Doctor Who News Doc1

Published on December 2nd, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Moffat Clarifies Movie Madness

It’s all movie news today, it seems – Steven Moffat has Tweeted this morning about the BBC Worldwide project with Harry Potter director David Yates, who has previously claimed that a Doctor Who movie would be a reboot (“we have to put that aside and start from scratch”) revealing they have a three-year project plan.

Moffat has very kindly given fans some considerable clarity on the situation to followers on Twitter. First, he began by restating Doctor Who’s long and valuable history:

“To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot”

He was also very kind to Yates, pointing out that it’s easy to talk nonsense on a red carpet.

“Movie thing: David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet. You’ve seen the rubbish I talk when I’m cornered.”

The cynical among you might wonder if these statements indicate that the project has effectively been cancelled, however there is no reason to suspect this as the film is in the very early stages of pre-production. Either way, it is encouraging to see that the people who know how to make Doctor Who would be involved in any movie.

(Thanks to Paddy, Eric, John, Paul, Super_Licencee and Pob)


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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 Moffat Clarifies Movie Madness

  1. avatar Alex says:

    The sad part is you go onto some forums and people are using Moffat’s “clarification” as an excuse to bash him! My favorite is “Is he trying to get fired?” Fired for defending a 50-year-old franchise recognized officially as the BBC’s biggest cash cow – that’s rich. Anyone see Alex Kingston and Craig Ferguson discussing the movie on his show the other night? Craig – one of DW’s biggest and most visible Stateside supporters – doesn’t seem very cheery with the idea of a reboot movie.

    And anyone who thinks the “BBC team” can’t produce a Hollywood-style movie clearly haven’t been watching Doctor Who the last 6 years. The End of Time, Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, Wedding of River Song, Doctor’s Wife … the show has provided many cinema-like experiences. All they’d need to change is the camera lenses and maybe spring for a few extra bucks for SFX and a big name guest star who otherwise wouldn’t do TV.

    • Voyage of the Damned is probably the most cinematic-looking episode for me, but you’re spot on Alex

      • avatar Alex says:

        And it was an omission I regret because I agree 100%. If this were the 1960s or even the 1980s, Voyage of the Damned would have been a theatrical release. It is very much the most cinematic of the TV Whos to date and shows what the show is capable of on the small screen.

  2. avatar Frank Dana says:

    As I’ve stated before, a reboot isn’t necessary to bring in a new Doctor. There is a whole untold story about the Doctor and the Timelords prior to the 1963 William Hartnel era. The Doctor was married had children and a Grandaughter and he stole a Tardis and left gallifrey and regenerated at some point. We just assume that Hartnell was the first Doctor. In the Brain of Morbius,they flashed back through the Doctor’s incarnations and kept going past Hartnell.

    • avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

      I don’t think that’s the way to go, it would erode the mystery of the character.

      I like to imagine his earlier life on Gallifrey or how he’s supposed to know Omega and Rassilon and personally I think fans’ minds is the best place for this stuff to stay…and i love that scene in Morbius which undeniably were intended to be former incarnations (andjust listen to Morbius’ dialogue!) by the production team of the time.

      The Hollywood obsession with origin stories isn’t particularly healthy and has produced many many duds and few gems. All you need for Doctor Who is a madman with a box.

      Comparing the success of the modern series to the McGann TV movie, just llok at the huge error in strating off with the Doctor and the paiinful info-dumping. Compare this to Rose or Eleventh Hour, where you focus on an ordinary human’s response, or the very first episode.

      I really think an origin story is a bad idea. It will probably happen one day though, unfortunately.

      • avatar Alex says:

        Right now the only way I can see a “reboot” working is if they establish on TV that the 13-life limit definitely no long applies (they seem to be pushing that direction anyway) and then the movie is set up in such a way that we’re not looking at a new version of the 1st Doctor or some amalgam (such as casting Johnny Depp as the Third Doctor and pairing him with Selena Gomez as Susan Foreman and Justin Bieber as Turlough (and yeah that last one actually works!)) but for all we know it could be the 24th Doctor. But unfortunately this being Hollywood the Depp-Gomez-Bieber option is the more likely. You’ll forgive some of us for not trusting Hollywood but, well, we don’t. ;)

  3. avatar Alex says:

    The Sun (yeah, our favorite newspaper) just ran an interview with Moffat that was a combination brief quote and reiteration of the Twitter notice, but it reinforces the message and has been picked up as a headline item on the LA Times’ Zap 2 It entertainment site:

  4. avatar nel says:

    I’m not sure that i see this as any form of clarification. in fact Moffatt’s comment worries me because it seems that once again he and the BBC aren’t talking to each other. Yates has made more than one comment about the Who film, including some in written publications where he wasn’t in a red-carpet situation, and some of his comments have been fairly detailed about what’s being planned. If he made his comments without BBC knowledge or approval, the BBC have had ample time to make a statement or clarification, but haven’t. Moffat’s comments may be what we wish would happen, but i still feel like the movie project as mentioned by Yates is going forward unless something specific happened on friday to change that.

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