Doctor Who News Capaldi in Torchwood 2

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by James Lomond

Series 8 in September 2014?

Moffat BAFTA

According to the Guardian, You are the No.1 most powerful person in the media and Moffat is 87th. They also say we’ll be waiting until Autumn 2014 for the next full series. (I would use a *sad smiley* here but I respect You too much, dear reader…)

“It will not return next year until the autumn, giving it plenty of time to recharge batteries. And what better way to do that than with a new Doctor?”

So after the 50th special (shiver) and a regeneration this Christmas (tingle) we’ll be back to waiting. Waiting to see what Peter Capaldi can do with the role with that acid tongue, amazing hair and TERRIFYING eyes. But we’re pretty good at waiting. It’s time to reflect on the fruits of the Whoniverse so far but also to dream up the rest while our imaginations go crazy (what will he look like, what will he sound like?!).

Matt Smith as the Doctor in 2011's The Impossible Astronaut

The Guardian also points out that Moffat, with Doctor Who and the return of Sherlock later this year, is one of the BBC’s “most important programme-makers” They rank Chris Chibnall not far behind at No.91 largely because of the runaway success of his dark whodunit, Broadchurch which is set for an American make-over. Interestingly they also had this to say about our beloved telly show:

Doctor Who may not be quite the force it was when it returned with Christopher Eccleston and in its David Tennant heyday in the UK, but has a growing audience in the US on cable channel BBC America.”

Not quite the force?! They might be right, insofar as nothing seems to cause more hysteria than Tennant’s quiff but I find this a surprising comment. Has the Moffat lead us into an era that’s loftier but more niche? I’m not sure whether I would prefer the show to be uber-popular over here and unheard of elsewhere, or flagging in the UK (as if that were possible!) but lighting up minds overseas.

My view is the show has grown up a bit with Moffat and it looks set to do a bit more growing up with Capaldi in the role. So what do you think? What will our show look like come Autumn 2014? And has it lost some appeal at home only to win hearts in more exotic climes…?

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51 Responses to Series 8 in September 2014?

  1. avatar Starr says:

    I like this article, a little poetic, reflective and sums up exactly my feelings. Nice.

  2. avatar Cumbria Batch says:

    Can’t wait that long :(((((

  3. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    I think the lack of full series in the last two years has diminished interest. And I have a horrible feeling (not unfounded) that we are only going to get half a series in 2014 and 15 too….

  4. avatar Tom Earl says:

    *sigh* I’m really not in to waiting until 2014, but what really concerns me is waiting all the time to find out that we are still going to be doing this dime store novel writing. That’s the only big turn off to me, but I’ll wait and I’ll watch.

  5. avatar Neu 75 says:

    March 2005-July 2008: 55 episodes transmitted
    July 2008-August 2014: 49 episodes transmitted

    • avatar STLShawn says:

      ….. and some bean counter at BBC got a raise for saving money (even though money coming in went down)

  6. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    Not sure what you are saying Neu…

    The first period you cover is 41 months, the second is 74 months…

    • avatar Neu 75 says:

      Exactly. Prolific in the early period, much more piecemeal since and it might be something we’ll have to get used to…

      • avatar David F says:

        While I agree that the fragmentation of the last two series has made it harder to engage with the Smith era than the Tennant era, here’s another way of comparing the number of episodes:

        Tennant: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009:

        Three seasons of thirteen episodes, three Christmas specials . . . then an Easter special, a November special, a Christmas special and a New Year special.

        Smith: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013:

        Three seasons of thirteen episodes, three Christmas specials . . . then an anniversary special and a Christmas special.

        The latter Doctor is down by only two episodes over the same time period.

        Yes, that removes the Eccleston season from the reckoning, but if you go strictly on a comparison of the last four years with the four years before that, the productivity has not significantly changed. (RTD said at the time that the BBC had haggled him up to do an extra couple of 2009 specials, and he gave in.)

