Mike Gold: Doctor Who Fans Can Barely Hold It
1) The beginning of the next half-season, which will start in England any day now. The BBC likes to wait until the last minute to make their announcements; the show debuts in the United States, Canada and much of the rest of the world shortly thereafter. As of this writing, the season premiere is not on this Saturday’s schedule, so the August 25th rumor is likely untrue… unless the Pirates of the Caribbean movie presently in the Doctor Who slot is bunkum.
2) The exiting of the two current companions at the end of the half-season, which may or may not involve killing one or both off.
3) The Doctor Who Christmas Special, which is likely to be aired on or about December 25th and will feature the introduction of the Doctor’s new companion. The show will also feature the “return” of Richard E. Grant – he voiced the Doctor in the animated “Scream of the Shalka” and joined Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley in Steven Moffat’s debut Who, the satirical “Curse of Fatal Death.”
4) The 50th anniversary of the show’s debut, which happened mere moments after the BBC announced the death of President John F. Kennedy. Talk about your dramatic lead-ins.
As hyped-up as we may be about the first three items on the above list, I’m far more amused by all the folderol around the 50th Anniversary. Writer/producer/showrunner Steven Moffat has been having enormous fun jerking the fans and media around, teasing the hell out of the event and roughly expanding our enthusiasm to apocalyptic proportions. Previous Doctors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennent have all publically committed to return “if asked,” and Christopher Eccleston has actually stopped saying he wouldn’t return under any circumstances, although his work on the next Thor movie might interfere with scheduling. Similarly, John Barrowman’s work on Arrow might mitigate his availability. Colin Baker noted he might have grown, ahem, a bit too big for the part. To me, that sounds like something Moffat can have fun with.
If Moffat is to be believed, there likely will be several or many 50th Anniversary events next year. My question is “will there actually be a regular 50th Anniversary season?” There will be a dramatic made-for-teevee-movie about the creation of the original television show, being produced by Moffat and written by his Sherlock partner Mark Gatiss. There’s quite a feminist hook in this tale, as the show’s original producer, the person who actually got the show on television, was Verity Lambert, one of the very, very few women in such a position at the BBC back in 1963.
Of course, we’ll see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW – we already see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW, including reprints of Dave Gibbons’ beautiful work on the feature – and there will be tons and tons of merchandising and convention thrills. I suspect Community and The Inspector will have something to say about it all as well.
So the rumors will continue to grow in mass, time and space, and the resultant brouhaha will keep the rabble at fever-pitch. Perhaps there will be TARDIS-themed Depends being marketed to those who can’t hold it in.
That’s right, guys. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil waiting on shadowy rooftops.