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Published on April 9th, 2008 | by Simon Mills

2007 Round Table – Part 3 (page 2)

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Anthony finishes off the speculation on S4, hoping that, “we get more episodes directed by Euros Lyn, who’s shown over the past three years that he can tackle just about every type of story. It’s time somebody gave him the big end of series shoot-out that he no doubt wants to helm! Oh, and James Hawes too – but one gets the feeling that he’s already moved onto pastures new!”

Christian and Steve finish picking up the foamy peanut things and the conversation moves on to what lies beyond S4. I think Christian was a bit incensed by the press release that announced the ‘gap year’ of 2009… “Hopefully, first and foremost, the BBC has sacked the mock-Campbell amateur who composed that utter ball of shite that went under the guise of a press release. This Labour Government have an awful lot to answer for, not least intelligence-insulting spin, but for the BBC to treat the fans in a manner that echoes the days of the hiatus is frankly gasp-inducing. Surely the show runner was involved here to some degree? What was he thinking?!”

Nick, on the other hand, thinks that, “with less of a rush to complete an entire series of scripts this time, perhaps the writers will have more time to really polish their scripts and come up with some real top-class writing in series 5. So no, I’m not as up in arms as some are.”

Christian thinks that some good may come out of this great evil, though, “The only saving grace – if there is one – is that it took the current team around 6 months to mount Series 1, and I suspect that what is happening here is a new production team will be put together during 2009, plus hopefully a shift in time slot from spring and summer to winter for the 2010 series.”

Talk of a new production team starts Terra speculating that he feels that “the BBC are scared that they can’t do anything without RTD. They should be pursuing Steven Moffatt or any number of people to helm the show without RTD, if nothing else just to have a change of pace and see what that could be. Russell did a great job with the show, but his episodes have often been put down by the work of others. Perhaps it is time for a break for him as the BBC suggests, but it would be nice not to make fans suffer through with only 3 episodes because you can have RTD for the full year. Perhaps I have it wrong, but they don’t go out on a limb to explain their decisions either. Ideally they could give RTD a year off to other things and then bring him back in for series 5 if they like. This way we still get a full 13 episodes and they got to see if it would work or not.”

There are some divided opinions on the gap year subject, with Nick thinking, “it might be a good thing in the long run… David Tennant actually wants to be the Doctor so that can only be a good thing. He could easily have said ‘Right, I’m off doing Hamlet – thanks very much for everything’ but he didn’t. He appears to care about the role.”

And in the other corner, we have Anthony, who is “angry about the 2009 ‘gap’ year”, but goes on to say, “but if it means a better 2010 series then I’m all for it. As long as the BBC don’t turn the rest period into another Colin Baker style cancellation farce. But there is no reason for them to do that as Dr Who is now the most popular show on TV, it pulls in award after award and is a massive money spinner.”

Matthew thinks the move is either “a remarkable feat of cunning broadcasting dexterity or knee-jerk panic at the original NEW SERIES crew’s need to move on.” He echoes Christian’s wishes when he goes on to talk about scheduling, “the only benefit could be that SERIES 5′s production could be shunted to a January – September schedule for an October-December 2010 broadcast” and then points out a massive missed opportunity, “The 2009 specials could have themselves been ditched in favour of a one-off cinema production featuring Tennant’s Doctor, Tate’s Donna Noble and Terry Nation’s Daleks.”

Anthony has his own ideas for the specials, and that is for “Russell T Davies to write just one of 2009′s specials. The man’s episodes are fine and dandy, but I much prefer the more adult oriented Moffatt/Cornell scripts. Can we just have one special by Davies, maybe one by Moffatt and one by somebody like Mark Gatiss or Gareth Roberts?” He feels, though, that they will encompass “the return of Rose Tyler (one last time before Tennant leaves), a Dalek story (pretty much guaranteed!) and some sort of crossover with ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’… this could be the Doctor’s final farewell to Sarah Jane Smith – sort of like how ‘The X Files’ wrapped up the ‘Millennium’ storyline.”

Steve doesn’t care about the 2009 “quiet period” because he hardly has “enough time to watch the ten thousand episodes of Dr Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane… K9… animated series… Declassified… Confidential…as it is!” He also seems to think that “the less episodes the better” when it comes to Donna…and Rose. Rather enigmatically, he also says, “I did actually hear the truth behind the show getting reduced numbers of episodes, but I couldn’t possibly comment on that. There would be an uprising.”

That’s it for this year, folks! Kopic hopes that you’ve enjoyed reading this series of articles as much as he’s enjoyed writing them and that some of the wild ideas discussed have whetted your appetites for the upcoming new series.

I think we’ll let Anthony have the last word for this year’s Round Table…

“Let’s just hope that the episodes are popular enough that come 2010, the good Doctor will still be every bit a hit as it is today. With Moffatt on board as Head Writer/Executive Producer.”

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