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14 in 10

So, this confirms that – after the 2016 Christmas special – Doctor Who series 10 will consist of the standard-issue 13 episodes.

The Radio Times is reporting exclusively that Doctor Who series 10 will begin filming this May. Using some fag-packet maths then, a typical nine-month run should take it all the way to early 2017.

It’s currently understood that outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat will remain in place for a further fourteen episodes, including twelve episodes of season ten and the 2016 and 2017 Christmas Specials, before new head honcho Chris Chibnall steps in in 2018.

Additionally, “senior show sources” are reportedly yet to select who will be travelling with Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS as the Doctor’s Companion. “It is understood auditions for Jenna Coleman’s replacement have still not begun”, says the RT.

Doctor Who Magazine has asked Steven Moffat if he’ll present a plethora of two-parters again this time around, as served him pretty well in season 9. “Something else will happen [in series 10],” he said in response.

The Moff explained that “each year, we try to do something different – almost out of perversity, to make things more difficult for ourselves – so that we’re not getting into a groove, we’re not becomingly boringly expert at it, because there’s nothing so boring as when you get slick.”

“I was very happy to get rid of two-parters when I did, and [in series 9 I was] very happy to bring them back,” he added, leaving us to wonder what he’ll change this year.

And now, Peter Capaldi has discussed his own wishes for his new co-lead. Specifically, he isn’t particularly keen on having a male companion.

“With the best will in the world, I don’t want a bloke,” he told Radio Times, “because I’m frightened that they’ll give him all the action and I’ll be standing around spouting scientific gobbledygook… ‘Oh, Peter’s not up to chasing those Zygons down the corridor, let the chap do it.’ And that would be awful. I want to chase the Zygons!”

“I just think that combo of the slightly strange and alien Time Lord with the intelligent, enthusiastic and inquisitive girl is a good combo. I don’t know why – but it just seems to work,” he added.

Whether Capaldi gets his wish or not, we’ll keep you up to date as we hear more on Doctor Who series 10, and the incoming new companion.

Additionally Doctor Who Magazine #496 is now on sale. I know I just got mine in the mail yesterday.

Doctor Who Magazine 496 (Credit: Panini)

Sir John Hurt is appearing at Gallifrey One in LA this weekend.

SQUEE!

 

No Surprises

BBC bosses expect Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor Who after the next series – when writer Steven Moffat also steps down.

The 57-year-old’s tenure as the 12th Doctor is likely to end in 2017.

When new chief Chris Chibnall, who created Broadchurch, begins a new era in series 11, it is thought he will also get to choose his own Time Lord.

A source on the BBC show said: “Bosses are already discussing a fresh start when Steven leaves.

“They’ve been happy with what Peter has brought to the role but some think it might make sense to give Chris his own choice of actor to play the Doctor.

“They hope he will be able to find someone who can have the same impact as Matt Smith did when Steven Moffat kicked off his run as executive producer.”

The move would mirror what happened when Russell T. Davies – who brought the sci-fi series back in 2005 after 26 years – departed at the same time David Tennant left as the 10th Doctor.

A BBC spokesman said Capaldi was signed up for the 2017 series but beyond that said: “We don’t discuss contracts.”

“There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started.

“I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature.

“When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye.”

(The Mirror)

 

 

Chris Chibnall: THE NEW FACE OF WHO

Check out Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who CV (resume to us Americans): http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/23/new-tardis-boss-chris-chibnall-a-closer-look-at-his-doctor-who-stories-5640415/

Chibnallysis!

Bringing with him a wealth of showrunner experience and genuine fanboy credentials, Chibnall is a smart choice; coming as he does off the back of Broadchurch, his biggest success to date. Featuring nearly every actor to have appeared in Doctor Who, the hit ITV drama isn’t the only experience he has of being in charge of a big TV project.

He was previously involved as the de facto showrunner for Russell T Davies Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, which he ran for two series and, crucially for Doctor Who, penned finales for both series and the series 2 opener.

