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Published on October 4th, 2007 | by Christian Cawley

Movie Time?

The Guardian newspaper has gone all out to suggest that a Doctor Who movie is in development. But is it reporting facts, or making it’s own assumptions based on second hand information and non-committal statements…?

It all stems from the decision to move the BBC films department from it’s central London location to a new base inside BBC Television Centre which was apparently designed to “cross-fertilise” film production with expertise from the comedy, natural history and news and current affairs departments.

BBC controller of fiction, Jane Tranter is quoted:

This move is not about making feature films about things that are on the television – those ideas are staring us in the face already and may seem too obvious,” Ms Tranter said.

However Tranter pointedly refused to rule out the possibility of a film version of Doctor Who, the department’s most successful drama series of recent years.

“I would not rule out a film version of Doctor Who, no,” she said.

There’s good news for David Tennant fans too…

Ms Tranter also hinted that actor David Tennant, who plays the current doctor, was likely to return to the role for a fifth series, even though he has agreed to play Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company next year.

“All we can say is that David is a fantastic doctor and that he is doing Hamlet,” she said.

…although little to confirm or deny Russell T Davies’ continued stewardship:

Ms Tranter also refused to be drawn on speculation that Steven Moffat was being lined up as a replacement for Davies – who is believed to be on the verge of leaving the show

The movie story, meanwhile, is developed further in The Guardian’s online Organ Grinder column, where according to Ben Dowell:

BBC Fiction boss Jane Tranter has pretty much ruled out making feature films based on the best of BBC drama – except for Doctor Who. What would you think if BBC Films decided to make a big screen tale of the Timelord?

Dowell also dismisses the James Nesbitt rumours, fuels the Davies-Moffatt succession and raised the idea of how wonderful it would be to have Martha and Rose in the TARDIS. And then finishes abruptly with:

Now the Doc is back, and bar the odd sabbatical, for good. It looks brilliant…is brilliant. But would a film be one step in the space time continuum too far?

If the BBC can do the series justice, then they should go for a movie version. However I suspect the amount of money needed to realise Dctor Who’s special effects on the big screen might restrict the possibilities.

Surely he should stay on television while money is an issue.

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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