        Yes, the Eccleston season came right before the first Tennant season, but that was when no one knew how long the show would run or what logistical problems would arise, and by 2008 the production team had learned that four years in a row was too much, and went on record saying years off would have to be built into the schedule from now on. Which is what’s happened in effect, except that they’ve spread the episodes more thinly to avoid long gaps.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          Tennant had specials in both 2005 and 2010. Also, The Infinity Quest, Dreamland, The Adventure Games (I realise Smith featured in the final one). Plus Confidential was axed during Smith’s reign. Beautiful Elisabeth Sladen’s death ended SJA during Smiths tenure. Torchwood has either ended or been put on indefinite hiatus during Smith’s time. Fact: Doctor Who and the Doctor Who universe has dwindled since Matt took on the role. This has nothing to do with Matt or the show – in fact it is stronger than ever. It simply means that we don’t have all these other shows, games, animations etc, to fall back on when Doctor Who isn’t on. But that is still no excuse for the way the last couple of series have been aired. If anything, with the demise of all these other projects, you’d think they’d focus more on televised Doctor Who and not reduce it!

          • avatar David F says:

            a) I was counting the End of Time Part 2 as a 2009 episodes even thought it was one day over. Move it to 2010 if you like, but that only strengthens my argument by equalising the episode count for the last four years against te four years before.

            b) The Christmas Invasion may have been a Tennant episode, but my purpose was not to compare the Doctors. It was to compare the 2006-2009 time period with the 2010-2013 time period.

            Actually, my real aim was just to say there are different ways to look at it, depending on whether you’re a negative or positive person.


          • Smith was in all four of the Adventure Games. I don’t even need to check as I’m writing about it right now for Kasterborous Magazine #2

            (In this universe, at least.)

            So you can subtract those from your list of Tennant appearances and add them to Smith. Along with The Eternity Clock, Return to Earth and the various BBC audiobooks he’s recorded and the huge amount of public appearances (like, 100% more than Tennant ever made). Oh and two proms as well.

          • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            Christian, you are so right! I have no idea where my Adventure Games faux pas came from, especially as I have played them all. Oh well, my bad.


  7. Not a big surprise, that’s when I assumed the next series would debut; if they’re only just about to start filming the Christmas special, there would hardly be time to get onto a whole new series and get it out much sooner.. People complain about waiting, but is it really worse than when the series was cancelled and we waited for years and years, with no actual new episodes on the horizon? (The answer’s no)

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      The answer is actually yes, because when the series was originally cancelled back in ’89 everything was against it despite the last couple of seasons being among the best in the show’s history. Doctor Who was still reeling from the ’85 ‘hiatus’, It was aired mid-week against Coronation Street, received little or no promotion, it was afforded a laughably poor budget and only held a ‘niche’ or ‘cult’ audience abroad.

      Today Doctor Who broadcasts in it’s original Saturday evening time slot and has consistently perform superbly (since it’s relaunch no episode has gone below 6 million – and that’s purely based on final BARB figures that don’t take various other modes of viewing into consideration). Doctor Who still receives a relatively small budget compared to many American Sci-fi shows but you could hardly tell judging by the beauty we are presented with in each episode. But most importantly, Doctor Who is bigger than ever! The popularity of the show is skyrocketing in other countries. America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, most of Europe! And not in a ‘cult’ way. And Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s biggest money-makers!

      So what do the BBC do? They reduce the output. They alienate casual viewers and encourage apathy. Just 14 nights a year? is that too much to ask? I accepted the low output in 2009. And I would grudgingly accept a Doctor-Who-lite year every 4 or 5 years to give the show a ‘breather’. But not EVERY year. Not seasons ALWAYS getting split up!


      • I’m gonna stick with ‘No’. I understand as a fan that it’s a bit frustrating, because you just want new eps, but I can live with it as long as new shiny eps are coming.

      • avatar Andrew G. Dick says:

        I agree and especially in such a milestone anniversary year. How many TV series last 50 years? What happened to the promise that Doctor Who would “take over the telly” and get “more episodes than ever”. I really do believe the lack of episodes over the last 2 years has resulted in apathy at least here in the UK. When show is becoming such a global phenomenon, someone at the BBC is clearly losing the plot. How many business would slow down a production line when it gets such high demand from untouched markets?