Along with Doctor Who – Chibnall penned 42, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three –  his time wrangling Captain Jack has given him experience of managing various tones and settings; a must for anyone looking to shape the world the Doctor inhabits.

If we were looking for themes to build a series upon, family and domesticity play an important part in most of Chibnall’s episodes – it was Chibnall who introduced Brian, Rory’s father, and took him on an adventure with the Doctor – along with a focus on celebrity historical guest stars like Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

Could this attention towards family and domesticity mean we’re heading back to Russell T Davies era home-life? And, what with the Torchwood connection, will this all be tempered with a darker, watershed baiting edge that’s become familiar under Moffat?

Outside the Doctor Who connection, he also served as a showrunner on ITV crime drama Law and Order: UK, Arthurian drama Camelot for Channel 4; was a producer or writer for BBC 1’s Born and Bred, helped develop Merlin and was the only guest writer to work on both series of Life on Mars.

Then there’s the acclaimed one-off dramas including The Great Train Robbery and United – about the Manchester United Munich air disaster staring the Tenth Doctor himself David Tennant (it’s great, a personal favourite of mine)

And, let’s face it, if nothing else comes from all this experience, Broadchurch has taught him to be discreet.

Without wanted to draw too many conclusions from his past, whatever happens in the future, Chibnall will almost certainly give us something unexpected, something familiar and hopefully, something that builds on past successes.

So what do you think of Chibnall’s appointment? What changes do you want to see under his tenure? What don’t you want to see? What’s your favourite Chibnall episode/drama? (kasterborous)

Changing of The Guard

But not until 2018.

And, by the way, it will be an extra long Doctor Who Winter.

Only a Doctor Who Christmas special will air in 2016. Moffat’s final series to be broadcast next year in order to create a “huge event” for fans. Chibnall will begin his tenure in 2018.

All the Moffat haters just let a collective SQUEE!!!

I was never a hater, but I did think it was time. But he did produce one of the best season in a long time this past 2015 so I am sorry to see him go, but everything has its time.

Steven Moffat has decided that his “timey wimey” as showrunner of Doctor Who has come to an end and he will step down as the show’s lead writer and executive producer after six series at the helm, RadioTimes.com can reveal.

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat quits to be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall

Moffatt will hand over the keys to the TARDIS at the end of the next series in 2017 to Broadchurch writer and Doctor Who fan Chris Chibnall.

BBC1 has decided to air Moffat’s final 12-part series – the 10th of the modern era – in spring 2017. Chibnall’s debut series as head writer and executive producer will launch in 2018.

A Christmas special WILL air this year overseen by Moffat, though it is unclear whether Peter Capaldi’s new companion will feature. The companion, who will replace Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald, will definitely be in place for the spring 2017 series, say BBC sources.

No word on Chibnall I being Spring 2018.

Explaining the decision to hold Moffat’s last series until next year, BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: “I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel.   2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 – I promise it will be worth the wait!”

It is unclear if the plan is now to make Doctor Who a series which regularly begins its runs in the spring when Chibnall becomes showrunner. “That is all to be decided,” said a BBC source, who pointed out that it began airing in the spring when it was relaunched by Russell T Davies in 2005.

Moffat said of his decision to quit: “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

Moore, who next month takes over a super controller’s job at the BBC, paid tribute to Moffat and welcomed Chibnall into the Doctor Who fold. 

“I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy,” she added. “I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.”

 

Like Moffat, Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved success with the triple BAFTA winning hit ITV series Broadchurch. His other credits include BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood.

He said: “Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world.  So it’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.  Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who’s creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult.”

Polly Hill, BBC controller of drama commissioning, added: “Like Charlotte I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure.  Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist!  Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for Doctor Who fans across the world.”

 

So buckle down, it’s going to be a Long Winter’s Nap for the good Doctor.

But we have some new Presents coming in 2018.

What do you want to bet the debut of The 13th Doctor as well…

 

Future War

I am not a fan or rumor mongering. But I find the possibility of the following to be true, interesting.

