THE POSSIBLY PERPETUAL (LASTS AS LONG AS YOU WANT IT TO) WHO IN TRANSITION (AND ALL THINGS WHO) MEGATHREAD!
With the new year comes many, many new DOCTOR WHO-related issues to discuss.
For example, we recently learned that current DW overlord Steven Moffat would be stepping down at the end of Series 10, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall.
Chibnall has previously scripted episodes of the heinously under-amped, generally unremarkable, and often misguided DWverse spinoff TORCHWOOD. He also created and scripted for BROADCHURCH, and wrote a few stories for Matt Smith era DW (The Power of Three, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and the relatively forgettable The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood).
I rather like both Power and Dinosaurs, but they felt safe and family friendly. I hope this approach will not become standard MO on DOCTOR WHO. There’s a propensity to identify this show as ‘a kid’s show’ - but I’m not at all convinced its has ever been as much, and folks who worked on it back in the day have openly indicated that there was never an official mandate to approach it as programming for children.
Historically, DOCTOR WHO has been chock full o’ difficult and challenging ideas, often fueled by explorations of moral ambiguity. A truth which Moffat has both embraced and expanded upon during his tenure, although some might argue his results have varied. At the end of the day, however, I’d much rather watch a show in which Moffat (or someone like him) swings for the fence and sometimes misses, than a show characterized largely by easier, middle-of the-road conceits.
In all fairness, I’m saying all this never having seen a single episode of BROADCHURCH (about which I’ve heard good things). So, perhaps there’s a Chibnall Variation in existence which will bring a full and not always ‘safe and easy’ game to DOCTOR WHO? My mind is open - it truly is. I’m merely expressing some knee jerk, not entirely informed concerns about his appointment. ‘THE CHIBNALL VARIATION’ sounds like an espionage thriller, by the way…
We also recently learned that Season/Series 10 of DOCTOR WHO would not transmit until 2017 - although a Christmas Special (which may or may not introduce a new companion for the Doctor) is apparently in the works for 2016. That’s a whole year without new DOCTOR WHO - a long, long wait which threatens to let too much air out of a balloon which is already leaking. When viewership numbers are waning and great divisiveness surrounding the approach to/direction of a show prevails? That’s not a time to disappear your product. To jump the rails when momentum is diminishing doesn’t feel either logical or wise or constructive.
The awkwardness of this wait would be mitigated considerably if BBC & Co. would move forward with the canonical web installments Moffat has previously discussed (a la the Paul McGann one-off Night of the Doctor, which was more or less shot in a day).
This would be a tremendously wise, cost-effective way to keep WHO on people’s radar, keep ‘the chatter’ going so to speak, and to expand upon a mythology many charge is being undernourished by too few episodes that are presented too far apart. Alas, there’s been no further word on the such webisodes, so we’ve no choice but to believe the nearly year long wait for new WHO material will be…just that.
Adding more upheaval into the mix are numerous indications that current Doctor Peter Capaldi will also step down after Season/Series 10. Feels like he’s only barely started, but three Seasons/Series and some Christmas Specials is more or less on par with the tenure of past Doctors. This would, essentially, mean he and Moffat would depart DOCTOR WHO at either essentially the same time, or exactly the same time. Leaving room for a soft-reboot, much like what we say when Russell T. Davies handed the reins to Steven Moffat, at the same time David Tennant’s Doctor morphed into Matt Smith’s incarnation. New showrunners. New actor. And, very much a new style.
Welcome to Geeklectica’s all-purpose megathread, which will remain active and can be used as a ‘base of operations’ as long as forum participants wish to utilize it. More DW posts are on the way to Geeklectica in the coming days, so I can imagine discussions might ultimately migrate to those posts instead. Which is completely fine, of course. I merely thought having a point of continuance might make long-form discussions easier to follow and whatnot. We’ll see how it works out.
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