There’s a popular joke I’ve seen floating around on Tumblr for a while now. It goes like this:
“Joss Whedon, Steven Moffat and George R.R. Martin walk into a bar and everyone you’ve ever loved dies.”
Here’s the problem, though: George R. R. Martin and Joss Whedon are, of course, infamous for killing off the characters that they know are almost universally beloved by fans for precisely the reason that they are beloved and Martin and Whedon know it’ll have huge emotional impact. They pick the harmless bunny of the group and then give them some brutal offing — Tara onBuffy, Wash on Serenity, Ned Stark in A Game of Thrones being an easy handful of examples. But who has Steven Moffat actually killed off?
The two-parter that he wrote during the Christopher Eccleston/Russell T. Davies era literally ends with the Doctor blissfully proclaiming that “Just this once — everybody lives!” In fact, a woman who lost her leg years earlier is restored to bipedalism by space magic. It was an amazing, heartwarming scene specifically because of the first part of that sentence — “just this once.”