Doctor Who News Shhh

Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

A Full Season for Series Eight?

While on the one hand we’ve been pre-occupied by the surprising news that Matt Smith is to leave during this year’s Christmas special, on the other we have rumours about what form Series Eight is going to take.

Matt The End of Time

Amongst the fully deserved outpouring for the departing Doctor was a quick line in the original piece released before the embargo by Bleeding Cool stating that:

“They’ll also be announcing how many new episodes we’ll get, and it won’t be one of those cut-in-two seasons like we’ve just been through. In fact, we’ve heard talk that it’s going to run right up to a finale that is also the Christmas special.”

At the moment, it’s pure speculation but the prospect of a full Doctor Who series that runs through the autumn months is an enticing one and it would appear that the BBC have listened to criticism of the split series format.

Daily Mail

However, it will also mean that there’s a substantial wait between the Twelfth Doctor’s first appearance this yuletide and his first adventure later the following year – admittedly, it’s a small price to pay for an extended run of episodes and is no different to the downtime between the split seasons.

So are you happy with a potential return to the old format? Where you a fan of the split season format? Should the Christmas finale serve as the finale or should it be a stand-alone episode?


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

20 Responses to A Full Season for Series Eight?

  1. avatar Joe Jepsen says:

    I wish there was an episode every two weeks, all year long. That would give us 24 episodes a year instead of the sparse 12 – 14 we get now.

  2. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I don’t necessarily think the split format is a bad thing, as long as its split in the same year, like Season 6 was. But if they want to return to a full season run in one go, I wouldn’t complain about that either.

  3. avatar Nirah says:

    I’m so relieved that they’re returning to the older format. I absolutely hate the split format! The newest season (though I liked it) felt extremely disjointed. I know it’ll be a longer wait in between seasons but that’s better than waiting for months for a few episodes, waiting for months to get one more episode, and then waiting for months to get the last few episodes. What a mess :P

  4. Were*

  5. avatar STLShawn says:

    I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. The BBC wants to make money with DW, but they keep playing this shell game of not wanting to spend money to make it,,,,,, geez.

    But, any Who is better than no Who.

    You do realize, that in the mean time,,, if paramount were to green light a new star trek series today, it would probably have new episodes before 2014 who. The creators of Warehouse 13 and Eureka could probably produce them even faster.

  6. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I think what it all comes down to is his: With Tennant’s run, RTD had that last year of just “specials” and it was a pretty sparce year and his reasoning was that he wanted to keep the interest, the yearning for Doctor who high. Whatever the reason, we ended up with Tennant doing 3 series and some specials over four years. That’s really what we’ve ended up with here as well with Smith, 4 years, but with 3 series and specials. At least this time they just tried to break it up a bit.
    As far as split series go, they can split it up but yeah, do it like series 6 where it’s still all in the same year. This is a must, especially now as you want to give the new Doctor a good running start to get into the role. Making us wait until the autumn and then only delivering a few episodes again would not be a good thing for a brand new Doctor and Moffat knows this.

  7. avatar louise says:

    i prefer the series when it runs concurrently, and is not split, but the christmas episode should always be a stand alone episode

  8. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    I think it would be a bad idea for the BBC to splint a new series with a new Doctor, especially as the foreign markets for the show seem to be quite strong at the moment.
    The BBC are quite well aware that however much money they spend on the show they will make money on it, so to cut back on a money making the show would be rather stupid.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      That’s what we said in the 80s…

  9. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Not the most reliable of sources, but this from The Sun newspaper: “Beeb bosses had to admit Matt’s exit after a leaked email from its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, to clients gave the game away. The mail, sent on Friday, told of plans to air *12 new episodes from August 2014*. Crucially, it said: “This will give the new Doctor a chance to develop with the audience (apologies for this spoiler if you didn’t know).”

  10. avatar Bob James says:

    I’m still skeptical. I would LOVE to be proven wrong, and see Doctor Who get a full on run like it did up to series 6, but I’ll believe that when I see it. I agree that it’s good to know that we are going to get a series 8, with a new Doctor and Jenna Louise Coleman. I don’t think the show is anywhere near facing the threat of cancellation, but I still believe we will be getting less episodes and a split series transmission from here on out.

  11. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    A full 13-episode run would of course be desirable – no matter what time of year. I personally prefer the Christmas episodes being stand-alone ones though. However, I think a more important issue here is Doctor Who’s irregular broadcast times. They are all over the place from one week to the next. No matter how many episodes there are in a run (5, 8, 13) the episodes deserve to be shown in a reliable and constant time so that both fans and casual viewers KNOW when it is on. If people KNOW when it is on every week then the more people that are likely to TUNE IN!

    • avatar Al says:

      I have to agree. Audiences in the UK (who are the only ones that matter to the BBC’s bottom line) are used to seasons being split up and sometimes with years in between. What’s killing the ratings is the BBC’s refusal to commit to a single time slot – and a prime time one – for an entire season. There’s all this concern about so-called “counter programming” but the world won’t come to an end if the BBC announces that every episode of Series 8 will air at 7 PM. Let the other networks worry and fret over what they’ll put up against an anchor show like that.

      • Here in the states DW is on regular time slots, and the advertising income is about 5 times the UK revenue when you factor out Government subsidies…Personally, I’m not in favor of delaying the start of the next series until August 2014.

  12. avatar vortexter says:

    A full season of Dr Who? Is the recession over now? It’s too much happiness for a fan like me…

  13. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    I sent a complaint t the BBC about the number of episodes in 2012 and 2013 and asked if the reasons were financial or artistic. The answer I got back confirmed that it was the team in Cardiff’s decision to split the series over two years for artistic reasons. So I don’t think lack of budget comes into it. It seems it’s the Showrunner who decided how many to deliver.

  14. avatar Caity says:

    I would welcome the return to one series of 13 episodes, but the Christmas episode should be a stand alone story that does not refer back to previous events in the series. Most people who watch at Christmas are not dedicated Who watchers(hence the elevated audience viewing figures)and just want an uncomplicated adventure story whilst they are digesting their turkey.

  15. avatar JS says:

    Okay so does this mean we get another full season of Matt Smith before he leaves? And there has always been a stand alone finale, the Christmas special it a bonus. Hence the term ‘Special’.

    • No. He gone.

      He might even have filmed his final scene alread

  16. avatar Hyncharas says:

    I think the split format does create a sense of anticipation; like the cliffhanger of 20-episode seasons when countries could afford to make them, the division has allowed people to digest what has happened and imagine what will happen next. It also allows the actors to take a breather for one or two months before they start work again, otherwise it’s nine months straight, which can’t be easy.

    Of course I think these details get lost on fans, especially as rabid as those for Doctor Who.

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