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          I don’t think people would be as angry or resentful if people (Moff and the BBC) were just open and truthful about the reasons why our show has been so badly handled schedule-wise over the last couple of seasons. If there is a good and honest reason, then tell us, we will understand and accept it (albeit perhaps grudgingly)! Even when we do get a few episodes airing you need to be Sherlock to know what time every episode airs as it is always different. Fans like myself will make an effort to find out, casual viewers will not. I have no objection to Moff lying to us about future plots, revelations, twists etc… (in fact I encourage it, I want to be surprised)! But treat us with some respect regarding the situation the show is in with the BBC and the schedules!

          • avatar John Shandler says:

            My feelings exactly Franco. Well said!

          • avatar Mark Lenton says:

            Yep, spot on. In 2008 we were told exactly that we would get four specials in 2009 and then back with a full series in 2010. Just tell us what we are getting and we can like it or lump it.

  8. avatar DonnaM says:

    I’m just glad it’s on TV at all!

    Maybe the show’s not as high-profile in the media as during the RTD era, and you can count on the Guardian’s media section to navel-gaze about these things. Maybe Tennant’s looks brought in a different (fickle!) audience. Personally, I’m not bothered.

    Of course I’d sooner see Series 8 a lot earlier than next autumn but if that’s what we’re going to get I can live with it (especially for a full, unbroken run of 12/13 episodes). And I hope with the Twelfth Doctor the show can “grow up” a bit more. Matt’s great at the quirky/physical comedy stuff but I’d prefer a more cerebral, less manic Doctor.

  9. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I’m really starting to get annoyed with the waiting though. “Recharge our batteries”? Please. We had a lot of time to recharge in 2009, which was interminable and then we had way too much time in 2012 and now again in 2013 and now it looks like an even more barren year in 2014. Ridiculous. Is it better than the wilderness years? Of course, but then, There was no show. Now, there is a show and it shouldn’t be unreasonable to want a full series each year, and not have to wait 9 months for new Doctor Who.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Totally agree! As I mention in an above post I don’t believe it unreasonable to expect 14 enjoyable Saturday evenings and a Christmas treat per year. They throw excuse after excuse and reason after reason. All rubbish. We’re not stupid. The BBC however…

      • avatar James Mclean says:

        I have to admit, sounds like spin to me. As the split season was to give Dr Who kids all year round, before that became split over the year in two halves, I suspect again either politics or workloads have jammed Doctor Who into a bad situation and “recharge” is the new buzz word. Doctor Who has had issues of late, but while I’m not the biggest fan of Moffat’s era, I suspect the lack of broadcast stability is far big an issue that quality of the show. No production with any sense finds value in hiatus or an uncertain schedule. It’s a show killer.


  10. I can see us getting a full series leading into a Christmas *finale* rather than a ‘traditional’ Christmas special. And no bad thing. Autumn is perfect Who season, as the nights draw in. After the bleakness of the 90s, a nine month wait for the next full series is nothing. i expect Moffat has heard enough…*concerns*…about split series to have the sense to give Capaldi a full three months uninterrupted.

  11. avatar Al says:

    The show in it’s current form is going on 8 years old now. For it to still have wide interest at all is remarkable. The number of shows where people tired of them after 2, 3 years is immense. As for the number of episodes, this isn’t a numbers game. Quality not quantity is what is important. Count the number of episodes for Sherlock.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      It’s the BBC hierarchy that pull the strings and make the decisions. I doubt Moff has had very much say in the matter, despite his previous statements regarding the matter. Maybe he – or anybody else in his position – should be made to focus 100% of their attention on one project at a time (i.e. not Doctor Who AND Sherlock simultaneously).

