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The sky is burning

He's off, then, after all, just when I had expected that he would be doing the 2014 series. If, as some sources suggest, this is part of a general relaunch which will try to restore momentum for the series after three years of reduced episode counts and allegedly troubled production, then good luck to it; though increasingly globalised television production, and the relatively small sums available in British television, have exposed Matt Smith to opportunities to develop his career away from the madman in a box.

Years and years ago, Steven Moffat pointed out that had Tom Baker played the Doctor in the television environment of 1999 or 2000, one would have been lucky to get three years out of him as the offers would have poured in and he would have been spirited away to a new project. Happily, Doctor Who is not a television backwater now, and let's hope it never is again; but it might mean that we are unlikely to see a run of more than three series for any future Doctor, even if more money can be found (and experience in arranging co-productions was an essential or desirable factor, I recall, in the recent recruitment procedure which led to Brian Minchin being appointed as the new non-writing executive producer).

The production office change what the Doctor looks like without consulting fans or the press; as ever, whatever Steven Moffat says about there being someone out there, unknowing, ends in Doctor Who are moments that have been prepared for. Change and renewal is more important than just going on living. It's far from being all over, so keep warm while the ancient ritual of new Doctor-speculation unfolds.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/604308.html.


Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)

New Doctor pointless speculation table (roll 1d8):

1: Joanna Lumley
2: Richard E. Grant
3. Bill Nighy
4. That bloke whose name I've forgotten who was in 'The Next Doctor'
5. Tom Baker
6. John Simms
7. Benedict Cumberbuzzle
8. That bloke with the unspellable name who was the bad guy in the Firefly film

Guide to writing a new Doctor pointless speculation newspaper article:

1. Roll on the pointless speculation table.
2. Roll 2d6. This is the number of times you must mention in your article that Moffat said that the next Doctor could be female.
3. Insert the names of 1d6 famous actors who clearly won't do it.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 09:53 am (UTC)

This would make a lot of journalists' lives a lot easier.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 09:55 am (UTC)

You mean they don't use this already?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 10:31 am (UTC)

Perhaps, as the Master said to the Doctor at the end of The King's Demons part one, I have been naive...

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 10:28 am (UTC)

Absolutely true that there were some things Doctor Who could do in a backwater; I doubt that the attack on Jocelyn Stevens's managerialism at Times Newspapers which is one of the threads of The Green Death (though not the most prominent) would have got away without being widely noticed if this had been a Play for Today.

It's worth remembering that Moffat was always keen on bringing in someone 40+ to play the role, but with Doctor Who being so central to the BBC's positioning in 2008/9, this wasn't practical. Oddly, the loss of momentum since 2010 might be a help here, as well as changes in personnel at the BBC in the last few years.

I really doubt Cumberbatch is in the running. He is in great demand and has enough trouble scheduling three-film seasons of Sherlock. The fact he is associated with Sherlock on BBC1 makes it unlikely too - brand confusions and all.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

I like backwaters too, but the BBC no longer funds them (except the backwater that is BBC Three).

It has been claimed that Cumberbatch was offered the role before Smith and turned it down, but it was The Daily Mail doing the claiming, so I'd treat it sceptically. In any case, I think Cumberbatch is now too successful and expensive for Doctor Who.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 12:13 pm (UTC)

I suspect the Mail report was another instance of the press lifting some speculation from a forum and turning it into fact.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

They had a quote which they claimed was from Cumberbatch... This was long after Smith had been cast too. If anything, I suspect an over-enthusiastic Sherlock press release.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)

From what I remember, it was a misreporting of something Cumberbatch had said in another interview, which was less cut and dried than the Mail suggested.

Posted by: Matthew (emperor)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 07:47 am (UTC)

Hugh Laurie :-)

[I have finally caught up with the end of the current series; did you write about The Name of The Doctor somewhere?]

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)

I've not yet written up The Name of the Doctor - too much other writing to do, including on Doctor Who. I will do so probably within the month.