Lights, Camera, Action! Time to Embrace A Doctor Who Movie
Guest contributor Craig Sightings believes it’s time to embrace a Doctor Who movie.
According to recent news a blockbuster Doctor Who movie may be getting one step closer to a reality and it’s fair to say some fans have got themselves into a bit of flap about the whole idea again. In this article I want to look at why that is and hopefully show that it really isn’t such a bad idea.
Now as per usual the news was immediately met with the usual barmy, kneejerk reactions such as “OMG! AMERICANS ARE TAKING OVER,” “A REBOOT,” “A YANKY DOCTOR,” “MICHAEL BAY! GUNS! EXPLOSIONS,” and the obligatory “SONY SUCKS!” You get the idea and I’m paraphrasing, but the real responses were not far off looking around the web.
However looking at it from the perspective of a fairly rational human being I have to ask, is having a Doctor Who movie really such a bad thing? Most fan bases would be pretty excited if such a thing were to happen to their show. So why are Doctor Who fans getting so flustered? I think if it’s done in the right way then this can only be a good thing for the future of the show.
Looking into the matter further I think most of the negative reaction in Doctor Who’s case comes from fears that a movie will be a dreaded reboot and have nothing to do with the TV version, or hurt its future. Indeed these fears aren’t entirely unfounded because this very concept first started doing the rounds back in 2011 when Harry Potter director David Yates said he was working on a movie and it definitely would be a reboot with a new Doctor. But as far as we can tell this idea was shutdown pretty promptly.
If the email leaks tell us one thing however is that BBC Worldwide – the commercial arm of the BBC (the ones who are in charge of making all the money) – are still keen to pursue this idea and will not give it up easy. Geek culture is, ironically, now a mainstream phenomenon and it’s hard to see Doctor Who not doing as well as any of the other huge franchises out there now with the correct marketing. After all, The Day of the Doctor was still the third highest-grossing release over its opening weekend with more limited cinema screenings. Now with talk of a potential movie being part of an 8 year plan it’s really just a matter of time.
However, what these emails also tell us is that production team and the TV licence-funded BBC are not going to let a film happen until it’s under the right circumstances. In a recent interview Moffat pointed out some of the problems yet to be solved. I thought I’d try and lay out some ground rules that most fans could probably agree on. A good start would be something like:
- A movie must not be a reboot and series continuity must be preserved.
- It must star either the current Doctor/companion at the time, or at the very least an already established one from the past.
- The TV show must not be harmed in anyway by the movie, or taken off the air.
Now with that out the way we can look at some of the pros. Articles on this site have already covered this well and I’d like to point you in the direction of Sam White’s article here. To boil it down though, a bigger budget is an obvious pro. It would allow things not simply possible on a modest TV budget. Just imagine delving further into the Time War! It’s an idea that seems ripe for the big screen. A film could also draw more new fans into the show, which is only a good thing for the survivability of Doctor Who.
I think an ideal scenario may actually present itself soon enough. Moffat must be getting closer to the end of his tenure on the TV series, so what if he moves on to writing the movie after exiting the TV series? He can take a year or two to craft something fitting for the big screen. And if we want to think wider he could draw in Russell T Davies as well for collaboration. After all RTD said he would be interested in coming back for a movie earlier this year. The two minds of the modern era working together could be incredible.
Meanwhile the TV show can run in tandem with whoever takes over from Moffat. The only real question would be the availability of the current Doctor/companion at the time and getting around the lengthy TV filming with it occupying so much of the year. So perhaps a multi-Doctor/companion story would be best for this.
Of course making a movie is not a simple process and a number of other factors not mentioned here would have to be worked out as well, so realistically the whole thing is still a long way off. But at the end of the day I think it would be a good thing and I hope people can see it from another perspective. I understand why some fans are worried but I think it’s time to start embracing the idea rather than thinking only the worst will happen. Thanks for reading!