      • avatar Mark Lenton says:

        I don’t think you are right there. I asked the BBC if the decision to only play one series over the 2012 / 2013 year was commercial or creative and the answer I eventually got was that it was a decision by the Cardiff ‘creative team’.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          Oh, if the BBC told you then…

          • avatar James Mclean says:

            Aw come on Franco lol. Mark offered a source, which is a little more than the speculation that most here offer. Can’t just dismiss it like that. :) I agree with Mark, that’s what I’m lead to understand too. BBC wants Who like clockwork – which all things considered, makes sense. They have no reason to want to jump and destablise the show’s schedule. They’ve been milking Who quite happily with the Capaldi reveal, there’s no reason they want to hold that back a year. Delays in the Moff era to my understanding have always been Cardiff side, and the BBC not exactly thrilled about it either, but when they have Moffat and Sherlock as one of their yummiest exports, I don’t think there’s been a great eagerness to rock the boat either.

          • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            There is no denying that we fans have been fed a load of carefully worded excuses the last couple of years. I’m not necessarily against the schedule of the last couple of seasons. What I AM against is the lack of honesty relayed to us. And I believe, I’m only speculating, that a possible reason is Moff’s duel role as show runner for both Doctor Who AND Sherlock simultaneously. These are two of the BBC’s hallmark shows right now. How can one man concentrate 100% on each at the same time? If the reason we are being delivered less Doctor Who episodes per year is because of Moff’s workload then either we need a show runner who can focus all their attention on our beloved show or Moff needs to leave Sherlock in Gatiss’ capale hands and concentrate on Who.

          • avatar David F says:

            Franco:

            Really, seriously: There is no reduction in output of Doctor Who. There were fourteen episodes in 2010 (fifteen, if you count the runover from Tennant on January 1st) and 2011, six in 2012, and there will be ten by the end of 2013. It’s the gaps between runs of episodes that have been adjusted, but over this last four-year period, the total is virtually the same as that of the four years before: fourteen in each of 2006, 2007 and 2008, and four in 2009 (or three, if you’re being picky about The End of Time Pt. 2.) And I know I’m repeating what I wrote higher up the thread, but you seem determined to imagine a conspiracy to rob you and it’s taking up a lot of your time when it doesn’t need to.

            It’s true that the scheduling is damaging, in that we don’t get into the show in the same way. And yes, the BBC could help themselves a lot by issuing a frank and clear explanation of the reason for the split seasons.

          • avatar Mark Lenton says:

            Well David, apart from your assertion that there is no reduction in output (when there clearly is) I do agree with everything else you say

  12. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Im not a fan of waiting so long, but its not like we have any choice so we’ll just have to knuckle down and deal with it. In the interim there is still whole other avenues to explore to get a Doctor Who fix, like books, comics and audio.

  13. avatar dailypop says:

    Again, an excellent article. I particularly enjoyed the “after the 50th special (shiver) and a regeneration this Christmas (tingle)” comment.

    “Doctor Who may not be quite the force it was when it returned with Christopher Eccleston and in its David Tennant heyday in the UK, but has a growing audience in the US on cable channel BBC America.”

    That is bonkers. Say what you will about the quality, but the program is a massive success with more popularity now than it had in the Eccleston or Tennant era. It rules the media. Co-workers have come up to me asking why they cannot escape it online. The Guardian is out of touch on this one.

    And waiting until 2014 is no big deal. Just ask fans what it was like in the 80′s and you’ll learn what real commitment to Doctor Who is all about.

  14. avatar Dan Hallett says:

    As long as it’s the full 13 episode season I think it will be worth the wait to get Doctor Who back on dark autumn/winter nights.

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      I got on the set visit to Cardiff recently and spoke to our tour guide saying how pleased I was we were getting a full series shown in 2014. The response was ‘Why do you think that… I wouldn’t count on it’. So I wouldn’t bet my life that the new production pattern for who is film for a year and then break for a year like it has been in 2012/13. I hope he was just winding me up but I suspect half series are here to stay while ever we have a showrunner working over two shows.

  15. avatar Philip Bates says:

    I don’t think Series 8 will be split. This was Moffat’s intention: to move it to Autumn/ Winter. I just don’t think the BBC played ball until now.

