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Published on July 20th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Christmas Shooting “Behind Schedule”?

Okay… we’ll tread carefully with this one given the hoo-hah caused by the last article we quoted from Private Eye magazine (which multiple sources have refused to either confirm or deny) and take a slightly different tack.

We’ll skip all of the production team-level gossip (there’s plenty of news about that can of dust set to be announced in the not-too-distant future…) and skate over Steven Moffat’s “fulsome praise” for his departed colleagues and think about the best day of the year, Christmas.

Who was expecting the Christmas special to have entered production by now? Usually the special starts shooting as as the previous season airs, acting as the first production block of the following run: this was the case throughout the RTD era and something similar also occurred in 2010 with A Christmas Carol. (It has of course been reported in DWM that an Autumn shoot is planned.)

Scurrilous purveyors of truth and satire Private Eye, however, report that we “will not see cameras roll until September”.

They go on:

“Filming on the next series customarily starts shortly afterwards: this time the Tardis [sic] is unlikely to take flight before February next year.”

We have no doubt that the episode will be completed on time – after all, there are plenty of days left in the 2011 calendar – and we heartily look forward to it.

However, what we’re not too happy about is the potential loss of a new 50th anniversary Doctor Who partwork that was being developed by BBC Magazines. According to the same Private Eye article, plans for this were shelved based on a comparison of 2009 sales figures with projected figures for 2012, a period with either fewer episodes or a radically different series structure.

(With thanks to James and Joe)


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About the Author


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+.

8 Responses to Christmas Shooting “Behind Schedule”?

  1. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    Latest Doctor Who magazine said it starts in the Autumn. So no story here.

  2. avatar James McLean says:

    I think the story is not the time of shooting, but the query of whether they are possible behind schedule and why – and moreover, that the BBC is uncomfortable with the possibility of a mini-season given the drop in sales for the RTD one. Quite a lot of story there if you ask me!

  3. avatar farsighted99 says:

    This is a bit old news, except for the part about the 50th anniversary Doctor Who book. If they don’t do it, at least Doctor Who Magazine will.

    I think we knew they weren’t going to shoot the Christmas Special until September and start filming series 7 in February for awhile now. The question is whether we get 14 episodes in 2012 or not, as it looks like it’s going to be in the fall for transmission.

    You left out the bit about the party. ;)

    • LOL, yeah we left quite a bit out :)

      This article took about five hours to write and straddled two baby feeds here at K Towers, so perhaps wasn’t initially as focussed as it perhaps should have been. I’ve made a couple of changes to the original, such as throwing the “” back into the title and qualifying the late schedule as being revealed by DWM. QUite why these things were omitted is beyond me, but as I’m the writer in this case, it’s my fault!

      The lack of an anniversary partwork collection is hugely disappointing, I hope that they perhaps rethink this and aim it at mature fans or make it available via Radio Times, for instance.

  4. avatar krumstets says:

    Private Eye have at least stuck to their story and their sources are usually reliable.
    However, maybe this is part of slowly shifting the filming so that it the Christmas special can be filmed a few months later than normal since there is no hurry to start filming the next season- as that won’t be on until the autumn?
    I don’t mind if it gets shifted to an autumn/winter transmission. ….would be much better for the programme.
    ( Well much better for me anyway – I Just prefer it that way ! )

  5. avatar Alex says:

    For the benefit of readers outside the UK, could someone please explain what a “partwork” is? And exactly what was being planned as the article doesn’t explain. Thanks.

  6. avatar Naff says:

    Go to Wikipedia and look up partwork. There is a great description there.

  7. avatar Bob says:

    Well, with Arthur Darvill booked up until Oct. 2nd this year, if he’s going to be part of the Christmas special and Series 7, then delaying would be a good thing. Unless he’s not part of Doctor Who any longer (or Karen Gillan, for that matter)???

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