Doctor Who News Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat with new companion Jenna Coleman

Published on May 21st, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

BBC “Shake Up” Series 7?

The structure of Doctor Who Series 7 has been something of a mystery to fans since last June when the entire future of the show was in baffled confusion for a few hours.

Since learning that the show would appear in the autumn – hopefully on dark nights – fans have expressed relief and satisfaction, but a recent interview with Steven Moffat has suggested that there is in fact more to it than moving the show to be in a more seasonally suitable time slot.

Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat with new companion Jenna ColemanWith five episodes due before Christmas, a sixth – introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman – for Christmas itself and then another 8 in 2013, the shape of Series 7 continues to fascinate and befuddle Whovians. And now it seems that the Moff wasn’t responsible for the decision…

“I don’t know, on this occasion, that the thinking particularly came from me, actually. I’ve always been open to anything that shakes [the series] up. I think that decision actually came from the BBC.

“But I’ve been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes Doctor Who an event piece.”

Interesting words. Could this be tacit confirmation that the 50th anniversary episode will in fact form part of the Series 7 recording?

Or is it more about keeping the viewing public on its toes?

“The more Doctor Who becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. You’ve got to shake it up, you’ve got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back.

“So keeping Doctor Who as an event, and never making people feel, ‘Oh, it’s lovely, reliable old Doctor Who – it’ll be on about this time, at that time of year’. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house – ultimately invisible. And I don’t want that to ever be the case.”

We’re not sure that this is exactly true – viewing figures certainly don’t back this idea up, which seems to be a case of creating facts to fit an agenda.



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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+.

5 Responses to BBC “Shake Up” Series 7?

  1. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    I don’t think this is anything to worry about. I think they’ve put this long break in to prepare for the media blitz next year.

  2. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    I think this does make sense. Pretty much each year, there’s been a shake up or change of some sort, whether it’s a change of Doctor, change of companion or change of time slot or series start dates. After series 4, RTD gave us a barren 2009 just to whet the appetites again, and I think that’s playing into this reconfiguration a bit as well.

    I have no problem as after the past series, I’m in need of a bit of a rest from the show for a while. Things are going to be pretty Who-crazy starting this fall and probably most of next year so I’m good with the wait.

  3. avatar Mr Brak says:

    The show seemed to survive for quite a long time without viewers having to play ‘Where’s Wally’ with the scheduling. In fact, when it went to weekdays in the Davison era, that created a downshift in popularity, if I remember correctly.

  4. avatar Victor says:

    “We’re not sure that this is exactly true – viewing figures certainly don’t back this idea up, which seems to be a case of creating facts to fit an agenda.”

    They’re saying they don’t WANT it to become like that, but that fear it could; so they are considering ways to avoid it ever happening. Makes sense.

  5. avatar ChrisM says:

    If the 50th anniversary – all the way off in November 2013 – is part of s7, then it means a longer wait for s8.

    I despair of such thinking…it will only lose its audience so that only the die hard cult fans (like me) remain and frankly I want the show to be at the forefront of people’s minds.

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