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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Doctor Who movie stalls in development hell and 50 years and counting

Away with you, Daleks
Is the long talked about, but little actually done about it, Doctor Who big screen outing doomed to development hell? Most recently the BBC were linking director, David Yates to the project but once again things have gone quiet. And there are even concerns within the BBC that a big screen movie would undermine the TV series and fans are not happy that David Yates seemed to be suggesting that any big screen movie would be a reboot rather than a continuation of the TV show. Whatever happens the smart money is on it being a long long time before we see a Doctor Who big screen movie.

This is not the first time that a Doctor Who movie has failed to get off the ground and in the past we've had such names linked to the role as Donald Sutherland and, believe it or not, Michael Jackson. Of course there were two movies made in the Sixties with Peter Cushing in the title role but these were remakes of TV adventures rather than an all new story. And of course there was that TV movie starring Paul McGann who would have made a great Doctor had he been given more time in the role, but alas that was not to be. Well ignoring the fact that the actor has played the role in a string of excellent audio adventures for Big Finish Productions.

Next year will see the show celebrating fifty years and what the BBC will do to mark the occasion is unknown. In past years we've had special shows such as in 1973 when the three actors to have played the role up to that point were brought together in a story to celebrate the tenth anniversary, and then a decade later the BBC gave us a story called The Five Doctors to celebrate the Twentieth anniversary. Will we see a story featuring all eleven Doctors? Of course the first three actors to have played the role are all dead, but then first doctor, William Hartnell had passed away years before, The Five Doctors and the role was recast. Though this would be unlikely as recasting the first three Doctors would be controversial and quite probably impossible. Could CGI, we wonder, be the answer? There is also the possibility that the BBC could place the current Doctor in a multiple Masters storyline.

Fifty Years would be the optimum time to release a big screen movie but that's not going to happen, as the movie would need to have been well into filming by now if it were to make the anniversary. And all the BBC have confirmed is that they will be revamping the DVD range and reissuing the Doctor Who DVD's in all new  packaging, though they are promising that 2013, anniversary year, will be an especially strong year for Doctor Who.

Me in Doctor Who episode, Daleks in Manhatten
Will we have The Multiple Masters?
Current show leader, Steven Moffet has dropped hints that the 50th will not pass without a big bang and rumours are flying around at the speed of knots - According to a report in The Express newspaper, the Master will be back for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary and be played by Sherlock himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.A source apparently told the paper: “It’s fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the 50th anniversary and it’s felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work.” And Paul McGann has said that he would love to return to the role for an anniversary special. “Being Doctor Who, there’s always anniversaries looming large – celebration programmes and episodes,” McGann recently explained to Digital Spy. “I’m often asked, ‘If they get the Doctors together, would you do it?’ and of course, I’d do it. They’ve just got to ring me up!”  And Stephen Moffat recently told The Scotsman newspaper - “I genuinely haven’t got a plan,” Moffat claims, “except I’ll probably have to stop at some point or I’ll die. And dying would be bad. But my main concern is not so much how long I do it, but that I absolutely, definitely am going to be handing it on to somebody else. I want it to be in great shape, and some day I want somebody else to come in and knock my socks off with what they do with it. You don’t want to be the last person in the relay race, do you?” Who fan and bestselling author Neil Gaimen has hinted that he would love to write an eleven doctors story, “The real dream story is the one you cannot do because technology is not there and people have died. The Eleven Doctors - the trouble is do you have actors playing these people? Do you have someone doing a Tom Baker? How do you do that?” 

Er, Tom's not dead, mind!
 Though he may be a little portly to reprise the role!

Art Lee Sullivan -

 One thing is certain and that is that there will be a massive amount of interest in Doctor Who for next year's anniversary and it would be unbelievable if the tight lipped BBC didn't have some kind of special show planned. Will we see The Eleven Doctors then? Well, with CGI and clever casting it's not totally unthinkable.

What, we wonder, do the BBC have up their sleeves to mark this milestone? It's going to be interesting finding out.

COMING TO THE ARCHIVE - To celebrate the time lord turning 50 we have a Doctor Who Weekend in the pipeline which will include interviews, features and all sorts of nonsense as we post fifty Doctor Who related posts over the weekend. Be here.


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Michael Martin said...

There was a Ten Doctors webcomic that I read ages ago, it also contained an absolute ton of villains, assistants and supporting characters, and featured great moments like the second Doctor meeting Davros and not knowing who he is.

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