Doctor Who: no new series in 2016?

doctor who peter capaldi shh 2016 series 9 private eye rumour steven moffat chris chibnall

Have you heard the latest Private Eye rumours? 

The BBC doesn’t want Moffat to leave Doctor Who or Sherlock, apparently, so to give him a slightly more humane and manageable schedule, Doctor Who in 2016 will be a series of specials, a la 2009. Which is interesting. There’s all sorts of other things floating around really – Moffat is booked in until 2020, apparently, and also the only person the BBC would want to replace him is Chibnall, presumably off of the back of Broadchurch, except Chibnall isn’t interested, so Moffat stays. (That is really just speculation, for the record. And not on my part, either; just rumours that hav been floating around)

Which is… well, a lot of that sounds a bit far fetched (if it’s true, I’m fairly surprised that Gatiss didn’t even get a look in) but I can believe the 2016 specials thing. Which… ehh, I’m not too fussed. I can see them taking the opportunity to try and play around with the format a little bit – maybe it’d be a Children of Earth style five day event, or maybe they’d have five 75 minute episodes or something. It could work, to treat Doctor Who as more of an event like that – especially since everything since Day of the Doctor has been done with one eye on a cinema screening! The only major worry is that it’d essentially limit the amount of time we’d have with Peter Capaldi. If he only does three years, and one of them is a set of specials… or, if they transition to the new format, maybe the schedule would be less gruelling, and he’d be willing to stay for longer?

It occurs to me that I’m actually okay with all of this, bar a few worries for Moffat – it’s good to give him a more human schedule, but honestly, I always assumed that if it came down to it, he’d choose Sherlock. That seems like the obvious choice – he’s always been keenly aware of the fact that Doctor Who existed before him, and actively wants it to exist after him.

(I find it ironic, actually, that there was talk about just ending Doctor Who with The End of Time? The Powers that Be were unconvinced it could work with Moffat and Smith. Which is understandable, I suppose – they hadn’t brought back Doctor Who, they’d brought back RTD’s Doctor Who. So transitioning to Moffat’s Who was a risk. Now, of course, it’s reached a point where seemingly transitioning away from Moffat’s Who is a risk – because all the work he’s done to allow the show to stand on its own legs makes him seem irreplaceable!)

But, anyway, that’s why he went on to do so much promotion, and try to really make the show take off in America, and things like that. Because he was trying to ensure the show could survive after him. And now, I suppose, he’s shot himself in the foot, because they think it can’t survive without him!)

Ultimately though… I’m actually optimistic about this. Because this going to give Doctor Who a chance to shake up its format a little bit, and maybe come back with something a little newer, a little fresher, and a little more innovative.

Isn’t that what Doctor Who is all about?

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