Private Eye, the British satirical magazine, really has become a font of knowledge for the inside goings-on at the Doctor Who production offices.

Satire has a layer of truth in it. I know, I love satire.

Doctor Who fans are just over a month away from an explosive new season of the show—but apparently that might be the last drip of new episodes we get for a while, with a rumor claiming that the show won’t be returning in 2016. At least for a full season.

The rumor comes from British satirical magazine Private Eye, known for its commentary on the goings-on behind the scenes at the BBC. Their latest issue reported today that with Steven Moffat busy with his other series, the monstrously popular Sherlock, the BBC staff have been informed not to expect a tenth season of Doctor Who to air next year.

Could that be why the BBC announced the renewal of Doctor Who so early? They wanted the fans to know that if it goes “on haitus” like it did in 1985 that it doesn’t mean cancellation. Or it could have been a political move, like in 1985’s “hiatus” that lasted 18 months and would have been indefinite except for pressure from many quarters.

So is history about to repeat itself?

The BBC is currently “under attack” according to many by the Conservative tories in power right now to be less of a Governent entity and to survive on its own merits.

Steven Moffat ripped the British government Saturday during “Sherlock’s” TCA panel, calling the potential for the BBC’s pulled public funding “vandalism of the worst kind.”

“I think what’s going on is outrageous. It’s absolutely terrible and wrong and ill conceived,” Moffat told a Beverly Hilton ballroom full of TV critics. “It staggers me that we’ve got a government [that] got elected, and decided that the main problem with Britain is our national broadcasting. Does anybody think that?”

“They must have something more important to do,” he continued. “The trouble is, it’s an oddity — the BBC — to say the least. It’s an extraordinary oddity that it’s so good. You don’t ordinarily have a national broadcaster that is that amazing.”

The British government is currently considering yanking public funding from the famed BBC, instead potentially insisting on a subscription fee to keep the TV model specifically afloat. The radio arm is more likely to stay focused on public programming and thus less likely to be abandoned by the government.

“If we switch it off, we won’t know how to put it back on again,” Moffat opined, calling the BBC “a beacon and an icon.” He added: “And everything … will be less good.”

“To damage that for temporary political gain is vandalism of the worst kind,” he concluded.

So Private Eye alleges:

The report also alleges that the decision comes from an ongoing tussle between the BBC and Steven Moffat, who is under pressure from the corporation to stand down from Doctor Who and commit his time to Sherlock, instead of attempting to manage two of the BBC’s most popular dramas at the same time.

Private Eye have a proven track record of Doctor Who rumors, accurately reporting on the departure of former producers as well as the show’s previous scheduling decisions. It’s interesting to note that the report also says that there is no “full” series planned, leaving the potential open for a series of specials (similar to the show’s hiatus in 2009, following the departure of both David Tennant and Russell T Davies) or even as was the case with seasons 6 and 7, the option of a split series—an unpopular move—with some episodes airing in 2016 and the rest airing in 2017.

Whatever the case is though, it seems like there’s a good chance Doctor Who fans might be spending a good chunk of next year twiddling their thumbs in anticipation

Since I have held the belief for many decades about TV, specifically US TV, that the program is just there to take up the space between the commercials and whatever fills that more successfully and profitably is what we’ll get then the BBC may be headed in that direction in some form or fashion which mean Doctor Who is even more “just a commodity” than it is now.

Make no mistake, it is a profit machine now. And its profits that really matter.

What’s going on is a culture war between the old BBC ideals and the new 21st Century realities. And they clash. HARD.

And the outcome will effect our favorite program’s future.

It could also be a power struggle between Moffatt and the BBC interlaced with the politics of money.

Remember Phillip Hinchcliffe? Remember John Nathan-Turner??

It would not be the first time the BBC and the Head of Doctor Who clashed.

The future is unknown.

But like The Doctor, we have to have hope that he will triumph once again.

We’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe until 2017.

Hope for the best. Prepare a LONG winter.