Everything is difficult in Doctor Who, including leaving,” Moffat said. “I’d never leave it in the lurch because it means too much to me. Let’s not pretend it’s not a big problem, but there will be a solution.”