    Anyone else think it’d be perfect for them to do a Hallowe’en-themed ep?

    • avatar David F says:

      I don’t think it will be split either, but for a different reason. It’s too risky when establishing a new Doctor. I suspect season 5 might have been split too, had Tennant stayed on an extra year, but Smith needed a full run in his first year, and so does Capaldi. So I’m sure season 8 will be a single run, but season 9, I’m not so sure about.

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      I would love for the Doctor to actually meet H P Lovecraft, and have to fight a Cthulhu-type alien on Halloween…

      • avatar Philip Bates says:

        Yeah, that’d be good… Or maybe Edgar Allan Poe?

        And yeah, another reason for a full season will be to give Capaldi time to settle in – to become the Doctor in the eyes of the public – totally agree.

  16. avatar Chris says:

    They need to give us some more episodes for short-changing us the past few years, not make us wait a year for the next season.

  17. avatar Endy says:

    I think David’s time on the show was built around what he was happy to do to keep him a bit longer. Added to this RTD was convinced the show should be rested now and again. Matt arrived in 2010 and did a full season I think. The following year he did a season split over the year but still 14 episodes. It was last year we were left with only six episodes instead of 14 and as a result probably only 10 this year although at least one is said to be movie length. Once again I would bet the way this has been done is to fit in with Matt so he was still around for the big fifty.
    It was no surprise he is quitting at Christmas.
    I am not sure if more or less is good for interest and longevity but I suspect what they are doing is probably about right. It is nonsense to say there is less interest. The show generates huge press all the time even if it is sometimes unfairly negative. What other show generates as much interest?
    As a big fan I would love more than we are getting and do not want to wait until next Autumn to see the next series.

  18. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    It is true that both Tennant and Smith had almost the same amount of adventures in the same time period. I think the reason it seems like we’ve had to wait longer during the Smith era is because during we only had that dry spell in 2009 for Tennant, where as we had quite a dry spell last year and now again this year—- and we have to face another long dry spell next year! Just a different laying out of the episodes but the effect has been perceived quite differently. And not for the good. At the very least, we HAVE to have a full 14 eps next fall, a full season for a new Doctor that leads into a Christmas special because a new Doctor needs a big, long, solid start to gain a good foothold. Moffat must realize that and hopefully now that he’ll be done with Sherlock, he can get more done with Who.

  19. avatar scouse techy says:

    I can only suspect that this decision is really concerned with appeasing American audiences. After all, most of their major series air in the “fall”. Grrr comic con etc etc…..

  20. avatar Lee says:

    Are these recent season gaps a result of the license fee freeze that the BBC has had to accept from 2010? So less money to spend per year… By making Doctor Who more popular in the US can help boost finances in the BBC but it’s got loads of expenses besides Doctor Who too. :-(

  21. avatar dr jon says:

    I think the bbc has realised that dr who works better in a 13 episode run than a split season format. I think the next series won’t be back until september 2014. I think with having a new doctor in the tardis they will want to get it right and take their time with the storys and production values and do a full run when more of the public are watching tv.

  22. avatar David F says:

    I hadn’t thought of this when I wrote my earlier comments, but, assuming we get the fourteen episodes in 2014 that we think we will, I think the following will be true (and let me know if I’ve miscounted slightly):

    First five calendar years of New Who = 59 episodes

    Second five calendar years of New Who = 59 episodes

    How’s that for reduced output?

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      Well yes it’s the ‘assuming’ that might be the problem – see my post higher up about the Cardiff BBC guy and the likelihood that series 8 will be split over 2014 and 15.

      This would be a really bad start for Capaldi.

  23. avatar STLShawn says:

    the one thing that haunts me (and i don’t know what it was exactly about), was when Moff said something like “every time Doctor Who comes back, it should be a special event”, as if it is some great movie feature.
    If he wants to do great movies, do great movies. If he wants to create television for the starving masses,,,,,,, create some television.

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      Spot on

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